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Oriental Kits

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Shukenja kit: Priest

Description: A wandering priest who has accepted a life of hardship and poverty. He is outside the caste system, and is treated with respect by all members of society. Must be of good alignment, Wis 12, Str 9, Con 9.

Role: The shukenja gives aid, spiritual and physical, to those who need it.

Weapon Proficiencies: None required.

Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bonus: Religion, Reading/Writing. Recomended: Artistic Abilility (Caligraphy), Healing, Herbalism.

Equipment: All starting equipment must come from the oriental lists. The shukenja may only have 5gp (1 chi'en) remaining after buying equipment.

Special Benefits: May improve saving throw by +3 once per day per level. Decision to add bonus must be made before the die is rolled.

Special Hindrances: The shukenja is sworn to poverty, and can only keep enough for personal needs. If optional xp for treasure is awarded, the shukenja only receives it for treasure donated to charity and the poor.

He also must follow certain rules imposed by his religion. He cannot eat meat, must refrain from violence whenver possible (especially killing), and must refrain from immodest drinking and eating. Other rules may be imposed by the DM.

Sohei kit: Priest

Description: Sohei are religious soldiers, who protect large monestaries. They are more militant than holy, and receive less religious instruction and more training in fighting. Must be lawful, Str 13, Wis 10, Con 10.

Role: Sohei defend thier monastary, and help advance its political aims.

Weapon Proficiencies: The sohei may learn to use any weapon. He may pick one, as a 'weapon of choice' and gain +1 to hit with it. He gets one free weapon proficiency to start with.

Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bonus: Blindfighting. Recomended: Riding, land based, Religion.

Equipment: All starting equipment must come from the oriental lists.

Special Benefits: The sohei gets d10 for hit dice, and can learn fighter non-weapon proficiencies at no additional cost. He can also go Beserk (as per the Beserker kit).

Special Hindrances: Receives one less spell per level than normal clerics. Restricted to a few spheres: All, Combat, and Protection.

They must also follow certain religious principles as does the shukenja, but they are less strict for sohei. They must refrain from eating meat (fish is okay), and also from excesses of personal behavior.

They also have the same hindrances as detailed in the Beserker kit, except for the reaction adjustment.

Bushi kit: Warrior

Description: A bushi is a masterless warrior, without ties to a lord, temple or monestary. Often, they are mercenaries, bandits, highwaymen, or wanderers. They may serve samurai, protect the courts, or be found in the army. Most are men of low birth who have taken the way of the warrior to advance.

Role: The peasants and merchants look to the bushi for their protection, as samurai protect the nobles. Only Fighters may become bushi.

Weapon Proficiencies: None required.

Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bonus: Either Armorer or Bowyer/Fletcher. Recomended: Weaponsmithing.

Equipment: All starting equipment must come from the oriental lists. The bushi may only have 5gp (1 chi'en) remaining after buying equipment.

Special Benefits: A bushi in a friendly or neutral village can always get employment, food, and shelter. It may be rice gruel and a leaky stable, but there will always be something.

Special Hindrances: When bad things happen, the peasants turn to the bushi for help. If he refuses, he suffers a -2 reaction penalty from all the residents of that village.

Kensai kit: Warrior

Description: The kensai is a warrior from cultures based on medieval Japanese civilization, just as the samurai is. The aim of the kensai is to become the perfect master of his chosen weapon (usually the sword, but can be any weapon or unarmed combat style). the kensai must also study and learn peaceful arts. A kensai must be of lawful alignment, and have minimum scores of 12 in strength and wisdom, and 14 in dexterity.

Role: As does the samurai, the kensai provides a touch of the exotic if the campaign is not set in an eastern campaign. Only Fighters may become kensai.

Weapon Proficiencies: The kensai is required to specialize in his chosen weapon or unarmed combat style.

Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus proficiency Etiquette. Recommended: Reading/Writing, Artistic Ability (Calligraphy), Blind Fighting, Heraldry, Religion, Musical Instrument, Singing, Animal Training, Artistic Ability (Painting).

Equipment: Must buy chosen weapon. All starting equipment must come from samurai weapons, armor, and equipment (see Complete Fighter's Handbook).

Special Benefits: By focusing his internal energies, he can do maximum damage with his chosen weapon. He can do this once per day per level of experience, and must announce that he will do so before rolling to hit his opponent. When wearing light or no armor (leather, padded, or no armor), he gets several benefits. First, he gets a -2 bonus on his AC (thus, AC 7 becomes AC 5). Second, when using his chosen weapon, he gets a bonus to his initiative, and at higher levels, a bonus to hit and damage. At 1st level, he gets -1 to his initiative. This increases -1/6 levels; -2 at 7th, -3 at 13th, -4 at 19th. At 3rd level, he gets +1 to hit. this increases +1/6 levels; +2 at 9th, +3 at 15th. This bonus to hit does not allow the kensai to hit a monster hit only by magic weapons. At 5th level, he gets +1 on damage. This increases +1/6 levels; +2 at 11th, +3 at 17th.

Special Hindrances: The kensai must practice with his chosen weapon two hours every day. Every session skipped must be made up before the character can advance in level. When catching up, the kensai can practice four hours per day; two hours for that day and two hours for the missed practice. The kensai cannot specialize in any weapon other than his chosen weapon. If specialized in an unarmed combat style, he cannot specialize in any weapon or fighting style, but can specialize in other unarmed combat styles. A kensai can specialize in fighting styles that apply to his chosen weapon only. He may specialize in one unarmed combat style only, and may not continue specialization in it.

The kensai gains only 1/2 experience for foes defeated using any weapon other than his chosen weapon, or any magical weapon, even if only part of the fighting was done with it (unless the kensai was fighting with his specialty weapon and another weapon at the same time). Using a magical weapon is not considered a true test of skill, so he gets less experience for it. When attaining a new level, there is a chance (equal to level X 10) that another kensai of the same level will challenge him to a duel. If the kensai refuses the duel, or loses, he must earn twice the usual experience to reach the next level (essentially, earn 1/2 normal experience). However, the duel need not be to the death. It can be to surrender, first blood, or any other condition that the duelers agree to. No magic of any kind may be used in the duel, nor may anyone help the participants in any way.

Wealth Options: The kensai gets the standard 5d4X10 gp starting money.

Races: The historical precedent for the kensai is strictly human, same as the samurai. If the DM wishes, he can have an oriental based demihuman culture with kensai warriors. Of the demihumans, elves and half-elves are most appropriate. If there are demihuman samurai, most likely there will be demihuman kensai, and vice versa; if there are no demihuman samurai, it is very unlikely there will be any demihuman kensai.

Notes: Oriental Adventures contains more information on eastern campaigns. The kensai presented here is adapted from the OA kensai.

Yakuza kit: Thief

Description: Yakuza belong to a criminal organization that becomes their new family. They are many things, including thugs, extortionists, thieves, and an unofficial police force. Must have Str 11, Int 15, Dex 15, and Cha 16. They must be lawful, though rarely lawful good.

Role: Although they control illegal activities, they also protect the helpless, and watch over those in their care--for a price. Yakuza are urban characters, and are not as effective in wilderness settings.

Weapon Proficiencies: None required.

Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bonus: Information Gathering, Gaming: Recomended: Intimidation, Fast-Talking, Trailing, Forgery.

Equipment: All starting equipment must come from the oriental lists.

Special Benefits: Once per round, once per day per level, the yakuza may reduce damage from a non-magical melee attack by half (round up). This is from anticipating the opponent's moves and acting to thwart them.

Yakuza learn the best times to conjole, threaten, bribe, or persuade people. They gain +2 on reaction rolls if social status is not involved.

The yakuza also has contacts. They are NPCs who can provide information and aid to the yakuza. they will not go on adventures, but will buy stolen goods, carry messages, provide a hideout, or information. they will never do anything dangerous, though they might risk their reputations. They cooperate with the yakuza and stay silent as long as they are fairly treated, and not threatened or implicated in anything. The yakuza gets one contact per two experience levels. When the player wants to use a contact, he decides on the position and tells the DM. If the DM decides the contact is appropriate, the yakuza may use the contact as needed. The contact may not be over four levels higher than the yakuza, and there must be a plausible reason for them having met in the past.

Special Hindrances: Yakuza are considered criminals by the law. Although the organization may be tolerated, individual yakuza always risk being arrested and punished for their crimes. Due to this, the family tries to keep things running smoothly. All activities are monitored and must be approved by superiors.

All yakuza have tattoos, identifying their family and rank. The yakuza begins with a small tattoo on the arm, and is tattoed on another body part each time he gains a level. The face, hands, and feet are never tattooed.

If the character's honor ever falls below that of the family, he is cast out, though he can regain membership later. Until then, noone in the territory will help him. His family treats him as a non-person, but other yakuza families still treat him as an enemy.

The yakuza cannot use or increase the Read Languages skill.

Ninja kit: Thief

Description: Ninja are spies and assassins, skilled in disguise, concealment, stealth, and acrobatics. Must have Dex 14, Cha 14, and Int 15.

Role: All ninja must obey the head of their family; disobeying orders leads to an unending series of assassination attempts. A rogue ninja, or nukenin, might be a hero of the common people. In a western campaign, a ninja might apear as a rogue, escaping the assassins sent from the family (but note the special hindrances).

Weapon Proficiencies: Ninjas can use any weapon. At least half the ninja's proficiencies should be dedicated to ninja preferred weapons. Bonus proficiency: Ninja-to.

Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bonus: Disguise, Tumbling, Jumping. Recomended: Tightrope Walking, Blindfighting, Rope Use, Herbalism, Alertness, Voice Mimicry, Set Snares.

Skill Progression: Ninja favor the skills of moving silently, hide in shadows, detect noise, and climb walls. Pick pockets (for slipping poison into food) sometimes finds use.

Equipment: All starting equipment must come from the oriental lists.

Special Benefits: Can hold breath extra 1 round/level, once per day. Also gains +5 to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently scores.

Special Hindrances: If a ninja refuses to complete a mission, or if his honor falls below that of his family, he's sentenced to death. A series of assassination attempts will continue until the ninja is dead, or when he slays the head of the family and establishes himself in that postion. If the ninja survives the attempts, becoming a rogue ninja (nukenin), he requires twice the usual experience to go up in level.

Cannot use or increase Read Languages ability. Can only use Pick Pockets ability to perform simple slight of hand, such as slipping foreign substances (eg, poison) into a target's food or drink.

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Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley

Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007