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Due to this being an alternate company d20 class and not an official D&D class, this class needs feats that we have not yet included and may not include, either because they need converting or conflict with other feats available, please ask the DM if you may use this class before assuming we allow it in the campaigns as well as discuss feat options.
We recommend that you pick up Beyond Monks - The Art of the Fight™ by Goodman Games®

A martial artist is a character devoted to mastering combat, much like a fighter or a monk. Unlike the fighter, the martial artist avoids heavy weapons or armor and relies more on precision, knowledge, and skill than brute force. Unlike the monk, the martial artist is focused purely on combat techniques, and doesnít seek spiritual enlightenment or gain much in the way of supernatural powers.
The martial artist is a new core class, not a prestige class, and can be taken by any race at 1st level. Unlike monks, there are no multiclassing restrictions on the martial artist, and no alignment restrictions. (For more on multiclassing martial artists, see page 8 of Beyond Monk)
This class is not based on martial artists from real world history. It is a fantasy class, only partially based on real life stereotypes, and is designed to be a fun class to play in a party with fighters, sorcerers, monks, etc. Itís not a simulation of real world martial arts or a replacement for the monk class.
The martial artist is also designed to be easily multiclassed. If you want a fighter that really knows how to brawl in a tavern, a sorcerer that specializes in delivering touch spells with devastating kicks, or a cleric that uses his fists, or just want to add some stylish combat to your campaign, then this is the class for you.
Humans, elves and half-elves are the most likely to become martial artists, but martial artists can be any race or come from any background. They are comfortable with most any light weapon that can be gracefully wielded or with nothing but their bodies, Finessable and monk weapons. Martial artists prefer weapons that can be wielded gracefully in combat.
A finessable weapon is a weapon that can be used with the Weapon Finesse feat. If an ability or feat requires the use of finessable weapons you donít have to take the Weapon Finesse feat, but you must be using a weapon that could be used with Weapon Finesse.
Monk weapons (weapons that can be used with a monkís more favorable unarmed attack bonus) are always considered to be finessable for martial artists because graceful arts of fighting tend to develop around such weapons. Finishing moves (see page 5 of Beyond Monk) require a finessable weapon, such as a spiked chain, a rapier, or any light or monk weapon, while a martial artist using flurry of blows (see below) requires a light or monk weapon. Martial artists start play with the same amount of gold as a monk.

Level
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Base Attack
+1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
+16
+17
+18
+19
+20
Fort Save
+2
+3
+3
+4
+4
+5
+5
+6
+6
+7
+7
+8
+8
+9
+9
+10
+10
+11
+11
+12
Ref Save
+2
+3
+3
+4
+4
+5
+5
+6
+6
+7
+7
+8
+8
+9
+9
+10
+10
+11
+11
+12
Will Save
+0
+0
+1
+1
+1
+2
+2
+2
+3
+3
+3
+4
+4
+4
+5
+5
+5
+6
+6
+6
Special Ability
Unarmed strike, Surge 1/day
Finishing move +1d6
Martial secret
Iron palm
Bonus feat, Can take the stunning fist feat
Finishing move +2d6
Martial secret
Surge 2/day
Bonus feat
Finishing move +3d6
Martial secret
Steel palm
Bonus feat
Finishing move +4d6
Martial secret
Surge 3/day
Bonus feat
Finishing move 5d6
Martial secret
No fatigue after using surge

Unarmed Damage
1d6
1d6
1d8
1d8
1d8
1d10
1d10
1d10
1d12
1d12
1d12
2d8
2d8
2d8
1d20
1d20
1d20
4d6
4d6
4d6
AC Bonus
+1
+2
+2
+2
+2
+3
+3
+3
+3
+4
+4
+4
+4
+5
+5
+5
+5
+6
+6
+6

Hit Die: d10

Requirements:

  • Alignment: Any

Class Skills: A good Dexterity is essential to a martial artist to avoid blows. Strength is important as well, helping a martial artist hit harder, and a good Constitution will help them survive. Feats often have other ability scores as prerequisites, making every ability potentially useful.
Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Escape Artist, Heal, Intimidate, Jump, Perform, Ride, Sense Motive, Swim, and Tumble

Skill Points/Level: At 1st level martial artists start with (4 + Int modifier) x 4 skill points. They gain 4 + Int modifier skill points per level afterwards.

Class Features

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Martial artists are proficient with all simple weapons, nunchaku, kama, siangham, and the shuriken. They are not proficient with armor or shields.
    A martial artist gains a dodge bonus to AC determined by his level (see Table above). These bonuses are lost whenever the martial artist loses his Dexterity modifier due to being caught flat-footed, stunned, or immobilized. This modifier stacks with other dodge bonuses, and represent the martial artistís superior ability to avoid being hit by dodging and rolling with blows.
    Wearing any armor, using a shield, or using a non-finessable weapon (see description above) prevents a martial artist from gaining his level bonuses to AC and from using his finishing move ability, and may prevent the use of other abilities.

  • Unarmed Strike: [Ex]
    A martial artist fighting unarmed gains the benefits of the Improved Unarmed Strike feat and thus does not provoke attacks of opportunity from armed opponents that he attacks. Any part of his body can be used as a weapon, and there is no ďoff-handĒ for unarmed attacks by a martial artist. When fighting with any one-handed weapon, the martial artist may make an unarmed attack with his off-hand, but must follow the rules for two-handed fighting. Also, he can make an off-hand attack with a weapon after making an unarmed attack, also suffering penalties for two-weapon fighting.
    Martial artists have no special unarmed attack bonus progression like monks. They use their base attack bonus for all attacks, just like other classes.

  • Flurry of Blows:
    Martial artists may use the monkís flurry of blows ability with unarmed strikes or with any light or monk weapons (See description above). When making a flurry of blows, his Lvl Base Attack makes one extra attack in a round at his highest base attack bonus, but that attack and all of his other attacks suffer a Ė2 penalty each (See PHB, Chapter 3, Monk, Unarmed Strike for details).

  • Unarmed Damage:
    At 1st level, the martial artist uses 1d6 for his base unarmed strike damage if Medium sized, or 1d4 if Small. This damage progresses as listed on the Tables above respectively. The martial artist usually does normal damage with his unarmed strikes or grappling but may also choose to deal his damage as subdual damage with no penalty to the attack.

  • Surge: [Ex]
    As a free action a martial artist can focus his mind and body to enter a natural state of perfect coordination, resulting in a surge of speed increasing adrenaline. His base speed increases by +20ft. (up to a maximum of 50ft.), he gains a +2 haste bonus to AC, and his attack roll penalties when using flurry of blows or lightning flurry are reduced by one. These bonuses last for up to three rounds plus his Constitution bonus, if any. After the surge is over, the martial artist's lose these bonuses and is fatigued (-2 to Strength and Dexterity, cannot run or charge) until the end of the encounter. He can only surge once per encounter, and only a number of times per day determined by your level (see Table above).
    A martial artist may only surge when not wearing armor and carrying no more than a light load.
    A martial artist must surge on his turn, and cannot surge in response to an event. For example, if he attacks with a flurry of blows and miss by one point, he cannot begin to surge to cause the attack to hit.
    At 20th level, he is no longer fatigued after surging.

  • Finishing Move: [Ex]
    Starting at 2nd level, once per round a martial artist can make a powerful and precise melee attack called a finishing move. By giving up his Dexterity bonus to AC and all other dodge bonuses to AC for one round, including his dodge bonus to AC for his martial artist level, he may use the attack action to make a single finishing move.
    A finishing move is a standard melee attack action made with an unarmed strike or finessable weapon (see description at the top) that targets vital areas of the opponentís anatomy. If successful, a martial artist's attack causes additional bonus damage determined by his martial artist level (see Table above). This damage is added last, after adding other damage bonuses for Strength or critical hits.
    Finishing Move: When should you use it?
    A finishing move is like a ďnot-so-sneakyĒ sneak attack, and requires a bit of tactical thought. Use finishing moves in the following situations:
    • When using Spring Attack or Stunning Fist, so his enemy canít hit back.
    • When fighting heavily wounded foes.
    • When he can afford to be hit back. Martial artist's donít use finishing moves when low on hit points, when fighting a lot of creatures at once, or when his enemies can use sneak attacks.
      Other feats and abilities can be used to enhance or modify a finishing move. For instance, an unarmed finishing move can also be used with the Stunning Fist or Eagle Strike feats, and a finishing move may also be a sneak attack.
    Creatures immune to critical hits and items suffer no extra damage from a finishing move. A martial artist cannot make a finishing move with a non-finessable weapon, while in a grapple, or while wearing armor or using a shield.

  • Iron Palm: [Ex]
    Through conditioning and practice, at 4th level a martial artist learn to break objects efficiently. He can use the full attack action to make a single unarmed attack against an object. If his attack roll succeeds, it causes double damage.
    This ability cannot be used with finishing moves or sneak attacks, or against held or worn items. Using Iron Palm provokes an attack of opportunity.

  • Steel Palm: [Ex]
    At 12th level, using Iron Palm (see above) takes only a standard action.

  • Bonus Feats: [Ex] The martial artist gains bonus feats at various levels, as listed on the Table above. The Martial Artist. These bonus feats must be taken from the feat list.

  • Stunning Fist: [Ex]
    At 5th level or higher, martial artists are eligible to use any available feat slot to take the Stunning Fist feat without meeting any of the featís prerequisites. He can use a martial secret to gain this feat as well, see below.

    Martial Secret: Martial secrets are talents that help define a martial artistís style. Choose from the following secrets at the levels indicated on the Table above. Unless otherwise noted below, a martial artist may only take a particular martial secret once:

    • Aggressive Charge: [Ex] This fighting style emphasizes offense. Whenever charging with an unarmed strike a martial artist may gain an additional +1 bonus to their attack roll in exchange for taking an additional Ė2 penalty to their AC for one round. This secret can be taken more than once and the modifiers stack.
    • Agile Mind: [Ex] The martial artist gains 4 skill points. These may only be used to buy ranks in skills with the key abilities of Strength, Dexterity or Constitution. He may take this martial secret more than once.
    • Air Advocate: [Ex] This style of combat has a strong foundation of mental strength. A martial artist may add their Wisdom bonus to melee attack rolls (but not damage rolls) instead of their Strength bonus. To take this martial secret, a martial artist must have at least seven feats from the Mental Feats section of the martial artistís bonus feat list on the feats page.
    • Blade Form: [Ex] Because of a martial artist's specialized training, the bastard sword, two-bladed sword, or katana is now a finessable weapon for you, and can now be used with the finishing move ability (but not with flurry of blows or lightning flurry). He must have the appropriate Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to take this secret.
      He can take this secret multiple times. Each time it is taken, it applies to one of the above weapons for which you have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat.
    • Chain Form: [Ex] A martial artist may use flurry of blows (or lightning flurry if he has that ability) with the dwarven war grapple (see page 60 of Beyond Monk), the kusari-gama (see DMG, Chapter 5, Building a Different World, Asian Weapons), or the spiked chain. He must have the proper Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to take this secret.
      He may take this secret multiple times. Each time, it applies to one of the above weapons.
    • Cheetah Speed: [Ex] As long as a martial artist is unarmored and carries no more than a light load, his base speed is increased by +10ft up to a maximum of 50ft.
    • Crippling Strike: [Ex] Whenever a martial artist successfully hits with a finishing move (see above), he causes one point of Strength damage.
      Creatures immune to critical hits are also immune to this ability. A character must be a 15th level martial artist to gain this secret.
    • Crush of the Bear: [Ex] Using the full attack action, a martial artist can make a single powerful unarmed strike with a +1 bonus to damage. He may take a single 5ft. step before this attack.
      This secret can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken, the damage bonus increases by +1.
    • Deep Meditation: [Su] Once per day, a martial artist may recover up to twice his martial artist level in hit points by slipping into a deep trance. Deep meditation requires 10 minutes to use, during which he is unconscious and helpless. He must have the Meditation feat and a Wisdom of 13 or higher to take this secret.
    • Dragonís Scale: [Ex] A martial artist has trained his mind and body to defend against any threat. He gains a +1 bonus to all of his saving throws. To take this martial secret, he must have one of the following feats: Great Fortitude, Iron Will, or Lightning Reflexes.
    • Earth Advocate: [Ex] This style is heavily focused on grapples and throws. A martial artist does not provoke an attack of opportunity when starting a grapple and gain a +4 bonus to opposed rolls when attempting to trip an opponent or when someone attempts to trip them. They must have at least seven feats from the Hard/Soft Feats section of the martial artistís bonus feat list (see that page by viewing the sidebar) to take this martial secret.
    • Evasion: [Ex] While wearing light or no armor, if a martial artist makes a successful saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he takes no damage. He must be at least a 7th level martial artist to take this secret.
    • Fire Advocate: [Ex] This style is exceptionally hard, making the martial artist a fearsome combatant. He gains a +1 competence bonus to his unarmed strike damage. He must have at least seven feats from the Hard Feats section of the martial artistís bonus feat list to take this secret.
    • Full Circle: [Ex] A martial artist has a well-rounded, synergetic style. He gains one bonus feat from the mental or ki feats section of the martial artist bonus feat list that he has the prerequisites for. He must already have at least two feats each from the hard, soft and hard/soft sections of the feat list to take this martial secret.
    • Improved Evasion: [Ex] When wearing light or no armor, a martial artist still takes no damage when making a Reflex save against attacks such as a fireball or dragonís breath, and now take only half damage if he fails. To take this secret he must be a 15th level martial artist, and must have the evasion class ability or martial secret.
    • Improved Surge: [Ex] A martial artist can surge (see surge special ability above) one additional time per day. He must have the Run feat and cheetah speed secret to take this martial secret.
    • Kama Form: [Ex] A martial artist's critical threat multiplier with a kama is now x3.
    • Ki Strike: [Su] A martial artist's unarmed strikes can damage a creature with damage reduction as if the attack were made using a weapon with a +1 enhancement bonus. He must be a 15th level martial artist to take this secret.
    • Leap of the Clouds: [Su] While a martial artist unarmored, his jumping distance is no longer limited by his height. He must be at least an 11th level martial artist and his Wisdom must be 13 or higher to take this secret.
    • Lightning Flurry: [Ex] When unarmored, a martial artist can use flurry of blows to make two extra attacks, instead of just one, with unarmed strikes or with monk or light weapons. Instead of a Ė2 penalty to his attack rolls, all of his attacks have a Ė4 penalty. He must use the full attack action when using this secret.
    • Mercurial Fencing: [Ex] A martial artist can use a rapier with flurry of blows (or lightning flurry, if he has that ability) as if it were a light weapon.
      He must have the Weapon Finesse: Rapier feat to take this martial secret.
    • Monkey Footwork: [Ex] By studying the evasive tactics of monkeys and other animals, a martial artist gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. This bonus is lost whenever he loses his Dexterity modifier due to being unprepared, ambushed, stunned, immobilized and so on. This modifier represents the martial artistís superior ability to avoid being hit by dodging and rolling with blows. Wearing armor or using a shield prevents him from using monkey footwork. He may take this martial secret multiple times.
    • Nunchaku Form: [Ex] A martial artist is skilled at using a nunchaku for defense. Whenever wielding a nunchaku, he gains an additional +2 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively.
    • Raptorís Wing: [Ex] Like a bird of prey, a martial artist prefer to attack from the air. He can use the full attack action to make a single extra-high, leaping unarmed strike. His attack roll has a +1 competence bonus for every 5 ranks he has with the Jump skill. He may not move while using this secret, except for a 5ft. step before attacking. He must have the Jump skill with at least 5 ranks and a base attack bonus of +6 or higher to take this secret.
    • Rhino Hide: [Ex] A martial artist gains the Toughness feat as a free bonus feat, plus an additional hit point, for a total of +4 hit points. He may take this martial secret multiple times.
    • Shuriken Expert: [Ex] A martial artist's throws shuriken with accuracy. He gain the benefits of the Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot feats when throwing shuriken.
    • Siangham Form: [Ex] A martial artist is skilled at finding the gaps in armor with a siangham. He gains a +2 bonus to your attack rolls when using a siangham against opponents wearing medium or heavy armor.
    • Skill Specialist: [Ex] A martial artist chooses a martial artist class skill that he has 5 or more ranks in.
      He gains the Skill Focus feat as a free bonus feat with that skill, plus an additional +2 bonus when using that skill for a total bonus of +4.
    • Spear Form: [Ex] A martial artist proficient with halfspears, javelins, shortspears and longspears, and they are finessable weapons for him. Additionally, he can choose to wield a shortspear as a bludgeoning/piercing double weapon (1d6/1d6, crit x2).
    • Staff Form: [Ex] For a martial artist, the quarterstaff is considered a monk weapon, as well as finessable. Also, whenever wielding a quarterstaff, he gains a +2 competence bonus to Balance, Jump, and Tumbling skill checks.
      He must have the Weapon Focus: Quarterstaff feat to take this martial secret.
    • Stick Fighting: [Ex] When wielding a light club in each hand, a martial artist gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. A Small club does 1d4 damage (crit x2), and a Tiny club does 1d3 damage (crit x2).
    • Stunning Fist: [Ex] A martial artist gains the Stunning Fist feat as a free bonus feat, without meeting any of the featís prerequisites. He must be at least a 7th level martial artist to take this secret.
    • Tiger Spirit: [Su] A martial artist gains three additional stunning attacks per day. He may take this martial secret multiple times to gain more stunning attacks per day. He must have the Stunning Fist feat or stunning attacks ability to take this martial secret.
    • Water Advocate: [Ex] A martial artist prefers a passive style of combat and is at his best if his foe makes the first move. He may ready full attack actions to take place later in the round, instead of just partial actions. He must have at least seven feats from the Soft Feats section of the martial artistís bonus feats on the feat list to take this martial secret.
    • Weapon Threat: [Ex] A martial artist is good at fending off unarmed foes with a weapon. When he is wielding a weapon he has the Weapon Focus feat with, unarmed strikes against him provoke an attack of opportunity. This secret is effective even if the martial artist's opponent has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat or is a martial artist or monk. Opponents with a higher base attack bonus are unaffected by this secret.

Page Last Updated Feburary 25th, 2005

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