Class Creation Workshop Part II (Martial Artist)
Some refined thoughts on the Martial Artist (with some notes toward the Ascetic):
Good Fort and Reflex saves. Poor Will save.
Skills: 4+ Int bonus/level (skill list unfinished, but close to the Monk’s)
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple + Monk
Armor Proficiencies: none
Class features by level:
1. Improved Unarmed Strike (bonus feat)
Focused Strike +1d6
Unarmored AC bonus
2. Martial Flexibility
3. +5′ move
Focused Strike +2d6
4. Focused Mind
Combat Expertise (bonus feat)
5. Focused Strike +3d6
6. Improved Martial Focus
7. Focused Strike +4d6
8. Focused Flesh +1
9. +5′ move
Focused Strike +5d6
10. Uncanny Dodge
11. Focused Strike +6d6
12. Focused Flesh +2
Superior Martial Focus
13. Focused Strike +7d6
14. Improved Focused Mind
15. Focused Strike +8d6
16. +5′ move
17. Focused Strike +9d6
18. Improved Focused Flurry
19. Focused Strike +10d6
20. Focused Flesh +3
Improved Unarmed Strike
At first level, a Martial Artist gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat.
A Martial Artist may focus her will into physical power. Martial focus is identical in all ways to Psionic Focus, but it does not require a psionic power pool. A Martial Artist qualifies for psionic feats that require the ability to achieve psionic focus. A Martial Artist may only attain martial focus when not wearing armor.
At first level, a martial artist who has attained martial focus may expend that focus when making an attack with an unarmed strike or a weapon for which she has weapon focus. If the attack hits, damage is increased by +1d6 points. This bonus damage increases by +1d6 at every odd-numbered class level.
Unarmored AC Bonus
A martial artist adds 1 point of Wisdom bonus (if any) per martial artist class level to her armor class when not wearing armor. This applies even when the martial artist is flat-footed.
At second level, a martial artist may spend a a standard action concentrating upon or otherwise practicing with any weapon. If she is already proficient with that weapon, she is treated as having weapon focus with it. If she is not proficient with that weapon, she gains proficiency with it. These benefits last as long as the martial artist makes at least one attack roll per round.
A martial artist reduced to one half or fewer of her total hit points may make a concentration check as an immediate action to gain Martial Focus.
A martial artist adds 5′ to her base move at third, ninth, and sixteenth levels. By expending her martial focus as a swift action, she can double this bonus for one round.
A martial artist of fourth level or higher may, as an immediate action, make a concentration check in place of a Will save when martially focused. Doing so expends the martial artist’s martial focus. If she expends her martial focus in this way she cannot regain it until a full round has passed.
At fifth level, a martial artist gains Combat Expertise as a bonus feat, regardless of whether she otherwise qualifies for it as a feat. Every five levels thereafter, a martial artist may choose one of the following feats as a bonus feat: Blind Fight, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Endurance, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, or Weapon Finesse. She may ignore ability score prerequisites for acquiring these feats, however, if she does not meet these prerequisites she may only use the feat while in martial focus.
Improved Martial Focus
At sixth level, a martial artist may make a concentration check to attain martial focus as a swift action in a round in which she moves 10′ or more.
At sixth level, a martial artist may, as a swift action, expend her martial focus when making a full attack. The martial artist may then spread her focused strike damage dice among her attacks. She must choose before each of her attacks how many of her focused strike damage dice will apply to that attack.
At eighth level, a martial artist’s natural armor bonus increases by one when in martial focus. This improves to +2 at twelfth level and +3 at twentieth level.
Superior Martial Focus
At tenth level, a martial artist may attain martial focus as an immediate action by taking a -10 penalty on their concentration check.
At thirteenth level, a martial artist’s unarmed focused strikes become capable of penetrating even the toughest of materials. Before rolling damage for a focused strike when unarmed, a martial artist may sacrifice focused strike damage dice to reduce a target’s DR or hardness. Each die so sacrificed reduces the DR or hardness by 5.
Improved Focused Mind
At fourteenth level, a martial artist may choose not to expend her martial focus when using her focused mind ability. If she does not expend her martial focus, she receives a -1 penalty to attack and skill rolls until she expends her focus. This penalty is cumulative.
At fourteenth level, the martial artist may as an immediate action take a 5′ step to flank an enemy.
Improved Focused Flurry
At eighteenth level, the martial artist may, as a full round action, expend her martial focus and sacrifice a single die of focused strike damage. This enables her to use her focused flurry ability
as above, but also provides her with an additional attack at her highest attack bonus.
Notes on the Ascetic:
The ascetic will use a mechanic compatible with martial focus. While the martial artist emphasizes regaining focus quickly, the ascetic will be better at not losing it in the first place. This will be set up so that the two mechanics work together well when multiclassing without being overpowered.
In combat, the Ascetic will focus on delivering status effects as swift actions through unarmed melee touch attacks or unarmed strikes: stunning, dazing, disarming, tripping, etc. At high levels, this might become a ranged touch attack. Multiclassing will allow an ascetic martial artist to combine these status effects with more powerful unarmed strikes.
The ascetic will get the immunities and most of the supernatural abilities of the monk. Some of these (such as, perhaps, abundant step and self-healing) will be expanded.
The result? You will, ideally, be able to make a pure martial artist, a pure ascetic, or mix the two in varying degrees in order to get a spiritual warrior-monk, a martial artist who is interested in enlightenment, something roughly equivalent to a 3.5 monk, or whatever…