Martial Artist Class

Written by Cameron J. Haigh

Note: This class was created to fill a gap in the Spycraft game. At least a gap I felt was there. Apparently AEG has a martial artist class coming out in their Pan-Asian book. This class is not supposed to be representative of the future class. Just my thoughts on a martial arts class based off of the soldier with some fixer abilities.

The martial artist is a specialist at unarmed and melee combat. They are heavily trained to use their body to its fullest potential. The martial artist also has the skills in using melee weapons to deadly effect. They do not rely heavily on ranged weapons, especially firearms.
Abilities: Physical abilities such as Strength and Dexterity are important, as well as Constitution to a lesser extent. But, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma can also play a role for many martial artists, too.
Vitality: 1d10 plus Con modifier per level.

Class Skills
The martial artist’s class skills are Balance, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, First Aid, Hide, Hobby, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Sport, Spot, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Starting Feats: The martial artist begins play with the following feats; Armor Proficiency (Light), Weapon Group Proficiency (Hurled), Weapon Group Proficiency (Melee), Weapon Group Proficiency (Exotic-Archaic), Weapon Group Proficiency (Exotic-Martial Arts), Weapon Group Proficiency (Handgun).
Protection: Whenever a martial artist spends an action die on Defense, two dice are added instead of one. In addition, the Game Control must spend an extra action die to cause a martial artist to suffer a critical failure when engaged in unarmed combat. This is the martial artist’s core ability.
Martial Arts: The martial artist automatically receives this feat for free at 1st level.
Evasion: Starting at 2nd level, the martial artist gains evasion. Whenever he has the opportunity to make a Reflex save in order to suffer half damage from an effect (such as a grenade), he instead suffers no damage with a successful save. Starting at 11th level, the martial artist suffers only half damage with a failed save, and starting at 19th level he suffers only one-quarter damage on a failed save.
Bonus Feat: At 3rd level, the martial artist receives a bonus feat from the basic, melee or unarmed combat trees. He must still meet all prerequisites for the feat, including ability scores and base attack bonus minimums. For every 2 levels after the 3rd level, the martial artist receives an additional bonus feat from these trees. These feats are in addition to the feats that agents normally receive every 3 levels.
Uncanny Dodge: Starting at 4th level, the martial artist gains the ability to instinctively react to danger. He always retains his Dexterity bonus to Defense, even if caught flat-footed (the bonus is still lost if the martial artist is immobilized, though), making it much more difficult to sneak attack him. At 8th level, opponents must be 4 levels higher than the martial artist in order to flank him. Remember that an agent cannot use the sneak attack ability unless flanking the target of the attack. At 12th level, the martial artist receives a +1 bonus to all Reflex saves made to avoid security systems and traps and a +1 bonus to Defense against attacks by security systems and traps. At 16th level, these bonuses increase to +2, and at 20th level, the bonuses increase to +3.
Special Ability: At 6th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the martial artist receives one of the following abilities of his choice.

  • Death Blow: The martial artist can perform a coup de grace attack against a helpless defender as a standard half action, instead of as a full round action.
  • Fast movement: The martial artists speed increases by +10 ft. when not wearing heavy armor and not carrying a heavy load (see Carrying Capacity, Spycraft Espionage Handbook, page 106).
  • Leap of the Clouds: The martial artist’s jumping distance (vertical or horizontal) is not limited according to his height. (See the Jump skill description, Spycraft Espionage Handbook, page 57).
  • Skill Mastery: The martial artist selects a number of skills equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier. He may always take 10 when using these skills, even if stress and distraction would normally interfere. The martial artist may gain this ability multiple times, but he must select different skills each time.
  • Weapon Specialization: The martial artist chooses one weapon that he is proficient with (such as unarmed, knife, grapple, or shuriken) to specialize in. He inflicts +2 damage when wielding that weapon. If his choice is a ranged weapon, the damage bonus only applies if the martial artist is within one range increment.

Hardened Body: Starting at 10th level, the martial artist is capable of shrugging off damage from each blow he suffers. Subtract 1 from all damage the martial artist takes each time he is dealt damage. At 20th level, subtract 2 each time he is dealt damage. This ability cannot reduce the amount of damage suffered below 0, but it does stack with the damage reduction provided by any armor or other equipment the martial artist is wearing. For more information about damage reduction, see the Spycraft Espionage Handbook, page 178.
One in a Million: Starting at 14th level, once per game session, the martial artist automatically rolls a natural 20 when performing a physical activity such as an attack roll, a Fortitude or Reflex save, or a Strength-, Constitution-, or Dexterity-based skill check. This roll may be turned into a critical as usual. The use of this ability must be declared before the roll is made.

The Martial Artist

Class Base Fort Ref Will Def Init Budget Gadget Special
Level Attack Save Save Save Bonus Bonus Points Points  
1 +0 +1 +2 +1 +1 +1 1 0 Starting feats, martial arts, protection
2 +1 +2 +3 +2 +2 +1 2 1 Evasion (no damage on save)
3 +2 +2 +3 +2 +3 +2 3 1 Bonus feat
4 +3 +2 +4 +2 +3 +2 4 2 Uncanny dodge (Dex bonus to Def)
5 +3 +3 +4 +3 +4 +3 5 2 Bonus feat
6 +4 +3 +5 +3 +5 +4 6 3 Special ability
7 +5 +4 +5 +4 +6 +4 7 3 Bonus feat
8 +6 +4 +6 +4 +6 +5 8 4 Uncanny dodge (can’t be flanked)
9 +6 +4 +6 +4 +7 +5 9 4 Bonus feat, special ability
10 +7 +5 +7 +5 +8 +6 10 5 Hardened body DR 1/-
11 +8 +5 +7 +5 +9 +7 11 5 Evasion (fail saves for 1/2), bonus feat
12 +9 +6 +8 +6 +10 +7 12 6 Uncanny dodge (+1 vs. traps), special ability
13 +9 +6 +8 +6 +10 +8 13 6 Bonus feat
14 +10 +6 +9 +6 +11 +8 14 7 One in a million
15 +11 +7 +9 +7 +12 +9 15 7 Bonus feat, special ability
16 +12 +7 +10 +7 +13 +10 16 8 Uncanny dodge (+2 vs. traps)
17 +12 +8 +10 +8 +14 +10 17 8 Bonus feat
18 +13 +8 +11 +8 +14 +11 18 9 Special ability
19 +14 +8 +11 +8 +15 +11 19 9 Evasion (fail saves for 1/4), bonus feat
20 +15 +9 +12 +9 +16 +12 20 10 Uncanny dodge (+3 vs. traps), hardened body DR 2/-

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