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Dragon 404 - Character Themes - Samurai and Yakuza

Shroomy

Adventurer
This month's Kara-Tur themes ends with the release of the Samurai and Yakuza themes. I liked them, especially the samurai. I particularly love its iajiutsu power and its level 10 utility, riddle of steel. For some reason, I immediately wanted to make an arcane samurai using the swordmage, bladesinger, or hexblade class.
 

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Klaus

First Post
Loved the Samurai, pretty much for what Shroomy mentioned. The yakuza is also good, but the Samurai is oooooozing coolness!
 



mneme

Explorer
The samurai looks like a great match with an Avenger, too. Quick movement at the beginning of a battle, plus a fantastic critopt power at level 1. Makes me really conflicted about flavor for LFR, although I believe you can explicitly use it for someone -like- a samurai who doesn't hale from Kara Tur.
 

Mithreinmaethor

First Post
How often do you really see yourself within 2 squares (heavy armor) or 3 squares (light armor) at the beginning of combat to make the ability useful?
 

Klaus

First Post
How often do you really see yourself within 2 squares (heavy armor) or 3 squares (light armor) at the beginning of combat to make the ability useful?
You're looking at this backwards: if a player takes this theme, he will make sure the ability gets the most use. Elves and vryloka already start with speed 7, and Fleetfooted adds 1, for speed 8, letting an elf or vryloka samurai close 4 squares *when rolling initiative* (that's even before a surprise round happens!). Add in a magic item or some other means of increasing one's speed and you have quite the range to make use of Iaijutsu.

In fact, a vryloka slayer samurai (ronin) is a mighty cool concept!
 

Mithreinmaethor

First Post
You're looking at this backwards: if a player takes this theme, he will make sure the ability gets the most use. Elves and vryloka already start with speed 7, and Fleetfooted adds 1, for speed 8, letting an elf or vryloka samurai close 4 squares *when rolling initiative* (that's even before a surprise round happens!). Add in a magic item or some other means of increasing one's speed and you have quite the range to make use of Iaijutsu.

In fact, a vryloka slayer samurai (ronin) is a mighty cool concept!

A surprise round would make no difference what so ever in this equation since surprise round uses init order which means you would have already triggered the power.

And a Vryloka and an Elf would still have to go with the Light armor option to be able to take advantage of their 7 speed and a +1 speed feat. Since Heavy armor would knock them down to 6 speed so the +1 speed feat only takes them back to 7 which would require a +1 to speed item.
 

Klaus

First Post
A surprise round would make no difference what so ever in this equation since surprise round uses init order which means you would have already triggered the power.

And a Vryloka and an Elf would still have to go with the Light armor option to be able to take advantage of their 7 speed and a +1 speed feat. Since Heavy armor would knock them down to 6 speed so the +1 speed feat only takes them back to 7 which would require a +1 to speed item.
Note that both races have +2 Dex.

And traditional samurai armor is more accurately translated into Hide armor. Slayers (using a no-dachi/greatsword), Tempests and Scouts(using longsword/shortsword for a katana/wakizachi combo) are perfect ways to create samurai/ronin (the good Dex all three require would also make them good with the daikyu/longbow).
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
How often do you really see yourself within 2 squares (heavy armor) or 3 squares (light armor) at the beginning of combat to make the ability useful?
I think it depends on your play style, but I can see it happen once a session or so. To test this I decided to take a look at the adventures I've published for Sneak Attack Press. Here's a list featuring the number of times you may be close to foes at the start of battle out of the total combats in the adventure.

Blessed by Poison: 2/4
Good Little Children Never Grow Up: 2/3
The Golden Banner: 1/4
Hunting Deathcloud: 0/3
Axes of Evil: 1/3

Plus start battle shifts can be good for other things, such as simply closing the distance, or stepping out of an area burst cluster.
 

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