FEAT: MARTIAL ARTS

As martial arts are much more important in the wold of Oriental Adventures.  I had to include something.  Two ideas occurred to me – steal it from the monk then tone it down and turn it into a feat OR use the feat chain idea from 3.5e OA.  

I didn’t like either of these solutions.

I dont like taking class abilities since it dilutes the uniqueness of the class.  The feat chain in 3.5e doesn’t make sense in 5e as each martial feat made minisucule changes and you would need 5+ feats to get a an option that was more than just flavour.

My third idea was to use Google and see what other people had done.  This was a winner! I stole the idea from Alfaysia blog and modified it with some of the flavour from 3.5e and 1e OA.  The expanded manuever list makes it useful even for monks to take this feat.

MARTIAL ARTIST

You have training in one of the martial arts traditions of Rokugan. You gain the following benefits.

  • You are proficient with unarmed strikes and they use a d4 for damage.
  • Unarmed strikes become finesse weapons for you.  However you may always use Strength instead of Dexterity depending on the martial art style and circumstances.
  • You learn two maneuvers of your choice from among those available to the Martial Artist (see Martial Artist Manoeuvre List).  If a maneuver you use requires your target to make a saving throw to resist the maneuver’s effects, the saving throw DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice). These maneuvers may only be used with unarmed strikes.  If you already have superiority dice, you gain one more; otherwise, you have one superiority die, which is a d6.  This die is used to fuel your maneuvers.  A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain your expended superiority dice when you finish a long rest.
  • You may take this feat multiple times to learn more manoeuvres and gain additional superiority dice.

Martial Artist Manoeuvre List

Beauty Looks At Mirror.  You can use your opponent’s weight, strength, and momentum against it, deflecting its attack and throwing it to the ground.  When another creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to perform a Trip Attack manoeuvre.  You may add the Crab Fling die as well as the die from the Trip Attack to the DC of the trip.

Black Tiger Steals Heart. You cause intense pain in an opponent with a successful stunning attack.  After successfully making an unarmed melee attack you can spend a superiority die to cause such debilitating pain that the target creature is nauseated for 1 round. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention.  The only action such a character can take is a single move action for that round.  You may also add the superiority die to the damage of the Paint Touch attack.

Bull Charges Leopard. When you make an unarmed attack on your turn, you can expend one superiority die to increase your reach for that attack by 5 feet. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Carrying The Sun And Moon.  You can turn a strong defense into a powerful offence.  If an opponent attacks you and misses while you are using the total defense action, you can attack that opponent by spending a superiority die on your next turn with a  bonus on your unarmed attack roll of your spent superiority die.

Double Dragons Emerge From Sea.  You can strike a humanoid opponent’s joints to knock your target off balance.  Against a humanoid opponent, after landing an unarmed attack you can use a superiority die to force the target creature to make a Dexterity saving throw.  On a failure the target is thrown so off balance that they grant advantage to all attackers. You may add the supriroirty die to the DC of the Dexterity saving throw.  Characters with the stunning strike ability can add this as a rider to the attack without expending a superiority die to trigger the effect.  However they do expend a the die to increase the save DC.

Dragon And Tiger Appear. When you hit a creature with an unarmed attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to drive the target back. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw, On a failed save, you push the target up to 15 feet away from you.

Drunken Dance.  You attack from a prone position with advantage. You can expend a superiority die to make an unarmed attack from the prone position and suffer no penalty on your attack roll (advantage cancels disadvantage).  You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage or to-hit roll.  If your attack roll is successful, you may regain your feet immediately as a reaction.

Eagle Claw.  Your unarmed attacks shatter objects.  You may use an attack action to make  an unarmed attack against an object.  You may spend your superiority die to nullify the objects damage resistance to bludgeoning and bypass its damage threshold (if any).  You may roll your superiority die and add it to the damage done.

Earth’s Embrace.  You can crush opponents when you grapple them.  If a grappled creature fails to escape your grip you may spend a superiority die to cause critical damage during the hold.  You may roll your superiority die and add it to the damage done.

Falling Star Strike. You have mastered the art of striking a nerve that blinds a humanoid opponent.  You may spend a superiority die to force the target to make a Constitution save or become blinded for 1 minute.  You can add the superiority die to the DC of the Constitution DC.

False Leg Hand Sweep. When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to make an unarmed attack against the creature, if you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain. When you hit a creature with an unarmed attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to damage another creature with the same attack, Choose another creature within 5 feet of the original target and within your reach, if the original attack roll would hit the second creature, it takes damage equal to the number you roll on your superiority die. The damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.

Fists of Iron.  You have learned the secrets of imbuing your unarmed attacks with extra force.  When you make an unarmed attack roll against a creature, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the damage roll.  You can use this maneuver before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the attack are applied.

Gold Dragon Sweeps The Sky With Its Tail.  If you move at least 30 feet towards an enemy you can use your bonus action to make an unarmed attack.  If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Golden Dragon Plays With Water. When another creature damages you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to reduce the damage by the number you roll on your superiority die + your Dexterity modifier.

Great Snake Takes Hold.  You have learned the correct way to apply pressure to render an opponent unconscious.  If a grappled humanoid creature fails to escape your grip you may spend a superiority die to force the target to make a Constitution save or fall unconscious for 1 minute.  You can add the superiority die to the DC of the Constitution DC.

Lion Roar’s At Purple Dragon.  You can bellow forth a ki-empowered shout that strikes terror into your enemies.  When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to frighten the target. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the target must make a Wisdom saving throw, On a failed save, it is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.  You can expend two superiority die to turn it into a Great Ki Shout which causes fear instead of just frightening.

Mongoose Strike. When you make an unarmed attack roll against a creature, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the roll.  You can use this maneuver before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the attack are applied.

Rising Sun Meets The Lady Sky.  When you score a critical hit with an unarmed attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to make another unarmed attack against the creature, if you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Single Whip Saves the Emperor. When you move, you can expend one superiority die, rolling the die and adding the number rolled to your AC until you stop moving,

Unicorn Embraces Moon. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike on your turn, you can use a superiority die to attempt to grapple the target.  You can add the superiority die to your grapple attempt.

White Crane Chases Jade Tiger. When you hit a creature with an unarmed attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to knock the target down. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw.  On a failed save, you knock the target prone.

White Horse Presents Hoof. When you hit a creature with an unarmed attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to disarm the target, forcing it to drop one item of your choice that it’s holding, You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the target must make a Strength saving throw, On a failed save, it drops the object you choose, the object lands at its fee!.

White Snake Shoots Venom. You can expend one superiority die and use a bonus action on your turn to feint, choosing one creature within 5 feet of you as your target. You have advantage on your next attack roll against that creature, If that attack hits, add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

MARTIAL ARTS MASTERY

The monks described in the Player ’s Handbook are the principal practitioners of unarmed martial arts in the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game, while fighters (and, to an extent, samurai) are the experts in armed martial arts.  Characters of all classes, however, can learn at least some of the techniques of martial arts—and in an Oriental Adventures campaign, they do so in the context of well-defined schools and traditions.  Learning a martial art is more than selecting a couple of interesting manoeuvres.  It involves commitment to a particular style of fighting—one that emphasises kicks over blows with the hand, for example, or one that teaches throws rather than strikes.  A martial arts style is a collection of manoeuvres that practitioners of that style learn to enhance their prowess in combat.

Similarly, schools of unarmed combat have certain styles reflected in the specific manoeuvres they teach.  One fundamental difference between styles is the distinction between hard forms and soft forms.  Hard forms emphasize the use of muscles and bones for power, relying on direct movements and offensive focus. Hard styles often build off of Strength.  Soft forms rely more on inner power, utilizing fluid and circular motions and redirecting an attacker’s movements with a more defensive approach.  Soft styles often build from Dexterity.

Within each form, styles make use of certain methods of attack and defense. These methods, and the feats associated with them, are listed below.  No style makes use of only one method.   The manoeuvres of a style can be learned in any order.

Following the path of a martial arts style has benefits. A character who masters the manoeuvres within a style gains mastery of that style and may increase his superiority dice for martial arts from a d6 to a d8.

MARTIAL ARTS STYLES

STYLE MANOEUVRE
Empty Hand Mongoose Strike
 Hard Form Fists of Iron
Eagle Claw
Rising Sun Meets The Lady Sky
White Horse Presents Hoof
White Snake Shoots Venom
Mighty Works Great Snake Takes Hold
 Hard Form Earths Embrace
Fists of Iron
Eagle Claw
Gold Dragon Sweeps The Sky With Its Tail
Dragon And Tiger Appear
Foot and Fist Rising Sun Meets The Lady Sky
 Soft Form Gold Dragon Sweeps The Sky With Its Tail
Fists of Iron
Beauty Looks at Mirror
False Leg Hand Sweep
Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain
The Gentle Way White Crane Chases Jade Tiger
 Soft Form Carrying The Sun And Moon
Beauty Looks at Mirror
Big Boss’ Drunken Dance.
Black Tiger Steals Heart.
Mongoose Strike
Meditation on War Mongoose Strike
 Hard/Soft Form Bull Charges Leopard
Fists of Iron
Black Tiger Steals Heart.
Double Dragons Emerge From Sea
Falling star strike
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