Class: Karateka

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The Karateka
Level Special Vigor Max Maneuver Grade Schools Maneuvers Known
1 Zen 2 Basic 1 4
2 Chakra 3 Basic 1 6
3   4 Lesser 1 7
4 Chakra 5 Lesser 1 8
5   5 Lesser 2 10
6 Chakra 6 Lesser 2 11
7   7 Lesser 2 12
8 Chakra 8 Expert 2 14
9   9 Expert 2 15
10 Karateka Talent 10 Expert 2 16
11   10 Expert 3 18
12 Karateka Talent 11 Expert 3 19
13   12 Greater 3 20
14 Karateka Talent 13 Greater 3 22
15   14 Greater 3 23
16 Karateka Talent 15 Greater 3 24
17   15 Greater 3 26
18 Karateka Talent 16 Master 3 27
19   17 Master 3 28
20 Karateka Talent 18 Master 3 30



Maraxus, iconic karateka
"Your steel is no match for my flesh."

Not all warriors take up the sword and shield, and not all believe in hiding behind plates of wood or metal: some choose to put their faith in the strength of their body and the force of their will, using naught but their hands and feet to protect themselves and visit harm to those they feel deserve it. Those who dedicate themselves to mastering their bodies are known as karateka, and though they do not strike as nearly as imposing a figure as other combatants, they are no less dangerous - and in some ways, more so, as many unfamiliar with this combat style may underestimate someone who is effectively armed every waking moment.

Sometimes associated with Psionics for their devotion to perfection of self, karateka do not have a Force alignment, though their mastery of themselves can sometimes seem to be supernatural in nature. Regardless of their outward appearance - some are loud and boisterous; others, calm and quiet even in the heat of battle; yet others may even seem to be drunk when fighting - all karateka share an appreciation for self-improvement and the importance of constant practice.

While many karateka are students of some particular style, those who grow in personal power and learn to delve deeper in their self reflections often find themselves piecing together new styles of their own devising, reflecting their own needs and specific abilities and affinities. These unique combinations are incredibly diverse in their capabilities: while all karateka engage their enemies at extremely close distances, some are able to withstand an onslaught of blades by simply batting away lethal blows, while others can harness their inner focus and keep fighting even while suffering grievous injuries, seemingly unscathed by what would be mortal wounds for other, lesser beings.

Game Rule Information

Karateka have the following game statistics.

Force Alignment: None.

Force Resistances: None.

Abilities: A karateka's maneuvers require moderate physical abilities, but their stances can be used with any ability score of the karateka's choice - as such, any (and all) ability scores are important to karateka, while an individual karateka may only be concerned with three or four of their choice.

Hit Points at 1st Level: 15 + Con score.

Hit Points at Each Additional Level: 9 + Con modifier.

Healing Surges: 10 + Con modifier.

Starting Age: Simple.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the karateka.


Weapons: Glove, knuckle, unarmed, any two.

Armor: Cloth, leather.

Implements: None.


Karateka are warriors, and as such make use of maneuvers, specific attacks or other abilities attained through rigorous training.

To use maneuvers, a karateka must build at least one style from his maneuvers known.


Karateka Schools
School Secondary Ability Description
Evasion Dex You focus on flowing movements and avoiding confrontation, turning power against itself.
Meditation Con Your attention is on focusing your internal energies and maximizing their effects.
Power Str You believe in hitting hard, fast, and first: if you must fight, you fight to win.


Maneuvers are almost universally completely physical in nature and have no Force components; they are expressions of the mortal body pushed to its limits. Maneuvers are divided into schools, which represent particular thoughts and approaches to combat, training, and martial abilities. The style cost and minimum secondary ability needed to use a maneuver are indicated on the table to the right.

Maneuver Stats by Grade
Grade Minimum Secondary Ability Style Cost
Basic 10 1
Lesser 11 2
Expert 12 3
Greater 13 5
Master 14 8

The karateka must build styles, combinations of karateka maneuvers that he has combined into a personalized approach to martial arts. To build a style, give it a name and list maneuvers for it; each maneuver has a style cost based on its grade, and the total style cost of a given style cannot exceed your style size.

When you build a style, choose one ability score that you have not used for a style you have already built. That ability score is the key ability for that style. You gain a bonus to that style's style size equal to its key ability modifier; this bonus is limited to half your class level, rounded down.

When combat is joined, you can immediately declare yourself to be in a given style. Changing your style requires a full round action; outside of combat, you can use any maneuver you know.

To use a maneuver, you simply declare that you are using the maneuver and spend the appropriate action. Karateka maneuvers all have a subtype of either active or passive: active maneuvers are those that require an action, while you gain the benefits of passive maneuvers whenever that style is active.

The karateka begins with four known maneuvers. He gains knowledge of additional maneuvers each level, as per the class table, above. At fourth level and every four levels after, he can trade out up to two maneuvers for new maneuvers from any school he can access, of any grade he can access.

If you would gain access to a school, you can choose to instead gain a bonus feat, which must be a feat for which you qualify. If you would gain access to a school and already have access to three schools, you gain a bonus feat instead.

The karateka's key ability for his physical attacks is dependent upon his current style; when using a maneuver, if his primary ability score for the style's key ability is greater than the ability score he would use for his weapon, he can use that instead.

Unarmed Mastery

All karateka are adept at fighting using only their body as a weapon.

Increase the damage of your glove, knuckle, and unarmed attacks by 2 potency.


The following is the karateka maneuver list, ordered by school, then by grade.

Evasion School

Evasion Basic Maneuvers
Maneuver Name Subtype Action Effect
Block Active Reaction When you are attacked with a melee weapon, make an attack roll; if you hit, you prevent the attack.
Catch Active Reaction When you are attacked with a ranged weapon, make an attack roll; if you hit, you prevent the attack.
Elusive Dance Passive --- Whenever you are hit, you gain a +1 power bonus to defenses; this bonus stacks with itself, but is lost when you are next missed.
Featherfoot Active Move Gain a +2 power bonus to defenses for a short time.
Push Active Standard Make an attack that deals damage and pushes the target.
Roll Active Standard You can move up to your speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
Stagger Passive --- Whenever you take damage, you take only half and going ongoing damage for 5 rounds.
Situational Awareness Passive --- You gain an additional brave action each round.


Meditation School

Not yet.


Power School

Power Basic Maneuvers
Maneuver Name Subtype Action Effect
Bootshine Active Standard Deal weapon damage; if target grants combat advantage, deal +4 potency.
Focus Active Standard Build up internal power, giving you a +2 power bonus to the potency of your next attack.
Power Fist Active Standard Make an attack with the penetrating trait.
Pummel Active Standard Make two attacks against a single creature.
Roundhouse Active Standard Make one attack against two creatures.
Sweep Active Standard Make an attack that knocks the target prone.
Tiger Palm Active Standard Deal weapon damage with +2 potency.
Unscarred Passive --- While you are at full hit points, gain a +1 power bonus to all damage potency.


Design Notes

Full rebuild, t20 v3.

The original karateka was based on using AoOs as a resource. As interesting a concept as that was, I don't think that's really doable, from a mechanics perspective - while we can certainly have maneuvers that key off of opportunity attacks, having the entire resource management scheme for karateka built around it just doesn't hold water, I think. That said, I definitely plan on giving them a lot of offensive and utility reactions compared to other classes.

Karateka can now theoretically tank (evasion tanking), but don't presently have a good threat management mechanic; I think they will primarily wind up using soft aggro mechanics, rather than hard, as hard aggro doesn't make a whole lot of sense here.

I am sorely tempted to implement some vaguely supernatural maneuvers, but that might move us a little too much into the wuxia camp, which would very definitely put this class into Force alignment territory. We'll see how it goes.

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