Author Topic: Sohei Handbook  (Read 2953 times)

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2017, 07:18:18 PM »
Tireless feat, yep the OA one, but the PGtF(?) implies some interesting alternative background stories.

Divine Mind 1 and pick Repose gets the 1 step reduction.
I thought it was Ki , then I thought it was a nature spirit, then I thought it was me ... might need more refluffing.

Horizon Walker 1 prc and pick Desert gets the 1 step reduction.
I went beyond the gates of the way, but I came back.

Body Awareness feat, could be thinking it's Ki until a WuJen sets him straight.
http://www.realmshelps.net/charbuild/feat/Body_Awareness

the Insomniac and Wakefulness feats , are sleep based nigh useless.

Karmic Healing feat, hey dip Ninja but it's a secret, typical plot line in silly 70s martial arts movies.
http://www.realmshelps.net/charbuild/feat/Karmic_Healing

Dracolexi prc 1 , but I don't think it's a viable combo considering the pre-reqs
http://www.realmshelps.net/charbuild/classes/prestige/general/dracolexi.shtml

Unseelie Fey / Seelie Court Fey template, if you're your own ally argument.
"When I think of you, I touch myself." (it's a charisma pop song thang) Maybe "spirits" = fey ?

Warrior Skald prc 2 , bard oriented , if you're your own ally argument.  They do have music "over" there.
http://www.realmshelps.net/charbuild/classes/prestige/realms/skald.shtml

Windsinger prc ecl 11 , bard but nope doesn't work with sohei.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 07:20:11 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »
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Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2017, 05:58:06 PM »
Divine Mind 1 w/ Repose mantle is very workable, as it is a Wis-based Psionic and another possible entry point into War Mind. (Slayer not so much as DM manifesting progression is so crappy.)
Psychic Warrior 2 with the Mantled Warrior ACF does it better, but gives one class level less wiggling room for other stuff.

Warrior Skald could be doable with the Apprentice (Entertainer) feat, and could have some cool flavour if you refluff it as Perform (Chanting).

Unseelie Fey should be mentioned under templates, but the ability scores don't rate it very high for a martial dumping Cha.

The other ones come with too many hoops and/or baggage to be practical. Ninja + Body Awareness suffers from the "no armor" clause, getting arcane spells and 2 feats for Body Awareness is expensive, Dracolexi is highly impractical to get in even with early entry cheese like Precocious Apprentice.

Some cool finds I have missed. Thanks man.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2017, 04:21:57 PM »
Alas the Repose part is in the Aura not the MGA, you have to take Divine Mind not the others. 
It is not clearly the case that you can't take the Extra Aura feat, on say Ardent if you already have DM 1, so you could get it that way.

PF + Dreamscarred make the War Mind stack with the PsyWar festing progression.  Reasonable house rule.
edit --- But would require a rather specific houserule.

Body Awareness ... yeah, mistake on my part, thinking Ascetic Knight working (Pal=Sohei,Monk=Ninja) was somehow official.  Clearly a homegame houserule I'd forgotten that detail about.  Rather reasonable but probably not useful.


... Thanks man.

My kitty avatar's Tail  begs to differ.

 :D
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 04:29:03 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »
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Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2017, 07:52:03 PM »
Added Unseelie Fey template and Divine Mind w/ Repose Mantle.

Upon closer inspection I have dropped Warrior Skald, as it takes one minute for the fatigue removal to kick in. Not really worth a feat for Apprentice and all those Perform ranks on a skill-starved class.

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2017, 12:26:19 AM »
Note that a Crusader can be any of the neutral+ alignments, just not true neutral.  The sample encounter Crusader given on page 14 of Tome of Battle specifically says the Crusader is Neutral Evil.  Thus, there is potential for a LN Sohei/Crusader.

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2017, 02:52:57 PM »
That's what I get for working from memory for minor bits without double-checking the books.

Crusader is fixed.

Offline nijineko

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2017, 05:12:46 PM »
thank you for the handbook.
http://crystalballsoft.com/cblite.html  The best dice roller on the planet, bar none. Read the FAQ to see why.

https://www.box.com/s/du6s5uysdwfony9dfd3p  The Official Complete Psionic Errata.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dbmkg8efcbn4eak/AABSjyTbZIEDdIWm0I_uVFkpa?dl=0 The Archive.

Offline Arz

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2018, 12:38:05 PM »
No mention of maho-tuskai/southern magician + rage mage to ignore frenzy and caster level limits? Shame. Southern Magician will also let you enter Geomancer for movement, pounce, and extra rage.
Sohei 10/Geomancer 8/Rage Mage 2

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2018, 03:04:34 PM »
Availability of Maho-Tsukai relies heavily on the OA Taint setting rules being in use, which is a big assumption to make, especially as there are newer, incompatible 3.5 Taint rules in both UA and HoH. Although the chances are a good bit higher in games where Sohei are around, so I should mention it with the necessary caveats about availability.

Rage Mage has incompatible alignment restrictions for Sohei, so it is sadly out.

Geomancer could be worth mentioning as another lawful way to gain pounce, even if it is limited to the first round and even if the ability comes late. It is definitively less crappy then the Singh Rager, and I even mentioned that one as a possibility.

Offline Arz

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2018, 03:24:24 PM »
Should add speedy races; ala Aquatic Elf, Darfellan, Jermalaine, Nezumi, Raptoran. Even in heavy armor they are still faster. Also with good speed and dexterity a ranged build and a side of snatch arrow could work.

Streetfighter ACF is good for chargers. Those Cityscape ACF were intended for multiple classes.

Iaijutsu Focus > Destructive Rage = Sunder Monkey

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2018, 05:52:40 PM »
Streetfighter ACF applied on Sohei seems like a lot of a stretch, although the levels where DR is gained would match with the Barbarian.
Within the sensible level range up to Sohei 11 it is trading two marginally useful abilities (DR1 and 2) for two other marginally useful abilities (+1 crit range vs flat-footed and a single 90° turn on charges). Streetfighter has some neat charger stuff coming up on lvl13+, but I strongly doubt that it is worth to stick with such a crappy class as Sohei for so long.

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2018, 07:16:20 PM »
Added TOC and the Geomancer PrC.

Now I will just need to write up some sample builds and look for some pretty topical pics before this is good to go.

Offline Skyrock

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(continued) Sohei Handbook
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2018, 08:11:12 PM »
Sample Builds

All the builds herein were created as Point-Buy Characters (DMG p. 169) utilizing 28 points.

SRD + OA only Sohei

Race: Human
Starting ability scores: STR 16, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 8

(1) Human Paragon 1
(2-6) Sohei 1-5
(7) Psychic Warrior 1
(8-16) Slayer 1-9
(17-20) Sohei 6-9

Important skills: Must pick Knowledge: Dungeoneering as class skill @ 1st level and put 4 ranks into it

Feats:
(1) Improved Initiative
(1 - Human Bonus) Track
(3) Quick Draw
(6) Combat Expertise
(7 - Psychic Warrior Bonus) Improved Trip
(9) Power Attack
(12) Psionic Weapon
(15) Deep Impact
(18) Greater Psionic Weapon

This combination meets all the high points of the Sohei up to Mettle and also nets psionics as a Psychic Warrior of Lvl 9.
If you don't need Mettle, you can replace the last 4 levels with 1 more level of Slayer and 3 more levels of Psychic Warrior.

Outside of SRD+OA, a cheap Least Crystal of Weapon Return(MIC) could replace the Quick Draw feat. Illumian (Aeshkrau) can make you less WIS-dependent in favour of more STR, and you may consider the Apprentice feat in place of Quick Draw to get Knowledge: Dungeoneering as a class skill skipping Human Paragon.


Clerical Sohei

Race: Human
Starting ability scores: STR 14, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 13, WIS 16, CHA 9

Sohei 5
Cloistered Cleric 1
Ordained Champion 5
Knight of the Raven 9

Feats:
(1) Combat Expertise
(1 - Human Bonus) Tireless
(3) Improved Trip
(6) Power Attack
(6 - Cloistered Cleric domain replacement) Knowledge Devotion
(6 - Cloistered Cleric domain replacement) Travel Devotion
(7 - Bonus Feat in lieu of Diehard again) Extend Spell
(9) Persistent Spell
(12) Divine Metamagic: Persistent Spell
(15) Practiced Spellcaster (Cleric)
(18) Raging Luck

This one allows you to cast spells as a 12th level Cleric (with a CL of 16), as a Sohei of 5th level, meets the high point of Stun Immunity, and also to cheese around with DMM Persist.

Partial Gestalt Sohei
TBD

E6 Sohei
TBD
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 04:53:43 PM by Skyrock »

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2018, 11:19:24 PM »
There -might- be cases for a few elf races:

Snow Elf from Frostburn pg 34 gets +2 dex, -2 cha and is otherwise the same as regular PHB elves.

Wild Elf from Monster Manual page 104 gets +2 dex, -2 int with a favored class of sorcerer.

Painted Elf from Sandstorm pg 42 gets +2 dex, -2 int and favored class druid.


Mainly the Snow Elf if there's somehow a dex variant for the Sohei such as making use of Combat Reflexes.  Such a build is likely to go into Swordsage for the wis and dex synergies while not doing much with str.

See http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=1281.0 if you want to go through a basically exhaustive list of LA 0 races.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 11:22:25 PM by Jackinthegreen »

Offline Maglad

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2018, 10:53:06 PM »
To begin with, I want to say that I am really happy about someone still playing 3.x, and keeping the Sohei in mind, and your feat suggestion was very good and gave me a lot of ideas. I agree that using a partial gestalt is the way to go, too, though I feel it may not be THE best solution. The reasons why, below.

I'm pretty confused about a couple of things. To begin with, you recognize (as does anyone who has ever played a Sohei), that it is in HUGE need of add-ons, both in the way of feat support and PrCs options.

Therefore, I understand you looking towards gestalt as an easy fix, but it only makes me more confused because:

1 – You handily ignored the Rokugan splatbooks. This is incredibly confusing for me because, while I'll be the 1st to agree on the fact that they are 3rd party stuff, and 3e, and therefore need a lot of updating, they were at least writen by professionals, and most people would therefore give them more credibility than fan-made, homebrewed stuff.

That being said, I am fully aware of some really weird ass mistakes made by 'pros' as well. I'm looking at you, Complete Divine! Jesus, the Rainbow Servant alone has SO many mistakes plastered all over it that you would easily throw it into the garbage bin if you didn't look online for erratas and official replies from customer service to it, just to mention an example of 'pros' fucking it up.

Anyway, yeah... it really, truly baffles me that you are okay suggesting fan-made, homebrewed solutions and 'ask your GM to look the other way and pretend ki frenzy equals rage' and stuff like that, but apparently forgot to even look at what the Rokugan campaign setting splatbooks may offer the Sohei,

Just to begin mentioning a few things.

Void Use – This feat gives you 2 Void Points, of which you can spend one at any time to increase your armor by +2 (Void bonus) until the beginning of your next turn, or increase ANY roll (except for damage) by +2. It may look like a pretty humble thing, but it is important because of the following feats.

Depths of the Void – This feat just gives you +2 extra void points. Again, extremely straightforward and noone is gonna get exctied about it, but it is a requisite for the following two feats.

Blessing of the Void – A Phoenix clan-only feat. You get your character level/3 as Void Points, which means that if you are level 6+, you are already not losing anything on by picking it up, and it scales as you level up. You probably will want to consider this one, or the following feat.

Greater Depths of the Void – Also a Phoenix Clan exclusive, it gives you 4 Void Points, plus 1 more void point per each time you take this feat, so if you take it twice, each gives you +5 Void Points. Take it thrice, each gives you +6... etc. You don't NEED Bleesing of the Void for it, just Greater Depths of the Void. GtoV may be better if you are only planning in having a few void points, but you probably are not, because of the next feat-

From the Ashes – Phoenix Clan-only feat that, whenever you die, lets you automatically spend 2 Void Points to ressurrect yourself with double the amount of Void Points you had before using this feat, as temporal hit points. This means that with 25 Void Points, you die and get resurrected instantly with 50hp, then if you die again, get ressurrected with 46hp, then if you die again, get ressurrected with 42hp... 38hp, 34hp, 30hp, 26hp, 22hp, 18hp, 14hp, 10hp. 6Hp, 2hp... at this point, you basically have +328 temporal hp available to you, which makes you a fucking fantastic tank. Remember you have Shield Other as a Sohei spell, heavy armor proficiency, excellent Fort and Will saves, plus motherloving Mettle, meaning you will NOT die to save-or-die effects, and you are an OUTSTANDING tank.

Oh, and Way of the Phoenix (Phoenix exclusive feat, of course) allows you to spend ANY number of Void Points in any one roll, so all those Greater Depths of the Void feats you probably took are really, really handy, even if you have no plans to die yet, because now you can raise any roll (except damage) by +2 each time you use a Void Point (void bonuses stack).

Furthermore, Furious Guided Blows is a feat that doubles your void bonus to attack rolls from +2 to +4, and even gives you a free +1 on your next attack roll after the one you are enhancing with it.

Hell, there's a phoenix feat which even lets you make extra attacks with your max BAB for the cheap price of 3 Void Points. Surprising noone, its a phoenix feat. Anyway, you can see how a Phoenix Sohei can be a frikkin nightmare to put down.

Anyway, each clan has a few feats that make a Sohei into a nightmare. For example, the Scorpion clan has a feat that adds your Int mod to initiative, which really helps with your iaijutsu focus.

Oh, and scorpion and crane clans share a feat called Speed of the Kami which doubles your Void Bonus to initiative, if you happen to spend a Void Point to raise your initiative. Oh and don't forget, you can add Void Bonus to your skills, so Iaijutsu Focus is pretty tasty.

While speaking of the Scorpion clan, they have a wonderful feat called The Pincers Hold, the Tail Strikes, which says “whenever you attack a flat-footed opponent, your attack is an automatic critical threat”, which is sooo sweet with a naginata. Remember, naginata have x3 critical hit damage. Just  Just get the feat that gives you a +4 to confirm your critical hits, and you basically get +4 to attack all the time against flatfooted opponents. Which, with your speed, should be pretty much everyone, anyway.

Crane clan has feats which gives you extra attacks and/or attack bonuses against anyone with a lower initiative than yours, so have fun with that.

Oh! I almost forgot, either the phoenix or the crane (but I thiiiink its the crane?) has a feat that gives you +4 to attacks against opponents with a lower Void Point total than you, so, have fun with that. Suddenly, that ¾ attack looks mighty reasonable, when you remember you can get +4 (because they have less Void Points than you, passively) +1 from weapon focus, +2 (or +4 from Furious Guided Strikes if you are a phoenix)... etc bonuses to hit.

So yeah, if you are okay using things like partial gestalt to 'fix' the sohei, maaaaaybe you should at least look at the splatbooks within the setting it was meant to be played in?

2 - Prestige Classes and/or multiclassing. Again, you didn't look at the Rokugan splatbooks, did you? But without going too far into them...

Bear Warrior – I agree with you in that this is a great choice. Specially if you take the dragon clan martial arts feats, which let you start a free grapple whenever you hit an opponent with an unarmed attack, have you count as one size category larger for grapple checks, and even let you start grapple checks against opponents 5' out of your actual reach, then render them unconscious automatically if you pin your opponent for 1 round.

Personally, the crab clan martial arts are way more hilarious, though. You basically trip your opponent, mount him, and proceed to punch him in the face, repeatedly. Oh those wonderfully simple but hilarious crabs! Do this as a bear, and its just extra funny.

Oh, going into splatbooks, you probably want to look at the phoenix clan Heavenly Wing Initiate, since it allows you to use the Heavenly Wing kata (basically a stance. You pay exp to learn it, use it with the naginata, and then 'hold it ready' for 30 minutes) for 3 hours after you ready it, instead of the normal 30 minutes. What does the PrCs do? It is a wonderful PrCs only 5 levels long which gives you free void points, because lord knows the phoenix clan likes them Void Points, full BAB, good saves, and d10HD,

Oh, the Heavenly Wing Kata, when 'discharged' lets you do 1 attack at your highest attack bonus for each Void Point your maximum Void Point pool can hold. Not even by how many you have, but by how many you can have.

So, lets say you go bananas on someone, that's probably 25+ free attacks with your highest attack bonus against that someone. Afterwards, you're fatigued for 1 minute per extra attack, but we all know that's not really anything new or anything we hadn't had to deal with as a Sohei before, right? Just get a couple of sandals that help you with that.

Or don't. Odds are that whatever you just did 26+ attacks on, is probably dead. If it isn't dead, you probably weren't going to kill it anyways. Oh, and you can take 5' steps in between attacks if you are a lvl 5 Heavenly Wing Initiate. Just glorious.

Lion clan martial arts are funny. You use a... what is it called... its like a trident, but for farm work. You know, one of those things you haul packs of straw with? Anyway, this martial art makes it worth your while for you to pick weapon focus with this simple weapon, because you can basically poince with it, and whenever you hit someone, you start an automated grapple with it, at range, because this martial arts assumes you impale your opponent, then LIFT him off the ground and keep him impaled.

Do not fuck with the lion's peasants.

Anyway, my point is that you really should look at the whole picture, because if you are okay bringing in online solutions and asking your gm for special favors, you may as well first look at all your options, no?

Other than that, awesome work! I really truly liked some of your feat and multiclass suggestions, and feel they will greatly improve my future Sohei characters, thankyou!

Edit: Btw everything I just said goes double for the samurai, triple for the ninja (though I swear you should take at least 1 rogue level on it if you wanna be useful), and quadruple for the Shugenja. A level 8 fire spell lets you cast 3rd level fire spells as free action, at a cost of 1 Void Point per spell, so a phoenix (who happens to love fire spells and typically have the most Void Points in the game) are goddamn horrifying.

There's also an earth spell which gives you and your party members their honor (basically brownie points you get for being a generally heroic fella. You know, stuff like "oh, your group arrested the gang that had been terrorizing our village, we are so grateful, noble ones!" and "I know it must have been a painful decision to give up the powerful item to your lord, but it was the honorable thing to do") + their charisma modifier as a buff to Str, Dex and Con, plus DR 30/obsidian (yeah obsidian weapons are a thing in Rokugan) for 1 minute per level you have.

Or 9th level fire spells that cause a target to explode into flames for 20d6 damage every round... forever.
Or 9th level water spells which randomly and instantly rearrange all of a terget's stats. "Oh, your str? Yeah, roll 1d6 and see what it gets switched with. Oh, you got a 6? It gets switched with your Charisma. Yes, this is forever."
Or ... well you get the idea.

Samurai probably get the most mileage out of the splatbooks, though, but the Sohei gets pumped up a couple of tiers, IMHO. Its still tier 4, but definitively no longer tier 6 ir 5. I'd still suggest partial gestatlt with a warrior, or maybe a fighter, for the bonus feats... so you can use your regular feats to get more Void Points.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 11:06:33 PM by Maglad »

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2018, 11:10:33 PM »
I ignored Rokugan d20 mostly for two reasons:
a.) I am not familiar with it outside of 3.0 OA.
b.) It is 3rd party unlike the directly licensed OA, so a very low chance to be permissible in a typical D&D games that happens to also incorporate and permit OA stuff, as opposed to a dedicated Rokugan d20 game centered around the later 3rd party books.

From what little surface knowledge I have of Rokugan d20, your suggestions sound solid for the latter.

Offline Maglad

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2018, 12:03:23 AM »
I thank you for your quick reply. I'm just saying that if you are going as far as to suggest that a GM should allow fanworks/homebrewed rules and do exceptions or even allow you to gestalt stuff, you may as well try to convince him to allow 3rd party books.

Anyway, I am still hoping you will contionue updating this guide. Like I said, it is really interesting and gave me plenty of ideas I hadn't considered before.

 :)

Offline Maglad

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2018, 08:40:27 PM »
Oh right! The Two Heavens dragon clan feat, lets you add your Wisdom modifier to your armor class, though it is still affected by your armor max dex bonus, so you probably shouldn't wear heavy or medium armor if you are a dragon sohei.

Get extra dex while in frenzy, and if you remember you probably have a decent wis so you can cast spells, so it helps.

The Speed of Feath crane clan feat lets you use your dex modifier with weapons that are not light, so you can diminish MAD a little.

So dragon lets you get more out of your wisdom, and crane lets you get more out of your stat rolls (since you SORT OF) can forget str.

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2018, 04:06:34 PM »
Anyway, I am still hoping you will contionue updating this guide.
The Handbook is pretty much done at this point. I may update it if someone finds something really juicy within 1st party D&D or 3.0 OA that I have missed, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

You have some interesting additions from Rokugan d20 for those playing within that crunch landscape, but unfortunately I am not familiar enough with it to vet it. When the (continued) tag works again to append handbooks with later posts, I may add an appendix for Rokugan d20 taken from your comments.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Sohei Handbook
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2018, 04:44:16 PM »
Vaz did a short Rokugan guide a while back.
http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=13428.0
discussion http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=13441.0

Unapproachable East is the FR book most similar to OA.

The Maho-Tsukai prc makes an interesting coda for a Sohei.
Switch over after 5 or 9 or 11, and maybe that part of the build eeks over into Tier 4.
The 2 lists together and delayed, are still not enough to warrant a solid Tier 3.
R.A.I. maho casting is quite the sad way to go, but it is playable.
R.A.W. maho got an "it's OK after all" from PLZ.
avatar#3 , gravitational lensing edition ... I'm way on the other side of the universe but look like pretty rings