(Complete Warrior variant, p. 8)

Wielding their signature katana and wakizashi simultaneously, samurai are as potent in melee as a fighter, although they are less versatile.

Hit die



Any lawful.

Starting gold


Skill points

2 + Int

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A samurai is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all types of armor, but not with shields.

Daisho Proficiency (Ex): In melee combat, a samurai favors the katana (a masterwork bastard sword) and the wakizashi (a masterwork short sword). Many samurai receive an heirloom set of these two blades, known as the daisho. Because a samurai is trained in their use, he gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) as a bonus feat.

Two Swords as One (Ex): At 2nd level, a samurai has learned to wield the katana and wakizashi together. He is treated as having the Two-Weapon Fighting feat when wielding a katana and wakizashi, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for that feat.

Kiai Smite (Ex): Once per day, a samurai of 3rd level or higher can give a great cry during combat that invigorates him. When a samurai shouts (a free action), his next attack gains a bonus on the attack roll and the damage roll equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum +1). As a samurai gains levels, he can make a kiai smite more often. However, a samurai cannot make more than one kiai smite during any given round.

Iaijutsu Master (Ex): By 5th level, a samurai has become adept at iaijutsu, a fighting technique that concentrates on drawing his weapon and striking a foe in one fluid motion. He is treated as having the Quick Draw feat, but only when he draws his katana or wakizashi.

Staredown (Ex): At 6th level, a samurai becomes able to strike fear into his foes by his mere presence. He gains a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks and can demoralize an opponent (as described in the Intimidate skill description, page 76 of the Player's Handbook).

Improved Initiative (Ex): At 8th level, the samurai has practiced iaijutsu techniques used in ritual duels between two samurai, and he is able to anticipate when any enemy will attack. He now has the Improved Initiative feat.

Mass Staredown (Ex): At 10th level, a samurai has sufficient presence that he can cow multiple foes. Using an Intimidate check, the samurai can demoralize all opponents within 30 feet with a single standard action.

Improved Two Swords as One (Ex): At 11th level, a samurai's prowess with the katana and wakizashi improves. He is treated as having the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat when wielding a katana and wakizashi, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for the feat.

Improved Staredown (Ex): At 14th level, even a glance from the hard eyes of a samurai is enough to give his foes pause. The samurai can demoralize opponents within 30 feet as a move action, not a standard action.

Greater Two Swords as One(Ex): At 16th level, fighting with a katana and wakizashi becomes second nature for a samurai. He is treated as having the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat when wielding a katana and wakizashi, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for that feat.

Frightful Presence (Ex): A 20th-level samurai's bravery, honor, and fighting prowess have become legendary. When the samurai draws his blade, opponents within 30 feet must succeed on a Will save (DC 20 + samurai's Cha modifier) or become panicked for 4d6 rounds (if they have 4 or fewer Hit Dice) or shaken for 4d6 rounds (if they have from 5 to 19 Hit Dice). Creatures with 20 or more Hit Dice are not affected. Any foe that successfully resists the effect cannot be affected again by the same samurai's frightful presence for 24 hours.


A samurai who ceases to be lawful or who commits an act of grave dishonor loses all samurai class features that depend on Charisma or Charisma-based checks. Minor embarrassments don't count, but major breaks with the code of bushido do. Acts that could lose a samurai his status include disobeying an order from a superior officer or feudal lord, fleeing in cowardice from an important battle, being caught in a major lie or other breach of integrity, and appallingly rude behavior. A disgraced character may not progress any farther as a samurai. He regains his class features the ability to advance in the class if he atones for his violations (see the atonement spell, page 201 of the Player's Handbook), assuming the feudal lord offers a chance at redemption. (Some feudal lords demand ritual suicide as the only act that cleanses the stain of dishonor.)

Like a member of any other class, a samurai may be a multiclass character, but multiclass samurai face a special restriction. A samurai who gains a level in any class other than samurai may never again raise his samurai level, though he retains all his current samurai abilities. The way of the samurai demands constant adherence to the code of bushido. Samurai may sometimes take levels in particular prestige classes without violating this code. The kensai and the knight protector (both in this book) and the dwarven defender (in the Dungeon Master's Guide) are three such examples. The Dungeon Master may designate other prestige classes as available to a samurai.

Some disgraced samurai take levels in the ronin prestige class (described in Chapter 2 of this book), which gives them a chance to regain their lost class features.


Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Daisho proficiency
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Two swords as one
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Kiai smite 1/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +1
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Iaijutsu master
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Staredown
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Kiai smite 2/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Improved Initiative
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Mass staredown
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Improved two swords as one
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Kiai smite 3/day
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Improved staredown
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Greater two swords as one
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Kiai smite 4/day
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Frightful presence

Class skills

Skill name Key ability Trained only Armor check penalty
Concentration CON no no
Craft INT no no
Diplomacy CHA no no
Intimidate CHA no no
Knowledge (history) INT yes no
Knowledge (nobility and royalty) INT yes no
Ride DEX no no
Sense Motive WIS no no

Also appears in

  1. Oriental Adventures

Spells for Samurai

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