Samurai and Yakuza themes

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They're... okay.

Avengers look like they'd make really good Samurai. Rogues too, ironically enough. Yakuza is good for Charisma-based classes, and that level 2 utility power doesn't look half-bad.

Overall, I'd say that Sohei is better, mechanically speaking, though. 
I have visions of brutal scoundrel samuri dancing in my head.  So off-flavor, but soooooo powerful...

Or even worse, brutal scoundrel daggermasters...  *shudder*

_insert name here_
They're both awesome. Not the most powerful but quite interesting in their own way.

I think my EEE will need to take Yakuza. Yay for awesome OAs. 
I'm rather surprised the Samurai theme didn't give longsword proficiency.  Seems a pretty elementary part of being a Samurai is knowing which end of the position's designated pigsticker to hold.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Both actually look pretty good.  I could see myself making use of either of these.  They might not be among the very best, but they're solid.  I feel like after some ups and downs with the initial batches, WotC is starting to find the sweet spot for theme design.
A free action intimidate is very powerful too (not to mention the effective +2 to all defenses until you next get hit).

Life's losing hand looks quite good, I think. A reroll with a +cha bonus is crazy good for an encounter power, although the requirement of rolling a 1, 2 or 3 dulls its sheen somewhat. Perhaps brings it down from so-sky-blue-it's-practically-gold to blue, but to be honest it's probably still worthy of a sky blue rating, especially if you are playing a character that rolls many attack rolls.

You can't hide looks interesting. It might be worth taking for a WLMR type build. Also, some stealth builds might like the free move that's tacked on the end. That said, I think that the enemy is probably aware of the effect line.
I have visions of brutal scoundrel samuri dancing in my head.  So off-flavor, but soooooo powerful...

Or even worse, brutal scoundrel daggermasters...  *shudder*

_insert name here_



It's not off flavor, as explained in the little side column "Ronin," some of them turn to quite dastardly deeds if they no longer serve a lord.
Ruthless Demonstration+Arbiter of Justice=Regardless of who bloodies you OOE target, you can intimidate it if it is adjacent to you.

So now we just need a way to get a solid intimidate bonus on an Avenger.
I have visions of brutal scoundrel samuri dancing in my head.  So off-flavor, but soooooo powerful...

Or even worse, brutal scoundrel daggermasters...  *shudder*

_insert name here_



It's not off flavor, as explained in the little side column "Ronin," some of them turn to quite dastardly deeds if they no longer serve a lord.



And there's nothing that says rogues have to be dishonorable, either.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I have visions of brutal scoundrel samuri dancing in my head.  So off-flavor, but soooooo powerful...

Or even worse, brutal scoundrel daggermasters...  *shudder*

_insert name here_



It's not off flavor, as explained in the little side column "Ronin," some of them turn to quite dastardly deeds if they no longer serve a lord.



And there's nothing that says rogues have to be dishonorable, either.



I could see a Brutal Scoundrel Samurai, his katana (reflavored rapier) glistening. He focuses on fighting foes one-on-one, which gives him greater focus so that he can perform killing strikes (reflavored Cunning Stalker feat).
Massive boosts to OA stealth builds. Need to build my pixie cunning rogue|fighter/assassin two-weapon flurry soon.

And the reroll works fine for penty of builds. Multi-attacks and "hit on 4" is a large chunk of char-op anyways. That fills in the gap nicely.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Multi-attacks and "hit on 4" is a large chunk of char-op anyways. That fills in the gap nicely.

LOL, I was going to say the exact same thing in my post above...

I like the Samuri granted power. Looking good on Dex-primary classes.
Optimization Challenge

Get a Yakuza's intimidate bonus as high as you can on the cheap.

The brief: You've picked Yakuza as your theme. You liked the bonus to OAs, or the utility powers, or something, and the bonus starting power is just icing. How high can you get your intimidate without sinking all your resources into it?
Don't have access to the theme right now but Infernal Hexblade Drow/Dragonborn, Wrathful Aspect?
Drow SK-Pact Warlock, 18 Cha.
Background: Wandering Duelist
Feat: Draji Aspirant (you'd want this feat on a SK-pack warlock anyway, but this comes with a +2 feat bonus to intimidate)
Utility: Beguiling tongue or some other warlock thing that gets you +5 power to intimidate

At level 2, once/enc, you intimidate at +22. Enhance via Armor of Dark Majesty, which is the best armor you'd want on a warlock anyway, and you get a fully functional character that also has a high intimidate score.

An interesting effect of a Draji Aspirant-augmented Hand of Blight is that you also use it to produce your OAs (via a readied action), which generates the CA necessary to soup up your ensuing OA by +Cha damage. Or if you think readied actions are cheesy (and they pretty much are in this instance), have your friends go Yakuza while you bring the Kinglock to get a full out Yakuza Mafia going in early heroic.
Drow SK-Pact Warlock, 18 Cha.
Background: Wandering Duelist
Feat: Draji Aspirant (you'd want this feat on a SK-pack warlock anyway, but this comes with a +2 feat bonus to intimidate)
Utility: Beguiling tongue or some other warlock thing that gets you +5 power to intimidate

At level 2, once/enc, you intimidate at +22.

An interesting effect of a Draji Aspirant-augmented Hand of Blight is that you also use it to produce your OAs (via a readied action), which generates the CA necessary to soup up your ensuing OA by +Cha damage.



This is good, plus throw on a few items for more boosts if need be.
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Hmmm, now do I give my Slayer Guardian and make her a faux Weaponmaster (especially when combined with the Knight that is also in the group creating a catch-22) or do I give her Samurai and increase the Striker?  That is a tough one. 
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
Drow SK-Pact Warlock, 18 Cha.
Background: Wandering Duelist
Feat: Draji Aspirant (you'd want this feat on a SK-pack warlock anyway, but this comes with a +2 feat bonus to intimidate)
Utility: Beguiling tongue or some other warlock thing that gets you +5 power to intimidate

At level 2, once/enc, you intimidate at +22. Enhance via Armor of Dark Majesty, which is the best armor you'd want on a warlock anyway, and you get a fully functional character that also has a high intimidate score.

An interesting effect of a Draji Aspirant-augmented Hand of Blight is that you also use it to produce your OAs (via a readied action), which generates the CA necessary to soup up your ensuing OA by +Cha damage. Or if you think readied actions are cheesy (and they pretty much are in this instance), have your friends go Yakuza while you bring the Kinglock to get a full out Yakuza Mafia going in early heroic.


Nice one. That's pretty solid. I agree that Draji is a bit on the cheesy side, but hey.

Good spot with Wandering Duelist and Armor of Dark Majesty.

Kingslayer's Curse - fearsome reputation seems rather good. So does "the fearcatcher", a holy symbol. 

And lol@ "Yakuza Mafia". 
Another interesting option would be Arcane Mutterings and High Imaskar. Potentially buffed further with that Wizard Encounter power that mimics Hight Imaskar.
the samurai can come up big and is great for avengers, its still a hard sell over sohai however.

a hexblade or cha based eldritch striker is drooling at yakuza, since you are CHA primary and have intimidate as a class skill (dragonborn hellblade?) and getting your primary stat to OAs can come up occasionally if your DM is reckless or your party can force the enemy to provoke. 

its not crazy good, but its not bad. its just what one expects from dragon, more toys to play with, overall good article.  
Skins of the Slain is also worth a mention (+1-7). Also, intimidate is vs. Will. Any good way of debuffing will (or defenses) regularly will also help with intimidate.
Yeah, decent themes, but nothing that makes me go wow. Black ratings for them both overall, for certain builds maybe a dark blue.

That Samurai Lv. 10 utility is pretty sweet, though.
If you can pump both Bluff and Intimidate a decent amount (armor of dark majesty helps with both), it may be worth it to pick up Fast Talk, the bluff level 6 utility power. This is especially nice if you can get a racial bonus to bluff but not intimidate with your chosen race. But a reroll is a reroll, assuming you can pump both.
My opnion about this themes:

Samurai:
 Iajutsu feature is really good at heroic for Novas if you optmize to critfish. (Multiclass Avenger plus multi-hit power plus minor action attack power can do a good job a crit fishing from low paragon on)
 But it loses potency as you enter late paragon, and is not really that good at epic, because crit fishers by that point on have better features to achive a good chance to crit.

 The biggest problem is that you need to invest either in dex or int, and improved initiative to make it worth, and something that can give you a reroll on initiative checks to cover a bad roll.
 Also some monsters tend to have high initiatives.
 It should have been the same effect against any enemy that hasnt acted yet... being first is not reliable, and since its an encounter power its sad that some encounters it may be useless.
 Atlast the free shift gives you a good tatical mobility to start the encounter on a better position.

 Lvl 10 feature is good for crit fishers, but in pratice the dpr increase will be small.
 
 Riddle of Steel is good, but as a lvl10 there is utilities as good as this. Some defenders might like it for a turn of nads invulnerability on epic.

 Its a good theme, but themes like guardian (extra attack and protect ally in need), or Pack Outcast (free CA to you and party) are better.
 Maybe Samurai can be used on very specific ninche builds of crit fishers.
 For defenders there is better themes, and i would use this just on builds that needs badly some way to get to the right spot at the start of a fight. 


Yakuza:
 Starting feature is nice. 
 +2 to defenses until being hit is ok, and may be exploited by stacking bonus to hit unhittable defenses on a defender. Free action intimidate is a nice addiction to intimidomancer builds.
  
 A bonus to OA's are good to PermaHidden chars and to Defenders. 
 And lvl 10 feature is the typical +skill.

 The lvl 2 utility is good to multi-attacker classes, or classes with double roll, but for others its not that good because many encounters you will not roll a 1,2 or 3. (6 turns, lets assume 8 rolls ~56% of chance to use this power, i dont like encounters that doesnt work half of my fights. But when it works its amazing turning that necessary power from a miss to a hit. Its ok but not as good as some might think without doing the math. Atlast its really good on multi-attack classes.)

 You Can't Hide is also a good power. Very nice to PermaHidden chars to follow the enemy, and since most of those builds use staff of travel, it not reveal the last square you ended. Also useful with Evermeet Warlock for extra out of turn taxiness that can bring your defender with you if you have good positioning tatics.

 And the lvl10 utility is not useful for its level imo.

  As it stands now, its good for intimidomancers, aweasome to some PermaHidden builds and also good to high-defenses Chaladins or any other defender that stacks defenses. (For paladins its a plus because of Cha on OA's)
 
 Edit:
Litigation: I would give Skyblue to Yakuza on some PermaHidden builds, and darkblue some defender builds. Overall darkblue i think.
 But i agree that Samurai is Black, it can be Skyblue to some specific critfishing builds at heroic, but it falls down again at late paragon and epic, so i think it ends being black.

 You Can't Hide is also a good power. Very nice to PermaHidden chars to follow the enemy, and since most of those builds use staff of travel, it will not break your stealth. 

Wait, wait wait. What do you mean by this? Is there some rule somewhere that means that teleports don't force you to reroll hide checks for moving 3+ squares?

Sorry it meant it doesnt break the "not knowing what square you became hidden".
I will correct it.
Also that it activates evermeet warlock features, that are one of the good choices for hidden builds. 
They're actually called Samurai and Yakuza?!  That's somewhat disappointing and immersion-breaking, but there you go.  I'm sure the FR lore has some non-real-world names that would be appropriate here.  The Fire Knives, IIRC, are basically the equivalent eastern mafia types, for instance.

That aside, I thought that Sohei was basically a Samurai theme...
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Arent Sohei Monk Warriors?
Im pretty sure they are not samurais, but monks that trained martial arts and mastered weapon tecnics. (I mean real life Soheis, i didnt bethered reading the fluff of the theme, i didnt liked it very much... i know its good just doesnt have anything "new" that could be used in a different new build)
To the best of my knowledge, Sohei isn't a (common) word in the real world.

The flavour of Sohei rings a lot of Samurai to me - depending on what period you look at, admittedly, and admittedly, I'm not a student of Japanese history, so my understanding of them is heavily flavoured by pop culture.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Sohei is a real term and referred to Buddhist warrior-monks.

Samurai are totally different. They were far more beholden to their feudal lords (daimyo) than they were to any religion.
Fair enough.

And knowing that, I'm not wild about the naming of Sohei, either.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Yes, Litigation is right on this one.

Im trying to build a Samurai with a Heroic Nova based on Crit Fishing... so far not really amazing.

A good race if not using dex or int primary is Elf for Wood Elf -> Perception Roll for initiative (Atlast a pure +5)
 
Then Ranger with Multiclass Avenger seemed the best rout.
I tryed using High Crit Weapon, but Rending Enchantment is the best for crit fishing dpr increase and there isnt good 1h axes with High Crit. =/

At level 6 so far encounter nova did ~46 DPR using Twin-Strike + Off-hand Strike.
With AP it reaches ~72 DPR.
Without AP but with a daily it reaches ~62 DPR. 
(Counting miss chance for miss chance for monsters of same level)

Oh and a +19 on perception, giving the same value for my ini checks, and probably giving +2 to the party. (sad part is that its a heavy investiment, and still there is monsters with +13 on this lvl)
This saddens me to read. We were really hoping the samurai would be out for our Delve over the weekend, then it snuck in at the last minute yesterday. Now I'm reading that it isn't that good? Phooey

Tying an attack to initiative order is never a good idea.  Party numbers vary wildly as to monsters. If you can't count on being able to use a power, it's a bad power.  

I was really hoping it was going to rock. The insane Slayer we built was just itching for a good theme to finish the Crane Clan Duelist aesthetic we wanted.  
They're actually called Samurai and Yakuza?!  That's somewhat disappointing and immersion-breaking, but there you go.  I'm sure the FR lore has some non-real-world names that would be appropriate here.  The Fire Knives, IIRC, are basically the equivalent eastern mafia types, for instance.

That aside, I thought that Sohei was basically a Samurai theme...



No, they're called samurai, yakuza, and sohei in the FRs too; Shou Lung has its own equivalent names based on Chinese-sources.
Tim Eagon My DDI Articles Follow me on Twitter @Tim_Eagon
It's still not a bad power. You get to shift half your speed, draw a weapon, and get a +2 bonus to your attack roll when you roll initiative. You just don't get the 18-20 crit range if you don't beat the monsters' initiative.  The 18-20 is really only useful if you go to great lengths to crit fish.  You really need to have oath of emnity up and have a multiattack power plus a minor action attack power to make the most of it.
Its a really weak power if you dont exploit crit fishing.

You shift half your speed, and if you end adjacent to an enemy, and thats unlikely on many combats, you get a weak +2 to attack for 1 round.

Compare it with the Guardian Encounter power and that becomes clearly a really bad choice.
One melee basic plus helping one ally is so much better then a situation +2 to hit that its not even funny.

Either you optmize to do something with the crit or its useless.
They should have made something totally different with this seriously.
There is so much better options to make a "iaijutsu" power... 

It becomes less useless when you get Double-Attack + Minor Attack + AP Double-Attack + Rending Weapon. Its still not the best build ever. I will try to build something really useful with Samurai if possible.

Sad part is that it needs two weapons, and cannot fight with only one to reflavour as a "katana" and still be useful... =/
 
Crit's really don't mean much in heroic.  Your don't throw enough regular dice, and the bonus dice is small.

Don't mean a huge amount in epic either, at least not for most people.  

You need to have some nice on-crit effects (rending) to make it worth while.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Its a really weak power if you dont exploit crit fishing.

You shift half your speed, and if you end adjacent to an enemy, and thats unlikely on many combats, you get a weak +2 to attack for 1 round.

Compare it with the Guardian Encounter power and that becomes clearly a really bad choice.
One melee basic plus helping one ally is so much better then a situation +2 to hit that its not even funny.

Either you optmize to do something with the crit or its useless.
They should have made something totally different with this seriously.
There is so much better options to make a "iaijutsu" power... 

It becomes less useless when you get Double-Attack + Minor Attack + AP Double-Attack + Rending Weapon. Its still not the best build ever. I will try to build something really useful with Samurai if possible.

Sad part is that it needs two weapons, and cannot fight with only one to reflavour as a "katana" and still be useful... =/
 



I'd like to see that build.

I was really looking forward to the samurai theme, but now seeing it I don't think I'd ever grab it. Oh well.