Martial Arts Option
If you want martial artist in the campaign, it is probably better to use the conversion guideline for Rangers from the WOTC site. A template is probably not a good idea. For one thing, there are no other templates available, and it has vastly different effects depending on the class it is applied to.
I've crunched some numbers for a fighter with the martial arts option. we get the following freebies:
- AC base (10) + cloth (0) + martial arts bonus for scale proficiency (2) = 14
- Improved Unarmed Combat attack
- Two-Weapon Defense
- Fencing stance
If we assume Dex or Con of 16 and weapon, this gives AC 17 for a weapon in two hands, or AC 19 and 2 higher Reflex defense with one weapon and off-hand free. For a battlerager fighter (which I'm thinking of playing), this gives me several useful feats and improved armor class (at least 1, more at level 8 or with higher Con). The weapon and armor limitations are not actual limitations if they fit the character concept. This option gives too much at no cost.
A dedicated martial arts class (such as an unarmed ranger) is fine. For other classes, going against the archetype to become an unarmored and unarmed should have a cost associated with it. The Unarmed Combat and Practiced Defense takes care of that, and in my opinion the template is not really needed.
If you do want to use it, my suggestion is to create a new feat as an enabler. --Urban 15:37, 28 November 2008 (CET)
- Some comments on this.
- Since armor class is attribute dependent in light armor, it has to be calibrated at some point. I calibrated it around an attribute of 16. Attribute increases should be handled by masterwork armors.
- Two-Weapon Defense is strictly worse than a light shield (one less reflex defense)
- Fencing+Fencing Stance is functionally identical to a large shield except no armor check penalty. I missed this last thing; armor check penalty should count for something, so I guess Fencing Stance should go.
- Improved Unarmed Combat attack is identical to a shortword.
--Starfox 15:58, 28 November 2008 (CET)