Character Classes


Sohei are warrior monks, religious soldiers who protect large monasteries. Unlike shamans, sohei are more militant than holy, and receive very little religious instruction. Instead they are trained in the art of fighting. Sohei defend their monastery against attacks and advance its political claims in the outside world. They are subject to the leader of their temple.

Like paladins, sohei think of their adventures as "quests" in the service of their religion. Like samurai, however, they are typically sent on these quests by a superior whose command is law to the sohei. Sohei are often charged with defending their temples in times of conflict, but they can also expect to strike against enemy temples, monks, or shamans, to hunt down evil monsters terrorizing the countryside, or to recover a relic that is sacred to their order. They welcome all challenges as tests of their prowess and, secondarily, their faith.

Sohei mix martial prowess with divine power that grants them spell ability (as they gain experience), the ability to heighten their strength and speed in battle, and protection from mental and bodily harm. Very experienced sohei can shrug off physical damage and ignore certain magical effects. Their spells are useful in battle to grant protection, enhance attacks, and damage foes.

Sohei, like monks, live a life of strict discipline and obedience to their orders. Sohei must be lawful, and lose their divine power if they stray from the path of law.

Sohei come from all walks of life to train in their temples and monasteries. Many join their orders as children, and become sohei when they demonstrate a strength of both body and mind that lends itself to the temple's defense. Often, though, young men and women who show little promise for the contemplative life of the monk are the ones selected to become sohei.

As with monks, most sohei are human or near-human (hengeyokai or spirit folk). The monastic orders to which sohei belong are predominantly human, and korobokurus, nezumi, and vanaras rarely join such orders.

Sohei hold shamans and monks in deep respect, and may even be assigned to serve as bodyguard to such a character. At the same time, they typically perceive themselves as spiritually inferior to such enlightened folk, and feel more kinship with samurai or "common" warriors (fighters, rangers, or even rogues).

Alignment: Any lawful.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The sohei's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha), Knowledge(religion) (Int), and Profession (Wis).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Sohei

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Ki frenzy 1/day, Weapon Focus
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Deflect Arrows
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Diehard
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Ki frenzy 2/day 0
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Strength of mind 0
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Defensive strike 1
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Damage reduction 1/- 1
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Ki frenzy 3/day 1 0
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Mettle 1 0
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Damage reduction 2/- 1 1
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Greater ki frenzy 1 1 0
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Ki frenzy 4/day 1 1 1
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Damage reduction 3/- 1 1 1
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 2 1 1 0
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 2 1 1 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Damage reduction 4/-, ki frenzy 5/day 2 2 1 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Tireless frenzy 2 2 2 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 3 2 2 1
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Damage Reduction 5/- 3 3 3 2
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Whirlwind frenzy, ki frenzy 6/day 3 3 3 3
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the sohei.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sohei are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all armor (but no shields).

Ki Frenzy (Su): Starting at 1st level, a sohei gains the ability to focus her ki power into a frenzy of berserk energy. In this frenzied state, she temporarily gains +2 to Strength and +2 to Dexterity. Her speed increases by 10 feet, and she can choose to make a flurry of blows with a full attack action in melee, making one extra attack per round while suffering a -2 penalty on every attack.

While in a ki frenzy, a sohei cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can she cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. She can use any feat she has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A ki frenzy lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the sohei's Constitution modifier. The sohei may prematurely end the frenzy voluntarily. At the end of the frenzy, the sohei is fatigued (-2 to Strength, -2 to Dexterity, can't charge or run) for the duration of that encounter. The sohei can only enter a frenzy once per encounter, and only a certain number of times per day (determined by level). Entering a frenzy takes no time itself, but the sohei can only do it during her action, not in response to somebody else's action.

Weapon Focus (Ex): Sohei gain Weapon Focus with a weapon of their choice as a bonus feat. Many sohei choose the naginata, the traditional weapon of the sohei.

Deflect Arrows (Ex): At 2nd level, a sohei gains the Deflect Arrows feat, even if she doesn't have the prerequisite feat and Dexterity score.

Diehard (Ex): At 3rd level, a sohei gains the Diehard feat, even if she doesn't have the prerequisite feats.

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a sohei gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. To cast a spell, the sohei must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level, so a sohei with a Wisdom of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Sohei bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a Difficulty Class of 10 + spell level + Wisdom modifier. When the sohei gets 0 spells of a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 4th level, the sohei gets only bonus spells. A sohei without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level. A sohei has access to any spell on the sohei's spell list and can freely choose which to prepare. A sohei prepares and casts spells just as a cleric does.

Through 3rd level, a sohei has no caster level. Starting at 4th level, a sohei's caster level is one-half her class level.

Strength of Mind (Ex): A sohei of at least 5th level is immune to stunning and sleep spells and effects.

Defensive Strike (Ex): At 6th level, a sohei gains the Defensive Strike feat, even if she doesn't have the prerequisite feats and ability scores.

Mettle (Ex): The sohei's special blessing allows her to shrug off magical effects that would otherwise damage or harm her. If a sohei of at least 9th level makes a successful Will or Fortitude saving throw that would normally reduce the spell's effect, she suffers no effect from the spell at all. Only those spells with a Saving Throw entry of "Will partial," "Fortitude half," or similar entries can be negated through this ability.

Damage Reduction (Ex): Starting at 7th level, the sohei gains the extraordinary ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 1 from the damage the sohei takes each time she is dealt damage. At 10th level, this damage reduction rises to 2. At 13th, it rises to 3. At 16th, it rises to 4. At 19th, it rises to 5. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Greater Ki Frenzy (Su): At 11th level, a sohei's bonuses to Strength and Dexterity during her ki frenzy each increase to +4, the penalty she suffers on attack rolls when making a flurry of blows is reduced to -1, and her speed increases by 20 feet during her frenzy.

Tireless Frenzy (Ex): At 17th level and higher, a sohei no longer becomes fatigued at the end of her ki frenzy.

Whirlwind Frenzy (Su): At 20th level, a sohei's bonuses to Strength and Dexterity during her ki frenzy each increase to +6, she suffers no penalty on attack rolls when making a flurry of blows, and her speed increases by 30 feet during her frenzy.


A sohei who becomes nonlawful loses all spells and her ki frenzy ability. She also may not progress in levels as a sohei. She regains her spells and ki frenzy ability if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate.