Faerûnian Prestige Class : Shou Disciple

Shou disciples are martial artists who have studied or observed the monks of Kara-Tur and seek to emulate their style. Focusing more on the martial aspects of a monk's training, they sacrifice the enlightenment and supernatural abilities of the true ascetic. Shou disciples fight with martial weapons and often wear armor, instantly marking them as different from monks.

Fighters and rogues are the most likely to become Shou disciples, although some bards study the martial arts of Kara-Tur to enhance their combat ability. Clerics of athletic deities may train in this manner, and a few true monks have become Shou disciples to maximize their skill with weapons at the expense of some supernatural abilities. Barbarians usually prefer other methods of disabling opponents, most druids follow a more spiritual path, and sorcerers and wizards would rather spend their time developing their magic, so members of those classes rarely become Shou disciples.

Shou disciples work alone or together. The loners are usually wanderers in the manner of traveling monks, seeking wisdom or worthy opponents. Those in groups are usually members of the same gang or training school, since skilled Shou disciples often retire to found their own academies, teaching these Kara-Turan martial arts to those who are willing to learn.


To qualify to become a Shou Disciple, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The Shou disciple's class skills are Balance, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Spot, Swim, and Tumble.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are Class Features of the Shou disciple:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shou disciples are proficient with martial weapons and light armor, as well as with the following monk weapons: kama, nunchaku, and siangham. Light armor does not interfere with any of a Shou disciple's class abilities, but shields and medium or heavy armor do. When wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield, the Shou disciple loses his class dodge bonus and any flurry of blows ability.

Dodge Bonus (Ex): Shou disciples are highly trained at dodging blows. When a Shou disciple designates an opponent for his Dodge feat, this bonus replaces the normal +1 dodge bonus to AC against that opponent. A condition that makes him lose his Dexterity bonus to AC also makes him lose this dodge bonus.

Unarmed Strike (Ex): As the monk ability, except that a Shou disciple deals unarmed damage as shown on below. A Shou disciple with levels in the monk class can take the better of the two damage ranges, or he can add his Shou disciple levels to his monk levels and use the unarmed damage of a monk of the resulting level if that produces a better result.

Martial Flurry (Ex): At 3rd level, a Shou disciple gains the ability to use any light melee weapon for his flurry of blows, not just special monk weapons. At 5th level, the Shou disciple may use any melee weapon for his flurry of blows.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd and 4th level, a Shou disciple gets a bonus feat, which must be drawn from the following list: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Endurance, Expertise, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Specialization. The character must meet all the feat's prerequisites to select it.

Shou DiscipleHit Die: d10
CLBABFortRefWillUnarmed DamageDodge BonusSpecial
1st+1+2+2+01d6+1Unarmed strike
2nd+2+3+3+01d8+2Bonus feat
3rd+3+3+3+11d10+2Martial flurry (light)
4th+4+4+4+11d10+3Bonus feat
5th+5+4+4+12d6+3Martial flurry (any)

Multiclassed Monks and Unarmed Attacks

A Shou disciple with monk levels adds his monk base attack bonus and his Shou disciple base attack bonus and uses the unarmed attack progression of a monk with the same base attack bonus. For example, a Monk 6/Shou disciple 5 has a base attack bonus of +4 from his monk levels and +5 from his Shou disciple levels, totaling +9, and uses the unarmed attack bonus of a monk with a +9 base attack bonus.

The character does not use his base attack bonus from any other class levels in this determination, unless the class allows unarmed attacks like the monk's. For example, a monk 6/fighter 2/Shou disciple 5, has a base attack bonus of +11 but an unarmed base attack bonus of only +9. A character can always choose to use his base attack bonus progression instead of his unarmed attack bonus to make unarmed attacks. It will usually be to his advantage to do so if he has several levels that are in neither monk nor Shou disciple.

Source: Unapproachable East

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