The Rikishi

April 7th, 2015

Joshua Zaback

Best in Class Archive

                Sumo wrestling is one of the most iconic and well known martial traditions in the world today. Due to its captivating nature, exciting style, and exotic ritual elements, sumo has come to worldwide renown. Sumo has been practiced professionally since at least the 1600s and has been used in Shinto rituals for many centuries prior. Most of us have at some time or another been exposed to sumo wrestling as a sport or as an art form, and yet no Pathfinder class has given us the option to play a rikishi, or sumo wrestler, until now. While in Pathfinder games you might have to do a bit more than force your foe out of the ring or knock your enemies to the ground to defeat them, this flavorful class will allow you to indulge your love of this amazing ancient sport while knocking around otherworldly spirits and monsters (much in the spirit of the ancient Shinto origins or sumo wrestling). Without any further ado, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the rikishi.


New Brawler Archetype

                Rikishi are brawlers who have devoted themselves to the art of sumo wrestling, a combat style known for its devastating strikes, shoves, and slams. While most are trained to battle in controlled conditions, living the life of a sumo wrestler and competing against one another, some are blessed by priests or cursed by ancient spirits or gods to do battle with otherworldly forces, testing the strength of humankind and fighting to ensure the intercession or appeasement of heavenly forces.

                Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A rikishi is proficient with all simple weapons and is not proficient with any kind of armor or shields.

                This ability modifies the weapon and armor proficiency class feature.

                Unarmored Tradition (Ex): A rikishi must not wear armor while participating in sumo. If the rikishi wears armor of any kind, she loses all benefits of this archetype until she removes the armor. A rikishi may wear magical robes or bracers which grant an armor bonus and may benefit from spells which grant an armor bonus without penalty, however.

                Sumo Training (Ex): A rikishi spends her life training in the art of sumo, either formally at a stable or in the world at large. At 1st level, the rikishi gains a bonus to her CMD equal to 1/2 her level (rounded down, minimum 1).

                Sumo Strikes (Ex): A rikishi’s special training allows her to make a series of potent strikes, culminating in a move designed to defeat her opponent. At 2nd level, whenever the rikishi attacks with an unarmed strike, she is treated as having the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, and she does not need to use two different weapons to use this ability. Additionally, if she successfully hits with 2 unarmed strikes in a single round, she may choose to make a bull rush combat maneuver against that character as a free action. At 8th level, if the rikishi hits a single target with 3 unarmed strikes, she may choose to make a trip combat maneuver as a free action, instead. At 15th level, if the rikishi hits a single opponent with 4 unarmed strikes, she may choose to initiate a grapple against that character as a free action, instead.

                This ability replaces the brawler’s flurry class feature.

                Damage Reduction (Ex): As long as a rikishi wears no armor, she can strengthen her body against blows. At 4th level, the rikishi gains DR 2/-. At 9th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, this DR further improves by 1.

                This ability replaces the AC bonus class feature.

                Body Slam (Ex): The most potent ability of the rikishi is the mighty body slam which represents the height of the sumo art. At 16th level, the rikishi can choose to do a body slam whenever she successfully maintains a grapple. If she does, she deals damage as appropriate for her unarmed strike and hurls her foe to the ground, inflicting an additional amount of damage equal to 1d6 + the rikishi’s Strength modifier, and immediately ending the grapple and knocking her foe prone. The target must also succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the rikishi’s level + the rikishi’s Strength modifier) or be stunned for 1 round.

                This ability replaces the awesome blow class feature.

                Yokozuna’s Slam (Ex): A rikishi which reaches the highest rank in sumo wrestling can perform an even mightier body slam, which can potentially kill its target. Whenever the rikishi successfully maintains a grapple on a pinned creature, she may choose to use this technique. If she does, she slams the target to the ground, ending the grapple and knocking the target prone. Additionally, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the rikishi’s level + the rikishi’s Strength modifier) or be instantly slain. If the target succeeds on this saving throw, he is instead staggered for 1d6 rounds.

                This ability replaces the improved awesome blow class feature.