As promised, I’m back with a few martial arts builds. I’ll be posting them in self-contained articles in order for clarity, and as a way to keep my own thoughts organized and to make a certain build easier to find.The first of the Martial Arts based builds I’m going to look at is:
The Noghri Death Commando
Anyone who has read far enough into the Star Wars Expanded Universe knows about the Noghri. They are one of the most loved, and most recognized species of every other written into the universe, and the Noghri Death Commando is one of the most terrifying sights that a person can see before the end, or more accurately, that they probably can’t see before the end.
The seed of this build was brought about by looking through some of the Scout’s talents, specifically the Camouflage talent tree, and noticing a lot of the cool things that could be done using Stealth checks to utterly destroy your opponent when combined with Martial Arts skills and the K’tara Training feat found in Galaxy at War.
1-13 – Scout
14-20 – Martial Arts Master
Strength – 13 (+1)
Dexterity – 15 (+2)
Constitution – 13 (+1)
Intelligence – 12 (+1)
Wisdom – 12 (+1)
Charisma – 8 (-1)
Jump (at 8th level)
Starting Feats – Weapon Proficiency (simple weapons), Shake it Off (Core)
Species Feats – Running Attack (Core)
Feat – Martial Arts I (Core) – This is the first level feat you’re going to take. You want to be able to dish out the damage, and with a Martial Arts based build, this is the way to do it. The dodge bonus to Reflex Defense is just gravy.
Talent – Improved Stealth (Core) – This is the first feat that you qualify for on the Camouflage talent tree. Rerolls are often overlooked, but very powerful abilities. I can’t tell you how many players I’ve had at my table who have poo-pooed abilities like this only to have it bail them out at a later time.
Scout Bonus Feat – Skill Focus (Stealth) (Core) – Skill Focus is one of the greatest feats you can pick up for a skill focused build. That +5 effectively doubles the bonus you get from Skill Training, and as a Small creature, you get an additional 5 on top of this. With your reroll ability, there won’t be many Stealth checks you won’t be able to crush.
Feat – K’tara Training (Galaxy at War) – This is the martial arts feat that most of your abilities are going be revolving around. The ability to keep an opponent silenced while you take them down is powerful indeed.
Talent – Hidden Movement (Core) – You’re going to be spending a lot of time in Stealth, the ability to move your full speed is going to serve you well.
Stat Increases – +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity
Scout Bonus Feat – Dodge (Core) – A +1 dodge bonus to Reflex Defense when you have to go toe to toe with an opponent could be all the edge you need to help carry the day.
Talent – Shadow Striker (Scum and Villainy) – This talent gives you three powerful abilities you can use in an encounter, all centering around having cover or concealment from an opponent, which you should be using as often as you can to maximize this build.
Feat – Martial Arts II (Core) – This is one of the few ways to increase your damage as a bare-knuckle fighter, and the dodge bonus continues to increase your Reflex Defense.
Scout Bonus Feat – Mobility (Core) – Unfortunately, as a melee fighter, it is more difficult to take advantage of your speed, as well as feats like Running Attack. This, while not completely preventing opportunity attacks made against you, does make them a great deal less likely to hit.
Talent – Hide in Plain Sight (Scum and Villainy) – This talent is a god-send for those who find themselves forced into the open in a melee, allowing them to fade back into the background once you have cover or concealment from a foe, which allows you to continue your more powerful attack options.
Stat Increases – +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution
Scout Bonus Feat – Skill Training (Jump) (Core) – This feat allows you to train in one more skill, helping to complete your set of Strength based skills.
Feat – Martial Arts III (Core) – This feat takes you to the top of your unarmed damage without a few other tricks, and adds another point of dodge bonus to your Reflex Defense.
Talent – Total Concealment (Core) – Turning concealment into total concealment, regardless of the circumstances? Who wouldn’t want this?
Scout Bonus Feat – Deft Charge (Rebellion Era Campaign Guide) – The ability to take a swift action, free action, or reaction after charging may not seem like much, but when looking at how you can use your Shadow Striker talent in order to grant yourself concealment with a melee attack made at the end of a charge, you can then use that swift action to hide again, ala the Hide in Plain Sight talent.Strike first, strike hard, then fade away.
Talent – Ghost Assailant (Galaxy at War) – Making an opponent flat-footed through a Stealth check, which you have maxed out, is a great option to have in combat. Don’t overlook it.
Stat Increases – +1 Str, +1 Dex
Feat – Melee Defense (Core) – This gives you another option when you need those few extra points of Reflex Defense, and satisfies a feat requirement for Martial Arts Master.
Bonus Scout Feat – Conditioning (Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide) – This lets you reroll any Strength or Constitution based skills. With your skill spread, that’s Endurance, Swim, Climb, and Jump. When coupled with Improved Stealth, that’s four out of your seven skills that give you rerolls. The ability to add your Strength bonus to your Fortitude Defense is just gravy.
Talent – Surefooted (Core) – This allows you to move through any difficult terrain you might come across without hampering your speed. This also satisfies your talent requirement for Martial Arts Master.
Talent – Teras Kasi Basics (Threats of the Galaxy) – This gives you an additional damage die on your unarmed attacks, which you need really badly in order to continue to keep pace with a lot of the other warriors out there.
Feat – Teras Kasi Training (Galaxy at War) – This feat lets you treat your foes damage threshold as 5 lower against your unarmed attacks once per round. Also, since you’ve take the Teras Kasi basics talent at the previous level, your damage die type increases by one again, bringing you up in the damage department again.
Stat Increases – +1 Str, +1 Dex
Talent – K’tara Expertise (Galaxy at War) – A free disarm with a swift action after making a successful unarmed attack without the penalty to two handed wielders that you normally get. The best part is, with Deft Charge feat, you can do this at the end of a charge action, quickly closing the distance from cover, stripping an opponent of his weapon, and keeping him silent with your K’tara training, while at the same time really putting the hurt on them.
Feat – Rapid Strike (Core) – This feat simply gets you an extra die of damage for a minor penalty to the attack roll, which is no laughing matter.
Talent – Unarmed Parry (Threats of the Galaxy) – This talent gives you the power of the Jedi’s powerful Block talent when you fight defensively, allowing you to negate a melee attack with a successful unarmed attack roll that beats the incoming attack’s roll.
Talent – Unarmed Counterstrike (Threats of the Galaxy) – This talent gives you the one-up on the previous pick, allowing you to throw an elbow in your opponent’s gut after turning their weapon aside with your unarmed parry.
So there you have the Noghri Death Commando. Hopefully you’ve found something you like in this build that inspired you to use it in your own game or come up with your own build ideas.
I should be back tomorrow with a wrestler/grappler build. Until then, Gamer Nation, enjoy.