Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wokou

In a traditional D&D game, in my opinion, monks never stacked up very well against other combat-oriented characters. For a Skull & Bones game, however, I think they can make engaging foes. Note that this post is intended to compliment the junk deckplan presented previously.

-Nate




Wokou

These skilled martial artists provide an interesting and challenging foe for more traditional swashbuckling pirates, given their prowess in unarmed combat and the different sorts of tactics they can thus employ. Historically, wokou (pronounced like wako) are believed to have had mixed Chinese, Korean and Japanese ancestry.

Wokou Crew Member
Monk 1; CR 1; Size medium; HD 1d8+1; hp 9; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (+2 Dex, +2 Wis); Atk +3 (1d6+2, unarmed) or +1/+1 (1d6+2, flurry of blows) or +2 ranged; SQ Bonus feat, flurry of blows, unarmed strike; AL TN; SV: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4; Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 9.
Background: Seaman (Climb 2 ranks, Profession: sailor 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +6, Hide +6, Jump +6, Move Silently +6, Profession (sailor) +6, Tumble +6.
Feats: Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike).
Fortunes: Code of Honor.
Equipment: Clothing, various personal items.

These low-ranking members of the crew are already developing impressive skills, and are adept at handling a ship, too. Although they can be downright jovial in their own company, they are serious when facing newcomers and ferocious toward their enemies.

Veteran Wokou Crew Member
Monk 3; CR 3; Size medium; HD 3d8+3; hp 20; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 40 ft.; AC 14 (+2 Dex, +2 Wis); Atk +5 (1d6+2, unarmed) or +3/+3 (1d6+2, flurry of blows) or +4 ranged; SQ Bonus feats, flurry of blows, unarmed strike, evasion, still mind; AL TN; SV: Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5; Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 9.
Background: Seaman (Climb 2 ranks, Profession: sailor 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +8, Hide +7, Jump +8, Move Silently +7, Profession (sailor) +8, Tumble +8.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike).
Fortunes: Code of Honor.
Equipment: Clothing, various personal items.

When it comes time to storming a potential prize, these individuals lead the way. They can climb the side of a ship almost as quickly as others walk, swarming around the opposition and striking quickly to incapacitate their foes.

Wokou First Mate
Monk 9; CR 9; Size medium; HD 9d8+9; hp 53; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 60 ft.; AC 15 (+2 Dex, +2 Wis, +1 class); Atk +9/+4 (1d10+2, unarmed) or +9/+9/+4 (1d10+2, flurry of blows) or +7/+7/+2/+2 (1d10+2, Two Weapon Fighting) or +7 ranged; SQ Bonus feats, flurry of blows, unarmed strike, evasion, still mind, Ki strike (magic), slow fall 40 ft., purity of body, wholeness of body, improved evasion; AL TN; SV: Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +8; Str 15, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 9.
Background: Seaman (Climb 2 ranks, Profession: sailor 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +14, Hide +10, Jump +14, Move Silently +10, Profession (sailor) +14, Tumble +14.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike).
Fortunes: Code of Honor.
Equipment: Clothing, various personal items.

Second only to the captain, this toughened pirate should be a match for most other characters in single combat.

Wokou Captain
Monk 13; CR 13; Size medium; HD 13d8+13; hp 75; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 70 ft.; AC 17 (+2 Dex, +2 Wis, +2 class, +1 shield); Atk +13/+8 (2d6+3, unarmed) or +13/+13/+13/+8 (2d6+3, flurry of blows) or +7/+7/+2/+2 (2d6+3, Two Weapon Fighting) or +10 ranged; SQ Bonus feats, flurry of blows, unarmed strike, evasion, still mind, Ki strike (magic, lawful), slow fall 60 ft., purity of body, wholeness of body, improved evasion, diamond body, greater flurry, abundant step, diamond soul; AL TN; SV: Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +10; Str 16, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 9.
Background: Seaman (Climb 2 ranks, Profession: sailor 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +19, Hide +12, Jump +19, Move Silently +12, Profession (sailor) +18, Tumble +18.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike).
Fortunes: Code of Honor.
Equipment: Clothing, various personal items.

Reigning over the motley crew of martial artists is this unarmed combatant bar none. Despite his prowess in battle and the larcenous practice of piracy, however, the captain is also a serious and disciplined person, one who takes time to contemplate the mysteries of life and the surrounding world.

*Note that these stats do not include magical items. Depending on the nature of a campaign, a GM might want to equip more powerful wokou with items such as magical martial arts weapons, amulets of natural armor or even a monk's belt.

Using the Wokou in a Skull & Bones Campaign
These characters can make for an exotic, intriguing change of pace in a historically-based pirate campaign; presented below are a few options for doing so.
  • First and foremost, the wokou provide an interesting clash of cultures with pirates from a Western setting. Their tactics in combat should provide a challenge, but they can just as easily be begrudged rivals or even allies if the PC's can win their respect.
  • The PC's might have a run-in with the wokou while one group or the other is fighting with a Spanish prize in the South Seas, leaving them to decide whether to compete or cooperate with the Oriental pirates.
  • The wokou could be explorers and merchants, in the tradition of the famous captain Zheng He.
  • If a noted wokou captain were capture by the Spanish, the Easterners might approach the PC's and ask for help with staging a rescue.
  • Should the PC's be part of a world-spanning network of pirates, it is likely that a wokou captain and crew would be part of such an organization.

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