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The "samurai" class represents not only a strict training regimen, but also a philosophy based on oaths and loyalties to a feudal lord. This paradigm manifests only in those places where such feudal social structures exist — namely, the human nation of Feldarng, and the empire of Merythion. As the word "samurai" is unknown on Caraonis, these warriors are generally known as "oath-takers" or "oathblades".

Feldane oath-takers serve regional governors, defending towns and villages against invasions by the Merythion elves or any other marauding criminals that plague the land. They are honorable warriors, but ruthless in their tactics, stopping at nothing to ensure the defense of their commanders and their homes.

The maechyrodii ("oathblades") of Merythion are bonded to individual feudal lords, dispatched alone or in groups to carry out military actions against rival lords, or to plunder settlements in neighboring lands. They may even be sent outside of the empire on missions to foreign lands on other continents. In some ways the oathblades are a perverse mirror-image of the bladesingers — they are fierce combatants who act as champions of Merythion interests, but those interests are more self-serving than those of the defenders of Arlyrion.

Party Role: The oath taken by a samurai generally binds him to a local assignment, but rarely they are allowed to go adventuring, either to accomplish a specific task in a foreign land, or simply to return the spoils of such exploits to their commanders. A few break away from their lords completely, becoming free-ranging swordsmen who might still uphold the honorable (or dishonorable) tenets of their philosophies, but forever considered deserters in their former home territories. The Merythion call these lost samurai phractmaechri — "broken swords". In any case, they are formidable warriors who may stand on their own or bolster the morale of their allies.

Restrictions: Characters who train in the ways of the samurai must usually do so either in Feldarng or Merythion, and are thus often bound to a commander or lord in those realms. Rarely, a master knight of Barylon will be available to train a would-be cavalier as a samurai instead.

This topic is specific to the Dungeons & Dragons d20 system. D&D Class Alternatives

Consider the Master Samurai prestige class published in Sword and Fist, p. 29-30.

This topic is specific to the Pathfinder d20 system. Pathfinder Class Adjustments

The samurai class may be used as published. Note that the "orders" defined for samurai and cavaliers reflect abstract philosophies, not any established orders or schools. The names assigned to these philosophies are not generally used in-game, but serve as names for the game mechanics they represent.