"The water flows through this creek, much like the energy flows through your body. As you see, there are several pools where the water swirls around before flowing on. These pools are like our chakras..."
- Guru Rajiv, samsari
A fire folk sits with his legs in a cross, meditating deeply. Behind him, a group of students and gathers-on sit similarly, attempting to emulate his breathing. The man is unaware of them, his perception transcending far beyond the limited physicality of what is around him, ascending to the Spirit World and beyond, conversing with spiritual entities others aren't even sure exist.
A female air monk focuses on the path of energy in her body, before looking to see a battalion approaching her. Without emotion, she spins in a circle before whirling her hand, as a battering force of wind bowls over her enemies and begins to push them away. They attempt to hang on, but with no anchor, they are blown away without incident.
A member of the water clan sits calmly on the bow of a ship caught in a hurricane. The crew panics, rushing around and attempting to save the ship. The water clan member exudes a calming influence on the others before standing and raising his hands. The sea begins to calm, and the crew looks to the man from the water clan for strength and guidance.
For many, lacing is a fighting style, a martial art. A way to hurt one's enemies and exert power over others. But for a samsari, lacing is a mystical art, to be held in awe, and reverence. Some take the art of lacing and look inward, not seeking power, but seeking resolve and enlightenment. A samsari is a lacer who holds in high regard the power that has been entrusted to them, and sees across artificial lines drawn in the sand. A samsari sees that all creatures, all life, is connected, and seeks to preserve the balance between being true to themselves, and being truly enlightened.
The Flow of Ki
While all lacers use the flow of ki to enable their abilities, samsari take it further, studying the paths of ki in the body, seeing how they connect like a river. Through focus and meditation, a samsari is able to direct the ki flow to not only enable their elemental abilities, but to gain spiritual powers unknown to other lacers.
Balance of Nature
Despite their magical abilities, samsari see themselves as divine agents. While samsari do not directly do the work of the Incarnate, samsari do believe that the balance between nature and mankind should be preserved.
Above all else, samsari gain intimate knowledge of the spirits, otherworldy entities from the Spirit World that command respect and reverence. Samsari see and interact with spirits that most people go their entire lives without ever encountering directly.
A samsari who takes up an adventuring life usually does so to fulfill a spiritual need to learn and grow. Samsari find themselves compelled to understand the spirits and nature, and try to spread the knowledge they gain to others along the way.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Ki Points||Features||Forms Known||Maximum Form Level|
|1st||+2||2||Chosen Element, Ki, Lacing||2||Shu|
|2nd||+2||3||Spirit Guide, Synergy||3||Shu|
|3rd||+2||4||Spiritual Empathy, Path to Enlightenment||4||Shu|
|4th||+2||5||Ability Score Improvement||5||Shu|
|5th||+3||6||Open Chakra (Root)||6||Ha|
|6th||+3||7||Path to Enlightenment feature||7||Ha|
|7th||+3||8||Open Chakra (Sacral)||8||Ha|
|8th||+3||9||Ability Score Improvement||9||Ha|
|9th||+4||11||Open Chakra (Navel)||10||Ri|
|10th||+4||12||Path to Enlightenment feature||10||Ri|
|11th||+4||13||Open Chakra (Heart)||11||Ri|
|12th||+4||14||Ability Score Improvement||11||Ri|
|13th||+5||16||Open Chakra (Throat)||12||Ri|
|14th||+5||17||Path to Enlightenment feature||12||Ri|
|15th||+5||18||Open Chakra (Third-Eye)||13||Ri|
|16th||+5||19||Ability Score Improvement||13||Ri|
|17th||+6||21||Open Chakra (Crown)||14||Ri|
|19th||+6||23||Ability Score Improvement||15||Ri|
Creating a Samsari
Samsari try to be at peace with nature. Keep in mind their search for enlightenment and peace as you create your character. What type of lacer are they? What led you down a path of spirituality, as opposed to using lacing for fighting? Are you a protector of a community? Are you a loner, seeking your own answers to life's questions? Do you have a mentor who is guiding you, or are you alone in your journey?
The biggest question for a samsari is typically how you will spread your knowledge and insight to others. Will you attempt to teach as you learn? Will you lead by example? Or will you put the needs of others before yourself to attempt to find enlightenment through service.
You can make a samsari quickly by following these suggestions. First, choose your ability scores according to your element. Make Wisdom (for waterlacers or earthlacers) or Charisma (for firelacers and airlacers) your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the hermit background. Your forms known will depend on what kind of lacer you choose to be. If you are a firelacer, choose the 1st-level forms flametongue shield, mirage, and scorching bolts. If you are an airlacer, choose the 1st-level forms air cushion, sky missile, and whiff. If you are a waterlacer, choose the 1st-level forms flash freeze, healing waters, and water jet. If you are an earthlacer, choose the 1st-level forms dust cloud, gravel shot, and sudden pillar.
As a samsari , you gain the following class features.
- Hit Dice: 1d6 per samsari level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per samsari level after 1st
- Armor: None
- Weapons: Quarterstaff
- Tools: One type of artisan's tools of your choice, one musical instrument of your choice
- Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
- Skills: Choose two from Animal Handling, Arcana, History, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a quarterstaff, or (b) a shanzi
- (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a scholar's pack
- a musical instrument of your choice
Alternately, you can purchase your own starting equipment. At level 1, a samsari begins with 2d4 x 10 gp.
When you take your 1st level in this class, you must choose an element: fire, air, water, or earth. From that point on, you are a firelacer, airlacer, waterlacer, or earthlacer. You can never take another element, even if you later get to choose again.
You gain your element's basic lacing abilities. If you lose access to your ki, you cannot initiate any lacing features.
You learn elemental bolt as a basic lacing effect. This bolt might take the form of a burst of air, or hurled stone, or other form depending on your element, but the effect is the same. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you can choose to avoid killing them with your elemental bolt, leaving them unconscious.
Initiation Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
You hurl a bolt of your element. Make a ranged ki attack against one creature within range, or against two creatures within range that are within 5 feet of each other. On a hit, a target takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage.
This form's damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).
Ki points represent the mystical energy that affords you power over your element. Your samsari level determines the number of ki points you have, as shown in the Ki Points column of the Samsari table.
You can spend these points to fuel various ki features. Your lacing forms are ki features, and as you gain levels in this class, you learn others.
When you spend a ki point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended ki back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest quietly meditating to regain your ki points.
Some of your ki features require an attack modifier, or require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The ability modifier you use is different depending on your element. Firelacers and airlacers use their Charisma, since their ki is powered by their strength of spirit. Waterlacers and earthlacers use Wisdom, as their power comes from intuition and insight.
Firelacers and Airlacers
Waterlacers and Earthlacers
When you begin your journey, you learn to wield control and authority over your element beyond simple moves. In addition to basic effects, you learn more powerful forms.
|Form Level||Ki Cost||Meaning|
|Shu||2||Novice level forms|
|Ha||4||Advanced level forms|
|Ri||6||Mastery level forms|
You know two Shu-level forms of your choice from your element's form list.
The Forms Known column of the Samsari table shows when you learn more forms of your choice. Each of these forms must be of a level that you know. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new form of Shu or Ha level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the forms you know and replace it with another form from your element's form list, which also must be no higher than your maximum form level.
Your forms are ki features, and so you must spend ki points to initiate these forms. You spend the number of ki points shown on the Form Levels table in order to initiate a form.
All forms have an enhanced effect, which you can initiate by spending 2 additional ki points when you initiate the form.
Beginning at 2nd level, you learn to feel the pull of spiritual energy around you, and can call for aid when necessary, as well as send these forces out to help others. Any time you take the Help action, you grant an ally advantage on the first attack roll it makes against a target that you can see. You can spend 1 ki point to take the Help action as a bonus action on your turn.
Additionally, can spend 1 ki point to gain the benefits of the Help action yourself as a bonus action on your turn, even if you are alone.
At 2nd level, you begin to unlock the secret of working in tandem with fellow lacers. Whenever an ally initiates a lacing form of your element within 30 feet of you, you can spend 2 ki points as a reaction to enhance their form, exactly as you would spend ki points to enhance your own form. The ally still initiates the form as they normally would, but with its enhanced effect.
You know the ways of natural spirits and creatures, and can walk amongst them without worry. At 3rd level, you gain proficiency on Wisdom (Animal Handling) skill checks, and can use Animal Handling to influence fey creatures as well as normal animals. You can use Charisma in place of Wisdom to make Animal Handling skill checks.
If you already have proficiency in Animal Handling, your proficiency bonus is doubled when you make such a check.
Path to Enlightenment
At 3rd level, you begin to travel along a path to true enlightenment, in the hopes of bringing about a spiritual awakening in others as well as yourself. Samsari can choose the path of the Boatman, King, or Shepherd. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
As you gain experience as a samsari, you begin to open your chakras to let the pure cosmic energy flow through you. As you unlock each of the following chakras, you learn a spell, which you can cast by spending the appropriate amount of ki points. You do not need to provide material components for any spell that you cast from your chakras. You cannot target any other creatures with your spells. You can cast a spell as a ritual without spending ki points if it has the ritual tag.
|Level||Chakra Opened||Ki Cost||Spell|
|5th||Root||2||detect evil and good|
|11th||Heart||5||commune with nature|
*You can only shift to the Feywild or the Shadowfell.
At 18th level, you have become so practiced with certain forms that you can initiate them at will. Choose three Shu-level forms that you know. You can initiate those forms without enhancement without spending ki points. If you want to enhance any of them, you must expend ki points as normal.
Beginning at 20th level, you've learned the secrets of the Spirit World. Any time you would be killed, you do not actually die. Instead, your spirit leaves your body as through astral projection and is sent hurtling to a random place in the Spirit World (the Feywild or Shadowfell, left to the DM's discretion). Unlike the normal use of astral projection, your body does not follow you to the new plane, but remains where it is. The silver cord that would normally lead you back to your body still exists but is imperceptible to you.
A creature must succeed on a DC 20 Medicine check to realize that you are not actually dead. You can use any means at your disposal to attempt to return to your body, and if you find it, you can reenter your body and continue to live normally.
If you die of old age, this feature still activates, but you cannot reenter your body anymore. Your spirit remains, free to do as you wish.
Samsari Paths to Enlightenment
The samsari paths to enlightnment arose not out of combat or a desire to use lacing for fighting, but rather through spiritual connections and the divine teachings of those who had come before them. Samsari seek to find true enlightenment before they pass on to the Spirit World, and to pass that enlightenment on to others. Each path to enlightenment favors a different strategy, but they all seek the same end.
Path of the Boatman
Boatman samsari practice their art in tandem with others. They attempt to lead both by example, and by learning as well. A boatman accepts all teachings, and does what they can to bring others along on their own spiritual journey together, as equals.
When you choose this path at 3rd level, you can spend 2 ki points as a bonus action on your turn to protect yourself and those around you. Until the beginning of your next turn, you and all willing creatures you target within 30 feet of you have advantage on saving throws. Enemies have disadvantage on attack rolls against all targets.
Beginning at 6th level, you can spend 1 additional ki point when you use your Spirit Guide feature to grant all allies advantage on their first attack roll against the targeted creature until the beginning of your next turn.
Aura of Serenity
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 30 feet of you can't be charmed while you are conscious.
Beginning at 14th level, you can spend 3 ki points to cast calm emotions without needing material components.
Path of the King
King samsari seek their own enlightenment before that of others. A king's philosophy is that one cannot truly teach others until one knows the intricacies of power firsthand, and can only then guide others through their example and protect them with their power.
Beginning at 3rd level when you choose this path, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your ki ability modifier.
Strike of the Heavens
Beginning at 6th level, whenever you use your Spirit Guide feature for yourself, you add your ki ability modifier to the damage roll of the first successful attack you make before the beginning of your next turn.
Aura of Power
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 30 feet of you can't be frightened while you are conscious.
Burst of Power
Beginning at 14th level, you can spend 3 ki points to cast enhance ability without needing material components. You can only target yourself with the spell.
Path of the Shepherd
Shepherd samsari place the needs and spiritual journeys of others before themselves. A shepherd aspires to delay their own enlightenment and acquisition of power until other beings have begun their own spiritual journeys, counseling and protecting those that falter.
Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you can spend 1 ki point as a bonus action on your turn to protect your allies. Until the beginning of your next turn, other friendly creatures within 30 feet of you have advantage on saving throws. Enemies have disadvantage on attack rolls against such creatures. You do not gain the benefits of this ability.
Beginning at 6th level, any time you use your Spirit Guide feature to assist another creature in combat, the creature adds your ki ability modifier to its AC against the first attack made against it until the beginning of your next turn.
Aura of Virility
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 30 feet of you can't be incapacitated while you are conscious.
Beginning at 14th level, you can spend 3 ki points to cast warding bond without needing material components.
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