In the annals of history, as the story goes, a lone warrior appeared from nowhere and laid down a challenge: stop him. He tore a bloody path across the martial arts world, and eventually stood alone, undefeated and surrounded by the broken bodies of his victims. Afterwards, the warrior offered to teach his skills to those who dared to learn. The seemingly-impossible demands and trials his teachings entailed were off-putting to many, and those who managed to succeed became mediocre martial artists at best. It was not until he was hunted down by the son of one he had slain that the truth was revealed. The warrior was not a martial artist but a mage, and had triumphed in his battles through heavy use of obfuscated magic and hidden items. When called out on this falsehood, the mage laughed it off, claiming that his way was the epitome of martial skill—that to train the body instead of the mind was, and always would be, a “fool’s errand.”
Naturally, some took this as a challenge. A group of master martial artists took his “teachings” and repurposed them, finding meaning in the mage’s lies. Rather than rewriting his training manuals, they decided to take them at face value, channeling their spite to achieve the dangerous, stupid, and seemingly-impossible. After they eventually succeeded, the result was an eclectic mix of pilfered techniques and improbable metaphors that nonetheless resembled a functional style of martial arts. The group of masters later compiled their newfound knowledge into new teachings, and christening the discipline the Fool’s Errand, after its inventor’s contemptuous remark.
Fool’s Errand’s associated skill is Climb, and all weapons are associated weapons of the discipline.
Associated Skills: Climb
Associated Weapon Groups: All weapons
Martial Tradition: The Fellowship of Fools
Title Veil: The Skirmisher
Special Rules: The Fool's Errand discipline has several special rules regarding its access and use.
- 1 Accessing the Discipline
- 2 Fool's Errand and Unarmed Strikes
- 3 New Condition: Locked
- 4 1st Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 5 2nd Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 6 3rd Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 7 4th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 8 5th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 9 6th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 10 7th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 11 8th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
- 12 9th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
Accessing the Discipline
Fool’s Errand draws on many styles’ techniques, and as such is relatively easy to pick up. A student of its teachings often finds that their first step is merely to learn to blend their own arts with those of the discipline. As such, any character of any class can access the Fool’s Errand discipline by trading one of their available disciplines for it. If they do, they gain Climb as a class skill.
Fool's Errand and Unarmed Strikes
Many Fool’s Errand maneuvers direct the initiator to make one or more unarmed strikes against a target. Unarmed strikes made as part of Fool’s Errand strikes use the initiator’s highest attack bonus, may deal lethal or nonlethal damage, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity (as if the initiator possessed the Improved Unarmed Strike feat). A character may make these attacks with any part of his body, and applies his full Strength bonus on damage rolls. They can even make these attacks if their hands are full or if they attacked with each of their hands already this turn.
In all other ways, these are treated as normal unarmed strikes (including gaining benefits from class features, feats, magic items, and the like). These benefits apply to all unarmed strikes made as part of Fool’s Errand strikes, not just additional ones that a strike may grant. If the character cannot make their additional unarmed strikes from a Fool’s Errand maneuver (such as if they used the steel-shattering fist maneuver with a ranged weapon against a target outside their reach), they may still initiate the maneuver without making these attacks.
A character cannot substitute other weapons for the additional unarmed strikes granted by Fool’s Errand maneuvers, even if they have an ability that would normally allow them to use a weapon as if it were an unarmed strike. Gauntlets, however, can be used freely, as attacks with gauntlets are considered unarmed strikes by default.
New Condition: Locked
Several Fool’s Errand maneuvers and related abilities allow you to lock your target. You may only lock creatures within your melee reach (including that of reach weapons or other effects that extend your reach). Locking a creature does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and even though it is not an attack, it is treated as a melee attack for the purposes of targeting, line of effect, miss chances, and ending an invisibility spell or similar effects. Attempting to lock or drag a creature ends any Stealth you have, though you can still use Stealth after you've locked a creature (if you are otherwise able to do so while observed, such as by having the hide in plain sight ability or making a successful Bluff check). Similarly, locked creatures can use Stealth against you if they have a means to do so, through successfully hiding from you using Stealth does not end the lock.
A creature targeted by a character’s lock must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 12 + 1/2 your highest initiator level + your Strength modifier or highest initiation modifier, whichever is higher) or become locked. Locking counts as a Fool's Errand maneuver for the purposes of abilities or effects that increase a maneuver's save DC, and the bonus for using a discipline weapon as part of the attempt is already included in the DC. If you can substitute another ability modifier for melee attack rolls or CMB checks (such as through the Weapon Finesse or Agile Maneuvers feats, or the soulknife’s Focused Offense blade skill), you may use that ability instead of your Strength or initiation modifier for determining your lock save DC.
Once you’ve locked a creature, they cannot voluntarily move from their space without escaping the lock (see below). If you lock another creature that is flying or otherwise midair, they remain in the air and do not fall. As this is an ability that hinders movement, creatures under the effects of a freedom of movement spell or slip the bonds power cannot be locked. You can end the lock as a free action, and it automatically ends if the locked creature is no longer within your reach.
You can move freely as long as each creature you’ve locked remains within your reach, or can drag creatures when you move by moving at half speed. If your movement takes place during a maneuver, you can drag creatures by halving the distance you would normally move (to a minimum of 5 feet, even if halving it would result in a lower distance). You must still follow all the restrictions of your movement (such as where you can move, or where you must end your movement).
When dragging a creature, they move in the same direction as you, relative to your spaces (even if that movement takes them to a harmful location). If you would drag them into a space they cannot enter (such as a wall or that of another creature), you must either relinquish your lock on them, change direction, or stop moving. Otherwise, you can freely drag them along with you, regardless of your relative sizes or location. The movement of dragged creatures does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from creatures you’re dragging. If you would drag a creature into a space that can’t support them or a hazardous location (such as the air for a nonflying creature or a pit of lava), they may make a saving throw to escape the lock (see below). If they succeed, they are not dragged, escape the lock, and fall prone in their space.
On its turn, a creature can attempt to escape your lock whenever it tries to move. In order to do so, the creature must succeed at a Reflex save with the same DC as when they were locked. A creature can use their Strength instead of their Dexterity on this saving throw (but not the one to evade the initial lock). Success indicates that the locked creature escapes and can move freely; failure means they remain locked, though their action is still spent (and are treated as having moved, for the purposes of taking 5-foot steps). Teleportation effects allow a creature to automatically escape your lock, as do effects that cause you to no longer have the creature within your reach. A creature that does not attempt to move during their turn can make a Reflex save against the lock as a free action at the end of that turn. You cannot lock a creature in the same turn that it escaped your lock.
If you become helpless, all of your locked creatures are released.
|Similarly to mechanics like hit points, armor class, and attack rolls, there is some amount of necessary abstraction required to make lock function. In the default description of Fool’s Errand maneuvers, locking is implied to be a strong grip or hold, but the exact specifics of a character’s lock depends on the player, the GM, and the situation. It may be that a character literally wrestles the targets, that they use their reach and skill with a blade to keep their targets from moving freely, or even potentially that their targets are forced into stillness through sheer killing intent. In some cases, a particular explanation for locking a creature may warrant a Will save instead of a Reflex save, at the GM’s option. Even in such a case, however, locking is not a mind-affecting ability.
Regardless of how they’re doing it, however, a character can lock as many creatures as they are able to reach (provided they have the actions to do so).
1st Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Iron Grip||Strike [lock]||Make an attack, then lock the target.|
|Lesson I: Balance||Stance||You gain Improved Unarmed Strike, can use Climb in place of Acrobatics, and can easily stand when prone.|
|Lesson II: Control||Stance [lock]||Your unarmed strikes lock the target, and locked creatures take a scaling penalty on attack rolls against creatures other than you.|
|Lock Step||Counter||Make a Climb check to negate an attack by a locked opponent.|
|One-Two Punch||Strike||Make two unarmed strikes.|
|Whirlwind Sweep||Strike||Make a Climb check to knock the target prone; if successful you may throw them up to 10 feet.|
2nd Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Bob and Weave||Boost||Move around an opponent and make them flat-footed against your next attack.|
|Death at Ten Paces||Boost||Your next melee attack this turn can be made at a range of up to 30 feet.|
|Lead and Follow||Counter [lock]||Lock a creature you hit with an attack of opportunity.|
|Hurricane Kick||Strike||Momentarily fly before making a weapon attack.|
|Steel-Shattering Fists||Strike||Make a weapon attack and an unarmed strike, each of which ignores hardness and damage reduction.|
3rd Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Adamantine Grip||Strike [lock]||Make an attack, then lock the target. If you succeed, the target is also entangled for as long as they are locked.|
|Lesson III: Supression||Stance [lock]||Creatures are flat-footed against your first attack each turn, and you can lock one creature each round as a free action.|
|The Best Weapon is Theirs||Counter||Make a Climb check to negate an attack; if the attack was with a weapon, you also disarm the attacker.|
|Windmill Waltz Flurry||Strike||Make a weapon attack and two unarmed strikes, moving before, after, or between attacks.|
4th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Make Them Humble||Counter||You can break through freedom of movement and slip the bonds.|
|Night Falls||Strike||You pin and silence a locked creature.|
|The Sincerest Form of Flattery||Counter||Copy a maneuver you just observed.|
|Tornado Slam||Boost [lock]||Make a Climb check to knock the target prone; if successful you may throw them up to 30 feet and move with them, locking them afterwards.|
5th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Blade-Dance Ballet||Strike||Make a weapon attack and three unarmed strikes, moving before, after, or between attacks.|
|Lesson IV: The Ladder||Stance||Your training allows you to climb and leap across the air.|
|Moment of Mastery||Counter||Parry attacks from a single creature for one round.|
|Surround from Within||Strike [lock]||Make an attack and lock each adjacent opponent.|
6th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Flowing Dance of the Fool||Strike||Move up to your speed as a full-round action and lock a creature, then make an attack or initiate another strike at the end of your movement.|
|Lesson V: Expression||Stance||Your unarmed strikes can be made at range, and affect a cone-shaped area behind the target.|
|No Escape||Counter||You stop a creature from escaping your lock, or follow their retreat.|
|Tempest Tango Blitz||Strike||Make two weapon attacks and two unarmed strikes, moving before, after, or between attacks.|
|To the Skies||Boost||Throw each creature you have locked upwards; you can follow one into the air to slam them back down with a strike or other attack.|
7th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Finger of God||Boost [lock]||Make a Climb check to knock the target prone; if successful you may throw them up to 5 feet per initiator level and attack them. You move with them, lock them afterwards, and can attempt to steal a weapon during your movement.|
|Lightning Strike Twice||Boost||Your attack reverberates moments later to strike a foe twice.|
|Utter Commitment||Strike||Make a single attack for massive damage.|
8th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Endless Dance of Death||Strike||Make three weapon attacks and three unarmed strikes, moving before, after, or between attacks.|
|Lesson VI: Supremacy||Stance [lock]||You can lock one creature each round as a free action and when you hit with an attack of opportunity, you take no movement penalty when dragging locked creatures, and your mastery of the Fool’s Errand discipline allows you to introduce new concepts into your style.|
|Sky-Shattering Throw||Strike||Make a Climb check to knock the target prone; if successful you deal damage and may throw them a massive distance.|
9th Level Fool's Errand Maneuvers
|Proof of Victory||See text||You use your mastery of disparate techniques to emulate another maneuver.|