The Sensei is a mentor, teacher and memetic badass. Whereas the Monk is a martial fighter with a mystic power, the Sensei has transcended his mental limits, which will in turn feed his physical ones. He has mastered body and mind through intense meditation and a life of hardship. They are truly wise.
Play Style: The Sensei is not a class for new players. It's mechanics depart from the norm in several talents, as well as having monk like form elements to keep track of in your Meditations and Trances. Adding a pool of limited powers to this creates a class that relies on very careful application of power. The several mutually exclusive talents are also a limting factor, to represent their strict training.
Ability Scores: A Sensei needs Wisdom for spellcasting, Constitution for their Chi and Dexterity if you want to be more martial. Gain +2 CON or +2 WIS
Races: The long lived races are naturally best suited to life as a Sensei. Shorter lived races can do it towards their twilight years. To be a Sensei at a young age as one of the shorter-lived species is grounds for a OUT if you really want to persue that angle. Because nobody gets there without a lifetime of strict control. Except maybe you.
Icons: A Sensei will follow any icon should they wish it, but most shed their connections in favour of true elnlightenment and independence. See the Monastery Graduate and Lone Hermit and Wisdom in Madness talents for ideas.
Weapons: A Sensei sheds weapons in favour of mystical trances and meditations. That said, a simple staff serves the Sensie well. So weel, it only takes 1 hand (though you can't dual wield) and you deal d8 dice with it. All other weapons take a -4 penalty, you were never trained to use them. Other talents can offset this.
None: 14 Light: 12 (-2) Heavy: 12 (-4) Shield: Nope. You can use a wide brimmed hat if you choose, but you're getting no mechnical benefit from that.
HP: 5+Wis-mod x Level Modifier (See Health Through Hardship)
Recoveries: See Health through Hardship
Yeah, you know basic level progression. Here's what you need to know:
You gain Chi equal to your Con Mod + Your Level
You gain one Meditation at every Odd numbered level. All your meditations are at the highest possible level.
This class gains 3 talents at base, and 1 at 5th Level, and 1 at 8th Level.
Health Through Hardship: The Sensei has spent their entire lives putting themselves through rigorous testing to improve the body through the mind. As such, their hit points are based off wisdom rather than constitution. But the body should not be ignored entirely. Thus their recoveries are equal to the combined total of CON and WIS modifiers, rather than the usual 8. However, too much vitality may reason that you have not had enough hardship. Starve yourself more. If you have 4 or fewer recoveires, your dice are d12s. 5-6, your dice are d10s. 7-8, you use d8s. 9+ you use d6s. You must walk that careful line bewteen working yourself to an early grave and becoming complacent in your achivements.
Adventurer Feat: Your base HP increases by 1 (Usually 6)
Champion Feat: Your base HP increases by 1 again. (Usually 7)
Epic Feat: Your base HP increases by 1 again. (Usually 8)
Meditations and Trances: Meditations are long channeled effects, close to a monk's forms. When you begin a Meditation, you first require Focus. Gaining Focus has no tangible offesnive benfit, but whilst you possess focus, you add the escalation die to all defences and are immune to critical hits. Then a turn after you may channel your focus. This is akin to an encounter spell in power due to the charge up and you lose the defensive bonuses. Then, you release your focus. This is a very powerful spell, akin to daily or high recharge spells, and this expenditure of power causes you to take a penalty equal to the escalation die to all defences until the start of your next turn, and you're vulnerable. The feats below offset this, but as your trances compete with these for feats you may struggle to keep this balanced. Your trances are comparitively simpler. You roll a d6 per tier at the start of each battle. This means 2d6 champion tier, 3d6 epic tier. When the escalation equals the number rolled on each die, reap the beenfit of one of your trances. If you roll the same number more than once, reap more than one benefit that turn.
Adventurer Feat: You do not take AC, PD and MD penalties from your Releases when the escalation is 3+
Champion Feat: You are no longer vulnerable from Releases
Epic Feat: You no longer take any defensive penalties for Releases.