I adore the Ichi (more accurately, the Zatoichi) movies. Shintaro Katsu was amazing in the role as the blind swordsman. Takeshi Kitano’s take on this hero was also pretty spiffy. Since time really got the better of me today, I pillaged ancient content to come up with this build I did for second edition Mutants & Masterminds.
THE BLIND SWORDSMAN
Quote: “Those dice sound different. Are you sure you didn’t switch them?”
Power Level: 10
Concept: Blind swordsman
Occupation: Masseur, gambler, adventurer
Real Name: Ichi
Legal Status: Ichi has a good claim to Japanese citizenship, but being a character fictionally born in the 19th century makes this determination problematic.
Place of Birth: Somewhere in Japan. His place of birth is identified in the ninth Zatoichi film, but I forget the name.
Marital Status: Single
Living Relatives: None that he knows of
Height: 5 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 180 lb.
Eyes: Dark brown
Hair: Dark brown, but graying
Notes: Here’s my riff on Shintaro Katsu’s Zatoichi. With sword in hand, he is deadly. I simulated his mastery of iaido via a Container power. When armed with any sword or sword-like weapon, the Blind Swordsman exhibits superhuman skill. He uses Deflect against slow projectiles as well as for melee blocks. A successful Deflect triggers his Defensive Attack. (Thus, he Quick Draws his sword, blocks the attack, and slices into one or more nearby targets.) Even when not consciously using his swordsmanship skills to block attacks, he is a slippery target (which explains the Shield power). His basic attack is the Rapid Attack, an Autofire Mighty Strike with a reach of 10 feet. The Blind Swordsman has two alternate powers to Rapid Strike: a Blindingly Fast Attack (Mighty, Subtle Strike) and a Powerful Attack (Mighty, Split Attack Penetrating Strike).
Despite his blindness, the Blind Swordsman is very hard to take by surprise. His other senses, especially his sense of hearing, are exceptionally sharp, and he has an almost preternatural intuition about impending danger.
The Blind Swordsman’s signature weapon is a shikomi-tzue (or cane sword). This piece of equipment has normal statistics for a sword.
STR 14 (+2); DEX 14 (+2); CON 14 (+2); INT 12 (+1); WIS 18 (+4); CHA 13 (+1)
TOU +5 (+2 without Defensive Roll); FORT +7; REF +7; WILL +9; INIT +10; KNOCKBACK -2 (-1 without Defensive Roll)
MELEE +4 (+10 with sword); RANGE +4; GRAPPLE +6; DAMAGE +2 unarmed; DEFENSE +8 (+10 with sword)
Skills (Ranks): Concentration +10 (6), Diplomacy +5 (4), Gather Information +5 (4), Intimidate +12 (11), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) +5 (4), Medicine +5 (1), Notice +15 (11), Profession (masseur) +5 (1), Sense Motive +8 (3), Stealth +5 (3)
Feats: Accurate Attack, Assessment, Attack Specialization (sword) 3, Blind-Fight, Defensive Roll 3, Distract (Intimidate), Elusive Target, Equipment 2, Fascinate (Intimidate), Improved Critical (sword), Improved Initiative 2, Improved Throw, Improved Trip, Move-By Action, Power Attack, Quick Draw 2, Startle, Takedown Attack, Weapon Break
Iaido Mastery (Container 11) (Flaw: Must have sword or sword-like weapon [-1])
* Cutting the Arrow – Deflect 15 (Effect: Slow Projectiles; Power Feat: Interpose; Extra: Move Action [+1])
* Defensive Posture – Shield 2
* Defensive Attack – Strike 6 (Effect: Damage +8 (crit 18-20); Power Feats: Mighty, Split Attack 2, Triggered [by successful Deflect])
* Rapid Attack – Strike 4 (Effect: Damage +6 (crit 18-20); Power Feats: Extended Reach, Mighty; Extra: Autofire [+1])
* Blindingly Fast Attack – Strike 8 (Effect: Damage +10 (crit 18-20); Power Feats: Mighty, Subtle; Note: This is an AP of Rapid Attack.)
* Powerful Attack – Strike 4 (Effect: Damage +6 (crit 18-20); Power Feats: Mighty, Split Attack; Extra: Penetrating [+1]; Note: This is an AP of Rapid Attack.)
Super-Senses 5 (Effect: Accurate Hearing, Danger Sense, Extended Hearing 2)
Drawback: Blind (uncommon, moderate, 1 point)
Attack/Damage Tradeoff: -0/+0
Defense/Toughness Tradeoff: +5/-5
Abilities 25 + Skills 12 (48 ranks) + Feats 26 + Powers 49 + Combat 24 + Saves 15 – Drawback 1 = 150