Monk


For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers. Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

This version of the monk replaces the ki pool and a number of the other class features and replaces them with half-caster progession for spell-like ki powers. Instead of receiving specific resistances/immunities at specified levels, the monk instead gains illumination of selected methods of self-perfection (analagous to other classes’ talents).

Table 1: The Monk (Hit Die: d10)

Level Base Attack Bonus Saving Throws: Unarmed Damage Agile Dodge Class Features
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +2 1d6 +1 Agile dodge, bonus feat, canny defense, illumination, unarmed strike
2nd +2 +3 +3 +3 1d6 +1 Bonus feat
3rd +3 +3 +3 +3 1d6 +1 Illumination
4th +4 +4 +4 +4 1d8 +2 Ki powers, ki strike (+1)
5th +5 +4 +4 +4 1d8 +2 Illumination
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +5 1d8 +2 Bonus feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +5 1d8 +2 Illumination
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +6 1d10 +3 Ki strike (+2)
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +6 1d10 +3 Illumination
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +7 1d10 +3 Bonus feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +7 1d10 +3 Advanced illumination
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +8 2d6 +4 Ki strike (+3)
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +8 2d6 +4 Advanced illumination
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +9 2d6 +4 Bonus feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +9 2d6 +4 Advanced illumination
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +10 2d8 +5 Ki strike (+4)
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 2d8 +5 Advanced illumination
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 2d8 +5 Bonus feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 2d8 +5 Advanced illumination
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 2d10 +6 Perfect self, ki strike (+5)

Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Endurance (Con), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Stealth (Dex).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with unarmed strikes, and with all simple weapons and the light flail. Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields. When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses his agile dodge bonus (q.v.), as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

Note: The “special monk weapons” listed in the Pathfinder rules are hereby abolished. The kama is simply a sickle; it is a simple weapon. Treat sai as daggers that deal bludgeoning damage. Treat the siangham as a halfspear, and treat shuriken as darts. The nunchaku is a light flail.

Canny Defense (Ex): When unarmored and carrying no more than a light load, the monk adds his Wisdom modifier as an insight bonus to his AC and CMD, to a maximum bonus equal to his class level.

Agile Dodge (Ex): A monk gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and CMD. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +6 at 20th level, as shown in Table 1. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Agile Manuevers, [[Caught Off-Guard]], Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Fleet, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Wrestling Maneuvers, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Martial Weapon Proficiency, School Defense, Scorpion Style, Skill Focus, Skill Synergy, Skirmish, Stunning Fist, Toughness, Throw Anything, and Weapon Finesse.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: [[Blind-Fight]], Gorgon’s Fist, Greater Wrestling Maneuvers, Improved Forcing Maneuvers, Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Iron Will, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Skirmish, Improved Weapon Manuevers, Improved Feint, Mobility, Focused Fist, Focus Meditation, Spring Attack, and Weapon Focus.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Greater Focused Fist, Greater Forcing Maneuvers, Greater Skirmish, Greater Weapon Manuevers, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Vital Strike.

A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Illumination (Ex): At every odd-numbered level, the monk receives illumination of a different form of ascetic mastery, representing steps along his path to self-perfection. Illuminations are described below.

Monk illuminations require diligent practice and are difficult to master. Each illumination is considered temporary until the next one is gained, at which point the previous illumination has been mastered and is permanent. Multiclassing out of the monk class causes you to lose the most recent (i.e., temporary) illumination gained.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be with either fist or with elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. A monk’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

A monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on the table. The unarmed damage shown is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed attacks, while a Large monk deals more damage, according to the normal size adjustments for weapon damage.

When using a manufactured weapon with which he is proficient instead of an unarmed strike, the monk gains a damage bonus equal to half his class level.

Ki Powers (Sp): At 4th level, a monk’s gains a pool of ki, energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. When the ki pool is gained, the monk gains the ability to achieve combat focus, and to gain combat focus feats. He also gains the use of ki powers, similar to spells. The monk learns a limited number of ki powers and initiates them spontaneously, the way a sorcerer spontaneously casts spells. To use a ki power, the monk must have a minimum of wisdom of 10 + the level of the power. The monk’s caster level is equal to his class level. Monks are limited in daily uses of their ki powers, as shown in the table. The monk’s wisdom modifier applies to the number of uses per day, exactly as if the powers were spells. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation.

There are two types of ki powers: personal powers and attack powers. Personal powers have a target of “personal” – in other words, the monk can “buff” himself, but not his companions. An attack power can be used as part of an unarmed strike (a melee attack that deals unarmed strike damage and spell effects on a hit) or as a melee touch attack that simply delivers the spell. In either case, the attack and spell discharge (if the attack hits) take 1 standard action, allowing the monk to make a move action in the same round. These ki powers otherise exactly resemble the spells or psionic powers for which they are named, except as follows.

Components: Ki powers require no material or focus components.

Casting Time and Duration: “Sudden” powers have a casting time of 1 swift action and a duration of 1 round (i.e., until the monk’s next turn). “Immediate” powers have a casting time of 1 immediate action (they can be used even when it’s not the monk’s turn) and a duration of 1 round.

Table 2: Monk Ki Powers

Level Ki Powers Known
Powers per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st
2nd
3rd
4th 11
0
5th 1
1
6th 2
1
7th 2 11
1 0
8th 2 1
1 1
9th 3 2
2 1
10th 3 2 11
2 1 0
11th 3 2 1
2 1 1
12th 4 3 2
2 2 1
13th 4 3 2 11
3 2 1 0
14th 4 3 2 1
3 2 1 1
15th 5 4 3 2
3 2 2 1
16th 5 4 3 2
3 3 2 1
17th 5 4 3 2
4 3 2 1
18th 6 5 4 3
4 3 2 2
19th 6 5 4 3
4 3 3 2
20th 6 5 4 3
4 4 3 3

1 Only if the monk has a Wisdom score high enough to gain a bonus spell of this level.

The monk’s ki power (spells) list is as follows; additional powers can be added with GM approval (psychic warrior powers from the 3.5 System Reference Document make good suggestions).

1st Level: Accelerated movement, doom (attack), endure elements, entropic shield, expeditious retreat, sudden expeditious retreat, feather fall, foundations of stone, lesser vigor, _nerveskitter, sudden jump, lesser confusion (attack), sudden mage armor, magic weapon, personal shield of faith, sudden spider climb, sustain, touch of fatigue (attack).

2nd Level: Bear’s endurance, blindsight, immediate blur, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, cure light wounds, sudden divine favor, sudden ghost touch weapon, sudden haste, sudden invisibility, sudden lion’s charge, misdirection, owl’s wisdom, ray of enfeeblement (attack; touch or strike), resist energy, lesser restoration, mountain stance, sickening touch (attack), speak with animals, spider climb, sudden water walk.

3rd Level: Attune form, cure moderate wounds, sudden dimension door, immediate displacement, greater magic weapon, sudden hold person (attack), know opponent, neuralize poison, nondetection, ray of dizziness (attack; touch or strike), shatter (attack), slow (attack), speak with plants, tongues, touch of idiocy (attack), vampiric touch (attack), vigor, water walk, wraithstrike.

4th Level: Air walk, blindness/deafness (attack), cure serious wounds, ethereal jaunt, freedom of movement, greater resistance, sudden protection from energy, slay living (attack; effect can be delayed up to 1 day per monk level, a.k.a. “quivering palm”), speak with anything, sudden stoneskin, true seeing.

Ki Strike (Su): As long as he has at least one 1st level ki power remaining unused, the monk’s unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage, and are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Starting at 8th level, if he has a 2nd level power slot available, the enhancement bonus increases to +2, and his unarmed attacks are treated as silver weapons for purposes of defeating damage reduction. Starting at 12th level, if he has a 3rd level slot left, his enhancement bonus increases to +3, and his unarmed attacks are also treated as cold iron weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Starting at 16th level, if he has a 4th level slot available, his enhancement bonus increases to +4 and his unarmed attacks are treated as lawfully-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. At 20th level, the monk’s unarmed strikes permanently gain a +5 enhancement bonus, and are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

Advanced Illumination (Ex): Starting at 11th level, the monk gains access to deeper insights, which represent a greater level of self-perfection. Instead of a standard illumination at each odd level, he may instead choose an advanced illumination for which he qualifies.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk becomes a magical creature. He is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type.


Monk Illuminations

The following represent the most common illuminations unlocked by monks. Others may be included at the DM’s discretion.

ILLUMINATIONS

Bane of the Clockwork: Constructs are no longer immune to your Stunning Fist or quivering palm attacks. This illumination supercedes the variant class feature of the same name, from Dragon magazine #351.

Clever Positioning: As a standard action, make a single melee attack. If you hit, you pull your opponent towards you while spinning past him; if you succeed at a combat maneuver check against your opponent’s CMD, you switch places with him. Source: Tome of Battle.

Decisive Strike: As a full round action, you may make a single attack using an unarmed strike or a weapon with which you are proficient. If it hits, you do double damage and your Stunning Fist ability (if you use it) has a +2 bonus to the save DC. Starting at 11th level, you may attack twice per round when using this ability. Source: Players Handbook II.

Displacing Stance: When in this stance, attacks on you have a 20% miss chance (increasing to 50% at 12th level). Activating this ability is a standard action; it can be used a number of rounds per day (not necessarily consecutive) equal to half your class level. Source: Dragon magazine, issue 335.

Erratic Stance: When you use this ability and make a charge attack, your target is dazed for 1 round (Will save negates; DC 10 + your class level). You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1/day). Source: Dragon magazine, issue 335.

Evasion: If you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement: You gain a bonus of +10 ft. per round to your base land speed. A monk in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed. You may select this illumination multiple time; each time, increase your base land speed by an additional +10 ft. per round.

Using the optional rules for trading iterative attacks for movement, a monk with a speed of 60 ft. and the flurry of blows talent could attack at +9/+9 (using a flurry of blows), move 25 ft. (by trading in his second set of attacks), and then attack again at –1/–1.

Feign Death: You can become totally still, and even stop breathing, for up to 1 hour per monk level. During this time, you appear dead; a Heal check at DC 20 + your monk level is required to determine that you are alive. Even a detect life spell requires a caster level check against a DC of 20 + your monk level, or it fails to register you.

Flurry of Blows: When unarmored, you gain the equivalent of Two-Weapon Fighting with unarmed strikes, light weapons, and double weapons with which you are proficient. One-handed and two-handed weapons with which you are proficient gain extra attacks as if you were using a pair of such weapons, even though one weapon is used. For example, a 1st level monk can attack at –1/–1 with unarmed attacks, a pair of sickles, or a single spear. At 6th level, this ability improves, to simulate Improved Two-Weapon Fighting.

Note that you can gain proficiency (and therefore flurrying ability) with a martial or exotic weapon by taking the appropriate feat.

You apply your full Strength bonus to damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. You may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks (or attacks with weapons that permit those maneuvers) as part of a flurry of blows.

A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

Guarded Attribute: You are immune to ability damage and ability drain to one specific score (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, or Cha), chosen by you at the time you select this illumination. You may select this illumination multiple times; each time, select a different attribute.

Iron Skin: Through training, you have rendered your skin as tough as iron. You gain a +2 natural armor bonus to AC. This illumination can be selected multiple times; each time after the first, the bonus improves by +1.

Maneuver Training: Whenever you successfully perform a combat maneuver as a standard action, you may choose to deal damage as though you had hit his target with an unarmed strike attack.

Mettle: You are immune to fear. In addition, if you make a successful Fortitude or Will save against an attack that would normally have a lesser effect on a save (such as any spell with a saving throw of Fortitude Partial), you instead completely negate the effect.

Purity of Blood: You are immune to all poisons, including drugs and alcohol.

Purity of Body: You gain immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases and disease-like curses such as mummy rot and lycanthropy. You cannot be sickened or nauseated.

Resistant Body: You gain resistance 5 to one type of energy (acid, cold, electrical, fire, or sonic). You may select this illumination multiple times; each time, either select a new energy type, or increase an existing resistance by 5.

Spell Reflection: You gain the ability to reflect magical attacks back on their caster. If an enemy misses with a spell or spell-like ability aimed at you, you can use an immediate action to redirect the effect back at its originator. The spell or ability attacks the original caster (who makes a new attack roll using the same modifier as the original attack).If it hits, the caster is subject to the normal effect of the spell or ability.

For example, if a 3rd level wizard missed you with a scorching ray, you could use an immediate action to redirect the ray back to the wizard. The wizard would immediately make a new ranged attack roll (using the same modifier) against his own touch AC; if the attack succeeds, the scorching ray deals its normal damage to the wizard.

This effect applies only to spells and spell-like abilities that require an attack roll. Other spells and spell-like abilities that affect a target aren’t subject to this reflection. If a single spell or ability misses you more than once at the same time (such as scorching ray cast by a high-level caster), you can redirect each portion of the spell that missed. Using the example above, if you were missed by two of the three rays from an 11th-level wizard’s scorching ray spell, you could redirect only those two rays (but not the one that hit).

You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Dex modifier (minimum 1/day).

Source: Complete Mage.

Steadfast Monk: You gain DR 1/—. You must be at least 7th level to select this illumination. You may select this illumination multiple times; each time, the DR increases by 1. Source: Unearthed Arcana; Dragon magazine, issue 310.

Still Mind: You gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against enchantments, patterns, figments, and other mind-affecting powers and effects.

Uncanny Dodge: You can react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to do so. You cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. You still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. You can still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against you.

Vigor: Once per day as an immediate action, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your monk level. If not lost to damage before then, they last up to 1 hour per class level.

ADVANCED ILLUMINATIONS

Most advanced illuminations have a standard illumination as a prerequisite. In place of an advanced illumination, you can always choose to take a basic illumination instead.

Advanced Conditioning: Choose one attribute (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, or Cha). You gain a +1 inherent bonus to that attribute, as if from a manual of gainful exercise or similar tome. You can select this feat multiple times; each time, you may select a new attribute or increase an existing inherent bonus by +1. No inherent bonus from any source or combination of sources may exceed +5.

Diamond Soul: You gain spell resistance equal to 12 + your monk level. In order to affect you with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the your spell resistance. You must already have the Spell Reflection illumination to select this advanced illumination.

Impervious Body: Choose one energy type for which you already have resistance of at least 10. You become immune to that energy type.

Impervious Mind: You are immune to all mind-affecting powers and effects. You must already have the Still Mind illumination to select this advanced illumination.

Improved Evasion: Your evasion ability improves. You still take no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth you take only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion. You must already have the Evasion illumination to select Improved Evasion.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: You can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack you by flanking you, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than you have levels in the class that granted this ability.

You must already have the Uncanny Dodge illumination to select Improved Uncanny Dodge. If you already have uncanny dodge from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank you.

Sheltered Life: You are immune to negative energy damage, death spells and effects, and energy drain. You must already have the Mettle illumination to select this advanced illumination.

Sheltered Vitality: You are immune to fatigue, exhaustion, ability damage, and ability drain. You must already have the Guarded Attribute illumination to select this advanced illumination.

Timeless Body: You no longer take penalties to your attribute scores for aging, and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that you have already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and you still die of old age when your time is up. You must already have the Purity of Body illumination to select this advanced illumination.

Monk

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