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Master Arminas's Revised Monk for the Pathfinder RPG (Finished)


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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This character revision is the (hopefully) final version of the monk class that I have working on for quite a while. The original thread (found here) covers much of the discussions about this class and its progression to this state. I would like to thank the following members of this board for their assistance, their advice, their excellent suggestions and feedback, and their contributions to making the class into what has become a masterpiece (in no particular order): Drejk, Darkwing Duck, Ayronc, Ciretose, TOZ, Kryzbyn, Lorekeeper, Kyrt-Ryder, GatFromKI, TheJeff, Kirth Gersen, Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus, D’arandriel, CaspianM, Laurefindel, Paulcynic, Jason S, ThatEvilGuy, MDT, and Tacticslion. Without your contributions, ideas, and advice, this would have a much poorer attempt at a revised class. Thank you all.

I also need to extend a most sincere thank you to Eric Mona, Sean K Reynolds, James Jacobs, and all of the other hard-working men and women who have fought for, preserved, and added extensively to our game. Gentlemen, ladies, without you and your efforts on behalf of this system that Gary and Dave gave us long ago, we would be wandering in the desolation without guidance or hope. Thank you, and everyone at Paizo, for what you have managed to accomplish.

Master Arminas

The Once-and-Future Ultimate Final (I hope) Pathfinder Monk Revision and Update

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 within themselves weapons that are just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to strict martial disciplines and ancient philosophies passed down through the generations since the mythical War between Law and Chaos) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war. Monks tread the path of discipline and self-enlightenment, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

Role: This version of the monk class is, first and foremost, a skirmisher, a scout, light fighter who relies on his innate abilities and ki to achieve literally inhuman results. He eschews clumsy armor and random weapons to instead achieve greatness through his own inner will and strength. His endurance and ability to sustain hardship is legendary, rivaled only by the toughest of barbarians and most skilled of rangers. His combat ability with attacks, damage, and maneuvers comes close to equaling more marital classes, yet he is more than merely a fighter. Wise beyond his years, the monk’s senses are keenly honed and he possesses an extensive array of techniques that permit him to accomplish acts that normally can be done only by a practitioner of magic. The varied selection of skills and talents that the monk has at his disposal make a valued member of any adventuring party.

Alignment: Any lawful.

Hit Die: d8.

BAB: Medium

Good Saves: Fort; Reflex; and Will

Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex); Climb (Str); Craft (Int); Escape Artist (Dex); Perception (Wis); Perform (Cha); Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex); Sense Motive (Wis); Stealth (Dex); and Swim (Str). See monastic skill training (below) for additional class skills.

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: A monk is proficient with all simple weapons, with the exception of the heavy crossbow, heavy mace, long spear, morning star, and spear. 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 AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
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 uses a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, and Weapon Focus.
At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Ki Stand, Mobility, and Weapon Specialization.
At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Fast Movement (Ex/Su): A monk’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit only applies when he is wearing no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load. This ability is extraordinary.
At 4th level, when a monk gains access to his ki pool (see below), the character can achieve literally superhuman bursts of speed for limited periods of time. As a free action, a monk can spend 1 point of ki to increase his speed by +20 feet. This speed increase lasts for 1 round per monk class level and is a supernatural ability. At 6th level, and again every two levels gained thereafter, the monk's speed when using this ability increases by an additional +5 feet, to a maximum increase of +60 feet at 20th level.
The bonus speed granted to a monk through the use of this ability is a supernatural ability.
Fast movement (both the constant speed increase and the increased speed from ki)stacks with any other bonuses to the monk’s land speed (such as the effects of an expeditious retreat spell, a haste spell, or any other effect that increases a monk’s speed).

Monastic Skill Training: Different monasteries emphasize different skill sets for the monks that they train. At first level, a monk may choose any three of the following skills: Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Any) (Int), or Linguistics (Int). These skills become class skills for the monk. Once chosen, these selections are forever after fixed, even if the monk places no skill ranks in the specific skills selected.

Unarmed Strike (Ex): A monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s unarmed attack may be made with his fists, elbows, knees, feet, or even his head. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. 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 deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than normal; from 1st-3rd level the damage is 1d6. This increases to 2d4 at 4th level. At 8th level, and every 4 monk levels gained thereafter, the damage increases by an additional 1d4, to a maximum of 6d4 at 20th level. The unarmed damage is for all monks, regardless of size. The techniques a monk learns do not alter the base damage of the class due to being either smaller or larger, although both Strength bonuses and penalties apply as normal.

Stunning Fist (Ex): The monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect.
At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration.
A monk can select which condition to apply each time he makes a stunning fist attack, limited only by his monk level.
A monk gains one use of this feat for every monk level he possesses, as described in the Stunning Fist feat.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a monk makes 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 no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains the ability to make a flurry of blows. When using unarmed strikes, simple melee weapons with which he is proficient, or darts a monk can make a flurry of blows attack. Flurry of blows can be added to either a standard attack or a full-attack; in either case, flurry of blows is not an action itself. When using this ability a monk may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or weapons at his highest base attack bonus. However, this attack, as well as all others made by the monk in that round, suffers a penalty of -2 to hit.
At 8th level, the penalty on his attacks decreases to -1.
At 10th level, the monk gains a second bonus attack at his highest base attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack.
At 13th level, the monk no longer suffers a penalty on attacks.
A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk may freely substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks 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.
Flurry of blows cannot be combined with two-weapon fighting (as per the feats) for additional attacks, even if the monk wields two weapons while making a flurry of blows attack. The penalties (if any) given above replace those normally associated with two-weapon fighting when the monk is making a flurry of blows attack only.

Maneuver Training (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk uses his monk level in place of his base attack bonus when calculating his Combat Maneuver Bonus and his Combat Maneuver Defense. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases to +4 at 10th level and to +6 at 17th level.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk begins to slowly access his internal ki, a supernatural energy that he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The monk gains a pool of ki points, equal to his monk level + his Wisdom modifier. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk can invoke any one of the following options: he can gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round; he can gain a +4 insight bonus to his attacks for 1 round; he can gain a +4 insight bonus to his damage for 1 round; or he can gain one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when he uses his flurry of blows ability (see above).
A monk gains additional powers that consume points from his ki pool as he gains levels. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a monk can focus his ki into his unarmed strikes, making them the equivalent of enchanted weapons. When first gained, the monk gains a +1 enhancement bonus to hit and damage. At 8th level, and every 4 levels gained thereafter as a monk, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. A monk’s unarmed strikes are considered magic weapons for the purpose of attacking incorporeal creatures and for overcoming damage reduction.
At 12th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes count as alchemical silver and cold iron weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
At 16th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes count as adamantine for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
At 20th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes bypass any alignment based damage reduction.

Catfall (Su): At 4th level or higher, a monk can fall incredible distances without suffering damage. When falling, a monk always lands on his feet. In addition, he reduces the damage inflicted from a fall by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level. Unlike magical spells (such as feather fall) with similar effects, a monk is not slowed during his descent, making this ability a favored method for higher level monks to rapidly descend great distances quickly.

Agility Training (Ex): At 5th level, a monk adds one-half his level (round down) to all Acrobatics skill checks and to the monk’s choice of either Climb or Swim skill checks. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk can gain an additional +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases (such as lycanthropy and mummy rot).

Light as a Feather (Su): At 5th level, a monk may spend 1 point of ki to either use levitate or water walk, as per the spells, for a duration of 1 round per class level. The monk may only use this ability on himself, and only when he is unarmored and carrying no more than a light load.

Servant of Order (Su): At 6th level, a monk deals an additional 1d6 points of damage with his unarmed strikes against chaotic-aligned creatures. This additional damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.

Speak with Animals (Ex): At 6th level, a monk can converse with any creature of the animal type, as per the spell speak with animals. Such conversations are limited by the animal’s intelligence (or lack thereof).

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, a monk can heal his own wounds as a standard action. He can expend 1 point from his ki pool to heal a number of hit points of damage equal to 2d8 + his monk level + his Wisdom bonus (if any).

Spiritual Endurance (Ex): At 8th level, a monk's training and inner reserves of ki allow him to comfortably exist in environments and conditions that would quickly sap the strength from others. He is considered to be under the influence of an endure elements spell at all times, ignoring the extremes of heat and cold. In addition, he may go for a number of days equal to one-half his monk level without eating or drinking before beginning to suffer adverse effects. He requires only four hours of sleep per night, provided that he also meditates for at least four hours as well. While meditating, a monk remains fully aware of his surroundings and may make Perception checks without penalty.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a monk’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Duty Never Tires (Ex): At 10th level, a monk gains Endurance as a bonus feat. Furthermore, by spending 1 ki point as a swift action, he can ignore the effects of fatigue for 10 minutes per monk level. This ability only suppresses the fatigue; it does not remove it.

Touch of Law (Su): At 10th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes are treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Diamond Body (Ex): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. Unlike the normal use of dimension door, the monk may take any remaining actions in a round after using this ability. He may take up to one willing creature with him when he uses this ability.

Unfettered Speech (Ex): At 12th level, a monk can converse with any creature of the plant type, as per the spell speak with plants. Such conversations are limited by the plant’s intelligence (or lack thereof). A monk can also converse with any creature of the magical beast type that has an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 (for the purpose of this ability, treat magical beasts as though they are animals and refer to the spell speak with animals).

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to his current monk level +11. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance.

Cloud Step (Su): At 13th level, a monk may spend 2 points from his ki pool to air walk, as per the spell, for 1 round per class level. The monk may only use this ability on himself, and only when he is unarmored and carrying no more than a light load.

Champion of Order (Su): At 14th level, a monk deals an additional 1d6 points of damage with his unarmed strikes against chaotic-aligned creatures. This stacks with the bonus damage granted by the servant of order ability, for a total of +2d6 bonus damage. This additional damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. He can use this quivering palm attack once per day, and he must announce his intent before making his attack roll. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the monk can try to slay the victim at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to his monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + ½ the monk’s level + the monk’s Wisdom modifier) it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target instead takes twice the damage of the monk's unarmed strike (as if the monk had threatened and then confirmed a critical hit) and the quivering palm attack ends; the target may still die if he suffers enough damage from this attack to reduce him to negative hit points equal to his Constitution score. A monk can have no more than one quivering palm in effect at one time. If a monk uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated. This ability is a death effect.
At 17th level, and again at 19th level, the monk gains one additional daily use of this ability.

Adamantine Touch (Su): At 16th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes are treated as adamantine weapons for bypassing hardness.

Timeless Body (Ex): At 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to his ability scores to his physical ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. The initial roll made by the DM for the character’s maximum age (according to race) is discarded, and a new maximum age calculated. The random dice are maximized. For example, a human monk who reaches 17th level will live to a ripe old age of 110 years, while an elf monk could see 750 years. Age bonuses to the monk’s mental ability scores still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when his time is up. This ability is not the same as immortality, and the monk can always die before his time due to violence.

Tongues (Ex): At 17th level, a monk can converse with any creature, as per the spell tongues. To communicate, a creature must be within 30 feet of the monk and both the monk and creature must have line-of-sight to each other. Furthermore, the monk is able to commune with stone (as per the druid spell stone tell).

Stalwart Soul (Ex): At 18th level, a monk no longer suffers any penalties for being fatigued (he still remains fatigued, however, for purposes of exhaustion). If the monk becomes exhausted, he may spend 2 ki points as a swift action to ignore the effects of exhaustion for 1 minute per monk level. This ability only suppresses the exhaustion; it does not remove it.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a monk gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 3 points from his ki pool. This ability only affects the monk and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk transcends his mortal limitations. He gains blindsight in a 30-foot radius. He gains immunity versus mind-affecting spells, spell-like abilities, and other effects (this replaces and does not stack with the still mind ability), as well as being the recipient of constant nondetection and undetectable alignment effects (as per the spells). Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic, which allows him to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Whenever a monk who has attained perfect self confirms a critical strike with an unarmed attack against a chaotic-aligned creature, he deals an additional 1d10 points of damage. Furthermore, a monk who has attained this level of experience can go for twenty days without food or drink before suffering from ill effects. This replaces the duration listed under the duty never tires ability (see above)
The few monks who reach this level of achievement often retire from adventuring to explore what they are becoming. Only those with the strongest of ties to their companions and their homelands remain, but even these will eventually simply vanish one night, never to return.

Ex-Monks: A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk but retains all monk abilities

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well done Master Arminas. A few thoughts to maybe adjust:


  • add the Heal skill as an option to Monastic Skill Training
  • I personally prefer the current Flurry of Blows ability over this revised one
  • the unarmed damage progression would work better to go 1d6, growing to 2d6 at 6th level, 3d6 at 12th level and 4d6 at 18th level; simply because d6s are more readily available and more legible
  • I think the class would benefit greatly from optional components (similar to ninja tricks, rogue talents and rage powers) - such monk training (the name I'm going with here) could also effects that expand (but don't grant) additional feat options to the monk bonus feats. For example "Maneuver Focus: grant +1 to CMD and adds Greater Grapple, Greater Trip and Greater Disarm to monk bonus feats available from 10th level"


Thank you, LoreKeeper (any relation to the Crypt Keeper? lol.)

I have now added heal to the monastic skill training.

I differ here, although I realize that in many respects my version is a step back towards the 3.0/3.5 flurry. But honestly, I don't think that having a virtual full BAB is the answer for the monk; nor is having more attacks just for the sake of having more attacks. I will keep my flurry as is, but I do appreciate the advice.

But I like my d4s; I need my d4s!

Once again, we part ways on this one. I like structured classes, with a few (but not many) options. In fact, I believe that the rogue, ninja, and barbarian have simply too many options. Players get swamped, and either make a role-playing choice to take something that is weaker (uncommon) or select the most mechanically advantegous option (which I have seen a lot of). But, that is only my opinion, and everyone has one of those.

Take care,

Master Arminas

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

hmmm... perhaps it is a matter of balancing the choices appropriately. For example - most rogue talents and the like can be taken in any order, there is no dependency chain. I think that's something to focus on: have good abilities have "weak" prerequisites.

There have been a lot of murmurs about the virtual full base attack and all manner of displeasure - but it truly represents a very potent increase in power level to the monk class (which I think is part of what makes it competitive). This is caused in large part also by the way that Power Attack and Combat Expertise, for example, interact with the full virtual base attack - rather than the weaker medium progression. The effect on combat potential cannot be overstated.


Never mind, nothing to see here. Move along.

MA


LoreKeeper wrote:
There have been a lot of murmurs about the virtual full base attack and all manner of displeasure - but it truly represents a very potent increase in power level to the monk class (which I think is part of what makes it competitive). This is caused in large part also by the way that Power Attack and Combat Expertise, for example, interact with the full virtual base attack - rather than the weaker medium progression. The effect on combat potential cannot be overstated.

Can't say that I disagree with your point. However, I am not one of those who believes that a medium BAB character is no use in combat. The monk--since its inception--has always been a medium BAB character (in 1st edition, they used the Cleric THAC0, or was it Rogue?). Since monks treat their class level as their effective BAB for combat maneuvers (offensive and defensive), they can fairly well perform those maneuvers to gain a local tactical bonus. So your BAB is 5 less at 20th level than a fighter? Trip your opponent, and gain bonuses to hit! I agree that Power Attack and Deadly Aim take a hit (but only of 2 stages--4 points of damage), but you also have less of a penalty on your attack rolls. AND your flurry will have no penalties by 13th level. Of course, I don't allow super munchkined out builds in my game (AM BARBARIAN, or CODzilla, for example), but even so, I firmly believe that the monk should not be a better fighter than the fighter.

Different? Yes. Superior in certain areas? Oh, yeah. But this isn't the unarmed martial artist that can defeat any armed opponent concept (aka, the Chuck Norris). It is more of a . . . mystic. A character that can acquit himself well in combat, can survive things no other character can (well, as easily), and has a bag of tricks that no mere fighter can hope to match. Pure DPS? Yeah, it will never be as good as a tricked out fighter or barbarian or ranger or a Pathfinder Zen Archer. But I think it is a concept, a class build that has a place in the game.

Master Arminas

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But with the loss of virtual BAB you also reduce the number of attacks from 18/18/13/13/8/8/3 to 15/15/15/10/5. On the plus side, you make Weapon Specialization available for the monk as a bonus feat - which goes a long way on bringing some parity. Also, you're basic ki abilities help balance out the disparity.

What about this take:

"A monk can do a flurry of blows as a full round attack action, if he does so, he gains one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus. Additionally when performing a flurry of blows a monk gets no additional iterative attacks for having a high base attack bonus, but at 8th level, and again at 15th level, he gains one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus."

This means that his flurry progression looks as follows:
level 1: 0/0
level 2: 1/1
level 3: 2/2
level 4: 3/3
level 5: 3/3
level 6: 4/4
level 7: 5/5
level 8: 6/6/6
level 9: 6/6/6
level 10: 7/7/7
level 11: 8/8/8
level 12: 9/9/9
level 13: 9/9/9
level 14: 10/10/10
level 15: 11/11/11/11
level 16: 12/12/12/12
level 17: 12/12/12/12
level 18: 13/13/13/13
level 19: 14/14/14/14
level 20: 15/15/15/15

Basically all iterative attacks of a monk are at full base attack, and he gets one additional attack. When flurrying.


Did you remember to subtract the -2 modifier to flurry up to level 7? Or the -1 from 8 to 13?

15/15/15/10/15, or 15/15/15 while moving. And remember, you can gain an additional attack at the highest BAB by spending a point of ki (for 15/15/15/15/10/15 or 15/15/15/15) and possibly gain up to two more (at the highest BAB again) if you hit with a stunning fist and possess medusa's wrath. That would be (under ideal conditions) 15/15/15/15/15/15/10/5 when standing still or moving 5' and taking a full-attack or 15/15/15/15 while moving (possibly as far as 200 feet on a charge, for another +2 to hit)!

At the level a monk can do this, he has a +5 enhancement bonus as well, plus his Str mod (or Dex if he uses weapon finesse), and could have another +2 from Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus. By 20th level, I would imagine a monk would have a Str or Dex mod of around +6 (could be higher, but +6 is more likely).

So, we are looking at 28/28/28/28/28/28/23/18 on a full attack or 28/28/28/28 as a standard action. Not fighter levels, by any means, but not shrinking violet either. A paladin of the same level, with comparable stats (both classes are pretty MAD), could only boast of about 32/27/22/17 on a full-attack or 32 on a standard action. (BAB +20, +6 Str, +5 weapon, +1 weapon focus.). A maxed out fighter might have 39/34/29/24 on a full-attack or 39 on a standard.

But it is an interesting idea. Let me think on it. And no, I was not thinking of the Meatloaf song, lol.

Master Arminas

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Medusa's Wrath only applies to full round attacks, so a standard action will be 15/15/15 regardless; and one extra attack with ki. It is undeniably good though. hmmmm

I think I'm mostly convinced about the flurry, the variation I offered could work as well in that context - I like it for the simplicity. Likewise, I don't think the -2 penalty (that reduces over time) is necessary at all, I'd drop it for the sake of simplicity.

There's one important consideration though: given that the monk can do a "little" flurry as a standard action, it would be great if he gained several options that are activated as a move action. For example, the Wholeness of Body ability would benefit considerably by being a move action to work in conjunction with a standard action flurry. (Though I'd reduce the potency of the healing in that case a bit.)

Likewise, it would be cool to get additional move action uses that work in conjunction with the flurry. A simple example: Improved Feint, allows feinting as a move action.


My bad on Medusa's wrath. I do like those ideas. Keep 'em coming.

Master Arminas


Why not just post the changes?

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

About time for bed for me (after 2am now) - I'm personally not very fond of the current Servant of Order and Champion of Order abilities. Given my prior post, what about:

Servant of Order: At 6th level a monk may spend 1 ki as a move action to grant himself DR 1/chaotic for one round; this DR increases by +1 every 4 levels to a maximum of DR 6/chaotic at 20th level.

Champion of Order: At 14th level a monk gains immunity to confusion and insanity effects.


Robespierre wrote:
Why not just post the changes?

I prefer to post the entire class so that you can see the changes in context with the remainder of the class itself. Plus, if it is revised, it gives a reader a good chance to go back, look at earlier versions and quickly identify differences.

In short, because that is what I do. lol

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

About time for bed for me (after 2am now) - I'm personally not very fond of the current Servant of Order and Champion of Order abilities. Given my prior post, what about:

Servant of Order: At 6th level a monk may spend 1 ki as a move action to grant himself DR 1/chaotic for one round; this DR increases by +1 every 4 levels to a maximum of DR 6/chaotic at 20th level.

Champion of Order: At 14th level a monk gains immunity to confusion and insanity effects.

Hahah! Master Arminas, I see I am not the only one with a thought along these lines!

LoreKeeper, if you read the other thread, you'll see that I spoke to him about this at some length. My (current) suggestion is to change the name (re-flavoring something about how they disrupt disorder with their touch or somesuch), while leaving the actual abilities intact, while my former suggestion was to change it to a defensive element, as you've done.

Also, I think the damage reduction (DR 10/chaotic) they get at twentieth level makes far more sense than a DR 6/chaotic. I do understand where you're coming from, however.


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Hahahahahahah. So you are vindicated, eh. I still like my version. You might want to take a look at this thread, tacticslion. It has many of the tales of the adventures of Master Arminas in his days as a player character.

You will notice, that I did incorporate many of your suggestions. And I also added two things that others have asked for: light as a feather (levitation and water walk) and cloud step (air walk), both abilities using ki.

Master Arminas

Star Voter 2014

LoreKeeper wrote:

hmmm... perhaps it is a matter of balancing the choices appropriately. For example - most rogue talents and the like can be taken in any order, there is no dependency chain. I think that's something to focus on: have good abilities have "weak" prerequisites.

One of the things I did when I devised a custom prestige class for my campaign was provide three "tracks" (combat, social, and stealth). Each track had a minor and a major ability, and as the character progressed they got to pick from the list three times. Since you had to pick a minor before getting a major, you ended up with either two minors and a major, or three minors. You could go for something similar here, where there's a very small set of ways to customize the monk to represent their specific style. You could even just give a choice of three abilities at level 8 or so, and then an improved version of that ability at level 16 - only one choice to make, but it'd give for a different feel.

I'm not sure if the class needs it, but it's a fairly straightforward way to do it without going overboard.


As you are changing abundant step to allow the remainder of actions to be used on completion (a move action to DD followed by a standard action to attack probably) why not just give them Dimensional Agility as a bonus feat? It does pretty much the same thing and allows the monk to continue down that feat chain with a leg up, otherwise he would be feat taxed for having to get a redundant Dimensional Agility feat.

Touch of law should be included in Ki strike as the abilities are so very similar, why spread them out?

As for wholeness of body, my take would be to drop the healing quite substantially but make it a swift action to activate, allowing a heal mid combat without thinking its a bad move tactically.

Otherwise nice work :) I too love d4s and have been jealous of mages' magic missiles for a long time. Plus you know, you get a more consistent average. Im sure a monk would appreciate the reduction of randomness in an essential class skill ;)


Apraham Lincoln said wrote:
As you are changing abundant step to allow the remainder of actions to be used on completion (a move action to DD followed by a standard action to attack probably) why not just give them Dimensional Agility as a bonus feat? It does pretty much the same thing and allows the monk to continue down that feat chain with a leg up, otherwise he would be feat taxed for having to get a redundant Dimensional Agility feat.

I don't own APG, UC, or UM, so I haven't been able to go over those feats in detail; as a DM I would certainly allow a monk with abundant step to take the rest of the feats as if he possessed Dimensional Agility. Not all people would, so I do understand your point. I am hesitant about adding yet another feat as a bonus, but perhaps we could add Dimensional Assault, Dervish, Manuevers, or Savant to the list of 10th level bonus feats (which would then not require the prerequsite of Dimensional Agility).

Apraham Lincoln said wrote:
Touch of law should be included in Ki strike as the abilities are so very similar, why spread them out?

Good point. I wanted the monk to bypass law sooner than ki strike bypasses alignment, and having it as a seperate listing made sense. You suggestion also makes sense, so I guess it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. LOL

Apraham Lincoln said wrote:
As for wholeness of body, my take would be to drop the healing quite substantially but make it a swift action to activate, allowing a heal mid combat without thinking its a bad move tactically.

I am not too concerned with the amount healed; at the same level a cleric can hand out cure critical wounds for up to 4d8+20. And probably do so more often, considering all of the other abilities a monk has that rely on ki. I did not want to make it a swift action heal simply because I don't think that healing should be a freebie. You have to make your choices between getting in one more round of attacks or healing yourself, but not both. I am not fond of the paladin self lay on hands for precisely that same reason.

Apraham Lincoln said wrote:
Otherwise nice work :) I too love d4s and have been jealous of mages' magic missiles for a long time. Plus you know, you get a more consistent average. Im sure a monk would appreciate the reduction of randomness in an essential class skill ;)

Thank you. I wanted to have some homage to the original monk, and that beast used d4's for his open-hand attacks. Glad that you liked it.

Master Arminas


Bobson wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

hmmm... perhaps it is a matter of balancing the choices appropriately. For example - most rogue talents and the like can be taken in any order, there is no dependency chain. I think that's something to focus on: have good abilities have "weak" prerequisites.

One of the things I did when I devised a custom prestige class for my campaign was provide three "tracks" (combat, social, and stealth). Each track had a minor and a major ability, and as the character progressed they got to pick from the list three times. Since you had to pick a minor before getting a major, you ended up with either two minors and a major, or three minors. You could go for something similar here, where there's a very small set of ways to customize the monk to represent their specific style. You could even just give a choice of three abilities at level 8 or so, and then an improved version of that ability at level 16 - only one choice to make, but it'd give for a different feel.

I'm not sure if the class needs it, but it's a fairly straightforward way to do it without going overboard.

Sort of like the ranger's combat styles. It is worth taking a look at, Bobson. Thank you.

Master Arminas


StreamoftheSky, over on this thread brought something to my attention. The immunity to mind-affecting that my monk gets at 20th level: as written, SotS believes it also blocked beneficial effects, such as bardic music and heroism spells. I always thought that immunity to anything other than pure energy types was immunity to harmful effects, not helpful? Is this not true?

In 3.5 mind blank offered immunity versus mind-affecting effects, but I don't recall once where someone suggested it also blocked the morale bonuses of bardic music.

What are your thoughts?

Master Arminas


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Okay. Last one I promise, folks. I have incorporated the suggestions that Lorekeeper made regarding flurry of blows; having seen her version played out in my own game I think it works well. While this version of the monk doesn’t receive as many attacks as others (5 normal, plus a 6th from spending a point of ki, and perhaps two more from Medusa’s Fist) it eliminates a lot of randomness, which is a very monkish thing. I have also changed several abilities to require that the monk have at least one point of ki remaining in order for them to be used. Since both Tacticslion and Lorekeeper brought it up, I have removed the axiomatic damage versus chaotic creatures that was part of the Servant of Order and Champion of Order abilities, and instead focused on additional defenses (and to make Bobson happy, I included options!). As per Lorekeepers other suggestions, I did also make a few abilities available as move actions, to complement the standard-action lesser flurry, and I toned down that ability as well. Now, the monk can get 2 attacks as a standard action, 3 if he spends a point of ki. That should be more than enough, especially with . . . well, read on. Other changes are relatively minor and mostly revolve around cloud step, but you can see it for yourself below. Thank you all once again for not only your support but for your patience and willingness to change the paradigm of how we view a monk.

The Once-and-Future Ultimate Final version 2.0 (I hope) Pathfinder Monk Revision and Update

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 within themselves weapons that are just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to strict martial disciplines and ancient philosophies passed down through the generations since the mythical War between Law and Chaos) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war. Monks tread the path of discipline and self-enlightenment, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

Role: This version of the monk class is, first and foremost, a skirmisher, a scout, a light fighter who relies on his innate abilities and ki to achieve literally inhuman results. He eschews clumsy armor and random weapons to instead achieve greatness through his own inner will and strength. His endurance and ability to sustain hardship is legendary, rivaled only by the toughest of barbarians and most skilled of rangers. His combat ability with attacks, damage, and maneuvers comes close to equaling more marital classes, yet he is more than merely a fighter. Wise beyond his years, the monk’s senses are keenly honed and he possesses an extensive array of techniques that permit him to accomplish acts that normally can be done only by a practitioner of magic. The varied selection of skills and talents that the monk has at his disposal make a valued member of any adventuring party.

Alignment: Any lawful.

Hit Die: d8.

BAB: Medium

Good Saves: Fort; Reflex; and Will

Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex); Climb (Str); Craft (Int); Escape Artist (Dex); Perception (Wis); Perform (Cha); Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex); Sense Motive (Wis); Stealth (Dex); and Swim (Str). See monastic skill training (below) for additional class skills.

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: A monk is proficient with all simple weapons, with the exception of the heavy crossbow, heavy mace, long spear, morning star, and spear. 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 AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

Intuitive Defense (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
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 uses a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, and Weapon Focus.
At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Blind-Fight, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Ki Stand, Mobility, and Weapon Specialization.
At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Combat Expertise, Greater Blind-Fight, Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Fast Movement (Ex/Su): A monk’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit only applies when he is wearing no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load. This ability is extraordinary.
At 4th level, when a monk gains access to his ki pool (see below), the character can achieve literally superhuman bursts of speed for limited periods of time. As a free action, a monk can spend 1 point of ki to increase his speed by +20 feet. This speed increase lasts for 1 round per monk class level and is a supernatural ability. At 6th level, and again every two levels gained thereafter, the monk's speed when using this ability increases by an additional +5 feet, to a maximum increase of +60 feet at 20th level.
The bonus speed granted to a monk through the use of this ability is a supernatural ability.
Fast movement (both the constant speed increase and the increased speed from ki) stacks with any other bonuses to the monk’s land speed (such as the effects of an expeditious retreat spell, a haste spell, or any other effect that increases a monk’s speed).

Monastic Skill Training: Different monasteries emphasize different skill sets for the monks that they train. At first level, a monk may choose any three of the following skills: Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Any) (Int), or Linguistics (Int). These skills become class skills for the monk. Once chosen, these selections are forever after fixed, even if the monk places no skill ranks in the specific skills selected.

Unarmed Strike (Ex): A monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s unarmed attack may be made with his fists, elbows, knees, feet, or even his head. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. 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 deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than normal; from 1st-3rd level the damage is 1d6. This increases to 2d4 at 4th level. At 8th level, and every 4 monk levels gained thereafter, the damage increases by an additional 1d4, to a maximum of 6d4 at 20th level. The unarmed damage is for all monks, regardless of size. The techniques a monk learns do not alter the base damage of the class due to being either smaller or larger, although both Strength bonuses and penalties apply as normal.

Stunning Fist (Ex): The monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect.
At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration.
A monk can select which condition to apply each time he makes a stunning fist attack, limited only by his monk level.
A monk gains one use of this feat for every monk level he possesses, as described in the Stunning Fist feat.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a monk makes 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 no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains the ability to make a flurry of blows. When using unarmed strikes, simple melee weapons with which he is proficient, or darts a monk can make a flurry of blows attack. A monk may use flurry of blows as a part of a full-attack; it is not an action in and of itself. When using flurry of blows a monk gains one additional attack at his highest base attack, but forfeits his normal iterative attacks. For example, a 7th level monk using flurry of blows has two attacks (+5/+5). The monk may use any combination of unarmed strikes or weapons with which he is proficient for this additional attack.
At 8th level, the monk gains a second bonus attack at his highest base attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack. For example, an 8th level monk using flurry of blows has three attacks (+6/+6/+6).
At 10th level, the monk may use a lesser version of flurry of blows when he attacks as a standard action. The monk gains one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when he uses this ability to move and then attack an opponent. For example, a 10th level monk using flurry of blows can make two attacks as a standard action (+7/+7).
At 13th level, the monk gains a third bonus attack at his highest base attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack. For example, a 13th level monk using flurry of blows has four attacks (+9/+9/+9/+9).
At 18th level, the monk gains a fourth bonus attack at his highest base attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack. For example, a 18th level monk using flurry of blows has four attacks (+13/+13/+13/+13/+13).
A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an unarmed strike, a weapon held in the monk's off-hand, or a double weapon. A monk may freely substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks 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.
Flurry of blows cannot be combined with two-weapon fighting (as per the feats) for additional attacks, even if the monk wields two weapons or a double weapon while making a flurry of blows attack.

Maneuver Training (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk uses his monk level in place of his base attack bonus when calculating his Combat Maneuver Bonus and his Combat Maneuver Defense. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases in value to +4 at 10th level and to +6 at 17th level.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk begins to slowly access his internal ki, a supernatural energy that he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The monk gains a pool of ki points, equal to his monk level + his Wisdom modifier. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk can invoke any one of the following options: he can gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round; he can gain a +4 insight bonus to his attacks for 1 round; he can gain a +4 insight bonus to his damage for 1 round; or he can gain one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when he uses his flurry of blows ability (see above).
A monk gains additional powers that consume points from his ki pool as he gains levels. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a monk can focus his ki into his unarmed strikes, making them the equivalent of enchanted weapons. When first gained, the monk gains a +1 enhancement bonus to hit and damage. At 8th level, and every 4 levels gained thereafter as a monk, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. A monk’s unarmed strikes are considered magic weapons for the purpose of attacking incorporeal creatures and for overcoming damage reduction. A monk gains the benefits of ki strike so long as he has at least one point of ki remaining in his ki pool.
At 12th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes count as alchemical silver and cold iron weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
At 16th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes count as adamantine for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
At 20th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes bypass any alignment based damage reduction.

Catfall (Su): At 4th level or higher, a monk can fall incredible distances without suffering damage. When falling, a monk always lands on his feet. In addition, he reduces the damage inflicted from a fall by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level. Unlike magical spells (such as feather fall) with similar effects, a monk is not slowed during his descent, making this ability a favored method for higher level monks to rapidly descend great distances quickly. A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point of ki remaining in his ki pool.

Agility Training (Ex): At 5th level, a monk adds one-half his level (round down) to all Acrobatics skill checks and to the monk’s choice of either Climb or Swim skill checks. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk can gain an additional +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases (such as lycanthropy and mummy rot).

Light as a Feather (Su): At 5th level, a monk may spend 1 point of ki to either use levitate or water walk, as per the spells, for a duration of 1 round per class level. When the monk uses light as a feather he may neither run nor may he charge; the monk may only use this ability if he is lightly encumbered.

Servant of Order (Su): At 6th level, a monk may choose one of the following three options: he may gain immunity to fear effects, he may gain immunity to the slow spell and similar effects, or he may gain low light vision, as if he were an elf.

Speak with Animals (Ex): At 6th level, a monk can converse with any creature of the animal type, as per the spell speak with animals. Such conversations are limited by the animal’s intelligence (or lack thereof).

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, a monk can heal his own wounds as a standard action. He can expend 1 point from his ki pool to heal a number of hit points of damage equal to 2d8 + his monk level + his Wisdom bonus (if any). A monk can instead spend 2 points from his ki pool to use this ability as a move action. If the monk spends 3 points from his ki pool, he may use this ability as a swift action.

Spiritual Endurance (Ex): At 8th level, a monk's training and inner reserves of ki allow him to comfortably exist in environments and conditions that would quickly sap the strength from others. He is considered to be under the influence of an endure elements spell at all times, ignoring the extremes of heat and cold. In addition, he may go for a number of days equal to one-half his monk level without eating or drinking before beginning to suffer adverse effects. He requires only four hours of sleep per night, provided that he also meditates for at least four hours as well. While meditating, a monk remains fully aware of his surroundings and may make Perception checks without penalty.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a monk’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Duty Never Tires (Ex): At 10th level, a monk gains Endurance as a bonus feat. Furthermore, by spending 1 ki point as a swift action, he can ignore the effects of fatigue for 10 minutes per monk level. This ability only suppresses the fatigue; it does not remove it.

Touch of Law (Su): At 10th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes are treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point of ki remaining in his ki pool.

Diamond Body (Ex): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. Unlike the normal use of dimension door, the monk may take any remaining actions in a round after using this ability. He may take up to one willing creature with him when he uses this ability.

Unfettered Speech (Ex): At 12th level, a monk can converse with any creature of the plant type, as per the spell speak with plants. Such conversations are limited by the plant’s intelligence (or lack thereof). A monk can also converse with any creature of the magical beast type that has an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 (for the purpose of this ability, treat magical beasts as though they are animals and refer to the spell speak with animals).

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to his current monk level +11. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance. A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point of ki remaining in his ki pool.

Cloud Step (Su At 13th level, a monk may spend 2 points from his ki pool to air walk, as per the spell, for a duration of 1 round per 2 class levels (round down). When the monk uses cloud step he may neither run nor may he charge; the monk may only use this ability if he is lightly encumbered.

Champion of Order (Su): At 14th level, a monk gains a special ability based upon his servant of order selection made earlier. If the monk selected immunity to fear at 6th level, he gains immunity to the spells confusion and insanity, as well as similar powers, spells, or effects. If the monk selected immunity to slow at 6th level, he gains immunity to petrification and polymorph and similar powers or effects. If the monk selected low light vision at 6th level, he gains dark vision out to 60 feet. If he already possesses dark vision, his range increases by 30 feet.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. He can use this quivering palm attack once per day, and he must announce his intent before making his attack roll. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the monk can try to slay the victim at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to his monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + ½ the monk’s level + the monk’s Wisdom modifier) it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target instead takes twice the damage of the monk's unarmed strike (as if the monk had threatened and then confirmed a critical hit) and the quivering palm attack ends; the target may still die if he suffers enough damage from this attack to reduce him to negative hit points equal to his Constitution score. A monk can have no more than one quivering palm in effect at one time. If a monk uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated. This ability is a death effect.
At 17th level, and again at 19th level, the monk gains one additional daily use of this ability.

Adamantine Touch (Su): At 16th level, a monk’s unarmed strikes are treated as adamantine weapons for bypassing hardness. A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point of ki remaining in his ki pool.

Timeless Body (Ex): At 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to his ability scores to his physical ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. The initial roll made by the DM for the character’s maximum age (according to race) is discarded, and a new maximum age calculated. The random dice are maximized. For example, a human monk who reaches 17th level will live to a ripe old age of 110 years, while an elf monk could see 750 years. Age bonuses to the monk’s mental ability scores still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when his time is up. This ability is not the same as immortality, and the monk can always die before his time due to violence.

Tongues (Ex): At 17th level, a monk can converse with any creature, as per the spell tongues. To communicate, a creature must be within 30 feet of the monk and both the monk and creature must have line-of-sight to each other. Furthermore, the monk is able to commune with stone (as per the druid spell stone tell), however to commune with stone the monk must be touching the stone object.

Stalwart Soul (Ex): At 18th level, a monk no longer suffers any penalties for being fatigued (he still remains fatigued, however, for purposes of exhaustion). If the monk becomes exhausted, he may spend 2 ki points as a swift action to ignore the effects of exhaustion for 1 minute per monk level. This ability only suppresses the exhaustion; it does not remove it. A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point of ki remaining in his ki pool.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a monk gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 3 points from his ki pool. This ability only affects the monk and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk transcends his mortal limitations. He gains blindsight in a 30-foot radius. He gains immunity versus all hostile mind-affecting spells, spell-like abilities, and other effects (this replaces and does not stack with the still mind ability), as well as being the recipient of constant nondetection and undetectable alignment effects (as per the spells). Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic, which allows him to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Furthermore, a monk who has attained this level of experience can go for twenty days without food or drink before suffering from ill effects. This replaces the duration listed under the duty never tires ability (see above).
The few monks who reach this level of achievement often retire from adventuring to explore what they are becoming. Only those with the strongest of ties to their companions and their homelands remain, but even these will eventually simply vanish one night, never to return.

Ex-Monks: A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk but retains all monk abilities


I like this a lot. A lot.

My primary concern, at a glance, is the unarmed strike damage. Because you've turned it into a damage modifier, rather than a straight shift, that could put it into the realm of "doesn't get multiplied on a critical hit". If that's what you intended, it should be stated explicitly in the ability description; if it's not what you intended, that should be stated as well.

I also think that the "vision" path of abilities is kind of lame, in comparison with the others. Monk A gets Immunity to Fear; Monk B gets Immunity to Slow; Monk C gets...to see a little bit better in areas of shadowy illumination?

I would grant Monk C at least a scaling bonus to Perception checks. At the level where Monks A and B are getting immunity to confusion, insanity, petrification, and polymorph, Monk C should be getting "X-Ray Vision". ;)

Otherwise, looks good; I'm glad I saw it.


Thanks, Aosaw. Yes, I was a bit concerned about Option C being weak, but wasn't really sure what else to add; which is why I have asked for advice. I am also concerned that I might have to remove the fourth bonus attack gained at 18th level.

Are you talking about the base UAS damage or the enhancement bonus from ki strike? I intended it to be the same as other damage, but using d4s as a base (at 4th level and beyond). So, a 4th level monk would do 2d4+1 (base UAS damage plus +1 from ki strike) plus his Strength modifier. On a critical hit, he would multiply this x2.

At 20th level, the monk does 6d4+5 (base (base UAS damage plus +5 from ki strike) plus his Strength modifier, plus an additional +2 from weapon specialization (if the monk takes the feat; and which ones won't?). On a critical hit, he would multiply this x2.

Thanks for your comments and advice.

Master Arminas


You've got a good basic class worked out here, but there's a few changes you could make that would let the Monk class play better with other classes, multi-class-wise (and make it a bit more future-proof).

For example:

You may want to consider modifiying Wholeness of Body to act as a self-only Lay On Hands ability (and count as lay-on-hands for qualifying for other things). It thematically does something similar to this already, and makes it more easily modifiable (since there's lots out there to modify lay-on-hands. The whole mercy sub-system could be included as well at your discretion. You may have to adjust the Ki point cost to balance things.

I'd also add the greater versions of the combat feats to the list of the feats that can be selected as bonus feats (slotted in at the appropriate level). For thematic purposes, I also would add some of teh stance feats to the list of bonus feats.

For maneuver training, add the following line to the ability
"The monk does not provoke attacks of opportunity when performing combat maneuvers."

For flurry of blows, you might want to work in some text regarding natural weapons. Something I've played around with in the past is letting the monk use a weapon (or natural weapon) as a part of a flurry of blows as long as it has/is enhanced by the Ki-Focus enhancement. I'd also add some words clarifying that you can't take natural attacks in addition to the flurry of blows.


I like that idea on no AoO when performing combat maneuvers. Glad you enjoyed it Caedwyr.

Master Arminas


As it should have been written does not jive with backwards compatibility of Pathfinder.

I like some aspects of this re-write however. Some I don't like. I worked my own version up during Beta testing. It was a rough version not a full write-up. My version was based upon a more Wuxia style monk.


I'm thinking that a comprehensive monk re-write would need to be structured in such a way as to allow a player to build everything from a traditional 3.x monk, a more wuxia monk, a pugilist, and a range of other concepts that fit under the same roof. For class design, the designer would probably want to look to how some of the Super Genius Game classes have been structured (how abilities have been given out) and to the Qinggong monk. You'd also want a default set of archetypes (kits) that would would be included with the new monk.

I think that part of the problem with the monk design, is that in many ways since it has so many set class abilities, it is less customizable. Compare it to a fighter (lots of bonus feats), a rogue (rogue talents, etc), or a spellcaster (spells galore), there are less knobs to turn to make the monk you envision and a greater need to turn the knobs in the right way in order to not create a slightly underpowered/unfocused build.


Caedwyr wrote:

I'm thinking that a comprehensive monk re-write would need to be structured in such a way as to allow a player to build everything from a traditional 3.x monk, a more wuxia monk, a pugilist, and a range of other concepts that fit under the same roof. For class design, the designer would probably want to look to how some of the Super Genius Game classes have been structured (how abilities have been given out) and to the Qinggong monk. You'd also want a default set of archetypes (kits) that would would be included with the new monk.

I think that part of the problem with the monk design, is that in many ways since it has so many set class abilities, it is less customizable. Compare it to a fighter (lots of bonus feats), a rogue (rogue talents, etc), or a spellcaster (spells galore), there are less knobs to turn to make the monk you envision and a greater need to turn the knobs in the right way in order to not create a slightly underpowered/unfocused build.

Yeah, that was the concept behind my build, that the options are chosen as you proceed. I think some of my ideas made it into the Qinggong monk effectively, just written much more professionally.


I like it, great ideas! :)


master arminas wrote:
Thanks, Aosaw. Yes, I was a bit concerned about Option C being weak, but wasn't really sure what else to add; which is why I have asked for advice.

I would say any of a number of possibilities might work here:

1) Give them a scaling bonus to Perception. +2, +4, and +6 would be fine.
2) Give them low-light vision and darkvision at the same level, and then give them tremorsense at the mid-level, and blindsense at the top-level. They already get Blindsight at level 20, so this is a natural progression.

I think you might also consider making the capstone ability based on the "of Order" abilities - it might require even more of a boost, but it would also give each monk a distinct flavor.

Quote:
I am also concerned that I might have to remove the fourth bonus attack gained at 18th level.

Honestly, I think "five attacks at -5 each" is fine. This is a martial class that doesn't have a full BAB, which is already a disadvantage; the monk trades attack bonus for number of attacks, and saying that a top-level monk gets more attacks per round than a standard warrior class isn't a bad thing at all.

Quote:

Are you talking about the base UAS damage or the enhancement bonus from ki strike? I intended it to be the same as other damage, but using d4s as a base (at 4th level and beyond). So, a 4th level monk would do 2d4+1 (base UAS damage plus +1 from ki strike) plus his Strength modifier. On a critical hit, he would multiply this x2.

At 20th level, the monk does 6d4+5 (base (base UAS damage plus +5 from ki strike) plus his Strength modifier, plus an additional +2 from weapon specialization (if the monk takes the feat; and which ones won't?). On a critical hit, he would multiply this x2.

So the full 6d4 gets multiplied? That's kind of what I thought you meant - and I imagine that in an actual chart that would be clearer, because it wouldn't be showing "+4d4", it would be showing "6d4". But you might want to state this explicitly in the ability description, just to avoid confusion.

I really do like it, though; and my DM is already allowing one of our players to try it out, so you know you're doing something right. ;)


Hi all. New to this messageboard thing here on Paizo.

I currently play a Monk under Pathfinder. Im relatively new to this D&D stuff, but nonetheless, I'd like to put in my two cents on the matter. Please forgive if I say something completely 'duh', and if I get at all redundant, as I don't mean to.

Firstly, the Monk is by far my favorite class to play. That being said, and even though I am extremely biased and inexperienced in the matter, I find the class to be just a little sub par in the melee department. Im not sure if its the amount of damage that they can dish out per round, or if its that they dont hit as often. In my experience, my monks damage output was limited only by his ability to hit reliably.

I would recommend leaving the UAS scaling the way it is, or maybe increasing it only slightly. Reason being that yes, even though the monk excels at fighting unarmed, he is still only hitting with his hands and feet. I could understand the change in damage types so as not to cripple the class from doing damage even further, but all in all it isnt that bad to begin with.

I would suggest making him a full BAB class. I mean, he basically is already in regards to Flurry of Blows and Combat Maneuvers, so why should his BAB lag behind when instead of throwing a multiple number of attacks in one round, he focuses on landing only one or two ACCURATE attacks?

I imagine the monk as a mobile chainsaw in regards to his type of attack. The damage doesnt come necessarily from any one attack (Stunning Fist and Quivering Palm exempt from this idea of course, though they have flaws of their own), instead focusing on moving in and chipping away at HP quickly but in small amounts at a time. I dont agree with the logic that a monk should have as many options as a fighter of the same level. Thats not what they are for.

Tactically? They have plenty of options already: run in and grapple/trip/disarm, charge in and quickly set up flanking for other melee classes, chase down those pesky casters or ranged combatants, the options are all there. And with the right selection of feats, some specialization in any of these is possible.

What do you guys think? Am I on to something here?

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