Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

A Monk class That Doesn't Rely on Magic Items


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay, having kept up with things since I was languishing in exile, I noted the point that Deathquaker made: and it is a good one. Monks should not be so reliant on magic items, but the game itself requires them to be.

Looking at back at 1st edition AD&D, I noted that the original monk was rather limited in what he could own. So, I asked why not modify the class to go back to that ideal? The biggest problem with that is that the game itself assumes that the characters will have ability score boosters, magical armor, rings of protection, etc., etc., etc.

So, I have added several class abilities that gives the monk these magical properties as part and parcel of the class. The Monastic Training Regime allows a monk to increase his Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom, but in a balanced fashion that gradually increases to a +6 enhancement bonus in all four ability scores by 20th level. Ki strike gives the monk an actual enhancement bonus on his unarmed strikes (which also lets him bypass DR eventually). Body of iron replaces a monk’s need for bracers of armor by providing a natural armor bonus to the monk, eventually hitting +7. Mystic deflection removes the need for a ring of protection and can reach a +6 deflection bonus (giving the monk the same level of defense as he had at 20th level with Bracers of Armor +8 and a Ring of Protection +5). Superior resistance eliminates the need for a Cloak of Resistance.

I know some folks are going to take a look and go into spasms over the thought of dipping, but all of these magical bonuses are enhancement bonuses; bonuses that don’t stack with regular magic items. So if you dip 2 levels of monk to get a +2 bonus to Strength, and you have a Belt of Giant Strength +2, your total enhancement bonus is +2. And it is just as vulnerable as regular character’s magic items in an anti-magic field.

I haven’t gone the full route of the old 3.5 vow of poverty, but I have limited what items the monk can own, wear, and wield. As an ironic side-effect, this monk becomes a class that can actually use items that are normally overshadowed by the Big Six.

It needs polish, but together we can make this idea work.

A Monk with No Magic

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: Monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, 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 from intuitive defense, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities (see below).

Monastic Vows: A monk must tithe nearly all of his funds to his monastic order. Monks may possess (for their own use) only the following magic items: up to three weapons (up to 50 magical shuriken count as a single weapon for this purpose); two rings (other than a ring of protection); one set of gloves; one set of footwear; an amulet, necklace, or periapt (other than an amulet of natural armor); a belt, bracers, headband, hat, mask, goggle, or other item worn on the head, eyes, waist, or arms (other than bracers of armor, or ability score boosters); and one robe, cloak, cape, shirt, vest, or mantle (other than a cloak of resistance).
A monk may read and gain the benefit of a manual or tome, but he may not other sell or otherwise gain profit from the magical text. Furthermore, a monk may retain a single item of a magical nature that does not otherwise consume a slot on his body and he may carry for his own use a total number of potions equal to one-half his monk level (minimum of 1). A monk may retain his share of treasure in order to obtain these items, but all excess funds must be tithed back to his monastery. Each monk may in addition retain sufficient funds to live on and purchase non-magical items; this is not to exceed 100 gold pieces per monk level at any given time.
If a monk violates his vows, he retains all of his previous abilities, but can no longer progress in the monk class until he repents, reduces his wealth to the indicated levels through tithing, and receives an atonement spell.

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 The Waves and Wind (see new feats, below for details).
At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Combat Expertise, Greater Blind-Fight, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack.
At 14th level, the following feats are added to the lists: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, and Greater Trip.
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 8th level, and again every four levels gained thereafter, the monk's speed when using this ability increases by an additional +10 feet, to a maximum increase of +60 feet at 20th level.
The bonus speed granted to a monk through spending a ki point is a supernatural ability and does not stack with other effects, spells, and abilities that provide an enhancement bonus to the 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 9th level, and every 5 monk levels gained thereafter, the damage increases by an additional 1d4, to a maximum of 5d4 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.

Monastic Training Regime (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a monk begins to gain a series of enhancement bonuses to his ability scores. At 2nd level, he gains a single +2 enhancement bonus that can be applied to his Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom score. Once selected, this bonus cannot be changed to a different ability score. At every even level gained thereafter, a monk gains an additional +2 bonus which he must apply a separate ability score.
At 10th level, the monk may choose one of the four ability scores and increase the enhancement bonus to a +4. At every even level thereafter, the monk may increase a separate enhancement to another ability score to +4.
At 18th level and again at 20th level, the monk may choose two of these ability scores and increase the enhancement bonus to a maximum of +6.
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point remaining in his ki pool.

Body of Iron (Su): At 3rd level a monk gains a +2 enhancement bonus to his natural armor class. At 6th level, and every three levels gained thereafter the monk gains an additional +1 bonus (to a maximum of +7 at 18th level). This ability stacks with natural armor gained through the monk’s race or feats selected, but not with an enhancement to natural armor, such as that provided by an amulet of natural armor or certain druid/ranger spells.
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point remaining in his ki pool.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of the following weapons: club, dagger, handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, spear, or unarmed strike. New weapons designated with the monk special property may be added to this list at a later date. This additional attack is made at the monk's highest attack bonus.
At 8th level, a monk gains a second bonus attack at his highest attack bonus when he uses flurry of blows.
At 15th level, a monk gains a third bonus attack at his highest attack bonus when he uses flurry of blows.
A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the monk is fighting with two weapons, a weapon and an unarmed strike, a double weapon, a thrown weapon, or a two-handed weapon.
A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows.
A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.
A monk cannot use two-weapon fighting (see combat) to gain additional attacks when using 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.
A monk does not suffer any penalties when using flurry of blows (such as those normally associated with two-weapon fighting), regardless of whether he wields a light weapon, a one-hand weapon, a double-weapon, or a two-hand weapon.
A monk may wield two-weapons, a double-weapon, or a two-handed weapon when using flurry of blows (provided that the weapon is a special monk weapon) and may use unarmed strikes and weapons wielded in any combination during his flurry of blows attacks.

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 spells and effects of the enchantment school. This bonus increases in value to +4 at 10th level and to +6 at 17th level.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk's ki pool is equal to his monk level + his Wisdom modifier. As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. When using ki strike, a monk’s unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack rolls and damage rolls. For the purposes of affecting incorporeal creatures and damage reduction, treat a monk’s ki strike as if it were manufactured magic weapon of the same enhancement bonus. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, the enhancement bonus on a monk’s unarmed strike when using ki strike increases by +1, to a maximum bonus of +5 at 16th level. At 10th level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction based on cold iron or silver. At 13th level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction based on adamantine and ignores hardness of less than 20 when striking an object with ki strike. At 16th level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction based on alignment.
In addition to ki strike, a monk can spend points from his ki pool to achieve special short-term effects. 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 who moves or charges (including the feat spring attack) and then makes a single attack with his unarmed strikes or a special monk weapon can spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus.
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.

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 remaining in his ki pool.

Mystic Deflection (Su): At 4th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, a monk gains a +1 deflection bonus to his armor class (to a maximum of +6 at 19th level).
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point 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.

Monastic Weapons Training (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a monk gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when using any of the following weapons: club, dagger, handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, spear, and unarmed strike. This bonus increases to +2 at 9th level, and by an additional +1 every four levels gained thereafter as a monk to a maximum bonus of +4 at 17th level.
A monk may add this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with the listed weapons.
This bonus applies to the monk's Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against the character, if he is wielding one of the listed weapons.
This bonus is not an enhancement bonus and is not magical in nature; it instead reflects the training and honing of a monk's martial abilities.

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).

Superior Resistance (Su): At 5th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, a monk gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws; to a maximum bonus of +6 at 20th level.
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point remaining in his ki pool.

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.

Duty Never Tires (Ex): At 9th 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.

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.

Unfettered Speech (Ex): At 10th 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 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 willing creatures with him when he uses this ability, so long as the monk does not exceed his maximum carrying capacity.

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 remaining in his ki pool.

Tongues (Ex): At 14th 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.

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.

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.

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 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). 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). Finally, the monk’s bonuses accrued from monastic weapons training (see above) increase to provide a +5 bonus on attacks and damage.
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 really like this take on the class, but i have a few questions/suggestions.
1. where are the style feats from UM surely they should be in the list of bonus feats or maybe change some other facet to allow them. I think they add a lot to the monk class.

2. I know it has a lot of 1 ed flavor, but IMO i think you should lose the speak with animal, plants, and even the tongues ability.

3. I think allowing body of iron and an amulet of natural armor is probably to much. I know they wont stack, but it just feels wrong. Especially if this monk has the option of quigonnging it and picks up barkskin. Maybe give them something similar to barbarian DR instead, but really low probably top it off at like a 3.

4. I think wholeness of body should scale better. Maybe add a d8 every 4 levels.

5 monastic weapon training is a little to good I like what it adds to unarmed strike, but it seems like you're trying to make the monk as good as a fighter at weapons. Maybe make them select a weapon and then grant them another weapon when it increases at a lower rate. You select unarmed at 5 its at +1 at 9 you take club its a +1, but unarmed goes to +2

6. monks already get amazing saves no reason to make them better especially considering they're allowed cloaks of resistance and it doesn't count as their cloak.

Its a really good class, but I think it needs just a little toning down. As it stands it would be overpowered, but that's just my opinion.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

proftobe: The save bonuses wouldn't stack with those from a cloak. Similarly, body of iron wouldn't stack with an amulet of natural armor or a barkskin spell. I think that's part of the design goal ;)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Two problems with this monk build.

1) What are the party going to do with the monk's share of the loot? This is pretty important, as it effectively, in a four-member party, gives the rest of the party 1/3 more reward.

2) Paizo are not going to re-write the Pathfinder RPG just for one character class.

Love the concept, I just cannot see it working in the D&D paradigm where using items is a given.


proftobe wrote:

I really like this take on the class, but i have a few questions/suggestions.

1. where are the style feats from UM surely they should be in the list of bonus feats or maybe change some other facet to allow them. I think they add a lot to the monk class.

As this is (at least it looks like it to me) a overhaul of the base Monk class, the "Master of Many Styles" Archetype has no issue being applied that I can see.

Quote:
2. I know it has a lot of 1 ed flavor, but IMO i think you should lose the speak with animal, plants, and even the tongues ability.

It's a rework of the "Tongue of the Sun and Moon" feature, spread out to give a lesser benefit to lower level monks as they progress.

Quote:
3. I think allowing body of iron and an amulet of natural armor is probably to much. I know they wont stack, but it just feels wrong. Especially if this monk has the option of quigonnging it and picks up barkskin. Maybe give them something similar to barbarian DR instead, but really low probably top it off at like a 3.

"Monks may possess (for their own use) only the following magic items: ... an amulet, necklace, or periapt (other than an amulet of natural armor) ..."

As in they cannot possess an Amulet of Natural Armor.

Quote:
4. I think wholeness of body should scale better. Maybe add a d8 every 4 levels.

More healing is always good, but this version of Wholeness of Body is already 2d8 + Wis Mod above the previous version, and if used as a Standard action it takes half the Ki cost! Not to mention the ability to use it up to 3 times in a single round by spending 6 ki points. (A Standard Action for 1 point, A Move Action for 2 points, and a Swift Action for 3 points) Given that the number of Ki points you have in your pool is nearly doubled as well. I personally think this ability is fine as is now.

Quote:
6. monks already get amazing saves no reason to make them better especially considering they're allowed cloaks of resistance and it doesn't count as their cloak.

"Monks may possess (for their own use) only the following magic items: ... and one robe, cloak, cape, shirt, vest, or mantle (other than a cloak of resistance)... "

As in they cannot posses a Cloak of Resistance, and either way it would not stack with the bonus if they could.

Quote:
Its a really good class, but I think it needs just a little toning down. As it stands it would be overpowered, but that's just my opinion.

This is a rework of the class to make them far less dependent on magic items to be effective combatants. They may seem overpowered at a glance, but if you were to compare them to an equal level fighter with appropriate gear for their level they would most likely come off even (granted this is a rough draft as said by the OP, so I may be completely mistaken, but it appears to balance out in my mind)

Dabbler wrote:
1) What are the party going to do with the monk's share of the loot? This is pretty important, as it effectively, in a four-member party, gives the rest of the party 1/3 more reward.

"A monk must tithe nearly all of his funds to his monastic order."

The Monk still takes their share of loot, but they then tithe it to their Monastery, except where noted by the "Monastic Vows".

As for you Master Arminas, I thoroughly approve of the idea of this rework, and would enjoy playing this class. Now to see if I can find a DM willing to let me play it! :)


proftobe wrote:

I really like this take on the class, but i have a few questions/suggestions.

5. monastic weapon training is a little to good I like what it adds to unarmed strike, but it seems like you're trying to make the monk as good as a fighter at weapons. Maybe make them select a weapon and then grant them another weapon when it increases at a lower rate. You select unarmed at 5 its at +1 at 9 you take club its a +1, but unarmed goes to +2

The original AD&D monk added one-half his monk class level to all weapon damage, at a time when the fighter didn't even have weapon specialization, I may add.

Even with all the boosts and power-ups, the monk is still behind a dedicated fighter. Assuming both the monk and fighter have an equal strength (which is probably NOT the case as the monk needs more ability scores than a straight fighter), the fighter has a BAB that eventually hits 5 points higher than the monk. Both can get a +5 enhancement bonus on their chosen weapons. Both get up to +4 via Weapons Training (monks actually get +5 on their's at 20th level, but the fighter gets Weapon Mastery instead). Both can take weapon focus, but the fighter can choose Greater Weapon Focus. The fighter gets Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization.

End result: exclusive of Strength scores, a fighter remains +5 ahead of the monk on his attack rolls and +4 ahead of the monk on damage rolls. Counting strength, the fighter (with fewer ability scores he really needs) can afford to add that +5 inherent bonus to Strength and he can put more points into Strength at the start. At a minimum, the fighter is probably +3 points ahead on attacks and damage, just from Strength by 20th level (Str 30 vs Str 24).

So for a plain-jane fighter, we are looking at an average advantage of +8 on attack rolls and +7 on damage rolls (+10 with a two-handed weapon) over even this version of the monk.

It does make the monk fairly even with a non-raging barbarian, a ranger NOT fighting a favored enemy, a cavalier or samurai that DOESN'T issue a challenge, or a paladin fighting a neutral target. Presuming once again, that the characters have the same Strength scores, which they probably (once again) won't.

The monk once again falls behind these five full-BAB classes once they use their special abilities, sometimes dramatically so (i.e. Paladin smite evil, or Ranger with a +10 favored enemy bonus).

What it does though is make the monk into a martial-mystic that, while not as outright good as a full BAB class, doesn't lag so far behind that his best attack is the equal or worse than the fighter's THIRD (or even FOURTH) attack.

Master Arminas

Cheliax

But they need no items; or magic. They aren't supposed to be as good as item-based. As to treasure, make it like Vow of Poverty. They carry treasure, they require thir share; but just long enough to get it to the needy. Think of the good words that will be spread; the thousands that can be fed by your work. Conversely, think of the rebellions against your evil lord that can be stopped, the soldiers in need of these weak weapons that can be armed.


That is certainly a legitmate point of view, and part of the discussion I hope to create, Thalin. But Vow of Poverty is a 3.5 concept of 'exalted' nature. Are neutral and evil monks so giving? AD&D addressed the issue by limited the number of magic items a monk could own; but it had it's own problems because the monk became a 'gold sink' for the rest of the party. 'Donating' his treasure to his companions when he had all the items he was allowed.

By making the monks tithe a percentage of their wealth by level (be it 50% or whatever), combined with a limited number of different items that the monk can equip himself with, it represents not poverty, but dedication to the monk's order. If this monk wanted to give away 100% (or close) of his wealth, he could; and he would still remain nearly as effective as a class that relies on magic items.

If he doesn't, then he can equip himself with more interesting items (who actually uses a belt of dwarvenkind or a ring of water walking or a minor cloak of displacement in the game today? Normally those slots HAVE to be spent on things that directly affect the game mechanics so that the character remains viable at higher levels.

But the entire concept is still a work in progress, which is why I want debate and comments and suggestions, so that we can work out the wrinkles.

Master Arminas

Cheliax

So they can use magic items? I thought that was a restriction out from them.

A large part of me misses the day where magic item creation / ability to choose what you buy wasn't part of the game. Anything the GM gave you was divvied; you didn't just want to get the standard enchancement/belt/headband/circlet combo.


I too long for those days of yore. When not every village had Ye Old Shoppe of Magiks. But the game is what the game is.

Monks, as written in Pathfinder and 3.5 before, are the class that is MOST dependent on magic items to remain competitive with other classes. If the party is in a situation where no magic works (anti-magic field or something similar) or if they are playing the old Slaver modules (where they wake up naked within a bit of equipment), the monk does very well. But they fall behind very fast in a standard wealth-by-level magic equipment scheme.

The need bracers of armor, an amulet of mighty fists, a ring of protection, a monk's robe, a belt of physical perfection, and a headband of inspired wisdom just to remain in shouting distance of other martial classes. If the new (old, whatever) take on flurry goes into effect, they also need at least one, and possibily two magic weapons (or a double weapon).

And despite all of that equipment, they remain far behind other martialy-oriented classes.

What I want to try to do is restore, to some extent, the feel that monks had in olden times; of not being quite so reliant on outside sources of magical enhancement. They can (and many monks do) still use magic items, especially weapons, but to make them so that they don't have to to remain a powerful warrior.

That is why I went with enhancement bonuses over inherent bonuses. Thematically, inherent bonuses make more sense for a monk; after all he is improving himself and that sort of training doesn't go away in an anti-magic field. But practically, looking at it in terms of the game, the ability of a monk (if using inherent bonuses) to function at full-augmented power in an anti-magic field would be just too strong.

And if the bonuses were inherent, then they would stack with enhancement bonuses, once again breaking the class wide open and giving free reign to folks to pile up bonus after bonus.

So this progession was a compromise that I came up with, to free the monk from his reliance on magic items (that doesn't fit into the theme of the monk seeking his own inner perfection) while keeping the game on a (fairly) level playing field.

Just some thoughts.

Master Arminas

Cheliax

Monks are far from behind now; ultimate combat may as well be "ultimate monk", and the always taken ghost / drunk monks mean you never run out of Ki points. Archetypes + style mean monks are now on par with other front-lines.


If you want to use archtypes and spend feats on styles. Not everyone wants to play a drunkard or a 'vampiric' monk. The Zen Archer is very nice, but the rest of the archetypes are on par with the Core Monk. Don't get me wrong, the options in 'Ultimate Combat' are very nice, but not every player will want them. And they do nothing to address the issue of having to own hundreds of thousands of gold pieces worth of magic items in order to remain within shouting distance of your fellow party members.

Master Arminas


That'll teach me to try and post right before going to bed. I read it as if they could have cloaks of resistance or amulet of natural armor + a cloak and amulet. I know they don't stack, but was reading it as if they could trade up if it came up and not be penalized. I withdraw my objections.

I don't think i mentioned the Master of many styles when I mentioned the style feats I just think that they should be incorporated in the bonus feats since the monk is based on the shaolin monk and shaolin kung fu is based in the animal styles.

I also think that they maybe to powerful given that they can have magic items and function without them. I am not a fan of the current christmas tree need for items in every slot, but that's an issue with the game not the class. I think that something online with the old VoP makes more sense and evil or neutral monks can be dedicated to an ascetic ideal rather than charity. Hell give the money to your evil temple, dark god, or throw it away because you want to watch the world burn. Just dont let them give it to party members.


The Ascetic Monk (Revised)

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.
Monks are ascetics in that they seek to improve themselves and do not depend as much as others on the use of magic items for their strength. Despite that philosophy and their vows, they remain fearsome and effective opponents.

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: Monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, 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 from intuitive defense, as well as his agility training, fast movement, and flurry of blows abilities (see below).

Monastic Vows: A monk is a largely ascetic character who tithes a significant percentage of his wealth to his monastic order. Monks may retain a maximum of 100 gold pieces per monk level on hand with which to purchase sundry supplies and mundane items, buy food, and secure shelter. Upon gaining a new level of experience, a monk must tithe the remainder of his accumulated treasure to his monastic order, a church with which his order is affiliated, or a knightly order with which his order is affiliated.
Monks may, in addition to the pittance allowed above, retain sufficient funds to upgrade or purchase a limited range of magical items (spending no more than a total of 50% of his suggested wealth-by-level).
Monks still receive their share of party treasure, and may not ‘gift’ their share to fellow party members without breaking their monastic vows. Their vows allow them to carry excess treasure until the first opportunity they encounter to tithe it to their monastic order.
Monks may possess (for their own use) only the following magic items: up to three weapons (up to 50 magical shuriken count as a single weapon for this purpose); two rings (other than a ring of protection); one set of gloves; one set of footwear; an amulet, necklace, or periapt (other than an amulet of natural armor); a belt, bracers, headband, hat, mask, goggle, or other item worn on the head, eyes, waist, or arms (other than bracers of armor, or ability score boosters); and one robe, cloak, cape, shirt, vest, or mantle (other than a cloak of resistance).
A monk may read and gain the benefit of a manual or tome, but he may not other sell or otherwise gain profit from the magical text. Furthermore, a monk may retain a single item of a magical nature that does not otherwise consume a slot on his body and he may carry for his own use a total number of potions equal to one-half his monk level (minimum of 1).
If a monk violates his vows, he retains all of his previous abilities, but can no longer progress in the monk class until he repents, reduces his wealth to the indicated levels through tithing, and receives an atonement spell.

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 Throw, and Mobility.
At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Combat Expertise, Greater Blind-Fight, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack.
At 14th level, the following feats are added to the list: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, and Greater Trip.
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. At 8th level, and again every four levels gained thereafter, the monk's speed when using this ability increases by an additional +10 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.

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 9th level, and every 5 monk levels gained thereafter, the damage increases by an additional 1d4, to a maximum of 5d4 at 19th 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.

Monastic Training Regime (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a monk begins to gain a series of enhancement bonuses to his ability scores. At 2nd level, he gains a single +2 enhancement bonus that can be applied to his Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom score. Once selected, this bonus cannot be changed to a different ability score. At every even level gained thereafter, a monk gains an additional +2 bonus which he must apply a separate ability score.
At 10th level, the monk may choose one of the four ability scores and increase the enhancement bonus to a +4. At every even level thereafter, the monk may increase a separate enhancement to another ability score to +4.
At 18th level and again at 20th level, the monk may choose two of these ability scores and increase the enhancement bonus to a maximum of +6.
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point remaining in his ki pool.

Body of Iron (Su): At 3rd level a monk gains a +2 enhancement bonus to his natural armor class. At 6th level, and every three levels gained thereafter the monk gains an additional +1 bonus (to a maximum of +7 at 18th level). This ability stacks with natural armor gained through the monk’s race or feats selected, but not with an enhancement to natural armor, such as that provided by an amulet of natural armor or certain druid/ranger spells. The bonuses granted by body of iron stacks with armor bonuses provided by either actual armor, magical robes that provide an armor bonus, or normal clothing enhanced by the magic vestment spell. Wearing actual armor still results in a monk losing access to his agility training, fast movement, flurry of blows, and intuitive defense abilities.
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point remaining in his ki pool.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of the following weapons: club, dagger, handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, spear, or unarmed strike. New weapons designated with the monk special property may be added to this list at a later date. This additional attack is made at the monk's highest attack bonus.
At 8th level, a monk gains a second bonus attack at his highest attack bonus when he uses flurry of blows.
At 15th level, a monk gains a third bonus attack at his highest attack bonus when he uses flurry of blows.
A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the monk is fighting with two weapons, a weapon and an unarmed strike, a double weapon, a thrown weapon, or a two-handed weapon.
A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows. If the monk substitutes one of his highest attack bonus attacks for these maneuvers, then they are made at the monk’s normal CMB. If the monk uses a secondary or tertiary iterative attack, the monk applies either a -5 (for the second attack) or -10 (for the third attack) to his CMB for this attempt at a maneuver. A monk may can make multiple combat maneuvers in a single round, up to a limit of the maximum number of attacks that he may make in a flurry of blows.
A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.
A monk cannot use two-weapon fighting (see combat) to gain additional attacks when using 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 (unless he has taken the Feral Combat Training feat).
A monk does not suffer any penalties when using flurry of blows (such as those normally associated with two-weapon fighting), regardless of whether he wields a light weapon, a one-hand weapon, a double-weapon, or a two-hand weapon.
A monk may wield two-weapons, a double-weapon, or a two-handed weapon when using flurry of blows (provided that the weapon is a special monk weapon) and may use unarmed strikes and weapons wielded in any combination during his flurry of blows attacks.

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 attack bonus when he uses his flurry of blows ability (see above).
A monk who moves or charges (including the feat Spring Attack) and then makes a single attack with his unarmed strikes or a special monk weapon can spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus.
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): As long as a monk of 4th level or higher has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. When using ki strike, a monk’s unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus on all unarmed strike attack rolls and damage rolls. For the purposes of affecting incorporeal creatures and damage reduction, treat a monk’s ki strike as if it were a manufactured magic weapon of the same enhancement bonus, overcoming damage reduction and affecting incorporeal creatures as if he were actually wielding a magical weapon.
At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, the enhancement bonus on a monk’s unarmed strike when using ki strike increases by +1, to a maximum bonus of +5 at 16th level. At 7t level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction as if using a lawful weapon.
At 10th level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction as if using a cold iron or silver weapon.
At 13th level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction as if using an adamantine weapon and ignores hardness of less than 20 when striking an object with ki strike.
At 16th level, a monk using ki strike overcomes damage reduction based on alignment.

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.

Mystic Deflection (Su): At 4th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, a monk gains a +1 deflection bonus to his armor class (to a maximum of +6 at 19th level).
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point 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.

Monastic Weapons Training (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a monk gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when using any of the following weapons: club, dagger, handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, spear, and unarmed strike. This bonus increases to +2 at 9th level, and by an additional +1 every four levels gained thereafter as a monk to a maximum bonus of +4 at 17th level.
A monk may add this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with the listed weapons.
This bonus applies to the monk's Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against the character, if he is wielding one of the listed weapons.
This bonus is not an enhancement bonus and is not magical in nature; it instead reflects the training and honing of a monk's martial abilities.

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.

Superior Resistance (Su): At 5th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, a monk gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws; to a maximum bonus of +6 at 20th level.
A monk gains the benefits of this ability so long as he has at least one point remaining in his ki pool.

Servant of Order (Su): At 6th level, a monk gains immunity to fear effects.

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.

Diamond Body (Ex): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to all poisons, including magical and supernatural poisons.

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 willing creatures with him so long as he does not exceed his maximum carrying capacity.

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 immunity to the confusion and insanity spells, as well as spell-like or supernatural effects that create similar effects.

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.

Tongues (Ex): At 16th 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.

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.

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). 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). Monks of this level of experience also gain damage reduction 10/Chaotic.
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 what I've read here, MA. A couple of thoughts on this from a purely design perspective: you've created here a static class that, other than feats, will be just like every other monk in existence. Compare this to the options such as the Barbarian's rage powers and the Rogue's talents and so forth. It doesn't leave much room for variation (I do see some with the bonus feats and the choice of class skills [which is a neat idea, btw]). Is there no way to compile a large list of monk-like abilities and make them more optional? For instance, what if I don't want Still Mind and would prefer, instead, something more like the Ki Mystic's "Ki Insight" where my monk can be preternaturally aware of an impending event and warn/advise an ally?

Just something to think about.


Thank you, Jupistar. I know a lot of people like classes with many options (ala barbarian and rogue with their flexible lists of powers). And that is fine . . . for those classes. The monk is a class that I feel (and I could be alone in this) that needs to have structure. It fits with the entire order idea in the lawful alignment. That said, you certainly could use the Qinggong Monk archtype to customize as you see fit.

I would allow a Qinggong archetype to this class trade out any or all of the following abilities: Catfall, Agility Training, Purity of Body, Light as a Feather, Servant of Order, Speak with Animals, Wholeness of Body, Spiritual Endurance, Duty never Tires, Diamond Body, Abundant Step, Unfettered Speech, Diamond Soul, Cloud Step, Quivering Palm, Tongues, Timeless Body, Stalwart Soul, Empty Body, and Perfect Self. He would still have to select his alternate powers from the list given in the archetype.

That enough flexibility and options? LOL

Master Arminas


It is interesting, don't you think, that this is the only *Core* class that has no options? Admittedly, the fighter's options are not exclusive to his class, defined by Feats (getting so many bonus feats to choose from) and the Monk is too, but to a much lesser degree.

The fighter is differentiated from other fighters based upon the Feats he takes and the armor/weapons he uses.

The Monk is the only "hard-coded" class, as it stands and without any weapons or armor, this is even more so. And it may be good enough to stand as is.

In all other respects, I do like the base approach you've taken here to remove the Monk's reliance on equipment both mundane and magical. That's awesome. But there needs to be a way to spice up my character and make him different than the character you've created.

Yes, archetypes are one way to go, but that requires that I allow UC and UM and UE and other such books in my game. I don't - just Core and APG. I don't like having too much splat as it tends to lead to munchkinism, abuse of rules, the requirement of the GM to review and know all the rules associated with said character, and so forth.

I suspect I'm not alone in liking to keep things somewhat simplified, yet, inherently, this class seems a bit... oversimplified... at least when compared to every other class including Fighter.

Unfortunately, I can't play test this monk, yet. It may take some time before I'll have the opportunity.


I have exactly ONE complaint: 5d4 unarmed strike means that if you want to be a Monk who patterns themself after an ancient Chinese hero who ran around using a Staff to defeat his enemies...why are you using ANY weapon instead of just your unarmed strike? And 5d4 with +5 to Attack and Damage across 20 levels is a phenomenally potent setup, especially with 6 attacks by level 20.

If you reduced Monk Unarmed Damage, and instead allowed Monk to apply specific weapon properties to their unarmed strike to give it uniqueness, thus balancing the Weapon Monk and the Unarmed Monk? This would be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.

Okay. I actually have another complaint. I'd love to see a few more Maneuver Feats on their list of bonus feats. Improved Dirty Trick and Improved Reposition come to mind.

Other than that? This is fantastic. I don't even want to complain that it isn't Full BAB, because everything else about it makes up for that damn well. :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm with Jupistar here: I think rather than throwing everything into the ascetic monk, you could have allowed it options. Now bearing in mind this monk isn't using equipment, how about 'Paths' as follows:

Immovable Mountain: The monk focusses their self-perfection on becoming indestructible. Every four levels the monk gains a +1 armour bonus and DR +1/- from toughening their skin and muscle strength. This path allows no fast movement, the monk is like a mountain.

Fist of Thunder: The monk enhances their strength and physical power. Every fourth level they gain a +1 Inherent bonus to their Strength and Constitution scores.

Grace of the Swan: The monk enhances their grace, poise and precision. Every fourth level they gain a +1 Inherent bonus to their Dexterity and Charisma scores.

Mind of the Multiverse: The monk focuses on meditation and intellect, expanding and enlarging their mind to reach a nirvana of understanding. Every four levels they gain a +1 bonus to their Intelligence and Wisdom scores.

You could wrap up other group of abilities into Paths, rather than giving the monk every ability under the sun give them groups of abilities along paths. You could even wrap up style feats into these paths...


Holy smokes, Dab... great idea. The Ascetic Monk would solve the problem of being a Jack of All Trades and Master of None, by giving him paths of Mastery.

Of course, I don't know how this would f*** up archetypes down the road, but the idea is phenomenal.

See, one of the things I didn't like about the Qinggong Monk is that by giving him "Ki Powers", we've basically come full circle and we've made every class have "powers" (spells for casters and powers/talents for everyone else)... like 4ed (I was hoping to avoid a "list of powers", so I didn't have any suggestions).

What say you, Arminas?


Good ideas. I'd like to see some development of them, but they look good out of the gate.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
jupistar wrote:
Holy smokes, Dab... great idea. The Ascetic Monk would solve the problem of being a Jack of All Trades and Master of None, by giving him paths of Mastery.

Thank you, one does one's best. I'll do a bit of research when I can to see if we can fit these in.


MAs Flurry of Blows wrote:

[...]

A monk does not suffer any penalties when using flurry of blows (such as those normally associated with two-weapon fighting), regardless of whether he wields a light weapon, a one-hand weapon, a double-weapon, or a two-hand weapon. [...]

Just a minor nitpick but this line is redundant. Your version of flurry of blows just gives more attacks per round and you're already able to use weapons interchangeably during iterative attacks without taking penalties in the Core rules.

Other than that, I like it. I'll go over it a little more to give my two coppers in more depth but I'll leave that right now.

Oh, a question, where is the feat description for The Waves and Wind?


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
MAs Flurry of Blows wrote:

[...]

A monk does not suffer any penalties when using flurry of blows (such as those normally associated with two-weapon fighting), regardless of whether he wields a light weapon, a one-hand weapon, a double-weapon, or a two-hand weapon. [...]

Just a minor nitpick but this line is redundant. Your version of flurry of blows just gives more attacks per round and you're already able to use weapons interchangeably during iterative attacks without taking penalties in the Core rules.

Other than that, I like it. I'll go over it a little more to give my two coppers in more depth but I'll leave that right now.

Oh, a question, where is the feat description for The Waves and Wind?

Oops. I meant to post it. It is basically a revamp of the 3.5 Water Splitting Stone from Player's Handbook II. It isn't in the revision because of how I redid the monk and DR, but it might still be a feat that people want to take.

The Waves and The Wind

You channel your ki energy to breach the resistances that many creatures have, eroding them away as the wind and the waves cut into the rocky highlands.

Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +9, Dexterity 13, Wisdom 13, Improved Unarmed Strike, and Stunning Fist.
Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on damage rolls when you make an unarmed strike against an opponent who possesses damage reduction of a type that you are unable to normally bypass. You do not receive the bonus damage if your unarmed strike is able to bypass the creature’s damage reduction.
Special: The Waves and The Wind may be chosen by a Fighter as one of his bonus feats, provided that he meets the listed prerequisites. A monk may select this feat without meeting the BAB requirement, if he has access to his ki pool.


Thalin wrote:
Monks are far from behind now; ultimate combat may as well be "ultimate monk", and the always taken ghost / drunk monks mean you never run out of Ki points. Archetypes + style mean monks are now on par with other front-lines.

Hungry Ghost and Drunken Master can't be mixed together. They both alter/replace Purit of Body, Diamond Body, and Diamon Soul.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew / A Monk class That Doesn't Rely on Magic Items All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.