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The Tattooed Monk (I really need some advice and assistance with this one)


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Tattooed Monk

Adorned across his body with dozens of colorful and fearsome tattoos, the tattooed monk is a martial character able to perform feats of magic and skill beyond the ken of most mortals.

The tattooed monk uses the basic structure of the monk class except as noted here. BAB, hit dice, saves, class skills, skill points per level, and weapon and armor proficiencies are retained as per the Core Rulebook Monk class description. In addition, the tattooed monk retains the following class features: AC Bonus, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, Bonus Feat, Stunning Fist, Evasion, Maneuver Training, High Jump, Quivering Palm, and Perfect Self.

All other class features are removed from the class.

Starting at 1st level, a tattooed monk receives magic tattoos which allow him to perform certain superhuman feats. At 1st level, a tattooed monk starts the game with a single 1st level magic tattoo. At each additional level gained in this class thereafter, one of the tattoos that cover the character’s body gains a magic property. The monk can select any of the magic tattoos listed below, so long as he is of sufficient level to activate the selected tattoo. At 4th level, the monk can select 2nd level tattoos as well as 1st level tattoos. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, the tattooed monk can select tattoos from a progressively higher level, to a maximum of 6th level tattoos at 16th level.

Magic Tattoo Basics: A magic tattoo must be activated in order to be used. Unless otherwise specified in the tattoo description below, each tattoo requires a standard action to activate. If the tattoo has an effect that requires an opponent to make a saving throw, the DC for that saving throw is 10 + the level of the Tattoo + the tattooed monk’s Wisdom modifier. Magic tattoos are considered spell-like abilities. The level of the tattooed monk is the effective caster level.

Magic Tattoo List (Sp):

Angel: Three times per day, a character with the angel tattoo can lay his hands upon a creature or character (but not himself) and heal his wounds. Each use of this ability cures 2d8 points of hit point damage, plus the character’s Wisdom modifier, plus the character’s tattooed monk class level (to a maximum of +10).

Bear: Three times per day, a character with the bear tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Strength ability score and is protected from heat and cold as per the spell endure elements. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Black Sun: Two times per day, a character with the black sun tattoo gains dark-vision out to a distance of 60’. He can see in both natural and magical darkness to the extent of his vision. Each use of the tattoo lasts for 10 minutes per tattooed monk class level.

Black Wave: A character with the black wave tattoo becomes immune to the effects of poison and disease. This tattoo is always active.

Blink Dog: Two times per day, a character with the blink dog tattoo can use the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action, and the character retains all of his remaining actions for the round once the teleportation effect is complete.

Bloody Rose: Three times per day, a character with the bloody rose tattoo can heal a small amount hit point damage that he has taken. Each use heals the character 2d8 points of damage, plus the character’s Wisdom bonus (if any), plus 1 point for each of the character class levels as a tattooed monk (to a maximum of +10).

Boar: Three times per day, a character with the boar tattoo gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 1d10 plus his tattooed monk class level (maximum of +10). Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 hour per tattooed monk class level or until the temporary hit points are used. This tattoo can be activated as an immediate action if the character is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by an attack, but only once per round.

Broken Chains: Twice per day, a character with the broken chains tattoo receives the bonuses granted by the spell freedom of movement for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Castle: A character with the castle tattoo gains spell resistance equal to 10 + his tattooed monk class levels. This tattoo is always active.

Cheetah: A character with the cheetah tattoo gains a +10’ enhancement bonus to his movement. This tattoo is always active. At 4th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, the tattooed monk’s bonus to movement increases by an additional +10’ to a maximum movement bonus of +60’ at 20th level.

Chrysanthemum: A character with the chrysanthemum tattoo stops aging and cannot be magically aged. He no longer accrues any penalties to his physical ability scores, but this tattoo does not remove penalties he has previously gained. In addition, the character needs only two hours of meditation each night (rather than 8 hours of sleep) to rest and regain his abilities, and he no longer requires food or water to survive. This tattoo is always active.

Dragon: Three times per day, a character with the dragon tattoo can exhale a 60’ cone of fire that deals a number of d6 in damage equal to one-half the level of the tattooed monk.

Erinyes: Two times per day, a character with the erinyes tattoo can use fear, as per the spell.

Eye of Knowledge: A character with the eye of knowledge tattoo can understand and communicate with all living creatures, as per the spell tongues. This tattoo is always active.

Falcon: A character with the falcon tattoo gains a constant +4 competence bonus on all visual Perception checks. In addition, twice per day, he may use fly as per the spell, except that his speed while flying is equal to his movement (including all enhancement bonuses, if any). This use of the tattoo lasts for 1 round for tattooed monk class level.

Feathered Serpent: Three times per day, a character with the feathered serpent tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Wisdom ability score. The character also gains see invisibility, as per the spell. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Flaming Sword: Three times per day, a character with the flaming sword tattoo can sheath his fists in magical flames that deal either cold or fire damage (chosen by the character when the ability is activated). This adds +1d6 of either cold or fire damage to the character’s unarmed strike damage. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Gargoyle: Twice per day, a character with the gargoyle tattoo can active this tattoo to gain DR 10/adamantine. Each use of this ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level, or until the DR has absorbed 10 points of damage per tattooed monk class level (maximum of 150 points).

Heart: A character with the heart tattoo gains the Endurance feat as well as a +4 morale bonus against any magical effect that would fatigue or exhaust the character. If a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that causes fatigue or exhaustion without a saving throw targets the character, the character instead can save (without the above bonus) to negate the effect. This effects of this tattoo are always active.

Hummingbird: Three times per day, a character with the hummingbird tattoo can use levitate, as per the spell.

Iron Fist: A character with the iron fist tattoo gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage with his unarmed strike. This tattoo is always active. At 5th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5 at 17th level.

Knight in Armor: Three times per day, a character with the knight in armor tattoo can use mage armor, as per the spell.

Lightning Bolt: Three times per day, a character with the lightning bolt tattoo can sheath his fists in magical crackling electricity that deals electrical damage. This adds +1d6 of either electrical damage to the character’s unarmed strike damage. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level. On a successful critical hit, the character’s unarmed strikes also deal an additional 1d8 points of sonic damage.

Lion: Three times per day, a character with the lion tattoo becomes immune to fear and fear effects. If the character performs a charge while this tattoo is active, he gains an additional attack and may use his flurry attack bonus. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Maul: Three times per day, a character with the maul tattoo can use shatter, as per the spell.

Monkey: Three times per day, a character with the monkey tattoo gains a +5 competence bonus on all Acrobatics and Climb skill checks. He may climb at his full speed and retains his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Oak: Three times per day, a character with the oak tattoo gains a natural armor enhancement bonus, as per the spell barkskin. This ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk level.

Phoenix: Once per day, a character with the phoenix tattoo can activate this ability to receive the effects of both a heal spell and a greater restoration spell.

Rusted Gauntlet: Twice per day, a character with the rusted gauntlet tattoo can use rusting grasp, as per the spell.

Scorpion: Twice per day, as an immediate action, a character with the scorpion tattoo can make an attack of opportunity against a creature that successful strikes him in combat. This attack of opportunity receives a competence bonus of +2 on the attack roll and deals double normal damage (as per a critical hit, neither precision damage nor elemental damage is multiplied). If this special attack of opportunity is successful, and if the creature attacking the monk is reduced to zero hit points or lower by this attack, than the attack which provoked the use of the scorpion tattoo is completely negated. If the character fails to hit his opponent, or if he hits and deals insufficient damage to drop him to zero hit points or below, then the character with this tattoo suffers the full effects of his opponent’s attack.

Shark: Three times per day, a character with the shark tattoo can gain the ability to breath water as well as air and is immune to the effects of water pressure. While this tattoo is active, the character also gains a Swim speed equal to his normal movement and a +8 bonus on Swim checks made to avoid hazards (no Swim check is necessary to move underwater). The character suffers no penalties for using slashing and bludgeoning weapons while submerged.

Shield: Two times per day, a character with the shield tattoo can use shield, as per the spell.

Skull with Thorns: Two times per day, a character with the skull with thorns tattoo can produce a death ward effect on himself. This ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Snowflake: Five times per day, a character with the snowflake tattoo can, as an immediate action, use feather fall, as per the spell.

Spider: Two times per day, a character with the spider tattoo can use spider climb, as per the spell.

Tiger: Three times per day, a character with the tiger tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Dexterity ability score and can move through thickly overgrown areas without penalty (as per the druid ability woodland stride). Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Unicorn: Three times per day, a character with the unicorn tattoo can select an alignment opposed to his own and gains a measure of protection from the attacks of creatures of that alignment, as per the spells protection from chaos/evil/good/law. This ability lasts 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Viper: Twice per day, after successfully striking an opponent with an unarmed strike, a character with the viper tattoo can, as a swift action, inflict the victim of one of his successful unarmed strikes with a virulent poison, as per the spell poison.

Wolf: Three times per day, a character with the wolf tattoo gains low-light vision, scent, and he cannot be tracked by mundane means (as though under the effect of the spell pass without trace). Each use lasts for 10 minutes per tattooed monk class level.

Wraith: Two times per day, a character with the wraith tattoo can become ethereal, as per the spell etherealness. Each use lasts for only one minute and the character cannot affect any other creature (even willing creatures) with this ability.

So, you’ve read all the way to the end. Thank you. And I am sure that you are asking the question: ah, what level are those tattoos?

Good question. Here is where I need your help. I am not sure which level to put them. Some, I do know. Phoenix is 6th level, and Snowflake is 1st. But I thought to myself, the best way to do this is listen to your advice and suggestions.

So what level do you think they should be?

Master Arminas

Sovereign Court

I really like this MA. i'm gonna do some evaluation and post my suggestions :)


No problem, take your time it is a lot to digest. By now everyone knows my design philosophy: start high and prune. LOL So any thoughts on the tattoos themself are welcome as well. Some may need to be adjusted or changed. And if any of you have suggestions for further tattoos, feel free to post them!

Now, about the class itself. I picture that the tattooed monk will start out with all of the tattoos (forty or more covering his arms, legs, chest, stomach, back, and maybe even the neck and head). However, only one of them is actually his special magic tattoo at the start. As he gains levels, he picks another, and becomes able to access the magic within. Until by 20th level, he is at his limit, and he can no longer gain new powers. (Until we get Epic rules, that is!)

Anyway, any critiques or criticisms, advice or suggestions, thoughts or comments you fellows might have are more than welcome.

Master Arminas

Marathon Voter 2013

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

A number of these abilities are either 17+ or capstone abilities, available at level 1. Those should be the same levels as the other base classes get.


Cheapy, they are going to be divided into levels 1-6. Level 1 tattoos will be available at 1st level, level 2 at 4th, level 3 at 7th, level 4 at 10th, level 5 at 13th, and level 6 at 16th.

I didn't divide them up and assign them levels, because I am not sure of where exactly they should go. Which is what I need help with, good sir. Any suggestions?

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the concept, but I do not think it needs to be a class on it's own - a sequence of feats or an archetype, maybe?


Dabbler wrote:
I like the concept, but I do not think it needs to be a class on it's own - a sequence of feats or an archetype, maybe?

It basically is an archtype, Dabbler. Or rather, an Alternate Class too big for an archetype, based on the Monk (like Ninja is based on the Rogue and the Anti-paladin on the Paladin).

I am not really sure how making it a sequence of feats would work? But if trimmed down right, it might make a good archetype.

You have a suggestion, I hope?

Master Arminas

Sovereign Court

no ki pool is intended, ma? I might have some additional tattooes to recommend in its absence.

Dedicated Voter 2013

I have rules for arcane tattoos in Rite Publishing's Way of the Yakuza, as well as rules regarding the wizard creating the tattoos, with suggested tattoos and tattoo spells.

Since my Kaidan setting is sbout authenticity to a large degree, I didn't want to allow tattoo wearing as something that anybody does. As in Japan, tattoos are considered taboo by most people. Only in the yakuza is tattoo wearing condoned.

It's fine that you want your fantasy monk to wear tattoos, it fits 3.5 concept of a tattoo monk. For me the suspension of disbelieve especially for an oriental setting, is gone with monks wearing tattoos.


Nezthalak wrote:
no ki pool is intended, ma? I might have some additional tattooes to recommend in its absence.

Oops. No, ki pool should be a feature the monk keeps. Sorry about that.

Master Arminas


gamer-printer wrote:

I have rules for arcane tattoos in Rite Publishing's Way of the Yakuza, as well as rules regarding the wizard creating the tattoos, with suggested tattoos and tattoo spells.

Since my Kaidan setting is sbout authenticity to a large degree, I didn't want to allow tattoo wearing as something that anybody does. As in Japan, tattoos are considered taboo by most people. Only in the yakuza is tattoo wearing condoned.

It's fine that you want your fantasy monk to wear tattoos, it fits 3.5 concept of a tattoo monk. For me the suspension of disbelieve especially for an oriental setting, is gone with monks wearing tattoos.

I almost never run an oriental campaign, game-printer. LOL This isn't an eastern/western themed monk; it is a D&D monk. With magic tattoos. Still, I can see how many people would think Yakuza.

Master Arminas

Dedicated Voter 2013

master arminas wrote:

I almost never run an oriental campaign, game-printer. LOL This isn't an eastern/western themed monk; it is a D&D monk. With magic tattoos. Still, I can see how many people would think Yakuza.

Master Arminas

I was certain that you weren't running an oriental campaign. While I agree monks should/could be considered martial arts fighting friars from Europe, or a total fantasy, non-European setting that could include anything from paladins to monks and still fit - monks to me are still oriental.

Tattoo wearing was generally not condoned in the west either, except by sailors, and or criminal elements, (it's more common today) which is why tattoos work so well for a yakuza styled campaign. I just can't see a monk wearing a tattoo in any setting, except for the total fantasy setting where anything goes (which is a perfectly fine campaign to play in.) The same would go for a paladin or cleric - would the Bishop approve of them wearing tattoos? Pirates definitely fit the tattoo wearing motif.

Personally, I'd rather see standard monk accoutremont for enhancements like the gi belt, clothing, headgear, sandals, folding fans, martial arts weapons, just not tattoos. To me, the whole 3x tattoo monk, was created because of the lack of creativity in creating arcane enhanced items for a monk - it was an allowed excuse to give monks some other method of arcane enhancement. Thematically, it just doesn't fit.

But don't mind me, and my preconceptions...

I'd look at the casting levels of the various tattoo enhancements you desire, and put them at a level comparable to it's casting level. I pointed to my Way of the Yakuza supplement, simply because empowered tattoos applied at differing levels might help guide your goals here. Some tattoos are similar, while some are not.

Sovereign Court

Assuming I am correct in that we are choosing what level/tier access to these tattooes is gained and that the breakdown of acquiring new tattooes to the pool to be selected from (i.e. Magus Arcana, Rage powers, hexes) etc.) follows this matrix:

Tier 1 – available at first level and up.
Tier 2 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 4.
Tier 3 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 7.
Tier 4 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 10.
Tier 5 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 13.
Tier 6 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 16.

This would be mine allocation. Justifications provided if I think it needs it or isn’t intuitive. Feel free to disagree and provide constructive input. If I say – as per the spell, I’m looking at the minimum level a class that can cast it obtains access to it and comparing to the monk level assoc. with that tier.

Angel – 2 as per cure mod wounds

Bear – 2 I might change the tat to Bull to reflect the Str buff, as per Bull’s Strength

Black Sun – 1

Black Wave – 4, per diamond body (vanilla Monk level 11). Tier 5 seems overly restrictive and poison isn’t that common I don’t think. Plus his fort save is ample by that point

Blink Dog – 5, per abundant step (monk lvl 12). No ki use, which is nice. I don’t feel bad about 1 higher level to eliminate ki use

Bloody Rose – 2, as per mod wounds.

Boar – 2

Broken Chains – 3 , per Freedom of Movement spell

Castle – 5, per diamond soul (monk 13) ability

Cheetah – 1, cleric Travel domain, feats. I know monk fast movement is gained at lvl 3 for regular monk, but other builds can get it sooner. 10’ not game breaking.

Chysanthemum – 5. timeless capstone (monk lvl 17) would put this at tier 6, but I think the early adoption would see this becoming a decision earlier rather than an “I guess…” later.

Dragon – 4, per Draconic sorc breath weapon. Also, it should be either a 30’ cone, or a 60’ line in keeping closer to equivalent abilities in the game already.

Erinyes – 3, as per the Fear spell

Eye of Knowledge – 5, same as Crysanthemum

Falcon – 2, gets Fly a little bit earlier than other spellcasters, but the round limitation balances

Feathered Serpent – 2

Flaming Sword – 2 (maybe 3). 1d6 per hit would be like a free +1 activate-able enchant. If this ability is to function as Elemental fist, then should only modify 1 strike for the round that it is active. 4 winds gives it at level 1, but it’s a BAB 8 ability normally. Even given its limited number of uses and duration…hmm..A lvl 4 char has a WBL of 6,000, so they could afford a Flaming or Frost AoMF, and have it be active every hit. So I’m going to stick with 2, but it seems like a strong 3 candidate. I don’t know if it’d be underpowered at that tier tho. It belongs in the middle.

Gargoyle – 3, as per Stoneskin spell

Heart – 3, inflated for the morale bonuses and always active.

Hummingbird – 2, as per the spell

Iron Fist – 2. suggested rewrite -
Iron Fist: A character with the iron fist tattoo gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage with his unarmed strike. This tattoo is always active. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, increases by +1 to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5 at 16th level.

Knight in Armor – 1, as per the spell. Potion of it is only 50g

Lightning Bolt – 2, as Flaming Sword above. Typo: word “either” shouldn’t follow “1d6 of”.

Lion – 2, might make it expend a point of ki.

Maul – 2, as per the spell

Monkey – 2. +5 is too much for a level 1.

Oak – 2, as per the spell and quiggong monk arch

Phoenix – 4, as per the spells

Rusted Gauntley – 4, as per the spell. But I don’t like it as a monk ability. Doesn’t fit him I don’t think.

Scorpion – 2. went back and forth on Panther and Snake style feat chain.

Shark – 3. duration?

Shield – 1, as per the spell

Skull with Thorns – 4, as per the spell

Snowflake – 1, as per the spell

Spider – 2, as per the spell

Tiger – 2, as per whatever the +4 dex spell is. Don’t remember

Unicorn – 1, as per Protect from Evil/Law/Chaos, etc.

Viper – 3, fun mid-game ability

Wolf – 1. I’d drop it to maybe 5 minutes/level or twice a day. Otherwise, seems like a tier 2 ability.

Wraith – 5 or 6. etherealness is a lvl 9 spell, might go with 5 given the limitations of not being able to affect any creatures tho.

Totaling it up, there are:

7 Tier 1 Tattoos.
17 Tier 2 Tattoos.
6 Tier 3 Tattoos.
5 Tier 4 Tattoos.
5 Tier 5 Tattoos.
1 Tier 6 Tattoo. kind of.


Let go through these and I will get back to you. Looks good, thanks.

Master Arminas


Dotted!


Nezthalak wrote:

Assuming I am correct in that we are choosing what level/tier access to these tattooes is gained and that the breakdown of acquiring new tattooes to the pool to be selected from (i.e. Magus Arcana, Rage powers, hexes) etc.) follows this matrix:

Tier 1 – available at first level and up.
Tier 2 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 4.
Tier 3 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 7.
Tier 4 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 10.
Tier 5 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 13.
Tier 6 – added to the pool of available tattooes at monk level 16.

Exactly.

Quote:

This would be mine allocation. Justifications provided if I think it needs it or isn’t intuitive. Feel free to disagree and provide constructive input. If I say – as per the spell, I’m looking at the minimum level a class that can cast it obtains access to it and comparing to the monk level assoc. with that tier.

Angel – 2 as per cure mod wounds

Bear – 2 I might change the tat to Bull to reflect the Str buff, as per Bull’s Strength

Black Sun – 1

Black Wave – 4, per diamond body (vanilla Monk level 11). Tier 5 seems overly restrictive and poison isn’t that common I don’t think. Plus his fort save is ample by that point

Blink Dog – 5, per abundant step (monk lvl 12). No ki use, which is nice. I don’t feel bad about 1 higher level to eliminate ki use

Bloody Rose – 2, as per mod wounds.

Boar – 2

Broken Chains – 3 , per Freedom of Movement spell

Castle – 5, per diamond soul (monk 13) ability

Cheetah – 1, cleric Travel domain, feats. I know monk fast movement is gained at lvl 3 for regular monk, but other builds can get it sooner. 10’ not game breaking.

Chysanthemum – 5. timeless capstone (monk lvl 17) would put this at tier 6, but I think the early adoption would see this becoming a decision earlier rather than an “I guess…” later.

Dragon – 4, per Draconic sorc breath weapon. Also, it should be either a 30’ cone, or a 60’ line in keeping closer to equivalent abilities in the game already.

So far, I agree with everything. I was worried about the distance on the cone, so I will reduce to 30'.

Quote:

Erinyes – 3, as per the Fear spell

Eye of Knowledge – 5, same as Crysanthemum

Falcon – 2, gets Fly a little bit earlier than other spellcasters, but the round limitation balances

Feathered Serpent – 2

Flaming Sword – 2 (maybe 3). 1d6 per hit would be like a free +1 activate-able enchant. If this ability is to function as Elemental fist, then should only modify 1 strike for the round that it is active. 4 winds gives it at level 1, but it’s a BAB 8 ability normally. Even given its limited number of uses and duration…hmm..A lvl 4 char has a WBL of 6,000, so they could afford a Flaming or Frost AoMF, and have it be active every hit. So I’m going to stick with 2, but it seems like a strong 3 candidate. I don’t know if it’d be underpowered at that tier tho. It belongs in the middle.

I think Tier 3 would be more appropriate, especially since they get to choose flaming OR frost each time they activate it.

Quote:

Gargoyle – 3, as per Stoneskin spell

Heart – 3, inflated for the morale bonuses and always active.

Hummingbird – 2, as per the spell

Iron Fist – 2. suggested rewrite -
Iron Fist: A character with the iron fist tattoo gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage with his unarmed strike. This tattoo is always active. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, increases by +1 to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5 at 16th level.

Done!

Quote:

Knight in Armor – 1, as per the spell. Potion of it is only 50g

Lightning Bolt – 2, as Flaming Sword above. Typo: word “either” shouldn’t follow “1d6 of”.

I will fix.

Quote:
Lion – 2, might make it expend a point of ki.

Changed it to: "If the character performs a charge while this tattoo is active, he may spend 1 ki point as a swift action to gain an additional attack at his highest attack bonus."

Quote:

Maul – 2, as per the spell

Monkey – 2. +5 is too much for a level 1.

Oak – 2, as per the spell and quiggong monk arch

Phoenix – 4, as per the spells

Phoenix 4? Four? Four? I was really thinking 6 here, myself. It is both a heal spell (Cleric 6, 13th level caster) and a greater restoration (Cleric 6, 13th level caster) activated with the same standard action. Sure, it's only once per day, but 10th level seems a bit low.

Quote:
Rusted Gauntley – 4, as per the spell. But I don’t like it as a monk ability. Doesn’t fit him I don’t think.

And I will remove. Thanks.

Quote:

Scorpion – 2. went back and forth on Panther and Snake style feat chain.

Shark – 3. duration?

Oops. Add the following line after the last sentence: This ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Quote:

Shield – 1, as per the spell

Skull with Thorns – 4, as per the spell

Snowflake – 1, as per the spell

Spider – 2, as per the spell

Tiger – 2, as per whatever the +4 dex spell is. Don’t remember

Unicorn – 1, as per Protect from Evil/Law/Chaos, etc.

Viper – 3, fun mid-game ability

Wolf – 1. I’d drop it to maybe 5 minutes/level or twice a day. Otherwise, seems like a tier 2 ability.

Kept it at 3/day, but dropped the duration to 1 minute/level.

Quote:

Wraith – 5 or 6. etherealness is a lvl 9 spell, might go with 5 given the limitations of not being able to affect any creatures tho.

Totaling it up, there are:

7 Tier 1 Tattoos.
17 Tier 2 Tattoos.
6 Tier 3 Tattoos.
5 Tier 4 Tattoos.
5 Tier 5 Tattoos.
1 Tier 6 Tattoo. kind of.

There isn't really much I can disagree with here. Thank you for your assistance, Nezthalak.

Master Arminas


And since we are dumping the Rusted Gauntlet, does anyone have any suggestions for additional tattoos and their powers? Here's another one I came up with:

Tier 3 Tattoo

Ghostly Visage: Twice per day, a character with the ghostly visage tattoo can gain the ability to bestow ghost touch, as per the special weapon property, upon his unarmed strikes and combat maneuvers. This ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Now you can grapple with the shadows. How cool is that? What can you come up with?

Master Arminas

Sovereign Court

I like the Ghostly Visage ability.

Heal is gained by Clerics at level 12/13, and greater resto even later.

so yah, a Tier 5 or 6 would be more fitting. how about tier 6, and gain an additional use at level 18 and level 20?

Sovereign Court

Tier 1 tat.

Battle Standard / Coat of Arms: Three times a day, a monk with this tattoo can use Inspire Courage as per the Bard/Bardic performance ability. For the purposes of this ability, the monk may count his tattoed monk levels as bard levels. This ability lasts for 1 round.

Special: If the monk opts to use the Battle Standard / CoA tattoo for continuous rounds, on the 2nd round, he need only expend a move action instead of a standard action and gain the benefits of this tattoo. If the monk opts to use the Battle Standard / CoA tattoo for continuous rounds, on the 3rd round, he need only expend a swift action instead of a move action and gain the benefits of this tattoo.

Sovereign Court

Tier 2:

Gavel: Once per day, the tattooed monk can activate this tattoo and call out to the powers of order and law. This ability functions as the paladin's Smite Evil, except that the monk adds his Wis bonus (if any) to his attack rolls and adds 1/2 his monk levels to his damage rolls against his named target. The monk does NOT gain the AC bonus normally associated with the Smite Evil ability. The target of these strikes must be of Chaotic alignment or the ability has no effect. At level 7, and every 3 levels thereafter, the monk gains an additional use of this ability.

Sovereign Court

Tier 3:

Black Dagger: The tattooed monk is able to deal extra damage when he catches an opponent unaware or unable to defend himself. As per the rogues Sneak Attack, the monk may deal an additional 4d6 damage to the target. The ability to apply this damage is subject to the same restrictions laid out in Sneak Attack. The monk may activate this this tattoo as an immediate action. He may used this ability a number of times equal to his Wis modifier plus 1/2 his total tattooed monk level.

Tier 5:

Crossed Black Daggers: The monk can have his black dagger tattoo re-inked and add a second dagger to cross it. This increased the extra damage he is able to inflict with this tattoo 7d6.

Sovereign Court

should be "increases".

In looking at the class arch, i think getting to pick a new tattoo every level isn't on par or balanced with other classes that get a pool of specialization abilities. I think maybe the Tat Monk gets to pick a tattoo at 1st level, 2nd level, and every other (even: 4, 6, 8, etc) level up thru 20. especially given that he keeps his monk bonus feats.

I'm not really sure though. would need to playtest it to check his power. kind of like the quiggong monk, the ability to pick your powers and specialize a generic class is always fun to explore.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay, then. I think this is ready for a trial run, if anyone is interested. Let me know if you have any other ideas or thoughts on the class or the tattoos of power.

Tattooed Monk

Adorned across his body with dozens of colorful and fearsome tattoos, the tattooed monk is a martial character able to perform feats of magic and skill beyond the ken of most mortals. No two tattooed monks have the exact range of powers and abilities: versatility is the watchword of this class.

Alignment: Any lawful.

BAB: Full.

Hit Die: d8.

Saves: All good.

Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Tattooed monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear.
Tattooed monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.
When wearing armor, wielding or otherwise equipping a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a tattooed monk loses his AC bonus, as well as his flurry of blows ability.

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the tattooed monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a tattooed monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four tattooed monk levels thereafter.
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the tattooed monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he wields or other equips a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a tattooed 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 unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham) as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the tattooed monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat). For the purpose of these attacks, a tattooed monk’s base attack bonus is equal to his tattooed monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or prestige class, the tattooed monk uses his normal base attack bonus.
At 8th level, the tattooed monk can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the tattooed monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).
At 15th level, the tattooed monk can make three additional attacks using flurry of blows, as if using Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the tattooed monk does not meet the perquisites for the feat).
A tattooed monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A tattooed 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 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.

Unarmed Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a tattooed monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A tattooed monk’s attacks may be with fists, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a tattooed monk may make unarmed attacks with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a tattooed monk striking unarmed. A tattooed monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.
Usually, a tattooed 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 tattooed monk’s unarmed strike is treated as a both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
A tattooed monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table 3-19 Monk. The unarmed damage values listed on Table 3-19 Monk is for Medium tattooed monks. A Small tattooed monk deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed strikes, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table 3-20 Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage for details.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a tattooed monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Scorpion Style, and Throw Anything. At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Gorgon’s Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility. At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack. A tattooed monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Stunning Fist (Ex): At 1st level, a tattooed monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the tattooed 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 tattooed 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.

Tattoos of Power: A tattooed monk begins the game with his arms, legs, back, stomach, chest, and perhaps even his neck and face, covered with brilliantly colored exquisite tattoos. These tattoos have been inked onto the tattooed monk’s skin over the years that he spent in the monastery. As the tattooed monk grows in experience, he may select individual tattoos; this allows him to access their powers.
Starting at 1st level, a tattooed monk possesses a single Tier 1 tattoo of power. At each additional level gained in this class thereafter, one of the dozens of tattoos that cover the character’s body gains a magic property. The monk can select any of the magic tattoos listed below, so long as he is of sufficient level to activate the selected tattoo. At 4th level, the tattooed monk gains access to Tier 2 tattoos, in addition to Tier 1. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, the tattooed monk can select tattoos from a progressively higher Tier, to a maximum of Tier 6 tattoos of power at 16th level.
A magic tattoo must be activated in order to be used. Unless otherwise specified in the tattoo description below, each tattoo requires a standard action to activate. If the tattoo has an effect that requires an opponent to make a saving throw, the DC for that saving throw is 10 + the level of the Tattoo + the tattooed monk’s Wisdom modifier. Magic tattoos are considered spell-like abilities. The level of the tattooed monk is the effective caster level for any effects listed.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a tattooed monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a tattooed 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 the tattooed monk is unarmored and unencumbered. A helpless tattooed monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

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

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a tattooed monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a tattooed monk’s ki pool is equal to one-half his tattooed monk level + his Wisdom modifier. As long as he has at least 1 point his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s tattooed monk level. At 10th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.
By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a tattooed monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack. In addition, he can spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, a tattooed monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A tattooed monk may gain additional powers form his tattoos that consume ki points 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.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a tattooed monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the tattooed 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 tattooed monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the tattooed 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 tattooed monk level. To make such an attempt, the tattooed monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + one-half the tattooed monk’s level + the tattooed monk’s Wisdom modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time. A tattooed monk can have no more than 1 quivering palm in effect at one time. If a monk uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated.

Tattoos of Power List:

Tier 1 Tattoos:

Black Sun: Two times per day, a character with the black sun tattoo gains dark-vision out to a distance of 60’. He can see in both natural and magical darkness to the extent of his vision. Each use of the tattoo lasts for 10 minutes per tattooed monk class level.

Cheetah: A character with the cheetah tattoo gains a +10’ enhancement bonus to his movement. This tattoo is always active. At 4th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, the tattooed monk’s bonus to movement increases by an additional +10’ to a maximum movement bonus of +60’ at 20th level.

Knight in Armor: Three times per day, a character with the knight in armor tattoo can use mage armor, as per the spell.

Mask: Three times per day, a character with the mask tattoo may use disguise self, as per the spell. When the tattooed monk reaches 10th level, this ability improves to alter self, as per the spell.

Shield: Two times per day, a character with the shield tattoo can use shield, as per the spell.

Snowflake: Five times per day, a character with the snowflake tattoo can, as an immediate action, use feather fall, as per the spell.

Tome: Three times per day, a character with the tome tattoo can use comprehend languages, as per the spell.

Unicorn: Three times per day, a character with the unicorn tattoo can select an alignment opposed to his own and gains a measure of protection from the attacks of creatures of that alignment, as per the spells protection from chaos/evil/good/law. This ability lasts 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Wolf: Three times per day, a character with the wolf tattoo gains low-light vision, scent, and he cannot be tracked by mundane means (as though under the effect of the spell pass without trace). Each use lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Tier 2 Tattoos:

Angel: Three times per day, a character with the angel tattoo can lay his hands upon a creature or character (but not himself) and heal his wounds. Each use of this ability cures 2d8 points of hit point damage, plus the character’s Wisdom modifier, plus the character’s tattooed monk class level (to a maximum of +10).

Bear: Three times per day, a character with the bear tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Strength ability score and is protected from heat and cold as per the spell endure elements. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Bloody Rose: Three times per day, a character with the bloody rose tattoo can heal a small amount hit point damage that he has taken. Each use heals the character 2d8 points of damage, plus the character’s Wisdom bonus (if any), plus 1 point for each of the character class levels as a tattooed monk (to a maximum of +10).

Boar: Three times per day, a character with the boar tattoo gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 1d10 plus his tattooed monk class level (maximum of +10). Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 hour per tattooed monk class level or until the temporary hit points are used. This tattoo can be activated as an immediate action if the character is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by an attack, but only once per round.

Chameleon: Two times per day, a character with the chameleon tattoo may active this tattoo of power to become invisible, as per the spell.

Displacer Beast: Two times per day, a character with the displacer beast tattoo may activate this tattoo of power to grant himself blur, as per the spell. Each use of this ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk level.

Eye of Power: A character with the eye of power tattoo may use detect magic, as per the spell, at will. Three times per day, he may also use detect chaos/evil/good/law, as per the spell, for up to 1 minute per use. When using the detect alignment ability of this tattoo, the tattooed monk also gains an impression of the relative strength of the target observed (after three rounds of concentration, depending on class levels and/or hit die): weaker than the tattooed monk, approximately the same as the tattooed monk, or stronger than the tattooed monk.

Falcon: A character with the falcon tattoo gains a constant +4 competence bonus on all visual Perception checks. In addition, twice per day, he may use fly as per the spell, except that his speed while flying is equal to his normal movement. This use of the tattoo lasts for 1 round for tattooed monk class level.

Feathered Serpent: Three times per day, a character with the feathered serpent tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Wisdom ability score. The character also gains see invisibility, as per the spell. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Full Moon: A character with the full moon tattoo allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as silver weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Grasshopper: A character with the grasshopper tattoo gains a bonus on all Acrobatics checks made to jump equal to his tattooed monk class level. If the tattooed monk spends 1 point of ki, he gains an additional bonus of +20 on the skill check.

Harp: A character with the harp tattoo gains a +5 competence bonus on all Diplomacy and Perform skill checks. This tattoo is always active.

Hummingbird: Three times per day, a character with the hummingbird tattoo can use levitate, as per the spell.

Iron Fist: A character with the iron fist tattoo gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage with his unarmed strike. This tattoo is always active. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5 at 16th level.

Lion: Three times per day, a character with the lion tattoo becomes immune to fear and fear effects. If the character performs a charge while this tattoo is active, he may spend 1 ki point as a swift action to gain an additional attack at his highest attack bonus. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Maul: Three times per day, a character with the maul tattoo can use shatter, as per the spell.

Monkey: Three times per day, a character with the monkey tattoo gains a +5 competence bonus on all Acrobatics and Climb skill checks. He may climb at his full speed and retains his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Oak: Three times per day, a character with the oak tattoo gains a natural armor enhancement bonus, as per the spell barkskin. This ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk level.

Scorpion: Twice per day, as an immediate action, a character with the scorpion tattoo can make an attack of opportunity against a creature that successful strikes him in combat. This attack of opportunity receives a competence bonus of +2 on the attack roll and deals double normal damage (as per a critical hit, neither precision damage nor elemental damage is multiplied). If this special attack of opportunity is successful, and if the creature attacking the monk is reduced to zero hit points or lower by this attack, than the attack which provoked the use of the scorpion tattoo is completely negated. If the character fails to hit his opponent, or if he hits and deals insufficient damage to drop him to zero hit points or below, then the character with this tattoo suffers the full effects of his opponent’s attack.

Spider: Two times per day, a character with the spider tattoo can use spider climb, as per the spell.

Sprite: A character with the sprite tattoo allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as cold iron weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Tiger: Three times per day, a character with the tiger tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Dexterity ability score and can move through thickly overgrown areas without penalty (as per the druid ability woodland stride). Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Tier 3 Tattoos:

Broken Chains: Twice per day, a character with the broken chains tattoo receives the bonuses granted by the spell freedom of movement for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Constrictor: A character with the constrictor tattoo gains a +2 competence bonus on all grapple checks. This bonus is constant. Twice per day, if the tattooed monk successful strikes an opponent with an unarmed strike, he may start a grapple with a free action in addition to dealing his normal damage.

Erinyes: Two times per day, a character with the erinyes tattoo can use fear, as per the spell.

Flaming Sword: Three times per day, a character with the flaming sword tattoo can sheath his fists in magical flames that deal either cold or fire damage (chosen by the character when the ability is activated). This adds +1d6 of either cold or fire damage to the character’s unarmed strike damage. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Gargoyle: Twice per day, a character with the gargoyle tattoo can active this tattoo to gain DR 10/adamantine. Each use of this ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level, or until the DR has absorbed 10 points of damage per tattooed monk class level (maximum of 150 points).

Ghostly Visage: Twice per day, a character with the ghostly visage tattoo can gain the ability to bestow ghost touch, as per the special weapon property, upon his unarmed strikes and combat maneuvers. This ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Heart: A character with the heart tattoo gains the Endurance feat as well as a +4 morale bonus against any magical effect that would fatigue or exhaust the character. If a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that causes fatigue or exhaustion without a saving throw targets the character, the character instead can save (without the above bonus) to negate the effect. This effects of this tattoo are always active.

Lightning Bolt: Three times per day, a character with the lightning bolt tattoo can sheath his fists in magical crackling electricity that deals electrical damage. This adds +1d6 of electrical damage to the character’s unarmed strike damage. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level. On a successful critical hit, the character’s unarmed strikes also deal an additional 1d8 points of sonic damage.

Serrated Dagger: A character with the serrated dagger tattoo gains the ability to deal precision sneak attack damage as a Rogue. Three times per day, as a swift action, the tattooed monk can activate this ability for 1 round. If his opponent is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC or is flanked, the tattooed monk gains 2d6 of sneak attack dice. At 11th level, and every four tattooed monk levels gained thereafter, the number of sneak attack dice possessed by the tattooed monk when he uses this ability increases by +1, to a maximum of 5d6 at 19th level.

Shark: Three times per day, a character with the shark tattoo can gain the ability to breath water as well as air and is immune to the effects of water pressure. While this tattoo is active, the character also gains a Swim speed equal to his normal movement and a +8 bonus on Swim checks made to avoid hazards (no Swim check is necessary to move underwater). The character suffers no penalties for using slashing and bludgeoning weapons while submerged. This ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Tornado: Two times per day, a character with the tornado tattoo may use haste, as per the spell, for 1 round per tattooed monk level. This tattoo affects only the tattooed monk.

Viper: Twice per day, as a swift action, a character with the viper tattoo can inflict the victim of one of his successful unarmed strikes with a virulent poison, as per the spell poison.

Tier 4 Tattoos:

Bat: Two times per day, a character with the bat tattoo gains blind-sense out to a distance of 60’. Each use of the tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Black Wave: A character with the black wave tattoo becomes immune to the effects of poison and disease. This tattoo is always active.

Crescent Moon: Two times per day, a character with the crescent moon tattoo can use dispel magic, as per the spell.

Dragon: Three times per day, a character with the dragon tattoo can exhale a 30’ cone of fire that deals a number of d6 in damage equal to one-half the level of the tattooed monk.

Eye of Knowledge: A character with the eye of knowledge tattoo can understand and communicate with all living creatures, as per the spell tongues. This tattoo is always active.

Harlequin: Two times per day, a character with the harlequin tattoo can use either good hope or crushing despair, as per the spells. The tattooed monk can select which specific spell he uses upon activating this tattoo of power.

Skull with Thorns: Two times per day, a character with the skull with thorns tattoo can produce a death ward effect on himself. This ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Tier 5 Tattoos:

Battleaxe: A character with the battleaxe tattoo deals x3 damage on a successful critical hit with his unarmed strikes. In addition, he gains a +4 competence bonus on attack rolls made to confirm a critical hit with his unarmed strikes. This tattoo is always active.

Blink Dog: Two times per day, a character with the blink dog tattoo can use the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action, and the character retains all of his remaining actions for the round once the teleportation effect is complete.

Castle: A character with the castle tattoo gains spell resistance equal to 10 + his tattooed monk class levels. This tattoo is always active.

Flaming Skull: Two times per day, a character with the flaming skull tattoo gains Resistance 30 to either fire or cold (chosen when the ability is activated). This ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

White Stag: Two times per day, a character with the white stag tattoo can active this tattoo of power as an immediate action to reroll a saving throw, attack roll, skill check, or ability check. The tattooed monk must take the results of the reroll, even if it is worse than the original.

Wraith: Two times per day, a character with the wraith tattoo can become ethereal, as per the spell etherealness. Each use lasts for only one minute and the character cannot affect any other creature (even willing creatures) with this ability.

Tier 6 Tattoos:

Chrysanthemum: A character with the chrysanthemum tattoo stops aging and cannot be magically aged. He no longer accrues any penalties to his physical ability scores, but this tattoo does not remove penalties he has previously gained. In addition, the character needs only two hours of meditation each night (rather than 8 hours of sleep) to rest and regain his abilities, and he no longer requires food or water to survive. This tattoo is always active.

Compass Rose: Once per day, a character with the compass rose tattoo can shadow walk, as per the spell.

Phoenix: Once per day, a character with the phoenix tattoo can activate this ability to receive the effects of both a heal spell and a greater restoration spell.

Portal: Twice per day, a character with the portal tattoo can plane shift, as per the spell. In addition, the character always knows which way is north, and whether or not his is above or below ground level. After using plane shift, the tattooed monk instinctively knows which direction the closest town, village, or city lies, but not the distance.

Shining Star: A character with the shining star tattoo gains damage reduction (DR/magic and chaotic) equal to one-half his tattooed monk class. In addition, the tattooed monk is no longer affected by hostile spells that specify humanoid as the target type. This tattoo is always active.

Sovereign Court

I like the new additions. Some fun stuff in there. Solid work MA.


Any other ideas?

MA


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I do like this concept, it's flavoursome and tasty. I can't think of a way of doing this with 'magic' tattoos as items or feats unless it gets very complex or duplicates spell effects.


Dabbler wrote:
I do like this concept, it's flavoursome and tasty. I can't think of a way of doing this with 'magic' tattoos as items or feats unless it gets very complex or duplicates spell effects.

Inkantations from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming had some really good ideas for magic items tattoos, down to consuming body slots. I would recommend reading it; even if you don't use it there are some good ideas to mine. I didn't want to go that route, and instead am using the tattoos of power as class abilities rather than magic items.

Master Arminas

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

His BAB should be 3/4, he has too many magical powers to have a full BAB, it matches other monks, and he has a d8 HD.

Full BAB is what martial characters get for NOT having great magical abilities.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

His BAB should be 3/4, he has too many magical powers to have a full BAB, it matches other monks, and he has a d8 HD.

Full BAB is what martial characters get for NOT having great magical abilities.

==Aelryinth

Oops. That is a mistake, a glaring one. Thank you for pointing it out Aelryinth--it should be Medium BAB.

Master Arminas


I don't know if you were aware, but from a fluffy point of view, this works really well with several of the monk groups (1 in particular) from City of Strangers. That's awesomesauce in my book.

I'll work on bulletproofing a little later.
I really like this one MA.


zagnabbit wrote:

I don't know if you were aware, but from a fluffy point of view, this works really well with several of the monk groups (1 in particular) from City of Strangers. That's awesomesauce in my book.

I'll work on bulletproofing a little later.
I really like this one MA.

Thanks. I don't read adventures or adventure paths or any of the Golarion (sp?) stuff. I use my own campaign set in Greyhawk. So any resemblance is pure luck.

Can't wait to read what you think.

Master Arminas


I liked City of Strangers so much I use it in my homebrew and in Golarian.
I even use the same name, my players think I'm messing with them.


Someone on Giant in the Playground suggested this:

Quote:

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a tattooed monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a tattooed monk’s ki pool is equal to one-half his tattooed monk level + his Wisdom modifier. As long as he has at least 1 point his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s tattooed monk level. At 10th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a tattooed monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack. In addition, he can spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round. A tattooed monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Finally, a tattooed monk that activates a tattoo of power may spend 1 or more ki points to activate that tattoo as a move action. A Tier 1 or 2 tattoo costs 1 ki point; a Tier 3 or 4 tattoo costs 2 ki points; and a Tier 5 or 6 tattoo costs 3 ki points. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A tattooed monk may gain additional powers form his tattoos that consume ki points 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.

What do you guys think? Should I add it?

Master Arminas


Um I actually like that, but you will really be Ki starved. I'm surprised you didn't go with the 1 per level Ki model you've campaigned for before.
Just a thought.


Zagnabbit, I seriously considered 'fixing' what I see as the problems with flurry and ki pool and ki strike on this monk: but in the end this is based on the Core Rulebook. So I decided to keep the monk (mostly) as is, just replacing abilities with the tattoos of powers.

That makes its far more likely for someone reading it, saying 'gee what a cool class idea', and taking it to their DM gets a thumbs-up, if the basic parts of the class shared with the Core monk don't change. One thing I did do was add Diplomacy as a class skill. But that is it. The rest of the 'kept' monk abilities are copied directly from Core.

Now, for my home game, ki pool would be 1/level + Wisdom modifier. Flurry of blows would be reworked completely.

But for this purpose, I wanted to stay truer towards Core. Before changing it, if that makes any sense.

Master Arminas

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

Hi master arminas. I've made a point of mentioning you in my monk remake on tenletter. I'd welcome your feedback on my take on things.

My criticism of the tattooed monk is that it essentially makes the monk a 3/4 caster (like a bard and a magus). This is fine in itself, but I think it would be more balanced and straight-forward to then do it properly and specify spells-known/spells-per-day as well as a spell list. The flavor and representation would of course remain with tattoos.

Tattoos that represent non-spell items should then look for a spell-equivalent, or could be rolled into separate class abilities.

The problem, in its current form, is that a tattooed monk could pick from an (admittedly more limited) list - but cast considerably more times a day. Consider the first 3 levels:

The monk picks "Knight in Armor", "Shield" and "Snowflake". He gets to cast his first-level spells a total of 10 times per day (3 mage armor, 2 shield, 5 featherfall). Compare with a level 3 bard: 4 spells known, 3 spells per day. This discrepancy favors the monk too strongly, I think.


Thanks for the mention, Lorekeeper--I enjoyed that article immensely; well done. I really that that flurry as two (+) standard actions idea; it has great promise. And the insights are wonderful. Very nice.

Okay, back to your review here (heh). I can't really disagree. But there are some limiting factors: At 20th level, a monk will have an absolute maximum of 20 tattoos of power. Not all of these will be tattoos that duplicate spells. He does, however, have an advantage in the lower levels when he gets to use those available powers more often. That use/day disparity quickly gets smaller and smaller as the bard and monk and magus levels up, until it shifts in favor of the actual spellcasting classes.

The tattooed monk has even fewer spell options than a bard or magus. His tattoos (his spells known, if you will) are set and fixed. He might need to use shield a fourth time in the day, but he can't take a snowflake use and shift that over. And a tattooed monk doesn't get bonus spells or spell slots per day: his uses are fixed once selected.

And unlike those classes, the tattooed monk lacks cantrips--which while lacking in overall power, can be used at will all day long. Some of which can be quite useful.

Now, on the plus side for the tattooed monk, he doesn't have worry about a casting stat (but he needs Wisdom anyway for being a Monk, so that is a wash, heh). That is one reason I didn't just go ahead and make the Monk into an actual 3/4 BAB arcane spellcaster. Adding Int or Cha on top of the already MAD stat requirements would just torpedo the class, in my opinion. And the spells that a Monk needs are (most often) arcane, not divine.

Plus it gives a very different 'feel' to the class. He isn't spellcasting, he is activating tattoos. A tattooed monk might not understand the underlying principles of the magic inked into his skin--he just knows that it works. And he accepts that without question; a view which drives Wizards absolutely crazy (IMO, once again).

In many respects, the class resembles the old 3.5 warlock, from their limited number of tattoos (20) vs. invcations (12); their hit die and BAB; and that both classes had the potential to be versatile and utilitarian within their own area of specialty. The big difference, of course, is that the tattooed monk's powers are not at-will. Resource management is very much a part and parcel of the Pathfinder game system, hence 20 tattoos instead of a dozen.

That being said, we might have to reduce the number tattoos of power, 13 being a good number. That would allow a new tattoo at levels 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, and 19. But that is an option for if the class proves too good in its current form.

Master Arminas


Any chance you can work it into a pdf when finished ? I always find entire write ups hard to read in the forum format.

I am thinking it might make an interesting base class for a 'criminal' organisation in my campaign at some point.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

I agree that there are some differences (having X uses of a particular spell per day, vs X uses a day of a set of spells) - but I'm arguing for the simplicity and consistency of representation. Less special cases, more using existing mechanics to describe new things.

In other words a tattooed monk as described, and one made as a 3/4 caster, are functionally similar enough to not particularly care about their distinctions. That being the case, I think Occam's Razor can be applied to use the simpler and more universal representation that other 3/4 casters use.

Quote:
Okay, back to your review here (heh). I can't really disagree. But there are some limiting factors: At 20th level, a monk will have an absolute maximum of 20 tattoos of power. Not all of these will be tattoos that duplicate spells. He does, however, have an advantage in the lower levels when he gets to use those available powers more often. That use/day disparity quickly gets smaller and smaller as the bard and monk and magus levels up, until it shifts in favor of the actual spellcasting classes.

It really depends what you're counting. A monk certainly has less tattoos known than say a bard has spells known at a given level. But assume that the monk takes a "spell" tattoo every level up to 20. And each of those can only be activated 2/day (which I think is underestimating generously). That is a total of 40 spells/day being cast. A bard at level 20 can cast a total of 30 spells/day.

Admittedly the spell selection/tattoo selection is vastly disparate - but in principle there is nothing stopping a monk being a Wisdom-based caster that happens to cast mage armor. Odds are there is some domain or mystery that grants the spell to certain divine casters anyway.

If you're going to reduce the tattoos, I'd go with 10. I'm all in favor of simplicity of mechanics: "1st level and every two levels thereafter". It speaks of elegance of design.

...

Something that isn't addressed in this case (and perhaps intended, perhaps not): a tattoo can be gained multiple times. If I'm not happy with 2 dimension door a day, why I just get the tattoo four times. :)

Quote:
Thanks for the mention, Lorekeeper--I enjoyed that article immensely; well done. I really that that flurry as two (+) standard actions idea; it has great promise. And the insights are wonderful. Very nice.

:D


I actually had not thought about someone trying to take the same tattoo multiple times; perhaps I should have. But let me set it straight: each tattoo can only be selected once.

Master Arminas


Remco Sommeling wrote:

Any chance you can work it into a pdf when finished ? I always find entire write ups hard to read in the forum format.

I am thinking it might make an interesting base class for a 'criminal' organisation in my campaign at some point.

Sure. I'll have to find someway to post it, or I can e-mail it to you. The latter would probably be easier.

Master Arminas


My take on the tatoos themselves:

Black Sun
This one seems good, Darkvision is a potent spell for a 1st level caster but I can't believe that would break a game.

Cheetah
This one keeps the speed boost as an enhancement bonus, which bugs me, but it makes sense for a pseudo caster. Also since this monk build gains a land speed based flight this is necessary for balance. I wonder if this one might NOT be taken by a newbie or someone who just might majik it with items.

Knight in Armor
I'll be honest, I'm not fond of this. It's a little overkill. Mage Armor is superior to actual armor in almost every way. At level 8 this becomes an almost permanent spell. So there is not much benefit in the uses per day after lvl10, save when you get Dispelled.
I can see no better choice for a 1st lvl tattoo, this is an auto-take.

On a regular Monk frame I've allowed a Quinggong swap for Ablative Armour, I much prefer this spell as it's on a more limited timer and provides an overall benefit more useful to the monk than the arcane classes. It might be too powerful with the way that your healing tattoos are worded.

Mask
This is potentially very powerful in certain types of games. I like it thematically and would use it repeatedly on an NPC as a DM. It would get skipped by most players however given what else is available.

Shield
Auto take. Shield Bonuses are Hard to get for some classes. This spell is actually more valuable to a monk than Mage Armor since it can't be brewed as a potion. I'm not saying to kill it, just be aware. The Devs have deliberately kept shield bonus options scarce as a matter of practice. I'm not sure why but they have.
When combined with Mage Armor, this class will have the highest AC in any game in which it's played. Incorporeal enemies will almost never make contact. This isn't a bad thing but other players may cry foul.
Example:
Shield +4
Mage Armor +4
Dex bonus +2
WIS bonus +3
AC boost +1
TOTAL +13. Easy at level 5.
Now consider that Crane Style, Combat Exp. And Dodge haven't been factored. It's conceivable that a savvy PC may just choose to use Total Defense and road block enemies with impunity.

Snowflake
Too many uses otherwise I love it. Best name.

Tome
Cool and useful.

Unicorn
Awesome, an underutilized spell in my experience. Unfortunately given that both Shield and Mage Armor are available it will be underutilized here as well due to it's situational handicaps.

Wolf
Very powerful given what it's competing with in this tier. I'd definitely keep it as is though.

2nd Tier Tats

Angel
This is a pretty potent heal. Cant be used on self makes it an unlikely choice in most games.

Boar
It's a Morale Bonus. It stacks with Inherent and Enhancement. With 30 seconds of lead time the Tattooed Monk will be a veritable Demi-God before taking on the BBEG. This will allow the mythical 30 Ability Stat. I'd never allow this ( and I have a Homebrewed feat tree that allows monks to advance physical stats ).

As an aside; Stat boosts used to be cool (1st Ed.), when you got one it was as if the Heavens opened up and a Choir of Angels Sang. It was a near artifact benefit. 3.X changed it to something cheap, like a performance upgrade on a car. The ubiquity of stat boosts are the one thing I would curtail if not outright delete for future versions of the rules. That they've become so cheap has lead to the current imbalance between classes, promoted power-gaming, and seriously hampered diversity among classes and gear.
End Rant.

Chameleon
Cool ability. But slightly conflicting with.......

Displacer Beast
Very Cool ability. I'd always take DB over Chameleon but I doubt others would. It s nice to have both options.

Eye of Power
Auto Detect Magic. I'm not sure why but I don't like this thematically.
Not a complaint, just an observation.

Falcon
This ability takes out the primary reason cited for monk weakness in the forums. This ability as written is actually MUCH better than fly. It's closer to a short duration Air Walk. It's the auto take at this tier.

Feathered Serpent
See my Boar observation above.
By adding See Invisibility to this ability it verges on fully broken. There is no way that this is not the First Tatoo taken at this tier, ever. See invisibility would fit better with Eye of Power, vastly improving the chances of that ability being taken.

Full Moon
Nice.

Grasshopper
Compare this and Shield or Snowflake. It should be in the Tier 1 category.

Harp
Unlikely choice given it's competition in this tier.

Hummingbird
Unlikely choice given that Falcon is available at the same level. It's an option for games that spend an enormous (as in all) amount of time in 3 dimensions. Otherwise meh.

Iron Fist
It's too much. Basically Weapon Training for the Monk's UA strikes. That steps on another class's signature class feature, bad feelings arise from that. The damage boost added to the progressive UA damage in the class coupled with the STR Stat boost tattoo, will make this class a barby competitor in the DPR Olympics.
The bonus to hit is nice but as a permanent ability it's a very strong option.
An Auto Take.

Lion
I've never seen a monk fail a fear save, really ever. But the pounce is schweet!

Maul
Love it.

Monkey
It steals too much of Monkey Style's thunder. I understand why you did it. I want Monkey Style but can never justify the feat cost. Some compromise is needed in class design me thinks.
This is just my opinion. Most would love this one.

Oak
I'd swap this with Knight in Armor. For all of the reasons I listed in Shield. It's a tier 1 ability at best. It also adds to the AC boosting dynamo effect I brought up earlier.

Scorpion
Cool but Kind of a style feat. This is one of the most monk flavored abilities on this list. It's complicated but not overly so. I like it despite it's potentially combat altering power.

Spider
It's a tier 1 ability.

Sprite
Awesomesauce

Tiger
See Boar.

I'll work through the others soon.
This was a long enough post as it is.


zagnabbit wrote:

My take on the tatoos themselves:

Cheetah
This one keeps the speed boost as an enhancement bonus, which bugs me, but it makes sense for a pseudo caster. Also since this monk build gains a land speed based flight this is necessary for balance. I wonder if this one might NOT be taken by a newbie or someone who just might majik it with items.

I wanted to allow fast movement as an option. Still, there are some who might not take it, but that is their choice.

Quote:

Knight in Armor

I'll be honest, I'm not fond of this. It's a little overkill. Mage Armor is superior to actual armor in almost every way. At level 8 this becomes an almost permanent spell. So there is not much benefit in the uses per day after lvl10, save when you get Dispelled.
I can see no better choice for a 1st lvl tattoo, this is an auto-take.

On a regular Monk frame I've allowed a Quinggong swap for Ablative Armour, I much prefer this spell as it's on a more limited timer and provides an overall benefit more useful to the monk than the arcane classes. It might be too powerful with the way that your healing tattoos are worded.

Shield
Auto take. Shield Bonuses are Hard to get for some classes. This spell is actually more valuable to a monk than Mage Armor since it can't be brewed as a potion. I'm not saying to kill it, just be aware. The Devs have deliberately kept shield bonus options scarce as a matter of practice. I'm not sure why but they have.
When combined with Mage Armor, this class will have the highest AC in any game in which it's played. Incorporeal enemies will almost never make contact. This isn't a bad thing but other players may cry foul.
Example:
Shield +4
Mage Armor +4
Dex bonus +2
WIS bonus +3
AC boost +1
TOTAL +13. Easy at level 5.
Now consider that Crane Style, Combat Exp. And Dodge haven't been factored. It's conceivable that a savvy PC may just choose to use Total Defense and road block enemies with impunity.

I need to rework these two, I agree.

Quote:

Mask

This is potentially very powerful in certain types of games. I like it thematically and would use it repeatedly on an NPC as a DM. It would get skipped by most players however given what else is available.

Snowflake
Too many uses otherwise I love it. Best name.

Three per day, you think?

Quote:

Tome

Cool and useful.

Unicorn
Awesome, an underutilized spell in my experience. Unfortunately given that both Shield and Mage Armor are available it will be underutilized here as well due to it's situational handicaps.

Wolf
Very powerful given what it's competing with in this tier. I'd definitely keep it as is though.

2nd Tier Tats

Angel
This is a pretty potent heal. Cant be used on self makes it an unlikely choice in most games.

Boar
It's a Morale Bonus. It stacks with Inherent and Enhancement. With 30 seconds of lead time the Tattooed Monk will be a veritable Demi-God before taking on the BBEG. This will allow the mythical 30 Ability Stat. I'd never allow this ( and I have a Homebrewed feat tree that allows monks to advance physical stats ).

As an aside; Stat boosts used to be cool (1st Ed.), when you got one it was as if the Heavens opened up and a Choir of Angels Sang. It was a near artifact benefit. 3.X changed it to something cheap, like a performance upgrade on a car. The ubiquity of stat boosts are the one thing I would curtail if not outright delete for future versions of the rules. That they've become so cheap has lead to the current imbalance between classes, promoted power-gaming, and seriously hampered diversity among classes and gear.
End Rant.

Feathered Serpent
See my Boar observation above.
By adding See Invisibility to this ability it verges on fully broken. There is no way that this is not the First Tatoo taken at this tier, ever. See invisibility would fit better with Eye of Power, vastly improving the chances of that ability being taken.

Tiger
See Boar.

I think you mean Bear. Boar gives temporary hit points. I need to rethink Bear, Feathered Serpent, and Tiger. Perhaps changing them to enhancement bonuses would be appropriate?

Quote:

Chameleon

Cool ability. But slightly conflicting with.......

Displacer Beast
Very Cool ability. I'd always take DB over Chameleon but I doubt others would. It s nice to have both options.

I don't really see the conflict here. They do two very different things.

Quote:

Eye of Power

Auto Detect Magic. I'm not sure why but I don't like this thematically.
Not a complaint, just an observation.

Falcon
This ability takes out the primary reason cited for monk weakness in the forums. This ability as written is actually MUCH better than fly. It's closer to a short duration Air Walk. It's the auto take at this tier.

Perhaps it should be moved to Tier 3, then.

Quote:

Full Moon

Nice.

Sprite
Awesomesauce

Full Moon is nice, but Sprite gets awesomesauce? Luna feels slighted. LOL

Quote:

Grasshopper

Compare this and Shield or Snowflake. It should be in the Tier 1 category.

Harp
Unlikely choice given it's competition in this tier.

Spider
It's a tier 1 ability.

Oak
I'd swap this with Knight in Armor. For all of the reasons I listed in Shield. It's a tier 1 ability at best. It also adds to the AC boosting dynamo effect I brought up earlier.

Okay, let's move all four to Tier 1.

Quote:

Hummingbird

Unlikely choice given that Falcon is available at the same level. It's an option for games that spend an enormous (as in all) amount of time in 3 dimensions. Otherwise meh.

I'm moving Falcon to Tier 3, so that makes Hummingbird a better Tier 2 choice.

Quote:

Iron Fist

It's too much. Basically Weapon Training for the Monk's UA strikes. That steps on another class's signature class feature, bad feelings arise from that. The damage boost added to the progressive UA damage in the class coupled with the STR Stat boost tattoo, will make this class a barby competitor in the DPR Olympics.
The bonus to hit is nice but as a permanent ability it's a very strong option.
An Auto Take.

How about this: Three times per day, acharacter with the iron fist tattoo can activate this tattoo, as a swift action, to gains a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage with his unarmed strike for the next minute. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5 at 16th level.

Basically, it becomes a short-duration Greater Magic Weapon.

Quote:

Lion

I've never seen a monk fail a fear save, really ever. But the pounce is schweet!

Maul
Love it.

Monkey
It steals too much of Monkey Style's thunder. I understand why you did it. I want Monkey Style but can never justify the feat cost. Some compromise is needed in class design me thinks.
This is just my opinion. Most would love this one.

Scorpion
Cool but Kind of a style feat. This is one of the most monk flavored abilities on this list. It's complicated but not overly so. I like it despite it's potentially combat altering power.

I'll work through the others soon.
This was a long enough post as it is.

Actually, I like Monkey. Being able to climb is an underrated ability, in my own opinion. Scorpion might need some work, but I thought the limited uses/day kept it from going over the top.

Thanks, Zagnabbit! Waiting for the rest with great expectations.

Master Arminas


A monk player who skips Cheetah is an obvious novice.
At present speed IS the class.

Knight and Shield maybe a lost cause.
I have a player who has played 3 different monks all with a 1 level dip into Abjuror, to get just this combo.

My suggestion is to move Knight to tier 2 and make it once per day. By that level it works for several hours.
Make Shield 1/2 power. +2 to shield. It's superior to basic Turtle Style, still a Force Effect but not a Tower Shield with no downside.
The Shield spell may be the single best 1st level arcane choice. It's always useful, even at "epic" levels has few alternatives and is not an option for potions or wands. It's actually even better for melee fighters than casters since it opens up two handed options.

On Snowflake (and uses per day), 3per day is pretty good really. Slow Fall is an ability that most players will use as a Quinggong swap. It's something you only use once in a blue moon. But as soon as you don't have it and get "hit with the pit" you're cursing the swap.
Feather Fall is really an amazing ability and it works with Falcon to max out high altitude duration.

On uses I'd cap all of them at 3 per day, or just go with a permanent effect.

On Stat Boosts, enhancement bonuses only.
Sadly the monk needs these abilities. So they should stay. It frees up WBL.
And your so right, I flubbed the transfer and missed Bear and Bloody Rose.

Chameleon and Displaced aren't so much conflicting as competing. A choice will have to be made, but having both options is nice.

Moving Falcon to tier 3 is a good call, at that level it isn't grossly overpowered but will still make all the Fly casters really jealous. It's not Overland but really all day flight is only good for long range scouting and travel. It's mostly taken as a resource conservation option.

The Sprite gets awesomesauce because Cold Iron is more valuable in my view.
Silver hits lycanthropes and certain devils plus some odd corner cases. These aren't really scaling encounter types. Lycanthropes are also overused in many cases. Mithral is much more common as a material choice since it's shiny and makes a great shield (for bashing). It's stronger (anti sunder tech). And is the preferred medium fluff wise for the DemiHuman races, fluff wise.
Cold Iron on the other hand is actually more common as a form of DR. there is a fey creature at every single CR rating and it also tags certain outsiders. Fey creatures are also highly likely to employ the types of attacks that can shut down the other Martials, will saves. That the monk is frequently the best character to not fall to these tactics yet is the least likely to be able to counterattack is a shame.
Thus awesomesauce.

On Iron Fist, that's better, it mirrors the pally and the magus. It's important to not undo the progress that PFRPG made with the Fighter when trying to catchup the other lagging classes.

I'd leave Scorpion as is, but that's me. It's a super powered AoO but twice per day isn't going to break a game.
You're right, climbing is underrated but which would you prefer Monkey or Spider?

You're welcome.
I'm looking forward to this as well. This is a really strong concept.


I missed both Bloody Rose and Boar.

After seeing what a Sihedron Medalion did for a Halfling Barbarian (an astoundingly silly character concept) I'm of the opinion that False Life is just down right spectacular. It kept that little zerker alive well past the point where he had any right to survive ( the player was trying to commit "suicide by monster" every encounter ). So Boar is a really strong choice.

Bloody Rose is a nice ability, strong as heals go but it's not shareable. I actually like that you split the heal abilities up.


Agreed, Zagnabbit. I will be reworking the Tier 1 and 2 powers according to what we talked about--and I like your idea for Knight (making it 2 and moving Oak to 1) and the suggestion about Shield was along the lines of what I was already thinking of.

Thanks on the compliments on Angel/Bloody Rose. I didn't want to step too much on the clerics shoes, but certain Lawful Good monk builds might (for character sake) choose Angel to heal others. That is the sort of selfless choice that should be rewarded by the DM. Other players, will frankly say screw the NPCs and other PCs, I'll keep my healing to myself.

I've got to take a look at Monkey and Spider again. I may have to adjust the duration on Spider downward and that of Monkey up. Since Spider doesn't need a climb check (but you do have to have a hand and at least one foot on a surface). Sigh. I meant for Spider to last only 1/round per level (I forgot that the spell has a 10/level duration!) and that would put Monkey at the long duration version. Not as good, but it lasts longer.

Anyway, can't wait for the 3, 4, 5, and 6 Tiers!

Master Arminas


Ok tier 3 tattoos, these are available at 7th level.

Broken Chains
This is a powerful ability. I'm spacing on the spell level at the moment but I'm thinking lvl4 usually. It fits the class so this one seems good to go.

Constrictor
This one is perfect.

Erinyes
I can usually Intimidate most creatures into a bowel movement with my monks. But this is a cool ability, and seriously, a face covered in tattoos is pretty scary to most people. Since a ton of creatures are immune or highly resistant to this spell it's not an issue that it's available early by comparison.

Flaming Sword
This one seems weak for the level, but a move to tier 2 would be too much. Since it lacks the Crit effect of the Lightning tattoo I might make it where it could effect weapons as well as UA strikes.

Gargoyle
This one is overpowered. Compare it to Stoneskin, a 5th level spell that hardcore Wizard players will take before Teleport or Overland Flight. Stoneskin also has an outrageous 5000gp material component. That component is still paid for by the Wizard players because it's just that good. Bump it to tier 5( or even 6 since there is no material cost ). Add this to spectacular saves, stratospheric AC and spell resistance and you get a Kung Fu Dreadnaught.
This one should be capped at once per day. Otherwise the Arcanes will rebel at the table.

Ghostly Visage
I'm conflicted. I know that Ghost Touch is a valuable ability. I just don't want to waste a class feature on an incredibly situational ability. It's a +1 weapon mod. ( cheap ). So I'm stuck on where I'd put it.
I'd either make it a constant UA Strike only ability or I'd drop it to tier 2. It may seem overpowered at level 2 but it's not that usuable at low levels due to the CR mechanics and it's a very situational ability. I could be way off on this but that's my take.

Heart
Cool ability it's perfect.

Lightning Bolt
I like this better than the Flaming Sword despite it lack of variance in energy selection.
Just a note adding 1d8 Sonic is currently unprecedented in PF. Sonic always takes a smaller die, this is because sonic immunity is super rare. There is nothing wrong with it as written, my observation is all.

Serrated Dagger
I'll be honest I don't like this one. It steals the Rogue's signature ability. It's happened before so it's not unprecedented. But still thats my take on it. That you've delayed it as much as you have is a balance cheque. The ability is fine.
A Medussa Strike, Flurry on a Stunned opponent with Sneak damage is potentially crazy, that's alot of "ifs" though.

Shark
Awesomesauce, really it's perfect. There should be a 5th or 6th level spell just like this (or is there?).

Tornado
You will need to address the interaction of the Ki point extra, Medusa and how the Flurry works if you introduce Haste. I can see the arguments already. It's a smart ability to include but it's one that simplicity will be the bane of it.

Viper
I love poison but have never found this spell that hot. The save DC is not a scaling factor so that's an issue for all offensive effects. It's a cool ability to have without multiclassing into Alchemist and taking feats.


zagnabbit wrote:

Ok tier 3 tattoos, these are available at 7th level.

Broken Chains
This is a powerful ability. I'm spacing on the spell level at the moment but I'm thinking lvl4 usually. It fits the class so this one seems good to go.

Constrictor
This one is perfect.

Erinyes
I can usually Intimidate most creatures into a bowel movement with my monks. But this is a cool ability, and seriously, a face covered in tattoos is pretty scary to most people. Since a ton of creatures are immune or highly resistant to this spell it's not an issue that it's available early by comparison.

Flaming Sword
This one seems weak for the level, but a move to tier 2 would be too much. Since it lacks the Crit effect of the Lightning tattoo I might make it where it could effect weapons as well as UA strikes.

Done. I thought that one was a little weak.

Quote:

Gargoyle

This one is overpowered. Compare it to Stoneskin, a 5th level spell that hardcore Wizard players will take before Teleport or Overland Flight. Stoneskin also has an outrageous 5000gp material component. That component is still paid for by the Wizard players because it's just that good. Bump it to tier 5( or even 6 since there is no material cost ). Add this to spectacular saves, stratospheric AC and spell resistance and you get a Kung Fu Dreadnaught.
This one should be capped at once per day. Otherwise the Arcanes will rebel at the table.

And I was concerned this was was too strong. How about this:

Quote:
Twice per day, a character with the gargoyle tattoo can active this tattoo to gain DR 5/adamantine. Each use of this ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level, or until the DR has absorbed 5 points of damage per tattooed monk class level (maximum of 75 points).

Makes it distinctly weaker than the wizard's stoneskin, but then it doesn't cost 5,000 gp in material components either.

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Ghostly Visage

I'm conflicted. I know that Ghost Touch is a valuable ability. I just don't want to waste a class feature on an incredibly situational ability. It's a +1 weapon mod. ( cheap ). So I'm stuck on where I'd put it.
I'd either make it a constant UA Strike only ability or I'd drop it to tier 2. It may seem overpowered at level 2 but it's not that usuable at low levels due to the CR mechanics and it's a very situational ability. I could be way off on this but that's my take.

Made it apply to melee and thrown weapons as well.

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Heart

Cool ability it's perfect.

Lightning Bolt
I like this better than the Flaming Sword despite it lack of variance in energy selection.
Just a note adding 1d8 Sonic is currently unprecedented in PF. Sonic always takes a smaller die, this is because sonic immunity is super rare. There is nothing wrong with it as written, my observation is all.

I was actually using the thundering property in the Core Rulebook, which lets you deal an extra +1d8 sonic on a critical hit. The whole 'thunderbolts and lightning' routine, after all.

Quote:

Serrated Dagger

I'll be honest I don't like this one. It steals the Rogue's signature ability. It's happened before so it's not unprecedented. But still thats my take on it. That you've delayed it as much as you have is a balance cheque. The ability is fine.
A Medussa Strike, Flurry on a Stunned opponent with Sneak damage is potentially crazy, that's alot of "ifs" though.

Agreed. I want something like this, but I wasn't sure about the wording or the exact effect. It does only last a single round, but . . . I don't know.

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Shark

Awesomesauce, really it's perfect. There should be a 5th or 6th level spell just like this (or is there?).

Tornado
You will need to address the interaction of the Ki point extra, Medusa and how the Flurry works if you introduce Haste. I can see the arguments already. It's a smart ability to include but it's one that simplicity will be the bane of it.

Viper
I love poison but have never found this spell that hot. The save DC is not a scaling factor so that's an issue for all offensive effects. It's a cool ability to have without multiclassing into Alchemist and taking feats.

Well thanks. I will address the potential conflict between ki attack, Medusa's Wrath, and haste on my next revision.

MA


Revised Tier 1-3 Tattoos

Tier 1 Tattoos:

Black Sun: Two times per day, a character with the black sun tattoo gains dark-vision out to a distance of 60’. He can see in both natural and magical darkness to the extent of his vision. Each use of the tattoo lasts for 10 minutes per tattooed monk class level.

Cheetah: A character with the cheetah tattoo gains a +10’ enhancement bonus to his movement. This tattoo is always active. At 4th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, the tattooed monk’s bonus to movement increases by an additional +10’ to a maximum movement bonus of +60’ at 20th level.

Mask: Three times per day, a character with the mask tattoo may use disguise self, as per the spell, except with a duration of 1 minute per tattooed monk class level. When the tattooed monk reaches 10th level, this ability improves to alter self, as per the spell, except with a duration of 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Grasshopper: A character with the grasshopper tattoo gains a bonus on all Acrobatics checks made to jump equal to his tattooed monk class level. If the tattooed monk spends 1 point of ki, he gains an additional bonus of +20 on the skill check.

Harp: A character with the harp tattoo gains a +2 competence bonus on all Diplomacy and Perform skill checks. At 7th level, and again at 13th level this bonus increases by an additional +2. This tattoo is always active.

Oak: Three times per day, a character with the oak tattoo gains a natural armor enhancement bonus, as per the spell barkskin. This ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk level.

Shield: Two times per day, a character with the shield tattoo can activate this tattoo to gain a +2 shield bonus to his armor class for 1 round per tattooed monk class level. This shield bonus is a force effect and applies against incorporeal touch attacks. In addition, this tattoo absorbs the force darts created by the spell magic missile. Once an active shield tattoo has absorbed a number of darts equal to the tattooed monk’s class level, this ability immediately ends, and any remaining darts damage the character.

Snowflake: Three times per day, a character with the snowflake tattoo can, as an immediate action, use feather fall, as per the spell.

Spider: Two times per day, a character with the spider tattoo can use spider climb, as per the spell, except that this ability only lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Tome: Three times per day, a character with the tome tattoo can use comprehend languages, as per the spell, except with a duration of 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Unicorn: Three times per day, a character with the unicorn tattoo can select an alignment opposed to his own and gains a measure of protection from the attacks of creatures of that alignment, as per the spells protection from chaos/evil/good/law. This ability lasts 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Wolf: Three times per day, a character with the wolf tattoo gains low-light vision, scent, and he cannot be tracked by mundane means (as though under the effect of the spell pass without trace). Each use lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Tier 2 Tattoos:

Angel: Three times per day, a character with the angel tattoo can lay his hands upon a creature or character (but not himself) and heal his wounds. Each use of this ability cures 2d8 points of hit point damage, plus the character’s Wisdom modifier, plus the character’s tattooed monk class level (to a maximum of +10).

Bear: Three times per day, a character with the bear tattoo gains a +4 enhancement bonus to his Strength ability score and is protected from heat and cold as per the spell endure elements. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Bloody Rose: Three times per day, a character with the bloody rose tattoo can heal a small amount hit point damage that he has taken. Each use heals the character 2d8 points of damage, plus the character’s Wisdom bonus (if any), plus 1 point for each of the character class levels as a tattooed monk (to a maximum of +10). A tattooed monk cannot use this ability on others, only himself.

Boar: Three times per day, a character with the boar tattoo gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 1d10 plus his tattooed monk class level (maximum of +10). Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 hour per tattooed monk class level or until the temporary hit points are used. This tattoo can be activated as an immediate action if the character is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by an attack, but only once per round.

Chameleon: Two times per day, a character with the chameleon tattoo may active this tattoo of power to become invisible, as per the spell.

Displacer Beast: Two times per day, a character with the displacer beast tattoo may activate this tattoo of power to grant himself blur, as per the spell. Each use of this ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk level.

Eye of Power: A character with the eye of power tattoo may use detect magic, as per the spell, at will. Three times per day, he may also use detect chaos/evil/good/law, as per the spell, and see invisibility, as per the spell, for up to 1 minute per use. When using the detect alignment ability of this tattoo, the tattooed monk also gains an impression of the relative strength of the target observed (after three rounds of concentration, depending on class levels and/or hit die): weaker than the tattooed monk, approximately the same as the tattooed monk, or stronger than the tattooed monk.

Feathered Serpent: Three times per day, a character with the feathered serpent tattoo gains a +4 enhancement bonus to his Wisdom ability score. While this tattoo is active, the tattooed monk also gains a +2 enhancement bonus on his Perception and Sense Motive skill checks. This bonus increases to +4 at 7th level and to +6 at 13th level. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Full Moon: A character with the full moon tattoo allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as silver weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Hummingbird: Three times per day, a character with the hummingbird tattoo can use levitate, as per the spell.

Iron Fist: Three times per day, a character with the iron fist tattoo can activate this tattoo, as a swift action, to gain a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks and damage with his unarmed strike for the next minute. At 7th level, and every three levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum enhancement bonus of +5 at 16th level.

Knight in Armor: Three times per day, a character with the knight in armor tattoo can use mage armor, as per the spell.

Lion: Three times per day, a character with the lion tattoo becomes immune to fear and fear effects. If the character performs a charge while this tattoo is active, he may spend 1 ki point as a swift action to gain an additional attack at his highest attack bonus. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Maul: Three times per day, a character with the maul tattoo can use shatter, as per the spell.

Monkey: Three times per day, a character with the monkey tattoo gains a +2 competence bonus on all Acrobatics and Climb skill checks. At 7th level, and again at 13th level, this bonus increases by an additional +2. He may climb at his full speed and retains his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Scorpion: Twice per day, as an immediate action, a character with the scorpion tattoo can make an attack of opportunity against a creature that successful strikes him in combat. This attack of opportunity receives a competence bonus of +2 on the attack roll and deals double normal damage (as per a critical hit, neither precision damage nor elemental damage is multiplied). If this special attack of opportunity is successful, and if the creature attacking the monk is reduced to zero hit points or lower by this attack, than the attack which provoked the use of the scorpion tattoo is completely negated. If the character fails to hit his opponent, or if he hits and deals insufficient damage to drop him to zero hit points or below, then the character with this tattoo suffers the full effects of his opponent’s attack.

Sprite: A character with the sprite tattoo allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as cold iron weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Tiger: Three times per day, a character with the tiger tattoo gains a +4 morale bonus to his Dexterity ability score and can move through thickly overgrown areas without penalty (as per the druid ability woodland stride). Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Tier 3 Tattoos:

Broken Chains: Twice per day, a character with the broken chains tattoo receives the bonuses granted by the spell freedom of movement for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Constrictor: A character with the constrictor tattoo gains a +2 competence bonus on all grapple checks. This bonus is constant. Twice per day, if the tattooed monk successful strikes an opponent with an unarmed strike, he may start a grapple with a free action in addition to dealing his normal damage.

Erinyes: Two times per day, a character with the erinyes tattoo[i] can use [i]fear, as per the spell.

Falcon: A character with the falcon tattoo gains a constant +4 competence bonus on all visual Perception checks. In addition, twice per day, he may use fly as per the spell, except that his speed while flying is equal to his normal movement. This use of the tattoo lasts for 1 round for tattooed monk class level.

Flaming Sword: Three times per day, a character with the flaming sword tattoo can sheath his fists in magical flames that deal either cold or fire damage (chosen by the character when the ability is activated). Alternatively, he can choose on weapon that he is currently wielding instead of his unarmed strikes. This adds +1d6 of either cold or fire damage to the character’s unarmed strike damage. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Gargoyle: Twice per day, a character with the gargoyle tattoo can active this tattoo to gain DR 5/adamantine. Each use of this ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level, or until the DR has absorbed 5 points of damage per tattooed monk class level (maximum of 75 points).

Ghostly Visage: Twice per day, a character with the ghostly visage tattoo can gain the ability to bestow ghost touch, as per the special weapon property, upon his unarmed strikes, melee or thrown weapons, and combat maneuvers. This ability lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level.

Heart: A character with the heart tattoo gains the Endurance feat as well as a +4 morale bonus against any magical effect that would fatigue or exhaust the character. If a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that causes fatigue or exhaustion without a saving throw targets the character, the character instead can save (without the above bonus) to negate the effect. This effects of this tattoo are always active.

Lightning Bolt: Three times per day, a character with the lightning bolt tattoo can sheath his fists in magical crackling electricity that deals electrical damage. This adds +1d6 of electrical damage to the character’s unarmed strike damage. Each use of this tattoo lasts for 1 round per tattooed monk class level. On a successful critical hit, the character’s unarmed strikes also deal an additional 1d8 points of sonic damage.

Serrated Dagger: A character with the serrated dagger tattoo gains the ability to deal precision sneak attack damage as a Rogue. Three times per day, as a swift action, the tattooed monk can activate this ability for 1 round. If his opponent is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC or is flanked, the tattooed monk gains 2d6 of sneak attack dice. At 11th level, and every four tattooed monk levels gained thereafter, the number of sneak attack dice possessed by the tattooed monk when he uses this ability increases by +1, to a maximum of 5d6 at 19th level.

Shark: Three times per day, a character with the shark tattoo can gain the ability to breath water as well as air and is immune to the effects of water pressure. While this tattoo is active, the character also gains a Swim speed equal to his normal movement and a +8 bonus on Swim checks made to avoid hazards (no Swim check is necessary to move underwater). The character suffers no penalties for using slashing and bludgeoning weapons while submerged. This ability lasts for 1 minute per tattooed monk class level.

Tornado: Two times per day, a character with the tornado tattoo may use haste, as per the spell, for 1 round per tattooed monk level. This tattoo affects only the tattooed monk.

Viper: Twice per day, as a swift action, a character with the viper tattoo can inflict the victim of one of his successful unarmed strikes with a virulent poison, as per the spell poison.

As you folks can see, I adopted many of your suggestions on Tier 1-3. Next we will look at 4-6, once everyone has had an opportunity to chime in. If you see any errors or something that doesn't work, let me know.

Master Arminas


Tier 4 tattoos come on line at level 10
(This is my personal tater for when characters are operating at optimal utility)

Bat
This is a good ability.
I might like a permanent effect that operates at very close range say 15' but this is fine, I'd take this one first I think either way. Blindsense is just that good.

Black Wave
This is a standard class feature swap, so good to go. Maybe a tier 3 ability?

Crescent Moon
I'm a big proponent of Dispel Magic so this is a no brainer. That the Monk may be the only guy in a group who can shrug off a magical onslaught it's cool that he can fix his buddies.

I would call this tier 3 though. Unless you would make it a once per day Greater Dispel Magic.

Dragon
There is nothing not to love in this ability. A blaster effect is nice add on at this point.

Eye of Knowledge
Ok so a permanent Tongues is a potent ability, but subjective. In my experience far to many games completely smooth over the common barrier of language with whole planets or even planes of existence speaking some generic Common Tongue. The way this is written, it almost seems to be Tongue of the Sun and the Moon available early.
If that's the case and it offers plants, insects and animals as conversation partners then this is a really good tattoo, regardless it's at a good point tier wise for a permanent ability.

Harlequin
Cool, ability. Seems right in the progression of abilities. I'm unsure of a dual spell buy but it's thematically appropriate so that's worth something considerable to my mind.

Skull with Thorns
Yep badass. The one thing the monk could get hosed by, now a counter.

Tier 5, which come online at lvl13.

Battle-ax
I'd drop this back to at least tier 4. I'd absolutely keep it. I've never taken the bonus Imp. Crit. Feat, mostly due to the lack of advantage. This could change that.

Blink Dog
It's Abundant Step without the silly turn ending handicap, what's not to love? It comes online 1 level later but since it's fixed, that's worthwhile.

Castle
Standard class feature. I'd lobby for a free action raise/lower to benefit from allied spellcasters but that's an outside case.

Flaming Skull
Nice ability.

White Stag
Cool ability but maybe a little weak in the tier. With 3 options before tier 6 becomes available this will be picked by the paranoid and people who have dice that hate them. 8) I'm one of those people though.

Wraith
Nice, I can finally get this before the campaign is freaking over.

Tier 6, at level 16, these are capstone abilities.

Chrysanthemum
As written this makes you effectively immortal. The reality is this has almost no game impact. It's super cool though.

Compass Rose
I love this. Not much else to say.

Phoenix
Outsider, pshaw. Now this is a capstone ability, I'd take it first, so i could pull a truly epic last stand. Perfect.

Portal
Nothing wrong with duping a 9th level spell as a SLA. This is functional and fits with the Irori fluff, that MA hasn't read most likely, where certain Grand Masters just disappear one day to go and serve Irori personally. Maybe should have been a Monk ability all along.

Shining Star
I'd just keep the old capstone. With what has already been offered this isn't really necessary. Some people like being a Native Outsider, although I'm not sure why. The Outsider tag cleans up a lot of confusion on the ability.

Hope this helps, the later abilities were much tighter in focus and implementation.

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