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The Martial Mystic Monk


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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Well sports fans, here we are again. Another month and guess what? Another new monk thread. I want to thank Ashiel, Dabbler, Tels, Talonhawke, and many, many others for giving me some ideas for this one. And I have to say, I think this one may finally do it. It accomplishes all that the monk, since its first showing in AD&D held the promise of. It doesn't outshine a fighter, or a barbarian, or a ranger, or a paladin, but it is a martial class that can hold its own and make a difference in combat.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy it. Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions (for good or ill) that you wish.

Master Arminas


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The Martial Mystic Monk

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

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

Alignment: Any lawful.

Hit Die: d8.

BAB: Medium

Good Saves: Fort; Reflex; and Will

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

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, sling, and spear.
Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, and Scorpion Style.
At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Gorgon’s Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Mobility, Snatch Arrows, and Vital Strike.
At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Critical, Improved Vital Strike, Medusa’s Wrath, and Spring Attack.
At 14th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, Greater Trip, and Greater Vital Strike.
A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Fleet: Starting at 1st level, a monk gains Fleet as a bonus feat. This increases his base speed (for his race) by +5 feet. This increase in speed is not an enhancement bonus. This benefit only applies if the monk is wearing no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load.
At 2nd level, and every three levels gained thereafter as a monk, the monk gains this feat again. Its benefits stack, to a maximum speed increase of +40 feet at 20th level.

Intuitive Defense (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed.
The benefits from this class feature only apply if the monk is wearing no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load.

Living Weapon (Ex): A monk gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat as a bonus feat. Unlike most creatures, a monk is trained to use his entire body as a single, living weapon. He may perform an unarmed strike with any portion of his body, regardless of whether or not he is carrying any items or weapons in his hands, or while grappled. If the monk is rendered helpless, or he is bound, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to move, he may use not use this class feature until he is no longer helpless, bound, paralyzed, or otherwise stricken.
Regardless of whether or not a monk performs an unarmed strike with his feet, fists, elbows, knees, or head, he deals a larger amount of damage than other creatures. A monk’s unarmed strike deals 1d8 points of damage and threatens a critical hit (x2 damage) on a roll of 20. This damage is for monks who are Medium size. A Small monk deals 1d6 points of damage and a Large monk deals 1d10 points of damage with their unarmed strike. The listed damage does not increase as the monk advances in level.
Usually, a monk’s unarmed strike deals lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A monk’s unarmed strike can be the target of any spell, effect, or feat that specifies either a manufactured weapon or a natural attack, such as align weapon, greater magic fang, haste, or magic weapon.
Upon reaching 3rd level as a monk, and again at 6th, 9th, 12th, and 15th level, a monk gains a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack and damage rolls made with his unarmed strike. His unarmed strike is treated as a magic weapon for purposes bypassing damage reduction (and thus bypasses cold iron or silver based DR at 9th level, adamantine based DR at 12th level, and alignment based DR at 15th level) and affecting incorporeal creatures.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Rapid Strikes (Ex): A monk of 2nd level or higher is able to move far quicker than expected, especially when launching attacks against his opponents. When a monk performs a full-attack with his unarmed strike, a special monk weapon, or with a club, dagger, handaxe, short sword, or spear, he gains an additional attack at his highest attack bonus. Upon reaching 8th level as a monk, he gains a second additional attack, once again at his highest base attack bonus and a third additional attack when he attains 15th level as a monk. The monk suffers no penalty on his attacks (as would a creature using Two-Weapon Fighting) when he uses this ability.
While using rapid strikes, a monk may freely alternate attacks between his unarmed strike and any allowed weapon or weapons which he is wielding. A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with rapid strikes, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, or trip combat maneuvers for any attack he makes as part of rapid strikes.
A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike, a special monk weapon, or those listed in this class ability above as part of a rapid strikes.
Rapid strikes cannot be combined with the Two-Weapon Fighting feats to gain additional attacks, nor can a monk combine natural attacks with his rapid strikes.

Stunning Fist (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect.
At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration.
A monk can select which condition to apply each time he makes a stunning fist attack, limited only by his monk level.
A monk gains one use of this feat for every monk level he possesses, as described in the Stunning Fist feat.

Catfall (Ex): At 3rd level or higher, a monk can fall incredible distances without suffering damage. When falling, a monk always lands on his feet. In addition, by spending 1 point of from his ki pool (see below) as an immediate action, he reduces the damage inflicted from a fall by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level. Unlike magical spells (such as feather fall) with similar effects, a monk is not slowed during his descent, making this ability a favored method for higher level monks to rapidly descend great distances quickly.

Ki Pool (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk's ki pool is equal to his monk level + his Wisdom modifier.
By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a rapid strikes attack. In addition, he can spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round. A monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Finally, a monk can spend 1 point to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when he charges, uses the Spring Attack feat, or moves and uses a standard action to attack an opponent. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A monk gains additional powers that consume points from his ki pool as he gains levels.
The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.
The additional attack and dodge bonus granted by spending a ki pool point does not stack with the effects of the haste spell or similar effects, such as a speed weapon.

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

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

Agility Training (Ex): At 4th level, a monk adds one-half his level (round down) to all Acrobatics skill checks. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk can gain an additional +20 bonus on all Acrobatics checks for 1 round.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 4th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases (such as lycanthropy and mummy rot).

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

Monastic Weapons Training (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a monk gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls when he uses his unarmed strike, a special monk weapon, or any of the weapons listed in his rapid strikes ability.
A monk also adds this bonus on any Grapple combat maneuver check that he makes, as well as his Combat Maneuver Defense against Grapple combat maneuvers.
At 9th level, and again at 13th and 17th level, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum bonus of +4 at 17th level.
Monastic weapon training is not the same ability as fighter weapon training.

Opening the Third Eye (Sp): At 6th level, a monk may spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself low-light vision (as an elf) for 10 minutes per monk level. If the monk already possesses low-light vision, he has twice the normal range. At 10th level, when the monk spends 1 point of ki to activate this ability, he may instead gain dark-vision out to a range of 60 feet for 10 minutes per monk level. If the monk already possesses dark-vision, then his current range on that ability increases by 30 feet. Finally, at 14th level, the monk can instead spend 2 points from his ki pool to gain blind-sense in a 20-foot radius for 1 minute per monk level.

Ring the Gong (Su): Starting at 6th level, a monk may spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action in order to make a ranged attack (as a standard action) against a single target within 10 feet per monk class level. This ranged attack uses the normal attack bonus of the monk’s unarmed strike, and does damage just as if the monk were standing adjacent to the target. The monk must still strike the target’s AC in order to achieve a hit. If the hit is successful, the monk may deliver his stunning fist (see above) or quivering palm (see below) attacks through this class ability. As normal, the monk must declare using either of these two special attacks prior to attempting ring the gong.

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

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

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

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

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

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 10th level, a monk can react to danger before his sense would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A monk with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against him.
If a monk already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

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

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

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

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to his current monk level +10. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance. A monk can lower his spell resistance once per round as a free action (even if it is not his turn to act), allowing an ally to affect him with a spell. Immediately after the spell is cast upon the monk, however, the spell resistance is restored.
By spending 1 point from his ki pool as an immediate action, a monk can boost his spell resistance by 4 until the start of his next turn.

Cloud Step (Su): At 13th level, a monk may spend 2 points from his ki pool to air walk, as per the spell, for 1 round per 2 class levels (round down). When the monk uses cloud step he may neither run nor may he charge. This ability only applies if the monk is wearing no armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A monk of 14th level or higher can no longer be flanked.
This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the monk possesses monk levels.
If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk transcends his mortal limitations. He may spend 2 points from his ki pool to gain blind-sight in a 20-foot radius for 1 minute per monk level. He gains immunity versus all hostile mind-affecting spells, spell-like abilities, and other effects (this replaces and does not stack with the still mind ability), and he becomes the recipient of a constant nondetection and undetectable alignment effect (as per the spells). Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic, which allows him to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Furthermore, a monk who has attained this level of experience can go for twenty days without food or drink before suffering from ill effects (this replaces the duration from the spiritual endurance class feature).
The few monks who reach this level of achievement often retire from adventuring to explore what they are becoming. Only those with the strongest of ties to their companions and their homelands remain, but even these will eventually simply vanish one night, never to return.

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


Okay. Here is the breakdown. This class manages to rack up a total attack bonus (by 20th level) of +26. Base +15, +4 from Monastic Weapons Training, +5 from Enhancement, and +2 from feats. Exclusive of Strength.

Compare that with a non-smiting Paladin, a Ranger against something that is not a favored enemy, and a non-raging Barbarian. Those classes have a Base +20, +5 from Enhancement, and +1 from feats. Total of +26. Same as my new monk, and not including Strength.

So he is as good at fighting a Paladin, Ranger, or Barbarian at Condition Normal (no special abilities).

Let's check against a fighter. Base +20, Weapons Training +6 (gloves of dueling), Enhancement +5, and feats +2. Total is +33. Once again, all exclusive of Strength.

The fighter is still ahead, by +7, but that's okay because we don't want to obsolete the fighter.

How about damage? Well, this monk doesn't have the scaling unarmed damage (sigh) of the original or 3rd edition or Pathfinder edition. He does a set 1d8. Add +5 enhancement to that and he does 1d8+5, before Strength.

The Paladin, Barbarian, and Ranger are in the same boat here. Without their special abilities, they are at weapon damage +5 as well.

The fighter, since he is the baddest fighting machine out there, does weapon damage +5 (enhancement) +4 (feats) +6 (weapons training): weapon damage +15.

He's still ahead.

BUT WAIT, Master Arminas, the crowd yells. You aren't considering the attacks that your monk gets.

True, he gets more attacks. By 20th level he is looking at +26/+26/+26/+26/+21/+16, plus one more at +26 if he spends ki.

Seven attacks (nine if he has Medusa's Flurry and the target qualifies).

The fighter has +33/+28/+23/+18, and the other maritals have +26/+21/+16/+11 (w/o their special abilities). Haste or a weapon of speed adds one more at their highest. Seven vs. five. 9-5 if Medusa's Wrath works.

So, yes, the monk still has more attacks, but his damage will remain well below a fighter and only exceeds a Paladin/Ranger/Barbarian who are not smiting, favored eneming (is that a word?), or raging.

I think it works. The other changes include boosting the skill points to 6 per level and reworking a lot of the class features. Flurry of blows, for example, is gone, replaced with my rapid strikes. The ki pool has been expanded upon and has new options, including the ability to spend a point and get two attacks while moving. I've added a ranged unarmed strike attack (ring the gong) and kept the flavor of the monk intact, I think.

It doesn't overwhelm, it doesn't mop the floor with existing classes, but it fills the niche for a light, mobile martial artist.

Oh, and I fixed the monk's speed. I think you will like what I came up with . . . and in a way that anyone in canon can do, if they were willing to spend the feats. Best of all, the monk's speed isn't an enhancement bonus anymore, so he gets even faster with haste or boots of striding and springing.

To be certain, this version doesn't address the problems of MAD. So this monk is still going to lag behind the four prime martial classes of Pathfinder (fighter, paladin, ranger, barbarian). Unfortunately, I can't really find a way to reduce that MADness without ruining the ideal monk I have pictured in my head. If we allowed Wisdom instead of Strength on attack and damage rolls, I would imagine we would be seeing an awful number of Str 10 (or lower) monks out there; plus the class would become the dip of choice for clerics and druids. Dexterity does the same thing, but the dippers would be rogues and bards! No, the monk is a class that needs four (or even five) ability scores at solid levels, and I don't see an easy way around that.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts.

MA


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

well my my that's quite an impressive set up you got there. i like it very much and wanted to give you props for including the oh so essential "improve" feats without prerequisite, as that does help the MAD even if oh so slightly.


and so:

1 feat, fleet, intuitive defense, living weapon
2 feat, fleet, evasion, rapid strikes, stunning fist
3 catfall, ki pool, maneuver training, still mind
4 agility training, purity of body, stunning fist (fatigue)
5 fleet, light as a feather, monastic weapon training +1
6 feat, opening the third eye, ring the gong, speak with animals
7 wholeness of body
8 fleet, spiritual endurance, stunning fist (sick)
9 improved evasion, monastic weapon training +2
10 feat, duty never tires, uncanny dodge
11 fleet, diamond body
12 unfettered speech, stunning fist (stagger)
13 diamond soul, cloud step, monastic weapon training +3
14 feat, fleet, improved uncanny dodge
15 quivering palm
16 adamantine touch, stunning fist (blind)
17 fleet, tongues, monastic weapon training +4
18 stalwart soul, feat
19 empty body
20 fleet, perfect self, stunning fist (paralyze)

this looks neat. diggin' the ki standard strike twice.
typo the first 'monastic weapon training' is 5th not 4th.
cheers


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like it, there are lots of nicer powers but...there are a few glitches.

1) He's still MAD.

2) Lots of attacks for less damage gets shut down by DR, every time. Without a means of bypassing DR this monk is toast vs DR until he gets that +5 enhancement.

3) There's a lot of nice abilities, but it feels like everything is fitted under one roof. Options in abilities would be nice (OK, maybe I went to far with my mystic monk, but the idea was for options as well as a workable monk).


Dabbler wrote:

I like it, there are lots of nicer powers but...there are a few glitches.

1) He's still MAD.

2) Lots of attacks for less damage gets shut down by DR, every time. Without a means of bypassing DR this monk is toast vs DR until he gets that +5 enhancement.

3) There's a lot of nice abilities, but it feels like everything is fitted under one roof. Options in abilities would be nice (OK, maybe I went to far with my mystic monk, but the idea was for options as well as a workable monk).

Dooh! I fixed it and then posted the original, not the fix! I had addressed the DR problem, Dabbler, and left it out.

Ki Pool (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk's ki pool is equal to his monk level + his Wisdom modifier.
By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a rapid strikes attack. In addition, he can spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round. A monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. A monk can spend 1 point to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when he charges, uses the Spring Attack feat, or moves and uses a standard action to attack an opponent. Finally, by spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can ignore damage reduction (except untyped DR such as 5/-) with his unarmed strike for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A monk gains additional powers that consume points from his ki pool as he gains levels.
The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.
The additional attack and dodge bonus granted by spending a ki pool point does not stack with the effects of the haste spell or similar effects, such as a speed weapon.

The bolded portion is what I left out. Sorry.

MA


rainzax wrote:

this looks neat. diggin' the ki standard strike twice.

typo the first 'monastic weapon training' is 5th not 4th.
cheers

I meant to fix that: Monastic Weapon Training should be 5th. Thanks.

MA


Let’s compare this monk to the ranger, shall we?

BAB: Ranger has high, monk has medium, but the monk’s class features will give them both the same attack bonus (exclusive of Strength) as they attain higher levels. Some levels the ranger will be ahead, some the monk. But both are relatively equal.

Saves: Ranger has good Fort and Reflex, whereas the monk has three good saves. Advantage monk.

Hit Dice: Ranger has d10, the monk has d8. Advantage ranger.

Skills: Both have 6 + Int modifier points per level. Both share Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering, Geography, and Nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).
The ranger adds Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis) to those shared skills. The monk adds Acrobatics (Dex), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), the remaining seven Knowledges (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perform (Cha), and Sense Motive (Wis).
The monk has an advantage in the number of class skills, but both have the same number of skill points: I’m going to call this one a wash.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Ranger has simple and martial weapons, monk has a limited sub-set of simple weapons (and 1 martial). Advantage ranger.
Ranger has light and medium armor, plus shields (except tower). Monk cannot wear armor and is not proficient with shields. Advantage ranger.

Level 1: Ranger gets his first Favored Enemy, Track, and Wild Empathy.
Monk has a bonus feat, Fleet (another bonus feat), Intuitive Defense, and Living Weapon (with a third bonus feat).
Basically a wash.

Level 2: Ranger gets a bonus Combat Style feat.
Monk gets a bonus feat, Fleet (another bonus Feat), Evasion, Rapid Strikes, and Stunning Fist (a third bonus feat).
Clear advantage monk at this level.

Level 3: Ranger gets his 1st Favored Terrain.
Monk gets catfall, ki pool, maneuver training, still mind, and living weapon +1. The later is a wash because the ranger should by now have a +1 weapon of his own.
Advantage monk.

Level 4: Ranger can now cast 1st level spells. He gains Hunter’s Bond, which is almost always taken as an animal companion (and with one feat, it is as good as a Druid’s companion).
Monk gets agility training, purity of body, and can now inflict fatigue with this stunning fist.
Advantage ranger.

Level 5: Ranger gains a second Favored Enemy, and one of the bonuses increases to +4.
The monk gets fleet (a bonus feat), light as a feather, and monastic training +1.
I think the ranger has the advantage here, even though the monk gets more.

Level 6: Ranger gets a second Combat style feat.
Monk gets a bonus feat, opening the third eye, ring the gong, speak with animals, and his unarmed strikes are now a +2 weapon.
Advantage monk.

Level 7: Ranger gains 2nd level spells and woodland stride. Which, in a wilderness campaign is very useful.
The monk gets wholeness of body.
This level is pretty much a wash, I would consider them equal here.

Level 8: Ranger gets second Favored Terrain and swift tracker.
The monk gets Fleet (a bonus feat), Spiritual Endurance, and can now inflict sickened with his stunning fist.
Wash.

Level 9: Ranger gets evasion.
The Monk gains improved evasion and monastic weapon training +2. His unarmed strike becomes a +3 weapon, but the ranger should already have one of those.
Advantage monk.

Level 10: Ranger gets his third Favored Enemy (and another +2 floating bonus to go around), another Combat Style Feat, and 3rd level spells.
Monk grabs a bonus feat, duty never tires, and uncanny dodge.
This one goes to the ranger.

Level 11: Ranger gets Quarry.
Monk gets fleet (a bonus feat) and diamond body.
Now, while being a little faster and immune to poison are good, I think quarry is just better. Advantage ranger.

Level 12: Ranger gets Camouflage.
Monk gets unfettered speech (I can talk with plants!) and can now inflict staggered upon his opponent with stunning fist. His unarmed strike becomes a +4 weapon, which the ranger should already have.
It is a wash.

Level 13: Ranger nabs 4th level spells and his third Favored Terrain.
The monk gets diamond soul, cloud step, and monastic weapons training +3.
I think this level goes to the monk, just because of cloud step.

Level 14: Ranger gets another Combat Style Feat.
The monk gets a bonus feat, fleet (a second bonus feat), and improved uncanny dodge.
Advantage monk.

Level 15: Ranger picks his fourth Favored Enemy and adds another +2 bonus to any of the ones he has.
Monk gets quivering palm and his unarmed strikes become +5 weapons.
Advantage ranger.

Level 16: Ranger scores improved evasion.
The monk has adamantine touch and his can now blind or deafen an opponent with his stunning fist.
I’ll give this one to the monk because he already has improved evasion.

Level 17: Ranger gets hide in plain sight.
Monk gets fleet (a bonus feat), tongues, timeless body, and monastic weapon training +4.
I am tempted to call this one a wash, but depending on the DM, HiPS is incredibly good. Advantage ranger.

Level 18: Ranger picks up another Combat Style Feat and his fourth Favored Terrain.
Monk gets a bonus feat and stalwart soul.
I’d say this one is a wash.

Level 19: Ranger gets Improved Quarry.
Monk gets empty body.
Wash.

Level 20: Ranger finishes up with his fifth Favored Enemy (and another +2 floating bonus) and Master Hunter.
Monk grabs fleet (a bonus feat), perfect self, and can now paralyze his opponents with stunning fist.
Advantage monk, because of the weakness of Master Hunter.

Anyway, that is how I see the two. Overall, I think this monk is balanced against the Ranger quite well. Others may not.

Let us know your thoughts.

MA


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
master arminas wrote:
Finally, by spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can ignore damage reduction (except untyped DR such as 5/-) with his unarmed strike for 1 round

Better! But hiow about make it 1 round/level - ki-pool is limited enough as it is.


I considered that, but all of the other ki powers gained at 3rd level last just 1 round. And this way it presents a resource dilemma: do you spend ki to get an extra attack and hope you get through the DR, or do you spend ki to automatically get through the DR (except for a Barbarian's and a few rare critters) with fewer attacks?

After 9th, 12th, and 15th level, the pressure to spend ki for this purpose drops, as his living weapon class feature overcomes metal based DR and alignment based DR as he goes up in levels.

I agree that it does make use of a finite resource, but that also means that the monk player has to be careful in deciding when and how to spend ki. He doesn't have enought to spend it willy-nilly and he almost always has to plan ahead and anticipate that he might just need 2 or 3 ki points down the hallway a bit.

MA


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

He already does that. That's the problem, you see. Every extra use of ki hammers his resources in more ways than one.

Want to use a Style? Swift action.
Want to try and avoid being hit? Swift action.
Want to take an immediate action this round? Whoops, all powers out the window for one round of suckage.
Want to actually get through DR? Sorry, that shuts down everything else.

It's overloading ki and it's overloading action resources to add yet ANOTHER essential power into a swift action and a ki-point every turn. Look at how the magus processes his offensive use of arcane pool, and everything is per minute and he gets spells on top! He already has to make a tough choice when a fight starts as to which swift-action ability he starts first. At least give him a break round by round for once...


I think the ability to overcome DR should scale at 1 point per level rather than just immediately bypassing all DR


What about a class feat at a certain level that allows to take 2 swift actions in a round, only when spending a ki point? Maybe have it go up to 3 at another 5 levels and one more swifty for a total of 4 swifts when spending ki at another 5 levels?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ayronc wrote:
I think the ability to overcome DR should scale at 1 point per level rather than just immediately bypassing all DR

I don't think that would work, the monk as envisaged by MA has too low a damage output to be able to make up the difference.

Pendin Fust wrote:
What about a class feat at a certain level that allows to take 2 swift actions in a round, only when spending a ki point? Maybe have it go up to 3 at another 5 levels and one more swifty for a total of 4 swifts when spending ki at another 5 levels?

Then you'd go through ki so fast you'd miss it if you blinked. Some ki abilities should be of a longer duration than one round, or the monk needs a lot more of it.


Okay, Dabbler, you've made your point. :) And looking back at the Barbarian and Bard, I think I see the solution, but it was one that I was hesitant about. However, the points you have raised are good ones, so let's give it a shot.

Let's look at their ablities.

The Barbarian has rage, which is done on a round-by-round basis. At 1st level, he may rage for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his (normal) Constitution modifier. Each level thereafter, he gains +2 rounds.

The Bard has bardic performance, which is also done on a round-by-round basis. Exactly like the barbarian, he has a number of rounds per day at 1st level equal to 4 + his Charisma modifier. Each level thereafter, he gains +2 rounds.

Okay, let's boost ki pool to that same level. How about this? I bolded the differences. I have also added an option to spend 2 or more ki points as the same swift action to activate multiple ki pool powers, simultaneously.

Ki Pool (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. At 1st level, a monk has a number of points in his ki pool equal to 4 + his Wisdom modifier. Every level gained thereafter as a monk, he adds 2 additional ki points.
By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a rapid strikes attack. In addition, he can spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round. A monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. A monk can spend 1 point to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when he charges, uses the Spring Attack feat, or moves and uses a standard action to attack an opponent. Finally, by spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can ignore damage reduction (except untyped DR such as 5/-) with his unarmed strike for 1 round. Spending ki points is a swift action, but a monk may spend multiple points on the same swift action to activate two or more of the above abilities at the same time. Unless otherwise stated, a monk may not activate the same ki power more than once in any given round. If an additional power listed below can be activated as a swift action, that cost to be can added to any of those listed above in the same swift action. Powers that require a move action or a standard action to activate cannot be combined. A monk gains additional powers that consume points from his ki pool as he gains levels.
The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.
The additional attack and dodge bonus granted by spending a ki pool point does not stack with the effects of the haste spell or similar effects, such as a speed weapon.

We will have to also change the feat Extra Ki to add 6 ki points, bringing it in line with the those other 2 classes.

Does that work?

MA


Would the monk be able to activate the same ability, stacking the benefits? Could he rapid strike twice and get 2 extra attacks? Or should there be verbiage to say "two or more separate of the above abilities at the same time" ?

Not sure if it would be a big deal if they could stack, if a monk wants to blow all their ki in 1 round and be unable to do anything else the rest of the day it may not be game breaking.


Pendin Fust wrote:

Would the monk be able to activate the same ability, stacking the benefits? Could he rapid strike twice and get 2 extra attacks? Or should there be verbiage to say "two or more separate of the above abilities at the same time" ?

Not sure if it would be a big deal if they could stack, if a monk wants to blow all their ki in 1 round and be unable to do anything else the rest of the day it may not be game breaking.

Fixed. I added a short sentence: "Unless otherwise stated, a monk may not activate the same ki power more than once in any given round."

MA


Cool, I like the addition " Powers that require a move action or a standard action to activate cannot be combined" too.

Pretty solid, I'd be interested to play this one out to see how it stacks in a real world test!


And looking over my master copy, I think wholeness of body is the only one that will be otherwise stated.

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, a monk can heal his own wounds as a standard action. He can expend 1 point from his ki pool to heal a number of hit points of damage equal to 2d8 + his monk level + his Wisdom bonus (if any). A monk can instead spend 2 points from his ki pool to use this ability as a move action. If the monk spends 3 points from his ki pool, he may use this ability as a swift action. A monk may activate this power more than once per round, but he is limited to one swift action, one move action, and one standard action activation and he must pay the listed ki point cost for each activation.

Bolded section is new text.

MA


maybe the DR could be a minimum Ki requirement, and you could scale the DR with level increase.

also, level 3 is loaded. is +2/+2/+2 1d8/1d8/1d8 for 1 Ki at 3rd fair?


rainzax wrote:

maybe the DR could be a minimum Ki requirement, and you could scale the DR with level increase.

also, level 3 is loaded. is +2/+2/+2 1d8/1d8/1d8 for 1 Ki at 3rd fair?

A canon PF monk at level 4 can do +2/+2/+2 for 1 ki, for that same 1d8 damage. It comes a level earlier in this case, but I don't think it breaks the class.

As for loaded: he gets catfall (highly situational), maneuver training (good if you use or defend against maneuvers), still mind (you have to be target of mind-affecting spell), and ki pool.

I moved ki pool to 3rd because I am using ki points to fuel catfall, and it wouldn't make any sense to gain the power before you had the points to spend.

MA


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That works much better, MA. It's complicated, but it works.


I like the look of the class, but the Catfall ability is really quite cumbersome. Rolling all of the damage from a fall and then all the damage for the ability takes an unnecessary amount of time. Perhaps it should just reduce fall damage dice by one, allowing it to just start canceling out fall damage? Also, why does this Monk not have all monk weapons listed under his weapon proficiencies? Always struck me as odd that you didn't get them right off the bat. Otherwise, this is a nice improvement on the Monk.


Wildonion wrote:
I like the look of the class, but the Catfall ability is really quite cumbersome. Rolling all of the damage from a fall and then all the damage for the ability takes an unnecessary amount of time. Perhaps it should just reduce fall damage dice by one, allowing it to just start canceling out fall damage? Also, why does this Monk not have all monk weapons listed under his weapon proficiencies? Always struck me as odd that you didn't get them right off the bat. Otherwise, this is a nice improvement on the Monk.

That is exactly how catfall works, Wildonion. It reduces the damage die rolled by 1d6 per monk level. So if a 4th level monk falls 40', he takes no damage (4d6 - 4d6 = 0). If that same 4th level monk fell 70', he would take 3d6 damage (7d6 - 4d6 = 3d6).

On the special monk weapons . . . that list always seems to be expanding. Some, not all, but some, have a proviso in the their descriptions that monks are proficient with them. Rather than list them, or just put in a blanket statement that monks are proficient with all special monk weapons, I left that part up to the DM. This version has the same proficiencies as the Core Rulebook monk, after all.

Thanks. I do try.

MA


Pardon on Catfall, I see how it is supposed to be read now. However, the wording is: "he reduces the damage inflicted from a fall by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level." and this can be read as you roll xd6 (where x is your monk level) and reduce the damage you take by what you roll. Which is how I got confused. You may want to change it to say something more like "you subtract 10 feet per monk level from the actual distance fallen to determine the damage you take."


Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks MA! I really needed a laugh today!

It's great to see that you remain true to form!

(Comparable to a ranger!! Stop, my sides are starting to hurt!!)


Wildonion wrote:
Pardon on Catfall, I see how it is supposed to be read now. However, the wording is: "he reduces the damage inflicted from a fall by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level." and this can be read as you roll xd6 (where x is your monk level) and reduce the damage you take by what you roll. Which is how I got confused. You may want to change it to say something more like "you subtract 10 feet per monk level from the actual distance fallen to determine the damage you take."

I will fix in my master copy; how about this:

Catfall (Ex): At 3rd level or higher, a monk can fall incredible distances without suffering damage. When falling, a monk always lands on his feet. In addition, by spending 1 point of from his ki pool (see below) as an immediate action, he reduces the number of damage die rolled due to the distance he falls by 1d6 per monk level he possesses, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 at 20th level. Unlike magical spells (such as feather fall) with similar effects, a monk is not slowed during his descent, making this ability a favored method for higher level monks to rapidly descend great distances quickly.

Does that work?

MA


Thurin wrote:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks MA! I really needed a laugh today!

It's great to see that you remain true to form!

(Comparable to a ranger!! Stop, my sides are starting to hurt!!)

Over or under, Thurin? LOL

Master Arminas


OK, do me a favor.

Make a Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin and your Monk. Level 20, 20-point buy, Humans. Make everyone but the Paladin evil, make the Rangers highest Favored Enemy Human.

Optimize them all to the best of your ability.

Then give them to your gaming group for a Grand Melee. I'll leave it to you to determine what kind of terrain, etc.

I'd be really interested to see the outcome of that fight.


I'll be dotting this, I'm interested in seeing it compared to the Archetype'd Monk, mainly Maneuver Master and Master of Many Styles.


Thurin wrote:

OK, do me a favor.

Make a Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin and your Monk. Level 20, 20-point buy, Humans. Make everyone but the Paladin evil, make the Rangers highest Favored Enemy Human.

Optimize them all to the best of your ability.

Then give them to your gaming group for a Grand Melee. I'll leave it to you to determine what kind of terrain, etc.

I'd be really interested to see the outcome of that fight.

I wasn't aiming this one to be as good as a Smiting Paladin, or a Ranger fighting favored enemies, or a raging Barbarian. But can it be almost as good as those three classes NOT using their signature abilities?

I think it can. It still falls behind the fighter (and behind the Ranger/Paladin/Barbarian when they use their powers), which is as it should be. But an equal level Bard cannot out fight it anymore.

MA


New version of Catfall looks good, MA. Reads exactly like it should and removes any confusion on how it should work.


Notably your current build has 3 ways to overcome adamantine damage reduction, might be a tad redundant.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thurin wrote:

OK, do me a favor.

Make a Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin and your Monk. Level 20, 20-point buy, Humans. Make everyone but the Paladin evil, make the Rangers highest Favored Enemy Human.

Optimize them all to the best of your ability.

Then give them to your gaming group for a Grand Melee. I'll leave it to you to determine what kind of terrain, etc.

I'd be really interested to see the outcome of that fight.

Why don't you do the donkey work on this one yourself? Also, run them all up against some standard foes rather than against one another, see how they perform.

Edit: Actually, you could include Ashiel's psionic monk and my mystic monk into the bargain, see how they all perform.


Delos Fear wrote:
Notably your current build has 3 ways to overcome adamantine damage reduction, might be a tad redundant.

Three? Really?

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

That one bypasses hardness, not damage reduction. Just like a regular adamantine weapon that anyone can buy at 5th or 6th level. Ignores all hardness of less than 20.

Quote:
Ki Pool (Ex): . . . Finally, by spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can ignore damage reduction (except untyped DR such as 5/-) with his unarmed strike for 1 round.

This one (at 3rd level) let's you bypass DR by spending ki, and it works for a only one round.

Quote:
Living Weapon (Ex): . . . Upon reaching 3rd level as a monk, and again at 6th, 9th, 12th, and 15th level, a monk gains a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack and damage rolls made with his unarmed strike. His unarmed strike is treated as a magic weapon for purposes bypassing damage reduction (and thus bypasses cold iron or silver based DR at 9th level, adamantine based DR at 12th level, and alignment based DR at 15th level) and affecting incorporeal creatures.

Living weapon allows him to bypass adamantine at 12th level without spending ki. It does not ignore hardness of level than 20 like a normal adamantine weapons (that is what adamantine touch does, at 16th level).

MA


Ok, I see. Still find the Ki Pool one to be overkill, but I understand now.


Dabbler said wrote:
Why don't you do the donkey work on this one yourself? Also, run them all up against some standard foes rather than against one another, see how they perform.

Because the developer is the one who normally alpha tests something. Personally, I'd throw this in a one-off module and sit back and watch the rest of the party sit around bored for a few hours, but its not my idea to prove.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But it's you throwing down the challenge...


so, with Rapid Strikes, does his 'flurry' BAB look like:

1 +0
2 +1/+1
3 +2/+2
4 +3/+3
5
6 +4/+4
7 +5/+5
8 +6/+6/+6
9
10 +7/+7/+7
11 +8/+8/+8
12 +9/+9/+9
13
14 +10/+10/+10
15 +11/+11/+11/+11
16 +12/+12/+12/+12
17
18 +13/+13/+13/+13
19 +14/+14/+14/+14
20 +15/+15/+15/+15

or, are there also little mini (-5 and -10) attacks that tack on at 8th and 15th also?


Well, rapid strikes starts at 2nd level. LOL It would look like this:

2: +1/+1
3: +2/+2
4: +3/+3
5: +3/+3
6: +4/+4
7: +5/+5
8: +6/+6/+6/+1
9: +6/+6/+6/+1
10: +7/+7/+7/+2
11: +8/+8/+8/+3
12: +9/+9/+9/+4
13: +9/+9/+9/+4
14: +10/+10/+10/+5
15: +11/+11/+11/+11/+6/+1
16: +12/+12/+12/+12/+7/+2
17: +12/+12/+12/+12/+7/+2
18: +13/+13/+13/+13/+8/+3
19: +14/+14/+14/+14/+9/+4
20: +15/+15/+15/+15/+10/+5

To which he may add one more attack (at his highest attack bonus) by spending ki.

EDIT: I should probably push back the 2nd and 3rd additional attacks to 9th level and 17th level, just to flatten out the curve and prevent the monk from gaining two attacks for going up one level.

MA

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