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thorin001 wrote:

Smite has no damage type of its own, it adds damage to some other attack, which does have a type.

If you attack with a longsword it is slashing.
If you attack with a Flaming longsword the damage is still slashing, but there is an extra d6 of fire.
If you attack with the Flame Blade spell then the damage is fire.

That's what I was thinking, I just wasn't sure if there was a specific ruling beyond the fact that it's added to a specific damage roll rather than added as a discrete bonus to overall damage.

Glad to know I'm looking at it the right way, then.

Cavall wrote:

Ok. So you're thinking perhaps like the flame strike spell in a way? Half acid half divine and (like smite) unable to be resisted?

Do you feel then that would add too many kind of damage now that some is resistance? For instance I attack with a long sword and strength 18. 1d8+4 then the "oni Smite?" Or is it all Smite?

It would be best to figure the answers to that first and work backwards once you know once and for all.

Not trying to be douche, but I'm honestly not sure what you're trying to say here. The Monk of the Four Winds doesn't get a smite attack for selecting the oni spirit, I was trying to figure out of a smite attack used against them would negate the regeneration they'll get - assuming I made it overcome by good - the same way hitting a troll with a lit torch negates its regeneration.

I think maybe we're getting our signals crossed here, or coming at this question from completely different directions?


Damage Reduction is not the issue; I'm fully aware of how smite evil interacts with DR.

Specifically speaking, an unchained Monk of the Four Winds that adheres to the oni spirit gets, under my rules, regeneration similar to actual oni which is overcome by acid damage and one other source.

I've been waffling between just making it acid and fire, as I believe kuwa oni have, but I was thinking of making it acid and good like more powerful oni and I was curious if the extra damage from smite evil would negate the monk's regeneration. For that matter, if the extra damage from a holy weapon might also apply.

Is there an actual ruling that the damage added from smite evil is untyped, or is it untyped because nothing says it is typed? I get that the distinction here may seem overly fine, but it matters for what I'm attempting to rule.


Hello, all. Been a long time since I've come to these parts, but I'm again scratching my head a bit.

For an upcoming homebrew campaign, I've undertaken an effort to rewrite all of the archetypes for the four Unchained classes in order to both ensure their compliance and give them a slight to significant boost to keep them in line with the new class features.

But while working on the Monk of the Four Winds, I appear to have hit an unexpected snag. I find myself unclear as to whether the damage added by a paladin's smite evil feature - and by proxy, any smite feature that functions in that manner - actually has a type or not. The way I see it, there are only three possibilities.

A) The extra damage from smite evil has a distinct type, such as sacred or divine, and I'm just not remembering where to go to find that stated outright or implied in the rules.

B) The extra damage is considered the same type of damage as dealt by the base weapon. IE, smite with a light mace, and the extra damage is transformed into bludgeoning damage. This is the way I'm currently leaning, as it is implied by "adds her paladin level to all damage rolls."

C) The extra damage dealt by smite evil actually has no type at all.

If anyone can show me a definitive answer to this question, backed by either rules excerpts or errata, it would be much appreciated. I've been searching and Googling for an answer to this question all day, and can't seem to find it.


Never being quite satisfied with how other companies have handled the mechanics of a Star Wars universe in various RPG systems, I've been long working on a conversion utilizing the rules of Pathfinder. With the rules for wound points and vigor points that are presented in the Ultimate Combat source book, I've decided to incorporate them as an analogue to the wounds and vitality point system presented in the d20 iteration by Wizards of the Coast.

I've been slightly tweaking the mechanics to my liking as I incorporate them. I've run into a bit of a snag, however. The rules for Constitution damage/drain/penalties stipulate that these losses never affect a character's Wounds Threshold. I'm looking to tweak this and create a slightly more punishing system, but I'm not entirely certain what the long range consequences of such a change could be.

My question is this. Was this stipulation included simply to prevent a character from becoming wounded from Con penalties? If that's the case, I'm not too worried about it. On the other hand, if there are other implications that would be carried by changing this that I'm not seeing, I would be happy if someone could point them out to me.


Cloudwalker wrote:
As you quoted yourself an encounter can be anything, an encounter taking years at game time can be resolved with 2-3 rolls at the table. Longtime it takes doesn't make it bad design.

I've been taking a while, trying to figure out how best to respond to this. You either don't understand what an encounter is sipposed to entail, or you're intentionally side-stepping the fact that I explained it several times and provided a specific example.

If you need "official" proof, crack open any published adventure - either one-shots or adventure paths. Do you ever see a section that provides a challenge by presenting it with a CR or encounter level and an XP award fof overcoming the challenge, that lasts more than one scene or event?

Cloudwalker wrote:
Rules you first quoted still doesn't use it as a duration or use limit mechanic which i originally said i think doesn't exist. But parting shot feat is a clear case so i was wrong(should look more closely next time). Still i think it is not a good mechanic as it is inconsistent with rest based or gametime based abilities. You could use it 3 times in a minute in many short encounters but cannot in 1 min long fight twice uhh...

Yeah, that would make sense...

If your rogue could actually control the forces of luck. This ability being an Ex feature instead of Su implies pretty clearly that you - the player - are using this ability. Your rogue no more makes a conscious choice to call upon luck or fortune than you do when you wish someoen good luck. This ability simply represents those times when luck seems to take a NOTICEABLE role in the rogue's life.

Sometimes people seem to be lucky constantly for a short while, other times it only comes to them sparingly. Have you heard of the phrase, a "lucky streak?"


And I've already made some tweaking to the class. Meh.

Instead of Stealth Sense, a rogue of 8th level gains the following feature.

Distraction (Ex); 8th Level:
Whenever the rogue is detected while using the Stealth skill, she can immediately attempt a Bluff check. The DC of this check is equal to the result of the highest Perception check that opposed her Stealth check. If the rogue wins this opposed roll, any creatures that would otherwise become aware of her presence assume that the brief sound or flash of movement that they thought they noticed was something inconsequenial; the creaking of a settling house, a flapping curtain, or even their own imagination or drunken dillerium as the case may be. Distraction automatcally overcomes the Stealth Sense of a creature with fewer levels of rogue than the character attempting Stealth (see the description of the Awareness rogue talent tree, below).

Distraction functions only when a creature is able to either only see or hear the rogue, depending on whether the rogue's attempt at Stealth was to hide or move without making sound. This is left to the GM's discretion. If a creature is able to fully focus on the rogue and both sees and hears her, Distraction does not have any effect. This ability can only be used during any given attempt at Stealth. If the same creature detects the rogue again, this ability has no further effect.

Additionally, the Master talent of the Awareness tree reads as follows.

Master Awareness Rogue Talent:
A master of awareness cannot be caught unaware. She is not automatically considered flat-footed when a combat encounter begins, even if she does not get to act on a surprise round. Lastly, her rogue's senses have become exceptionally acute – when she gets the feeling that she's "being watched," she probably is. As a full-round action, the rogue can stand relatively still and "feel out" with her senses and intuition to detect the presence of creatures hiding from her using the Stealth skill. She becomes aware of the presence of such characters within 5 feet of her per two class levels, though she cannot determine how many creatures within this area are using the Stealth skill nor can she pinpoint their locations.

If a rogue takes more time to study her environment, she can to refine this gut feeling into more pertinant information. With a second full-round action, the rogue becomes aware of how many creatures within range are using the Stealth skill. With a third full-round action, she can to pin-point the location of each creature within range. With a fourth full-round action, she also becomes aware of creatures using magical forms of concealment (such as invisibility, silence or related effects, and even Illusion spells that alter one's appearence). Each of these rounds must be spent consecutively in order to gain additional benefit from this feature.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Daniel Chaplik wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Who brought the diamond dust?

I'm not sure I get the reference, Thomas?

The title? Resurrecting the Rogue?

Resurrection

** spoiler omitted **

Ok I'll give you its not dust anymore :P

...D'oh.

You got me. You're good.


Actually, Cloudwalker, you made me wonder, so I did go through some of the other books to see what I could find. Just for s&@%s and giggles, here's what I came across:
From the Advanced Player's Guide:

  • The feat, Parting Shot, is usable only once per encounter.
  • Like a barbarian and rage, a stalwart defender's ability to enter a defensive stance specifically mentions that it is not limited per encounter.

From Ultimate Magic:
  • The rules for custom spell design often refer to the usefulness of a new spell by its weight in a single encounter.
  • The feat Grant Initiative can be used at the start of each encounter.

From the Advanced Race Guide:
  • The swordmaster (a rogue archetype) has a Trance class feature that, again like barbarian rage or stalwart defender defensive stance, specifically points out that its uses aren't limited per encounter.
    Rules are presented for making encounters more challenging for groups including advanced or monstrous PC's.

From Ultimate Campaign:
  • Encounters are used to determine the effects and mechanics of Story Feats.
  • Encounters are factored into downtime.

That's just what I was able to find. I'm sure there are more examples out there. I didn't troll through any of the Golarion campaign setting material, the adventure paths, my copy of the old Mythic Adventures playtest, or other products.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Who brought the diamond dust?

I'm not sure I get the reference, Thomas?

Cloudwalker wrote:
When an encounter starts or end? Depending on this ability can take rounds to days to "recharge". Unlike World of Darkness or similar systems there is no spell or ability with 1 encounter or 1 scene in duration line. Encounter is a vague term, a battle of wits between 2 characters can take months but acts as a encounter (you calculate apl and cr, award exp after it ends) it isn't a duration or use limit mechanic.

If you have a single encounter in your game that takes "months" to resolve, or any extended length of time, that's not a problem with the rules not being clear enough - that's poor design on part of the GM. The start and end of encounters are very cleanly defined by the second sentence under "Designing Encounters," page 397 of (my) Core Rulebook. There's nothing vague about it.

"An encounter is any event that puts a specific problem before the PCs that they must solve."

Did the players solve a problem? Did they beat the bad guys? Did they disarm the trap? Did they successfully negotiate with the hostile king to end the war? Congratulations, that was an encounter.

If you're experiencing encounters that take more than a single scene to resolve, then it's much more likely you're encountering a series of closely related encounters. Take, for example, a quest to negotiate with a hostile king to end a war between two nations. A single adventure based on this premise might include all of the following:

  • Gathering information and intelligence that will help the PC's get past the king's security.
  • Actually physically getting to the king's location.
  • Executing a plan of infiltration, so they can avoid the bulk of the king's guarding forces.
  • A skirmish with the king's personal guards.
  • Finally negotiating a peace - or at least a cease fire - with the king in question.

Each one of those steps is its own encounter. The adventure includes stealth encounters, social encounters, one or more combat encounters, and role-playing encounters. But even though they are all part of the same adventure, each "scene" has its own specific challenge to be overcome.

Cloudwalker wrote:
Yes it exist as a gamemastering term, what i meant was it doesn't exist from rules or verisimilute perspective.

What are you talking about? Those selections I quoted you before are nothing BUT rules. Rules on how to design encounters, rules as to what constitutes an encounter, rules as to how encounters can be resolved - Hell, there's even an entire table that does nothing but tell you how much treasure should be awarded at the end of encounters to keep the PC's appropriate to the Wealth-By-Level chart, which the ENTIRE combat system is based on!

Cloudwalker wrote:
There isn't any power that use it as such i am aware of.

There are.

  • From the rage feature of the barbarian: "...but can otherwise enter rage multiple times during a single encounter or combat."
  • From the "Initiative" subheading, under the "How Combat Works" section of chapter 8: "Even if you can’t take actions, you retain your initiative score for the duration of the encounter.
  • From the rules for readying an action: "Your initiative result changes. For the rest of the encounter, your initiative result is the count on which you took the readied action, and you act immediately ahead of the character whose action triggered your readied action."
  • From the rules regarding avalanches, in chapter 13, I believe: "If all characters fail their Perception checks to determine the encounter distance..."

The emphasis is my own, of course.

That's just from the Core Rulebook. A class feature, two universal options ad rules that apply to all characters, and an environmental effect; encounter distance is also something defined in combat, I believe, when the rules describe surprise, or close to it. I didn't bother going through APG, UM, UC, or ARG.


rainzax wrote:

i like that your Sneak Attack has a clause for critical hits that allow single re-roll of 1s. neat idea. i might bite.

it was always a little curious to me that Sneak Attack didn't interact in any way with critical hits, since they are both loosely based on 'precision' thematically.

maybe, to favor keen (x19-20) and impact (x3) critical hit profiles more equally, the 1-re-roll can be done a number of times per critical hit equal to it's crit multiplier?

that is, up to twice for a dagger, thrice for a punching dagger?...

(suddenly this is too much wording...?)

Wording for that wouldn't be so much of an issue, I just think it's a little too much, personally. You're already getting a benefit out of having a higher crit weapon - the higher crit itself. Sneak attack is a supplemental feature, it isn't meant to deliver power house attacks. That role is best left to martials, such as fighters, barbarians, paladins, rangers, and my rewritten monk. Not to mention that there aren't any other abilities that I can think of off the top of my head that let you reroll something more than once per round. Even if you have multiple versions of Slippery Mind or related features, for example, it's specifically pointed out that you can only use one ability each round.

Cloudwalker wrote:
I really like some of the abilities but probably wont use the class as is. Lucky (Ex) have a problem though there is no encounter mechanic in pathfinder,limited to only once per encounter doesn't make much sense. You can limit it to 1/round or 1/ 10 min or so.

I'm not sure where you drew that conclusion from. The encounter mechanic is the entire game, with the sole exception of down time and time skips. Encounters are even defined on page 397 of the Core Rulebook, and the Game Mastery Guide goes into further detail.

EDIT: And now that Ultimate Campaign is out, I guess things like the kingdom rules also exist outside the encounter mechanic.


I have updated two levels of my rogue rewrite.

At 8th level, the rogue gains a new Stealth Sense feature (instead of blindsense), and at 16th level, she gains an altered form of blindsense.

I'm going to completely re-post the entire class below, to include these changes, as well as several spelling error fixes, and a few other minor tweaks.

-----
The Rogue

Base Statistics:
The rogue's Hit Dice, base attack bonuses, base saving throws, and proficiencies all remain unchanged from their description in the Core Rulebook.

Class Skills:
The rogue's class skills are Appraise (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha). She gains additional class skills depending on her selection of rogue talents (see the description of each talent tree, below).
Skill Ranks per Level" 8 + Intelligence modifier

Rogue Talents (Ex); 1st Level:
At 1st level, a rogue gains a rogue talent – a special trick that allows her to confound her foes. She may select a talent from among several talent trees, gaining the Novice rank ability. At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, she gains a new rogue talent. She may apply this talent to a talent tree she already possesses, increasing her rank (Novice to Apprentice, to Expert, to Master), or she may apply it to a new talent tree and gain the associated Novice rank feature.

Sneak Attack (Ex); 1st Level:
At 1st level if a rogue catches her opponent when he is not able to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Basically, her attack deals extra damage whenever her opponent would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether or not the target actually has a Dexterity bonus), or she flanks her target. Her extra damage is 1d6 at first level, and improves by 1d6 every two class levels thereafter.

If a rogue confirms a critical hit with a sneak attack, she may re-roll any die of sneak attack damage that results in a natural "1." She must abide by the second roll of any given die, even if they roll additional "1's." Sneak attack damage is not multiplied, or affected in any other way, by a critical hit.

A ranged attack can count as a sneak attack only if the rogue's target is up to 30 feet away from her. She cannot strike with the requisite accuracy if her target is any further away. Creatures whose vitals are well-protected or are otherwise exceptionally difficult to strike may have protection against a rogue's sneak attack; if her opponent is not subject to extra damage from a critical hit, or is somehow resistant to critical hits (such as the fortification armor quality), that same immunity or resistance applies against sneak attacks. Similarly, the rogue cannot sneak attack a creature that benefits from concealment, nor can a rogue sneak attack a foe by attacking an appendage if is vitals are out of reach.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (a sap, whip, or unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to attempt a nonlethal sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty; the rogue must make optimal use of her weapon and its design in order to perform a sneak attack.


Master of Disguise (Ex); 2nd Level:
The rogue can create a disguise in a short amount of time. She may choose to create a disguise swiftly, taking only 2d4 minutes of work. If she chooses instead not to create a swift disguise, she instead crafts a master disguise. A master disguise does not impose any penalty to her Disguise check for disguising herself as a different race, gender, or age. In addition, a master disguise allows her to disguise herself as a creature of a different size category with only a -5 penalty instead of the associated -10 penalty; disguising herself in this manner changes her space and reach to match that of her new "size category," though she undergoes no additional benefits or penalties for this new size.

Prowling (Ex); 4th Level:
The rogue can quickly stalk victims through the shadows. When moving up to her normal speed, a rogue can make Stealth checks without the associated -5 penalty. When running (but not when attacking or charging), she can make Stealth checks at only a -10 penalty. If the rogue is larger than Medium size, she receives penalties to her Stealth checks as though one size category smaller than she is. When the rogue uses "sniping" as described under the Stealth skill, the associated penalty is reduced to only -10.

Lucky (Ex); 6th Level:
The rogue is often as lucky as she is good at something. Therefore, she can reroll a failed ability check, skill check, attack roll, or saving throw. The second result must be used, even if it is worse than the first; after all, not all luck is good. The rogue may re-roll a check in this manner once per day; at 12th level, and again at 18th level, the rogue can call upon her luck one additional time per day (but only once per encounter).

Stealth Sense (Ex); 8th Level:
The rogue's senses have become exceptionally acute – when she gets the feeling that she's "being watched," she probably is. As a full-round action, the rogue can stand relatively still and "feel out" with her senses and intuition to detect the presence of creatures hiding from her using the Stealth skill. She becomes aware of the presence of such characters within 5 feet of her per two class levels, though she cannot determine how many creatures within this area are using the Stealth skill nor can she pinpoint their locations.

If a rogue takes more time to study her environment, she can to refine this gut feeling into more pertinant information. With a second full-round action, the rogue becomes aware of how many creatures within range are using the Stealth skill. With a third full-round action, she can to pin-point the location of each creature within range. With a fourth full-round action, she also becomes aware of creatures using magical forms of concealment (such as invisibility, silence or related effects, and even Illusion spells that alter one's appearence). Each of these rounds must be spent consecutively in order to gain additional benefit from Stealth Sense.


Warning Shout (Ex); 10th Level:
The rogue may give a short cry of alarm to alert her allies to impending danger. A warning shout counts as a free action, since it is nothing more than a quick yelp, but doing so prevents a rogue from mounting her own proper defense. Each time the rogue makes a warning shout she may choose one of the following effects, based on the circumstances.

If the rogue gets to act during a surprise round, she may instead cry out to alert her allies to the impending ambush. While she herself is no longer able to act on the surprise round, each of her allies within thirty feet of her can act even if they would have been otherwise caught by surprise.

When rolling for initiative, the rogue can yell for her allies to rally together or to come to her defense. She makes a normal roll for initiative, but she automatically goes last in the round. Instead, any ally within thirty feet of her can use either their initiative roll or hers, whichever is better.

If the rogue has the Trapsmith talent (see above), she may also scream to her allies to warn them of a trap that has just been triggered. The rogue may then reduce her own trap sense bonus by any amount of her choice, as long as she has at least a +1 bonus left; each ally that hears her then gains a trap sense bonus equal to the number of points the rogue sacrificed. The effects of such a shout last for 1 round.


Hide in Plain Sight (Ex); 12th Level:
The rogue may use Stealth even if being observed, as long as there is terrain or an object nearby that she can use for cover. She cannot exceed her movement for the round in order to get behind this cover, but she makes her Stealth check before moving to stand behind it.

Trackless Step (Ex); 14th Level:
The rogue leaves no trail in her surroundings and cannot be tracked when traveling through one terrain of her choice (chosen from the list of ranger favored terrains). She may leave a trail if so desired. In all other terrain, foes suffer a penalty on Survival checks to track her equal to half her class level). Alternatively, she may choose two ranger favored terrains; she does not leave a trail in these terrains, but her foes suffer no penalty in any others.

Blindsense (Ex); 16th Level:
A rogue of this level has spent a considerable amount of time in shadow and in darkness, where her ability to rely on sight has often been significantly hampered. She is now able to rely on non-visual senses (feeling subtle changes in the direction of the wind to locate a moving creature, listening intently to the echo of a sound to develop a mental "map" of her close surroundings, etceteros) to maneuver and fight just as well without sight as she does with it. This grants her blindsense, with a range of 30 feet. She does not need to make Perception checks to pinpoint the location of creatures within range of her blindsense, provided that she has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent she cannto see still has total concealment against her, and she still has the normal miss chance when attacking such foes; however, she may be able to rely on her Stealth Sense feature to overcome this. A rogue's blindsense means that darkness or blindness does not hamper her speed, though she is still denied her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures that she cannot see.

Fortune's Friend (Ex); 18th Level:
The rogue has learned – often as much through sheer dumb luck as through carefully documented trial-and-error – just when luck will swing in her favor. Once per day, when using her Lucky feature, the rogue may use either her original roll or her re-roll, whichever is higher. In effect, the rogue has an intuitive understanding of when the best times to rely on luck voer skill would be, and leans on fortune at just the right moment.

Master Strike (Ex); 20th Level:
A rogue of this level is incredibly deadly with her sneak attacks. Each time she deals at least 1 point of sneak attack damage, she chooses one of the following effects to apply her attack: the target is put to sleep for 1d4 hours, paralyzed for 2d6 rounds, or slain outright. A Fortitude save is allowed to negate this effect (DC = 20 + the rogue's Int modifier). Once a creature has been the target of a master strike, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that rogue's master strike for 24 hours. Creatures that the rogue cannot deal sneak attack damage to are not subject to the additional effects of master strike.

-----

Rogue Talent Trees

Acrobatics:
An acrobat relies on agility to navigate the battle. While her allies either stand still and absorb the blows of their foes with heavy armor, or stand safely away from the thick of the fray, she feels most alive when she is weaving through her enemies' offenses and delivering her own strikes.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one acrobatics rogue talent gains Acrobatics (Dex) and Escape Artist (Dex) as class skills.
  • A novice acrobat is not flat-footed while using Acrobatics to move across narrow or uneven surfaces. She is not knocked down from damage. Additionally, she requires half the normal as long to squeeze through tight spaces (see the Escape Artist skill in the Core Rulebook).
  • An apprentice acrobat can roll out the momentum of terrible falls. When she makes an Acrobatics check to reduce the damage dealt to her by a fall, she treats the fall as though it were an additional 10 feet shorter for every 10 points by which she beats the DC of 15. For example, a result of 35 reduces the damage of her fall by 30 feet. In addition, she can use the Escape Artist skill to free herself from non-magical restraints (excluding a grapple or pin) as a move action.
  • An expert acrobat who attempts to move up to her full speed on a narrow or uneven surface does not suffer the associated penalty to her Acrobatics check for the accelerated movement. She may attempt to run or charge while moving in this fashion, with her Acrobatics check penalized at -10; a separate check is required for each multiple of her speed that the acrobat moves. Lastly, an expert acrobat can use the Escape Artist skill to escape from a grapple or pin as a swift action.
  • A master acrobatic can move at full speed when using Acrobatics to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity without increasing the DC of the check. Additionally, she can use the Escape Artist skill to escape from magical restraint (such as animated rope, command plants, entangle, and the like) as a standard action.

    The acrobat is capable of a defensive roll. This allows her to roll with blows that may prove lethal, the result being that she takes less damage from the attack. Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 hp or less in combat, the acrobat can attempt to roll with an attack and take only half damage. To do so, an acrobat must make an Acrobatics check (DC = damage dealt). The acrobat must be both aware of an attack (not denied her Dex bonus to AC), and able to respond to it (she cannot be helpless). Only attacks by weapons, both natural and manufactured, can be rolled with; this feature cannot be used to defend against spells, special abilities, or attacks that can kill without dealing hit point damage.

Assassination:
The assassin is the master of quick, lethal blows. She excels at laying low an enemy from the shadows. She may be a lone killer-for-hire plying her talents to the will of the highest bidder, a stone-cold killer who offers her services only to jilted lovers, or even a righteous agent of justice who works celestial wrath from the shadows.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one assassination rogue talent gains Disguise (Cha) and Knowledge (Nobility) as class skills.
  • A novice assassin can deliver death attacks. To perform a death attack, she must spend at least 1 full round action to study her victim. If she takes damage or would be distracted in any other way (see the description for concentration, in chapter 9 of the Core Rulebook), she must make a concentration check (modified by Charisma) each round that she would be distracted. If multiple distractions present themselves in a round, use only the highest DC. If the assassin fails a single one of these checks, her attempt is ruined and she must begin anew. After studying her victim, she must attempt the death attack within one minute or be forced to study her victim over again. If the assassin's next attack against that victim is a sneak attack, then one die of extra damage is automatically maximized for each round that she studied the creature. Furthermore, the assassin enjoys a bonus on Sleight of Hand checks to conceal a weapon on her body equal to half her class level.
  • An apprentice assassin can destroy evidence she may leave on the corpse of her victims. She needs one hour of uninterrupted work to mutilate a body, sweep it of hairs, and remove other traces of the victim's identity or her own presence, though this hour does not need to pass in a single sitting. For a creature smaller than Medium size, each size category reduces the amount of time required by half. Likewise, for each size category larger than Medium a creature is, this process takes twice as long (remember that two doubles equal a triple, and so on).

    After this process, it becomes impossible to identify victims, beyond their age ,gender, and creature type, by any mundane means. Investigators have no way of determining time or cause of death, and find no clues that implicate the assassin in the creature's death – or even place her at the scene of the crime. Magical practices (such as divination spells) are unhindered by this feature, if their spell level is at least equal to half the rogue's class level (rounding down). Furthermore, the assassin learns several techniques to conceal evidence of her presence and her passing; the DC of Survival checks made to track her or creatures in her company increases by half her class level (rounding down).

  • An expert assassin masters a secret dark art that allows her to siphon away the life force of her victims. When she delivers a death attack, she may choose to either maximize her sneak attack damage or to inflict negative levels upon a victim. If she chooses to inflict a negative level she deals no sneak attack damage, but each round she spends studying a victim allows her to inflict one negative level (up to a number of negative levels equal to the number of dice she would normally roll for sneak attack damage). Each day, a victim is allowed a Fortitude save (DC = 10 + half the assassin's class level + her Charisma modifier) to remove all such inflicted negative levels. If the assassin's death attack confirms a critical hit, one of these negative levels is instead permanent level drain and cannot be removed by a Fortitude save; only strong magic such as restoration can remove them.

    Alternatively, she may choose to deliver a swift death attack. If she does so, each round that she spends studying her intended victim allows her to maximize two dice of her sneak attack damage.

  • A master assassin brings true and lasting death to those she slays; she ruins not only flesh, but also the soul. When the assassin delivers a death attack that kills her foe, that victim must make a Will save (DC = 10 + half the rogue's class level + her Charisma modifier) or their spirit is torn asunder by the attack and ceases to exist. Normal magic cannot communicate with or return life to a creature slain by a death attack; only miracle, wish, or similar strong magic can do so.

    Furthermore, the assassin can now strike at an enemy so quickly that her actions are faster than the speed of the human eye. When she delivers a death attack that outright slays an enemy, the assassin may immediately attempt a Stealth check opposed by the Perception checks of any creature in the vicinity to prevent them from realizing that she is the assailant. If her Stealth check is at least 10 points higher than that of the best opposed Perception check, then no one even notices that her victim is actually dead for 1d4+1 rounds.

Athletics:
Where an acrobat trains her body for agility and balance, the athlete practices endurance and coordination. A rogue who studies under a regimen of athletics can weather physical activity better than can her peers.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one athletics rogue talent gains Climb (Str) and Swim (Str) as class skills.
  • A novice athlete does not lose her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class when using the Climb skill. In similar fashion, she is not at risk of being knocked down when she takes damage; she is considered to have automatically made a successful Climb check. Furthermore, she only falls from her perch is she fails a Climb check by 10 or more, whether she is climbing on her own or attempting to catch a falling character. When attempting to catch a falling character, that character's total weight can exceed the athlete's heavy load for 1 round; after this time, if the creature has not regained its own hold, both fall.
  • An apprentice athlete can make a Climb check at accelerated movement without the associated penalty to her skill check, or she may move up to her normal speed by accepting a -5 penalty to her skill check. She can make a Swim check as either a move action to move up to half her speed, or as a standard action to move up to her normal speed. She may hold her breath twice as long as normal (remember that two doubles equal a triple, so she can actually hold her breath for three times her Constitution score). Lastly, she is only dragged underwater if she fails a Swim check by 10 or more.
  • An expert athlete does not need a running start to use of the Jump skill; the DC's of her Jump checks do not increase without one. Additionally, she can catch herself after falling with ease. If falling from a wall, the normal DC increases by only +10; if falling from a slope, the normal DC increase by only +5.
  • A master athlete can use a full attack to attack a foe at lower elevation, making a single attack that applies the character's Strength modifier to damage, and apply the momentum of the fall to her strike. To do this, the athlete must drop from her current elevation by at least 10 feet, and must land within striking distance of her foe; the attack is made nearly upon landing, so a ranged weapon provokes an attack of opportunity as normal. She deals an extra amount of damage on this attack equal to the amount of falling damage that she herself takes from the fall. With a successful Acrobatics check, she can reduce the amount of damage she is herself subject to without reducing the amount of extra damage she inflicts upon her foe. This additional damage is not multiplied by a critical hit.

Awareness:
The talents of awareness provide a rogue with uncanny knowledge of her surroundings. Mastering it, she will eventually develop an almost preternatural "sixth sense" for danger. They serve their companions by interpreting subtle clues in the environment and providing them with warning.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one awareness rogue talent gains Perception (Wis) and Sense Motive (Wis) as class skills.
  • A novice of awareness gains Uncanny Dodge. See the description of this feature under the barbarian character class. If she already has this feature from a different class, she instead gains Improved Uncanny Dodge. Additionally, she gains a bonus on Perception skill checks equal to half of her class level (minimum of +1).
  • An apprentice of awareness strikes true, reducing the bonuses that her enemies enjoy from concealment (including the miss chance) and cover by one-half. She may attempt attacks of opportunity against enemies with cover relative to her (but not foes with total cover). Lastly, she gains the Low-Light Vision feature, allowing her to see twice as far as a normal human in conditions of poor illumination. This stacks with any Low-Light Vision the character may already have (remember that two doubles equal a triple, and so on).
  • An expert of awareness gains Improved Uncanny Dodge. She can no longer be flanked; she reacts to enemies on opposite sides of her as easily as she can react to a single opponent. This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack her by flanking her, unless they have as many levels of rogue as she does or more. Additionally, she gains the Darkvision feature, and can see up to sixty feet in total (but not magical) darkness; in these conditions, she can see only black and white. If the rogue already has darkvision, instead her total range is extended by an additional 30 feet.
  • A master of awareness cannot be caught unaware. She always gets to act on a surprise round, and she is not flat-footed when an encounter begins. Lastly, her senses become so acute that she can gains Skill Focus (Perception) as a bonus feat.

Dirty Fighting:
Underhanded tricks are the meat and drink of rogues studying this talent. By unlocking its secrets, the rogue improves her ability to inflict sneak attacks on her enemies. In addition to the following features, she gains a +4 bonus on checks to perform a disarm, feint, sunder or trip attack.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one dirty fighting rogue talent gains Sleight of Hand (Dex) and Stealth (Dex) as class skills.
  • A novice of dirty fighting can sneak attack creatures that benefit from concealment against her, but not those with total concealment. Moreover, she increases the maximum range at which she can make sneak attacks by 15 feet (up to the first range increment of her weapon).
  • An apprentice of dirty fighting has studied special weaknesses and vulnerabilities of enemies that traditionally confound her peers. She can deliver both critical hits and sneak attacks to oozes and elementals, and she gains flanking bonuses against these foes as well (though her allies might not, their presence still counts for determining her own flanking bonuses). In addition, she increases the maximum range at which she can make sneak attacks by 15 feet (up to the first range increment of her weapon).
  • An expert of dirty fighting scores cleaner, deeper wounds when she strikes a vital area. When she confirms a critical hit with a sneak attack, she is allowed to re-roll all natural 1's and 2's on her extra damage. The normal rules regarding this reroll still apply. Furthermore, she increases the maximum range at which she can make sneak attacks by 15 feet (up to the first range increment of her weapon).
  • A master of dirty fighting can deal crippling blows when an enemy is not prepared to defend themselves from her attacks. When one of her sneak attacks deals at least 1 point of damage to an enemy, she also inflicts one point of ability damage. Each time she deals this damage, she chooses which ability score to damage; damage of multiple strikes stacks. She increases the maximum range at which she can make sneak attacks by 15 feet (up to the first range increment of her weapon).

Opportunism:
An opportunist relies on two forces that might otherwise seem to conflict to overcome her foes; subtlety and mob violence. When her enemies are threatened by her allies, the threat presented by an opportunist grows as she takes advantage of the distractions.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one opportunism rogue talent gains Bluff (Cha) and Intimidate (Cha) as class skills.
  • A novice opportunist gains a further +2 bonus on attack rolls, and deals additional damage with all attacks equal to half her class level (rounded down), when flanking her opponent. In addition, she does not provoke an attack of opportunity when delivering a coup de grace.
  • An apprentice opportunist gains a +4 bonus to confirm critical threats against flanked enemies. If she also has the Uncanny Dodge feature, an opportunist's enemies can only confirm critical threats against her if they are flanking her. Additionally, she may perform a coup de grace as a move action.
  • An expert opportunist is considered to be flanking any enemy threatened both by herself and at least one ally, regardless of her actual position. Both the opportunist and her ally receive full benefits for flanking. Additionally, she may deliver a coup de grace attack against a creature with total concealment from her with only one round's worth of actions; a standard action to pinpoint the creature's location within its space, and a move action (as noted above) to actually deliver the attack.
  • A master opportunist is able to capitalize on the distraction of her allies' attacks with one of her own. Whenever an enemy that she threatens is attacked by an ally, the opportunist may make a melee against them. This counts as an attack of opportunity, but it can only attempted once each round no matter how many attacks of opportunity the opportunist can make.

    Furthermore, when she attempts a coup de grace attack she may decide to brutally kill her enemy; the coup de grace is performed as a standard action and provokes an attack of opportunity as normal, but the opportunist adds half her class level to the Fortitude DC her enemy must make to survive. She may attempt to brutally kill an enemy with total concealment, but she must spend a full-round action to do so (and provoke an attack of opportunity).

Poison Use:
Poison is often considered a great equalizer for life in a world dominated by armor-clad knights and eldritch horrors. Many poison makers are also alchemists, though by no means is this a requirement. The skills that a rogue acquires as she explores this talent allow her to brew potent toxins and use them to terrifying effect.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one poison use rogue talent gains Craft as a class skill.
  • A novice poisoner is not at risk of poisoning herself when applying a poison to a weapon, rolls a natural 1 on Craft (Alchemy) checks to brew poisons, or rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll using a poisoned weapon. Additionally, constant exposure to toxins and their fumes have built up a resistance to them within the poisoner and she enjoys a +1 bonus on all saves versus poisons of both mundane and supernatural origin.
  • An apprentice poison user can brew toxins much more quickly than others. This choice must be made when the poison user first begins to brew a poion, and it cannot be changed without the character failing to brew her poison and ruining the raw materials. When she makes a Craft (Alchemy) check to brew a poison, she must do so at a -5 penalty to her check; if successful, she counts the week's progress in gold pieces instead of silver. If her check beats the DC by 10 or more, then she counts her progress in platinum pieces instead of silver pieces.

    Additionally, she may choose to brew a more potent version of a standard toxin. This choice must be made when the poison user first begins to brew a poison, and it cannot be changed without the character failing to brew her poison and ruining the raw materials. The DC of the poison user's Craft check to brew the poison increases by five points, but she adds half her class level (rounded down) to the Fortitude DC of all doses of the poison that she successfully brews.

    Poisoners may attempt to quickly brew potent toxin. Her bonus on saving throws to resist the effects of poisons improves by +2.

  • An expert of poison use may apply poisons to her weapons with a swift action. Alternatively, she may spread thin the application of a single dose of poison over two separate weapons; this requires a standard action, and coats both weapons with a full dose of the poison. At this rank, the poisoner's bonus to save versus poison effects improves by +3.
  • A master poison user applies toxins to lasting effect. When she applies a poison to a single weapon, that poison remains virulent for one full round no matter how many times it deals damage or comes into contact with a creature. This may allow her to strike an enemy more than once with a single dose of the poison, having a cumulative effect as noted in Appendix I of the Core Rulebook. Additionally, her bonus on saving throws to resist the effects of poisons improves by +4.

Survival:
Where some rogues prefer to strike first and try to bring down powerful foes before they can strike back, others believe that victory is achieved in a safer – and easier – manner by simply surviving and allowing an enemy to wear themselves down trying to hit them.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one survival rogue talent gains Heal (Wis) and Survival (Wis) as class skills.
  • A novice of survival gains the Evasion feature. Whenever she is confronted by an attack that allows for a Reflex save to take only half damage, the survivor takes no damage with a successful saving throw. In addition, she selects one of the following conditions and becomes immune to it: Checked, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, fascinated, fatigued, shaken, and sickened.
  • An apprentice of survival gains a slippery mind, which represents her ability to wriggle free from magical compulsion. If she is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her save, she can attempt another save in in one round at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed at her saving throw.

    In addition, she selects another condition to gain immunity against. She may select this condition from the list above, or she may gain an immunity to a stronger condition based on one she has already selected. This new condition (and the associated condition that she must first gain immunity to) are: blind (dazzled), blow away (checked), exhausted (fatigued), frightened (shaken), nauseated (sickened).

  • An expert of survival gains the Improved Evasion Feature. Now, if she fails a Reflex saving throw against an effect that allows a saving throw for half damage (see above), the survivor takes only half damage. In addition, the survivor becomes immune to one additional condition of her choice.
  • A master of survival is exceedingly difficult to kill, and receives a bonus on all saving throws to resist effects that result in death (such as death from massive damage, the petrifying gaze of a medusa, and all death effects) equal to half her class level. In addition, she becomes immune to one final condition of her choice.

Trapsmithing:
Perhaps the quintessential skill of the rogue is her facility with complex devices, such as traps and locks. With a bit of patience, the proficient trapsmith can locate and disable any hidden death-dealing device that her party might encounter.
Class Skills: A rogue with at least one trapsmithing rogue talent gains Craft (Traps) (Int) and Disable Device (Dex) as class skills.
  • A novice of trapsmithing gains a bonus on Disable Device skill checks equal to half of her class level (minimum of +1). She may use the Disable Device skill to disarm magical traps. If she successfully disables a trap with a skill check that overcomes the DC by at least 10 points, he can study the trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it without actually disarming it; she can rig the trap so any creature she wishes can bypass it as well. Her familiarity with traps and methods of concealing them grants her Trap Sense, with a +2 bonus. See the description of this feature under the barbarian character class. Note that trap sense bonuses from multiple sources stack, unlike other bonuses.
  • An apprentice trapsmith is able to disarm and disable devices faster than her peers, whether disarming a trap or sabotaging another device. She may use the Disable Device skill on a simple device with a move action, a tricky device as a standard action, a difficult device as a full-round action, or a wicked device with 1d4 rounds worth of work; she may open a lock as a standard action. In addition, her Trap Sense bonus improves by +2.
  • An expert of trapsmithing does not accidentally trigger a trap with a failed Disable Device check unless she fails by 10 or more. In addition, she can take 10 on Disable Device checks, even if distracted or threatened. Moreover, she can use the Disable Device skill to open a lock as a move action. Lastly, her Trap Sense bonus improves by a further +2.
  • A master trapsmith is entitled to automatically make a Perception check to notice the presence of a trap, whenever she passes within 10 feet of either the trap itself or its trigger. For all purposes, this check is resolved as if the rogue were actively searching. Lastly, her Trap Sense bonus improves by a further +2.


For a homebrew campaign that I've been working on, recently, I've created a world in which the animation of constructs has become a widely-practiced art form. Golems - and constructs of similar humanoid appearance - are the most popular, though this is more the consequence of aesthetic pride on part of the world's denizens rather than any sort of engineering issue. These constructs are crafted in vast numbers, eventually to be bought by private citizens for domestic service, or by military forces for combat service.

A pair of early antagonists in this campaign will be an alchemical golem mysteriously ascended to sapience, and a young human girl - a prodigal wizard despite her age, if not a bit unreliable because of it - who befriended it and travels with it. This golem, dubbed "Wes Algee" by its companion, struggles to understand the nature of its self-awareness, and travels in search of other intelligent constructs that it can free from servitude to organic masters.

In the beginning of the campaign, Wes is simply an aware alchemical golem - intelligence allows it to gain skill ranks and feats, as noted below - with a few surprises in its design. As the campaign progresses, however, the idea is that it will turn inward to its structure and gain levels as an alchemist.

-------------

WS-AlG076 "Wes Algee"
Inexplicably sentient alchemical golem
N Large construct

Statistics:
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 22, Con --, Int 20, Wis 13, Cha 12
Senses: Darkvision (120 ft.), Low-Light Vision; Perception +13
Skills: Craft (alchemy) +17 (2 ranks), Craft (armor, carpentry, leather, sculpture, siege engines) +9 each (4 ranks each), Disable Device +18 (12 ranks), Heal +5 (4 ranks), Knowledge (arcana) +17 (12 ranks), Perception +13 (12 ranks), Spellcraft +17 (12 ranks)
Feats: Bolstered Resilience, Deepsight, Dodge, Point0Blank Shot, Power Attack (-4 to hit/+8 damage)
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Halfling, Undercommon

Defenses:
AC: 27 (+6 dex, +11 natural, +1 dodge, -1 size); tch: 16, ff: 21
HP: 96 (12d10+30); DR: 10/adamantine or bludgeoning
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +5
Immunities: Construct traits (see Bioconstruct Modification (Brain), under "Abilities" below), magic
Weaknesses: Bioconstruct Modification (brain)

Offenses:
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft.
BAB: +12; CMB: +21, CMD: 37
Melee: 2 +1 slams +15 (2d8+5 plus alchemy), +1 spiked chain +20 (2d6+9)
Ranged: Bomb +17 (8d6 random energy)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
SA: Alchemy, Bombs, Splash

Combat Gear:
Armor Construct Modification (+1 enhancement bonus, bolstering), Weapon Construct Modifications (+1 enhancement bonus to slams, +1 spiked chain attached to frame), Rune Construct Modification (shielding), catching cape, amulet of bullet protection +1, one dose of silversheen, two doses of universal solvent, four smoke pellets, one adamantine weapon blanche, five cold iron weapon blanches, two doses of flash powder, three fuse grenades.

Other Gear:
Bioconstruct Modification (brain), masterwork thieves' tools, healer's kit (10 uses), surgeon's kit.

Coins: 25 gp

Wes has the following magic items permanently "built-in" as part of his chasis. They are immune to damage, and are considered destroyed if Wes is destroyed. They cannot be removed or replaced except with extensive mechanics work, which Wes cannot perform on himself. These items are permanent and are discharged/expended after use, even if they would be for normal characters.

A second pair of arms, small and delicate, extend from the front of Wes' torso. Normally kept folded tightly against the golem, each of these arms ends in a finely crafted hand - these hands are built-in assisting gloves, and are the golem's first choice when dealing with work that requires fine motor control (such as opening a lock or disabling a trap).

Wes' legs end in large, trapezium-shaped "feet," which are built-in boots of the cat.

Abilities:
Alchemy (Ex): When Wes Algee strikes a foe with a slam attack, the attack either deals extra energy damage, or has an additional effect. This is randomly determined (d20) each time Wes successfully strikes a foe.
  • 1 - 3: 1d6 additional acid damage.
  • 4 - 6: 1d6 additional cold damage.
  • 7 - 9: 1d6 additional electrical damage.
  • 10 - 12: 1d6 additional fire damage.
  • 13 - 14: Target is sickened for 1d4 rounds (Fort negates).*15 - 16: Target is entangled for 1d4 rounds (Ref negates).
  • 17 - 18: Target is staggered for 1d4 rounds (Will negates).
  • 19 - 20: Two effect simultaneously; roll twice, ignoring further results of 19 or 20 and duplicate results.

Bioconstruct Modification (Brain): Unlike other alchemical golems, the brain included in We Algee's construction has somehow retained the ability to think independently. This allows it to learn, grow, and adapt, and results in its self-awareness. As a result of this unique identity, it cannot simply be suppressed by enchantment spells as other bioconstructed brains can. Instead, it leaves Wes Algee as vulnerable to the normal effects of enchantment and illusion effects like any living creature would be; it may be subject to charm monster and it may be tricked by ghost sound, for example.

Bombs (Ex): As a standard action, Wes Algee can throw a bomb as a ranged touch attack to a distance of 60 feet. This attack has no range increment. If the attack misses, treat it as a thrown splash weapon to determine where it lands. Anyone struck by this attack takes 8d6 points of randomly determined (d20) energy damage. All creatures adjacent to the location where the bomb lands take 1d6 damage of the same type.

  • 1 - 3: Acid damage
  • 4 - 6: Cold damage
  • 7 - 9: Electricity damage
  • 10 - 12: Fire damage
  • 13 - 14: Force damage
  • 15 - 16: Negative Energy damage
  • 17 - 18: Sonic damage
  • 19 - 20: Two types of damage simultaneously (4d6/4d6, 1d3/1d3 to adjacent creatures); Roll twice, ignoring further results of 19 or 20 and duplicate results.

Splash (Ex): Any non-reach melee attack made against Wes Algee deals 1 point of randomly determined (d20) energy damage to the attacker. A critical hit confirmed against Wel Algee instead delivers 1d6 energy damage to its attacker.

  • 1 - 5: Acid damage
  • 6 - 10: Cold damage
  • 11 - 15: Electricity damage
  • 16 - 20: Fire damage

Tactics:
As soon as Wes Algee is attacked, it activates its Bolstered Resilience feat to double it's DR to 20/adamantine or bludgeoning. Against most foes Wes Algee is likely to encounter, this renders the golem practically invulnerable. Wes typically makes a show of strength to prove its superiority and then simply proceeds to go about its business, unmolested by opponents that are cowering or too shocked to act.

When faced with foes that present a credible threat, Wes prefers to harass them in close-quarters combat where it can make optimal use of its superior reach and strength. If the battle begins to turn against it, the golem will withdraw and flee at top speed rather than face destruction. If possible, it will lob a bomb to inflict structural damage or damage the environment and cause a block that halts or slows its pursuers.

Wes Algee loathes the concept of murder, despite the depths of its rage when faced with the treatment of its kin. When in melee combat, it will always choose to deal nonlethal damage (imposing a -4 penalty on attack rolls that is not included in its statistics above), though it cannot help the energy damage it inflicts, unless this would prevent it from reliably striking a foe. If faced with one or more targets guilty of cruelty or malicious neglect to constructs - especially intelligent ones such as Wes itself - the golem will resort to lethal combat.

Knowing the destructive power inherent in them, Wes will directly attack a living creature with its bombs only if given no other recourse, or it feels reasonably sure that the enemy could survive a direct hit from one of its explosives. In the latter case, it will lob a bomb at a foe to prove the kind of destructive power it is capable of at a moment's notice.


QUINGGONG MONK
The quinggong monk is a master of his ki, using it to perform superhuman stunts or even blast opponents with supernatural energy. Some achieve their power over ki through extreme discipline, while others attain this power by accidentally or intentionally rare herbs or strange mystical fruits, and a few are gifted these abilities by a dying quinggong master. A quinggong monk has the following class features.

Alternative Ki Powers; 3rd Level:
A quingong monk may select any ki power for which he qualifies in place of the several standard class features, when he attains enough class levels to acquire those features. Just as with his traditional selection of ki powers, the quinggong monk can select either a new ki power or gain mastery over one that he has already learned. In addition to the ki powers listed above, a quinggong monk can select several bonus feats or spell-like abilities as ki powers as well. The class features a quinggong monk can replace (and their level) are as follows: High Jump (3rd), Deep Impact (6th), Diamond Body (9th), Abundant Step (12th), Quivering Palm (15th), Timeless Body (18th), and Perfect Self (20th).

All of these alternative ki powers have a minimum monk level requirement to select them. A quinggong monk who does not meet this requirement cannot select that ki power; however, a higher-level monk may select a lower-level power in place of a higher-level one.

Most ki powers require that the monk spend ki points, and the exact amount is included beside each alternative ki power in the list below. Ki powers that cost 0 ki power do not require the monk to have any ki points in his pool to use that ability.

The saving throw against a monk’s ki power, if any, is equal to 10 + half his class level + his Wisdom bonus.

List of Alternative Ki Powers:
3rd Level Ki Powers
Acrobatic Steps (1 ki point)
augury (1 ki point)
barkskin (self only, 1 ki point)
Deny Death (0 ki points)
feather step (self only, 1 ki[/] point)
High Jump (monk ability)
[i]hydraulic push
(1 ki point)
ki arrow (1 ki[/i point)
[i]Ki
Stand (0 ki points)
message (1 ki point)
Power Attack (1 ki point)
Quick Draw (1 ki point)
scorching ray (2 ki points)
Throw Anything (1 ki point)
true strike (self only, 1 ki point)

6th Level Ki Powers
cloak of winds (self only, 2 ki points)
Deep Impact (monk ability, 1 ki point)
gaseous form (self only, 1 ki point)
Heroic Recovery (1 ki point)
hydraulic torrent (2 ki points)
remove disease (2 ki points)
Sidestep (1 ki point)
Snatch Arrows* (1 ki point)
Spring Attack (1 ki point)

9th Level Ki Powers
Diamond Body (monk ability)
dragon’s breath (2 ki points)
Gliding Steps (1 ki point)
neutralize poison (3 ki points)
poison (2 ki points)
restoration (self only, 2 ki points)
share memory (0 ki points)
silk to steel (1 ki point)
Spider Step (1 ki point)
Whirlwind Attack (2 ki points)

12th Level Ki Powers
Abundant Step (monk ability, 2 ki points)
discordant blast (2 ki points)
Greater Bull Rush (2 ki points)
Greater Disarm (2 ki points)
Greater Feint (2 ki points)
Greater Sunder (2 ki points)
Improved Blind-Fight (1 ki point)
ki leech (0 ki points)
Lunge (1 ki point)
shadow step (1 ki point)
spit venom (2 ki points)
Step Up and Strike (2 ki points)
Wind Stance (2 ki points)

15th Level Ki Powers
battlemind link (4 ki points)
Elemental Fists (2 ki points)
Improvised Weapon Mastery (2 ki points)
Ki Throw (2 ki points)
Punishing Kick (2 ki points)
Quivering Palm (monk ability, 2 ki points)
shadow walk (3 ki points)

18th Level Ki Powers
blood crow strike (2 ki points)
Cloud Step (3 ki points)
cold ice strike (3 ki points)
Disarming Strike (2 ki points)
Improved Ki Throw (2 ki points)
ki shout (3 ki points)
sonic thrust (2 ki points)
Timeless Body (monk ability)

20th Level Ki Powers
Bleeding Critical (3 ki points)
Greater Blind-Fight (2 ki points)
Improved Vital Strike (2 ki points)
Lightning Stance (3 ki points)
Penetrating Strike (2 ki points)
strangling hair (3 ki points)


So, I said that I was done tweaking Enlightenment.

Apparently, I lied.

I spent some time thinking about something that I had mentioned earlier - that I wanted to use the Canny Defense feature of the Duelist as a baseline for what Enlightenment should do.

So, I've tweaked it again. Heh. I feel that the new mechanic helps to ease off the anger issues of the monk, while not completely supplanting the role of two other ability scores. It also helps - in my opinion - to better scale the bonus of enlightenment.

Enlightenment (Ex); 1st Level:
A lifelong journey lies ahead of the monk, of contemplation and reflection. As he continues his training, the monk slowly transcends the bounds of a mortal existence and can eventually do away with his mortal coil entirely to become something perfectly attuned to the universe. At 1st level, the monk may add one point of his Wisdom bonus (if any) to both his Strength and Constitution scores as an enhancement bonus. At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, the monk adds an additional point, up to his Wisdom bonus. Temporary bonuses to the monk's Wisdom score, such as from owl's wisdom or any wondrous item, do not count towards this bonus. When equipped with armor or a shield, he loses all benefit of enlightenment.

For example, a 1st level monk with a Wisdom of 17 would gain a +1 enhancement bonus to both Strength and Constitution. This bonus improves to +2 when the monk reaches 3rd level, and +3 at 5th level. If the monk chose to improve his Wisdom score at 4th level, then the enhancement bonus of his enlightenment would also improve to +4 when he attains 9th level.


Degoon Squad wrote:

One thing I would like to know. If you ask your eidolon to take the shape of an elf Maiden on a cold winter Night, is that an Evil act?

And if a Eidolon plane touched becomes a summoner later on, can it summon a relative. Role playing a Summoner whose Eidolon is its Aunt Myrtle might be fun.

Once had a player run a tiefling summoner, raised by her pit fiend father. She was enamores with mortals, at least whay she thoufht mortal culture was. Ended up OKaying that her eidolon was a shard of her father's sentience. It was pretty cool.


Let me preface this with the fact that my laptop is out of commision until I can locate and afford another power charger. As a result, I'm stuck typing thos all up on up on my phone, so there are bound to be lots of typos. Pmease ignore them where you can, and ask for clarifixation if they are too much. xD

-Weapon Fighting has always been one of my favorite fighting stules cinematically. I've run all sorts of characyers through it - in fact, my first Pathfinder character was a drow noble fighter/paladin who fo used his bonus feats on TWF, run out of the Darklands with his wife, having settled in Korvosa just in time for the shennanigans of the Curse of the Crimson Throne. That was a lark.

Anyway. I hear a lot of people complaining about the usefulness of TWF, debating back and forth about its mechanical inferiority, feat taxation, and the like. I've had a few issues with the way the associated feat trees were drawn up. Two-Weapon Defense makes me shake my head and sigh. So I've been puttering about in my head today with how to deal with it and buff up the fighting style a little to make it more appealing. What I have so far is listed below.

The feat Two-Weapon Fighting remains unchanged.

Double Slice gets tweaked. I always felf Pathfinder's reduction of damage from ALL weapons in the off hand was an entirely unnecessary nerf to the style. Now, only light weapons suffer this penalty, and so Double Slice allows you to deal full STR damage with a light weapon in your off-hand.

Two-Weapon Rend gets tweaked. I'm debating between two options. Option A is that you rend once for everytime you hit a single creature with both your primary and off-hand weapon. So if you hit three times with your primary weapon and twice with your off-hand, you end twice. Option is similar, allowing you to rend as often as you hit a creature with both weapons, but only once per creature per round. So you can'r rend Warrior A twice, but you could rend Warriors A through C once each.

Improved TWF gets tweaked. In addition to the feat's normal effect, when your BAB becomes +11 you get a third attack at -10. At a BAB of +16, you get a fourth attack w/ your off- hand weapon at -15.

At the moment, Greater TWF is culled from the herd for being made obsolete due to my reworked Impeoved TWF. I'm currently thinking of new mechanics to replace it woth, leaning towards a Greater TWF that lowers your to-hit penalties in some fashion.

Two-Weapon Defense is tweaked. In addition to its normal effect, at a BAB of +6, your shield bonus improves to +2. At a BAB of +11, it becomes a +3 shield bonus. At a bab of +16, it frants a shield bonus of +4. At this point, you can also deflect almost any oncoming attack by off-hand parries; when you devlare a full attack as though going to attack with your off-hand weapon, you can choose to forego all off hand attacks to gain cocer as noted in the desceiption of the tower shield.

Break Guard remains unchanged.

Dounle Bane remains unchanged.

Improved Two-Weapon Feint replaces Two-Weapon Feint since the lesser feat is not listes as a prerquisite

Net and Rrident remains unchanged.

Sword and Pistol remains unchanged.

Twin Thunders remains unchanged, as does Twin Thunders Master.

Bashing Finish is unchanged.

I'm adding a new feat to the family, known as Two-Weapon Pounce.

TWO-WEAPON POUNCE
Prerequisites: Dex 17, bab +6, Two-Weapon Fighting
Benefit: If you declare a charge attack and you have a weapon in both your primary hand and your off-hand, you may make a single attack against your enemy with both weapons. Each attack benefits from the charge. If you have the Two-Weapon Rend feat, this chatge attack ky be elligible for a rend.

-----------------------

EDIT

Ah, I forgot a new feat.

IMPROVED TWO-WEAPON DEFENSE
Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting
Benefit: If your off-hand weapon has a msgical enhancement bonus, this is added to the shiels bonus it provides your AC.


Chemlak wrote:

Got to admit, that's an interesting point. The paladin uses Detect Evil on the LN cleric of a LE god, and gets a positive result. Since the cleric's power is almost entirely derived from an Evil source, even though the paladin's Smite won't function, is it "wrong" for him to do something about the cleric (kill, arrest, whatever)? My initial thought is that he would be morally in the right.

Just to note, I'd appreciate if this particular line of thinking absolutely avoided any hypotheticals regarding creatures with the [Evil] subtype.

EDIT: Typed all this on phone, liable to be full of typos.

Not necessarily. Remember, someone or something being evil is not in and of itself something that the paladin is always able to act upon. It is also not jusfification for unprovoked assault or murder, which is a crime in nearly every civilized society. Take, for example, an instance where a CN cleric of a CE deity that has become the town mmayor. The palaxin cannot simply attack him for the sake of being evil, nof without putting his lawful alignment in nealordy. That goes behond the bounds of heroics that a remost are likely neutral at worsttate of mind would draw, and treads into anarchy and vigilantism.

Especially when you take into account that just because someone in a position of power is evil, doesn't mean he's used evil means tl attsin his status or resources. Our CN cleric could well hsve won sn election fair and swuare, which means that nk w a paladin agressing against him must concontend with the fact that he's going to come into conflict with the local guardsmen. The gjardsmen aren't necessarily evil either, even though tbeir leader worships an evil power - most likelyneutral at worst, and some may even be good. Is the paladin still I the "moral right" if he strikes out at these men and women for doing tbeir duty?

Lastly, there's an intended character concepg behind a cleric whoee alignment doesn't exactly mstch that of his god. The character shares enough gener symlsthy towards the tenets of tbat pos er's faith ti draw inspirstion from it, without necessarily agreeing with every little idea.Think the verg same reason that Christians can be divided among catholics, protestants, lutherans, LDS, etc, to use a real world example.

To give you a more in-game example, say you have LE Deity A. The tenents of A's faith stipulate that only the strong deserve. If you want something, be strong enough to take it. Be strong enough afterwards to keep it. The weak exist for one reason alone - to serve the will and whims of those more powerful than yourself.

Now assume LN cleric B is drawn to the idea of the strong ruling over the weak. But because he lacks an evil alignment, it's not about the strong "deserving to rule over the weak" and it's not about the weak "deserving what they get." For bim, the strong sbould rule over fhe weak becauese only theg have the power fo do so. Fhe sfrong have the abilify fo act, therefore they have the responsibility to do so since the weak are neither smart enough, fast enough, or tough enough to act on their own behalf.

Becauese he bas to traffick with a darker force to live this pbilosophy by example, he radistes its toucb. Be must constantlg cong end not only with maintaining his own identity in the face of this dangerous tight rope walk, btut also the misconceotions of thise foolish enough to act on knee-jerk reactions before gathering intelligence.


While you're entitled to chanhe the game to fit whatever makss it more fun for you and your players, certainly, I'm not sure why the RAW acenarioa are silly. Care to elaborate?


Lord Fyre wrote:
Daniel Chaplik wrote:
And let me apologize in advance If that sounds overly snippy. On phone, so tgping is difficult and best kept short. xD

No problem.

This is a weird special case where a character can register as Evil without actually being evil.

Yeah, I can see why it could engender a double-take or two. When you think about it, though, it's a vwry good reason for evil powers to accwpt neutral agents

With paladins a real and present threat, it goves evil somethomg of an upper-hand. Trick the paladin into making a snap assumption, and he squanders aome of hos resources. Evem at hogh lwvwla whwn the pally can smite everytime he ao much as sneezes, one smite wasted isone smite less the pally has to ise against more powerful - but more vulnerable - foes.

And likewise, the same basoc peinciple applies when you take into account that good deities can also have neutral clerics. Same thing, but witj antipaladins and their detect/smite good.


And let me apologize in advance If that sounds overly snippy. On phone, so tgping is difficult and best kept short. xD


Lord Fyre wrote:
The black raven wrote:

Exact.

The chart on page 266 of the core rulebook indicates what you detect with the spell corresponding to the "Aligned" aura detected.

In the case of a Cleric or Paladin, it is the deity which is "aligned" and thus taken into account (in addition to any other category the character would be part of).

Okay. This gives rise to another question.

Asmodeus(LE) has several LN clerics. By the above, their aura would still be LE.

What happens when a Paladin Smites them?

You're overthinking this. A cleric's aura calls oit that it matches the character's god. Smite Evil specifically calls out creatures that ARE evil. In effect, the paladin wastes a smite.


Lurk3r wrote:
You have to play this sound whenever it turns into the ship.

DEFINITELY.

I'll need to see if I can find a program to make it sound like it's happening underwater. :)


So here's what I'm thinking.

After Terrorem transforms, it will attack the ship that the PC's are on and basically splinter it into toothpicks with it's massive slam attack. The PC's will be among the few survivors, along with a handful of crew members to serve as cannon fodder (heh, see what I did there?) and tactical assets.

The heroes will have to work their way inside of Terrorem - I'm thinking that I want it to function kind of like a portable siege weapon or vehicular weapon, so there will be hallways and ladders, and all that inside where the survivor's of Illbeard's crew (since they are undead as well) will be working to pilot/maintain Terrorem.

Working their way up to the observation platform where the new enemy controlling Terrorem can be found, they will have to disable several key features of the creature. So far, I'm thinking that they'll have to disable it's locomotion, it's cannon, and it's "shielding" (thereby eliminating or at least reducing it's magical immunities).

Once they make it to the top and defeat the BBEG, Terrorem will begin to collapse and the heroes can leap to the safety of the waves, where they will be picked up by allied pirate vessels.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
ErrantPursuit wrote:
...rather idiotic stuff showing he has absolutely no ideas about the math behind the system

1) Martials getting bonuses to hit

[list]
** spoiler omitted **...

You know, you can have a differing opinion all you want, but keep your name-calling s$+% to yourself off the internet. It doesn't help get your point across any better, and you just make people disregard your comments off the cuff.

:\


ThunderMan wrote:
Only if it has jaegers in it as well.

SNK?

zefig wrote:

This sounds all kinds of awesome, so partly this post is just a Dot. I do have a few suggestions though. First, if they've already "sunk" the ship, then having it significantly damaged might give them a better shot. Maybe end a long series of encounters to hamper it with a final, climactic, direct confrontation with the injured golem. Maybe have several sites that contain focuses of the golem's power that can serve as individual encounters to weaken it.

If you can wait a bit, too, I believe Bestiary 4 is going to contain some Kaiju monsters. This sounds like a good contender for such rules.

Those are some interesting suggestions, actually. Have it only at half HP. And one of my visions for the end fight was to have them battling up the thing to get to the guy controlling it anyway - not that it matters, but it actually won't be Illbeard at this point, who the party will most likely have dealt with and either destroyed or recruited. XD

It would make sense that along the way they can attack key sites of the thing and weaken its frame somewhat, before having to make their stand against it at the shore. I'm thinking maybe that after htey kill the guy controlling it, it goes berserk and that's why they have the last fight with it anyway. That way killing the controller doesn't just make it stand there. xD

And I'm comping at the bit to get my hands on that book, make no mistake. I won't be running this campaign for a long time anyway, so it's no worries waiting for that. xD


So, quite a few years ago, I started running a high-seas, fight-the-power type campaign for a group of my regular friends/players. The PC's were all pirates or got sucked into it, and the main bad guy was an elven lich known as Illbeard. His ship had a massive cannon on it, among other things. When a friend of mine and I found out that there was a cannon golem in Pathfinder, I immediately thought of rolling up Illbeard's ship as a creature that is actually a special cannon golem that can transform into a ship.

And lo, Terrorem was born. Terrorem is classified as a "Transforming Cannon Golem," a N Colossal construct (shapechanger).

My first thought was to make the creature colossal size. Technically, I think it's "logical" dimensions would far exceed this limitation, but since d20/Pathfinder caps out at this size, that's where we'll go. xD

To reflect its great size and power, rather than simply tack on the Giant simple template three times, I've given the creature additional hit dice. So Terrorem has a vast pool of HD - 50 to be exact. I just followed the rules for increasing size by adding to the HD of a creature. 15 HD is the standard for a cannon golem, so to make it huge I added 7. At 22 HD, to make it huge I added 11 more. Finally, at gargantuan with 33 HD, I added another 13 to get 49; originally. I figured I'd round it up to an even fifty just to appease my OCD tendencies. For obvious reasons, I'm going to avoid raising it's ability scores based on additional HD. :P

Being a construct, I won't have to worry about too many extra features as I increase it's HD. I'm thinking of giving it a few extra bonus feats - maybe two or three, but not that many. Still have to calculate it's new weapon damage, but with a Strength of 54, that slam attack is just going to be murder. Literally, I might add.

Of course, the PC's are in no way intended to directly fight this monstrosity. It will only revert to its true golem form at the endcap fight of the campaign at level 20, more as a race against time to stop it, utilizing every trick and advantage the player's now, rather than a direct confrontation. After the PC's sink Illbeard's vessel and believe the nightmare to be over, just imagine the horror as they feel almost as vividly as they hear the sound of it changing shape beneath the waves, and see it's shining black form rise out of the water to march onwards towards populated coastal areas. :D

So if anyone can think of a small number of bonus feats this thing could benefit from, please let me know.

Oh, and if anyone can tell me; the golem's cannon attacks. If it takes a full attack, does it get to make these cannon attacks AND its slam attacks? Even if the cannon is considered "manufactured" the slam is still a natural weapon, which can be combined with a manufactured weapon on a full attack as normal, right?


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:

Non-lethal damage knocks you out when you do enough to equal current HP. Most people hate saps because they are purely nonlethal damage.

Side note:Throwing, Returning, Merciful, shocking burst sap. This sound familiar to you?

Keep yer' eyes on dat dere halfling.

He can be perdy shocking.


Iron_Stormhammer wrote:
Part of the issue I've seen is that players running rogues are outpaced by the hit die of their opponents, meaning that as level up, an enemy's hit points outrun the rogue's ability to do damage. A lot of players I know hate saps because they can never deal enough non-lethal damage to knock someone out. It makes sense that knocking out an opponent with a weapon designed for knocking people out shouldn't rely upon attrition of hit points, nor should it require all of your feats and a couple of levels to do so, but it does. It's a simple fact that a common thug can knock someone out with a sap without much training or skill. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just seems like saps are nerfed.

The issue isn't necessarily that the weapon or damage output is properly scaled, it's that the common thug is a level 1 warrior. The common citizen is a level 1 commoner. At these levels, the thug most likely is going to knock out the commoner in one blow; I mean, mechanically speaking, he automatically will as long as his Strength is at least 14, no matter what he rolls for damage.

When you're talking about mid-to-high level adventurers and their enemies, these are people FAR above and beyond the scope of anything you'll see happen in real life. At that point, comparisons and what we take for granted as common sense starts to break down.

A variant rule for "knock out blows" would be useful to remedy this solution for higher-level characters. I think there was something like that in the RIFTS RPG, by Palladium Books. But if you do that, you cheapen the rogue's Master Strike.


Byrdology has a thread you might want to check out.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2prly?Byrds-Homebrew-Bible#1

Personally, I completely rewrote the class from the ground up, just like I've recently done with the monk. Some people prefer smaller-scale tweaks, others feel that there's just too much bad to begin with. All depends on your campaign, too, because you can easily adjust encounters to highlight the rogue character's capabilities without exploiting his weaknesses too much. XD


+5 Toaster wrote:
+5 Toaster wrote:

hmm lets see

Enlightenment:The Monk may choose to substitute his wisdom modifer (to a maximum of half his level) in place of any of his physical ability score modifiers for any class features and effects, with the exception of bonus hit points per level, for which the monk may substitute his full wisdom modifier at any level.
I was concerned for monk survivability at lower levels so I tried a little hitpoint boost.

Zen Defense: The monk gains a +3 Insight bonus to armor class. At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter this bonus increases by + 1.
I thought of this because getting double wis bonus to your AC seemed really awkward, and this seemed like a reasonable scale.

what say you daniel?

edit:nevermind you went in a slightly different direction.

Well, I did seriously consider your proposal. In fact, you kind of went into my past mindset, to be honest. When I first started working on this project, I had actually intended for Enlightenment to affect all ability scores. Within a few revisions and additions, it made the monk's AC bonus work weird, so I threw it out.

rainzax wrote:

Danial Chaplik,

your current enlightenment proposal still seems wonky. i had another idea that may help:

you may substitute up to half your monk level for the appropriate ability score modifier to {certain checks} so long as the bonus does not exceed your Wisdom modifier.

To be honest, I decided from the start that I wanted to shy away from writing out a list of specific checks and rolls that it affects. For one part, I've got a page-count issue to work with - I've got kind of an OCD thing when I'm writing up a document; if my paragraphs don't end cleanly on the bottom of a page, and even one sentence spills on to the next, I lose my s&&$ and start editing and revising my wordage to make it fit again. xD

The real issue is that I want to make it clear from the get-go that Enlightenment exists to fix the monk's anger issues. While I could achieve the same effect another way, it just felt that being direct about what is actually being swapped around was the best option for that.

On another note, I do have to modify my write-up for Uncanny Initiative, a feature of the Weapon Adept archetype. It seems that by omitting a line I had meant to include, I created an infinite "I-Go-First" loop among weapon adepts.

Uncanny Initiative (Ex); 18th Level:
A weapon adept does not need to roll for initiative. He always goes first in any encounter, unless he decides to delay his action. If more than one combatant in an encounter has this feature, they roll normally for initiative between themselves. This ability replaces Timeless Body.


So this is my final version of Enlightenment.

Enlightenment (Ex):
A lifelong journey lies ahead of the monk, requiring dedicated contemplation and reflection. As he continues his training, the monk slowly transcends the normal bounds of his mortal existence and can eventually do away with his mortal coil entirely and become something perfectly attuned to the universe.

Starting at 1st level, the monk may choose to substitute one point of his Wisdom bonus (if any) in place of his Strength and Constitution modifers, if it is higher. At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, the amount of Wisdom the monk can include in this substitution raises by one point.

He continues to calculate his lifting and carrying limits by Strength, and qualifies for feats and other character options by his actual Strength and Constitution scores. When wearing armor or equipped with a shield, a monk loses all benefit of his enlightenment. This includes a loss of the appropriate number of hit points.

For example, a 1st level monk with a Strength of 10, a Constituion of 14, and a Wisdom of 16, would only replace his Strength modifier; at 5th level, when he can substitute all of his +3 Wisdom bonus, he would then replace his Constitution modifier as well.

On another note, it has come to my attention that my "It Runs in the Blood" feat makes Fast Drinker obsolete. I think I'll leave it up and let GM's decide which one they want their players to be able to use.


dabbler wrote:
dabbler wrote:
Your problem is that it is the MAIN method of character developement and the one used for play-testing and games design. If you use random methods, you just need ONE lucky roll and you have three whacked up stats. In any method, it turns a single racial +2 bonus into three +2 bonuses. So the monk player just assigns his lowest two scores to strength and con, and his highest + racial modifier to Wisdom, and you have the same problem again.

If the "play-testing and game design" was functional in the first place, the monk wouldn't need fixing, therefore the point is moot. "Main" is debatable, unless you can honestly tell me that you've sampled every single gaming table in the world and actually have some sort of research to support the idea. Regardless, main does not mean required - if a player or GM can't fit the rules to the story, and have to fit the story to the rules, then that isn't my concern.

I suppose I fail to share your concern with how many extra bonuses the character gets. The monk, as it is in core, is MAD beyond belief, requiring all but one ability score to function as thematically intended. This mechanic only eliminates two scores from the list, still leaving a three-split need: Dexterity to supplement the class' inherent AC bonus, Wisdom for class features and to supplement STR and CON, and Intelligence to gain the skill points needed to fully capitalize on skill-based mobility in and out of combat. That puts it in line with other special interest martials, such as the Paladin (STR, CON, CHA) and the Magus (STR, INT, CON).

dabbler wrote:
Could you mention one other than all characters having the same score in every attribute with no racial modifiers please? I just found the flaws in everything you have mentioned so far.

The mechanic is an issue, but not for any of the reasons you've brought up.

dabbler wrote:
Really? What can't you get that rely on Strength or Con? Power Attack feat tree (which is meh unless you use a two-handed weapon), and that's about it. Actually, there are not that many feats that rely on strength or constitution. Power Attack is the only common one, and as your unarmed strike counts as a light weapon you can replace it with Piranha Strikes. Other than that, what is there that a monk needs? Not much, many more styles and feats rely on dexterity and wisdom than on strength.

Distance Thrower, and Two-Handed Thrower, for a player rolling up a Monk of the Empty Hand.

The Final Embrace tree, for an NPC grappler or a monstrous PC grappler - and that's three feats, just for that.

My monk allows for some multi-class combinations that were not available before - for example, a monk barbarian is going to want to consider Raging Throw if he wants to explore bull rushing/knock back.

Once I get around to converting the Monk of Many Styles, that will be the only way to get style feats as bonus feats, so that's going to make for all other monks Dragon Style a concern.

Deep Drinker for a Drunken Master.

Elemental Fist, if you aren't playing a Monk of the Four Winds.

Djinni style. Efreeti Style. Marid Style. Shaitan Style.

Fast Drinker, Fast Healer, Fight On.

Okay, I'm bored of this, and only made it through UC and part of the APG. The point is this. While it may be accurate to say there are more feats that rely on DEX or WIS than STR or CON, but as I think I've shown, those that do rely on STR or CON are not part of an inconsiderable list.

There are more people in China than the US, but there aren't four of us sitting in America.

dabbler wrote:
Besides, with +5 hp per die and +5 to hit and damage, and a good AC, standing and hitting things is not such a bad plan!

You should really take a look at the combat example I posted above to get a new perspective on that. There are plenty of creatures that prevent the monk from doing just that.

dabbler wrote:
They have to hit you first, and with the touch AC you can have that won't be easy. You'd have to be careful, maybe make sure you are always carrying a potion of lesser restoration, but that's about it.

Unless of course, you know, the poison isn't on a weapon. How about a gaseous poison? Or poisoned food? Or a poisoned door handle? Or the thousand other ways that a character can find himself exposed to it.

What you should have mentioned is that my monk is normally immune to poisons because of my combination of Purity of Body and Diamond Body. But since some archetypes trade that ability out, that's going to be an issue for some monks.

As far as combat is concerned, better hope you aren't in their threatened space if you're going to go drink it.


Dabbler wrote:
Daniel Chaplik wrote:
That's why it only comes into play if the monk's Wis is higher.
Why the hell wouldn't they in point buy?

The first problem is that you're arguing a mechanic over its merits for a single method of character development. Even if that were the case for point-buy, which I disagree on, anyway, not everyone uses the PB system. As a GM I never have, and I have only ever had a single GM ever use PB - either in DnD or in Pathfinder. In any event, if it were that much of an issue for PB, the GM can easily avoid this by not using the point-buy method. Hell, he can even just assign an array or a list of arrays for payers to choose from.

*shrugs*

My point is there are plenty of ways to avoid that being an issue.

Dabbler wrote:

Basically that's everything but holding your breath and carrying capacity. So at 20 point buy, I get 7 back by dumping Str, Con and Cha, and spend 17 to pump Wisdom to 18 (where my rzcial mod goes as well to take me to 20), and put everything else into Dexterity. Then I have in effect 20 Str, 20 Con, 16 Dex, 20 Wis. So it doesn't count toward feats, carrying capacity and holding my breath...it counts for what really matters: hitting things, hurting things, taking damage, and making saves.

Way broken.

And if it doesn't count towards feats, good luck doing anything other than standing in one spot and hitting an enemy and not getting killed in the process. I'm sorry, but your ability scores are not the be-all-and-end-all of over-powered or under-powered; even within the confines of the game, a character's basic potential will only carry him so far.

With a STR of 7, good luck qualifying for a number of martially-inclined feats. The only ones you'll be able to pick up are those that are bonus feats for you, if you choose to forgo martial styles.

Not to mention it doesn't matter what Wisdom replaces when it comes to ability score damage. Choose to dump your actual Constitution, and you're leaving yourself open to all sorts of risks; a 1d4 STR damage poison is much more deadly to someone with 7 points of Strength than it is to someone with 14.

+5 Toaster wrote:
and a super mega awesome dip for other classes. A SADder cleric, why not? reeaally gotta consider beyond the monk class with this one.

This is a legitimate concern, however. I may consider limiting the bonus similar to the duelist - up to one point per class level. Or maybe one per two class levels.


Banglor wrote:

My main concern as I was reading was the damage you gave him. A monk at level 20 without magic items without strength or any feats added just with the spell haste if he hits with all his attacks does 24d10 in one round. Thats without amulet of the mighty fist with vicious and flaming bane etc etc. Just seems like too much damage for one character to do in one round. I do know he may not hit with all his abilities but 3d10 for one attack without str enhancement bonuses style feats damaging feats or magic items just seems like a little much to me. I personally like that you made it any non chaotic but the strict training/discipline made sense to me that they were lawful.

P.S that's only for a monk of medium size a titan monk will kill a god in one-2 rounds solo.

But keep in mind that the amulet of mighty fists is ALL the monk has, traditionally speaking. As in, that's the only way for him to GET any additional magic damage or effects out of his unarmed strikes. The extra base damage is a necessary upgrade to keep the monk in line with other martial characters.

That's why I changed ki strike to what it is now - I don't want a character that relies on a single magic item to function. I want one that can either remain powerful without them, without becoming overpowered WITH them, or one who can use a diverse array of magic items like anyone else. Hence, I tried to make the AoMF a non-necessary thing for monk builds.

Now, the average damage of 3d10 is 16. Assuming he does get hasted or he gets his hands on a +x amulet of mighty fists of speed, AND assuming he does actually manage to hit with every attack - he's looking at 128 damage. To give you an example of how this breaks down in an actual combat, let's throw him up against a pit fiend.

Crunching:
Assume a human monk (my monk) who began with a 20 Wisdom, spent all five points to enhance wisdom over 20 levels, and has a +6 WIS item. This will grant him a +10 bonus on ATK and DMG with his unarmed strike. At this point, he's got ki strike up at a +5 enhancement bonus (the other +1 is on whatever you want, say defending).

He's going to have to move to get over to his enemy; this limits him to a single attack, if he isn't a Monk of the Eastern Wind, which, granting to you, he's hitting on a 3 or higher. After a round a full attacks from the pit fiend, he decides to return the favor with a flurry of blows. So his best three attacks are hitting on a 5; the next two are hitting on a 10, the next two are only hitting on a 15, and his last is only hitting on a natural 20. So, statistically speaking, he has an 85% chance of hitting with his first three attacks, a 50% chance with the next two, only a 25% chance of hitting with the next two, and only a 5% chance of hitting with the first!

Making the assumption that he monk does hit with every attack, that puts us at 128 damage. BUT. Not really. Because the pit fiend has both Damage Reduction and regeneration that has to be taken into account. IF the monk is of good alignment, then he can overcome the DR at least because of his ki strike feature. He's still only dealing nonlethal damage, though, because of the regeneration! Ki Strike comes into play specifically for overcoming DR, just like it does for the standard monk, nothing else.

In order to overcome the creature's regeneration and deal lethal damage, the monk would have to have used some of the enhancement bonus off of ki strike ritual to purchase the holy property. This would raise his average damage by 6 points, admittedly, but it would also reduce his chance to hit by two points - a full 10%, in this scenario.

And if the monk is not good, then he isn't overcoming the DR either; he might if it was silver OR good, but it's silver AND good - and a non-good monk's ki strike can only overcome part of that. So his maximum damage potential right now is dropped down to...

A measly 8 points!

Now, compare that to Amiri, the iconic barbarian. According to the NPC Codex, she runs around with a large bastard sword that inflicts 2d8 damage. Well, what happens if we turn this into a +x bastard sword of impact? Now, it's dealing 3d8 damage - at 13 average damage, there's no only 3 points of difference between her and the monk. So then let's thrown on some more magic.

Amiri's Weapon:
Let's make her bastard sword a +1 large speedy shocking burst bastard sword of holy impact. So this weapon is now dealing 3d8+1+2d6+1d10. It's average damage has now become a full 26 damage! If she full attacks that same pit fiend and should hit with every attack, she's dealing a full 130 damage to the creature! Damage that is full lethal damage and fully overcomes it's DR, assuming she throws on some silversheen.

In any event, it's very unlikely for character's to hit with every attack, if they're fighting creature's with CR's at level with them. The crazily optimized-all-I-can-do-is-win-combat-encounters characters might be able to do it with less effort, but not anyone else. So this fact of probability reduces the character's damage output even further.

Also don't forget that the flurry of blows is mechanically equivalent to two-weapon fighting. I don't specifically call that out in my re-write for the sole reason that I'm writing this up in a PDF document to release the final version with new feats, magic items, the whole nine yards, so I'm trying to conserve word count. But if you look at the numbers, it's no different from the CRB version. Taking that into account, a TWF martial could be seen as just as much of a threat as the monk can, in that regard, because she can get just as many attacks per round as he can. And as I've shown above, her ease of acquiring magical tools to do battle with more than makes up for the one extra die of damage given to the monk.

The bottom line is, even with one extra die of damage, my monk isn't going to outshine anyone else's martial characters straight by the numbers.


Here are three feats I've brewed up to go along with my monk. I'm going to go through all the "monk" feats that are official in the CRB, APG, UM, UC, and ARG, once I'm done tweaking archetypes.

Extra Technique:
You couple a lifetime of meditation with a studious nature, unlocking greater secrets of ki.
Prerequisite: Ki power
Benefit: When you select this feat, you gain one new ki power. Alternatively, you can gain a new rank of mastery in up to two ki powers you already possess.
Special: A character may take this feat multiple times; its effects can be applied to a new ki power each time, or can be used to continue mastering a ki power that the character already possesses.

It Runs In the Blood:
You come from a long line of alcoholics, and it burns down your throat with ease.
Prerequisite: Constitution 14
Benefit: You may drink a beverage, be it alcoholic or virgin, as a move action instead of a standard action. This also applies to similar items, such as drinking a potion or spreading an oil. If you can already drink a beverage this fast, you can instead drink it as a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Special: A character may take this feat multiple times; its effect stacks.
Normal: A character can drink a beverage as a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Steady Palm:
You have learned a secret tecnique jealously guarded by human monasteries, a power designed to protect humans against their more powerful neighbors.
Prerequisite: Human-only; Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 15 ranks, Quivering Palm
Benefit: You may have a number of additional quivering palm attacks in effect equal to your Wisdom bonus. You may only affect attempt to place a quivering palm on a creature once per round, and can only attempt to slay a creature that holds these vibrations within their body once per round.
Normal: You may only affect a single target with your quivenrig palm at any given time.


Below are listed all of the monk archetypes from the Advanced Player's Guide. Each has been edited as necessary to fall in line with my re-write of the monk progression. Some of these archetypes have had abilities rewritten or intensified, or had new abilities given to them, in an attempt to better balance out the thematic concept of an archetype and its usefulness in a campaign as a whole.

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Drunken Master
Most monks lead lives of moderation and quiet contemplation. But the drunken master finds perfection through excess. Powered by strong wine, he uses his intoxication to reach a state where his ki is more potent, if somewhat fleeting. A drunken master has the following class features.

Alignment:
Any non-lawful; unlike other monks, the drunken master exists to live through over-indulgence and a lack of self-control to one degree or another. This replaces the standard alignment restriction of the monk.

Drunken Ki (Su); 2nd Level:
A drunken master can drink a tankard of ale or strong alcohol and gain one temporary ki point. A drunken master can retrieve an alcoholic beverage that is stored on his person, or an item of similar nature (such as a potion or oil) as a free action and consume it as a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The monk can have a maximum of one drunken ki point; every two levels thereafter, this limit increases by one point of drunken ki. One hour after the first drunken ki point is earned, all such ki dissipates if it has not been spent. This ability replaces Still Mind.

Drunken Strength (Su); 5th Level:
A drunken master can spend 1 point of drunken ki as a swift action to inflict 1d6 extra points of damage on a successful melee attack. The monk can choose to apply the damage after the attack roll is made. Every five levels thereafter, the monk can spend one additional point of drunken ki to increase the extra damage by an another 1d6 (to a maximum of 4d6 additional damage for 4 points of drunken ki at 20th level). This ability replaces the monk's 5th level ki power.

Drunken Courage (Su); 9th Level:
A drunken master is immune to fear as long as he has at least 1 point of drunken ki. This ability replaces Diamond Body.

Drunken Resilience (Ex); 11th Level:
A drunken master gains DR 1/–, as long as he has one point of drunken ki. At 14th level, the DR increases to 2/–. At 17th level, the DR increases to 3/–. At 20th level, the DR increases to 4/–. This ability replaces the monk's 11th level ki power.

Firewater Breath (Su); 19th Level:
A drunken master can take a drink and expel a gout of alcohol-fueled fire in a 30-foot cone. Creatures within the cone take 20d6 points of fire damage. A successful Reflex saving throw (DC 10 + half the drunken master's level + his Wisdom modifier) halves the damage. Using this ability consumes 4 points of drunken ki. The drunken master can spend additional drunken ki when he uses this ability, spending one point of drunken ki to increase the saving throw DC by +2 or to add five feet to the area of the cone. This replaces the Grandmaster feature of the drunken master's martial style.

HUNGRY GHOST MONK
The hungry ghost monk looks to spirits that prey upon the living as models of perfection. He sees the life energy of the universe as a resource to be manipulated, even going so far as to steal it from other creatures. It is through this constant influx of energy that he hungry ghost monk reaches his ultimate goal: Power – personal, pure, and simple. A hungry ghost monk has the following class features.
Punishing Kick; 1st Level:
A hungry ghost monk gains Punishing Kick as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Remember that a monk may declare a punishing kick attack a number of times per day equal to his class level, plus one more time per day for every four non-monk levels he possesses. This replaces Stunning Fist.

Martial Style:
Masters of manipulating the life forces of other creatures, all hungry ghost monks are students of the element of Water; this come to intimately understand its healing nature, but turn that knowledge to baleful ends. Each hungry ghost monk must select the Path of the Western Wind when they reach 4th level. Because they do not deliver stunning fists, however, some of the features of that martial style modified to accommodate the punishing kick instead. A hungry ghost monk does not gain the ability to change the effects of a stunning fist attack, even if he later selects that feat. Instead, he can change the effects of his punishing kick.
  • Novice: If the novice hungry ghost monk chooses to push an opponent back, he can move the target up to ten feet away. He can always choose to knock an opponent back to a distance less than this, as long as that distance is expressed in five-foot increments. If the monk knocks an opponent back and that opponent cannot travel the full distance because they encounter some sort of obstacle (such as an enemy being knocked back into a wall, for example), they take 1d4 damage for every five feet of movement they are prevented from traveling, plus the monk's Strength bonus (or his Wisdom bonus, as appropriate for Enlightenment).

    For example, a hungry ghost monk with a Wisdom score of 16 decides to knock his opponent back ten feet. That opponent, however, is already adjacent to a wall and cannot travel any distance. After the punishing kick is resolved, the opponent takes an additional 2d4+3 damage on contact with the wall because of the force of his momentum.

  • Apprentice: When the hungry ghost monk decides to push back an enemy with his punishing kick, any movement his enemy is forced to take provokes attacks of opportunity as normal for moving out of the threatened space of creatures. When a creature is knocked prone instead of being pushed back, the hungry ghost monk can sap some of that enemy's vitality on contact. By reducing the saving throw DC of his punishing kick attack by two points, the monk forces a creature knocked prone to become momentarily tired – to stand up from a prone position, the creature must use a standard action instead of a move action.
  • Journeyman: If the journeyman hungry ghost monk chooses to push an opponent back, he can move the target up to fifteen feet away. The saving throw DC to resist being knocked prone increases by +4.
  • Expert: When the hungry ghost monk uses his punishing kick attack to push back an enemy, that enemy must make a Reflex saving throw. This save DC is the same for if the were to be knocked prone. If the enemy fails this save, then the hungry ghost monk can push them into a space that is unsafe for them or unable to support their weight. An enemy could be knocked into a jet of steam or a river of molten stone, for example, or onto a weakened area of the floor or even off the edge of a cliff.
  • Master: If the master hungry ghost monk chooses to push an opponent back, he can move the target up to twenty feet away. Alternatively, he can choose to push his opponent back and knock the prone simultaneously. In this case, the opponent can be pushed back up to only ten feet and receives a saving throw as normal to resist being knocked prone.

Steal Ki (Ex or Sp); 5th Level:
A hungry ghost monk can steal ki from other creatures, though this ability is controversial in some circles of monks, who see it as nothing less than a form of vampirism. If the monk scores a confirmed critical hit against a living enemy or reduces a living enemy to 0 or fewer hit points, he cans teal some of that creature's ki. The monk can only steal ki with an unarmed strike or a manufactured weapon with the Monk property. This ability replenishes 1 point of ki to the monk's ki pool, by subtracting one from his enemy's ki pool; subsequently, an enemy who doesn't have a pool of ki with at least one point is not subject to this attack. A hungry ghost monk cannot exceed the maximum size of his ki pool in this manner. Steal ki targets an enemy's standard pool of ki first; if the enemy has any temporary ki points, such as the drunken master's pool of drunken ki, these are stolen only if no standard ki remains. This ability replaces the ki powers the monk gains at 5th and 11th level.

At 11th level, each time the monk successfully steals ki, he can immediately spend the energy to afflict his enemy. Instead of replenishing his own pool of ki, the hungry ghost monk can spend the stolen point of ki to cast contagion as a spell-like ability. His effective caster level for this ability is equal to half his class level. If another hungry ghost monk attempts to cast contagion on him in this manner, the monk gains a bonus to save versus the effect equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any).

As a result of the distaste this attack engenders in others, the hungry ghost monk suffers a permanent -4 penalty to Bluff and Diplomacy checks made against any other kind of monk who sees him perform this technique; at the GM's discretion, half this penalty may be applied when dealing with other monks who have heard of the hungry ghost monk's actions but did not personally see the event.
[spoiler=Life Funnel (Su); 9th Level]A hungry ghost monk can steal a creature's life force to replenish his own. If the monk has at least 1 point of ki in his pool and scores a confirmed critical hit against a living enemy or reduces a living enemy to 0 or fewer hit points, he heals a number of hit points equal to his monk level; he cannot exceed his maximum number of hit points in this manner. As with steal ki, some monks believe that this technique is an unsavory act, no better than what the undead do to the living. As a result, the hungry ghost monk suffers a penalty to Bluff and Diplomacy checks just as he does for stealing ki; these penalties stack if the monk is seen using both techniques. This ability replaces Diamond Body.


Life From a Stone (Su); 14th Level:
A hungry ghost monk can steal ki or life force from any creature, not just living creatures. If the monk has at least 1 point of ki in his pool, he gains the benefit of life funnel and steal ki when he confirms a critical hit against any creature or reduces any creature to 0 or fewer hit points. This ability replaces the monk's 14th level ki power.

Sipping Demon (Su); 17th Level:
A hungry ghost monk gains 1 temporary hit point each time he hits an enemy with an unarmed strike or manufactured weapon with the Monk property. The monk gains a number of temporary hit points equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any) each time he confirms a critical hit with such an attack. The maximum number of temporary hit points the monk can have is equal to his monk level, and any remaining temporary hit points disappear after 1 hour. The monk can only use this ability if he has at least 1 point of ki in his pool, and can decide not to use it with any attack. As with stealing life force or ki in other fashions, this ability is a proscribed manipulation of ki considered by many good monks to be a corruption; he suffers penalties to Bluff and Diplomacy checks as with stealing ki or with his life funnel feature, and these penalties stack. This ability replaces the monk's 17th level ki power.

Grasp of the Damned (Su); 19th Level:
The monk can conjure forth damned spirits that are unable to pass on to the next life. As a swift action, the monk can spend 3 points of ki. For 1 round, any time he confirms a critical hit against a living enemy, that enemy gains one negative level if they make a successful Will save (DC = 10 + half the hungry ghost monk's level + his Wisdom modifier), or 1d3+1 negative levels if they fails this saving throw. Grasp of the Damned can only be delivered by unarmed strike or a manufactured weapon with the Monk property. At the beginning of each subsequent turn, he may spend 1 point of ki as a free action to extend the duration of this effect by 1 round. This ability replaces the Grandmaster feature of the monk's martial style.

KI MYSTIC
The ki mystic believes that violence is sometimes necessary, but knowing and understanding is the true root of perfection. Through meditation and spiritual visions, a ki mystic can see beyond the veil of reality to the underlying truth of all existence. A ki mystic has the following class features.
Ki Mystic (Su); 1st Level:
A ki mystic gains a pool of ki points equal to his Constitution modifier plus his Wisdom modifier, instead of replacing the monk's Constitution with his Wisdom modifier, if this results in a pool of at least one ki. At 2nd level, this pool increases to include half his class level. As long as the monk has at least 1 point of ki in his pool, he gains a +2 bonus on all Knowledge skill checks. Asa swift action, the monk can spend 1 point of ki immediately before making an ability check or a skill check to gain a +4 insight bonus on the check. A ki mystic does not gain the Still Mind feature.

Mystic Insight (Su); 5th Level:
A ki mystic becomes apt at giving just the right word of advice in just the nick of time. As an immediate action, the monk can spend 2 points of ki to grant an ally within 30 feet the ability to reroll a single attack roll or saving throw. The ally must be able to hear the monk to gain the reroll benefit. This ability replaces the monk's 5th level ki power.

Mystic Visions (Su); 9th Level:
A ki mystic may receive mystic visions when he rests. These visions can come as a dream, an epiphany, or even as the voice of an old friend whispering in the monk's mind. The effect is similar to a divination spell with a caster level equals to the monk's level. The divination has no casting time; it is just part of the normal dreams or visions that occur every night. Using this ability costs 2 ki points that are deducted from the monk's pool for the coming day. This ability replaces Diamond Body.

Mystic Prescience (Su); 11th Level[/spoiler:
A ki mystic who spends a ki point to gain a bonus to his AC or his CMD gains an additional bonus equal to half his class level; if chooses to gain a bonus to both AC and combat maneuver defense, he gains a bonus equal to half this value. This ability replaces the monk's 11th level ki power.

Mystic Persistence (Su); 19th Level:
The monk can project the power of foresight around himself. As a swift action, the monk can spend 3 points of ki. For 1 round, the monk emanates an aura with a 20-foot radius. The monk and all allies within the aura can roll twice when making an attack roll or a saving throw and take the better of the two results. At the beginning of each subsequent turn, he may spend 1 point of ki as a free action to extend the duration of this effect by 1 round. This ability replaces the Grandmaster feature of the monk's martial style.

MONK OF THE EMPTY HAND
The monk of the empty hand eschews normal weapons in favor of whatever is lying round – rocks, chair legs, flagons of ale, even a simple quill pen all become deadly weapons in the hands of such a monk. A monk of the empty hand draws on his own ki to infuse his improvised weapons with power, and can transform a broken bottle into a magical weapon. A monk of the empty hand has the following class features.
Proficiencies:
Monks of the empty hand are proficient with the shuriken only. A monk of the empty hand treats normal weapons as improvised weapons with the following equivalencies (substituting all of their statistics for the listed weapon): a light weapon functions as a light hammer, a one-handed weapon functions as club, and a two-handed weapon functions as a quarterstaff. This replaces the monk's normal weapon proficiencies.

Flurry of Blows (Ex); 1st Level:
Starting at 1st level, a monk of the empty hand can make a flurry of blows using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with an improvised weapon. He may not make a flurry of blows with any other weapons, including special monk weapons. A monk of the empty hand otherwise functions as normal for a monk of his level.

Martial Style:
If the monk of the empty hand does not select a martial style, add the following list of feats to those available to him starting at 7th level: Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Steal, and Improvised Weapon Mastery.

Ki Pool (Su); 4th Level:
In addition to all the standard uses of his ki, a monk of the empty hand may spend 1 point of ki from his pool as a swift action to increase the range increment for an improvised thrown weapon or shuriken by 20 feet for 1 round.

Ki Weapons (Su); 5th Level:
A monk using a shuriken or an improvised weapon gains the benefit of his ki strike in regards to overcoming the damage reduction of his foes. When he decides to channel his ki to gain weapon properties as described under the rules of that feature, he may instead apply these benefits to up to a number of shuriken in his possession equal to his level or one other improvised weapon, such as a chair leg or bottle. This replaces the monk's 5th level ki power, and a monk of the empty hand does not gain Diamond Body.

MONK OF THE FOUR WINDS
The monk of the four winds is connected to the natural world in a way that few other creatures – even other monks – can hope to match. He can call upon the elements and the spirits of the world in times of need, and as he nears his goal of perfection, he gains the ability to slow down time and even defeat death itself. A monk of the four winds has the following class features.
Elemental Fist; 1st Level:
A monk of the four winds gains Elemental Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, the monk increases the damage of his Elemental Fist by 1d6 points. Remember that a monk may declare an elemental fist attack a number of times per day equal to his class level, plus one more time pe day for every four non-monk levels he possesses. This ability replaces Stunning Fist.

Martial Style:
A monk of the four winds can choose to "specialize" in more than one path, gain the abilities of multiple martial styles simultaneously. Because he must divide his time among them equally, he will never master any of these styles. A monk of the four winds can choose to pursue two martial styles, but his rank will always be one step lower than normal (apprentice instead of journeyman, for example), three martial styles with a rank two steps lower than normal, or all four martial styles with a rank three steps lower than normal. A monk of the four winds may still choose to pursue only a single martial style, or none at all and instead gain bonus feats; he cannot gain bonus feats and pursue any number of martial styles.

Slow Time (Su); 11th Level:
A monk of the four winds can use his ki to slow time or quicken his own movements, depending on the observer. As a swift action, the monk can expend 2 points of ki to gain an additional standard action during his turn. The monk can use this action to do the following: take a melee attack action, use a skill, use an extraordinary ability, or take a move action. The monk cannot use this action to cast spells or use spell-like abilities. Any move actions the monk makes this turn, either his normal move action or a standard action reduced to a move action, do not provoke attacks of opportunity even if they normally would. It is possible for the monk to gain additional standard actions during his turn, by spending 2 more points of ki when he activates this ability for each additional standard action he would like to take; he cannot combine multiple standard actions to perform a full-round action. A monk reduced to only a single move or standard action can slow time to gain additional actions. This ability replaces the monk's 11th and 14th level ki powers.

Aspect Master (Su); 17th Level:
A monk of the four winds must choose an aspect of one of the great spirits of the world. Once made, this choice cannot be changed. This spirit grants the monk a new appearance and new abilities, as well as changing or augmenting the monk's personality in some way. The monk must abide by the alignment restrictions of his aspect, his own alignment immediately changing to match this requirement if necessary as soon as he selects a spirit aspect. If the monk's alignment ever changes to something outside the aspect's alignment restriction, the monk becomes an ex-monk until he his alignment returns to whatever is stipulated by his spirit aspect. This ability replaces the monk's 17th level ki power and Timeless Body.
  • Aspect of the Carp: The monk's skin becomes a coat of golden, iridescent fish scales, his neck grows gills, and his fingers become webbed. He can breathe water and gains a swim speed equal to his land speed. The spirit of the carp is heroic and adventurous, and does not smile upon the acts of the vile and the depraved – only non-evil monks may take on this aspect.
  • Aspect of the Ki-Rin: The monk's skin takes on a golden luminescence, and a silvery mane that cannot be bound grows atop his head. He gains a fly speed equal to his land speed, but he must end each turn on the ground. If the monk does no land by the end of his turn, he falls from whatever height he has attained. The spirit of the ki-rin is honorable, honest, and eagerly sacrifices of itself so that others need never do so – only a monk that is good may receives its favor.
  • Aspect of the Monkey: The monk's face becomes that of monkey, and he grows a prehensile tail. The monk can pick up objects and make unarmed attacks with his tail, though he does not gain an extra attack per round simply for having this tail. In addition, the monk gains a climb speed equal to his land speed. The spirit of the monkey is a creature of whimsy and a lover of pranks – a monk who chooses to follow in its path becomes chaotic, but does not become an ex-monk for doing so.
  • Aspect of the Oni: The monk's skin becomes pitch black, and is hair turns white, black, red, or violet. He can assume gaseous form (as per the spell) as a standard action for 1 minute per day per monk level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1 minute increments. The spirit of the oni is treacherous and deceitful; a creature the lives to dominate others and hungers for the pain and death of living creatures. A monk must be evil to earn its dark blessings.
  • Aspect of the Owl: The monk grows feathers, and his head becomes avian, with wide, unblinking eyes and a sharp beak. He gains af fly speed of 30 feet, a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks due to his new keen senses, and a bite attack that deals damage as appropriate for his size. The spirit of the owl is a sage creature, deeply serious, and driven towards a single goal – a monk only of lawful alignment will know the taste of its favor.
  • Aspect of the Tiger: Dark stripes appear on the monk's skin, and his face becomes more feline. His eyes become catlike, with vertical pupils, and his canines enlarge. Once per hour,t he monk can move at 10 times his normal land speed when he makes a charge and is treated as though he had the pounce ability. The spirit of the tiger is swift, fierce, and deadly, but no more so than any other predator beast – it is not cruel or malicious in intent, and grants its boon to monks of any alignment.

Each game master is encouraged to make as much or as little of a spirit's involvement as best fits his or her campaign. In one game, the spirits may simply be nameless benefactors of greater power – no more thought is given to them than what new class feature they provide. In another, they may be fleshed out as fully-functional NPC's (at least in regards to their personality, if not their statistics), wise and mighty beings of a divine nature that may also tend to be cryptic and enigmatic. They may be exactly as they appear on face value, or a spirit may have a hidden agenda, an end it subtly maneuvers those monks who have earned its favor towards.

Immortality (Su); 20th Level:
A monk of the four winds no longer ages. He remains in his current age category forever – any penalties he has accrued remain, but he never gains further age-related penalties or benefits. Even if the monk comes to a violent end, he spontaneously returns to life after 24 hours in a place of his choosing – even if this is not where he died. He can only return to life in a place where he has been. In all other ways, this return functions as true resurrection. A monk of the four winds cannot have died in an area that suppresses magic (such as an antimagic field), or he will never return to life in this fashion. Likewise, he can't return to life in a place that suppresses magic.

If the monk has at least 6 points of ki to spend upon his return, any gear that was left at the place of his demise mysteriously vanishes from that location, only to reappear on his person once more. This strange twist of fate also affects any items that were pilfered from his corpse; if his enemies stole his +5 quarterstaff and sold it to a traveling merchant, circumstance over the next 24 hours would have seen it lost from that merchant's possession and somehow returned to the monk, no matter how far away he might be.


MONK OF THE HEALING HAND
Monks of the healing hand seek perfection through helping others. By focusing their meditations on the flow of life within themselves and all creation they gain an understanding of how to share their ki with others, healing wounds and even bringing the dead back to life. For such a monk, sacrificing himself to save another is the surest way to achieve transcendence into something greater than even the gods themselves can understand. A monk of the healing fist has the following class features.
Ancient Healing Hand (Sp); 5th Level:
A monk of the healing hand can heal another creature's wounds with a touch. As a full-round action, the monk can spend 1 ki point to restore another creature's hit points as though by way of cure light wounds. At 9th level this healing improves to cure moderate wounds by spending 2 points of ki; at 13th level this healing improves to cure serious wounds by spending 3 points of ki; at 17th level, this improves to cure critical wounds by spending 4 points of ki. He may use a lesser quality of this ability to spend fewer points of ki when healing a creature. At all times, the monk of the healing hand has an effective caster level for this ability equal to half his level. He need at least one free hand to use this ability and cannot heal himself. If the action is interrupted, the subject heals no hit points and the ki points are lost. This replaces the monk's 5th level ki power.

Ki Sacrifice (Su); 9th Level:
A monk of the healing hand may sacrifice some of his own life energy to instill it into others. By touching another creature as a standard action, he may sacrifice any number of ki points to grant that many temporary ki points to his subject. If the target of this ability has a pool of their own ki points, they may spend a move action converting 1d4+1 of these points into normal ki; otherwise, any unused temporary ki disappears after 1 hour. If the creature does not have a ki pool or any class features to consume ki, they may use these points as described in the Ki Pool feature of the monk. This ability replaces Diamond Body.

Alternatively, if the monk of the healing hand uses this ability to grant temporary ki points to an undead creature, that creature also has the option of using a standard action to consume the life energy and regain a small spark of its lost spirit. For a number of minutes equal to the creature's Charisma bonus (if any, minimum 1 round), that creature is healed by positive energy and harmed by negative energy as though it were a living creature.

At 15th level, a monk of the healing hand can channel all of his ki to bring life back to the dead. It takes 1 hour to perform this ritual. At the end of the ritual, the monk sacrifices all of his ki in order to cast raise dead (as the spell) with a caster level equal to his monk level. He must spend at least as many points of ki as the subject had hit dice. If he can spend twice as many ki points as the subject's hit dice, the ritual instead casts resurrection. These rituals require no material components. When emptied in this manner, the monk's pool of ki cannot be replenished by any means until 24 hours have passed. This ability replaces Quivering Palm.


Return to Balance (Sp); 11th Level:
A monk of the healing hand can restore another creature's healthy balance with a touch. As a standard action, he may spend a number of ki points to affect a creature with the effects of neutralize poison, remove curse, remove disease, remove fear, or remove paralysis. Each of these effects consumes a number of ki points equal to their highest listed spell level +1. The monk's caster level for this effect is always equal to half his level. This ability replaces the monk's 11th level ki power.

Mending Hands (Sp); 17th Level:
The monk is able to grant proper vigor back to those who have been crippled. As a standard action, he may spend 4 points of ki to affect another living creature as though with greater restoration. The monk's caster level for this ability is equal to half his level. This ability replaces the monk's 17th level ki power.

True Sacrifice (Su); 20th Level:
In a final selfless act, a monk of the healing hand can draw in his entire ki, which then explodes outward in a 50-foot radius emanation All d allies within the emanation are brought back to life, as if they were the subject of a true resurrection spell with a caster level equal to the monk's level. When the monk does this, he is truly eliminated from the physical realm, but his spiritual consciousness transcends onwards to enter a state of being beyond even the reach of deities and other powerful divine entities. A monk destroyed in this way can never come back to life, not even by way of a wish or miracle; even the direct intervention of deities is unable to bring him back. Furthermore, the monk's name can never be spoken or written down again. All recorded mentions of his name become nothing more than blank space or white noise. This ability replaces perfect self.

Alternatively, the monk can perform an even greater miracle of resurrection but only the ultimate price. When the monk activates his true sacrifice feature, he may instead choose to return life to slain allies within a one mile radius of himself. This functions exactly as outlined above, except that the monk's consciousness does not transcend to a higher state. He is completely and utterly destroyed. It isn't that others forget his name and cannot record it; his entire existence is wiped out of time, as though he were never born. The flow of history is not changed in a grand sense, but his deeds are remembered to have been accomplished by others.


MONK OF THE LOTUS
Monks are warriors who hone their bodies into deadly weapons, but some monks eschew violence in favor of a more peaceful philosophy. While a monk of the lotus realizes that combat cannot always be avoided – and is more than capable in a fight – he understands that all creatures are connected, and to harm another is to harm the self. Instead, he strives to find peaceful resolutions to conflicts, and in doing so, hopes to achieve inner peace. A monk of the lotus has the following class features.
Touch of Serenity (Su); 1st Level:
A monk of the lotus gains Touch of Serenity as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Remember that a monk may declare a touch of serenity attack a number of times per day equal to his class level, plus one more time per day for every four non-monk levels he possesses. This replaces Stunning Fist.

Martial Style:
A monk of the lotus does not deliver stunning fists. As a result, some of the features of his martial style are modified to accommodate his touch of serenity instead, should he choose to pursue the Path of the Western Wind. A monk of the lotus does not gain the ability to change the effects of a stunning fist attack, even if he later selects that feat. Instead, he can change the effects of his touch of serenity.
  • Novice: The duration of the monk's touch of serenity increases by 1 round. At the start of the subject's turn on additional round, they may attempt an additional Will save (at the same DC) to prematurely end this effect.
  • Apprentice: While under the effects of a touch of serenity, the monk's enemies cannot perform an aid another action to grant one of their allies a bonus to any attack roll or CMB check, to AC, or to their CMD.
  • Journeyman: The duration of the monk's touch of serenity increases by 1 round.
  • Expert: A victim of the monk's touch of serenity cannot benefit from Teamwork feats, and does not count towards his or her allies' use of teamwork feats either, for the duration of the touch of serenity.

Touch of Surrender (Su); 12th Level:
A monk of the lotus makes a foe into a friend with a single show of mercy. As an immediate action, when one of his melee attacks would reduce a creature to 0 or fewer hit points, the monk can spend 6 points of ki to make the target of that attack surrender. When the target surrenders, they are reduced to 0 hit points, becomes disabled, and is charmed, as if the monk had cast charm monster with a caster level equal to the monk's level. The target does not get a saving throw against this effect. The charm lasts until its duration expires, until the monk dismisses it or uses it on another creature, or until the target is again reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, whichever happens first. The monk can only have one creature charmed with touch of surrender at a time. This is a mind-affecting charm effect. This ability replaces Abundant Step.
[spoiler=Touch of Peace (Su); 15th Level]A monk of the lotus can set up vibrations within the body of another creature to win over the creature's mind. The monk can use touch of peace once per day, and must announce his intent before making an attack roll. On a successful hit, the attack deals no damage, but the target is charmed as if the monk had cast charm monster with a caster level equal to the monk's level. The target does not get a saving throw against this effect. The creature is charmed for 1 day per level. If the monk or his allies attack the charmed creature, or if the monk asks or commands the charmed creature to take hostile actions, the effect ends. This is a mind-affecting charm effect. This ability replaces Quivering Palm.

Learned Master (Ex); 17th Level:
A monk of the lotus gains all Knowledge skills and the Linguistics skills as class skills. The monk treats Wisdom as the key ability for these skills instead of Intelligence. This ability replaces the monk's 17th level ki power.

MONK OF THE SACRED MOUNTAIN
The monk of the sacred mountain finds strength and power in the earth beneath his feet. Rather than spinning through the battlefield with the fluid motion of the river, he roots himself to the ground, as immovable and unshakable as the stones of the mountain. A monk of the sacred mountain has the following class features.
Iron Monk (Ex); 2nd Level:
A monk of the sacred mountains gains Toughness as a bonus feat. In addition, he gains a +1 natural armor bonus. This ability replaces Still Mind.

Iron Limb Defense (Ex); 3rd Level:
A monk of the sacred mountains can deflect blows with an active defense that relies on him digging in his heels and resolutely shrugging off attempts to dislodge him. If he begins and ends his turn in the same space, he gains a +2 shield bonus to AC and CMD until the start of his next turn. As a swift action, he can spend 1 ki point to increase this bonus to +4.

Bastion Stance (Ex); 4th Level:
A monk of the sacred mountain becomes like stone, nearly impossible to move when he stands his ground. If the monk starts and ends his turn in the same place, he cannot be knocked prone or forcibly moved until the start of his next turn, except by mind-affecting or teleportation effects. At 16th level, he is immune to any attempts to force him to move, even mind-affecting and teleportation effects. This ability replaces Slowfall.

Martial Style:
A monk of the sacred mountain must select the Path of the Southern Wind. The path of the monk of the sacred mountain is one of resolute endurance, allowing him to embody the unshakable futility of attempting to overcome him, and only this path truly exemplifies the nature of his craft.

Adamantine Monk (Ex); 8th Level:
A monk of the sacred mountain has muscles so strong and skin so resilient that he gains DR 1/–. This increases by 1 for every three levels thereafter. As a swift action, the monk can spend 1 ki point to double his DR until the beginning of his next turn. This ability replaces the monk's 8th level ki power.

Vow of Silence (Ex); 17th Level:
A monk of the sacred mountain becomes as impassive as stone, making a vow of silence in exchange for greater abilities. The monk gains a +2 insight bonus to AC and CMD and +4 bonus on Sense Motive, Stealth, and Perception checks. The monk does not lose the capacity of speech, but if he ever speaks, he loses this feature for 24 hours. This ability replaces the monk's 17th level ki power.

WEAPON ADEPT
While all monks train in both armed and unarmed combat, the weapon adept seeks to become one with his weapons, transforming them into perfect extensions of his own body. Through such training, a weapon adept seeks to attain perfection by becoming a living weapon himself A weapon adept has the following class features.
Perfect Strike (Ex); 1st Level:
A weapon adept gains Perfect Strike as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Remember that a monk may attempt a perfect strike once per day for each monk level he possesses, plus one more time each day for every four non-monk levels he possesses. This ability replaces Stunning Fist.

Way of the Weapon Master (Ex); 2nd Level:
A weapon adept gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. He may focus in his unarmed strike or any manufactured weapon that bears the Monk property. At 7th level, the monk gains Weapon Specialization as a bonus feat for the same weapon. At 12th level, the monk gains Greater Weapon Focus as a bonus feat for the same weapon. At 17th level, the weapon adept gains Greater Weapon Specialization for the same weapon. This replaces the monk's Still Mind feature, and his Slowfall feature is only half as effective (10 feet at 4th level, for example).

Martial Style:
A weapon adept must select the Path of the Northern Wind. To be a weapon adept is to meditate and reflect upon the nature of aggression and open violence, an aspect of the monk's own personality that only grows in dominance as his meditations unlock greater power.

Uncanny Initiative (Ex); 18th Level:
A weapon adept does not need to roll for initiative. He always goes first in any encounter, unless he decides to delay his action. This ability replaces Timeless Body.

Pure Power; 20th Level:
A weapon adept forsakes the ideals of the perfect self to become a bastion of the physical and mental virtues monks hold dear. The monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) as an enhancement bonus to his Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores.

ZEN ARCHER
Some monks to become one with another weapon entirely – the bow. The zen archer takes a weapon most other monks eschew and seeks perfection in the pull of a taut bowstring, the flex of a bow's limbs, and the flight of an arrow fired true. A zen -archer has the following class features.
Proficiencies:
Zen archers are proficient with longbows, shortbows, composite longbows, and composite shortbows in addition to their normal proficiencies.

Flurry of Blows (Ex); 1st Level:
A zen archer can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action, but only when using a bow (even though it is a ranged weapon). He may not make a flurry of blows with his unarmed strike, or with any other weapons. A zen archer does not apply his Strength bonus on damage rolls made with a flurry of blows unless unless using a composite bow. A zen archer's flurry of blows otherwise functions as normal for a monk of his level.

Perfect Strike (Ex); 1st Level:
A zen archer gains Perfect Strike as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. Remember that a monk may attempt a perfect strike once per day for each monk level he possesses, plus one more time each day for every four non-monk levels he possesses. The zen archer may only use this feat with a bow. At 10th level, the monk can roll his attack roll three times and take the highest result; if one of these rolls is a critical threat he monk must choose one of his other two rolls to use as his confirmation roll. This ability replaces Stunning Fist.

Way of the Bow (Ex); 1st Level:
A weapon adept gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. He may focus in any one type of bow. At 6th level, the monk gains Weapon Specialization as a bonus feat for the same weapon. At 11th level, the monk gains Greater Weapon Focus as a bonus feat for the same weapon. At 16th level, the zen archer gains Greater Weapon Specialization for the same weapon. This replaces the monk's Enlightenment feature.

Point Blank Master (Ex); 2nd Level:
A zen archer gains Point Blank Master as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. This ability replaces Still Mind.

Zen Archery (Ex); 3rd Level:
A zen archer may use his Wisdom modifier instead of his Dexterity modifier on ranged attack rolls when using a bow. This ability replaces High Jump.

Ki Pool (Su); 4th Level:
In addition to the normal abilities of his ki pool, a monk may spend 1 point of ki as a swift action to increase the range increment of his currently equipped bow by 50 feet for 1 round.

Martial Style:
Adroit and nimble, zen archers rely on agility and swiftness to see them through the thick of battle. All zen archers must choose the Path of the Eastern Wind

Ki Arrows (Su); 5th Level:
A zen archer may spend 1 point of ki from his pool as a swift action to change the damage dice of arrows he shoots to that of his unarmed strike. This last until the start of his next turn. For example, a Medium zen archer's short bow normally deals 1d6 damage; using this ability, his arrows deal 1d8 damage until the start of his next turn. This ability replaces the monk's 5th level ki power.

Reflexive Shot (Ex); 7th Level:
A zen archer can make attacks of opportunity with arrows from his bow. The monk still threatens squares he could reach with unarmed strikes, and can still only make one attack of opportunity per round (unless he has Combat Reflexes). This ability permanently reduces the monk's rank in his martial style by one step; he does not gain apprentice level until 10th level.

Trick Shot (Su); 9th Level:
A zen archer may hit targets that he might otherwise miss. By spending 1 point of ki as a swift action, the zen archer can ignore concealment. By spending 2 points, he can ignore total concealment or cover, even firing arrows around corners. The arrow must still be able to reach the target; a target inside a closed building with no open doors or windows cannot be attacked. These effects last for 1 round. This ability replaces Diamond Body.

Ki Focus Bow (Su); 17th Level:
As long as he has at least 1 point of ki left in his pool, a zen archer may treat arrows fired from his bow as if they were ki focus weapons, allowing him to use his special ki attacks as if his arrows were unarmed strikes. This ability replaces the monk's 17th level ki power.


They're called augment crystals. I don't remember exactly when they showed up, but I know for a fact they're in the Magic Item Compendium if you ever get your hands on a copy of that or a PDF of it.


Temporal Stasis; 'nuff said. xD


I think olePigeon is on to it.

What the OP seems to be saying is that when you buy a MWK weapon, it doesn't cost 300 GP and it doesn't grant you the +1 enhancement bonus to hit. Instead, a MWK weapon has a number of "slots" for these rune stones, with each slot the weapon has costing a cumulative 200 gp. I'm...not sure if this is supposed to be cumulative with the base cost of the weapon, or replacing it. I'm going to assume that it should add to the base cost, unless otherwise specified.

Similarly, MWK armor and shields have slots as well, at a cost of 100 gp per slot. Unlike MWK weapons, MWK armor and shields do get another benefit; the ACP is one point less, and the ASF is 5% less.

Whatever enchantment you put on a weapon, armor, or shield isn't actually put into the item; it's contained within a rune stone that is placed into one of the item's sockets. The cost of any given rune stone is the same as it would normally cost to put on the weapon, with an added 500 gp per point of bonus; I assume the additional bonus is to cover for the fact that these runestones are interchangeable. For example, a vorpal runestone would cost 52,500 (50,000 gp for a +5 enchantment, +2,500 for the additional cost).


The orb is some kind of cocoon - if cracked open, a child who they mysteriously could not see when it was whole can be found inside, floating in a soup of fluids now leaking from the ruined thing. This child turns out to be a prodigy of some sort (IE class levels, no young creature template) that becomes important either immediately or later.

Of course, the child is some sort of creature that defends itself while in this state - the orb could act like a trap, casting some sort of spell(s), while the PC's have to fight other enemies in the room. The attacks of the orb are neither hostile nor friendly to either side; smart PC's could realize that if they knock an enemy close to it, KER-ZAP.


Vadskye wrote:
I like this fluff.

Thank you. :)

Vadskye wrote:

I hate this mechanic. So a 1st level monk can have 8 Strength and 8 Con while still being beefy and hitting like a truck? No slow development into enlightenment - all monks just gain the ability to eschew the need for the body the instant they step out of the monk school.

We may have a difference in perception. But in my head, your normal monk is agile and strong. Yes, there are legends of venerable masters who can transcend physical constraints by the sheer power of their own enlightenment. But that level of power is only gained through years of training, not an inherent part of the monk.

That's why it only comes into play if the monk's Wis is higher. While I imagine many will focus on Wis instead of Str and Con because it applies to so much, there are many things it won't apply towards. It specifically only affects things that use those ability score modifiers for a reason; so, outside of bonus feats for a monk who selects not to focus on a martial style, his Str and Con will limit what feats he's eligible for. I don't know of any Prestige Classes that have specific Str or Con prereq's off hand, but if there are any then it won't apply towards that, either.

For me, I think that there isn't enough to differentiate some 1st-level PC's from their 1st-level NPC counterparts. A 1st-level NPC should NOT be as powerful as a higher level PC, of course; but even one level in a PC class implies that the character is already far outside the norm for his kind.

At the end of the day, I think that it's enough of a trade-off ability to warrant it; you can either let yourself be physically weak and frail but "understand the universe" enough to make up for it, or you can focus on being actually buff and then qualify for more features, without being as wise and accepting that some of the class features you'll grow into are going to be weaker than they could be.


Two small updates.

Martial Style:
The monk gains a final bonus feat at 19th level.

Ex-Monks:
A monk who becomes chaotic cannot gain new levels as a monk, but he retains all monk abilities. Should his alignment no longer be prohibited (such as by atonement), he may again gain new levels as a monk.


Martial Styles

Path of the Northern Wind:
Also known as the Path of Fire, or the Path of the Wasp.
  • Novice: The monk's unarmed strikes threaten a critical hit from 19 to 20. Apply this effect before other modifiers to the critical threat range of his unarmed strikes, such as by the Improved Critical feat. The monk gains Critical Focus as a bonus feat, even though he does not meet its prerequisites.
  • Apprentice: The monk's unarmed strikes threaten a critical hit from 18 to 20. In addition the monk gains his coice of either Bleeding Critical or Sickening Critical as a bonus feat, even though he doesn't meet the prerequisites of either.
  • Journeyman: The monk's unarmed strikes inflict x3 damage on a critical hit, instead of only x2. In addition, the monk gains his choice of either Deafening Critical or Tiring Critical, even though he doesn't meet the prerequisites of either.
  • Expert: The monk's unarmed strikes threaten a critical hit from 17 to 20. In addition the monk gains Critical Mastery as a bonus feat, even though he does not meet its prerequisites.
  • Master: The monk's unarmed strikes inflict x4 damage on a critical hit, instead of only x3; increase the damage multiplier of any manufactured weapon he wields with the Monk special property by one, as well.
  • Grandmaster: As a swift action, the monk can spend 3 points of ki to evoke an All-Consuming Blaze. For 1 round, he can automatically confirm any critical threat scored with an unarmed strike, or a weapon with either the monk or ki focus properties. A critical threat confirmed in this manner has a damage multiplier of one less than normal, however. At the beginning of each subsequent turn, he may spend 1 point of ki as a free action to extend the duration of this effect by 1 round.

Path of the Eastern Wind:
Also known as the Path of Air or the Path of the Raptor.
  • Novice: The monk gains a +2 bonus on all initiative checks. In addition, he gains the Fast Movement feature and has a faster speed than typical members of his race. This feature gives him a +10 enhancement bonus to his speed. Apply this bonus before modifying his speed for his load or for armor. The monk has the supernatural ability to expend ki to further enhance his Fast Movement. As a swift action, he can expend any number of ki points from his pool as he desires. Each point of ki spent in this fashion increases this bonus to his speed by an additional 10 feet until the end of the encounter.
  • Apprentice: The monk's bonus to initiative checks improves to +4. In addition, he gains the Evasion class feature and can use it to avoid damage from even many magical attacks. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that deals only half damage on a successful save, then the monk takes no damage at all from that attack. A helpless monk does not benefit from evasion.
  • Journeyman: The monk's bonus to initiative checks improves to +6. When the monk uses a full-round action to attack an enemy, he may move a total distance as part of that action equal to half his speed (including modifiers such as from haste or his Fast Movement feature), instead of only five feet. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal from any foe with a higher Dexterity than himself, and it cannot exceed his total speed for the round. The monk may divide this movement up as desired before, after, or between each attack.
  • Expert: The monk's bonus to initiative checks improves to +8. The monk gains the Light Steps feature, which allows him to move while barely touching the surface underneath him. As a full-round action, the monk may move up to twice his speed and ignore difficult terrain while he does so. Any surface will support a monk moving in this way, no matter how much he weighs or is carrying. This allows him to move across water, lava, acid, or even the thinnest tree branches. He must end his move on a surface that can support him normally, or immediately become affected by the terrain beneath him. He cannot move across the air, nor can he walk up walls or other vertical surfaces.

    When moving in this way, the monk does not take damage from surfaces or hazards that react to being touched, such as lava or caltrops. He does not need to make Acrobatics checks to avoid falling on slippery or rough surfaces. Finally, when using this feature, he ignores mechanical traps that use a location-based trigger. This feature does not protect the monk from other dangers or hazards that affect an area around the surface of a hazard, at the GM's discretion. For example, the monk could easily move across a river of magically frozen water without risk of the supernatural cold freezing him solid. However, if the magic of that frost is so powerful that creatures within so many feet of the river still take cold damage from their proximity, the monk might still be at risk.

  • Master: The monk's bonus to initiative checks improves to +10. Furthermore, his ability to avoid magical and mundane area attacks improves, and he gains the Improved Evasion feature. This functions just as Evasion, except that the monk now takes only half damage as if he had made a successful Reflex saving throw even if he actually fails the save.
  • Grandmaster: The monk gains the Unarmed Parry feature. A number of times each round equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any, minimum once per round), the monk can declare an unarmed parry against any melee, ranged, or magical attack that requires an attack roll. An unarmed parry is accomplished by making an attack roll of his own using an unarmed strike, natural weapon, or manufactured weapon with either the monk special feature of ki focus property. If the monk's attack roll at least equals the attack roll of his enemy, that attack is turned aside and negated. If the enemy used any expendable resources as a part of that attack (such as attempting a stunning fist), then that use of the resource is wasted to no effect. For example, a touch of idiocy spell can be parried, because it requires a melee touch attack roll. Normally, the charge of a missed touch spell is held until the caster is able to connect with his enemy; if that spell was successfully parried, however, the charge is still expended to no effect. Unarmed parries do not require an action.

Path of the Southern Wind:
Also known as the Path of Earth, or the Path of the Bear.
  • Novice: Enemies that are up to one size category larger than the monk gain no size bonuses to either CMB checks or combat maneuver defense against him. Additionally, the monk gains the supernatural ability Vigor. By spending 1 point of ki from his pool as a swift action, the monk gains a number of temporary hit points equal to his class level. The temporary hit points of Vigor stack with temporary hit points gained from additional sources, but not with subsequent uses of this feature; if the monk has any temporary hit points from a previous activation of Vigor and calls upon this ability again, unused temporary hit points are lost.
  • Apprentice: The monk gains 25% resistance to extra damage or other additional effects resulting from critical hits or precision-based attacks such as sneak attack. Whenever the monk is subject to such an effect, or any other effect that does not affect creatures that are immune to critical hits, roll 1d100 (d%); on a roll of 1 – 25, that attack is reduced to normal damage and no additional critical hit or precision-based effects come into play. This resistance stacks with the resistance of armor or shields enhanced with the fortification property.
  • Journeyman: Enemies that are up to two size categories larger than the monk gain no size bonuses to either CMB checks or combat maneuver defense against him. Additionally, the strict vigilance and defensive maneuvers of the monk force opponents to tread past him with care. Enemies treat all squares that the monk threatens as difficult terrain.
  • Expert: The monk's resistance to critical hits and precision-based attacks improves to 50%.
  • Master: Enemies that are up to three size categories larger than the monk gain no size bonuses to either CMB checks or combat maneuver defense against him. Additionally, the monk learns to stand his ground against all enemies, warding the spot where he makes his stand to prevent foes from slipping past and attacking those he protects. If an opponent attempts to use the Acrobatics skill to move through the monk's threatened area or his space without provoke attacks of opportunity, the skill check DC to avoid his attack increases by an amount equal to his class level.
  • Grandmaster: The monk's resistance to critical hits and precision-based attacks improves to 75%. Additionally, the monk gains impetuous endurance. He never automatically fails a saving throw when he rolls a natural "1" on the d20, though he may still fail the save if his total result is not high enough to beat the DC.

Path of the Western Wind:
Also known as the Path of Water, or the Path of the Scorpion.
  • Novice: When the monk makes use of his stunning fist, he can apply a new condition to his target; as he gains levels and his expertise over his martial style improves, he learns additional conditions he can choose from. He must decide which condition will apply before the attack roll is made, and it replaces stunning the target. A successful saving throw (at the normal DC) still negates the effect. These conditions do not stack with themselves, but additional hits do increase the duration; a creature fatigued by the monk's stunning fist, for example, does not become exhausted when struck again. A novice of the Path of the Western Wind can choose to make the target fatigued.
  • Apprentice: When the monk makes use of his stunning fist, he can also choose to make the target sickened for 1 minute. Additionally, the monk gains the supernatural Unbalancing Blow feature. Each time the monk declares an attack roll with an unarmed strike or a manufactured weapon with the Monk special property, he may spend one point of ki as a free action to turn that attack into an unbalancing blow. The monk must choose to activate this ability before making the attack roll, so a failed attack ruins the attempt. An unbalancing blow cannot also be performed as a stunning fist.

    A foe that takes damage from an unbalancing blow must attempt a Reflex save. If successful, the enemy cannot make attacks of opportunity for 1d6+1 rounds; if they fail the save, they are also left flat-footed against all attacks for the same duration. An enemy with the uncanny dodge feature cannot be affected by an unbalancing blow. Multiple strikes increase the duration of this effect.

  • Journeyman: When the monk makes use of his stunning fist, he can also choose to make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds.
  • Expert: When the monk makes use of his stunning fist, he can also choose to either permanently blind or deafen the target. Additionally, the monk gains the supernatural ability to strike out at an enemy's chakra points. Each time the monk declares an attack roll with an unarmed strike or a manufactured weapon with the Monk special property, he may spend two points of ki as a free action to infuse his attacks with his power. The monk must choose to activate this ability before making the attack roll, so a failed attack ruins the attempt. This attack cannot also be performed as a stunning fist.

    A foe that takes damage from this attack must attempt a Will save as the natural flow of his chakra, or spiritual energy, is interrupted. If successful, the enemy takes 1 point of damage to an ability score of the monk's choice; if the enemy fails this save, the ability damage becomes two points. If the attack confirms a critical hit, apply it's critical modifier to the amount of ability score damage that is dealt.

    This ability damage does not heal normally. It can be removed with any magical healing that removes ability damage (such as restoration), or with a Heal check to perform special acupuncture and massages that takes 1d4 hours to perform. The DC of this check is the same as the monk's stunning fist DC, and the monk himself enjoys a +10 bonus on such Heal checks. A successful check heals 1d4 points of damage from a single ability.

  • Master: When the monk makes use of this stunning fist, he can also choose to paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds.
  • Grandmaster: The monk can deal crippling blows to his enemies, leaving them unable to do battle at full effect. Each time the monk declares an attack roll with a unarmed strike or a manufactured weapon with the Monk special property, he may spend three points of ki as a free action to perform a crippling blow. The monk must choose to activate this ability before making the attack roll, so a failed attack ruins the attempt. A crippling blow cannot also be performed as a stunning fist.

    A foe that takes damage from a crippling blow must make a Fortitude save or be unable to threaten critical hits on any roll less than a 20, no matter what the threat range of his enemy's weapon actually is, for 1d6+1 rounds. Each time a struck creature benefits from any amount of magical hit point healing, he can attempt another Fortitude save to end this effect prematurely. Multiple strikes increase the duration of this effect.


Ki Powers

Diamond Soul:
The monk can focus his ki and fortify the walls of his spirit that naturally guard him from baleful energies. This ability grants the monk spell resistance equal to 11 + half his class level + his Wisdom modifier. This resistance lasts for a number of hours equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any; minimum 1 hour). During this time he can voluntarily lower the resistance as a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Once he has lowered his spell resistance, it remains down until his turn. At the beginning of his next turn, the monk's spell resistance automatically returns unless he uses another standard action to suppress it again. The use of Diamond Soul in this way expends 1 point of ki from his pool.

Alternatively, the monk can call upon his Diamond Soul as an immediate action by spending 2 points of ki. His subsequent spell resistance has a duration of only rounds instead of hours (minimum 1 round) but it resists only hostile spellcasting and will not interfere with spells intended to heal or otherwise assist the monk. If used in this manner, Diamond Soul grants spell resistance equal to only 6 + half his class level + his Wisdom modifier.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, he can choose from a small list of benefits. He can choose to increase the spell resistance he gains by +2; He can increase the duration of his spell resistance by one hour (when activated as a swift action) or 1 round (when activated as an immediate action); He can lower his spell resistance with a faster action (from a standard action to a move action, from a move action to a swift action).

Empty Body:
The monk can focus his ki to shun the physical world for a small time, becoming ethereal for 1 minute as though by the spell etherealness. He cannot use this supernatural ability to cause other creatures to become ethereal. Using empty body is a move action that expends 3 points of ki from his pool. For the purpose of dispelling this effect, the monk's effective caster level is equal to half his class level. The monk must be at least 11th level before selecting this ki power.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, he can cause one additional creature to ascend to the Ethereal Plane with him. Each affected creature has the same duration as the monk himself, no matter how far apart they become after becoming ethereal. Once the duration is up, or if the effect is dispelled from the monk, then that applies for all affected creatures. If the effect is dispelled from an individual creature the monk caused to become ethereal, only that creature is affected.

Ki Acrobatics:
The monk can focus his ki to gain exceptional acrobatic skill. He gains a +20 enhancement bonus on his next Acrobatics check. The monk must make this check before his turn ends, or he loses the benefit of this ki power. Using this ability expends 1 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, the enhancement bonus lasts for 1 full round, affecting all Acrobatics checks made during that time period. At any point during this time, a master ki acrobat can prematurely discharge this effect to automatically succeed at a single Acrobatics check.

Ki Block:
The monk can focus his ki into a vessel for his anger, channeling the destructive ability of rage to render a creature unable to perform into his enemies. If the monk declares a stunning fist attack in the same round that he activates this ki power, and his enemy fails the Fortitude saving throw to resist the effects of his stunning fist, then the monk's victim loses the ability to utilize their ki pool for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any, minimum 1 round). The monk must make use of a Ki Block before making the attack roll, so a failed attack ruins the attempt and consumes the requisite ki to no effect. An affected enemy also loses the ability to remain focused upon her ki, so their unarmed strikes do not benefit from the ki strike class feature. Using this ability expends 2 points of ki from his pool.

Mastery: At first rank, a master of Ki Block similarly prevents an enemy from activating any supernatural abilities; passive or constantly-active abilities are suspended for the duration of the block. At second rank, an affected creature cannot cast spells or spell-like abilities of up to 1st level. Each additional rank increases the maximum level of spell and spell-like ability that the enemy loses access to.

Ki Charge:
The monk can focus his ki into a single thrown weapon, such as a shuriken or a dart. The ki-infused weapon explodes on impact in a 5-foot burst, dealing 1d6 points of fire damage; at 6th level, and every four levels thereafter, this damage improves by 1d6. Creatures not directly struck but instead caught in the blast take half damage on a successful Reflex save (DC = 10 + half the monk's level + his Wisdom modifier). If the attack misses, treat it as a thrown splash weapon to determine where it lands. Ki charges must be thrown within one round of creation or the energy dissipates harmlessly. Using this ability expends 1 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, he can choose one of several benefits. He can increase the number of rounds that a ki charge remains effective by 1; He can add +1 to the Reflex save DC for half damage; He may increase the range of the burst by five feet.

Ki Vision:
The monk can focus his ki to enhance his vision. For one hour, the monk gains darkvision out to 60 feet. If the monk already has darkvision, then the use of this power instead increases its range by 30 feet. Using this ability expends 1 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, the range of his darkvision increases by an additional 10 feet.

See the Unseen:

Prerequisite: Ki Vision, Wholeness of Body
The monk can focus greater ki when summoning forth his darkvision, granting him the benefits of see invisibility for as long as his Ki Vision technique lasts. See the Unseen is activated on the same action as Ki Vision, and expends an additional 2 points of ki from his pool.

Mastery: This technique cannot be mastered.

Shadow Clone:
The monk can focus his ki as a standard action, shedding it in dark, shadowy fibers and using those fibers to weave insubstantial duplicates of himself that conceal his true location. This functions as mirror image, using his class level as the effects caster level. Unlike the effects of mirror image however, these clones continue to function even if the monk himself becomes invisible. The monk can also control their movement independently, moving a single shadow clone as a swift action (each clone has the same movement rates as the monk himself). Because these clones are insubstantial collections of shadowstuff, they cannot be used to attack and can flow through openings as little as half an inch in diameter. Using this ability expends 2 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: When a monk masters the art of creating shadow clones, he may cause one of the clones to become quasi-real by spending one additional point of ki from his pool. This clone does not look like a living shadow, but is instead an exact replica of the monk in every detail. Any gear or items on the shadow clone are part of its body, however, and have no effect (nor can they be disarmed, sundered, or otherwise interacted with). As a swift action, the monk can move a quasi-real monk as noted above, cause it to speak in his own voice, or cause it to attack one creature within its reach. If a quasi-real clone attacks a creature, it makes one attack at the monk's highest attack bonus; this is a primary slam attack that deals damage as appropriate for the shadow clone's size. After this attack is resolved, successful or not, the clone vanishes.

Each additional rank of shadow clone mastery allows him to turn one additional shadow clone quasi-real if he spends additional points of ki.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon:
The monk can focus his ki and tap into the universal subconscious from which all living beings draw their instincts and primal experiences. This allows him to verbally communicate for 1 minute with any sentient creature. For the purpose of this communication, a sentient being is defined as any creature with a Intelligence and Charisma score each of at least 3, that is capable of communicating in some way. This "communication" does not necessarily need to be verbal, though the monk can understand only basic information at best when communicating with primitives or other dim creatures by means of grunts, wild gestures, and expression. Using this ability consumes 1 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: At first rank, a master of the Tongue of the Sun and Moon can communicate with animals and with plants while under the effects of this ki power, as though by speak with animals and speak with plants. Each additional rank of mastery thereafter increases the duration of this effect by one minute.

Unbound Steps:
The monk can focus his ki to walk through the air or upon impossible surfaces. For 1 round, the monk can ascend or descend through the air, walk up vertical surfaces or slopes of any grade without reduction in speed (and without needing to make Acrobatics checks), and can even walk upside down across the ceiling or an overhang! The only restriction on this movement is the monk's own speed, and that to safely use this ability he must be in a legal space at the start of his next turn. If at that time he is in a place that he could not normally stand (in the middle of the air, standing on the ceiling, et cetera), he immediately falls. Using this ability expends 1 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, its effects last for 1 additional round.

Wholeness of Body:
The monk can flood his body with ki energy, agitating its natural healing processes. This spell-like ability restores an amount of damage as as though the monk were subject to cure light wounds. This effect improves to cure moderate wounds at ninth level, cure serious wounds at thirteenth level, and cure critical wounds at seventeenth level. At all times, the monk's effective caster level for this ability is equal to his class level, and wholeness of body is not subject to spell resistance. An undead monk replicates inflict spells. This ability can never be used on another creature. Using this technique expends 1 point of ki from his pool.

Mastery: With each rank of mastery a monk obtains in this ki power, he also restores 1 point of ability damage when he uses wholeness of body. He may apply all of this healing to a single damaged ability, or he may divide it among several damaged ability scores as desired.


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Those of you familiar with my previous re-write threat, Resurrecting the Rogue, may already know that this thread has been long in the making. After fiddling around with the details of my rewrite, only to be frustrated with the design and starting over from scratch all over again, I feel confident enough in my rewrite of the monk class to publicly publish my current results.

Why a full re-write instead of a list of tweaks? Mostly because I don't have the time to sit down and look through how each tweak will interact with the other features and implied abilities of the class. Also because the purpose of this class rewrite was strictly to balance out the class in comparison to the other martial characters - it is in no way designed to be dropped into the middle of an already existing campaign, though an existing monk character could simply be rerolled to make use of this new progression.

I should preface my presentation with the statement that while the monk has plenty of fluff regarding his focus on enlightenment and meditative reflection, at the core of the class I believe is its combat ability. More often than not, a player is drawn to the monk's ability to perform unarmed combat more than any thematic fluff. In this rewrite, I have attempted to balance both ideas in the class design.

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Base Statistics:
Alignment: Any non-chaotic
Hit Die: d10
Base Attack Bonus: Good progression; like a fighter, the monk's base attack bonus is always equal to his level.
Base Saving Throws: The monk uses the good progression for all three of his base saving throws.

Skills:
The monk’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), 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 + Intelligence Modifier

Proficiencies:
The monk is proficient with the club, crossbow (light and heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaf, sai, shurken, siangham, and the sling. He is also proficient with any other manufactured weapon that has the Monk special quality, regardless of whether it is a simple, martial, or exotic weapon for him. A monk is not proficient with any armor or shield.

In fact, many of his class features are lost to him while equipped with such gear or otherwise encumbered. For the purpose of losing access to his class features, a monk treats any effect that simulates armor or a shield (that is, an effect or item that provides an armor bonus or a shield bonus to his AC) as actual armor or a true shield. He can carry such items, but cannot make use of them himself. As soon as he removes the offending items, any affected class features return to normal.


Unarmed Combat:
Though they may have many differences, all monks undergo intense training with fist and foot to become masters of unarmed combat. They eschew the use of steel arms or shells in favor of dealing and withstanding the lethality of combat with only their own body. They are highly trained in fighting unarmed and gain considerably advantages when doing so. A monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat at first level. His unarmed strikes may be made interchangeably with either fist, or even from any other part of this body – such as his elbows, knees and feet. This allows him to make unarmed strikes even when his hands are full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed and he may thus apply his full Strength bonus (if any) to damage rolls with all of his unarmed strikes. If using a weapon that affects its wielders unarmed strike, such as a brass knuckle or a gauntlet, the monk deals the weapon's damage or his own unarmed damage, whichever is greater.

Just as the Improved Unarmed Strike feat allows the monk to choose whether he will deal lethal or nonlethal damage with an unarmed strike, he may also choose to deal either lethal or nonlethal damage with appropriate grapple checks. Each time the monk declares an unarmed strike, he may decide to inflict bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage. If he can make more than one attack per round (for example, due to the iterative attacks available to a monk of 6th level or higher), then he can make this decision individually for each attack.

In combat, a monk deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would. Note that the listed damage values are for monks of Medium size. If the monk is smaller than this, his unarmed strikes suffer a cumulative -2 penalty to damage per step of difference between his own size and Medium; this penalty cannot reduce the monk's damage to less than 1 point. For a larger monk, roll one additional die of damage per step of difference between his own size and Medium.

  • 1 - 3: 1d6
  • 4 - 6: 1d8
  • 7 - 9: 1d10
  • 10: 2d6
  • 11 - 13: 2d8
  • 14 - 16: 2d10
  • 17 - 19: 3d8
  • 20: 3d10

A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either. This means that she can be subject to magic fang or magic weapon, though remember that like bonuses do not stack. If she selects the Improved Natural Attack feat to improve her unarmed strike, instead of the feat's normal benefit she rolls one additional die of damage.

His intense training also grants him an intuitive awareness of combat and his own presence, granting to him a bonus to both his AC and CMD as long as he wears no armor, does not use a shield, and carries nothing heavier than a light load. This bonus to defense applies even against touch attacks and when the monk is caught Flat-Footed, but not when she is helpless (such as when restrained, paralyzed, or unconscious).

  • 1 - 3: +1
  • 4 - 6: +2
  • 7 - 9: +3
  • 10: +4
  • 11 - 13: +5
  • 14 - 16: +6
  • 17 - 19: +7
  • 20: +8

Enlightenment (Ex); 1st Level:
A lifelong journey lies ahead of the monk, requiring dedicated contemplation and reflection. As he continues his training, the monk slowly transcends the normal bounds of his mortal existence and can eventually do away with his mortal coil entirely and become something perfectly attuned to the universe. When calculating any statistic that normally uses his Strength or Constitution modifier, the monk may instead use his Wisdom bonus (if any) if it is higher. This replaces the monk's normal ability modifier, it does not add to it. He continues to calculate his lifting and carrying limits by Strength. More-over, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his Armor Class; he retains this bonus in any situation he retains the bonus to his AC from unarmed combat.

When wearing armor or equipped with a shield, a monk loses all benefit of his enlightenment and instead calculates his statistics as normal with Strength and Constitution. This includes a loss of the appropriate number of hit points.


Flurry of Blows (Ex); 1st Level:
Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so, he may make one additional attack but all attacks made as part of the flurry of blows suffer a -2 penalty to hit as the monk sacrifices accuracy for speed. This penalty applies to every other attack roll that the monk makes for one round (including attacks of opportunity and CMB checks), after which time the monk regains his balance. Each attack made as part of a flurry of blows can be made interchangeably with unarmed strikes, manufactured weapons with the Monk property, or even CMB checks instead of traditional attack rolls (including the -2 penalty) in order to perform a dirty trick, disarm, trip, or sunder combat maneuver. If using a double weapon, the monk may strike interchangeably with either end of the weapon. 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. All attacks made as part of a flurry of blows use the monk's full Strength modifier to damage even if made with an off-hand weapon or a weapon wielded in both of his hands.

At 8th level, the monk can make two additional attacks when he uses Flurry of Blows. At 15th level, he can make three additional attacks. A monk that wears armor or uses a shield cannot perform a flurry of blows. Similarly, the monk cannot perform a flurry of blows if burdened with medium or heavy encumbrance. A monk's calculated base attack bonus with a flurry of blows is presented below.

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

Stunning Fist; 1st Level:
Te monk learns to strike opponents in vulnerable locations that can cause paralyzing pain. He gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet its prerequisites. Remember that a monk may declare a stunning fist attack a number of times per day equal to his class level, plus one more time each day for every four non-monk levels he possesses.

Ki Pool (Su); 2nd Level:
As a monk, the character's daily meditations focus on the ability to shape and expend his own personal life energy – an energy known to him as ki. At 2nd level, the monk gains a pool of ki points equal to half his class level plus his Constitution modifier; though a monk with a higher Wisdom can apply that bonus (if any) instead, as per his enlightenment.

By spending 1 point of ki from this pool, the monk may make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus as part of a flurry of blows. He can spend 1 point of ki to immediately move up to twenty feet; this movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal, but it does not count against his total speed for the round. Finally, the monk can spend 1 point of ki to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to either his AC or his CMD, or a +2 dodge bonus to each, for 1 round. Using ki in any of these ways is a swift action.


Still Mind (Ex); 2nd Level:
A monk gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects.

High Jump (Ex); 3rd Level:
A monk adds his level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and for horizontal jumps. He always counts as having a running start to determine the DC of Acrobatics checks made to jump. Half of any falling damage a monk takes, if he fell deliberately (even as a result of a missed jump) is automatically converted to nonlethal damage.

Ki Strike (Su); 3rd Level:
A monk's unarmed strikes channel mystic power while he remains focus. As long the monk has at least 1 point of ki left in his pool, and is not confused, frightened, panicked, or cowering, all of his unarmed strikes count as ki strikes. A ki strike ignores an amount of hardness when the monk strikes an object equal to his class level. Furthermore, at third level, the monk's ki strikes count as cold iron weapons for the purposes of overcoming a creature's damage reduction. When the monk reaches 6th level, his ki strikes count as silver weapons. At 9th level, they count as lawful weapons. At 13th level, they count as adamantine weapons. At 16th level, they count as good or evil weapons, matching the monk's own alignment; a neutral monk instead gains the ability to overcome the DR of creatures with no listed weakness (such as the barbarian's DR). At 19th level, they count as epic weapons.

As a standard action, the monk can concentrate and focus the flow of ki throughout his body for 1 minute per monk level. When he does so, even those without any eldritch heritage or assistance can see the flow of his ki and his whole body sheds light as a torch. At 3rd level, this grants his unarmed strikes a +1 enhancement bonus, which either stacks with any existing enhancement bonus (such as from an enchanted gauntlet or an amulet of mighty fists) to a maximum of +5 or can be used to add weapon properties to the monk's unarmed strikes. A monk's unarmed strike, just like a weapon, must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus to benefit from weapon properties in this way. At 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th, and 19th levels each, the enhancement bonus provided in this manner improves by +1.

Any melee weapon property can be added to the monk's unarmed strike in this fashion, provided that it only takes effect as long as the unarmed strike is applicable. For example, the disruption property can be added, but it has no effect whenever the monk decides to inflict piercing or slashing damage with his unarmed strikes. Weapon properties consume an amount of bonus equal to their cost. They are added to any properties a weapon already has, but duplicate abilities do not stack.

Once the monk has allocated the bonuses from his ki strike, he cannot change them until he focuses his ki again. The monk may use this ability once per day at third level, twice per day at ninth level, and thrice per day at fifteenth level. If the monk is rendered unconscious or reduced to 0 hit points or less while using his ki strike in this manner, he loses all use of his ki strike feature for 30 days or until he gains a new monk level, whichever comes first. During his time period, he suffers a -1 penalty on unarmed strike attack and damage rolls due to his shaken confidence in his own abilities.


Martial Style; 4th Level:
All monks master unarmed combat, but approach it in different ways. A collection of related maneuvers and teachings are known as a martial art, or a style, and each monk must declare whether he specializes in one of these styles or favors a generalized approach to combat. If a monk chooses to specialize in a martial art, he becomes a novice of that style at 4th level. His rank improves to Apprentice, then to Journeyman, to Expert, to Master, and finally Grandmaster every three levels thereafter. Each rank of a martial art provides the monk with a unique class feature. If a feature of the monk's martial style allows a saving throw, the DC is equal to 10 + half his class level + his Wisdom modifier.

If the monk chooses not to specialize in a martial art, he instead gains a bonus feat at 4th level. This feat may be chosen from the following list: Adder Strike, Bodyguard, Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Crushing Blow, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Enforcer, Improved Grapple, Quarterstaff Master, Scorpion Style, Throw Anything, and Weapon Focus (unarmed strike).

At 7th level, he selects another bonus feat from this list. At 10th level, the monk can select another bonus feat and he adds the following to the list of available feats: Breadth of Experience, Gorgon's Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, In Harm's Way, Jawbreaker, Ki Throw, Mobility, Nightmare Fist, Tripping Staff, and Weapon Specialization (unarmed strike).

At 13th level, he selects another bonus feat. At 16th level, the monk can select another bonus feat and he adds the following to the list of available feats: Blinding Throw, Cockatrice Strike, Bonebreaker, Greater Blind-Fight, Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, Greater Feint, Greater Trip, Greater Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Improved Critical (unarmed strike), Improved Ki Throw, Medusa's Wrath, Snatch Arrows, Spinning Throw, Spring Attack, and Greater Weapon Specialization (unarmed strike).

A monk loses the benefits and features of his martial style, or his bonus feats, whenever he wears medium or heavy armor or readies a shield. Similarly, he loses these benefits when carrying a medium or heavy load.


Slowfall (Ex or Su); 4th Level:
A falling monk has the extraordinary ability to slow his descent when within arm's reach of a wall, a rod or similar pole that is solidly planted into the earth, or other objects that he could grab and brace himself against without the object moving or falling under his weight. Under this condition, he takes damage from falls as if they were 20 feet shorter than they actually are. For example, if the monk falls a distance of 50 feet, he would be subject to only 3d6 damage instead of 5d6 damage. A fall of 20 feet or less is then completely negated in terms of damage. A monk's ability to slow his fall – that is, how much distance is subtracted from a fall before rolling for damage – improves by twenty feet every three levels thereafter.

Sometimes, a monk may be subject to a dangerous fall when no suitable item is within reach for him to brace against. In such cases, a monk has the supernatural ability to expend 1 point of ki from his pool as an immediate action. This allows him to benefit from his Slowfall feature, but at half effectiveness. For example, at 4th level the monk would benefit from only Slowfall (10 feet) instead of Slowfall (20 feet). The use of Slowfall in this manner results in visible effects. The details of these effects are unique to each monk, and should remain fairly consistent throughout a campaign. One monk may appear to surround himself with a bubble of glowing ki energy, while another might seem to sprout great wings and slowly flutter to safety.


Ki Power (Sp or Su); 5th Level:
As the monk's training progresses, he realizes many truths about the universe. His vision pierces through the great illusion of the cosmos, and he can see its inner-workings. With this awareness he can call upon a number of special martial arts and ki techniques to overcome challenges. Each ki power is a supernatural ability and can be activated as a swift action, unless otherwise noted in the description of an individual power. The monk must expend a certain number of points from his ki pool to activate a ki power.

A monk gains his first ki power at 5th level, with a new power every three levels after. If the monk already has a particular ki power, he may allocate further selections to gain one or more ranks of mastery over it. Each power details the additional benefits granted to a master.


Deep Impact (Ex); 6th Level:
The monk learns a special technique to pierce through natural and worked armors. Each time the monk declares an unarmed strike, he may expend daily use of his stunning fist to resolve that attack as a touch attack in regards to his foe's Armor Class.

Diamond Body (Ex); 9th Level:
The monk gains extraordinary control over his body's health. He becomes immune to all poison and disease, including those of supernatural origin. As a full-round action, the monk may focus himself to enter a state of slowed metabolism. This meditative ritual expends two points of ki from his pool, and the resulting trance has a duration of 1d4 hours. During this time, the monk can take only a single move or standard action each round; as a standard action, he may charge but can move only up to his normal speed. The monk may end this trance early as a free action, but doing so leaves him stunned for 1 round.

While in this trance, the monk can hold his breath for twice as long as normal before he risks suffocation or drowning. He gains a bonus on Fortitude saves and Constitution checks made to resist the effects of cold and heat, smoke, starvation, and thirst. See "Environment," in chapter 13 of the Core Rulebook for more information on each of these hazards.


Abundant Step (Sp); 12th Level:
The monk can focus his ki[i] in a way that allows him to magically slip between spaces. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points of [i]ki from his pool. Abundant step functions as dimension door, and the monk's effective caster level is equal to half his class level. The monk can transport only himself and his own gear in this manner; he cannot take other creatures with him.

Quivering Palm (Su); 15th Level:
The 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 a week, and he must announce his intent before making an attack roll with an unarmed strike or a manufactured weapon with the Monk special ability. Any creature that he cannot inflict extra damage to with a critical hit is not subject to the effects of a quivering palm, and incorporeal creatures are never subject to a quivering palm. Otherwise, if the monk successfully strikes 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 the monk's level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half his class level + his 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 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. The victim of a quivering palm cannot be slain in this manner as long as it remains on another plane of existence that is not coterminous or co-existent with the plane in which the monk currently resides (such as an enemy that has fled the Material Plane in favor of the Ethereal Plane). In either latter case, the victim can be slain by a quivering palm but gains a +5 bonus to its saving throw.


Timeless Body (Su); 18th Level:
The monk no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. He retains any bonuses previously gained for advanced age, and such bonuses continue to accrue. The monk does not physically age, however, and cannot die of old age; barring violence or accident, the monk could theoretically live forever.

Perfect Self (Su); 20th Level:
The monk has tuned his body with skill and mystic understanding to the point that his consciousness becomes one with the universe and he becomes a magical creature. He is forevermore treated as an outsider (an extra-planar creature) rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk's creature type was) for the purposes of spells and magical effects. For instance, charm person does not affect him. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic, which allows him to ignore the first ten points of damage from any attack made by a non-chaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn't have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type.


+5 Toaster wrote:
I don't think a loss of spell-casting is necessary. This is already losing a lot of versatility for it's benefits so a penalty on spellcasting might be too much. By the way, just got Races of Destiny for myself. I also love the flavor of the Scar Enforcer.

See, I've personally never agreed with the idea that versatility is that much of a benchmark for power. This is a game about cooperation between characters with different skills that can overlap each others strengths and weaknesses, not about individual characters who can do half the campaign each on their own.

The ranger is a special study in the case of versatility, anyway. The only real "versatile" ability he gets is the bonuses to track. Wild empathy is very specific and, barring the use of templates or in the case of another character's animal companion, starts to become increasingly useless as the party gains levels and animals start trickling out of the encounter tables in favor of other creatures with higher CR's. Favored Enemy and Favored Terrain have potential versatility, but just like spellcasting the character can only pick a specific number of options and all other options become meaningless because he does not have them.

You are correct in some ways, though, because the half-eared stalker was intentionally designed to have fewer FE and FT options than standard rangers, but I had originally intended to make the bonuses he does receive stronger than other rangers can hope to have when it comes to those options. Sort of an idea that since he doesn't split his training among so many enemies and biomes, he can focus that same amount of energy into specializing. I eventually sacked the idea, but your critique does make me consider reworking the bonus progression to head back there.

As far as the limitation on tracking goes, that is a considerable effect on the character's skill usage that a player should understand before making the decision to play a half-eared stalker. But personally, I think there are three factors that help to mitigate the impact of that loss:

  • First, though the effects only apply to a limited number of creatures, he gets additional uses out of tracking those creatures than, again, other rangers could ever hope to have.
  • Secondly, if you take a half-eared stalker and drop him in the middle of nowhere without any aid from society, he can survive as easily as any other ranger. But the point is that his skill set thrives in civilization - and I'm not just talking about the city streets of humans. The forest homes and villages of the elves are civilization just the same. And when he is in these environments, where he belongs, he becomes what some might think maddeningly effective.
  • Third, I intentionally did not work an alignment restriction into the half-eared stalker to allow for a wider number of character concepts. I did bat around the idea of giving it an "Any Non-Lawful" restriction, but decided against it. Despite this, even a good or lawful half-eared stalker is likely to run afoul not only of law enforcement but also most heroic characters - even other PC's of the same party - if they ply their talents without consideration. For this reason, I suspect most half-eared stalkers will be NPC's, either dangerous allies or outright villains, and will be applied in whatever sense best suits the campaign.


Daniel Chaplik wrote:
This class could easily be adapted to fit any bout of racial tension where humans and another race mingle. For example, you could tweak it to cover half-orcs and half-elves with the following changes.

That should read "to cover half-orcs," not half-orcs and half-elves.

Herpderp.


I designed this archetype specifically for the main villain of a mini-campaign I just recently ran this past week. It was inspired in part by the Scar Enforcer prestige class (Races of Destiny, 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons).

Critiques, comments, praises, condemnations, let me know!

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In a time when elves and humans distrust one another and live in enmity, half-elves can find themselves lost in the crossfire. either society accepts them and both suspect half-elves of colluding with "the enemy." Triumphs and successes are first accredited to their allies of purer blood, while failures, treacheries, and tragedies are quickly blamed on the proclivities of the "sharp-ears" or "half-apes."

Not all half-elves are willing to accept the life of a second-class citizen at best, or a grueling future of slavery at worst. Instead, they choose to become the predators - half-blooded agents of wrath and retribution striking out against those who oppress and violate the dignity of their people.

Through often painted by authorities as a unified group of terrorists, mostly as a means of propaganda in the hope of inciting greater public fury against them, half-eared stalkers are hardly an organized band. Many operate alone, avenging slights committed against their own person. They expect no support and do not provide it to others In fact, it is not unheard of for lone half-eared stalkers to come into bloody conflict when they discover that they have marked the same victim.

Structured bands of half-eared stalkers exist only in the larger cities, and even then only as long as someone with the strength or force of personality is able to reign in the self-centered righteous anger that is common to so many o their numbers. Such groups often gather the resources to support their criminal activities through theft, extortion, intimidation, and assassination.

Favored Enemy:
At 1st level, a half-eared stalker gains only a +1 favored enemy bonus but applies it whenever dealing with enemies that have either the elf or human subtype. At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, this bonus improves by +2.

Track:
A half-eared stalker's bonus on Survival checks to follow tracks applies only when dealing with tracks left behind by elves or humans. A half-eared stalker of at least 11th level can track elves and humans that otherwise leave no trace behind them (such as those with the Trackless Step feature or those under the effects of pass without trace or similar magic). The DC of a Survival check to follow the tracks of such prey improves by +10. Creatures that move without physically interacting with the world (such as ethereal or incorporeal creatures) still leave no trace that can be tracked.

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Ex); 1st Level:
A half-eared stalker is not penalized on Disguise checks when attempting to disguise himself as either an elf or as a human. Starting at 2nd level, he adds half his class level (rounding down) on such Disguise checks.

Favored Terrain:
At 3rd level, a half-eared stalker gains only a +1 favored terrain bonus but applies it when in either forests or urban terrain. At 8th level, and every five levels thereafter, this bonus improves by +2.

At the GM's discretion, a half-eared stalker may substitute one or both of these terrain options depending on where the elves or humans of his ancestry make their homes. For example, a half-elf who can trace his elven heritage to aquatic elves living along the banks of deep rivers might gain favored terrain bonuses in aquatic terrain instead of forests. Another descended from shepherding human nomads might replace the urban option with plains.

If both races share territories of similar terrain, then the half-eared stalker gains only that single choice of favored terrain. However, he begins with a +3 bonus instead of only a +1 bonus.

Diminished Spellcasting; 4th Level:
A half-eared stalker can cast one fewer spell per day of each level. If this would reduce his base daily allotment (without accounting for bonus spells) of spells to less than 0, then he has no access to spells of that level. If this reduces his base daily allotment to 0, then he can only cast spells of that level if he is eligible for bonus spells of that level.

Smite Ancestor (Ex); 4th Level:
Half-eared stalkers undergo specialized training to do battle with elves ad humans, studying their anatomy, psychology, and tactics. Once per day, a half-eared stalker may declare one target within sight to smite as a swift action. If the target has either the elf or human subtype, the half-eared stalker ads his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his attack rolls and adds his class level to damage rolls against the target of his smite. In addition, when the smite is in effect, the half-eared stalker gains an insight bonus equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any) to AC versus attacks made against him by the target of his smite.

If the target of the smite has at least one racial feat, the bonus damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per class level. Regardless of the target, smite ancestor attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess.

The smite ancestor effect remains until the target is dead or the next time the half-eared stalker rests to regain his daily use of this ability. If the half-eared stalker accidentally smites a foe without the elf or human subtype, it is wasted to no effect. At 10th and 16th levels each, the half-eared stalker may smite hi ancestors once more per day.

Forsake Heritage (ex); 7th Level:
The half-eared stalker is no longer considered an elf or a human for any attack or negative effect directed against him. This protects him from effects such as a ranger's favored enemy, the properties of an elfbane or humanbane weapon, and the like. This replaces Woodland Stride.

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This class could easily be adapted to fit any bout of racial tension where humans and another race mingle. For example, you could tweak it to cover half-orcs and half-elves with the following changes.

-Favored enemy bonuses apply against humans and orcs, while favored terrain bonuses apply while in both urban terrain and one of the following: Hills, mountains, or underground.

-The half-eared stalker's bonuses to track apply against humans and orcs, while his bonus on Disguise checks also applies only against humans or orcs.

-Smite ancestors allows him to smite humans and orcs, and he is not negatively affected by being considered a human or an orc.


Rynjin wrote:
Da'ath wrote:


From a modern perspective, a 7 in an ability score is roughly approximate to two deviations below the norm (avg 10-11), which does qualify someone as "special needs" in many states, whether due to physical, mental, or psychological disability.

It's actually not.

A 7 Int roughly correlates to an 85 IQ, well within the parameters of a fully mentally capable human being.

People just like to pretend you're right so they can grab at straws and JUSTIFY their punishment of the players by saying "Oh but it makes sense".

I'd be interested to know how you came up with that calculation. I sat down and calculated INT to IQ based on the actual, most commonly accepted scale and came up with something entirely different.

If 10 is the average INT score of a character, since 10 is assumed to be the "adult human average" of a character, that means that (s)he is of average IQ. The average human IQ IQ Scale is 90 - 109; the median is a straight 100, meaning that 10 INT = 100 IQ. Well, 10 - 11 are both considered "average," but it's the score of 10 itself that changes the character's modifier from a below average score.

A 7 INT then gives you seven/tenths of the average score - an IQ of 70, which actually is considered borderline deficient. According to your own suggestion of 85 IQ, that person falls under the "Below Average" level of cognitive ability; functional, yes, but demonstrably affected.


Chaotic Fighter wrote:
It is very interesting...I fear a could easily make this character extremely overpowered though.

You could very easily make an powerful juggernaut. But he'd only be good at that one thing. So it's a fair trade-off in my opinion; you become the undisputed master of your chosen fighting style - which, let's face, is why anyone chooses to focus on one fighting style to begin with - at the cost of versatility.

Charging's nice and all, but even for high-level juggernaut's distance can be a powerful factor, among other things.

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