Monk for Solo Campaign


I need to make a PC for a solo campaign (only me and the GM). The GM is willing to give the new PC a couple extra levels to avoid the "one bad guy critical causes a first-level TPK" problem. He is willing to modify published material to fit the PC a bit: include more healing potions if the PC cannot use a CLW wand, etc.

Can someone help me design a Monk for use as a solo PC?

A non-Monk that behaves a like a Wuxia martial artist would also work: perhaps I should make a more balanced PC that acts like a Monk but is really an Archaeologist with a few-level dip into Monk?

A few Monk archetypes seem perhaps workable for solo adventures. Unfortunately, Ultimate Combat has made Monks and unarmed combat far more complicated than I have time to read and sort out.

What would you do as a Monk-like solo PC?

What forum threads are helpful? (For example, I found a plan for a Hungry Ghost Monk that uses frequent critical hits to keep his Ki Pool full.)

What about an Inquisitor(heretic, sin eater)-5/ Hungry Ghost monk of the Sacred mountain-13/ Unarmed fighter-2 (full snake style)

has decent synergy mechanically, and thematically... decent beef.
I like the idea of the steal ki and life funnel being, in his beliefs, just another from of sin eating... his peers may have exiled him for his unorthodox ways, but he has faith that his actions are just.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Actually it's the campaign that needs the design work more than the player. Your standard adventure is run on the assumption of four characters playing the standard roles. There's no way that one character can manage that. Just not doable, period.

What the DM has to do is to look at the character and design the campaign around that centerpiece, and make some house rule changes to support solo play.

I would strongly suggest the vitality system to allow for quick recovery of non serious wounds.

What level are you starting out at? How are you generating your stats (have you done that already)? I think there are some strong options for solo play with the APG + UC.

I'd be tempted to try a Monk of the Four Winds/Ki Mystic, wandering the world to make it a better place and reach Enlightenment,


a Hungry Ghost Master of Many Styles, cruising the countryside for Ki & Styles to steal/learn > an evil-curious anti-hero that is out to prove his kung fu is stronger than all the rest.

I used 25 PB for this example, starting 16, 13, 16, 10, 17, 8 with a bump to Wisdom at 4th.


Male Dwarf Monk (Hungry Ghost Monk, Master of Many Styles, Monk of the Sacred Mountain) 4
LE Medium Humanoid (Dwarf)
Init +1; Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +11
AC 20, touch 17, flat-footed 19 (+1 shield, +1 Dex, +2 natural, +1 deflection)
hp 42 (4d8+16)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +8
Defensive Abilities Defensive Training
Spd 30 ft.
Melee +1 Temple Sword +6 (1d8+6/19-20/x2) and
Unarmed Strike +5 (1d8+5/20/x2)
Special Attacks Ki Strike, Magic, Relentless
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +7; CMD 23 (25 vs. Bull Rush25 vs. Overrun25 vs. Trip)
Feats Improved Unarmed Strike, Ironhide, Monk Weapon Proficiencies, Power Attack -1/+2, Punishing Kick (Push 5') (4/day) (DC 16), Snapping Turtle Style +1, Tiger Style, Toughness +4
Traits Dangerously Curious, Grounded
Skills Acrobatics +8, Climb +7, Escape Artist +5, Intimidate +3, Perception +11, Sense Motive +8, Stealth +5, Use Magic Device +7
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ AC Bonus +5, Bastion Stance (except mind-affecting or teleportation) (Ex), Fast Movement (+10'), Fuse Style (2 styles) (Ex), Greed, Hardy, Hatred, Ki Defense (Su), Ki Pool (Su), Maneuver Training (Ex), Slow and Steady, Still Mind (Ex), Stonecunning +2, Unarmed Strike (1d8)
Combat Gear +1 Temple Sword; Other Gear Ring of Protection, +1, Wand of Cure Light Wounds, Wand of Mage Armor
Ki Pool (Su) - 0/6
Punishing Kick (Push 5') (4/day) (DC 16) - 0/4
Wand of Cure Light Wounds - 0/50
Wand of Mage Armor - 0/50
AC Bonus +5 The Monk adds his Wisdom bonus to AC and CMD, more at higher levels.
Bastion Stance (except mind-affecting or teleportation) (Ex) Cannot be moved if you start and end the round in the same space.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Defensive Training (+4) +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the Giant type.
Fast Movement (+10') The Monk adds 10 or more feet to his base speed.
Fuse Style (2 styles) (Ex) At 1st level, a master of many styles can fuse two of the styles he knows into a more perfect style. The master of many styles can have two style feat stances active at once. Starting a stance provided by a style feat is still a swift action, but whe
Greed +2 to Appraise checks to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Grounded You gain a +2 trait bonus on balance-related Acrobatics checks, and a +1 trait bonus on Reflex saves.
Hardy +2 racial bonus to Poison, Spells and Spell-Like effects.
Hatred +1 racial bonus to attacks against Orcs and Goblinoids.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Ironhide Your skin is thicker and more resilient than that of most of your people. Benefit: You gain a +1 natural armor bonus due to your unusually tough hide.
Ki Defense (Su) A monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round.
Ki Pool (Su) You have a ki pool equal to 1/2 your monk level + your Wisdom modifier.
Ki Strike, Magic (Su) At 4th level, ki strike allows a monk's unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Maneuver Training (Ex) CMB = other BABs + Monk level
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Punishing Kick (Push 5') (4/day) (DC 16) You can push or knock down an opponent with an unarmed attack.
Relentless +2 Bull Rush and Overrun if you and your opponent are standing on the ground.
Slow and Steady Your base speed is never modified by encumbrance.
Snapping Turtle Style +1 Gain +1 shield bonus to AC when at least one hand is free
Still Mind (Ex) +2 to saves against enchantment spells and effects.
Stonecunning +2 +2 bonus to Perception vs unusual stonework. Free check within 10 feet.
Tiger Style Gain +2 to CMD against bull rush, overrun, and trip, and deal slashing damage
Unarmed Strike (1d8) The Monk does lethal damage with his unarmed strikes.

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Thanks for the ideas, Lord Zeb.

The campaign starts at "first level" although the PC might actually be second or third. The GM and I would rather the PC be as low a level as possible, perhaps with a nifty magic item to aid initial survivability rather than more EXP.

Yes, adventure design is more significant than PC design. But that's a different conversation.

Here is what I came up with since my first post.

Flowing Monk with a one-level dip into Menhir Savant Druid.

When wielding a Kusarigama he would have lots of attacks each round: two from Flurry of Blows, often one from AoO as an enemy moves adjacent, probably one from the monk archetype Redirection ability, plus three from a Roc animal companion.

Druid dip provides use of cure wands. Pray each morning for Entangles but sometimes use SNA1 instead.

Initial feats would be Boon Companion (first level), Improved Trip (monk level 1 bonus), and something else (human).

I'm running a couple like this on the boards right now. Has the GM offered youth assistance of party NPCs? I like to think of it as the Baldur's Gate style of play.

davidvs wrote:

Flowing Monk with a one-level dip into Menhir Savant Druid.

That sounds like a great option! Some minor spellcasting to beef up your monkly side, greater defense when surrounded, etc. Please post him when you're all done, be curious to see what he looks like.

Lord Zeb wrote:
That sounds like a great option! Some minor spellcasting to beef up your monkly side, greater defense when surrounded, etc. Please post him when you're all done, be curious to see what he looks like.

Actually, that plan was no good for two reasons.

First, the GM said the adventures would probably go farther than we initially expected, certainly to character level 8 to 10 -ish where Boon Companion would not suffice to keep the pet viable.

Second, I misread the Flowing Monk ability because of poor SRD formatting. The redirection ability is only once per day per monk level, so the character is not getting as many attacks per round as I expected. (It's still comparable to the Stunning First ability it replaces.)

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