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The Monk

Much of this remains the same as the original from the Player's Handbook, but then again, much of this is not.

A monk character is in a class by itself. All monks must practice rigorous mental and physical training and dicipline to achieve their powers. Therefore they must always be lawful in alignment. A monk who for any reason loses this lawful alignment loses all monk abilities and must begin again as a first level character. To become a monk, a character must be human, have a strength of not less than 13, a minimum dexterity of 16, a constitution of 11 or more, and not less than 15 wisdom (Monks may have the exceptional strength and the additional constitution adjustment of fighters). If a monk has both dexterity and wisdom in excess of 16, he or she gains the benefit of adding 10% to the experience points awared by the Dungeon Master.

Monks Table I: Experience Points and Levels

Experience	Exp.	D8		Level
Needed	Level	Hit Dice	        Title
~~~~~~~~~~~~~	~~~~~	~~	~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        0	 1	 1		Novice
    2,500	 2	 2		Initiate
    5,000	 3	 3		Brother
   10,000	 4	 4		Disciple
   22,000	 5	 5		Immaculate
   40,000	 6	 6		Master
   70,000	 7	 7		Master of Dragons
  125,000	 8	 8		Master of the South Wind
  225,000	 9	 9		Master of the West Wind
  425,000	10	10		Master of the North Wind
  675,000	11	11		Master of the East Wind
  950,000	12	12		Grand Master
1,250,000	13	12 + 3	        Grand Master (13th level)
1,550,000	14	12 + 6  	Grand Master (14th level)

300,000 experience points per level for each additional level above the 14th. Monks gain 3 h.p. per level after the 12th.

Monks Table II: Monks Ability Table

                        Hand *2
                        Attacks	Open		Weapon
                        per	Hand	 Special	Equivalent
Level	AC*	Move	Round	Damage Abil.	of Hand *3
  1	 8	15"	 2	 1d4	   -		   -
  2	 7	16"	 2	 1d6	   -		 silver
  3	 5	17"	 2	 1d6	   A		 silver
  4	 3	18"	 2	 1d6+1     B		  +1
  5	 1	19"	 2	 1d6+1     C		  +1
  6	 0	20"	5/2	 2d4	   D		  +2
  7	-1	21"	5/2	 2d4+1     E		  +2
  8	-2	22"	5/2	 2d6	   F		  +2
  9	-2	23"	5/2	 3d4	   G		  +2
 10	-3	24"	5/2	 2d6+1     H		  +3
 11	-3	25"	 3	 3d4+1     I		  +3
 12	-3	26"	 3	 4d4	   J		  +3
 13	-4	27"	 3	 4d4+1     K		  +3
 14	-4	28"	7/2	 5d4	   -		  +4
 15	-4	29"	7/2	 6d4	   -		  +4
 16	-4	30"	 4	 5d6	   -		  +4
 17*4	-5	32"	4	 8d4	   -		  +5

* Dexterity adjustments also apply.

*2 Open hand attacks includes hands and feet.

*3 Against creatures hit only by magical weapons (i.e. lycanthropes).

*4 No furthur AC, Move, or attacks occur after level 17.

Each special ability is designated by a capital letter.

A. At level 3, a superior sense of balance is learned. A bonus of +20% (+4 saves) vs. factors that would throw a monk off balance (i.e. dex checks vs. falling off a cliff or better AC vs. being thrown by another monk).

B. At 4th level, the monk may begin studies of the anatomy of other species, at the rate of 1 attempt per 2 levels (i.e. another species atlevels 6, 8, etc). The anatomies of standard races can be learned automatically (i.e. dwarves, elves, gnomes, hal-elves, halflings, and half-orcs). Chance for learning the anatomies of other species depends on their frequency. The base chance for common monsters is 80%, 70% for uncommon, 45% for rare, 5% for very rare, and -10% for singular entities, plus 1% per point of the monk's wisdom.

C. When a monk is brought to 0 hit points, he does not lose consciousness, although he continues to lose 1 hit point a round and is subject to furthur damage. A 5th level monk can continue to act until down to -1 hp. This decreases by 1 per level (-2 at 6th, -3 at 7th, etc) until a minimum of -10 at 14th level. As soon as the monk reaches his minimum, consciousness is lost. As soon as -10 hp is reached, the monk dies. While still conscious, the monk may still attack, run, even drink healing potions or bandage his own wounds so that when he loses consciousness, he will be returned to the hit point total at the time he first bandaged himself, and not lose anymore hit points. However, additional damage (i.e. from enemies) must be subtracted from this total. To hit, AC, saves, damage rolls (down to 0), and movement rate all suffer a penalty equal to the monk's hit point total (i.e. a 14th level monk at -4 hp gets a -4 penalty on everything). This power results from the almost super-human endurance that the monk has learned against pain and shock.

D. Self-induced catalepsy to appear dead by lowering body temperature and heart rate for a number of turns equal to twice his level (i.e. 12 turns at 6th). In addition, multiple attacks vs. slow moving (i.e. armor-clad) foes. At 6th level, 1 bonus attack per round vs. those with 6" movement. 2 attacks vs. 3" movement at 7th level. 3 attacks vs. 1" or immobile at 8th. A direct result of the incredible speed of the monk, both in running and with open-"hand" attacks.

E. Ability to heal damage on own body, 1d4 +1 hit points a day. 1d4 +2 hp at 8th level, 1d4 +3 hp at 9th, etc. Or heal half that amount on someone else (round up). Also, when dodging, 1/2 damage if save is failed (i.e. vs. fireball); does not work vs. i.e. petrification.

F. Sixth sense fighting. Even when other 5 senses fail (i.e. deaf and blind), can still continue combat, but must parry. Parry is at -2, but may follow up with no penalty to hit.

G. 18% resistance to ESP, psionics, and other mind affecting spells (i.e. those where wisdom affects saves). Resistance increases 7% per level thereafter, until a maximum of 95% at 20th level. Saving throws apply if resistance fails.

H. In the follow-up disarm after a parry, ability to smash weapon. Must roll (bonuses apply) 5 over the minimum number needed to disarm. Magical weapons are allowed saving throws vs. crushing blow, with each plus counting as a save bonus (i.e. a sword +1 saves at +1).

I. Diseases and poisons do not take affect less than 12 hours after exposure. Before that time, the monk may meditate one hour to cure his disease, or two hours to cure all poisons. Through meditation, able to survive extreme temperatures (not fireballs, etc; only desert or arctic like condidtions), hunger, thirst, or lack of air of a number of days equal to twice the monk's level. Can only walk or swim slowly during this time. Exertion (i.e. running or combat) has a 10% cumulative chance, per round of continuous exertion, of causing loss of consciousness for one hour (but will survive if no creature attacks or the like).

J. A 12th level monk is allowed one roll on the Table of Psionic Disciplines -- Minor Devotions. This ability is performed at the monk's current level, with 20 pseudo-psionic strength points usable only for this ability.

K. Through uninterrupted meditation for an hour, the monk will achieve ethereality for a number of turns equal to his level. During this time, he may act freely (i.e. pass through walls, exit the dungeon, leave jail cells and chains). He may then find a safe location to materialize, which he may do by himself or when the ethereal duration ends. Note, all the monk's possessions, however, do not become ethereal, so the monk must retrieve them when he is solid.

Armor: none.

Shield: none.

Weapons: bo sticks, club, crossbow, dagger, hand axe, javelin, jo stick, pole arms, scimitar, spear, staff.

Oil: no.

Poison: no.

Monks are masters of unarmed combat. Centuries of knowledge have passed from teacher to student, from across the realms, modified and combined, until the monk has become the greatest mind trained in the art of battle. Most monks shun weapons as the last resort of the weak. In melee, often the first action the monk takes is to disarm his opponent. Monks are well trained in the art of self-defense. Many of their attacks are more effective when their opponents initiate the blow, for the monk is able to redirect the force of impact and use an opponent's weight aginst itself. Monks are practised in a variety of attack methods. Before the start of each round, the monk must decide upon his actions: parry, disarm, throw, dodge, or attack normally.

Monks gain a bonus on parrying, disarming, or throwing charging opponents and lunging weapons/attacks (i.e. spears and rattlesnake bite attacks). This bonus is +1 per four levels of experience (i.e. +2 at fifth level) up to a maximum of +4 at level 13. This is accomplished by exploiting the momentum of the attacker as the monk redirects it.

A major OFFENSIVE action is the monk's parry, which may be performed as many times a round as the monk has attacks, but must be stopped as soon as the monk follows up. To parry an attack, the monk must roll to hit his attacker. If the parry is successful, the monk may immediately follow up in the same round with one disarm, thorw, or attack attempt.

The second attack form of the monk is the disarm, which may be attempted as many times a round as the monk has attacks (as with parry and throw, see below). Thus the monk may disarm more than one adjacent opponent a round. Monks must roll to hit their opponents, adding to the roll their reaction/attacking adjustment due to dexterity. Success means that the weapon has landed 1d10 feet in a random direction.

The throw may be attempted many times a round, but after the first successful throw, no more attempts can be made (thus, the monk cannot throw more than one opponent a round). The monk must roll to hit the opponent. Success means that the opponent has lost its balance and has fallen. Immense or strange creatures (i.e. red dragons or gelatinous cubes/will-o-wisps) of course cannot be thrown. The maximum size affected is 6'4" +4" per level and 300 lbs +100 lbs per level, up to a maximum of 12' and 2000 lbs at 17th level. Quadrupeds and giant arthropods (plus other many-legged creatures) are difficult to unbalance, thus the monk is at -4 to hit, but is at +2 against flying (with wings, not just hovering like the djinn) creatures. Neither the monk nor the victim may act for the rest of the round after a throw.

The victim must spend the next round regaining its footing (winging?). Unless it is part of a parry, the throw allows the victim +2 to hit, if it is able to attack before the throw or if the monk failed to throw, due to the fact that the monk is no longer trying to avoid the opponent.

Dodging is a defensive action in which the monk attempts to use feints, tumbles, and rolls to completely avoid contact with all attackers. Monks get an AC bonus of +1 per two levels, up to a maximum of +8 at level 15. During this round, all damage from weapons and spells, which allow the dexterity defensive adjustment in saves, are at -1 per die, to a minimum of 1 each. When dodging, the monk will sustain no damage if a save if made, even if it were a fireball. The monk may disengage and break off from melee during this time wihtout incurring the free attack routine from opponents. Movement is at normal walking pace. During this time, the monk exposes little of his vital areas to attack and many blows glance off.

Normal open hand attacks (monks may also use kicks instead of hands) have affects of their own. An opponent is stunned by a monk for 1d4 rounds if the score of the monk's "to hit" roll exceeds the minimum number required for a hit by 5 or more. This roll must be natural (i.e. not affected by strength or striking from behind). Monks can only stun opponents that they can normally throw. Once stunned, the victim has a 1% chance per level of the monk of having broken a bone (i.e. an arm, leg, wrist, but not neck; roll randomly).

Due to their study of the human anatomy, monks gain +1/2 per level bonus on damage in open hand battle against other humans (round up). At higher levels, monks may learn the anatomies of other species (note, dragons are not one species; a color/metal/gem/etc must be specified). Armor of chain mail and better, however, prevents use of this knowledge, because pressure points and vulnerable areas (such as the temple, kidney, groin, solar plexus, armpit, etc) are covered up.

The rear kill attack can be performed only when the victim is completely unaware of the whereabouts of the monk. The victim must be relatively montionless (i.e. not running or engaged in melee). The monk must approach undetected from behind, suddenly grab the victim's head (roll to hit, +4 because of surprise), and wrench it quickly to snap the neck. Damage done is 10%, +3% per level of the monk, of the victim's present hit point total, up to a maximum of 70% at 20th level. Damage inflicted is not less than the maximum damage the monk can do with one successful open hand attack, counting all bonuses (i.e. a 1st level monk will inflict a minimum of 4 hp of damage). The victim cannot be over 5/4 the height of the monk. This attack affects only creatures with a spinal cord and neck (or equivalent) that can be broken (Cf. Vorpal Weapon).

Monks have the following abilities which they perform at identical level of experience to that of a thief: move silently, hide in shadows, climb walls. Because of intense mental training and mastery, the monk has developed an extremely acute mind and a sort of sixth sense. The Sense Movement abiltiy is identical to that of the thief's Hear Noise ability in percentage per level. The monk must spend one round in intense concentration. Success indicates that the monk has detected movement beyond a portal, around a corner, or within a room. Only its general direction can be known. This ability even allows detection of invisible creatures, but not ethereal or out of phase ones. Due to their intense mental discipline, psionic monks gain a 10% bonus to their defensive points, while non-psionic monks gain a +4 save vs. psionic blast attacks.

At 4th level, a monk can fall up to 20' if he or she is within 1' of a wall. At 6th level, 30' within 4' of a wall. At 13th level, any distance within 8'. The monk must have an opportunity to periodically make contact with the wall to slow the fall. Any surface (wall, tree, cliff, etc) may be used. (Note, if a 13th level monk falls 5 miles, the last mile of which is near a wall, he or she falls the equivalent of ONLY 4 miles.) Monks can also perform vertical leaps of half their movement rate in feet, without injury (i.e. a 1st level monk can leap 7'6" straight up). They can also make forward leaps equal to their movement in feet (i.e. 15' at level 1).

Monks save on the fighter table. They attack with a THAC0 of one worse than a fighter of the same level. They may use all magic items usable by thieves. In all other respects (whatever is left), they are treated as a subclass of fighters. Monks never attract followers.

Although they are trained to be specialists in combat, monks are different from other fighters because they favor unarmed battle. Thus, when they use weapons in melee, monks lose many abilities: parry, disarm, throw, dodge, stun, bonus damage due to knowledge, rear kill, multiple attacks per round, and bonus attacks vs. slow opponents. If, because of encumbrance, a monk cannot move at his full rate, the leaping, bonus attacks vs. slow opponents, and dodging ablilities are lost.

Note: When fighting a monk of higher level, certain penalties occur. Parry and throw are at -2 to hit. The bonus dodging AC is cut by half (round up). Stunning requires a roll of 7 over the minimum to hit.

Starting gold: 5d4 gp.

Initial weapon proficiencies: 1.

Non-proficiency penalty: -3.

Added proficiency in weapons per level: 1/3 levels.

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Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley

Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007