By Tim Rivera
Description: Monks are ascetics who learn their skills at a monastary. Their spiritual training empasizes the simultaneous development of mind and body as a path to understading and enlightenment. Perfection for them lies in perfect control of their own spirit - achieving harmony between mind and body. To this end they become masters of combat forms, both armed and unarmed - not to become great fighters, but to learn their physical powers and limitations. At the same time they undergo a rigorous mental discipline, honing their minds to perceive and understand the mysteries of the cosmos. Although they can perform incredible physical and mental feats, they cannot perform ceremonies or cast spells. Monks are attached to a monastary but do not receive the religous training that makes a priest, and are not considered clergy.
Monks are the guardians of knowledge, and value knowledge very highly. Monks were originally seekers of knowledge who gathered at a monastary. Knowledge of martial arts is especially valuable, to defend the monastary from those who would seek to destroy the knowledge which monks hold so dear.
Requirements: Only humans can become monks. Because of the discipline required in their training, monks must always be Lawful. Monks must also have the following minimum ability scores: Strength 15, Dexterity 15, Constitution 11, and Wisdom 15. Monks have no prime requisite.
Character Creation: Monks have the same hit dice, THAC0, and saving throws as Rogues. Their experience and titles are as follows:
|2||1,500||Initiate of Rudiments||12||400,000||Master of Dragons|
|3||3,000||Initiate of Elements||13||650,000||Master of the North Wind|
|4||6,000||Initiate of Priciples||14||900,000||Master of the West Wind|
|5||12,000||Brother||15||1,150,000||Master of the South Wind|
|6||25,000||Disciple||16||1,400,000||Master of the East Wind|
|7||40,000||Disciple of Secrets||17||1,650,000||Master of Winter|
|8||70,000||Disciple of Mysteries||18||1,900,000||Master of Autumn|
|9||110,000||Immaculate||19||2,200,000||Master of Summer|
|10||160,000||Master||20||2,500,000||Master of Spring|
|21||2,800,000||Grandmaster of Flowers|
Weapon Proficiencies: Monks may become proficient with any weapon, but most favor exotic oriental weapons. Weapon groups are also sought, so as to be more versatile. Monks start with two initial weapon proficiencies, and gain one every 3 levels. The penalty for a monk using a weapon with which he is not proficient is -3.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Monks have no required proficiency, and can choose from the general and rogue groups. Monks begin with 3 nonweapon proficiencies and gain one every 3 levels (3rd, 6th, 9th...)
Special Benefits:Monks receive a great deal of powers from their years of rigorous training in the monastary.
- Weapon Mastery - Due to the monk's study and knowledge of anatomy and weapons, a monk causes one extra point of damage for every two levels of experience when using a weapon (not a natural one, such as hands or feet).
- Reduced Surprise - While a monk has normal surprise at first level, his chance to be surprised drops to 32% at second, and lowers by 2% every level thereafter, to a minimum of 2% at 17th level.
- Skills - As an effect of the monk's training, he has developed the following thief abilities. They start at the base score listed below (bonus for no armor is included). Monks receive 40 points to distribute at 1st level, and 20 points every level thereafter. No skill may be raised higher than 95%.
- Falling Technique - A monk can escape taking damage from a fall if he has the opportunity to make periodic contact with a wall. The wall is used by the monk to slow his fall. Any similar surface, such as a tree trunk, cliff face, and the like, are equally useful to the monk.
- At 4th level (Initiate of Principles), a monk can fall up to 20' if he is within 1' of a wall.
- At 8th level (Disciple of Mysteries), a monk can fall up to 30' if he is within 3' of a wall.
- At 12th level (Master of Dragons), a monk can fall up to 50' if he is within 6' of a wall.
- At 16th level (Master of the East Wind), a monk can fall any distance if he is within 8' of a wall.
- Chi Ability - Monks have the chi ability to reduce the amount of damage taken by magical attacks. When making a saving throw vs. magical attacks, the monk's chi allows him to take no damage or suffer no effect if a successful saving throw is made. This chi ability is usable only once per day per level of the monk, and may be declared at any time, even after the die is rolled. At 11th level (Superior Master), this chi power improves. Even if the monk fails his saving throw, he suffers only half damage from a magical attack that causes damage (he must use this power, however). The monk is still limited to a number of uses per day equal to his level.
- Chi Powers -Monks have a variety of powers which develop as they gain control of their spirit and mind and body begin to unify. At each level, the following abilities manifest:
|Find Traps (but not Remove)||5%|
|Hide in Shadows||10%|
- Feign Death - The monk is able to lower his heart rate and body temperature. The monk is able to maintain this state for twice his level in turns.
- Mind Mask - The monk can mask his mind so that ESP has only a 30% chance of success. For every level the monk gains past 2nd, the chance drops by 2%, to a minimum of 2%.
- Speak with Animals - As per the druid power.
- Heal - The monk may heal damage on his body once per day. The amount healed is 1d4, +1 per level above 3rd.
- Immunities - The monk is not subject to diseases of any sort, nor is he ever affected by haste or slow spells.
- Body Equilibrium - As per the psionic power, duration - one round per level, usable once per day.
- Mind over Body - As per the psionic power, duration - one day per level.
- Empathy - As per the psionic power, usable once per day.
- Invisibility - As per the psionic power, duration - one turn per level past 6th, usable once per day.
- Molecular Manipulation - As per the psionic power (inanimate objects only), at 8th level ability, usable once per day.
- Charm Resistance - Beguiling, charms, hypnosis, and suggestion spells have omly a 50% chance of affecting the monk. For every level after, the chance decreases by 5%, to a minimum of 5%.
- Mental Defense - Telepathic and mind blast attacks are made against the monk as if he had an 18 Intelligence, due to the monk's mental discipline.
- Retarded Aging - As if the monk had a phalactery of long years.
- Immunities - The monk is not affected by poisons of any type, and is immune to geas and quest spells.
- Body Control - As per the psionic power, duration - one turn per level past 10th, usable once per day.
- Speak with Plants - As per the druid power.
- Levitation - This requires the utmost of concentration and mental discipline. Daily the character practices at making his body feel lighter, using his mental power to negate his own weight. Finally, the monk succeeds in overcoming all his weight. At this point the character can levitate. This power requires a turn of concentration before it can be done. Thereafter the monk can move up, down, or sideways, at five feet per round. He can take no actions while levitating, and if his concentration is broken, he falls to the ground. After levitating, the monk must rest for a round.
- Dimension Door - Once per day.
- Mind Bar - As per the psionic power, 100% success, duration - one hour per level, once per week.
- Object Read - As per the psionic power, once per day.
- Dimension Walk - As per the psionic power, duration - 1 hour per every two levels, once per day.
- Astral Projection - As per the cleric spell, once per week.
- Premonition - The monk recieves a premonition of death or serious harm about to occur to him 1 - 4 turns in advance. This works 90% of the time.
- Mental Defenses - The monk can use Tower of Iron Will or Intellect Fortress once per day. Duration - one round per level. The monk may take no action other than walking slowly while using this power.
- Plane Shift - As per the cleric spell, twice per day.
Special Hinderances: For all their abillities, monks must abide by severe restrictions.
- Ability Scores - Monks receive no "to hit" or "damage" bonuses from a high Strength score, and do not roll for exceptional Strength. Also, they do not receive the "AC adjustment" from a high Dexterity score.
- Armor Prohibition - Monks may not wear armor or use a shield. Armor restricts natural movement, and a shield prevents the use of one of the monk's arms, a more formidable and versitile weapon.
- Detachment - In general, monks view the world as a transitory and ephemeral place, without constants. As such, emotional attachments - greed, anger, and other passions - are obstacles placed in the path of true perfection. To achieve the ultimate enlightenment, the monk must force himself to dispose of these feelings and all things associated with them. While they do not deny that these passions exist within themselves, they seek to control and moderate them.
- Possessions - Monks must avoid too many attachments to the material world. To this end, monks may not retain more than a small fraction of the treasure they recover: only enough to cover their needs for food and clothing for the next few days. They may not own horses. They can never hold land or property. They can retain only two magical weapons and three other magical items.
- Magical Item Use - Severe limits are imposed on the use of magical items, as too much reliance on them weakens the monk's spiritual strength. Magical weapons, rings, and any other items usable by rogues can be used by a monk.
- Family - Once the monk enters the monastary, he must sever all ties to his family. Such fetters attach him to the material world and prevent ultimate enlightenment and transcendence. A monk does not use his family name, adopting instead a name appropriate to his monastary. Monks cannot hire henchmen.
- Limited Advancement - There can only be a limited number of monks above 11th level (Superior Master). There are three 12th level (Master of Dragons), and but one of each higher level. When a monk gains enough experience points to qualify for 12th level (or beyond), he temporarily gains the abilities of that level. Before the level is permanently aquired, the monk must find and defeat the monk (or one of the monks) of that level. The duel must be fought in the martial style of the monastary and is strictly between the two monks; no one can intervene. The duel need not be fought to the death; the first person stunned usually acknowledges defeat. The character knows the general whereabouts of the monk he must duel. Any intentional delay (or being defeated in the duel) readjusts the character's experience points to the minimum need to attain the last level he held permanently. For example, a 12th level monk defeated in a duel drops to 220,000 experience points. He must work his way back up to 12th level all over again.
Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley
Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007