The Monk

 

Sir Gravis the Reaver rode through the streets of the burning hamlet. No villagers had appeared to prevent his men from razing their poor huts to the ground, but if they were not all found and left twitching on pikes, his reputation as the most feared warlord on the frontier would not be well served. He brought his black destrier to an abrupt stop as a robed figure emerged before him in the street. "Where are the rest, boy?" he asked as he drew his broad blade in anticipation of the kill. But the slight man responded, "Go now. These people are under the protection of the Brothers of the Sacred Dragon." The warlord, tired of empty boasts that he’d heard many times before, spurred forward to cut down the impudent peasant. But in a burst of inhuman speed, the robed man cried out "Dragon’s Crush!" and launched himself thirty feet through the air, contacting Sir Gravis on his breastplate with a kick of sufficient strength to shatter bone…

 

The monk is a special warrior-priest who has been taught the arts of unarmed combat. Orders of such monks exist, apart from normal society, where they focus their attention on improving and disciplining their minds and bodies. Instead of praying to the gods for spells, monks learn to harness their inner power, or "chi", which they use to perform superhuman feats. Their mystical study of the martial arts makes monks unique and dangerous opponents in combat.

Monks tend to follow pure philosophies (see the Complete Priest's Handbook for examples) or Powers of philosophy, meditation, or self-control, and strongly tend towards Lawful alignments. Monastic orders are removed from any nearby community and usually value their isolation. These secluded orders have their own, usually intricate, set of restrictions and rituals. Most orders demand a high degree of obedience from the monk, and require some kind of trial or ordeal to advance in the order (and learn more advanced powers). These tests range from philosophical quizzing or trials of fortitude all the way to combat to the death in especially evil orders. Some monks take up a life of wandering outside the cloistered walls of their monasteries, both to learn from the outside world and to bring the monk’s philosophy to it.

The monk uses the Priest XP advancement table, gets 8-sided Hit Dice, and uses the Priest THAC0 and Saving Throws table. Monks also are treated as priests for purposes of learning non-weapon proficiencies. In fact, the monk is a priest in most respects. The two important differences are in their combat style and spell selection. Monks with 16 or above in both Wisdom and Dexterity receive a 10% experience point bonus. Monks progress in skill with level as follows:

 

Level XP Required

Hit Dice (d8)

Number of Attacks

Attack Bonus

Damage Bonus

Armor Class

Chi Powers (by level)

1 0

1

3/2

+1

+1

9

1
2 1,500

2

3/2

+1

+2

9

2
3 3,000

3

3/2

+1

+2

8

2/1
4 6,000

4

2

+1

+2

8

3/2
5 13,000

5

2

+1

+2

7

3/3/1
6 27,500

6

2

+2

+2

7

3/3/2
7 55,000

7

2

+2

+2

6

3/3/2/1
8 110,000

8

5/2

+2

+2

6

3/3/3/2
9 225,000

9

5/2

+2

+2

5

4/4/3/2/1
10 450,000

9+2

5/2

+2

+3

5

4/4/3/3/2
11 675,000

9+4

5/2

+2

+3

4

5/4/4/3/2/1
12 900,000

9+6

3

+2

+3

4

6/5/5/3/2/2
13 1,125,000

9+8

3

+3

+3

3

6/6/6/4/2/2
14 1,350,000

9+10

3

+3

+3

3

6/6/6/5/3/2/1
15 1,575,000

9+12

3

+3

+3

2

6/6/6/6/4/2/1
16 1,800,000

9+14

7/2

+3

+3

2

7/7/7/6/4/3/1
17 2,025,000

9+16

7/2

+3

+3

1

7/7/7/7/5/3/2
18 2,250,000

9+18

7/2

+3

+4

1

8/8/8/8/6/4/2
19 2,475,000

9+20

7/2

+3

+4

0

9/9/8/8/6/4/2
20 2,700,000

9+22

4

+3

+4

0

9/9/9/8/7/5/2

 

Martial Arts

Monks are masters of unarmed combat. They gain skill in the martial arts with level per the chart above. Monk hand attacks cause 1d3 points of damage, and kicks cause 1d4 points. Monks cannot wear anything heavier than normal gloves or shoes, or any kind of armor, and still receive their martial art bonuses. These martial arts mastery bonuses are in addition to any attack or damage bonuses for high Strength. These bonuses only apply of the monk is unarmored, and either unarmed or using the martial arts weapons specified in Oriental Adventures, Combat & Tactics, and Skills & Powers (Bo stick, Chain, Fang, Gunsen, Jitte, Jo Stick, Kau Sin Ke, Kiseru, Lajatang, Nunchaku, Sai, Sang Kauw, Siangkam, Spear, Tetsubo, Three-Piece Rod, Tonfa).

Monk Armor Class improves by one step for every two levels (rounded down) according to the chart above - Dexterity bonuses also apply. These attack, damage, and AC bonuses are to be used in place of the unarmed combat specialization and mastery rules and martial arts styles and talents presented in various other rulebooks (Player’s Handbook, Skills & Powers, Combat & Tactics, Complete Priest's Handbook).

Alternately, you can use the Combat & Tactics mastery rules - at first level, the monk is a specialist in the martial arts. At 5th level he or she becomes a master, at 10th a high master, and at 15th a grand master. This increase in mastery is in addition to the monk’s usual weapon proficiencies. Monks otherwise gain weapon proficiencies as a priest.

Monk unarmed martial arts damage is three-fourths temporary, like normal unarmed combat damage. At fifth level, the monk can choose to deal out fully lethal damage. Due to their martial training, monks can attack opponents barehanded without suffering penalties or provoking attacks of opportunity as per Combat & Tactics. Unarmed martial arts damage is reduced by one-half per size class that the target is larger than the monk (rounded down). For example, a human monk (size M) attacking a hill giant (size H) does only one-quarter normal damage. Note that unarmed combat damage is usually not effective against undead, vegetable, fluid, or inorganic creatures, creatures only hit by magical weapons, or any creatures immune to bludgeoning attacks – though some Chi powers can affect these restrictions.

Monks making use of any strength or dexterity enhancing magic items, or magic items that imitate armor of any sort (e.g. Bracers of Defense), lose the martial arts and AC bonuses from the chart above. Such magics interfere with the complete control of mind and body required to practice the martial arts at their peak. Monks may use magic weapons and any magic item usable by clerics.

But the monk's real strength lies in their study and discipline of their chi, allowing them to use fantastic abilities known as Chi Powers.

 

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