Genjitsu Games

September 28, 2007:
Simplified Gun Skills for Iron Kngdoms
October 10, 2005:
Blades of Purpose Sample Art
April 1, 2005:
Golems & Goldfish
February 26, 2005:
A Flock of Foes Sample Art
November 24, 2004:
Metablades art samples
October 29, 2004:
A Flock of Foes Hallowe'en preview
July 14, 2004:
Alternate multiclassing restrictions
March 15, 2004:
Self-charging staves
February 23, 2004:
Subrace racial levels
January 14, 2004:
Expanded Monk Class
January 9, 2004:
Turning Generalized
November 3, 2003:
Fighter Feat Prerequisites
October 20, 2003:
Artifacts of Martial Magic
October 20, 2003:
Metablade Spells for Arcana Unearthed
October 20, 2003:
Feat Templates
October 3, 2003:
Feat Descriptors
(The following discussion is Open Game Content, ©2003 Nevin Flanagan, based on material from the System Reference Document, Copyright 2000-2003 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich baker, Andy Collins, David noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.)

Monks are pretty damn cool. They're a pretty seriously powerful class depending on who you talk to, and they're cheap to equip, since they don't wear armor and any weapons that they use are typically inexpensive. They get a slew of nifty abilities.

However, they're also pretty cookie-cutter. Every monk gains the same abilities, so one 15th-level monk is pretty much like another. Nearly every other class has some kind of choice to make along the way that gives them some diversity, but not the monk.

Now, the revised edition helped by giving monks a choice in their bonus feats, and Wizards has promised us a supplement soon that gives monks a couple more options, but if that's not enough for you, enjoy the expanded monk!


Alignment: Any lawful.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills

The monk's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge [arcana] (Int), Knowledge [religion] (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points as a 1st-level character: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int Modifier.

Table: The Monk
Level Base Attack Fortitude Reflex Will Special
1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Unarmed combat, bonus feat, flurry of blows -2, martial intuition +0
2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Bonus feat, evasion
3 +2 +3 +3 +3 Still mind, fast movement +10 ft.
4 +3 +4 +4 +4 Ki strike (magic), Slow fall (20 ft.), lesser weapon specialization
5 +3 +4 +4 +4 Flurry of blows -1, purity of body, martial intuition +1
6 +4 +5 +5 +5 Bonus feat, fast movement +20 ft., slow fall (30 ft.)
7 +5 +5 +5 +5 Lesser enlightenment
8 +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Slow fall (40 ft.), weapon specialization
9 +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Fast movement +30 ft., flurry of blows -0, lesser enlightenment
10 +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Ki strike (lawful), martial intuition +2, slow fall (50 ft.)
11 +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Diamond body, greater flurry
12 +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Enlightenment, greater weapon specialization, fast movement +40 ft., slow fall (60 ft.)
13 +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Enlightenment
14 +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Slow fall (70 ft.)
15 +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 Greater enlightenment, martial intuition +3, fast movement +50 ft.
16 +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Ki strike (adamantine), master's weapon specialization, slow fall (80 ft.)
17 +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Timeless body, greater enlightenment
18 +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Slow fall (90 ft.), fast movement +60 ft.
19 +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Major enlightenment
20 +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Perfect self, martial intuition +4, slow fall (any distance), supreme weapon specialization

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All monks are proficient with chain, club, heavy crossbow, dagger, glaive, handaxe, kama, light crossbow, heavy crossbow, javelin, nunchaku, quarterstaff, shuriken, siangham, and sling.

Monks gain proficiency with no armor or shields. Additionally, the class features martial intuition, flurry of blows, and fast movement do not function for a monk who is wearing any armor. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried.

Unarmed Combat (Ex): All monks gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat and thus do not provoke attacks of opportunity from armed opponents that they attack. Also, a monk's unarmed attacks deal 1d6 points of normal damage, although the monk can choose to deal nonlethal damage without the standard -4 penalty to attack (small monks deal 1d4 damage with their unarmed strikes, and large monks deal 1d8). A monk can make an unarmed strike using any part of her body; she can make unarmed strikes even with her hands full, and applies her full Strength bonus to all attacks.

A monk's unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Monk. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus x 1-1/2 or x1/2) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The monk can't use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.

In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

When a monk reaches 11th level, her flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a monk may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Martial Intuition (Ex): A monk wearing no armor gains an insight bonus to his AC equal to his martial intuition value, plus his Wisdom bonus (if any). He loses this bonus if carrying a medium or heavy load or a shield. The monk's martial intuition increases as he gains levels.

An insight bonus to AC applies to both touch AC and flatfooted AC.

Evasion (Ex): If a monk of 2nd level or higher makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the monk instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if the monk not helpless and is wearing light armor or no armor. It is an extraordinary ability.

Still Mind (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains a +2 bonus to saving throws against spells and effects from the Enchantment school.

Fast Movement (Su): At 3rd level, a monk gains an enhancement bonus to her speed equal to 10 ft. per three levels attained as a monk. She loses this bonus when wearing armor or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a monk's unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character's monk level. At 10th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. At 16th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

Slow Fall (Ex): At 4th level or higher, a monk within arm's reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. When first using this ability, she takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The monk's ability to slow her fall (that is, to reduce the effective distance of the fall when next to a wall) improves with her monk level until at 20th level she can use a nearby wall to slow her descent and fall any distance without harm.

Lesser Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 4th level, the monk selects one weapon with which he can make a flurry of blows, which can be his unarmed strikes or a manufactured weapon. The monk gains a +1 competence bonus to damage on all attacks made with that weapon.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases.

Lesser Enlightenment: At 7th level, the monk begins to achieve a supernatural level of self-mastery. She chooses any one of the following abilities. At 9th level, she chooses a second such ability.

  • Ear for Truth (Ex): The monk gains an insight bonus equal to his level to all Sense Motive checks opposing another's Bluff check.
  • Improved Evasion (Ex): The monk's evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

  • Smite Chaos (Su): The monk's discipline and drive allow her to attempt to smite chaos once per day. She adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per monk level. If the monk accidentally smites a creature that does not have a chaotic alignment or the chaotic subtype, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.

  • Turn Undead (Su): The monk's studies of the esoteric allow him to repel creatures of the other world. The monk's turning affects undead creatures and the the key ability for a monk's turning attempts is Intelligence. The monk can attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 1 + his Wisdom bonus (if any) with a turning bonus equal to one-half his monk level. Rather than presenting a holy symbol, the monk makes hand gestures that aid concentration and recites sutras of protection, so that a monk's turning has verbal and somatic components. Monks never rebuke or command undead.

  • Wholeness of Body (Su): The monk's mastery of her body allows her to cure her own wounds. She can cure up to twice her monk level in hit points each day, and she can spread this healing out among several uses. Wholeness of body is a supernatural ability.

  • Feat: A monk may gain a feat in place of a lesser enlightenment.

Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 8th level, the monk's damage bonus with the weapon he chose for lesser weapon specialization increases to +2.

Diamond Body (Su): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poison of all kinds.

Enlightenment: At 12th and 13th levels, the monk's self-mastery increases to grant him a more powerful ability. He can choose any of the following.

  • Abundant Step (Su): The monk can slip magically between spaces, per the spell dimension door, once per day. This is a spell-like ability, and the monk's effective casting level is one-half her monk level (rounded down).
  • Diamond Soul (Ex): The monk gains spell resistance equal to her current monk level + 10. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk's spell resistance.
  • Improved Flurry of Blows (Ex): When making a flurry of blows, the monk may make one additional attack, albeit at a -5 penalty.
  • Protection from Chaos (Su): The monk becomes permanently warded against the powers of chaos. She gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC against attacks made by creatures with a chaotic alignment or the chaotic subtype and a +2 resistance bonus to saves against spells and effects created by such creatures. She resists any attempt to possess or otherwise exercise mental control over her as if she had a spell resistance of 20 + her Charisma modifier. Extraplanar creatures cannot touch her unless they have the lawful subtype, so that any touch attacks or attacks with natural weapons that they make against her fail and they typically recoil from the attempt to touch her. If such a creature has spell resistance, the monk must succeed at a monk level check (1d20 + monk level) to prevent it from touching her. If the monk attacks or forces herself against an extraplanar creature, that creature can touch her freely for the next twenty-four hours.
  • Pulse Fist (Su): The monk can project his chi beyond his body, so that his unarmed strike creates a ranged attack. As a full-round action, the monk can create a bolt of force that strikes with a range increment of 10 ft. and deals 1d6 points of bludgeoning force damage. Once the monk reaches 16th level, this becomes a standard action. Small monks deal 1d4 damage, and Large monks deal 1d8 damage. Like any ranged attack, this provokes an attack of opportunity.
  • Skill Mastery (Ex): The monk selects a number of monk class skills equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier. The monk can hereafter take 10 when using those skills, even if stress or distractions would normally prevent him from doing so. This enlightenment can be selected more than once, choosing different skills each time.
  • Lesser Enlightenment: The monk can gain any lesser enlightenment in place of an enlightenment.

Greater Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 12th level, the monk's damage bonus with the weapon he chose for lesser weapon specialization increases to +4.

Greater Enlightenment: At 15th and 17th levels, the monk gains a superior miraculous ability, chosen from any of the following.

  • Awestriking Gaze (Su): The monk's glance is so filled with force that it robs people of their will to act. As a standard action, the monk may make a gaze attack against all before him; those who meet his eye must make a Will save (DC = 10 + one-half his level + his Charisma modifier). Those who succeed are unaffected. Those who fail whose hit dice are more than half the monk's are effectively entangled for one round per level of the monk, although they may move up to one-half their normal speed. Those with fewer hit dice are held for up to one round per level of the monk, although they may save every round thereafter to be entangled instead. The monk may attempt this ability up to three times per day.
  • Chakra Alignment (Su): The monk learns to extend his chi beyond his body, correcting faults and abberations in the flow of chi through another's body, speeding the healing of wounds and other conditions that distort the body's chi. The monk can heal a number of hit points by touch each day equal to twice his level, spread out among a number of uses. Each use is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity for both the monk and the recipient touched. Alternatively, the monk can heal one point of ability damage as if healing three hit points, remove one negative level as if healing four hit points, or give the recipient a bonus on their next saving throw against a poison or disease that already affects them as if healing a number of hit points equal to the bonus granted. The monk cannot use chakra alignment on himself unless he also has the wholeness of body enlightenment.
  • Iron Shirt (Ex): The monk's discipline has toughened and fortified her body. She gains damage reduction 3/-. This overlaps (does not stack) with the damage reduction gained from perfect self; a 20th-level monk reduces all damage taken from weapons that have a magic enhancement bonus by 3, and all other physical damage is reduced by 10.
  • Quivering Palm (Su): The monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. She can use this quivering palm attack once a week, and she must announce her intent before making her attack roll. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully 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 her monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the monk's level + the monk's Wis 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.
  • Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): The monk can speak with any language-using creature.
  • True Seeing (Su): The monk ignores magical darkness, as well as any magical illusion that disguises or conceals, and perceives the true forms of things that have hade their forms changed by magic, as if under the effects of a true seeing spell.
  • Enlightenment: The monk can gain any enlightenment or lesser enlightenment (but not a feat) in place of a greater enlightenment.

Master's Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 16th level, the monk's damage bonus with the weapon he chose for lesser weapon specialization increases to +6.

Timeless Body (Ex): After achieving 17th level, a monk no longer suffers ability penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. (Any penalties she may have already suffered remain in place.) Bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when her time is up.

Major Enlightenment: At 19th level, the monk awakens an ability beyond mortality. This phenomenal ability can be any of the following.

  • Empty Body (Su): The monk can assume an ethereal state for 1 round per level per day, per the spell etherealness. The monk may go ethereal on a number of different occasions during any single day as long as the total number of rounds spent ethereal does not exceed her level.
  • Perfect Flurry (Ex): When making a flurry of blows, the monk may choose to make it as a perfect flurry. When making a perfect flurry, all the monk's attacks are made with his full base attack bonus. After the perfect flurry, the monk becomes fatigued (-2 to Strength and Dexterity, can't run or charge); a monk who is already fatigued becomes exhausted (-6 to Strength and Dexterity, can run or charge, moves at half speed). A monk who is already exhausted can't make a perfect flurry. A monk with a Constitution of 17 or higher can make one perfect flurry per day without becoming fatigued.
  • Restore Self (Sp): The monk can use heal on herself once per day as a spell-like ability, as a 15th-level caster. This is a full-round action requiring concentration that provokes an attack of opportunity.
  • Enlightenment: The monk can gain any enlightenment or greater enlightenment (but not a lesser enlightenment or feat) in place of a major enlightenment.

Supreme Weapon Specialization (Ex): The monk masters his chosen form of attack, increasing his competence bonus to damage with the weapon he chose for lesser weapon specialization to +8.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, the monk transcends her mortality and becomes a magical creature. Her type permanently changes to monstrous humanoid, and she gains the lawful subtype, so that she may be affected by protection from law or a magic circle against law. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/magic, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonmagical weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn't have similar damage reduction.


A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk but retains all monk abilities.

Like a member of any other class, a monk may be a multiclass character, but multiclass monks face a special restriction. A monk who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her monk level, though she retains all her monk abilities.

I should note that for the perfect self ability, I had the monk become a monstrous humanoid instead of an outsider. I don't really like outsiders; I think that the various subtypes like "extraplanar" and the alignment types make the type redundant. If you use them consistently in your game, just change that entry back to "native outsider" and you should be good to go.