View Full Version : [3.5] Monks as a prestige class

2012-02-10, 01:27 AM
So Monks have a lot of cool abilities spread through all it's levels, which could probably be condensed into probably 10 levels in a prestige class. It deserves prestige class status because, just like in real life, it takes a long time to be a monk and it's not something you likely started your life as such as maybe a sorcerer, rogue, etc. The problem is I don't quite know where to begin so I was wondering if the wonderful people of the playground would help a brotha out!

2012-02-10, 01:36 AM
Prerequisites are important. Do you want to start letting the character be a monk at 6th level? At 8th? You need to adjust your prerequisites so no one can get in before the level you want them to come in.

Improved Unarmed Strike would obviously be the primary prerequisite, since training as a monk would require just that, some unarmed training.

Knowledge (Religion) is another good one, probably about 2+Level you want them to join ranks of Knowledge Religion (So if you want them to start at 6th, you should make Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks a prerequisite)

Evasion would be another useful prerequisite.

Lawful alignment, of course.

Now, for actual class features...Instead of granting Unarmed Damage progression, you could just go ahead and give them Superior Unarmed Strike (Tome of Battle) as a bonus feat. That would help the damage scale a little more linearly, and end with a very respectful 2d6 at 20th.

Features you should keep: Flurry of Blows, Improved Evasion, Abundant Step, Empty Body, Diamond Soul.

Features you should toss out: Bonus feats, Perfect Self, Wholeness of Body, Slow Fall.

2012-02-10, 03:28 AM
Maybe something like this (WIP):

The Prestige Monk

Alignment: Any Lawful
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Skills: 4 ranks in Balance, 4 ranks in Tumble, 8 ranks in Knowledge (Religion)
Special: Evasion
Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike

Prestige Monk

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|FoB Attack Modifier|AC Bonus|Unarmed Damage|Unarmored Speed Bonus

+2|Flurry of Blows, Fast Movement, AC Bonus|2|+1|1d6|+10 ft.

+3||2|+1|1d6|+20 ft.

+3|Uncanny Dodge|-2|+1|2d6|+20 ft.

+4|Improved Evasion|-1|+2|2d6|+30 ft.

+4||-1/-1|+2|3d6|+30 ft.

+5|Abundant Step|-1/-1|+2|3d6|+40 ft.

+5|Diamond Soul|-0/-0|+3|4d6|+40 ft.

+6|Improved Uncanny Dodge|-0/-0|+3|4d6|+50 ft.

+6|Empty Body|-0/-0|+3|5d6|+50 ft.

+7||-0/-0/-0|+4|5d6|+60 ft.

Maybe we can use this as a basis for further improvement and fleshing out?

2012-02-10, 10:51 PM
Maybe you should ditch the concentration requeriments, otherwise only clerics with rogue levels will qualiffy for the class, perhaps if you ask for something more akin to monks abilities (like balance or thumble) and lessen the requeriments to six ranks in multiple abilities so rogues and fighters also get a chance to qualiffy before they reach 11th level?

I also noticed tenth and fifth levels feel empty, perhaps there is room for Quivering Palm, Timeless Body and Perfect Self?

2012-02-12, 02:14 AM
5th isn't so bad -- there's an extra flurry and an unarmed damage increase. 2nd is pretty empty.

There may be something possible with feats. Monks should have a bunch. Hmm...

At 2nd and 5th levels you learn a combat style. A combat style has a single prerequisite feat and two feats that you gain when you learn it. You must know at least two prerequisite feats to enter the class.

The styles would be based on the "monk fighting styles" in unearthed arcana (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#monkVariantFightingSty les), where the "level 1 feat" is the prerequisite and the other two feats are the benefit. We could add a few alternate styles as well.

Having it at 2nd and 5th puts a pretty good thing (two feats) at 2nd and a moderately good thing (your second choice of two feats) at 5th.

An added class prerequisite of "two of Improved Grapple, Stunning Fist, Dodge, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Combat Expertise, Weapon Finesse, or Toughness" seems reasonably appropriate, and not too hard to meet.

2012-02-12, 05:39 PM
I don't think the issue with the monk features is necessarily that they're to spread out; I think it's that two many of them are not nearly as useful as they appear at first glance.

I can understand the idea of a monk prestige class, but I still think you are going to need to redesign some of the core abilities. One thing that lots of people like to do is take the ki-strike feature, and expand the uses for ki-charges, like the ninja (but hopefully, less sucky).

Alternatively, keep a relatively simply 20-level core class, and make several different 3 or 5-level prestige classes to represent different training or fighting styles.
Essentially, you make a 20 level monk class with most the basic stuff in the first few levels (and just upgrades after that) with the expectation that no one would actually stick out a full 20 levels.
Make 5-level prestige classes for different styles (like Iron Body for defense, etc) and 3-level prestige classes for specific techniques; something like Raging Dragon Fist that gives you a special attack at level 1, and improves it twice.

2012-02-14, 03:41 AM
Thanks to all of you for your help and great ideas :)