View Full Version : Monk Modification (Not sure I'd really call it a fix)

2013-07-05, 12:38 AM
Hello all. I've once again been indulging in my hobby of tinkering with 3rd edition. Today I've decided to post my modifications to the monk for a little peer review. Before posting any feedback, there are some rules that are to be assumed in the use of this modification.

House Rules

The Maximum Ranks, Limited Choices (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/buildingCharacters/alternativeSkillSystems.htm#maximumRanksLimitedCho ices) skill variant from Unearthed Arcana
A Full Attack may be combined with a move action that propels a character no more than half their base speed.
Characters wearing armor they are proficient in apply their full dexterity bonus to armor class, suffer no armor check penalty to skills, and may move at their full speed.
The Pathfinder rules regarding overcoming damage reduction are in use.
Characters apply their full strength bonus to off-hand damage.
Enhancements to a weapon's critical range stack.
The dodge feat grants a +1 dodge bonus to armor class
The toughness feat grants +3 hp +1/HD.
The improved critical feat increases a weapon's critical multiplier by one.
New Feat
Choose one type of weapon with which you are proficient. You may attack more frequently with this weapon.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, Base Attack Bonus +1.
Benefit: Whenever you attack with the chosen weapon, you may make an extra attack at your highest attack bonus
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.
A fighter may select Weapon Expertise as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Finally; this is not set in stone, but I am considering making two-weapon fighting work as it did in AD&D 2nd Edition.

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).
Skills Known: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Monk
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Unarmed Damage|AC Bonus|Speed Bonus
1st|+0|+2|+2|+2|Bonus feat, martial arts expertise, unarmed strike|1d6|+0|+0 ft.
2nd|+1|+3|+3|+3|Bonus feat, evasion|1d6|+0|+0 ft.
3rd|+2|+3|+3|+3|Still mind|1d6|+0|+10 ft.
4th|+3|+4|+4|+4|Ki strike, slow fall 20 ft.|1d8|+0|+10 ft.
5th|+3|+4|+4|+4|Purity of body|1d8|+1|+10 ft.
6th|+4|+5|+5|+5|Bonus feat, slow fall 30 ft.|1d8|+1|+20 ft.
7th|+5|+5|+5|+5|Wholeness of body|1d8|+1|+20 ft.
8th|+6/+1|+6|+6|+6|Slow fall 40 ft.|1d10|+1|+20 ft.
9th|+6/+1|+6|+6|+6|Improved evasion|1d10|+1|+30 ft.
10th|+7/+2|+7|+7|+7|Slow fall 50 ft.|1d10|+2|+30 ft.
11th|+8/+3|+7|+7|+7|Diamond body|1d10|+2|+30 ft.
12th|+9/+4|+8|+8|+8|Abundant step, slow fall 60 ft.|2d6|+2|+40 ft.
13th|+9/+4|+8|+8|+8|Diamond soul|2d6|+2|+40 ft.
14th|+10/+5|+9|+9|+9|Slow fall 70 ft.|2d6|+2|+40 ft.
15th|+11/+6/+1|+9|+9|+9|Quivering palm|2d6|+3|+50 ft.
16th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10|Slow fall 80 ft.|2d8|+3|+50 ft.
17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10|Timeless body, tongue of the sun and moon|2d8|+3|+50 ft.
18th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+11|+11|Slow fall 90 ft.|2d8|+3|+60 ft.
19th|+14/+9/+4|+11|+11|+11|Empty body|2d8|+3|+60 ft.
20th|+15/+10/+5|+12|+12|+12|Perfect self, slow fall any distance|2d10|+4|+60 ft.[/table]

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling.
Monks are proficient with light armor but not with shields.
When using a shield or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement ability.

AC Bonus (Ex): When wearing light or no armor, the monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor heavier than light, when she carries a readied shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Martial Arts Expertise (Ex): A monk gains the weapon expertise feat with unarmed strikes and all special monk weapons.

Unarmed Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.
Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
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.
A monk also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Monk. The unarmed damage on Table: The Monk is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.
Table: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage
{table=head]Level|Damage (Small Monk)|Damage (Large Monk)

Bonus Feat: At 1st, 2nd, and 6th, a monk may select a feat from the following list. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Bonus Feat List: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Improved Trip, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Toughness, Track, Weapon Expertise, Weapon Finesse
Any thoughts on expanding this? Or have I done enough here to give a player more variety in regards to their character's monastic training & culture?

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on Table: The Monk. A monk in armor heavier than light or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.

Ki Strike (Ex): At 4th level, a monk adds their wisdom bonus + ¼ their class level as an enhancement bonus to attack and damage with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons. This bonus allows a monk to overcome damage reduction, just as if it had come from wielding a magical weapon.

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.

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

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, a monk can heal her own wounds. She can heal a number of hit points of damage equal to twice her current monk level each day, and she can spread this healing out among several uses.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a 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.

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

Abundant Step (Sp): At 12th level or higher, as a swift action a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door, once per day. Her caster level for this effect is one-half her monk level (rounded down).

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a 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.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a 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.

Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when her time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A monk of 17th level or higher can speak with any living creature.
Part of me really wants to change this to something else, but I just can't think of a darn thing that I want the monk to be capable of that hasn't already been covered by any of the other abilities.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a monk gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 round per monk level per day, as though using the spell etherealness. She may go ethereal on a number of different occasions during any single day, as long as the total number of rounds spent in an ethereal state does not exceed her monk level.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk becomes a magical creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider with the native subtype rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. 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.

So. Any Thoughts?

2013-07-05, 04:52 PM
So. Any Thoughts?

There's like, four minor changes. That's hardly anything to critique. From what I see, you gave them a choice in bonus feats (good), took away FoB (bad), made their AC bonus worse (bad), and made Ki Strike a good deal better (good). I can't really see what you wanted to do with this. It's barely any better, if not worse. There's no big changes, just a few houserules. You really don't need to run this by us...the effect it has on balance and feel is nonexistent.

2013-07-05, 08:18 PM
He didn't actually take away Flurry of Blows exactly. He created a (confusingly named) feat called Weapon Expertise that replicates Flurry of Blows without the attack bonus penalty, so it's more like he gave everyone Flurry of Blows.

Anyway, I would second the idea that the changes are very minimal, except that I would also note that Weapon Expertise is a "must-take" feat to an exceptional degree, which I really don't like. Combat in your system is going to be hilariously lethal at low levels.

2013-07-06, 12:33 AM
You don't necessarily have to post the parts of the class that you didn't change...

Bonus Feat List: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Improved Trip, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Toughness, Track, Weapon Expertise, Weapon Finesse

I like the bonus feats. I always thought it was kind of dumb that the original monk was so locked in to certain feat choices. Giving them more flexibility at each level is much better than trying to prescribe for them a limited set of binary choices.

Part of me really wants to change this to something else, but I just can't think of a darn thing that I want the monk to be capable of that hasn't already been covered by any of the other abilities.

Honestly, it's just a yawn-worthy ability in general. Wizards can do this at 5th level, while monks have to wait until near-epic level to get it. If you were going to change this ability, I would probably either move it to much earlier on or just get rid of it and make something new, like telepathy or something of that nature. Getting Tongues as a 17th-level ability is almost as insulting as getting greater feather fall as your capstone.

Oh, wait...

2013-07-06, 12:59 AM
This is part of a much larger project, one goal of which is to avoid any unexpected rule interactions when I make changes to it. The minimalist changes are a means to that end.

I was intending for combat to start lethal and stay that way into the high levels.

Finally, regarding weapon expertise. It's a legacy item from the Combat & Tactics 2nd Edition Supplement. Though it probably is too good. I probably should limit it to being chosen a single time.