View Full Version : The Transcendent Monk

2007-01-02, 09:11 PM
So here is the beginnings of my take on the monk; he’s designed to be the butt-kicking existentialist philosopher of the game world. The idea is to leave him comparatively weak when it comes to damage, attacking and armor class, but give him very strong anti-magic powers. So he can balance the tired “wizard vs. fighter” argument by making it a rock-paper-scissors argument.
Take or leave the fluff as you will, but please critique and help balance the crunch. Mainly the special “transendal” abilities.

The Transcendent Monk- Rough Draft
The accepted understanding of the prime material universe is that it is of a physical and logical essence; the plane of the mundane is the residence of the bow, sword and armor. On the very fringes of the mundane are the magical, those who shape the mundane in illogical ways through divine epiphany or arcane obscura. But behind the plane of the mundane, and transcending the realm of divine and arcane magic, lies the realm of the transcendal; those who dedicate their lives to the most basic, alien and beautiful of all planes come to enter a transcendent power unlike any other.
Spending their lives in contemplation of the quasi-existent root of all things, Transcendent Monks slowly, painfully and mainly independently reach a primal “understanding” of the universe unique from logic, science or religion.

Adventures: Quite often, transcendent monks do not adventure at all, and prefer to isolate themselves from the world in order to better understand that which lies beyond. Other monks introspectively see their physical accomplishment as a method of better understanding the transcendal plane, and remain aloof from the world while nonetheless impacting it with their power. Still other monks are motivated by the common traits of worldly inspiration and ambition, and find nothing against using their philosophy of the transcendal for mundane uses.
Alignment: The philosophy of the transcendal is divorced from an individual’s motivation; the power a transcendent monk gains may be used towards whatever ends he sees fit.

Religion: Due to their alignment and familiarity with forces more essential and powerful than divine gods, most transcendent monks see religion as unnecessary or ignorant. Still, monks have been known to see the transcendal as another aspect of a divine religion, or to worship divine gods in order to reach greater familiarity with the transcendal.
Background: The very concept of the transcendal is alien from most common knowledge; most monastic orders keep themselves isolated from the rest of the world. Most transcendent monks are those who have stumbled upon monasteries accidentally and could not pull themselves away from the power promised within. There are some evangelical or politically-active monasteries throughout the world, and sometimes the public becomes aware of the monks when a monastery is displaced through warfare or natural forces. On a very rare occasion, a being may be born with the potential to follow the path of a transcendent monk with total independence, but the vast majority of monks must be pointed in the right direction before they may advance on their own.
Races: All races may become transcendent monks; gnomes, elves and dwarves oftentimes have the lifespan to better dedicate themselves to the path of the monk, but humans and halflings can make up for their short lives with an inherent ambition and brightness. Oftentimes, humans and halflings can drastically extend their life spans through transcendent contemplation. Most monastic orders fail to see any differences in a race’s potential to be transcendent, and so it is possible to find kobolds, dragons, goblins, orcs, or any other race walking the path of the monk.
Classes: Many monks only discover the transcendent path after years of other training; wizards, clerics, bards, warriors or rogues can all retire into a monastic life, or use monastic teaching to further their causes. As such, most monks have no prejudice against any other class. Many do feel special affinities for bards, whom they see as reaching a qausi-transcendent power through arts and music.
Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Forgery, Escape Artist, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana, Religion, The Planes), Perform, Speak Language, Swim, Tumble
Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + INT modifier) x 4
Skill Points per level: 4 + INT modifier)
Monk skills are primarily related to their contemplation through physical exercise or through the study of ancient knowledge. Many monks hold great respect for music or the arts, and learn perform or craft as a way to attempt projection of the transcendal through mundane means.
Base Attack Bonus: ¾’s
Hit Die: d6
Saving Throws: Through contemplation, Transcendent Monks become increasingly not-of-the-world, and therefore they gain full advancement for all saving throws.
Proficiencies: Transcendent monks are proficient with light armor, all simple weapons, and special monk weapons.

Special Abilities:
Monks gain the feat Improved Unarmed Strike at first level.
Monks gain the Flurry of Blows ability as outlined in the Player’s Hand Book.
At every level, a Transcendent Monk may select a single Transcendal Ability, provided that they meet the prerequisites.
List of Transcendal Abilities:
These are beyond rough drafts and all need to be play tested thoroughly. Veeryy open to suggestions.

Alignment With Time: A monk adds his Wisdom bonus and Charisma bonus to his initiative checks.
Alignment With Energy: A monk is immune to level drain. If a monk would be damaged with negative energy, he instead heals that damage. A monk cannot gain more hit points than his normal maximum. If a monk would be damaged with a form of elemental energy that he is immune to via the Oneness With Elements ability, then he instead heals that damage.
Ignore Gravity: A monk may cast Featherfall at will as a supernatural ability. Furthermore, a monk may substitute any move with an attempt to perfectly fly through the air. The total distance floated is equal to his Concentration check (in feet, rounded down to the nearest five), and may not exceed the distance he would have been able to move through mundane means. Attempting to fly provokes an attack of opportunity unless the monk subtracts 15 from his Concentration check. If a monk takes damage while flying, then he subtracts the amount of damage taken from his Concentration check. If his Concentration check is ever negative, he falls to the ground (he may use his Feather Fall ability or Tumble skill to reduce the damage taken).
Ignore the Mundane’s Bonds: A monk is subject to a continual Freedom of Movement affect as long as he has no armor check penalty.
Ignore The Mundane’s Limits: (Prerequisite: Ignore Gravity, Ignore the Mundane’s Bonds) A monk may, as a move-equivalent action, travel a distance through the air equal to 5 feet times his Jump check. Alternately, he may travel an equal distance through the water with a Swim check. In any case, he must travel in a straight line. This ability counts as a charge. A monk is fully subject to falling damage, although he may use his Tumble skill or his Ignore Gravity ability to reduce this flaw. This ability only functions if the monk has no armor check penalty.
Meta-Physical Blow: A monk’s unarmed attacks magical energy. This ability must be announced before an attack; any successful attack deals no damage, but the hit object is subject to a dispel effect. In this case, the monk’s dispel check is equal to 1d20 plus his monk level, with no maximum.
Meta-Physical Defense: A monk gains spell resistance equal to his Charisma plus his level.
Metallic Affinity: A monk’s fists count as being made from adamantine, cold iron, silver or any other metal for purposes of sundering and overcoming damage reduction.
Oneness With Elements: A monk may pick a single form of elemental energy (fire/ ice/ electricity/ acid/ sonic/ etc.). The monk is immune to all energy damage from that element. If he chooses, any of a monk’s unarmed attacks can be energy attacks of the selected element.
Oneness With Alternate Reality: A monk’s unarmed attacks have ghost touch. A monk may become etheral for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier each hour.
Oneness With Death: A monk is immune to all death affects. A monk may speak with the dead at will, as the cleric spell.
Oneness With Thought: A monk may communicate telepathically with any living creature and make untrained Handle Animal checks.
Oneness With Time: (Prerequisite: Alignment With Time, Perfect Health) A monk always wins initiative. A monk does not loose physical abilities due to aging, and appears as old as he desires. Any abilities lost due to natural aging are regained. A monk cannot die due to natural causes. A monk is immune to any kind of Time Stop effect.
Perfect Health: A monk is immune to all diseases and poisons. He naturally heals at rate of his inherent Constitution bonus multiplied by normal. (Total Amount Healed = (Normal Amount) x (Inherent Con Bonus) ) This ability cannot result in him healing slower than normal.
Physical Prescience: A monk cannot be flanked and is immune to critical hits.
Shrug the World: Whenever a monk fails a saving throw, he may attempt the saving throw again 1 round later. He only gets one extra attempt per effect.
Strike of Charisma: A monk receives his charisma bonus to attack and damage with unarmed attacks.
Strike of Intelligence: A monk receives his intelligence bonus to attack and damage with unarmed attacks.
Strike of Wisdom: A monk receives his wisdom bonus to attack and damage with unarmed attacks.

The heart of the class is the abilities, which obviously are what need work. I think that they need to be linked together in "trees" or given prerequisites to keep the really powerful ones from being gained at low levels, and a bunch more need to be thought up for the sake of flexibility. In general, the abilities should help the monk against magical affects, but shouldn't allow him to do very well against fighter types. I think that there should also be some killer "transcendence" abilities with super-heavy prerequisites, but I don't know what they could be.

Any help or criticism here is greatly appreciated. :smallcool:

2007-01-03, 07:56 AM
I CAN BE NEO!!!!!!!!!!!!
:smallsmile: :smallsmile: :smallsmile: :smallsmile: :smallsmile: :smallsmile: :smallsmile: :smallsmile:
He can fly! Hecan fly! He can fly!!!!!!!!

So, we have no levels on the abilities? I think he should get a tounges ability

Lord Iames Osari
2007-01-03, 08:34 AM
What is the point of making the monk immune to Time Stop? Time Stop is an indirect buff spell with a range of personal.

2007-01-03, 09:08 AM
You sure you wanna give 'em these abilities every level? At 1st and then every even level, like fighter bonus feats, seems a bit more fair. These are pretty powerful abilities. At third level, a Monk could have Strike of Charisma, Strike of Intelligence, and Strike of Wisdom. With any decent ability scores and Flurry of Blows, that's ridiculously lethal.

Yeah, these abilities seem _way_ too powerful to get every level. Especially with the uber saving throws a monk already gets.

Anyway, other than the possibility of it being overpowered, I'm glad to see a monk-like class without alignment pre-reqs. I hate alignment pre-reqs. I'm actually working on a Prestige Class which is an unarmed fighter and, unlike those blasted monks, doesn't have to be lawful. I'll post it later for critique. Still working out some kinks; I'm having the same trouble you are with making things a bit too powerful.

(By the way, if anything I say on these forums is stupid, ignore it and hit me until I wake up. I'm still _very_ new to D&D. I'd heard about it a long time ago and I understood the basic rules, but I'd never played until a few weeks, when I joined Eighth Seraph's new Pseudelity campaign.)

EDIT: LIO, what I think Begle1 means by that is that anyone who casts Time Stop to, in effect, freeze surrounding people doesn't freeze a Transcendent Monk with Oneness with Time. He moves at the same speed as the caster of Time Stop. The problem is that it's strange for RP reasons. It implies that the Monk increased his speed to keep up with the caster, which begs the question of why he can't do that normally. Oh, and by the way, Oneness with Time also creates an infinitely powerful progression of doom. It says nothing about a monk not being aged by time-affecting spells, yet it says that he loses no physical abilities to aging. Couldn't someone just keep aging him through time, then, so that he gains more and more mental attributes while never losing physical attributes?

EDIT (x2): Just saw that it's d6. You're a step closer to balancing it. ^_^ The 3/4 BAB is good too, but that's basically countered by the uber saving throws and Flurry of Blows.