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- Sep 2010
Monk Meditations: Part 1 of a Monk Revamp
I am designing a monk for an upcoming game that runs 10 levels, and rather than create a class that is full of static abilities, I created a series of powers that mimic an expand upon established monk abilities. lease critique these powers, as the game is looming soon.
Ki maneuvers are special effects that are generated by the Monk through exacting preparation and meditation. Though these effects may seem, to the untrained eye, to be little more than one-time manifestations of arcane or divine power, nothing could be further from the truth.
Ki is an energy form that encompasses all the elements of life, a living current that runs through all things and touches upon all power. In most people, this energy is inert. However, a rare few have mastered their Ki and channel it to perform amazing feats akin to magic. Unlike Arcane and Divine powers, which rely upon an outside force to empower these effects, Ki is an internal energy that is channeled into certain Patterns to manifest effects. These patterns have both passive and active utility: one Ki-pattern may grant the monk accelerated healing in its passive state, while healing the monk of a substantial amount of health when activated; another Ki effect wreaths the monks hands in flames when set in its passive state, and creates a fiery explosion when activated.
The Passive state of any Ki-Pattern is called a Meditation. Meditations provide effects that are either constantly active or can be activated with a thought. The Active State of a Ki-Pattern is called a Manifestation. Manifestations unbalance the users Ki, ending a Meditation to bring about a more potent effect. Most effects generated by a Manifestation are of instantaneous duration.
Each body can only channel so much Ki-energy. This is represented by the number of Ki-Points possessed by the character. Meditations are set into these Ki-Points, becoming more powerful the more Ki-Points are assigned to the Meditation. A meditation may only be empowered by Monk level/2 rounded up Ki-Points.
A monk must concentrate to assign a Ki-Power to a slot. This requires 1 minute of concentration per Ki-Slot assigned to the power. A monk may also re-assign his Ki-Meditations by concentrating for 5 minutes to remove all his Ki-Points.
Once a Manifestation is activated, the linked Meditation immediately ends. The slots committed to that Meditation are no longer available until the monk has rested for at least 4 hours.
Whenever a Manifestation requires a Saving Throw, the DC is (10 + ˝ Monk level + Wisdom Modifier)
Only 1 manifestation may be activated each round (though multiple meditations can be active in any round.)
A meditation may only be prepared once.
Shaping ki into potent elemental manifestations, these maneuvers seem to be more akin to arcane power than most.
Effect: Your eyes bleed streamers of flame as you gain the ability to perceive the life-heat of those around you. While this Meditation remains active, you gain Darkvision out to (10 x Ki) feet and gain a +1 bonus to Spot rolls against living creatures per Ki-Point invested.
Your eyes become fiery pits filled with a searing light that drains your for of health and strength alike.
You may expend this meditation as a standard action to make a Ranged touch attack against any foe within 30 feet. On a successful attack, the foe takes 1d6 points of fire damage per slot invested and must make a Fortitude Save or become fatigued. A successful save negates the fatigue effect.
Effect: Fiery energy fills your body as sparking flames dance around your extremities. Each Ki-Point assigned to this attack adds 1 point of Fire Damage to your unarmed or style weapon attacks.
[I]Your body seems to lose color as a fierce light is concentrated into your fist. When you strike your opponent a burst of flame is carried through your attack...and your foe.[I]
When you strike with an unarmed or style weapon attack, you may activate this manifestation as a swift action to add 1d8/Ki fire damage to your weapon damage. This energy passes in a straight line through your opponent and emerges on your foes far side as a 15 foot cone of flame inflicting 1d4/Ki points of fire damage to all within the area of effect. A Reflex save halves the damage inflicted by the cone.
Effect: You gain +1 bonus/Ki to grapple checks and you can choose to inflict Cold Damage equal to your normal unarmed strike while grappling your opponent.
Icy Ki radiates from you as you crush an opponent in a fierce grapple, draining their strength away.
While controlling a grapple check, you may activate this power to inflict 1d4/Ki points of cold damage to your opponent. Additionally, for every 4 points of damage inflicted, the opponent takes 1 point of ability damage divided between Strength, Dexterity and Constitution as you wish. A successful Fortitude Save reduces the damage by ˝.
Effect: A layer of glistening frost forms over your weapon, imbuing it with a terrible chill. Whenever you land a critical hit on an opponent, they are Slowed for 1 round/Ki.
In the instant before you strike, layer upon layer of frost forms over your weapon, shattering into your opponent.
Upon landing a melee attack, you may activate this ability to increase your weapons Size by 1/Ki size categories for the purpose of inflicting damage with that attack. If you have the ability to make multiple attacks in a round, you may make them with this enlarged weapon without penalty. At the end of your round, your Frost Coating vanishes in a brief cloud of steam.
Effect: Your ki manifests as swift winds that lash out at your whim. Your melee attacks gain 5/Ki feet of reach while this meditation remains active. Whatever type of damage your attacks inflict naturally, attacks enhanced with Zephyr’s Hand inflict slashing damage.
Your Zephyrs Hand can be used to perform acts of fine manipulation at a distance (such as picking a lock or pulling a small object towards you), though you may only move 2 pounds per point of ki invested and increase the DC of any skill checks attempted in this way by 5.
You may activate or suppress this ability as a free action.
With a touch your servitor winds catapult an opponent through the air.
You may expend this meditation as a standard action to make a melee touch attack against an opponent. On a successful attack, your opponent is lifted 10/Ki-Points feet and harshly dropped at that peak, taking normal falling damage. The opponent must make a Fortitude save or be Stunned for 1 round upon landing.
While this power is active, you may shift your opponent 5/Ki feet in any direction as they fall.
Effect: You wrap stormy ki-energy about you like a cloak, harnessing the winds to bear you up off the ground. While this meditation is active, you gain the ability to levitate up to 5 feet off the ground per point of Ki invested in this power. Levitating in this way requires a swift action to gain altitude an a separate move action for horizontal motion (up to the character‘s normal ground speed). Once the desired altitude is gained, the character may maintain that altitude by spending a swift action to do so. A character using this meditation cannot hustle or run while airborne.
As an additional effect, the character treats fall as if they were 10 feet shorter per point of ki invested in this power.
Lightning swirls about you as you unleash your stormy ki.
You may end this meditation as a standard action to create a 10 foot burst of lightning and tearing winds, centered on yourself. Opponents caught in this effect take 1d4 points of slashing damage per point of Ki invested in this power. Additionally, any foe who takes damage from this attack is Stunned for 1 round per 4 points of damage inflicted by this attack.
A successful Fortitude save halves the damage inflicted.
Strength of Steel
Effect: Your skin hardens and takes on the luster of steel, capable of deflecting all but the most determined assault. You gain DR 1/- per Ki-Point assigned to this meditation.
For an instant you skin transforms into crystalline adamant, invulnerable to all but the most determined assault.
You may end this Meditation as a Swift action to multiply your Strength of Steel Damage Reduction by 5. This increased damage reduction lasts until the end of your turn.
Effect: Drawing upon the earth for power, you fortify your muscles with ki energy. While this Meditation is active, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus to your Strength per Ki-Point assigned to this power. You lose this benefit if your feet stop touching solid ground, though you regain it once your feet touch solid ground once more.
With a roar you channel earthen Ki-Energy into a furious charge attack, tramping your foes with the greatest of ease.
As a standard action you may end this meditation to make a charge attack. Any foe you hit with this charge attack must make a Fortitude save or be trampled, taking 1d10/Ki points of bludgeoning damage as you knock the opponent prone and trample over them. Opponents who succeed on their saves take normal damage from a charge attack but are not knocked prone or trampled.
This trample attack does trigger an attack of opportunity, but an opponent who takes that attack automatically fails his Fortitude save.
Effect: You surround yourself with an aura of scintillating Ki, a chaotic swirl of energy encompassing all elemental manifestations. When an opponent strikes you in melee combat or inflicts damage during a grapple, they take 1/Ki damage. This damage is untyped, and thus cannot be circumvented by energy resistance or damage resistance.
You turn harmful elemental energies upon those who released them, shielding yourself from the worst of harm.
When you are struck by an attack or environmental effect inflicting damage with the Fire, Cold, Electrical or Sonic descriptors you may end this meditation as a swift action to reduce that damage by (5 x Ki-Points). Additionally, should you have an attack of opportunity available, you may trigger that attack against any foe within 60 feet. On a successful ranged touch attack, your opponent takes damage equal to the damage prevented by this manifestation.
Patterns of Perfection
SpoilerThese meditations represent an unwavering dedication to physical perfection, allowing the monk to perform supernatural feats of athletic ability.
Effect: Swift and certain, your attacks easily bypass even the thickest of armors. While this meditation is active, your attacks bypass 2 points of damage reduction per point of Ki assigned to this power*.
Your attacks strike with almost mechanical precision, crumpling your opponents defenses.
As a swift action you may expend this meditation to negate your opponents Damage Reduction. You then apply their damage reduction as a bonus to the damage inflicted by your attacks.
This effect persists for 1 attack per Ki invested
*The system I am preparing this for uses the Unearth Arcana variant rules for Armor as DR.
Effect: While under the effects of this meditation, your stride seems to blur as you flicker from place to place. You gain a +5 enhancement bonus to speed per Ki-Point invested in this meditation.
With a flash you vanish from your location and appear a short distance away
As a move action you may end this meditation to travel (Speed x 10) feet in any direction. You can bypass barriers up to 5 feet in depth, but automatically end this effect if confronted by a barrier thicker than 5 feet.
Effect: Body and Mind unite in this meditation, granting you protection from supernatural effects. For each point of Ki invested in this Meditation, you gain a +3 bonus to SR.
Your purity of spirit drives harmful effects away from your body
You may end this meditation to cancel the effects of any Spell or Spell-Like ability upon you.
Effect: Suffused with Ki, your body simply denies those forces that would alter it. While this meditation is active, reduce any Ability Damage or Drain you take by the number of Ki-Points invested in this power.
Death has no sway over you.
When reduced to 0 hp, you may end this meditation to heal VP equal to (Ki-Points Invested x 5). No matter the amount of damage inflicted, you are considered Stable after this healing.
Effect: A pattern of Ki-Energy perfects your leaps, allowing you to perform miraculous aerial feats. While this meditation is active, you gain a +3 bonus to Jump checks per point of ki invested in this power.
A soaring leap takes you into the thick of the action, scattering your foes.
You may end this meditation as a standard action to make a charge attack against an opponent. This charge attack differs from a normal charge in three ways. Firstly, the monk is leaping through the air at his opponent, and thus can bypass rough terrain. Secondly, the monk does not trigger an attack of opportunity when making this attack, nor does he suffer a defense penalty for making this attack. Finally, on a successful attack, the opponent takes double damage from the monks blow. All within (Ki x 5 feet) of the monks primary target must make a Reflex Save or take normal weapon damage.
Effect: While this meditation remains active, you gain a +2 bonus to Search and Spot and Listen checks per point of Ki invested in this power.
Your eyes flash silver for a moment as you gain transcendent sight, a perfected vision lasting all too brief a time.
You may end this meditation as a standard action to gain the following benefits:
-Darkvision out to 60 feet
-Tremor Sense out to 30 feet
-The ability to see magic auras out to 10 feet
This effect lasts for 1 round per ki invested in this power.
Effect: Ki runs like a stream through your body, perfecting your form in every conceivable way. While this meditation is active, you gain a +1 bonus to all saves per point of Ki invested.
You radiate perfection, briefly exalting your allies with your rarified Ki power.
You may end this meditation as a Swift action to grant yourself and all allies within 30 feet a bonus to all saves equal to the Ki invested in this power. This effect persists for 1 minute.
Wholeness of Body
Effect: The Ki energy that suffuses your body dramatically accelerates your bodies natural healing ability. You recover 1 hp per ki point invested every minute you remain alive.
For a brief period, your wounds seem to vanish in the same moment they appear.
You may expend this meditation as a swift action to grant yourself Fast Healing equal to the number of Ki points invested in this power.
This effect lasts for 1 minute.
Effect: Ki renders your limbs supple and limber, allowing you to evade even the most precise attacks with the greatest of ease. You increase your Defense by 1 per point of Ki invested in this power.
When a foe makes a critical mistake in attacking you, you deliver a series of awful blows to rebuke the unwary warrior.
If an opponent attacks and misses you, you may end this meditation as a swift action to make a full attack against that opponent.