I am convinced that AD&D 2nd edition, despite all the efforts, could not produce e a decent reworked version of 1st edition Monk class. Designers tried with kits (Complete Priest’s Handbook) and classes (Player’s Option and Greyhawk supplements), never meeting my expectation.
So , as I did for the Sorcerer, I built a homemade class. I am not claiming it is better than the official ones, just…is an additional proposal that some other player might like, this is the reason I am sharing it with you.
Monks are masters of unarmed combat. They train in monasteries where they pursue personal perfection through action and contemplation. Monks have no need of weapons and armor, for their relentless practice has allowed them to unlock their physical and spiritual abilities. While most monks are lawful—the focus and discipline needed to master their arts demands rigid dedication—they vary among good, neutral, and evil alignments.
Lawful evil monks are schemers and conquerors. The insidious Scarlet Brotherhood of GREYHAWK is the most notable example of an evil monk tradition in D&D. Lawful neutral monks focus on inner mastery and care little for the world at large. Lawful good monks are champions of the common folk.
Requirements: Dexterity 12, Constitution 11, Wisdom 14
Prime Requisites (10% XP bonus): Constitution 16, Wisdom 16
Allowed race: Human
Level limit: Human (Unlimited)
Advancement: same as Cleric
ThAC0: same as Rogues
Saving Throws: same as Priests
Weapon/Non Weapon Proficiency: same as Priests
Weapon/Non Weapon Proficiency allowed groups: General, Warrior, Rogue, Priest
Allowed armors: none
Allowed weapons: dagger, hand axe, club, stave, spear, javelin, any pole arm, crossbow
Hit Dice: 2D4 at 1st level, 1D4 from 2nd to 9th level, +2 Hit Points for any subsequent level
Starting Money: (1D4+1) x10 Gold Pieces
Alignment: any Lawful
Weapon Proficiency bonus: Martial Arts
Non Weapon Proficiency bonus: Tumbling
Monks are trained since childhood to develop a perfect control of mind over body, this is achieved through the mastery of the “ki”, a kind of energy that flows into any living being. This capacity allow them to perform amazing actions, impossible even to think for anybody else.
In order to represent Monk’s skills, the following bonus/penalty are granted to the class:
- the great
mental strength and capacity is represented with a +2 bonus to Saving Throws vs
any spell affecting their mind
- - they do not wear any armor or use shield, as these defenses tend to slow their movements. Through the practice of martial arts they learn how to prevent enemies attacks. To represent their prowess their AC lowers of 1 point/level until 5th, then of 1 point every 2 levels up to level 11, then 1 point every 3 levels till level 20. That means that Monks’AC lowers at level 1,2,3,4,5,7,9,11,14,17,20. This bonus is cumulative with Dexterity one. If a Monk is surprised, he loses Dexterity bonus, but retains the one granted by his combat ability
- - Monks rate of attacks advancement is the same of Warrior classes when fighting in melee, so 1 attack per round until level 6, 3/2 up to level 12, and 2 attacks per round at level 13+. When Monks are fighting bare handed special rules are followed (read below)
- - In hand to hand combat, using any weapon he knows, he is able to spot the weakest spot of his enemy. With a called shot (-4 to hit, +1 penalty to Initiative), if he scores a hit, he can add up to his level to the weapon damage
- - When talking about Monks, the old refrain that the mind strengthen the body is particularly true: in addition to Constitution bonus allowed to all non-Warrior classes, they can add as Hit Point bonus per level their Magical Defense Adjustment for high Wisdom. So a Monk with Constitution 16+ and Wisdom 18 would add 6 Hit Points per level until level 9
- - Monks do not get any negative adjustment due to age to ability scores, however he would get bonuses to Wisdom and Intelligence
- - Monks are masters of Martial Arts where they can specialize starting from 1st level, following the rules of Complete Fighter’s Handbook
- - Monks can continue their specialization in Martial Arts any time they get a new Weapon Proficiency (level 4/8/12/16/20). Every time they specialize they get an additional attack, +1 to damage, +1 to hit, 1 point to move the result on Martial Art table. A 20th level Monk would then potentially be able of 7 attacks per round when fighting with martial arts. Please, remember that KO is affecting just creatures up to size L
- - a Monk attacking an armed foe with bare hands does not suffer of usual penalties described in the rules (usually the armed foe would get +4 to hit and damage)
- - a Monk can try to dodge any missile is thrown against him, maximum 1 projectile per round plus an additional 1 for every 4 level of experience (1 at 1st level, 2 at 4th level, 3 at 8th level…); in order to do so he/she has to save against Petrification. Called shots are saved with the same penalty applied to the enemy attack (-4/-8)
- - When using Martial Arts, he/she can try a single mortal attack, the Monk has to declare he is trying to hit a vital spot of the foe. This is a Called Shot with -8 penalty; if he hit successfully the percentage of a vital spot is touched is equal to the KO percentage plus 1 per every monk’s level. The enemy can then save against Death, if failed this will cause hi death, if successful he will still be stunned as per the KO. Note: this type of attack can be tried with creatures up to Large size.
- - When fighting with Martial Arts Monks are capable to hit also enemies with magical immunities. At first level he can hit creatures that would require silver weapons, at 4th level creatures that would require +1 weapons, at 8th creatures requiring +2 weapons, at 12th creatures requiring a +3 weapons, at 16th creatures requiring +4 weapons, at 20th creatures requiring +5 weapons.
- - thanks to his keen senses and physical prowess he can use a few Thief skills: Climb Walls 50%, Find (not Remove) Traps 5%, Hear Noise 10%, Hide in Shadows 5%, Move Silently 5%. At level 1, the player can add 35 percentage points, maximum 15 in a single skill. Every additional level Monk will get 15 additional points
- - Monk body control allows him to cure his wounds, he/she can heal 1 Hit Point per level once a day; also, when Death Door occurs, once back to 1 Hit Point he/she does not have to wait a to act normally
- - Monks do not crave prosperity, their life are dedicated to self-exploration. For this reason Monks offer 90% of their income to their monastery or religious organizations. Also, a Monk can never possess more than 10 magic objects
- - when reaching 9th level, a Monk gain the title of “Honourable”, from that moment he can aspire to become a “Master”. In order to achieve it, he/she has to beat the current Master. The rules of the fight are agreed before the combat start: can be first blood, KO or death. An Honourable losing the combat will never get a second chance of becoming a Master and will stay at Temple service
- - when becoming a Master the character becomes immune to all mind affecting spells included those that allow to read thoughts (ESP, Charm, Feeblemind…); the Monk gets new level of knowledge and enlightenment:
o At level 14 he/she gets the ability to foresee the future, signs of terrible events happening within 1 to 10 days
o At level 15 he/she will be able to move freely within Material and Positive/Negative planes
o At level 16 the precognition power is even powerful, allowing him/her to see important events within 1 to 10 weeks
o At level 17 he/she can move between Material and Etheral planes
o At level 18 the precognition power is even powerful, allowing him/her to see important events within 1 to 10 months
o At level 19 he/she can move between Material and Astral planes
o At level 20 the precognition power is even powerful, allowing him/her to see important events within 1 to 10 years
A Master can voluntarily retire and abandon Temple guide, in this case a tournament between all most prominent Honourables is organized to declare the new Master. Retired Masters become “Enlightened”, they lose all powers from level 14 to 20, retaining just the immunity to mind affecting spells. They run usually a solitary life focusing on the study of “ki” essence. Their body stop aging, for that reason “Enlightened” follow elf aging table, this time applying both bonus and penalties to Ability Scores.
Additional Home Rules for Ascending Hit Points option:
If Monk character Wisdom ability score is very high consider to improve the Hid Dice as follows:
- - Wis 16 à d6 (level 1 d6+d4)
- - Wis 18 à d8 (level 1 d8+d4)
- As all non-Warrior classes Monks get a re-roll with Con 15, 2 re-rolls with Constitution score of 16+