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Arkuth - Unofficial 2E Monk Class

The Monk

Ability Requirements: Strength 9, Wisdom 9, Dexterity 13
Prime Requisite: Wisdom
Hit Die:
Races Allowed: Humans, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Elves, Halflings

Class Restrictions:

  • Armor; a monk who wears any armor loses their deflect missile, fast movement, unarmored defense, slow fall, ki strike and quivering palms abilities. They also lose their more favorable rate of Unarmed Attacks per Round (see below).
  • Weapons: daggers, hand-axes, clubs, staves, spears, javelins, pole arms and crossbows
  • Alignment: any lawful
  • XP: monks do not gain any experience bonuses for having high ability scores.

Class Abilities: Unarmed attack, fast movement, thieves skills, extra weapon damage, stunning attack, deflect missiles and effect saving throws. Monks also gain special powers as they advance in level (see below).


Adventure is fraught with danger, and most heroes gird themselves with weapons and armor. There are those, however, who reject steel and iron. They instead rely primarily upon their body and mind for survival in combat and hone them into unbreakable weapons of war.

The monk is devoted to the perfection of the body, and the mastery of mind over body. The monk is an expert in unarmed combat, be it wrestling, boxing, kung fu or any of the other of the myriad martial arts styles. Some monks’ dedication to the martial arts flows from a strong spirituality, and they often live by stringent personal or organizational codes of conduct. Others show only disdain for religion, but look to training and personal perfection to bring their lives meaning. While there is no standard that a monk must follow, they are all devoted to the use of the body as the best of weapons on the field, and the mind’s control of the body as the best weapon of all.

Monks must attain a perfect balance between physical strength, body mass, and their mental state. When these are in union, the monk has achieved the perfect, unbeatable weapon, but the path to attain this state is difficult and exhausting, and only those with great stamina and fortitude achieve it. To achieve a harmonious balance in mind and spirit, the monk must not be susceptible to wild urges, emotions, or other distracting mental and physical conditions. A physical and mental harmony and balance must be maintained for them to function at their peak. As such, they are strict adherents to their codes, masters of the routines necessary to train the body and follow strict regimens to undertake the mental and physical purification to achieve perfect control of the body.

The monk generally prefers to engage only in unarmed combat. However many simple weapons, completely mastered and innocuous in appearance, are used as extensions of the body. These weapons are mirrors of the personal ethos of the monk and their desire to make what appears weak and harmless into something
strong and lethal. Monks eschew the use of bulky and weighty armors, relying instead upon their speed and skill at predicting a foe’s movements and attacks to protect them from harm.

General Info:

Monks use the cleric experience table and gain hit-dice as clerics (d8) for hit point determination. They also use the standard priest combat tables during level advancement (THAC0/Saving Throws etc) as they are now considered a priest sub-class.

Monks start with 3d6x10 gold pieces, 2 weapon proficiency slots and 4 non weapon proficiencies slots. After such time they receive 1 additional weapon proficiency slot every 4 levels and 1 non-weapon proficiency slot every 3 levels.

Monks may select proficiencies from the general, rouge and warrior lists. They are skilled in combat, having learned how to best use their bodies as a means to destroy their foes. They use simple weapons that are either existing tools or can easily be made out of nearby items, such as daggers, hand-axes, clubs, staves, spears, javelins and pole arms; they may also use crossbows as monks through-out history have used these weapons.

Monks wear no armor as it detracts from their finely honed reflexes and impedes their ability to assess their body's condition.

They may use any magical weapon useable by rogues, but can own no more then five magic items and may retain only the wealth necessary to support their modest needs; most monks donate excess to their monastery or use it to fund projects of interest to them, such as training a promising student or establishing a safe house in an enemy city.

Additional Abilities

Unarmed Attack; A monk specializes in unarmed, hand-to-hand combat. A monk gains multiple unarmed attacks and improved unarmed combat damage as he progresses in level, as shown on the Monk Abilities table. A monk who combines unarmed strikes with armed attacks in a given round must use their standard rate of attacks for that round and applies the standard Two-Weapon Fighting penalties to such attacks. The monk may choose whether their unarmed attacks inflict normal or subdual damage.

Fast Movement; Monks can move faster then a normal human due to thief training and heightened body awareness; their movement rate increases as they gain levels.

Thief Skills; Their keen senses allow them to perform several thief skills. Their thief skills and base scores are listed here:

  • Climb Walls 50%
  • Find (but not remove) Traps 5%
  • Hear Noise 10%
  • Hide In Shadows 5%
  • Move Silently 5%

A beginning monk starts with 35 discretionary points to add to these abilities. At each level gain the monk gains an additional 15 points to distribute amongst these skills.

Extra Weapon Damage; While they prefer open hand attacks to weapons, monks retain their awareness of anatomy and are able to cause extra damage when they use weapons against living creatures, equal to the monk's level divided by 2, rounded up. This extra damage only applies against creatures with familiar anatomies (muscular, skeletal systems, joints etc), so this ability cannot be used against amorphous creatures such as slimes, gaseous life forms and so forth.

Stunning Attack; Once per day per level, a monk may attempt to stun an opponent with an open-hand attack. The monk declares the attempt to stun and rolls to hit; if the attack hits, the target must make a saving throw against paralyzation or be stunned, and unable to attack and losing all dexterity adjustments for 1 round.

Deflect Missiles; Monks are able to deflect arrows and other non-magical missiles (excluding siege weapon ammunition), including, but not limited to axes, bolas, bolts, bullets, clubs, daggers, darts, throwing hammers, harpoons, javelins, nets, rocks and spears. When a character would normally be hit with a ranged weapon, the character may make a save vs. petrification. If the result is successful, the monk deflects the weapon and suffers no damage. The monk must be aware of the attack to use this ability.

Effect Saving Throws; If a monk is attacked by an effect that requires a saving throw, a successful saving throw vs. the attack results in the monk taking no damage, even if the attack is a fireball, for example.

Additional Powers by Level

Killing Attack: At 2nd level a monk gains the ability to kill opponents with a successful open hand attack. The attack must first stun the target, who then must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation at +4 or die. This type of attack can only be used once per day.

Resist ESP: At 3rd level a monk can resist ESP or other thought reading attempts by making a successful save vs. death magic at +2.

Slow Fall 20': At 4th level, a monk can safely fall up to 20' as long as he/she is within 1' of a wall. This ability assumes the monk can make periodic contact with the wall to slow the fall. A tree of similar solid object counts as a wall for these purposes.

Purity of Body: At 5th level a monk becomes immune to all diseases, as well as haste and slow spells.

Slow Fall 30': At 6th level, a monk can safely fall up to 30' as long as he/she is within 4' of a wall.

Fast Healing: At 7th level a monk gains the ability to momentarily accelerate the healing process of the body, repairing 2 points of damage suffered by the monk per level once a day.

Slow Fall 50': At 8th level, a monk can safely fall up to 50' as long as he/she is within 6' of a wall. Called Master of Dragons, a monks initiative rolls are improved by 1.

Still Mind: A 9th level monk is unaffected by charm-type spells and effects if they make a saving throw vs. wands; if this resistance roll fails, normal saves (if any) apply to resist the effect. Monks of 9th level are called Masters of the North Wind.

Ki Strike: At 10th level, the monk's hands and feet are considered +1 weapons for the purpose of striking monsters that can only be hit by magical weapons. A monk of this rank is called Master of the East Wind.

Immunity to Poison: At 11th level monks become immune to all poisons and assume the title of Master of the South Wind.

Lightning Speed: At 12th level, a monk's initiative bonus increases to +2. Monks of this rank are known as Master of the West Wind.

Quivering Palm: At 13th level, a monk gains a fearsome and fabled attack, the quivering palm. Monks of this level are known as Master of the Winter.

  • The monk can use the quivering palm attack once per week and must be announced before making an open-hand attack.
  • It only affects man-sized creatures or smaller that can be affected by the monk's stun attack and only if the monk is higher level (hit dice) then the target creature.
  • If the attacks hits, it causes normal damage. The monk may slay the target with the vibrations at any time within the time limit of 1 day per level of the monk; the target gets a save vs death magic to avoid the effect.

If the monk strikes successfully, and the target takes damage from an unarmed attack, the quivering palm succeeds. Thereafter, the monk can choose to try to slay the victim at any later time within 1 day per level of the monk. The monk merely wills the target to die, and the victim makes a save vs. death magic. If the victim fails, it dies. This attack has no effect on undead or creatures that can only be struck by magic weapons, unless the monk is able to hit the creature with the ki strike ability.

Magic Saves: A monk of 14th level gains the title of Master of the Autumn and always gets a saving throw vs. magical effects even when none is normally allowed.

Premonition: At 15th level a monk is called Master of Summer and gains a limited precognitive ability; there is a 90% chance that a premonition of death or serious harm warns the monk 1-4 turns before the event occurs.

Ki Strike: At 16th level, the monk's hands and feet are considered +2 weapons for the purpose of striking monsters that can only be hit by magical weapons. A monk of this rank is called Master of the Spring.

Astral Projection: At 17th level the monk is able to leave his or her body and projects themselves into the astral plane (as an astral spell); they may do this once per week, remaining away for any length of time. Although the physical body still requires nourishment and will starve is not cared for. The monk that attains this rank is called the Grand Master of Flowers.


------------------------- Monk Abilities Chart ---------------------------

LvL Hit Dice (1d8) Abilities Unarmed Atks/Rnd Unarmed Dmg AC Bonus Move
1 1 Base Skills
1d4 +1 (9) 12''
2 2 Killing Attack
1d4 +2 (8) 13''
3 3 Resistance to ESP
1d6 +2 (8) 14''
4 4 Fall up to 20' safely
1d6 +3 (7) 15''
5 5 Immune to disease, haste and slow
1d6 +3 (7) 16''
6 6 Fall up to 30' safely
1d6+1 +4 (6) 17''
7 7 Self heal up to 2 hp/ lvl
1d6+1 +4 (6) 18''
8 8 Fall up to 50' safely / +1 initiative
1d6+1 +5 (5) 19''
9 9 Resistance to charm effects
1d8 +5 (5) 20''
10 9+2 Open hand is +1 magical weapon
1d8 +6 (4) 21''
11 9+4 Immune to Poison
1d8 +6 (4) 22''
12 9+6 +2 to initiative rolls
1d8+1 +7 (3) 23''
13 9+8 Quivering Palm
1d8+1 +7 (3) 24''
14 9+10 Always gets a saving throw
1d8+1 +8 (2) 25''
15 9+12 Premonition of death or harm
1d10 +8 (2) 26''
16 9+14 Open hand is +2 magical weapon
1d10 +9 (1) 27''
17 9+16 Astral projection (monk only)
1d10 +9 (1) 28''
18 9+18  
1d12 +10 (0) 29''
19 9+20  
1d12 +10 (0) 30''
20 9+22  
1d12 +10 (0) 30''

*This class was created using a combination of the 1E monk, AD&D 3 monk (by Chris Perkins) and the Scarlet Brotherhood monk to give us a great 2E assassin class*.


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