|Oriental Classes||-||-||-||Oriental Adventures|
Table 20: Monks
|Experience Level||4-sided Dice for Accum.
|Level Title||NPCs||THACO||Saves||Proficencies||NPC XP|
|0 -- 2,250||1||2||Novice||-||20n||220.127.116.11.15||* <3, +religion, + calligraphy>||-|
|2,251 -- 4, 750||2||3||Initiate||-||-||-||-||-|
|4, 751 -- 10,000||3||4||Brother||-||-||-||-||113 (T1)|
|10,001 -- 22,500||4||5||Disciple||-||-||-||-||-|
|22,501 -- 47,500||5||6||Immaculate||-||19||18.104.22.168.13||-||-|
|47,501 -- 98,000||6||7||Master||-||-||-||-||-|
|98,001 -- 200,000||7||8||Superior Master||-||-||-||-||-|
|200,001 -- 350,000||8||9||Master of Dragons||Tobadzistsini.||-||-||-||-|
|350,001 -- 500,000||9||10||Master of the North Wind||-||16||22.214.171.124.11||-||-|
|500,001 -- 700,000||10||11||Master of the West Wind||-||-||-||-||-|
|700,001 -- 950,000||11||12||Master of the South Wind||Gilgamesh, Huan Ti.||-||-||-||-|
|950,001 -- 1,250,000||12||13||Master of the East Wind||-||-||-||-||-|
|1,250,001 -- 1,750,000||13||14||Master of Winter||-||14||10.9.8.13.9||-||-|
|1,750,001 -- 2,250,000||14||15||Master of Autumn||His Peerless Serenity,
The Father of Obedience (Scarlet Brotherhood)
|2,250,001 -- 2,750,000||15||16||Master of Summer||-||-||-||-||-|
|2,750,001 -- 3,250,000||16||17||Master of Spring||-||-||-||-||-|
|3,250,001 & +||17||18||Grand Master of Flowers||-||12||126.96.36.199.7||-||-|
<*This is left off the table at page 51! Check Polyhedron>
The monk character appears in the AD&D
However, they do not belong with the more Western character types presented there and so are included in this book as a fundamental part of the Oriental AD&D game.
Players already familiar with the monk class will find them much the same here.
However, their abilities and powers have undergone some additions and modifications in order to mesh the character class more closely with these Oriental rules.
The monk class combines abilities from
several of the other classes.
To qualify as a monk a character must have min. ability scores of 15 in STR, WIS, and Dexterity, and a minimum CON of 11.
Monks never gain XP bonuses for high ability scores because they have no prime requisite.
Monks never receive bonuses on to hit or damage rolls for high Strength scores and never receive adjustments to AC for high Dexterity.
Monks are ascetics who learn their skills
at one of the several monastic enclaves found throughout Kara-Tur.
Their spiritual training emphasizes the simultaneous development of mind and body as a path to understanding and enlightenment.
Perfection, for them, lies in perfect control of their own spirit -- achieving harmony between mind and body.
To this end they become masters of combat forms, both armed and unarmed, not to become great fighters but to learn their physical powers and limitations.
At the same tiem they undergo a rigorous mental discipline, honing their minds to perceive and understand the mysteries of the cosmos.
Although they can perform incredible physical and mental feats, they cannot perform ceremonies or cast spells.
Monks are attached to a monastery but do not receive the religious training that makes a shukenja or sohei, and are not considered clergy.
Because of the discipline required in their
training, monks must always be lawful, although they can combine good,
evil, or with law.
Most monks are LG, and very few are LE.
A monk character begins the game with 2-8
(2d4) HP and gains 1-4 (1d4) HP per level thereafter.
Monks use the combat table & saving throw tables of thieves. <(correction: monks attack as clerics)> <??>
Their selection of weapons is limited, as shown on Table 13. <>
They cannot wear armor or USE shields.
The use of flaming oil in combat is forbidden to them.
However, the monk starts with proficiency in one style of unarmed combat and two of that style's special maneuvers.
The monk also has five other proficiency slots.
Of these, one must be used for religion and another for calligraphy.
The remaining slots can be filled as the player sees fit, within the restrictions of the class.
Through their training, monks develop several
When using a weapon, the monk causes one extra point of damage for every two experience levels.
A monk has the normal chance to be surprised at 1st level, but this gradually improves, as indicated on Table 21: Monk Capabilities.
All monks have the martial arts special maneuver Missile Deflection in addition to the other special maneuvers they may have or gain.
This is not considered part of any martial style and so does not use one of the special maneuver slots for the monk's chosen martial art.
Owing to his physical training, a monk can run faster than other characters, beginning with a base movement of 15".
This improves as the monk increases in level (see Table 21: Monk Capabilities).
Although a monk cannot wear any armor,
he is trained to avoid blows through nimbleness and agility.
A 1st-level monk has AC 10.
This improves as the monk advances (see Table 21).
When using his MA style, the monk has the AC of that style, if it is better than his normal AC.
If his natural AC surpasses that of the style, the natural AC is used.
The monk also has the ability to open locks, [find and remove traps], [move silently], [hide in shadows], [hear noise], and [climb walls] at the percentages listed on Table 21: Monk Capabilities.
At 1st level monks have the ki power to
reduce the amount of damage caused by magical attacks.
When making saving throws vs. magical attacks, the monk's ki allows him to take no damage or suffer no effect from the magic if he makes a successful save.
Thus attacks which normally cause half damage on a successfl save cause no damage to the monk if he makes his save.
This ki power is usable once per day per level of the monk, and its use can be declared at any time, even after the die is rolled.
However, what makes the monk truly formidable
is his intense training and dedication to a school of MA.
From the time he was a youth the monk has practiced the combat techniques espoused by his monastery.
This dedication gives the monk several benefits not available to other martial artists.
When first creating a monk character, the DM or player (or both working together) must create a martial style according to the rules given under Martial Arts. <>
This is the character's basic style.
Unlike other characters, however, the monk's training allows him to increase his number of attacks per round and damage per attack as he increases in level.
These bonuses are listed on Table 21.
* At 3rd level monks gain the ability to
This is not a magical ability but it works the same as the shukenja spell of the same name.
* At 4th level a monk can fall up to 20
feet without taking damage provided he is within one foot of a wall or
He has trained and disciplined his mind so that ESP has only a 30% chance of success when used against him.
Thus ESP has only a 28% chance of success on a 5th-level monk, 26% on a 6th-level monk, etc.
* At 5th level the monk is immune to all types of disease and is unaffected by all types of haste or slow spells.
* At 6th level the monk can fall 30 feet
without sustaining damage provided he is within four feet of a wall.
The monk can also fall into a cataleptic state, perfectly simulating death.
This can be maintained for a number of turns equal to twice his level.
The monk is oblivious to his surroundings in this state, so he must state at the beginning how long he intends to remain cataleptic.
* At 7th level the monk, by concentrating
his inner power, can heal 2-5 points of damage on his own body per day.
This power increases by one point at every level beyond 7th.
* At 8th level the monk gains the ability
to speak with plants as per the
spell of the same name.
He also attracts 2-5 followers (1st-level monks), provided he has a monastery headquarters.
These have the same alignment as the PC and are fanatically loyal to him, provided his alignment does not change.
They rise in level just like PCs, but leave when they reach 7th level.
For every level attained beyond 8th, the monk attracts 1-2 more 1st level monks.
* At 9th level the monk's ki power improves.
From 9th-level on, the monk suffers only half-damage from any magical attack that causes damage even if the monk fails his saving throw.
(He must use his power, however.)
If the save is successful, the monk suffers no damage at all.
The ki power is still limited to a number of uses per day equal to the level of the character.
In addition, charm, hypnosis, and suggestion spells of all types have only a 50% chance to affect the monk.
This resistance improves by 5% at every level beyond 9th.
* At 10th level the monk defends against telepathic and [mind blast] attacks as if he had Intelligence 18.
* At 11th level the monk is immune to all types of poison.
* At 12th level the monk is immune to geas and quest spells. <G20 Protests, Woman hit with club in the womb>
* At 13th level the monk automatically gains one martial arts special maneuver of the player's choice.
However, for all their abilities, monks
must abide by strict restrictions.
These are in addition to the restrictions they have concerning weapons and armor.
In general, monks view the world as a transitory and ephemeral place, without constants.
As such, emotional attachments--greed, anger, and other passions--are obstacles placed in the path of true perfection.
To achieve the ultimate enlightenment, the monk must force himself to dispose of these feelings and all things associated with them.
While they do not deny that these passions exist within themselves, they seek to control and moderate them.
* First and foremost, monks must avoid
too many attachments to the material world.
To this end, monks may not retain more than a small fraction of any treasure they recover: only enough to cover their needs for food and clothing for the next few days.
They may not own horses, although they may ride horses provided by others.
They can never hold land or property of any type.
They can retain only two magical wewapons and three other magical items.
All excess treasure and magical items must be given to NPC charities and religious institutions (whereupon they disappear from play).
** Second, severe
limits are imposed on the use of magical items, as too much reliance on
them weakens the monk's spiritual strength.
They can use magical weapons only if the type is allowed by the class.
No other magical items listed in this rulebook can be used by monks unless specifically indicated.
Items in the DMG can be used only if they are rings or can be used by thieves.
Furthermore, the monk never trades in his magical items for new pieces of better quality, shopping around for the best deal.
Instead, he generally uses the same item until it is no longer serviceable.
To increase their detachment from the material
world, monks do not generate a family clan, determine birth rank,
create an ancestry, receive birthrights of any type, or have honor points.
In this sense tehy are without family, having totally severed all attachments to this world.
They do not use their family name, adopting instead a name appropriate to their monastery.
Nor can they hire henchmen or hirelings until they reach 6th level.
At this point, they can obtain hirelings for short missions (a single adventure).
They may also have up to two henchmen at this level, possibly adding one additional henchman at every level beyond 6th.
These henchmen cannot be hired or bought into service; they must join the monk by their own choice.
Such henchmen can only be shukenja, bushi, or ninjas.
A monk does not earn or record any honor
Honor is an aspect of the material world the monk is trying to rise above.
However, the monk must at all times behave morally and properly, especially when dealing with other monks.
This does not preclude evil actions, but oaths and the orders of superiors within the monastery are absolutely binding.
Gentle protest can be made, but argument or disobedience results in being barred from entering its grounds or receiving any aid from the hands of its members.
This is important, since to advance in level the monk must return to his monastery for a period of purification and enlightenment.
The length of his banishment is decided by the DM.
It may be as short as 10 days or as long as several months.
During this time the character does not go on adventures, but lives a severe and humble existence, undergoing many rituals, tests, and ordeals.
Each monastery can support only a limited
number of monks beyond 7th level.
There are three of 8th level and one of each level beyond 8th attached to a monastery.
When a PC gains sufficient XP to qualify for 8th level (or beyond), he temporarily gains the abilities of that level.
Before that level is permanently acquired, however, the monk must find and defeat one of the monks (or the monk) of that level.
This duel must be fought in tthe martial style of the monastery and is strictly between the two monks; no one can intervene.
The duel need not be fought to the death; the first person stunned usually acknowledges defeat.
The character knows the general whereabouts of the monk he must duel.
Any intentional delay (or being defeated in the duel) readjusts the character's XP to the minimum required for 7th level.
For example, an 8th-level monk defeated in a duel drops to 98,001 XP, the minimum required for 7th level.
He must work his way up to 8th level all over again.
Upon permanently attaining 8th-level, the
character earns the right to permanently reside on the monastery grounds
or establish a subsidiary monastery elsewhere.
If the character permanently establishes a new monastery, he is allowed to amass sufficient funds to finance the construction of the buildings and maintain the grounds.
However, such savings cannot be assembled until the character permanently attains 8th level.
The buildings and grounds of any newly constructed monastery are considered the property of the order, not the PC.
In either case, the character is required to perform various administrative functions appropriate to his level.
These increase in complexity and scope as the character rises in level.
A few of the entries on Table 21 need some additional explanation.
Additional Attacks: This is the
number of additional attacks the monk can make when using his MA
The number before the slash is the number of extra attacks, the number after the slash is the round when the attack is allowed.
For example, if the monk has a martial style that normally allows one attack per round, 1/4 allows the monk to make one extra attack every fourth round, while 2/1 allows the monk to make two extra attacks every round.
Additional attacks always occur at the end of the round.
Additional Damage: This is the amount
of extra damage the monk causes when using his martial art proficiencies.
If the number is +1, +2, or +3, the amount is added to the normal damage caused when using the martial style.
If the number is +1D, +2D, or more it is the number of additional dice rolled to determine damage.
These dice are the same type as those normally used for that martial style.
The notation n+1D+1 indicates both additional dice and additional points of damage.
TABLE 21: MONK CAPABILITIES
|Move Silently||Hide in
|Hear Noise||Climb Walls||Surprise|
|1||10||15" (11, 8, 4)||-||-||-||25%||20%||15%||10%||10%||85%||Normal|
|2||9||16" (12, 8, 4)||-||-||-||29%||25%||21%||15%||10%||86%||32%|
|3||8||17" (13, 9, 4)||-||-||-||33%||30%||27%||20%||15%||87%||30%|
|4||7||18" (14, 9, 5)||1/4||-||-||37%||35%||33%||25%||15%||88%||28%|
|5||7||19" (14, 10, 5)||1/4||+ 1||-||42%||40%||40%||30%||20%||89%||26%|
|6||6||20" (15, 10, 5)||1/2||+ 2||-||47%||45%||47%||37%||20%||90%||24%|
|7||5||21" (16, 11, 5)||1/2||+ 2||-||52%||50%||55%||43%||25%||91%||22%|
|8||4||22" (17, 11, 6)||1/2||+ 1D||-||57%||55%||62%||49%||25%||92%||20%|
|9||3||23" (17, 12, 6)||1/1||+ 1D + 1||-||62%||60%||70%||56%||30%||93%||18%|
|10||3||24" (18, 12, 6)||1/1||+ 1D + 2||-||67%||65%||78%||63%||30%||94%||16%|
|11||2||25" (19, 13, 6)||3/2||+ 1D + 2||-||72%||70%||86%||70%||35%||95%||14%|
|12||1||26" (20, 13, 7)||3/2||+ 2D||-||77%||75%||94%||77%||35%||96%||12%|
|13||0||27" (20, 14, 7)||3/2||+ 2D||-||82%||80%||99%||85%||40%||97%||10%|
|14||-1||28" (21, 14, 7)||2/1||+ 2D + 1||-||87%||85%||99%||93%||40%||98%||8%|
|15||-1||29" (22, 15, 7)||2/1||+ 3D||-||92%||90%||99%||99%||50%||99%||6%|
|16||-2||30" (23, 15, 8)||3/1||+ 3D + 1||-||97%||95%||99%||99%||50%||99%||4%|
|17||-3||32" (24, 16, 8)||3/1||+ 4D||99%||99%||99%||99%||55%||99%||2%|
Question: I have just
bought the new DUNGEON MASTERS
SCREEN, and it says that monks attack on the cleric’s table.
But in the PLAYERS HANDBOOK it says that they fight on the
thief's table. Which is it?
Answer: Monks attack
on the cleric’s table. A last-minute change by
the staff members who worked on the DUNGEON MASTERS GUIDE
was made, reasoning that it would be better for the balance of the game
if monks attacked on the cleric’s table. We realize the change is going to
cause some problems and we are doing all we can to ease the con-
fusion. The monk, however, still saves on the thief 's table.
Question: Is it okay
for a Monk (Lawful Neutral) to sneak
up on an opponent and then backstab? (Is this act chaotic? Is
Answer: The act of
killing a victim without knowing if he/she is truly
an enemy (in other words, killing a complete stranger without know-
ing if he/she presents a threat) is a chaotic act. The act of killing an op-
ponent with the knowledge that there is some other way to overcome
him/her is an evil act. It would seem permissible for the Lawful
Neutral Monk (or any other similarly aligned being) to attack a known
enemy from the back, when circumstances make it necessary to kill
that foe. —J. Ward, W. Niebling
Question: My character
is a LN monk in a party with two
neutral evil characters and two NGs. The DM says that
if our party runs into a party of LN monks and fighting
breaks out, my monk would join the other monks in fighting,
against my party. I think the DM is full of it. What do you think?
Question: There is
a LE high-level NPC monk in our campaign.
What will happen when my LG player-character monk
gains enough experience to challenge this monk for position?
There seem to be many ways in which an evil character could
avoid such a challenger. How can such an opponent be made to
Answer: The key to
properly determining a monk’s course of action in
each of these examples has to do with understanding the concept-
of lawfulness. Monks must always be lawful, and for very good
reason, because a monkish hierarchy and advancement within
that hierarchy would be valueless if so much as a single non-
lawful element was allowed to “contaminate” it.
The purpose and goal of lawfulness, from the definition of
LN in the PH, is “bringing all to predictability and regulation.” Lawful characters must always be
predictable in their actions and motives. The DMG adds that it is vital for all LN characters to have
“regimentation and strict definition” in their lives and their outlook on life.
How is this applied to the first situation? Simply this: A monk’s
lawfulness will cause him to always honor the prior commitment
he made to the members of the party he’s with. His allegiance is
to his comrades first, because that’s the lawful thing to do. Of
course, if the party members treat the monk in a less than lawful
fashion themselves, they must be willing to suffer the conse-
quences of that action if the monk elects to “desert.” No lawful
character will remain allied to a party which treats him unfairly,
regardless of previous commitments — and may get rather fer-
vent in his objections to such treatment.
If the concept of lawfulness is correctly interpreted and prop-
erly integrated into an adventure or a campaign, no “desertion”
of this sort will occur without extenuating circumstances—and
in no event should a DM ever feel justified in decreeing that such
an event must take place. It is the character’s (and player’s) right
and responsibility to decide what to do. After that decision is
made and carried out, it is the DM’s right and responsibility to
evaluate the “correctness” of the decision in light of the charac-
ter’s professed alignment. A lawful PC cannot be
forced (by the DM directly) to do something unlawful, but
should always be held accountable if it happens involuntarily as
the result of a game activity, or if the character does it of his own
The guidelines in the definitions of LN similarly
apply to LE characters, who must also respect “the sys-
tem.” A LE monk will “fight fair” with, respect to lawfulness — that is, he will recognize and accept the challenge of an
up-and-coming monk. He will respect the challenger’s right to
face him in hand-to-hand combat, because that’s the foundation
of the system which all monks are bound to uphold.
It is not lawful, for instance, for an evil monk to sequester
himself in a stronghold while a mob of monsters stand guard to
make sure no other monk can get to him. In such a situation, the
lawful thing to do would be to allow the challenger to pass freely
past all wards and obstacles—and then ambush the challenger
from the shadows as soon as he’s within striking range.
A LE monk should have to “fight fair” in making it
possible for the hand-to-hand combat to take place — but once
the battle is joined (in most cases, begun by an evil sneak
attack), it’s every monk for himself. By contrast, a pair of lawful
good monks competing for the same position would probably
square off with great ceremony, like prizefighters or sumo
wrestlers do, and conduct the whole matter as “fairly” as possi-
ble, including the presence of a referee.
And the two kinds of challenging don’t mix easily. Only a very
powerful or very self-confident evil monk would agree to an
elaborate ceremonial combat against a good monk —and if he
does consent to fight in this fashion, he’s going to have some-
thing up his sleeve anyway.
Question: If a monk’s
alignment changes from lawful to neutral or cha-
otic, does he become a thief?
Answer: Not necessarily.
A monk whose alignment changes with re-
spect to law and chaos “loses all monk abilities and must begin
again as a first-level character,” according to the PH. The character’s new class can be anything else. It stands
to reason that most “defrocked” monks would choose to be a
fighter, cleric or thief, because the prime requisites for those
classes are the abilities for which a monk must always have
above-average scores. But it’s not impossible for a monk character to have a high intelligence as well as the other high scores,
in which case that character might decide to begin again as a
Question: The Players
Handbook says that monks fight on the table
used by thieves and assassins, but the DMG puts monks on the
same combat table as clerics and druids. Which is correct?
Answer: The DMG is
the right source. Monks were
placed on the thief’s attack matrix when the Players Handbook
was being compiled, but by the time the DMG was released, the
decision had been made (in the interest of game balance) to
have monks attack on the more favorable table for clerics and druids.
In most cases where the Players Handbook and Dun-
geon Masters Guide disagree on a specific subject, it is safe to
assume that the ruling in the DMG is to be given preference,
since that book was released after the Players Handbook.
Question: My monk
with a dexterity of 15 was hit in the leg by an arrow.
The DM said there would be a temporary loss of 3 dexterity
points, and later he said that one of those points would be lost
permanently. He took away half of my XP (the
character was first level) and said I’d have to change classes
because the character no longer met the minimum require-
ments for being a monk..
Is this proper?
If I change, would I keep any of the abilities of the former class?
Answer: It sounds
like you’ve willingly accepted the “fact” that you
have permanently lost a point of dexterity from a relatively minor
wound — yet that’s really the heart of your problem. It seems as
though your DM was determined to find a way to keep you from
playing that character as a monk. This sage doesn’t have ESP, of
course, and it’s impossible to know the details of this incident,
but any DM who decides to have such a tragedy befall a first-
level character had better have a very good reason for acting
There is nothing in the AD&D rules to suggest that a character
has to abandon his or her chosen class because of a drop in an
ability score anyway. Ability scores are not infrequently raised
or lowered by various magical means, and by certain types of
psionic attacks. The life of a character or a long-running cam-
paign would be thrown into disorder if characters were forced to
change classes every time an ability score fell below the min-
imum number originally needed to qualify for membership in
If it were mandatory for a character to change class whenever
an important ability score was lowered during the course of an
adventure, what would be the fate of, for instance, a character
rendered feebleminded by a psionic blast attack? Such a char-
acter, with (by definition) a combined intelligence and wisdom
score of 0-5 for the duration of the feeblemind effect, technically
doesn’t qualify for any class of adventurer.
There are certain types of magical attacks which cause the
loss of a point of strength or some other attribute. Losses of this
kind are sometimes only temporary (the strength drain of a
shadow, for instance), and even so-called “permanent” changes
can be counteracted by different magical means at a later time.
There may be occasions when a character has lost so much of
his original attribute score that it is not practical or healthy to
continue in the same class: A human fighter who has his
strength reduced to, say, 6 points is risking ruin if he sets out on
an adventure in that condition, and the character might stand a
better chance of survival in the long run if he decided to take up
magic-using (assuming a sufficiently high intelligence to do
that). But the choice should belong to the character and player,
not to the DM.
In the descriptions of the fighter, paladin and thief player
character classes in the PH, the rules state that
certain minimum ability scores are needed to “become” a
member of that class. The same reasoning should be applied to
those classes where the same wording is not used. In other
words, minimum requirements have to be met when a character
begins a career in a class, but not necessarily at all times thereaf-
ter while that profession is being pursued.
Question: When a PC
monk attains 8th level or higher, will there be NPC monks seeking to defeat
him in combat so as to attain his level?
Will be always have to combat higher-level NPCs when this is necessary to attain the next level?
Answer: In a well
structured campaign, there will be a monkish hier-
archy even if there is only one monk PC of suffi-
ciently high level to challenge for another monk’s position. In
the extreme, this hierarchy would be delineated all the way up to
the Grand Master of Flowers—a total of 12 positions (from 8th
level through 17th) which would all be filled by NPCs if no PC
has yet advanced beyond 7th level. At the least, the
DM should provide opposition for a PC as it be-
comes necessary: Be sure there is an 8th-level monk for the
upstart player character to battle, when the time comes, and
have other “titleholders” prepared and ready to play if the player
character rises even higher.
The rules about advancement for monks are specific: A monk
must meet a higher-level monk in hand-to-hand combat when
the lower-level monk obtains enough experience points to qual-
ify for ascension to the next level. This presumes the existence
of higher-level monks, which the DM must provide if player
characters do not already fill those positions. Otherwise, the
lower-level PC monk’s efforts to rise in level, obtain experience
points and strive for greater prowess and superiority become
It doesn’t necessarily work the same way when a player char-
acter is in a position to be challenged by a lower-level monk. It is
not mandatory for higher-level PC monks to face challenges
from lower-level aspirants, but such challenges will certainly
come about in a campaign where the DM actively employs NPC
monks, charting their advancement up the XP
ladder just as for PCs. Challenges to a player
character monk do not ever have to occur, but it would be
ridiculous for a PC to make it all the way to Grand
Master of Flowers without ever facing a bid for his position from
a lower-level contender.
Question: Will a monk’s
open hand attack affect creatures which can be
hit only by magical weapons?
Answer: The sage says
no. It doesn’t specifically say in the rules that a
monk can hit in this fashion, so the only possible ruling to make
is that a monk cannot. As soon as we start giving characters and
creatures attributes that aren’t specifically prohibited to them,
the ruination of the campaign is not far behind.
There is some justification for this ruling to be found in the
way certain other rules are worded. The PH does specifically say
that a monk can’t use his special dodging ability on magical
missiles, and that the quivering palm — “perhaps the most
terrible power” a monk has (in the words of the Players Hand-
book), is not usable against creatures which are only vulnerable
to magic weapons. In that light, there is no rationale for allowing
an open hand attack, certainly not as “terrible” a power, to be
useful in the same circumstances. The Dungeon Masters Guide
sums it up with the statement, “...monks are not supermen or
superwomen.” Monks have a number of special abilities which
set them apart — but not that far apart.
Question: Can paladins
Question: Will the rotting caused by Demogorgon have an effect on monks of fifth level or higher, since they are immune to disease?
Answer: Yes, a paladin
can become a lycanthrope.
Answer: Yes, a high-level monk can be affected by Demogorgon’s rot-disease attack.
The immunity to disease that is enjoyed by paladins and by monks of
fifth level or higher applies only to “natural” diseases, such as
those listed in the table on page 14 of the DMG, and not to
“unnatural” diseases such as those caused by the attack or
touch of a monster. The same thing goes for the rotting disease
transmitted by a mummy or the “disease” caused by the spread
of green slime, for instance.
Q: Which attack table do monks use?
A: The book says that
they use the
thief table, but I remember reading
somewhere that they use the cleric
All monks attack as clerics.
Q: Do monks get dexterity
armor class? How about strength
bonuses to damage? Does a monk
get the AC modifier for his martial
A: Dexterity never
affects the AC of a
monk. Monks never get strength bonuses
of any sort when using weapons or martial
arts. A monk gains either the armor
class of his style (AC modifier applied to
AC 10 or the AC of a common style), or
the armor class of his monk level, whichever
Q: Do monks get dexterity
A: Monks do get dexterity
bonuses to their
thieves' abilities; use table 23, page 19,
Q: Does the monk weapon
bonus also apply to missile weapons
or martial arts?
A: The monk damage
bonus of 1 hp per
two levels applies to both missile and
melee weapons, provided that the monk is
proficient with the weapon used. This
bonus does not apply to martial arts. Use
the Additional Martial Damage column of
table 21 (Oriental Adventures, page 18) for
martial arts damage bonuses.
* A monk character begins
the game with 2-8 (2d4) HP and gains 1-4 (1d4) HP per level thereafter.
* Their selection of weapons is limited, as shown on Table 13.
* A monk has the normal chance to be surprised at 1st level, but this gradually improves, as indicated on Table 21: Monk Capabilities.
* Owing to his physical training,
a monk can run faster than other characters, beginning with a base movement
* This improves as the monk increases in level (see Table 21: Monk Capabilities).
* A 1st-level monk has AC
* This improves as the monk advances (see Table 21).
* The monk also has the ability to [open locks], [find and remove traps], [move silently], [hide in shadows], [hear noise], and [climb walls] at the percentages listed on Table 21: Monk Capabilities.
* At 1st level monks have the ki power to reduce the amount of damage caused by magical attacks.
* These bonuses are listed on Table 21.
* At 3rd level monks gain the ability to [speak with animals].
* At 4th level a monk can
fall up to 20 feet without taking damage provided he is within one foot
of a wall or vertical surface.
* He has trained and disciplined his mind so that [ESP] has only a 30% chance of success when used against him.
* Thus [ESP] has only a 28% chance of success on a 5th-level monk, 26% on a 6th-level monk, etc.
* At 5th level the monk is immune to all types of disease and is unaffected by all types of [haste] or [slow] spells.
* At 6th level the monk can fall 30 feet without sustaining damage provided he is within four feet of a wall.
* At 7th level the monk,
by concentrating his inner power, can heal 2-5 points of damage on his
own body per day.
* This power increases by one point at every level beyond 7th.
* At 8th level the monk gains
the ability to [speak with plants] as per the spell of the same name.
* He also attracts 2-5 followers (1st-level monks), provided he has a monastery headquarters.
* They rise in level like PCs, but leave when they reach 7th level.
* For every level attained beyond 8th, the monk attracts 1-2 more 1st level monks.
* At 9th level the monk's
ki power improves.
* From 9th-level on, the monk suffers only half-damage from any magical attack that causes damage even if the monk fails his saving throw.
* In addition, charm, [hypnosis], and [suggestion] spells of all types have only a 50% chance to affect the monk.
* This resistance improves by 5% at every level beyond 9th.
* At 10th level the monk defends against telepathic and [mind blast] attacks as if he had Intelligence 18.
* At 11th level the monk is immune to all types of poison.
* At 12th level the monk is immune to [geas] and [quest] spells.
* At 13th level the monk automatically gains one martial arts special maneuver of the player's choice.
* Nor can they hire henchmen
or hirelings until they reach 6th level.
* They may also have up to two henchmen at this level, possibly adding one additional henchman at every level beyond 6th.
* It may be as short as 10 days, or as long as several months.
* Each monastery can support
only a limited number of monks beyond 7th level.
* There are three of 8th level and one of each level byond 8th attached to a monastery.
* When a PC gains sufficient XP to qualify for 8th level (or beyond), he temporarily gains the abilities of that level.
* For example, an 8th-level monk defeated in a duel drops to 98,001 XP, the minimum required for 7th level.
* He must work his way up to 8th level all over again.
* Upon permanently attaining
8th-level, the character earns the right to permanently reside on the monastery
grounds or establish a subsidiary monastery elsewhere.
* However, such savings cannot be assembled until the character permanently attains 8th level.
* A few of the entries on Table 21 need some additional explanation.
* For example, if the monk has a martial style that normally allows one attack per round, 1/4 allows the monk to make one extra attack every fourth round, while 2/1 allows the monk to make two extra attacks every round.
* If the number is +1, +2,
or +3, the amount is added to the normal damage caused when using the martial
One small point,,,,
It is not logical to be a monk without religious affiliation. that is a practical impossibility in all cases, and totally unthinkable in a deity-active fantasy miliue 8O
That aside, one can not be
a monk without devotion and dedication. One might be a martial artist,
however, and not be so, devoted only to one's own purposes. - GG
Terry Kuntz played the first monk character, and he loved it.
Originally Posted by Particle_Man
This will sound really dumb, but it has been bugging me.
What is the historical/mythic/game balance/whatever reason that monks in 1st ed AD&D were forbidden to use burning oil? Was the oil too chaotic? What it just to accentuate the different nature of monks?
Just wondering...for the
last 21 years...
Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear...
That's what I have to do
to try and remember why the proscription was placed on the class.
As I recall, it was both deemed as too Chaotic and also to serve as a distinction, as all classes were restricted in one way or another in reagrds to weapons or poison.
A monk hurling multiple pots of oil in a round just doesn't seem right somehow :rolleyes:
Originally Posted by CombatWombat51
EDIT: One more question! Where in the world did you come up with the title "Grand Master of Flowers"?
Very sneaky! That one got me <mad>
All of the titles for the Monk Class were taken unabashedly from mah jjong, one of my favorite games.
As flowers are honors tiles, delicate and beautiful, I thought it fitted well with an Eastern aesthetic martial artist, the object belying his actual prowess.
Originally Posted by Derulbaskul
Dang, you just beat me to the answer.... <wink>
I fondly remember being introduced
to a mah-jong set only a few months after I started AD&D (around 1982).
I seem to recall there being four types of flowers... so naturally I wanted
to boost the monk to a 22 level class, and then 23 levels with Xan Yae's
"Supreme Mistress of Petals" title.
I can relate to the desire to work up from #4 Flower to #1 Flower, but taking that into the realms of supernatural entities is a tile too far <EEK!>
Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
I was just perusing an old
and came upon your thoughts for a 2nd edition of AD&D.
I will avoid any comment as to my thoughts on the post-Gygaxian 2nd edition and ask this question instead:
You mentioned in the article
the removal of monks to an oriental-themed campaign setting.
When I first read this many years ago I remember thinking "Yes, that makes sense."
Of course, in retrospect, I remember on of my favorite PC's being a mid-level monk PC.
Not to mention the central role they play(ed) in Greyhawk's Scarlet Brotherhood.
Were you planning on removing
the monk element from the Brotherhood or simply making them an exception
to the rule?
(Heh, heh, come to think of it, I'd like to see what would have gone into a 2nd edition "World of Greyhawk"!).
What I was contemplating
was a non-Oriental sort of Monk character to replace the clearly Eastern
martial artist one featured.
The class would likely have been a sort of dedicated warrior-spy with a few elements of the original Monk class, new abilities of more European sort to round it out.
that way the Scarlet Brotherhoob would not have had to lost its warrior-monk component.
All the notes I had for the new classes are gone, so don't ask for details <frown>
Originally Posted by Bulldogc
hey gary thanks for the great game. i got a quick question for u
the monks ability to dodge missiles, would that also apply to large rocks tossed by giants?
Oddly, that's a question that has not ever been asked of me before, and one that I haven't considered until now. I'll "think in print" now:
A boulder hurled by a giant
is centainly a missile.
While a lot more deadly than an arrow, it is larger, not traveling as fast, so it can be seen more easily.
It isn't so large as to preclude moving outside its path or area of impact.
Now my amswer.
Yes, a monk can dodge a boulder hurled by a gaint, or one from a catapult for that matter.
This assumes that the monk is watching and sees the missile coming at him.
Originally Posted by fusangite
I know you're quite backlogged in this thread but, when you get to it, I'm wondering if you would be willing to comment on how you saw the Monk class as working when it first appeared in the core rules.
Did you imagine monks living in the same societies as characters of classes like the Paladin and Druid or did you see the Monks as part of an Oriental civilization that was separate from but in contact with the civilization that produced Paladins and Druids?
I must say that I enjoy posting, for it is almost as much fun as shooting the breeze with fellow gamers in person...and I don't get out and about much these days...
Anyway, as to the original Monk class, I envisaged them mainly as wanderers from afar, some few being established in monestaries in the non-Oriental (or whatever nomer one might choose to describe a place of like cultures, states and societies). If you ever saw the TV series Kung Fu, that was rather the model I used for the monk PC as far as general interaction in the campaign--sans the racism.
So yes, the cultures and societies that produced Monk characters were quite different from the usual Western/Northern/Southern European models, but actually covered in the World of Greyhawk setting, for the far western states therein could well house some small number of such monastic warrior societies.
BTW, we never had more than about three Monk PCs in my campaign, those out of some 60-70 players over time, each with around two or three different PCs.
Originally Posted by weasel fierce
Did you ever consider changes to the monk to make him a little more survivable (AC in particular being a problem), or is the intention that the massive edges he gain later in play, will balance things out, for his earlier hardships ?
No serious consideration was ever given to any changes in the low-level stats for the monk character.
As with many classes, it just demanded some careful and cautious play to have one survive until they were more viable in regards attack and defense.
Originally Posted by Vyvyan Basterd
Fair enough, some people need to rationalize and other like myself get sucked into debating them.
I can think of many reasons why half-orcs would exist beyond the simplistic scenario presented on the aforementioned thread. Some people just get stuck with one view and try to limit choice instead of trying to make it fit. I see monks removed from many games because the "flavor" the DM has stuck in his head doesn't fit "his" campaign world.
I agree with you that greater choice is a good thing.
Half-orcs might well be the result of wedlock between a strange or desperate human and an orc. There is no single answer to any such question.
A DM not allowing monks in their campaign world is fine, but it shows a narrow perspective. Why not an enclave of immigrants of Oriental sort producing a few such individuals? Or even why not wandering monks from far off. Of course either approach will require some considerable adjustment in regards gaing levels after 8th, but that's an easy quest to set up.
<background on gif, trim
Originally Posted by Zaltman
Would love to get your input on the following:
According the 1e PHB:
Monk ability A is "the ability
to speak with animals as druids do..."
Monk ability F is "the ability to speak with plants as druids do..."
Druids do not have speak with animals or plants as abilities, only as spells. So, I am confused. These are actually pretty strong spells since they prevent attack. To give monks unlimited use of these spell like abilities seems much too powerful, especially since druids do not get them as "abilities" and this type of behavior seem much more druid like than monk like.
The intent there was to empower the Monk character to speak as indicated sans use of a spell.
1. SUBCLASS = n/a
2. SOCIAL CLASS MINIMUM = n/a (do not generate Birth Rank)
3. ABILITY SCORE MINIMUMS
STRENGTH = 15
INTELLIGENCE = 6
WISDOM = 15
DEXTERITY = 15
CONSTITUTION = 11
CHARISMA = 6
COMELINESS = 3
4. POSSIBLE RACES & MAX. LEVEL ATTAINABLE = human: 17, spirit folk: 17
5. MULTI-CLASS POSSIBILITIES = none
6. HIT DIE TYPE = d4 (2d4@L1)
7. MAXIMUM NUMBER OF HIT DICE = 18
8. SPELL ABILITY = none
9. ARMOR PERMITTED = none
10. SHIELD PERMITTED = none
11. WEAPONS PERMITTED = Martial arts weapons (any), axe (hand), boku-toh, chijiriki, crossbow (any), dagger, daikyu, halberd, javelin, kama, kusari-gama, lasso, naginata, parang, spear, trident
12. OIL PERMITTED = no
13. POISON PERMITTED = DM's option
14. ALIGNMENT = Any lawful
15. STARTING MONEY = 4-40 yuan ++ 2-200 fen (20-200 cp ++ 2-200 cp)
16. WEAPON PROFICIENCIES = 1 martial art style + missile deflection + 2 special maneuvers (free skills)
17. NON-PROFICIENCY PENALTY = -3
18. NON-WEAPON PROFICIENCIES = religion, calligraphy (free skills)
19. STARTING AGE = 21+1d4 (human). 35+1d4 (spirit folk).
20. COMBAT = cleric
21. SAVING THROWS = thief
22. MAGIC ITEMS = rings, items usable by thieves (see above)
23. FAMILY = monks do not generate a family clan
24. HONOR = monks do not have honor points
25 SKILLS: 3@L1