Discipline, Power, Transcendence
The Monk is an ascetic warrior who has trained their body into a deadly weapon under the guidance of spiritual beliefs and incredibly difficult physical training. Monks also abstain from nearly all vices, learning to strengthen the mind against outside temptation. Their purpose is to seek the unattainable goal of mastering the body and spirit. To become a monk, one must be willing to leave behind all material possessions, and all personal appetites. Even those who are capable of such a difficult sacrifice may not be suitable for becoming a monk. Once joining a monastery, their life becomes a regular trial of daunting physical challenges designed to breach the limits of humanoid balance, endurance, strength, willpower and pain tolerance. The intensity of this training molds these people into powerful warriors, untouchable by the forces of chaos and sin. If they fail in their training, it can break them in two, forever being haunted by their weaknesses and shortcomings. The path of the monk is not for the feint of heart, but those who do manage to attain their goal often find that they have become humanoids of limitless potential, and all that remains is to ascend as high as the heavens allow.
It is rare for a Monk to seek the adventurer's lifestyle. They are solitary creatures, sworn to a brotherhood of other recluses. The very principle for which they train demands obtaining from vice and temptation, something that the adventuring life is known to be full of. Some Monks choose this road for just that reason, seeking to better their discipline and inner strength by exposing themselves to the threats of the outside world. If one cannot combat the evil they find just outside their doorstep, then exactly how might they defend their home?
Monks most commonly choose to begin adventuring in order to test their skills. They find that they reach a plateau in their training among their brethren, and realize that to grow, they must find new challenges and experiences. While victory is important, the goal is growth. Achieving a greater understanding of oneself can be accomplished through loss and suffering just as much as victory. As the Monk adventures alongside different beings, combating strange foes, they gain a perspective of themselves and the outside world that is critical to attaining enlightenment.
History and Culture
Monks originally came into existence as a result of a schism within several great churches. These religious orders disagreed on the purpose of faith and how it should be used to benefit humanity. While most declared it was a gift to be shared with the world, a smaller subsection insisted that personal belief and religion were intimately connected. They felt that the best way to reach the divine was to look inside oneself and attain it through intense self reflection and strengthening. So when the orders split, many of the latter took to applying their methods in solitude, having been ostracized from their communities. Centuries later, they re-emerged as the unique and powerful warriors known as monks.
The cultures of Monks are deeply routed in isolationist and religious beliefs. They are friendly and respectful to nearly all they encounter, but also wary and suspicious at first. Monks heavily favor law and discipline over chaos and frivolity; those who cannot exemplify the former principles will quickly find themselves ejected from the order. Monks enjoy peaceful times, meditation art and music just as much as deadly combat and intense physical conditioning. To the ascetic warrior, these two aspects of their lives are one in the same, creating a state of being that outsiders can find both admirable and vexing.
Monks build their strength and skill off of sheer discipline and physical hardship, so they must always be Lawful. Good or Evil can be a somewhat alien concept to a monk, as their perspective on such things is typically limited to the monastery in which they grew up. Evil orders exist throughout the world in nearly equal amounts to the goodly ones, the main similarity being the strict codes of discipline and training they share. Goodly monks believe that as they draw closer to inner peace, that they may be able to guide others in a similar direction through example or perhaps instruction. Neutral monks are more focused on their personal growth, but may become extremely curious whenever they meet new people, or discover new lands and cultures. They often seek to better themselves in exclusion to assisting others, but this is not done so much out of selfishness as it is a matter of pragmatism. Evil monks believe that mastery of the mind and body is the key to mastering the world. They often try to use their abilities to defeat an adversary they deem as worthy, regardless of the kind of person they are. They may also tend to be somewhat arrogant, seeing their growing strength as proof that they are destined to ascend to even greater heights.
- 1st level, ½ point in Melee, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
- 2nd level, ½ point in your choice of the following: Melee Weapon Attacks, Ranged Weapon Attacks, or Parry.
- 3rd level, ½ point in Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
- 5th level, ½ point in Melee and Parry.
- 6th level, ½ point in Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
- 7th level, ½ point in your choice of the following: Melee Weapon Attacks, Ranged Weapon Attacks, or Parry.
- 9th level, ½ point in Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
- 10th level, ½ point in your choice of the following: Melee or Parry.
- 11th level, ½ point in your choice of the following: Fortitude, Reflex, or Will.
When your character earns a Class Specialty, you may choose one from the following list.