Home >Classes >

Monk

Contents

The strength of the fist flows from the power of mind and spirit. You seek to attain perfection—to hone your body into a flawless instrument and your mind into an orderly bastion of wisdom. You are a fierce combatant renowned for your martial arts skills and your ability to enter stances to achieve different outcomes during a fight. While the challenges of mastering fighting styles and conquering powerful foes drive you to greater and greater heights, you also enjoy meditating on philosophical questions and discovering new ways to obtain peace and enlightenment.

Key Ability Dexterity or Strength
Hit Points 10 plus your Constitution modifier

Proficiencies

Trained Perception

Saving Throws

Expert Fortitude
Expert Reflex
Expert Will

Skills

Trained a number of skills equal to 3 plus your Intelligence modifier.

Weapons

Trained all unarmed attacks

Armor

Trained none

Signature Skills

Playing a Monk

Players of monk characters might approach gameplay in the following ways:

  • During combat, you speed into the fray, dodging or leaping past obstacles with acrobatic maneuvers. You strike opponents in a rapid flurry of attacks, using bare fists or wielding specialized weapons that you mastered during your monastic training. Stances let you change up your combat style for different situations, and ki abilities allow you to heal yourself or soar through the air.
  • During social encounters, your perceptiveness lets you see through falsehoods, and your philosophical training provides insight into any situation.
  • In exploration mode, you climb up walls, dodge traps, overcome obstacles, and leap over pits. You usually stay toward the outside of the group to protect more vulnerable members, and you’re suited to looking for danger or moving stealthily.
  • In downtime mode, you diligently exercise, eat healthy foods, meditate, and study philosophies. You might also take up a craft that you strive to perfect.

Roleplaying a Monk

Seldom seen outside their monasteries, monks have a reputation as powerful but taciturn warriors.

If You’re a Monk, You Likely…

  • Maintain a regimen of physical training and meditation.
  • Face adversity with a calm and measured approach, never panicking or succumbing to despair.
  • Look to the future for ways you can improve while remaining at peace with your present self.

Others Probably…

  • Think you’re more than a bit uptight, with your vows and rules.
  • Marvel at your feats of physical prowess.
  • Come to you for philosophical instruction.
Table 3–14: Monk Advancement
Level Class Features
1 Ancestry feat, background, flurry of blows, graceful expertise, initial proficiencies, monk feat, powerful fist
2 Monk feat, skill feat
3 General feat, incredible movement 10 feet, magic strikes, skill increase
4 Monk feat, skill feat
5 Ability boosts, ancestry feat, metal strikes, skill increase
6 Incredible movement 15 feet, monk feat, skill feat
7 General feat, path to perfection, skill increase
8 Monk feat, skill feat
9 Ancestry feat, fierce flurry, incredible movement 20 feet, skill increase
10 Ability boosts, monk feat, skill feat
11 General feat, second path to perfection, skill increase
12 Incredible movement 25 feet, monk feat, skill feat
12 Ancestry feat, graceful mastery, skill increase, unarmed mastery
14 Monk feat, skill feat
15 Ability boosts, general feat, incredible movement 30 feet, skill increase, third path to perfection
16 Monk feat, skill feat
17 Adamantine strikes, ancestry feat, graceful legend, skill increase
18 Incredible movement 35 feet, monk feat, skill feat
19 General feat, perfected form, skill increase
20 Ability boosts, monk feat, skill feat

Class Features

You gain these abilities as a monk. Abilities gained at higher levels list the requisite levels next to the features’ names.

Flurry of Blows

You can attack rapidly with your fists. You gain the Flurry of Blows action.

Flurry of Blows (Action)

Frequency Once per round.

Make two unarmed Strikes. If both hit the same creature, combine their damage and enhancements for the purpose of resistances and weaknesses.

Graceful Expertise

Your unarmored defense proficiency rank is expert.

Powerful Fist

When striking with your fist, you deal 1d6 damage instead of 1d4. You use your normal proficiency when making a lethal attack with a nonlethal unarmed attack.

Monk Feats

At 1st level and every even-numbered level thereafter, you gain a monk class feat.

Skill Feats 2nd

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a skill feat. Skill feats have the skill trait. You must be trained or better in the corresponding skill to select a skill feat.

General Feats 3rd

At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, you gain a general feat. General feats are listed in Chapter 5.

Incredible Movement 3rd

You gain a +10-foot conditional bonus to your Speed whenever you’re not wearing armor. The bonus increases by 5 feet for every 3 monk levels you have beyond 3rd.

Magic Strikes 3rd

Your proficiency rank for unarmed attacks increases to expert. Your unarmed attacks become magical, allowing them to bypass resistances accordingly. You still need an item such as handwraps of mighty fists to gain a bonus to attack rolls or increase your attacks’ weapon damage dice.

Skill Increases 3rd

At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, you gain a skill increase. You can use this increase to either become trained in one skill you’re untrained in, or to become an expert in one skill in which you’re already trained.

If you are at least 7th level, you can use this increase to become a master in a signature skill in which you’re already an expert. If you are at least 15th level, you can use this increase to become legendary in a signature skill in which you’re already a master.

Ability Boosts 5th

At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, you boost four different ability scores. You can use these ability boosts to increase your ability scores above 18. Boosting an ability score increases it by 1 if it’s already 18 or above or by 2 if it starts out below 18.

Ancestry Feats 5th

In addition to the ancestry feat you started with, you gain an ancestry feat at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

The list of ancestry feats available to you can be found in your ancestry’s entry in Chapter 2.

Metal Strikes 5th

Your unarmed attacks are treated as cold iron and silver.

Path To Perfection 7th

Choose your Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throw. Your proficiency rank in the chosen saving throw increases to master.

Fierce Flurry 9th

If you hit with both Strikes in a Flurry of Blows, increase the weapon damage dice of each attack by one step.

Second Path To Perfection 11th

If you succeed at a saving throw in which your proficiency rank is master, you instead critically succeed.

Graceful Mastery 13th

Your unarmored defense proficiency rank becomes master.

Unarmed Mastery 13th

Your unarmed attack proficiency rank becomes master.

Third Path To Perfection 15th

Choose your Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throw. If your proficiency rank for the chosen type of save is master, it increases to legendary; otherwise, it increases to master.

Adamantine Strikes 17th

Your unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine.

Graceful Legend 17th

Your unarmored defense proficiency becomes legendary.

Perfected Form 19th

When you make an unarmed Strike, you can treat any dice whose roll was lower than 10 as if you had rolled a 10. If you do, your Strike gains the fortune trait.

Monk Feats

If you need to look up a monk feat by name instead of by level, use this table.

Feat Level
Abundant Step 6
Arrow Snatching 8
Brawling Focus 4
Crane Flutter 6
Crane Stance 1
Crushing Grab 4
Dancing Leaf 4
Deflect Arrow 4
Diamond Fists 18
Diamond Soul 12
Disrupt Ki 12
Dragon Roar 6
Dragon Stance 1
Empty Body 18
Enduring Quickness 20
Enlightened Presence 16
Flying Kick 4
Ghost Strike 6
Guarded Movement 4
Impossible Technique 20
Improved Knockback 12
Ki Blast 6
Ki Strike 1
Knockback Strike 10
Master of Many Styles 16
Monastic Weaponry 1
Monk’s Evasion 8
Mountain Root Quake 14
Mountain Root Stance 8
Quivering Palm 16
Shattering Strike 16
Sleeper Hold 10
Stance Savant 12
Stunning Fist 1
Swift River 18
Tangled Forest Rake 14
Tangled Forest Stance 8
Tiger Slash 6
Tiger Stance 1
Timeless Body 14
Tongue of Sun and Moon 14
Wall Run 8
Whirling Throw 6
Wholeness of Body 4
Wild Winds Gust 18
Wild Winds Stance 8
Wind Jump 10
Wind Step 6
Winding Path 10
Wolf Drag 6
Wolf Stance 1

Monk Feats Every level at which you gain a monk feat, select one of the following feats.

You must satisfy any prerequisites before taking the feat.

Key Terms

You’ll see the following key terms in many monk abilities.

Enhancements: Enhancements are additional effects applied to a Strike. If your Strike doesn’t deal damage, any enhancements do not apply. Some enhancements also require that you critically succeed against your opponent in order to apply the enhancement.

Open: Actions with this trait allow you to prepare your next Strike or have you enter a stance, and sometimes do both. You can use an action with the open trait only if you haven’t used an action with the attack or open trait yet this turn.

Stance: A stance is a general combat strategy that you enter by using an action with the stance trait. You can enter a stance only in encounter mode. A stance lasts until you get knocked out, until its requirements (if any) are violated, or until you enter a new stance, whichever comes first.

1st Level

Table 3–15: Monk Attacks
Unarmed Attack Damage Group Traits
Crane Wing 1d6 B Brawling Agile, finesse, nonlethal, unarmed
Dragon Tail 1d10 B Brawling Backswing, nonlethal, unarmed
Tiger Claw 1d8 S Brawling Agile, finesse, nonlethal, unarmed
Wolf Jaw 1d8 P Brawling Agile, finesse, nonlethal, unarmed
Wind Crash (See Wild Winds Stance) 1d4 S Brawling Agile, nonlethal, propulsive, unarmed
Falling Stone 1d8 B Brawling Forceful, nonlethal, unarmed
Lashing Branch 1d8 S Brawling Agile, finesse, nonlethal, unarmed

Crane Stance Feat 1

Requirements You are unarmored.

You enter the stance of a crane, standing on one leg while folding your arms in an imitation of a crane’s wings. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to AC, but the only Strikes you can make are crane wing attacks. These deal 1d6 bludgeoning damage; are in the brawling group; and have the agile, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.

While in Crane Stance, you gain a +4 conditional bonus on Athletics checks to jump, and when you Leap, you can move an additional 5 feet horizontally or 2 feet vertically.

Dragon Stance Feat 1

Requirements You are unarmored.

You enter the stance of a dragon and make powerful leg strikes like a lashing dragon’s tail. You can make dragon tail attacks. These deal 1d10 bludgeoning damage; are in the brawling group; and have the backswing, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.

While in Dragon Stance, you gain a +1 conditional bonus to saving throws against paralysis and sleep, and you can ignore difficult terrain while Striding.

Ki Strike Feat 1

By tapping into a supernatural inner reserve called ki, you can make your unarmed Strikes more powerful. You gain a pool of Spell Points with a capacity equal to your Wisdom modifier. You gain the Ki Strike ki power. This power is a type of special spell you can cast by spending Spell Points. Powers are explained on pages 193–194.

Other feats can give you other ki powers you can cast by spending Spell Points. You’re trained in spell rolls and spell DCs for your ki powers, and your spell rolls and spell DCs use your Wisdom modifier. When you use Ki Strike, choose whether your ki powers are divine spells or occult spells.

Monastic Weaponry Feat 1

You gain access to uncommon weapons with the monk trait, and become proficient in simple and martial monk weapons. Your proficiency rank for these weapons matches your proficiency rank for unarmed attacks, and you can use melee monk weapons with any of your monk feats or monk abilities that normally require unarmed attacks, though you can’t use these weapons if a monk feat or ability requires you to use a single specific attack, such as Crane Stance.

Stunning Fist Feat 1

Make an unarmed Strike. It gains the following enhancement.

Enhancement The target must attempt a Fortitude save against your class DC. If the target fails, it’s flat-footed for 1 round. On a critical failure, it’s also stupefied 2 for 1 round. If your attack was a critical success, one of the following outcomes occurs: If the target succeeded at its save, it instead fails its save. If the target failed its save, it instead critically fails its save. If the target critically failed its save, it is instead stunned for 1 round.

Tiger Stance Feat 1

Requirements You are unarmored.

You enter the stance of a tiger, using your hands like claws. You can make tiger claw attacks. These deal 1d8 slashing damage; are in the brawling group; and have the agile, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed traits. They gain the following enhancement.

Enhancement On a critical success, the target takes 1d4 persistent bleed damage.

While in Tiger Stance, you can Step 10 feet as long as your Speed is at least 10 feet.

Wolf Stance Feat 1

Requirements You are unarmored.

You enter the stance of a wolf, low to the ground with your hands held like fanged teeth. You can make wolf jaw unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8 piercing damage, are in the brawling group, and are agile, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed.

While in Wolf Stance, your wolf jaw unarmed attacks also gain the forceful trait if you’re flanking the target.

4th Level

Brawling Focus Feat 4

You gain access to the critical specialization effects of weapons of the brawling group.

Crushing Grab Feat 4

When you successfully Grapple a creature, you can deal bludgeoning damage to that creature equal to your Strength modifier. You can choose whether to treat this attack as nonlethal.

Dancing Leaf Feat 4

When you Leap or succeed at a High Jump or Long Jump, increase the distance you jump by 5 feet. When you fall, don’t count any distance fallen while you are adjacent to a wall when calculating the damage from the fall.

Deflect Arrow Feat 4

Trigger A ranged weapon attack hits you, but doesn’t critically hit you.

Requirements You’re aware of the attack but not flat-footed against it, and have a hand free.

You gain a +4 circumstance bonus to AC against the triggering attack. If this would cause the attack to be a failure, you deflect the arrow and the attack misses you.

Flying Kick Feat 4

Frequency Once per round.

Make a Leap or attempt a Long Jump. At the end of the jump, if you’re adjacent to a foe, you can immediately Strike that foe.

Guarded Movement Feat 4

Prerequisite(s): Monk 4

You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against reactions triggered by or during actions with the move trait that you use.

Wholeness of Body Feat 4

Prerequisite(s): Ki Strike

Tapping into your ki, you restore your own health. You gain the Wholeness of Body ki power, which you can cast by spending 2 Spell Points. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

6th Level

Abundant Step Feat 6

Prerequisite(s): Ki Strike

You can teleport yourself a short distance. You gain the Dimensional Steps ki power, which you can cast by spending 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Crane Flutter Feat 6

Prerequisite(s): Crane Stance

Requirements You are in Crane Stance.

Trigger You are targeted with a melee attack by an attacker you see.

You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against the triggering attack. If it misses you, you can immediately make a crane wing Strike against the attacker at a –4 penalty, even if the attacker isn’t in your reach. This Strike does not incur a multiple attack penalty.

Dragon Roar Feat 6

Prerequisite(s): Dragon Stance

Requirements You are in Dragon Stance.

You bellow, instilling fear in your enemies. Enemies that you’re aware of within a 15-foot aura must succeed at a Will save against your Intimidation DC or be frightened 1. A creature that critically fails is also fleeing for 1 round. A creature frightened in this way can’t reduce its frightened value below 1 on any turn it begins adjacent to you. All creature are bolstered.

Your first attack that hits a frightened creature after you roar gains a +4 circumstance bonus to damage. This extra damage must be triggered before the end of your next turn or it’s lost.

After you use this action, you can’t use it again for 1d4 rounds.

All its effects end immediately if you leave Dragon Stance.

Ghost Strike Feat 6

Make an unarmed Strike against the target’s TAC.

Ki Blast Feat 6

Prerequisite(s)Ki Strike

You can unleash an impactful cone of force by channeling your ki. You gain the Ki Blast ki power, which you can cast by spending 2 Spell Points. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Tiger Slash Feat 6

Prerequisite(s): Tiger Stance

Requirements You are in Tiger Stance.

You make a fierce swipe with both hands. Make a tiger claw Strike. It deals 2 extra dice of damage (3 extra dice of damage if you’re at least a 14th-level monk) and you can Shove the target 5 feet. This Strike counts as two attacks for the purpose of the multiple attack penalty. The Strike gains the following enhancement.

Enhancement If the attack was a critical success, add your Strength modifier to the persistent bleed damage from tiger claw.

Whirling Throw Feat 6

Requirements You have a creature grabbed or restrained.

You propel your grabbed or restrained foe a great distance.

Choose a distance in feet of up to 10 + 5 × your Strength modifier that you want to throw the creature. Attempt an Athletics check with a DC of 5 plus the total distance in feet you’re trying to throw the creature. You take a –2 circumstance penalty to your check for every size the target is larger than you or a +2 circumstance bonus to your check for every size the target is smaller than you.

If you throw the creature, it takes bludgeoning damage equal to your Strength modifier plus 1d6 per 10 feet you threw it.

Success You throw the creature up to 10 feet.

Critical Success You throw the creature the desired distance.

Failure You don’t throw the creature.

Critical Failure You don’t throw the creature, and it’s no longer grabbed or restrained by you.

Wind Step Feat 6

You can Stride across liquid and surfaces that can’t support your weight. This benefit lasts only during your movement. If you end your movement on the surface, you fall in or it collapses as normal.

Wolf Drag Feat 6

Prerequisite(s): Wolf Stance

Requirements You are in Wolf Stance.

You rip your enemy off their feet. Make a wolf jaw Strike. Your wolf jaw is fatal d12 for this Strike, and if the attack succeeds or critically succeeds, you knock the target prone.

8th Level

Arrow Snatching Feat 8

Prerequisite Deflect Arrow

When you successfully Deflect an Arrow, as part of that reaction you can immediately make a ranged Strike against the attacker using the projectile you deflected. This is a thrown weapon with the same range increment as the triggering attack.

Monk’s Evasion Feat 8

Prerequisite(s): Master Reflex

When you succeed at a Reflex save, treat it as a critical success. If you’re 11th level or higher, when you fail at a Reflex save against an effect that deals damage, you halve the damage you take.

Mountain Root Stance Feat 8

Trigger You are unarmored.

You enter the stance of an implacable mountain, striking with the weight of an avalanche. You can make falling stone unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8 bludgeoning damage; are in the brawling group; and have the forceful, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.

While in Mountain Root Stance, you gain resistance 2 to all damage and get a +2 conditional bonus to any defenses against being Shoved or Tripped. At 14th level, the resistance increases to 3.

Tangled Forest Stance Feat 8

Trigger You are unarmored.

You extend your arms like gnarled branches to interfere with your foes’ movements. You can make lashing branch unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8 slashing damage, are in the brawling group, and have the agile, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.

While you’re in Tangled Forest Stance and can act, every enemy in your reach that tries to move away from you must succeed at an Acrobatics or Athletics check against your class DC or be immobile for that action, free action, or reaction with the move trait (attempting this check is a free action).

Wall Run Feat 8

Stride up to your Speed. You must start your movement on a horizontal surface. During this movement, you can run up vertical surfaces like walls at your full Speed. If you end the Stride off the ground, you fall (though you can Grab an Edge if applicable). If you have Wind Step or a similar ability, Wall Run lets you run along vertical liquids or flimsy solids (such as a waterfall).

Wild Winds Stance Feat 8

Prerequisite(s)Ki Strike

You can enter a stance that lets you attack from a distance. You gain the Wild Winds Stance ki power, which you can use by spending 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 1.

10th Level

Knockback Strike Feat 10

Make an unarmed Strike. If you hit, make an Athletics check to Shove the target. This attack uses the same multiple attack penalty as your Strike, and doesn’t count toward your multiple attack penalty.

Sleeper Hold Feat 10

Requirements You have a creature grabbed or restrained.

Attempt an Athletics check to Grapple the creature.

Success The target is sluggish 1 through its next turn.

Critical Success The target falls asleep for 1 minute, though it remains standing and doesn’t drop what it holds.

Wind Jump Feat 10

Prerequisite(s): Ki Strike

You gather the wind beneath you, allowing you to fly as you jump.

You gain the Wind Jump ki power, which you can cast by spending 2 Spell Points. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Winding Path Feat 10

Frequency once per round

You use two of the following actions in any order: Stand, Step, and Stride. You can’t use the same action twice.

12th Level

Diamond Soul Feat 12

You gain a +1 conditional bonus to saving throws against magic.

Disrupt Ki Feat 12

Make an unarmed Strike with the following enhancement.

Enhancement If the target is a living creature, you block its inner life force. It takes 2d4 persistent negative damage and is enfeebled 1 until the persistent damage ends. If you’re 18th level or higher, this deals 3d4 persistent negative damage instead.

Improved Knockback Feat 12

When you successfully Shove a creature, increase the distance you push the creature and the distance you can move by 5 feet on a success or 10 feet on a critical success. If you push the target into an obstacle, it takes bludgeoning damage equal to your Strength modifier.

Stance Savant Feat 12

Trigger You roll initiative.

You enter a stance without a thought. You use an action with the stance trait.

14th Level

Mountain Root Quake Feat 14

Prerequisite(s): Mountain Root Stance

Requirements You are in Mountain Root Stance and standing on the ground.

You stomp, shaking the earth beneath you. Creatures on the ground within a 20-foot aura must succeed at a Reflex save against your Athletics DC or take damage equal to your Strength modifier (minimum 0) and fall prone. A creature that critically fails takes double damage; one that succeeds takes half damage and doesn’t fall prone, and one that critically succeeds is unaffected.

After you use this action, you can’t use it again for 1d4 rounds.

Tangled Forest Rake Feat 14

Prerequisite(s): Tangled Forest Stance

Requirements You are in Tangled Forest Stance.

You move your foe as though it were traveling and lost in the woods, unable to escape. Make a lashing branch Strike with the following enhancement.

Enhancement You move the target up to 5 feet into a different square within your reach. If the target started on the ground, you can’t move it off a cliff or into another place where it wouldn’t be able to stand.

Timeless Body Feat 14

You cease aging. In addition, you gain a +2 conditional bonus to saves against toxins and resistance 5 to poison damage.

Tongue of Sun and Moon Feat 14

You can understand and speak all languages.

Wild Winds Gust Feat 14

Prerequisite(s): Ki Strike

You can cause swirling winds to buffet your enemies in all directions. You gain the Wild Winds Gust ki power, which you can cast by spending 2 Spell Points. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

16th Level

Enlightened Presence Feat 16

You and allies within 15 feet of you get a +1 conditional bonus to Will saving throws.

Master of Many Styles Feat 16

Prerequisite(s): Stance Savant

Trigger Your turn begins.

You use an action with the stance trait.

Quivering Palm Feat 16

Prerequisite(s): Ki Strike

Your strikes can kill foes. You gain the Quivering Palm ki power, which you can cast by spending 2 Spell Points.

Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Shattering Strike Feat 16

Make an unarmed Strike. It bypasses the target’s resistances. If the target has Hardness, you deal 2 Dents instead of one if you exceed its Hardness.

18th Level

Diamond Fists Feat 18

Your unarmed attacks become forceful. Any that were already forceful gain a +3 circumstance bonus to damage on the second attack on the same turn and a +5 circumstance bonus to damage on the third attack and further attacks.

Empty Body Feat 18

Prerequisite(s): Ki Strike

You transmute your body into an ethereal form. You gain the Empty Body ki power, which you can cast by spending 2 Spell Points. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Swift River Feat 18

Trigger Your turn ends and you are hampered or slowed.

You remove the hampered or slowed condition.

20th Level

Enduring Quickness Feat 20

You’re permanently quick. You can use your extra action to Stride or Leap, or to attempt a High Jump or Long Jump.

Impossible Technique Feat 20

Requirements You are not armored or fatigued.

Trigger An enemy’s attack hits you or you fail a saving throw against an enemy’s ability.

If the triggering effect was the enemy’s attack hitting you, decrease the enemy’s degree of success by one step. If the triggering effect was you failing a saving throw, increase your degree of success by one step.

You are a champion of justice, a holy servant of a good and lawful deity who takes up the mantle of a restrictive code to provide certainty and hope to the innocent. You have powerful defenses that you share freely with your allies and innocent bystanders, but when the time comes to punish the wicked, you use your holy power to end the threat of evil.

Your devotion also attracts the attention of holy spirits who aid you on your journey. Others can count on you to adhere to your code of conduct, and they trust you at your word.