The Monk Ascetic

March 5th, 2012

Joshua Zaback

Best in Class Archive

            Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting edition of Best in Class, where we bring you new class options and new archetypes each and every week for your favorite Pathfinder classes. This week we’ll be talking about a class that is somewhat close to my heart: the monk. The first time I played a monk, I remember being somewhat disappointed that it wasn’t nearly as powerful as the monk class from the Baldur’s Gate II computer game, and was further disenchanted with the character because we had rolled stats for the campaign in question, and even though my monk’s stats weren’t really all that bad, another players character had something like four 18s.

            Over the course of the adventure I developed something of a distaste for the monk class, which may have been unjustified. It wasn’t for several campaigns, and actually a couple of dead and replaced characters into another campaign, that I found myself looking at playing another monk. While it had been established by our group that monk was pretty much the worst class and the most likely to just get killed due to their wretchedly low AC, and that the group desperately needed a healer, I was selfish and for flavor reasons wanted to create a sort of backwoods martial artist. Luckily for me, the Book of Exalted Deeds provided rules for playing an ascetic character, and the feat Vow of Poverty significantly changed the way the monk functioned, and that, combined with a point-buy stat generation, led to my having a lot more fun the second time around.

            As a result, I’ve come to love the monk class, and I think that the Pathfinder update has made the class more distinctive and interesting, so naturally I’m going to provide a brand new archetype which significantly alters the way that that new and improved model works. Enjoy!


New Monk Archetype

Monk Ascetic

            Monk ascetics spurn material opulence and worldly desires in order to focus on meditation, enlightenment, and the perfection of the their bodies. This isolationist perspective leaves them disconnected with the world at large, and so many of their spiritual abilities reflect this introspective point of view.

            Ascetic Vow (Ex): The monk ascetic loses the benefits of any class features gained by this archetype if he owns material goods or benefits from material goods whose value exceeds his monk level x 1,000 gp.

            Sustenance (Su): The monk ascetic’s control over his natural metabolism is so great that he no longer needs to eat, drink, or sleep. Consequently, the monk ascetic is immune to fatigue, exhaustion and sleep effects.
            This ability replaces fast movement and still mind.
            Ascetic Devotion (Su): The monk ascetic’s spiritual practices offer him substantial protection from the physical world. At 4th level, the monk ascetic gains DR 5/magic. At 10th level, this protection improves to grant the monk ascetic DR 5/lawful, and finally at 16th level, the monk ascetic gains DR 10/adamantine and lawful. Additionally, the monk ascetic’s unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons with an enhancement bonus equal to ¼ his monk level, rounded down. This ability does not count towards the amount of treasure the monk ascetic can own as a result of his ascetic vow feature.
            This ability replaces ki pool.

            Ascetic Determination (Su): Beginning at 12th level, the monk ascetic’s devotion to his philosophy renders him immune to all slow and stunning effects.
            This ability replaces abundant step.

            Ascetic Perfection (Su): Beginning at 17th level, the monk ascetic’s devotion to self-perfection protects him from deadly magic. Whenever the monk ascetic would be the target of a death effect, if he fails his saving throw, he suffers 3d6 points of damage instead of the usual effect; if he succeeds on his saving throw, he does not suffer any negative effects.
            This replaces tongue of the sun and moon.

            Ascetic Incarnation (Su): Beginning at 19th level, the monk ascetic’s devotion to self-perfection is absolute, granting him immunity to paralysis, petrification, and mind-affecting effects.
            This ability replaces empty body.

            Nirvana (Su): At 20th level, the monk ascetic gains the ability to temporarily ascend to a higher plane. For a number of rounds per day equal to his monk level, the monk ascetic can enter nirvana. While in this state, his physical body appears to vanish and the monk ascetic loses awareness of his former surroundings, entering a realm of perfect thought. While in nirvana, the monk ascetic cannot be harmed in any way, and each round he spends in this state he recovers hit points, ability damage, and spells as though he had received a full day’s rest.
            This ability replaces perfect self.



            Well that’s it for this edition of Best in Class. I hope to see you all here next week for more great class features and alternate archetypes to improve your gaming experience. Until next we meet, I wish you all the best in your gaming endeavors.