Ash Walker (Monk)

October 17th, 2017

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

There are plenty of monk archetypes that allow monks to harness their ki in order to perform supernatural effects (and, for that matter, the monk gets to play at least a little bit with the supernatural even in just the base class). Today’s archetype is a darker version of the monk, whose ki is used to create flame, smoke, and ash, leaving a swathe of charred destruction in his wake.


New Monk Archetype
Ash Walker

An obscure sect of monks, ash walkers belong to an order that preaches of a fiery doom soon to claim the land, and directs its adherents to prepare themselves for an age of suffering and destruction. Ash walkers regularly subject themselves to trials of endurance, holding hot coals in their hands, consuming ash, and breathing smoke. Through these trials, they are made stronger, and gain access to mystic abilities relating to smoke and flame. Though they claim to merely be messengers of the impending doom they predict, many wonder if perhaps they are in fact its harbingers, and if the true purpose of their order might not be to bring their grim predictions to fruition.

Fiery Fist (Su): An ash walker is able to channel supernatural heat through his body. Half of the damage dealt by his unarmed strikes is fire damage, rather than the normal type.

This ability modifies the unarmed strike class feature.

Implacable (Ex): Although they are not as fast as other monks, ash walkers are very hardy. An ash walker gains 1 additional hit point per monk level. Additionally, at 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, the ash walker gains a +1 competence bonus to his CMD.

This ability replaces the fast movement class feature.

Smoke Aura (Su): Beginning at 1st level, an ash walker can cause his body to exude a cloud of vaporous smoke, which issues forth from every pore, surrounding him in a haze of ash. This grants the ash walker concealment (20% miss chance). Activating or suppressing this ability is a swift action. This smoke does not interfere with the ash walker’s ability to see effectively, although unless he possesses the ability to breathe normally in smoke, he must either hold his breath while using this ability, or succeed on a Fortitude saving throw each round (DC 15 + 1 per previous check) or spend that round choking and coughing. Armor of any kind interferes with the ash walker’s ability to exude smoke in this fashion, and this ability does not function while he is wearing armor.

At 4th level, and every four monk levels thereafter, the miss chance granted by this ability increases by 10% (to a maximum of 70% at 20th level).

This ability replaces the AC bonus class feature.

Still Breath (Ex): By 3rd level, an ash walker is particularly skilled at holding his breath. He can hold his breath for twice as long as he would otherwise be able to, and he gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves and Constitution checks made to avoid suffocation or to resist the infects of inhaled poisons, smoke, and similar.

At 9th level, an ash walker can breathe smoke and ash as though it were clean air.

This ability replaces the still mind class feature.

Fire Resistance (Ex): By 4th level, an ash walker’s body has become resistant to flames. He gains fire resistance 5. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, this fire resistance increases by 5 (to a maximum of 25 at 20th level).

This ability replaces the slow fall class feature.

Smokesight (Ex): By 5th level, an ash walker’s eyes no longer sting when exposed to ash and smoke, and his vision can pierce even the densest smoke clouds. He can see through smoke and flame without penalty.

This ability replaces the high jump class feature.

Burning Touch (Su): By 7th level, an ash walker learns to use the heat in his body to deliver debilitating wounds. Whenever he deals 1 or more points of fire damage to a creature with an unarmed strike or natural attack, he can choose to expend 1 point from his ki pool in order to leave a searing burn. If he does, the fire damage inflicted by that attack can’t be healed normally, and can only be healed magically if the caster succeeds on a caster level check (DC 11 + the ash walker’s monk level).

This ability replaces the wholeness of body class feature.

Smoke Form (Su): At 12th level, an ash walker can cause his entire body to transform into a vaporous cloud of smoke and ash. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. This functions as the spell gaseous form, except that the damage reduction the ash walker gains is equal to his monk level, and can’t be overcome by any means. Additionally, his fly speed while in this state is 30 feet, rather than 10 feet. Finally, the effect’s duration is increased to 10 minutes per level. The ash walker’s caster level for the purposes of this effect is equal to his monk level.

This ability replaces the abundant step class feature.

Breathe Smoke (Su): At 17th level, an ash walker gains the ability to breathe out a cloud of smoke, forming either a 40-foot cone or a 20-foot-radius emanation centered on him. In either case, the affected area is filled with smoke, which obscures vision, giving concealment (20% miss chance) to characters within it, and total concealment (50% miss chance) to creatures separated by more than 5 feet of smoke. A character that breathes this smoke must make a Fortitude save each round (DC 15 + 1 per previous check) or spend that round choking and coughing. A character who chokes for 2 consecutive rounds takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A moderate wind (11+ mph) disperses the smoke in 4 rounds; a strong wind (21+ mph) disperses the smoke in 1 round. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool.

This ability replaces the tongue of the sun and moon class feature.