Anchorite (Sanctuary's Lot Supplement)
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Anchorite (Sanctuary's Lot)
Mechanically, the anchorite is indistinguishable from the monk as presented in the player's handbook.
That said, there are thematic and storytelling differences between the anchorite in the Sanctuary's Lot setting, and the monk in a typical D&D campaign.
The anchorite class describes a person raised and trained by one of the anchorite cloisters or associated priories. Invariably, this person was some form of outcast: an orphan, runaway, refugee, or fugitive. The cloisters take them all without question. Those who abide by the cloister rules are considered sacrosanct, beyond the reach of civil decree (at least in theory). In society, the anchorites hold the odd position of being both venerated (or at least respected) as a holy and disciplined society, while individually being taken as the lowest of low-born persons: outsiders with strong ties to both the sacred and the grossly mundane, both product of civilization while standing far outside of it.
Most members of this order simply maintain their monasteries and provide education for people in poor and rural areas. Most, but not all. Fervent pragmatists, all anchorite settlements provide strict martial training for some of their members to contend with a world where bandits, monsters, and ghosts are a sobering reality.
“Adventuring” anchorites are always derived from these later groups, offering protection for mundane and supernatural threats to isolated communities for only token payments. Anchorites will take jobs settling disputes between neighbors as often as taking work as bounty hunters and contracts to destroy monsters.
All of the preeminent faiths have anchorite orders associated with them. And there are numerous cloisters that have no apparent ties to any major church. While the great churches will squabble and even war with one another (conflicts the anchorite do participate in), the cloisters themselves are always kept out of these disputes, forever neutral territory.
Anchorites refer to the spiritual medium they employ as 'Aether' (rather than 'Ki').