Invincible Monk (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Do you hate constantly writing down and erasing your current hit points? If so, this is the build for you! With AC 64, SR 39 and Fortitude, Reflex and Will Saves of 24, 20 and 30 respectively before epic levels, this tank of a character will bring you about as close as you can get to never being hit by anything - oh, and that's without any fancy magic items.


Book of Exhalted Deeds, Masters of the Wild, Monster Manuals I and III, Player's Handbook, Unearthed Arcana


Due to Vow of Poverty, this character build uses no items. But don't worry, it's more than worth it.


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): STR 14, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 6, WIS 16, CHA 7 (using 25 point buy)

Race (Templates): Poison Dusk Lizardfolk (see Monster Manual III)

Starting Racial Traits:

  • +2 DEX, +2 CON, -2CHA
  • Small (+1 AC and some other things)
  • +3 natural armour
  • +1 level adjustment
  • some other irrelevant features (for my goal anyway)

The Final Build[edit]

This is a list of some of the most important qualities of the build by level 19 (ECL 20).

Class levels: 13 levels in Monk followed by 6 levels in Forsaker (Masters of the Wild)

Important Class Features: Monk: AC Bonus, Improved Evasion, Purity of Body, Wholeness of Body, Diamond Body

Forsaker: Ability Bonus, Fast Healing, Spell Resistance (and yes, it stacks!), Tough Defense, Slippery Mind

Important Vow Features: Vow of Poverty: AC Bonus (Exalted), Bonus Exalted Feats, Exalted Strike Deflection, Resistance, Ability Score

Enhancement, Natural Armor
Vow of Peace: AC Bonus (Exalted), Deflection, Natural Armour - note that these stack with the bonuses from Vow
of Poverty; the Book of Exalted Deeds is very clear about this

Traits: Slow (+1 to HP gained at each level, 1/2 base land speed - this only halves the character's base land speed of 30ft with no effect

on the Monk bonuses (enhancement bonuses), giving it a final speed of 55ft)

Flaws: Inattentive (-4 penalty on listen and spot checks), Shaky (-2 penalty on all ranged attack rolls)

Standard Feats: Sacred Vow, Vow of Poverty, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, Improved Natural Armour (x4)

Bonus Exalted Feats (from Vow of Poverty): Intuitive Attack (use WIS modifier on attack rolls), Vow of Non-Violence, Vow of Peace, whatever

else you choose

Stats(Final): STR 16, DEX 20, CON 22, INT 6, WIS 34, CHA 5

These come from 25 point buy + regular stat increase + bonus stat increases from Vow of Poverty and Forsaker class levels.

AC: 64 (see The Breakdown section for details)

Saves: Fort 24, Ref 20, Will 30 (see The Breakdown section for details)

Spell Resistance: 39 (+23 from Diamond Soul, +16 from Forsaker levels - yes, it specifically says that they stack; see Masters of the Wild)

The Breakdown[edit]

Here's where I explain where the AC, Save and SR bonuses come from.


  • STR 16 = 14(Base)+2(Vow of Poverty)
  • DEX 20 = 14(Base)+2(Racial)+4(Vow of Poverty)
  • CON 22 = 14(Base)+2(Racial)+6(Vow of Poverty)
  • INT 6 = 6(Base)
  • WIS 34 = 16(Base)+8(Vow of Poverty)+6(Forsaker)+4(Levels)
  • CHA 5 = 7(Base)-2(Racial)

Armour Class:

  • +10 - base
  • + 1 - small
  • + 3 - base natural armour for Poison Dusk Lizard Folk
  • + 4 - Improved Natural Armour, taken 4 times
  • + 2 - Monk levels
  • +17 - WIS 34, DEX 20, Monk
  • + 6 - CON 22, Forsaker (they add their CON bonus to AC)
  • +15 - Vow of Poverty (+10 AC (Exalted), +3 Deflection, +2 Natural Armour)
  • + 6 - Vow of Peace (+4 AC (Exalted), +4 Deflection, +4 Natural Armour - once again, this stacks with the Vow of Poverty bonuses)

This gives 64 AC in total.


  • Fort 24 = 8(Monk levels)+5(Forsaker levels)+6(CON bonus)+3(Resistance from Vow of Poverty)+2(Great Fortitude)
  • Ref 20 = 8(Monk levels)+2(Forsaker levels)+5(DEX bonus)+3(Resistance from Vow of Poverty)+2(Lightning Reflexes)
  • Will 30 = 8(Monk levels)+5(Forsaker levels)+12(WIS bonus)+3(Resistance from Vow of Poverty)+2(Iron Will)

Spell Resistance:

  • SR 39 = 23(Monk levels)+16(Forsaker levels) - and in this special case they do stack


With AC 64, SR 39 and Fortitude, Reflex and Will Saves of 24, 20 and 30 respectively, your DM's going to have a hard time hitting you with normal creatures. I'd suggest trying to protect your comparatively frail allies by taunting and getting in the way of your foes, unleashing your five deadly attacks all the while. Improved Evasion also does wonders to patch up the hole left by the comparatively low Reflex save.

Side Notes[edit]

I want to point out that although this is an ideal combat build, players may find the restrictions of the vows and the Forsaker class to be too restrictive. For instance, the rest of your party may find it frustrating that your character's Forsaker class requirements force it to keep up its 39 SR as your party Wizard (presumably level 20) hopes for a 19 or 20 to successfully force you to teleport.


With low INT and CHA (6 and 5...) and flat-footed touch AC of only 16, a horde of undead that deal INT or CHA damage could easily knock this character out if they were to win on initiative. This would provide an extra challenge due to the character's resistance to healing (SR39), which normally isn't too much of an issue for HP due to it having Fast Healing, Wholeness of Body and Regeneration. (To counter this the player could take Improved Initiative to avoid being caught flat-footed (+9 initiative bonus), bringing its AC back up to 47.) Do to it's levels in Forsaker, the character cannot lower its SR for healing and must make a saving throw or else lose its class features (I know, it sucks). Although the character's bonus to attack is decent (+32 to first attack), damage isn't great at only 1d10+7.

DM Counters[edit]

Flat-footed touch AC is only 16, and INT and CHA are only 6 and 5 respectively, so undead that deal INT or CHA damage could do the trick.

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