Monk ToB (3.5e Class)

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Monk - Tome of Battle variant[edit]

A roleplayable, candy-filled class that combines the feats of a classic monk with Sublime Way techniques of a swordsage.

Based off Monk, Danzig Variant. Aimed at a Tier 3 class.

Making a ToB Monk[edit]

The monk is a skilled member of the party and a capable warrior when the need arises.

Abilities: Dexterity is most important for a monk since it increases his AC and his attack bonus (after level 2, if it's greater than his strength). Wisdom affects numerous other monk abilities and should be close do dexterity. A good constitution adds a few much-needed hit points and increases fortitude saves further, but is not a priority. At least average strength helps

Races: Humans are a good option, as well as any races that add a bonus to Dex or Wis. If your DM allows it, anthropomorphic animals from Savage Species (p. 216) can be a good option.

Alignment: To be a monk one needs immense discipline, so monks must be lawful. This, however, does not necessarily mean that monks obey the law - despite having respect for rules in general, the monks must only obey their own code of personal betterment. Most monks are also good-aligned, but there have been a few evil monk organizations as well.

Starting Gold: 5d4 gp (12, 5sp)

Table: The Monk

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Flurry of Blows
Attack Bonus
Man. Known Man. Readied Stances Known Highest man. level Unarmed
Speed Bonus
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike –2/–2 4 1 1 1 1d6 +0 +0 ft.
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Bonus Feat, Evasion, Zen fighting –1/–1 5 2 1 1 1d6 +0 +0 ft.
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Still Mind, Qi Gong(+0) +0/+0 5 2 2 1 1d6 +0 +10 ft.
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Ki Strike (+1), Slow Fall 20 ft. +1/+1 6 2 2 2 1d8 +0 +10 ft.
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Purity of Body +2/+2 7 2 2 2 1d8 +1 +10 ft.
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Bonus Feat, Slow Fall 30 ft. +3/+3 7 3 2 3 1d8 +1 +20 ft.
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Wholeness of Body, Qi Gong(+1) +4/+4 8 3 2 3 1d8 +1 +20 ft.
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Ki Strike (+2), Slow Fall 40 ft. +5/+5/+0 9 3 2 4 1d10 +1 +20 ft.
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Improved Evasion +6/+6/+1 9 3 3 4 1d10 +1 +30 ft.
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Ki Strike (Lawful), Slow Fall 50 ft. +7/+7/+2 10 4 3 5 1d10 +2 +30 ft.
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Diamond Body, Greater Flurry, Qi Gong(+2) +8/+8/+8/+3 11 4 3 5 1d10 +2 +30 ft.
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Ki Strike (+3),Abundant Step, Slow Fall 60 ft. +9/+9/+9/+4 11 4 3 6 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Diamond Soul, Wall Run +9/+9/+9/+4 12 4 3 6 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Slow Fall 70 ft. +10/+10/+10/+5 13 5 3 7 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 Quivering Palm, Qi Gong(+3) +11/+11/+11/+6/+1 13 5 4 7 2d6 +3 +50 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Ki Strike (+4), Slow Fall 80 ft. +12/+12/+12/+7/+2 14 5 4 8 2d8 +3 +50 ft.
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Timeless Body, Tongue of the Sun and Moon +12/+12/+12/+7/+2 15 5 4 8 2d8 +3 +50 ft.
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Slow Fall 90 ft. +13/+13/+13/+8/+3 15 6 4 9 2d8 +3 +60 ft.
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Empty Body, Qi Gong(+4) +14/+14/+14/+9/+4 16 6 4 9 2d8 +3 +60 ft.
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Ki Strike (+5)Perfect Self, Slow Fall Any Distance +15/+15/+15/+10/+5 16 6 4 9 2d10 +4 +60 ft.
  1. The value shown is for Medium monks. See Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size for monks of all sizes.

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis),Martial lore* Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Martial lore is described on page 29 of Tome of Battle.

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. These weapons are also called "Monk weapons".

Monks are not proficient with any armour or shields.

When wearing armour, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

Disciplines Available: The disciplines available to you are Desert Wind, Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, Shadow Hand, Stone Dragon and Tiger Claw. A monk is a martial adept class and treated as a martial adept for the purpose of determining initiator level.

Maneuvers: A monk has knowledge of four maneuvers and a stance when he begins his career. As he attains levels, he gains knowledge of additional maneuvers, as shown in the table above. A monk must fulfill all prerequisites for whatever maneuver he wishes to learn before taking it.

A monk’s maneuvers (and stances) count as extraordinary abilities unless otherwise noted. Maneuvers are not subject to spell resistance or antimagic fields (unless the maneuver is supernatural), and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.

In addition, when a monk reaches 4th level, and every other level after, he can exchange one maneuver for another. The new maneuver does not need to have the same level as the old maneuver, but he must observe the restriction on the highest-level maneuver he knows, and he must meet all other prerequisites before selecting the new maneuver.

Maneuvers Readied: Starting at 1st level, a monk is able to ready one of his maneuvers. In order to ready his maneuvers, he must spend 15 minutes in the morning meditating and exercising.

When an encounter begins, the monk has all of his maneuvers, unexpended. These maneuvers can be initiated once per encounter and the monk does not regain them until the end of the encounter unless he refreshes them, which requires a standard action, and recovers a number of maneuvers of a maximum of 1 + his Wisdom bonus, up to the number of maneuvers readied at his level. He can also take a full round action to change his readied maneuvers. Doing so makes all readied manoeuvres available to the monk as if he just entered the encounter.

Stances Known: At 1st level, a monk can select a 1st level stance from one of the available disciplines. At 4th, 10th, and 16th levels, he can select additional stances. As with maneuvers, he must meet all prerequisites when selecting a new stance. These stances are available at all times, and he can initiate or change the stance he is currently using as a swift action. Stances count as extraordinary abilities (unless stated otherwise).

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armour, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a –2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Monk. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to –1, and at 9th level, it disappears. A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1-1/2 or ×1/2) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The monk can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.

In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

When a monk reaches 11th level, her flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

A monk also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Monk. The unarmed damage on Table: The Monk is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size.

Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size
Level Fine Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
1st–3rd 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6
4th–7th 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6
8th–11th 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8
12th–15th 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6 8d6
16th–19th 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8 8d8
20th 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 2d10 4d8 6d8 8d8 12d8

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a monk may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Zen fighting (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, the monk can his dexterity modifier on his attack rolls with monk weapons, as if he had Weapon Finesse.

Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on Table: The Monk. A monk in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed. Remember that the monk gets a cumulative +4 bonus to jump checks for each increase of speed over 30, as described in Jump Skill

Qi Gong (Ex): Upon reaching 3rd level, a monk can quickly meditate to increase his focus for a single task. As a move action, the monk chooses one trained skill. He gains a bonus in that skill up to his Wisdom modifier or up to the number of ranks he has in this skill, whichever is lower. This bonus lasts until the monk assigns it to another skill. There is no limit to the number of uses per day.

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.

Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a monk’s unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Her unarmed attacks and attacks made with unenchanted monk weapons are now treated as a +1 weapon. This enchantment bonus increases by +1 every 4 levels.

Slow Fall (Ex): At 4th level or higher, a monk within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. When first using this ability, she takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The monk’s ability to slow her fall improves with her monk level, as listed. At level 8 the monk learns to balance on the air itself and no longer needs to be within arm's reach of a wall to gain the benefit of this ability. Upon reaching level 20 the monk can fall any distance without suffering harm.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases.

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, a monk can heal her own wounds. She can heal a number of hit points of damage equal her current monk level times her Wisdom modifier (Minimum 1) each day, and she can spread this healing out among several uses.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a monk’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Diamond Body (Su): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, a number of times per day equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Her caster level for this effect is equal to half her monk level.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to her current monk level + 10. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance.

Wall Run(Ex): At 13 level the monk can climb and travel on vertical surfaces or even traverse ceilings, as well as a spider, does. He does not need to have his hands free to do that. As a move action the monk can assign his Qi Gong bonus to this ability, which allows him to move across any solid surface as if affected by Spider climb. However at the end of his move, the monk must finish on a horizontal surface, or he falls. He is allowed to make a jump check during his movement on wall or ceiling, however this this ends Wall run.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. She can use this quivering palm attack a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), and she must announce her intent before making her attack roll. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter the monk can try to slay the victim at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to her monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the monk’s level + the monk’s Wis modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time.

Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when her time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A monk of 17th level or higher can speak with any living creature.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), you learn to step into the Void and remain there briefly. This functions as the ethereal jaunt spell with a caster level equal to half your monk level.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk becomes a magical creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 15/chaotic, which allows her to ignore the first 15 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.


Like a member of any other class, a monk may be a multiclass character, but multiclass monks face a special restriction. A monk who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her monk level, though she retains all her monk abilities.

Epic Monk[edit]

Table: The Epic Monk

Hit Die: d8

Level AC
Speed Bonus
21st +4 +70 ft.
22nd +4 +70 ft.
23rd +4 +70 ft.
24th +4 +80 ft.
25th +5 +80 ft. Bonus Feat
26th +5 +80 ft.
27th +5 +90 ft.
28th +5 +90 ft.
29th +5 +90 ft.
30th +6 +100 ft. Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

AC Bonus: The Monk’s bonus to Armor Class when unarmored increases by +1 every five levels higher than 20th.

Unarmed Strike: The damage for a Monk’s unarmed strike does not increase after 20th level.

Fast Movement: The epic Monk’s speed when wearing no armor increases by 10 feet every three levels higher than 18th. The unarmored speed of Small and dwarven monks increases by 5 feet instead of 10 feet.

Ki Strike: The Monk’s ki strike ability does not automatically increase with class level after 16th level.

Wholeness of Body (Su): The epic Monk can cure up to twice his or her class level in hit points each day, as normal.

Abundant Step (Su): Use the Monk’s class level when determining the effective caster level of this ability, as normal.

Diamond Soul (Ex): The epic Monk’s spell resistance is equal to his or her class level +10, as normal.

Quivering Palm (Su): Use the Monk’s class level when determining the DC to resist this attack, as normal.

Empty Body (Su): Use the Monk’s class level when determining the duration of this effect, as normal.

Bonus Feats: The epic Monk gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Monk bonus feats) every five levels higher than 20th.

Epic Monk Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Energy Resistance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Exceptional Deflection, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Ki Strike, Improved Spell Resistance, Improved Stunning Fist, Infinite Deflection, Keen Strike, Legendary Climber, Legendary Wrestler, Reflect Arrows, Righteous Strike, Self-Concealment, Shattering Strike, Vorpal Strike.

Human Monk Starting Package[edit]

28 point buy human monk. Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14,Cha 10 9 HP

Weapons: Sling (10).

Skill Selection:Ability modifier included: Balance (+7), Hide (+7), Jump (+5), Listen (+6), Move silently (+7), Spot (+6), Tumble (+7)

Skill Ranks Ability
Balance 4 Dex
Hide 4 Dex
Jump 4 Str
Listen 4 Wis
Move silently 4 Dex
Spot 4 Wis
Tumble 4 Dex

Feat: Dodge, Mobility (human bonus)

Bonus Feats: Flurry of blows, Improved unarmed strike (1d6), Stunning fist

Maneuvers known: Stone bones (SD), Sudden Leap (TC), Mighty Throw (SS), Burning blade (DW)

Maneuvers readied: Sudden Leap, Burning blade

Stance known: Child of Shadow

Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel. Three torches. Pouch with 10 sling stones

Gold: 2d4 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Monk[edit]

Religion: A monk’s training is her spiritual path. He is innerdirected and capable of a private, mystic connection to the spiritual world, so he needs neither clerics nor gods. Certain lawful gods, however, may appeal to monks, who may meditate on the gods’ likenesses and attempt to emulate their deeds. The three most likely candidates for a monk’s devotion are Heironeous (god of valor), St. Cuthbert (god of retribution), and Hextor (god of tyranny).

Other Classes: Monks sometimes seem distant because they often have neither motivation nor skills in common with members of other classes. Monks do, however, work well with the support of others, and they usually prove themselves reliable companions.

Combat: The monks are great at getting to tactical spots. An enemy caster is hiding behind a wall of fighters? Tubmle past them with your great speed and take him out quickly. The monk is not a durable melee combatant, though. Lack or armor and moderate hit points mean that you can fall quickly if cornered, so use your terrain to your advantage.

Out of combat This is where the monk excells. Qi Gong is a very powerful ability that allows a monk to master a large number skills. He is then capable of achieving almost superhuman feats even at relatively low levels.

Advancement: Focus on quick strikes and mobility. Getting spring attack on level 9 allows you to slip in and out of combat - and out of range of medium or heavy armored opponents (unless they charge - again, use terrain). An alternative is to maximize your flurry of blows by using magic items and boosts. Multiclassing is difficult for a monk - he looses most of his abilites if he wears armor, and his intelligence usually isn't good enough to dip into wizard. A druid may be a more viable option, since druids use wisdom as their primary ability.

Monks in the World[edit]

The first punch is the most powerful. The rest are even more powerful.
—Iroh, human Monk

The number of monks may vary per each campaign - they might be just a few select ones that live in an isolated monastery, or they might be as common as rogues. They might take a benevolent role as advisors and helpers, when there is need for them, or they might use their combat skills to terrorize and control the land.

For a monk, every day is another adventure and a chance to improve oneself. Most monks live at monasteries, where they constantly train their minds and bodies under the watchful eyes of their elders. A typical monastery will often help people from nearby villages to gain favor and additional resources from the local population. Dispached monks are usually of low ranks, that help with more difficult mundane tasks or protect people from attacks from wild beasts or small bandit groups. Occasionally a monastery will be called upon to help track down fugitive criminals, or serve as additional protection for high nobility. No need for equipment helps monks to merge into the crowd and strike quickly and efficiently, if neccesary.

An evil monastery might do just the opposite - use force and fear to hold the nearby people in control. Since monks can easily disguise as common folk, they can always scout of potential resistance and remove the opposition before it becomes a nuisance.

Notables: None as yet.

NPC Reactions: There are few thing that a monk cannot do - and he will try to better himself in the things that lack in his repertuar. Because of this, monks generally prefer to work alone or in a team of other monks. They often don't have the motivation to work with others and may seem distant to other party members. They are, despite this excellent support party members - they are great scouts and highly skilled in many areas and work great with the support of others.

Monk Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Martial lore can research monks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

martial lore
DC Result
5 Monks are capable fighters that fight without arms or armor. They are really fast.
10 While known for their feats of strength and feats, monks are foremost bearers of wisdom. They train their minds to allow ther bodies to supass physicsl limits deemed normal. They can also invoke strange and deadly powers with their strikes.
15 Monk's offensive skills highly resemble those of a swordsage. Monks found outside monasteries are usually on a mission from one of their elders. As long as you don't interfere with their mission, they will not provoke a fight.
20 They are resourceful and highly resistant to all effects, however their lack of armor and weapons can show in a long fight in close quarters.

Monks in the Game[edit]

Monks are skill monkeys and fight initiators. Use their supreme mobility to scout ahead and inform the party of the dangers. In a fight, monks will preferably engage the enemy caster or support and try to disable them quickly - either with grapple, or pure attacks(damage boosts + flurry can be devastating). Once the caster is down (or too much help arrives) use monk's tumble and increased speed to return to the relative safety of the party. Monks usually don't have a lot of AC or HP, and it starts to show over long confontations.

Adaptation: Strength build monks: Allow the player to pump strength as his main ability, and give him an aditional AC bonus.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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