Ultimate Monk (3.5e Optimized Character Build)/Monster Classes

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Scene: A lonely inn,somewhere in the Badlands.

Local [To Wanderer, contemplating a half-ton tiger stretched out in front of the fire]: My, that a beautiful creature.

Wanderer: Yes, she is.

Local: Is that your companion animal?

[Low growling noise]

Wanderer: Oh, dear.

Local: What. What?!

Wanderer: It's fine. She's foresworn all violence except against the servants of Darkness, since her return from the spirit world, but in the future . . .

Local: ?

Wanderer: . . . the Heguménē hates it when people make that mistake.


Instead of working one's way up to ECL 20 to become a large monster with monk abilities, it is much easier to work it the other way around. The build thereby loses something in subtlety but gains in raw power, especially at the lower levels. The Anthropomorphic Baleen Whale, for example, brings a ton of benefits. Improved Grab is a fantastic addition to the Ultimate Monk, as are +8 Str and +9 natural armor.

All of the the monster classes listed below were created via the rules given in Savage Species. In addition to those given below, any (3HD + 2LA) monster class that includes (at a minimum) the Wild Talent feat can be used with the "Monster to Abbot" Ultimate Monk progression.

Anthropomorphic Baleen Whale, Sainted (+2LA)[edit]

Creature type: Outsider

Skill points: [8+Int] * [HD+4]

Ability adjustments (total): Str +8, Dex +4, Con +6, Wis +6, Cha +4

Ability adjustments (ECL 1): Str +2, Dex +4, Con +2, Wis +4

ECL Class/HD/LA Feats LA Special Move (focused)
1st ABW 1 Improved Initiative, Powerful Charge, Combat Reflexes Blindsight 30', Protective Aura 1/day, Gain an Insight bonus to AC equal to the Saint’s Wisdom modifier*, +2 poison saves, +2 Listen checks 40 (40)
2nd ABW 2 LA +1 Blindsight 45', Immune to acid, Lesser Saint spell-like abilities 1/day, Str +2, +2 Con, +2 Spot checks 40 (40)
3rd ABW 3 Protective aura 3/day, Immune to cold, Holy touch (+1d6 unarmed damage vs Evil creatures (1d8 vs Outsiders or Undead); evil touch attacker takes 1d6), Tongues (always active), +4 poison saves, +4 to Spot checks 40 (40)
4th ABW 4 LA+1 Blindsight 60', fast healing 1, Immune to pertrification, Lesser Saint spell-like abilities 3/day, Str +2, +2 Con, +2 Cha, Fire resistance 5, +4 Spot checks, Low-light vision 50 (50)
5th ABW 5 Wild Talent Large size, tail slap, Protective aura, at will, Lesser Saint spell-like abilities at will, Str +2, +2 Cha, +2 Wisdom, Fire resistance 10, Darkvision 60', +2 DC to all special attacks, supernatural abilities, spells cast 50 (50)

Protective Aura – 20’ radius nimbus of light that can be activated as a Free Action. Acts as a double strength Magic Circle against Evil and a Less Globe of Invulnerability.

Lesser Saint spell-like abilities: Able to cast Guidance, Resistance, Virtue, and Bless at Character level.

  • Insight bonus to AC stacks with the similar (but untyped) monk bonus.

Anthropomorphic Cheetah[edit]

The Ultimate Monk is fast; the Anthropomorphic Cheetah Ultimate Monk is a blur of claws and teeth; she functions in the D&D equivalent of bullet time.

Creature type: Monstrous Humanoid

Skill points: [2+Int] * [HD+4]

Ability adjustments (total): Str +6, Dex +8, Con +4, Wis +4

Ability adjustments (ECL 1): Str +2, Dex +4, Con +2, Wis +4

Special: Once per hour, may move ten times base land speed as part of a Charge action.

ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused)
1st AC 1 Improved Initiative, Powerful Charge, Combat Reflexes Claw 1d2, Bite 1d6 (+1d8 Powerful Charge) 60
2nd AC 2 LA +1, Blindsight 60', Improved Grab, +2 Str, +2 Con 60
3rd AC 3 60
4th AC 4 LA+1 Str +2, Con +2 60
5th AC 4/Ranger 1 Wild Talent, Track Trip(ex) 2d6 (+ 2d6) 60

Anthropomorphic Tiger[edit]

The disciplined ferocity of the tiger has always been admired by martial arts; so much the more are advantaged those whose blood actually partakes of the tiger's puissant nature.

Anthropomorphic Tiger, Large (built from size Huge Tiger) (HD3, LA+2)

Creature type: Monstrous Humanoid

Skill points: [2+Int] * [HD+4]

Ability adjustments (total): Str +12, Dex +4, Con +6, Wis +4 Ability adjustments (ECL 1): Str +4, Dex +4, Con +2, Wis +4

ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused)
1st AT 1 Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Combat Reflexes Improved Grab 40 (40)
2nd AT 2 LA +1, Str +2, Con +2 40 (40)
3rd AT 3 Pounce, Str +2 40 (40)
4th AT 4 LA+1, Str +2, Con +2 50 (50)
5th AT 5 Wild Talent Rake, Str +2, Large size 50 (50)

Anthropomorphic Giant Squid[edit]

Anthropomorphic Giant Squid (3 HD and LA+1) + Amphibious (LA+1)

Creature type: Monstrous Humanoid

Skill points: [2+Int] * [HD+4]

Natural Armor Bonus = (Monster Class Level + 1)

Ability adjustments (total): Str +4, Dex +6, Con +2, Wis +4

Ability adjustments (ECL 1): Str +2, Dex +4, Con +2, Wis +4

ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused)
1st AGS 1 Improved Initiative, Multigrab, Combat Reflexes 2 (tentacle arm) attacks Claw1d4 (+1d8 Powerful Charge) 40 (40)
2nd ABW 2 LA +1, 4 (tentacle arm) attacks 1d6 claw (+1d8 charge) 40 (40)
3rd ABW 3 5 (tentacle arm) attacks, +2 Dex 40 (40)
4th ABW 4 LA+1, 7 (tentacle arm) attacks 2d6 claw (+ 1d8) 50 (50)
5th AGS 5 Wild Talent 8 (tentacle arm) attacks, Str +2, Large size 2d6 (+ 2d6) 50 (60)

Gameplay notes: Unlike the fist two variants, the focus of the Eight Fists build is not on high-damage strikes. As an anthropomorphic giant squid, the Eight Fists monk has eight arm/tentacle attacks, one primary and seven secondary, plus a bite (1d8 damage when Large-sized). The reach of the character while Expanded (G) is 35 feet (squid tentacles have double the normal reach for the creature's size). The character's grappling when expanded bonuses are +4 (racial), +4 (Improved Grapple), and +12 (size, vs. an M-sized foe). Since he has the Greater Multigrab feat, those he grapples occupy only a single one of his limbs; he is not considered grappled.

Sample dialogue:

Player one [returning from the bathroom]: So where are we in the battle?

DM: So I need to resolve eight tentacle attacks snaking out of the darkness and across that 20-foot chasm and trying to drag their targets into it and drop them.

Player one: And after that?

DM [heavy sigh]: After that the monsters get to act, I suppose.

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