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How to roleplay a monk

Monks are people who prefer to use their bare hands rather than armor and weapons to defeat their opponents. They rely on discipline and conentration to achieve their power; simply running up and beating someone to a pulp wont do it. They train themselves how to hit their opponent and where to hit their opponent to achieve maximum damage. Because monks rely on hitting their target in exatly the right spot in exactly the right way, they can only be of lawful alignment; hitting someone randomly isn't the way to achieve the most damage possible, despite what it looks like.

They take oaths to never wear armor and train in very few weapons, partially because they can use their training to deal more damage than most weapons. The only weapon a monk would use regulary is a kama or a long-range weapon. However, only crossbows can deliver more damage than the monk's fists and even then they do eventually surpass the crossbow's damage capability.

Monks dont cast spells like clerics and wizards, but they do channel an energy called Ki. By channelling this Ki, they can make themselves more resiliant and able to deal even more damage. They can also use this Ki to make themselves immune to poisons and diseases, make themselves able to resist magic better than anything else can without armor, and even heal their wounds. If they become good enough at using their Ki, they start to transform into a supernatural being capable of surviving situations that other mortals normally cant.

Good-aligned monks may worship a deity and eventually become a champion of Torm or a dwarven defender. Evil-aligned monks can become assasins, shadowdancers, or blackgaurds. But no matter what training they may take in other fighting styles, they will still refuse to wear armor and most, if not all, weapons.

For information on monk orders for various deities, see this link.

Expansion by: EvilPig

(note that this contribution is only an ~interpretation~ of the monk class. Feel in no way obligated to use this guide, for Amia is a very loose RP atmosphere.)

The first element of a monk's training is in martial arts. The word martial meaning, "of war," meaning the beauty and artistic movements during, and/or associated with, the act of combat. This does not mean all martial artists must be of "foot and fist," nor must all martial artists fight unarmored. A full-plate fighter can be very much a martial artist, if he fancies to strive for such a goal, that being integrating artistic movement(s) into his combat. A full-plate fighter, however, cannot profess in the ki energy which defines a monk.

The second element of a monk's training is in the use of, and, eventually mastery of, ki energy by building upon her devotion to and mastery of her principles.

A monk is a being that dedicates herself to a set of ideals, or principles. Whether these principles are those of the monk's trainer (master, teacher, whatever), or whether they are simply ideals that the monk holds dear, or whether these principles are the views held by the monk's patron deity, is irrelevant.

Example principles:

20th level lawful good human monk of Torm.

  • Law
  • Justice
  • Good
  • Punishment
  • Obedience
  • Integrity

20th level lawful neutral elven monk of Helm.

  • Principles:
  • Protection
  • Endurance
  • Persistance
  • Guardianship

20th level lawful evil human monk of Bane. Principles:

  • Law
  • Tyranny
  • Power
  • Evil

Ki energy is the true source of a monk's real powers. Ki is the manifestation, through energy, of a monk's tremendous mental study and devotion to her principles.

(Ki strike +1 is gained at 9th level, and so this could symbolize the first step from a martial artist to a monk.)

A monk who achieves her 20th monk character level becomes an outsider. This is the final step in a monk's mastery of her principles, and symbolizes that she has developed such considerably supernatural ability with her ki energy, that she is no longer as the natives of her material plane are.

(At this level the character gains immunity to mind spells, as well as damage reduction 20/+1, meaning 20 damage reduction against all non-magical weapons. This could very well be when you choose for your character to have mastered his/her fighting style, or for your character to have achieved "enlightenment" in his/her principles. More likely both simultaneously.)

Monk class features not supported by the NWN engine

(Expansion by: Khylaria)

The following class features are listed as a guide for additional roleplaying, and are taken from the D&D Players Handbook:

  • Slow Fall - At 4th level, a monk within arm's reach of a wall can use the wall to slow her descent. The monk takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. Her ability to slow her fall (that is, to reduce the effective height of the fall when next to a wall) improves with her level until, at 18th level, the monk can use a nearby wall to slow her descent and fall any distance without harm.
  • Leap of the Clouds - At 7th level or higher, a monk's jumping distance (vertical or horizontal) is not limited according to her height.
  • Abundant Step - At 12th level, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as per the spell dimension door, once per day. This is a spell-like ability, and the monk's effective casting level is one-half her actual level (rounded down).
  • Timeless Body - After achieving 17th level, a monk no longer suffers ability penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. (Any penalties she may have already suffered remain in place.) Bonuses still acrue, and the monk still dies of old age when her time is up.
  • Tongue of the Sun and Moon - A monk of 17th level or above can speak with any living creature.