Here it is. A new take on the monk, trading in the combat prowess of the Rogue or Warrior classes to build a Ki wielding warrior patterned on of all things: The Mage. The mystic wades into combat protected by his Ki energies, where he delivers truly devastating attacks on opponents through powerful Ki Strikes that can do everything from freeze his opponents in place to destroy their minds. Check it out and tell me what you think of using the Mage as the base class for the monk. Thanks!
For some monks, the path of the solitary warrior is not paved with thousands of hours of martial training, but rather hours spent deep in meditation. These warrior mystics have learned to tap recesses of strength within themselves that allow them to manipulate a powerful personal energy known as Ki. Through rigorous mental exercise and training, these monks have learned to use Ki as both a tool and weapon, and augment their martial skills with powers beyond the ability of most warriors. Known as Mystics, these mentalist monks walk the earth following their own personal codes of honor or vengeance.
Playing a Mystic:
If you choose to play a mystic, pick one of the following ability focuses: Dexterity (Brawling) or Willpower (Self Discipline). Take the Mage class.
Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll | Benefit
2 +1 Dexterity
3-4 Focus: Dexterity (Acrobatics)
5 Focus: Perception (Empathy)
6 Focus: Cunning (Religious Lore)
7-8 +1 Willpower
9 Focus: Willpower (Courage)
10-11 Focus: Cunning (Healing)
12 +1 Cunning
As a mystic, your character gains special abilities called traits at odd levels. Mystic traits through tenth level are as follows:
The mystic forgoes magical training to develop his Ki powers. The mystic does not gain the Arcane Lance, Magic Training, or Mana Points class powers at first level. See the Ki Pool talent for more information.
Mystics start with 25 + Constitution + 1d6 Health.
The mystic’s primary abilities are Cunning, Dexterity, and Willpower.
The mystic adds the Unarmed Style talent to the list of talents he can choose from at first level. He also adds Light Blades to his Weapon Groups.
Monk Weapons: Rather than create new weapons to model those available to monks in Pathfinder, I suggest allowing the monk all of the weapon groups available to mages and merely re-flavoring the weapons to fit the style of your campaign world. Thus a Quarter Staff is a Bo Staff, a Throwing Knife a Shuriken, and a Short Sword a Kama, and so on.
The mystic uses stunts from the Combat Stunts table in battle.
Level 1. Ki Strike: One of the earliest abilities a mystic learns is to harness the power of his inner Ki in order to augment his unarmed attacks. The mystic can summon a nimbus of energy around his hands with an activation action. This power allows the monk to add his Willpower to the damage he deals with unarmed attacks. The monk also gains the Novice level of the Ki Pool Talent.
Level 3. Combat Training: The mystic has learned to better focus the power of his Ki Strike. The attack is now considered magical for overcoming enemies’ resistance to nonmagic attacks. He gains the Journeyman level of the Ki Pool Talent.
Level 5. Combat Agility: When attacked by a spell or power that allows the mystic to take less damage if successful on a Dexterity (Acrobatics) test, such as the spell Flame Blast, the mystic takes no damage if the test is successful. He also gains a +2 bonus to his Speed, and the Master level of the Ki Pool Talent.
Level 7. Combat Rigor: The mystic gains a +2 bonus to Constitution (Stamina) tests to resist poisons and magic. Also, once per encounter, as a minor action, the monk can regain hit points as if he took a five-minute, out-of-combat breather.
Level 9. Mental Agility: The mystic’s training focuses on protecting and strengthening the mind. At ninth level the Monk gains the Magic Resistance (Novice) talent. He also gains a +2 bonus to Willpower (Self Discipline) tests.
Requirement: You must have the Monk (Mystic) Class Background.
You use your mind as a weapon in battle.
You gain the ability to spend Ki Points on powers that augment your attacks in combat. You gain 10 + Willpower + 1d6 Ki Points, and you gain an additional Willpower + 1d6 Ki Points whenever you gain a new level. You regain spent Ki Points through rest and meditation. For each hour of rest or meditation you gain back Willpower +1d6 Ki. If you rest for a full eight hours, you gain back all your Ki Points. Ki Powers are channeled through the mystic’s Ki Strike, so the monk must be able to hit an opponent with his Ki Strike in battle to trigger the effects of a Ki Power. You must declare what power you are using before you make the attack, and the required amount of Ki Points are expended whether or not the attack is successful. Some beneficial powers merely require you to touch your target, and usually do not require an attack roll if used on yourself or a willing ally unless the Game Master rules an attack roll must be made due to special circumstances, such as during a pitched battle. You may add another Ki Power to those you know whenever instructed to pick a new spell as a class power.
Novice: You gain the Flurry of Blows Ki Power, and can pick three additional powers from the Novice list of Ki Powers.
Journeyman: Your mastery over Ki energies grows stronger. You gain one additional Ki Power from the list of Novice or Journeyman powers, and you may choose from either list whenever you learn a new power.
Master: Your force of will is legendary. You gain one additional Ki Power from the list of Novice, Journeyman, or Master powers, and may choose from any list whenever you learn a new power.
Cost: 3 ki
Effect: You strike with the speed of a serpent, catching your opponent off guard. This attack does penetrating damage, and the target is knocked prone.
Cost: 1-3 Ki
Effect: You touch glows with warm, healing energy. For each Ki Point spent, the target regains 1d6 Health.
Cost: 3-8 Ki
Effect: Your skin becomes as hard as precious stone. By expending 3 Ki Points, you gain an Armor Rating equal to your Willpower for one hour. You can extend the effect for up to six hours by expending a Ki Point for each additional hour. A mystic can only use his ability on himself.
Flurry of Blows
Cost: 1 Ki
Effect: The mystic can make a second attack as part of a single major action. The number of unarmed attacks a monk can make in a single action using this power increases to three at fifth level, and four at 10th level. Only one attack per turn can benefit from an additional Ki Power.
Cost: 3 Ki
Effect: Your opponent and up to two foes adjacent to it are thrown to the ground by the force of your attack. All creatures affected must pass a Strength (Might) test versus your attack roll or be knocked prone and be restricted from performing any major actions on their next turn. Those who pass the test are only knocked prone.
Cost: 3 Ki
Effect: You impart some of your personal Ki energy to one ally you touch. Until the end of the encounter, the ally gains a +1 to your choice of Dexterity, Magic, Strength, or Willpower.
Cost: 3 Ki
Effect: Your quick strike damages the opponents nerves, and they suffer a -1 penalty to their Strength and Dexterity, and a -5 to their Speed for a number of rounds equal to the Dragon Die of your attack. Those who pass a Constitution (Stamina) test against your attack roll only suffer the penalty to speed.
Cost: 2 Ki
Effect: Your strike dazes the opponent. Those that make a successful Willpower (Self Discipline) test versus your attack roll take a -1 on all tests until the end of their next turn. Those that fail cannot take any actions on their next turn.
Cost: 4 Ki
Effect: Your strike connects with the life force of your opponent and tears some away as you withdraw your fist. The attack is penetrating and you gain an amount of Health equal to that lost by your target.
Ice Serpent Strike
Cost: 3 Ki
Effect: You inject a sliver of elemental ice into the opponent’s veins with your strike. The attack is penetrating and your target must pass a Constitution (Stamina) test versus your attack each round for a number of rounds equaling your Willpower. Failure means the target takes an additional 1d6 penetrating damage and a cumulative -2 to speed. All effects end after the first successful test. An opponent killed by this strike is frozen solid.
Cost: 4 Ki
Effect: You project your Ki around you to ward off attacks. For one round, your Defense becomes equal to 12 + Willpower. You can sustain this power by spending a Ki Point for each additional round.
Cost: 4 Ki
Effect: Your strike sets up vibrations in the body of your target that do internal damage as they increase in frequency. The attack is penetrating. Each round after the initial attack, the target must pass a Constitution (Stamina) test against the attack roll or suffer an additional 1d6+1 penetrating damage. The effect ends immediately after the first test is passed. A creature who dies from this attack explodes in a spray of flesh and bone causing 2d6 damage to all those within 4 yards.
Cost: 7 Ki
Effect: Your attack damages the opponent’s nervous system. A target failing a Constitution (Stamina) test vs. your attack roll is paralyzed, completely unable to move, while a successful test means the target’s Speed is cut by one-quarter (rounded up). Both effects last until the end of the encounter. A paralyzed target gets a new test at the start of their round each turn. Paralyzed characters lose their Dexterity bonus to Defense and can take no actions. But they are not subject to a coup de grace action unless they are otherwise unconscious or dying.
Gift of Frost/Gift of Flame
Cost: 6 Ki
Effect: Your touch imparts some of your Ki onto the weapon of an ally, causing it to either burst into flame, or burn with an icy cold. You must choose which effect to impart when you select the power, but it can be taken again to gain the ability to impart the other effect. If you chose flame, the weapon bursts into flames and inflicts an additional 1d6 damage with each successful attack. The flames last for one minute, but you can extend this duration by spending an additional 3 Ki per additional minute you would like it to last. If you chose frost, the weapon adds an additional 2 points of penetrating frost damage on a successful attack, but otherwise functions identical to the flame power in regards to duration and cost. Only the additional damage is penetrating.
Cost: 8 Ki
Effect: Your strike drives a spike of pure Ki energy deep into the target’s brain, overwhelming their senses. Until the target succeeds on a Willpower (Courage) test vs. your attack roll, they can do nothing but cower in fear. A target failing the initial test may try again at the start of each of their turns.
Cost: 8 Ki
Effect: Your Ki strikes the foe like a hammer, shattering any arcane protections. Your attack roll is pitted against the Spellpower of any affected magic. Success means you remove that magic. Failure means you do not remove that magic, as it is too powerful. Make a single roll for all magic affecting the target; you may remove some effects and not others, based on their varying Spellpowers. The Gamemaster may rule that some magical effects not from spells can be affected by dispel magic, in which case an effective Spellpower is assigned to represent the effect’s resistance to being dispelled.