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  • 330
« on: January 26, 2012, 02:33:19 AM »
Putting together a playbook for the Monk class. I've got the core of it more or less sorted out combat-wise but I tend to find that stuff easy to come up with, but I usually want a little more out of a playbook.

So, I was wondering what kind of things Monks do in a Dungeons & Dragons kinda game?

What kind of fictional or non-combat stuff or Moves would you like to see?

What's cool about the Monk class? What do you like about it?



  • 777
Re: Monks?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 03:31:57 AM »
I posted over at Story games, but I have some other cool ideas :)

Western or Oriental, Monks to me are a withdrawal from society. Far more than the Cleric, they focus their spirituality into their training (usually un-armed combat) in order to forge their minds and bodies into such pure force that they never need to be in conflict. Living removed in a monastery somewhere helps enormously too!

I think Aikido is my favourite RW iteration of this concept, though the whole Franciscan thing has some cool stuff going for it too.

The Monk NEEDS to have a reason to be adventuring (and not staying in the monastery)
They should be brutal in unarmed combat, but have massive ethical / spiritual / moral issues if they actually choose to use their training (ie: engage in conflict).
In my mind they are thoughtful, inward, socially awkward, extremely focused, hard (yet oddly soft) and driven by the need for redemption (rather than gold or fame or power).

Great Playbook Concept!

Re: Monks?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 07:34:54 AM »
I think Aikido is my favourite RW iteration of this concept

I would give them a d6 damage and lots of reposte moves wherein they deal damage back to an attacker, send them stumbling, disarm them, etc.  Perhaps some moves that soup up defend, especially against multiple opponents. Generally, they should be at their best when attacked and having them less good at straight out attacks might cause them to focus on other goals during combat situations because foes will not be able get in their way.  I think I'd maybe give them the option of two starting moves, one that allows them to cast cleric spells (western monks) and one with a more secular/philisophic bent (eastern monks).  For later moves, I'd focus some of them on reading people, reading situations, and generally asking the GM questions.  I could see some moves about pilgrimages, that allow for faster travel or travel using fewer rations for them and those with them when their mission is especially purposeful.  I could see a move that grants them hospitality wherever they go.  I might also add some of the scholarship/knowledge moves that wizards get.

Re: Monks?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 08:53:02 AM »
It would be a cool advanced move to somehow reincarnate the iconic Quivering Palm technique.



  • 777
Re: Monks?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 06:50:13 PM »
Marshall! YES YES YES! That is so spot on mate. You are most adept at taking the ideas and principles behind the monk and translate that into ideas for moves (which I, for the life of me, despite trying, couldn't do).

Sweet suggestions, I hope Nathan posts his draft so you can add even more focused advice. The Monk is going to round out the OSR 'feel' rather nicely. Well done gents :)



  • 330
Re: Monks?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 09:45:39 PM »
Keep in mind that this a play book for my home campaign not intended for wider distribution.

Damage die: d6

Core Moves

Martial Arts: When you engage an opponent in melee, you may use this move instead of Hack and Slash, roll+Str. You may only use the weapons permitted by your Order, or your bare hands. On a 10+ hold 2. On a 7-9, hold 1.
• Deal your damage to the enemy   
• Disarm them         
• Avoid their attack   
• Move or push them around      
• Stun or disable them briefly      
• Take + 1 forward

The Way: You may use Wis to Defend.

Formless Form: You may not wear armor or wield shields. However, your insight into the world gives you Wis-armor.
Monastic Order: You belong to a monastic order.
It's the order of:  (                    ); or,
? the Bodhisattvas of the Empty Bowl   
? the Intimates of the Void
? the Sensates of Ecstasy      
? the Anchorites of Saint Jerome

By default:
? Your order has an shrine near or in every town of 1,000 or more.

Choose an additional feature for your order:
? Communal. Surplus: Help   
? Evangelical. Your order has spread far and wide.
? Archival. Surplus: Knowledge.   
? Medical. Surplus: Healing.

Your order has an ideal that it values above all others. Choose it:
? Charity. Petition: Money.
? Knowledge. Petition: Lore and Secrets.       
? Freedom. Petition: Justice.   
? Tradition. Petition:  Recovered relics and sanctified temples.

Alms: Whenever you visit a community where your order has a presence and present them with Petition appropriate to your order, they grant you Surplus appropriate to your level.

Discipline: You adhere to a strict ethic of meditation, asceticism, daily rituals, and proper action. When you stray from you path to enlightenment or fail to your adhere to your practice, you lose access to all but the Basic Moves until you atone. The GM will help you find a way to do so.

Advanced Moves

? Martyr: Instead of Last Breath, when you're dying you may either stabilize, or continue battling on for the rest of the battle, ignoring damage, but dying once it is finished.

? Esoteric Virtues: You gain the Commune and Casting Cleric moves. Your level for the purposes of that move is 1 + the levels you’ve gained since you took Divine Favor.

? Diamond Body: You may ignore Poison or similar effects.

? Shatter: When using Martial Arts add:
• Shatter an inanimate object      
• Ignore armor

? Master: When you use Martial Arts, you always get +1 hold (even on a failure you get 1 hold.)

? Zen Archer: You may use Wis instead of Dex to Volley. Also, you need not be able to see your target.

? This'll Do: You may Volly with any object.

? An Ounce of Pressure: When Defending, on a 10+, you may immediately spend all your hold to turn the next enemy attack back on them.

Re: Monks?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 12:22:22 AM »
Love it!



  • 330
Re: Monks?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 07:38:22 PM »

I think the advanced moves are a flat.

When I figure out how to come up with moves that incorporate sufis/dervishes, tantric arts, brewmastery, and vows of poverty, I think I'll be happy with the class.