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    Canonfire :: View topic - Monks of the Flanaess
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    Monks of the Flanaess
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    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:50 pm  
    Monks of the Flanaess

    One of my wonderful players (my son, actually) has decided to play a monk. I now feel compelled to work out (for myself, at least) the monastic hierarchy of the Flanaess. By the book, in 1E AD&D®, high-level monks are limited in number, as follows:
    Code:
    LEVEL           RANK
      8   Master of White Dragons
      8   Master of Green Dragons
      8   Master of Red Dragons
      9   Master of the North Wind
     10   Master of the West Wind
     11   Master of the South Wind
     12   Master of the East Wind
     13   Master of Winter
     14   Master of Autumn
     15   Master of Summer
     16   Master of Spring
     17   Grand Master of Flowers

    Obviously, later editions muddied the waters, but I want to compile an as-canon-as-possible list of these NPCs, while staying within the parameters of given in the Players Handbook. Other than Korenth Zan being the Master of Spring, who else fills these ranks? I know one of my biggest challenges will be the number of monasteries available. Again, BTB, only monks of 8th or higher level can build a monastery. This means there can be no more than 12 monasteries throughout the Flanaess, and I need to place them with care. Help! Shocked
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    Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:44 pm  

    Zavoda's index lists Monks, and there's at least 1 if not 2 NPC indices out there too, IIRC??
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    Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:45 am  

    grodog wrote:
    Zavoda's index lists Monks, and there's at least 1 if not 2 NPC indices out there too, IIRC??


    I have these sources. My trouble is reconciling them to the 1E hierarchy. For instance, WG8 fills all the ranks from levels 9–17 with the upper echelons of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The Scarlet Brotherhood supplement just runs rampant over the whole hierarchy. What about all the Baklunish monks who follow Xan Yae & Zuoken? What about the 50% of monks (per Players Handbook) who are lawful good? Where are all their monasteries???
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    Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:26 am  

    There might be somthing in the original Rogues Galery.

    On the 1E system I understand that only one can hold a post for the upper levels, but I do not recall any qualification for that limitation. In you original post you qualified it for the Flanaess, but why not Oerth?

    I would be inclined to think the qualification over. Perhaps smaller geographic areas or orders of styple. Maybe there can only be one Grand Master Of Flowers anywhere. One Master of Spring in the Flanesse. One Master of Summer in the Sheldomar. Etc.
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    Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:12 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    I have these sources. My trouble is reconciling them to the 1E hierarchy. For instance, WG8 fills all the ranks from levels 9–17 with the upper echelons of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The Scarlet Brotherhood supplement just runs rampant over the whole hierarchy. What about all the Baklunish monks who follow Xan Yae & Zuoken? What about the 50% of monks (per Players Handbook) who are lawful good? Where are all their monasteries???


    One of the old Dragon articles about monks (Dragon 53, IIRC, also reprinted in BoD#3) also felt that was a problem, particularly the idea of LG and LE monks sharing the same overall hierarchy. I think it postulated that there would be one hirearchy per order of monks; i.e., for the LE SB there would be GMoF (perhaps with an alternate title, too [The Father of Obedience or whatever]), for the LN Order of Zuoken there would be another, for the LG Shaolin Monks there would be a third, etc. I also toyed with the idea of one hierarchy per alignment (i.e., one GMoF each for LG, LN, and LE).

    To me both options seemed to take too much pressure off of a monk PC from the POV of challenges, etc., so I figured that there were more monks at the levels, but that they still ended up being just one GMoF (and he was the top-dog monk overall, across all alignments and orders and gods, etc.), but that the titles for the various monks at the upper levels would change based on what order they belonged to, and that the nature of the challenge (level of lethality, etc.) would also change based on the order of the monk you were challenging. I don't recall the numbers exactly (and can look if you really care), but I think I expanded the lower-high levels significantly, and then eventually winnowed them back down to the single top dog at the top, to look something like:

    17th level - 1 monk
    16th level - 3 monks
    15th level - 6 monks
    14th level - 9 monks
    13th level - 13 monks
    12th level - 17 monks
    11th level - 22 monks
    10th level - 27 monks
    09th level - 33 monks
    08th level - 39 monks

    This (or whatever algorithm exactly I had set it up to be BITD) kept the numbers of high-level monks still very small relative to Fighters, Thieves, Clerics, and MUs, but gave the class membership sufficient breadth to see differences by order, deity, alignment, nation, etc. come into effect in play.
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    Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:41 pm  

    I always counted the scarlet brotherhood as having thier own heriarchy, not affiliated with the "order" that PC monks belong to... there for members of the scarlet brotherhood simply don't count for there can only be so many monks of x level in my greyhawk campaign.
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    Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:14 am  

    Keeping it 1E-based, there would probably only be one SB monk in the hierarchy. The Father of Obedience is the Master of Autumn. The only true SB ‘monastery’ may be in the hidden capital city. Since they are probably the largest order in the Flanaess, maybe one or two might be up there. The regional alignment map has the SB territory listed as LN, so I wouldn’t say it was an absolute that they would all be LE.
    I would use the PH chances for the hierarchy monks, making six of them LG, three LN, and three LE. Making them all, or even mostly, SB monks seems like a monopoly that should be avoided.

    Scott
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    Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:01 pm  

    ScottG wrote:
    Keeping it 1E-based, there would probably only be one SB monk in the hierarchy. The Father of Obedience is the Master of Autumn. The only true SB ‘monastery’ may be in the hidden capital city. Since they are probably the largest order in the Flanaess, maybe one or two might be up there. The regional alignment map has the SB territory listed as LN, so I wouldn’t say it was an absolute that they would all be LE.
    I would use the PH chances for the hierarchy monks, making six of them LG, three LN, and three LE. Making them all, or even mostly, SB monks seems like a monopoly that should be avoided.

    Scott


    Even discounting later products, from a strictly Gygaxian perspective (so sad to use that word posthumously for the first time Sad ), we know there are a goodly number of Baklunish monks who follow Xan Yae. Would Gary have had those monks included in the same hierarchy as the Suel-supremacist Scarlet Brotherhood? (I'd actually been meaning to shoot him an E-mail asking that very question....) You were pretty well attuned to his way of thinking, Scott. What do you think?
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    Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:12 pm  

    The Scarlet Brotherhood isn’t the hierarchy, and vice versa. The Scarlet Brotherhood is an entity outside the ‘one’ monkish tradition. The Father of Obedience is a member of the monkish tradition. He is also a member of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Neither sets policy for the other. There are a couple of analogies I can think of.
    Throughout my life I have studied martial arts. Around the Pittsburgh area there are multiple schools that teach the same art (the One monkish order). Often you discover that members from one dojo (Tuco’s monastery) don’t like/bad mouth/whatever and etc. members from other dojos (the Father of Obedience‘s monastery). They each have their own beliefs that the other should not be allowed to exist, but those beliefs are not a part of the art they study; they are their own personal beliefs. The members of each dojo may share some of the same beliefs, but those beliefs are still outside of the teachings of whatever art they are studying. Above these dojos is the governing body of the art, that has no part in the rivalry that exists between the two dojos.

    It’s like if a freemason went off and founded a new country based on beliefs that were his own, and not those of the Freemasons. He would now be president of the country (the Father of Obedience) and still a freemason (Master of Autumn of the 'one' monkish tradition).

    Or Finally, consider the Monkish order to be like Hogwarts where Harry Potter studies next to Draco Malfoy (a Scarlet Brotherhood poster boy).

    Scott
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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:21 am  

    Speaking of Tuco, I am planning on running a ‘multi blind’ online ToEE campaign, if anybody is interested. I was going to try this once before, but had to cancel due to some family issues, but I’d like to give it another try. Basically, the campaign will include the standard adventure party, but I am also looking for volunteers to control the different NPCs in the adventure, Tuco the Baklunish monk, Lareth, Zert, the leaders of the four elemental factions, etc. The Temple leaders are free to move their troops around, assassinate rivals, recruit, raid etc. So even the players that have played this before will have no idea what to expect. If anybody is interested, drop me an e-mail at swgregg69@gmail.com

    Scott
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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:25 am  

    ScottG wrote:
    The Father of Obedience is the Master of Autumn.


    I just spotted this discrepancy last night. The Gazeteer and the Guide list the Father of Obedience (true name unrevealed) as Master of Autumn. Greyhawk Adventures and Fate of Istus (which, perplexingly, is set in 576 CY) name the Father of Obedience as Korenth Zan and show him as Master of Spring. Either A) the previous Father of Obedience was a Monk 14 who was supplanted by a Monk 16, or B) Korenth Zan gained a couple of levels.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:30 am  

    One of the Slave Lords was a monk. Was he a SB monk, and what was his level?

    Scott
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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:32 am  

    DMPrata wrote:
    ScottG wrote:
    The Father of Obedience is the Master of Autumn.


    I just spotted this discrepancy last night. The Gazeteer and the Guide list the Father of Obedience (true name unrevealed) as Master of Autumn. Greyhawk Adventures and Fate of Istus (which, perplexingly, is set in 576 CY) name the Father of Obedience as Korenth Zan and show him as Master of Spring. Either A) the previous Father of Obedience was a Monk 14 who was supplanted by a Monk 16, or B) Korenth Zan gained a couple of levels.


    I would probably go with the gaining levels option, but either work.

    Scott
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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:57 am  

    ScottG wrote:
    One of the Slave Lords was a monk. Was he a SB monk, and what was his level?

    Scott


    Brother Milerjoi and Brother Kerin were SB monks, levels 9 & 6, respectively. So, at least as of the late 570's, the Master of the North Wind was also a SB agent (who presumably perished in Suderham).
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:08 am  
    Re: Monks of the Flanaess

    Let me posit this: The Baklunish were the first monks. Somehow, a small number of Suel monks were able to join the Order. Despite the centuries of warfare between the two races, these few lawful Suel were taught the disciplines of Xan Yae.

    Eventually, one Suel monk (Korenth Zan) was able to work his way to the upper echelons of the monastic hierarchy, becoming Master of Autumn. Again, the mostly Baklunish monks throughout the Flanaess did not see this as a threat. The Suel were clearly in the minority within the Order.

    The Scarlet Brotherhood revealed itself in 573 CY. In the next few years, the Brotherhood "flooded the market" with low- to mid-level Suel monks, who (following the Baklunish customs to the letter) quickly displaced the highest-ranking monks in the Order. This time period saw the closure of most Baklunish monasteries in the Flanaess (as their Masters had been either demoted or killed by the Brotherhood). By the end of the decade, the Suelites had locked up the 9th–16th levels of the Order, with Korenth Zan himself now the second-highest-ranking monk in the Flanaess.

    Thus, by the time of Fate of Istus (576–582 CY?), the monastic hierarchy looks like this:
    Code:
    LEVEL           RANK                 RACE
      8   Master of White Dragons      Bakluni
      8   Master of Green Dragons      Bakluni
      8   Master of Red Dragons        Bakluni
      9   Master of the North Wind     Suloise
     10   Master of the West Wind      Suloise
     11   Master of the South Wind     Suloise
     12   Master of the East Wind      Suloise
     13   Master of Winter             Suloise
     14   Master of Autumn             Suloise
     15   Master of Summer             Suloise
     16   Master of Spring             Suloise
     17   Grand Master of Flowers      Oriental?

    Thoughts?
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    Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:09 pm  

    I think it is an individual campaign choice, and what you suggest above is perfectly fine. Some other alternatives (or expansions to what you suggest) might be:

    * 2 distinct orders, 1 Suel, 1 Baklunish. They are at odds with one another.
    * 1 order as you suggest. The order has separated itself from the affairs of its constituent's native races. Theirs is not the affair of nations, but of their order alone, and so you have these traditionally enemy peoples working together. But then there is the Scarlet Brotherhood . . . does this represent a cancer in the order, one that suggests the forbidden ulterior motives of its Master of Autumn? Again, a campaign choice, but one that potentially creates excellent adventure springboards, the stuff of an exciting GH campaign. :)
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    Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:34 am  

    When I played a monk under the 1e rules, my DM came to the conclusion (which made sense to me) that there were several orders of monks, each with its own hierarchy. He never specified how many, but there would be at least one per the three alignments. In my opinion, there would also be a breakdown for cultures, but I would keep these as a part of the west. In other words, there would be at least three orders from Bakluni traditions and at least three from Suel traditions.

    What might make an interesting plotline is that there may have been one Suel monkish tradition originally, but when the Suel Imperium started to become decadent, this split into three moral aspects within the lawful ethos. Each group thinking their way was the best way to battle the decadence.

    On the scale of the entire Flaness, this still makes the monk a rare class.

    On another note, there was a redesigned monk in a Dragon magazine at one time which pushed the class to a higher level and changed some of his abilities. This might be worth a look. It may have been Dragon issue #52 or somewhere around there. It was also republished in a Best of Dragon Magazine (volume III I believe). Can anyone verify?
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    Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:10 pm  

    Telemachus wrote:
    On another note, there was a redesigned monk in a Dragon magazine at one time which pushed the class to a higher level and changed some of his abilities. This might be worth a look. It may have been Dragon issue #52 or somewhere around there. It was also republished in a Best of Dragon Magazine (volume III I believe). Can anyone verify?


    Right, Telemachus, it was in Dragon #53 (thanks Dragon Archives CD-Rom!).
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    Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:37 am  

    I seriously can't accept the possibility of there being a single order of monks Oerthwide. While canon sources might seem to suggest such a singular order exists, I tend to believe they're easily interpreted as saying merely that a given NPC has attained a certain rank - in that NPC's order. It simply makes no sense that LE, LN, and LG monks of different religions would be bound to the same hierarchy, especially given the cultural and historical differences.

    IMC, each individual order has its own hierarchy. Some of the orders have no members of sufficient level to attain the higher ranks, and that's okay. And while the monks of different orders/religions/cultures recognize the skill of monks of other orders and therefore respect them, they do not recognize the authority of those other orders' leaders.

    Therefore, while a monk belong to an order that serves Xan Yae might recognize that the Scarlet Brotherhood's Master of Spring is a powerful individual and that his skill deserves respect, he would be unlikely to accept orders from that individual. Instead he would follow the orders of his own leaders, even if they were of lower level than the SB Master of Spring.
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    Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:36 pm  

    Ghul wrote:
    * 2 distinct orders, 1 Suel, 1 Baklunish. They are at odds with one another.

    I would always have thought this. There may be even more monk orders. Luther from the 1E Rogues gallery is a 17th level monk iirc. He's mentioned again in the 2E Bastion of Faith as being the leader of one of the orders of the Heironean monks.
    Quote:
    In Bastion of Faith which gives an F&A style rundown of Heironeous & Hextor's clergy there´s a small bit about a monk orders of Heironeous, the most famous of which - the Order of the Glory Everlasting - was founded by one Luther of 1E Rogues Gallery fame (updated to LG hu male Mon17).

    In the Hextor entry there`s a small mention of Hextorian monks. The most famous monastic order is the Brotherhod of the Gray Hand, dedicated to preservation of Oeridian tradition and culture and the destruction of the Heirionean Order of the Glory Everlasting.


    This website details a few more monk orders and even gives them different martial traditions (after the 1E/2E oriental martial arts system): http://www.mindspring.com/~ernestm/monk/

    This thread on WotC details another posters' take on the monk orders and reviews the details from WG8 and other resources: http://forums.gleemax.com/archive/index.php/t-326670.html
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:25 am  

    I was re-reading WG8 Fate of Istus, and it is explicitly said that there are several orders of monks, and there are several LG orders from Kara-Tur.

    So, IMO and IMC, there cannot be one order for all the monks in the Flanaess, nore for the entire Oerth. It may exist as many orders as you wish as a personnal choice : you are the DM.

    If you want to unify the monk class at high levels, why not create something similar to the hierophant druid class: a hierarchy that transcend all different schools and order of monks, a path that can be followed only by the monks who achieved Master of Flower level in their own order and are called to something higher in the martial arts and wisdom.
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:01 pm  

    Galliskinmaufrius wrote:
    I was re-reading WG8 Fate of Istus, and it is explicitly said that there are several orders of monks, and there are several LG orders from Kara-Tur.

    So, IMO and IMC, there cannot be one order for all the monks in the Flanaess, nore for the entire Oerth. It may exist as many orders as you wish as a personnal choice : you are the DM.

    If you want to unify the monk class at high levels, why not create something similar to the hierophant druid class: a hierarchy that transcend all different schools and order of monks, a path that can be followed only by the monks who achieved Master of Flower level in their own order and are called to something higher in the martial arts and wisdom.


    Alas, Fate of Istus is a 2E product, and this directly contradicts the 1E rules about monks. I'm trying to reconcile Greyhawk canon to the BTB monastic hierarchy.
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    Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:33 pm  

    I wouldn't limit it to just one single order, but read it as "Within any single order, there are only so many ranks of monks."

    It seems unrealitsic to assume that LE, LN, and LG monks(who follow very different philosophies/religions), would all be a part of one order. Monks are not members of some world spanning martial arts dojo. Even defining monks as existing within a single ultimately lawful orgzanization is a stretch. I think you are working within an unworkable framework as it regards Greyhawk.

    Then one must consider an organization within Greyhawk such as the Scarlet Brotherhood, which trains monks not so much in a religious way but in way of a cultural philosophy. The Scarlet Brotherhood literally has an army of monks that would fight among themselves to hold the various ranks within the 1 monk hierarchy. At his lower level, Korenth Zan may very well lead the Scarlet Brotherhood, but there may indeed be one monk among the Scarlet Brotherhood who is more skilled than him. It is simply that this more skilled monk didn't have the political support to become the leader of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Or, it may be hat he was killed by Korenth Zan and there currently is no higher level monk than Korenth Zan in the Scarlet Brotherhood.

    Then there are also the religions of Xan Yae and Zuoken who probably can fill all the the monk ranks too. Many Baklunish probably learn some martial arts, even though only a small percentage of them will go on to become actual monks. Still, they are going to have a good amount of monks, and probably enough of them to fill out the monk ranks on their own.

    It would be tough to do monks as a single organization without it looking like some sort of Street Fighter type of set-up where Chun Li of Zeif will fight Ken of the Scarlet Brotherhood or the savage Blanca of Hepmonaland to see who will fill whatever rank in the hierarchy. It just seems too much of a stretch to me to confine monks to just one organization within even just the Flanaess, let alone what lies beyond the Flanaess in the world of Greyhawk as a whole. The Flanaess is only a little part of the world after all, so it is hard to expect that only one organization serves the entirety of the planet's monks.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:37 pm  

    Well, Master Cebrion said it all.

    The same question could be asked for the assassin class. Do you think that there is only one grand-father of assassins for the Flanaess or for Oerth - something like the Old One of the Mountain, a quasi-mythic figure?

    If you do, 7th-8th level characters are very powerful indeed, because 15th+ level characters are almost unique and at the top of their class.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:58 pm  

    I'm with DMP on this. I have just one order.
    Going strictly by the (1E) book, if there were multiple monk orders, then you would think the leader of the SB would be a top level monk, but he's only 14th level.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:48 pm  

    ScottG wrote:
    I'm with DMP on this. I have just one order.
    Going strictly by the (1E) book, if there were multiple monk orders, then you would think the leader of the SB would be a top level monk, but he's only 14th level.
    or it could merely suggest that no monks of the "scarlet brotherhood order" have acquired enough experience points to rise above 14th level.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:13 pm  

    OK, I'm really confused by a number of the responses in this thread. Certainly, everyone is entitled to run their games as they see fit, and I'm not looking to tell anyone otherwise. How, though, can there be any dispute that BTB AD&D® allows for only a single monastic hierarchy within any given campaign setting? Again, if you want to do something different in your own game, that's your prerogative, but my purpose in this thread was to find a way to reconcile that rule within the Greyhawk setting. House rules don't help me accomplish that.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:59 pm  

    cwslyclgh wrote:
    ScottG wrote:
    I'm with DMP on this. I have just one order.
    Going strictly by the (1E) book, if there were multiple monk orders, then you would think the leader of the SB would be a top level monk, but he's only 14th level.
    or it could merely suggest that no monks of the "scarlet brotherhood order" have acquired enough experience points to rise above 14th level.

    It's not like the Brotherhood is new. In all the time it's been around you don't think any member could have made it to any of the levels above 14th? Especially since they wouldn't have to fight to advance.
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:09 pm  

    Some might have in the past (old men die sometimes even if they are 17th level monks), at the current time period there are none that have more XP then are required to achieve 14th level... or perhaps there are, but they have retired from public life and are thus not listed as the "leader" of the scarlet brotherhood (IE they spend all their time monking around and meditating, and are not involved with the leadership of the nation which they leave to "The Father of Obedience". Or perhaps they do run things from behind the scenes... the Father of Obedience could be merely the public figurehead, much like the president of china is just a title with no real power, it is the Secretary General of the Communist party that actually runs China (although at this point in time both positions happen to be held by the same man, that has not always been the case).
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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:25 pm  
    Re: Monks of the Flanaess

    DMPrata wrote:
    Thus, by the time of Fate of Istus (576–582 CY?), the monastic hierarchy looks like this:
    Code:
    LEVEL           RANK                 RACE
      8   Master of White Dragons      Bakluni
      8   Master of Green Dragons      Bakluni
      8   Master of Red Dragons        Bakluni
      9   Master of the North Wind     Suloise
     10   Master of the West Wind      Suloise
     11   Master of the South Wind     Suloise
     12   Master of the East Wind      Suloise
     13   Master of Winter             Suloise
     14   Master of Autumn             Suloise
     15   Master of Summer             Suloise
     16   Master of Spring             Suloise
     17   Grand Master of Flowers      Oriental?

    Thoughts?

    I think you have too many pure bloods. It's been 1,000 years since the cataclysms. The Flanaess is a melting pot. I'd make most of those figures mixed blood. Also, if you have the mysterious oriental figure as the grand master, it would seem like that there should be at least one other oriental on the list.
    My list would look something like this:
    8 Master of White Dragons LN Mixed
    8 Master of Green Dragons LG Bakluni
    8 Master of Red Dragons LE Suloise
    9 Master of the North Wind LG Mixed
    10 Master of the West Wind LG Mixed
    11 Master of the South Wind LN Suloise
    12 Master of the East Wind LG Mixed
    13 Master of Winter LE Mixed
    14 Master of Autumn LE Suloise
    15 Master of Summer LG Mixed
    16 Master of Spring LN Mixed
    17 Grand Master of Flowers LG Bakluni
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:41 pm  

    ScottG wrote:
    Going strictly by the (1E) book, if there were multiple monk orders, then you would think the leader of the SB would be a top level monk, but he's only 14th level.


    Korenth Zan(or whoever) is just the top political leader; not the top level monk. The two need not be mutually exlcusive. Besides, the Player's Handbook is not Greyhawk specific. You can force them to mesh, but I don't think it is the best solution in this case.

    However, as DMPrata wants to mesh them, I think the best way may very well be to say that this single monkish order is beyond ancient; its origins going all the way to the Chaos Wars where the monkish order was created to train champions of Law. That original order still remains in Greyhawk today scattered all over the world. Each of these small sub-orders sends members to fight for emminency within the Grand Order as a whole. The membership or the order is obviously not friendly with many of their fellow members, Baklunish monks and Scarlet Brotherhood monks being the most obvious example of this, but overall they literally serve a higher Order. That of course is not deterrant to them killing each other based on their own individual ethos. The relationship would certainly be a complex one, but there is the kernel of it.
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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:44 am  

    My apology, DMPrata, if my previous posts were out of the subject.

    If I wanted to integrate the 1st ed. PH monk class in the Greyhawk milieu, I would justify the monk class with a background story: Cebrion's idea is a good one. The monk is a legacy of the Ancient Times, when raged the war between Law and Chaos.

    The monk perpetuate the tradition of discipline taught by the defensers of Law, and the monasteries are scattered in the Flannaess. To place the high-level monasteries, I will choose the countries from the map showing regional alignments in the Guide to the World of Greyhawk (1983 boxed set), which have a lawful neutral aspect in them (white cross on black shield).

    Non elligible are : Greyhawk and Paynims (they have all tendancies), Pale and Tenh (they are Flan enclaves), Celene (elf) and Irongate (dwarf). So I get this list:

    Master of White Dragons LG in Veluna
    Master of Green Dragons LE in Ket
    Master of Red Dragons LG in Gran March
    Master of the North Wind LE in Blackmoor
    Master of the West Wind LG in Bissel
    Master of the South Wind LG in Yeomanry
    Master of the East Wind LG in Onnwall
    Master of Winter LN in Perrenland
    Master of Autumn LE in Scarlet Brotherhood
    Master of Summer LN in Nyrond
    Master of Spring LN in Tusmit
    Grand Master of Flowers LN in Zeif
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:56 pm  

    OK, how about this? There is a single monastic hierarchy in each setting, right? The Master of the East Wind in the Flanaess doesn't have to travel to the Forgotten Realms to do battle with the Master of Winter. Given that, I think I can accept that the monastic hierarchy of the Flanaess stems from Baklunish tradition (which, in turn, dates back to the primordial war between Law and Chaos). Xan Yae, the "Supreme Mistress of Petals", is the patron deity of the monastic tradition in the Flanaess. While certainly not every single monk in the Flanaess is of Baklunish ancestry (Scott's "melting pot" theory), the art itself descends from that culture.

    What then of the Scarlet Brotherhood? Simple: they're usurpers. In 489 CY, the Tilvanot Peninsula was "invaded" by refugees from Kara-Tur, who brought with them their own monastic tradition. (The similarites between the Baklunish and Oriental orders are due to the ancient origins posited above.)

    What happens when Kara-Tur's Grand Master of Flowers passes through a gate into a land where there is already a (presumably Baklunish) Grand Master of Flowers? Nothing. There's no matter/anti-matter reaction. They don't explode. It's highly likely that neither knew of the other's existence, so both believed they were leading the one true monastic order. (Some of the Suelites may have known of the Baklunish tradition, but they weren't talking.)

    So, with that basis, I think I can accept two distinct monastic orders in the Flanaess. As of 571 CY (my current campaign date), no one knows much about the Scarlet Brotherhood anyway. The beauty of this theory, I think, is that Istus herself will correct the imbalance by the end of the decade, when the Oriental Grand Master of Flowers destroys himself, and most of his followers return to Kara-Tur. This event would then force the re-integration of the remaining Scarlet Brotherhood monks into the "true" monastic hierarchy of the Flanaess.

    As to the pre-FoI monastery locations, I like the list Galliskinmaufrius proposed as a starting point:

    Galliskinmaufrius wrote:
    Master of White Dragons LG in Veluna
    Master of Green Dragons LE in Ket
    Master of Red Dragons LG in Gran March
    Master of the North Wind LE in Blackmoor
    Master of the West Wind LG in Bissel
    Master of the South Wind LG in Yeomanry
    Master of the East Wind LG in Onnwall
    Master of Winter LN in Perrenland
    Master of Autumn LE in Scarlet Brotherhood
    Master of Summer LN in Nyrond
    Master of Spring LN in Tusmit
    Grand Master of Flowers LN in Zeif


    I just spent the entire day putting together a complex spreadsheet to track each rank of the hierarchy year by year from 571–597 CY. It's way too complicated to post, but it'll work for me. By way of example, here's what I came up with for 571 CY:

    Master of White Dragons: LN in Duchy of Urnst (Iquoyan from Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk)
    Master of Green Dragons: vacant
    Mistress of Red Dragons: LN in Cairn Hills (Izenfen from Age of Worms)
    Master of the North Wind: LE in Blackmoor
    Master of the West Wind: LG in Bissel (Eson from Baltron's Beacon)
    Master of the South Wind: LG in Yatils (Cho-Ji from Day of Al'Akbar)
    Master of the East Wind: LG in Yeomanry
    Master of Winter: LG in Perrenland
    Master of Autumn: LN in Furyondy
    Master of Summer: LG in Nyrond
    Master of Spring: LN in Tusmit
    Grand Master of Flowers: LG in Yatils
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:18 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    What then of the Scarlet Brotherhood? Simple: they're usurpers. In 489 CY, the Tilvanot Peninsula was "invaded" by refugees from Kara-Tur, who brought with them their own monastic tradition. (The similarites between the Baklunish and Oriental orders are due to the ancient origins posited above.)


    OK. Now you are going all Raymond E. Feist "Riftworld" on us. Happy

    Anyways, I like your list there at the end. It remeinds me of the other lists that have been done for Undead, Giants and Dragons in Greyhawk, such as this one:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=16

    Monks of Greyhawk would be a good one to add to those listings. As you have been looking up information on them(and site a few of them), do you have a comprehensive list of monk sitings in Greyhawk products by chance?
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:15 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Monks of Greyhawk would be a good one to add to those listings. As you have been looking up information on them(and site a few of them), do you have a comprehensive list of monk sitings in Greyhawk products by chance?


    I haven't compiled a comprehensive list, but Jason Zavoda did. I just added Iquoyan and Izenfen (and Sushi from WG7 Laughing ).
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    Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:07 am  

    And what about the Mad Hatter and the March Hare from Dungeonland? They are canon, are they?
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:59 pm  

    Galliskinmaufrius wrote:
    And what about the Mad Hatter and the March Hare from Dungeonland? They are canon, are they?


    I don't think they fall under the heading "Monks of the Flanaess", seeing as they inhabit a different (demi)plane.
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    Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:11 pm  

    You’ve got a point.

    I was just thinking that these two monks were abducted by Zagyg from the Flanaess and held prisoners in his dungeon under Castle Greyhawk and secluded in the demi-plane of dungeonland, seclusion which drove them mad in the end.

    It could explain that a master level is “vacant”.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:31 am  

    Galliskinmaufrius wrote:
    I was just thinking that these two monks were abducted by Zagyg from the Flanaess and held prisoners in his dungeon under Castle Greyhawk and secluded in the demi-plane of dungeonland, seclusion which drove them mad in the end.

    It could explain that a master level is “vacant”.


    Good theory! I like that as backstory for M.H. & M.H., but I don't think it would have left a vacancy (at least, not for very long). Within a couple of years, one of the two remaining Masters of Dragons would have earned enough experience to move unchallenged into the Master of the North Wind position vacated by the March Hare. Likewise, the first two 7th-level monks to earn enough experience for 8th level would assume the empty Master of Dragons positions created by that promotion and by the disappearance of the Mad Hatter.

    EDIT: Further riffing on this idea, perhaps M.H. & M.H. were in the midst of dueling for 9th level when they were both abducted by Zagyg....
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:10 pm  

    Just like the other structured classes: Druid and Assassin it must make some rational sense. Their must be multiple monkish orders within each philosophy having its own hierarchy as well as geographic limitations.

    Set aside the obvious alignment, cultural and political complications; exactly how does a monk within another order know which titles are vacant?

    Does the bakluni / oeridian / suloise / touv dieities tap their believer and say talked to the other pantheon - you have won a trip to Zeif.

    Most monkish orders do not travel as most are involved in personal spiritual perfection so are we too believe the monks are traveling around oerth simply looking for each other.

    Not to mention the laughable scenarioes; a baklunish monk sailing to challenge Korenth Zan - right this way or better yet; Korenth Zan travels to Veluna to challenge his superior - hope their is no hard feelings over that Greyhawk War thing?

    Sheer loyalty - faithful to my order and beliefs but even though I have never been - I sense the next superior is in the Yeomanry somewhere.

    This can be used for the assassin class; assassin work throughout the baklunish west and develop a sophisicated criminal underworld within society. How would the bakluni assassins know or even care if the GFA lives in Eastfair, Great Kingdom.

    Same for the monks why would an order of Eastern Flanaess (LG) Nyrond Monks know or care if the GMF of a baklunish order of monks lives in Zeif.

    Doesn't make sense; each monkish tradition must have its own internal hierarchy.
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    Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:28 am  

    Well, I think we are playing a game, and, sometime, rationality may be set aside.

    Indeed, DMPrata's quest is challenging: to fit together the 1e monk class and the Greyhawk milieu.

    In order to complete it, you will have to twist your rational conceptions.

    Maybe, each monastery is well known among monks. Maybe, a monk does not choose to challenge his superior, but is compelled to by a force or a deity: and he knows where to go...

    BTW, I like the idea of MH² being abducted by Zagyg in midst of their duel. If the Master of North Wind is in Blackmoor, it's all the more interesting. Didn't Zagyg went to Blackmoor in the past?
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    Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:37 pm  

    No argument; have anything you want in your personal game.

    A unified single monk hierarchy is possible simply by declaring it so but simply because the Druid class has a single hierachy some have assumed the other hierarchial classes (Monk and Assassin) also have a unified hierarchy.

    I view the monk as closer to the priest then the druid; religious classes have multiple separate hierarchies, so why not separate hierarchies for spiritual philosophies. Which solves the convuluted reasoning problems needed to form a single unified hierarchy.

    I view the assassin as closer to the thief; criminal classes have multiple separate hierarchies, so why not separate hierarchies for criminal organisations or geographical regions. Which solves the convuluted reasoning problems needed to form a single unified hierarchy.

    From my POV; separate hierarchies simply make more sense and avoids the "come on" moment some players will have when they are told thei monk or assassin PC has go to across the continent and face someone alignment / social wise that makes no sense for the next title.
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    Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:19 am  

    Just one more suggestion.

    The 1e AD&D monk class was devised with the mah-jong game in mind.

    So the Grand Master of Flowers is the top level because the flower tokens in mah-jong are the rarest.

    But, there are four flower tokens, which are:
      The Plum, associated w/ East, East Wind and Spring
      The Orchid, associated w/ South, South Wind and Summer
      The Chrysanthem, associated w/ West, West Wind and Autumn
      The Bamboo, associated w/North, North Wind and Winter

    Can we extrapolate and expand the monk class with four orders and one Grand Master of THE Flower for each order:
      Order of the Plum - Baklunish
      Order of the Orchid - Suloise
      Order of the Chrysanthem - Oeridian
      Order of the Bamboo - Flan

    Well, take this for what it is: a suggestion.
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    Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:58 pm  
    In the Beginning

    How did the order start? Did someone say, "Hey, let's be monks! I'm in charge," and that NPC jumped from 1st to 17th level? Nope, I don't think that makes sense. Nor does, "I've got a 1st level Monk and since there is no one else in my order around then I can't advance with all this experience." I think that between those two extremes that the logical conclusion is if the character is supposed to fight another character for the level and the other character doesn't exist, then the character gets to take the spot.
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    Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:22 am  

    In the case of no other suitable candidate, the advancing monk character would of course have to fight....themself! Shocked

    Laughing
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    Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:46 am  

    love the mahjong thing, never had thoght about it

    and about how it started...well, i suppose a mid/high level guy decide to start, then he teaches a low level, and so on. meanwhile, the first one continue training, so he doesnt get "catch up" by his aprentice
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    Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:51 pm  

    I think you have to assume the 'order' evolved through time; it didn't come into existence as is.
    Also, there has to be a reason why there is a limit on the number on monks above 7th. Some source that can only have so many monks plugged in at any one time.
    Either some sort of divine patron sets the limits, or as the order evolved, and as the mystical secrets were unraveled, the leaders shaped these energies into the structure, and the disciples are bound to adhere to it in order to maintain the connection.
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    Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:54 pm  

    Personally, I'd place Li Hon from Ghost Tower of Inverness in the hierarchy somewhere. She was only level 7 in that module, but that was way back during the reign of Duke Justinian. In his article "Baklunish Delights" in Oerth Journal #3, Erik Mona made her the leader of the Flannae'tel Monastery in the Duchy of Urnst.
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    Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:05 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Personally, I'd place Li Hon from Ghost Tower of Inverness in the hierarchy somewhere. She was only level 7 in that module, but that was way back during the reign of Duke Justinian. In his article "Baklunish Delights" in Oerth Journal #3, Erik Mona made her the leader of the Flannae'tel Monastery in the Duchy of Urnst.


    In the spreadsheet I made to track the hierarchy by year, I have Li Hon bouncing between levels 7 & 8 (Mistress of White Dragons) from 574–583 CY, before attaining level 9 (Mistress of the North Wind) in 584 CY.
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    Fri May 08, 2009 11:00 pm  

    In our Greyhawk campaign the only group which monks could be from was the Scarlet Brotherhood. They just always seemed so foreign to the setting that we pretty much outlawed them.
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    Sun May 17, 2009 3:26 am  

    I agree with the idea that there should be some way to incorporate a monkish hierarchy within the Flanaess to provide a means of progression for player characters and achievements. Perhaps the titles carry importance and merit all of their own? Seeking out the holder or the next one sounds like an adventure opportunity to me and allows for more than just another leveling routine.
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    Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:57 am  

    Another Idea could be that there is only one monastic tradition for monks, however everyone has there own interpurtations as to how to live. All are bound to law and the heirarchy, but free to train/recruit diversly. Thus staying true to 1ED in terms of the heirarchy, with the apropriate distribution of alignment, and culture.
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    Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:51 am  

    Such a system as Dethand suggest existed in Monasteries in ancient times, why not in Grayhawk? Confused

    But the alignment diversity that Jarlexal suggest doesn't work for me. I feel that a monk should have an alignment that is basically in line with that of his Deity.

    If a God/Goddess is Lawful, then his worshipers should be within the standards of Law. A monk of a Lawful Deity shouldn't be Chaotic and vice versa. Wink
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    Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:20 am  

    scott; you are over looking the spiritual component.

    Just because koreth zan is the highest level monk (14), does not mean there must be a single hierarchy. In fact, it points to separate hierarchies as the sb is pursuing a political agenda. Perhaps the sb monks simply can not devote sufficent time and training required to achieve the levels 15-17. Not to say, they will not but just have not. Just because the level of GMOF exists does not mean the position within the order must be filled.
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    Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:50 pm  

    DMPrata, did you ever make public your spreadsheet of monks of the Flanaess (as mentioned in various canon publications)?

    Or has anyone else published this kind of information online?

    I've begun playing a 1e monk (from Dragon 53) and have thus started researching the subject. (It's been neat reading past threads on the subject. I'll likely post in a few of them over the next week or so.)
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    Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:07 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    I've begun playing a 1e monk (from Dragon 53) and have thus started researching the subject.


    If you are referring to the article, "He's Got a Lot to Kick About," then I whole-heartedly agree. That is a great article. It makes the monk much more fun, and effective, as a PC. I know it from the Best of the Dragon, Vol III - the Gold Dragon, as my friends and I called it. Smile

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    Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:08 am  

    mtg wrote:
    DMPrata, did you ever make public your spreadsheet of monks of the Flanaess (as mentioned in various canon publications)?

    Or has anyone else published this kind of information online?

    I've begun playing a 1e monk (from Dragon 53) and have thus started researching the subject. (It's been neat reading past threads on the subject. I'll likely post in a few of them over the next week or so.)

    PM me, and I’ll send it to you. I’ll be honest, though: After 12 years I don’t remember the origins of all the NPC names, so you may need to do some detective work to find my original sources. Hell, I may have made up a couple of names.
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