One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I'm the DM of my little group and since the start I've dropped the Monk as a playable class. I didn't feel a kung fu master had a place in a fantasy medieval Europe. Recently, I've learned the Monk class was officially dropped as standard class for 2nd edition.
So, I'm wondering, what did any of you, fellow DMs, do if you encountered a Monk maybe in an old source book but were playing with 2nd edition rules? Or possibly what I should do to replace Monks that I may find? (Scarlet Brotherhood for instance)
No worries, DevilSmiter. Just glad to have some 'action' on the 2e forum besides my own queries! If you have any of your own, please feel free to post away.
hey, you're not the only one who lives here! :)
Yeah, I do the same mismash of 1st and 2nd, though I've tweaked non-weapon proficiencies to work more like 3rd. Anyway, as for monks I struggled for a bit, then finally took the OA monk and used that. Now I have three different monk styles in my game. Maybe I'll post them!
I've pretty much had to create an entirely new class, because i decided to take this a step further and incorporate martial arts from Oriental Adventures. So, this guy is a totally unique creation, as I'm combining the 2nd ed monk from Scarlet Brotherhood with Oriental Adventures monks that use martial arts. IMC, this monk is the Scarlet Brotherhood monk with OA martial arts, and maybe a few other tweaks.
Sub-class of priests
Ability Requirements: Str, Wis, Dex of 15. Con of 11.
Alignment: Lawful (neutral or evil)
Through study and training they hone their minds and bodies until the are capable of feats impossible to normal humans.
Alignment: Monks are all lawful, supporting the idea that a perfect society is one that embraces order.
These monks use the cleric EXP tables, gain hit points as warriors, and have skills of a thief. They may select proficiencies from the General, Priest, Rogue, and Warrior lists. They start with 8 proficiencies, plus their INT bonus. They then advance as usual (see my Proficiency system). They are extremely skilled in combat, having learned how to best use their bodies as a means to destroy their foes. They are also adept at simple weapons that are either existing tools or can easily be made out of nearby items, such as daggers, hand axes, clubs, staves, spears, javelins, and polearms. They also have access to many exotic weapons (basically all the oriental ones!).
Monks wear no armor, for it detracts from their finely hones reflexes and impedes their ability to assess their body’s condition. Monks using a martial arts style, gain the base AC of that style. Further, they always gain AC bonus of +1, and gain another +1 on every odd level.
They also may use any magic item useable only by Rogues. They may not own more than 5 magic items and may retain only the wealth necessary to support their needs.
All monks begin with the ability to do lethal damage with their hands and feet, as if they were carrying weapons. This “open hand” ability begins modestly, but eventually allows the monk to strike several times per round in combat and inflict wounds equal to those from the most dangerous weapons. These multiple attacks cannot be accelerated through the use of magic such as Haste spells.
Monks can move faster than a normal human due to their training and heightened body awareness. At first level a monk has a movement rate of 15”. This rate increases by 1”/level. This speed also gives a monk an initiative bonus of +2, in addition to any Dex bonuses.
Their keen senses allow them to perform several thief skills. Their thief skills and base scores are as follows:
They gain an additional 30 points to distribute as they choose, and another 15/level. They also gain bonuses for dexterity as rogues.
While monks prefer to use their open-hand attacks to weapons, monks retain their awareness of anatomy and are able to cause extra damage when they use weapons against living creatures, equal to the monk’s level divided by 2, rounded up.
Once per day per level, a monk may attempt to STUN an opponent with an open-hand attack. The monk declares the intent to stun, and on a successful hit the target must save vs. paralyzation or be stunned for one round.
A monk may deflect incoming fired or thrown weapons (arrow, bolt, dagger, etc.) by making a save vs. petrification.
If a monk is attacked by an effect that requires a saving throw, a successful save vs the attack results in the monk taking no damage.
Monk abilities also increase as levels increase.
At 2nd level a monk gains the ability to KILL opponents with a successful open-hand attack. The attack must stun the target, who then must make a save vs paralyzation at +4 or die.
At 3rd level a monk can resist ESP or other thought-reading attempts.
At 4th level a monk is able to safely fall up to 20’ as long as he is within 1’ of a wall or other similar solid object such as a tree.
There are more, which I can fill you in on as you gain levels.
The School of the One Hundred Dragons. This martial art is practacally unknown and taught in few schools. This martial technique has a popular reputation for wanderlust, and strongly focuses on contemplation. This warrior's way jealously guards its ultimate technique, including the “Fanged Punch” and the "Dragon Hammer".
Principal Method: Throw
Armor Class: 7
Body Part: Body
Weapons (1): Dragon Whisker Fork
Special Maneuvers (7+3):
Pose of the Drunk Dragon (Throw 1): This is the first thing all students learn, how to fall or roll with a blow. It is constantly in effect, and the character takes ½ damage from any fall. Further, when hit he may give up his next action to take only half damage, basically "rolling with the punch" so to speak.
Spring of the Waking Serpent (Throw 2): With this ability, a character may use one of his attacks to instantly stand, rather than spend a round doing so. If he has more attacks, he may take them.
Whipping Tail Sweep (Throw 3): The character with this ability may sweep his foes to the ground, using strength and technique rather than leverage. A successful hit throws opponents to the ground 1-4 feet away. The victim also takes double damage. A missed attempt causes the character to lose any remaining attacks and loses initiative the next round.
Deathly Desolation Throw (Throw 4) Using leverage and his opponent's momentum, the character is able to throw his enemy a great distance. A normal to hit roll must be made. If the victim is stationary, the character can throw him one foot per level. If the victim is charging the character, the distance thrown is six feet plus one foot per level. The victim suffers triple normal damage from the throw. If the to hit roll is unsuccessful, the opponent has countered the move and the character has been knocked off his feet, automatically losing initiative the next round.
Scales of the Wyrm (M & P 5) Rigorous physical training has toughened the character's muscles to the point where he can harden them like dragon’s scales. The armor class of the character is improved by 2, but only when he is not wearing any other type of armor.
Dance of the Hateful Dragon (Kick 1) In this dramatic kick, the attacker builds up power and momentum by spinning in a complete circle before landing the kick (usually on the side of the head or body). If successful (a normal to hit roll), the kick does twice normal damage. If unsuccessful, the character loses the next attack he is normally allowed as he tries to recover his balance.
Fanged Punch (Strike 1): Through various toughening exercises, the character has hardened his hands so much so that they feel like steel. The character does 1d10 points of damage on each attack, if his principal body part used is the hands. If the principal body part is not the hands, the character does 1d10 points of damage on one attack per melee round.
Dragon Hammer (Strike 2): The character is able to shatter or break hard objects with a blow of his hand. This includes wood, ceramics and masonry but not metal. The character can break 112"of wood or 1/4"of brittle stone per level. The DM can modify this based on the shape, hardness, and age of the object. If used against a living target, the character causes normal damage plus points equal to his level. The Crushing Blow requires great concentration and is the only action the character can do in a round regardless of the number of attacks normally allowed. In all cases a normal to hit roll must be made. The DM must determine the number needed to hit a stationary object (based on its hardness). If the die roll is failed and the character is striking a hard object (such as a stone), he has seriously hurt his hand. He suffers damage equal to what he would do on a normal attack and the hand is unusable for 24 hours.
Sacrifice of the Coral Dragon (Weapon 1): All weapons are routinely used to block and parry an opponent. The Weapon Catch maneuver teaches the character how to use the special martial arts weapons to catch and lock his opponent's weapon in places. Here weapon includes not just melee weapons but also the arms and legs of an unarmed opponent. A Weapon Catch is made in place of a normal attack and a to hit roll must be made. If successful, the character has caught the opponent's attack with his weapon and has locked it in place. The opponent cannot use that weapon to fight with. Furthermore, the character can make further attacks on the opponent with a + 2 on his chance to hit, if he has the correct principal body part free to make the attack. The opponent can break the catch by either dropping his weapon or spending a melee attack to attempt to break free. If he attempts the latter, he must make a normal to hit roll to succeed. If the Weapon Catch attempt fails, the character has managed to foul his own weapon on that of the opponent's. With a quick twist the opponent pulls the character's weapon from his grasp, leaving the character disarmed.
Whirlwind Leap of the Wyverns (Movement 5): The character is able to perform extraordinary feats of springing and leaping by channeling his inner power, mentally making himself as light as a feather. From a standing start the character can spring four feet into the air and three feet forward plus one foot for each level of the character. He can also flip in mid-air to automatically change his facing. Such springs do not take an entire melee round, costing instead only one attack allowed during the round. Thus a character could flip over an opponent, land behind him, and execute an attack from the rear with his next melee attack. From a running start, the character can spring eight feet upward and ten feet forward plus one foot for each level of the character. The character must have at least 10 feet of running space for springing. In both cases, the character must make a normal to hit roll to see if he lands safely. If the roll is made, the leap or spring is successful. If the roll is failed, the character makes the leap but falls to the ground upon landing.
This one hasn't been developed quite yet, as far as having a history tied into the Flanaess. Still, here's the basics. Other than the differences added here, and the new Martial Arts style, this monk retains most the abilities of the previous one, such as Thieving skills, proficiencies, etc.
The Way of The Harmonious Fist. This martial art is practically unknown and taught in few schools. This martial technique has a popular reputation for wanderlust, and strongly focuses on contemplation.
Principal Method: Vital touch
Armor Class: -4 to AC
Damage: 1-8 (1-10)
Body Part: Hand and Foot
Weapons (3): lajatang, shuriken, quarterstaff
Special Maneuvers : *those she already knows
Winds Beneath (Throw 1): This is the first thing all students learn, how to fall or roll with a blow. It is constantly in effect, and the character takes ½ damage from any fall.
Push of Earth (Throw 2): With this ability, a character may use one of his attacks to instantly stand, rather than spend a round doing so. If he has more attacks, he may take them.
Fire's Revenge (Vital 1): Simply by pressing her fingers against specific points of the body, she can cause great pain in her victim.This can be done in place of a normal attack. It causes no damage, but if the to hit roll is successful, the victim feels as if he was on fire. Thereafter, he will be -2 on his chance to hit and +2 on chance of being hit. The effect lasts for 1-3 rounds. There is no adverse affect on the character if the to hit roll is failed.
Mind Shadows (Vital 2) With a light slap of her fingers in the correct place, she can stun and daze her opponent. This can be done in place of a normal attack and causes no damage. A normal to hit roll must be made. If successful, the victim is allowed a saving throw vs paralyzation. If this is failed, the victim is stunned for 1-4 rounds, unable to take any actions. However, should the to hit roll be missed or the saving throw be passed, the attack has no effect.
Wind's Warning (Mental 2) Her training has made her more attuned to her immediate surroundings. She is able to detect opponents on all sides of her, provided they are not invisible. She can never be struck from behind or suffer a penalty from a back attack. This manuver is constantly in effect.
Wind off the Mountain (Kick 2) This spectacular kick requires at least 5 feet of running space. She leaps high into the air and leads with a powerful kick to the head (or head height on larger than man-sized creatures). If the kick connects, she does triple normal damage. If unsuccessful, she falls to the ground adjacent to the intended target and must spend a round getting back to her feet (unless she has Push of Earth).
United Fingers' Strike (Strike 1): Through various toughening exercises, the character has hardened his hands so much so that they feel like steel. The character does 1d10 points of damage on each attack, if his principal body part used is the hands. If the principal body part is not the hands, the character does 1d10 points of damage on one attack per melee round.
Shadow's Touch (Push 2):She has so attuned her sense of touch that even by lightly placing her hand on another she can cause it to follow their every move. A normal roll to hit must be made and the touch does no damage. However, so long as she remains in contact, she gains +2 on all subsequent to hit rolls and her AC improves by 2, since she can feel the impending move of her opponent before it happens. The touch can only be broken by the opponent moving in a way or at a speed beyond her abilities. Thus if the opponent had Leap abilities, he could use this to break contact. However, if she could duplicate the move, she may choose to move with him, keeping the contact unbroken.
Trick of Shadow (Movement 1): This is a trick where she begins an attack in one direction and at the last minute changes it to another direction. When done successfully, the opponent is out of position for the new attack and cannot defend effectively against it. It requires one melee attack to execute. A normal to hit roll is made and if successful her next attack gains +2 on the chance to hit. The trick itself causes no damage. If unsuccessful, she has no penalty other than the loss of the attack.
Earth's Defense (Movement 2): Prepared for any circumstance, she is able to fight effectively even while lying on the ground. This special manuver is constant – it applies any time she is off her feet. The only limitation is she can use no other special manuver (except Push of Earth) when she is down.
Thought Shadows (Mental 3):The mental exercises and ordeals of her training have toughened and strengthened her will. She receives a +2 on all saving throws against mental attacks including charm, illusion,and hold spells. This maneuver is constantly in effect.
Touch of Fire (Vital 3):By placing pressure on specific nerve junctions, she is able to paralyze her victim, leaving him unable to move for 1d6 turns. A normal to hit roll must be made and the victim is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation. If the attack fails or the saving throw is made, no damage is done.
The Shadow's Long Reach (Vital 4):This is one of the ultimate skills of this Order and requires great practice and concentration. To learn it, she practiced at a pool of water, driving her finger at it without touching it. As she did so, she concentrated on her own power, trying to extend it from her finger. When she could hear the echo of her thrust rebound from the water, she had mastered the maneuver.
This skill requires great concentration and is the only action she can take during the melee round. It has a range of one foot per level of the character. With it she can choose to apply the effects of Fire's Revenge, Mind Shadow, or Touch of Fire or she can choose to do three times her normal damage on the attack. If Fire's Revenge is chosen, the victim is not allowed a saving throw; for Mind Shadow the saving throw is -2 on the die roll. In all cases a normal to hit roll must be made.
Mountain's Embrace (Mental 4):Under her master's guidance, she has trained for long periods while wearing a blindfold or in darkened rooms. This has given her the ability to detect her foes with her other senses. She suffers only a -1 penalty when fighting in darkness, when blinded, or faced by invisible opponents. However, any of these in combination with a silence spell render her effectively blind again. This maneuver is constantly in effect.
Wind's Embrace (Movement 5 ): The character is able to perform extraordinary feats of springing and leaping by channeling his inner power, mentally making himself as light as a feather. From a standing start the character can spring four feet into the air and three feet forward plus one foot for each level of the character. He can also flip in mid-air to automatically change his facing. Such springs do not take an entire melee round, costing instead only one attack allowed during the round. Thus a character could flip over an opponent, land behind him, and execute an attack from the rear with his next melee attack. From a running start, the character can spring eight feet upward and ten feet forward plus one foot for each level of the character. The character must have at least 10 feet of running space for springing. In both cases, the character must make a normal to hit roll to see if he lands safely. If the roll is made, the leap or spring is successful. If the roll is failed, the character makes the leap but falls to the ground upon landing.
Dance of the Fire (Movement 6):She has developed lightning-fast reflexes and powerful muscles mainly by concentrating and learning how her body controls its movements. She gains twice the normal amount of melee attacks she is normally allowed (both with the martial arts and normal combat) and moves at double the normal combat movement rate (only). The increase in movement rate does not apply to normal movement nor can the movement speed be maintained for more than five rounds. This special maneuver is difficult and tiring. It can only be done once per day and can only be maintained for five rounds. At the end of this time, she must rest for 1-3 rounds.
The Shadow Knows and the Wind Touches (Mental 7):Easily the most closely guarded secret of the Order, this skill allows the Monk to strike at a distance in darkness. He must have already mastered Mountain's Embrace. If the monk makes his Hear Noise roll he may throw, shoot or strike at any target within 100' with only a -1 from his regular chances to hit. He does not have to be able to see or hear to strike. He 'feels' the area around him. (The Force, use the Force!)
Shadows Play in the Fire (Mental 1):This is a state of deep concentration. By it, she focuses and regains her energies. One hour in this state is as restful as two hours of sleep. While in it, she is oblivious to hunger, thirst, cold and heat. She is still conscious and aware of her surroundings, however, so she does not suffer any penalties on surprise or initiative dice rolls.
The Wind's Blessing (Movement 4):Relying on the speed of her reflexes and the nimbleness of her footwork, the character is sometimes able to avoid non-magical missile attacks (including magical arrows and bolts). This ability is constant although the character must be aware of the attack. The character is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation against each attack. If the save is successful, the character has dodged the missile; if not, the missile hits normally.
Harmonious Fist Monks have concentrated on developing harmonious vibrations to such an extent that at 3rd level they can communicate with animals (as Cleric spell speak with animals). This is not a magical ability but it takes the same amount of time to set up, as the monk must clear her mind and establish the proper harmonics.
At 4th level may fall 20' within 1' of an object to brace along without injury.
At 3rd level the monks sense of their surroundings give them Alertness proficiency as a bonus.
At 2nd level they have developed Tumbling ( and associated skills) to such an extent that they have added abilities. Called Dance With the Wind. With a successful ability check, she can cross rough, broken terrain at no modification to her movement rate: she flips over obstructions, leaps across trenches, handsprings over low fences, etc. This doesn't affect her long distance movement rates; it only affects her encounter speed and running speed.
Second, the monk can cross a line of enemy warriors without having to go around or break through it. With a successful ability check, she can roll between the legs of one opponent, or handspring over the line, or pole-vault using her staff, and thus cross a distance equal to her encounter speed's movement rate. AoO's suffer a -4 to hit if she makes a second successful check for this action.
The DM is free to adjust any individual roll to reflect the difficulty of the action being attempted. Doing a backflip on the street to entertain a flock of children is much easier than doing one while walking on a wire ten stories in the air; the DM might wish to improve the monk's chance to perform the former task and make the latter task harder.
The cost of these skills is the loss of the ability to KILL that normal monks have developed.
The Shadowmasters are an ancient order of elves, completely unknown to the rest of the world. They come from the Lendor Isles, or, more specifically, from their hidden monastery on the Northernmost of the Spindrift Isles. There the Shadowmasters have spent centuries learning their skills, under the direct tutelage of the demi-god Zuoken himself. They know of the existence of the Scarlet Brotherhood and their goal to see a rebirth of the Suel Empire. They have operated in secret, much as the Scarlet Brotherhood, in order to learn more of their plans and to hinder them when possible. However, they tend to stay in the background, watching and waiting--preparing for the day they would be truly needed.
The Shadowmasters are ninjas, basically following the rules set forth in the Complete Ninja’s Handbook. However, they have additional benefits, derived from the 1st ed. Oriental Adventures books. Typical Shadowmasters follow the Shadow Warrior or Spirit-Warrior kit; however, others are available.
The Shadowmaster character class, like the thief and the bard classes, belongs to the rogue group. However, the Shadowmaster's similarity to other rogues lies not in temperament (ninja do not believe that the world owes them a living, and are not known as carefree, happy-go-lucky people) but in skills. (Shadowmasters are proficient in matters of stealth, intrusion, and investigation.) Like other rogues, they combine traits from several character classes. They have many of the skills of the thief and some of the combat options of the fighter. A few are able to learn some magical spells.
Shadowmaster Experience Levels
Shadowmasters earn experience levels as other rogues do. Shadowmasters of experience levels 1–5 are Tathar, the lowest-ranking ninja. Those of experience levels 6 through 9 are Huor, the middle management of the ninja clan—sometimes getting their hands dirty and sometimes hobnobbing with the upper ranks. Those of experience level 10 and above are Findara, the upper management of the clan.
The Shadowmaster must have a Dexterity score of at least 15 (reflecting intensive training from childhood in ninja arts) and an Intelligence score of at least 15. There are no non-elf Shadowmasters.
All Shadowmasters are True Neutral.
Weapons and Armor
The Shadowmaster can use any weapon, giving a much wider range of choices than a thief has. Shadowmasters generally wear no armor, though they may wear elfin chain mail. However, they ONLY do this when going into battle. The Shadowmaseter can use a shield and fights as a warrior.
Like other rogues, Shadowmasters can learn thieving skills. They are not as proficient in most of these skills as thieves are, but a Shadowmaster who becomes very experienced and specializes in two or three thieving skills can achieve great proficiency.
Table 2: Ninja Thieving Skill
Skill Base Score
Pick Pockets 5%
Open Locks 0%
Find/Remove Traps 0%
Move Silently 25%
Hide in Shadows 30%
Detect Noise 15%
Climb Walls 40%
Read Languages 0%
These take into account their elven bonuses, but not dexterity and armor. Shadowmasters must still add in those variable bonuses. Further, receive extra training in their thieving skills as their careers progress. Each at 1st level receives 60 discretionary percentage points to add to the base scores. (The Shadowmaster may put no more than 30 points into any one skill.) At each additional experience level, he receives another 30 points to distribute (and may put no more than 15 points into a skill). As with the thief, the Shadowmaster cannot raise any skill above 95%, including all adjustments for
Dexterity, race, and armor.
The Shadowmaster has the same backstab ability as the thief.
Instead of thieves' cant, Shadowmasters know a secret hand-language, Rihlanna. It is very similar to that of the Drow. In fact, drow and Shadowmasters can understand each others hand signing with about 50% accuracy. Rihlanna forms a language of hand-signs and written ideograms, and it can convey entire sentences and complex sets of instructions. The nonweapon proficiency Detect Signing allows a character to detect when other signs are being used, though the proficiency does not provide an interpretation of the signs' meaning.
The shadowmaster PC receives initial weapon and nonweapon proficiency slots and earns additional slots as a rogue. The character class has the following nonweapon proficiency group crossovers: Rogue, Warrior, General. The Shadowmaster who selects nonweapon proficiencies from these groups pays the listed number of slots. Proficiencies selected from other groups cost one extra slot per proficiency.
Shadowmasters are the invisible warriors; spies and assassins practiced in the skills of concealment, stealth, trickery, disguise, acrobatics, and assassination. They possess a number of special powers and use many unique devices. Their abilities and reputations are clouded in mystery. Many ascribe supernatural powers to them. They have done nothing to discourage these stories and may very well spread the tales themselves. Such confusion only enhances their reputations, inspiring more terror at the mere mention of their name.
Fall: Shadowmaster may fall 5’ per level without taking damage while not wearing armor. He must be falling where he can reach a vertical surface that can slow his fall. If he falls this distance or less, he manages to avoid taking any damage by tumbling and
rolling. If he falls farther than the stated distance, he suffers full normal damage.
Holding Breath: The character can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to his level. He can use this power only once per day.
Reduced Damage: Shadowmasters have the power to reduce the amount of damage caused by magical attacks. When making saving throws vs. magical attacks, this allows him to take no damage or suffer no effect from the magic if he makes a successful saving throw. Thus attacks which normally cause half damage on a successful save cause no damage if he makes his saving throw. On a failed save, he takes only half damage. This power may be used once/day/level.
The School of the Ancient Shadow Lakes. This martial path is taught only in one location. This martial technique has an unearned reputation for passivity, and is virtually obsessed with training well-rounded individuals. This warrior's way jealously guards its ultimate technique, the "Stealth Touch".
Principal Method: Vital Area
Armor Class: 7
Body Part: Hand
Weapons (2): Sai and Tiger Hook
Sai: +2 Parry
Tiger Hook: +2 Disarm, lock to become one weapon with 10’ reach.
Table 19: Special Maneuvers
Principal Method: Block
1. Basic Parry Blocks 1 melee attack
2. Parry All Costs 2 attacks; blocks all melee attacks
Principal Method: Lock
1. Choke Hold Takes +1 round; victim passes out
Principal Method: Movement
1. Feint Costs extra attack; +3 to hit
2. Prone Fighting Suffer no kneel/sit/prone penalties
4. Leap Leap great distances
Principal Method: Strike
1. Iron Fist 1d6 hp damage plus Strength bonuses with blows
2. Crushing Blow Break inanimate objects; 1 attack/round
Principal Method: Throw
1. Fall Take half damage from falls
2. Instant Stand Stand quickly (negates 1-round penalty)
Principal Method: Vital Area
1. Pain Touch Victim –2 to hit, +2 to AC, for 1d3 rounds
2. Stunning Touch Save or be stunned for 1d4 rounds
3. Paralyzing Touch Save at –2 or be paralyzed for 2d4 rounds
4. Distance Death Pain, stunning, paralyzation, or x2 base damage at range
Mental and Physical Training
1. Meditation 1 hour meditation=2 hours sleep
2. All-Around Sight Aware of attacks from all around
5. Blind Fighting Only –1 when fighting in darkness
Rolling Palm (Block-1): The basic parry maneuver prevents melee attacks from hitting the martial artist. It does not work against missile attacks. A character can perform the basic parry if he has not used both his martial arts attacks for that round. Even if his opponent has initiative, the martial artist can announce that he's using one of his attacks to parry. The martial artist rolls an attack against his opponent, taking into account all normal adjustments to his opponent's AC and the "Unarmed vs. Armor" conditions described later this chapter. If the attack hits, the martial artist has parried the first blow struck at him this round by his opponent.
When the Attack Roll Fails: The incoming attack hits.
Weapons Allowed: Any. Characters using sai or jitte weapons receive a +2 bonus to hit with the basic parry maneuver.
Dance of Shadows (Block-2): The parry all maneuver is a more advanced form of the basic parry. It requires two of the character's attacks for the round (the total number of attacks for most characters). With this expenditure, the martial artist gets to roll a block against every melee attack aimed at him this round, so long as he is aware of the attacks. He makes a separate attack roll against each oncoming blow.
When the Attack Roll Fails: The opponent's blow hits.
Weapons Allowed: Any. Characters using sai or jitte weapons receive a +2 bonus to hit with the parry all maneuver.
Twist of the Fallen (Lock-1): This teaches the correct way to apply pressure and render a victim unconscious. When using this hold, the user grabs his opponent with the hold. The victim may attempt to escape with his next action, and is successful on a successful roll to hit at -2. If he fails, he falls unconscious for 1-3 rounds.
When the Attack Roll Fails: The attacker suffers no ill effects.
Weapons Allowed: Chain weapons, rope weapons, lash weapons, axes (using shafts), clubbing weapons, flails, karate weapons (using shafts), picks (using shafts), sickles, staves, bladed poles (using shafts), and spears (using shafts) tight groups.
Sacrifice of the Castle (Movement-1): The martial artist begins an attack in one direction and at the last moment changes it to another direction. Or he begins an attack but does not follow through, in order to draw his opponent off balance or make the opponent commit to a futile defense. The martial artist makes a regular attack but adds the feint, which costs an extra attack and gives him a +3 to hit.
When the Attack Roll Fails: The martial artist suffers a –4 modifier on his next attack. Weapons Allowed: Any
Pose of the Hidden Fey (Movement-2): Prepared for any circumstance, the martial artist who knows this special maneuver is able to fight effectively even sitting, kneeling, prone, or supine. This special maneuver requires no time and is always in effect; it applies any time the character is knocked from her feet or falls down. However, the character can perform no other special maneuver (except instant stand) when on the ground. She can still use her weapons and the basic damage from her martial arts style, and suffers no Armor Class penalty for being on the ground. A character without this skill who fights from the ground is easier to hit than a standing character. Attacks against a kneeling character receive a +1 to hit; against a sitting character, +2 to hit; against a character who is flat on the ground, +4 to hit. The character who is down suffers equivalent penalties to hit when attacking someone who is standing: –1 to hit if the attacker is kneeling, –2 if he is sitting, –4 if he is lying flat. The character who knows prone fighting suffers none of these penalties.
Weapons Allowed: Any. Fighters are even trained to use two-handed and long weapons
effectively from positions on the ground.
Leap of the Pegasi (Movement-4): The martial artist is able to perform extraordinary feats of springing and leaping by channeling his ch'i, or inner power, mentally making himself as light as a feather. From a standing start, the character can leap 4 feet into the air and 3 feet forward, plus 1 foot up and forward for each experience level the character possesses. (Thus a 10th-level character with this special maneuver could leap 14 feet into the air and 13 feet forward.) He can also flip midair to automatically change his facing.
Standing-start leaps do not take an entire melee round, costing instead only one attack allowed during the round. Thus a character could flip over an opponent, land behind him, and execute an attack from the rear with his next melee attack. From a running start, the character can leap 8 feet upward and 10 feet forward plus 1 foot and forward for each experience level the character possesses. The character must have room run at least 10 feet before making such a leap. With either a standing start or running start leap, the character must make a normal attack vs. AC 10 to land safely. If the roll is successful, the leap is successful.
When the Attack Roll Fails: The character leaps the full distance but falls to the ground landing. See the prone fighting maneuver described earlier for penalties to fighting from the ground.
Weapons Allowed: The character can carry any weapon when using the leap maneuver.
Bane Strike (Strike-1): When striking with hands, the character does 1d10 damage.
(Strike-2): The martial artist is able to shatter or break hard objects-wood, ceramics,
and masonry, but not metal—with a blow of the hand. The character can break a half-inch of wood or a quarter-inch of brittle stone per experience level. The DM can modify this based on the shape, hardness, and age of the object. If used against a living target, the character causes normal damage plus hit points equal to half his experience level (rounded down); Strength damage bonuses do not apply. (Example: An 11th-level character who normally does 1d4 hp damage with his martial arts attack would do 1d4+5 hp damage per crushing blow.) The crushing blow requires great concentration and is the only action the character can take in a round regardless of the number of attacks normally allowed. In all cases a normal attack roll must be made. The DM must determine the number needed to hit a stationary object (assigning AC based on its hardness).
When the Attack Roll Fails: If the martial artist attempts to strike a hard object (such as stone) and the attack roll fails, he seriously injures his hand, suffering damage equal to what he would do on a normal attack. The hand is unusable for 24 hours, even if healed before that time has elapsed.
Weapons Allowed: None.
Squirrel’s Defensive Palms (Throw-1): The martial arts student learns to fall and roll correctly, taking the impact of the fall on the safest areas of the body. Once learned, this maneuver is constantly in effect. Thereafter, the character suffers only half normal damage from any fall (if she is conscious and able to move).
Weapons Allowed: The character can carry any weapon when performing this maneuver.
Snap of the Roots (Throw-2): After learning to fall, the student learns how to gain her feet quickly, either by rolling up to a standing position or using an acrobatic jump. Normally, one round is required for a character to gain her feet, but a character knowing this maneuver can regain her feet automatically instead of making an attack. She may then perform other actions in the round if she has attacks available.
Weapons Allowed: The character can carry any weapon when performing this maneuver.
Fang of the Unhappy Panda (Vital Area-1): Simply be pressing his finger against specific points of the body, the martial artist can cause great pain in his opponent. This can be done in place of a normal attack. The touch causes no damage, but if the attack roll is successful, the opponent feels as though he were on fire. Thereafter, he will suffer a –2 penalty to attack rolls and a +2 penalty to his AC. The effect lasts for 1d3 rounds.
When the Attack Roll Fails: There is no adverse effect on the opponent, and the attacker suffers no ill effects.
Weapons Allowed: Clubbing weapons tight group.
Touch of the Phantom (Vital Area-2): With a light slap of the fingers in the correct place, the martial artist can stun and daze her opponent. This can be done in place of a normal attack and causes no damage. The attacker must make a normal attack roll. If the attack is successful, the opponent is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation. The opponent who fails to save is stunned for 1d4 rounds, unable to take any action.
When the Attack Roll Fails: If the attack roll fails or the opponent makes the saving throw, the attack has no effect.
Weapons Allowed: Clubbing weapons tight group.
Grab the Shadowed Moon (Vital Area-3): By placing pressure on specific nerve junctions, the martial artist can paralyze her opponent, leaving him unable to move for 2d4 rounds. The character must make a normal attack roll, but the attack does no other damage. The opponent is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation at a –2 penalty.
When the Attack Roll Fails: If the attack fails or the opponent makes a successful saving throw, no damage is done.
Weapons Allowed: Clubbing weapons tight group.
Stealth Touch (Vital Area-4): The ultimate skill of this method, this ultimate skill of the vital area method requires great practice and concentration. To learn this maneuver, the martial artist must practice at a pool of water, driving his finger at the surface without touching it. As he does so, he concentrates on his ch'i power, trying to extend it from his fingertip. When he can hear the echo of his thrust rebound from the water, he has mastered the maneuver. Distance death requires great concentration and is the only action the character can make during a melee round. It has a range of 1 foot per experience level of the character. To use this maneuver, the martial artist must make a normal attack roll. If the attack is successful, the character can choose to apply one of the following effects:
Pain: The opponent is not allowed a saving throw. The effect is identical to pain touch.
Stunning: The opponent is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation with a –2 penalty. The effect is identical to stunning touch.
Paralyzation: The opponent is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation, with a –4 penalty. The effect is identical to paralyzing touch.
Double Damage: The character does two times the basic damage for his martial arts style. No saving throw is allowed.
When the Attack Roll Fails: No special effects occur. The opponent takes no damage.
Weapons Allowed: None.
Submission to the Shadow(Mental & Physical-1): This ability allows the martial artist to enter a mental state in which he can focus and regain his energies. For each hour the character spends in uninterrupted meditation, he gets as much rest as two hours of sleep. While meditating, the character is oblivious to hunger, thirst, heat, and cold (but he can still take damage from heat- and cold-based attacks). He remains conscious and aware of his surroundings, and suffers no penalties on surprise or initiative die rolls.
Eye of the Storm(Mental & Physical-2): The martial artist's training makes him more attuned to his immediate surroundings. He is able to detect opponents on all sides, provided they are not invisible. The character can never be struck from behind or suffer a penalty from a back attack. This maneuver is constantly in effect.
Dance of the Fallen Heroes(Mental & Physical-5): Under his master's guidance, the martial artist has trained for long periods while wearing a blindfold or in darkened rooms, gaining the ability to detect foes with senses other than sight. The character suffers only a –1 penalty when fighting in darkness, when blinded, or when faced by invisible opponents. However, any of these in combination with a silence spell renders the character effectively blind. This ability is constantly in effect.
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