Enlightened monks are paragons of intense physical and mental training, joining the body and mind into one complete being which utilizes the strength of the two combined. They constantly train and exercise, pushing their bodies to new platforms of performance, while meditating upon the mysteries of the world allows them to expand their mind and unveil the secrets of the outer and inner worlds. This not only makes them formidable in combat, able to deftly avoid opponents and deal stunning blows with their bare hands, but also as teachers and advisors tempered by an inner wisdom and an understanding of the underlying forces of the world.
But their discipline yields other fruit, making them masters of a power they call Ki. This power arises from their intense meditation and repeated physical and mental training, drawing from a deep inner well of power connected to almost all living beings. Some beings refer to this energy as Ki, some as psionics or psi, while others see it as an extension of the conscious and subconscious minds. The goal of all this practice is to achieve full enlightenment, and become one with themselves and the world.
The traditions vary from monk to monk, though; some are ascetic warriors who train in solitude on mountaintops accompanied only by the howling winds, repeating their exercises and pushing themselves beyond their limits. Some walk among the peasants and the rich, acting as teacher and advisor to those who seek their wisdom. Some dress in vivid colours and shave their head to set them apart from the common man, others prefer to live in the dirt and squalor of the poor to learn of life’s true hardships. Even so, these are only a few of the diverse schools and traditions of enlightened monk. Some train exclusively in unarmed combat, calling it the art of the pugilist, while others train with the singing sword and bone-breaking staff. Culture sets enlightened monks apart from each other as well - in some areas their martial arts are trained as dances to the steady beating of drums, in other areas they are taught from one master to a student while in yet others they are a part of the military, trained to become deadly assassins and spies able to infiltrate enemies and kill with their bare hands.
The one constant among the various schools, traditions and cultures of monks is that they have all found an inner connection to the world and can utilize it in and out of combat by uniting their mind and body. They become immune to the frailties of the mortal world, shaking off disease, poison, and even age, as if they were nothing but illusions which their now sharp eyes can pierce. Indeed, some even ascend to become living embodiments of this enlightenment and inner connection, and are no longer bound by the laws of this world.
Hit Die: d8.
The enlightened monk’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str) and Tumble (Dex). Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier. Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
All of the following are class features of the enlightened monk.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Enlightened monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. Enlightened monks are not proficient with any armor or shields. When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, an enlightened monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the enlightened monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, an enlightened monk gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five enlightened monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level). These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the enlightened monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she wields a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.
Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, an enlightened monk gains an insight bonus to her speed, as shown on the Enlightened Monk table. An enlightened monk in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.
Ki Psionics: The enlightened monk’s internal mastery brings forth her psionic potential in the form of Ki. Through intense training and meditation, she opens up more and more of her psionic self. The enlightened monk gains bonus power points from her Wisdom score as if her manifester level was equal to her enlightened monk level. These power points can be spent to fuel some Ki styles, as well as allowing her to attain psionic focus, among other uses. Any class which increases any specific monk class features, such as AC bonus, unarmed damage, speed, or flurry of blows, stacks
with her enlightened monk levels for the purpose of Ki psionics.
Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmored, an enlightened monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown on the table. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the enlightened monk might make before her next action. When an enlightened monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. An enlightened monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.
When using flurry of blows, an enlightened monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, an enlightened monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1½ or ×½) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The enlightened monk can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, an enlightened monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.
Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, an enlightened monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. An enlightened monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that an enlightened monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for an enlightened monk striking unarmed. An enlightened monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes. Usually an enlightened monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
An enlightened monk’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons. An enlightened monk also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on the Enlightened Monk table. The unarmed damage on the table is for medium-sized monks. A small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a large monk deals more damage; see the table below. An enlightened monk with the powerful build special quality deals unarmed damage as if she were one size category larger.
Ki Style: An enlightened monk chooses a Ki style at 1st level, a school of thought and combat which defines how he fights and thinks, acts and reacts. You can also choose to forego a Ki style and instead choose a number of bonus feats. The different Ki styles are detailed below.
Bonus Feats: Some enlightened monks are not trained in a certain Ki style and thus gain bonus feats instead. At 1st level, she may select Stunning Fist, Improved Grapple or Form Mind BladeMBF as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Psionic Fist, or Psionic Weapon as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Deep Impact, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, or Unavoidable Strike as a bonus feat. An enlightened monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them. Feats introduced here are labeled with an asterisk (*), while those marked with a MBF are from The Mind Unveiled: Mind Blade Feats.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, if an enlightened monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if an enlightened monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Still Mind (Ex): An enlightened monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against powers and effects from the telepathy discipline as long as she is psionically focused. If using the default magic-psionics transparency rules, this ability is also effective against any spells and effects from the enchantment school. An enlightened monk can expend her psionic focus as an immediate action to increase this bonus to +4 on one saving throw. The decision to expend psionic focus for this bonus must be made before the GM reveals result of the roll.
Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, an enlightened monk’s unarmed attacks are empowered with the Ki flowing through her. Her unarmed attacks are treated as psionic and magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s enlightened monk level. At 10th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as having one alignment descriptor for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. The enlightened monk’s alignment must contain the appropriate alignment descriptor. Neutral monks may meditate each morning for 10 minutes to choose one alignment descriptor for her attacks. At 16th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness.
Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, an enlightened monk can heal her own wounds. By expending her psionic focus as a standard action, she can heal a number of hit points equal to twice the number of power points she spends, but she cannot spend more than her class level each time.
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, an enlightened monk’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Greater Flurry: When an enlightened monk reaches 11th level, her flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.
Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, an enlightened monk can slip between spaces, as if using the power psionic dimension door, once per day. Her manifester level for this effect is one-half her monk level (rounded down). By spending 7 power points, an enlightened monk can gain an additional daily use of this ability.
Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, an enlightened monk gains power resistance equal to her current monk level + 10. In order to affect the monk with a power, a manifester must get a result on a manifester level check (1d20 + manifester level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s power resistance.
Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, an enlightened monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. She can use this quivering palm attack once a week, and she must announce her intent before making her attack roll, however this effect does not need to be transmitted through a real attack, it only requires a touch attack for the purpose of making contact. Outside of combat there is no need for a combat roll, all that is required is a touch. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully the quivering palm attack succeeds.
Thereafter the monk can try to slay the victim at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to her monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (expending his psionic focus as a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + ½ the monk’s level + the monk’s Wis modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time.
Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, an enlightened monk no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically or psionically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when her time is up.
Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, an enlightened monk gains the ability to use ethereal jaunt, psionic for as many rounds as her class levels, divided as she sees fit over the day. For every 3 power points she spends when using her ethereal jaunt power, she gains an additional round of use.
Perfect Self: At 20th level, an enlightened monk becomes a fully psionic creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells, powers and magical or psionic effects. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/psionic, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonpsionic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. This is an exception to the magic-psionics transparency rule, and a magic weapon will not suffice to harm the monk. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.
Ki styles are a representation of a certain school of combat or martial arts. Each style has their own background and they are meant to portray different styles from all around the world, though many of them are ‘Eastern’ in their feel and naming convention. None of these are meant to correctly portray modern martial arts maneuvers, but rather collect the parts which are special for each style into an easily understandable format. Each Ki Style gives a bonus on a certain skill, bonus feats at levels 1,2 and 6 (which do not require the character to meet the prerequisites) as well as a Lesser Art (available at 1st level) and a Greater Art (available at 6th level).
Diamond Fist Style:
The school of the Diamond Fist was once a tribe of fierce warriors, who accepted only the strongest among them. Their history tells of how one of their leaders, a mighty chieftain, once battled a female warrior from a nearby monastery to a standstill. Intrigued by their inability to defeat each other, they accepted that they were equals in combat, but not in style. The fierceness of the man and the dedicated attacks of the woman were blended into a single style over the coming years, as the two warriors married not only each other, but their styles as well. While the School of Diamonds has several fortresses to train via sparring, the order prefers to train against fearsome animals or armed warriors, as they believe that only in true combat can one learn the inner secrets of the Diamond Fist.
Feral Beast Style:
The School of the Feral Beast teaches multiple similar styles which all take their names and stances from the animal kingdom. The ferals are trained to trust their instincts explicitly, attacking not with well-placed blows but animal ferocity. They take their stances and attacks from studying animals fight and they are often found sneaking through streets or jungles, coming upon their enemies as an unexpected assault from the darkness, like the feral beasts they take their name from. The most feared styles of the Feral Beast are merciless ones like the Ape, the Snake and the Hawk - those who practice these particular styles are known for reverting to animal behavior, tearing the dead apart and even eating the hearts of their enemies at times. The School itself is located in many locations, often found as a collection of tents arranged in a temporary campsite in a forest, on a mountainside or by a lake.
Ki Focus Style
The School of Inner Balance was founded by a group of monastic warriors who sought to understand their inner self and how they were connected to the world around them. What began as meditations soon became laborous training excercises to come into contact with one’s inner powers. They secluded themselves high in inhospitable mountains, both to protect themselves from raiders, and to allow them to contemplate in loneliness, away from the hustle of the nation. There they awakened deepseated psionic powers within themselves which allowed them to enhance their combat potential, as their bodies were suddenly in tune with the world. These monks now accept all those who can find their hidden monasteries, stand the Vigil until the doors open, and make it one month without speaking. Most of the time in the monastery is spent performing the necessities of daily life, from fetching water to taking care of plants, for it is only when one accepts one’s place in the world that one awakens the power within. Once this power is awakened, it allows these monks to perceive things slightly before they happen, but while this isn’t true precognition, it often seems that way on the battlefield since these monks react almost before something happens.
Mind Blade Style:
The school of Darkblades mastered the mind blade before they turned to the ascetic traditions. At first, they were dedicated slayers for the local royalty, hunting down monsters and enemies of the crown alike. However, in time, after watching generation after generation of royalty die, they began to devote themselves to something greater. The Darkblades soon faded from the view of the common man, leaving behind their days as slayers and inquisitors for the kings and queens of their nation, instead becoming a secret society of warriors dedicated to protecting the law and order which makes civilization possible. At times, the Darkblades would present themselves to a prospective royal, to ensure that their wish for peace, law and order was respected; at other times they have struck down princes before their disregard for the law became a problem. Some claim that the Darkblades are evil, other that they are good - but those who are accepted into the school are swept up not because they were especially good or evil, but because they would defend the principles of law.
The School of Stone cares little for the weakness of the flesh and strives to punish themselves to such a degree that their bodies become like the stone from which they take their name. This school was not founded by some masters of an ancient martial art, but rather by flagellants who whipped themselves into a religious frenzy from the pain. Some of these flagellants achieved an epiphany during these whipping sessions and strove to teach others about the weakness of the flesh and the strength of the mind, but they were seen as pariahs and driven out. Eventually, one of these pariahs refused to flee before the assaults of his comrades, but rather struck back to prove to all others that his mind was stronger than their flesh. This was the birth of the School of Stone - by proving themselves to be capable fighters, many began coming to the school to learn from the flagellants, but were not admitted until they had donated funds to the school. Most students eventually drop out due to the difficult nature of the training, but those few who graduate are a part of a widespread brotherhood which supports and helps one another, no matter what. Some graduates continue their path as flagellants or monks, while others return to take up the reigns of the noble duties, but all become fierce leaders
and strong warriors.
The School of Seven Swords has a history reaching far back to a time where madness and slavery ruled. At that time, an insane and paranoid king believed that his nobles were conspiring to strike him down and so instituted a law against anyone bearing any kind of weapon in his kingdom. But, in his insanity, he also offended many former allies and while the alliances were crumbling, the nobles were hard-pressed to come up with a way to defend the country against the inevitable war which was coming. The rumours of the mad king’s decree had escaped their borders and soon their enemies would come riding in hard, knowing that no soldiers were there to defend the lands. One noble had once trained among monks and mastered the style of unarmed combat, which he sought to teach - but his idea was too little, too late. The kingdom was smashed between its former allies, the king slain and the people enslaved - but it was during this enslavement that the Seven Swords rose to prominence. Seven disciples of this one noble who had survived the war gathered peasants and former soldiers, teaching a combat style which relied on one strike being enough to take down a single enemy warrior. This was the foundation and the beginning of the School of Seven Swords.
Transient World Style:
The School of the Transient World teaches that the world is an illusion, limited by our senses but limitless to the power of our mind’s eye, the inner fire, the beacon of truth. They teach that you must exhaust your body, strain it to the very limits of what it can do, because without knowing the limits of your physical senses you cannot learn how to expand them. They train extensively with each other, focusing primarily on tough physical excercises which bring them to the point of exhaustion before the mental training begins. This allows them to go beyond the limits of the world, as seen by “the blind” - as they call the unenlightened people. The transcients mean that it is their duty to constantly test the limits of the world, themselves and those who share it - some even go as far as attacking “the blind” just to provoke them into “waking up” and seeing the world for the illusion it truly is. The School of the Transient World also houses one of the world’s foremost institutes for teaching the Nomad and Seer devotions to Psions, sharing the view of the world as an illusion.
The school of the Four Winds teaches that you cannot be conquered if your enemy cannot strike you. The style focuses deeply on constantly staying mobile to avoid being struck by the enemy, often tiring the enemy down for a while before launching a devastating flurry of kicks, known as the Storm. The school began as a group of ascetic monasteries high in the mountains where the wind never ceased to blow, storms being common - here three rebels sought refuge from the terrible wrath of the kingdom they tried to overthrow. They had escaped the lawbringers and the army hunting them and their friends for almost a year, focusing more on stay ing alive than fighting back. Once they reached these mountain monasteries they were admitted as students, but their fighting spirit and the hard lessons learned from a life of defeat allowed them to tire even the masters while sidestepping blow after blow in training. Once they had defeated the masters in unarmed combat, they willingly stepped down and returned the positions to the masters but instituting one common rule for all of them - all were to be equals and only defer to those whom they were trained by.