The Monk

A draft Monk class for Low Fantasy Gaming 😀

As work proceeds on my Sandbox Setting book, I’ve been contemplating adding a few new classes to LFG, including … the Monk!

My objective was to make a “low magic” monk, with a strong martial arts/enlightenment theme, with abilities distinct from the existing classes (and the Rogue in particular).

I’d love to hear your comments/feedback/suggestions on this iteration.



Artwork used with permission; copyright 2016 Maciej Zargorski & The Forge Stuidos, Claudio Cassini, and JEShields.

14 thoughts on “The Monk

    1. Thanks Elfberry. Yes I’m also tinkering with an Artificer (non magical fighter/inventor) and some kind of “lay on hands/fighterish” type Cleric. Still ideas more than anything at the moment. Happy to take further suggestions!


  1. Doesn’t Open Hand Versatility apply on a roll of 19 or 20 on 2nd level? I’d have assumed that.
    Can you apply Counterattack before the attacker has rolled his attack? After all, a Reroll die is a significant expenditure, IMO.
    If yes, Counterattack might become “after you spend the Reroll die, decide: you can attack first, before his attack was resolved. If you decide to let him resolve his attack first and he misses you, either add +2 to your attack roll, or deal a +2 damage on your counterattack”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Asen, I hadn’t intended Open Hand Versatility to apply on 20’s from the get go; the only class that gets something like that is the Fighter. I like your suggestions for Counterattack – I hadn’t thought about making it a true interrupt. I’ll give that a whirl in playtesting. Either way, I should clarify the wording.


      1. Well, it’s “interrupt or counter”. If you’re testing it, add to the second option “if you decide to wait and get hit, you suffer +1 damage”, because waiting for a counter makes it worse if if you don’t manage to defend.

        Since we started playing LFG tonight, I suspect that I’d offer the counterattack part as an optional trait for the Rogue at 3rd level, except with one-handed weapons.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just on the Rogue, the Unique Feature at 3rd could cover something like the counter attack you suggest (subject to table approval).


  3. MONK: Is there an AC bonus at all besides dex? Being melee combatants it seems they wouldn’t last too long in the thick of things with a low AC. Perhaps they could use DEX+PER for AC or maybe their CON bonus could be an “Iron Skin” damage reduction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Darren, I purposefully did not include an “ironskin” type bonus. This iteration of the monk is in effect the lowest AC character in the game (not far apart from Rogue, although Rogue has skirmisher and better ranged). On the other hand the Monk can use Formless Water, Moon shields Sun, Fork the River and Iron Fist to help keep themselves safe. Also, with high Willpower, in playtesting monks often got more abilities back and HP back than other classes. Overall they seemed in an ok spot health wise.

      Of course Monk is wide open for some kind of passive AC bonus as a 3rd level Unique Ability.


  4. Stephen above on 1/15/17 you mentioned “I’m also tinkering with an Artificer (non magical fighter/inventor) and some kind of “lay on hands/fighterish” type Cleric. Still ideas more than anything at the moment. Happy to take further suggestions!”

    My thoughst on the “cleric/paladin” type is that it might not fit the “Classic Swords and Sorcery” genre. An idea may be to call the character above a martial artist and have another class be a monk. Often people seem to merge martial artist and monk as one and the same, and usually based off of Shaolin. Off the top of by head there the Toaist Monks of Wudang (Wu-Tang) and the Japanese Yamabushi were other martial monks.

    So, what if you had a monk class that was part warrior and part healer, but not like armored holy warriors spreading their god’s faith, but more along the line of defender of the common folk who could heal the sick, mentor, and defend them.

    Maybe the martial artist ( I’m thinking the warriors in Jet Li’s “Hero” or the “Venoms” crew from Shaw Brothers) is more of the one you have above but with broader weapon choices or maybe also a weapons master’s class that focuses on one weapon type.

    Finally, what if you solely did a ” Asian Adventure” supplement to separate the Classic Swords and Sorcery from the Wuxia or Samurai films.

    I hope that didn’t overstep any bounds. I REALLY like the game I was just excited to share some ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very keen to hear your ideas, thanks for sharing! I didnt actually get much done on the cleric-ish class, so you needn’t worry, LOL. I have managed to draft up a Ranger, and an Artificer class, will post one of those soon for feedback/comments. I think an Eastern Adventures supplement is a very sweet idea indeed!


  5. Thanks for the swift replies.

    A thought about the ranger class, could it be renamed “scout”? My thoughts are that using the name ranger harkens back to Tolkien’s Rangers where as scout or something like it may be more grittier for the genre than Tolkien’s epic style fantasy.

    Also, for possible extra classes: Artificer, “Scout”, Amazon, Temptress ( maybe Courtesan/Lothario), Nomad, Noble, Knight, Healer (non magical), Hedge Wizard, Commander, Duelist, Archer…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the moment the ranger write up refers to scouts, hunters, explorers, woodsmen and trackers – I’m very much trying to keep it broad! I like your other class ideas too, or alternatively as “themes” that could emerge via a combination of starting background & Unique Abilities at 3rd, 6th, etc – eg at 3rd the Fighter starts as a squire, at 3rd gets some kind of mount, at 6th a title, and so on – for a “knight” theme. On the other hand, something like a “Noble” or “Temptress”, might work better as a full class. Food for thought!


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