Hello again everyone! It’s the start of a new week, and that means another brand new Best in Class. This week’s Best in Class comes to us via a fan request for a new kind of monk, which is inspired from an ancient 3.5 feat some of us might recall that allowed you to launch ki balls at your foes. At one point, I actually had a character that used the feat in question, and I thought it was really cool to have a monk who could do Ryu’s hadoken attack. Unfortunately, during the 10 levels or so that the character had the feat, I only used it about two times—the range was short and the damage was low enough that it was rarely worth it for me.
Nonetheless, I thought it was time to create a cool new monk archetype which recaptured that wonderful feeling in a way that keeps a little bit better pace with what everyone else in the party is doing. Of course, the great thing about doing an archetype rather than just an updated feat is that I get to include a lot of other powers which really tap into the ki pool. This particular archetype focuses on flight, empowering attacks and defense, better utilizing the monk’s already impressive suite of ki abilities, and, of course, with a main focus on a powerful blast of spiritual energy.
New Monk Archetype
While all monks channel ki to enhance their remarkable physical skills and abilities, very few can truly harness their life-force to its full effect. A ki master is more than a student of his ki; he focuses his entire life on learning to channel his spiritual energy. His skill goes far beyond merely augmenting his physical prowess, and he is capable of performing astounding feats with his own body and mind. His power is not restricted to only increasing his hitting potential, but also allows him a limited ability to fly, and most famously, to project his very spiritual essence in a powerful and lethal burst of energy.
Ki Blast (Sp): A ki master can channel his spirit into a lethal blast of energy which is released through his hands. Beginning at 1st level, a ki master can use a number of ki blasts each day equal 3 + his Wisdom modifier. Using this ability is a standard action, and the ki master must succeed on a ranged touch attack in order to hit his target. A ki blast has a range of 100 feet. On a successful hit, a ki blast deals 1d6 points of damage plus the ki master’s Wisdom modifier. At 3rd level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the amount of damage dealt by the ki master’s ki blast increases by 1d6.
This ability replaces the bonus to unarmed damage a monk would ordinarily gain from the unarmed strike class feature. The other aspects of the unarmed strike class feature (including gaining the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, having his unarmed strikes seal lethal damage, and treating his unarmed strikes as manufactured weapons) remain unaltered.
Ki Strike (Su): A ki master can channel his special spiritual energy to empower his attacks and make them more lethal. As a swift action, a ki master can add his Wisdom modifier as a bonus on all weapon damage rolls for 1 round. This bonus is doubled in the case of damage rolls made for unarmed strikes. He may use this ability a number of times each day equal to 3 + his monk level.
This ability replaces the stunning fist class feature.
Wind Walker (Sp): A ki master’s spirit is light as air and he can channel his potent energy in order to be borne aloft for short periods of time. Beginning at 4th level, the ki master can fly as with the spell fly, except that he may fly at a speed of up to twice his land speed per round. He can only maintain flight in this way for a number of rounds equal to his monk level each day. He need not use these rounds consecutively. Beginning to fly in this fashion requires a swift action.
This ability replaces the slow fall class feature.
Ki Recovery (Su): A ki master is truly a master of channeling his body’s spiritual energy to more effective ends. Beginning at 4th level, a ki master may expend a single point from his ki pool as a standard action in order to regain one use of his ki blast ability.
This ability modifies the ki pool class feature.
Ki Expert (Su): A ki master is capable of channeling his ki to increase the power of his spiritual discharges. Beginning at 5th level, whenever the ki master uses his ki blast ability, he can expend one or more ki points from his ki pool. For each point he expends in this way, the damage dealt by his ki blast increases by 1d6. The ki master cannot spend more ki points in this way on a single ki blast than 1/2 his monk level (rounded down).
This ability replaces the purity of body class feature
Abundant Ki (Su): A ki master has an abundance of spiritual energy. Beginning at 6th level, the maximum number of ki points that the ki master can have in his ki pool increases to be equal to his monk level + his Wisdom modifier, instead of 1/2 his monk level + his Wisdom modifier.
This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 6th level.
Ki Shield (Su): A ki master can channel his spiritual energy for defense as well as offense, and can create a potent spiritual shield that stops both physical and magical attacks. Beginning at 7th level, as a swift action, a ki master can expend 3 points from his ki pool in order to create a crackling shield of energy, granting him a +2 insight bonus to AC and saving throws for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier. For every 5 points remaining in the ki master’s ki pool, this bonus increases by +1. If the ki master uses more points from his ki pool before the effect ends, the bonus is reduced accordingly.
This ability replaces the wholeness of body class feature
Ki Nova (Su): A ki master can create large explosions of spiritual energy originating from his body. Beginning at 15th level, a ki master can create a massive burst of ki energy in a 30-foot-radius burst centered on himself. All characters within the radius suffer damage as though they had been hit by a ki master’s ki blast attack. The ki master can use this ability once per day.
This ability replaces the quivering palm class feature.