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AjaxTorbin
2008-06-18, 10:49 PM
The Serene Path Master, monk of the Even Way, these names and others refer these strange recluses who seek enlightenment in forgotten monasteries and far temples across the land. There are many who believe enlightenment comes from magic, some think is in the service of a deity or helping others the Even masters know otherwise. These monks, who have no name for themselves believe in none of these for they have found a different path, for them enlightenment comes first from knowing ones self, they call this goal ‘the balance’.
The path is not an unvarying way;
Life is change, is eternal, it is pain and joy: we are life.
It is not the result of practice which brings balance, but the act of practice itself.
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
One needs wisdom to achieve enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self requires strength;
He who knows he has enough is strong.
To have true strength, one needs not force.
He who stays where he is endures;
But he who moves not is torn asunder.
To die but not to perish is to be eternal.
One must grow in order to last
These are part of the Even Path
The first part of this is: know thy bodies. The initiate monk is taught balance both mental and physical, this consists of daily exercise, meditation, meatless diet, and martial training. Next, the monk learns anatomy, the how of why the body works but in particular how herbs and medicines effect the body, which ones heal wounds, which ones cloud the mind, and of course, ones that kill. But it is always the search for better self-understanding which drives the Monk of the Even path.
As part of training, monks who have learned the basics are sent into the world at large to see what there is outside the shelter of the monastery, to see the wonders and extremes of the world. This practice is both their greatest strength and their greatest failing, you see every year there are dozens of these monks are sent out, yet only one in a hundred ever return, but these, these rare few who have seen the evils, the chaos, order, goodness the struggles they bring and stayed true to the balance, they are stronger, wiser, and ready to impart all they have learned to the next generation of monk.
The role of a Serene Monk in the party is strangely simple, he helps in all tasks and lends his strength to whatever group he decides to stay with. In a combat the monk makes a good anchor point, his defensive skills and knowledge can help keep to group secure and provide insight into the enemy.
Serene Monks and paladins: a quandary. A paladin is a zealot, one who commits his emotions and soul to a cause, the Serene monk is the opposite, he commits to nothing and remains calm at all times.

The serene path monk is a alternate set of class skills of the 3.5 D&D monk base class. It is highly recommended that no other monk alternate abilities (such as vow of poverty) be used in conjunction with these rules. Also, if these rules are used I strongly recommend that the DM be careful what stunning fist based feats the player takes with this class.

The Serene Path can only be walked by those who can look beyond the immediate, only characters with a 17+ wisdom may enter this class
Alignment: Neutral only
Hit die: D8
Class Skills: Add Heal to the Monk skill list. Remove Knowledge: religion and arcana
Saves: As Monk
Base Attack Bonus: As Monk
The Even Master gains unarmed damage, AC bonus, and unarmored speed bonus as a regular monk would.

Even Path Monk

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+2|Stunning Fist, Gentle Fist, Serene Path, Self Enlightenment

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+3|Improved Trip or Disarm, Kinesthesia, Evasion

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Still Mind, Serene Mind, Purity of Body, Diamond Body

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Even Palm, Slow Fall 20ft, Uncanny Dodge,

5th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Wholeness of Body, Physical Insight, Mental Insight

6th|
+4|
+5|
+5|
+5|Improved Trip or Disarm, Improved Uncanny Dodge

7th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+5|Yielding Stance, Closed Fist Thrust

8th|
+6/1|
+6|
+6|
+6|Slow Fall 40ft, Unyielding Stance, Halting Palm

9th|
+6/1/|
+6|
+6|
+6|Improved Evasion, Air Walk

10th|
+7/2|
+7|
+7|
+7|Awareness, Slow Fall 50ft, Restoring Meditation

11th|
+8/3|
+7|
+7|
+7|Timeless Body, Halting Palm 2/day

12th|
+9/4|
+8|
+8|
+8|Serene Path Adept

13th|
+9/4|
+8|
+8|
+8|Diamond Soul, Slow Fall 60ft

14th|
+10/5|
+9|
+9|
+9|Halting Palm 3/day,

15th|
+11/6/1|
+9|
+9|
+9|Calming Presence

16th|
+12/7/2|
+10|
+10|
+10|Ki strike: Adamantine

17th|
+12/7/2|
+10|
+10|
+10|Halting Palm 4/day

18th|
+13/8/3|
+11|
+11|
+11| Total Body Focus

19th|
+14/9/4|
+11|
+11|
+11|Empty Body

20th|
+15/10/5|
+12|
+12|
+12|Serene Path Master, Halting Palm 5/day[/table]



Serene Path: The Serene Monk walks a fine line, balancing all his aspects evenly. The monk MUST remain neutral in alignment. If the monk ever knowingly commits to a cause with an alignment other than neutral he loses all class features gained through Serene Path Monk. This does not mean the monk may not aid in a good cause. The serene monk is adventuring to learn of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, so he would involve himself for experience. But there is a limit: a monk who helps a paladin rescue slaves, this is well within his vows, but if the monk swears to seek out and destroy the one who captured those slaves or vows to aid the paladin in his tasks, this is committing to a inherently ‘good’ cause.
As a serene monk you are aware both the individual and the group, and the impact the former has on the latter; the monk is adventuring to learn and observe, not to change the world but only to see it as it changes. As this is the case, the monk will attempt to avoid, or more accurately, should never initiate greatly and directly, effect the destiny of the world. However, the monk realizes that to walk the world is to influence the world, so does not hold back, just minimizes his impact. But if fate forces him down the heros path, he will not fight it.
The serene monk seeks one thing: balance. One whose needs are simple can fulfill them easily.
The harder one tries, the more resistance one creates for oneself. These are the ways of the Even Path Monk. In the tides of life, good, evil, law, order, they wax and wain, at some point good may prevail, other times evil is dominant, but always the balance is there. The Even Path Monk must spend at least one hour a day meditating, to find his spiritual balance. Most do this before resting, but it is not required at that time.
If the monk ever kills he must meditate on the life he took, and how it has effected the world around him, however slightly. This is a process that takes at least one hour (Although the DM may increase this if multiple deaths occurred by his hands) and must take place no more than twenty-four hours from the occurrence of the death.

Gentle Fist: At first level you do not get Flurry of Blows and must choose Stunning Fist as your bonus feat. You still receive Unarmed Strike as normal.
The Serene monk does not kill except in the most dire of circumstances, as he has knowledge of the body that allows him to incapacitate without killing. He adds his Heal skill modifier as an insight bonus to all nonlethal damage.

Self Enlightenment: Because of the monk’s unique insight he may never fully use any ability score enhancing item, these devises throw off his sense of self, and while wearing such an item he may not use any of his Serene Monk abilities.

Even Palm: The monk’s unarmed strike, and ONLY his unarmed strike, count as: lawful, chaotic, evil, good and +1 magic, for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Feats: At 2 level the monk must take Improved trip or Improved Disarm. At sixth level the monk receives the he did not choose at second level.

Kinesthesia: the monk is supremely aware of his body at all times, the monk is aware of any change in his body position and status. He may add his Wisdom modifier instead of the normal ability modifier to all: Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Swim, and Tumble checks.

Serene Mind: Due to the extreme calm and focus needed for this path the Serene Monk adds his monk levels to all saves verses mind effecting abilities, such as charm, and is immune to fear and morale effects.
as charm, and is immune to fear and morale effects.

Purity of Body/Diamond Body: The monk is now immune to all diseases and poisons, including magical and supernatural ones.

Wholeness of Body: The monk can heal a number of hit points per day equal to twice his monk levels.

Physical Insight: the monk’s insight into the patterns of others give him insight into their intent. The monk adds his monk levels to all sense motive checks. Also, any time the monk has opportunity to observe a single opponent for at least three rounds before combat starts, he receives a +6 on initiative and bluff checks made to feint that opponent.
Also, when doing nonlethal damage the monk’s unarmed strike has a critical threat range of 19-20. At 12th when the monk attains Serene Path Adept status the threat rage is improved to 18-20. This is an inherent bonus and so stacks with effects such as the Improved Critical feat.

Mental Insight: The serene monk opens the doors of his mind, he recalls everything: every sight, sound, smell and sensation. Due to this photographic memory the monk adds his class level+wisdom modifier to all knowledge skill roles. Treat this like the bardic knowledge ability.

Closed Fist Thrust: By expending one of his stunning fist attempts the monk may make his next unarmed melee attack a ranged attack instead. This attack has a range of 30ft and all normal melee bonuses and negatives apply as normal, including the monk’s Gentle Fist bonus. The monk may intermingle Closed Fist Thrusts with normal melee attacks, but must expend one Stunning Fist for each Closed Fist Thrust attempted. At 14th level the range extends to 60ft.

Yielding Stance: The serene Monk opens himself to attack, intentionally provoking his opponents into overreaching. When the monk uses this method he provokes an attack of opportunity from every opponent engaged in melee with him. This attack of opportunity does not count towards the limit of opportunity attacks that can be made. While in this stance for every attack of opportunity made within the monks threatened area, he may take an attack of opportunity also, this attack occurs after the opponents attack and can not counter the opportunity attacks. These attacks can only be trip or disarm attempts and can be used even on opponents with reach. While in this stance the monk may not add his wisdom to his armor class, however he may add his wisdom+1/2 his character level (round down) as an insight modifier to trip and disarm attempts.
Using this ability takes a full round action and the effect lasts for one round.

Halting Palm: Once per day the serene monk may attempt a Halting Palm attack as a Swift action. The attack has a range of thirty feet, must succeed in a ranged touch attack and is handled as a bull rush attempt provoking attacks of opportunity as normal from creatures that threaten the monk. For the purposes of this attack the monk counts as a large creature and adds half his monk levels (round down) as a enhancement modifier to the opposed strength check(not the ranged touch attack). If the monk succeeds he may not follow the target or move from his square.(although he may still take his move action as normal)
At 14th level the monk counts as Huge for this attack and at 18th level he counts as Gargantuan.
For every three levels over 8 the monk may attempt this attack one extra time per day, 2 at 11th, 3 at 143h, 4 at 17th, 5 at 20th.

Unyielding Stance: the monk takes a deep breath, and widens his stance and holds his arms close in a defensive manor. With this the Serene Monk focuses totally on the defense. While in this stance the monk may not attack in any way, even to take attacks of opportunity or aid another. While this stance is maintained the monk adds his full base attack bonus, including the appropriate stat modifier, to his armor class. Also the monk adds his Concentration skill modifier to resist all overrun, trip, bull rush and grapple resistance attempts.
Using this ability takes a full round action and the effect lasts for one round.

Awareness: The monk has his expanded his awareness and can now to ‘feel’ the area around him. He gains blindsight out to 30ft. And a +2 bonus to initiative rolls.

Air Walk: For 1 round per monk level per day, the monk may act as though under the spell Air Walk. He may divide this into any number of occasions as long as the total number of rounds does not exceed his monk level

Restoring Meditation: The monk no longer needs to eat and once a day may enter into a meditative state for one hour and gives him the full benefit of a nights rest, including HP and ability restoration. Also for 24 hours after the meditation the monk has fast healing 2. The monk must be uninterrupted during this meditation in oeder to receive the benefits. At 18th level the fast healing improves to +4 and +6 at 20th level.

Serene Path Adept: He may take ten on all skill checks without any extra time and even when distracted, such as in combat. The monk is now able to shut down pats of his body at will to minimize damage taken and so had DR5/-Also, the monk is able to focus his Ki into his hands in such a way that he can strike with resounding force, as such his attacks, including closed fist thrust attacks, now count as a force energy attack. He may suppress this at will. This is a supernatural ability.

Calming Presence: The monk projects a calming aura to those around him. The ability takes effect automatically when any creature with hit dice equal to or less than the monks level comes within thirty feet and succeeds on a Will save equal to 10+ ˝ the monk’s level+ monk’s wisdom modifier. Any who fail are subject to Calm Emotions as the spell. Caster level = ˝ the monk’s level+ monk’s wisdom modifier. This is a supernatural ability.

Total Body Focus: While using meditative trance the monk gains regeneration 5 and restores lost levels and Ability points at the rate of 1 per hour. The regeneration ends as soon as the monk ends the trance.

Serene Path Master: The monk now as total control of his body and mind.
The monk now has such fine control of over his body that he may not be, blinded, dazzled, stunned, fatigued, paralyzed, petrified, or shaken due to any magical or non magical means that allow a saving throw. The monk is treated as having rolled a natural twenty against these effects.
He does not need to breath and is immune to all mind effecting abilities, or any ability that may force the monk to act against his will. He now has DR10/-, ignores damage reduction when attacking and is immune to critical hits. His unarmed strikes now have a critical threat range of 16-20 and multiplier of x3 when doing nonleathal damage.