Way of the AspEdit
Snake styles of martial arts are quite common throughout the Realms, but none is considered as terrifying as the asp style. Monks in distant Unthar studied a fluid style of martial arts, one that mimicked the movement of cobras and other venomous snakes during the Orcgate Wars.
Desperate for any advantage during the conflicts, they made contact with a cult of a dark goddess led by the terrifying Yuan-ti. They underwent unspeakable rituals in dark caverns, but when they emerged, their style had been mastered. The began using the kama rather than fighting unarmed, and had learned to channel the venom that now flowed through their own bodies through these weapons, literally striking as do the asps.
The style has spread since then, and is pursued by many evil monks, especially those who prefer assassination or striking from darkness, but to this day it is still most commonly followed by followers of Tiamat and descendants of those first Untharic monks.
- 1 - Ambidexterity
- 2 - Two-weapon Fighting
- 3 - Weapon Finesse
- 4 - Snake Blood
- 5 - 10 ranks in Hide
- 6 - 10 ranks in Move Silently
- 7 - Weapon Focus: Kama
Passive: +3 Saves vs . Poison
- 1) +1 AB
- 2) +1 DEX
- 3) Immunity: Poison
- 4) +1 DEX
- 5) +2 AB, +2 AC
- 6) +1d4 Acid Damage, 1 extra attack
- 7) +1 DEX, +2d4 Acid Damage
- The monk must be dual wielding Kamas to channel the Ki abilities.
- The Channel duration is extended by the monk's modified intelligence.
Way of the Iron RobeEdit
The origins of this ancient style remain shrouded in mystery, and is widely disputed by scholars across the realms.
The Order of the Broken ones states that it developed with St. Aryn, who underwent horrific tortures at the hands of a high Priestess of Loviatar for disrupting her profane rituals. Ilmater visited him during his ordeals, instructing him how he could ward his body with the strength of his faith. Upon his escape, he took on several disciples to pass on Ilmater's words.
Eastern scholars dismiss the theory, pointing to old records showing that Bane had instructed Loviatar to pass on the secrets of Ki to her Pains, that they might serve as crucibles for his own monastic orders to test themselves against, growing stronger in the process.
The Tempans maintain that the style has no grandoise divine origins, but is simply a compilation of the knowledge attained by the three Grandmasters of a lost monastic order who had dedicated themselves to the principles of war. Their search for the Book of the Triune continues to this day.
Whatever be its origins, the Way of the Iron Robe involves monks training to suppress their natural instincts for defense, instead channeling their pain to draw on Ki, which would ward their bodies completely against attacks and close off their pressure points.
- 1 - Constitution 15
- 2 - Wisdom 15
- 3 - Great Fortitude
- 4 - Toughness
- 5 - 10 ranks in Discipline
- 6 - 10 ranks in Concentration
- 7 - Follower of a deity of endurance or war*
- as defined by the various monasteries that teach this style. Ilmater, Tempus, Loviatar, Tyr, Bane, Grumbar, Zerthimon (Githzerai only), Helm, Torm, Hoar
Passive: -1 Fortitude, +1 Will
- 1) 5/+1 DR, -2 AC
- 2) +25% Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning immunity. -2 AC
- 3) 10/+1 DR
- 4) +25% Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning immunity, -2 AC
- 5) Immunity: Knockdown
- 6) Immunity: Critical Hits
- 7) 5/+2 DR
- The monk must be wielding a monk weapon (or be unarmed) to channel the Ki abilities.
- The Channel duration is extended by the monk's modified constitution.
Way of the Heavenly FistEdit
A martial arts form that originated in Monastery of the Yellow Rose, developed by the great healer of Ilmater, Canterbury, who was a sworn pacifist until a coven of vampires attacked the Monastery. Canterbury lost several good friends that day and began training in the martial arts, until one night, a wandering acolyte of Ilmater spent an evening at the temple and asked to train with Canterbury.
For the next four nights and three days, without rest, the two dueled in a style that might be considered purely an art form were it not so deadly. Whereas users of more common martial arts attack with kicks and punches, the two used attacks with light jabs of the fingers, the flick of a wrist, or the brush of an open palm. Rather than relying on strength, Canterbury's understanding of pressure points, the location of internal organs, and his own faith gave his form an incredibly power.
At the fourth dawn, with many in the monastery now watching in amazement, Canterbury simple stopped and fell to his knees before the wandering acolyte, recognizing at last that an avatar of Ilmater stood before him; and in that moment of pure enlightenment his eyes began to blaze with a holy fire and the youth simply vanished, leaving behind a single white lotus blossom.
The Blossom has never withered since, and is placed in the middle of a lake near the Yellow Rose. Many followers of monastic traditions make pilgrimages to the sacred lake, to marvel at Canterbury's attainment of self perfection.
- 1 - Called Shot
- 2 - Wisdom 15
- 3 - Charisma 14
- 4 - Strong Soul
- 5 - Skill Focus Heal & 10 ranks in Heal
- 6 - Any one of the following feats: Favored Enemy: Undead, Smite Evil, Turn Undead
- 7 - Extra Turning or Extra Smite
Passive: 2/- Negative energy resistance
- 1) 2d4 divine damage vs. Undead
- 2) +4 AC vs. Undead
- 3) +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma
- 4) +2 AB, +3 AB vs. Undead
- 5) 1d4 divine damage, 2d8 divine damage vs. Undead
- 6) Heal allies for hitpoints equal to twice your monk level when activated.
- 7) Glowing white eyes, Immunity: Negative Level / Ability Drain
- Monks must be unarmed to Channel Ki.
- Monks possessing the "Good" domain receive +2 AB, +4 AC and +2d8 divine damage against outsiders as well, when they reach the fifth level of devotion to this style.
- The Channel duration is extended by the monk's modified wisdom.
Way of the BearEdit
Conjecture has it that this style actually originated with orc worshipers of Bahgtru, but it is most widely spread by a monastery run by a half-orc monk. Precious little is known of the true development of this style, and the Grandmaster of the Bear is unwilling to share his knowledge of it. He wanders the realms when he can to this day, testing his prowess against practitioners of other monastic styles.
Bear style is much slower than most martial arts, relying on powerful blows rather than speed or agility. Such force is put into these strikes that it is often easy to side-step despite the lack of emphasis put on foot movement and dodging. However, the sheer ferocity of the style assures that once a blow has landed, the fight is nearly over.
- 1 - Strength 16
- 2 - Power Attack
- 3 - Improved Power Attack
- 4 - Extra Stunning Fist
- 5 - Must be a half-orc, or a worshipper of a deity of Strength* as defined by the Grandmaster
- 6 - Toughness
- 7 - Constitution 16
- Bahgtru, Helm, Malar, Tempus, Loviatar, Ulutiu, Bane
Passive: +1 Fortitude, -1 Reflex
- 1) d4 damage, -1 AB
- 2) +2 HP/level when active
- 3) +1 STR, -2 AB
- 4) 2d4 damage
- 5) +1 STR/+1CON when active, +2 HP/Level, -3 AB
- 6) +1CON when active
- 7) 2d8 damage, -4 AB, +2 HP/Level, +1 STR when active
- The monk must be unarmed to channel ki.
- The damage and AB decrease from each level overrides the previous one, while temporary HP and ability bonuses stack.
- The Channel duration is extended by the monk's modified strength.