View Full Version : Class Variant I made: Martial Artist

Milton D Moody
June 15th, 2008, 06:19
I made a bit of a variant on the monk and wondered if anyone would comment on it. I've got an itching feeling that it's a little overpowered, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm thinking that if it proves to be so and/or I get a lot of feed back telling me it's so, I'll probably reduce class skills or unarmored speed.


MONK VARIANT: Survivalist
Not everyone who fights with their hands follows an ancient art in a secluded monastery. Survivalists, unlike monks, are steeped in practicality- they usually come from lands poor and dangerous, where weapons other than the most simple are not readily available except to the very highest echelons of society. Because of this, many are taught martial arts at an early age for one use- survival.

Adventure: A Survivalist may seek adventure simply to get out of wherever they came from, but at the same time may owe an allegiance to their village or, especially, their family, and will go on a quest that directly concerns that party.

Characteristics: Survivalists, like monks, typically fight unarmed and unarmored, but lack many of the class’s special abilities. However, in strict points of damage per round, a Survivalist will land more and more powerful hits than a monk.

Alignment: Any. Warriors such as these typically come from a land where knowing such arts is common and open to all. However, their alignment does not typically stray from that of their family or village.

Religion: Again, highly family or village dependent.

Background: Most Survivalists learned their art from their parents or a special teacher, if their village could even afford one. As family and village ties are important to these people, they will usually carry some sort of talisman that reminds them of those ties, and will likely dress in the manner of their homeland regardless of where they are at the moment, even if those clothes become exceptionally hard to come by. They generally try to revisit their lands often, and anyone who brings harm to their home will likely face bloody retribution.
Survivalists almost never come from civilized areas, which sport better armed and armored combatants, or monks of a more spiritual calling.

Races: Many savage tribes, treated poorly for sins of generations past, live in conditions that would require rigorous training against danger, and thus some are Survivalists. Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings rarely live in conditions where such a form of combat would even need to be present. Humans and Half-elves may fit into this category if they live in extremely poor and dangerous.

Other Classes: Often dependant on homeland. They may know a few adepts, but will have very little experience with clerics, wizards, or any class more typical of “civilized” society.

Role: Unlike Monks, Survivalists are capable of withstanding combat for longer periods of time, as they have both higher hit dies and, typically, a higher AC. Thus they can make excellent forward combatants, standing with barbarians, fighters, and/or paladins.

Abilities: Dexterity and Strength are of primary importance to Survivalists. Wisdom is not as essential to Survivalists as it is Monks, but they still retain the AC bonus given from it.
Alignment: Any.
Hit die: d10
Survivalists have a higher attack bonus and hit die than monks, as well as higher unarmed damage and AC bonus. However, they lose many of the monk’s special abilities. Namely, Still Mind, Slow Fall, Purity of Body, Wholeness of Body, Diamond Body, Abundant Step, Diamond Soul, Timeless Body, Tongue of the Sun and Moon, Empty Body, and Perfect Self. They also lose the high will save, and gain Ki strikes and Quivering Palm one level later than normal. They also do not gain Ki strike (lawful), even if of lawful alignment.


All special abilities are as listed on the monk Class in pages 40-42 of the Player’s Handbook.

Class skills are same as normal monks.

The Survivalist can multiclass and still take levels in Survivalist later, unlike normal Monks.

August 18th, 2008, 15:51
This is in essence an unarmed fighter with a flurry of blows ability but lacking the extra feats. Looks weak to me rather than over powered.

August 19th, 2008, 11:20
Yeah, this looks both boring and weak. It needs moar abilities.

August 24th, 2008, 06:35
Here is my two cents.
1. Move bonus feat at level 2 to level 4
2. Move bonus feat at level 6 to level 8
3. Move improved Evasion to level 11 or 12
4. Give uncanny dodge at level 2
5. Give improved uncanny dodge at level 6
6. State that Survivalist levels stack with fighter levels for the purpose of feats. i.e. a 4th level Survivalist can take weapon Specialization
7. MAYBE: another bonus feat at higher then level 12