3.5 d20 Level-By-Level Base Class Breakdowns, Part VI

   Here we have the next segment of the level-by-level breakdowns of the basic d20 character classes for Eclipse: The Codex Persona – one of the last few basic classes and one of the most complicated; the Monk.

   The Monk has always been a bit of an uneasy fit into the fantasy setting. The unarmed martial-artist hero is mostly a cinematic modern conception; people with actual melee weapons experience are well aware that weapons work a LOT better than bare hands. Where the bare-handed fighter has had a role in many fantasy settings, it’s usually been as a thug who threatens other unarmed people – not as someone who attempts to karate-chop horrors from beyond.

   The 3.5 Monk design tries to get around this by providing the Monk with a variety of semi-supernatural powers – but that fits only one, very specific, conception of what even a Ki-wielding eastern-style martial adept ought to be. In the source material for that sort of character every one tends to be unique. That, of course, is what Eclipse is FOR – but the basic build can still be a useful starting point.

   So here it is:

The Monk:

   Every Level: d8 Hit Die (4), +4 Skill Points (4), with Specialized Fast Learner (-2) = 6 CP.






+2 Fort (6), +2 Ref (6), +2 Will (6), Martial Arts (6), Bonus Attack (Unarmed Combat and Special Monk Weapons, 4*), +12 Skill Points (12), Proficient with a Limited Set of Monk Weapons (6), Augmented Bonus (adds Wis Mod to AC when not immobilized or helpless, 4*), Fast Learner (Specialized: only works as long as the user continues with this specific path of development, 6), Bonus Feat (6)



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Bonus Feat (6), Fortune / Evasion (4*)



+1 BAB (6), Celerity (4*), Resist/+2 vrs Enchantment spells and effects (3),



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Martial Arts (+3), +1 BAB (Specialized: Only for use with Unarmed Combat and Special Monk Weapons, does not add to iterative attacks, 2*), Imbuement/Unarmed Strikes (6), Celerity / Additional Movement Mode/Flight (Specialized: Only for descending gently, Corrupted, only while within arms reach of a solid surface, 4)



Defender (4*), Immunity/All Natural Diseases (Common, Minor, Minor, 4),



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Celerity +10 (2*), Feat (6),



+1 BAB (6), Grant of Aid (Specialized: heals HP damage only, 3)



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Martial Arts (+3),



Celerity +10 (2*), +1 BAB (Specialized: Only for use with Unarmed Combat and Special Monk Weapons, does not add to iterative attacks, 2*), Fortune/Improved Evasion (4*), Immunity/Poison (Common, Major, Minor, 6),



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)



+1 BAB (6), Bonus Attack (Unarmed Combat and Special Monk Weapons, 4*), +2 BAB (Specialized: Only for use with Unarmed Combat and Special Monk Weapons, does not add to iterative attacks, 4*),



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Celerity +10 (2*), Martial Arts (+3), Inherent Spell/Dimension Door (Corrupted for increased effect: half effective caster level, 6 CP),



Spell Resistance/Improved (10+Level, 12)



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3),



+1 BAB (6), Celerity +10 (2*), Inherent Spell/Delayed Death Touch (Corrupted for a level six effect only usable once per week, 6),



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Martial Arts (+3),



Timeless Body (3), Mindspeech with Beastspeech (Specialized: user must actually speak, cannot transmit emotions, 6).



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Celerity +10 (2*),



+1 BAB (6), Inherent Spell (Corrupted for increased effect/personal only for a L9 effect; Ethereal Jaunt with a +2 level modifier/duration may be subdivided. 6).



+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), Martial Arts (+3), Timeless Body / Transcendence (6)


*Corrupted: Not while wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load.

   Grant Total: 498 out of 504.

   As is so often the case with the basic d20 classes, the Monk is pretty frontloaded – but once you get by the first four or five levels, things even out a lot. An Eclipse point-buy character may have to take some disadvantages and put off investing quite so many points in skills and saves until level five or six, but they can follow the progression pretty closely, and will be able to spend those disadvantage points on adding some unique abilities of their own later on.

   This writeup has been slightly tweaked from the original Monk writeup in the back of Eclipse. The reason’s simple: the original writeup that was summarized there went to great lengths to preserve some of the original limitations of the Monk, such as the various falling distances and the very limited amount of self-healing available. This made a number of things more expensive than they needed to be, and made the overall build a great deal more complicated than it needed to be.

   Perhaps more importantly, nobody ever used it. We’ve had monks and martial artists in plenty, but every one of them has taken Eclipse and wandered off in their own direction. We’ve had oriental comic-book martial artists who could punch holes in mountains and wielded mystical C’hi powers out of various animes, a character with a hideous array of nerve strikes with which to cripple his opponents, and bioelectrical swordsmen – but no SRD-style Monks.

   Ergo, this build has been simplified; there are no more distance restrictions on the ability to fall without injury, Grant of Aid has been used instead of Healing Touch since it provides more healing without bothersome tweaking to make it self-only, they get a bonus with single attacks with unarmed combat and monk weapons instead of restricting the bonus to making up for penalties, and so on. In the place of the original combination of limitations, it simply has a Specialized version of Fast Learner and a few abilities that are not usable while encumbered.

   As usual, the real advantage of an Eclipse build is that you can easily build up or modify your class abilities. Do you want extra uses of Dimension Door or more time to spend Ethereal? Spend some points on Bonus Uses. Want to be able to stroll up walls? Spend four points to buy off that “only for descending gently” limitation. Want to communicate with spirits in other dimensions? Build up your Mindspeech a bit. Want another attack? Increase your BAB a bit. It’s up to you.

2 Responses

  1. […] Basic Classes: Barbarian, Bard, and Cleric, Druid, Fighter, and Sorcerer, Paladin and Ranger, Rogue and Wizard, Psion and Psychic Warrior, and Monk. […]

  2. […] Specifically, we’re going to analyze what’s gained and lost for each class in the context of Eclipse: The Codex Persona. Since d20 abilities are broken down into a point-buy context (as Character Points, or just CP) in the book, this makes it easy for us to determine the overall degree to which these alternate abilities are stronger or weaker than what they’re replacing. It helps that the book’s co-author has already broken down the eleven core classes into easy-to-follow progressions for us: barbarian, bard, and cleric; druid, fighter, and sorcerer; paladin and ranger; rogue and wizard; and monk. […]

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