[Archetypes] Monks/Martial Artists

Several of these builds do (or will as I make them, or others make them) rely upon the concept of creating changes to “Unarmed Strike”. As it is a weapon, this means it can be crafted/created different along with all the other weapons and using the properties listed in the “Wealth & Equipment” section.

The first of these “Unarmed Strikes” assumes a different flavor for what someone has who isn’t trained in this “weapon”. You can see some of the reasoning in this thread. This isn’t required to work in your campaign, and you can certainly choose to not use it and just use the variations of the “Unarmed Strike” that proceed after it.

Also, feel free to name them unique names for each type that fit your setting.

This Replaces the “Unarmed Strike” listed in the Core Rules (if you so choose):

#Untrained Unarmed Strike
One-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Delayed Ready
WL: 0
Banes: Stunned

Depending on setting, the GM might choose to increase the cost by WL 1 to increase the base cost for all the Unarmed Strikes.

In addition, if the player does not start with this weapon at creation, then the GM may impose some time requirement to actually train with the weapon (though this might be a good idea for any new weapon that isn’t in a character’s backstory).

#Trained Unarmed Strike
One-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Swift
WL: 1
Banes: Stunned, Knockdown, Disarmed

##Wealth Level Concerns

Click to See Info

The follow variations of Unarmed Strike that follow have Requires along with their WL (Wealth Level), which indicates you must have that weapon (training) prior to getting the listed weapon. This can have an impact on availability, especially if a player is at that WL to get the item as per rules they must wait 2 weeks to purchase something of their WL again.

##Extraordinary Crafting of Unarmed Strike

[details=Click to See Info]You will notice in each of the following sections a note about “Possible Extraordinary Options”. This is simply a suggestion, and there to get your minds turning over for what you can do.

Just as each weapon below was “crafted”, so too can it be “crafted” as an extraordinary item. This can be explained in various settings in different ways. Perhaps monks of an order focus on different elements and through rigorous training or the imbuing of the body with mystical energies, they are granted additional benefits to their Unarmed Strike.

Be creative, have fun, but make sure it fits to the setting and is acceptable to the GM. Just as the Core Rules mention, extraordinary items may tip the balance in a given setting and should be considered carefully.

The most likely Extraordinary Properties that make sense (at least to me) from the “Special Equipment” section of the Core Rules are:

  • Damage(type): To add another damage type option
  • Baneful(bane): To add a bane at +5 damage you might not normally access
  • Combining this to make sense with Damage(type) above
  • Potent: make it harder to shake off banes
  • Deadly: to add advantage to attacks
  • Area: harder to justify, but possible with creative minds
  • Any to do with Boons: this could be very hard to justify, but depending on the “Order” or place of training, could be argued.
  • Probably requires a quest or rise in status to get[/details]

#Trained Unarmed Strike Alternatives/Add-ons

[details=Defensive Unarmed Strike (click to expand)]
#Defensive Unarmed Strike
One-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Swift, Defensive 1
Requires: Trained Unarmed Strike
WL: 2
Banes: Stunned, Knockdown, Provoked

#Enhanced Defensive Unarmed Strike
One-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Swift, Defensive 2
Requires: Defensive Unarmed Strike
WL: 3
Banes: Stunned, Knockdown, Provoked

#Superior Defensive Unarmed Strike
One-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Swift, Defensive 3
Requires: Enhanced Defensive Unarmed Strike
WL: 4
Banes: Stunned, Knockdown, Disarmed, Provoked

##Possible Extraordinary Options
Damage (Force) Allows user to choose to do “Force” Damage

  • or any other type of damage

Baneful (Provoked) or Stunned, Demoralized, Sickened

  • Things that make sense for protecting[/details]

[details=Two-Handed Unarmed Strike (click to expand)]
This is designed to work along with Two-Weapon Brute, and can be described as consecutive strikes to explain the two-handed nature, or striking with both fists at the same time, or a fist followed with a kick.

#Two-Handed Unarmed Strike
Two-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Swift
Requires: None (Alternative to Trained Unarmed Strike)
WL: 1
Banes: Stunned, Knockdown, Forced Move

#Enhanced Two-Handed Unarmed Strike
Two-Handed Melee, Forceful, Precise, Swift
Requires: Two-Handed Unarmed Strike
WL: 2
Banes: Stunned, Knockdown, Forced Move, Persistent Damage

#Superior Two-Handed Unarmed Strike (Extraordinary)
Deadly 1/2/3, Weapon (Two-handed Unarmed Strike / Enhanced Two-handed Unarmed Strike)
WL: 3/4/5

##Possible Extraordinary Options
Damage (Entropy) Allows user to choose to do “Force” Damage

  • or any other type of damage

Baneful (Persistent Damage)

  • Things that make sense for damage/hurting[/details]
Reach Unarmed Strike (click to expand)

Some fighting styles might train individuals to slide forward for their attack and right back, doing so in such a quick flick that others don’t have time to react. Perhaps the extra reach of using feet to strike enable a user to reach a much farther spot than normal.

#Reach Unarmed Strike
For any Unarmed Strike, adding the Reach property increases the Wealth Level by 1.

  • This could unbalance things, and probably would need to make narrative sense for a player to use it in combat. For example, if an enemy is 10 feet away with nothing in the way, this might make sense. However, if there are other enemies in between, then it might not make sense to be able to “reach” through them.

#Place holder for Other Monk/Martial Artist Weapons

#Place holder for Monk/Martial Artist Achetypes List
Monk Defender/Protector (No Extraordinary) Archetype

#Monk Protector Archetype

The concept behind this build is making a Monk/Martial Artist that is the defender of the weak (and/or their friends), and does it by not using any Extraordinary Attributes OR Attribute Sub.

With a focus on Unarmed Strike via Agility, there are a few ways to counteract the range issue. Increasing Speed through Fleet of Foot, adding in Combat Momentum (and follow through), and using some specialized Darts and Spears to distract the enemy (described in the above section soon).

Not as focused, but Presence exists for a simple Adv 1 Bolster and heals when needed.

Defensive Mastery
Battlefield Reflexes
Fleet of Foot
Combat Momentum
Combat Follow-Through
Defensive Reflexes
Tough as Nails

You could optimize this more by putting on more Defensive Reflexes, or even Lightning Reflexes so you are able to act first with a ranged attack or boon, and then focus on Defend Interrupts from there forward.

###Leveling Character Sheets @ 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9
Level 1
Level 3
OLD: Level 5 NEW: Level 5
OLD: Level 7 NEW: Level 7
OLD: Level 9 NEW: Level 9

##Norris Dragonfoot
Monk Martial Artist Defender
Decedent of a famous fighter and defender of the people. Easily angered about this in a number of ways, and Zealous about protecting others.

Ascetic: Through training in his order, he has learned to survive on less and be quite hardy.
Legendary Bloodline: Grandfather was known as a famous fighter and protector. Being of the Dragonfoot bloodline, people will recognize this.

Hot Tempered: He can easily become angered if you talk about his Grandfather or family in a negative manner. He can also get upset if you talk about them in too good of a light. Basically, he’s touchy about his family.
Zealous: He is very set in his ways about defending others. He will always put himself at danger to protect others, especially those he considers friends or allies, but will always step up to defend the weak.

##Level 1


Norris did extensive training in the Monk Order he was a part of. Choosing to focus on a Defensive Fighting Style (see Defensive Unarmed Strike), he quickly became Zealous about it. Learning to live with less, he worked hard to learn the Ribbed Newt Style (Defensive Unarmed Strike).

Further increasing his ability to defend and protect, he focused on Defensive Mastery and dealing damage back to attackers with his defense.

###Notable Attributes
4 Agility
3 Fortitude, Might, Perception, Will, Presence

HP: 28
Guard: 21 (medium armor)
Toughness: 16
Resolve: 16

Defensive Mastery
Battlefield Reflexes

###Main Attacks
Protect Friends and the Weak (Defend Interrupt) Agility vs Attack
You DARE attack my friends and me? (Demoralized) Agility vs Resolve
Attack ME if you wish to survive! (Provoked) Agility vs Resolve
Strike to the Temple! (Stunned) Agility vs Toughness
To the GROUND with you! (Knockdown) Agility vs Guard
BLEED with your shame! (Persistent Damage) Agility vs Guard

###Aiding Allies or Self (Boons)
Bolster @ PL 3: CR 16
Heal @ PL 1-3: CR 12-16

Defensive Unarmed Strike
Defensive Whistling Darts
Defensive Whistling Spear

##Level 3


Taking Fleet of Foot II so the distance he can cover while Defending is increased, as well as Sentinel I to do more than 1 Defend Interrupt.

###Notable Attributes
6 Agility
4 Will

HP: 30
Guard: 23 (medium armor)
Toughness: 17
Resolve: 17

Defensive Mastery
Battlefield Reflexes
Fleet of Foot II
Sentinel I

###Change in Attacks and Buffs
Time for you to SLEEP! (Incapacitated) Agility vs Toughness

###Change in Weapons

##Level 5


Taking Longshot for increased range for Defend with those weapons and Climbing for the fun Martial Arts running up walls. Increasing Sentinel to II. Also, he through his experience in the world, and going back for a time to the Order, he increased is training (Superior Defensive Unarmed Strike). Saving 1 feat point so next XP he will take Defensive Reflexes I.

###Notable Attributes
7 Agility
4 Fortitude, Perception, Presence

HP: 34
Guard: 24 (medium armor)
Toughness: 18
Resolve: 18

Defensive Mastery
Battlefield Reflexes
Fleet of Foot II
Sentinel II
Defensive Reflexes I (after 1 XP)

###Change in Attacks and Buffs
Heal @ PL 1-4: CR 12-18

###Change in Weapons
Superior Defensive Unarmed Strike
Improved Defensive Whistling Dart
Improved Defensive Whistling Spear

##Level 7


Increasing Sentinel to III, and taking Lightning Reflexes I for better start to combat.

###Notable Attributes
8 Agility
5 Will, Presence

HP: 38
Guard: 25 (medium armor)
Toughness: 19
Resolve: 20

Defensive Mastery
Battlefield Reflexes
Fleet of Foot II
Sentinel III
Defensive Reflexes I
Lightning Reflexes I

###Change in Attacks and Buffs
Heal @ PL 1-5: CR 12-20

###Change in Weapons

##Level 9


Taking Tough as Nails II to increase his ability to take hits, and increasing Defensive Reflexes to II.

###Notable Attributes
9 Agility
6 Presence
5 Fortitude

HP: 52
Guard: 26 (medium armor)
Toughness: 20
Resolve: 21

Defensive Mastery
Battlefield Reflexes
Fleet of Foot II
Sentinel III
Defensive Reflexes II
Lightning Reflexes I
Tough as Nails II

###Change in Attacks and Buffs
Bolster @ PL 3/6: CR 16/22
Heal @ PL 1-6: CR 12-22

###Change in Weapons

1 Like

I like it.

But he’s not making attacks when defending, right?

Hmmm… perhaps. I focused in on the

Every time you bring an enemy to zero hit points

but it does say

with a Might or Agility attack

so technically that is true.

I guess I could go ahead and take either Battlefield Punisher Or Longshot (extend those defends with ranged) + 2 Lightning Reflexes or + Swimming + Climbing for fun RP (especially climbing with martial arts/kung fu stuff). Or Fast Draw if you are worried about drawing out different weapons.

Have to think about that a little.

Updated the Monk Protector Archetype. ( @oconnor0 )

Removed Combat Follow-Through and Combat Momentum.

Ended up Replacing with:

Increased range for defend interrupt with darts and/or spear (or attacks before enemy is in range)

For that cool Martial Arts/Kung Fu feeling of running up walls

###Lightning Reflexes I
For a faster start to Combat to get an initial attack in before the start of Defending.

Could have easily just added in Longshot + Defensive Reflexes, or just Defensive Reflexes, but taking it twice more by the time Level 9. Didn’t, b/c this seemed more fun :slight_smile:

I cannot find the effect of Battlefield Reflexes anywhere. Am I blind ?

It was renamed to Battlefield Retribution.

1 Like