The Monk is often a lore-keeper, historian or ‘Aesthetic’, a term which indicates a variety of roles undertaken by this base-class in the realms. Aesthetics can be archaeologists, scribes or field agents and the Monk class is suited to all of these. The Monk is also known for his strict discipline and modesty and most Monks choose their deities in the early stages of character creation. They live in monasteries and are typically lawful characters, respecting the laws of their monasteries and their towns but rarely enforcing them or acting as protectors or guards.
In the game, the Monk class’s primary attributes are Wisdom and Dexterity. Some Monk characters are also based on Strength while sacrificing Dexterity, and this grants different abilities. The Monk class also gains high amounts of Armor Class points, which is modified by the Monk’s Wisdom and Dexterity; both stack up and increase your AC as your character increases in level. Moreover, you can gain a further 1 point in AC by increasing your tumble skill.
There are no particular restrictions on whether your Monk needs to be evil or good, but as mentioned above, a Monk is always of a lawful alignment. If your alignment shifts to Chaotic or Neutral, you will not be able to advance further in the Monk class or wear items assigned by your chosen temple or deity.
Creating a Monk
Wisdom is the primary attribute, whether you decide to assign points to Strength or Dexterity which are secondary. A Strength based Monk will obviously inflict more damage in battle, but will probably miss a lot when fighting and also gain less AC. Oppositely, a Dexterity based Monk will land more hits when punching an opponent but inflict less damage and gain huge amounts of AC (Dex + Wis + Tumble stack).
Monks always fight better unarmed, with better Critical Damage and Base Attack Bonuses; you can use a weapon such as the Kama or the more exotic Katana if you wish, but it is better not to as you won’t be exploiting the maximum potential of this class. Monks don’t wear any armour at all and are penalised if they do, which also applies to shields. It is better to equip your Monk with a Silent Fist Robe and special gloves than to use light-armour and a staff. Some of the main feats acquired by Monks:
Stunning Fist – Once selected, this feat enables you to stun your opponent for three entire rounds, effectively rendering him unable to move. You can use extra Stunning Fist attacks as you increase in level which eventually leads to the feat Extra stunning attacks.
Flurry of Blows – Allows you to inflict extra damage, with an extra attack per round but only when fighting bare-handed.
Monk Speed – Improves your speed of movement and running, which is visible as you level.
Diamond Body & Diamond Soul – Two separate feats, the first rendering you immune to all poisons and the second increasing your resistance to spells (Spell Resistance equals enemy’s level + 10)