Excerpts Archive | 8/9/2010
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Monk
Psionic Power Excerpts

You stand between the material world of the body and the enlightened realm of the mind, and within you, both these worlds meet. You are a monk, trained in unique fighting methods passed down through generations. You might have spent your life refining your prowess in a secluded monastery, far from worldly distractions. Or you might have learned your unique fighting style on the darkest city streets, testing your endurance and cunning in a desperate fight for survival. You might have tapped into your power from ancient manuscripts, a mysterious master, or the memory of a lost tradition hidden within your mind. In today's Psionic Power excerpt, we present a new build for the monk: the Iron Soul tradition.

"An existence unburdened by limitation demands harmony among body, spirit, and mind."


“Find what you need, strangers?”

The figure approached the two nondescript travelers in the all but deserted library. A bear of a man, he sported a thick black beard and a gapped-tooth grin. They had been warned about the local sheriff, but had hoped to complete their research before running into him.

“Indeed,” Lenaris said carefully. “Ioun’s temple is a veritable font of knowledge.”

“Ain’t a free font,” the sheriff quipped. “There’s a tax for outsiders.”

“We were told of no such tax,” Inelda protested.

“I’m telling you now.” The sheriff pushed his cloak aside to show the sword at his belt, glancing down as if to say he’d already noted that both traveling companions were unarmed. Lenaris reached into his pouch for a handful of silver. The grizzled warrior sneered as he sauntered away.

Inelda glared, but Lenaris only shrugged. “A fight here might destroy irreplaceable texts. I’ve told you, Inelda, your temper undermines you. A bit of discipline—”

He was interrupted by the angry voice of the sheriff a short way off, berating the old priest who served as the temple’s librarian. The burly warrior had a fragile tome in his hand, raised as if he was ready to throw it.

Lenaris was suddenly gone from his seat, vanishing as quickly as the book subsequently vanished from the sheriff ’s fingers. The grizzled face had time for a puzzled look before Lenaris’s leg came up, striking with the force of a battering ram.

Inelda was smiling by the time the sound of the beating faded away. “You were proclaiming the virtue of discipline . . .” he said as Lenaris returned to the table.

“I showed substantial discipline,” Lenaris said quietly. “I stopped hitting him the instant he struck the floor.”

Although any well-trained warrior can drop a foe with the power of a fist, you invest psionic power in your attacks—the inner energy you call your ki. This energy allows you to deliver attacks as punishing as any spell or armed martial exploit, even as it expands your physical capabilities with swift movement, amazing leaps, and even flight. Chapter 3 of Psionic Power offers new options to expand your power and your presence on the battlefield and beyond.

  • Playing a Monk: A discussion of how monks fit into the world and at the game table, with tips on bringing your character to life.
  • New Build and Class Feature: The Iron Soul tradition allows you to channel the power of your ki through a weapon, making it an extension of your body and mind. In your hands, even a meager dagger can equal the power of a fighter’s greatsword, and a simple quarterstaff becomes a whirring implement of destruction.
  • New Powers: You rely on psionic power to guide your attacks and shatter the defenses of your enemies. The new disciplines in this chapter allow Iron Soul monks to advance their weapon training, but give all monk characters new options to keep their opponents on edge.
  • New Paragon Paths: Six new paragon paths offer monk characters options for advancement and a range of esoteric—and deadly—fighting styles.

Iron Soul

The use of simple weapons is the cornerstone of the Iron Soul tradition, founded long ago by oppressed peasants denied access to military weapons by the tyrants who ruled them. Adherents of the Iron Soul master common tools, transforming them into potent implements of war. Over time, monastic warriors have refined these primitive techniques and incorporated them into a range of powerful psionics disciplines.

Devotees of the Iron Soul often come from common stock, taught to defend themselves with whatever weapons they have on hand. Iron soul schools are found within established communities, typically alongside temples dedicated to peaceful gods and philosophical concepts.

New Class Feature

When you choose your Monastic Tradition, you can choose the Iron Soul tradition instead of another option, such as the ones in Player’s Handbook 3.

Mental Arsenal: While wielding a weapon other than one in the unarmed weapon group, you gain a +1 shield bonus to AC.

Flurry of Blows: You gain the iron soul flurry of blows power.

Iron Soul Flurry of Blows
Monk Feature
You follow up an initial assault with a quick strike that disorients your enemy, curtailing its combat options.
At-WillPsionic
Free Action (Special) Melee 1
Trigger: You hit with an attack during your turn
Target: One creature
Level 11: One or two creatures
Level 21: Each enemy adjacent to you
Effect: The target takes damage equal to 2 + your Constitution modifier, and it cannot shift until the start of your next turn. If the target was not a target of the triggering attack, it also can’t make opportunity attacks until the end of your turn.
Special: You can use this power only once per round.

Suggested Options

You are a cunning warrior, adapting your combat style to meet whatever threat you face. You leap into battle, ripping through your opponents with blindingly fast attacks designed to distract and confuse. Before your foes can react, you settle into a ready posture, deflecting counterstrikes with your weapons.

You are a monk, trained in fighting techniques that transform your hands and feet into deadly weapons. You differ from your kin in the Centered Breath and Stone Fist schools by virtue of the dedication you put into weapon training. You choose the weapons of the common folk, including the mace, staff, spear, and dagger. Your unique training then allows you to treat those weapons as extensions of your body, making them far more deadly than they would be in the hands of any other warrior. Your psionic power infuses your strikes with speed and accuracy.

Like other monks, you should put your highest score in Dexterity because you depend on it for your attacks. Its origin among the common folk means that the Iron Soul tradition focuses on toughness, so make Constitution your second highest score. Aside from the specific full disciplines that rely on Constitution, additional hit points and healing surges are useful for keeping you in the fight. Consider making Wisdom your third highest ability score to increase your battlefield awareness and your Will.

Suggested Class Feature: Iron Soul*
Suggested Feat: Still Water*
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Endurance, Insight, Perception
Suggested At-Will Powers: lion’s den*, steel wind*
Suggested Encounter Power: stinging nettles*
Suggested Daily Power: steel avalanche*
*New option presented in Psionic Power.

Lion’s Den
Monk Attack 1
You jab, step to the side, then assume an offensive posture from which you can sting any foe that draws near.
At-WillFull Discipline, Implement, Psionic
Attack Technique
Standard Action Melee touch
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d6 + Dexterity modifier damage. Until the start of your next turn, as a free action, you can deal damage equal to your Constitution modifier to any enemy that enters a square adjacent to you.
Level 21: 2d6 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Movement Technique
Move Action Personal
Effect: You shift 1 square and gain a +1 power bonus to all defenses until the start of your next turn.

Steel Avalanche
Monk Attack 1
You unleash a wave of psionic power that cuts through your foes like steel.
DailyImplement, Psionic
Standard Action Close blast 3
Target: Each enemy in blast
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d8 + Dexterity modifier damage, and the target takes a −2 penalty to attack rolls (save ends).
Miss: Half damage, and the target takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
Effect: You shift 4 squares to any square adjacent to the blast.

Unity of Steel
Monk Attack 7
Allies who press in against a foe grant you some of their strength, increasing the effectiveness of your own attack.
EncounterFull Discipline, Implement, Psionic
Attack Technique
Standard Action Melee touch
Target: One creature
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex
Iron Soul: If you make the attack using a light blade or a spear, you gain a +2 power bonus to the attack roll.
Hit: 2d8 + Dexterity modifier damage plus 2 damage for each ally adjacent to the target.
Movement Technique
Move Action Personal
Effect: You swap places with one ally adjacent to you.

Friday: "Your nightmares serve at my command, and nothing can save you now."

Excerpt Schedule

Monday Friday

August 2

Ch 1. Ardents

August 6

Ch 2. Battleminds

August 9

Ch 3. Monks

August 13

Ch4. Psions

August 16

Ch 5: Psionic Options

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