Sun School Monk (3.5e Class)

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Sun School Monk
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Sun School Monk[edit]

In the Multiverse, a war raged across a distant blue marble. One of those nations bore the symbol of the sun into battle, with the best of intentions to restore honor to their shamed country and their Emperor. They lost big, but before that happened a single member of the empire--a soldier and skilled martial artist--was pulled into the far-flung world of Ourobouros.
When he was well enough, he marveled at all he saw and tried to understand it all. Even with help, he had a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings. When he began to meditate and practice, he found a way to make his mark in the world: teach your martial arts to those who depend on weapons and crude brawling. So he did, inspired by the battle flag of his empire. Thus it is he who invented the Rising Sun Fist Style, called Shotaiyou-ken.

The Shotaiyou-ken style is a homage to Imperial Japan and the Shotokan martial arts fighting style--the American name used for the martial arts style used by Ryu and Ken in Street Fighter. Instead of it being used for assassination like Akuma's Ansatsuken style, it is used to make the world a better place.

Making a Sun School Monk[edit]

Abilities: Wisdom powers the sun school monk's special offensive and defensive capabilities. Dexterity provides an unarmored sun school monk with a better defense and with some bonuses to some class skills. Strength helps a sun school monk's unarmed combat ability.

Special: Must be a follower of a deity with access to the Sun Domain.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Any lawful.

Starting Gold: As standard monk.

Starting Age: Complex.

Table: The Sun School Monk

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Flurry of Blows
Attack Bonus
Unarmed
Damage1
AC
Bonus
Unarmored
Speed Bonus
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Bonus feat, flurry of blows, unarmed strike, sun school techniques –2/–2 1d6 +0 +0 ft.
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Bonus feat, evasion –1/–1 1d6 +0 +0 ft.
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Still mind, how 'bout this heat? +0/+0 1d6 +0 +10 ft.
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Solar strike (magic), slow fall 20 ft., shotaiyou-ken +1/+1 1d8 +0 +10 ft.
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Purity of body +2/+2 1d8 +1 +10 ft.
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Bonus feat, slow fall 30 ft. +3/+3 1d8 +1 +20 ft.
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Wholeness of body +4/+4 1d8 +1 +20 ft.
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Slow fall 40 ft., hino-maru +5/+5/+0 1d10 +1 +20 ft.
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Improved evasion +6/+6/+1 1d10 +1 +30 ft.
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Solar strike (1d6 fire), slow fall 50 ft. +7/+7/+2 1d10 +2 +30 ft.
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Diamond body, greater flurry +8/+8/+8/+3 1d10 +2 +30 ft.
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Sunlight step, slow fall 60 ft., sunset kick +9/+9/+9/+4 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Diamond soul +9/+9/+9/+4 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Slow fall 70 ft. +10/+10/+10/+5 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 –– +11/+11/+11/+6/+1 2d6 +3 +50 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Solar strike (2d6 fire), slow fall 80 ft., sunstroke +12/+12/+12/+7/+2 2d8 +3 +50 ft.
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Tongue of the sun and moon +12/+12/+12/+7/+2 2d8 +3 +50 ft.
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Slow fall 90 ft. +13/+13/+13/+8/+3 2d8 +3 +60 ft.
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 –– +14/+14/+14/+9/+4 2d8 +3 +60 ft.
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Shining self, slow fall any distance, blessings of the sun +15/+15/+15/+10/+5 2d10 +4 +60 ft.
  1. The value shown is for sun school monks of Medium size. See Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size for monks of all sizes.

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the sun school monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sun school monks are proficient with simple weapons and the same weapons as monks from other schools: club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling.

Sun school monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a sun school monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the sun school monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a sun school monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the sun school monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmored, a sun school monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a –2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Sun School Monk. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a sun school monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to –1, and at 9th level it disappears. A sun school monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

When using flurry of blows, a sun school monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a sun school monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1-1/2 or ×1/2) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The sun school monk can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.

In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a sun school monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

When a sun school monk reaches 11th level, her flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a sun school monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A sun school monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a sun school monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a sun school monk striking unarmed. A sun school monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

Usually a sun school monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A sun school monk’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

A sun school monk also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Sun School Monk. The unarmed damage on Table: The Sun School Monk is for Medium sun school monks. A Small sun school monk deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large sun school monk deals more damage; see Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size.

Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size
Level Fine Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
1st–3rd 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6
4th–7th 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6
8th–11th 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8
12th–15th 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6 8d6
16th–19th 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8 8d8
20th 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 2d10 4d8 6d8 8d8 12d8

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a sun school monk may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. A sun school monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Sun School Techniques: A 1st level sun school monk learns her abilities as she moves along the path of Shotaiyou-ken. At 1st to 4th level and every four levels after, she learns a technique from the Shotaiyou-ken style. Each technique has a save DC of 10 + 1/2 sun school monk class levels + Wisdom modifier.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher if a sun school monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a sun school monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless sun school monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a sun school monk gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on Table: The Monk. A sun school monk in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

Still Mind (Ex): A 3rd level sun school monk gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.

How 'Bout This Heat? (Ex): A 3rd level sun school monk is immune to heat damage from temperatures above 90º F (~32º C).

Solar Strike (Su): At 4th level, a sun school monk’s unarmed attacks are empowered with a combination of solar energy and magic. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Solar strikes improves with the character’s sun school monk level. At 10th level, her unarmed attacks deal an additional 1d6 fire damage. At 16th level, her unarmed attacks deal 2d6 fire damage.

Slow Fall (Ex): At 4th level or higher, a sun school monk within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. When first using this ability, she takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The sun school monk’s ability to slow her fall (that is, to reduce the effective distance of the fall when next to a wall) improves with her sun school monk level until at 20th level she can use a nearby wall to slow her descent and fall any distance without harm.

Shotaiyou-ken (Ex): A 4th level sun school monk is able to perform a rising punch attack called the Shotaiyou-ken. While charging, the sun school monk takes an additonal -2 penalty to her AC to make an unarmed melee attack. The target of this attack receives double damage and must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 level + Wisdom modifier) or be sent flying straight back 10 feet. This attack sends the sun school monk into the air 5 feet for the duration of the attack. At the end of the round, she returns to the ground. If the target is undead, the damage dealt from the Shotaiyou-ken is doubled again. A sun school monk may attempt this maneuver (3 + Constitution modifier) times a day.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a sun school monk gains immunity to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases.

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level or higher, a sun school monk can heal her own wounds. She can heal a number of hit points of damage equal to twice her current sun school monk level each day, and she can spread this healing out among several uses.

Hino-Maru (Su): An 8th level sun school monk is able to send a red ball of solar energy through their hands called a hino-maru. A sun school monk may hit her target with a ranged touch attack, dealing 1d8 fire damage per two levels in the sun school monk class and causes the target to catch fire for 1d4 rounds. The target may make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 sun school monk class levels + Wisdom modifier) for half damage. Undead creatures take double damage from this attack. A sun school monk may attempt this maneuver a number of times a day equal to 3 + the sun school monk's Constitution modifier.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a sun school monk’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless sun school monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Diamond Body (Su): At 11th level, a sun school monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Sunlight Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, a sun school monk emulates the beams of light that penetrate the darkest depths of space. She can slip magically across space, as if using the spell dimension door, once per day. Her caster level for this effect is one-half her sun school monk level (rounded down).

Sunset Kick (Ex): A 12th level sun school monk is able to execute a powerful diving attack on a target. To use this ability, the sun school monk must make a DC 15 Jump check while charging; this doubles if the check is made for a standing Jump check. The target of this attack receives double damage and must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Wisdom modifier) or be knocked prone. If the target is undead, the damage dealt is doubled again. A sun school monk may attempt this maneuver a number of times a day equal to 3 + the sun school monk's Constitution modifier.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a sun school monk gains spell resistance equal to her current sun school monk level + 10.

Sunstroke (Su): A 16th level sun school monk is able to incapacitate the most powerful of creatures with a single touch of focused solar power. The sun school monk may make a melee touch attack against a creature, causing the target to become disabled for 1 round unless the target creature makes a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 sun school monk class levels + Wisdom modifier). A creature immune to stunning or critical hits is immune to this ability, with one exception: if the target is an undead creature with a weakness to sunlight, it is utterly destroyed unless it makes a Will save equal to the Fortitude save for living creatures. A sun school monk may attempt this maneuver a number of times a day equal to 3 + the sun school monk's Constitution modifier.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A sun school monk of 17th level or higher can speak with any living creature.

Shining Self: At 20th level, a sun school monk becomes a magical creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the sun school monk gains damage reduction 10/magic, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonmagical weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the sun school monk can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.

Blessings of the Sun (Ex): At 20th level, a sun school monk is favored in the light of the sun. She gains regeneration 10 in sunlight. If the sun school monk is subject to a spell with the Darkness effect or descriptor with a duration greater than instantaneous (i.e., darkness, deeper darkness, etc.), her regenerative ability is suppressed for the duration of the spell.

Ex-Sun School Monks[edit]

A sun school monk who becomes nonlawful, lives underground for more than a month or who grossly violates the code and may not progress further as a sun school. She may regain her advancement potential if she atones for her violations (via the atonement spell or as appropriate).

Due to her spiritual leanings, a sun school may multi-class as a cleric. If she multi-classes as any other class, excluding Monk prestige classes she may not take any more levels as a sun school monk.

Epic Sun School Monk[edit]

Table: The Epic Sun School Monk

Hit Die: d8

Level AC
Bonus
Unarmored
Speed Bonus
Special
21st +4 +70 ft. ––
22nd +4 +70 ft. ––
23rd +4 +70 ft. ––
24th +4 +80 ft. 6th sun school technique
25th +5 +80 ft. Bonus Feat
26th +5 +80 ft. ––
27th +5 +90 ft. ––
28th +5 +90 ft. 7th sun school technique
29th +5 +90 ft. ––
30th +6 +100 ft. Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

AC Bonus: The sun school monk’s bonus to Armor Class when unarmored increases by +1 every five levels higher than 20th.

Unarmed Strike: The damage for a sun school monk’s unarmed strike does not increase after 20th level.

Fast Movement: The epic sun school monk’s speed when wearing no armor increases by 10 feet every three levels higher than 18th. The unarmored speed of Small and dwarven sun school monks increases by 5 feet instead of 10 feet.

Sun School Techniques: The epic sun school monk gains more insight into the nature of the sun. She may choose from one of the following abilities at 24th level and every four levels after:

Solar Flare (Sp): An epic sun school monk with this ability may summon a ball of solar energy for offensive purposes. This ability works like the spell sunburst, with a caster level equal to sun school monk levels. An epic sun school monk can use this ability a number of times equal to 3 + their Constitution modifier.

Sun's Kiss (Sp): An epic sun school monk with this ability can emulate the healing effects the sun has on both plants and living creatures. This ability works like the spells mass cure serious wounds or plant growth with caster level equal to sun school monk's class levels. Both spells cannot be used at the same time. An epic sun school monk can use this ability a number of times equal to 3 + their Constitution modifier.

Quesar Action (Su): An epic sun school monk with this ability may emit light from their body in a bright halo. She can spread the light up to 60 feet away from her location (or provide shadowy illumination up to 120 feet away). Any creature caught within this radius must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 sun school monk levels + Wisdom modifier) or be blinded by the light for 1d10 rounds. Creatures with light sensitivity take double penalties in this bright light. An epic sun school monk can use this ability a number of times equal to 3 + their Constitution modifier.

Blessings of the Sun (Ex): The epic sun school monk's regeneration ability is increased by 5. If this ability is chosen more than once, its effects stack.

Sun's Screen (Su): An epic sun school monk with this ability may ignore all fire damage for a number of rounds equal to 3 + their Constitution modifier. This ability can only be used once per day.

Solar Strike: The sun school monk’s solar strike ability does not automatically increase with class level after 16th level.

Wholeness of Body (Su): The epic sun school monk can cure up to twice his or her class level in hit points each day, as normal.

Abundant Step (Su): Use the sun school monk’s class level when determining the effective caster level of this ability, as normal.

Diamond Soul (Ex): The epic sun school monk’s spell resistance is equal to his or her class level +10, as normal.

Bonus Feats: The epic sun school monk gains a bonus feat every five levels after 20th.

Human Sun School Monk Starting Package[edit]

Sun school monks travel as light as possible, sometimes forgoing the better ranged bow or crossbow for a simple sling.

Weapons: Nunchaku (d6, crit x2, 2 lb., light, bludgeoning.) Sling (d4, crit x2, range inc. 50 ft., 0 lb., bludgeoning.)

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 5 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
Knowledge (religion) 4 Int
Jump 4 Str 0
Tumble 4 Dex 0
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Heal 2 Wis
Listen 4 Wis

Feat: If Dexterity score is 13 and above, Dodge. If below 13, Improved Initiative.

Bonus Feats: If Dexterity score is 13 and above, Mobility. If below 13, Blind-Fight.

Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one days' trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel, monk's outfit. Three torches. Pouch for sling bullets.

Gold: 2d4 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Sun School Monk[edit]

Sun school monks are a sociable lot, enjoying every day that the sun shines. Overcast days are when they shine their brightest. They look to bring sunshine into the lives of all they meet. When playing a sun school monk, try to be as nice and courteous as possible no matter what your alignment or race may be.

Religion: All sun school monasteries have some connection to a sun deity, usually through a holy striker program started by a temple of a sun deity. In such cases the monks worship the sun god in question.

Other Classes: Most martial classes don't quite know what to make of the sun school monk; they thought they were monks not spell-casters. Arcane casters, divine casters and psionic characters all have good things to say and feelings to share about the sun school monk. Rogues just can't feel the oh-so-sun-shiny vibe, but bards are all for 'em. Any and all who meddle or peddle in the darkness (i.e., casters using spells with the Darkness descriptor, shadow adepts, shadowmancers, etc.) are on every sun school monk's hit list.

Combat: Get in, make the most of her abilities, and get out before the enemy realizes they're on fire from a single punch.

Advancement: Some spellcasters think on this class and actually go through with it. Clerics can jump into this class, no problem. Many of the other martial classes don't take this route because it interferes with their ability to deal lots of damage and sport shiny armor.

Sun School Monks in the World[edit]

Know this, my students. You must not fear the shadows, for without the light of the sun no one would know where one shadow ended and the other began. Such is the balance of the world.
—Tjaerou, abbot of the Shotaiyou-ken school in Cairn

Daily Life: Morning worship to their sun deity (see below), training, morning meal, working in the garden, helping out around town in various jobs, training some more, evening meal, prayers at sunset, and finally sleep.

Notables: The progenitor of the Shotaiyou-ken style, Abbot Tjaerou, still lives in a desert town of Cairn. There he teaches the style and the worship of Pelor to his students, among them his closest follower Sandi. One of his other students, the prodigal son Django, wanders the lands looking to test his skills.

Organizations: Any sun school monastery is tied to a sun deity. If the temple or religion has a governmental capacity, then some of the sun school monks may be part of those as well. Some of the deities available for use within the set parameters (good or neutral with access to the Sun domain) are:

  • Pelor
  • Aurifar (from Sandstorm)
  • Re-Horakty, Apollo, Frey, Odur, the Faith of the Sun (Taiia) (from Deities and Demigods)
  • Annam, Iallanis or Hiatea (giant deities from Defenders of the Faith)

NPC Reactions: Many see a person with a sunny disposition, many people would like to be the same way. Usually no static is started when a sun school monk walks into a room. Intelligent undead absolutely hate sun school monks, specifically targeting them only at times.

Sun School Monk Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can research sun school monks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (local)
DC Result
15 Sun school monks really like to be out in the sunshine, no matter how hot.
20 A sun school monk can throw balls of fire and jump very high to deal great amounts of damage.
25 Sometimes a sun school monk can heal himself by just standing out in the sunlight.
30 It's rumored that if you find and tell a vampire where a sun school monastery can be found, it is bound by unholy law to reward you handsomely.
(NOTE: What constitutes a "handsome reward" is completely up to the DM/GM.)

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