Gray Monk (3.5e Class)
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3.5e Class Alignments |ng, ln, n, cn, ne
|“||In the age of ancients the world was unformed, shrouded in fog. A land of gray crags, archtrees, and everlasting dragons.||”|
|—Pik Sen Lim, Elven Loremaster, Tome of Souls|
It is said that in the beginning of time, there was no disparity. All things were even and the same, until the acts of other powers transformed the world into the land men know, of light and dark, of heat and cold, of life and death. Yet these things are but an illusion, a metaphysical cage to keep humanity trapped within the system set up by the powers that be. The traditions of the east teach that the goal of life is to escape the cycle and awaken to the world beyond reality, and this can only be done by rejecting reality and the disparity which comes with it.
Becoming a Gray Monk
As monks, gray monks suffer a bit from MAD. All abilities are important, so the nature of the monk is likely determined by which ability scores they focus on. Fortunately, the gray monk awakens a fair bit of power by focusing on their studies. Wisdom proves most synergistic of them all.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5.|
|Skills:||Autohypnosis or Concentration 8 ranks.|
|Special:||Still Mind class feature|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||Gray Light, Monk Advancement, Temperate Body, Time Strike, Ur-Soul|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Evasion, Gray Feeling|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+3||Gray Meditation, Gray Time|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||Purge Disparity, Return to Nothing|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+4||Gray Distance, Life Affinity|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+5||Gray Tongue, Purge Other Disparity|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+5||Gray Dimension, Gray Touch, Status Affinity|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+6||Improved Gray Time, Stasis Strike|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+6||Gray Body, Improved Temperate Body|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level.
All of the following are class features of the Gray Monk.
Gray Light Ex and Su: Gray monks first begin to grapple with the idea of light and dark, and they come to realize they are the same. They can see in any light level normally, from brightest day to darkest night. Thus they are immune to blinding or concealment from any [Light] or [Darkness] effects and can see normally through it. This is an extraordinary ability.
As an immediate action they can spend a stunning fist attempt to dispel any [Light] or [Dark] effect within 30 feet of them, or whose line of effect crosses this area. They use their character level for their caster level. This is a supernatural ability.
Monk Advancement: Levels in gray monk stack with monk for advancing class features and count as effective monk levels. It does not grant new features you do not have, but pre-existing features (such as flurry of blows, speed bonus, and unarmed strike damage) are advanced.
Temperate Body Ex: Heat and cold are one in the same. As the gray monk realizes this, they gain cold and fire resistance equal to 3 times their class level.
Time Strike Su: Whenever they make a successful stunning fist attempt, the gray monk can instead choose to freeze the target in time instead for there is no future nor is there past. This functions like temporal stasis but lasts for 1 round per two class levels. This is effective against things which would otherwise be immune to stunning.
Ur-Soul: The gray monk gains Ur-Soul as a bonus feat, even though they are not 1st level. If they already have the feat, they may choose another feat they qualify for.
Evasion Ex: A 2nd level gray monk gains evasion. If they already have evasion, they instead gain improved evasion.
Gray Feeling Ex: A 2nd level gray monk has quenched the raging emotions of the mind and found peace. They are immune to all morale penalties (but also morale bonuses). This ultimately strengthens the mind, and the bonus from Still Mind rise to +4 and apply to all mind-affecting effects as well as any enchantment effects.
Gray Meditation Su: The 3rd level gray monk can enter a meditative trance as a 1 round action. In doing so, they effectively stop time as they slip into a state of zen. This functions like time stop with an unlimited duration. However, the gray monk cannot move or act, as they are stopped in time as well. They can only take purely mental actions, and only effects which affect themselves. If they affect themselves with a supernatural or magical effect (such as a psionic buff) the effect ends at the end of your turn. Thus, it's not viable for buffing. What it is viable for however is taking time to observe one's surroundings. Because one effectively has infinite time they can take 20 on Listen, Spot, any Knowledge check, or other checks which are purely mental actions. They can also regain psionic focus without breaking the effect.
Gray Time Su: The 3rd level gray monk can enter a meditative stance similar to gray meditation, but which simply locks themselves in an eternal unchanging state relative to the universe. They can effectively place temporal stasis on themselves as a standard action. They remain dimly aware of their surroundings, and can free themselves as a 1 round action (even though they normally would not have actions, being stopped in time). While frozen they are invulnerable and immovable, but cannot act but to leave their self-imposed stasis.
Purge Disparity Su: At 4th level, a gray monk seeks to purify the body and mind of all disparity, good or ill. As a standard action they can remove all status effects, buffs, and debuffs as a full round action. Effects which are difficult to remove (such as curses) get an opposed caster level check using their character level as the caster level to dispel it. Effects which are impossible to remove except by specific circumstances (such as deific intervention or certain artifacts) continue to effect them. The effect cares not if a status effect is beneficial or not, everything is purged and returned to a normal unaltered state. Ability damage and drain persist, though effects which may have caused it (such as poison) are removed.
This can even be done if you are denied actions, such as being nauseated, asleep, or petrified, consuming your actions for the round as normal when you recover. It cannot be done if you are dead.
Return to Nothing Su: The attacks of a gray monk have a strong enough will backing them that you deny existence to other things as well. At 4th level, a gray monk's can choose to have their attacks count as disintegrate for the purpose of destroying bodies when they hit -1 hp and destroying force effects. They also ignore an amount of hardness equal to their character level as they break down the bonds of reality.
Gray Distance Su: The 5th level gray monk no longer recognizes the difference between here and there. Their movement steps through the space between spaces, effectively teleporting as a move action to their move distance. Movement no longer provokes attacks of opportunity, and they can teleport anywhere they have line of effect.
As a 1 round action they may duplicate the effect of teleport. Once used they have a 10 minute cooldown before it can be used again.
Life Affinity Ps: The 5th level gray monk can force creatures to normalize differences in life force between beings. As a standard action the gray monk can select any number of creatures in a 30 ft radius around them, with a Will save equal to their Stunning Fist DC to negate. The current hp of all creatures is totaled and divided evenly amongst all creatures. Excess hp over a creature's maximum hp is lost.
For example, a gray monk can use this to heal a wounded ally. If they have 100 hp, and their ally has 50, they can share hp so they both have 75 hp. They can also use it offensively to heal allies while stealing hp from enemies, averaging it out between them all.
Gray Tongue Su: The 6th level gray monk does not differ between difference languages, for all communication is the same. They can speak and understand any living creature, even creatures which do not have a language. They can also understand any written text or language.
Purge Other Disparity Su: At 6th level, the gray monk can use their purge disparity class feature on unwilling targets, replacing the normal effects of a Stunning Fist with a save against being subject to Purge Disparity. This uses a stunning fist attempt as normal.
Gray Dimension Su: The spaces between dimensions begins to weaken, for the 7th level gray monk no longer can see their barriers. They are able to see into any other contiguous plane as a swift action for 1 round. They naturally pass through shortcuts in reality, and can guide allies there, and can use these shortcuts to guide themselves and allies to entirely different dimensions. Effectively they can use shadow walk at will, but not tied to any particular plane.
Gray Touch Ex: The 7th level gray monk exists on all dimensions as for them, there is but one dimension. They have the effect of Ghost Touch weapons and Ghost Touch armor, and can interact with creatures on other planes as normal.
Status Affinity Ps: The 7th level gray monk can use a stunning fist attempt to link themselves to another creature for 1 round/level, for there is no difference between self and other. Any effect which affects their target (for good or ill) also effects the gray monk, from hit point damage, to healing, to useful buffs or baneful debuffs. Once a link is made the rank is unlimited, but doesn't work across planes. In addition any effects are only copied once, other gray monks or those under the effect of affinity field cannot create infinite loops by having an effect echo back and forth between linked individuals.
Improved Gray Time Su: The 8th level gray monk can use two stunning fist attempts as a standard action to duplicate the effects of time stop in full, able to move and act as normal. They cannot repeat the effect of time stop again until a number of minutes equal to how many rounds the time stop lasts passes.
Stasis Strike Su: Once per day, the 8th level gray monk can declare an attack to be a stasis strike. Make an attack as normal, and the opponent gets a Will save equal to the stunning fist DC. If they succeed they are fine and are immune to further attempts for 24 hours, but the ability is not expended. If they fail, thereafter the gray monk can freeze the target in time as per temporal stasis at any time as a free action, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to their monk level. This counts as Quivering Palm for the purpose of pre-requisites.
Gray Body Ex: At 9th level, body and soul become one for there is no difference. The gray monk gains the Outsider type (though they may still count as a member of their original type) with the Native subtype. They gain DR 10/magic, and can still be revived if brought from the dead. They become immune to any effects which would trap the soul, for once their body is destroyed their soul's (and their body's) position and presence melts into the background radiation of the universe, unable to be found.
Improved Temperate Body Ex: A 9th level gray monk is now immune to both cold and fire, and they have True Immunity for both immunities.
Gray Life: Life. Death. Same. The 10th level gray monk is neither living nor dead, and can choose to count as either when beneficial. As a result they gain undead immunities but may still count as living. They no longer age, and are biologically immortal. However they do not gain any new age-related benefits or penalties either. Reviving a gray monk now no longer costs any gold or experience, merely the spell.
The epic gray monk gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic gray monk feats) every odd level.
A non-neutral gray monk would lose their abilities, were it not for ur-soul. Thus, once they have obtained this insight and gone beyond alignments, they are always welcome back. In effect ex-gray monks don't exist.
Playing a Gray Monk
Combat: A gray monk has a tactical advantage over normal monks, having the option to play debuffer (or remove dangerous effects from themselves and others) and repositioning them by stopping time and defying space.
Advancement: Gray monks may continue to learn as monks, or take on a martial bent with maneuvers.
Resources: Gray monks have monasteries and philosophies effectively dedicated to leaving the cycle of life.
Gray Monks in the World
|“||Life... death... same.||”|
|—Nil, Elven Gray Monk|
NPC Reactions: Most commoners do not understand the philosophical mutterings of gray monks, and gray monks are rarely the evangelical sort. All they know is that they are some manner of meditative sort and that they keep to themselves and don't cause trouble. Usually.
Gray Monk Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge History can research gray monks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Gray monks meditate and focus on leaving the cycle of reality. They deny disparity, and thus begin to become resistant to extreme temperatures, alignments, and emotions.|
|15||Gray monks can bring their bodies to normal, purging status effects helpful and harmful. They can do it to you as well.|
|20||Strong gray monks are disconnected to things like space and time, and so they walk it freely. They can even freeze you in time forever.|
|30||Those that reach this level of success can research specific gray monks, their whereabouts, lore and trivia, and other details.|
Gray Monks in the Game
Sample Encounter: A group known as the Gray have begun a campaign to end all existence. Only when everyone has been granted the "gift" of non-being will they truly understand.