Some might find fault with this but I actually believe that I might have struck upon something. Your assessment of the fantasy or martial arts monk may be similar to what mine once was; that they are wise and fleet of foot and after those attributes, being wisdom and dexterity, maybe a little tough. But honing in on the practices of meditation, asceticism and self deprivation what comes into focus for me is not an archetype that has gained wisdom and perspective and the capability to do wondrous things through insight, inspiration or agility training... but one who has punished and toughened their body and mind to such an extent that these abilities become part of their nature. I don't meditate but from what I've gleaned from reading up on it and certain kinds of Buddhism is that the act is about obliterating the self as much as anything. In some ways its just another form of self-deprivation.
So without thinking too, too hard about it I have a CON-based class that works for me. Admittedly, there isn't a lot here that's earth-shattering, it's just me tinkering with a class you can see pretty much described elsewhere. As before, this is presented for the benefit of my players but if you find it good, interesting or offensively terrible, by all means use or comment on it.
Requirements: Con 9
Hit Die: 1d4
Save As: Cleric
To Hit As: Thief
Weapon Proficiencies: Any
Thief Skills: Monks advance as thieves in the following skills: move silently, climb walls, hide & listen.
Meditate: Monks meditate instead of sleeping, gaining the same rest benefits but being aware of their surroundings as if they were awake.
Surprise (2nd level): A monk may surprise an opponent on a 1-4 on 6. Monks are only ever surprised on a 1.
Avoid melee attacks (3rd level): By taking no action other than making a normal move, monks may avoid a melee attack made against them with a successful save vs. Death Ray. They can save against a number of attacks equal to their level per round, but may only save against each attack once.
Falling (4th level): The monk gains the ability to fall 20’ and suffer no damage, so long as he is no further than 1’ from a wall to help break the fall. Increase this number by 5’ for every level beyond 4th.
Movement Rate (4th & 7th level): The monk’s base movement rate is increased by 10’. At 7th level it is increased by 20’.
Avoid Missile Attacks (5th level): By taking no action other than making a normal move, monks may avoid a missile attack made against them with a successful save vs. Paralysis. Monks may similarly dodge magic missiles with a successful save vs. Spell. They can save against a number of attacks equal to their level per round, but may only save against each attack once.
Saving Throws (6th & 9th level): A successful saving throw results in no damage when damage would normally be half. At 9th level even an unsuccessful save results in only half damage.
Paralysis Immunity (8th level): Monks are immune to all paralyzing, holding or slowing effects.
Healing (9th level): Monks may heal 1d6+1 hit points of damage, once per day by meditating. Add an additional +1 hit point per every three levels above 9th.
Mind Block (10th level): Monks are immune to all attempts to read their thoughts or control/ influence their minds.
Poison Immunity (13th level): Monks are immune to all forms of non-magical poison.
Catatonic State (15th level): Monks may enter a state of limited suspended animation after one hour of meditation. In this state all vital signs slow to such a rate that the monk appears dead. The monk can go a number of weeks without food and days without water without ill effect equal to his level and ages at 1/4 the normal rate while in catatonia. Monks are vaguely aware of their surroundings and must make a successful save vs. Paralysis to leave this state, being allowed one roll per day or once per round of taking damage.
Quivering Palm (17th level): The monk must succeed in an attack against an opponent within 3 rounds of declaring this action. If successful, the monk immediately decides when the transferred quivering sensation of death will cause instant fatality, which can be any time within 1 day per level of the monk. This ability, regardless of whether successful, can only be used once per week. This effect does not work against beings under the influence of feign death, within a catatonic state, any form of undead, or creatures with more HD or levels than the attacking monk.
Immortal Meditation (20th level): The monk’s catatonic state may now go on indefinitely. He needs neither food nor water and ages one day for every year in this state.
|Level||XP||Hit Dice||Unarmed Damage||AC Bonus||Attks per round||Special Abilities|
|1||0||2d4||1d4||1||1/1||thief skills; meditate|
|3||5,000||4d4||1d4||1||1/1||avoid melee attks|
|4||10,000||5d4||1d4+1||2||1/1||falling; movement rate|
|5||20,000||6d4||1d4+1||2||4/3||avoid missile attks|
|7||80,000||8d4||1d6||3||4/3||movement rate 2|
|9||320,000||10d4||1d6||3||3/2||healing; saving throws 2|