The Monk is an archetypal character who, because of extreme faith or philosophical bent, is devoted to improvement through extreme discipline. They can be a sub-class of any of the four main classes, using the progression of the base class; in addition to the prime ability score of their base class, they must also have Dexterity and Constitution of at least 13+, both of which are treated as additional prime abilities (earned experience is adjusted based on the lowest score.)
All monks, because of their self-discipline and life spent in quiet contemplation, have the stealth and listening/attention abilities of a thief of the same level; they are also more difficult to surprise (add 1/3rd of their hit dice, round up, to an opponent's surprise roll.) They can't use their stealth ability while in armor, but otherwise have armor or weapon restrictions based on their main class. Their basic vows require them to give all their wealth to their monastic order; failure to do so doesn't remove their abilities, but it prevents them from learning new abilities or otherwise receiving help from their brethren.
Each monastic version of a base class represents its own order, with an additional set of abilities paired with an additional vow. It's possible for a monk to be trained by more than one monastic order, but all vows must be kept. The orders are:
- Order of the Empty Bowl (Thief): Also called Beggars. Must vow to never eat meat. Adds 1/3rd hit dice to any rolls related to physical deprivation (save vs. starvation, exhaustion, falling damage.) Loses this ability after breaking vow; regains after one week of returning to vow.
- Order of the Candle (Cleric): Must vow to never strike the first blow; breaking the vow requires religious absolution (possibly a quest) and negates the ability of this order. Turn/Command Undead ability is expanded to calming intelligent living worldly beings; also includes a bonus on ordinary reactions equal to 1/3rd hit dice. Expands to animals at 5th level and plants at 10th level; includes an ability to communicate without knowing the language.
- Order of the Fist (Fighter): Also called Warrior-Monks. Must vow to never attack with a longer weapon than an opponent, which includes not attacking an opponent who surrenders; breaking the vow invokes the vengeance of the order unless the monk seeks absolution. Adds 1/3rd hit dice to damage and grants an AC of 3 when unarmored.
- Order of the Mandala (Magic-User): Also called Hermits. Must vow to spend one day out of every week alone and half of every sleep period chanting and meditating; breaking the vow negates the ability as for Order of the Empty Bowl. Adds resistance to mind-affecting spells and powers: 1/3rd hit dice bonus to saves (round up) and immunity to spells/powers of level = 1/3rd hit dice (round down.)