Arcane Monk (3.5e Class)

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Author: STDoc (talk)
Date Created: Oct 19, 2009
Status: Complete, V3 July 8, 2017
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Arcane monks study a strange form of martial arts that shapes their ki in mystical ways. In addition to this, they also gain a small pool of spells that they can cast spontaneously. 20 1 Moderate Poor Good Good Arcane Spellcasting Minor

Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil

Arcane Monks[edit]

The subtle force that is Ki can be manipulated in a million different ways. Some use it to empower their unarmed strikes, weapons, or to shield their bodies from Poison and Disease. What is almost unheard of, however, is the ability to suffuse one's Innate Magic with ki. Enter the Arcane Monk. His magic comes through strength of body, not strength of mind. Through intense training, he has learned to manipulate his ki to produce spells much akin to a sorcerer. This Class brings a Much Needed Update to AEG's Magic: Arcane Monk.

Making an Arcane Monk[edit]

Abilities: Strength is the most important ability to an Arcane Monk, as it controls his Spellcasting as well as the strength of his unarmed strike.

Races: Of the Common races, Humans are most likely to adopt this class, due to their natural willingness to study new forms of magic. Half-Orcs throw themselves into the martial training with fervor, as most Half-Orcs are faced with steep hurdles to learn magic, they jump at the chance to not just learn a style, but to master it entirely. Wisdom and Dexterity are just as Important to them as normal Monks, and Constitution even moreso, due to their Lower HD.

Alignment: Any non-chaotic.

Starting Gold: 2d4×10 gp

Starting Age: As Wizard.

Table: The Arcane Monk

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day/Monk Abilities
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Zen Mage Armour Bonus Unarmed Strike
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Unarmed Strike, Zen Mage Armour, Spellstrike 2 0 +1 1d4
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Spell Reflection 3 1 +1 1d4
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Arcane Empowerment 3 2 +1 1d4
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Ki Strike (Magic) 3 2 0 +1 1d6
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Zen Body, Flurry of Spells, Ki Spell Nova 1/day 3 3 1 +2 1d6
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Lóng dǎ 3 3 2 +2 1d6
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Ki Strike (Cold Iron), Improved Flurry of Spells 3 3 2 0 +2 1d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Arcane Breach 3 3 3 1 +2 1d8
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Evasion 3 3 3 2 +2 1d8
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Thunderstrike, Ki Strike (Adamantine), Ki Spell Nova 2/day 3 3 3 2 0 +3 1d8
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Greater Flurry of Spells 3 3 3 3 1 +3 1d10
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Improved Lóng dǎ 3 3 3 3 2 +3 1d10
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Diamond Soul 3 3 3 3 2 0 +3 1d10
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Zen Mastery 4 3 3 3 3 1 +3 1d10
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Ki Spell Nova 3/day 4 4 3 3 3 2 +4 1d10
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Greater Spell Reflection 4 4 4 3 3 2 0 +4 2d6
17th +12/+7+2 +5 +10 +10 Greater Arcane Breach 4 4 4 4 3 3 1 +4 2d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Greater Lóng dǎ 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 +4 2d6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Masterful Flurry 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 +4 2d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Perfect Self, Ki Spell Nova 4/day 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 +5 2d8

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana, Religion, Alchemy) (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha),

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Arcane Arcane Monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:

Arcane Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a Arcane Monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her Flurry of Spells, and flurry of blows abilities.

Zen Mage Armour (Ex): Whenever the Arcane Monk casts a spell that grants him a bonus to his armour class, the bonus to Armour Class increases by 1. This Bonus increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level, and +5 at 20th level. In addition, these spells are treated as being extended without increasing the the spell level or casting time.

Spellstrike (Ex): If an Arcane Monk casts a touch spell, she can deliver it with an unarmed strike as part of the spell's normal casting time. If he casts a spell in this way, he does not provoke an attack of opportunity. An Arcane Monk may only use this ability with spells gained from virtue of his Arcane Monk Levels.

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

Spell Reflection (Ex): You gain the supernatural ability to reflect magical attacks back on their caster. If an enemy misses with a spell or spell-like ability aimed at you, you can use an immediate action to redirect the effect back at its originator. The spell or ability attacks the original caster (who makes a new attack roll using the same modifier as the original attack).If it hits, the caster is subject to the normal effect of the spell or ability.

For example, if a 3rd-level wizard missed you with a scorching ray, you could use an immediate action to redirect the ray back to the wizard. The wizard would immediately make a new ranged attack roll (using the same modifier) against his own touch AC; if the attack succeeds, the scorching ray deals its normal damage to the wizard.

This effect applies only to spells and spell-like abilities that require an attack roll. Other spells and spell-like abilities that affect a target aren't subject to this reflection.

If a single spell or ability misses you more than once at the same time (such as scorching ray cast by a high-level caster), you can redirect each portion of the spell that missed. Using the example above, if you were missed by two of the three rays from an 11th-level wizard's scorching ray spell, you could redirect only those two rays (but not the one that hit).

Flurry of Spells (Ex): A monk of 5th level or higher can cast a flurry of spells as a full round action. When doing so, he may cast any two spells that he knows, but his caster level for both spells is reduced by 2. If this would cause his caster level to fall below the minimum required to cast the spell normally, then the attempt fails. An Arcane Monk may only use this ability with spells gained from virtue of his Arcane Monk Levels.

At level 7, the caster level reduction is decreased to -1, and at 11th level, it disappears entirely.

Arcane Empowerment (Su): A Arcane Monk of 3rd level or higher can sacrifice a spell slot as a free action in order to increase their strength score by twice the level of the sacrificed spell for 1 round, +1 round for every 10 levels he possesses. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack, only the highest bonus is used.

Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a Arcane Monk’s unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Her unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s Arcane Monk level. At 7th level, her unarmed attacks are also treated as Cold Iron weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. At 10th level, her unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

Zen Body (Ex): At 5th level, whenever an Arcane Monk casts a spell that increases his physical ability scores, he may increases the bonus to his ability scores by an amount equal to his Zen Mage Armour bonus.

Ki Spell Nova (Ex): Starting at 5th level, the Arcane Monk may add metamagic effects whose total level adjustment does not exceed her Strength Modifier to a spell she is casting. She must know the Metamagic Feat being applied. She may do this 1/day at level 5, and an additional time per day every five class levels after that. When using this ability, the Casting time nor the spell level is modified. The only metamagic effect that this ability cannot be applied to is Persist Spell. If he uses this in conjunction with his flurry of spells, then only one spell is affected (Unless he spends an additional Ki Spell Nova to empower the second spell as well).

Lóng dǎ (Ex): Starting at 6th level, whenever an arcane monk successfully uses his spellstrike ability against a creature, the creature takes a -1 penalty to their saving throws vs spells and spell resistance until the end of your next turn. At level 12, this penalty increases to -2, and at level 18, to -3.

Arcane Breach (Ex): Starting at 8th level, a Monk may ignore a creatures AC Bonuses gained from spells and spell like abilities when making a strike with a weapon or unarmed attack. The only bonus he may not ignore, are those granted by Zen Mage Armour.

Evasion (Ex): At 9th level or higher if an Arcane 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 an Arcane monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Arcane monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Thunderstrike (Ex): Starting at 10th level, an Arcane Arcane Monk never provokes Attacks of Opportunity for casting spells. In addition, when he uses his Spellstrike ability, you can cast any touch spell you know as part of a full attack action, and the spell affects each target you hit in melee combat that round. Doing so discharges the spell at the end of the round, in the case of a touch spell that would otherwise last longer than 1 round. Lóng dǎ applies to each attack made in the round, and the effects stack.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a Arcane Monk gains spell resistance equal to her current Arcane Monk level + 10. In order to affect the Arcane Monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the Arcane Monk’s spell resistance. An Arcane monk may raise or lower his spell resistance as a free action.

Zen Mastery (Ex): Starting at level 14, you gain the ability to infuse your spells with even more of your ki, allowing them to surpass normal limits. Whenever you cast a spell that has a caster level cap on the effect (For instance, Inflict Light Wounds has a caster level cap of +5), you may increase the cap by an amount equal to your Zen Mage Armour bonus. Meaning that a 15th level Arcane Monk's Dispel Magic would have a caster level cap of 14, rather than 10.

Greater Spell Reflection (Ex): Starting at level 16, whenever you are the target of any spell, you may reflect it back upon the caster by making a successful Will Save vs the DC of the Spell. If the spell does not normally offer a saving throw, calculate what it would normally be if it did, and use that as the Save DC.

An arcane monk may use this ability 1 + dexterity modifier (minimum 1) times per day

Greater Arcane Breach (Ex): Starting at 17th level, a Monk may ignore the concealment granted by spells and spell like abilities when making an attack.

Masterful Flurry (Ex): At 19th level or higher, whenever an Arcane Monk uses their Flurry of Spells ability to cast two single-target spells at a single creature, he gains a +1 Bonus to his caster level for both spells. Arcane monks are fond of using this ability when they cast spells that augment their normal abilities.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a Arcane Monk becomes a magical creature. She is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the Arcane Monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the Arcane Monk gains damage reduction 10/Chaotic, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a non-chaotic weapon or natural attack. Unlike other outsiders, the Arcane Monk can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.

Spells: Arcane Monks cast spells like a Sorcerer Does. An Arcane Arcane Monk's Save DC's and Bonus spells are strength based. As the spells are literally formed from his ki, they do not require material components or focuses. Arcane Monks know all the spells on the following list:

0— Daze, Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Flare, Light, Guidance, Resistance, Read Magic, Virtue.

1st— Magic Missile, Chill Touch, Endure Elements, Enlarge Person, Expeditious Retreat, Inflict Light Wounds, Mage Armor, Magic Fang, Shield, Shocking Grasp, True Strike, Obscuring Mist

2nd— Glitterdust, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Death Knell, Ghoul Touch, Hold Person, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Resist Energy,Scorching Ray, Touch of Idiocy.

3rd— Contagion, Dispel Magic, Fly, Haste, Inflict Serious Wounds, Lightning Bolt, Protection from Elements, Vampiric Touch, Weapon of Impact, Gaseous Form, Heroism

4th— Dimension Door, Enervation, Freedom of Movement, Fire Shield, Greater Magic Fang, Improved Invisibility, Inflict Critical Wounds, Poison, Mass Enlarge Person, Stoneskin, Bestow Curse

5th— Hold Monster, Mind Fog, Righteous Might, Slay Living, Telekinesis, Telepathic Bond, Teleport, Waves of Fatigue, Wall of Force, Feeblemind

6th— Mass Bear's Endurance, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Cat's Grace, Greater Dispel Magic, Chain Lightning, Harm, Iron Body, Mass Haste, Repulsion, Tenser's Transformation, Greater Heroism

Ex-Arcane Monks[edit]

If an Arcane Monk becomes chaotic, or gains levels in any class other than Arcane Monk, then he forevermore loses the ability to gain levels in the Arcane Monk Class.

Epic Arcane Monks[edit]

Table: The Epic Arcane Monk

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat
22nd -
23rd -
24th Bonus Feat
25th Ki Spell Nova 5/day
26th -
27th Bonus Feat
28th -
29th -
30th Bonus Feat, Ki Spell Nova 6/day

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Ki Spell Nova: Every 5 levels after 20, the Arcane Monk gains an additional use of his Ki Spell Nova.

Bonus Feats : The epic Arcane Monk gains a bonus feat from the Epic Monk list every 3 levels after 21st.

Half-Orc Arcane Monk Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Unarmed Strike.

Skill Selection: 4 ranks in Jump and Climb

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Climb 4 Str
Jump 4 Str

Feat: Spell Focus (Evocation)

Gear: Monk's Robe, 50' of Rope. 4 Days trail rations. Bedroll, Winter Blanket.

Gold: Standard.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Arcane Monk[edit]

Religion: Most Arcane Monks are not religious at all, preferring faith in oneself rather than a higher deity. Those who do worship, however, worship gods of Magic, such as Mystra.

Other Classes: The Arcane monk gets along with other classes that are martial and mystical in nature. Paladins, Rangers, Clerics, and Druids will find a steadfast friend in an Arcane Monk. He believes that his non-mystical Monk counterparts are too limiting in their training, and that Sorcerers/Wizards should spend more time on perfection of their body rather than studying.

Combat: The Arcane Monk likes to "Magic Up" and then run into battle, using his Flurry of Blows to incapacitate his enemies.

Advancement: Some Arcane Monks choose to become Enlightened Fists.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesBase Classes

Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral + and Neutral Evil +
Article BalanceHigh +
AuthorSTDoc +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilityArcane Spellcasting +
Class Ability ProgressionMinor +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
Rated ByFoxwarrior +, ThunderGod Cid + and Zhenra-Khal +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillBalance +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Escape Artist +, Heal +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Magic Device +
SummaryArcane monks study a strange form of martial arts that shapes their ki in mystical ways. In addition to this, they also gain a small pool of spells that they can cast spontaneously. +
TitleArcane Monk +
Will Save ProgressionGood +