The Improved Monk

Written by Covok.

Author's Note:

For the google document, which is open to commenting, click here:

A PDF is available for download.

The class is finished, but the site write-up is still in progress.


The Monk is a fun class, but is sadly too restrictive and has some odd design choices. For those who prefer a less restrictive brawler, there is Ryven Cedrylle's Martial and this class: The Improved Monk. Like The Improved Fighter, this class is a series of slight alterations to the class to improve it overall. In other words, it's a Monk fix. It focuses on opening up build options, giving it fun options, and replacing talents and forms that were just unfun/too weak.

Ability Scores:

The Improved Monk may recieve either +2 Dexetiry or +2 Wisdom as their class bonus as long as it is not the same as your racial bonus.


Backgrounds for The Improved Monk are the same as those outlined for The Monk in the 13 True Ways supplement book.


The Improved Monk recieves the same amount of starting GP and Gear as The Monk in the 13 True Ways supplement book.


 Type  Base AC  Attack Penalty
 None  12  --
 Light  12  --
 Heavy 12 -2
 Shield   +1 -2

Melee Weapons

Monk uses JAB, PUNCH, and KICKs for their unarmed attacks.
         JAB is a d6
         PUNCH is a d8
         KICK is a d10
If you’re using melee weapons, use your JAB, PUNCH and KICK dice instead of your WEAPON
dice. Just like WEAPON dice, you gain an additional one each level.

Ranged Weapons

Thrown  Crossbow  Bow  


    1d4 dagger, star


    1d4 Hand Crossbow



 Light or Simple

    1d6 Javelin


    1d6 Light Crossbow


    1d6 Hankyu

 Heavy or Martial



    1d8 (-2 atk) Heavy Crossbow


    1d8 (-2 atk) Daikyu

Basic Attacks

Melee Attack
Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: PUNCH + Dexterity damage
Miss: Damage equal to your level


Ranged Attack
Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage


Level Progression

Monk Level  Total Hit Points  Total Feats  Class Talents (M) Forms (M) Ki (M) Level-Up Ability  Damage Bonus From Ability Score

Level 1 Multiclass 

 (Average of Both Classes + CON) x 3 As 1st Level PC 1 or 2 Adventurer (3 Total) 2 Adventurer          2 + WIS       Not Affected Ability Modifier
Level 1  (7 + CON) x 3  1 Adventurer          3 Adventurer 2 Adventurer 3 + WIS   Ability Modifier
Level 2  (7 + CON) x 4  2 Adventurer 3 Adventurer 2 Adventurer 4 + WIS   Ability Modifier
Level 3 (7 + CON) x 5 3 Adventurer 3 Adventurer 3 Adventurer 4 + WIS   Ability Modifier
Level 4 (7 + CON) x 6 4 Adventurer 3 Adventurer 3 Adventurer 5 + WIS +1 to 3 Ability Scores                   Ability Modifier
Level 5 (7 + CON) x 8

4 Adventurer
1 Champion

3 Adventurer
1 Champion

3 Adventurer
1 Champion

5 + WIS   2 x Ability Modifier
Level 6 (7 + CON) x 10

4 Adventurer
2 Champion

3 Adventurer
1 Champion

3 Adventurer
1 Champion

5 +WIS   2 x Ability Modifier
Level 7 (7 + CON) x 12

4 Adventurer
3 Champion

3 Adventuer 
1 Champion

3 Adventurer
2 Champion

5 + WIS +1 to 3 Ability Scores 2 x Ability Modifier
Level 8 (7 + CON) x 16

4 Adventurer
3 Champion
1 Epic

3 Adventurer
1 Champion
1 Epic

3 Adventurer
2 Champion
1 Epic

6 + WIS   3 x Ability Modifier
Level 9 (7 + CON) x 20

4 Adventurer
3 Champion
2 Epic

3 Adventurer
1 Champion
1 Epic

3 Adventurer
2 Champion
1 Epic

6 + WIS   3 x Ability Modifier
Level 10 (7 + CON) x 24

4 Adventurer
3 Champion
3 Epic

3 Adventurer
1 Champion 
1 Epic

3 Adventurer
2 Champion
2 Epic

6 + WIS +1 to 3 Ability Scores 3 x Ability Modifier

(M) means multiclass characters lag one level behind in this category.

The Improved Monk Stats

Ability Bonus +2 DEX or +2 WIS
Initiative Dex Mod + Level
Armor Class (No/Light Armor) 12 + Middle Mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense 12 + Middle Mod of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense 12 + Middle Mod of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Hit Points (7 + Con Mod) x Level Modifier
Recoveries (Probably) 8
Recovery Dice (1d8 x Level) + Con Mod
Backgrounds 8 points, max 5 in one background
Icon Relationships 3 (4 at 5th level, 5 at 8th level)
Talents 3
Feats 1 per level


Class Features

Jab, Punch, and Kick attacks

Under normal circumstances, melee weapons that are special effects for monks. Most monk attacks are rated as JAB, PUNCH or KICK attacks, in the same sense that most fighter attacks are WEAPON attacks.

    • JAB attacks deal 1d6 damage per level
    • PUNCH attacks deal 1d8 damage per level.
    • KICK attacks deal 1d10 damage per level.
When fighting barehanded, with bracers, or with weapons, monks use damage dice based on the form they are attacking with, or PUNCH damage for basic melee attacks. (See Melee Weapons) While using a magic weapon, monks add the weapon’s attack and damage bonus to their attacks, and they can use that weapon’s power(s).

All monk attacks that use Dexterity as the attack stat use Dexterity as the ability score that determines damage.


When you learn a monk form, you learn all three elements of that form: an opening attack, flow attack, and finishing attack. Each element requires a standard action to use (although some standard action elements provide access to free or quick actions you can choose to use or ignore).
Using your forms in battle: You must follow a specific form progression during battle. Your first attack with a form must be an opening. Your second attack can be a flow attack from ANY form you know or you can “go back” and use another opening.
After you use a flow attack, your next monk attack can be a finishing attack from ANY form you know, or you can go back to another opening or flow.
After a finishing attack you must start over with an opening if you’re using forms. If you spend a turn without attacking for some reason, you retain your place in the form progression. It’s worth noting that this form progression occurs whether you hit or miss with your attack.
Mixing forms: As long as you use the proper element of the form (opening, flow, or finishing attack), you can use an opening, flow, or finishing attack from ANY of the forms you know. Part of the fun of playing a monk character is tracking which moves you have used and announcing the elements/names of the form as they roll out across the rounds. Announce your action during your turn in your best Hong Kong action theater voice unless that conflicts with your character’s story.
Defense bonus: When you use an element of a form, you gain an AC bonus until the start of your next turn. After using an opening attack you gain a +1 bonus to AC. After using a flow attack, you gain a +2 bonus to AC. After using a finishing attack, you gain a +3 bonus to AC. If elven grace or some other power lets you use multiple elements of your forms in a turn, the AC bonuses don’t stack but you do get to use the highest bonus.
Keeping track of your forms: Your best choice each round will usually be between all the elements of a single category of attack. If you’re writing out your forms, you’ll want to track all your opening attacks together, all your flow attacks separately, and all your finishing attacks in their own group.


You gain a number of ki points each day equal to the amount listed on the Monk level progression chart. You can spend ki to modify the natural result of one of your attack rolls, as explained below. Talents and some feats provide ki powers, each of which can be activated by spending 1 point of ki.
When you take a full healup, you regain all your ki points. When you take a quick rest, roll 1d20 + your wis mod. If the result is a natural 13+, you regain 1 Ki point.
Spending ki to adjust your attack roll: After rolling an attack, you can spend 1 point of ki as a free action to change your attack’s natural result by 1. The change can be positive or negative. For example, you could change a natural roll of 19 into a natural 20 to cause a critical hit. You could also change a roll of natural 1 to a natural 2, or natural roll of 3 into a natural 2, allowing you to reroll the attack thanks to the monk’s two weapon fighting feature.

  • Ki powers: Adventurer-tier talents and a few feats offer additional ways to spend ki points.
  • Spending ki is a free action: Unless otherwise specified, spending ki is a free action.
  • Spend only 1 point of ki per turn: As a rule you can spend only 1 point of ki each turn. You can spend multiple points of ki each round, but only once during your turn and once during each other creature’s turn. The exceptions to this rule are forms that cost multiple points of ki for a single use and the champion feat below.
  • Adventurer Feat: You gain 2 additional point of ki each day.
  • Champion Feat: You can spend as much ki as you like during a turn. You must spend each point of ki on a different attack roll or a different ki power.
  • Epic Feat: Work with your GM to invent a new ki power related to your one unique thing or some other aspect of your character’s story. If the ki power is too good and overshadows your other ki powers (for example, like the quivering palm ki power on page 77), the GM should rule that you can only use it once a day.

Two-Weapon Fighting

Since monks are trained to strike with all their limbs, we’re happy to say that they can always be considered to be fighting with two weapons in melee, even when they’re barehanded. As indicated on page 168 of the 13th Age core rulebook, the principal advantage of “two-weapon fighting” is that you get to reroll your attack when you roll a natural 2 with a melee attack, sticking with the reroll.

Bracers as Magic Items

Monks get magicweapon style powers from magical bracers; see page 235 of 13 True Ways for more information about bracers. In practice, a monk fighting barehanded looks to bracers for magical advantage. A monk who fights with the monastery’s traditional weapons might use bracers or a magical weapon, but a monk wearing magical bracers can’t use a magical melee weapon at the same time.

Class Talents

You gain three adventure tier monk talents at first level. You gain an additional Champion Tier and Epic Tier Monk Talent at 5th and 8th level. You may spend those additional talents from talent pools of lower levels.

Adventurer Tier

Burning Fortress Style  (Five Deadly Secrets)
When you use Burning Fortress Style, you cannot use any other Five Deadly Secrets that battle.
When an enemy you are engaged with hits you with an attack, it takes 1d6 damage.
2nd Level Monk 1d8 damage
4th Level Monk 2d6 damage
6th Level Monk 3d6 damage
8th Level Monk 5d6 damage
10th Level Monk 7d6 damage
Adventurer Feat

Once per battle, as an interrupt action, you can aggro one nearby or
far away target. The target must now focus their actions on you. Save ends.

Champion Feat

Once per battle, after an enemy is damaged by Burning Fortress, you
may heal yourself for the same amount you dealt in damage

Epic Feat

Once per battle, you can deal Burning Fortress damage to a nearby
enemy that hits you instead of an engaged enemy. 

Ki Power (Certain Vengence posture) 

When an enemy engaged with you hits you with an attack,
you can spend 1 ki point to make that enemy vulenerable to your
Monk attacks until the end of battle. 

Drunken Style  (Five Deadly Secrets) 
As a free action, you may enter a Drunken Stance. Once you enter this stance, you must pass a normal save to
revert to normal. A revert attempt is a quick action. Once in this stance, you no longer may choose which stage
of your form to use in a turn. However, you may now use flow and finishing attacks without following the 
sequence. Whenever you wish to use a form while in Drunken Stance, roll a d6 and consulting the following
1-2 You use the form's Opening Attack
3-4 You use the form's Flow Attack
5-6 You use the form's Finishing Attack
If you gain an additional standard action on your turn and wish to spend it on a form while in drunken stance,
you must use a d6 to decide which stage of the form you use. If you just wish to make a basic attack or doing
anything on your turn other than using a form, you do so as normal.
Adventurer Feat The ki power now affects attacks against both your AC and PD.
Champion Feat The resistance you gain from the ki power is now 16+.
Epic Feat If an enemy misses you with a natural odd roll below 10, you can make basic
melee attack against that enemy as a free action.
Ki Power (Spasmodic Lurch)
[Limited: You can only use
this power while in Drunken
When an enemy attack and rolls a natural odd roll against your AC,
you may spend 1 point of ki as an interrupt action to gain resistance
12+ against that attack.

Real Life Drunken Masters: In the real world, practitioners of the drunken fist do not consume
alcohol to use the style. They train to mimic the motions of a drunk individual (well, actually,
century old techniques that take the best aspects of drunken movement), not to fight drunk.
Many fictional tellings feature the practitioners consuming alcohol to use the style, but that
is just for effect.

In the Dragon Empire, practitioners of Drunken Style enter a trance to use the style. The
trance is powerful and, as such, can be hard to break from, but the unpredictability it provides
allows the practitioner to take their enemy unaware.

 Flurry (Five Deadly Secrets)
You gain the following attack:  
Melee Attack Quick Action   At-Will (Once Per Round)
Special: If you use this when the escalation die is below 3,
you only deal half damage on a hit
Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs AC
Hit: JAB + Dexterity damage
Adventurer Feat:  You now deal full damage with Flurry when the escalation die is 2+.
Champion Feat: Your Flurry attack now deals damage equal to your level on a miss.
Epic Feat: 

When the escalation die is 3+, your Flurry attack deals KICK + Dexterity
damage instead of PUNCH + Dexterity

Ki Power (A Thousand Palms)

After making a Flurry attack, you can spend 1 point of ki to make
another Flurry attack against a target you have not already attacked
with Flurry this turn.

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