Today I do an open-hand monk. This character is partly inspired by a new tester joining the test campaign, but her backstory gives her some odd abilities and she also has Swift Magic (normal for monks). In this exercise I wanted to make a magicless monk for comparison.
Lirva trained among an order of monks dedicated to Sylvana, goddess of tranquility. As part of their religious code, Lirva vowed never to kill another sentient being, dedicating herself to peace. But the monks were not naive. They trained for combat, but eschewed the use of weapons that could easily become deadly, instead focusing on disarming and disabling their foes. Lirva excelled in combat, but most of the order considered her withdrawn, more of a scholar and fighter than a servant of Sylvana. She never advanced in the ranks. It was to the high priest’s surprise that when Sylvana declared a representative from their order to go on a holy quest, Lirva was the one chosen.
Equipped by the order for her journey, Lirva Melowkig set out on the quest laid before her, to bring peace to the region. She joined with a company of adventurers, some less than savory, in the pursuit of her quest. The others were violent and had no respect for the lives of their enemies. Lirva grew more and more talented as a fighter, using her skills and speed to force surrenders from the enemy, or render them unconscious before her allies could kill them. She grew in favor with Sylvana as the quest went on.
Strength: 8, Constitution: 18, Dexterity: 24,
Wisdom: 12, Intelligence: 16, Charisma: 6
Abilities: Meditation I, Hand Fighting III, Parry Mastery V, Incapacitate III, Disarm V, Arcane Knowledge I, Prayer I, Sunder III, Jump I
Skills: Will I, Agility V
Lirva’s personality is the most obvious way to deviate from the standard character: make your character a pacifist. In this case, her pacifism can grant her divine power, as long as she is faithful to it. By making such a backstory, the player puts herself in a corner.
This does not mean she cannot be useful in combat. Hand fighting is a very viable combat method, whose main draw back is that all parry attempts must be made as disarm attempts. With Disarm V, Lirva disarms better than she parries anyway, negating that problem. She also bypasses the self damage that comes from attacking an armored opponent by having Sunder III.
With her Parry Mastery V, she can parry 2 times on each hand without penalty, only takes half penalties on subsequent parries, and is capable of parrying both thrown and projectile weapons. When attacking, she hits over 95% of the time and gets critical hits 50% of the time. When parrying melee attacks, she succeeds 99.5% of the time and disarms the enemy 62.5% of the time. When parrying thrown weapons, she succeeds over 95% of the time, catching the weapon 50% of the time. When parrying projectiles like bolts and arrows, she knocks them down over 90% of the time and catches them 37.5% of the time.
Again, in keeping with her deity’s tenants, Lirva has Incapacitate cross class. With Incapacitate III and high intelligence she has an 84% chance of knocking unconscious anyone she takes by surprise. To capitalize on this, in later levels she may seek levels in Stealth cross class from the Master Weaver.
Overall, Lirva is a capable fighter. Though perhaps slower dispatching foes in open combat than other types of combatants, she is very capable of defending herself from all kinds of attacks (including grapples with her high speed, dexterity, and intelligence). In the next couple levels she would gain the ability to use spell points when sundering and become more effective against armored enemies. Depending on who her companions are, she may be either a pious stick in the mud or the religious center of the party.
Did you like seeing a higher level character? Let us know below. We’ll do more in coming weeks.