Monks are the iconic martial artists and students of esoteric mysticism of the core rules, dealing significant damage with their bare hands, leaping across battlefields, and learning exotic fighting styles and combat techniques. They are also among the most hotly debated of classes, with different groups of players envisioning them as scouts, front-line combatants, skirmishers, mystics, or self-sufficient adventurers who are mostly useful because they don’t require as much support as most classes. Of course these different ideas and play styles are sometimes mutually exclusive, and the core monk offers little customization to help build a character matching one of those concepts outside what bonus feats can be selected.
The Genius Guide to the Talented Monk rewrites the classic monk class to use talents, rather than static class abilities and bonus feats. Rather than require all monks to be masters of unarmed attacks and self-perfection, each monk can have custom-fit class abilities to match a player’s specific concept. This greater flexibility allows the monk to be the default esoteric-combat-style-oriented character without limiting it to just one or two styles of fighting. Like a rogue, a talented monk character can pick and choose from a range of similarly-powered abilities appropriate for the monk’s role, without making the class overpowered. The talented monk can still fill the same roles in a party, but can customize his combat style and abilities to fill a much broader range of concepts.
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