13th Age Character Builds: Phoenix-Fist Monk

THE MONK

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

 

THE MONK

 

The mighty monk: never unarmed because their fists (and feet, and foreheads) are weapons. Wielding the power of ki, monks are by default also fighting with two weapons. Monks don’t make weapon attacks, nor unarmed attacks like other classes—instead they make special attacks known as Jab, Punch, and Kick attacks. You also use attack forms (opening, flow, finishing) that grant AC bonuses (+1, +2, +3). As the combat progresses you cycle through forms, dealing damage for Jabs, Punches, and Kicks.

As a monk expect to be very mobile on the battlefield, but be careful not to get too far ahead of the rest of the party. You should also expect to track ki, work out which forms to use and when, and to know when to activate your ki powers. This class has a lot of moving parts to track and isn’t for those who prefer a simpler combatant.

 

PHOENIX-FIST MONK

 

Download the Phoenix-Fist Monk character sheets here.

 

This monk is all about avoiding damage while dishing it out. Talents like flurry give extra attacks, and phoenix-touched and spinning willow style let us heal or avoid damage.

This monk build works well as a defender, soaking up attacks that would otherwise target your allies. You are that unusual class build—one that actively relishes being engaged with multiple tougher enemies.

 

Talents

 

Flurry

Make extra quick action attacks each round, provided the escalation die is high enough.

Phoenix-Touched

Use Charisma in place of Wisdom for monk class attacks, talents, features, etc. Plus heal yourself. Plus deal extra damage to engaged enemies.

Spinning Willow Style

Take half (or no) damage from certain attacks.

 

Race

Half orcs get a once-per-battle re-roll on attacks, very useful for this monk as it will be making a lot of attacks.

 

Attributes

For this build, Charisma replaces Wisdom as one of the most important attributes, but being a monk it’s still important to keep attributes balanced: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3)

Racial Power: lethal

Talents: flurry, phoenix-touched, spinning willow style

Feats: toughness

Ki: 4

Ki Powers: a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends

Attack Forms: dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes)

 

2nd level

New feat (flurry), ki (5), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes)).

 

3rd level

New feat (phoenix-touched), ki (5), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (spinning willow style), ki (5), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

5th level

New feat (flurry), ki (6), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness)).

 

6th level

New feat (phoenix-touched), new talent (path of the perfect warrior), ki (6), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness)).

 

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (spinning willow style), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars)).

 

8th level

New feat (flurry), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars), death’s quivering shadow (invoke the name, stunning fist, ghostwalk of the fallen king)).

 

9th level

New feat (phoenix-touched), new talent (champion of three worlds), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars), death’s quivering shadow (invoke the name, stunning fist, ghostwalk of the fallen king)).

 

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (spinning willow style), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars), death’s quivering shadow (invoke the name, stunning fist, ghostwalk of the fallen king), flagrant blossoms (the petals open, fist shows the path to wisdom, lotus dreams the world)).

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