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)).

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.

 

FLYING DAGGERS MONK

 

Download the Flying Daggers Monk character sheets here.

 

This monk is all about battlefield mobility, with access to ranged attacks that add extra flexibility to the build. When using your attacks (opening, flow, finishing) pick ones that allow you to pop free if you are engaged, or ones that grant extra movement, or that allow you to fly.

This monk isn’t exactly fragile, but works best when it is darting from foe to foe and avoiding getting bogged down, so don’t be afraid to pull back and make ranged attacks when monsters are too tough for you to face one-on-one.

 

Talents

 

Temple Weapon Master

Turn misses into hits when you are fighting with a weapon that fits your style, which for this build would be throwing stars, arrows, etc.

Heavens Arrow

You have no penalties for using ranged weapons, and you can sometimes make ranged attacks in place of melee attacks as part of your fighting forms.

Leaf on the Wind

Gain extra move actions, fall without damage by using nearby handholds to slow you, and sometimes you fly.

 

Race

Halflings have the neat evasive and small powers that lets them dodge through battles—perfect for a flying daggers monk.

 

Attributes

Wisdom gives us ki, Dexterity and Strength are important for attacks, and Constitution is needed for hit points—the monk needs to be a balanced character. Fortunately the monk gets two +2 attribute bonuses from its class, instead of the usual one!: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 16 (+3) Cha 10 (0).

1st level

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

Racial Power: small, evasive

Talents: temple weapon master, heavens arrow, leaf on wind

Feats: ki

Ki: 1

Ki Powers: supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade

Attack Forms: claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp)

 

2nd level

New feat (leaf on wind), ki (6), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp)).

 

3rd level

New feat (heavens arrow), ki (6), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new feat (precise shot), ki (6), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

5th level

New feat (ki), ki (7), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist)).

 

6th level

New feat (leaf on wind), new talent (improbable stunt), ki (7), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability manoeuvre), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist)).

 

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new feat (heavens arrow), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist)).

 

8th level

New feat (leaf on wind), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist), feathered serpent (coils dispense blessings, feathers on talons on scales, poisoned heaven kick)).

 

9th level

New feat (heavens arrow), new talent (abundant step), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist), feathered serpent (coils dispense blessings, feathers on talons on scales, poisoned heaven kick)).

 

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new feat (abundant step), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist), spiral path (the cycle opens, spiral ascension widens, star joins as ally), feathered serpent (coils dispense blessings, feathers on talons on scales, poisoned heaven kick)).

THE NECROMANCER

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.

 

MORTAL MAGICS NECROMANCER

 

Download the Mortal Magics Necromancer character sheets here.

 

This necromancer is all about magic, deadly magic. The magic of the dead.
As with other necromancers this one avoids penalties from high Constitution, and benefits from the wasting away class feature via feats.

The mortal magics build avoids summoning, in favor of direct magical attacks. This means that you’ll have no shambling army of undead to stand behind. Your best plan is to hit enemies hard and fast, then retreat behind tougher party members.
Your spells let you do things like temporarily turning your allies (or yourself) into terrifying undead monsters—as well as more direct attacks. You can switch out spells at the start of each day, so these are suggestions only.

You are not tough, and have no undead minions to hide behind—but the death knell class feature and the death’s call spell let you heal yourself, as does cackling soliloquist. Add to that the fact that your wasting away class feature means that you just won’t stay dead.

 

Talents

 

Cackling Soliloquist

Take a bit longer (and make a grand speech) while casting a daily spell and it becomes a recharge (18+) spell, and you get a minor improvement to the spell.

Deathknell

As a quick action kill a nearby enemy that is at or below a certain hit point threshold.

It’s Complicated

Your icon relationships are worse, but get an extra daily spell.

 

Race

Dark elven cruelty is the order of the day for this necromancer.

 

Attributes

Low Constitution, high Intelligence, a dash of Charisma: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 18 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3)

Racial Power: cruelty

Talents: cackling soliloquist, deathknell, it’s complicated

Feats: wasting away

Skeletal Minion Level: 1

Spells: zombie form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, terror

2nd level

New feat (deathknell), spells (1st level: zombie form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, terror).

3rd level

New feat (cackling soliloquist), spells (1st level: unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, 3rd level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, terror).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (terror), spells (3rd level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, terror).

5th level

New feat (deathknell), spells (3rd level: unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, 5th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, death’s call, terror).

6th level

New feat (wasting away), spells (5th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, death’s call, terror).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (cackling soliloquist), spells (5th level: unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, 7th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, negative energy shield, death’s call, terror).

8th level

New feat (wasting away), spells (7th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, negative energy shield, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, death’s call, terror).

9th level

New feat (deathknell), spells (7th level: unholy blast, death’s gauntlet, chant of endings, 9th level: zombie form, ghoul form, vampiric form, channel life, negative energy shield, death’s call, terror).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (cackling soliloquist), spells (9th level: zombie form, ghoul form, vampiric form, channel life, negative energy shield, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, death’s call, terror).