Monk

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Monk
Portrait zahua lg.png
Zahua, a human monk.
Information
Resource(s)
Wounds + Mortification
Roles
  • Striker (Major)
  • Defender (Minor)
Rec. attributes
Class ID
Monk
Icon
Monk-icon.png

Monks are one of the playable classes in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

Monks are resilient fighters, capable of ignoring damage or even channeling their damage into powering their abilities. They have an array of effects to bolster the effect of their melee attacks, protect the monk from afflictions, or turn the tables on attackers. Most monk Abilities are powered by Wounds, but some simply have Per Encounter or Per Rest use.

Monks belong to a variety of fighting orders that have sprung up in Ixamitl and the Eastern Reach over the past few centuries. While many monastic orders can trace their teachings to the Enduring Founder, Tletac, individual orders vary greatly in their focus, morality, and ethics. Common folk respect the incredible discipline of monks but see them as an odd, unpredictable bunch who may not be entirely sane. Even mercenaries and other adventurers aren't sure what to make of them.

Background[edit | edit source]

Centuries ago, one man founded the fighting monastic disciplines. He was an old warrior who had knocked on death's door many times and had endured numerous periods of captivity and torture. He discovered a method of mentally focusing on his pain to invoke power from his soul. When he left the service of his lord, he devoted his time to developing these techniques and teaching them to other warriors. He believed that mortification of the flesh not only made warriors more powerful, but that it strengthened the souls of its practitioners, making it more likely that their souls would remain intact when they died, rather than fragment. He advocated fighting with bare fists and without armor to emphasize a fighting monk's personal suffering.

Because the founder of these disciplines was old when he began teaching and died only a few decades later, there are now many different monastic orders. Some are more secluded, some are mendicant travelers, some are mercenaries. They all tend to believe, like their founder, that combat is the ideal path for pursuing their particular brand of mortification of the flesh. Some choose to pursue this in dedicated service, some become mercenaries or assassins, and others devote their lives to dangerous wandering and exploration. There are other groups that also practice mortification of the flesh, but they are not "fighting" monks.

Known monk orders include:

Statistics[edit | edit source]

Game Resources Endurance Health Accuracy Defenses Skill bonuses
DEF Deflection FOR Fortitude REF Reflex WIL Will
Pillars of Eternity Wounds 42 + 14 per level 6x Endurance 30 25 20 20 20
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Wounds + Mortification - 42 + 12 per level 20 20 20 25 25

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Monks have unarmed attacks, high mobility, special attacks which deal status effects, and can resist/confound status effects on themselves.

List of abilities[edit | edit source]

Wounds[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
Some monk abilities require and consume Wounds on use. A monk typically begins with no Wounds, until they have received enough damage to generate a Wound. Certain monk subclasses may alter this rule.
Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
Monks can convert incoming damage into Wounds. As monks take damage, they build up their Wound resource. Wounds are the resource that powers many of the monk’s abilities. Some of these abilities require a minimum number of Wounds present in order to activate. Talents or traits can impact this ability in positive ways.[1]

Wounds are a resource that Monks use to cast certain abilities or get passive bonuses. Wounds can be accrued by taking damage in combat, and are spent when casting Wound-specific abilities.

When a Monk takes damage from any source (after Damage Reduction), the amount of damage taken is added to a Wound counter. When the counter reaches a certain threshold (10 by default), the monk receives a Wound.[2] If they are not used immediately, Wounds can accumulate until a certain point (10 Wounds by default) after which you cannot gain new Wounds. At the end of combat all Wounds are removed.

In Pillars of Eternity[edit | edit source]

During combat, Wounds disappear after a certain amount of time if they are not used (20 seconds, affected by Intellect).Verify

In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire[edit | edit source]

  • Helwalker monks start combat with 1 more Wounds.
  • Nalpazca monks gain additional Wounds while under the influence of Drugs, where they generate 1 Wound every 6.0 sec. While they don't have a drug effect, they lose 1 Wound every 3.0 sec.
  • Shattered Pillar monks gain Wounds by dealing melee damage (instead of taking damage). This works in the same way, but the counter uses the final damage dealt to an enemy instead. The threshold is increased to 30 damage, and their max Wounds is reduced to 5.
  • Forbidden Fist monks do not gain Wounds by taking damage. Instead, they gain 1 Wound when a hostile effect expires.
  • Sister of the Reaping Moon monks (Xoti only) gain 3 additional Wounds when they defeat an enemy with a melee attack.
  • Abilities that grant Wounds:

Mortification[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
Some monk abilities require and consume Mortification on use. Outside of combat, a monk's Mortification is restored, ready to be used in the next encounter.

Mortification is an additional "power pool" resource added in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Monks begin combat with full Mortification (the amount of which is relative to their current level) and spend points to cast certain abilities, with more powerful abilities costing more points. Unlike Wounds, Mortification is not typically regenerated during combat, but some abilities/enchantments (such as Soulkeeper, or an empower) enable this. After an encounter, Mortification is replenished.

Talents[edit | edit source]

  • Lesser Wounds – Lowers the monk's Wound threshold, allowing him or her to gain Wounds at a faster rate.
  • Lightning Strikes – Energizes the monk's Swift Strikes, causing anyone hit by the attack to take additional Shock damage.
  • Mortification of the Soul – The monk can cause enough Raw damage to gain a wound.

Progression[edit | edit source]

In Pillars of Eternity[edit | edit source]

  • At character creation, monks automatically learn the passive ability Transcendent Suffering.
  • Monks are able to select one ability at every odd level (1, 3, 5, etc.).
  • At every odd level (1, 3, 5, etc.), the next tier of abilities are unlocked.
  • As with other classes, monks learn one talent at every even level (2, 4, 6, etc.).
  • Monk abilities specify their own max uses and restoration type, independent of the monk's level.

In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire[edit | edit source]

  • At character creation, monks select one 1st level ability (active only), and automatically learn the passive abilities Transcendent Suffering and Wounds. This does not change for multiclass characters.
  • As with other classes, monks pick 1 ability at every even level (2, 4, 6, etc), and 2 abilities at every odd level excluding the first (3, 5, 7, etc.). Ability points may be spent on active or passive abilities, and on any currently-unlocked power levels.
    • Multiclass characters pick 1 ability from either the monk ability tree or the other class tree at all levels where a new power level isn't unlocked, and 1 ability for both classes at all levels where a new power level is unlocked (1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19).
  • Monks use Wounds (an accrued resource) to cast certain abilities. Max wounds, threshold and damage conversion does not scale with the character level.
  • Monks use Mortification (a power pool resource) to cast certain abilities. As with other power pool resources, the monk starts with a pool of 3 Mortification, which is increased by 1 at every power level, capping out at 11.
  • As with other classes, new ability power levels are learned every second level from level 1 (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13), then every third level from level 13 (16, 19). Multiclass characters may only learn up to (and including) power level 7 abilities, and unlock a new power level every third level from level 1 (1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19).
Ability points at each level
Level Power level learned Points available
Single Multi Single Multi
1 1 (I) 1 (I) 1 1+1
2 1 1
3 2 (II) 2 1
4 2 (II) 1 1+1
5 3 (III) 2 1
6 1 1
7 4 (IV) 3 (III) 2 1+1
8 1 1
9 5 (V) 2 1
10 4 (IV) 1 1+1
11 6 (VI) 2 1
12 1 1
13 7 (VII) 5 (V) 2 1+1
14 1 1
15 2 1
16 8 (VIII) 6 (VI) 1 1+1
17 2 1
18 1 1
19 9 (IX) 7 (VII) 2 1+1
20 1 1
Power pool capacity
Power
level
Character level Power
pool
Single Multi
1 (I) 1 1 3
2 (II) 3 4 4
3 (III) 5 7 5
4 (IV) 7 10 6
5 (V) 9 13 7
6 (VI) 11 16 8
7 (VII) 13 19 9
8 (VIII) 16 22 10
9 (IX) 19 25 11
10 (X) 22 28 11
11 (XI) 25 - 11
12 (XI) 28 - 11

Subclasses[edit | edit source]

Monks in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire are able to choose between four subclasses (or no subclass): Helwalker, Nalpazca, Shattered Pillar, and Forbidden Fist. A fifth subclass Sister of the Reaping Moon is exclusive to the companion Xoti.

Helwalker[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
All Helwalkers undergo a ceremonial death rite as part of their initiation. The experience allows them to start combat with extra Wounds and to draw physical strength from their Wounds at the cost of increased vulnerability.
Bonus Penalty
  • Begin combat with more Wounds.
  • Helwalker monks gain Might for each Wound they have.
  • Helwalker monks take more damage for each Wound they have.

Nalpazca[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
The Nalpazca are an order of monks who meditate on the differences between the material world and the perceived world through the use of mind-altering substances. Originating in Ixamitl, the nalpazca are respected in their homelands but often disregarded as fools when traveling abroad. Their extensive dabbling with the boundaries of reality can give others the impression that they are addled or simply insane.
Bonus Penalty
  • All drug effects last longer.
  • Generate Wounds while receiving the bonus of drugs.
  • Crash penalties from drugs cause the monk to be unable to receive healing.
  • Degenerate Wounds while not benefiting from drugs.

Shattered Pillar[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
Unlike other monastic orders, monks of the Shattered Pillar philosophy gain power from causing pain and harm. While not inherently sadistic, the order does attract many practitioners who delight in the suffering of others.
Bonus Penalty
  • Gain Wounds by melee weapon damage inflicted. (Does not count abilities)
  • Cannot gain Wounds from damage received.
  • Required threshold to gain Wounds is increased.
  • Max Wound limit is decreased.

Forbidden Fist[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
Followers of cryptic teachings rooted in a dark past, these monks are among the few granted - or cursed - with knowledge of forbidden techniques. Their martial prowess was said to corrupt the very soul of the wielder. Believing that great and terrible events justify their use, these monks travel Eora weighting the balance between the purity of their soul and the necessity of conflict.
Bonus Penalty
  • No longer gain Wounds from damage received.

Sister of the Reaping Moon[edit | edit source]

Items in italics are quoted directly from the game.
A monastic order of Gaun, the reaping aspect of Eothas, Sisters of the Reaping Moon are most effective against opponents who are already at death's door.
Note: Xoti only
Bonus Penalty
  • Gain Buckler proficiency. (Binding Block)
  • Gain Wounds when defeating an enemy with a melee attack.

Suggestions[edit | edit source]

Monks consists of the most well rounded melee specialists available. You can shape them to become incredibly tanky, intense damage dealers, or some thing in between. They also offer the best ability choices available for slipping behind into the enemy's back line in a fight to lock down a tactically important enemy caster. They sort of could be considered the "commando" class, when you need some thing taken care of while the battle rages. You can literally mix any weapon, armor, and shield combination with this class and perform well as long as you respect what goes well with each other. Monks will default to using unarmed combat for using a melee ability against a close opponent if you have a single ranged weapon equipped, so you will not generally suffer an Accuracy penalty in that regard. Normal melee attacks will still incur an Accuracy penalty and slow speed, while you have the ranged weapon equipped. If you want to choose a character that is easy to play on the front line, then monks makes the best choice before fighters. However if you want a tankier character for your group, then fighter makes a somewhat better choice.

If you want to multiclass, then Monk + Fighter (aka Brawler) is hard to beat. You can get all the goodness from Fighter Stances while knocking some one around silly with Monk abilities. Monk + Rogue (Trickster) can prove especially nasty at dealing damage to an opponent while keeping them tactically locked down. While monks provide superior combat abilities, the class mostly win through attrition. This means it can take a long time for them to gain victory, but they almost always come out a bit better in an equal fight. If you spell buff them properly, then they can even wander into a crowd, cause some havoc, and then leave with little trouble, buying you some time for the rest of your team. In any situation, a monk survives by disrupting; not by tanking. If you leave them in a group of melee enemies, then they might not fare so well. How ever with some proper resistances and bit of healing, they can handle spell casters with little trouble as the rest of your group works on the enemy's front line. A strange mix is Monk + Wizard (aka Sake) - with the defensive and weapon type Spells, they could wreck some serious damage. Spell Reflection alone could make it worth it.

Related items[edit | edit source]

Icon Name Item type Enchantments
Glove blood testament icon.png Blood Testament Gloves
Quarterstaff greenstone staff icon.png Greenstone Staff [WM1]
(Soulbound)
Quarterstaff
The long pain icon.png Long Pain Fists
Club war club of the mataru icon.png War Club of the Mataru [DP]
(Soulbound)
Club
Breastplate ryonas breastplate icon.png Ryona's Breastplate [WM2]
(Soulbound)
Breastplate

Notable characters[edit | edit source]

Pillars of Eternity
The White March - Part I
The White March - Part II
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

References[edit source]