Saturday Potpourri: Monk of the Undying Master (Monk Archetype)

Monk of the Undying Master (Monk Archetype)

The old master sighed. His long life was now ending, but he did not despair. He looked over at the worried face of his pupil and smiled. He had a secret. “Do not be sad, my son,” he said, “this body is but a husk. The true self lies within it, and goes on without it in the end.”

The endless hours of searching within and finding focus in the moments of nothingness taught the old master many things. He learned to withstand the elements, harden his skin like iron and halt the aging of his body. Still, he went deeper. Soon he could command his soul to leave his body. Now he leaves his body one last time. He is unsure what will happen when he casts himself into the blade, but he is unafraid.

The monk of the undying master is an archetype of the monk class.

Soul Blade (Su)

The monk of the undying master wields a short sword that contains the soul of a former master. The soul blade is considered a sacred weapon and the power of the monk is bound to it. As the monk of the undying master advances in levels, he unlocks the power of his soul blade and awakens the latent soul within it.

Whenever the monk of the undying master hits with his soul blade, the weapon damage is based on a regular monk’s unarmed damage at his level: see Table: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

At 1st level, the monk of the undying master receives Weapon Focus (short sword) as a bonus feat.

This ability replaces unarmed strike.

Flurry of Blows (Ex)

Starting at 1st level, a monk of the undying master can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action, but only with his soul blade.  A monk of the undying master may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for soul blade attacks as part of a flurry of blows. A monk of the undying master’s flurry of blows otherwise functions as normal for a monk of his level.

This alters flurry of blows.

Bonus Feat

At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a monk of the undying master may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list:

Agile Maneuvers, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Power Attack, Toughness, and Weapon Finesse.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list:

Weapon Specialization (short sword), Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list:

Improved Critical, Greater Weapon Focus (short sword), Just Out of Reach, and Spring Attack.

A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Spirit of the Master (Ex)

At 1st level, the monk of the undying master can commune with the spirit of the master that inhabits his blade. Calling on the aid of the master’s spirit, as a swift action, the monk applies a special ability to his soul blade. The monk can enhance his soul blade with multiple special abilities, applied once per round by using another swift action. The monk may use spirit of the master a number of rounds per day equal to his monk level, but these rounds need not be consecutive. This ability can be ended as a free action at the start of the monk’s turn.

The following special abilities may be applied to the soul blade via the spirit of the master:

  • Guidance: The hand of the master guides the monk’s hand, adding the monk’s Wisdom modifier to attack rolls.
  • Lunge: The master’s will propels the monk’s weapon forward, increasing the reach of his melee attacks by 5 feet.
  • WardingThe master aids in the defense against enemy attacks.  The monk gains a +2 deflection bonus on AC.
  • Maneuver: The master aids the monk in executing combat maneuvers. Attempting a combat maneuvers does not provoke an attack of opportunity and the monk receives a +2 bonus on combat maneuver checks.
  • Sharpen: The spirit of the master whets the soul blade,  adding +1 force damage at 1st level.  This damage increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level and +5 at 20th level.   

This ability replaces stunning fist.

Ki Pool (Su)

At 4th level, ki pool, strikes, and abilities work normally for a monk of the undying master, except that the monk must perform all attacks with his soul blade instead of unarmed attacks.

Ghost of the Master (Su)

Beginning at 7th level, the monk of the undying master may summon the ghost of the master to fight at his side. Once per day, as a standard action, the monk drags the palm of his hand across the edge of the soul blade, taking 5 HP of damage and wetting the blade with his blood. The blood sacrifice awakens the ghost of the master, who takes on a semi-incorporeal form for a number of rounds equal to the monk’s Wisdom modifier. Every four levels after 7th, the ghost of the master takes on a more powerful form when summoned. While the ghost of the master is summoned, the monk of the undying master may not use spirit of the master to enhance his soul blade.

The player chooses a race for the ghost master. Once made, the choice cannot be changed. The ghost appears as the chosen race, and functions as a summoned creature. The ghost of the master has the following stat lines (all statistics are taken from the NPC section of the Bestiary on

This ability replaces wholeness of body and quivering palm.

About mmiller

Mike Miller first discovered RPG’s in the days of TSR. The mention of a beholder or mind flayer still twists his guts with nervous dread, though now with a tinge of nostalgia. He had no publishing experience prior to writing for the OGN, but has long enjoyed creating histories and legends for his homebrewed worlds.

View all posts by mmiller →

Submit a Comment