What RPG has the Best Monk Class(including MMORPG)

What is the best Monk class in MMORPGS and RPG

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I admit to not knowing all of the games on the list, but of the ones I do know, I think D&D 5E has the best monk. I feel like they finally got the class right in this edition.


13th age has an excellent monk, with unique flow between moves.

Mythras can do a large number of options, but the stand out one based on that is probably in Classic Fantasy.

Played one in D&D 3, 3.5, 4e; also in various MMOs. Clear winner is 13th Age -- mechanically different from other classes, can build a weapon monk, wu-shu style movement.

- Graham

Greg K

For me, it is the following in no specific order:

d20 Modern using the supplement- Blood and Fists (RPGObjects). Blood and Fists revises and expands d20 Modern martial rules. There are new advanced classes (e.g., The Bad Ass Brawler, the Contemplative Master, The Martial Arts Master), style feats, maneuver feats, and a type of FX: Ki

Styles are represented by Style feats. Style Feats each require a pre-requisites feat from Brawling, Combat Martial Arts, Defensive Martial Arts, or Archaic Weapon Proficiency (which might be either a) a certain culture such as India or Japanese ; or b) something like Samurai Weapons). The prerequisites represent the basics of the style.

Taking a style feat gives you additional class skills, a benefit, and serves as a pre-requisite for certain maneuver feats, Mastery feats, and Signature Maneuvers.

The two Martial Artist classes provide increased access style bonus feats and also access to Mastery Feats

Finally, Ki is handled by FX: Ki, an new FX. The Ki feat serves as the pre-requisite for other Ki FX feats.

Ninjas and Superspies (Palladium Games): Honestly, outside of the Martial Artist classes, martial art styles/maneuvers/ Chi abilities, and the combat system, I am not a fan of the game itself. However, I seem to recall that the rules can be brought into Palladium Fantasy. Anyway, you have maneuvers like Wristlock, Arm Lock, Throw, sweep kick, snap kick, wheel kick (a.k.a spinning heel kick), jump kick, crescent kick, ), finger strike, parry, dodge, disarm, and combination maneuvers such as the Spin Kick ( a dodge and spinning kick combination)
Lots of ki abilities taken from "real" world styles and broken down into grouping. The game also provides cinematic versions of real world styles (sometimes just based on the names of real world styles). Mantisking and many others on the Palladium forums revised/modified the real world based styles to more accurately reflect them.

The Palladium supplement Mystic China looks more indepth at Chinese Martial Arts with new styles, new chi abilities, and if I recall correctly, Chinese mysticism.

Rolemaster RMSS/Rolemaster (Iron Crown Enterprises) using the Martial Arts Companion:
Default Rolemaster gives you the Warrior Monk and Monk (Essence based) professions (ie. classes), The Warrior Monk is the bad-ass Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and many of the Martial Arts/Kung Fu warriors you typically see in Shaw Brothers 80's Kung Fu movies. They use Adrenal (a.k.a Concentration) based skills to deflect missiles, boost strength, increase balance, harden the body like steel, make increased jumps, etc.. In contrast, the Monk is an Essence "hybrid" class that is less skilled naturally in combat, but uses more "mystical" abilities via spel lists temporarily increase their fighting skill, heal themselves, run on tree branches, walk on water, etc) and perform other amazing feats, however, they can also develop adrenal moves

Martial Arts are broken down into two categories: 1) Martial Arts Strikes; and 2) Sweeps & Throws. You develop each category via development point expenditure and your ranks in skills determine the max crit rating (ratings range from 1-4)

Ki/Chi abilities as mentioned above are handled through adrenal moves for many standard ki abilities: Temporarily make the body hard like steel, boost strength, momentarily attack faster, make the body "lighter" to jump farther or reduce falls. Then, there are the spells that monk can develop

The Martial Arts Companion introduces two new Monk Classes: The Taoist (Nature based monk) and the Zen (Mentalism) Monk. The Shao-lin (Channeling (a.k.a "Divine") Monk was not created in time for inclusion, but was posted for free at The Guild Companion. The MA Companion also includes two new attack styles: Nerve Strikes and Lock/Holds. Rules are also provided for creating styles including weapon styles such as Fencing, Kenjustu. Styles recommend certain skills for development, provide certain bonuses, and, for unarmed the various categories of unarmed attacks, determine your max crit rating.. Sample styles based upon real worlds styles are provided. The game also adds a third type of Chi (ki) in addition to adrenal moves and monk spells. If I recall correctly, these new Chi abilities individually much like adrenal moves and access to specific abilities are based upon style (with the caveat, that the GM is including them).

All of the monk monk classes are trained in development in Gymnastics, , Awareness, Body Develpment (Hit Point Development, Martial Arts, Power Awareness (read runes, attuning to items, divining the future, seeing magical auras) , Self Control (Concentration, meditation, and meditiation maneuvers to enhance athletic prowess, remove curses, and increase healing). The Taoist Monk development also includes knowledge of nature, the Zen Monk and core monk both have increased training in stealth, and the Shaolin Monk receives increased weapon training.

The core monk is an Essence based caster
  • Body Reigns: Feats like Breath Underwater
  • Body Renewal: Increased healing rate
  • Evasions: Increased rate of attack, increasing movement speed, dodging, and acrobatics
  • Mind Over Matter: Harding the body to increase damage and resist attacks
  • Monk's Bridge: Increased leaping, levitation, waking on water, wall-walking, fall reduction, etc.
  • Monk's Sense: Enhancing the caster's senses
They can also learn certain other spells such as those involving Telekinesis, Illusions, and Resisting both magic and elements.

The Taoist Monk's spell lists are based around studying nature. The Taoist Monks spell list involves:
  • Body Renewal: Self healing, neutralizing diseases, regeneration
  • Evasions: Increased rate of attack, increasing movement speed, dodging, and acrobatics
  • Inner Eye: Increased senses and detecting invisibility, detecting illusions, detecting spirits, and astral travel
  • Monk's Bridge: Increased leaping, levitation, waking on water, wall-walking, fall reduction, etc.
  • Nature Forms: Imitate Animals and take partial form to increase strength/damage, defense bonus, attack precision, smash objects, etc.
  • Nature's Harmony: Calming Animals, Calm others, Controlling Elements, Pass without trace, Resist Elements and Weather

Like the standard core monk class, Taoist monks can also learn certain other spells such as those involving Telekinesis, Resist magic and elements,and illusions.

The Zen Monk spell list focus upon the following:
  • Body Renewal: Self healing, neutralizing diseases, regeneration
  • Evasions: Increased rate of attack, increasing movement speed, dodging, and acrobatics
  • Zen Awareness: Increased senses, bonuses to concentration, bonus to sense motive, detect and dispel illusions, see into future, Make perception rolls without penalties while alseep
  • Zen Focus: Focus physical and inner strength to increase attack bonuses, to increase initiative, to inflict pain, stun or paralyze, to shatter objects, strike at distance
  • Mind Shadow: detect life, bonus to sense motive, mental invisibility, read emotions, suggestion, telepathy, mind control, bonus to meditation/adrenal maneuvers, invisibility to scrying, dimension door
  • Body Control: bonus to balance, bonus to escape artist by altering body, bonus to maneuvers, resist pain, alter facial appearance, alter, minor alterations to body shape and size (must be humanoid in appearance), harden body for defense, boost strength damage, shorten rest time, pass through inanimate objects

Zen Monks can also learn other spells such as those dealing with Object Reading and Illusion creation

The Shao-lin Monk are Warrior Priests. The Shao-Lin Monk's spell lists are
  • Divine Defense: increase dodging, walk walk, walk on air, etc.
  • Hand of God: enhance attacks, strength, enhance defense (AC), withstand strike as a holy weapon
  • Divine Discipline:resist pain penalties, enhance bonuses to adrenal maneuvers, gain spell resistance, reduce resting time), Holy Vision (enhanced senses
  • Spiritual Harmony: detect magic, dispel magic, spirit walk, create holy aura vs supernatural evil, remove corruption (kind of like the kid in the movie, The Golden Child)
  • Spiritual Healing: Healing oneself, neutralizing poison and diseases

The Shaolin Monk can also develop other spells like healing others. As Channeling (divine) casters, they are the only monk class that can try to channel divine energy to increase their power points to further fuel abilities, but there are risks.

Warrior Monks
In contrast to the various monk professions above, the Warrior Monk is better at Athletics, Martial Arts and Self Control skills. The are also good at sensing ambush. Surprisingly, unlike the monk classes listed above, they do not receive a starting profession bonus for weapons, butcan learn weapons at a slightly faster rate. Kwai Chang Kane from the old tv series, Kung Fu, is given as an example of the Warrior Monk

If we were able to include non-class games, add the following:

Champions 4e/ Hero System 4e (Hero Games) - especially, if using Ultimate Martial Artist
GURPS 3e using GURPS Martial Arts
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Staff member
HERO is the winner as far as I am concerned, with GURPS being second. Either will let you model a myriad of martial artists, from the mundane to the mystical.


I too would go with 13th Age. The mechanics work great and are a lot of fun. Feel the designers put a lot of thought into making the class distinct and flavoured.

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