Okay, here's what I've got. I have a player for an upcoming adventure who really likes to play monks. I don't have a problem with him going that way as long as he stays within the flavor of the Conan world, which really doesn't have monks as they appear in D&D. The campaign is starting out with everyone being lvl 1 soldier Gunderland pikemen, but after first level, I'm pretty much giving them free reign as far as multi-classing goes.

So my question is how would you use the existing Conan rules to approximate a monk-style character?


See, I was thinking of having him take a level in scholar and pick up calm of the adept or whatever it's called to make the most out of the hand-to-hand damage bonus feat (brawl? I can't recall the name of it right now). And if Vincent says that's the way, it must be right, right?

I don't like to do stuff that isn't supported by the story, so I want to have a plan in place before the campaign starts.


It depends on what he wants when he says "monk" (which BTW has always been the problem with the DnD class, no two people can agree on what it should be).

Does he want Bruce Lee, destroying hordes of mooks with his fists? Then he should probalby stick with soldier or a soldier/barbarian multiclass, take all the unarmed combat feats plus the weapon focus/specialization/improved crit chain. This sort of "pugilist" would probably be the most appropriate for the Hyborian age.

Does he want Jackie Chan, bouncing all over the place like a rubber ball? Then I would suggest he multiclass with thief or pirate for the skill points (thief) and mobility (pirate). Actually, if you want to enable him you could let him take a special variant of the Pirate class - just change the "seamanship" ability so that instead of applying when the character is on board a ship it applies only when the character is wearing no armor and unarmed (but in any terrian, land/sea or whatever). That should make a prety good "monk"

Lastly does he wants Quai Shink Kain, the enegmatic kung-fu master? Then he needs to multiclass with Scholar and take the Oriental magic style. Choose either Divinations, Counterspells or Pretidigitation as a second style then cash in the rest of his styles and advance spells for bonus feats and skills. Use a staff (reach weapon) combined with unarmed strikes (5' reach) to effectively have both 5' and 10' reach and take the Meditation feats from Scrolls of Skelos.

Hope that helps.
Why does monk always refer to Oriental cultures?
There were monks in the western world.
I like the write up of the Martial Disciple from S&P, but it is obviously not something that can be played by Hyborians. It is racially specific to Khitans and not much else. Maybe Vendhyans, but that would be a big stretch.
When I think of European monks, I think of chanting, gardening, pruning vines and copying Latin. Not really adventure material. :D