An old adage says that silence is golden. For most, remaining quiet is an act of courtesy, but for the silent staff monk it is a way of life. The members of this monastic order believe it is better to say nothing and strike with a hard stick than falsely boast about one’s achievements and accomplish nothing. The preceding axiom defines two important aspects of these monks‘ lives — their vow of silence and their prowess with the quarterstaff. Contrary to popular belief, their vow of silence is not absolute. They can speak, though they do so only when necessary. In the heat of battle, a silent staff monk coordinating his allies’ actions may seem downright verbose. On the other hand, he is unlikely to utter a single word at a crowded social event. In fact, the only sound that is usually heard in a silent staff monk’s company is the twirling sound that his quarterstaff makes as he rhythmically swings it in a choreographed duel against an imaginary opponent. He devotes much of his time to his absolute mastery of this weapon, but it is not his only love. These monks are more than warriors. They are men and women of devout faith, though they do not worship a deity per se. They believe that battle and war are living entities that command solemn veneration, and victory is the greatest way to exhibit one’s devotion to these powerful forces. The quarterstaff serves as the means to achieve this glorious end.
At 1st level, a silent staff monk always seems prepared for battle. Whenever he rolls for initiative, he can roll twice and take either result. At 11th level, he can roll for initiative three times and take any one of the results.
This ability replaces Stunning Fist.
At 2nd level, a silent staff monk gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat with his quarterstaff. At 6th level, the monk gains Weapon Specialization with the same weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.
This ability replaces evasion.
A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against language-dependent spells and effects. He is immune to all spells and effects that compel him to divulge information to another creature or otherwise speak against his will.
This ability replaces still mind.
At 4th level, a silent staff monk may spend 2 points from his ki pool to move up to a distance equal to the distance he would otherwise be able to slow fall as an immediate action. He cannot use this ability more than once per round.
This ability replaces slow fall.
At 5th level, a silent staff monk may spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to gain the use of one combat feat for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier. These rounds must be consecutive, and he cannot change the feat once it is chosen. He must meet the prerequisites to use this feat.
This ability replaces high jump.
At 9th level, a silent staff monk gains the Improved Critical feat with his quarterstaff as a bonus feat. At 13th level, he gains the Greater Weapon Focus feat with his quarterstaff as a bonus feat. He does not need to meet the prerequisites of either feat.
At 12th level or higher, the monk’s skin hardens and takes on the appearance of diamond, granting him DR 10/adamantine until the beginning of his next turn. Using this ability is a swift action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool.
This ability replaces abundant step.
At 17th level or higher, a silent staff monk may spend 3 points from his ki pool as a swift action in order to take a full-attack action and move up to his speed as a full-round action. He can move before or after the attacks as if he had the Spring Attack feat. Until the beginning of his next turn, he gains a +4 insight bonus to Armor Class and is immune to spells and effects that cause him to become blind, deaf, frightened, panicked, paralyzed, shaken or stunned.
Fields of Blood © 2015 Frog God Games, LLC. Author: Tom Knauss