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Softstrike Monk (Monk Archetype)

The practices of softstrike monks date back to the peaceful eras of Imperial Lung Wa. Still common among warriors today, softstrike monks employ a nonlethal but effective form of combat.

Weapon Proficiency

A softstrike monk is proficient with the aklys, bolas, club, light flail, light mace, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sap, sling, and any weapon with the monk special quality that can deal bludgeoning damage. He is considered proficient only with monk weapons that can deal multiple types of damage when dealing bludgeoning damage.

This replaces the monk’s weapon proficiency.

Feather Touch (Ex)

A softstrike monk does not take the normal –4 penalty on attack rolls for using a lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage. In addition, he can use his stunning fist ability while making a nonlethal attack with a weapon.

Nonlethal Strikes (Ex)

A softstrike monk focuses on blows that do not inflict deadly harm. When a softstrike monk deals nonlethal damage with his unarmed strikes, his monk level is treated as 4 levels higher for the purposes of determining the damage he deals (to a maximum of 4d8 at 20th level for a Medium monk). When dealing lethal damage with his unarmed strikes, his monk level is treated as if it were 4 levels lower (minimum 1st level) for the purpose of determining damage.

This alters unarmed strike.

Tenet of Life (Su)

Though a softstrike monk accepts that death may happen in combat, he cannot abide killing in cold blood. If he slays an unconscious or helpless living foe, or merely stands by and allows such a killing to occur, he becomes shaken for 1 hour. In addition, the act disrupts the softstrike monk’s ki; if he has a ki pool, he loses a number of ki points equal to half his level, as if they had been spent.

Life-Giving Blows (Su)

At 6th level, a softstrike monk can force a piece of his life force into a nonliving creature to disrupt its animating essence. If he hits an undead foe with an unarmed attack, he can spend 1 ki point as a free action to remove the target’s immunity to nonlethal damage for a number of minutes equal to his Wisdom modifier. If, during this time, the target’s nonlethal damage exceeds its current hit points, it is destroyed. At 10th level, a softstrike monk can also use this ability against constructs.

This replaces the bonus feats gained at 6th and 10th levels.

Wholeness of Body and Spirit (Su)

At 7th level, a softstrike monk can use wholeness of body on both himself and other creatures, though it heals only nonlethal damage. If he uses this ability on an unconscious foe, he can spend 1 additional ki point to force the creature to accept a pact of life. The creature must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC = 10 + half the softstrike monk’s level + his Wisdom modifier) or the pact renders it unable to directly attack the monk and any allies within 60 feet, as per sanctuary, for a number of days equal to the softstrike monk’s level.

This alters wholeness of body.

Incapacitating Palm (Su)

At 15th level, a softstrike monk renders the target of his quivering palm unconscious instead of killing the creature. Upon failing its Fortitude saving throw, the target is knocked unconscious for a number of minutes equal to the softstrike monk’s level.

This alters quivering palm.

Resilient Body (Su)

At 19th level, a softstrike monk’s mastery of nonlethal combat lets him apply his techniques to his defense. A softstrike monk converts any precision damage he takes to nonlethal damage.

This replaces empty body.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Player Companion: Martial Arts Handbook © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Thurston Hillman, Mikko Kallio, Jacob W. Michaels, Matt Morris, Daniel Reed, Mikhail Rekun, Mark Seifter, and Jeffrey Swank.