Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Public (OOC) => Setting and Lore Discussion => Topic started by: -Rotten Fish- on April 11, 2010, 12:53:53 PM

Title: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on April 11, 2010, 12:53:53 PM
Title Says it all. :)

I used to play a monk of Ilmater who i really enjoyed. but i prefer to play characters from the ravenloft setting.

So are there any monk orders from the ravenloft setting? or any dieties that could fit a humble healer type character with a quarterstaff and kickboxing fighting style.

the hand to hand combat needn't be kung fu or anything, as europe has produced a number of its own martial arts such as Savate (french Kickboxing) which is how i would intend to roleplay it. a kickboxing style such as Savate or San Da.

thanks guys :)   

over to you RL Guru's
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: EO on April 11, 2010, 01:10:05 PM
Quote
A monk turns her eyes inward, seeking to use strict discipline, intense meditation, and focusing exercises to perfectly purify her spirit (or ki) and, through it, her flesh. Monasteries dedicated to this pursuit are nestled in the exotic realms of Rokushima Taiyoo and Sri Raji. In the latter domain, the monks (called fakirs in the Rajian tongue) test their inner strength by inflicting sometimes-grotesque physical punishments on themselves, such as piercing their flesh with iron skewers and hooks. The monk tradition also exists in the lonesome city of Paridon, where the local adherents have melded it with occult lodge traditions to create the "theological philosophy" they call the Divinity of Mankind.

Additionally, there are monastic orders of the Lawgiver:

Quote
Monks are slightly more common in Hazlan than in the rest of the Core domains, but still quite rare; Hazlani monks subscribe to an odd mix of Lawgiver theology and arcane mysticism.

Quote
The monastic Kunduktørs (“Guardians”) have the holy duty of watching over the deceased faithful, acting as caretakers of the fanes’ tombs and graveyards. Kunduktørs take vows of silence so as not to disturb their charges. When not directly watching over the dead, they study the nature of death itself, seeking to understand the hidden truths of this most final judgment and universal law. Hazlani Kunduktørs originated the heresy that the Lawgiver died in the Great Upheaval, leaving nothing but an empty shell of dictates and titles.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: herkles on April 11, 2010, 01:11:57 PM
I am curious, monastic orders as in the western type that was seen durring the middle ages. Would any of them exist? Perhaps in the Church of Ezra.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: EO on April 11, 2010, 01:22:02 PM
I am curious, monastic orders as in the western type that was seen durring the middle ages. Would any of them exist? Perhaps in the Church of Ezra.

The Order of Guardians (not related to Ezra) is similar to western-style monastic orders, but they are not DND monks. DND monks are based on oriental monks. They are pretty much unheard of or very rare in the Core (only the Lawgiver seems to have monastic orders).
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on April 11, 2010, 03:40:11 PM


I  like the idea of the Konductors - but the vow of silence.. that could greatly reduce the amount of role play. would this vow be lifted once the monk has been taken by the mists do you think?

ive been doing a bit of research into paridon too and the divinity of mankind. i get the setting. gritty dark victorian white chapel england. where jews and irish imigrants live in tight crampt unsanitary streets, fearing the vicious gangs and thugs. bbut where does a monastic order fit into this? i cant imagine what they would look or act like. could the divinity of mankind be paralled with the Free Masons?  a private club of well to do gentlemen?

I am a bit sick of the steriotypical way that monks on this server are portrayed, or to the other end of the spectrum, not played at all!  this is largely to blame on the hong kong kung fu movie based representation in the D&D books however.
as some of you who know me well know, i am a fighter by profession, who has trained all over the world, and have met these monks that are at the base of the dnd representation and i think its time i have ago at playing one on here.
but i want to add a sense of realisim to it. ki for example.. theres nothing magical about it... its just what we would call 'getting in the zone'. being mentaly and physicaly in the right state to fight. 

to do this, i may need to be flexible of the concept, the have been monastic orders created to follow the teachings of one particular person or spiritual or cultural leader. is there any figures that would have been important enough to have warrented a small sect of folllowers who may have disagreed with the main faith on a small key issues, enough to warrent their own sects etc?

or perhaps who dedicate themselves entirely to fulfilling one specific teaching?

 
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: herkles on April 11, 2010, 03:46:42 PM
The Lawgiver is a native of Ravenloft Relgion, so they would still be bound by it. heh.

Anyways, thanks for the info EO. I am curious if there is any more information on western style monks in Ravenloft. Could a western style monk exist in say the church of Ezra?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on April 11, 2010, 04:21:52 PM
think i could get away with a humble pilgrim? travels the roads with his trusty staff and book, in his monks habit, offering help those less fortunate. perhaps he has taken a vow to never hold a weapon, or don armour, choosing to place his safety in his faith perhaps he just cant afford it, but needs to protect himself from bandits and muggers ...with a bit of practice any one can box, or maybe he has a good knowledge of anatomy and the body, helping the injured to set bones and treat wounds, this would offer him the fighters knowledge of joint manipulation, and pressure points = jiu jitsu or hapkido?


thats certainly the road im going down.   
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: EO on April 11, 2010, 06:03:32 PM
The Lawgiver is a native of Ravenloft Relgion, so they would still be bound by it. heh.

Anyways, thanks for the info EO. I am curious if there is any more information on western style monks in Ravenloft. Could a western style monk exist in say the church of Ezra?

The western monk is closer to a cleric than a DnD monk that knows karate and all. That's why there are no monastic orders of Ezra, it doesn't lend itself well to the whole "guard with a shield and sword" style of Ezra.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: DM Macabre on April 11, 2010, 08:35:49 PM
In Barovia there is as well the Order of the Contemplative Power. They guard the knowledge of Psi.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: EO on April 11, 2010, 09:04:28 PM
In Barovia there is as well the Order of the Contemplative Power. They guard the knowledge of Psi.

They are not monks though, they are psions and are based around Immol.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: bloodandsoil on April 11, 2010, 09:30:56 PM
There is a huge monastery up the mountain.  Sun Soul as I recall.  Empty apparently of any beings.  No NPC characters...
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Emomina on April 11, 2010, 10:01:57 PM
the Monastery of the Silver Threads you mean?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Kendric98 on April 11, 2010, 11:15:50 PM
There is a huge monastery up the mountain.  Sun Soul as I recall.  Empty apparently of any beings.  No NPC characters...
Its not empty just looks that way.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: -Rotten Fish- on April 12, 2010, 06:10:18 AM
That was a monastary to Andral wasnt it? who is said to have dissapeered. but.. we know hes still around really!
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on April 14, 2010, 03:45:45 PM
Yes, the Monastery of the Silver Threads was a western style monastery dedicated to Andral
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: DM Macabre on July 29, 2010, 03:52:29 AM
Yes, the Monastery of the Silver Threads was a western style monastery dedicated to Andral

Almost no one though of course knows that nowadays ICly. So don't expect your character to hold such a knowledge. That is stuff that no character can start with.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Avatar6666 on July 29, 2010, 05:09:09 AM
Chang loved that place, reminded him of home. Wish we could have something simular for that with monks that come thru the mist. Be a cool monestary and additoin to the server i think, Just My opinion.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: HellsPanda on July 29, 2010, 05:39:28 AM
it just requires a Player too start gathering monks as students. Ray did once, someone else could do it now
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: engelfire on July 29, 2010, 06:18:21 AM
That would be so cool to have a running Monastery with monks there :) My Wuxia type fighter would really love spending time there and study together with monks.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Zedrik on July 29, 2010, 11:36:43 AM
That would be so cool to have a running Monastery with monks there :) My Wuxia type fighter would really love spending time there and study together with monks.

Spoiler: show
Unless it's been dealt with, there is a reason why no one has set up anything there. <.<
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: engelfire on July 29, 2010, 12:31:44 PM
Yeah i know :) Well i dont know ic or ooc about that place, but there was a discussion some year ago about using that place too but was made clear that its empty for a reason.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Truth_USMC on November 28, 2015, 03:26:47 PM
I'd like to revive this interesting topic.  Starting with the question....even if there are no canon orders devoted to a particular ravenloft native deity (ML Ezra etc etc.) If a monk role fit the cause, can it still be applicable to make a PC? I'd like to think it does, if you follow the practices of the Divinity of Mankind (meditation contemplation exercise and so on) But just put that devotion in another religions name, wouldnt you get similar results?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Geiger on November 28, 2015, 04:00:56 PM
I'd like to revive this interesting topic.  Starting with the question....even if there are no canon orders devoted to a particular ravenloft native deity (ML Ezra etc etc.) If a monk role fit the cause, can it still be applicable to make a PC? I'd like to think it does, if you follow the practices of the Divinity of Mankind (meditation contemplation exercise and so on) But just put that devotion in another religions name, wouldnt you get similar results?

Generally the monk class is limited geographically. Not all Monastic Orders, even in other settings, are dedicated to a particular power, they just have a belief or system.

In Ravenloft, the "native" monks come from:

Paridon (Which you know of)
Hazlan - These guys are not any named order, but they dedicate themselves to mixtures of Lawgiver Theology (ie, they're probably not part of the Church itself) and arcane mysticism.

There is also a group, known as the 'Order of the Guardian' who I think may be completely secretive or quasi secretive, I need to check the lore, but they invite good aligned priests and have their own order of monks dedicated to getting evil artifacts out of the hands of evil folks and preventing evil power / magic from spreading across the realm.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: emptyanima on November 28, 2015, 04:10:08 PM
A monk turns her eyes inward, seeking to use strict discipline, intense meditation, and focusing exercises to perfectly purify her spirit (or ki) and, through it, her flesh. Monasteries dedicated to this pursuit are nestled in the exotic realms of Rokushima Taiyoo and Sri Raji. In the latter domain, the monks (called fakirs in the Rajian tongue) test their inner strength by inflicting sometimes-grotesque physical punishments on themselves, such as piercing their flesh with iron skewers and hooks.

Those are a couple more that might be useful to you!
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Truth_USMC on November 29, 2015, 02:02:51 AM
Are players free to make someone from the order of the guardians?  And what would that RP even be like I wonder.  Also, I was trying to hint at that to take the actual monk class you don't need to be part of an actual order or monastery, more just adopt the practices, right?  I.e. a person who prays on Ezra's teaching, meditates on his role in them, and contemplates how to live their life out, then lets say exercises and workouts out to sort of dedicate a healthy body to said deity, is essentially a monk in terms of the class, although there's no canon Ezra monk order.  The RP makes sense and sort of opens up the limited prospect of playing the class, in my opinion at least
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Merry Munchkin on November 29, 2015, 02:55:53 AM
Are players free to make someone from the order of the guardians?  And what would that RP even be like I wonder.  Also, I was trying to hint at that to take the actual monk class you don't need to be part of an actual order or monastery, more just adopt the practices, right?  I.e. a person who prays on Ezra's teaching, meditates on his role in them, and contemplates how to live their life out, then lets say exercises and workouts out to sort of dedicate a healthy body to said deity, is essentially a monk in terms of the class, although there's no canon Ezra monk order.  The RP makes sense and sort of opens up the limited prospect of playing the class, in my opinion at least

A "monk" in the real-world sense (both Western and Eastern Christianity, as well as Asian) is a religious ascetic, who lives a life of varying degrees of simplicity and deprivation.  Some monks follow specific religious orders, but some do not (Eastern Orthodox is like this - they are religious and adhere to their church, but are not part of a formal order and do not necessarily follow formal rules, like the Rule of St. Benedict that some monks in Western Christianity do).  Many monks are cenobitic (i.e. live in communities, like monasteries), and some of these communities may be cloistered (they do not go out, and do not let people in), but there are also monks that live as "anchorites" (i.e. hermits of a sort, they live in isolation -- sort of like solitary confinement).  It is interesting that Ravenloft uses the term anchorite for something completely different.

In western religion, monks were generally stationary (affixed to a particular monestary or hermitage).  Friars were the traveling version of a monk in Christianity.  Asian monks are also generally attached to a specific monastery, and the idea of the "wandering monk" is more romantic fiction than reality -- Buddhist monks, for example, will wake up and walk around their village or city collecting alms in the form of food (which they are not actually allowed to ask for, technically, but people are expected to give them food).  But the monks return to their monestary at the end of their day.  The one exception are Jain ascetics -- their goal is to own no possessions (which is why they don't have monasteries) and they wander from place to place.  In Buddhist teachings, religion is not only an individual endeavor but also a collective one, so it is rare that you would find a "monk" not attached to a monastery.

The D&D character class of "monk" is almost wholly derived from the stereotype of the "Shaolin Monastery" . It is an actual place, by the way.  It is a Chan Buddhist monastery ("Zen" Buddhist, in Japan). 

So to answer your question, yes you could in theory have a monk that is solo, but if you wanted to be historically accurate, they would be a hermit or something similar (of course, there is no rule that says you have to be historically accurate, although others might get picky about it).  You could also have a group of monks that are not formed into a formal order (like Eastern Orthodox) or are unattached to any physical monastery (like Jains), but all monks follow either a religion or set of rules of one sort or another.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on November 29, 2015, 05:06:26 AM
Are players free to make someone from the order of the guardians?  And what would that RP even be like I wonder.
You can't start out as a member of that particular order, no. They're a secret society and don't just let anyone in.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: MAB77 on December 01, 2015, 02:49:08 AM

Generally the monk class is limited geographically. Not all Monastic Orders, even in other settings, are dedicated to a particular power, they just have a belief or system.

In Ravenloft, the "native" monks come from:

Paridon (Which you know of)
Hazlan - These guys are not any named order, but they dedicate themselves to mixtures of Lawgiver Theology (ie, they're probably not part of the Church itself) and arcane mysticism.

There is also a group, known as the 'Order of the Guardian' who I think may be completely secretive or quasi secretive, I need to check the lore, but they invite good aligned priests and have their own order of monks dedicated to getting evil artifacts out of the hands of evil folks and preventing evil power / magic from spreading across the realm.


The domains of Sri-Raji & Rokushima Taiyoo, by their obvious indian and japanese inspirations, are also perfectly valid points of origins for oriental type monks.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: ManticoreRO on December 01, 2015, 06:52:37 AM
What about the other monastery, of the Overseer. Aren't the followers of the Overseer mostly monks?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Kendric98 on December 01, 2015, 07:38:18 AM
What about the other monastery, of the Overseer. Aren't the followers of the Overseer mostly monks?
Mostly they seem to be all ghosts, they were all wiped out i think ?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Olywynn on December 01, 2015, 07:59:44 AM
Overseer monks are western style monks.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Olywynn on December 01, 2015, 06:41:20 PM
An addition: monks can also be from Pharazia.  They seek to become more like their Darklord, Diamabel.  Remember that Pharazians are a sort of pseudo-persian culture culture.  The desert warrior clans of Pharazia are more akin to an Arabic society.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: MAB77 on December 03, 2015, 12:18:15 AM
What about the other monastery, of the Overseer. Aren't the followers of the Overseer mostly monks?
Mostly they seem to be all ghosts, they were all wiped out i think ?

Only the monastery south of Vallaki. The Faith of the Overseer remains strong in western Darkon, especially around Martyra Bay where it is so beloved that no other religions managed to establish a noteworthy presence. See the Doomsday Gazeteer II for details.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Truth_USMC on May 06, 2017, 01:36:11 PM
I wanted to revive this to see if anyone knew of any other possibilities.  I was potentially considering making a Ravenloft native monk and I'm not really into the martial arts kung fu style role of monks, I much better like the Divinity of Mankind style esoteric sort of class, but the problem being I'm not really interested in the overt racism tones of the Divinity of Mankind since I'm playing another extremely intolerant character currently.  Are there any other sort of ideologies that support monks similar to the Divinity?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Pav on May 06, 2017, 03:06:48 PM
I wanted to revive this to see if anyone knew of any other possibilities.  I was potentially considering making a Ravenloft native monk and I'm not really into the martial arts kung fu style role of monks, I much better like the Divinity of Mankind style esoteric sort of class, but the problem being I'm not really interested in the overt racism tones of the Divinity of Mankind since I'm playing another extremely intolerant character currently.  Are there any other sort of ideologies that support monks similar to the Divinity?

A simple solution is playing an LG Monk of the Divinity, wherein other races might be lesser but they are so only because they don't have the special something mankind has (as an example).
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: DrXavierTColtrane on May 06, 2017, 03:14:06 PM
+1 to Pav's suggestion.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Truth_USMC on May 06, 2017, 07:36:53 PM
Yeah that's actually pretty good
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: emptyanima on May 06, 2017, 07:40:37 PM
As someone who did this (starting LN but moving to LG over time), this was a fun arc and still rewarding to play, would recommend!
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Truth_USMC on May 14, 2017, 01:44:29 PM
Just curious how did you interact socially with demi-humans considering the base alignment of the Divinity views them as little more than intelligent animals?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: emptyanima on May 15, 2017, 02:25:11 AM
Just curious how did you interact socially with demi-humans considering the base alignment of the Divinity views them as little more than intelligent animals?

Approached them with curiosity at first, treating their quirks with faint amusement. There was also one case where she met a character whose race was not immediately apparent, and they built up more of a rapport before she discovered his true nature.

I guess it depends on personality, and whether you are more likely to treat them with outward disdain or hold them at a distance and examine them. 
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: EO on May 15, 2017, 07:48:58 AM
Just curious how did you interact socially with demi-humans considering the base alignment of the Divinity views them as little more than intelligent animals?

Your character's stance could evolve through time; if he has never been exposed to demi-humans before, he could learn to appreciate them more as he gets to know them.

Also, you can look at how people treat animals in the real world to define how your character would. Some are cruel towards animals, others treat them as animals, fairly but saying they are "just animals", whereas others would treat them almost as they would a friend or relative.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: DrXavierTColtrane on May 15, 2017, 09:10:46 AM
I hope you take these only as suggestions about how to do it, but the fun thing about playing a character is finding the hook that makes them an individual. In particular, how can they demonstrate growth that is believable because it comes out of something that was in their original character to begin with; they just needed the right push for them to begin evidencing it.

Is there some reason that your PC might treat demihumans differently? Suppose, for example, he had a childhood friend who was one. Or once was in love with an Elven girl. Or he saw one horribly mistreated.

I've never seen Avatar, but my impression is that something like this is the basis for it. The creative part is coming up with a twist on the basic theme of why an individual might develop beliefs in conflict to those of his society.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Truth_USMC on May 16, 2017, 07:24:35 PM
They're all great suggestions!  The real conflict I suppose I should clarify with the Divinity of Mankind for me is, the goal of the organization, which is in a sense enlightenment and self ascendance.  The conflict then is how and if the treatment of demi-humans ties into that.

Also from a DM perspective if it's allowed an idea I've toyed with is a monk devoted to Ezra outside the orthodox church, who views Ezra as an ascended master who reached her true spiritual potential to leave the material world behind and join with the mists. 
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Sinful Mystic on April 11, 2018, 09:29:31 PM
Is there any where I can get more info on Hazlani Lawgiver monks?
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: MAB77 on April 11, 2018, 11:54:55 PM
There is nothing definitive per say on the subject. Although still rare, Gazetteer II does mention that monks are slightly more numerous in Hazlan than anywhere else in the Core, so a monastic order dedicated to the Lawgiver is definitively a possibility. So long as it holds to the core principles of the Lawgiver church, you are free to define the practices of the monastery you'd come from as you would like. I'd start by finding a cool Vaasi name for the fighting style.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: MAB77 on April 12, 2018, 12:02:33 AM
Found this Quote

Quote from: Gazetteer I p.55
Hazlani monks subscribe to an odd mix of Lawgiver theology and arcane mysticism.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Sinful Mystic on April 12, 2018, 11:11:16 AM
There is nothing definitive per say on the subject. Although still rare, Gazetteer II does mention that monks are slightly more numerous in Hazlan than anywhere else in the Core, so a monastic order dedicated to the Lawgiver is definitively a possibility. So long as it holds to the core principles of the Lawgiver church, you are free to define the practices of the monastery you'd come from as you would like. I'd start by finding a cool Vaasi name for the fighting style.

Thanks MAB, I'm thinking something around whip masters.
Title: Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on April 12, 2018, 08:07:55 PM
Hopefully that paragraph in the Obsidian Portal article looking over a Volo Style 3.5 guide of Hazlan has a few useful bits too!