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Author Topic: Monastic Orders in the Core  (Read 11849 times)

Merry Munchkin

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #25 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.


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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #26 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.

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MAB77

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #27 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.
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ManticoreRO

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #28 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?
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Kendric98

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #29 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 ?

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2015, 07:59:44 AM »
Overseer monks are western style monks.

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #31 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.

MAB77

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #32 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.
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Truth_USMC

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #33 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?
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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #34 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).
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DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2017, 03:14:06 PM »
+1 to Pav's suggestion.
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Truth_USMC

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2017, 07:36:53 PM »
Yeah that's actually pretty good
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emptyanima

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #37 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!

Truth_USMC

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #38 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?
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emptyanima

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #39 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. 

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #40 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.

DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #41 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.
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Truth_USMC

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #42 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. 
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Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2018, 09:29:31 PM »
Is there any where I can get more info on Hazlani Lawgiver monks?
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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #44 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.
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MAB77

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #45 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.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 02:46:45 PM by MAB77 »
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Sinful Mystic

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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #46 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.
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Re: Monastic Orders in the Core
« Reply #47 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!