While monks draw their power from the psionic source, they don’t have augmentable abilities like the other psionic classes. Instead, they have full disciplines.
Full discipline is a new keyword for monk powers. Some monk powers (including all of a monk’s at-wills) have this keyword and offer the player two different ways to use the power. One is as an attack power that is generally not too different from any other striker attack. The other is a movement power. The movement powers take many forms — shifting several squares, leaping across the battlefield, and so on.
Since many of the monk’s attacks combine battlefield maneuverability with single-target attacks, the full discipline powers give monks unprecedented mobility. My favorite powers are the daily “dance” powers. For example, the level 15 Daily Dancer on the Sea of Battle lets the monk shift her speed and make an attack against every enemy she moves adjacent to. The attack deals 3d10 + Dex damage! Not too shabby. It seems like a monk would play very similar to the Drow barbarian I created.
Monks are more than basic strikers with fast feet. Their reliance on dexterity is aided by their awesome ability to fight without armor or a weapon. They get an inherent +2 AC bonus when wearing cloth armor or no armor and are not using a shield, and certain feats can increase a monk’s unarmored defenses even more. A monk’s “weapon” is the unarmed strike, which does 1d8 damage, and can be bumped to 1d10 with a feat. That ranks among the better weapons in the game, but is far less cumbersome. Imagine the smug grin on your monk’s face when you are granted an audience with the Scarlet Vizier, and his men-at-arms insist that the party leave all their weapons at the door.
Weapons are an option though, since monk attacks are implement powers. You could use a quarterstaff, or just wear a ki focus (a new type of magic item designed for monks) to boost your punches and kicks. Either way, monks travel pretty light.
My one disappointment is that monks didn’t get the augment abilities of the other psionic classes. It would be really evocative to have a monk “channel his chi” or something like that to unleash a more potent attack. I’m hoping the inevitable Psionic Power book will have a suite of augment abilities for monks.
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