Thursday, April 23, 2015

S is for Monks!

Continuing with the A-Z challenge.

A priest kit for use with the AD&D 2nd edition game.


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The Silent Brother/Sister

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Classes: Any Priest class
  • Ability Requirements: none
  • Alignments: Non-Chaotic
  • Starting Cash: By class

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Observation, Religion, Sign Language (any one), Sound Analysis
  • Required Proficiencies: None
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alms, Awareness, Body Language, Calligraphy, Ceremony, Concentration, Detect Signing, Hiding, Philosophy, Psionic Mimicry, Reading Lips, Reading/Writing, Scribe, Sign Language, Signaling, Somatic Concealment, Time Sense.
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: Animal Noise, Battle Command, Chanting, Debate, Fast Talking, Haggling, Oratory, Quick Tongue, Singing, Voice Mimicry.


Priest Spheres: These replace the standard spheres for the priest’s class.

  • Major: Special (see below)
  • Minor: Special (see below)


Overview: Silent Brothers (or Sisters) are priests who have taken upon themselves a vow of silence. Some are priests who were forced to silence by circumstance--being born deaf or dumb (or both), having their tongues removed, or having no one to speak with from long years of solitary imprisonment. Others choose this path out of a sense of religious devotion. Regardless, Silent Brothers speak only very rarely, and then only in a whisper.

Silent Brothers may be from any priest class, though Monks, because of their asceticism, and Mystics, because of their isolationism, are the most likely to take up the kit. Likewise, members of any religion may choose to take a vow of silence, save those for whom noise is part of their devotions--such as priest of Oghma or Milil. Vows of silence are particularly common among the worshipers of Helm, Ilmater, and other strictly lawful deities, or those religions dedicated to stealth such as Mask or Shar.

Description: Silent Brothers tend to dress in the same manner as other priests of their faith, though some were some symbol of their vow: typically a black or white scarf around the neck, a veil worn over the face, or a gag over their mouths. Some orders (especially among worshipers of evil deities or Ilmaterites) go so far as to mutilate themselves as a sign of their vow--cutting out their own tongue, scarring their necks, or sewing their mouths shut.

Role-Playing: Silent Brothers are often quite different from other members of their faiths. They practice a unique magic which forgoes all verbal spell components and features an array of unusual and esoteric spells, many with significant combat applications. Because of their time spent in silence, they also excel at stealth, and thus many Silent Brothers act as spies or holy assassins for their religions.

Within a party, a Silent Brother is seen and never heard. As he refuses to speak, save the occasional whisper, he will not be found negotiating or giving advice as so many other priests do. Many view the Brother's silence as menacing or brooding, particularly those coming from the violent or stoic faiths, however, they are just as likely to be jovial, outgoing, and comical--greeting their friends with a quiet smile and communicating to their allies in exaggerated pantomime and animated sign language.


Special Abilities:

  • Regardless of class, Silent Brothers gain the thief abilities to Hear Noises and Move Silently. Both of these abilities start at a base value of 20% (adjusted for race, dexterity, and armor as normal), and increase by 5% for every level after 1st (to a maximum of 95%).
  • Silent Brothers gain a +4 bonus on saving throws or checks made to resist any effect that would force them to speak. Similarly, others suffer a -4 penalty on any checks made to force a Silent Brother to speak (such as Intimidation attempts).
  • Silent Brothers are so practiced at speechless communication that they gain a +2 on any proficiency check made to convey meaning without speaking (such as with the Sign Language or Signalling proficiencies). Similarly, other characters gain a +2 bonus on proficiency checks to understand a non-verbal message from a Silent Brother (such as the Detect Signing, Body Language, or Reading Lips proficiencies).
  • Silent Brothers, because of their special devotions, are allowed to cast any priest spell which lacks a verbal component, regardless of limitations for spheres, race, or religion. The following priest spells are allowed to all Silent Brothers (all spells can be found in the Priest's Spell Compendium):

    • 1st: Analyze Opponent, Calculate, Daydream, Divine Romantic Interest, Invisibility to Animals, Pressure Resistance, Protection from Silver, Snake Charm, Spittle, Truemetal, Wind Column
    • 2nd: Animal Spy, Bliss, Camouflage, Clues of Ash, Dark Fire, Dream Sight, Impart Knowledge, Vicissitude
    • 3rd: Blackhand, Bramblestaff, Corpse Whisper, Curse of Black Sands, Dispel Silence, Divine Purpose, Invisibility to Animals 10-ft. Radius, Resist Injury, Stealth of Brandobaris, Thunderclap
    • 4th: Animal Sight, Darkbolt, Endurance, Image of the Sorcerer Kings, Infestation, Magma Blade, Misfire, Plague, Sand Warrior, Stone of Sharpening, Stone Walk, Thorns of Binding
    • 5th: Dimensional Translocation, Gaseous Form, Kiss of Sharess, Misfortune
    • 6th: Enmesh, Mark of the Hunted, Sand Blade
    • 7th: Heart of Ice, Magma Tunnel
  • At 2nd level and every even level thereafter, a Silent Brother may add one spell of any spell-level he can cast to the above list of available spells. These spells must be chosen from the spheres available to other priests of his class and religion. The Silent Brother is able to cast the chosen spell with no verbal components.
  • From their time of quiet contemplation, Silent Brothers gain some aptitude for the psionic arts. Their chance of possessing Wild Talents is not halved (as it is for other priests), and any Silent Brother that gains a wild talent adds his level to the roll to determine what abilities he gains (increasing the chance of having multiple wild talents). A Silent Brother who possesses psionic abilities from any source (either as a wild talent or from the psionicist class) gains a +1 bonus to his power scores with any power from the Telepathic discipline.
Special Disadvantages:

  • Silent Brothers may only cast spells from the above list. They do not have access to any of the spheres normally allowed to priests of their class or religion.
  • Silent Brothers live by a vow of silence. They may not speak above a whisper, may not cast any spells with verbal components, may not use any proficiency which requires making significant noise (singing, oratory, whistling, etc.), and may not use any class or racial abilities which are dependent on making noise (such as a Bard's performance-related abilities).
  • Because they are unused to loud noises, Silent Brothers suffer a -2 penalty on saving throws against spells or attacks with auditory effects, such as the shout spell or a dragonne's roar.