Wednesday, May 20, 2015

That's How I Role: Baela the Immovable!

by Randy

Hello there! I would like to start off with an apology for not updating recently. It's been pretty hectic for us, and we've been focusing on a lot of other things. Thanks for coming back!

What I have today is a Pathfinder character that I believe would be very fun to play. She's one tough dwarf. A single-class monk, this character shows the fun stuff you can do with archetypes. Archetypes for the Pathfinder system were introduced in the Advanced Player's Guide. Archetypes swap out features of the base class with a set of themed abilities. Some are minor, and some make it feel like you're playing a whole new class.

Baela is themed on the immovable power of stone, befitting her Dwarf heritage. The archetypes used are Monk of the Sacred Mountain, Monk of the Four Winds and a splash of Qinggong Monk. The Monk of the Sacred Mountain trades some of the movement-based monk class features for ones themed on immobility & toughness. The Monk of the Four Winds is for monks more connected to the natural world, and the elements. Quinggong monks are disciplined users of Ki magic.

Baela Duerstan is a Dwarf ascetic from Highhelm. Her mother, a caravan guard, died when she was in her teens, and she was taken in by the temple of Torag. Upon coming of age, she chose to leave the area and see the world. She now wanders from town to town, sometimes a caravan guard herself.

Baela Duerstan Dwarf Monk (Monk of the Sacred Mountain/Monk of the Four Winds/Qinggong Monk) Lawful Neutral  Level 10

Str 14, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 6

AC: 28 (+2 Dex +5 Wis +6 Natural Armor +3 Monk +1 Dodge +1 Deflection) 30 (+2 Shield if she does not move)
HP: 113 (10d8 + 50 Con + 10 Toughness +9 favored class)  DR: 1/-
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +12
Move: 50

Unarmed strike +11/+5 2d6+3
Flurry of Blows +12/+12/+7/+7 2d6+3
+1 Shuriken +10/+5
+1 Shuiriken (flurry) +11/+11/+6/+6 1d2+3  10ft

Skills: Acrobatics +15, Stealth +15, Knowledge: Religion +13, Perception +18

Feats: Ironhide, Toughness, Dodge, Scorpion Style, Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike), Shaitan Style, Gorgon Strike, Improved Natural Armor x2, Medusa's Wrath, Improved Unarmed Strike, Elemental Fist

Magic Items: 
Belt of Physical Perfection +2, Headband of Inspired Wisdom +4, Monk's Robe, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, 50 +1 Shuriken, Ring of Protection +1

Baela is, simply put, tough. Though she is highly mobile, she shines most when she can stand still and hit things; she is not subtle in the least. Her Scorpion Style feat will allow her to stop opponents in their tracks (and open the possibility of using Gorgon's Fist & Medusa's Wrath). The Elemental Fist feat is her go-to move for dealing unarmed strike damage. It will allow her to use any element, but it is best employed for acid damage, which is boosted by the Shaitan Style feat (which she should activate in every battle at the beginning). When she needs to withstand a barrage of attacks, standing still and using a Ki point for her monk dodge bonus will get her to Armor Class 34. And don't forget that her Damage Reduction (DR 1/-) is always active (she can double this with a Ki point).

For advancement, Baela should take Stunning Fist next level. As a monk, she will get one use per level (and an additional use from her Monk Robe). If she uses Stunning Fist in a Flurry of Blows attack, she can get two additional attacks at her highest base attack bonus (assuming the opponent fails his save). At 12th level, her Monk of the Four Winds archetype replaces Abundant Step with Slow Time, the ability to use a swift action to spend 6 ki points to get 3 standard actions that turn instead of one. At 13th level, either Crushing Blow or Hammer The Gap are good feat choices. You may also use the Qinggong Monk archetype to swap out Diamond Body for another power not replaced by one of the other archetypes: Restoration is a very good choice.

Alternately, a one-level dip into Fighter with the Unbreakable archetype would round out the prerequisites for the prestige class Stalwart Defender anytime after 9th level. Though a Monk is not the ideal path to get there, it offers a lot to Baela: a larger hit die, a dodge bonus to AC, damage reduction (it won't stack with hers, but will eventually surpass what she has), the defensive stance and a variety of defensive powers.

Note: All of the links above go to, an excellent fan-made resource for Pathfinder rules run by John Reyst. I use this every time I make a character or plan an adventure for Pathfinder. John is currently running a Patreon to support maintaining this excellent resource. Please consider lending your support.

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