Outside of a reference to the Sapphire Brotherhood in the Fate of Istus, I'm not aware of any monk organizations outside of the Scarlet Brotherhood.
Let's first consider religiously oriented monks; I don't think just saying that every lawful deity has an order of monks seems reasonable. With Xan Yae and Zuoken, I feel that there has to be a few in the Baklunish lands. There are probably some groups associated with Hextor and Heironeous, as well. Rao and St. Cuthbert also feel like a good fit from diametrically different aspects (serene versus zeal).
Nation-wise, I feel that the Horned Society would be the best fit outside of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Throw in the diabolic connection, and I think it's very easy to give them a suitably dramatic and sinister name.
In my campaign, the Four Bastards of Asmodeus terrorized the western coast of the Nyr Dyv before Reiner of Rao, the Company of Nine's monk, defeated them on the rooftops of Dyvers. Whether they left any behind to carry on their ways is a secret I'm holding close to my vest.
I remember Mike and Anna discussing this topic on one of their Legends and Lore episodes. I'm afraid I'm not much help beyond that as I don't remember which one it was and I don't know of any myself. However, I come from a 1st/2nd edition background and they didn't do as much with monks back then. At least not in the Flanaess that I'm aware of (I think that was more of an Oriental Adventures thing). Looking at Anna's maps, I see a lot of monasteries so maybe they did more with them during 3E+ and Living Greyhawk.
That ramble probably didn't help you at all. Sorry.
Last edited by Pan on Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
Dragon #299 details an order of monks dedicated to Nerull, drawn from the novel Oath of Nerull by T.H. Lain.
"Dungeon of the Fire Opal" in Dungeon #84 details a ruined monastery based on the sample dungeon from the 1st edition DMG. The monks there once worshiped Wee Jas, though they hid their faith from their devil allies.
The Twilight Monastery in the Cairn Hills is dedicated to Xan Yae. It's detailed in Age of Worms Overload.
Erik Mona's "Baklunish Delights" in Oerth Journal #3 details three monasteries dedicated to Zuoken. The Falla-nil monastery is in the Ulsprues. The Azor-khem monastery is 60 miles to the south. The Flannae-tel Monastery is in the Cairn Hills, and the pregenerated PC from Ghost Tower of Inverness is its leader. The followers of Zuoken built a monastery in the Cairn Hills because their god is imprisoned nearby in Castle Greyhawk.
In general, I'd keep in mind that the "Shaolin" style of monk-as-martial artist isn't a divine spellcaster and doesn't need to be part of a clerical order or associated with any deity. The World of Greyhawk has two monk deities (Xan Yae and Zuoken), so that line can blur, but there's no reason a monastery couldn't be completely secular.
Joined: Sep 09, 2009 Posts: 2413 Location: SW WA state (Highvale)
Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:02 am Post subject:
I have not really done much with monks until recently, and it was more of a 'let's see and find out' kind of attitude.
With that in mind, I used the Scarlet Brotherhood monk class as the template and didn't alter it at all. There is nothing inherently 'evil' with their abilities so I kept them as is.
That being said, I would permit most Lawfully-inclined or structured faiths to have monks. In Bastion of the Faith it mentions that monks are possible in their ranks. Hextor, too. I don't see any reason why Nerull couldn't, either. I would extend this to add Pholtus, Rao, and St Cuthbert as well. Pelor might have a small monastic order, too. Without going through the entire list of deities, I would think only some Powers would have monks.
Joined: Apr 18, 2005 Posts: 67 Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:51 am Post subject:
Everyone seems to have slightly different opinions on Monk Orders in Greyhawk. There is a great article on here somewhere called 'Martial Monastic Orders of Greyhawk, or something like that. It is well worth a read.
I'm about two-thirds done on my own Monks article for greyhawk. I used the article above and 'Baklunish Delights' as an informed starting point.
There is very little official canon outside the Scarlet Brotherhood, though strong implications of religious orders in the Baklunish West practicing both martial monastic traditions and psionics.
I guess it depends on the flavour of Monks you want in Greyhawk. My article proposes that monks in the Flanaess are rare outside of the Scarlet Brotherhood and the Baklunish West. It describes three main Baklunish orders, two related to Xan Yae and one to Zuoken. The article describes the transition of martial monastic methods (say that three times quickly) into other lands to the East of the Baklunish states, resulting in mostly single school monasteries popping up in random locations.
The Oeridians take to martial monastic practices quite well and over decades it spreads. It never becomes common because it is so demanding and so esoteric, but none the less schools appear around different lands as far as Aerdy states to the West.
I don't have any demi-human based orders, because that is to my taste and matches the 1st edition restrictions. My article describe how Oeridian schools allowed anyone who could pass the entry tests into their order, very rarely excluding anyone because of race alone. So that meant players had options if they really wanted to, while keeping it rare.
Aside from the Scarlet Brotherhood and the three Baklunish Orders I describe a sample of other orders. None of them are large overall, but I indicate their are likely to be many small independent orders. While it would be easy to have orders tied to religions it flies against the overall tone of rareness that I was going for. So I think I had one originally Flan order (of the Helping Hand) that worshiped Zodal. While other deities seemed to also provide a potential good fit, I think I went with Fharlangn to produce an order of travelling monks seeking enlightment.
How about I just get around to finishing the article and post it?
In C1 - Hidden Shrine of the Tamoachan, there are two Olman monks.
22. CHAMBER OF THE NACEHUEL (Na-sG’-wal: “the achieved ones”)
All the doors into this lozenge shaped room are made of heavy bronze. There are entrances on the north, south and east walls. In the middle of this long apartment are two stone divans, each with a human figure stretched out upon it. Between the divans is a low stone table holding a flask and two goblets made of crystal. There are two sideboards against the walls. The figures on the couches are a male and female, each about middleaged and perfectly preserved. They are very still, dust covered, and apparently dead. Their bodies are covered with dry, crackling snakeskin. The female wears a silvery bracelet and holds what looks to be an ivory wand. The male has an amulet of bronze resting on his chest, inset with a red stone of considerable size. In the bottom of the crystal flask is a quantity of silvery dust. On the western wall are scribed colorful glyphs, barely translatable from Olman as, “Beware . . . many-eyed ‘god’ (?) will bring/rain a fiery end/death”.
Mixing the powder in the flask with a liquid will create a potion of dreadful sleep. If the potion is drunk the taster will sleep for 5,000 years, or until the potion’s effects are neutralized (i.e., neutralize poison). The two bodies are‘monks in suspended animation. The male, Cipactonal (S&pak‘-tG’kal) (AC 5; Level 7; HP LO; #AT 3/2; D: 3-9 open hand) and the female, Oxomoco (Oks-E’-m6-k6) (AC 4 Level 8; HP 34; #AT 3/2; D: 2-12 open hand) have used the potion once held in the flask to increase their ability to feign death. As with the spell feign death, these two are aware of their environment and what goes on about them. If the monks are disturbed, they will instantly awaken, stand, and Oxomoco will say, first in Olman and then in an ancient dialect of Common, “You have broken/interrupted our long/glorious . . . end/sleep; for this you must pay/repent”. The two will then assume fighting stances. If the monks are not attacked, weapons are not drawn and drawn weapons are sheathed, the two will demand payment of 500 g.p. or one magic item of value as forfeiture. If the two monks are not paid or if the party attempts to harm them while they lie on the couches the monks will attack in return. If questioned about the ruins, they know Nothing to tell, save the message concerning the rain of fire,for their sleep has been long indeed. They will not leave their chambers.
The ivory “wand” is actually a folded fan worth 62 g.p. and the bracelet is platinum and worth 230 g.p. Cipactonal’s amulet is non-magical and made of electrum and garnet, worth 100 S.P.
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