Monk Orders in Greyhawk?



Jan 13, 2004 22:09:07
As I was reading through the LGG, I started wondering what monk orders are present in Flanaess. Can any of you tell me what monk orders there are? And is there any way that I can tie some oriental stuff in with Greyhawk? As I have just allowed my players to use certain prestige classes and weapons from Oriental Adventures, I would like to know, if that would be completely inappropriate for Greyhawk.

It seems that only Xan Yae and Zuoken "support" monks in a way, and I haven't found any information concerning orders affiliated with these gods. Or maybe I'm not looking hard enough...?


Jan 14, 2004 19:48:20
Don't anyone in here have an idea about what monk orders are present in Greyhawk? Come on guys, I know that you know something


Jan 14, 2004 20:53:59
well there is the scarlet brotherhood.

mostly the monks who follow the gods you listed have not been much diuscused because the Baklunish lands were never all that well developed.


Jan 15, 2004 12:02:32
Then let's develop them! Who's got an idea!?


Jan 15, 2004 16:44:12
Sorry, it seems I started a similar thread without reading this one...colour me embarassed. Check out my thread above for some very rough ideas for Cuthbert and Pholtus monks. Sorry if this is considered a cross post.


Jan 16, 2004 1:00:18
This is exactly what peeved me about the LGG (no offence to the authors).

Greyhawk is the core setting for 3e. 3e has monks. Sure you dont have to use monks, but... surely the only official 3e guide on the world should have at least provided a few options for monk orders, other than the obvious Scarlet Brotherhood!

I find that so terribly annoying.

I have posted a thread similar to this in the past and I'm sure others have also. There is a desperate need for this information. Hmmm. Who can help?

Eric Mona - any chance of an article on this in LGJ? Doesn't have to be a long one, just give us a starting point.

I've also found it curious that it seems a large majority of Greyhawkers on this board dont seemed to be bothered by this lack of information. Maybe you guys aren't using monks??

When I posted about monks earlier I have a few comments from people saying they were very reticent to have non-human monk orders. I can understand that. Maybe in FR but it doesn't seem to fit in Greyhawk.

IMC I am creating a few orders. At this stage I'm leaning towards having non-humans who want to study join an order that is open to all races (but see more below).

I really like your order for Pholtus "Order of the Blinding Strike". It is very tempting to create monk orders based around many of the lawful aligned deities. But to me this creates too many and might not fit with some of the deities. I had not actually considered Pholtus until I read your post.

Here are some of my suggestions for monk orders in Greyhawk:

1) A religious order based around reason and serenity. They worship Rao and concentrate of using negotiation and reason - but it that doesn't work.....

Maybe you could let these guys use light maces as monk weapons. LG only. Allow to freely multi-class with clerics..

2) A semi-religious order paying homage to St. Cuthbert. Order of the Oaken Staff or something like that. These guys would be like you suggested. Perhaps using wooden impact weapons like staff, tonfa and club. LG or LN. Allow to freely multi-class with clerics, maybe fighters?

3) A Baklunish order worshipping Zouken called Order of the Iron Fist (da'shon). They shun the use of weapons and focus on acheiving perfect mind (edel) and body (da'shon). They tend not to open up to non-baklunish but they might. IMC this would be one of the initial orders - the earliest dating back quite some time, possibly from which other orders branched off. Freely multi-class with cleric, psionic classes...

4) A non-religious order called the Order of the Dancing Dragon. Assorted alignments. Moves/style replicates the movements of a dragon. Use the following weapons: Dragons teeth (Sai), Dragon's Claw (Clawed Bracers) and/or Dragons tail (3-pce staff).
One of the more popular generic kind of orders. Open to any one. Founded by an Oeridian who might have learned some stuff from baklunish monks. Freely multi-class with fighter.

Other ideas:

Order of the White Tomb (I saw this on a web site somewhere - not my idea, quite liked it) Scholastic monks who worship Delleb. They are LG and spend time training and acquiring knowledge, scribing etc. Use darts like Delleb.

If you want a non-human order:

Order of the Arcane Fist: A tiny order based in Celene of LG Elves and Half Elves. The are taught to combine their natural talent with magic so they can freely multi-class as wizards. As such, the spells they learn usually focus on improving the body or the fighting ability (such as Cat's Grace, Mage Armour etc).

Order of the Hammerfist: Dwarven order present at only the largest dwarven populations. Pay homage to Moradin, taught to forge there bodies like stone and use their hands like Moradin's hammer. Serve the church of Moradin and his clergy. Light hammer as monk weapon. Freely multi-class as fighter, cleric.

I'll post other stuff when I have more time.


Jan 16, 2004 1:10:38
I like the above ideas for orders, I'm definitely taking some notes on those.


Jan 16, 2004 9:49:48
Hmm...just a thought...don't you think that ALL of the monks of a particular order would be of the same alignment. I just can't see an order with some LN and some LG monks.

OTOH, an "umbrella order" of a single deity or style may have branches with differing alignments. For example, maybe there are both LG and LN monks dedicated to St. Cuthbert; the Order of the Oaken Staff and the Order of the Ruby Fist. Each would play a slightly different role and have different responsibilities. A non-religious order might be likened to real life martial arts. A single art might have variations in style such as Aikido having the Aikikai and Ki Society variations.

Just more food for thought.


Jan 16, 2004 18:37:26
I will chime in here.

The book that 'rewrote' 2E to 3E also had the names of several other orders of monks then the Scarlet Brotherhood. I can't remember the name at present however. It's the one that detailed the home city of the Brotherhood, however.

Also note that the Iconic PC's adventure in Greyhawk, do they not? That means Ember's Order, and that of their Nerullian rivals, is in Greyhawk. (from the books on the Iconics).

I submit there is probably a lot of monkish orders, but because they don't organize on mass scales and tend to be low key, there's been no reason to talk about them.



Jan 16, 2004 18:48:23
Actually I think the iconic novels are simply generic with no setting world. I've read a few and didn't recognize any of the names as Greyhawk-specific.


Jan 16, 2004 22:27:42
I do think you can have different alignments in the same order. Some orders would be all the same, for instance, those firmly in favour of good pursuits. An order dedicated to Rao maybe.

Other orders could have a mix. I remember that the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom were from all alignments, and while they are not monks there are similarities between knights and monks.

An order like the Order of the Dancing Dragon maybe more focussed on skill, teaching and expasion of the order, so much so that they do keep close tabs on the morale alignment of all the students. So it might be reasonable to have all three alignments represented. Perhaps monasteries located in different geographical regions might tend to have different alignments even though they are from the same order.

I want some more ideas for monk orders. Lets go. Somebody make some up and post them. There must be some more creative people out there.


Jan 16, 2004 23:07:09
I would not get to caught up in the alignment issue as it pertains to monks of the same order. If you are going to play by the 3.5 PHB, the only concern regaring alignment is that the Character be Lawful. I don't play with alignment, so it's a non-issue with me, personally.

Regarding ideas for monks - are you guys looking for ideas on monastic orders? Or are you looking for PrC ideas. I hope not PrCs, as there are freaking plenty of them out there. If it is the development of an order, I like the Pholtan and Cuthbertine orders as discussed thus far. I think those ideas are a great start.

I, personally, cannot see a Raoan monastic order. Rao, being of Flannish persuasion, does not seem to be matrial enough to fit the monk personality. A Raoan Cleric even seems to bit a bit superfulous. I know they are out there (Hazen), but they should be few and far between. And, I don't percieve Flannae as ordered and regimented enough to form such an organization.

Unless, lol, the Oeridians whom have adpoted Rao have brought the martial paradigm to Rao's extant church. That I can buy. So, perhaps I just nullified my above statement. But still, I see Oeridians as way more sword and club than fist and foot. But, hey, I am thinking this out as I type, lol. ;)


Jan 17, 2004 1:48:47
Hey, if the Archcleric can rule an entire land of religious diviersity, I see no reason why monks would not have an order within the church. They are Flan, but they are not Wolf Nomads(who Ido not see supporting a monastery realistically). Monkish orders are definitely more probable within a more civilized society.


Jan 17, 2004 1:51:42
Wasn't there a monkish order in one of the LGJ's? Something about Irongate I believe.(Books are in the wife's car right now)


Jan 17, 2004 2:56:22
Here are a few more ideas:


Jan 17, 2004 8:13:03
The plethora of prestige classes builds one's monkish orders. I have used the ones from the various d20 products to populate many monkish orders across the Flaneass, wherever the prestige class seems to fit. The fighting styles and subcultures of each are determined by the prerequisites for the prestige class. Most members of the order are of the standard monk variety, but most aspire to become true members of the prestige class. Most of the details of how the order works are already figured out, you simply have to figure out where you want to place it, and how it coincides with the local power structure.


Jan 17, 2004 10:35:30
Aside from the SB, monatic orders have never been very high-profile in GH. The earliest reference I know of to a non-SB monk was the pregenerated PC in C2 (Ghost Tower of Inverness)--I think her name was Li Hon or somesuch, & she is described as "Baklunish". If IIRC, the flavor text mentions that her order has much prestige in the Duchy of Urnst, at least during the time it is set (during the short reign of Justinian Lorinar, Karll's brother, who reigned for a few years in the early 570s).

Another early reference is to the goddess Xan Yae in the '83 boxed set, but no specific organizations are mentioned. The LGG also adds Zuoken to the mix.

T1-4 (Temple of Elemental Evil) has a monk NPC (Turruko?) who is Baklunish, & also evil, IIRC.

I believe a non-SB monk also appears in either UK2 (the Sentinel) or UK3 (the Gauntlet), which take place in the Duchy of Berghoff, in the southwestern Hold of the Sea Princes.

The monks from Kara-Tur who appear in WG8 (Fate of Istus) were purged from canon by Sean K Reynolds when he wrote the Scarlet Brotherhood supplement..

To sum things up, published Greyhawk has perhaps six known monastic orders (some of which may be varations of the same orders), off the top of my head:

1. The Scarlet Brotherhood
2. Monks of Xan Yae
3. Monks of Zuoken
4. The monastery in the Duchy of Urnst
5. The monks of Berghoff
6. Turruko's order


Jan 17, 2004 13:27:35
actualy LI Hon's race (other then human) is never mentioned, and this is all of the background that the module give about her...
The Duke then turns and slowly bows to the last of your
group; the tall barefoot woman. "Of all you five," declares
the Duke, "Li Hon is the only one here who should not spend
the rest of her life in prison for some crime. I am deeply
honored, Li Hon, that your monastery saw fit to offer your
services to me as payment of this year's taxes."



Jan 17, 2004 14:49:55
N1, "Against the Cult of the Reptile God", also features 3 "evil monks" (that's all that is written about them). They can be found in the meditation cells in the Temple of Merikka in Orlane (p. 16, encounter 7). IMC, which is set in 576CY, I made them Monks of the Scarlet Brotherhood who had initially been roaming the backways of the Sheldomar Valley as spies for the then relatively unknown Scarlet Brotherhood, but who had fallen under the charm of the module's main villain and now served her instead.


Jan 20, 2004 0:58:58
I believe the Iconic book on the cleric specifically states that the gold mine that the priest of gruumsh is excavating is on the border of two Oerthian kingdoms, and the clerical order to which our Pelorite friend belongs got booted out of an Oerthian kingdom.

No, I don't remember which one.

And doesn't the first book with the Barbarian mention the Sea of Dust and take place alongside it's border? I thought ol Krusk got trained in one of the Arab type lands to the west and north...



Jan 20, 2004 22:43:18
Am I the only one to know about he Sapphire Brotherhood located deep in the frozen north? I don't remember where it is or which book, I'll look for it and post when i find it. But it was mentioned that they are a opposing the SB, though even deeper in the shadows than the SB for they do not wish to be widely known. Anyone else know what i'm talking about?


Jan 20, 2004 23:18:06
Well, I say keep the monastic orders to a minimum, to retain the mystery and tenuity of the Monk class. And pass that sentiment onto players who want to have a monk in the setting. To that effort, stick to the Pholtan and Cuthbertine suggestions above. The Scarlet Brotherhood is a given, and perhaps a Balklunish discipline.


Jan 21, 2004 2:21:46
Thanks for the backup, guys. I'm not asking for a huge load of monastic orders. I was just wondering whether there were others beside The Scarlet Brotherhood, as none are mentioned in the LGG.