Shao-Lin Monk

Source Material for Rolemaster Standard System

Copyright Cory Magel 1998-9


While everyone has their favorites of the various RMSS companions the Martial Arts Companion was one of mine. A new and improved martial arts system was very welcome in the circle of RMSS players and GMs I run with. However, my single biggest criticism with the Martial Arts Companion was the lack of a Channeling Monk variant. So... here it is!

I won't get into all the historical equivalents of the Taoist, Zen and Shao-Lin Monks of RMSS. Those familiar with such true histories will surely see some flaws in the way they are defined. But with the Taoist and Zen Monks already filling their respective niches I went for a more Paladinish monk. This isn't the monk that tends the flows and thinks about philosophy all day, it's much more of a Warrior-Priest.

You'll note that I did not work up any costs for training packages. The Taoist and Zen Monk costs should work quite effectively for this. Very few changes from those costs will ever be needed. In special cases the cost of very religious specific Training Packages may possibly be reduced, but if it is a special case you (the Gamemaster) or your Gamemaster (if you are the player) should be involved in the characters creation and use his or her best judgement anyhow.

Unfortunately the Shao-Lin Monk was not created in time to be considered for publication in the Channeling Companion. Consequently the Holy Discipline and Spiritual Vision lists were included in the Channeling Companion to be used as a viable channeling martial artist priest variant. Taking that into account, the new Shao-Lin base lists provided here are intended to render the Holy Discipline and Spiritual Vision list found in the Channeling Companion obsolete. Naturally, you can still use them if you like, but you will want to create an alternative name for the Holy Discipline list found in the Channeling Companion.

The Shao-Lin Monk Profession

Shao-lin Monk

    Shao-lin Monks are Channeling-based Monks who are essentially Warrior Priest semi spell users who combine the realm of Channeling with the realm of Arms. Their base spells deal with personal movement, the control of their own body, and the spiritual world while their arms capabilities are concentrated in unarmored, unarmed combat. A Shao-Lin Monk works in conjunction with the churches, temples and monasteries to protect them and their inhabitants from enemies of their religion. The Shao-Lin Monks are quite often the elite, if not only, protection that many remote locations have to rely on. They are occasionally be found fighting alongside Paladins of the same or aligned religions.

Prime Stats: Self-Discipline and Intuition


Spell Lists

Divine Defense: Allowing the caster to make incredible evasive maneuvers.

Hand of God: Calling upon the caster's faith, resulting in more lethal blows and tougher defense.

Holy Discipline: Allowing the caster to move in unusual fashions and withstand physical pain.

Holy Vision: Enhancing the caster's awareness of his surroundings and enemies.

Spiritual Harmony: Allowing the caster to combat enemies of his church more effectively.

Spiritual Healing: Increasing the healing rate of the caster's body.


Profession Bonuses

Athletic - Gymnastic +5 Power Awareness +5
Awareness Group +5 Self Control +10
Body Development +5 Weapon Group +10
Martial Arts Group +10


Armor Heavy 11 Outdoor - Animal 2/7
Armor Light 9 Outdoor - Environmental 2/5
Armor Medium 10 Power Awareness 3/7
Artistic - Active 2/4 Power Manipulation 6/12
Artistic - Passive 2/5 Power Point Development 8
Athletic - Brawn 3/7 Science - Basic 2/5
Athletic - Endurance 2/7 Science - Specialized 8
Athletic - Gymnastic 1/5 Self Control 2/4
Awareness - Perception 4/14 Special Attacks 5
Awareness - Searching 2/6 Special Defenses 6
Awareness - Senses 3/7 Subterfuge - Attack 8
Body Development 4/14 Subterfuge - Stealth 2/7
Combat Maneuvers 5/12 Subterfuge - Mechanics 4
Communications 3/3/3 Technical - General 3/7
Crafts 4/10 Technical - Professional 8
Directed Spells 10 Technical - Vocational 5/12
Influence 2/6 Urban 4
Lore - General 1/3 Weapon - Category 1 5
Lore - Magical 3/6 Weapon - Category 2 8
Lore - Obscure 3/7 Weapon - Category 3 8
Lore - Technical 2/6 Weapon - Category 4 8
Martial Arts - Comb Man 4/9 Weapon - Category 5 15
Martial Arts - Sweeps 2/5 Weapon - Category 6 15
Martial Arts - Sweeps 2/5 Weapon - Category 7 15

Everyman Skills: Time Sense and choice of one non-Restricted Martial Arts Combat Maneuver.

Occupational Skills: Meditation, Religion

Restricted Skills: None

Spell Development

Base list (all) 6/6/6 Closed list (1-5) 10/10
Open list (1-10) 8/8 Closed list (6-10) 12
Open list (11-15) 12 Closed list (11-15) 25
Open list (16-20) 18 Closed list (16-20) 40
Open list (21+) 25 Closed list (21+) 60