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Wow of Poverty (Part 3 of 4)

Wow of Poverty (Part 3 of 4)

Antonio Casanova y Estorach, Monk Testing WineThe vow of poverty is a highly restrictive roleplaying challenge…



On occasion, a monk chooses to take on the vow to avoid enslavement to material possessions. Although far from the carefree attitude of overindulgent revellers, the monks that follow this path are often surprisingly free spirited, outgoing, and generous. More than one drunken master has chosen to live according to the tenets of this vow. Normally, archetypes that give up the still mind class feature cannot take vows: an exception is made for drunken masters (see Advanced Player’s Guide), who embrace freedom and wish to take on the vow of poverty although they still cannot take other vows. Followers of the path of freedom carry a sizeable drinking gourd, capable of holding 2 gallons of liquid…

The gourd provides a number of spell-like abilities. To activate these, the recipient of the ability needs to drink from the gourd as a standard action. At 10th level, the monk can activate spell-like abilities from the gourd as a move action. As long as the monk holds the gourd, the spell-like abilities granted by the gourd can be imbibed by others. Starting at 2nd level, the gourd fills itself with water every morning, allowing up to 2 gallons of liquid to be poured from it every day. At the monk’s choice, from 4th level onward, the gourd can be filled with an alcoholic beverage—such as ale or wine—or a light but nourishing soup instead of water. At 3rd level, the gourd can provide cure light wounds as a spell-like ability twice per day; at 6th level, it instead provides cure moderate wounds; at 9th level, cure serious wounds; and at 12th level, cure critical wounds. At 5th level, the gourd offers a selection of spell-like abilities a number of times a day equal to the monk’s level, when activating such spell-like abilities, the monk can choose alter self, barkskin, bear’s endurance, blur, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, or owl’s wisdom. At 10th level, the gourd grants restoration once per day. At 14th level, the gourd grants righteous might once per day. At 18th level, the gourd grants shield of law once per day.


Monks who have committed a serious affront to law, usurped a personal conviction, broken a promise, or otherwise strayed from their path sometimes inflict the vow of poverty on themselves as an act of penance. Such monks wear hefty bracers or armbands, the weight a constant reminder. Many choose to take the vow of chains as well, binding the bracers together with heavy or restrictive chains. Monks that follow the vow of poverty as an act of penance often live uncommonly long lives, as if fate itself intervened to allow them more time to reflect on their sins.

At 4th level, the weights grant the monk DR 1/—. At 8th level and every four levels thereafter, the DR increases by +1 up to a maximum of DR 5/— at 20th level. The monk may spend 2 points from his ki pool as a standard action to double the DR granted by the weights for 1 minute. At 8th level, the weights grant a +2 armor bonus to AC. At 11th level and every three levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +2 to a maximum of +8 at 17th level. At 14th level, the armor bonus to AC granted by the weights applies against attacks of incorporeal creatures as if it had the ghost touch quality. At 16th level, the weights grant the monk immunity to bleed damage. At 18th level, the weights protect the monk as if it had the moderate fortification quality.

(This post is Product Identity.)

4 thoughts on “Wow of Poverty (Part 3 of 4)”

  1. What’s next? Prayer Beads? Horse-hair Shirt? Alms Bowl (+ to Diplomacy when you use it to give yourself a terrible haircut with it)? Strappy Sandles? I can’t wait for more!

  2. I didn’t realize that there is apparently a time-limit for posting comments on posts.

    From part 2, ShadoCat wrote:
    “I would prefer that the robe grant some kind of bonus other than enhancement since it stacks with items that grant enhancement bonuses. Either that or remove the stacking (since the monk shouldn’t have an arsenal of items anyway).”

    I believe you’re not fully familiar with the stacking rules. Enhancement bonuses do not stack with themselves.

    hehehe – those are promising for additional entries. I’ll reveal that the final part gives two more paths of poverty; and that the paths are presented in alphabetical order. Currently we have Discipline, Enlightenment, Freedom and Penance.

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