Excerpts 07/06/2004

Planar Handbook
A Player's Guide to the Planes
By Bruce R. Cordell and Gwendolyn F. M. Kestrel

You've adventured in sunken ruins, abandoned dwarven mines, temples to death gods, and the thief-filled sewers of large cities. Still, you know there must be more to adventure, more to reality than what you've so far seen. You yearn to experience for yourself the mystical realms told about in stories and authenticated by the appearances of strange outsiders pulsing with elemental vigor or divine strength. You know there has to be more to the multiverse. And you are right.

The Planar Handbook offers a vast array of options for exploring and adventuring on the planes. Like a hero of myth, your character can descend into the land of the dead, traverse Olympian mounts, or battle devils in Hell itself. In this player's guide, you'll discover new races, classes, feats, equipment, spells, and magic items to help burst the barriers and bridge the gaps between the Material Plane and other environments and realities. Now, you hold the reins for instigating a trip away from the familiar Material Plane. With this handbook, you can become better prepared to make that trip -- and to return.

From Chapter 2: Classes and Feats


Planar Monk

Monks who travel the planes do so for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from seeking to restore an ancient artifact to their temple to a much more general quest for enlightenment. The magnificent diversity of the planes lead many monks to adventure, and few return to quiet monastic study without having spent at least some time exploring. Living out a classic paradox, most find both more and less than they anticipate.

Hit Die: d8.


To take a monk planar substitution level, a character must be about to take her 5th, 13th, or 16th level of monk.

Class Skills

Monk planar substitution levels have the class skills of the standard monk class plus Knowledge (the planes) (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the monk's planar substitution levels.

Resistant Body (Ex): At 5th level, a planar monk successfully hardens her body against one type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic), gaining resistance 5. This benefit replaces the purity of body class feature gained by a standard monk at 5th level.

Axiomatic Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a planar monk gains spell resistance equal to her class level +15. This spell resistance applies only to effects generated by chaotic outsiders. This benefit replaces the diamond soul class feature gained by a standard monk at 13th level.

Ki Strike (Su): At 16th level, a planar monk's unarmed attacks are treated as cold iron weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This benefit replaces the ki strike (adamantine) class feature gained by a standard monk at 16th level.

Table 2-7: Monk Planar Substitution Levels

Level Base
Special Flurry of Blows
Attack Bonus
Speed Bonus
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Resistant body +2/+2 1d8 +1 +10 ft.
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Axiomatic soul +9/+9/+9/+4 2d6 +2 +40 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Ki strike (cold iron), slow fall (80 ft.) +12/+12/+12/+7/+2 2d8 +3 +50 ft.


Axiomatic Heritage [Heritage]

You are descended from creatures native to the planes of law. You share some of your ancestors' natural resistance to charms, and you are resistant to the magic of chaotic foes.

Prerequisite: Nonchaotic alignment.

Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on Will saving throws against enchantment (charm) spells and effects.

You also gain a +1 bonus on saving throws against spells or other effects created by chaotic creatures.

Fire Heritage [Heritage]

You are descended from creatures native to the Elemental Plane of Fire. You share some of your ancestors' natural reaction speed, and your natural attacks are red-hot.

Benefits: You gain a +1 bonus on initiative checks. In addition, your unarmed attacks and natural weapons deal an extra 1 point of fire damage.

Shadow Heritage [Heritage]

You are descended from creatures native to the Plane of Shadow. You share some of your ancestors' natural stealth, but only in areas of dim or no illumination.

Benefits: You gain a +3 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks when in an area of darkness or shadowy illumination.

Planar Touchstone [General]

Forge a link between you and power-rich planar locations, referred to as planar touchstones.

Prerequisite: Portable object of at least 250 gp value native to any designated planar touchstone site, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks.

Benefit: Choose any site designated as a planar touchstone for which you also possess an object native to that location, as noted in this feat's prerequisite. When this feat is first taken, forging a link between yourself and a chosen planar touchstone takes 24 hours of uninterrupted concentration. To forge a link, you must spend 10 experience points and expend the object described in this feat's prerequisite.

Once the link is forged, you gain the base ability described for that touchstone. If you physically visit the planar location once you've forged a link, you also gain a higher-order ability with a limited number of uses, as described for that planar touchstone. You may repeatedly visit the planar touchstone, each time recharging your usages of the higher-order ability. Usages of a higher-order ability do not stack, so visiting your planar touchstone prior to using up any of your higher-order usages confers no additional benefit.

Once you've established a link with one planar touchstone site by taking this feat, you may also freely visit other planar touchstones. When you do so and fulfill the higher-order ability's recharge condition for the alternate site, you immediately gain the base ability of the new planar touchstone site and lose the base ability of the previous site. You also lose any remaining uses of the higher-order ability of your previously selected site (if any), and instead gain the specified number of higher-order ability uses appropriate to the new site.

In this way, you can "unplug" from one site and "plug in" to a new planar touchstone site as often as you desire. Thus, after expending the raw materials and experience points for making your first connection, making subsequent connections with different sites is as easy as fulfilling the higher-order recharge condition.

Special: You can take this feat more than once. Each time, you gain the base ability to retain one more planar touchstone location in addition to your previous ability. You also gain the capacity to retain uses of one more planar touchstone's higher-order ability. Thus, you could retain the base abilities for both the Breaching Obelisk and Echolost (planar touchstone locations described in Chapter 7), as well as both sites' higher-order uses, simultaneously. If you then visit a third planar touchstone and fulfill its recharge condition, unless you have taken this feat three times, you must choose which of your two previous touchstone site abilities to lose when you gain the abilities of the third touchstone site.

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