Excerpts 06/01/2005


City of Splendors: Waterdeep Excerpt
By Eric L. Boyd



The shining jewel of the Forgotten Realms setting is yours to explore! This supplement provides you with an overview of the city that includes history, a who's who, information on laws, and rules for running and playing in a Waterdhavian campaign. Information on the people of Waterdeep covers nonplayer characters, arcane schools, armed forces, guilds, nobility, prestige classes specific to the city, and more. Also included in the book are discussions of specific Waterdeep locales, adventure locales, and new monsters. An extensive appendix gives information on new equipment, magic items, psionic powers, poisons, spells, and more. The excerpts below include information on researching in Waterdeep, details about Halaster's heirs and the Shadow Thieves, a prestige class called the Sun Soul monk, a description of Black Well Court, and monster statistics for the walking statues of Waterdeep. For cover text from this book, check out the May 2005 Preview.

Sun Soul Monk

Righteous Sister Kadila adh Vitendi

"Look within for the dawning light of the Morninglord, the twinkling diamonds of the Moonmaiden's raiment, and the shimmering corona of Lady Firehair's beauty. Let it shine forth from your soul, and the Yellow God shall be reborn through you."

-- Kadila adh Vitendi

Monks of the Sun Soul Order believe that they each harbor a small fragment of the sun's divine essence, long absent from the Realms. Brothers and sisters of the Order of the Sun Soul are trained to tap into the "spiritual light" within -- a tradition that developed during Amaunator's slow decline -- and manifest it externally. The monks are loosely affiliated with the faiths of Lathander, Selûne, and Sune, and they share many common concerns with those churches. Staunch opponents of darkness, evil, and chaos, the Sun Soul monks serve as crusaders against churches of evil deities, defenders of the common folk, and protectors of sites sacred to deities of light and good.

Becoming a Sun Soul Monk

Monks and monk/paladins make the best Sun Soul monks. They are uniquely suited to the asceticism and discipline of the order. Cleric/monks are not uncommon among the followers of the Morninglord, but are exceedingly rare among the followers of Selûne and Sune because one-step alignment restrictions require such a character to be either an ex-monk or an ex-cleric.

Clerics, fighters, paladins, rogues, and multiclass combinations thereof occasionally join the order, but their total collective numbers are small.

As with any combat-oriented character, you will find that a high Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity will serve you well. You will also want a high Wisdom to maximize the use of your "inner fire" combat abilities.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Alignment: Lawful good or lawful neutral.
Base Save Bonuses: Will +4.
Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks.
Languages: Ignan, Loross.
Feats: Athletic, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist.
Patron Deity: Lathander, Selûne, or Sune.
Special: Member of the Order of the Sun Soul (see page 41).

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Sun Soul monk prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sun Soul monks are proficient with all simple weapons, but gain no new proficiency with any armor. You can treat a light mace as a special monk weapon for the purpose of your flurry of blows ability.

Monk Abilities: Sun Soul monk levels stack with monk levels for purposes of determining flurry of blows, unarmed damage, AC bonus, and unarmored speed bonus (see Table 3-10, page 40 of the Player's Handbook).

Sun Soul (Sp): You gain the ability to radiate magical light, equivalent in effect to a daylight spell with a duration of 1 minute per caster level, once per day per Sun Soul monk level. You and your clothing are the "object" from which the light emanates. Your caster level is equal to your combined monk, paladin, and Sun Soul monk levels.

Low-Light Vision (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain low-light vision if you don't already have it.

Sun Soulray (Sp): At 2nd level, you gain the ability to radiate and project a blast of light from an open palm, equivalent in effect to a searing light spell. Treat the caster level as equivalent to your combined monk, paladin, and Sun Soul monk levels. At 4th level, you can use this ability two times per day; at 6th level, three times per day; and at 8th level, four times per day.

Flaming Fists (Su): At 3rd level and beyond, you can channel your inner light into your unarmed attacks as a swift action (see page 80), giving them the flaming weapon special ability for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom bonus (minimum 1). See the Dungeon Master's Guide, page 224.

At 6th level, you can use this ability two times per day, and you bestow the flaming burst weapon special ability on your unarmed attacks.

At 9th level, you can use this ability three times per day. You can choose to bestow either the flaming burst or brilliant energy weapon special ability on your unarmed attacks.

Abundant Step (Su): At 5th level or higher, you can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door, once per day. Your caster level for this effect is one-half your combined monk and Sun Soul monk levels (rounded down).

Greater Sun Soul (Sp): At 7th level, you gain the ability to wreathe yourself in flames, equivalent in effect to a fire shield spell (warm version), once per day. Treat your caster level as equivalent to your combined monk, paladin, and Sun Soul monk levels.

Darkvision (Ex): At 8th level, you gain darkvision out to 60 feet if you don't already have it.

Sun Soulbeam (Sp): At 10th level, you gain the ability to emit dazzling beams of light, equivalent in effect to a sunbeam spell, once per day. Treat your caster level as equivalent to your combined monk, paladin, and Sun Soul monk levels.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): At 10th level, you can speak with any living creature.

Table 3-4: The Sun Soul Monk

Base
Level
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st 0 0 2 2 Sun soul, monk abilities
2nd 1 0 3 3 Low-light vision, sun soulray 1/day
3rd 2 1 3 3 Flaming fists 1/day
4th 3 1 4 4 Sun soulray 2/day
5th 3 1 4 4 Abundant step
6th 4 2 5 5 Flaming fists 2/day, sun soulray 3/day
7th 5 2 5 5 Greater sun soul
8th 6 2 6 6 Darkvision, sun soulray 4/day
9th 6 3 6 6 Flaming fists 3/day
10th 7 3 7 7 Sun Soulbeam, tongue of the sun and moon

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level): Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (arcana, history, and religion), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, and Tumble.

EX-SUN SOUL MONKS

A Sun Soul monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a Sun Soul monk, but retains all Sun Soul monk abilities. Like a member of any other class, a Sun Soul monk can be a multiclass character, but multiclass Sun Soul monks face a special restriction. A Sun Soul monk can gain levels in one other class (other than monk) and still progress as a monk or as a Sun Soul monk, as long as long as his combined monk and Sun Soul monk levels exceed all other class levels.

You are a dedicated servant of the common man, eschewing ostentatious consumptions of wealth, food, or libation. You almost never despair, no matter how dark things seem, for you have discovered your spiritual light within. You see yourself as a custodian of the sun's divinity and the inheritor of an ancient tradition, awaiting the day the sun returns to its proper glory and banishes the spiritual shadow from the world.

COMBAT

You relish unarmed combat, particularly against foes vulnerable to fire, for in such battles you can truly unleash your inner fire. Thanks to your training, you can also use spell-like abilities that burn your enemies, a potent combination unexpected by most foes.

ADVANCEMENT

Qualifying for the Sun Soul monk class requires a significant commitment of skill points. As you gain levels, you probably want to catch up in some of the more physical skills, including Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble. Moreover, you might find you have missed out on some combat feats as well. The order is known for its employment of the Sun School[CW]tactical feat; it is suggested that you acquire it as soon as you qualify.

If you want to multiclass as you advance, consider taking levels in monk or paladin. Many of your abilities stack with levels in these classes, so doing so maximizes your potential.

RESOURCES

Although scattered and somewhat disorganized, the Order of the Sun Soul is known to most regions of Faerûn. As a result, it should be available to you no matter where you go. In general, a Sun Soul monk can obtain healing from a cleric of Lathander at 25% of the normal cost, and from a cleric of Selûne or Sune at 50% of the normal cost. Her companions can obtain healing at 75% of the normal cost. A Sun Soul monk can obtain free room and board for herself (for any length of stay) and her companions (for one night) at any of the order's monasteries across Faerûn.

Sun Soul Monks in the World

The Order of the Sun Soul is a monastic order spread across Faerûn. A monk with controversial beliefs about Amaunator, Lathander, Selûne, and Sune leads the chapter in Waterdeep. The Order of the Sun Soul is described in detail on page 41.

NPC REACTIONS

The monks who join the Order of the Sun Soul are only one of many monastic and knightly orders found across Faerûn. Few commoners know much about the differences between these organizations, so Sun Soul monks are treated much as any other nonevil monks; most people admire their singlemindedness of purpose and dedication, but think that they are somewhat aloof.

Members of the church of Lathander welcome Sun Soul monks as allies because the two organizations have fought side by side in many battles against the undead and other forces of evil. Members of the churches of Selûne and Sune also view the Sun Soul monks as allies, but see the monks' ways as inscrutable and overly rigid. In Waterdeep, all three churches view the Order of the Sun Soul with suspicion because the local leader of the order has been preaching heresy, although the gods have yet to strike him down for doing so.

Sun Soul Monk Lore

The Order of the Sun Soul is closely affiliated with the church of Lathander and loosely affiliated with the churches of Selûne and Sune. Characters who succeed on a Knowledge (religion) check can learn the following information, including the information from lower DCs:

DC 10: The Order of the Sun Soul is a widely scattered sect encompassing worshipers of the Morninglord, the Moonmaiden, and Lady Firehair.

DC 15: Monks of the Sun Soul Order are dedicated servants of the common folk, a tradition stretching back many generations.

DC 20: Monks of the Sun Soul Order can visibly manifest their spirits in the form of light or fire. According to their teachings, everyone harbors a tiny piece of the golden, life-giving sun in his or her soul.

DC 30: The Order of the Sun Soul dates back to the time of Netheril. The order, once known as the Brotherhood of the Sun, evolved into its current form after the death of Amaunator. The Order of the Sun Soul is not particularly secretive, but a great deal of confusion surrounds its teachings because of its division into three sects, each venerating a different deity. Even members of the order are often unaware that the order once served the church of Amaunator.

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