Dungeons & Dragons Online Peek #1

RPG Vault has begun a new round of Dungeons & Dragons Online "peek" features, with the first exploring this week's Module 7: The Way of the Monk update.
Monks are the best defense against magic and sorcery, relying mostly on melee abilities and movements in combat. However, there are certain weapons students may study, like kama, quarterstavesand shuriken, which will still ensure that the character treated as if it has a full base attack bonus.

Your abilities as you learn The Way will be many, and as you grow more powerful, you will rely more and more on Ki, (pronounced "key") the power of a monk. Students with one or more levels in the class will possess a unique UI element called the Ki Meter. It charges up a small amount each time a you injure an enemy with a monk weapon or are hit for damage, with a larger boost any time you land or receive a critical hit.

Ki can be expended to perform special attacks trained by the monk (it's similar in nature to spell points) so long as the character uses its unarmed attacks or a class weapon. This energy can also be used to gain a short-term boost to combat abilities through the Flurry of Blow ability. If the ki ever happens to run out, the student can pause and meditate to slowly regenerate it. The rate at which it's restored is based on the individual's Concentration stat. It decays over time at a variable rate, based on the total concentration score and centered state. Remaining centered is essential for all students of The Way.

To achieve greatness, it is important that a monk remain centered, which means that a student does not use armor or a shield, is not heavily encumbered, or is not using a weapon that is not a monk- or ki-related weapon. You may come across the latter during your adventures. Early in your training, you will study the basic abilities. In the third stage, you will be given the choice of paths to master, such as the Path of Harmonious Balance or the Path of Inevitable Dominion, which allow you to master finishing moves, that only this class can perform. You'll also be able to choose Elemental Stance enhancements, such as Wind, Mountain, Sun and Water, which grant specific bonuses and penalties depending on the stance.