Monk Class Color Guide | Color Pie System
Raised at a young age to master ones own body, the monk is the personification of putting your mind and soul to the task of self improvement. It's a class who can tap into the Ki that surrounds all of us, using it to either alter and enhance themselves or to strike at the core of their opponent. While the monk can be rigid in its definition its motivations can vary, and that is where this article comes in. Today we will be breaking down the class of the monk in order to uncover its core colors, in turn helping you role-play this class in ways you may have missed. If you are not familiar with the class color system then worry not, it's easy to follow along and in no time you'll have a better grasp on playing the class for your next adventure. With that, tighten your gi, wrap your fists and let's talk the class colors of the monk.
From atop reclusive monasteries men and women push the limits of their bodies through regimented training. The monk is a class defined by it attunement to its body and those of its opponents. By tapping into Ki, the life force that binds us all, it's able to achieve feats latent within. This ability does not come easily and requires immense dedication and discipline. It is not until the monk has spent a good portion of its life training that it's even able to begin making use of such abilities. With discipline and self improvement so key to the core of this class, long time viewers might already have an idea as to what the core colors of this class may be. But for those of you new to the series, the core color is the color or set of colors that represent the core themes and motivations of a given class, in other words its the color you will most often associate with them when building your character.
Before I reveal my decision I find it best to first look to the color or colors chosen by Wizards of the coast, in the class cards they made for each iconic class. If we pull up the card we see that they have chosen White Blue and I am inclined to agree. For one the monk is a class that is defined by two factors and those are discipline and self improvement. With discipline being a major trait of white and self improvement being that of Blue, it's a set of colors that can be hard to separate from this class. In that way the monk is a class defined by what I would call, mastery through discipline. Now this selection does come with on caveat, and its something I rarely put forth.
I would state that white may be the weaker of the two, making it more of a supplementary core color, as you could argue that in some cases Green could replace White. You see the monk tapping into such a vital force such as ki, as well as its routes in deep traditions could indeed make for a good argument in regards to Green. That said Blue is by far a strong color for the class. In that way we I it could be argued that we could refine the class to one core color and that is Blue, as the traits of Blue are required for such a class.
That said if we are talking about the vanilla representation of the class I would argue that White and Blue work very well as a pair. With this laid out I find it best to then dive into three possible characters that way you can see the monk built in varying ways using the color pie and our core colors. To begin I want to use the aforementioned core colors of White and Blue, then add in red to learn what type of monk is built from these colors.
WHITE BLUE RED
In a small village on the outskirts of civilization lived our character, only an infant at the time, they remembered little to nothing of their day to day, or the events that would transpire. Being more of a commune than a proper village, meant that the village had little defense against aggressors. This hadn't been a problem for generations but on one fateful day that all changed. A roaming group of bandits came upon the village one cold night and with little friction laid waste to it. Killing indiscriminately, with almost a joy to their actions. When the sun finally rose on what was once a sleepy little collection of small wood houses, there was not but blood and bodies strewn about.
Not long after the chaos a group of monks came upon the carnage, having come down from their monastery as they did every few weeks to ask for any supplies. Not ones to be overcome by emotion they set straight away to help those that survived. That is when they came across our character, crying in a bed, their parents bodies not far away. After the monks did all they could they decided it best to take all the small ones into their care, in hopes of raising them away from such atrocities. Those villagers of age left their homes to find somewhere new to lay their hearth.
It was from then on that our protagonist was raised among the monks and taught the lessons of their people. They learned to hone their emotions, attune their mind and perfect their bodies. Of course the truth couldn't stay dormant for long and when this character came of age they began to question their place among the order. They knew they must have come from somewhere else, that their bloodline lay somewhere outside of these walls, and while they cherished their home they wanted to know the truth.
After much discussion the elder decided to lead those who came from the old village back to where their home once lay, buildings still sunken and destroyed. Upon learning of their origins, and seeing the destruction, our character was unable to abide by their training and was filled with an anger they had long forgotten. How could something happen like this to such innocent people, and why did those that act out such darkness not pay for their crimes. Our character was unable to move past this and decided to take what they had learned and use it to help others by inflicting justice. This is where their adventure begins, with anger in their heart, righteousness in their fists.
Let's now breakdown the colors to understand how it shapes their motivations. White in the case of this character represents their strong sense of Justice, they want to be that person that hands out punishment to the deserving. Its a desire to bring order and peace to a world where such darkness lie in every corner. Blue is then the representation of the core mastery at the heart of the class and while it does not push their motivations it is the colors that allowed them to take their current form. Finally Red is the emotion that drive this character, even through their decades of training and discipline, it is readily thrown away because there is a deep anger that has been present in them, as if the trauma of their youth has stuck with them waiting to burst forth. They will act to direct this aggression towards those that do others harm and is the reason for their life as an adventurer.
This character will always stand up for those that are downtrodden and will react with little thought when it comes to the sight of injustice. Now that we have completed our first example I would like create our next character, in this case we will shed Red and add in black to learn what this change does to a monk.
WHITE BLUE BLACK
At a young age this character always managed to find trouble, or trouble seemed to find them. Fairly early in life they got in with some bad kids and quickly found that a swift hand in a dark corner got them more in life than one that followed the straight and narrow ever did. That is until trouble finally caught up with them. One night they decided to break into the home of an old man, whom they thought was away, to steal what they could. As it turned out the man was home and an altercation broke out, our character can't recall how exactly things went down but before they ran back out into the night, the old man was dead. The group argued among one another and finally decided to split up.
Our character burdened by what had just happened kept running far outside of city limits. They ran and ran, guilt pressing them forward. By the time they stopped they were at the foot of a monastery. It was here they felt some calling, either that or it was the only place to hide. This character approached and was accepted. Through service and training this character worked to atone for their actions and in some way was able to move on from what had happened. That is until trouble found its way in their presence once again. The master of the monastery pulled together a few of the young students, the selections seemed random, but there was a purpose behind it. It turned out the ones he gathered were all of the monks who had run from a troubled and shady past.
He told them of the secret wing of their order, a dark order who used their skills for espionage, on the behalf of the lord of the land. He asked if they wished to become part of this order or return to serve the rest of their life in the traditional one. Our character thought long and hard and in the end decided to take on this task. Even though they had reformed their ways there was always this itch they couldn't scratch, this desire to put their deft hands to use. They missed crisscrossing through dark alleys, the moon their guide and they knew with continued training in the shadowy ways of ki they could be so much more. They took the opportunity and decided that if trouble wanted to find them then they would be ready this time.
For this character we settled on White Blue and Black, with the combination of White Blue denoting what we discussed in the core color's section, that of mastery through discipline. Once this character found their new life they put all of themselves into it. At first they used discipline as a way to punish themselves for their past but found mastery in their efforts. Finally there is Black which defines their amoral side, even though they regret the actions that lead to an unnecessary death, they do not think negatively on their time of crime, in fact they missed the streets. Now they intend to find a new self in the skills they have mastered in the monastery. They are eager to lurk in the shadows and find meaning in it. For our final character I want to shed both White and Black and go with Blue and Green instead, as a practice in leaning into one of the core colors rather than the other.
The path to enlightenment isn't one only found through discipline, it can be a force unlocked through an understanding of natural forces with a mind able to crack it. This is the case for our final character. An unconventional monk, only in classification, who studied the human mind and body only to uncover the binding force found within us all, that of Ki. You see this character always had a deep connection with nature, they adored its intricacies and understood that there was forces outside of our understanding which surrounded us all.
You could have called them somewhat of a druid and a scientist, someone who spends their days looking to flowers, listening to their songs and then meditating on what they heard. It is through these actions that they felt something deep within, as if the song was not coming from the earth but from within them. They honed in on this feeling, a universe within oneself. This discovery sparked a new obsession, one they intended to utilize for themselves. Once discovered they spent many seasons in meditation, under the waxing and waning sun and moon.
There they found enlightenment, and the ability to heal and harm through the latent ki within. Once this ability was theirs they wished to put such abilities to use, and to discover the extent of it. This is where their adventure begins. In the case of this character we went with Green and Blue, with Green denoting an admiration for and deep understanding of nature. In some ways this is thematic and in others it does effect the philosophies of the character. A character in tune with nature is one who moves slow and listens, they favor wisdom and a deep understanding and appreciation of the greater ecosystem around them. In the case of Blue, this is what drives them to want to understand more, and push their own limits. Combined these colors can take shape as someone who won't stop until they can find both purpose and perfection.
As you can see even if the monk has many similarities between characters, its motivations will vary by simply putting the colors first and asking where they will take your character. With every character bio I make I decide on the colors first then ask myself how they would shape the monk, so let's talk about how you can use each color in the context of your monk. First is white, a color in the case of a monk that denotes discipline, as discipline in its own way is a near requirement for a monk, as the time and effort it takes to achieve such connections to ki can be a long road. On another side of it White can represent a monk who is selfless, one who can easily put the needs of other before themselves, due to the monastic way being one that is bread in equality.
Then there is Blue, the heart of perfecting ones own self, of finding the next level of the human form by tapping into ones own latent power through training and mastery, for me this is a near given. Next is the color Black, a color that is an odd addition to the monk, and while I believe it may be rarely used, it of course can find a place. Black is often the color of self motivation, so in the case of the monk it can represent one who completes their training in order to attain some greater power or ability for ones own self to accomplish a specific goal. Or in other cases it can be a monk who is simply a moral, they see the world for what it is and reach for greater power for the sake of what that power can do for them.
Then we have Red, a color that represents the expressive monk, one who is not tied down to a necessarily disciplined form of the class. They could simply wish to fight for the thrill it brings or that of and impulsive need that drives them outside of monk-hood. Finally there is Green, a color that we could attach to the monk in many cases, as a class deeply routed in tradition its a color that can pair quite well. In other cases it could be more thematic, as ki is a force present in all things, an all encompassing force all to familiar to the color. With these colors at your disposal, and with a little more research into them you should now have the tools you need to build and play a better monk. One who comes to life before your very eyes.
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