From PathfinderWiki
Sajan, iconic monk.

Iconic character
Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 56–60 (1E)
Core Rulebook, pg(s). 154–165 (2E)
Monks test one another.

The monk seeks perfection in all things, including themselves: body and mind. Monks tend to keep a clear head, mediating and contemplating the meaning of existence, but when danger comes they are able to utilize their body as a deadly weapon, instantly unleashing a flurry of blows.1

The warrior monk of Golarion is a recent addition to the lives of the peoples of the Inner Sea region. The combination of religious devotion, self-perfection, and martial combat is an import from the far regions of Vudra and Tian Xia.2

Monks more commonly learn from wandering masters—those who have seceded from their school, or have been sent to spread their teachings to the outside world. Each master carries with them a retinue of loyal apprentices—potential monks that learn habits of body and mind from their elder.2


In the Inner Sea region, the most notable and numerous monastic schools can be found on the island nations of Hermea and Jalmeray. These are likely the only places in the Inner Sea where one can find more than a handful of monks in one place. The regions surrounding the Crown of the World, being a frequent route of crossing from Tian, also have their share of monks who often stop to take on apprentices.2

Avistan and Garund, despite their fame for monastic traditions, have been slow to adapt to this new way of life and still produce very few warrior monks from a select group of schools. Each monk school represents a specific way of life—a set of principles, practices, and philosophies, that combine with a unique fighting style to distinguish a practicing monk from his peers.2

In Osirion, the mountain monastery of Tar Kuata houses monks and scholars of Irori as well as an order of elite dwarven martial artists called the Ouat.3

Monks from all over the world flock to Jalmeray to hone their bodies and minds, following esoteric traditions handed down in antiquity by otherworldly spirits.4 There they can learn martial arts in the greatest of Jalmeray's many monastic orders known collectively as the Houses of Perfection.5

Finally, temples of Irori found throughout the Inner Sea region train monks to help spread the worship of their god.6


Any ancestry might be inclined to the life of a monk, but dwarf, halfling, lizardfolk, duskwalker, cambion, android, suli, strix and grippli adventurers often become monks.


Irori, the god of perfection, is a willing patron of monastic traditions. Those who seek physical and mental perfection are often drawn to his church, and may find their way into a monastery in the process. Likewise, those drawn to the martial traditions find Irori a useful deity in their pursuits, and this in turn might lead them to pursue the art of the monk.7

There are many monks who look inward for guidance, rather than outward, and choose not to worship any deities whatsoever.8



Pathfinder First Edition content
This section covers a term or subject that is relevant to the Pathfinder campaign setting only in the context of the first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Monks adhere to a set of rules and precepts that often govern their behavior, dress, or diet, and which is dictated by their governing philosophy or school of thought. Those who lose faith, or give up their principles retain the skills and supernatural abilities they have learned, but can no longer increase these abilities. This makes them different from classes whose powers are bestowed upon them by a divine entity (such as paladins), who lose all but their martial skills when they betray their code.910


In Pathfinder First Edition, monks were restricted to lawful alignments.

  1. Logan Bonner, et al. “3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 69. Paizo Inc., 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Erik Mona & Jason Bulmahn. Gazetteer, 10. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. Erik Mona, et al. Golden Road” in World Guide, 50. Paizo Inc., 2019
  4. Erik Mona, et al. Impossible Lands” in World Guide, 74. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. Dennis Baker, et al. “Combat of the Inner Sea” in Inner Sea Combat, 3. Paizo Inc., 2014
  6. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 274. Paizo Inc., 2011
  7. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 222. Paizo Inc., 2011
  8. Sean K Reynolds. “Magic” in Gods and Magic, 101. Paizo Inc., 2008
  9. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 56–60. Paizo Inc., 2009
  10. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 64. Paizo Inc., 2009