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I would like to use the optional rule for taking vows as a monk, from the Ultimate Magic rulebook.

My player took the vow of poverty which grants 1 ki point for every monk level. Crystal clear. But he took also the vow of fasting, with a ki point bonus of 1 every 6 levels with a minimum of +1.

It is unclear to me whether:

  • It is as stated and my player will gain a ki point every 6 levels with a mimimum of +1, meaning he will have +1 from him taking the vow until level 11, +2 from level 12 to 17, +3 from level 18 ;
  • My player gains a fraction of 1/6 ki point per level rounded to +1 if the monk is level 1 to 5.

When I took a glance at reddit (this comment in particular), the general comprehension is that it works as a fraction at every level, working like the class of predilection special bonus. And that would mean that the fractional bonus of a class of predilection bonus would stack with the vow bonus. And it would easily be a headache:

If the player gains 1/4 ki point per level from his class of predilection bonus, plus a 1/6 ki point from his vow, he would in fact gain 10/24 ki points per level. With a minimum of +1 from the vow. Easy to count, right?

I plan on using the first rule, although the ki point bonus growth is very odd, but I may have missed some rule or something...

What is the correct interpretation?

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Neither the player nor the GM needs to determine a fractional advancement for monk vows because the monk vows already detail how they advance.

For example, when the benefit of the monk vow Vow of Fasting says, "A monk with this vow increases his ki pool by 1 ki point for every 6 monk levels (minimum +1)," it means that when the creature possesses from 1 to 11 monk levels the creature gains 1 ki point from the Vow of Fasting, from 12 to 17 monk levels 2 ki points, and 18 or more monk levels 3 ki points.

For example, when the benefit of the monk vow Vow of Celibacy says, "A monk with this vow increases his ki pool by 1 ki point for every 5 monk levels (minimum +1)," it means that when the creature possesses from 1 to 9 monk levels the creature gains 1 ki point from the Vow of Celibacy, from 10 to 14 monk levels 2 ki points, from 15 to 19 monk levels 3 ki points, and 20 or more monk levels 4 ki points.

In short, extra ki points from monk vows are gained based on each vow's individual schedule then summed. For example, a level 1 monk with both of the above vows gains +2 ki points, while a level 15 monk with both of the above vows gains +5 ki points (i.e. +2 from Fasting and +3 from celibacy).

With all due respect to that Reddit comment, monk vows don't work like favored class bonuses which do, in fact, see their bonuses increase fractionally due to special rules about how they stack. (See also this question.) Instead, monk vows work exactly just like they say they work, no fractions necessary.

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