Certain Monk archetypes replace the selection of bonus feats a monk can choose from. These archetypes are Flowing Monk, Zen Archer, Brazen Disciple, Hellcat, and Master of Many Styles.

Certain feats, such as Improved/Greater Spring Attack, Hamatulatsu and Ki Throw, say in their feat text that they can be taken as a monk bonus feat.

Ki Throw (Combat)

Special: A monk may gain Ki Throw as a bonus feat at 10th level.

Does this still apply to the above mentioned archetypes, or does a monk need the standard selection of bonus feats to take these in place of one?


2 Answers 2


Archetypes count as base class unless stated otherwise, so you are still a monk, and you still have the Bonus Feat feature. So yes, the "Special" of the feat does apply to these archetypes.



Part 1: Special lines are Default Assumptions

To give context, let's look at another feat, Heavy Armor Proficiency:

Special: Fighters and paladins automatically have Heavy Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Does this mean that fighter archetypes that trade away their proficiency with heavy armor still receive the feat (and thus get proficiency with heavy armor anyways)? No. Instead, it's the default behavior of the game and is there to tell you what normally happens.

Similarly, a monk can normally select Ki Throw and other feats as a monk bonus feat. Since the archetype changes what feats are available, it also changes whether or not these feats are available.

Part 2: Wording

First up, Ki Throw:

Special: A monk may gain Ki Throw as a bonus feat at 10th level. A monk with this feat can affect creatures larger than his own size by spending 1 ki point per size category difference.

Now let's look at an archetype, in this case Zen Archer:

Bonus Feats: A zen archer’s bonus feats must be taken from the following list: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot. At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Focused Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Mobility, and Parting Shot. At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Critical, Pinpoint Targeting, Shot on the Run, and Snatch Arrows. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them. These feats replace the monk’s normal bonus feats.

Despite having the option to select Ki Throw, it's not on the list of feats that the monk must select from, therefore they're unable to take it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Base monk's bonus feat text has the exact same "must be chosen from this list" text. If the "specific" of Ki Throw's text trumps the "general" of core monk's, then it should trump Zen Archer's all the same. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 15:39

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