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I have been looking all over for a comprehensive list of prestige classes either specifically meant for the monks or ones that synergize extremely well with them. Does such a list exist or do I literally have to find every prestige class and analyze them to determine this?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Lots of great answers, I'll accept the highest voted one soon since what I desire doesn't exactly appear to exist. \$\endgroup\$ – dphil Sep 18 '14 at 13:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dphil Don't accept the highest voted, choose one answer that you believe is the best solution to your problem. (from the help center) Even if it's at -5, the voting system and accepting systems are separate for a reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Sep 19 '14 at 0:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman Well, I left parts of my problem out because I was mainly looking for synergies that don't interrupt monk levels and/or scale with the monks punch. Even with those as my main focus though I still wanted to be able to look at other classes and see if there are synergies worthwhile besides those even if I knew what I was the most interested in. You are right though. \$\endgroup\$ – dphil Sep 19 '14 at 19:19
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Chet Eretz’s Prestige Class Index lists almost all prestige classes up to February 2008; this wouldn’t be too helpful on its own, as more complete lists exist, but, the index also categorizes the prestige classes. For examples:

Weapon Specialists — Unarmed Strike

Crane Shen (p. 31) – unarmed combatant that mimics a crane by moving fast & blocking attacks, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Dragon Shen (p. 34) – unarmed combatant that mimics a dragon by imbuing his/her fists with acid, cold, electricity, or fire, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Enlightened Fist (p. 39) – a hybrid monk / arcane caster who can channel his/her stunning fist ability into making his/her hands be covered with flame or electricity.

Mantis Shen (p. 57) – unarmed combatant that mimics a Praying Mantis with excellent grappling, disarming, & tripping, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Panther Shen (p. 65) – unarmed combatant that mimics a panther by moving fast & striking quickly, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Reaping Mauler (p. 68) – expert at grappling, eventually learning some effective ‘finishing moves’.

Sacred Fist (p. 70) – monk-like temple protectors who vow to not use weapons.

Snake Shen (p. 75) – unarmed combatant that mimics a snake by attacking with Intelligence & making each strike hurt, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Tiger Shen (p. 85) – unarmed combatant that mimics a tiger by striking the correct location to paralyze & becoming immune to fear, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Prestige Classes related to Base Classes — Monk

Monks May Freely Crossclass

Drunken Master (p.35) – fights as if / when drunk.

Enlightened Fist (p. 39) – a hybrid monk / arcane caster who can channel his/her stunning fist ability into making his/her hands be covered with flame or electricity.

Kensai (p. 54) – master of combat with a signature weapon of your choice.

Sword of Righteousness (p. 39) – a martial follower of one of the Pantheons of the Good Outer Planes who gains mastery of Exalted Feats.

Stacks with Monk Levels

Crane Shen (p. 31) – unarmed combatant that mimics a crane by moving fast & blocking attacks, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Dragon Shen (p. 34) – unarmed combatant that mimics a dragon by imbuing his/her fists with acid, cold, electricity, or fire, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Enlightened Fist (p. 39) – a hybrid monk / arcane caster who can channel his/her stunning fist ability into making his/her hands be covered with flame or electricity.

Initiate of Pistis Sophia (p. 52) – a holy monk who follows the Deity of Good Monks, who gains vows & resistances, and eventually becomes an Outsider.

Mantis Shen (p. 57) – unarmed combatant that mimics a Praying Mantis with excellent grappling, disarming, & tripping, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Master of the East Wind (p.59) – hybrid monk / arcane casters that protect from outer plane attacks.

Master of the North Wind (p.60) – hybrid druid / monks that patrol large areas and keep the peace through personal prowess.

Master of the South Wind (p. 60) – hybrid rogue / monks that try to bring peace through subterfuge, social engineering, and occasional targeted strikes.

Master of the West Wind (p. 60) – hybrid cleric / monks that uphold the principles of the Order of the Four Winds.

Monk of the Long Death (p. 62) – one who studies death, poison, fear, and similar topics. Monkey Shen (p. 62) – a quarterstaff combatant that mimics a monkey by moving unexpectedly & jumping around easily, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Panther Shen (p. 65) – unarmed combatant that mimics a panther by moving fast & striking quickly, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Sacred Fist (p. 70) – monk-like temple protectors who vow to not use weapons.

Snake Shen (p. 75) – unarmed combatant that mimics a snake by attacking with Intelligence & making each strike hurt, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

Tattooed Monk (p. 81) – the tattoos added to the body grant magic abilities.

Tiger Shen (p. 85) – unarmed combatant that mimics a tiger by striking the correct location to paralyze & becoming immune to fear, and eventually gaining a hybrid battle form.

The index is very good for covering Dragon and Dungeon, and gets most non-setting-specific books up to the last time it was updated, but is missing several setting-specific books (it has both the campaign setting and players’ guides for both Eberron and Faerûn, plus Magic of Faerûn and Races of Faerûn) as well as later books (obviously). It also explicitly does not cover psionics for some reason, which is a shame since psionics does good things with monks.

Major missing books include Expanded Psionics Handbook, Tome of Battle, the “second-wave” Complete books (Champion, Mage, Psionics, Scoundrel), the “Outside” books (Cityscape, Dungeonscape, Frostburn, Sandstorm, and Stormwrack), and Races of the Dragon.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just reading this morning about the Argent Fist class (Faiths of Eberron, p. 70) which is built upon a Paladin and Monk and requires either of the Knight Training or Monastic Training feats (Eberron Campaign Setting) which allow stacking Paladin and Monk to be mixed freely. Upon taking the first level of the class, you add your Paladin/Monk/Argent Fist levels for a both the Unarmed Strike progression and extra damage of Smite Evil. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Dec 5 '15 at 18:37
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The Monk Handbook has a few that synergise well with the Monk, but that's not all of them.

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There is a list of all 3.5e Prestige Classes published by WotC, on their website here. It also lists the book and page number where the class details are.

It has a search function so you can find keywords in the name or description.

Keyword "monk" gives this list:

  • battle scion
  • inquisitor of the Drowning Goddess
  • monk of the long death
  • Shintao monk
  • Shou disciple
  • Sun Soul monk
  • tattooed monk

Keyword "fist" (as suggested by starwed) gives this:

  • enlightened fist
  • Fist of Hextor
  • fist of Raziel
  • Fist of Zuoken
  • hin fist
  • master transmogrifist
  • sacred fist
  • child of night
  • argent fist
  • Fist of Dal Quor
  • fist of the forest

Searching by other keywords may give better results.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd suggest searching for "fist" to add a few more, since that seems a common naming convention. \$\endgroup\$ – starwed Sep 18 '14 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @starwed That gives some good results. Thanks for the suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Sep 19 '14 at 0:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's useful to blindly include search results that have nothing to do with Monks in the answer. The Master Transmogrifist and Child of Night stick out particularly badly... \$\endgroup\$ – Ernir Sep 19 '14 at 8:51
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No, a comprehensive list of prestige classes that synergize with monks does not exist

There are guides that can help you with specific builds, google "optimized monk".

Otherwise you will have to go through all prestige classes looking for synergies. The link that Adeptus posted lists all the prestige classes. If you do decide to go through them all, please post your list as an answer.

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Here are a list of some I found online, though I do not trust the source for some of them, and a good majority of them I removed from this list due to homebrew: Brother of Blade, Drunken Master, Ghost Monk, Monitor, Monk of Time and History

Book of Exalted Deeds: Initiate of Pistis Sophia (has special abilities like Fist of the Heavens, and smite evil)

Complete Adventurer: Nightsong Enforcer (Obtainable requirements, and utilizes sneak attacks), Street Fighter (An option)

Complete Warrior: Drunken Master (listed above 3rd link), Justicar (Depends on how forgiving your character is), Kensai (Recommend looking at this one!), Reaping Mauler, Tattooed Monk

Sword and Fist - A guidebook to Fighters and Monks: Drunken Master (Also in Complete Warrior), Fist of Hextor (Strict Alignments here), Ghost Walker, Master Samurai (Utilizes Ki), Ninja of the Crescent Moon (must contact Crescent moon leadership), Red Avengers (Revolves around Ki), Weapon Master (Allows for unarmed, but also works with monk weapons).

The other books I have revolve around races too much and I did not include psionics. I was unable to find a place that included the books to find them in, so I wrote this one up myself. I hope this is what you are looking for.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That last one is better known as Sword and Fist, and most of them have been replaced by 3.5 updates (many of those in Complete Warrior). Also, this list is woefully incomplete, and attempting to answer this question with a list you’ve made yourself just in answer to this question seems like a not-exactly-great way to do it anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 17 '14 at 23:29

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