Surge Fist Monk (Unchained Monk Archetype)

Many martial artists have trained to channel their ki into concussive projectiles in one form or another. The surge fist monk has mastered one such technique, combining their inner might with threads of elemental power lingering in their blood to unleash great bursts of energy. Although not as versatile as kineticists, surge fist monks still have the ability to shape their ki energy to adapt to the current fight.

Kinetic Talent: Although they haven’t the skill to fully manipulate the elements, surge fist monks have a degree of control that allows them to benefit from some of the same techniques. They can use their surge fist monk levels in place of kineticist levels to meet the prerequisites for feats.

Surge Fist (Ex): The surge fist monk’s signature technique involves drawing threads of latent elemental energy from the world around them and infusing it into concussive blasts.

At 1st level, the surge fist monk selects an element, as per the kineticist’s elemental focus class feature, and learns one simple blast from this element. Unlike a kineticist’s kinetic blast, the surge fist monk deals damage with this blast as if using an unarmed strike (adding their Wisdom modifier in place of Strength) and it always targets normal AC and ignores spell resistance regardless of what type of damage it deals. Telekinetic blast cannot be used in this way; a surge first monk that chooses aether instead gains force blast and reduces its burn cost to 0, treating it as a simple blast. Blasts which deal untyped damage instead deal force damage when used this way.

A surge fist requires two free hands to use and can be used in place of any attack in a full attack or flurry of blows. In addition, the surge fist monk’s kinetic blast is treated as having the monk weapon property and being in the monk fighter weapon group for effects which affect such weapons, and counts as an unarmed strike for any feat which requires unarmed strikes. If the surge fist monk has levels in any other class which provides a kinetic blast, this ability alters the kinetic blasts provided by that class as well. Kinetic blasts used this way can only have substance infusions applied to them. A surge fist monk uses their Wisdom modifier in place of their Constitution modifier to determine the effects of substance infusions.

This ability replaces the bonus feats learned at 1st and 2nd levels.

Wild Ki (Su): A surge fist monk can alter their surge fists the same way kineticists can bend their kinetic blasts. At 4th level, they select a 1st level substance infusion of their surge fist’s element (or a 1st level universal substance infusion). By spending an amount of ki points equal to the infusion’s burn cost as a free action, they can apply that infusion to their surge fist.

The surge fist monk can learn additional substance infusions in place of ki powers; they use their surge fist monk levels -4 to determine their effective kineticist level to meet the infusion’s prerequisites (kineticist levels stack with this), and must expend an amount of ki points equal to the infusion’s burn cost as a free action to apply it to a surge fist they use. If they select the extra wild talent feat, it can only be used to select substance infusions unless they have levels as a kineticist.

In addition, a surge fist monk can select from the following ki powers:

  • Devastation Wave (Su): By spending 2 additional points from their ki pool when using shinku surge, a surge fist monk can add 1d6 to it for each point remaining in their ki pool (calculated after ki has been spent). A surge fist monk must have the shinku surge ki power to select this ki power.
  • Expanded Infusion (Su): Select one substance infusion the surge fist monk possesses. By spending 1 point from their ki pool plus the infusion’s burn cost as a swift action, they can apply its effects to all unarmed strikes and surge fists they use until the beginning of their next turn. A surge fist monk can select this ki power multiple times, choosing a different substance infusion each time.
  • Extended Range Surge Fist (Ex): By spending 1 point from their ki pool as a swift action, a surge fist monk can increase the range of surge fists they use this turn to 120 ft.
  • Extreme Range Surge Fist (Ex): By spending 2 points from their ki pool as a swift action, a surge fist monk can increase the range of surge fists they use this turn to 480 ft. A surge fist monk must have the extended range surge fist ki power and be 6th level to select this ki power.
  • Ki Infusion Specialization (Su): Whenever the surge fist monk applies one or more infusions to their surge fist, reduce the combined ki point cost of those infusions by 1 (to a minimum ki point cost of 0). This ki power can be selected up to 3 times; its effects stack. A surge fist monk must be 8th level to select this ki power, and select it a second and third time at 12th and 16th level respectively.
  • Ki Surge (Sp): By spending 1 point from their ki pool as a move action, a surge fist monk can temporarily enhance their physical power. Until the end of their next round, they receive a +2 size bonus to each of their physical ability scores and to Intimidate checks. Activating this ability produces a loud, highly visible effect, and changes the user’s appearance slightly (such as gaining animalistic qualities, a different hair or eye color, or exuding an aura). Whenever this effect would expire they can spend an additional 1 ki point as a free action to extend it for 1 additional round. A surge fist monk must be 6th level to select this ki power.
  • Ki Surge, Improved (Sp): When using ki surge, the surge fist monk can instead spend up to 1 point from their ki pool per 4 surge fist monk levels, receiving a size bonus equal to twice the ki points spent to each physical ability score and to Intimidate checks and lasting an additional number of rounds for each 2 ki points spent beyond the first. Spending 2 ki points to activate this is a standard action, and spending 3 or more is a full-round action. They must spend the same amount of ki points used to activate this ability to extend the duration of these bonuses. The more ki points spent on this, the more drastically their appearance changes, though they are always recognizable as themselves unless subjected to other effects which would alter their physical appearance or others’ perception of them. A surge fist monk must be 8th level and have ki surge to select this ki power.
  • Ki Surge, Greater (Su): A surge fist monk spends 1 less point from their ki pool to activate and maintain their improved ki surge. This reduction does not stack with any other effects which reduce the cost of a ki power, nor does it affect the ability’s duration. If the activation cost is 0 ki points, the ability is maintained passively, even when the surge fist monk is unconscious, and allows the alterations to one’s appearance to be activated or deactivated as a free action. A surge fist monk must have improved ki surge to select this ki power, and can select it up to 3 times: once at 12th level and once more for every 4 surge fist monk levels thereafter.
  • Rising Dragon Strike (Su): As long as the surge fist monk has at least 1 point in their ki pool, they apply an additional 1d6 damage of the same type as the simple kinetic blast gained through surge fist to attacks made with unarmed strikes and monk weapons they are wielding. Surge fists do not count as unarmed strikes or monk weapons for this ability. A surge fist monk must be 8th level to select this ki power.
  • Stunning Surge Fist (Ex): By spending 1 point from their ki pool as a swift action, a surge fist monk can use their stunning fist ability with a surge fist. A surge fist monk cannot apply the effects of a substance infusion to a surge fist used this way.
  • Shinku Surge (Su): By spending 2 points from their ki pool, a surge fist monk can make a single surge fist attack as a full-round action. When using a surge fist in this way, it deals damage as a kinetic blast used by a kineticist of the surge fist monk’s level, using their Wisdom modifier in place of Constitution modifier. If the surge fist monk has levels as a kineticist, they stack for the purpose of determining this damage. A surge fist monk must have the surging strike ki power and be 12th level to select this ki power.
  • Surging Quarter-Circle Kick (Ex): A surge fist can be used with one’s feet. A surge fist performed in this manner does not require open hands to use, but has its range reduced to 5 ft. and cannot have extended range surge fist or extreme range surge fist applied to it. Style strikes involving kicks can be used with a surge fist made this way, but not those involving fists.
  • Surging Strike (Su): A surge fist monk can make ki strikes with their surge fist. A surge fist monk must be 8th level to select this ki power.

A surge fist monk cannot select the following ki powers: elemental burst, elemental fury, ki range, qinggong power. When they use the ki blocker ki power, it also increases the burn cost of any wild talent used by the affected creature by 1 for its duration.

This ability replaces the ki power gained at 4th level and alters ki power.

Style Strike (Ex): A surge fist monk can apply style strikes that can be used with attacks made with one’s fists to surge fist.

This alters style strike.

Great Surge Fist (Ex): At 10th level, the surge fist monk selects an element, as per the kineticist’s expanded element. If it is different from their primary element, they gain one of that element’s simple blasts; if it is the same element and has multiple associated simple blasts, they learn whichever they did not know beforehand. They also gain the composite blast for which their two simple blasts are prerequisites, or if they chose the same element, gain the composite blast for which elemental focus and expanded element of that element are prerequisites (for example, a surge fist monk who takes earth twice will gain metal blast).

A surge fist monk’s composite blast deals damage as unarmed strikes made by a monk one size category larger. They must spend 1 point from their ki pool as a free action to use a composite blast in place of a simple blast. A surge fist monk who chooses aether twice can apply this effect to their force blast, treating it as a composite blast for this purpose. They must spend an additional 1 point from their ki pool to apply the effects of a composite blast that modifies another blast (such as aetheric boost) to a composite blast used this way.

This ability replaces the ki power gained at 10th level.

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