From PathfinderWiki
Sajan, iconic monk.
Region Any
Races Any
Alignment [1]
Iconic character Sajan
Images of monks

Source: Core Rulebook (First Edition), pg(s). 56–60 (1E)
Core Rulebook (Second Edition), 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.[2]

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. Monks are perhaps the rarest class in Golarion, outnumbered even by the elite paladins.[3]

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.[3]


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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5] There they can learn martial arts in the greatest of Jalmeray's many monastic orders known collectively as the Houses of Perfection.[6]

Finally, temples of Irori found throughout the Inner Sea region have begun training monks to help spread the worship of their god.[7]


Any race might be inclined to the life of a monk. The orders are so small that the chances of finding any given race are almost equal. The lawful races have a natural disposition to the demands of monastic life, whereas the more chaotic races such as orcs are not likely to find the life tolerable.[citation needed]

There are no restrictions on the race of a monk, but dwarf, halfling, lizardfolk, duskwalker, tiefling, 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.[8]

There are many monks who look inward for guidance, rather than outward, and choose not to worship any deities whatsoever.[9]


Monks[10] 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.[11][12]


  1. In Pathfinder First Edition, monks were restricted to lawful alignments.
  2. Logan Bonner et al. (2019). Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p. 69. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-168-9
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 10. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
  4. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 50. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  5. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 74. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  6. Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, John Compton, and Thurston Hillman. (2014). Inner Sea Combat, p. 3. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-598-3
  7. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 274. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  8. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 222. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  9. Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 101. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8
  10. This section is true only for Pathfinder First Edition.
  11. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 56–60. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  12. Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 64. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3