This is an idea that's been bouncing around my head for the past week and wouldn't leave me alone. So I figured I'd put it here for discussion and hope that that will help clear my mind of it. Much of what I use as examples will be with a Serenwilde bent, due to Kay being of Serenwilde, but I will try to offer thoughts and examples for other organizations.
It had occurred to me that of the archetypes in the game monks are the only ones without skills to really help tie them to the commune. Wicca and guardians have their cosmic and nature skills, druids and mages have their elementalism and nature skills. And both druids and wicca have totems as well. Those are the most obvious. Warriors can choose totems as well, offering that as a tie. Bards are a bit looser, but even they have ties. Wildarrane, for example, calls on ancestor spirits and Starhymn has their hymns. But monks don't really have anything quite like that. At least commune monks have Scorpion and Bull, but even then I view that as tenuous. So I had the idea for another tertiary, or secondary, for monks with a focus on their organization.
I had a couple considerations to take into account as I was thinking on it. First is that I felt it should be an internalized skill, rather than externalized. What I mean by this is that the effects shouldn't be an external display like calling down moonfire or filling an area with a miasma. Instead they would be abilities that affect the monk, or are triggered by the monks actions. The reason being that monks, much like warriors, are a physical class. All their skills are focused on the physical, or themselves. Even the more mystical effects tend to be self-contained, as with psychometabolism. Though there is an exception in the harmony mantra fires.
Another consideration was if they should each get their own skill, if they should get a base skill as a choice with a subskill specific to their organization, or if there should just be two skills, one for communes and one for cities, with a couple different abilities for each organization, the way druidry and wicca are. I can see arguments for each.
And finally, how would these skills work. This is the tricky part, and why this is mostly here just to get it out of my head, as you'd want to to keep in theme with the monk archetype, but that makes the question one of how to do so without just ripping off and re-branding one of their existing skills, as they're pretty well covered in that regard. The option that stuck in my mind the most would be to make it largely a contingency based or triggered skill. An example of what I mean by this is that they get abilities that do things like 'On activation for the next three strikes an attack has a 50% chance to entangle the struck limb.' Or, 'Upon activation for the next two seconds an attack has a chance to cause blackout.' And they wouldn't just be limited to attacks, but could also be triggered by moving or being moved, by being attacked, and so on.
However, I already see issues with that. Big ones. First, we already have things that modify our attacks. Used to be they were modifiers. Now they're form bonuses. Second is that monks are already capable of hitting with a lot of afflictions each time they attack. 3 actions in a form each causing an affliction, and 2 poisons with a chance to afflict. And that's just afflictions from the kata based skills. So balance would be... A nightmare.
But I just wanted to see about getting it out of my head. And possibly get some discussion on it. Do you feel skills in this vein, thematically if not the implementation I had in my brain, would be worth considering? Can you think of how to make it work? Is everything I said horrible and I should be burned at the stake?
Please don't actually threaten to burn me at the stake. I'm a GOOD witch.