Retribution of the Lotus Wheel
In this particular campaign setting, monks can be of different alignments than Lawful, all depending on their Order. Some Orders are simply “Lawful” or “Chaotic” which mean that they can be of any alignment that possesses that moniker. Some Orders, however, are more specific. Within the particular Order, members can be of any “related” alignment up until level 3; if, by level 3, the hero’s alignment is not the exact one matching the order, the hero can go no further as a monk of this Order. Related alignments are any alignment in the same base tree; for instance, a hero of a NG Order could be NG, CG, or LG, whereas if she were of a N order she could be N, LN, or CN.
There are three different orders the heroes can start out with: the foremost is the Order of the Lotus Wheel, which is a Neutral Good Order. That means the heroes can start out either Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Chaotic Good. If they wish to continue their progress with the Order past level 3, they must be Neutral Good. If their alignment is not Neutral Good yet they wish to continue training as a monk, they will need to find an Order that fits their alignment restriction (different orders are stackable, to an extent). Although the vast majority of monk Orders are Lawful, there are of course exceptions.
Most monk Orders correlate to different monk archetypes. The basic monk (no archetype) is a Lawful Order. The Order of the Lotus Wheel is a special archetype related to the Monk of the Healing Hand Archetype (see below) and is a Neutral Good order. In other instances, monks of the archetype of Drunken Master would be a Chaotic Order, and monks of the Hungry Ghost archetype are Lawful Evil. Ask the DM for defining what Order you may be interested in.
When heroes change an archetype to another they lose the previous benefits/restrictions of that archetype and gain those of the new archetype. Note that changing an archetype is a complete change of philosophy and doctrine and may only be done with DM approval and through appropriate in game events and training.
Monk Orders (Archetypes) Available at Character Creation:
Monk of the Lotus Wheel
Revere: Qi Zhong, Irori, or Pharasma
Alignment: Neutral Good (exact)
Monks of this Order focus on the perfection granted in the selflessness of helping others. Powers granted are identical to the Monk of the Healing Hand archetype, along with the following:
Novice Healing Hand: A monk of the healing hand possesses a mystical understanding of the pathways of life and death. As a full round action, the monk can Stabilize (as the spell) one creature one time per day. In addition, the monk gains a +2 to all Healing checks.
Monk of the Five Winds
Revere: Qi Zhong
Alignment: Neutral (sympathetic)
Monks of this Order focus on Qi Zhong’s teachings on the importance of the five elements—fire, earth, metal, water, and wood—and their connection to the balance of all things. This Order is identical to the Monk of the Four Winds archetype, with one exception: the Elemental Fist ability manifests as Acid (Earth), Fire (Fire), Ice (Water), Electricity (Air), or Poison (Wood). There are hints and rumors that other, more elemental, Aspects are granted to a high level Monk of the Five Winds, but no evidence has been forthcoming.
Alignment: Neutral (sympathetic)
Monks of this Order follow the teachings of Irori, the Enlightened One, and believe that knowledge and understanding is the true root to perfection. This Order is identical to the Ki Mystic archetype except for the following:
Ki Prodigy: Ki Masters have a natural understanding of ki that cannot be taught. At level 1, the Ki Master possesses one bonus point of ki, which can be spent in the usual way. This bonus point of ki stacks with the usual requisition of ki at higher levels.