Keepers of Balance, The Grim Vow

I have been playing quite a bit of Diablo 3. The class that I am playing the most is the Monk class. Monks have been a very decisive class in D&D/Pathfinder. When anyone plays a monk, they want to play a Shaolin or wire-fu monk. But with some re-flavoring you can make a monk that better fits the medieval fantasy view that fits most settings. The purpose of making these factions for Gm’s as a source of NPC’s and new backgrounds for players to pull inspiration from. Factions I tend to create are left purposely open to work with any setting and allow the dm or player to embellish with their own flavor or taste

Who is the Grim Vow?

The Grim Vow is a religious following that strives to maintain the balance of power in the land. They believe if any one nation or faction gains too much power would lead to the downfall of world. “Not one Man shall choose the fate of the world” is a common motto for the Vow. They care called the Grim Vow is that because they must take a vow to forgo nation and creed? Once among the Vow you cut all ties with your past life. The Vow trains in unarmed combat and simple weapons. This practice is to have theirs practitioner keep a low profile. They train their bodies to withstand attacks through sheer force of will.  When the Vow is active they call their missions purges. During these purges the Vow assassinates the leadership. Leaving very little behind, often silencing any in their path towards the target. The Vow also has taken in children to be raised from within the Order. These children are called “Vow-born”. These Vow-born tend to be children that are not missed and can even be survivors of purges if they are young enough. Vow-born are trained at a very young age in the arts of assassination.

The Vow tends to wear plain robes, and at times may mistake them for normal priests. They have no symbols that they carry with them. They mediate every morning to hone their mind to allow them to overcome their obstacles. While engaged in combat they try to stun exceptional individuals. Their movements in combat are meant to be as effective as possible. Through years of hard and quite dangerous practice, they have an almost surgical view in combat. They study (skill healing) to understand how the body operates and what best disables it.

When practitioners are not training, they travel to test their skills and to size up potential threats to the world.  The vow chooses to hide their identity from the world. If the world knew of their existence, it would make their operations that much more difficult

Knowledge Checks (history)

Easy legends speak of an order of assassins that kill with only their fists. Legends also say that they can’t be killed, that are part of the shadows.

Moderate The Grim Vow is a secret organization of monks and assassins they harness their own bodies into lethal weapons.

Hard: They are a group that operates in splinter groups they have no formal leadership. Just because you destroy one monastery there is always anther to take its place.


  • Your Character is a Vow Born; you have lived almost all of your life training. Currently you are journeying to test your skills in secret. This is your first time away from the monastery.  Does this experience test your vow? Or are you continue to follow the teachings.
  • The Pc’s could draw the attention of the Grim.  Their actions in the campaign have led to clash with the brotherhood. Since their actions may lead for the balance to shift.
  • Pc’s come across and actual purging taking place. With the Pc’s stuck in the middle, do they aid the monks or try to stop them?


  • Talim  Duskwalker  a human Monk. He spends much of his time helping a small town recover from a conflict between warlords. He passes himself off as missionary. But in fact during the last purging his order created an power vacuum causing two camps to fight over the village. While his brothers and sisters have left to return to their training. He has chosen to stay behind to help aid the villagers
  • Nerren of the Reach Elf-monk  has been operating to take out threats. One of his target is currently the PC’s who have been disrupting  their activities.  Their exploits are continuing to aid a known crime lord embedded in the political structure of a kingdom. The pc’s and unbeknownst to this fact and are unaware on why the monk keeps attacking them. Maybe if they talk to him they may have more of an idea between what their patron.
  • Brother Valerdai (VAL -er DAY)  is a leader of a Vow cell in the area. The PC’s owe him a favor for information they traded in one of their quests.  What favor will the PC’s have to do?

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One response to “Keepers of Balance, The Grim Vow”

  1. FenixxKnight says :

    In the current campaign I am playing in, 3/4 of PCs have monk levels. It’s an awesome PC class in Path. I play a Martial Artist archetype myself, especially so I can combine with Barb. But I like your thoughts too!

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