One hundred reasons why this character or NPC became a monk.
|Patience and discipline come natural to this character. From a young age, they understood these concepts fully (even to the extent of taking a vow of silence for a year at age 10).
|This monk was born with a debilitating illness that left them weak and frail. Seeking a way to overcome their limitations, they turned to the study of martial arts and meditation, eventually becoming a skilled monk who could channel their inner strength to overcome their physical weakness.
|This monk is a former criminal who found spirituality and repented by joining a monastery.
|This monk is from a long line of religious fundamentalists and joined because he had no other choice.
|This monk was once a wealthy merchant who lived a life of excess and indulgence. However, after experiencing a personal tragedy, they realized the emptiness of their former life and sought a new path. They turned to the monastery to learn the ways of simplicity and self-discipline.
|This monk was dropped off at the front porch of a monastery as an orphan.
|This monk was a wealthy noble who decided to abdicate and leave their life of luxury for a monastery after noticing the evils of the world.
|They wanted to study more about death but the outside world called their practices 'despicable' but the long death monks were more than happy to supply bodies and equipment to continue their studies.
|As a youth the character spent most of their life stealing & in getting into street fights. One day they were cornered by several men with weapons. The character was saved when an unarmed man defeated the men with weapons. After seeing what a true master of unarmed combat could do, the character pledged their life to the monk.
|One of the characters' relatives was a monk. The character always looked up to this relative for their physical prowess and discipline.
|The character was a former criminal who made the mistake of attempting to hide from the law at the monastery. They ran away many times but the fear of the law always brought them back. Eventually they accepted their fate to become a monk. Years of training later they finally passed the test to become a monk.
|The character was raised by the monks after his or her parents were killed during a (bandit raid, monster attack, plague, storm).
|The character was drawn to the ruins of a monastery. A ghostly figure appeared before them and told the character they were the last of the iron wolf clan. The ghost led the character to a set of ancient training scrolls concealed deep within the ruins.
|This person was sent to the monastery as a troubled child to learn discipline and calm.
|Another monk led them to the monastery in order to formally train a true talent and prevent them from being led to evil.
|Leaders at the monastery believe this character to be the reincarnation of their former master.
|This monk was a former soldier who suffered from PTSD after a traumatic battle. Seeking a way to find inner peace, they turned to the monastery to learn meditation and mindfulness practices.
|They were a sailor who witnessed many of their fellow crew members meet their end in a massive storm. They took to a monastery to meditate and calm their soul.
|They were a sage who found worn tomes detailing a martial art form thought forgotten. They dedicated themselves to resurrecting the art form by becoming its first practitioner in centuries.
|A half orc fearful of his rage-filled orc side sought the monastery to control his emotions and stayed because they felt more like a family than his family does.
|After living with a large family where they were never really alone they wanted some peace and quiet. The monastery offered that.
|This monk was once a powerful wizard, but after delving too deeply into dark magic, they became corrupted and evil. Seeking redemption, they turned to the teachings of the monastery to learn the ways of the light and atone for their past mistakes.
|The character was originally an acclaimed academic, but, after seeing the corruption in the upper echelon of the educated world, decided to abandon their studies and center themselves at a local monastery.
|The character was originally a renowned performer, but became [burned out/obsessed with fame] and went to a monastery far away from where they're most known in order to center themselves.
|He had a breakthrough in the war. The knowledge he had gathered through that experience had made his mindset change drastically.
|They were rescued from a cult and brought to a monastery so that they could regain control of their mind.
|The way of the shadow monastery dominates the area and claims children from local families to train for their dark army. This character is one of those children. They had one choice: become a monk or die a slave.
|This monk was born into a family of powerful sorcerers, but they felt out of place among their kin. Seeking a new identity and purpose, they turned to the monastery to learn the ways of the monk and discover their true potential.
|Every night when they sleep, they dream vividly of places they have never been, things they have never done - mountain temples and battlefields, and the sensation of flying through the air as a master of fists and steel. This character follows the path now because they believe they were a monk in so many of their previous lives that it is destiny for them to return to the path in this life.
|In your youth during peaceful times an old monk taught the children of your village, including both the importance of mental and physical training. As a young adult the ruler changed and with them changed many laws, taxes, and the disposition of the people. The elder monk taught you about balance and how some of the new changes were good but also shouldn't be taken too far, but they eventually were. The old monk was exiled for his 'dangerous' teachings, the ruler's policies worsened, and times grew darker. Eventually you decided the answer to bring balance back was to unite the people by showing them just how bad it had gotten. But you could only settle on one way to break them from their lazy acceptance of the way things were. You would embrace the darkness, amplify it, and become the symbol that the people hated. In hopes it would inspire a spark of light in others.
|A secret underground organization abducts people, wipes their minds and then turns them into trained monks.
|An evil man with a double headed snake banner killed your parents. Slavers chained you to a giant wheel where others died over the years but you grew strong. The endless turning of the wheel allowed you to practice mental purity and vision in a remarkable way. As your body flourished and your mind focused you found your KI energy that eventually allowed you to win your freedom.
|As an Urchin on the streets of _________________ this character grew up fighting for survival. Quick hands meant food and coins from merchants, and quick feet meant escaping the guards and the slavers. One mistake changed their life in a profound way when they attempted to pickpocket a quiet man in a saffron robe. His hands were quicker and his patience was endless. Soon the monastery was home and The Way of the Open Hand a distinct possibility.
|Watching a traveling circus from a distant land led to an interesting night around a campfire with Lao Tzu, a man of many talents and a vision of purity of mind. His apprentice had just died in a drunken knife throwing competition...
|This monk was once a criminal who was sentenced to hard labor in a monastery as punishment. However, they soon found peace and purpose in the monastic life and decided to stay on as a monk even after their sentence was completed.
|They were dumped at a monastery as a child. The monastery was so remote that there was nowhere else to go. He's found peace with the teachings at last at a ripe age of 34.
|Some psionic creatures or spells left their mind permanently dulled. They have no memories except their muscle memory. Without a fully functional mind, their only grasp on reality is through their body, and so they train it to perfection.
|This monk started his journey when he found an ancient tome called 'Way of the Open Palm'.
|This monk's (home, farm, village) was destroyed. A wandering monk found me half dead among the ruins of my home. They healed me and began to teach me to walk this path.
|This monk's parents took them to the monastery to learn how to read. While they were there, they learned a few other things as well.
|My parents took me to watch a martial arts competition. After seeing the amazing feats of skill, I thought 'one day I want to be able to do that'.
|Abandoned child born of a forbidden love had intelligence and drive, but nowhere to go, until the abbot saw them alone in the street.
|Fugitive enslaved person has nowhere else to go, and is protected by the monastery from his enslavers.
|A rogue ne'er-do-well is hiding out and running scams while working as the world's worst monk.
|Became a monk as an alternative to having a hand chopped off for theft.
|Had a religious dream that led the person to a monkish life.
|This monk forgot the reason why they became a monk, maybe they will remember someday while they continue in this path. Perhaps they have poor memory.
|My Father was a renowned monk in the region growing up and I just want to follow in his footsteps and make him proud.
|This monk one day had a mental breakdown from the monotony of their demanding job and walked away into the nearby mountains. After resting and meditating for several days, they were eventually found by a small troupe of monks who were sent to gather 'useful things' from the mountains. Deeming this monk useful, they fed them and brought them back to their monastery where they trained and educated them in their ways.
|This monk, in a fit of desperation, threw themselves from a cliff. In the fall down, they became so enlightened to their purpose in life that in sheer desperation suddenly began attempting to slow their fall. Despite the height of the fall, by a miracle they survived, although badly injured resulting in a [crippling permanent injury]. After healing up, they sought out a monastery that aligned with their new outlook on life, and devoted their life to learning and serving the collective there.
|This monk is a painter of world renown. They have honed their technique and quieted their mind in such a way as to achieve balance and mastery of their bodily movements. Although not claiming to be a monk, much of their life tenements align with many monk monasteries in the region.
|This monk was once an actor training for a role. However, they fell so deeply into the role, they found inner peace and never left the character. They are presumed dead by those who only know them as the actor / bard.
|This monk has failed and literally every other part of their life. One day, someone made a comment about sitting and thinking all day, and they decided maybe they could do that. Although initially failing at meditation, they proved to be an eager student and willing to do the undesirable jobs around the temple. Eventually, they achieved some semblance of peace, and the monastery 'counted it' and fully accepted them as a monk.
|This monk just decided to run one day, running far away from their problems. Clearing their mind and working their body, they ran for miles and miles, hours turning into days turning into weeks. Soon word spread of the person running loops of large and long merchant roads. Soon athletes from all over came to them and asked them their secret, and why they ran. Surprisingly to the monk, people really took their words to heart, and soon they had a following of devoted runners. This following turned into a network of guards who patrolled these merchant roads to protect 'The Runner', and their following soon learned combat to fend off would-be threats to the runner guru. Some say they are still running to this day. Some say they aren't monks at all. But none can deny..... they keep on running, by some miracle.
|This monk was once mistaken as a monk, and decided to not correct the person. it has been years... they are still too polite to correct anybody, and have now become a monk.
|This monk is Mr. Bean. Although everyone is pretty sure they are a complete idiot... They can't help but be unable to prove otherwise as they manage to achieve absolute miracle-like physical feats and survive battles with their strange style of 'bumbling fool'. The Master is adamant they are meant for greatness, but everyone else is more surprised than hopeful.
|This monk once allowed his rage to run freely, resulting in the defeat of his greatest enemy, but at the cost of damaging a nearby dam, flooding his village and home region and resulting in the death of his family. He has vowed to never again act on emotions, and exiled himself to a monastery in a far away land to hide and bury his emotions and suppress his rage.
|This monk had a crisis of faith and instead of reconnecting with their god, they instead found inner peace. They now practice the teachings of balance and work on their physical fitness, but they still give their time to their old temple and help those through crisis, prioritizing their inner peace rather than restoring their faith in their deity.
|This monk spent years of their life and trained with and served a monastery just so they could have access to their private lake to fish in peace.
|This monk spent years of their life and trained with and served a monastery just so they could have access to their exclusive brewing methods and drink their signature wine and ale.
|This monk is actually a thief in disguise who snuck in to steal valuable artifacts and scrolls. However, after years undercover, they got distracted with the teachings and the training of the monastery and are now in a leadership position training the next batch of newcomers.
|This monk joined the monastery to be closer to their crush. However, when their crush passed on from disease, they never got around to actually leaving, and the grief has bound them to stay ever since.
|This monk vowed to a god there would become a monk if they helped them survive an impossible scenario. They ended up surviving it, and continued to have atrocious luck until they followed through with the perceived demand. They fear divine intervention if they attempt to leave, now.
|This Warlock made a pact with a celestial and part of the deal was assisting and hiding out in this monastery as a monk. It's been years and they are starting to wonder if they have been duped.
|This monk was in an abusive relationship and the monastery / church helped them escape that bad situation and start a new life under a new name.
|This monk owned a tavern that repairs and theft were turning them to ruin. They sought help from a nearby monastery, who taught them to fight, to calm their mind, and some signature brewing recipes and techniques. Now their tavern is donated to the monastery, and they are capable of defending it themselves... but often have other monks close by to assist.
|This monk is a dragon in disguise, silently testing the other monks on the tenants of this monastery they, themselves, founded centuries earlier. Every few hundred years they pretend to be a new recruit, and challenge the monastery in their beliefs if they begin to stray.
|This monk is a hag in disguise. They use the monastery to mask their exploits and ill will, but they fear the head monks are starting to catch wise.
|This monk broke their vow of silence when they received news their village had been hit by slavers. They now travel the realm searching for slavers to redeem themselves.
|This monk was brought up on old bardic tales of monk fighters and wise followers who reached enlightenment by sitting on a mountain. When they were old enough, they ran away to start their training.
|This monk used to weigh 400+ pounds and wanted to change their life. Meditation and self actualization helped them lose weight, get healthier, and turn their life around.
|This bard loves singing in the monastery's choir. They have been doing so for so long, the monks consider them a fellow monk.
|This monk dreams of being a renowned detective. However, they got caught up in the training to catch a perp instead of how to search for clues.
|This monk just wanted to be accepted by their friends, and all their friends became monks.... so they have just tagged along as well.
|This monk once joked about becoming a monk at a tavern. A fellow patron was so adamant and condescending about how they would never become a monk that it drove them into seeking out a monastery and starting their training the very next day out of spite.
|Overheard their crush saying how they thought a certain monk was cute; the character decided to join the monk's order in an effort to impress the crush. Though initially dismayed by the vow of chastity, the character has taken to the lifestyle surprisingly well.
|The monk was a low-level caster who was part of a group of wizards/clerics/paladins. When the group was ambushed by a demon who cast Anti-Magic Field, they were quickly and gruesomely killed in hand-to-hand combat. The lone survivor swore vengeance, as well as vowing never to be reliant on arcane or divine magic again.
|This monk was captured while attempting to rob a monastery. When the monks forgave them and set them free, they were so overwhelmed that they joined the order.
|While lost in the wilderness I sharpened the only weapon I could trust, my body.
|This child of a noble family was pushed into the monastery so that they wouldn't compete with their siblings for the inheritance.
|The monastery is the best place to exercise this monk's passion for learning.
|This monk joined the monastery after its other monks bought him out of slavery as an act of mercy.
|A revered and mysterious saint accosted this person and, surprising everyone, declared the divine will that they become a monk.
|A monastery owns lands that it leases to tenant farmers. Giving some of their children over to the monastery is a condition of the lease.
|The story of a great monk from ages past has been this monk's lifelong obsession.
|A thief infiltrated a monastery in disguise in order to rob it, but discovered that they actually really liked the lifestyle.
|This monk was given the choice: prison or the monastery.
|This monk looks like a foreigner to the lands you have found him in. He has left his demons behind and found peace in a faraway land.
|This monk was mistaken to look like a celebrity monk. They were asked to sign their name on some paper, pose with their fists up, and were treated very favorably. Afterward they pondered the thought of being a monk, rising in fame, and decided to become a monk themselves.
|The monk lifestyle was always a revered and respected practice in their village that few were asked to follow. One day monk leaders came to observe the children at school, something caught their eye in you as they asked you and your parents if you would be interested in joining their local monastery. All of you honorably accepted and the next day you began your training as a monk.
|This monk lost their arms in a terrible tragedy and sank into despair wondering what would become of their future without their hands. Blaming their past mistakes for the tragedy, they promised to use their hands for good if they were ever restored. One day a family member visited with unique gifts, two prosthetic hands that fit them perfectly. Filled with gratitude and commitment, they joined a monastery to put the new prosthetics to good use and to keep their past promise.
|This monk was abandoned in the streets as a child and befriended other orphan children as they built a fragile community of support and survival. A mysterious creature took notice of this, appeared to them, and showed them the way of the monk. Afterward this orphaned community formed their very own monastery, named after this helpful stranger.
|The father of their significant other told them they could marry them if they split a gigantic boulder in two pieces with one punch. They knew they would have to become a monk in order to accomplish this near impossible task and joined a monk monastery with the goal of winning the father's approval.
|This monk and their family were severely beaten and traumatized in broad daylight by a rogue monk at a young age. Afterward they swore to take up the monk discipline to avenge their family from this shameful monk and maybe one day teach them a lesson on manners.
|The character was ill, and their hometown turned them out so as to not allow others to become infected. A monk found the character, dying, and nursed them back to health in the monastery.
|Entry to the monastery was highly desirable and an honor reserved only for the privileged. Nobel's success in their applications (possibly supported by bribes) would send their children to be trained in these ways. During one of the festival processions celebrating the arrival of new students, the character hid in/under a carriage to get inside the walls, then joined the other children as if they were meant to be there; no one ever noticed.
|This monk was once a powerful warrior, but after a battle that claimed many lives, they became disillusioned with violence and sought a new path. They found solace in the teachings of a monk who taught them how to use their strength for healing rather than destruction.
|This monk was raised by a hermit in the wilderness, learning the ways of nature and meditation. When their mentor passed away, they sought out a community of like-minded individuals and found a monastery where they could continue their spiritual journey.
|This monk was once a skilled thief, but after a heist went wrong and they were betrayed by their comrades, they realized the error of their ways. Seeking a new path in life, they turned to the teachings of a wise monk and became their apprentice, eventually joining the monastery themselves.
|This monk grew up in a noble family, but after experiencing the horrors of war, they renounced their wealth and status. Seeking a way to serve a higher purpose, they joined a monastery and devoted themselves to a life of humility and discipline.