Ki is the mystical energy that powers a Monk's attacks or abilities.
Differences between Ki and Spell Points
Ki (pronounced "kee") works similarly to spell points but with notable exceptions.
- Ki is a renewable but temporary resource, generated as a monk attacks enemies (or, in some cases, if the monk is struck).
- Accumulated ki drains away from the monk over time, but more slowly as the Monk levels up.
- Unlike spell points, where resting or Elixirs of Mnemonic Enhancement can recharge spell points, ki can be generated only through fighting or Meditation.
- Available ki is influenced by WIS but, unlike mages that use INT or CHA, ki is based on a skill, Concentration.
The Ki Bar
Characters with one or more levels of monk will possess a yellow bar under their HP meter, called the Ki Bar. It displays three numbers:
- The first number shows the current ki available. This number will change based on the base ki that can be stored.
- The second number shows the maximum ki the monk can achieve, which appears visually as a filled ki meter.
Your base maximum ki is equal to ten times the character's monk level, plus forty, plus five times your Wisdom modifier.
- The third number, shown in parentheses, represents the rate at which a monk's ki regenerates or decays while not fighting. A rate of (+1) means you're gaining 1 ki per six seconds. A rate of (-2) means you're losing 2 ki at every six seconds.
The rate at how much you gain or lose ki is determined by your Concentration, a critical skill for the monk. If your ki is equal to or less than your Concentration skill, it does not decay. For each multiple of your Concentration skill that it exceeds it by, you receive -1 ki for every 6 seconds. If your Concentration score is zero or negative, it's treated as if it were 1, which makes retaining ki difficult. Your stable ki level, where you will no longer lose ki, is equal to your Concentration score.
Gaining and Losing Ki
There are different ways to generate ki that benefit a monk tactically. There are many ways to lose accumulated ki as well.
Your ki will reset to its base number if you:
- Enter or exit a quest. Just as many buffs reset, so does your ki.
- Rest at a shrine.
If your Monk becomes uncentered, you will rapidly lose ki until you're at 0 - which is effectively your base number while uncentered.
There are several ways to generate ki.
Attack or Be Attacked
The primary way to generate ki is by attacking an enemy. In general, a melee attack that does more than zero damage will generate 1 ki. Scoring a critical hit will net you 3 ki.
If you are in Fire Stance you gain 2 Ki on a normal attack, and between 5-8 Ki on a critical hit, depending on the rank of your Fire Stance. In Earth Stance, a monk will also gain ki should they be hit by an enemy.
The Way of the Tenacious Badger enhancement allows your monk to gain more ki while damaging an opponent for as long as the monk is below a certain percentage of health. The Way of the Elegant Crane increases the ki a monk will receive when scoring a critical hit.
Oremi's Necklace, the Dream Edge, Spider-spun Caparison, Vestments of the Sun Soul, Frozen Tunic, and Visions of Precision are the only items in the game to date that give you Enhanced Ki, giving +1 ki on each successful attack. In more improved Fire Stances and higher Monk attacks per round, Enhanced Ki can help rapidly fill a ki bar in seconds. Alchemist's Pendant also has an Enhanced Ki-like effect called Alchemical Conservation.
Meditate or Rest
The Meditation feat regenerates your ki based off the monk's wisdom modifier and monk level. While meditating you can go over your centered Ki up to three times your stable ki level. All Monks receive two Meditation turns per rest. Henshin Mystics can train the Tier 3 enhancement Embrace the Void for up to an additional 3 Meditation turns for a total of 5, while also gaining faster ki generation while meditating.
Experienced monks rarely use shrines for an important reason: While a shrine restores their health points (HP), resting completely drains all excess ki, returning the monk to their stable pool of ki. Tactically, this isn't good, especially if the monk wants to use his excess ki in an upcoming fight. At higher character levels, using a rest shrine will have fewer disadvantages since your stable ki pool will be larger with more Concentration skill points applied.
Monks should only use a shrine when:
- They are virtually out of ki needed to regenerate HP from ki itself, using the feat Wholeness of Body. Resting will bring their ki up to your centered ki level.
- They have used up their two turns of the Meditation feat, which quickly regenerates ki in their bar
- They must recharge needed "clickies" (Ring of the Ancestors, Gloves of Titan's Grip, Madstone Boots, Shard of Xoriat, Visor of the Flesh Render Guards, and the like)
- They feel they can sufficient regenerate ki passively on their own (see below)
Ki Regeneration Effects
Unlike spell casters, lower-level Monks generally do not regenerate ki while in cities or taverns, even when at rest. If a Monk's ki is below their stable level (+0), ki will not regenerate. A Monk can use Meditation in a tavern to restore ki, or attack things such as a Guild Training Dummy in public instances.
Some enhancements and Epic Destinies allow passive ki regeneration. Passive regeneration restores 1 point or more (depending on the number of effects) to your stable ki point, and sometimes beyond, while you are idle or in Sneak mode.
Passive ki regeneration effects stack with each other.
Do not confuse passive ki regeneration with Enhanced Ki, which only adds additional ki on performing melee attacks. Wearing an item with Enhanced Ki does not passively generate ki.
The passive ki regeneration options available as of Update 21:
- Stealthy: A Tier 1 Ninja Spy ability. Gain +1 to passive ki regeneration when trained to rank 3 and only when using Sneak.
- Contemplation: A Tier 2 Henshin Mystic ability or Tier 2 Kensei "Ascetic Training". Gain +1 passive ki regeneration when trained to rank 3. (Kensei and Mystic versions are anti-requisites and cannot be stacked.)
- Greater or Ultimate Ocean Stance Monk feats: Gain +1 passive ki regeneration.
- Serenity: The last core enhancement at level 20 for Henshin Mystics. Gain +1 passive ki regeneration.
- Way of the Tenacious Badger: A Tier 1 Henshin Mystic animal form. Gain +1 passive ki regeneration when your hit points drop to 50% or less.
- Enlightenment: A Tier 1 Grandmaster of Flowers ability; Gain +1 passive ki regeneration at rank 3.
- Balance in All Things: The sixth and final innate ability of the Epic Destiny Grandmaster of Flowers: Gain +1 passive ki regeneration.