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A Centered state of being is a critical component of the Monk class, and Sacred Fist archetype of the Paladin class.
Several class-specific benefits are lost while a Monk/Sacred Fist is not Centered, effectively switching off the character's central powers.
- The character loses his Armor Class Bonus received at levels 1, 2, 5, 10 and 15.
- You cannot use or attain the benefits of any Monk-specific stances.
- Your ki meter drains rapidly to zero and cannot be refilled.
- The Fast Movement and Slow Fall abilities are disabled, leaving the character slower in running and in greater need of a Feather Falling item.
- Any Monk or Sacred Fist enhancements that toggle (such as Sting of the Ninja) will deactivate.
- The Flurry of Blows feat is disabled, bringing a Monk's Base Attack Bonus from 1 * Monk level to 0.75 * Monk level.
Being uncentered doesn't affect your AC bonuses related to WIS or DEX stats. Being uncentered also doesn't affect your Improved Evasion ability.
Characters with access to a Ki bar and who have not violated the requirements to remaining Centered, can be considered Centered for purposes of accessing bonus abilities related to the Centered state even if they are not of the Monk class. To access to a Ki bar you must have at least 1 Monk or Fist level, or be in the Grandmaster of Flowers Destiny, or have Twisted in Enlightenment from the Grandmaster of Flowers Destiny.
The most common way that a character becomes uncentered is by being encumbered. A character must not be encumbered in order to keep centered. Low-level characters are susceptible to Ray of Enfeeblement spells, which can reduce Strength and leave the character vulnerable.
Characters cannot wear any armor except robes or outfits in order to keep centered. If you are a Warforged character, you can use the Composite Plating (the starting plate all Warforged receive) but must not choose any other armor feats for that class.
Changing feats is more problematic—and expensive. A Warforged will remain permanently uncentered until they respec their feats, either through the free feat token from Lockania or by obtaining or purchasing (through the DDO Store) an appropriate dragonshard. Both tokens and dragonshards are used by Fred to swap feats. It may be advantageous for a Warforged to be rerolled, rather than to use a feat exchange.
Stuff that uncenters
- Monks and Sacred Fists cannot use shields. Their Evasion feats, Miss chance benefits and saves compensate for this over time.
- Energy draining attacks can also uncenter a character. Wearing spell absorption items will counter this issue, if only for a time.
- Players who multi-class Monk/Fist levels and use other weapons will find that their limited Monk skills are disabled; for example, a multi-class Artificer wearing a Rune Arm will be uncentered.
Being centered with weapons
- The kama, shuriken, quarterstaff, and handwraps are the only weapons most Monks and Sacred Fists can use without being uncentered. Note that Sacred Fist is proficient only with handwraps; using the others will incur the standard non-proficiency penalty, but will not uncenter them.
- Although monks are proficient with several other types of weapons, they are not considered a ki weapon.
- If the Ninja Spy enhancements are chosen by monks on the Path of Inevitable Dominion, shortswords can be used.
- Longswords can be used by taking the Whirling Steel Strike feat.
- Longbows & shortbows can be used by monks with the Zen Archery feat, although that feat itself does not give the weapon proficiency.
- Characters who multiclass with Fighter can use One With The Blade in Kensei enhancements to become centered with any melee weapon.
- Characters who invest in Deadly Blades in Vistani Knife Fighter enhancements can stay centered while wielding daggers.
Developer Notes on Armor Class and Centering
The Monk's Wisdom-based Armor Class bonus does not fully rely on the Centered state. This bonus has the same armor, shield, and encumbrance requirements as centered, but the Monk's weapons don't matter. A Monk still gets this bonus if he is uncentered only because of his weapons. This is intentional:
|Originally Posted by (former developer) Eladrin |
The monk wisdom (and class) bonus to armor class should essentially function "by the book". This bonus should be lost if wearing any armor, using a shield, or encumbered. It does not check for ki weapons however - it's less restrictive than the monk abilities that require one to remain centered.
Presumbaly, the same applies to the Sacred Fist's Charisma-based AC bonus, but this has not been confirmed.