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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
The Monk is a member of an ascetic order dedicated to the perfection of one's body and soul through the discipline of the martial arts. Monks start with only a simple weapon and a robe. When they choose a god for the first time, their spiritual training gives them a piety boost.

Preferred Races

Hill Orc, Merfolk, Gargoyle, Troll, Demonspawn, Centaur and Deep Dwarf are the recommended races if you pick a Monk Background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Monk adds 3 to your starting Strength, 2 to your starting Intelligence and 7 to your starting Dexterity.


  • Monks do not start with a god, but automatically gain ** piety when they first convert to a god. This does not apply to Ru, however; instead, they are immediately given a set of sacrifice options to make upon conversion. Since Gozag doesn't use piety, they skip the entry fee instead.


The main appeal of this background is the piety boost you gain upon choosing a god, especially when worshiping a god who offers bonuses at 1* or even 2* of piety, such as Okawaru or Makhleb. On the other hand, surviving until you find a suitable god to worship can be more challenging than with better equipped backgrounds like Fighter or Gladiator.


Prior to 0.19, monks could not choose a starting weapon - instead they started with unarmed combat.

Prior to 0.10, there was no piety bonus gained upon choosing a god.

Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterAssassin
Zealots BerserkerAbyssal KnightChaos Knight
Warrior-mages SkaldEnchanterTransmuterArcane MarksmanWarper
Mages WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistVenom Mage
Adventurers ArtificerWanderer