Fantasy games are full of medieval and pseudo-medieval imagery from the clash of chivalrous knights on horseback to the wily thieves making their way through cobbled streets, risking their necks to thieve a coin or two or a loaf of bread. The fantasy world is one of fields, villages, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Dragons and renaissance fair costume and pomp.
Quite where ninjas fit into that I am not sure.
When I think of Monks and of your usual fantasy fare I do not think of the 36 chambers of Shaolin, I think of Friar Tuck, I think of the chanting Monks from Monty Python & The Holy Grail. These are the images that come to mind, not a Jackie Chan time travel comedy.
This is not to say that martial arts aren?t cool or appealing, which is likely the reason that the kung fu Monk was chosen for the fantasy games, but the Monks that I remember could be pretty cool too. Friar Tuck was handy with a quarterstaff and a brewing kit after all; add some magic and clerical powers into that and you?re on to a winner.
The existing Cleric class is good, but it is something of a hybrid class and not entirely devoted to the scholarship of divine magic in the way that a Wizard concentrates on arcane magic. The Cleric can look after themselves in a fight, can wear armour and can cast a reasonable amount of magic but there is definitely room for tighter and more focussed divine caster, more limited in other ways. If the Cleric matches the Sorcerer somewhat in terms of versatility then the Monk found here matches the Wizard, a more scholarly and knowledgeable approach.