Looks like Monk is even more skewed towards Orc/Taurog combo then. Also messes with the preparation.
Agreed; the monk playstyle is narrowing considerably with each iteration. The classic human monk was always a little on the strong side, but these attempts to nerf the class are more handicapping his playstyle without making him weaker.
The Skullpicker change is a little bit disappointing. A +5 damage boost is worth the -2 mana or
the inventory space, but not both. It's still a great item for humans, monks, and rogues, but for most characters it's just not worth the tradeoff anymore. Piety cost doesn't enter into it; Taurog is a piety farm and the real cost of his boons are inventory space and mana.
The bloodmage change is quite welcome. He's always been a relatively weak class and this brings him well into line.