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View Full Version : [D&D 3.5]Unarmed Damage improvers



Eloel
2008-12-28, 10:11 AM
What classes are out there that would improve Unarmed Damage for a Monk? (Assume full monk-damage). Any class that synergizes with it is good too. I saw a few from Frostburn that might work good, but I'm looking for those that could work better.

Adumbration
2008-12-28, 10:15 AM
Fist of the Forest (CChampion).
Initiate of Draconic Mysteries (Dracomnicon).

Those are the two I remember.

ericgrau
2008-12-28, 10:16 AM
Grappple and/or stunning fist improve unarmed damage when you stack stunning fist on top of unarmed strike or if you initiate the grapple and remember the unarmed damage that comes with it. Initiating a grapple is an attack action, as are many actions done while grappling, so you can flurry it and use your remaining attacks inside the grapple. Rarely should you fire off an unarmed blow without any add-ons. A large size helps damage output (e.g., enlarge person), plus that boosts your grapple modifier to boot. Most magic items suck at boosting unarmed strikes outside of those that boost strength, but long buffs from a party member cast at the beginning of the day like greater magic weapon or heroism can really help. Ask for a mage armor while you're at it. In return you could take a slightly smaller share of treasure, since it only goes so far for you anyway. AB is at least as important for damage as damage per hit, especially with the loss to AB you take as a monk.

Eloel
2008-12-28, 10:27 AM
How would a second improve on dice above 1d10 would be reflected? First would be 1d12, that's understandable. Second? 1d20? And what about a third?

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 10:32 AM
Classes that synergize well with Monk for unarmed damage? Druid and Ranger, because they can both cast Greater Magic Fang. Cleric, Paladin, Sorcerer, and Wizard, because they can all cast Greater Magic Weapon. :smallwink:

ericgrau
2008-12-28, 10:34 AM
How would a second improve on dice above 1d10 would be reflected? First would be 1d12, that's understandable. Second? 1d20? And what about a third?

Check the tables in the monk class description for the unarmed damage of a large monk. 1d10 (5.5 avg) goes to 2d8 (9 avg), for example. Quite a doozey. Another size category would bring that from 2d8 to 3d8. Other unarmed strike damage boosters increase your effective monk level, so you'd just go down that many rows in the table instead.

You can also check out this table for size increases in general:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm#sizeIncreases

Basically it's the same thing, but perhaps more clear on what to do with multiple size increases.

UserClone
2008-12-28, 10:41 AM
See also the Ward Cestus, (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5552835&postcount=14) a glove you can wear to have your strikes enchanted like a regular weapon.

Eloel
2008-12-28, 10:47 AM
Either I'm going mad, or if we somehow fit everything here;
http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=4758988&postcount=3
into a single build (gestalt or otherwise) (can be epic for all I care)
We would have, like, 4320d8 on a charge? (Somehow get Supreme Cleave, and insta-kill of everything everywhere, as long as they're withing 5 ft of each other.)

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 11:11 AM
Either I'm going mad, or if we somehow fit everything here;
http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=4758988&postcount=3
into a single build Yes, you're going mad. These things are merely all collected in one place; there's no implication that they can all be combined. In fact, it should be obvious (if your mind weren't fogged by madness) that you can't combine the size increases at all.
Multiple magical effects that increase size do not stack. Plus the Monk level increases generally don't stack, and Monk unarmed damage can't increase past level 20 anyway.

Eloel
2008-12-28, 11:29 AM
I was using level 20 monk damage. Also, magical size increases don't stack, that's true.
One level of Warshaper isn't magical. (well, not in THAT sense)
INA isn't magical
Battlefist and Ectoplasmic shards increase damage, not size.
Expansion isn't magical, it's psionic, and it can be used twice (afaik)
Empty Hand Mastery isn't magical either (isn't MAGIC at the very least)
Fanged Ring is magical, (1st magical still effects, just doesn't stack with other magic)
Metamorphosis is gone. (first -1)
Earth Hammer increases damage, not size
Stone Fist is gone (second -1)
Sharptooth doesn't stack with itself, could be interpreted as it stacks with everything else or not, count it gone if you want (third -1)
That brings it down to 1440d8. Ouch, that's a big decrease, I can't take down fortresses with one-shot now...

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 11:34 AM
INA isn't magical
Fanged Ring is magical, (1st magical still effects, just doesn't stack with other magic)
A Fanged Ring grants a Monk Improved Natural Attack, and no other damage boost. You can't benefit from the feat twice.

arguskos
2008-12-28, 11:40 AM
Sacred Fist counts as monk levels for unarmed damage... just thought I'd toss that out there. :smallwink:

Eloel
2008-12-28, 11:45 AM
A Fanged Ring grants a Monk Improved Natural Attack, and no other damage boost. You can't benefit from the feat twice.

Enlarge Person then. I counted Fanged Ring as the only magical one, count Enlarge Person.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 12:02 PM
Enlarge Person then. I counted Fanged Ring as the only magical one, count Enlarge Person. What are you going on about? Almost none of these things stack together. Expansion is in the same category as Enlarge Person thanks to magic-psionics transparency. Sharptooth is a spell that enlarges one of your natural weapons, and also doesn't stack with any other size increase. Earth Hammer does exactly the same, but only works on melee weapons; again, it doesn't stack with any other size increases.

Rather than just looking at a list and assuming things stack, you need to actually read the item descriptions carefully to find the very few things that will work together, because almost none of these do.

Adumbration
2008-12-28, 12:25 PM
But in the other hand, he has completely ignored the prestige classes that improve Unarmed damage without being bound by the Monk table.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 12:50 PM
That's quite true, too; hence my "What are you going on about?" bewildered response. Many of the best ways to greater unarmed damage either preclude taking Monk levels, or are (like sneak attack) completely independent of them. I like a Rogue with Fanged Ring and Monk's Belt for a base 2d6 unarmed damage; this both enables and is adequate for Snap Kick even before you pay NPC spellcasting charges, or use scrolls with UMD, for Permanency and Greater Magic Fang for +5 more. Of course the main damage comes when you set up sneak attack, and the occasional CON damage (from Fanged Ring) and STR damage (from Crippling Strike) are nifty bonuses that actual Monk levels can't provide.

Demons_eye
2008-12-28, 01:47 PM
2 levels of monk plus Monk's Belt +5 levels; Monk's Tattoo +4 and SuS +5 and 3 levels of FoF get you 2d10 unamred damge. Grab 2 feats and a few levels of Psychic Warrior. Get the fanged ring or the feat dosent matter.
Expansion. Bam 8d8 easy that with out trying that hard but I think unamred damge maxs at 16d8.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-28, 05:03 PM
2 levels of monk plus Monk's Belt +5 levels; Monk's Tattoo +4 and SuS +5 and 3 levels of FoF get you 2d10 unamred damge. No, they don't. The Monk's Belt and Superior Unarmed Strike both reference your actual Monk level and thus don't stack together; you get the better of the two (+5 from the Belt).
Does a monk with a monk’s belt and the Superior Unarmed Strike feat benefit from both, or does just the highest benefit apply?
In this case, the better benefit will prevail. These effects technically do not have a bonus, so they would not use the stacking rules. One effect will end up overshadowing the other. The Monk's Tattoo might stack with the Monk's Belt, but it's from Magic of Faerūn, a 3.0 book; following DMG page 4 it may need "minor adjustments" to be used in a 3.5 setting -- which could entail making it not stack.

3 levels of Fist of the Forest can never advance your Monk unarmed damage to 2d10. According to the "Unarmed Damage" column explanation accompanying table 2-2 of Complete Champion:
If your unarmed attack already deals this amount of damage, increase the base damage to the next step indicated on the monk class table. The amount for level 3 of Fist of the Forest is 1d10. The next step after 1d10 on the Monk class table is 2d6, so that's the most adding 3 levels of FotF can ever get you. If the Monk unarmed damage is less than 1d10 you'll get 1d10. Monk and FotF levels never stack for unarmed damage.

Your "recipe" with five class levels yields either 1d10 or 2d6 unarmed damage, depending on whether your DM allows the Monk's Tattoo to stack with the Monk's Belt. This larger number is the same damage any medium character will get with a Fanged Ring and Monk's Belt -- and zero class levels.

Demons_eye
2008-12-28, 08:11 PM
Wow any sane dm would let them stack, thats just really stupid. 3 levels of monk get you 1d6 monks belt gets you up to 1d8 then SuS 1d10 then FoF gets you up by dice. So 3 levels gets you 2 dice up 2d10 then improved natrual attack or fanged ring that 4d8 right there.

Arcane_Snowman
2008-12-28, 08:55 PM
The spell Mighty Wallop benefits the Monk's Unarmed Attack, while there is also Greater Mighty Wallop, no one should in their right mind use it.
The Wu Jen also has the Giant Size spell, which will make you very large.

ericgrau
2008-12-28, 09:16 PM
Wow any sane dm would let them stack, thats just really stupid. 3 levels of monk get you 1d6 monks belt gets you up to 1d8 then SuS 1d10 then FoF gets you up by dice. So 3 levels gets you 2 dice up 2d10 then improved natrual attack or fanged ring that 4d8 right there.

Letting similar things stack is a bad idea in terms of balance because costs of items tend to go up parabolically not linearly (some say "exponentially" not "parabollically" but "exponentially" is technically the wrong term). You can't pay linear extra cost for bonuses on top of bonuses or it becomes problematic fast. For some things there are 2 to 4 different bonus types that stack with eachother, and it's good strategy to get all or most of them, but expanding that number beyond what the original rules contain increases power in a broken way beyond what you're supposed to be capable of.

Demons_eye
2008-12-30, 12:20 AM
But they were if they were made to stack it might be some way of helping the monk and I know most people agree the monk is trash...

Edit: besides monks belt help out all monk stuff SUS only ups unamred damge.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-30, 03:16 AM
The trouble is if you let them stack for Monks, you let them stack for everybody. I already explained that you can get better unarmed damage with only two items and zero class levels. If you can improve Monks, you can improve everybody else as well -- and Monks would still suck in comparison. Then everybody would want the things that don't help Monks to stack, too -- and Monks would end up sucking even worse.

No, breaking the stacking rules is a bad idea -- a very bad idea, indeed.

emeraldstreak
2008-12-30, 04:48 AM
...I know most people agree...

Following the crowd can only get you mediocre results. Most people don't know about even the most basic stuff of unarmed damage optimization like Greater Magic Wallop.