View Full Version : Monk! The Other White Meat.

2009-02-11, 03:58 AM
Yeah, I have no idea what the title is supposed to mean, either. But I DO know I am eagerly hoping for your feedback!

So I was thinking to myself earlier, but that didn't seem to get me anywhere, so I decided to come up with ideas to change up the Monk class a bit. Because you see, I like to be on the forefront when it comes to new and creative ideas. A real champ at doing things nobody else has done before, you see.


Anyway, some ideas came to me and lead me to think 'hey, my dog, while cute, doesn't give very useful feedback to such things, so why not present it to other potentially-real people? I love scorn and ridicule, after all!' And thus here I am, presenting below some options I was thinking may perhaps be enjoyable changes to step up our favorite dead horse a bit.

No, it's not an Unarmed Swordsage. Yes, I know I've lost a few of you with that note, but for those still tuned in, I don't pretend that anything below makes for a sudden revelation in the world of Monkdom, ending all contention and strife and ushering in a new era of meticulous balance. For just one example, it does nothing about the Monkey's dependence on so many different abilities. Instead, I just think they be nifty ideas, a-hyuck!

And so, without further ado OR adon't, here's the broad outline. I can't say that it is all worded as specifically as it could be, but I hope the general ideas all come acrost. Assume all things remain as they are currently written for the monk, except as noted below:

Modified Ability: Flurry of Blows
Concept: Let the monk take better advantage of her improved movement capabilities while still presenting a meaningul effect in combat.
Details: When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. This extra attack may be taken as part of a single Attack action or during a charge, as well as during a Full Attack action. This extra attack may not be taken during an Attack of Opportunity, however. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Monk. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus ◊ 1Ĺ or ◊Ĺ) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The monk canít use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.

In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

Greater Flurry
When a monk reaches 11th level, her flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.

Modified Ability: AC Bonus
Concept: Slightly improve the monk's survivability in combat, while also providing access to armor enhancement options normally difficult for a monk to access due to inability to effectively wear normal armor.
Details: When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 3rd level. This bonus increases by 1 for every three monk levels thereafter (+2 at 6th, +3 at 9th, etc).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Further options become available to the monk over time. Upon reaching level 6, a monk may spend a period of time in intense training to focus their Ki into protective qualities. By doing so, the monk may forgo a portion of the AC bonus granted to them by their monk class level in favor of enhanced effects that mirror special enchantments normally attibuted to magical armors. A monk may trade a portion of their level-based AC bonus to instead acquire an armor enhancement property of equivalent value. However, the monk must always retain at least one point of their class-based AC bonus as an actual bonus, rather than a substituted ability.

In order to properly focus their Ki and fortify their body for such a change, the monk must first spend a period of 8 hours in intense training. The particulars of the training depend upon the type of enhancement to be emulated, but generally it can be assume that the monk is free to make such a change at any point she is able to spend the required time in training. Once in place, the ability remains in effect until the monk spends time to refocus her energies and reassign the properties in effect upon her.

For example, a monk of 12th level may decide to focus her Ki to assist her body in resisting the searing of flames. She spends 8 hours of focussed training, during which time she underakes such actifities as repeatedly thrusting her fists into braziers of hot coals. At the end of the training, the monk gains the benefit of wearing armor enchanted with Fire Resistance, negating the first 10 points of fire damage delt to the monk per round, despite wearing no armor. Since a monk of 12th level has a total of +4 granted to her Armor Class from her Monk levels, and Fire Resistance is considered the equivalent of a +3 armor property,*(See below) reducing this armor bonus by 3, this leaves the monk with a total bonus to her AC of +1 plus her Wisdom modifier, and the benefits of the Fire Resistance property.

*NOTE: My biggest drawback to this ability is that, although I think the option is fun in theory, most armor enhancement properties are based upon a direct addition to the cost of the armor, rather than an equivalent bonus to the total enhancement level, it would require assigning a 'nearest appropriate' modifier value to said properties in order to work. Not something I minddoing personally, but it is not something I have worked out at this time, and I could understand others not wanting to go through the hassle.

New Ability: Talisman
Concept: Give the monk some capability of making use of the benefits of magical weapons that they normally have to sacrifice their bonus to unarmed damage for by utilizing a magical monk weapon instead, either eliminating the value of the unarmed damage, or removing their ability to benefit from the magical benefits. However, monk weapons are still useful in situations such as need for a particular type material to overcome Damage Reduction. As a side benefit, this ability allows monts to take advantage of magic weapon properties while retaining their concept of being internalized, self-made characters, rather than taking advantgae of items someone else has done the enchanting on. The inspiration is drawn from the ever-popular Necklace of Natural Attacks from Savage Species.
Details: At first level, a monk is able to craft a specialized talisman that serves as both a focus for her Ki as well as a gateway to unlocking further abilities from their inner energy. This talisman boosts the Monk's body and abilities, allowing them to treat their Unarmed attacks as masterwork weapons, granting a +1 bonus on attack rolls.

This talisman can take nearly any form: One monk's talisman may be a chain of wooden beads, while another's is a collection of sacred scrolls. Regardless of form, the talisman requires 8 hours of focus and concentration for the monk to both craft and to focus her Ki energy upon it. During this time, the Monk must sacrifice 600 GP worth of special insence, fine inks, powdered silver, rare wood oils or other appropriate materials. Also, no matter the form it takes, a Monk's talisman is protected to a degree from harm, granting 10 hit points and a hardness of 10. Should the talisman be destroyed, the monk suffers no ill effect, save for the loss of the gold spend upon it (and potentially XP, see below), and is free to create another at any time.

Once crafted, the talisman must be carried by the monk in order to benefit. It takes up no item slot, and need not be prominently displayed: The talisman can just as easily hang from the Monk's neck as an amulet as it can reside in a pocket. However, the Monk ceases benefiting from theTalimsan if placed into an extradimentinal storage space, such as a Bag of Holding, even if the storage item is on the Monk's person.

Once created, a Monk is able to spend time further enhancing her talisman to serve as a better recepticle and conduit for her Ki, granting further capabilities to her unarmed strikes. These further enhancements require a deeper connection with her talisman, and require not only further costly materials, but also an infusion of the Monk's own experience. Treat this further enhancing much like enchanting a weapon, as well as those for adding upon existing enchantments, except the Monk does not require any spellcasting ability or crafting feats.

For example, a Monk could sacrifice 1000 GP in special inks or incense, as well as 80 XP and two days of time spent both working upon and focusing into her talisman in order to enhance it with a +1 bonus that would the apply to the Monk's unarmed attacks. At a later time, if she wishes to add the Frost ability, the monk could spend a further 3000 GP in materials, 240 additional XP and six more days to improve her talisman to grant her unarmed attacks the properties of a +1 Frost weapon.

*Note: This ability has some issues as well, Ifeel, mostly in that some weapon properties may end up seeming... unusual to have applied to unarmed attacks (Brilliant Energy, anyone?).

And for now, that's it! Largely borrowed ideas from other sources, to be sure, but I feel that combined the features patch up some of the shortfalls the Monk seems to find itself in, and while I'm sure it's far from a perfect fix, I feel the most importanly they seem like fun and flavorful alterations.

So let me know what you think, oh ye of the Playground. I'm quite very eager to hear back on whether such concepts seem reasonable, fully-off base, just plain silly, or anything else of the like. Many thanks in advance, and a fine day to you all!

2009-02-11, 04:37 AM
A bit of advice: if you want to avoid TL;DR's (Too Long; Didn't Read), you should cut down on your amount of text. Not to be a jerk, but at the moment, your post is well on its way to become a wall of text.

Consider using more paragraphs and remove all unnecessary stuff and/or reformulate your sentences to make them shorter.:smallwink: