View Full Version : [4e] Paragon Path: Drunken Master

2009-02-12, 12:01 AM
A PC of mine wants to play a Monk, using this conversion (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20080613a). I've decided to place magic hand-wraps as treasure to serve as her magic weapons. She also wants to be a Drunken Master. So, I've ported 3.5's Drunken Master. We're only level 3 so it will be a while before she needs this, but I want to iterate on it so it's ready for her. She plans to convert to official Monk when it's released. Feedback is very welcome.

Drunken Master
Prerequisite: Monk class

Drunken Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, you may drink as a free action, increasing your Strength and Dexterity by 2 and decreasing your Wisdom and Intelligence by 2 until the end of the encounter. If you are able to spend multiple action points in an encounter, these bonuses and penalties stack.

Improvised Weapons (11th level): You are proficient in improvised weapons. You may wield them with a +2 proficiency bonus and benefit from the properties of your hand-wraps. Base damage for a one-handed improvised weapon is 1d8, base damage for a 2-handed improvised weapon is 1d10.

Corkscrew Rush (16th level): When you charge, you may make both a basic melee attack and a bull rush against the target of your charge

Drunken Master exploits
Stagger: Drunken Master Attack 11
You pretend to trip over your own feet, and send your foe to the ground as he tries to take advantage of you.
Encounter * Martial, Weapon
Standard action, melee weapon
Requirement: You must be unarmed
Target: One creature
Effect: The target may take an opportunity attack against you. If they do, make an attack:
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 3[W] damage and the target is knocked prone. Shift into the target's space and slide the target into the space you were occupying
Special: If the target does not take an opportunity attack against you, this power is not expended

Swaying Waist: Drunken Master Utility 12
You are surprisingly hard to hit, for a drunk. Unfortunately, it's hard for you to hit things too.
Encounter * Martial, Stance
Minor action, personal
Effect: You take a -2 penalty to attack rolls and gain a +2 bonus to all defenses

Breath of Flame: Drunken Master Attack 20
You take a quick swig of your drink, using your mental discipline to light it aflame as you spit it at your enemies
Daily * Fire, Martial
Standard action, close blast 5
Target: each enemy in blast
Attack: Strength +5 vs. Reflex or Constitution +5 vs. Reflex. Increase the bonus on attack rolls to +7 at 26th level.
Hit: 5d8+Strength or Constitution modifier fire damage, and ongoing 10 fire damage and the target is dazed (save ends both).
Miss: Half damage, and ongoing 5 fire damage (save ends).
Special: If you are benefitting from a drink from drunken action, you may end the drink's effects when using this power to deal an extra 1d8 damage and 2 ongoing damage (1 on miss)

2009-02-12, 12:13 AM
This looks really good, but I have two problems with it.

First, I don't particularly like Drunken Action. Nothing else in 4E (that I'm aware of, anyway gives bonuses to your actual ability scores, so I might try to avoid it with this just in case. Lasting until the end of the encounter seems like it'd just be TOO good, too. Maybe something like:

Drunken Action (11th Level): Whenever you spend an action point to take an extra action, you may drink as a free action. When you do so, you spend a healing surge but don't regain any hit points. Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +2 power bonus to attack rolls and a +4 power bonus to damage rolls.

If you want to avoid the "spend a healing surge" thing, you could just decrease the bonuses both to +2. (One of the Rogue PPs gives you +4 damage for a turn when you spend an action point, so +2 atk/dmg is only slightly stronger.) Most consumable potions and other items require you to spend a surge though, so I guess boozin' it up could require the same.

The other thing is that bonuses on attacks usually come in evens instead of odds. I might change the bonus to breath of flame to be Strength + 4 at 20th level and +6 at 26th. I think that's how the Dragonborn's breath weapon is, too, so that should be good.

2009-02-12, 12:34 AM
Good point about drunken action. I was trying to port drink like a demon. How about something like +2 Power to attacks and damage, -2 to Will defense, lasts 3+CON mod rounds, no surge required?

As for Breath of Flame, I based it off Wildfire Genasi's level 20 daily, Firesoul Conflagration, which is Str+5, Dex+5, or Con+5, improve to +7 at 26th.

2009-02-12, 12:39 AM
Good point about drunken action. I was trying to port drink like a demon. How about something like +2 Power to attacks and damage, -2 to Will defense, lasts 3+CON mod rounds, no surge required?

That sounds good - the Will penalty balances it out enough, I think. There are situations where they'll want to drink to get the bonuses against a tough foe, but -2 to Will might be bad when you're up against a Controller or other Will-targeting baddies. I think you could tinker with the duration (equal to Con mod, 1+Con, 3+Con, whatever) during playtesting, but otherwise it seems fine.

As for Breath of Flame, I based it off Wildfire Genasi's level 20 daily, Firesoul Conflagration, which is Str+5, Dex+5, or Con+5, improve to +7 at 26th.

Ah, okay, that's fine then. Guess that's what I get for not actually buying FR stuff and just relying on the Insider Compendium to look stuff up when I need it. Carry on. :smalltongue:

2009-02-12, 03:55 AM
I also kinda raised an eyebrow at that. I thought I'd add my mustard to the mix! Here goes:

Tapped Potential (11th level): Gain the Tapped Potential power, below:

Tapped Potential
You take advantage of your "specialized" metabolism to grant yourself the lucidity to avoid the things you cannot change, tenacity to change the things you can, and an over-confidence that you know the difference.
Minor Action, Personal
Effect: Consume an alcoholic beverage which you currently hold. Each drink applies a cumulative +1 power bonus to your AC, Reflex Defense, and Melee Attack rolls and a -1 penalty to your Will and Fortitude Defenses and Ranged Attack rolls. These effects last until the end of your encounter or until you are rendered unconscious, whichever comes first. You may be affected by a maximum number of drinks equivalent to your constitution modifier.

Drunken Master (11th Level) Choose one of the following bonuses. It applies as an Effect whenever you are under the influence of the Tapped Potential power:
Perceived Enhancement: Increase your movement speed by 2 squares, but you may not shift through the Shift action.
Swaying Hips: If an attacker fails to strike you with an attempted attack of opportunity you gain combat advantage against her for one round. If you were moving through the square you provoked the attack of opportunity from, you may opt to remain where you were as an immediate reaction and end your turn.
Drink Like a Demon: As a standard action you may consume a large container of alcohol not conventionally ingested in one dose which you hold and may benefit from up to as many drinks as you choose up to the maximum of your constitution modifier. Also, you may throw any container which you empty through the Tapped Potential power through a Ranged Basic Attack with an improvised weapon as an immediate reaction if you wish.
Thicker Than Blood: When you are bloodied, the limit of drinks you may be affected by is equal to double your constitution modifier.
Loosen Up: For the duration of the encounter you gain a power bonus to bluff and diplomacy checks, but suffer a penalty to perception and insight checks equal to the number of drinks you are affected by.


The Ranger this variant is based off of is a Striker role. Benefits should be aligned with that.

I see some factors which present a balancing mechanic to the Drunken Master not readily appreciated with other paragon classes:

- Drinks are not free. Alcohol is one of those amazingly well-documented goods in terms of price and other statistics, such as weight. Being liquid, it is also inconvenient to stockpile. It is, in essence, a costly material component. Based on the existing rules, it would almost be better, though, for us to treat drinks as ammunition instead of the old components which are now relegated to rituals. How to do that? Perhaps allowing a minor-action to quaff a drink and gain a +1 power bonus to attack and damage rolls 'til the end of your turn? Something simple and like Power Attack, but with the balancing factor of a minor action and a component to use. Just musing.
- Drinks are also not free actions to prepare, and do not magically float in the air while you sip them, tasteful dwarven Helms of Boozebattle notwithstanding. Even a conveniently located flask takes, without certain feats, a minor action to have at-hand, and must be held in one hand at that. Since the monk is a two-bladed ranger build, this complicates tactical decisions for the drunken master who would otherwise be best served to keep her hands free.
- Dealing with the container is something to consider embedding and examining options for. Dropping the item is an option, but that carries with it its own inconveniences. With the proficiency with improvised weapons proposed in your document, however, this no longer becomes an issue: a half-full bottle of port becomes a particularly handy weapon one needn't worry about cluttering her hands with, unless of course one expects her improvised bottle to shatter upon impact. That in and of itself could get expensive.
- The "when you spend an action point" language is much more prevalent throughout the paragon paths, but I just don't see the drunken master, who in essence is a hero of oft-varying sobriety, drinking as rarely as an action point would allow. I've not seen an at-will ability for paragons in my browsing, but to me it seems the simplest solution for the Drunken Master is a mechanic more like Total Defense or even Power Attack than Stances and other Encounter powers.
- To make the drunken master more than comic relief, it stands to reason the drunkenness and the drinks involved should have very definite strategic elements and applications within balanced paradigms.
- Finally, if the game is going to see some 7 levels before this becomes an option for your player, its going to be a bit of a wait for this thematic element to present itself. Is the character going to suddenly take to the bottle? Why not examine a smoother approach as demonstrated by the Spellscar options? Perhaps other players might want to be drinking buddies, too, after all, and a sufficiently reworded set of spellscar powers may be just the pre-balanced ticket you need!

Some things I thought about but didn't know how to write up:
Spike: Add a dose of alcohol to any consumable item (potions, for example) ahead of time.
Tanked: Some kind of level 16 or 20 Stance with very significant benefits, but requiring a saving throw each round: failure results in unconsciousness for one round and the loss of the stance, maybe?