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ZeroNumerous
2009-06-08, 08:31 PM
Just wondering, because every serious re-think of 3.5 I've seen addresses the problems with shapeshifting spells and seems to think they're a higher priority than buffing up the monk.

That's because rebuilding monk is just one class. Fixing magic rebalances every class that utilizes magic and subsequently fixes the game as a whole in one fell swoop.


ahh, but the monk can do ALL of those things, not just a few.

..What? That's exactly what he said the fighter could do.

Faleldir
2009-06-08, 08:31 PM
- faster movement
ENHANCEMENT BONUS. That can be fixed with yet another wand.

- better saves and SR
Assuming the enemy caster can actually cast a spell without provoking.

- better grapple without needing DEX 15+
Why would I want to grapple? I can disrupt spellcasting without making myself vulnerable.

- better trip without needing INT 13+
So a Monk is calling me MAD?

- better stunning fist (ki enhance in chain, for instance).
I don't have Stunning Fist. I don't want Stunning Fist. Apples and oranges.
You didn't understand my question, did you?

Eldariel
2009-06-08, 08:32 PM
Unfortunately (for the wizard, that is:smallwink:), he'll need to survive surprise attacks, lost initiative AND attacks during combat against several opponents. 50% making the save that are near 100% likely to kill the wizard end up making the wizard quite fragile, don't you think?

Nothing is more than 50%; due to lack of decent BAB, most characters (other than Raging Barbarians) have a relevant chance of even missing AC 10, let alone AC 17 or such. Well, besides Magic Missile. Why does the Wizard lose Initiative again? He'll have 14-16 Dex easily since he needs only Int.

And he's in a party; he's got Druids taking hits. It's just that he solves the encounters nobody else can solve. He has the most offensive power out of all characters. What can a Monk do against high Str large size opponents with high Fort-save? And every other martial class is just fine against the types Monk can kill (low AC low HP low Str).


...in dungeons...

Sure, but outside Dungeons it'll keep him safe. In dungeons, you can generally cast protective buffs and ride those home.


Oh there is...let us see
- the wizard gets grappled in the surprise round and then loses initiative, meaning a pin
- the wizard gets pounced by an animal/magical beast/other creature with improved grab and is then pinned.
- the wizard gets stunned in the first round and then is pinned
- the wizard gets grappled by somebody with a silence spell on him
etc.
all low-mid-level tactics, both mundane and magic. And remarkably effective even at high levels.

That's what the other party members are for. No surprise round since the spotter spotted them. The beast wasn't in range with Pounce because he was flying. There's a chance that he'd get pinned down, but chances are he's flying so high nobody can hide while approaching him. And creatures with pounce generally don't hide. There's also the fact that the Monk needs to hit him to stun him.


That all core classes can contribute at level 1 with some specialty of theirs to solve encounters that otherwise the party would have difficulties is obvious. That is not a wizard forte (who does not even enough enough 1st level spells for the four encounters average at level 1).
And it is nice that somehow an obscure non-race monk with 1d6+3 is compared to an orc fighter or barbarian.
A first level orc monk can do something the barbarian cannot hope to emulate:
- take improved grapple at level 1 and
- have higher STR since he can only focus on STR.
While the orc barbarian does more damage with his weapon, he'd have no chance vs the orc monk in a direct duel, nor does he have any of the stealth skills of the orc monk. (and good saves besides).
(see also below at the bottom of this post for a more concrete example)

Nobody cares who can take Improved Grapple. It's just a tool. It's not a goal. You don't want to grapple enemies. You want to disable/kill them. Grappling is a tool for that. It's no more effective than...say tripping with a reach weapon (it's actually less so). And no, he can't focus on Str only; if you neglect your AC, you'll simply get killed by standard attacks, even in Grapple. Also, Barbarian can start with 18 Str; Monk can't have any higher. Barbarian also has a Rage, which allows putting it to 22. 26 if he's an Orc.


OK.
A level 20 orc monk has BAB 15/15/15/10/5. Starting stats with 28-point-buy are STR 16, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 8, WIS 12, CHR 6
STR at lvl 20 is 38 (5 stat gains, 5 inherent, +6 STR belt, +4 racial, +2 permanent enlarge, cast before lvl 20 attained). DEX at 20 (2 inherent, +6 gloves, -2 size) and WIS at 20 (+6 amulet)...

Any character with the same Wands and UMD could do the same; there's nothing your Monk is doing, it's all items. But you forgot few things. You calculated that the Solar has Mithril Breastplate, but you didn't give it Ring of Protection +5, Amulet of Natural Armor +5 and Animated Mithril Heavy Shield +1 with Magic Vestment on it. You say it's a stretch, but that's only if you assign treasure randomally. DMG pretty much says "use these tables if you're lazy". Assume a smartly equipped Solar. This puts its AC in 59, meaning your Monk only hits on 18s. Now the Solar lives. Miracle: Greater Teleport 1000' away. Then Heal. Fly back, rain Slaying Arrows on the idiotic Monk while Dancing Sword is active in case you decide to attack. Congratulations, you just got yourself killed.

A Druid might stand a chance, mostly because he has access to Wildshape, Shapechange, a second character and most importantly, spells. A Wizard could do it for sure; Gate in more Solars. Or Prismatic Great Wyrms.

I'd also like to point out that rising movement has 50% reduced speed so unless you're flying on the same level as the Solar (in which case you have nothing to hide in), you won't be able to charge at it from that far away.


It's pretty much implied that UA Swordsage recieves Monk's "Unarmed Strike"-ability. If not, whooppedoo, dip two levels of Monk and continue with Unarmed Swordsage levels. But really, Unarmed Swordsage is so universally embraced specifically because it is what Monk was supposed to be. It does everything you'd expect out of your mystical martial artist.

Unfortunately, the swordsage with just this one ToB (p.20) sentence fails:
"To create a monklike character with a tremendous array of fantastic moves and strikes, give the swordsage the monk's unarmed strike progression and remove his light armour proficiency."
That's not the stuff strong classes are made of, I'm afraid.
- swordsage has to spend his first feats to even get improved unarmed strike and light armour proficiency (otherwise the WIS to his AC does not work)
- swordsage has no flurry of blows, no bonus feats (except weapon focus) and is outgrappled by just about everybody. In fact, the moment he gets grappled, he can't use most of his maneuvers any more
- all monk items (monk's belt) or feats and prestige clases that refer to monk are not there for the swordsage. Those will have to be housruled
etc.

So? It's Adaptation. Again, if need be, dip two levels of Monk and go on as a Swordsage. Much better than straight Monk.


You can pick the feats, but what good does that do for you if your bonuses are still negative, your AC is 9, etc.? Nobody cares which class works better with all 8s (out of core, Druid btw 'cause your Animal Companion is still at full power and you'll get Wildshape soon enough; a Riding Dog is a much better addition to a party than an all-8s Monk, and the Druid can just pick a Tower Shield and hide behind it for his life).

An AC of 9 can become mightily negligible the moment the monk grapples :smallsmile:
And true, the animal companion shines in a pc-with-only-8s-in-abilities world. Druid is strongest then, followed by the monk :smallcool:

It's only -4 to attacks within Grapple, and every other character can attack you without your Dex. No, if you're fighting two Orc Warrior 1s, you don't want to Grapple one; the other one will behead you. Your 1d6+X damage just isn't gonna cut it. Get a Greatsword, deal 2d6 and drop those Orcs in one.


Let's discuss the point: Monk is MAD. You need Dex and Wis for AC (you need 16 in both to match a Dex 14 Fighter or Barbarian with a Scalemail, and they'll quickly get better armor in Breastplate/Full-Plate and eventually Mithril-versions while you won't improve your AC before you get stat boosters),

Wand of mage armour. Or pearl of power and mage armour from party arcane caster.

That means you'll cap at about AC 20 on low levels as weak Bracers of Armor aren't useful to you.


Str to hit and damage (especially since you have medium BAB, you definitely need 18 in your attack stat to hit),

Not when using touch attacks...

On level 1, you'll have trouble making those Touch attacks. Also, Str is needed for damage. If you only deal 1d6, you'll lose in grapple to light weapon/natural attacks. They don't need to beat your grapple-check, they can just choose to beat your AC+4 instead.

Also, if you don't have high Str, you won't win grapple-checks even with Improved Grapple. Medium BAB and medium Str along with Flurry of Blows penalty quickly negate any advantage having the feat gives you.


Con for HP (you have d8 HD as a frontliner, so you'll want 16+ to match Fighter) and Int if you want to make good out of your skill list. Oh, and Charisma if you want to Use Magic Device.

CHR 8 is completely sufficient, as I have shown many times.
CON tends to suffer with fighters wishing to have high STR and DEX as well.

They don't need Wis and Int just to avoid being hit, which helps a lot. And they have higher HD so a 12 Con Fighter has more HP than 14 Con Monk.


Monk with the usual caster-spread of 18-14-14 (28pb) can get +4 to attack and 1d6+6 damage (by doublewielding a Quarterstaff) and AC 14. 7 hitpoints first level, 3.5 more per level. A Fighter with those can get +5 to attack, AC 16, 12 HP to start with and 7.5 per level. Monk has better Will-saves. But that won't stop him from dying a horrible pummely doom before Will-saves become an issue. Alternatively, you could have 16 AC and +2 to attacks. Or 10 HP and AC 12. You need to drop the 18 in Str to 16 and get 14 Con, in which case you lose any semblance of decent attack you had.

You forget grapple in your comparison. And a caster putting 8s in STR, CHR and WIS leaves holes in his defenses.

Nothing spells can't fix.


You need 4 high stats unless you burn your feats to compare to other characters with 3 high stats, and 5 to push your advantage.

You only "need" to focus on one high stat, just like everyone else.

That means you give up your combat statistics. Grappling doesn't make you immune to attacks. On the contrary, it makes you more suspectible.


And Weapon Finesse would mean you won't deal damage without ToB and a bunch of levels (in which case a Swordsage does everything better). If you have Book of Exalted Deeds and pick up Intuitive Attack, you can indeed do decently with Stunning Fist, but you won't deal damage. And at that point, the only thing you can do is target Fort-saves a few times per day (once at level 1).

Again: check out what size stacking does for monk damage.

It's far less than dedicated Str-builds with two-handers. 6d8 vs. 2d4+22 = same damage. When one is done at 5 points higher attack bonus, it's gonna be more damage.


So yeah, 4 stats in Str/Dex/Con/Wis vs. other characters' 3. That's the problem. That's why Monk is MAD. The feats have nothing to do with it. Show me a 3-stat level 1 Monk that matches a simple level 1 Fighter or Barbarian in standard combat.

Level 1 orc, 18 STR, DEX 14, CON 14. Rest 8s (before racial adj). Wears chain shirt (nobody says a monk cannot wear armour, in this case it's OK until flurry gets better, he gets a movement bonus and since he has no WIS bonus).
Takes improved grapple, improved initiative (+6)
Charges, STR 22, means +8 vs touch AC, grapples with +10 check. Dmg 1d6+6.
This orc is likely going to beat same level orc barbarian. Once enlarge potions and effects get more abundant even in level 1, the orc monk also outclasses the fighter in this respect (who likely cannot keep improved grapple when being enlarged). Both barbarian and fighter also do less damage in a grapple.

Your Monk can't Flurry when wearing an armor. He's also unproficient, meaning he takes the armor's armor check penalty as a penalty to attacks. So your Monk has +6 to charge. Also, since the two-hander is wielding a Guisarme and took Combat Reflexes (with 18/14/14), he gets an AoO vs. your Charge (your AC at this point is 14, vs. his attack bonus of +7, which deals an average of 9.8 damage to you (2d4+9 on his Guisarme average at 5+9 * 70% chance of hitting you; this is a bit misleading though as you only have 10 HP; if he hits you die so you have a 70% chance of dying before doing anything); chances are you die at this point).

Assuming you won the initiative roll (in which you have +4 over him so it's 66% for you to win) and lucked out vs. his AoO, you finally get to grapple. Now, you have +6 touch attack vs. flat-footed touch AC 10. That comes out at 85% chance of success. Then you get to the opposed grapple-check (note that penalties from attack rolls apply to grapple-checks too meaning you take -2 from your armor here). It's your +8 (6 Str + 4 Improved Grapple - 2 Chain Shirt) vs. his +7 (6 Str + 1 BAB). That's 52.5% in your favor. Then you deal damage, which can't be lethal even if you roll max (the Barbarian has 14 HP vs. your 1d6+6) without crit. He attacks you with his Spiked Gauntlet at +3 vs. your 14 AC; 50/50 for 1d4+6. If he hits and rolls max damage, you die; there's 25% chance of rolling the 4 putting his chances of killing you here at 12.5%. Otherwise, it's back to you. If you try to deal damage with a grapple-check, you'll have another 52.5% roll - if you win them both, chances are you win. If you lose, you'll probably die.


So basically, a Monk's chances of victory in this scenario are:
Initiative * Missed AoO * Successful Touch Attack * Successful Grapple Check * Missed or not full damage on the Gauntlet attack * Successful Grapple Check = 0,0405892265625 = 4%

That's without the Barbarian raging, of course. The math just doesn't add up. Without the armor, of course, the Monk does a bit worse as it's suddenly 90% that he dies on the AoO.


EDIT: Calculated the exact values for opposed rolls. Since I'm feeling kind, I'm also doing the calculations for Monk with Leather Armor:
Initiative: 66% (same)
Missed AoO: 20% (10% lower)
Successful Touch Attack: 95% (10% higher)
Successful Grapple Check: 61.75% (9.25% higher)
Missed or not full damage on Gauntlet attack: 60%*25%=15% (2.5% higher)
Successful Grapple Check: 61.75% (9.25% higher)

The chances here are 0,0406434331875; about 0.01% better. The fact is that as long as you charge into that AoO, the Barbarian is going to win almost always. It's also noteworthy that if the Barbarian uses his Rage in the first round of combat, his chances of KOing the Monk with the Spiked Gauntlet grow massively: chance to hit becomes 70% (or 60% with Chain Shirt) and the lethal damage is dealt 75% of the time. This means 45% chance of dealing lethal for Chain Shirt and 52.5% of dealing lethal vs. Leather Armor.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 08:45 PM
Again, as I already said, already in core the bonus feats without requirements mean that you can focus entirely on, say, STR and still get the important reach feats like combat reflexes and improved trip (and choose half-orc or orc as races without fearing the INT penalties).
Additionally, you can keep improved grapple while being enlarged (the standard grappler buff) even with a DEX of 8, while everyone else (including the fighter) needs 15 (remember that enlarge deducts -2 from DEX).
Outside core? Get intuitive attack (BoED) and you can also nicely focus on WIS.

I don't understand.

First, if you choose orc (not a player race) or half-orc and focus on strength, your wisdom will be low, negatively impacting your AC, and you will not have enough skill points to put into your monk's sneaking skills and UMD.

Secondly, the feats you get work best with reach, and I don't think you have reach as a monk without an Enlarge Person spell, but then a fighter with a reach weapon can get the same thing and have even more reach.

Third, if you have a dex of 8, and with the wisdom penalties, and by being enlarged, you will have a very low AC which means thing will hit you a lot. Will you have enough HP to take hits?



Now show how the core level 20 druid does it. (and no morhping cheese, either, please :smallbiggrin:)

I may be confusing you with someone else, but didn't you say that core was perfectly balanced? How can morphing cheese exist in a perfectly balanced core?


Giacomo, if you wish to prove something, enter the Test of Might with a party and see how you do. Heck, see how far a Monk goes in a Test of Spite. Or make a build, any level, any pt-buy, any reasonable list of restrictions, and post it. I will post a Druid that does your job better. Only restriction I want to make right now is that all expendables cost 5x and wands come with only 10 charges(as recommended by the DMG when making characters for only a single event).

I too am willing to take Giacomo on. Either in PvP or as part of a team to determine the feasibility of his monk.

Stoopidtallkid, would it be a good idea to form a party with Giacomo's monk and compare the effectiveness of your druid and his monk in core? If so, all I need to do is either make a rogue or sorcerer (or an Arcane Trickster?) and help support you two.

Edit:

And what's with the quadruple posting?

-

Of course, I'll probably be ignored...

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-08, 09:06 PM
Stoopidtallkid, would it be a good idea to form a party with Giacomo's monk and compare the effectiveness of your druid and his monk in core? If so, all I need to do is either make a rogue or sorcerer (or an Arcane Trickster?) and help support you two.What would be needed is for him to post the Monk. The Monk is either going to fill the Beatstick role or the Scout role. Whichever it is the Druid can do better, but if I post a beatstick Druid he'll say 'but it can't scout' unless he's already posted a Beatstick. I think maybe the key will be making a party and seeing how effective it is with a Druid vs how effective it is with a Monk in the same role.

I also have no desire to build a party. I obsess too much over one character to make 4 at once. It would be fairer to have a 3rd(non-biased) party make the other 3 anyways.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 09:09 PM
What would be needed is for him to post the Monk. The Monk is either going to fill the Beatstick role or the Scout role. Whichever it is the Druid can do better, but if I post a beatstick Druid he'll say 'but it can't scout' unless he's already posted a Beatstick. I think maybe the key will be making a party and seeing how effective it is with a Druid vs how effective it is with a Monk in the same role.
Didn't he already post monk builds in his guide?


I also have no desire to build a party. I obsess too much over one character to make 4 at once. It would be fairer to have a 3rd(non-biased) party make the other 3 anyways.

You'd only need to make one character. he'd make the other, and I'd make a third. You certainly wouldn't be making an entire party.

Edit: Heck, we don't even need Giacomo... just grab his monk build from the guide and we're good to go.

ZeroNumerous
2009-06-08, 09:10 PM
Whichever it is the Druid can do better, but if I post a beatstick Druid he'll say 'but it can't scout' unless he's already posted a Beatstick.

Thats why you have a sneaky scouty animal companion and Rary's Telepathic Bond. The druid can do both, but he doesn't need to do both in the same body.

Aneantir
2009-06-08, 09:12 PM
What would be needed is for him to post the Monk. The Monk is either going to fill the Beatstick role or the Scout role. Whichever it is the Druid can do better, but if I post a beatstick Druid he'll say 'but it can't scout' unless he's already posted a Beatstick. I think maybe the key will be making a party and seeing how effective it is with a Druid vs how effective it is with a Monk in the same role.

I also have no desire to build a party. I obsess too much over one character to make 4 at once. It would be fairer to have a 3rd(non-biased) party make the other 3 anyways.

I'd say even a beatstick druid could fill the scout role better than a monk. Wildshape into something with a high flight speed and you're off to the races. It would only mean one less wildshape for combat purposes, but depending on the level you could still have more than enough wildshapes to last all day, not to mention you don't even NEED it due to spellcasting, since you could just summon things to be better beatsticks than the beatstick monk.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 09:17 PM
Seriously, Giacomo, this looks like it could be fun. What do you say? You've obviously got enough time to write mountains of text, so a quick dungeoncrawl shouldn't be a problem.

How about level 13 characters?

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-08, 09:23 PM
Seriously, Giacomo, this looks like it could be fun. What do you say? You've obviously got enough time to write mountains of text, so a quick dungeoncrawl shouldn't be a problem.

How about level 13 characters?I think we need to run it twice. Once with a Monk, Cleric, Wizard and Rogue[or Fighter], and once with a Druid instead of a Monk. The proper comparison is not which is the more effective party member, it's which makes the party more effective.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-08, 09:25 PM
Well, firstly, that would be druid due to versatility, and secondly, we'd also have to do a statistical analysis of our dice rolls if we really wanted to generalize our results...

... and I do not have the skills needed to perform such analysis.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-08, 09:30 PM
Well, firstly, that would be druid due to versatility,That's sort of my point. It's the most fair way to compare, and I'm expecting the results to indicate in my favor.
and secondly, we'd also have to do a statistical analysis of our dice rolls if we really wanted to generalize our results...

... and I do not have the skills needed to perform such analysis.Eh, I think, unless it's closer than I expect or one set of rolls is particularly bad/good, it's not going to matter.

Faleldir
2009-06-08, 09:32 PM
No obligation, but you might also want to compare the Monk's alleged anti-caster abilities to a Mage Slayer build.

Dagren
2009-06-08, 09:39 PM
While the orc barbarian does more damage with his weapon, he'd have no chance vs the orc monk in a direct duel, nor does he have any of the stealth skills of the orc monk. (and good saves besides).I'd quite like to see that, if anyone has the time to try it. (I have the time, but not the experience)

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 03:59 AM
A Barbarian/Ranger/Horizonwalker would have pretty decent stealth, iirc.

32 PB
Ranger1/Barbarian3/Fighter2/Ranger1/Horizonwalker10/Barbarian3
Human
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 8
Feats:
1:
Power Attack
Endurance
Track
3:
Steadfast Determination
5:
Improved Bull Rush
6:
Leap Attack
Shock Trooper
9:
Improved Sunder
12:
Combat Brute
15:
Combat Reflexes
18:
Instantanious Rage

Terrain Masteries

Desert
You resist effects that tire you. You are immune to fatigue, and anything that would cause you to become exhausted makes you fatigued instead. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against desert creatures.

Forest
You have a +4 competence bonus on Hide checks. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against forest creatures.

Hills
You gain a +4 competence bonus on Listen checks. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against hills creatures.

Marsh
You have a +4 competence bonus on Move Silently checks. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against marsh creatures.

Plains
You have a +4 competence bonus on Spot checks. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against plains creatures.

Underground
You have 60-foot darkvision, or 120-foot darkvision if you already had darkvision from another source. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against underground creatures.

Fiery (Planar)
This kind of planar terrain mastery provides you with resistance to fire 20. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against outsiders and elementals with the fire subtype

Shifting (Planar)
You instinctively anticipate shifts in the reality of the plane that bring you closer to your destination, giving you the spell-like ability to use dimension door (as the spell cast at your character level) once every 1d4 rounds. You gain a +1 insight bonus on attack and damage rolls against outsiders and elementals native to a shifting plane.

Aligned (Planar)
You have the instinctive ability to mimic the dominant alignment of the plane. You incur none of the penalties for having an alignment at odds with that of the plane, and spells and abilities that harm those of the opposite alignment don’t affect you. You have the dominant alignment of the plane with regard to magic, but your behavior and any alignment-related Class Features you have are unaffected.

Cavernous (Planar)
You gain tremorsense with a 30-foot range.

Skills: Ranger gets Hide, Move Silently, Spot, and Listen. Barbarian gets Listen. You'll also have Survival, Search, and Track.

Kurald Galain
2009-06-09, 06:16 AM
Nope. Still doesn't answer the question: Why? What can the monk do with his wand that a rogue of similar level can't? Or a fighter of similar level do better? You're using a wand to compensate for the scale mail the fighter has had since first level. Why?
Been there, done that. Because of lack of skill points and lack of use for charisma, the monk is actually the worst UMD class in core - it even gets p0wnz0red by an NPC class. Similarly, for lack of synergy, monks are the worst class in the PHB to cast such spells as polymorph on. And if you do the math, monks are also not very good at grappling compared to any full-BAB class. Oh, did we mention how grappling is a pretty bad strategy to begin with?

Gorbash
2009-06-09, 06:41 AM
Does Flurry of Blows stack with Haste?

Arakune
2009-06-09, 07:22 AM
Probably Gia won't allow 32 point buy. Try something more specialized with a 24 point buy.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-09, 09:47 AM
Does Flurry of Blows stack with Haste?

Yes but since the BAB is low it stacks less synergistically than a full BAB class, you get another attack for both but you're more likely to wiffle it with the Monk short of another buff of Divine Power every combat.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 10:10 AM
Probably Gia won't allow 32 point buy. Try something more specialized with a 24 point buy.

Ah, because monks are not MAD.

Why don't we roll for stats, like real men?

Arakune
2009-06-09, 10:36 AM
Ah, because monks are not MAD.

Why don't we roll for stats, like real men?

Puff! Real man roll 3d6 for all the stats and use then. In that order.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 10:48 AM
Puff! Real man roll 3d6 for all the stats and use then. In that order.
Fine, let's do this!
STR 8, DEX 14, CON 10, INT 14, WIS 9, CHA 13 (invisiblecastle.com/stats/view/21253/)

Arakune
2009-06-09, 10:59 AM
STR 8, DEX 14, CON 10, INT 14, WIS 9, CHA 13 (invisiblecastle.com/stats/view/21253/)
Fine, let's do this.

Here's mine:

Str 9, Dex 15, Con 7, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 10 (invisiblecastle.com/stats/view/21254/)

Best choices: Rogue, Druid/Cleric. Everything else YUK! Too bad you have to determine your class BEFORE rolling :smallannoyed:

Damn you Gary Gigax! Damn you, you sadistic monster! :smalleek::smallfrown::smallannoyed:

Origomar
2009-06-09, 11:10 AM
I have a few things to say.

1-The monk always has his bases covered, even naked. He can attack, deal plenty of damage, have a good AC, get away quickly, heal himself (a little bit), ignore some things (poisons, diseases, spells), talk to anybody, turn into a ghost (damn useful when escaping or infiltrating), fall without injury, and even teleport a little, etc. He never has to have an item or a spell to do these things.

2- Not needing items for these things, he can spend all his money on increasing ability scores and the rest of his numbers.

3- I can't stress enough how damn awesome his saving throws are. Nobody is free from **** as much as the monk.

4- They are the perfect bandits. If anybody can sneak up on you, take your ****, and escape without consequence, it's the monk. People always say monks can't compare to other fighting classes. Well, try fighting a monk after he's stolen all your stuff from you (after taking out your spellcaster).

Ending statement, monks only suck if all you look at is numbers and straight up fighting ability. (Cue horde of hurtful criticism)



Uh you have to be lawful to play a monk?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 11:13 AM
Here's mine:

Str 9, Dex 15, Con 7, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 10 (invisiblecastle.com/stats/view/21254/)

Best choices: Rogue, Druid/Cleric. Everything else YUK! Too bad you have to determine your class BEFORE rolling :smallannoyed:

Damn you Gary Gigax! Damn you, you sadistic monster! :smalleek::smallfrown::smallannoyed:

STR 8, DEX 14, CON 10, INT 14, WIS 9, CHA 13

Imma be a Rogue

Arakune
2009-06-09, 11:41 AM
I guess i'm a cleric then.

Flickerdart
2009-06-09, 02:14 PM
STR: 10
DEX: 4
CON: 13
INT: 15
WIS: 15
CHA: 12
(http://invisiblecastle.com/stats/view/21259/)
Yeah, only a Druid will save this...thing.

Arakune
2009-06-09, 02:23 PM
STR: 10
DEX: 4
CON: 13
INT: 15
WIS: 15
CHA: 12
(http://invisiblecastle.com/stats/view/21259/)
Yeah, only a Druid will save this...thing.

Nah... even a wizard can do something about it.

Flickerdart
2009-06-09, 02:36 PM
Yeah, but his AC is going to suck and his rays will always miss.

quick_comment
2009-06-09, 02:43 PM
Uh you have to be lawful to play a monk?

Not only that, but a rogue is far more able to sneak up to you, nick your stuff and get away. Especially when the people you are trying to rob has blindsight. How many monks have darkstalker?

Glimbur
2009-06-09, 02:43 PM
So no one is rolling up a monk to defend the monks in this monk thread?

Flickerdart
2009-06-09, 02:45 PM
Not only that, but a rogue is far more able to sneak up to you, nick your stuff and get away. Especially when the people you are trying to rob has blindsight. How many monks have darkstalker?
Not to mention that he'll need Hide, Move Silently, CC Sleight of Hand maxed...what's that, those are almost all his skills? Well, choose between Spot, Listen, Tumble, or any number of the athletic and acrobatic skills. You can have one, maybe two. And don't forget your CC'd UMD! And if you're the Orc Monk, you don't even have that.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-09, 02:57 PM
Yeah, but his AC is going to suck and his rays will always miss.

So use Flight, mirror image and other self buffs that make sure you DONT get targetted and rely on team buffs and battlefield control, you'll be a little more limited than a point buy but after a few levels you'll scrape by just fine. Oh, and a set of +Dex gloves moves up the adgenda of make/swipe shinies.

Flickerdart
2009-06-09, 03:02 PM
So use Flight, mirror image and other self buffs that make sure you DONT get targetted and rely on team buffs and battlefield control, you'll be a little more limited than a point buy but after a few levels you'll scrape by just fine. Oh, and a set of +Dex gloves moves up the adgenda of make/swipe shinies.
Yeah, and before he has enough spells and cash to do all that, he's a sitting duck. I'll stick with Druid, thanks.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-09, 03:08 PM
Yeah, and before he has enough spells and cash to do all that, he's a sitting duck. I'll stick with Druid, thanks.

But they're not going to be all that safe either till six+ and wildshape.... both of them have to hide at the back behind the meatshield until they get long term buffs.

Flickerdart
2009-06-09, 03:11 PM
But they're not going to be all that safe either till six+ and wildshape.... both of them have to hide at the back behind the meatshield until they get long term buffs.
Yeah, but the Druid comes with a meatshield. That's what I meant, mostly...also, I forgot Wild Shape is only available at 5th.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-09, 03:18 PM
Yeah, but the Druid comes with a meatshield. That's what I meant, mostly...also, I forgot Wild Shape is only available at 5th.

Yeah but you get it twice at sixth and can cast making it far more useful to the character. Yep, Druid is better I'm just saying wizard could be just about managed.

Edit:

Aaaaand.... looks like I'm a commoner with a serious allergy problem.

Str 7
Dex 9
Con 5
Int 10
Wis 9
Cha 11

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 03:58 PM
You reroll if your stats have a net modifier of less than +1 I believe.

Aneantir
2009-06-09, 04:01 PM
Keep the stats, play a druid, use wildshape and your animal companion and STILL be better than the monk.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-09, 04:17 PM
You reroll if your stats have a net modifier of less than +1 I believe.

Woot. Now I get to be a Barb...

Str 16
Dex 11
Con 13
Int 14
Wis 9
Cha 7

quite a nice set actually, with enough to roll as any matial character EXCEPT a monk, I could even roll between skillmonkey and meatshield with a split Fighter/Rogue build.

Jayabalard
2009-06-09, 04:20 PM
So no one is rolling up a monk to defend the monks in this monk thread?As far as I can tell, the current "Lets roll up characters" discussion doesn't involve anyone who is arguing that monks are equally powerful in any way. I didn't really pay it a whole lot of attention, since I read it mostly as off-topic snark.

It's possible that you might get someone to bite, but I personally doubt it... most of the pro-monk people aren't actually arguing that monks are equally powerful, so they'll see this little challenge as rather pointless.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 04:53 PM
As far as I can tell, the current "Lets roll up characters" discussion doesn't involve anyone who is arguing that monks are equally powerful in any way. I didn't really pay it a whole lot of attention, since I read it mostly as off-topic snark.

It's possible that you might get someone to bite, but I personally doubt it... most of the pro-monk people aren't actually arguing that monks are equally powerful, so they'll see this little challenge as rather pointless.

But they were arguing that monks could contribute meaningfully, so this does afford them a chance to prove their assertion.

I think the minimal standard was "Be more useful than the druid's animal companion."

Arakune
2009-06-09, 05:12 PM
I was thinking about actually rolling the char for once :smallfrown:

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-09, 06:06 PM
It's possible that you might get someone to bite, but I personally doubt it... most of the pro-monk people aren't actually arguing that monks are equally powerful, so they'll see this little challenge as rather pointless.One of them is saying the Monks is equal in power to most melee classes in core, while acknowleging that Casters are broken and the Monk got beaten by lack of splatbook support. He's wrong, but not hugely. In a Core-only game the Monk is inferior to casters, Bards, Barbs, Rogues, and Archer Rangers while being superior to Fighters and on the same level as TWF Rangers and Paladins(all IMHO).

The other main Monk-supporter(Giacomo) says that in a core-only game Monks are balanced with all other classes from 1-20 at low pt-buys, due to their greater benefit from UMD, the fact that they gain more from buffs, and their greater damage potential and defenses. This is the debate that makes me sad. Giacomo is the one I keep calling on to enter a challenge, any challenge, with me, in order to prove how much more effective I can make a character to any Monk in the Monk's given role.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 06:09 PM
Will you insist that he go 3d6 for all stats, in order, like a real man?

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-09, 06:20 PM
Will you insist that he go 3d6 for all stats, in order, like a real man?I'll use the same pt-buy or array he does. I dislike rolling stats, after one of my characters(system has 9 stats, rolled in order, and 2 4d6 drop lowest re-rolls) ended up with 8 stats 10 or lower.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-09, 06:22 PM
I will join your party as a rogue with the stats that I rolled in a suitably manly fashion, if that is ok with you.

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-09, 07:01 PM
This is the debate that makes me sad. Giacomo is the one I keep calling on to enter a challenge, any challenge, with me, in order to prove how much more effective I can make a character to any Monk in the Monk's given role.
I (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80704) swear (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70070) I've (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96662) seen (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36333) this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45165) before. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45728)

Prediction:
This thread will turn into increasingly drawn-out nitpicking. Giacomo will post a build, the rest of the board will tear it apart. Posts will become drier and drier, nitpickier and nitpickier as each poster refutes each and every sentence of their opposition. New posters won't have time to read them and will post their opinions (which have already been stated and refuted several times). The thread will chase its own tail. It will slowly try to squeeze off the first three pages, but each time someone will post just in time for it to recover.

Arguments against Giacomo are unnecessary -- any reader, no matter how new to the game, will see the flaws in his statements: the rounds and rounds of buffing he needs to match his opposition, the amount the Monk's class features contribute to his strategies, the demands he makes of his party, the way he hemorrages gp even while abusing item prices.

[/another pointless contribution to this thread's survival]

quick_comment
2009-06-09, 07:50 PM
One of them is saying the Monks is equal in power to most melee classes in core, while acknowleging that Casters are broken and the Monk got beaten by lack of splatbook support. He's wrong, but not hugely. In a Core-only game the Monk is inferior to casters, Bards, Barbs, Rogues, and Archer Rangers while being superior to Fighters and on the same level as TWF Rangers and Paladins(all IMHO).


Fighters can at least go for a tripping build, and be pretty decent at that.

ChaosDefender24
2009-06-09, 10:26 PM
Seriously this thread completely has nothing to do with the OP (like it ever did) at this point. It's just another monk thread mess.

Thurbane
2009-06-09, 10:47 PM
My current party:

Human Dragon Shaman 10
Goblin Beguiler 9
Dwarf Fighter 10
Halfling Druid 10
Deep Dwarf Monk 10

...maybe it's because we're not really optimizers, or because our DM isn't that ruthless, but the Monk in our group always contributes meaningfully. Oddly enough, the one often dragging the chain is the Druid *shock horror* :smalltongue:

Flickerdart
2009-06-09, 10:51 PM
My current party:

Human Dragon Shaman 10
Goblin Beguiler 9
Dwarf Fighter 10
Halfling Druid 10
Deep Dwarf Monk 10

...maybe it's because we're not really optimizers, or because our DM isn't that ruthless, but the Monk in our group always contributes meaningfully. Oddly enough, the one often dragging the chain is the Druid *shock horror* :smalltongue:
How exactly does that work? Did he take Natural Spell, find a decent Wildshape form and have an Animal Companion? If he has those three things (plus a positive Wisdom score) he's already better than a Monk. You'd have to try hard to make him worse...
What party role does he fill? the Beguiler is an excellent scout and skill monkey, as well as a capable arcanist. The Druid is your Divine spells and a tank, the Fighter is probably another one. Dragon Shaman is a third caster, more on the blasty side possibly. So what does the Monk actually do to contribute?

mostlyharmful
2009-06-10, 01:28 AM
As far as I can tell, the current "Lets roll up characters" discussion doesn't involve anyone who is arguing that monks are equally powerful in any way. I didn't really pay it a whole lot of attention, since I read it mostly as off-topic snark.

It's possible that you might get someone to bite, but I personally doubt it... most of the pro-monk people aren't actually arguing that monks are equally powerful, so they'll see this little challenge as rather pointless.

The characters that've been rolled could just about be used to build things like rogue, druid, wizard, barb.... none of them could build a monk as anything but road kill. sounds like a useful exercise to me.

Thurbane
2009-06-10, 01:45 AM
How exactly does that work? Did he take Natural Spell, find a decent Wildshape form and have an Animal Companion? If he has those three things (plus a positive Wisdom score) he's already better than a Monk. You'd have to try hard to make him worse...
What party role does he fill? the Beguiler is an excellent scout and skill monkey, as well as a capable arcanist. The Druid is your Divine spells and a tank, the Fighter is probably another one. Dragon Shaman is a third caster, more on the blasty side possibly. So what does the Monk actually do to contribute?
The Monk kick's @$$...seriously! He hits pretty hard, and his Stunning Fist has turned the tide of more than one battle. He is the the secondary damage dealer, right behind the Fighter.

The Druid has all of the above - it's more to do with how he plays his character. Like I said, my group are hardly what you call optimizers.

lesser_minion
2009-06-10, 06:26 AM
Interestingly, I'm pretty sure that the MAD classes were designed that way in order to open up alternative options to high rollers (basically, the designers didn't actually expect you to take Monk unless you roll 18,14,17,16,13,12 or similar). Note that both the Paladin and the Monk were acknowledged as being demanding in terms of ability scores when they were written.

It's similar to the system in 1e where classes which were clearly more powerful also required higher ability scores.

The idea would have been to incorporate (mechanically) a vaguely simulationist idea of certain paths being much more demanding than others.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 06:30 AM
Note that both the Paladin and the Monk were acknowledged as being demanding in terms of ability scores when they were written.

Have you not been paying attention to the Giacomo wall of text? :smalltongue:

Kaiyanwang
2009-06-10, 06:37 AM
So what does the Monk actually do to contribute?

Yeah, they have good melee.. a fihgter and a druid. But sometimes monster must not be beaten, must be beaten more.

So I guess the monks beats monsters that more, saving a round of combat, and so healing and so on.

GreatWyrmGold
2009-06-10, 08:46 AM
Alright, I'll post a few "monk v. wizard" battles.

Monk
Human Monk 1
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
Feats: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Dodge{B}, Stunning Fist{B}
AC: 13 (14 w/Dodge)
Attack: +3 (+1/+1 w/ FoB), dmg 1d6+2
HP: 9
Saves: Fort+3, Ref+3, Will+4

Wizard
Elf Wizard 1
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll{B}
Important skill: Concentration+4 (+8 when casting defensivly)
AC: 13 (17 w/ Mage Armor
Attack: -1, dmg 1d6-1 (Note that if the wizard has to resort to a quarterstaff, s/he's probably doomed.)
HP: 4
Saves: Fort+0, Ref+3, Will+3

Best-case-senario:
[spoiler]Wizard is a conjurer with Immediate Magic.
Wizard doesn't mistake monk for wizard*
They start 60 ft apart.

ROUND 1: Wizard casts Mage Armor. Monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 2: Wizard casts Sleep. If monk saves (3/5 chance), monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 3: wizard casts Color Spray. If monk saves (3/5 chance), he charges. Sucess! Average damage (once AC is accounted for): 3.575.
ROUND 4: Wizard takes a 5-foot step (not taking a move action, to avoid an AoO), casts Acid Splash (2 damage). Monk 5-foot steps, flurrys. Wizard's down!

Score: The monk wins if it saves against Color Spray and Sleep. This is a 9-in-25 (36%) chance.[/spoiler

I will post other battles if requested.

Faleldir
2009-06-10, 09:28 AM
So what? One level of Monk is great; no one's disputing that. Try comparing a Monk 12 to a Monk 2/ Psiwarrior 10 with Tashalatora, Beast Strike and INA: claw. Assume the duel occurs in a 50' by 50' square room with no cover.

Giacomo, shut up about Fast Movement. It's an enhancement bonus. It can be replicated by items.

GreatWyrmGold
2009-06-10, 09:43 AM
So what? One level of Monk is great; no one's disputing that. Try comparing a Monk 12 to a Monk 2/ Psiwarrior 10 with Tashalatora, Beast Strike and INA: claw. Assume the duel occurs in a 50' by 50' square room with no cover.

Giacomo, shut up about Fast Movement. It's an enhancement bonus. It can be replicated by items.

I would (probably), but need the Psionic's Handbook/Complete Psionic/whatever book the Psi Warrior is in.

Yeah, fast movement is an enhancement bonus, but it is fast enough(+30 ft(haste's bonus) at level 9 that items have a hard time replicating it constantly. Also: A. It's hard to steal/misplace/break a class feature; B. Don't say it if you are too cowardly to say it clearly.

Philistine
2009-06-10, 10:20 AM
Psychic Warrior is in the SRD. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/psychicWarrior.htm)

Decoy Lockbox
2009-06-10, 10:51 AM
It's similar to the system in 1e where classes which were clearly more powerful also required higher ability scores.

Oldschool nerd rant!

See, the irony of your statement is that in AD&D 1e some of the classes which required high ability scores, like Paladins and Rangers, were really great classes that were in fact better than everyone else. For example, 1e Rangers got good melee, heavy armor, lots of HP (2 HD at first level, more HD than fighters/paladins), animal followers, animal charming, a very very potent favored enemy that was quite often applicable (+1 to hit/damage per level) cleric spells AND magic-user spells! You could even cast the shield spell while wearing full plate and having a rediculous frontal AC if you wanted to. Paladins got special mount, lay on hands, cleric spells, immunity to disease, a save bonus and the best part, permanent protection from evil for himself and every ally within 5 ft'. All of that, and the stuff that a fighter got (melee prowess, weapons, armor, 9d10 total HD).

What did the monk get in 1e?

Well, you class said that you couldn't use your strength mod to increase your attack or damage. You couldn't use your dex mod for AC, nor could you wear armor. The class had d4 HD (I repeat, d4 HD). You got 2d4 HD at level 1, and a single d4 for the next 17 levels (it was an 18 level class if memory serves). Your unarmed damage started at 1d4 and increased from there, eventually being 5-20 (i.e. 5d4) at level 18, or as your rank was called, "Grand Master of Flowers". Your AC started at 10 and occasionally increased as you gained levels, eventually being -3 at level 18. Just to provide a point of comparison, I once played a 4 Con, 16 Dex elf fighter in field plate with a shield who had AC -1 at level 3 (he actually managed to survive to retirement). So yeah, AC -3 at level 18 is not anything to write home about. Additionally, there was nothing like amulet of mighty fists or magic gauntlets to help you increase your unarmed attack. So since you couldn't apply your strength to dmg (not even after drinking a strength potion, of which there were many types), and you had no magic items to do it, your damage would forever be limited to the dice.

So to put it bluntly, the "base" of the class was god-awful. However, unlike the 3.5 monk the class features you got were out of this world. Everything you struck with your unarmed attacks had a chance of either being stunned or outright dying. Sure it was often a low chance, and there was a height/weight limit, but thats still pretty dope. You got one or more special abilities at every level, and they kept getting cooler and cooler. Quivering palm? You got it at level 15, and there was no save. You simply said "I'm using quivering palm" and you had three rounds to connect with an unarmed attack. After that you just willed the target to die, and providing their HP wasn't more than double yours, it was dead as a doornail. Of course, the problem with that is you having d4 HP meant that the fighters and mages would need to whittle the target down before you did it, but its still really good.

So what is the problem with this? In order to get access to all these cool features, you have to survive the lower levels, which was, quite honestly, rather difficult for any character class. Remember that first level monks have an AC of ten (no matter how good their Dex was) and 2d4 HP. Common garden-variety Orcs, the kind that you tend to fight at those levels, do 1d8 damage with their attacks, and had the 1e AD&D equivalent of Thac0 19. So on average, they had a 60% chance to hit the level one monk, and then a fairly good chance of outright killing him. Of course, magic-users were even more frail at level 1 (or any level for that matter), but at least they werent expected to actually fight in melee! The odds of a monk actually surviving level 1 seem pretty close to zero as far as I can tell, especially considering that they required more XP than most classes to hit level 2; 2,250 xp, compare to 1,250 for thieves, 1,500 for clerics, 2,000 for fighters and 2,500 for mages and paladins. Compare to rangers who got 2d8 hd at level 1, heavy armor and shields, and who also took 2,250 xp to hit level 2. If memory serves, the stats required to qualify for being a monk were rather high, and so anyone who could qualify as a monk could also qualify as a ranger. The choice seems like a no-brainer to me!

So as far as I can tell, there has been some sort of conspiracy at TSR/WotC to keep monks sucking, in order to preserve the status quo. Hopefully 4e will change that.

Tiki Snakes
2009-06-10, 11:15 AM
So as far as I can tell, there has been some sort of conspiracy at TSR/WotC to keep monks sucking, in order to preserve the status quo. Hopefully 4e will change that.

I'm prone to optimism sometimes, but the preview build of the 4th ed monk does seem pretty good.

I'm unlikely to get a chance to actually play one anytime soon, but they've got some cool stuff and some pretty decent options already. I had a go building a staff-fighting monk, and in addition to their nifty movement-related powers, the whole use-a-staff-as-a-double-weapon / two weapon fighting direction really seems like it has some promise. (the double-weapon-staff feat giving it the defending property, plus the ac bonus for not wearing armour, and a decent set of scores leaves a level 1 monk with preetty good AC, really. Plus, awesome monkey-magic flavour, I'd say.)

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 11:48 AM
Alright, I'll post a few "monk v. wizard" battles.

Monk
Human Monk 1
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
Feats: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Dodge{B}, Stunning Fist{B}
AC: 13 (14 w/Dodge)
Attack: +3 (+1/+1 w/ FoB), dmg 1d6+2
HP: 9
Saves: Fort+3, Ref+3, Will+4

Wizard
Elf Wizard 1
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll{B}
Important skill: Concentration+4 (+8 when casting defensivly)
AC: 13 (17 w/ Mage Armor
Attack: -1, dmg 1d6-1 (Note that if the wizard has to resort to a quarterstaff, s/he's probably doomed.)
HP: 4
Saves: Fort+0, Ref+3, Will+3

Best-case-senario:
[spoiler]Wizard is a conjurer with Immediate Magic.
Wizard doesn't mistake monk for wizard*
They start 60 ft apart.

ROUND 1: Wizard casts Mage Armor. Monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 2: Wizard casts Sleep. If monk saves (3/5 chance), monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 3: wizard casts Color Spray. If monk saves (3/5 chance), he charges. Sucess! Average damage (once AC is accounted for): 3.575.
ROUND 4: Wizard takes a 5-foot step (not taking a move action, to avoid an AoO), casts Acid Splash (2 damage). Monk 5-foot steps, flurrys. Wizard's down!

Score: The monk wins if it saves against Color Spray and Sleep. This is a 9-in-25 (36%) chance.[/spoiler

I will post other battles if requested.

What? Even assuming one runs out of first level spells, you could cast Daze to Daze the monk.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-10, 11:50 AM
Alright, I'll post a few "monk v. wizard" battles.

Monk
Human Monk 1
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
Feats: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Dodge{B}, Stunning Fist{B}
AC: 13 (14 w/Dodge)
Attack: +3 (+1/+1 w/ FoB), dmg 1d6+2
HP: 9
Saves: Fort+3, Ref+3, Will+4

Wizard
Elf Wizard 1
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll{B}
Important skill: Concentration+4 (+8 when casting defensivly)
AC: 13 (17 w/ Mage Armor
Attack: -1, dmg 1d6-1 (Note that if the wizard has to resort to a quarterstaff, s/he's probably doomed.)
HP: 4
Saves: Fort+0, Ref+3, Will+3

Best-case-senario:
Wizard is a conjurer with Immediate Magic.
Wizard doesn't mistake monk for wizard*
They start 60 ft apart.

ROUND 1: Wizard casts Mage Armor. Monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 2: Wizard casts Sleep. If monk saves (3/5 chance), monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 3: wizard casts Color Spray. If monk saves (3/5 chance), he charges. Sucess! Average damage (once AC is accounted for): 3.575.
ROUND 4: Wizard takes a 5-foot step (not taking a move action, to avoid an AoO), casts Acid Splash (2 damage). Monk 5-foot steps, flurrys. Wizard's down!

Score: The monk wins if it saves against Color Spray and Sleep. This is a 9-in-25 (36%) chance.

I will post other battles if requested.

The problem is that the monk is not going to auto-hit the wizard. In fact, the monk's attack bonus is so low he only has a 30% chance to hit on an average strike, less when flurrying. And a wizard is not going to waste Immediate teleports before they know if an attack has a chance to hit them, so your first three successful attacks will be canceled when the wizard sees the attack roll and says 'Immediate action: teleport!'

So assuming the Monk is not charging every round (because the wizard doesn't need to teleport away unless you roll a lucky hit) you'll need to make 4+ *successful* melee attacks to drop the wizard. Any one of the wizards first level spells drops the monk, and more than one of the 0th level spells is dangerous. Ironically the wizard has about the same chance to hit the monk with his quarterstaff as the monk has to hit the wizard, and the wizard has to make about the same number of successful attacks.

Also not being taken into account is that the wizard has a free move action every time the wizard teleports, as he begins the round without the monk in AoO range. This lets the wizard chose the ground to fight on, and the monk has to charge over to where ever the wizard goes. In the first round, the wizard can even kill the monks chance of making an attack by casting, then using a move action to exit the range of the Monk's initial charge.

So in order to win, the monk would have to survive at least 5 rounds of magic attacks and not fail the first two.

The monk has a 40% chance to land an attack on a charge (this is the best chance of victory, but only if the wizard is out of immediate magic). On a regular attack the odds drop to 30%. On a flurry there is a 4% chance of both attacks hitting (instant win, if the wizard is out of immediate magic) and a 32% chance of at least one attack hitting.

The Wizard meanwhile has the same 40% chance with two spells to drop the Monk, but only has to be successful one time. After those spells are expended unsuccessfully (36% of the time, as you point out), the monk and wizard are on equal footing and the chance the battle will go either way just depends on who gets a lucky roll first.

So if I had to guess, I give the wizard an 82% chance of success and the monk an 18%. That's 64% for the chance the wizard has of winning based on being successful with the two spells early on, and a 50/50 (+18% either way) if the battle drags on past that.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 11:53 AM
The problem is that the monk is not going to autohit the Monk.
...Wait...

Jayabalard
2009-06-10, 12:02 PM
For example, 1e Rangers got good melee, heavy armor, lots of HP (2 HD at first level, more HD than fighters/paladins), animal followers, animal charming, a very very potent favored enemy that was quite often applicable (+1 to hit/damage per level) cleric spells AND magic-user spells!iirc, they had d8 hit dice and wound up with 11hd instead of 9, so the average hp evened out with fighters and paladins around level 5, gradually dropped off over the next few levels, and at the end wound up at pretty much the same average hp (11d8 vs 9d10, so 11*4.5 = 49.5 = 9*5.5). They got extra attacks slower than fighters and paladins. They got 1-3 level druid (not cleric) spells and 1-2 level magic user spells starting around level 8 or so. The favored enemy was specifically giants and humanoids (and yes, it was often applicable depending on the campaign and quite effective).


One of them <snip> The other main Monk-supporter(Giacomo)<snip>These are only 2 people, and only one of them is actually arguing that monks are equivalent in power across the board. Of the two, the "lets roll up a party" is really only applicable to Gia... so it still looks kind of meaningless to me.


Interestingly, I'm pretty sure that the MAD classes were designed that way in order to open up alternative options to high rollers (basically, the designers didn't actually expect you to take Monk unless you roll 18,14,17,16,13,12 or similar). Note that both the Paladin and the Monk were acknowledged as being demanding in terms of ability scores when they were written.That's certainly a possibility.


Have you not been paying attention to the Giacomo wall of text? :smalltongue:Correct.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-10, 12:05 PM
...Wait...

Sorry, reread that and corrected. That should be wizard at the end of the sentence, not Monk. The attacks from the monk in the scenario were being presented as always hitting, when that's not true.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 12:11 PM
ROUND 4: Wizard takes a 5-foot step (not taking a move action, to avoid an AoO), casts Acid Splash (2 damage). Monk 5-foot steps, flurrys. Wizard's down!

You have a 15%/15% chance of hitting with flurry. This deals 0.825/0.825 points of damage. You have, for whatever reason, not accounted for this.

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-10, 12:39 PM
Alright, I'll post a few "monk v. wizard" battles.
Why?

Wizard casts Mage Armor ... casts Sleep ... casts Acid Splash
Your Wizard-jitsu saddens me. Perhaps that is why your Monks have no troubles.

lesser_minion
2009-06-10, 12:43 PM
@Decoy - the 1e Monk was, as you have said, mostly a case of awesome special abilities coupled with fairly poor stats. The rule prohibiting you from gaining Str bonuses to damage rolls (in exchange for a level bonus) and Dex bonuses to AC (in exchange for a level bonus) was pretty horrific.

Assasin was always a good 1e class - poison use amounted to "if you hit someone, they must make a save vs. poison or die" and the original death attack was a flat 50% chance to kill outright, IIRC.

In any event, my point was that in some respects both the monk and the paladin could be throwbacks to Gygaxian naturalism.

Eldariel
2009-06-10, 01:12 PM
Alright, I'll post a few "monk v. wizard" battles.

Monk
Human Monk 1
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
Feats: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Dodge{B}, Stunning Fist{B}
AC: 13 (14 w/Dodge)
Attack: +3 (+1/+1 w/ FoB), dmg 1d6+2
HP: 9
Saves: Fort+3, Ref+3, Will+4

Wizard
Elf Wizard 1
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll{B}
Important skill: Concentration+4 (+8 when casting defensivly)
AC: 13 (17 w/ Mage Armor
Attack: -1, dmg 1d6-1 (Note that if the wizard has to resort to a quarterstaff, s/he's probably doomed.)
HP: 4
Saves: Fort+0, Ref+3, Will+3

Best-case-senario:
[spoiler]Wizard is a conjurer with Immediate Magic.
Wizard doesn't mistake monk for wizard*
They start 60 ft apart.

ROUND 1: Wizard casts Mage Armor. Monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 2: Wizard casts Sleep. If monk saves (3/5 chance), monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 3: wizard casts Color Spray. If monk saves (3/5 chance), he charges. Sucess! Average damage (once AC is accounted for): 3.575.
ROUND 4: Wizard takes a 5-foot step (not taking a move action, to avoid an AoO), casts Acid Splash (2 damage). Monk 5-foot steps, flurrys. Wizard's down!

Score: The monk wins if it saves against Color Spray and Sleep. This is a 9-in-25 (36%) chance.[/spoiler

I will post other battles if requested.

I suggest you make the Wizard a Gray Elf Conjurer, and for this purpose, Spell Focus: Illusion is probably the better feat. That gives him 17 Int and 3 level 1 slots. Alternatively, both characters could be built on the point buy. But yeah, turn 1 Mage Armor (if we must), turn 2 Color Spray, turn 3 Color Spray, all at DC 14. Monk has +4 Will, giving him 50% to save each time. Wizard has 3 uses of Immediate Magic and wields a Longbow (Elf, remember?) or Heavy Crossbow with a Scythe on his back (for decapitating helpless opponents), all his level 0 spells spent on Launch Bolt [SC] or Caltrops [SC].

This gives the Monk 2 saves at 50% success chance each, giving a total chance of success of 50%^2 = 25%. Mind you, that's still a relevant chance of success. The Wizard also has ranks in Tumble allowing him to skirmish with his Bow or Launch Bolt (although I'm not sure whether it's better than 5' steps). Bolts might actually be better; Heavy Crossbow fires at +3 for 1d10 while Launch Bolt fires the Bolts at 1d8. Seeing that the Monk's AC is 14, there's a 50/50 chances of hitting with every one of those. Two-three Bolts will kill on average. I'm not gonna go in depth, but I'm fairly sure it's a wee bit better for the Wizard than the numbers given here.


So Monk has a 25% chance of making it to the elimination rounds with the Wizard, at which point rolls start to matter. Provided he does, the Monk does an average of 1d6+2 = 5.5 damage at +3 or +1/+1 vs. AC 17; 35% to hit with one attack or 25% with the flurry (chance being 44.75% for at least 1 hit). If a hit does occur, chances are the Wizard goes down (there's an 83.3...% chance of it being enough to drop the Wizard to 0). Wizard has a 50% chance to hit, but takes two turns on average to kill the Monk.

Not gonna do the exact math here, but the average chance of Monk victory is notably less than 25%.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-10, 01:13 PM
Alright, I'll post a few "monk v. wizard" battles.

Monk
Human Monk 1
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
Feats: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Dodge{B}, Stunning Fist{B}
AC: 13 (14 w/Dodge)
Attack: +3 (+1/+1 w/ FoB), dmg 1d6+2
HP: 9
Saves: Fort+3, Ref+3, Will+4

Wizard
Elf Wizard 1
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 10
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll{B}
Important skill: Concentration+4 (+8 when casting defensivly)
AC: 13 (17 w/ Mage Armor
Attack: -1, dmg 1d6-1 (Note that if the wizard has to resort to a quarterstaff, s/he's probably doomed.)
HP: 4
Saves: Fort+0, Ref+3, Will+3

Best-case-senario:
Wizard is a conjurer with Immediate Magic.
Wizard doesn't mistake monk for wizard*
They start 60 ft apart.

ROUND 1: Wizard casts Mage Armor. Monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 2: Wizard casts Sleep. If monk saves (3/5 chance), monk charges; wizard uses I.M.
ROUND 3: wizard casts Color Spray. If monk saves (3/5 chance), he charges. Sucess! Average damage (once AC is accounted for): 3.575.
ROUND 4: Wizard takes a 5-foot step (not taking a move action, to avoid an AoO), casts Acid Splash (2 damage). Monk 5-foot steps, flurrys. Wizard's down!

Score: The monk wins if it saves against Color Spray and Sleep. This is a 9-in-25 (36%) chance.

I will post other battles if requested.Why do people compare Monks and Wizards? Wizards are SoL glass cannons, buffers, debuffers, Batllefield Controllers, utility, and about 10 other roles. Monks are...well, nothing really, but 4+Int, d8 HD, .75 BAB...striker with a touch of scouting is best, I guess. Compare them to a Druid or Barb if you're comparing them to someone.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 01:20 PM
He thinks monks are caster killers, I believe.

Livor
2009-06-10, 01:46 PM
You do realize the qualifications for killing a 1st level wizard aren't exactly high? When there are jokes about a house cat killing a 1st level wizard, it doesn't really reflect too highly on the monk.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-10, 01:57 PM
You do realize the qualifications for killing a 1st level wizard aren't exactly high? When there are jokes about a house cat killing a 1st level wizard, it doesn't really reflect too highly on the monk.

It does when it's clear from a few posters this page that the monk can't do it.

Worira
2009-06-10, 01:59 PM
It does when it's clear from a few posters this page that the monk can't do it.

Err, no, it really, really doesn't.

Aneantir
2009-06-10, 02:06 PM
It does when it's clear from a few posters this page that the monk can't do it.

A monk CAN kill a wizard at level one. Lots of things can. However, what posters are saying is whether or not it's likely that he will be able to before the wizard kills him first.

People who are favouring the monk's odds say that his above-average saves will carry him through the Save-or-Lose spells the wizard slings at him, while people favouring the wizards odds say that even though his saves are higher than other level one characters, he's still going to need to roll higher than is likely in order for him to succeed.

No ones really saying that a monk CAN'T kill a wizard at level one, they're just saying it's more likely that the Monk will lose a save first and end up with his head rolling around on the floor, courtesy of the wizards trusty scythe.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-10, 02:16 PM
Err, no, it really, really doesn't.

er, yes, it really, really does when you look at the numbers being thrown around. If a wizard has a negligble chance of copping it to a Monk and a near certainty of ganking the Monk then err, yes, it does. It relies on an abrubt jaunt Wiz but still.

A housecat on the other hand has about the same chance as a Monk, more if it uses stealth or abuses it's cuteness on a Diplomacy check..

http://pantheaunique.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/cute-cat2.jpg

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 02:26 PM
The British bake kittens in pies.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-10, 02:30 PM
The British bake kittens in pies.

Do we? Since when? They go far better in stews with dumplings.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 02:32 PM
You're not helping your case here.

lesser_minion
2009-06-10, 03:02 PM
Well, I can say with certainty that I have never eaten or baked a kitten.

However, as mostlyharmful said, they would make much more sense in a stew with dumplings.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-10, 03:25 PM
However, as mostlyharmful said, they would make much more sense in a stew with dumplings.

May I recommend a thyme and garlic seasoning with soaked puy lentils and gorgonzola, it sounds overpowering of the delicate feline flavour I know but I assure you they blend harmoniously.:smallsmile:


Edit: this thread really isn't coming back is it.....

Arakune
2009-06-10, 03:50 PM
Edit: this thread really isn't coming back is it.....

We need to wait for gia's response.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 03:50 PM
Don't hold your breath, we will likely be ignored.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-10, 04:09 PM
You do realize the qualifications for killing a 1st level wizard aren't exactly high? When there are jokes about a house cat killing a 1st level wizard, it doesn't really reflect too highly on the monk.

What you mean is an attack from a house-cat could kill a wizard easily. This is true, but you've already loaded in the fact that (a) the cat hit and confirmed a critical (b) the wizard had no chance to defend themselves. Under these conditions almost any character (that lacks DR) of any level could die to an appropriately large number of house-cat attacks delivered in the same round. Wizards and Sorcerer just happen to have a low enough starting HP to be killed by only one.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-10, 04:13 PM
What you mean is an attack from a house-cat could kill a wizard easily. This is true, but you've already loaded in the fact that (a) the cat hit and confirmed a critical (b) the wizard had no chance to defend themselves. Under these conditions almost any character (that lacks DR) of any level could die to an appropriately large number of house-cat attacks delivered in the same round. Wizards and Sorcerer just happen to have a low enough starting HP to be killed by only one.

is it wrong that i've now got the idea of a high level experimenting wizard opening a mysterious box and getting mauled by an infinite number of undead cats in my head?

lesser_minion
2009-06-10, 04:17 PM
Wouldn't he risk breaking the vial of hydrogen cyanide and dying from that?

Dagren
2009-06-10, 04:46 PM
Wow, the monk gets outdone by a friggin' housecat? That really makes them look good, doesn't it?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 05:36 PM
What you mean is an attack from a house-cat could kill a wizard easily. This is true, but you've already loaded in the fact that (a) the cat hit and confirmed a critical (b) the wizard had no chance to defend themselves. Under these conditions almost any character (that lacks DR) of any level could die to an appropriately large number of house-cat attacks delivered in the same round. Wizards and Sorcerer just happen to have a low enough starting HP to be killed by only one.

Housecats also have Pounce.


is it wrong that i've now got the idea of a high level experimenting wizard opening a mysterious box and getting mauled by an infinite number of undead cats in my head?

Schrodinger's cat zombies?

Worira
2009-06-10, 05:40 PM
Housecats don't actually have pounce. They should, but they don't.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-10, 05:49 PM
Housecats don't actually have pounce. They should, but they don't.

Tell that to my ex's housecats...

Guancyto
2009-06-10, 05:57 PM
Housecats don't actually have pounce. They should, but they don't.

Not that it matters much. They only get one attack, after all.

lesser_minion
2009-06-10, 06:05 PM
Actually, they get 3 attacks. They claw/claw/bite, just like dragons.

In 3.0, the joke was really that you got more experience for murdering a house cat than for killing a kobold (it's now the same amount)

Nohwl
2009-06-10, 06:25 PM
Edit: this thread really isn't coming back is it.....

ill try and bring it a little closer to the original topic. no promises though.


Puff! Real man roll 3d6 for all the stats and use then. In that order.

if you chose your class first, as was mentioned on that thread about different ways to generate ability scores, would that benefit the monk at all? instead of focusing on one stat, monks need some of everything. compare it to picking a wizard. if you don't have a good int score, you do not have many options. if you get a good strength score, it will not benefit you much. a monk on the other hand, benefits a little bit from many stats, and it would reduce the risk/problems of having a high stat in something you do not need.

any thoughts on this?

tyckspoon
2009-06-10, 08:57 PM
if you chose your class first, as was mentioned on that thread about different ways to generate ability scores, would that benefit the monk at all? instead of focusing on one stat, monks need some of everything. compare it to picking a wizard. if you don't have a good int score, you do not have many options. if you get a good strength score, it will not benefit you much. a monk on the other hand, benefits a little bit from many stats, and it would reduce the risk/problems of having a high stat in something you do not need.

any thoughts on this?

I think you'd just get to suck at everything, really. Continuing the comparison: Pick Wizard as your class and throw 3d6. You only really need your Int to be 11 or better (hopefully you're allowed to swap a suitable score or raise your chosen class's primary score if it's not rolled high enough.) You'll probably need to be a Focused Specialist to have a decent number of spell slots and you'll have to pick your spells really carefully, but as long as you can cast at all you'll be functional. Far behind the traditional Int 16+ Wizard, but functional. Comparatively, a Monk who gets 12-8 in most of his scores, with maybe a 16? He's going to lose something. Low strength tanks his damage potential. Dex and Wis minimize his AC and special abilities (and High Touch AC without having to optimize too much is one of the more valid benefits of being a monk, normally.) Weak Int reduces his function as a skiller, although it doesn't remove it entirely. Cha is really the only thing a Monk doesn't really care whether or not it has a significant bonus.

waterpenguin43
2009-06-10, 11:06 PM
The main issues with monks is that they have MAD, they can't use spells and there abilities aren't worth next to the restrictions. But on the other hand, monks make excellent scouts for your party.

Aneantir
2009-06-10, 11:14 PM
But on the other hand, monks make excellent scouts for your party.

I agree, mainly because they're expendable.
Much rather send the Monk to his death than the rogue who might get in a dozen dice worth of sneak attack damage next combat.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-11, 01:38 AM
ill try and bring it a little closer to the original topic. no promises though.



if you chose your class first, as was mentioned on that thread about different ways to generate ability scores, would that benefit the monk at all? instead of focusing on one stat, monks need some of everything. compare it to picking a wizard. if you don't have a good int score, you do not have many options. if you get a good strength score, it will not benefit you much. a monk on the other hand, benefits a little bit from many stats, and it would reduce the risk/problems of having a high stat in something you do not need.

any thoughts on this?

Choose to be a Druid, hide behind your AC until level 5 and then wildshape, pick up an item of +wis as soon as possible (sooner if you've got sucky Wis). you might have trouble with casting and you might have low hp but that's about the only difference between you and a point buy. totally playable with even vaguely useful stats, the only ones you care about at all are Con and Wis and they're non-essential.

ChaosDefender24
2009-06-11, 04:24 PM
I agree, mainly because they're expendable.
Much rather send the Monk to his death than the rogue who might get in a dozen dice worth of sneak attack damage next combat.

I'd rather send the monk than the celestial monkey, which costs the wizard a 1st-level spell slot

Aneantir
2009-06-11, 04:30 PM
Or the celestial monkey, which costs the wizard a 1st-level spell slot

Celestial Monkeys don't reroll into something more useful when they die, though.

ChaosDefender24
2009-06-11, 04:34 PM
Well if he's playing a monk to begin with, chances are he's going to roll up a sword & board weapon focus fighter anyway.

Aneantir
2009-06-11, 04:40 PM
Well if he's playing a monk to begin with, chances are he's going to roll up a sword & board weapon focus fighter anyway.

Seems you've got me on this one. :smalltongue:

Dixieboy
2009-06-11, 04:59 PM
You do realize the qualifications for killing a 1st level wizard aren't exactly high? When there are jokes about a house cat killing a 1st level wizard, it doesn't really reflect too highly on the monk.
Those aren't jokes, those are true stories.

House cats PWN level 1 'zards.

Flickerdart
2009-06-11, 05:01 PM
Those aren't jokes, those are true stories.

House cats PWN level 1 'zards.
How many cats can a 1st level Wizard's WBL buy, after he sells his spellbook? Looks like Riding Dogs have met their match.

Doc Roc
2009-06-11, 06:51 PM
Actually, I'm not sure a monk would win against a housecat.

Let's try that, giving the housecat WBL buy as per a starting character.

Flickerdart
2009-06-11, 06:59 PM
Cats have...-8 STR, +4 DEX, +2 WIS, -4 CHA, and INT 2. Let's give our kitty the Elite Array.
STR 4
DEX 19
CON 14
INT 2
WIS 13
CHA 5

He's got +4 initiative, 3 HP, 16 AC. Let's keep his feats where they are, even though Stealthy sucks. So, our cat is going to sneak up on the Monk and win initiative, meaning 6 damage before the Monk can act. This is a problem, as the Monk is not yet dead and might actually be able to hit kitty. If he doesn't, he's probably dead. And the cat hasn't spent any cash yet.
Unless we're going with the standard MM housecat, because a Monk isn't good enough to beat 1/4 animal HD. In that case, Monk also runs with 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-11, 10:18 PM
House cats indeed...:smallconfused:

Anyhow, for any who still may care...


Nothing is more than 50%; due to lack of decent BAB, most characters (other than Raging Barbarians) have a relevant chance of even missing AC 10, let alone AC 17 or such.

Which is why grappling is such a good low-level (to mid-level) tactics.

Well, besides Magic Missile. Why does the Wizard lose Initiative again? He'll have 14-16 Dex easily since he needs only Int.

Not with the typical 16-14-14 array. If the wizard does not have improved initiative, he'll lose to the monk.
More painful, though, is the surprise round (better stealth of the monk) or what happens in longer combat.

And he's in a party; he's got Druids taking hits.

And the monk is always alone?

It's just that he solves the encounters nobody else can solve.

Same as the monk. As everyone, in fact.

He has the most offensive power out of all characters.

Eventually, yes. At level 1, no. And throughout lvl 1-20 payed for with most vulnerabilities.

What can a Monk do against high Str large size opponents with high Fort-save? And every other martial class is just fine against the types Monk can kill (low AC low HP low Str).

Well, a high STR monk can do the following against high STR large size opponents: he can also get large (1st level spell, buffed by party which you assume is present) and grapple them. And/Or trip them. Since the advantage of those feats bestows +4, the opponent has to have
- for grappling a mixture of +8 higher STR or more BAB
- for tripping +8 higher STR or DEX.
Not always that likely. I'd say a monk with starting STR of 16 outgrapples 90% of all creatures in core of CR 1-8 with in his levels 1-8.

Sure, but outside Dungeons it'll keep him safe. In dungeons, you can generally cast protective buffs and ride those home.

But the monk can not cast protective buffs? Because this criticism tends to come up when a monk allegedly has to use just prior to combat many, many rounds to buff with UMD wands.

That's what the other party members are for. No surprise round since the spotter spotted them.

I wonder what classes again have spot and WIS as a good stat usually? Hmmm...:smallwink:

The beast wasn't in range with Pounce because he was flying. There's a chance that he'd get pinned down, but chances are he's flying so high nobody can hide while approaching him. And creatures with pounce generally don't hide. There's also the fact that the Monk needs to hit him to stun him.

Always flying out of jump reach in dungeons?
Tigers? Lions? Never hiding before attacking?
And what kind of AC does a wizard have up to mid-levels that could stop a monk's stunning fist?
No. The wizard until level 11 or so (when contingency is around) is highly vulnerable.

Nobody cares who can take Improved Grapple. It's just a tool. It's not a goal. You don't want to grapple enemies. You want to disable/kill them. Grappling is a tool for that. It's no more effective than...say tripping with a reach weapon (it's actually less so).

Fireball also kills your group when you cast it against the enemy they currently melee. Why then use it?
Why use grappling when going against several foes at once? Makes no sense either.
But in many situations, grappling is awesome. Until creatures regularly get too powerful at grappling or magic nullifies it too often.

And no, he can't focus on Str only; if you neglect your AC, you'll simply get killed by standard attacks, even in Grapple.

Why? 28-pt-buy with STR 16, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14 and CHR 8 looks like AC 14 to me, 17 fighting defensively, 21 with mage armour or chain shirt. Stealth avoids more fights than for other melee classes. What is there about "neglecting?"

Also, Barbarian can start with 18 Str; Monk can't have any higher. Barbarian also has a Rage, which allows putting it to 22. 26 if he's an Orc.

Why can't a monk be a half-orc (STR max 20) or orc (STR max 22)? Why will a 1/day ability matter at level 1 for all encounters?
And again: a half-orc or orc barbarian starting with 18 STR before racial adjustment will never have enough points at 28 pt buy left to also get DEX 15 (before -2 from enlarge) to keep combat reflexes when enlarged (for reach weapon AoO stuff) and the INT 15 (before -2 racial) to get improved trip. Only much later with stat boosters he'll have a chance.
That's what I mean about less MAD monk, but choose to ignore it if you like.

Any character with the same Wands and UMD could do the same; there's nothing your Monk is doing, it's all items.

Sooo...could a druid do it as I asked?
I mean, without polymorph and wildshape, since that is considered broken around here (and if not, imagine the monk doing nasty stuff as a horned devil since he can turn into any outsider up to HD15 permanently with polymorph any object).
Meanwhile, try to face the harsh reality that no-one, with as high UMD or as many wands as they like could
- have as high base damage as a monk and
- as many attacks.
- and as powerful special attacks on top

But you forgot few things. You calculated that the Solar has Mithril Breastplate, but you didn't give it Ring of Protection +5, Amulet of Natural Armor +5 and Animated Mithril Heavy Shield +1 with Magic Vestment on it. You say it's a stretch, but that's only if you assign treasure randomally. DMG pretty much says "use these tables if you're lazy". Assume a smartly equipped Solar. This puts its AC in 59, meaning your Monk only hits on 18s.

No, I do not think this is adequate.
- first of all, the DMG (p. 54) says nothing about "use these tables if you're lazy), but rather (bold mine): "You may wish to build a custom treasure for the toughest monster, the head of the conspiracy, the leader of the mercenary army, or other special encounter." This does not sound like the randomly encountered solar to me.
- then, why exactly should a solar be equipped with stuff to withstand a melee attack better? In particular, since it already can with its spells achieve an AC that is beyond the reach of most mortals? No, rather it will boost its spellpower somewhat (increase CL, or have rods of quicken or stuff like that).
- furthermore, the solar has already two mighty items - a +9 (!) equivalent sword and a minor artefact (bow that draws slaying arrows as desired). That already exceeds the regular magic items of a CR 23 creature, I daresay. No need to add on top of that.
The solar would not be "smartly" equipped - but merely equipped in a manner to add even more CR to it.
Which is kind of ironic since the allegedly soooo weak monk class alread kicks its ass with a by 3 lower level than its CR 23.

Now the Solar lives. Miracle: Greater Teleport 1000' away. Then Heal. Fly back, rain Slaying Arrows on the idiotic Monk while Dancing Sword is active in case you decide to attack. Congratulations, you just got yourself killed.

Even if this improbable scenario happens. What, do you think, will the monk do in the 3-5 rounds that the solar takes to do this? Just stand around?
Oh my...:smallwink:

A Druid might stand a chance, mostly because he has access to Wildshape, Shapechange, a second character and most importantly, spells. A Wizard could do it for sure; Gate in more Solars. Or Prismatic Great Wyrms.

Without the cheese morph stuff the druid actually stands no chance against the solar. I had a look at the core druid spells - they are way too underpowered for that. Maybe the animal companion can be buffed to do something against the AC 46 (flat-footed, 51 otherwise), but I am not sure.
The wizard could gate in other solars, but that takes a standard action in which the solar could simply vanish to avoid being pitched against some of its kind.
It's not that easy.
But by all means. Show me how a druid can do it.
If the underpowered monk can, surely the most overpowered class (allegedly) can do it even more easily, can it not? :smallbiggrin:

I'd also like to point out that rising movement has 50% reduced speed so unless you're flying on the same level as the Solar (in which case you have nothing to hide in), you won't be able to charge at it from that far away.

Why should there be nothing to hide in? Clouds? Rain? Other flying creatures? Buildings? Mountains? Trees? Dungeons?
This objection is so strange I'm at a loss.

So? It's Adaptation. Again, if need be, dip two levels of Monk and go on as a Swordsage. Much better than straight Monk.

If the DM houserules a swordsage nicely stacking with a monk, then I guess swordsage/monk combos are quite OK. But that does not mean the monk is unnecessary.
Same as a barbarian not becoming unnecessary because of the warblade.

It's only -4 to attacks within Grapple, and every other character can attack you without your Dex. No, if you're fighting two Orc Warrior 1s, you don't want to Grapple one; the other one will behead you. Your 1d6+X damage just isn't gonna cut it. Get a Greatsword, deal 2d6 and drop those Orcs in one.

Actually, you keep your DEX score against the creature you grapple.
And again, a monk will LIKELY not use grappling when outnumbered.
Also...er...why again are you trying to illustrate the monk's weakness by putting him in the way of two CR 1 creatures at his 1st level?
This joins the row of unfair challenges to the monk (like at level 20 going against a CR 23 solar, or fighting a CR 1 animal with just 3s in all stats) while not illustrating how other classes would "easily" surive and handle it.

That means you'll cap at about AC 20 on low levels as weak Bracers of Armor aren't useful to you.

No, but mage armour is. And as I illustrated, a monk focusing on STR can still have higher AC.

On level 1, you'll have trouble making those Touch attacks. Also, Str is needed for damage. If you only deal 1d6, you'll lose in grapple to light weapon/natural attacks. They don't need to beat your grapple-check, they can just choose to beat your AC+4 instead.

No, there should not be much trouble making touch attacks, even at level 1.
And actually, my above example monk with AC 14 then would have at level 1 an equivalent of an AC 18 against the foe he grapples. This is quite tough for that level. Additionally, most light weapons and unarmed attacks deal much lower damage than the big weapons - and many are not even armed with them, so they are even more at a disadvantage.

Also, if you don't have high Str, you won't win grapple-checks even with Improved Grapple. Medium BAB and medium Str along with Flurry of Blows penalty quickly negate any advantage having the feat gives you.

But a monk focusing on grappling (not stunning fist) at 1st level WILL have high STR, everything else would be odd. :smallamused:

They don't need Wis and Int just to avoid being hit, which helps a lot. And they have higher HD so a 12 Con Fighter has more HP than 14 Con Monk.

True. I'm not saying a monk is better at fighting than a fighter (in particular not at low levels). Only that he can be a match sometimes, and also has more stealth skills.

Nothing spells can't fix.

So true...

That means you give up your combat statistics. Grappling doesn't make you immune to attacks. On the contrary, it makes you more suspectible.

??

It's far less than dedicated Str-builds with two-handers. 6d8 vs. 2d4+22 = same damage. When one is done at 5 points higher attack bonus, it's gonna be more damage.

Yes, but you should also add the STR bonus to the 6d8, which puts a STR-focused monk ahead of a STR-focused fighter in damage-dealing. Or a DEX-focused monk ahead of a DEX-focused fighter. And divine power widens the gap even more.

Your Monk can't Flurry when wearing an armor. He's also unproficient, meaning he takes the armor's armor check penalty as a penalty to attacks.

Ah, overlooked that attack penalty. True! But I guess it does not matter as much as you believe...

So your Monk has +6 to charge. Also, since the two-hander is wielding a Guisarme and took Combat Reflexes (with 18/14/14), he gets an AoO vs. your Charge (your AC at this point is 14, vs. his attack bonus of +7, which deals an average of 9.8 damage to you (2d4+9 on his Guisarme average at 5+9 * 70% chance of hitting you; this is a bit misleading though as you only have 10 HP; if he hits you die so you have a 70% chance of dying before doing anything); chances are you die at this point).

Er...what exactly makes you think a monk at that level with too low tumble skill (which you also forgot in your calculation) will charge a warrior with a reach weapon? Would a wizard do that? Thought so. No. He'd simply shoot at him with a crossbow vs his flat-footed AC in the surprise round, then win initative, shooting again and then running away - trying to hide and do the same trick again.
But even then...
...the AC is 16 with DEX 14 and a chain shirt. Also, the monk has maxed tumble (but armour penalty), so yielding at +4 for a 50% chance to avoid the AoO.
This means: about 0.5*0.6(chance of hitting AC 16)*14 (2d4+9) = 4.2 damage.
Looks like the monk survives.

Assuming you won the initiative roll (in which you have +4 over him so it's 66% for you to win) and lucked out vs. his AoO, you finally get to grapple. Now, you have +6 touch attack vs. flat-footed touch AC 10. That comes out at 85% chance of success. Then you get to the opposed grapple-check (note that penalties from attack rolls apply to grapple-checks too meaning you take -2 from your armor here).

No, attack penalties or bonuses never apply to grapple checks.
And we are still in the surprise round, since the orc barbarian could not spot a horse sneaking up on him with -2 to spot.

It's your +8 (6 Str + 4 Improved Grapple - 2 Chain Shirt) vs. his +7 (6 Str + 1 BAB). That's 52.5% in your favor.

No, it's +10 vs +7, and ties are in the favour of the monk (due to higher mod).
Meaning the barbarian is likely going to lose the grapple, with 68% probability.

Then you deal damage, which can't be lethal even if you roll max (the Barbarian has 14 HP vs. your 1d6+6) without crit.

No, but the 9*0.68=6 average damage hurt.

He attacks you with his Spiked Gauntlet at +3 vs. your 14 AC; 50/50 for 1d4+6. If he hits and rolls max damage, you die; there's 25% chance of rolling the 4 putting his chances of killing you here at 12.5%. Otherwise, it's back to you. If you try to deal damage with a grapple-check, you'll have another 52.5% roll - if you win them both, chances are you win. If you lose, you'll probably die.

No, it's now time to roll for initiative. The monk likely wins.
He'll pin the barbarian with 0.68% probability.
From there, the combat goes downhill for the barbarian.
And the chance to hit with the spiked gauntlet is only +3 vs AC 16, meaning only 0.4*8.5=4 damage on average. Still not enough to kill the monk.

So basically, a Monk's chances of victory in this scenario are:
Initiative * Missed AoO * Successful Touch Attack * Successful Grapple Check * Missed or not full damage on the Gauntlet attack * Successful Grapple Check = 0,0405892265625 = 4%

No. Basically, I'd say the monk's chances (if he does not resort to ranged tactics) are around 50:50. Which is what you were asking for ("find a way how a monk MATCHES fighter and barbarian at level 1"). Better in this case where he got the surprise, worse when he is surprised by the orc barbarian.

That's without the Barbarian raging, of course. The math just doesn't add up. Without the armor, of course, the Monk does a bit worse as it's suddenly 90% that he dies on the AoO.

No, I guess his chances of survival improve since his tumble check to avoid the AoO also improves. Meanwhile, his chances to hit with a touch attack rise to 95%. Most importantly, the monk can flurry the grapple in the first round, adding possibly damage to the pin and/or making the pin more likely.
And the barbarian can only rage on his action, which is when it is maybe too late (i.e. already pinned).

EDIT: Calculated the exact values for opposed rolls. Since I'm feeling kind, I'm also doing the calculations for Monk with Leather Armor:

No need to reply to that, since your calculations were wrong, anyhow.

Ah, and for those who pitch first level wizard vs first level monk - you may also get some inspiration from this comparison. A wizard is dead meat against a grappling monk.
And even outside core, the abrupt jaunt does not help, since
1) it only helps SPECIALIST CONJURERS. Does not sound like the vast majority of pc and npc wizards out there,
2) when the monk is not charging, but simply doing a move action that does not end before the wizard jaunts 10ft away he can move on and still grapple him, and most importantly:
3) it is an immediate action, which means you cannot use it while you are flat-footed. Better luck next time :smallcool:

What will the reactions be now, I wonder?
Again, "wall of text". But if I would write less and not correct all the mistakes it would be "provide examples" or "tell us why you think we are wrong".
A dilemma...

... I guess the best thing is now to focus on trying some duels in the test of spite. That is non-core, but still maybe it will serve to showcase something...


- Giacomo

Seatbelt
2009-06-11, 10:29 PM
I think I see how to win this:

Fred is playing a monk in his next D&D game. At the first combat encounter, the wizard casts a spell, the fighter bashes a guy with a sword, now it's Fred's turn. Fred says "I start a grapple"


20 minutes later, the party has forced Fred to play something else, because nobody understands the grapple rules. Not only does the Monk loose in-game, he looses the metagame too because nobody wants to deal with it. :P


Also this thread is 21 pages long and you people are sick. Why even have the monk argument with Giacomo anymore? Honestly. :smallyuk:

Giacomo's Joker Monk thread is 50 pages. Seriously people wtf?

Arbitrarity
2009-06-11, 10:33 PM
:smalleek:
He's back. Run. Run as far as you can, and purge this thread from your minds.

Eldariel
2009-06-12, 12:18 AM
Which is why grappling is such a good low-level (to mid-level) tactics.

You still need to hit Touch AC, which is often the same on level 1. In addition you need to make a secondary roll. What makes this good again, especially in a standard game where you tend to run into multiple opponents?


Not with the typical 16-14-14 array. If the wizard does not have improved initiative, he'll lose to the monk.
More painful, though, is the surprise round (better stealth of the monk) or what happens in longer combat.

Gray Elf has 16. *shrug* I thought those were pretty common.


And the monk is always alone?

I'm just pointing out that you assume the Wizard is vulnerable on level 1, but in a party, he is not. This does nothing to alleviate Monk's uselessness though; instead of a Monk the party could have a caster, a martial type or hell, a rogue and still deal with challenges just the same. Replace the Wizard with a non-arcanist and you'll run into trouble.

Ironically btw, it's the Wizard your Monk is relying on most on level 1 with his Enlarge Persons and Mage Armors. This would actually be a good idea if a level 1 Wizard could afford to spend those slots on the Monk, but unfortunately he needs them to deal with encounters the Enlarged Monk can't deal with.


Same as the monk. As everyone, in fact.

Present me with one challenge a Monk can solve that any non-Monk can't.


He has the most offensive power out of all characters.

Eventually, yes. At level 1, no. And throughout lvl 1-20 payed for with most vulnerabilities.

Color Spray and Sleep are just about the most powerful offense on level 1. They're the only ways to bypass HP and AC. Also, they can knock out opponents attacks can't. You can't say the same about Grappling - if you could grapple something, chances are you could also attack it.


Well, a high STR monk can do the following against high STR large size opponents: he can also get large (1st level spell, buffed by party which you assume is present) and grapple them. And/Or trip them. Since the advantage of those feats bestows +4, the opponent has to have
- for grappling a mixture of +8 higher STR or more BAB
- for tripping +8 higher STR or DEX.
Not always that likely. I'd say a monk with starting STR of 16 outgrapples 90% of all creatures in core of CR 1-8 with in his levels 1-8.

So on level 1, in case you encounter few Ogres your Monk is gonna go in and Grapple? :smallconfused: Seems like a bad idea what with Ogre having +12 Grapple and reach. Wouldn't it be a better idea to...y'know, cast Sleep/Color Spray on it?


But the monk can not cast protective buffs? Because this criticism tends to come up when a monk allegedly has to use just prior to combat many, many rounds to buff with UMD wands.

That has nothing to do with anything (although your Commoner-level UMD is kinda questionable). You claimed a Wizard would be an easy target, I just pointed out why that's not the case. He doesn't even need to pay for his defensive buffs so he can put 'em up without losing anything.


I wonder what classes again have spot and WIS as a good stat usually? Hmmm...:smallwink:

Druids.


Always flying out of jump reach in dungeons?
Tigers? Lions? Never hiding before attacking?
And what kind of AC does a wizard have up to mid-levels that could stop a monk's stunning fist?
No. The wizard until level 11 or so (when contingency is around) is highly vulnerable.

Always flying out of jump reach when possible. If you go into dungeon, you buff - see above. And the Wizard tends to be in the center in marching order; those Tigers and Lions aren't intelligent enough to specifically target the Wizard so he won't get Pounced and Grappled. Hiding before attacking gets spotted.

And AC? Try Mirror Image. Or Displacement.


Fireball also kills your group when you cast it against the enemy they currently melee. Why then use it?
Why use grappling when going against several foes at once? Makes no sense either.
But in many situations, grappling is awesome. Until creatures regularly get too powerful at grappling or magic nullifies it too often.

Uh, your point? Fireball can generally be aimed behind the melee, btw. And Fireball is a poor spell to start with. Your Monk focuses on grappling, which you claim to be OMGAWZUM attack. That pretty much makes him a one-trick pony.

You can do standard attacks which simply aren't all that powerful with Monk's weapon proficiencies, poor options for enhancing fists and medium BAB. Or you can trip in melee and get countertripped if you roll bad. Then there's the Stunning Fist, which is great in theory. Then you realise that if you can't Grapple something, chances are it is big and strong and thus has high Con and HD and a good Fort-save.


Why? 28-pt-buy with STR 16, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14 and CHR 8 looks like AC 14 to me, 17 fighting defensively, 21 with mage armour or chain shirt. Stealth avoids more fights than for other melee classes. What is there about "neglecting?"

Precisely; you can't put the 18 in Str - you can't focus in it. And now you have 12 Con, giving you an average of 5 HP per level.


Why can't a monk be a half-orc (STR max 20) or orc (STR max 22)? Why will a 1/day ability matter at level 1 for all encounters?

You can't buy a higher Str than 18. Yes, racials can add to it, but so can they for the Barbarian. You claimed the Monk has a higher Str, which is not true since it's impossible by the rules of the game.


And again: a half-orc or orc barbarian starting with 18 STR before racial adjustment will never have enough points at 28 pt buy left to also get DEX 15 (before -2 from enlarge) to keep combat reflexes when enlarged (for reach weapon AoO stuff) and the INT 15 (before -2 racial) to get improved trip. Only much later with stat boosters he'll have a chance.
That's what I mean about less MAD monk, but choose to ignore it if you like.

And your Monk needs to put that 14 in Wis (and as Orc, takes penalty), can't wield a Guisarme/Glaive/other decent Reach Trip weapon making his Improved Trip weaker than the Barbarian's and has worse HD and thus needs more Con.

Just because the Barbarian needs to invest a point more in Dex and/or Int to get Combat Reflexes and doesn't make him MORE MAD, because he has other things that allow him to save points.


Sooo...could a druid do it as I asked?
I mean, without polymorph and wildshape, since that is considered broken around here (and if not, imagine the monk doing nasty stuff as a horned devil since he can turn into any outsider up to HD15 permanently with polymorph any object).

Wildshape is a different animal since it's a class feature. It's generally allowed, although Polymorph/Alter Self/Shapechange is not. It really comes down to the fact that taking away few spells to balance things is easy, but you can't really go around removing class features.


Meanwhile, try to face the harsh reality that no-one, with as high UMD or as many wands as they like could
- have as high base damage as a monk and
- as many attacks.
- and as powerful special attacks on top

The special attacks pretty much autofail anyways - the Solar's save is too high. Also, Quivering Palm is once per week, so there's a very good chance you won't have it. That part is trivial. Extra attacks? Sure, nice - almost as many as a TWFing Rogue or Dire Tiger Druid. Base damage? Nice, other classes get 2xPower Attack, 1.5xStr or Sneak Attack.

As for base damage, sure. But they can have 1.5x Str added to their attacks.


No, I do not think this is adequate.
- first of all, the DMG (p. 54) says nothing about "use these tables if you're lazy), but rather (bold mine): "You may wish to build a custom treasure for the toughest monster, the head of the conspiracy, the leader of the mercenary army, or other special encounter." This does not sound like the randomly encountered solar to me.

Every CR 23 encounter is special.


- then, why exactly should a solar be equipped with stuff to withstand a melee attack better? In particular, since it already can with its spells achieve an AC that is beyond the reach of most mortals? No, rather it will boost its spellpower somewhat (increase CL, or have rods of quicken or stuff like that).
- furthermore, the solar has already two mighty items - a +9 (!) equivalent sword and a minor artefact (bow that draws slaying arrows as desired). That already exceeds the regular magic items of a CR 23 creature, I daresay. No need to add on top of that.
The solar would not be "smartly" equipped - but merely equipped in a manner to add even more CR to it.
Which is kind of ironic since the allegedly soooo weak monk class alread kicks its ass with a by 3 lower level than its CR 23.

Items in a creature's entry are in addition to treasure. As for why the Solar would buff its AC, of course it doesn't fight mortals, it fights devils and demons. The tough ones have +40 attacks automatically; of course the Solar wishes a level of protection that he doesn't immediately succumb to a Balor or Pit Fiend.

A level 20 WPL Commoner can kill a dumbly played Solar. That doesn't exactly prove anything. A smartly played Solar would not get ambushed in the first place, and would have way too strong defense for the Monk to penetrate.


Even if this improbable scenario happens. What, do you think, will the monk do in the 3-5 rounds that the solar takes to do this? Just stand around?
Oh my...:smallwink:

One turn, not 3-5 O.o


Without the cheese morph stuff the druid actually stands no chance against the solar. I had a look at the core druid spells - they are way too underpowered for that. Maybe the animal companion can be buffed to do something against the AC 46 (flat-footed, 51 otherwise), but I am not sure.
The wizard could gate in other solars, but that takes a standard action in which the solar could simply vanish to avoid being pitched against some of its kind.
It's not that easy.
But by all means. Show me how a druid can do it.
If the underpowered monk can, surely the most overpowered class (allegedly) can do it even more easily, can it not? :smallbiggrin:

I'd rather not waste the time - basically, Wildshape into a fast charger form, pack Initiative enhancers and Hide and go to town if we're assuming the Solar is gonna fall for an ambush and lose the Initiative and so on. Or cast Finger of Death, because apparently the Solar is too dumb to have any protections on all day and thus rolls a Fort-save at +18 vs. DC 10+8 (level)+13 (Wis; 18+5 levels+5 inherent+6 item+2 age [go to an outer plane to age or something]+2 spell focuses = DC 33. And since we've prepared for this, we've got Beads of Karma in use putting our CL at 25. Thanks to our Greater Spell Penetration, we pass SR on 3. Then we can Quicken another one with our Greater Metamagic Rod of Quicken. Then roll for initiative after that surprise round ('cause it didn't see that coming!). Then we toss two more Fingers of Death at it.

It needs a 15 to succeed on each Fort-save (chance being 30%) and we need a 3 to pass each SR check (chance being 90%). Finger kills it .7*.9=63% of the time. 'cause we get two of them before rolling initiative, chances of it dying are 87.31% (we aren't evil, obviously - Chaotic Neutral and angry at this particular Solar). Then comes Init and 'cause we're super special awesome and have Improved Initiative along with +7 Dex (we're cool like that; we started with 14!), we've got a shot at winning it too (+11 vs. its +9). At that point it has mere 0,01874161 = 1.87% chance of being alive! Phear the Druid for he can spam Fingers of Death! And if you argue that we need to approach it, we can certainly spend our Surprise Turn moving and just Quicken one at it. Then we win initiative and still toss two more, giving it a 5.0653% chance of being alive. Still, glorious victory!


Why should there be nothing to hide in? Clouds? Rain? Other flying creatures? Buildings? Mountains? Trees? Dungeons?
This objection is so strange I'm at a loss.

*shrug* I have a hard time solar flying so close to the ground there'd be non-cloud obstacles to hide in and it has to be pretty damn convenient for a cloud to just happen there when your monk happens to locate a solar that happens to not notice you.


If the DM houserules a swordsage nicely stacking with a monk, then I guess swordsage/monk combos are quite OK. But that does not mean the monk is unnecessary.
Same as a barbarian not becoming unnecessary because of the warblade.

No need to stack anything; you only lose two levels of Unarmed Progression to Monk and pick up everything relevant from the class.


Actually, you keep your DEX score against the creature you grapple.

Reread what I said.


And again, a monk will LIKELY not use grappling when outnumbered.
Also...er...why again are you trying to illustrate the monk's weakness by putting him in the way of two CR 1 creatures at his 1st level?

Orc Warrior is CR ½. And I'm just pointing out that you offering Grapple as the be-all end-all solution is shaky as a number of scenarios sees it being a bad idea.


This joins the row of unfair challenges to the monk (like at level 20 going against a CR 23 solar, or fighting a CR 1 animal with just 3s in all stats) while not illustrating how other classes would "easily" surive and handle it.

*shrug* Wizard wins Initiative and if they're too far away to charge starts casting Sleep on both, if they're nearby Color Sprays both. Barbarian just mows them down with his reach weapon.


No, there should not be much trouble making touch attacks, even at level 1.
And actually, my above example monk with AC 14 then would have at level 1 an equivalent of an AC 18 against the foe he grapples. This is quite tough for that level. Additionally, most light weapons and unarmed attacks deal much lower damage than the big weapons - and many are not even armed with them, so they are even more at a disadvantage.

Gauntlets seem pretty common. Sure, they deal worse damage but they still deal damage.


But a monk focusing on grappling (not stunning fist) at 1st level WILL have high STR, everything else would be odd. :smallamused:

So your Str 16 is now "high"?


Er...what exactly makes you think a monk at that level with too low tumble skill (which you also forgot in your calculation) will charge a warrior with a reach weapon? Would a wizard do that? Thought so. No. He'd simply shoot at him with a crossbow vs his flat-footed AC in the surprise round, then win initative, shooting again and then running away - trying to hide and do the same trick again.
But even then...
...the AC is 16 with DEX 14 and a chain shirt. Also, the monk has maxed tumble (but armour penalty), so yielding at +4 for a 50% chance to avoid the AoO.
This means: about 0.5*0.6(chance of hitting AC 16)*14 (2d4+9) = 4.2 damage.
Looks like the monk survives.

I was playing out the fight as you suggested it, hence the charge (and y'know, if you truly claim this happens on the surprise round, one standard action = charge is the only way to get in). And you can't really count the damage like that, because if it hits the Monk dies and if it doesn't, the Monk doesn't. The means are trivial on such a low-level combat - the only relevant number is the percentual change of hitting.

Now, the Monk charges (as per your earlier line of play) after winning the Initiative and gets AoOd. If the AoO hits, the Monk dies. I didn't include Tumble since you didn't. I simply counted the likelihood of what you said happening.


No, attack penalties or bonuses never apply to grapple checks.

Penalties should apply as per normal or you cannot e.g. Flurry with them; both rulings have things going on for them, it's never been clarified. A Grapple-check is like a melee attack roll. If you can replace any attack action with them (instead of just doing them with iteratives as per the description in PHB), then you take any appropriate penalties.

Also, it's most definitely a Strength-check and ACP from Unproficient use is applied to Strength-checks, so it applies either way. You actually take the -2 on Initiative too (it's a Dex-check).


No, it's +10 vs +7, and ties are in the favour of the monk (due to higher mod).
Meaning the barbarian is likely going to lose the grapple, with 68% probability.

See above; Armor Check Penalty applies. You're right, my bad - I made a mistake. So it's 57.25% instead; this might give the Monk almost half a percentage extra chance of success.


No, but the 9*0.68=6 average damage hurt.

This is trivial as two hits are lethal anyways and one isn't. With such low HP, counting average damages is meaningless.


No, it's now time to roll for initiative. The monk likely wins.
He'll pin the barbarian with 0.68% probability.
From there, the combat goes downhill for the barbarian.
And the chance to hit with the spiked gauntlet is only +3 vs AC 16, meaning only 0.4*8.5=4 damage on average. Still not enough to kill the monk.

*shrug* Sure, let's assume the Barbarian got surprised. If the Monk goes for pinning, his chances just go downhill as Pin only lasts 1 round. Therefore he needs to Pin every round never getting a shot at dealing damage.


No. Basically, I'd say the monk's chances (if he does not resort to ranged tactics) are around 50:50. Which is what you were asking for ("find a way how a monk MATCHES fighter and barbarian at level 1"). Better in this case where he got the surprise, worse when he is surprised by the orc barbarian.

Numbers don't agree with that.


No need to reply to that, since your calculations were wrong, anyhow.

By about .5 percents. Still, the numbers should give you an idea of how badly the fight sucks for the Monk.


Ah, and for those who pitch first level wizard vs first level monk - you may also get some inspiration from this comparison. A wizard is dead meat against a grappling monk.
And even outside core, the abrupt jaunt does not help, since
1) it only helps SPECIALIST CONJURERS. Does not sound like the vast majority of pc and npc wizards out there,

Vast majority of PC Wizards for sure. Also, even in Core, what if the Wizard has Improved Initiative? Suddenly the Monk's chances went down the drain, especially if the Monk can't Hide (say, lit dungeon?).


2) when the monk is not charging, but simply doing a move action that does not end before the wizard jaunts 10ft away he can move on and still grapple him, and most importantly:

Why would the Wizard Abrupt Jaunt before the Monk starts his attack action? The Monk is completely trivial up until that point. No, this doesn't work.


3) it is an immediate action, which means you cannot use it while you are flat-footed. Better luck next time :smallcool:

*shrug* And if the Wizard just happens to not be flat-footed? In some environment the Wizard may be flat-footed, in others the Monk may be flat-footed. Either way, the only case the Wizard has a real shot is if the Wizard is flat-footed, within charge distance and the Monk hits.


For the relevant parts of the rules above:
Pinning (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#ifYoureGrappling) (key part: "You can hold your opponent immobile for 1 round by winning an opposed grapple check (made in place of an attack).")
Non-Proficient with Armor (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#nonproficientwithArmorWorn) (key part: "armor check penalty on attack rolls and on all Strength-based and Dexterity-based ability and skill checks."

sofawall
2009-06-12, 01:24 AM
[quote]Now the Solar lives. Miracle: Greater Teleport 1000' away. Then Heal. Fly back, rain Slaying Arrows on the idiotic Monk while Dancing Sword is active in case you decide to attack. Congratulations, you just got yourself killed.

Even if this improbable scenario happens. What, do you think, will the monk do in the 3-5 rounds that the solar takes to do this? Just stand around?
Oh my...:smallwink:

What DOES the monk do? The Solar is 1000' away, flying in the air. It can keep moving while casting, you know. How fast can the monk fly?


A Druid might stand a chance, mostly because he has access to Wildshape, Shapechange, a second character and most importantly, spells. A Wizard could do it for sure; Gate in more Solars. Or Prismatic Great Wyrms.

Without the cheese morph stuff the druid actually stands no chance against the solar. I had a look at the core druid spells - they are way too underpowered for that. Maybe the animal companion can be buffed to do something against the AC 46 (flat-footed, 51 otherwise), but I am not sure.
The wizard could gate in other solars, but that takes a standard action in which the solar could simply vanish to avoid being pitched against some of its kind.
It's not that easy.
But by all means. Show me how a druid can do it.
If the underpowered monk can, surely the most overpowered class (allegedly) can do it even more easily, can it not? :smallbiggrin:

Well, as far as negating flying, we have high velocity winds (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/controlWeather.htm), we can avoid arrows (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/windWall.htm) with ease, and to kill it, Shapechange into something mean and pummel it.

Oh, wait, you disallowed Shapechange because it's broken? Let me return the favor.

Try to defeat a solar without any UMD, as we all know how overly powerful UMD is.



1) it only helps SPECIALIST CONJURERS. Does not sound like the vast majority of pc and npc wizards out there,
2) when the monk is not charging, but simply doing a move action that does not end before the wizard jaunts 10ft away he can move on and still grapple him, and most importantly:
3) it is an immediate action, which means you cannot use it while you are flat-footed. Better luck next time :smallcool:


1) By saying not many wizards are specialist conjurers, you make me chuckle quietly.
2) Ok, the monk makes a move action. Wizards stands there. Monk attacks. Wizard Jaunts away. It's an IMMEDIATE action, you don't have to Jaunt until the punch is thrown.
3) Lesse, the monk you've been throwing around the most seems to be a 16 str, 14 dex, 14 wis wearing a chain shirt. That's 4 ranks + 2 dex - 2 ACP for a total of +4 to hide and move silently. Of course, we all know how much monks love UMD (:smalltongue:), so that's 3 skills used. With an 8 in int, that would be all his skills.

The wizard, on the other hand, puts his stats into Dex, Con, and Int, leaving an 8 in wis, giving him a -1 on spot/listen. He can, however, snag an Owl familiar to add 3 to his spot check, making it +2 spot. He has a 16 int, however, and decided to use his 6 skill points on something. Wizards get Spellcraft, Know (Arcana) and Concentration, by default, but nothing else on their list crys out to me. Why not grab some spot ranks with those extra skill points! Gaining 2 more from ranks, his spot check is now firmly at +4, the same as your hide.

Amusingly enough, assuming the hypothetical wizard decided to put ranks into hide, it would have the same modifier as the "sneakier" monk.

EDIT: Oops, it appeared that I thought it was a 22 point buy when it was really a 28 point buy.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-12, 01:32 AM
Also this thread is 21 pages long and you people are sick. Why even have the monk argument with Giacomo anymore? Honestly. :smallyuk:

Giacomo's Joker Monk thread is 50 pages. Seriously people wtf?

Hey! Some of us are just using it for Feline based mind games and exchanging disturbing mental images..... There's only a very very few willing to keep hammering their face into the wall with the Monk rock/suck schpiel.. mostly this is just a piss take by now.

Eldariel
2009-06-12, 02:04 AM
There's only a very very few willing to keep hammering their face into the wall with the Monk rock/suck schpiel.. mostly this is just a piss take by now.

There's good in him, I've felt it! I can turn him back to the light... I have to try! Even though he isn't my father.

Killer Angel
2009-06-12, 02:20 AM
Well, besides Magic Missile. Why does the Wizard lose Initiative again? He'll have 14-16 Dex easily since he needs only Int.

Not with the typical 16-14-14 array. If the wizard does not have improved initiative, he'll lose to the monk.


:smalleek:
Why on earth the Wiz shouldn't have Impr. In.?
Specially on low levels, the wiz is squishy... winning initiative is the difference between life and death. The first feat should always be the one that gives a +4 to initiative.




The solar would not be "smartly" equipped - but merely equipped in a manner to add even more CR to it.
Which is kind of ironic since the allegedly soooo weak monk class alread kicks its ass with a by 3 lower level than its CR 23.

Now the Solar lives. Miracle: Greater Teleport 1000' away. Then Heal. Fly back, rain Slaying Arrows on the idiotic Monk while Dancing Sword is active in case you decide to attack. Congratulations, you just got yourself killed.

Even if this improbable scenario happens. What, do you think, will the monk do in the 3-5 rounds that the solar takes to do this? Just stand around?
Oh my...:smallwink:



The only improbable thing in this scenario, is pretending that a 20 lev. monk, can even THINK to kill a Solar in single combat. If this happens, something has gone very wrong for the Solar and for the D.M. who played so badly such a creature.
A single solar is a challenge for a standard 20 lev group. A single monk is literally no match.

TheCountAlucard
2009-06-12, 02:35 AM
According to the d20 Encounter Calculator (http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20encountercalculator.htm), such a fight would be "overpowering."

I'm betting that the Encounter Calculator's right. :smallamused:

Note: I'm not saying that the encounter is unwinnable; it would just be very difficult, with victory only likely due to a number of extenuating circumstances/astounding idiocy/sheer luck.

Killer Angel
2009-06-12, 02:50 AM
According to the d20 Encounter Calculator (http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20encountercalculator.htm), such a fight would be "overpowering."

I'm betting that the Encounter Calculator's right. :smallamused:

Note: I'm not saying that the encounter is unwinnable; it would just be very difficult, with victory only likely due to a number of extenuating circumstances/astounding idiocy/sheer luck.

Yes, and please note that the post which brought for the first time the argument Monk / Solar, was this one:


Meh it all depends on the players. I am a Dm and had a level 17 Vop half-ogre monk who wiped the floor against everything I sent against him. Hell I chucked a CR 26 solar angel at him by himself and he killed it. However I did let him flurry as a Standard action and Dimesion door unlimited times per day. He also had a church permancy Enlarge person on him. To my knowledge monks seem to do okay but you just cant fight like a barb or fighter with them.

Lev. 17 (even if house ruled) Vs a CR 26.
As was said by someone else, that was not a monk killing a solar... it was a solar committing suicide in the general proximity of a monk.

I hope that, at least for this specific encounter, Giacomo could agree...

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 03:20 AM
Firstly, what's with the use of underlined text instead of quotes?


Fireball also kills your group when you cast it against the enemy they currently melee. Why then use it?
People... don't.



Why? 28-pt-buy with STR 16, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14 and CHR 8 looks like AC 14 to me, 17 fighting defensively, 21 with mage armour or chain shirt. Stealth avoids more fights than for other melee classes. What is there about "neglecting?"

At level 1, Mage Armor lasts one hour. Keep that in mind. And when you fight defensively, you lose the ability for offense, which makes you much less of a threat to whatever you were fighting. They could just bypass you in favor of another party member.


Why can't a monk be a half-orc (STR max 20) or orc (STR max 22)? Why will a 1/day ability matter at level 1 for all encounters?
But then you don't have a Wis bonus or Int bonus, so you can't take advantage of some of your monk abilities or your skills list.



Meanwhile, try to face the harsh reality that no-one, with as high UMD or as many wands as they like could
- have as high base damage as a monk and
- as many attacks.
- and as powerful special attacks on top
And you don't want to face the harsh reality that the monk
- Can't have as high static damage modifiers as other melee classes
- More powerful attacks (Quality>Quantity)
- Special attacks? Like Stunning Fist? But your combat focused monks have Wisdom penalties, and even your other monk's stat array, quoted above, only has a +2 to Wis, meaning you have a fairly low Stunning Fist DC. Also, anyone can take Stunning Fist, as it is a general feat.



Even if this improbable scenario happens. What, do you think, will the monk do in the 3-5 rounds that the solar takes to do this? Just stand around?
Oh my...:smallwink:

Buff with wands, perhaps?


I have read your argument about the monk vs Solar. You assume that the solar just pops into existance without any of its good gear or buffs on, within charging distance of a perpetually hidden Permanantly Enlarged monk, do you?



If the DM houserules a swordsage nicely stacking with a monk, then I guess swordsage/monk combos are quite OK. But that does not mean the monk is unnecessary.
Same as a barbarian not becoming unnecessary because of the warblade.
The fighter became unnecessary because of the warblade. The barbarian still manages to hold its own against the ToB classes due to massive damage output.



... I guess the best thing is now to focus on trying some duels in the test of spite. That is non-core, but still maybe it will serve to showcase something...
If you make a core character, I will do the same. If you wish to challenge my existing character, I will be happy to oblige.

There are currently some people looking for single vs matches. Pull a level 13 monk from your guide, make a few modifications, and let's go.

If you, as I do, think that a party adventure would prove your point that monks are good and useful better, Stoopidtallkid wants to make a druid, I 3d6'd some stats for a rogue, and you can play a monk. We'll see how well the both of you do against various creatures in a dungeoncrawl with me around for skills support.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 04:43 AM
There's good in him, I've felt it! I can turn him back to the light... I have to try! Even though he isn't my father.

So your plan is to kill him, then make peace?

MickJay
2009-06-12, 05:59 AM
I'm really anticipating some monk vs something else duels in the test, don't fail me, Sir Giacomo! :smallcool:

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 06:05 AM
No DM though.

Kaiyanwang
2009-06-12, 06:34 AM
People... don't.


Sometimes do. Maybe playing the fireball smarter. Evocation school, even if not optimal, remains pure fun if you like make things explode.

Not to start another evocation vs conjuration thread, but just to say :smallwink:

mikej
2009-06-12, 06:47 AM
Sometimes do. Maybe playing the fireball smarter. Evocation school, even if not optimal, remains pure fun if you like make things explode.

Not to start another evocation vs conjuration thread, but just to say :smallwink:

what, those exist now? that's almost ludricous as a topic about Monks that boiled into a Monk vs Wizard thread.


Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist
People... don't.

I fired a Fireball at another player. Of course the player was a Cleric and he ask me too :smallconfused:

Seriously though, why is thread going on? Any moderator can thread search "Monk," and "Sir Giacomo,' which reveals a bunch of nonsensical text.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-12, 07:12 AM
OK, Eldariel,

I guess we agree to disagree, no need to reply post-by-post again. (And truly, the underscore layout looked horrible - will not do that again :smallsmile:).

In particular we draw completely different conclusion from numbers and calculations.
- Whereas I see a 50% reduction of a hit chance as relevant (with tumble skill avoiding AoO), you do not. (simply adding a feat to your barbarian with just one feat slot open, and not allowing the monk to use his skills makes no sense imo).
- Whereas I see merit in doing a touch attack rather than a regular attack, you do not (even thinking that at level 1, touch AC is the same as regular AC "often" - and then always arguing that armour-wearing makes the non-monks better in defenses :smallconfused:)
- whereas I clearly show 9 attacks as the highest number achievable in the core game (10 actually for the monk with divine power), you still say the rogue can get more with TWF.

Also, we seem to play in different kind of games.
- pc wizards in your games are most often grey elf conjurers with improved initiative as feat at level 1. In mine, they tend to be more varied.:smallamused:
- solars will in your games enhance their melee capabilities with items beyond what their CR suggests, and ignore the fact that they are full spellcasters while already being equipped with a +9 equivalent weapon for melee. I thought spellcasting was the big thing in your eyes?
- Creatures way beyond the CR for pcs of their class regularly turn up - either a CR 23 solar vs a solo lvl 20 monk (or other lvl 20 character), or at level 1 (!!) "a few" ogres to defeat for just one character (And no, a wizard would be smashed too, since the sleep spell - provided he still has one prepared - only affects one, color spray is melee range almost only - and the wizard could not even know it for sure, since an ogre could have all kinds of HD). What kind of games are you playing?
- wizards always seem to have powerful defensive spells up like mirror image against surprise attacks, even though they are only short-term in nature. Meanwhile, a monk player having hour/lvl buffs up (with UMD, buffed from someone else, or other items) is considered a no-no.
- polymorph and shapechange can be banned, but since wildshape is a "class ability" of the druid it mustn't be touched (although it provides all and exactly that stuff that makes morph so broken: high physical stats, higher move (including fly possibly) and higher natural AC - and goodies as poison and pounce attacks). Completely inconsistent, in particular since you are also among those who believe the druid is overpowered. What about the monk class ability that provides him access to outsider forms in morph? That can be trampled without problem, eh? Incredible.:smallamused:

A rules thing:
A grapple check is a grapple check - not an attack, not a skill check, nor an ability check. It is a different kind of check. This has been clarified extensively in the RAW and the FAQ. So, the armour penalty does NOT apply.
And yes, the pin would not help thaat much with just one grapple attempt/round. The moment the monk wears no armour and has access to flurry, though, the picture may change (and I illustrated already that his chances vs the barbarian are not that bad without armour, either).

A final thing:


Present me with one challenge a Monk can solve that any non-Monk can't.

Level 20? I guess that solar thing has already proven quite a few things. (EDIT: and for some of those who asked: when the solar is gone for a round+, the monk simply hides (move action) and teleports away to try another day (he has enough equipment left, the example I posted was there to show the offensive power only EDIT END).
Level 1? Since I have shown that the monk can handle fights often as well as a fighter or barbarian and adds stealth on top, he should be just fine. Basically, his role is similar to other non-caster fighting classes - a melee version of the ranger, possibly.
But if you look for challenges a monk can solve at level 1 that no other can:
- excel without any equipment (when being captured, for instance). Even when arms are bound and he's gagged, he could use a head-butt or kicks to take out a guard (note: a ranger, barbarian or fighter usually will not take improved unarmed strike at lvl 1, since they get way more mileage out of feats they use more often, like power attack or pointblankshot/rapid shot).
- he makes an ideal infiltrator, looking like a peasant (with at most peasant weapons and no armour), and with hide skill. A rogue could also do that, but has less offensive power and defenses when detected and cornered.
- he's the best grappler with the STR-enhancing races (since others do not have the two feats to do it, plus have possilbly lower DEX when focusing on STR entirely and thus no more improved grapple when enlarged lateron). This means, the group can always rely on the monk to take out the most threatening enemy caster or occupies the nastiest creature while they deal with the minions.

Otherwise, throughout lvl 1-20 things a core monk can do that no-one else can:
- fastest scout (movement bonus gets also added to fly effects)
- most resilient vs magical attacks
- stunning fist and grapple tactics
- highest no. of attacks and highest base damage meaning the biggest damage-dealer in core (not the best meleer, but just the best damage-dealer)

But I guess really now the time has come to do some duels. Will probably have more time in about a week.

- Giacomo

Doc Roc
2009-06-12, 07:14 AM
Hrm, I actually am very fond of evocation. Not more so than conjuration, but enough so that I normally only play generalist wizards with the elven substitution levels.

Kaiyanwang
2009-06-12, 07:42 AM
what, those exist now? that's almost ludricous as a topic about Monks that boiled into a Monk vs Wizard thread.

We can say they exist.. in an extent. As an example, every time someone ask:

Someone: "I'm going to ban a school, have you sugges..."

The internet: "EVOCATION"

Or orbs spells - and the like.

Doc Roc
2009-06-12, 07:49 AM
You know, evocation is probably better than enchantment in most situations.

Enchantment has basically no redeeming qualities.

Sure, evocation isn't great.
But it's about as bad as a fighter compared to a barbarian. Enchantment versus conjuration is more like comparing... Oh... say a monk to a wizard.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-12, 07:59 AM
You know, evocation is probably better than enchantment in most situations.

Enchantment has basically no redeeming qualities.

Sure, evocation isn't great.
But it's about as bad as a fighter compared to a barbarian. Enchantment versus conjuration is more like comparing... Oh... say a monk to a wizard.

definitely, there's a whole lot of useful stuff that's non-blasty in evocation, even in core and Enchantment's a dud to anything with immunity to mind-affecting and it preety much just targets will.... meh, first Ban for me straight away, in fact if I'm not planning to go red wizard or Incantatrix I generally always go Diviner banning Ench cause except for charm person and suggestion you don't miss anything much.

Saph
2009-06-12, 08:05 AM
You know, evocation is probably better than enchantment in most situations.

Enchantment has basically no redeeming qualities.

Come, come, it's not THAT bad. I played an sun elf enchanter wizard from levels 2 up through 12, so I know a fair bit about it. Enchantment has a lot of dud spells, but it also has a handful which are really excellent.

Level 1: Sleep is probably the best long ranged 'kill' spell you can get at this level. Charm person is handy too.
Level 2: okay, I'll admit the choice here is kind of a letdown.
Level 3: Deep Slumber at early levels to take out enemies, Heroism at later ones for a nice long-lasting buff.
Level 4: Confusion can win entire encounters on its own. I've found it to be one of the deadliest mid-level spells out there. Charm Monster is also a great problem-solver.
Level 5: Hold Monster - you cast it on the bruiser fighting the party meleer, after the monster's turn. If they fail, they get CdGed. It's a save-or-die.
Level 6: Greater Heroism is only average compared to the other 6th-level spells out there, but it's still a very nice buff.

Sure, at higher levels you have the problem of enemies being mindblanked, but a) most campaigns never get that high-level in the first place and b) it's ultimately the DM's choice what immunities enemies have. It's not like he can't neutralise any other strategy just as easily if he wants to.

- Saph

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 08:06 AM
Also, we seem to play in different kind of games.

And for your part, you assume that the solar just pops into existance without any of its good gear or buffs on, within charging distance of a perpetually hidden Permanantly Enlarged monk.



But I guess really now the time has come to do some duels. Will probably have more time in about a week.

Whipping up a character sheet by modifying a build you have already made and posted in a guide takes *more* time than posting walls of text?


- solars will in your games enhance their melee capabilities with items beyond what their CR suggests, and ignore the fact that they are full spellcasters while already being equipped with a +9 equivalent weapon for melee. I thought spellcasting was the big thing in your eyes?
Why would a powerful creature with strong melee capabilities and powerful casting choose not to capitalize on both aspects? Can you give me a good reason for this?


Otherwise, throughout lvl 1-20 things a core monk can do that no-one else can:
- fastest scout (movement bonus gets also added to fly effects)
But of what use is fast movement when you look at the bigger picture?

When scouting, the monk moves 90 feet per move action, and the Rogue moves 30 to 40. But unless you're in a race or have time constraints, that's not going to produce a great difference in effect when both report back to the party.


- most resilient vs magical attacks

High base saves, low mods. Some SR. It's not bad, but it's not killer either.


- stunning fist and grapple tactics
I'm confused. Your grappling builds are orcs or half orcs, with negative wisdom. Stunning Fist and Quivering Palm will not work here. Similarly, if you have Stunning Fist and Quivering Palm's DCs pumped with high Wisdom, you either sacrifice Con, Dex or Str.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.


- highest no. of attacks and highest base damage meaning the biggest damage-dealer in core (not the best meleer, but just the best damage-dealer)
Do you have the math to support this assertion? High base damage may not win over high static damage modifiers, and a large number of attacks mean nothing. To be the best damage dealer, you must have you attacks connect constantly and have them deal lots of damage.

Where is your data?

Kaiyanwang
2009-06-12, 08:19 AM
Sure, at higher levels you have the problem of enemies being mindblanked, but a) most campaigns never get that high-level in the first place and b) it's ultimately the DM's choice what immunities enemies have. It's not like he can't neutralise any other strategy just as easily if he wants to.

- Saph

I agree with this.

Killer Angel
2009-06-12, 09:07 AM
Sometimes do. Maybe playing the fireball smarter. Evocation school, even if not optimal, remains pure fun if you like make things explode.

Not to start another evocation vs conjuration thread, but just to say :smallwink:

A little off topic, but I agree (I’m going to play the devil’s advocate, here).
I’m not sure that evocation is a so bad school... and I’m not speaking about the really useful spells (Contingency, etc.) duplicable by shadow magic, but of the standard damage spells.
Absolutely not so good to specialise in it, but still not bad, especially if there are no orb spells.
At lev. 11, a maximized (by rod) scorching ray with energy substitution, can still be useful (a 2° slot for 72 sonic damage, if your ubercharger is unable to attack?), and you still have all your nice combat spells such grease, web, solid fog, cloudkill...

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-12, 09:37 AM
Ah, something else...



Oh, wait, you disallowed Shapechange because it's broken? Let me return the favor.

Try to defeat a solar without any UMD, as we all know how overly powerful UMD is.

Well, one thing does not have anything to do with the other (I have hardly seen anywhere anyone banning UMD. Not LIKING is not the same as BANNING)...
... but quite easy. In my monk build above, just get a permancie'd greater magic fang (or greater magic weapon) at lvl 20, then maybe a ring of counterspelling (Greater dispel magic), and a ring of spell storing with heroism inside. Ta-daaa. Same effect without UMD.

Now, my big challenge to all the monk mockers out there:
Please.
Show me how a druid lvl 20 can defeat a CR 23 solar. In core.
You can do it
- with or without UMD
- with or without wildshape.
I wonder if you can equal what my lvl 20 monk did.
I'm waiting....:smallcool:

- Giacomo

PS: sofawall, I think you had quite a good idea for how to protect a wizard vs surprises: increase the spot mod with a familiar and cross-class ranks!
Problem, though: do not forget the range penalties to spot (-3 in the case of the monk waiting hidden until the wizard passes by 30ft to be withing partial charge distance; but you get also alertness with the familar nearby, so -1.).
Meanwhile, though, in combat the wizard remains highly vulnerable until the higher levels. Fly is quite OK, but attracts attention ("ah, that's the spellcaster of the party: shoot him!"), does not help in the typical 10ft high ceiling dungeons, does not last long (while overland flight only gives 40ft move).

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-12, 09:53 AM
And for your part, you assume that the solar just pops into existance without any of its good gear or buffs on, within charging distance of a perpetually hidden Permanantly Enlarged monk.

The solar is flying around or guarding an area, not knowing that the monk is coming. So only the long-term buffs are up. What is so unrealistic about that?
And the original notion was not that the monk should be able to beat a solar when lying the bed and the solar smashes him fully buffed teleporting in out of nowhere, but that the monk has NO CHANCE AT ALL to beat a solar, ever.
And you can hide indefinitely.
And permanent enlarges are only 3050gp.
And the monk can determine the charging distance, since he's the only class able to charge in a surprise round from outside true seeing range. (I like repeating that, since nobody so far took notice of this key fact).


Whipping up a character sheet by modifying a build you have already made and posted in a guide takes *more* time than posting walls of text?

I have played already in quite a few duels, and they sometimes took months for only 5-10 combat rounds. The problem often is that (in particular when I play non-casters vs casters) those who play casters have a big difficulty understanding what the rules really allow and what not, or better yet, what SHOULD be allowed and what not (like proclaiming after suddenly being behind badly after 3-4 rounds that eversmoking bottles are stupid and that polymorph of course is banned and does not show anything about the monk class). This then extends into rules discussions etc. of even more proportions than my replies here.


Why would a powerful creature with strong melee capabilities and powerful casting choose not to capitalize on both aspects? Can you give me a good reason for this?

Yes. Because already, say 200,000 gp of items (with its mundane treasure almost all of its treasure) are already weapons, one for melee, the other for range.
The solar has lvl 20 cleric spellcasting. What kind of items would you as a player choose for your lvl 20 cleric? Only melee stuff? Or maybe...ALSO some spell enhancer? (prayer beads, rods of quicken etc.?)


But of what use is fast movement when you look at the bigger picture?

What bigger picture?


When scouting, the monk moves 90 feet per move action, and the Rogue moves 30 to 40. But unless you're in a race or have time constraints, that's not going to produce a great difference in effect when both report back to the party.

Really? What about greater invisibility as buff? Or other good rnd/lvl buffs? Wouldn't it help when your scout is much faster?


High base saves, low mods. Some SR. It's not bad, but it's not killer either.

"some SR"? Please do yourself a favour and look at the monsters that have spellcasting and their CR. Only very, very rarely will the monk not have a higher level than their spellcasting level. Making their SR VERY powerful. You can get a hunch as to how powerful the system assumes SR to be when checking the price of the item that grants SR (and a much lower one at that than for the monk).


I'm confused. Your grappling builds are orcs or half orcs, with negative wisdom. Stunning Fist and Quivering Palm will not work here. Similarly, if you have Stunning Fist and Quivering Palm's DCs pumped with high Wisdom, you either sacrifice Con, Dex or Str.
You can't have your cake and eat it too.

But...when focusing on grappling you'll rarely also focus on stunning fist. It's the same thing for specialist wizards giving up schools - they won't be able to focus on those, either. What is the problem here?
(and, btw, at high levels with magical stat boosters, stunning fist can still be boosted quite well even IF the monk took improved grapple at 1st level and focused on that first).
Or, just put your main stats in both STR and WIS. Depends on your strategy.


Do you have the math to support this assertion? High base damage may not win over high static damage modifiers, and a large number of attacks mean nothing. To be the best damage dealer, you must have you attacks connect constantly and have them deal lots of damage.
Where is your data?

I do have it. I have shown it above, and elsewhere, repeatedly.
Better yet, try it out for yourself by pitting a core lvl 20 barbarian vs the solar. Let's see what happens...:smallsmile:

- Giacomo

Freelance Henchman
2009-06-12, 12:12 PM
Giacomo, I think in one of the older Monk threads from months ago you admitted that you never actually play Monks in games, or at least not this particular type of "Joker Monk". Has this changed meanwhile? And if yes, what was it like playing this build?

ChaosDefender24
2009-06-12, 12:34 PM
And the monk can determine the charging distance, since he's the only class able to charge in a surprise round from outside true seeing range. (I like repeating that, since nobody so far took notice of this key fact).


- Giacomo

I didn't notice that! I was too busy looking at the ghaele's flight speed. My bad (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/polymorph.htm)


Or, just put your main stats in both STR and WIS. Depends on your strategy.

And then slip, prick my arm on a twig, and die because my hit points are now beautiful with that amazing CON score I have.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 12:38 PM
Also, we seem to play in different kind of games.
- pc wizards in your games are most often grey elf conjurers with improved initiative as feat at level 1. In mine, they tend to be more varied.:smallamused:
And all your monks are what, orcs/half orcs?


The solar is flying around or guarding an area, not knowing that the monk is coming. So only the long-term buffs are up. What is so unrealistic about that?
So the monk only defeats a solar under these specific circumstances? I want to be absolutely clear about your position before I say anything further.


And you can hide indefinitely.
And permanent enlarges are only 3050gp.
It also doesn't work on outsiders. Which a monk is at level 20.


And the monk can determine the charging distance, since he's the only class able to charge in a surprise round from outside true seeing range. (I like repeating that, since nobody so far took notice of this key fact).
You only get one attack on a charge, though, in core.


(like proclaiming after suddenly being behind badly after 3-4 rounds that eversmoking bottles are stupid and that polymorph of course is banned and does not show anything about the monk class).
Well, I wasn't around for them, but just offhand, it seems that items and spells don't really show much about class features of the monk.


The solar has lvl 20 cleric spellcasting. What kind of items would you as a player choose for your lvl 20 cleric? Only melee stuff? Or maybe...ALSO some spell enhancer? (prayer beads, rods of quicken etc.?)
This may be personal preference, but I've prefer to play melee clerics who do spellcasting on the side rather than dedicated spellcaster clerics. So my clerics would infact have a lot more melee gear as opposed to spell enhancers.

And the number of spell enhancers in core is limited, so after spending money on that, you could go shop for good melee gear.


What bigger picture?
Bear with me.

What does faster movement get you, and how useful is it going to be?

You mentioned, for example, scouting faster, but given that most games aren't on an ultra tight schedule, a rogue with 30-40 movement vs a monk with 90 is going to scout an area slower, but that's not going to act to anyone's detriment, is it?


Really? What about greater invisibility as buff? Or other good rnd/lvl buffs? Wouldn't it help when your scout is much faster?
Ring of Invisibility. The Invisibility spell at high levels is going to last quite a while too, especially when extended. You won't be able to attack, but the point of scouting is to get in, extract info, and then exfiltrate without being noticed.


"some SR"? Please do yourself a favour and look at the monsters that have spellcasting and their CR. Only very, very rarely will the monk not have a higher level than their spellcasting level. Making their SR VERY powerful. You can get a hunch as to how powerful the system assumes SR to be when checking the price of the item that grants SR (and a much lower one at that than for the monk).
SR never greatly impressed me due to the number of spells that are not SR dependent.


But...when focusing on grappling you'll rarely also focus on stunning fist. It's the same thing for specialist wizards giving up schools - they won't be able to focus on those, either. What is the problem here?
Specialist wizards can still be fairly versatile after giving up their schools. Your monks seem to be good at only one thing.


I do have it. I have shown it above, and elsewhere, repeatedly.
I was not here on the forums when that must have happened. Could you link to, or repost, the calculations?


Better yet, try it out for yourself by pitting a core lvl 20 barbarian vs the solar. Let's see what happens...:smallsmile:

Am calculating. First thing that strikes me is that it has DR 15 and regeneration 15. You have to deal more than 15 damage to it per hit and more than 15 damage total per round to significantly affect it.

Highest strength you can have in core is around 40 ish assuming you play an Orc (which isn't a player race, but whatever). That's +15 str.

Your monk's unarmed damage is 2d10, 6d8 if enlarged? That's 27 damage?

You charge in and deal 27+15= 42 damage. Dr reduces it to 27. When the round is over, regeneration heals up to 12 damage. It has 209-12=197 hp. This isn't a whole lot of damage.

Next round, it retreats 300 feet as a withdraw action and you can't really catch up with it and deliver an attack, being able to only charge 90*2=180 feet. You could move up to it, though, with your 90 ft movement, but I'm not sure what good that will do, as then you can't attack it, and it gets to cast defensively something nasty.

So the solar then regenerates 15 HP, has 209 hp, takes a move action until it is 270 feet away from you and gets a standard action to take against you. Methinks this may involve a move action away from you A Miracle may come into effect. That would be bad, and you can't really do anything to prevent it.

So how do you kill this thing again?

Especially considering as this Str focused monk doesn't have stunning fist.

You could try to grapple it, certainly. Your grapple mod is 15+4(improved grapple)+4(size), right? That's +23?

The Solar has +35.

Stunning fist may work. You could get up to 34 wisdom, +2 from ability focus (even though you reportedly don't like players using MM feats). That's a +12 wis mod +2 +10(half monk levels)+10= 34 DC

Solar has +18 fort save. It succeeds on a 16 or higher, so this is not a bad idea.

Of course, by doing this, you kinda cripple your damage output... assuming you deal the same damage as the Orc above, you'll take many turns to kill it, during which it is sure to escape, run out of your reach, and cast something nasty at you.



Using SRD stats, and a generic 20th level barbarian...

Solar: 209 HP, AC 35

Barbarian: 28 base strength (level up+ tomes), +6 item, +8 rage = 42 while raging. +17 modifier.
Dex 14 +6 item = 20, +5 mod
Con 16 +6 item, +6 mod
Int 8
Wis 8
Cha 8

8 feats
Power Attack
Improved Bull Rush
Combat Reflexes
Improved Initiative
Iron Will
x
x
x
No idea what to take

Movement:
40 ft (Fast Movement)+30 (Boots of Speed)=70

Initiative: +9

Saves:
Fort: 12(base)+6(con)+4(rage)+4(item)=26
Ref: 6(base)+5(dex)+4(item)=15
Will: 6(base)-1(will)+4(item)+4(rage)=15

To hit: 20/15/10/5 BaB, +5 weapon, +17 Strength= +42/37/32/27

Hit on a d20 result of -7, -2, 3, and 8. Pretty good chance of hitting on all four attacks.

Damage: 17x1.5=25.5+5(weapon)+2d4(weapon)=35.5 average damage.

Plan of Attack: Charge in from 140 feet away and kill it.

Surprise round
PA for 10, add 20 damage. Hit on a 3 or higher, deals 55.5 damage to the Solar. DR kicks in, reducing it to 40.5 damage

Surprise round over. Solar has 168.5 hp. It then heals up to 183.5 hp.

Equal chances of either of us going first. If I go first, I will full attack, most likely hit on all, and deal 80 ish damage, which is reduced to 65 damage by regeneration.

The solar then pulls out far beyond my reach and kills me with spells.

We're both pretty much boned against a solar, which makes sense considering that it's CR 23.

Nohwl
2009-06-12, 12:53 PM
And for your part, you assume that the solar just pops into existance without any of its good gear or buffs on, within charging distance of a perpetually hidden Permanantly Enlarged monk.


how come the solar is spending money on gear instead of paying someone to put contingencies on it, and how come it is not chaos shuffling out some of its bad feats? why is it not boosting its caster level? why is it not picking better spells? if you spent enough time optimizing it, i wouldn't be surprised if the solar could win against a wizard. why is it not a solar of a deity with the creation domain, why is it not casting genesis, creating a plane that only it can access, and why is it not astrally projecting and doing whatever other tricks it can to make itself impossible to kill? if you spend enough time optimizing a solar, then wizards can have problems with them too.

then you are going to argue that the wizard has a party to help. why doesn't the monk have a party? why is the monk not in a party, but the wizard is in one?

my point is that he found a way to kill the solar as a monk. not your solar, but the solar that is in the monster manual.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 12:54 PM
English. Do you speak it? (http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/capital.asp)



my point is that he found a way to kill the solar as a monk. not your solar, but the solar that is in the monster manual.
And I could kill Elminster, if all Elminster did was throw chopsticks at me.

Now, I'm still trying to figure out how he did that, because looking at the SRD, the stock solar takes one attack from the monk, then pulls back 300 feet and leaves the monk biting his dust.

Did you read the part where I try to calculate what he was doing? The stock solar can retreat far back enough to make Giacomo's monk useless and then cast spells.

I just don't understand how, with the tactical and strategic options available to it, how the Solar could lose to a single melee ECL 20 character

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-12, 01:00 PM
A little off topic, but I agree (I’m going to play the devil’s advocate, here).
I’m not sure that evocation is a so bad school... and I’m not speaking about the really useful spells (Contingency, etc.) duplicable by shadow magic, but of the standard damage spells.
Absolutely not so good to specialise in it, but still not bad, especially if there are no orb spells.
At lev. 11, a maximized (by rod) scorching ray with energy substitution, can still be useful (a 2° slot for 72 sonic damage, if your ubercharger is unable to attack?), and you still have all your nice combat spells such grease, web, solid fog, cloudkill...

No, they aren't "bad" but they are sub optimal. Any round you spend casting fireball is a round you could have cast stinking cloud and forced a save vs. suck for every creature fireball would have hit. The problem with evocation is that it distracts you from the role that only wizards can do well (controlling battles), and makes you into a 'striker' which almost any class can do if built correctly. Unless your party has another wizard to fill the gap you end up hurting your teammates by not filling a needed role and instead stealing the glory from the classes that only do 'striking' well.

quick_comment
2009-06-12, 01:08 PM
Even assuming the solar is down to 0 hp, the monk cant kill it. The solar simply planeshifts away, regenerates to full health in a matter of minutes, then comes back for round 2.

ZeroNumerous
2009-06-12, 01:21 PM
Level 20 druid v 22 HD Solar?

Pre-battle purchase a scroll of Harm at CL 15 then go into battle with no buffs. Wild Shape: Earth Elemental. Move Action: Earth Glide straight down into the ground. Assuming the Solar spends an hour hanging around, cast Sympathy on a rock and specify that Solar. Earth Glide to the surface. Cast Elemental Swarm(Air). Cast Elemental Swarm(Air) again. Cast Elemental Swarm(Air) a third time. Wait. Cast Summon Nature's Ally 9. Earth Glide back into the ground.

Take your average of 12 Large Air Elementals, 6 Huge Air Elementals and 3 Elder Air Elementals and tell them to attack the Solar. All three elder Whirlwind the Solar to prevent his escape and reduce his Dex by 12. The Huge elementals proceed to attempt to Whirlwind the Solar, further reducing his Dex by 4 per failed Reflex Save. The others attack him ineffectively. Pixie hits him with Memory Loss arrows until he fails a save. Failing that, Wild Shape: Air elemental. Fly up to Solar. CdG him with scroll of Harm. It's a touch spell and thus can critical. Solar fails Fort Save versus DC 310 and dies instantly.

Cost:
5 ninth level spells.
1,500 GP for Sympathy to make sure he stays there as the elementals arrive.
3,000 GP for 15th level Harm spell.
So free spells and 4,500 out of the Druid's 760,000 WBL auto-defeats a Solar.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 01:23 PM
That was fairly impressive.

Eldariel
2009-06-12, 01:23 PM
I'll be brief, just to cover things I think are misunderstandings:


In particular we draw completely different conclusion from numbers and calculations.
- Whereas I see a 50% reduction of a hit chance as relevant (with tumble skill avoiding AoO), you do not. (simply adding a feat to your barbarian with just one feat slot open, and not allowing the monk to use his skills makes no sense imo).

This mostly came from the fact that every discussion insisted surprise for the Monk; on the surprise round the Monk needs to partial charge to get anything off meaning the Tumble is trivial. I'm personally a big fan of Tumble, but the examples we discussed just didn't enable it, because you always wanted a surprise round and to act on one.


- Whereas I see merit in doing a touch attack rather than a regular attack, you do not (even thinking that at level 1, touch AC is the same as regular AC "often" - and then always arguing that armour-wearing makes the non-monks better in defenses :smallconfused:)

*shrug* There're Wizards and Sorcerers and Rogues and what-have-you. They tend to derive AC from Dex. I see the merit here, but when it comes with the cost of having to win an additional check and dealing far less damage, it just doesn't seem worth it to me.


- whereas I clearly show 9 attacks as the highest number achievable in the core game (10 actually for the monk with divine power), you still say the rogue can get more with TWF.

It's mostly that the whole Monk TWF thing seems to be contested by rules.


Also, we seem to play in different kind of games.
- pc wizards in your games are most often grey elf conjurers with improved initiative as feat at level 1. In mine, they tend to be more varied.:smallamused:

Just saying that if we assume "optimized" characters for this contest, it seems relevant to assume that both, the PC Monk and the PC Wizard are built to the best level expected.


- solars will in your games enhance their melee capabilities with items beyond what their CR suggests, and ignore the fact that they are full spellcasters while already being equipped with a +9 equivalent weapon for melee. I thought spellcasting was the big thing in your eyes?

Sure, but the spellcasting only needs that Orange Prism Ioun Stone and they're done. Also, they have the Cleric spellcasting making it practical for them to utilize their Dancing Greatsword, full BAB and so on to become combat beasts too. Cleric spellcasting can be just fine offensively, but it has a great many buffs and something like Solar really should be making use of those too. Spellcasting is awesome if you use it. In your example, the Solar didn't.


- Creatures way beyond the CR for pcs of their class regularly turn up - either a CR 23 solar vs a solo lvl 20 monk (or other lvl 20 character), or at level 1 (!!) "a few" ogres to defeat for just one character (And no, a wizard would be smashed too, since the sleep spell - provided he still has one prepared - only affects one, color spray is melee range almost only - and the wizard could not even know it for sure, since an ogre could have all kinds of HD). What kind of games are you playing?

I pointed out that a Wizard can solve a challenge way over your CR at level 1; that's their specialty and why I keep saying they have such an awesome offense. That's why I brought the Ogres up; if you have a Wizard, you can deal with them. Otherwise, they'll be a problem. And the level 20 X vs. Solar-thing wasn't my idea in the first place, I was simply bringing up the discrepancies in the numbers.


- wizards always seem to have powerful defensive spells up like mirror image against surprise attacks, even though they are only short-term in nature. Meanwhile, a monk player having hour/lvl buffs up (with UMD, buffed from someone else, or other items) is considered a no-no.

Not always, but if a Wizard goes to a dungeon, chances are he protects himself before landing. And I've been assuming a party except where the discussion was specifically turned to 1v1 - parties just don't get surprised all that easily.


- polymorph and shapechange can be banned, but since wildshape is a "class ability" of the druid it mustn't be touched (although it provides all and exactly that stuff that makes morph so broken: high physical stats, higher move (including fly possibly) and higher natural AC - and goodies as poison and pounce attacks). Completely inconsistent, in particular since you are also among those who believe the druid is overpowered. What about the monk class ability that provides him access to outsider forms in morph? That can be trampled without problem, eh? Incredible.:smallamused:

First, Outsider-forms come to Monk on level 20. By then Shapechange and Polymorph Any Object, far superior spells (at least Shapechange capable of assuming Outsider-forms as per normal, with Su-abilities no less), have been available for a while making the fact that Monk can acquire those forms with Polymorph as unimportant in Polymorph comparison as in a "fair" comparison; Shapechange still gets you better forms (say, Pit Fiend?).

As for Wildshape, the thing is, saying "You can't use Wildshape" is like saying "You can't use Monk Unarmed Strikes" or "You can't Rage" or "You can't Sneak Attack". It's such a key part of the class that removing it is "unfair". Make no mistake, it is unfair and one of the big reasons Druids are OP, but since it's limited to quite a weak bunch of forms in animals, I have yet to meet games that just ban it. Banning few spells is one thing, removing class features is an other thing entirely. But if you read of games here, you'll see that Wildshaping Druids are generally in, but rarely do you see Polymorph cast.

Yes, it is weird, but it mostly comes down to Wildshape being such a big part of the class that people are unwilling to axe it. Now, if there was a fair alternative however, people would be game, I'd assume...


A rules thing:
A grapple check is a grapple check - not an attack, not a skill check, nor an ability check. It is a different kind of check. This has been clarified extensively in the RAW and the FAQ. So, the armour penalty does NOT apply.
And yes, the pin would not help thaat much with just one grapple attempt/round. The moment the monk wears no armour and has access to flurry, though, the picture may change (and I illustrated already that his chances vs the barbarian are not that bad without armour, either).

Eh, you pointed out Pin, but forgot that it does nothing with armor on 'cause it ends on your next turn and deals no damage. With Flurry, you'd suddenly have much smaller chance of successfully making the grapple-checks in the first place (again, with your interpretation of the rules, only your standard attacks can be used to Flurry, as the rules only mention "iteratives gained from high BAB").

But Grapple-check is not as clear as you make it sound. They have been likened to attack rolls and indeed, it has been suggested that all attack rolls could be replaced with them. In such a case, they'd take modifiers applied to attack rolls. There're two possible interpretations for them: Either you can use 'em with all your attacks and apply all appropriate penalties to them, or you can only use your iteratives derived from BAB and apply no penalties to them as separate checks. Pick your poison, I prefer the "can be used with all attacks, but penalties apply", or treat them as attack rolls of a kind.


Level 20? I guess that solar thing has already proven quite a few things. (EDIT: and for some of those who asked: when the solar is gone for a round+, the monk simply hides (move action) and teleports away to try another day (he has enough equipment left, the example I posted was there to show the offensive power only EDIT END).
Level 1? Since I have shown that the monk can handle fights often as well as a fighter or barbarian and adds stealth on top, he should be just fine. Basically, his role is similar to other non-caster fighting classes - a melee version of the ranger, possibly.
But if you look for challenges a monk can solve at level 1 that no other can:
- excel without any equipment (when being captured, for instance). Even when arms are bound and he's gagged, he could use a head-butt or kicks to take out a guard (note: a ranger, barbarian or fighter usually will not take improved unarmed strike at lvl 1, since they get way more mileage out of feats they use more often, like power attack or pointblankshot/rapid shot).

However, the feat is still there. Show me a feat that gives you the ability to cast level 1 Arcane spells on level 1 without being an Arcanist and this may be relevant.


- he makes an ideal infiltrator, looking like a peasant (with at most peasant weapons and no armour), and with hide skill. A rogue could also do that, but has less offensive power and defenses when detected and cornered.

I think a Rogue is way better at this. He has 1 point smaller HD, but can deal more damage in combat (given hide or magic), and most importantly has all the relevant skills in class and the skillpoints to buy them. Bluff, Disguise, Sleight of Hand (and thus hidden weapons), Forgery, etc. are all Rogue skills making appearing a peasant easy. A Monk lacks any socials but Diplomacy; good luck getting through the dialogue without being caught.


- he's the best grappler with the STR-enhancing races (since others do not have the two feats to do it, plus have possilbly lower DEX when focusing on STR entirely and thus no more improved grapple when enlarged lateron). This means, the group can always rely on the monk to take out the most threatening enemy caster or occupies the nastiest creature while they deal with the minions.

Unless the nasty creature is big and thus beats the tar out of the Monk. Spellcaster I'll give you - if you can grapple a low-level spellcaster, he'll have to focus his attention on you. But the best Grappler? On 28pb, you can get 18 Str, 15 Dex, 12 Con for a Fighter/Barbarian. If you make a Grappler, start there. Full BAB.


Otherwise, throughout lvl 1-20 things a core monk can do that no-one else can:
- fastest scout (movement bonus gets also added to fly effects)

Actually, as it's an enhancement bonus, a Barbarian is faster to level 12 and as fast to level 15; very rare for Monk to be the fastest (the Barbarian can simply have Expeditious Retreat or Haste or similar cast on him and he'll outrace the Monk).


- most resilient vs magical attacks

I thought that fell to the guys with Spell Resistance-spell (CL+12 > HD+10), Wisdom-focus with Con as the secondary stat, magical means of protecting themselves (countermagic, death ward, freedom of movement, etc.) and contingencies. That'd be Cleric; he only has worse Ref-save, and way better Will- and probably better Fort-saves. And higher SR should he so desire and access to Contingency (through Domain) and so on.


- stunning fist and grapple tactics

Aren't those available to everyone?


- highest no. of attacks and highest base damage meaning the biggest damage-dealer in core (not the best meleer, but just the best damage-dealer)

Best base damage, you mean? 'cause Sneak Attack adds up to more than Monk's base damage and size increases. Also note that on level 20, Monk can no longer be affected by Enlarge Person.


Show me how a druid lvl 20 can defeat a CR 23 solar. In core.
You can do it
- with or without UMD
- with or without wildshape.
I wonder if you can equal what my lvl 20 monk did.
I'm waiting....:smallcool:

You can do something elaborate. Or just spam Finger of Death at save DC 33+ until it fails, passing its SR on 2. Since hiding is apparently the thing of the day, hide that 105' away from it, then move in and quicken one - it's got a relevant chance of failing. Then you roll Initiative and hit it with two more (you can find numbers in my last post) and kill it. Sure, this is just a bruteforce method that doesn't work against smart Solars, but the Solar with nothing but that Mithril Full-Plate and casting boosters on hanging around/flying around aimlessly fails the Fort-save real fast and can't detect the Druid from that range before he takes the move and casts the first Quickened FoD. Seriously, the reason this is so easy is because you assume the Solar is an idiot.


But you're right, this seems to be going nowhere.

Talic
2009-06-12, 01:23 PM
The solar is flying around or guarding an area, not knowing that the monk is coming. So only the long-term buffs are up. What is so unrealistic about that?
Because CR23 creatures aren't security guards. They're not sightseeing tourists looking for the statue of liberty.

They're generals of the armies of light. They're proactive. They have treasure, and guess what? They have the intelligence to use it.

This means that they're going to be protected. They're going to be guarded, not be guarding.

Plus:Spells

Solars can cast divine spells as 20th-level clerics. A solar has access to two of the following domains: Air, Destruction, Good, Law, or War (plus any others from its deity). The save DCs are Wisdom-based.
Typical Cleric Spells Prepared (6/8/8/8/7/7/6/6/5/5; save DC 17 + spell level)

0—create water, detect magic, guidance (2), resistance (2); 1st—bless (2), cause fear, divine favor (2), entropic shield, obscuring mist*, shield of faith; 2nd—align weapon, bear’s endurance (2), bull’s strength (2), consecrate, eagle’s splendor, spiritual weapon*; 3rd—daylight, invisibility purge, magic circle against evil, magic vestment*, prayer (2), protection from energy, wind wall; 4th—death ward (2), dismissal (2), divine power*, neutralize poison (2); 5th—break enchantment, control winds*, dispel evil, plane shift, righteous might (2), symbol of sleep; 6th—banishment, chain lightning*, heroes’ feast, mass cure moderate wounds, undeath to death, word of recall; 7th—control weather*, destruction, dictum, ethereal jaunt, holy word, regenerate; 8th—fire storm, holy aura, mass cure critical wounds (2), whirlwind*; 9th— etherealness, elemental swarm (air)*, mass heal, miracle, storm of vengeance.

Let's follow up with the fact that a solar has permanency 3 times a day. This means that if a cleric spell CAN be made permanent, it will be. I ain't talkin about solar suprising monk. But monk surprising a general of the armies of light? Chances are, there will be a clue given somewhere to allow for full buffs both ways.


And the original notion was not that the monk should be able to beat a solar when lying the bed and the solar smashes him fully buffed teleporting in out of nowhere, but that the monk has NO CHANCE AT ALL to beat a solar, ever.
And you can hide indefinitely.
And permanent enlarges are only 3050gp.and easily dispelled. not to mention Hallow is there. Not to mention that the Solar will have a contingency. (What? Not on the Cleric list you say? Look harder (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/miracle.htm).)


And the monk can determine the charging distance, since he's the only class able to charge in a surprise round from outside true seeing range. (I like repeating that, since nobody so far took notice of this key fact).
Monk is not the only class that can do that. Barbarian with Boots of speed? 70 movement. 80 with a trait. Charge 140-160. Core only. Bard UMDing haste. Hell, any class UMDing haste.

High movement is not as hard to get as many think. And people underestimate Solars. Imagine the smartest human ever to have lived. The solar's smarter than that. So assuming that it won't use its abilities to their fullest is foolishness. So imagine now every buff that can be permanencied from level 7 or lower, and every buff from level 9 or lower with cleric. Add those to the Solar's abilities. Add in up to 6 spells that last a week or longer.

It's not as easy as you'd think.

Doc Roc
2009-06-12, 02:02 PM
Come, come, it's not THAT bad. I played an sun elf enchanter wizard from levels 2 up through 12, so I know a fair bit about it. Enchantment has a lot of dud spells, but it also has a handful which are really excellent.

Level 1: Sleep is probably the best long ranged 'kill' spell you can get at this level. Charm person is handy too.
Level 2: okay, I'll admit the choice here is kind of a letdown.
Level 3: Deep Slumber at early levels to take out enemies, Heroism at later ones for a nice long-lasting buff.
Level 4: Confusion can win entire encounters on its own. I've found it to be one of the deadliest mid-level spells out there. Charm Monster is also a great problem-solver.
Level 5: Hold Monster - you cast it on the bruiser fighting the party meleer, after the monster's turn. If they fail, they get CdGed. It's a save-or-die.
Level 6: Greater Heroism is only average compared to the other 6th-level spells out there, but it's still a very nice buff.

Sure, at higher levels you have the problem of enemies being mindblanked, but a) most campaigns never get that high-level in the first place and b) it's ultimately the DM's choice what immunities enemies have. It's not like he can't neutralise any other strategy just as easily if he wants to.

- Saph

Or just being undead. Or constructs, or plants, or even some forms of outsiders. Or oozes. Or mindless.

Half the MM is MA-immune. It's a well-known and serious issue. Those spells are great, and are some of my favorites if I don't think I'll be doing traditionalist dungeon crawls. If I will be, I generally go ahead and ban enchantment, because the GM will likely need to bend over backward at least a bit to provide me with things I can affect in a dungeon. I love beguilers, but this is one of the things that keeps me from playing them as regularly as say..... Oh.... I'll go against the grain here and say favored souls.

Evocation offers things like contingency, howling chain, and a number of other excellent spells spread evenly across the levels. While I love enchantment, I'm okay with giving it up. Giving up necromancy or evocation does actually grate with me.

Like I said, I almost exclusively play generalists or specialist diviners.

Seatbelt
2009-06-12, 04:02 PM
:smalleek:
Why on earth the Wiz shouldn't have Impr. In.?
Specially on low levels, the wiz is squishy... winning initiative is the difference between life and death. The first feat should always be the one that gives a +4 to initiative.



But why would a player have his wizard take improved init, since he's probably going to want to take more important things. The one bit about these threads that irk me is that everyone's monk/wizard/hamster always has exactly the right spell or feat or whatever because duh. Everyone plays conjurer wizards with improved initiative, just like Monks are always whatever the heck Giacomo says. I can't be bothered to read the longer posts. :P

Flickerdart
2009-06-12, 04:08 PM
But why would a player have his wizard take improved init, since he's probably going to want to take more important things. The one bit about these threads that irk me is that everyone's monk/wizard/hamster always has exactly the right spell or feat or whatever because duh. Everyone plays conjurer wizards with improved initiative, just like Monks are always whatever the heck Giacomo says. I can't be bothered to read the longer posts. :P
Improved Initiative is a great Wizard feat, especially at 1st level. What else are you going to take? Metamagic that you can't use yet? In Core, Imp. Init. is an excellent choice. Out of core, Nerveskitter and the Hummingbird familiar make it obsolete, but that just boosts the Wizard's initiative higher.

Eldariel
2009-06-12, 04:14 PM
But why would a player have his wizard take improved init, since he's probably going to want to take more important things. The one bit about these threads that irk me is that everyone's monk/wizard/hamster always has exactly the right spell or feat or whatever because duh. Everyone plays conjurer wizards with improved initiative, just like Monks are always whatever the heck Giacomo says. I can't be bothered to read the longer posts. :P

That's Giacomo's way; others discussing with him just mimic him. He always builds a new Monk for every comparison. Apparently even he admits that there is no generally applicable Monk that could work in a normal campaign. Others just point out that other classes do the "being prepared" better too.

lsfreak
2009-06-12, 04:23 PM
Because the wizard uses the UA variant and gets fighter feats instead of metamagic feats and scribe scroll. Take ImpInit at 1st level instead of scribe scroll, then either multiclass before level 5 or take one of the more useful fighter feats. You can get into Master Specialist at 3rd level, for example, which while it isn't as powerful as IotSV or Incantatrix is still very good. And even if you don't use such a variant, a wizard's strength is always going first; if you're building a wizard up from level 1 you'd be hard-pressed to find another feat that's good both when you first take it and ten levels later.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-12, 04:32 PM
Oh... oh God.... help... I can't stop myself.... arrrgh!


The solar is flying around or guarding an area, not knowing that the monk is coming. So only the long-term buffs are up. What is so unrealistic about that?

So many things. Seriously, this is a completely unbelievable set of handwaving, it is not 'flying around' randomly or just being a security guard by sheer nature of what it is and how valuable it's time is.


And the original notion was not that the monk should be able to beat a solar when lying the bed and the solar smashes him fully buffed teleporting in out of nowhere, but that the monk has NO CHANCE AT ALL to beat a solar, ever.

with sufficient contingencies, careful living and ACTUAL USE OF ITS MENTAL SCORES then yes, the monk hasn't really got much of a hope.


And you can hide indefinitely.

Good luck with that. Seriously, who needs to have a crap, buy a bagel, visit their mums, GO TO SLEEP, whatever.... yeah, your position sounds reasoned and reasonable....


And permanent enlarges are only 3050gp.

And how long do you think a buff with a caster level of 5 lasts in a level 20 game, guys 15 levels below you have a 50/50 chance of wiping it out of the box... good luck mate.



And the monk can determine the charging distance, since he's the only class able to charge in a surprise round from outside true seeing range. (I like repeating that, since nobody so far took notice of this key fact).

The key fact that's not true you mean? The monk has a higher base speed, at these levels nobody cares, the casters are riding phantom steeds and teleporting, the well built meleers are moving just as fast due to items or mounts and THEY'RE ALL DOING IT WHILE MOVING IN THREE DIMENSIONS.


I have played already in quite a few duels, and they sometimes took months for only 5-10 combat rounds.

That's what happens when a duel descends into rules lawyering, a good DM and an accepting set of players can do a PbP in a day.


The problem often is that (in particular when I play non-casters vs casters) those who play casters have a big difficulty understanding what the rules really allow

Not on this forum and this sounds like a very easily resolved problem, your inability to convince most anyone in long long long discussions doesn't show this. Many of the people on these boards are happy to help with rules discussion and interpretation, have been for years, and simply because you disagree with the majority position on a lot of things doesn't mean you are right.


and what not, or better yet, what SHOULD be allowed

No. Just no. not on this forum and not in the threads I've watched you derail.


and what not (like proclaiming after suddenly being behind badly after 3-4 rounds that eversmoking bottles are stupid and that polymorph of course is banned and does not show anything about the monk class).

Oh God! :smallfurious: It's back. This.. we spent a year banging away at these two ideas.

1. Polymorph is broken, it breaks games, the monk doesn't get the easiest access to it, the caster is in no sense endebitted to the monk to give them the standerd action/ spell slot for it and there are other classes that benefit as much if not more than a monk.

2. If you use a smoking bottle in a party without letting them know beforehand YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH BY YOUR COMRADES. This is because they can work, it can be built around and it is occasionally useful but people don't want to build the entire team around it and it's not something that will be tolerated by most groups.


There is just no point in trying to work around these and no, I am not willing to talk this through with you again.


This then extends into rules discussions etc. of even more proportions than my replies here.

No. That is all. It's just not the case in the threads I have watched.


Yes. Because already, say 200,000 gp of items (with its mundane treasure almost all of its treasure) are already weapons, one for melee, the other for range.

What's the treasure of a CR 23 NPC? I honestly don't know, DMG is in the attic at the mo so is this actually all they get?


The solar has lvl 20 cleric spellcasting. What kind of items would you as a player choose for your lvl 20 cleric? Only melee stuff? Or maybe...ALSO some spell enhancer? (prayer beads, rods of quicken etc.?)

It depends on the build but there's a few things he needs and none of them are all that expensive at this level, CL boosts are chump change in core for level 20+


What bigger picture?

The three dimensional one, the one that includes tactical movement, strategic withdrawal and strategic manuveouring. that one. tthe one the Solar automatically gets access to and the Monk has to pay for a slow flight speed and an item of teleport and an item of 'how can i work out where my enemy has gone' to allow them to follow.... etc.... how do you think this is going to work out.


Really? What about greater invisibility as buff? Or other good rnd/lvl buffs? Wouldn't it help when your scout is much faster?

What? :smallconfused: Are we talking round by round combat or scouting or item use or what? Whichever the monk gets the fuzzy end of the stick so whatever.


"some SR"? Please do yourself a favour and look at the monsters that have spellcasting and their CR. Only very, very rarely will the monk not have a higher level than their spellcasting level. Making their SR VERY powerful. You can get a hunch as to how powerful the system assumes SR to be when checking the price of the item that grants SR (and a much lower one at that than for the monk).

Please do yourself a favour and drop the attitude. Then have a look at the spells that don't care about SR. Then look at ways to boost your chance of penetrating SR. Then look at class leveled enemies such as casting BBEGs. Their SR is mostly effective at costing them standard actions in combat to accept the buffs they desperately need to stay in any way relivant.


But...when focusing on grappling you'll rarely also focus on stunning fist. It's the same thing for specialist wizards giving up schools - they won't be able to focus on those, either. What is the problem here?

The problem here is that it isn't even vaguely similar to a wizard choosing to specialize. When a Monk chooses to build around grapple or stunning fist or high con hp or Wis for AC or Dex for AC/init/to-hit is that they saboutage their other key defenses and abilities. When a wizard specializes he gains power for a loss of versatility, since most schools lost are the least versitile and those specialized in are the ones that allow mages to do A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF it's not even vaguely comparible. When a mage loses a school he doesn't lose slots, he can still find buffs, blasts, BC, SoX, utility and whatever, When a monk chooses to have a sucky AC or a sucky Attack bonus or a sucky damage or a sucky grapple he's leaving big stonking holes in his character. If you make the Monk an Orc then your AC will suck and you won't have the skills to do jack, if you want to be defensive then everyone will ignore you becuase you DO NOT MATTER.


(and, btw, at high levels with magical stat boosters, stunning fist can still be boosted quite well even IF the monk took improved grapple at 1st level and focused on that first).
Or, just put your main stats in both STR and WIS. Depends on your strategy.

No, you will always have to play off these numbers, you can crank some but not all. THE MONK IS MAD! deal with it.

Str - to hit and damage
Dex - AC and initiative (to hit with spent feat)
Con - hp (you have a d8 HD)
Wis - AC and class abilities, if you dont pump this why havent you taken fighter?
Int - you (Gia) are continually extolling the use of skills and assuming they're maxed
Cha - UMD, cross class and most everyone can do better at it than you but meh, I'm familiar with your usual builds/failures.


I do have it. I have shown it above, and elsewhere, repeatedly.
Better yet, try it out for yourself by pitting a core lvl 20 barbarian vs the solar. Let's see what happens...:smallsmile:

No you have not. repeatedly. if you had people would not be able to knock you down so damn easily. Stop saying that you've proved something while so many people can put so many huge holes through your thinking.


- Giacomo

We know who you are, the site gives you an automatic signiture and your posts are always named. Why do you add this?

mostlyharmful
2009-06-12, 05:11 PM
There's good in him, I've felt it! I can turn him back to the light... I have to try! Even though he isn't my father.

I got sucked in didn't I.....:smallredface: Dammit... Do not feed the trolls, it sounds so easy but it gets so hard:smallmad:

Worira
2009-06-12, 05:43 PM
Level 1 orc, 18 STR, DEX 14, CON 14. Rest 8s (before racial adj). Wears chain shirt (nobody says a monk cannot wear armour, in this case it's OK until flurry gets better, he gets a movement bonus and since he has no WIS bonus).
Takes improved grapple, improved initiative (+6)
Charges, STR 22, means +8 vs touch AC, grapples with +10 check. Dmg 1d6+6.
This orc is likely going to beat same level orc barbarian. Once enlarge potions and effects get more abundant even in level 1, the orc monk also outclasses the fighter in this respect (who likely cannot keep improved grapple when being enlarged). Both barbarian and fighter also do less damage in a grapple.


Lets see... You have an int of 6, yet you have Tumble, UMD, Hide, Move Silently, Listen, and Spot maxed. You took improved grapple as your bonus feat, but you also use stunning fist every other encounter. You wear armour, despite listing the ability to fight unarmed and unarmoured as a major strength of the monk. You don't get to switch builds every encounter in real DnD, Giacomo.

Faleldir
2009-06-12, 05:45 PM
I have compared all of a Monk 20's class features to a Monk 2/Psychic Warrior 18's powers.

Unarmed damage: Tashalatora
Flurry Of Blows: Tashalatora
AC bonus: Tashalatora, tons of Psychic Warrior powers, most of which stack
Improved Grapple: It's a feat. If you take it, you'll need Expansion and Grip Of Iron.
Stunning Fist: It's a feat. The only difference is your number of uses, which doesn't matter at high levels because everything has high Fortitude or immunity.
Other bonus feats: Psychic Warriors can take Fighter bonus feats.
Fast Movement: Burst, Hustle, ANYTHING THAT GIVES YOU AN ENHANCEMENT BONUS
Evasion: You already have it.
Still Mind: Empty Mind
Ki Strike: You have simple weapon proficiency, so you can buy a battle gauntlet and take Unorthodox Flurry.
Slow Fall: Catfall
Purity Of Body: Oak Body
Wholeness Of Body: Body Adjustment, Claws Of The Vampire, Hostile Empathic Transfer
Improved Evasion: Evade Burst
Diamond Body: Oak Body
Abundant Step: Psionic Dimension Door
Diamond Soul: One more point for you, but SR also applies to the Monk's main class feature (which only Monks have): wands!
Quivering Palm: Once a week, lower save DC than Stunning Fist, and it's not even a touch attack? Still, the closest thing is Truevenom, so I'll give you the point on a technicality.
Timeless Body: Useful for all campaigns that last over 60 years.
Tongue Of The Sun And Moon: Take Hidden Talent for Mindlink at level 1. Yes, it only works on intelligent creatures, but I doubt a tree would have anything useful to say.
Empty Body: Okay, that one is hard to replicate. Whether it's useful depends on whether taking yourself out of the fight completely counts as victory.
Perfect Self: I guess it's a good thing you won't be needing your wand of Enlarge Person anymore. Oh wait, you still do.

IMHO, there is no reason not to multiclass, and you gain much more than you lose. If you don't like psionics, why are you playing a Monk?

Talic
2009-06-12, 06:05 PM
Monk can indeed be potent in a multiclass combination. Two levels gives good saves, 1 BAB, unarmed strike, evasion, unarmed striking, and a couple other abilities. Even in Armor, that's not bad.

Too much more, and you give up too much BAB, or offensive potential.

MickJay
2009-06-12, 06:08 PM
Someone already pointed out that Giacomo doesn't, in fact, play any of his monks. I think the big problem is that he can, ultimately, make a build that is semi-decent decent at one thing, and when challenged with a different problem, he makes another build, and another, and another, thus effectively proving that a monk may not suck at something, or even at almost anything, but only at one thing at a time. This, in his opinion, is apparently sufficient to prove that monks as a class are versatile (which I'm inclined to believe, to a degree) and non-sucky (not falling for that one), but he utterly fails to prove that a monk, with one, general build, can be versatile, which is what everyone else already proved time and again.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 06:10 PM
So what you're saying is that we're arguing for different things here.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-12, 06:23 PM
http://unrealitymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/biehnhicks.jpg
GitPer's, you've blown the Monk thread!
You're just grinding metal.
Come on, ease down.
Ease down.

Worira
2009-06-12, 06:25 PM
Monk can indeed be potent in a multiclass combination. Two levels gives good saves, 1 BAB, unarmed strike, evasion, unarmed striking, and a couple other abilities. Even in Armor, that's not bad.

Too much more, and you give up too much BAB, or offensive potential.

They're also a good gestalt class. In particular, druid and monk work very well together, with monk providing flurry, wisdom to AC, stunning fist, and 4d8 base damage. The druid then eliminates MAD completely, ramping up stunning fist to useful levels, allows for easy size stacking up to 12d8 base damage, and provides full casting, including lots of nifty self-buffs.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-12, 06:33 PM
GitPer's, you've blown the Monk thread!
You're just grinding metal.
Come on, ease down.
Ease down.

Sorry, that won't work this time! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URIkSlpJeYM&feature=related)

MickJay
2009-06-12, 06:41 PM
So what you're saying is that we're arguing for different things here.

Well, that's pretty much it. I can't find a better explanation, at least without assuming bad will or immunity to reason of one of the sides of the debate.

Doc Roc
2009-06-12, 07:31 PM
Reason is a mind-affecting ability, right?
Hrum, that may be my problem ;)

Saph
2009-06-12, 09:05 PM
Or just being undead. Or constructs, or plants, or even some forms of outsiders. Or oozes. Or mindless.

So against those creatures, you use your other spells. You prepare some Enchantment, some Conjuration, some Transmutation. Use non-Enchantment against the MA-immunes, Enchantment against the others.

When I was playing my enchanter, I ran into MA-immune things all the time, in dungeons and out. Thing is, I also ran into lots of things that weren't MA-immune, and I noticed that unless they had a really excellent Will save they tended to go down pretty quickly.

- Saph

Nohwl
2009-06-12, 10:37 PM
English. Do you speak it? (http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/capital.asp)


And I could kill Elminster, if all Elminster did was throw chopsticks at me.

Now, I'm still trying to figure out how he did that, because looking at the SRD, the stock solar takes one attack from the monk, then pulls back 300 feet and leaves the monk biting his dust.

Did you read the part where I try to calculate what he was doing? The stock solar can retreat far back enough to make Giacomo's monk useless and then cast spells.

I just don't understand how, with the tactical and strategic options available to it, how the Solar could lose to a single melee ECL 20 character

you know what? just for you i am never going to hit shift or caps lock on this forum again.

now, instead of guessing, why not ask giacomo to explain it again?

Worira
2009-06-12, 10:39 PM
you know what? just for you i am never going to hit shift or caps lock on this forum again.

now, instead of guessing, why not ask giacomo to explain it again?

How'd you get those question marks in there?

EDIT:
Out of curiosity... (Multi-page thread 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... Last Page)
GreatWyrmGold

Today 08:40 PM
by ZeroNumerous Go to last post
666 15,959

Congratulations! This thread has officially gone to hell.

ZeroNumerous
2009-06-12, 10:40 PM
How'd you get those question marks in there?

by using copy/paste, same way I constructed this post?

Nohwl
2009-06-12, 11:04 PM
yeah, copy/paste is how i did it. i'm going to be copy/pasting them from now on.

so there is a chance that all of this argument was nothing more than people not understanding what the other person was arguing?

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-12, 11:37 PM
you know what? just for you i am never going to hit shift or caps lock on this forum again.Seriously? Some people like this forum because the average level of discussion is higher. People on here are far more likely to use full words, sentences, and even capitalization. 1337 speak is rare, and generally only used by pixies. Why would you try to change that?

Dagren
2009-06-13, 12:23 AM
now, instead of guessing, why not ask giacomo to explain it again?Because when he explained it the solar just stood there and took it rather than fighting back?

so there is a chance that all of this argument was nothing more than people not understanding what the other person was arguing?Yes, but not in the direction you think.

Killer Angel
2009-06-13, 05:09 AM
But why would a player have his wizard take improved init, since he's probably going to want to take more important things. The one bit about these threads that irk me is that everyone's monk/wizard/hamster always has exactly the right spell or feat or whatever because duh

no, I could agree if we're speaking 'bout Shroedinger wizard and spell selection, but Imp. In. is a very solid feat, especially if you play Core-only.
I've never played an arcane caster without Imp. In. since lev. 1, regardless of the role of said caster. It's not a matter of having the right feat for a discussion thread.
Name me a core-only feat better than Imp. In. for a caster, in "real" game.

Killer Angel
2009-06-13, 05:19 AM
No, they aren't "bad" but they are sub optimal. Any round you spend casting fireball is a round you could have cast stinking cloud and forced a save vs. suck for every creature fireball would have hit. The problem with evocation is that it distracts you from the role that only wizards can do well (controlling battles), and makes you into a 'striker' which almost any class can do if built correctly. Unless your party has another wizard to fill the gap you end up hurting your teammates by not filling a needed role and instead stealing the glory from the classes that only do 'striking' well.

I agree almost totally.
(even if I'm not a fan of save or suck spells... if they can't save, it's even better. :smallbiggrin:).
Controlling battles is batter than evocation, but once in a while, direct damage can help (so, my "defense" of the evocation school).
The discussion about "stealing the glory" is another matter... it often depend on the kind of players you're playing.
My first sorcerer, for his first 3° lev. spell, took Haste. The 2 meleers criticize me for not havin taken fireball, cause "they need fire support"... :smallsigh:
(my second 3° lev. slot, was fly... :smalltongue:).

And I think that banning evocation is sometimes criticable, 'cause it's true that with the shadow spell, you can mimic the evocation utililies, but if you play starting from low levels, groving up slowly, it's better to have at disposal spells such contingency, as soon as you can.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-13, 05:33 AM
you know what? just for you i am never going to hit shift or caps lock on this forum again.
whut wuz dat fo? comon, cpaitalizashun is ur freind.



now, instead of guessing, why not ask giacomo to explain it again?
I don't think he explain it the first time, which is why I'm guessing.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-13, 08:17 AM
I didn't notice that! I was too busy looking at the ghaele's flight speed. My bad (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/polymorph.htm)

Truly your bad.
- morphing is considered yucky by many monk doubters. So using morphing of all arguments to make a point that other classes are faster than a monk is not really a good idea.:smallwink:
- Plus, the monk's movement bonus comes on top of all forms - but I am sure you know that already...
- the ghaele is an outsider. And guess which is the only class that gives you access to outsider forms with polymorph in core?:smallbiggrin:

Oh my...will have a closer look at the other monk-critical posts and first feeble attempts to show how a barbarian or druid at level 20 in core tackle a solar.

- Giacomo

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-13, 08:22 AM
Oh my...will have a closer look at the other monk-critical posts and first feeble attempts to show how a barbarian or druid at level 20 in core tackle a solar.
The barbarian was feeble, and I admitted to it. I can't kill a solar with just a barbarian in core.

The druid spamming finger of death was pretty cool though, and I don't see why Wildshaping into something shouldn't be an option.



- morphing is considered yucky by many monk doubters. So using morphing of all arguments to make a point that other classes are faster than a monk is not really a good idea.
But *you* don't consider it yucky, and you keep advocating that people use it. So by your rules...


the ghaele is an outsider. And guess which is the only class that gives you access to outsider forms with polymorph in core?
1. Monks only get it at level 20
2. Aasimar. Done.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-13, 08:28 AM
and I don't see why Wildshaping into something shouldn't be an option.

It's because the differnence between Wildshape (only animal forms, generally just a source of high strength forms with a boost to natural armour and flight/swim and only overpowered when combined with a full caster with a spare meatshield) and polymorph (utterly utterly broken, can make a commoner competative) has been misunderstood. There's also the issue of level of availability, you don't get elemental shape till the mage gets the even more broken PAO and only one level before Shapecheese

Wildshape and Polymorph have been crammed together here into 'morphing' when their effects on the game are very very different in order to try to justify why the Monk should have access to broken stuff.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-14, 11:20 AM
Too little time, will try to post more tomorrow. Meanwhile,...


It's because the differnence between Wildshape (only animal forms, generally just a source of high strength forms with a boost to natural armour and flight/swim and only overpowered when combined with a full caster with a spare meatshield) and polymorph (utterly utterly broken, can make a commoner competative) has been misunderstood. There's also the issue of level of availability, you don't get elemental shape till the mage gets the even more broken PAO and only one level before Shapecheese

Wildshape and Polymorph have been crammed together here into 'morphing' when their effects on the game are very very different in order to try to justify why the Monk should have access to broken stuff.

It is entirely justified to "cram" all of the shapechange, wildshape and morph (up to alter self) stuff into "morph" category. Either you believe it is broken or you do not.
You apparently do believe that polymorph is broken. mostlyharmful, I advise you to take a step back and have a calm look at the MM/SRD.
A druid with wildshape can take (up to huge) plant forms, as well as the form of (again up to huge) elementals.
Have a look at the treant, huge air elemental and the T-Rex for a start. Then tell me the polymorph forms (cap at 15 HD, no outsiders, undead, constructs or elementals) that completely blow them out of the water in such a way that a 24/7 wildshape ability pales against it.
I am eager to see your choice.

Personally, when polymorphing with a monk, I often chose treant - it is immensely powerful, including the trample ability. (maybe also the name "treantmonk" provides a clue as to its power :smallamused:)

- Giacomo

PS: @Pharao's Fist: last time I checked Aasimar is a +1 LA race, but not a class.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-14, 11:25 AM
Aasimar characters can Polymorph into outsiders. That was the point; being an Outsider is not something unique to the level 20 monk.

Any player with the Aasimar race can do it 19 levels earlier.

Signmaker
2009-06-14, 11:37 AM
A druid with wildshape can take (up to huge) plant forms, as well as the form of (again up to huge) elementals.

While this has hardly anything to do with the topic at hand, I realized that there was an epic feat for Druids to wildshape in to plants. Which makes me wonder, who would wildshape in to a daisy?

mostlyharmful
2009-06-14, 12:12 PM
It is entirely justified to "cram" all of the shapechange, wildshape and morph (up to alter self) stuff into "morph" category.

No, it isn't. They provide very different benefits to different numbers of people at different levels and have different effects on the game. They aren't the same in terms of when they become accessable, what you can do with them or how they work....


Either you believe it is broken or you do not.

Nope, false dictomony. They are different things and have to be looked at seperately since they are not the same. That being said each are powerful and if used reasonably they are all capable of fitting into the 3.5 engine without completely breaking it dependant on the forms used. In some games, at some power levels and under some GMs they are fine, under others they aren't. Generally Wildshape is ok due to it's limits and (without careful race and items) drawbacks. Generally the polymorph line is so powerful it derails the system... generally.


You apparently do believe that polymorph is broken. mostlyharmful, I advise you to take a step back and have a calm look at the MM/SRD.

I am perfectly calm thank you. This is an internet discussion of a fun game, why? Do you find yourself annoyed? And for the record I think Polymorph is generally overpowered for most campaigns unless discussed with the GM first.



A druid with wildshape can take (up to huge)

A druid can wildshape only himself. Is much much more limited in what he can become and he can only become huge at level 15+..... Alter Self has been around for 12 levels, Polymorph for 8 and Polymorph any Object is available (that one has an even longer duration by the way so at this level the one thing wildshape is better for no longer applies). Actually the duration of PAO means you can scroll it earlier and have its permanent benefits, also unlike Wildshape which you can't scroll and save for when you need one more form. hmmmm.... sounds like they're a little different to me.


plant forms,

At 12th level, again the polymorph line is already engaged and has access to a wider range of stuff, more powerful effects and it can be shared around the group with each member getting a tailored form to suit them.


as well as the form of (again up to huge) elementals.

At level 16. Yeah, this is getting repetative, when the Druid gets access to it the wizard has been giving the rest of the group just as effective stuff (or more so) for several levels.


Have a look at the treant, huge air elemental and the T-Rex for a start.

All goog useful forms, powerful stuff. The druid gets access to them at 15, 16 and 15 respectively (although I don't know many that would waste their time on the T-Rex when there's treants available). The Wizard gives the whole party access to them at 7, 17 and 15. However the PAO and Shapechange access give either permanent change or SU abilities and the chance to choose a new form every round.


Then tell me the polymorph forms (cap at 15 HD, no outsiders, undead, constructs or elementals)

No. You know them already you just refuse to admit it. You've used one of the better ones already in Treant, huge, uses hands and has a voice... combines with just about everything to kick ass at 7th level... hell it's a CR 8 encounter on it's own. Hydra for rogues is fun times (combine with Greater Invis and fly for hilarity), Choker for casters.... and here's the thing you don't want to think about.

These are just the basic core forms for Polymorph.. not for Alter Self and not for PAO and not for Shapechange and not with splats... each one of those opens up options that the druids wildshape just flat doesn't which is rather my point that you can't treat Wildshape and the Entire Poly line as all the same thing.

With Alter Self you can have huge boosts to NA, flight, swim, disguise, Physical stat boosts and all from level 3... two levels lower than the druid gets his first wildshape, three levels lower than the druid can be casting in wildshape and thus still be at full power., and the wizard can ladel it out to the rogue, to the Cleric and the fighter.... whatever.

With PAO you get to permenantly increase your Int, you can give anyone in the team a stomping form and there's little limit left since you can stack them to make it permenant on just about anything.

With Shapechange even those limits look laughable, extra actions, free wishes, cleric casting, sorceror casting, any damn special ability you can find.... how is this even vaguely in line with turning into an elemental (cool though that is).


that completely blow them out of the water in such a way that a 24/7 wildshape ability pales against it.
I am eager to see your choice.

Look through the SRD, don't exclude the Epic monsters bit. Want to be a Demilich for 10mins/level? can the Druid do it through Wildshape... no... can they do it with shapechange.... yes.

How about the Gloom.... gets a EX ability of a 25th level rogue... shapechange can get you it.. and it's got some other tasty stuff....

How about the Angels with Casting as a special attack... or the dragons... or the nagas.... hmmmmm....

These are some of the less ridiculous uses of shapechange. The more ridiculous ones involve free wishes, Sarruck forms and other game shatterers...

And Wildshape may be 24/7 by the time Shapechange gets involved but it can't change what the druid picks more than a handful of times. Shapechange is also more than adequate for an adventurers day with CL boosts and a rod of extend which every high level mage should have.


Personally, when polymorphing with a monk, I often chose treant - it is immensely powerful, including the trample ability. (maybe also the name "treantmonk" provides a clue as to its power :smallamused:)

Yep, great form... available from 7th for a wizard and it makes even a commoner competitive with PCs as I've already mentioned. What does that tell you?


- Giacomo

We still know who you are. Your posts are always labelled as such by the system.. stop it.


PS: @Pharao's Fist: last time I checked Aasimar is a +1 LA race, but not a class.

Yep, but the purpose of the question was 'who gets access to outsider forms in core?' It was your hangup that made it about classes... oh, and since Monk doesn't get casting he's still reliant on others for the casting or the item while the Aasimar can do it for themselves and a little earlier than 20th level.

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 12:17 PM
Yep, but the purpose of the question was 'who gets access to outsider forms in core?' It was your hangup that made it about classes... oh, and since Monk doesn't get casting he's still reliant on others for the casting or the item while the Aasimar can do it for themselves and a little earlier than 20th level.

It's also worth noting that Monk's level 20 ability makes him an immune to Enlarge Person, so in campaigns without Polymorph, level 20 Monk suddenly can't become Large.

And that level 17-18 has every caster seeing Shapechange which allows Outsider forms and gets you their Supernatural abilities. Oh, and Polymorph Any Object that can, among others, raise Int and be permanent. Why bother with Polymorph at that point anymore?

TaintedLight
2009-06-14, 12:22 PM
The monk definately has some disadvantages, but I would argue that MAD is not terribly much more of a problem for them as it is for, say, the paladin. CON is mostly irrelevant since every class needs hit points, but that aside the paladin needs STR for damage, WIS for spells (if he cares about spells), CHA for smiting, lay on hands, and social graces (important for many paladins as a roleplaying aspect), and it doesn't hurt to have a decent DEX to compensate for a sup-par reflex save and less expensive armor at low levels. Later on, he doesn't need DEX as much but that still leaves him with 3 important stats to spread his focus around to. After considering this, it seems to me that the main weakness of the monk lies somewhere else than MAD.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-14, 12:25 PM
The monk definately has some disadvantages, but I would argue that MAD is not terribly much more of a problem for them as it is for, say, the paladin. CON is mostly irrelevant since every class needs hit points, but that aside the paladin needs STR for damage, WIS for spells (if he cares about spells), CHA for smiting, lay on hands, and social graces (important for many paladins as a roleplaying aspect), and it doesn't hurt to have a decent DEX to compensate for a sup-par reflex save and less expensive armor at low levels. Later on, he doesn't need DEX as much but that still leaves him with 3 important stats to spread his focus around to. After considering this, it seems to me that the main weakness of the monk lies somewhere else than MAD.

Paladin gets full BAB though.

And people argue that Paladin MAD makes them underpowered as well.

I'm not seeing your point here. One weak MAD class is as MAD as another weak MAD class, so the weakness of the first MAD class lies somewhere else?

Doc Roc
2009-06-14, 12:32 PM
Grats. The paladin is also a terrible class without serious kungfu or expanded book selection open to the build. So they're almost as good as one of the OTHER weakest core classes.

Which is what we've been saying all along.

Speakin' of another bad class...
Ninja'd.

TaintedLight
2009-06-14, 12:44 PM
Full BAB is a fairly minor point in my opinion. The gap is at its absolute widest at 20th level, and even then it's only a gap of 5, which in my experience is usually not enough to make something un-hittable.

I'd say that the paladin is far from the weakest class. Pick up the feat Hands of a Healer (BoED) to give yourself a respectable boost to lay on hands or a feat like Divine Might, Divine Vigor, or Divine Shield (I forget where they come from but I know they are feats) to increase your damage, speed, health, or AC substantially for a bit at the expense of one of your laughable turn attempts. Consider trading your mount for the charging smite class feature if you don't want to do mounted combat, and suddenly your damage on a smite attack is pretty fearsome.

Also, just because paladins only have token spellcasting doesn't mean that it should be ignored outright. Some of those fourth level spells are pretty helpful, like Lawful Sword or Revenance. Sure, whatever healing you can do the cleric can do better, but if he's tied up doing something else it's never bad to have a stand-in.

Getting back on topic here, my point is that paladins and monks both suffer from MAD but paladins still do fine with that burden. What about the monk, then, is the real source of its problems? I think the answer is that they are a placeholder class. They're supposed to be sneaky and powerful in melee, but no class is supposed to do better what one class is already focused on. Even though a wizard can make himself pretty potent in melee with spells does not mean that he should outshine the fighter in all ways, because there would be no point in playing a fighter then. Overall, the monk just doesn't have any unique abilities. Then again, nobody does once you introduce wizards into the mix since with the right spells, a wizard is better than anybody else at doing their job.

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 12:50 PM
Then again, nobody does once you introduce wizards into the mix since with the right spells, a wizard is better than anybody else at doing their job.

Nah, Cleric and Druid are both better at melee than Wizards :P But yeah, Monk's problem isn't one single thing - it's a combination of factors that all excarbate one-another; the utter lack of synergy makes all the Monk's abilities fairly trivial.

Medium BAB is annoying, but as Druids (and to lesser extent, Rogues) prove, not unsurmountable even for melee-types. However, medium BAB combined with MAD to lower the To Hit-stat suddenly hurts really bad. And this isn't limited to attacks either; Grapple, Disarm, etc. all suffer of the same problem. And even Tripping is an Str-check.


Then there's the classic "I can either use my movement speed or use Flurry of Blows"; the two principal combat abilities of a Monk are completely incompatible.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-14, 12:52 PM
Getting back on topic here, my point is that paladins and monks both suffer from MAD but paladins still do fine with that burden. What about the monk, then, is the real source of its problems?

Lack of good feats is an issue that I have noticed. There's a feat to make CHA based Paladin abilities dependent on WIS, which is awesome.

Monks get Intuitive Attack, but that only helps with attack rolls, not damage or in grapple.

Stunning Fist is only useful against fort saves. That's two other saves that can't be targeted. When things start becoming immune to fort saves, this is a problem/

Flickerdart
2009-06-14, 12:58 PM
Well, yes, that was already mentioned: out of core, Paladins get a lot of shinies. Even in core, they get their Mount and if they pick a flying one, they already beat the Monk hands down. Full BAB means they can make actual use of charging even without Pounce, as the first attack counts a lot more, especially with Spirited Charge and a lance (which is all Core). Full BAB also means Power Attack is suddenly not useless. Paladins are MAD, yes, but not as much, since they can wear Full Plate (don't need any DEX above 12 anymore), ignore the use of their turning and Lay on Hands which is useless (or just get Serenity if we're out of core, good-bye CHA) and need no more than 14 WIS to make use of all their spells. So, 12 DEX, 14 WIS and the rest in STR and CON. That's hardly as MAD as the Monk, who needs 16s in 4 stats just to not suck.

So, the Paladin gets three damage boosters (PA, charging and smites), armour and a mount that can fly or swim or what have you, as well as a handful of handy spells. The Monk can't PA, can't stack multipliers for a charge, has no armour and no mount, and a smaller hit die. MAD is an issue for both, but doesn't drag the noble Paladin down as far.

TaintedLight
2009-06-14, 01:01 PM
Then there's the classic "I can either use my movement speed or use Flurry of Blows"; the two principal combat abilities of a Monk are completely incompatible.

This definately contributes to their weakness, but I don't think it's the whole issue. The reason I don't see it as their main weakness is because I can't envision any other class not having the same problem. A full attack action takes a full round action, so why complain about it for monks but not for fighters?

Pharaoh: I agree with the Fort saves issue again, but I've found that player-forced saves are rarely failed (unless my DM has just cheated for all of the monster saves :p) anyways.

It looks to me like the diagnosis is many mediocre abilities rather than one or two exceptionally bad ones.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-14, 01:03 PM
Pharaoh: I agree with the Fort saves issue again, but I've found that player-forced saves are rarely failed (unless my DM has just cheated for all of the monster saves :p) anyways.


A good portion of the MM is immune to Stunning Fist. Plants, undead, elementals...

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 01:32 PM
This definately contributes to their weakness, but I don't think it's the whole issue. The reason I don't see it as their main weakness is because I can't envision any other class not having the same problem. A full attack action takes a full round action, so why complain about it for monks but not for fighters?

Because one hit from a charging full BAB two-hander power attacking is way more painful than one medium BAB unarmed strike.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-14, 02:02 PM
and need no more than 14 WIS to make use of all their spells. So, 12 DEX, 14 WIS and the rest in STR and CON. That's hardly as MAD as the Monk, who needs 16s in 4 stats just to not suck.

They also don't need a 14 in Wis until their 4th level spells come into the equation at level 14 when boosting equipment is easy, the Monks problems with MAD are right from level 1 up. The ability to use Heavy armour and a larger HD reduces their need for CON a lot and they don't need dex for similar reasons since they can tank in plate and dancing shield.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-14, 02:04 PM
IMHO, Paladin needs

STR, CON as primary

WIS, CHA secondary

INT, DEX tertiary.

A paladin of STR 16, DEX 10, CON 14, INT 10 WIS 14, CHA 14 is 32 PB legal and seems like it would work pretty well.

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 02:15 PM
IMHO, Paladin needs

STR, CON as primary

WIS, CHA secondary

INT, DEX tertiary.

A paladin of STR 16, DEX 10, CON 14, WIS 14, CHA 14 is 32 PB legal and seems like it would work pretty well.

His Paladin-abilities are gonna kinda suck though; I'd almost say Str/Cha are primary, Con/Wis are secondary and Dex/Int are tertiary (although he still wants some of both). Getting Cha to saves, Cha to certain attacks, Cha to Turn Undead (which fuels Divine Might and thus your attacks again), ChaxLevel healing, etc. kinda makes Cha a pretty big deal to Pallies.

Really, a Pally wants:
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 18

if at all possible; Dex 12 and/or Int 12 would really help (Paladin has a nice skill list, but only 2+Int skillpoints and must spend ranks in Ride to be able to use his class features; also, he applies his Dex to Ride and needs 12 to optimize Full-Plate early on, and Dex and Int are needed for all kinds of combat but straight charging).

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-14, 02:17 PM
His Paladin-abilities are gonna kinda suck though
As a consolation, most of them weren't that great anyways.

Worira
2009-06-14, 02:43 PM
His Paladin-abilities are gonna kinda suck though; I'd almost say Str/Cha are primary, Con/Wis are secondary and Dex/Int are tertiary (although he still wants some of both). Getting Cha to saves, Cha to certain attacks, Cha to Turn Undead (which fuels Divine Might and thus your attacks again), ChaxLevel healing, etc. kinda makes Cha a pretty big deal to Pallies.

Really, a Pally wants:
Str 18
Dex 10
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 18

if at all possible; Dex 12 and/or Int 12 would really help (Paladin has a nice skill list, but only 2+Int skillpoints and must spend ranks in Ride to be able to use his class features; also, he applies his Dex to Ride and needs 12 to optimize Full-Plate early on, and Dex and Int are needed for all kinds of combat but straight charging).

Uh... That's 48 Point Buy.

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 02:48 PM
Uh... That's 48 Point Buy.

What do you think I'm trying to point out?

Flickerdart
2009-06-14, 02:54 PM
That you like your PCs to run with insane stats? The scores Pharaoh's Fist posted work well enough.

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 03:04 PM
That you like your PCs to run with insane stats? The scores Pharaoh's Fist posted work well enough.

Way to miss the point.

All I'm saying a Paladin running on Pharaoh's stats won't have much going on for him compared to e.g. Barbarian or Fighter. Admittedly it's the best you can do with a 32pb. But not having skillpoints for anything but Ride is gonna suck. Getting only an average Will-save and poor Ref-save even with Divine Grace is gonna suck. Only having enough pool to negate a hit or two with Lay on Hands is gonna suck. Not getting substantial bonuses out of Smite Evil is gonna suck. And not getting major bonuses from divine feats is likewise gonna suck. Not qualifying for any combat style feats but charging is gonna sucks.

I'm not saying I'd allow such stats, but such stats would enable the Paladin to be competitive with the other martial-types, making his special abilities actually pay off (getting him superb saves, solid healing, impressive Smite Evils, more impressive attacks overall, some actual skill points to allocate and better hits).

Flickerdart
2009-06-14, 03:12 PM
He has two skill points, that could easily be Ride and, say, Sense Motive or Diplomacy, meaning he can actually do something outside combat. Divine Grace bonuses aren't going to be that great, true, but it's only a +4 with 18, anyways. Same goes for Smite: you're only losing +2 to hit, and nothing from the damage. I'll give you getting half the bonus from Lay on Hands, and divine feats, though, that is indeed a problem.

The paladin still has access to all his spells though, and he can take 12 INT and 12 WIS and use an Amulet of Wisdom +2 for only 4000 gold to cover that flaw. Then he gets both Diplomacy and Sense Motive, can still cast all his spells and so forth, giving him an advantage over the Fighter and Barbarian. He's got his Giant Eagle and his charging, his spells and his (admittedly limited) social skills. He sacrifices something for that versatility.

The Paladin's not great, and he is MAD. But it's not quite as severe as the Monk's.

Why'd you edit your post to be more offensive? :smallconfused:

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 03:19 PM
He has two skill points, that could easily be Ride and, say, Sense Motive or Diplomacy, meaning he can actually do something outside combat.

Oh, when I read his post I didn't see the Int listed so I defaulted to 8. 10 is much better, I'll give you that.


Divine Grace bonuses aren't going to be that great, true, but it's only a +4 with 18, anyways. Same goes for Smite: you're only losing +2 to hit, and nothing from the damage. I'll give you getting half the bonus from Lay on Hands, and divine feats, though, that is indeed a problem.

Meh, +2 is still 10% per die roll (or all those Save-feats for free).


The paladin still has access to all his spells though, and he can take 12 INT and 12 WIS and use an Amulet of Wisdom +2 for only 4000 gold to cover that flaw. Then he gets both Diplomacy and Sense Motive, can still cast all his spells and so forth, giving him an advantage over the Fighter and Barbarian. He's got his Giant Eagle and his charging, his spells and his (admittedly limited) social skills. He sacrifices something for that versatility.

Sure, I'd prefer the 12 Int build.


The Paladin's not great, and he is MAD. But it's not quite as severe as the Monk's.

I dunno, I think Paladin's MAD is worse than Monk's but he's better in other ways. I mean, even the fact that he doesn't have 13 Dex and Int is giving up a lot of build options in Tripping, Reflexes, etc.


Why'd you edit your post to be more offensive? :smallconfused:

Offensive? Is saying "Way to miss the point" offensive? I wasn't sure if you were just being silly, but I read your post again and I came to the conclusion that you probably wouldn't have posted if you weren't being serious.

tyckspoon
2009-06-14, 03:44 PM
Let's follow up with the fact that a solar has permanency 3 times a day. This means that if a cleric spell CAN be made permanent, it will be. I ain't talkin about solar suprising monk. But monk surprising a general of the armies of light? Chances are, there will be a clue given somewhere to allow for full buffs both ways.


There's not a lot of useful buffs that can be made Permanent, and the ones that exist are either Domain or Druid spells. For direct enhancement, the Solar can use Resistance and Miracle to mimic a Greater Magic Fang for his slam attack. Out of core, Greater/Superior resistance are available and change the Solar's saves from just ok to pretty good. There's just not that much the Solar can do with Permanency to make itself more of a direct combat threat.

What it can do, however, is make Symbols. Every one of the Symbol spells is a Cleric spell and can be made Permanent. So the *smart* Solar is carrying around a locket with the inside scribed with a Deadly Stunning Scary Symbol of Insane Weakening Painful Persuasion. When it first gets an action against something, it flips open the locket and activates the symbols (probably with a command phrase, under the 'special triggering limitations' option, but it should be enough to just poke the thing or to go "hey you look at this!" first too.) which forces Fort saves against Dead, 3d6 Strength damage, and a -4 penalty on attacks, skills, and ability checks, as well as Will saves against Confusion, Cowering, 1d6 rounds stun, and being Charmed. If the target is still standing after that, it's time to get a little serious.. ding it with a Waves of Exhaustion, pull back and pepper it with Slaying Arrows until it fails a save.

As for magic items: Solars have Wish as a spell-like. Even if you do the sensible thing and rule that there is in fact a limit to the value of an item Wish can create, Solars can pretty reasonably have any Minor and probably most Medium magic items that they might want. They should also have at least +1 Inherent to their stats- the most notable result of that is bumping their Wisdom to the next even number for an 8th level bonus spell and +1 spell DC.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-14, 04:06 PM
There's not a lot of useful buffs that can be made Permanent, and the ones that exist are either Domain or Druid spells.

it gets Wish and Miracle.. It's got every permenantable buff.

Yukitsu
2009-06-14, 04:17 PM
Meh, +2 is still 10% per die roll (or all those Save-feats for free).

Yes, the paladin does have all 3 save feats over a barbarian and fighter.


Sure, I'd prefer the 12 Int build.

And even more preferable would be 14 int with no losses elsewhere. Realistically, paladins are not there to be skill monkeys. If it's a huge issue, make it a human paladin and have the equivalent.


I dunno, I think Paladin's MAD is worse than Monk's but he's better in other ways. I mean, even the fact that he doesn't have 13 Dex and Int is giving up a lot of build options in Tripping, Reflexes, etc.

A paladins abilities are useful with small bonuses, as none of them are DC vs. enemy dependant. A bonus to hit from smite is a bonus to smite, which is always a plus. A DC 12 stunning fist is just additional paperwork. You don't need more than 10 wisdom in my opinion, because your spells are not DC reliant (mostly self buffs or heals) and can be covered with a periapt, and charisma is useful as any positive number. While more is better, it's not great to gimp yourself just to make the most use of it.

As well, people typically don't respect fighty types that try to focus on a wide variety of those fighting styles that you mentioned. If you want your paladin to trip, focus on that in particular and have 13 int, but less elsewhere.

tyckspoon
2009-06-14, 04:24 PM
it gets Wish and Miracle.. It's got every permenantable buff.

The problem is that there really aren't that many of those. In Core spells, Permanency really doesn't do anything for the Solar's personal capabilities; it's already got See Invisible and True Sight, so it doesn't need the sense-enhancing ones; it can't use Enlarge/Reduce Person because of being an Outsider; Resistance is a minor bonus, and Solars don't make very good use of Greater Magic Fang (a Solar wearing a Monk's Belt, on the other hand, would make good use of it.) If you extend Miracle to mimic psionics, you can get Ubiquitous Vision/Danger Sense, which makes you unflankable. I don't know how many Permanency-capable spells there are out of core, but I doubt any of them will have the impact of a Symbol bomb.

Now, the Solar can get almost any 24-hour or hour/level duration buffs, but that's not the same thing; using Miracles and the Wish spell-like for those actually does eat the Solar's day-to-day resources. Especially using the Wish (a spell loadout of Miracle-Miracle-Miracle-Miracle-Domain is actually perfectly functional, so why not. Two Miracle precast for buffs, two for general use. Maybe switch a Miracle for a Gate if you want to have some really heavy backup available.)

Eldariel
2009-06-14, 04:30 PM
Yes, the paladin does have all 3 save feats over a barbarian and fighter.

Not a Raging Barbarian who matches him in Will- and Fort-saves with those stats (given same base stats), and if he happens to have Steadfast Determination, exceeds him in Will-save. And a Resolute Fighter has this Paladin beat in Wills soon enough too.


And even more preferable would be 14 int with no losses elsewhere. Realistically, paladins are not there to be skill monkeys. If it's a huge issue, make it a human paladin and have the equivalent.

So? Just because you aren't a skill monkey doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to use your own skill list. Since the Ride-ranks are pretty much obligatory, you have even less to work with than other frontliner classes.


A paladins abilities are useful with small bonuses, as none of them are DC vs. enemy dependant. A bonus to hit from smite is a bonus to smite, which is always a plus. A DC 12 stunning fist is just additional paperwork. You don't need more than 10 wisdom in my opinion, because your spells are not DC reliant (mostly self buffs or heals) and can be covered with a periapt, and charisma is useful as any positive number. While more is better, it's not great to gimp yourself just to make the most use of it.

*shrug* Just hope your DM doesn't require you to have the base stat high enough to cast a spell to gain access to it. And hope that his campaign doesn't include spells/effects that break items.


As well, people typically don't respect fighty types that try to focus on a wide variety of those fighting styles that you mentioned. If you want your paladin to trip, focus on that in particular and have 13 int, but less elsewhere.

That's just the point, Paladin going for 13 Int has to give up a lot more than a Fighter going for 13 Int. Or a Barbarian. Hell, they can usually afford both Dex and Int for the whole "lockdown"-plan.

Yukitsu
2009-06-14, 05:22 PM
Not a Raging Barbarian who matches him in Will- and Fort-saves with those stats (given same base stats), and if he happens to have Steadfast Determination, exceeds him in Will-save. And a Resolute Fighter has this Paladin beat in Wills soon enough too.

By the time those occur, a paladin generally has increased his charisma to some degree. And as well, this is a paladin not taking feats to increase his saves (which he can, just as your barbarian does) but is simply going along with his basic progression. As well, your barbarian prior to steadfast determination (a decent number of his feats) does not have superior will. The paladin has a higher wisdom score than a non-mad barbarian, unless you want to argue that your barbarian has a 14 wisdom. And of course, the paladin has a higher reflex than the fighter or the barbarian.

As well, none of those are core feats. Discussion outside of core leads to such issues as devotion feats, which can bring a paladin's offense up fairly rapidly, as well as divine feats that can kick his offensive damage on any individual strike above that of a barbarian. Not to mention there entire spell list cast as quickened spells. And as well, the number of feats that can relevantly impact a paladin goes up as well (unnatural will, for instance)


So? Just because you aren't a skill monkey doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to use your own skill list. Since the Ride-ranks are pretty much obligatory, you have even less to work with than other frontliner classes.

Only true if you insist on riding your horse into battle, which you are by no means forced to do. Flanking with your horse is just as legitimate and in some ways superior to using it as a ridden animal. While I would say that an uber charger does require ride ranks, you don't need to maximize that skill as the DC cap for it is low, and your other useful skills don't need to be maximized either. 3 per level is sufficient unless your party relies on you for skills, which they shouldn't, or if you insist on maxing out skills rather than spreading them out.


*shrug* Just hope your DM doesn't require you to have the base stat high enough to cast a spell to gain access to it. And hope that his campaign doesn't include spells/effects that break items.

If your DM requires that, then I would argue that he is not following the actual rules of the game, which is fine. Don't argue that I'm wrong because your DM house rules though. As for breaking things, I'd say that that is a very good reason to keep your periapt tucked under your armour, not waving around your neck loose and all, though I usually do that as a preventative around rogues rather than people who want to break it.


That's just the point, Paladin going for 13 Int has to give up a lot more than a Fighter going for 13 Int. Or a Barbarian. Hell, they can usually afford both Dex and Int for the whole "lockdown"-plan.

Your point however is largely irrelevant. I don't complain that my wizard does less melee damage than my buddies melee build cleric. A paladin is designed for straight forward damage in a few discrete bursts (as far as killing things goes), which he can do in many ways better than a core fighter or barbarian. If you have to make a trip paladin, you can certainly swap things around to make them capable of it, but much like a trip based barbarian, it's not exactly what they are designed for. Much like a core barbarian or fighter (sans leadership) make poor uber chargers.

mostlyharmful
2009-06-14, 06:01 PM
The problem is that there really aren't that many of those.

Something that's always bugged me but there you go.. it also gets everything 8th level and below and everything 9th level and below for clerics that's got an instantaneous or permenant duration which is a much bigger list.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-15, 05:51 PM
Well,

the discussion has moved on, and given that I'll hardly be able to post until next week, I'll put as much as I can in to this one.
I guess, though, it will be better henceforth to try the test of might/spite to maybe bring across my message(s) better.

I'll simply continue my discussion with Eldariel (who raised some good points imo), I guess most issues will be addressed this way...


This mostly came from the fact that every discussion insisted surprise for the Monk; on the surprise round the Monk needs to partial charge to get anything off meaning the Tumble is trivial. I'm personally a big fan of Tumble, but the examples we discussed just didn't enable it, because you always wanted a surprise round and to act on one.

I did not "insist". Similarly I did not "insist" that the monk wins initiative. I only pointed it out that
- a monk having the surprise round rather than the other way round is probable due to his good stealth skills and
- a monk winning the initiative is also probable given the good initiative.
This holds true for both the level 1 comparison (vs the non-improved initiative, armoured barbarian), as well as for the solar encounter at level 20.
Saying that "a monk never has a chance vs...xy" can be easily opposed by these two things.


*shrug* There're Wizards and Sorcerers and Rogues and what-have-you. They tend to derive AC from Dex. I see the merit here, but when it comes with the cost of having to win an additional check and dealing far less damage, it just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Oh, the point is that
- the high-DEX-types you mentioned will auto-lose a grapple check and thus the grappling attack is worthwhile, whereas
- the well-armoured or thick-hided opponents will be better hit due to lowish touch AC and involved in a grapple, effectively removing them as a threat vs the weaker members of the party.


It's mostly that the whole Monk TWF thing seems to be contested by rules.

Fortunately not. It's state-of-the-art as per FAQ3.5.


Just saying that if we assume "optimized" characters for this contest, it seems relevant to assume that both, the PC Monk and the PC Wizard are built to the best level expected.

Is a grey elf with improved initiative as feat really the best possible pc wizard? Could be. *shrug" I personally prefer halflings in core as race for my wizards, because they are way more likely to survive to the higher levels.


Sure, but the spellcasting only needs that Orange Prism Ioun Stone and they're done. Also, they have the Cleric spellcasting making it practical for them to utilize their Dancing Greatsword, full BAB and so on to become combat beasts too. Cleric spellcasting can be just fine offensively, but it has a great many buffs and something like Solar really should be making use of those too.

My argument is that their mundane items and the two super-major items alone are already enough for most purposes. I also admitted that adding a cloak +5 resistance is not out of the question, either.
But keeping adding animated shield, +5 protection rings and what have you simply overdoes it.


Spellcasting is awesome if you use it. In your example, the Solar didn't.

But it did (using long-term buffs). Unfortunately, it is likely against the lvl 20 monk build that I posted that it loses both surprise round and initiative, while a contingency used by DM is so iffy, that it should not be brought up in a way to ridicule a class because of it.
That is also what I wanted to point out: the monk has a decent chance to down the solar BEFORE the solar can hit back with all its might.
And people have yet to show how other classes do it - but more on that below.


I pointed out that a Wizard can solve a challenge way over your CR at level 1; that's their specialty and why I keep saying they have such an awesome offense.

But they can get killed by a housecat. That's their big vulnerability and that is why I keep saying that they are not overpowered.


That's why I brought the Ogres up; if you have a Wizard, you can deal with them. Otherwise, they'll be a problem.

A 1st-level wizard cannot deal with them in most circumstances or require a very, very generous DM (and my impression is that many wizard players in fact have such a generous DM in their low-level careers, since there are so many surprised posts about surprise rounds :smallcool:)
Two+ ogres go beyond the sleep spell power. Color Spray could work, but it is unlikely that 1) the wizard is able to get within 15ft range, in particular when the ogres wield reach weapons and 2) both ogres would need to fail their +1 will saves, or the wizard is dead on their turn (due to the close range).
Meanwhile, the stealthier classes - rogue, ranger and monk - could simply sneak past those ogres at 1st level.


And the level 20 X vs. Solar-thing wasn't my idea in the first place, I was simply bringing up the discrepancies in the numbers.

Neither mine. I simply showed that, yes, of course in core a monk lvl 20 has a chance vs a solar (and outside core, the solar has a really big problem vs a level 20 monk).
It is very odd imo that 99% of the dicussion about alleged monk weaknesses focuses on the start and (theoretical) end of the adventuring career: level 1 and 20. Meanwhile, the most commonly used adventuring levels are 3-10 I guess. Why not discuss those?


Not always, but if a Wizard goes to a dungeon, chances are he protects himself before landing. And I've been assuming a party except where the discussion was specifically turned to 1v1 - parties just don't get surprised all that easily.

My point would be that it is very, very hard for a wizard to protect him self durably and reliably before level 11 (when contingency is around). And after that, he is still not safe (since contingency is tricky).
And parties do not get surprised all that easily when they have good spotters among them - druids and monks being the best usually.


First, Outsider-forms come to Monk on level 20. By then Shapechange and Polymorph Any Object, far superior spells (at least Shapechange capable of assuming Outsider-forms as per normal, with Su-abilities no less), have been available for a while making the fact that Monk can acquire those forms with Polymorph as unimportant in Polymorph comparison as in a "fair" comparison; Shapechange still gets you better forms (say, Pit Fiend?).
As for Wildshape, the thing is, saying "You can't use Wildshape" is like saying "You can't use Monk Unarmed Strikes" or "You can't Rage" or "You can't Sneak Attack". It's such a key part of the class that removing it is "unfair". Make no mistake, it is unfair and one of the big reasons Druids are OP, but since it's limited to quite a weak bunch of forms in animals, I have yet to meet games that just ban it. Banning few spells is one thing, removing class features is an other thing entirely. But if you read of games here, you'll see that Wildshaping Druids are generally in, but rarely do you see Polymorph cast.
Yes, it is weird, but it mostly comes down to Wildshape being such a big part of the class that people are unwilling to axe it. Now, if there was a fair alternative however, people would be game, I'd assume...

mostlyharmful also posted further up that he also sees wildshape as completely different from polymorph, since the latter is gained much earlier for powerful forms than wildshape.
Let me try it from two different perspectives:

1. Fluff/gamepower perspective:
Imagine you run a core campaign with three players - druid, monk and barbarian.
Now - The druid happily at level 8 walks around as a dire tiger with full spellcasting STR 27, +7 AC and pounce/rake, accompanied by his pet tiger animal companion. Knowing that STR and DEX are not really an issue even from level 6 (before polymorph is even available), since he had the interim forms of a bear or a cheetah, he used them as "dump stats", only to now sport higher STR and/or DEX than the monk and barbarian.
WHAT ON EARTH makes you think that the players of the monk and the barbarian (the first with a "tiger claw school", the latter with a "tiger totem tribe) think your decision to ban polymorph or polymorph any object is balanced, because "wildshape is a completely different thing"?!?!:smalleek:
SIDE COMMENT: the thing I can least understand about the attempts to keep wildshape different from morphing to keep the one and ban the other is that the same people often argue how overpowered druids are. What the...? SIDE COMMENT END.

2. Technical gamepower perspective:
mostlyharmful argued that polymorph is so much more powerful than wildshape, since you get (as he admitted the eventually equivalent) forms much, much earlier.
I do not think this is the case.
Who will cast "polymorph" on the, say, two melee characters of the iconic-four-man-party for each of the four combats per day?
Certainly not the party wizard at level 7 who wishes to save his butt first. He MIGHT choose polymorph as one of his two new spells, but chances are that, apart from the musthave dimension door, he'd rather choose: solid fog or black tentacles, shadow conjuration, stoneskin or confusion. Maybe later. And 8 spells per day devoted to this? Unlikely.
Maybe the sorcerer?
Yes, from level 8 he might endeavour to become a big party buffer. But...8th level also happens to be the big point for the druid, giving him access to ALL large animals out there. And the remaining gap to interesting polymorph buffs like cloakers, treant, lammasus etc. are very, very much narrowed due to
- the buffer has to KNOW about the forms in the first place (knowledge DC 10+monster's HD, not all wizards have all knowledge skills maxed at that level, much less sorcerers!).
- the buff only lasts min/lvl. That's eating a standard action before the encounter and only lasts during that encounter, likely.
- the buffed will be unable to cast spells when their form cannot speak (unlike the druid)

Additionally, polymorph/shapechange banners, because they often have broken interpretations of what you can do in your new form, tend to ban the whole spell instead of just using milder interpretations.
- then, the choker cannot cast spells with its claws (ability of "fine manipulation" is clearly lacking).
- shapechange is tough in that you need to be FAMILIAR with the form. That's entirely up to the DM to decide, since there is no game definition of "familiar".
- even so, you should check as a DM that a player never simply maximises HIS knowledge of the MM to get the best AC, STR, DEX and extraordinarly attack abilities (polymorph) or supernatural abilities and qualities (shapechange). The DM alone says what a player knows as qualities of a certain creature, with the relevant knowledge check of DC 10+HD +5 per useful information. There. Balanced polymorph handling already within the rules.
- a hydra form does not yield you multiple head attacks (up to 12) and even move in addition, since 1) this ability is not listed among the extraordinary attacks and 2) the alter self spell on which polymorph is based explicitly excludes extra attacks from extra limbs.
- most morph forms are useless to the fighter (other than giants/monstrous humanoids) since they do not use weapons - quite awkward for a "weaponmaster".


Eh, you pointed out Pin, but forgot that it does nothing with armor on 'cause it ends on your next turn and deals no damage. With Flurry, you'd suddenly have much smaller chance of successfully making the grapple-checks in the first place (again, with your interpretation of the rules, only your standard attacks can be used to Flurry, as the rules only mention "iteratives gained from high BAB").

Yep, the pin uselessness for the monk when wearing armour I overlooked...even with no WIS bonus for the STR 22 orc, wearing an armour may not be always advisable then.
Actually with my interpretation of the rules, as well as the FAQ 3.5, you can flurry grapple checks without a problem (since they are based on "modified BAB", the only time this expression is ever used).


But Grapple-check is not as clear as you make it sound. They have been likened to attack rolls and indeed, it has been suggested that all attack rolls could be replaced with them. In such a case, they'd take modifiers applied to attack rolls. There're two possible interpretations for them: Either you can use 'em with all your attacks and apply all appropriate penalties to them, or you can only use your iteratives derived from BAB and apply no penalties to them as separate checks. Pick your poison, I prefer the "can be used with all attacks, but penalties apply", or treat them as attack rolls of a kind.

No, the issue has been clarified for a long time already (FAQ): grapple check is a grapple check (a separate kind of check, or "special" check).
Otherwise, the monk could be way more successful in grappling since you can add so many more modifiers to attack than to grappling.


However, the feat is still there. Show me a feat that gives you the ability to cast level 1 Arcane spells on level 1 without being an Arcanist and this may be relevant.

Actually, not a feat, but a skill: UMD. :smallwink: (boostable by feats, though).


I think a Rogue is way better at this. He has 1 point smaller HD, but can deal more damage in combat (given hide or magic), and most importantly has all the relevant skills in class and the skillpoints to buy them. Bluff, Disguise, Sleight of Hand (and thus hidden weapons), Forgery, etc. are all Rogue skills making appearing a peasant easy. A Monk lacks any socials but Diplomacy; good luck getting through the dialogue without being caught.

The problem is the "being caught" part. Then, the rogue will have no chance to sneak attack. And he'll be relieved of his weapons. And infiltrating without armour (which would raise suspicion) he has lower AC than the monk.


Unless the nasty creature is big and thus beats the tar out of the Monk. Spellcaster I'll give you - if you can grapple a low-level spellcaster, he'll have to focus his attention on you. But the best Grappler? On 28pb, you can get 18 Str, 15 Dex, 12 Con for a Fighter/Barbarian. If you make a Grappler, start there. Full BAB.

But once you choose the STR-enhancing races, the barbarian does not even have improved grapple (getting only 1 feat at level 1, and needing 2 for it) - so falls already behind.
And the fighter would have a higher grapple check (by 1, due to BAB), but
- has MAD due to needing also DEX 15 once enlarge enters the picture and
- doing lower damage, with no chance to pin AND damage in the same round (monk has flurry).


Actually, as it's an enhancement bonus, a Barbarian is faster to level 12 and as fast to level 15; very rare for Monk to be the fastest (the Barbarian can simply have Expeditious Retreat or Haste or similar cast on him and he'll outrace the Monk).

Unfortunately for the barbarian, his speed is land speed only. As soon as fly enters the picture (musthave for meleers from mid-levels), he is clearly slower than the monk; theoretically already at level 3.


I thought that fell to the guys with Spell Resistance-spell (CL+12 > HD+10), Wisdom-focus with Con as the secondary stat, magical means of protecting themselves (countermagic, death ward, freedom of movement, etc.) and contingencies. That'd be Cleric; he only has worse Ref-save, and way better Will- and probably better Fort-saves. And higher SR should he so desire and access to Contingency (through Domain) and so on.

Problem 1: cleric does not have spell resistance up all the time, but rather only 1 min/lvl (so useless defense unless the cleric knows that danger is coming).
Problem 2: CON as secondary stat for cleric means that not only will he lose the surprise round (due to low spot vs high opponent stealth), but also likely the initiative. That spells death in combat at high levels.
Problem 3: all the magic you listed can only be cast when it's the cleric's turn, since these are all short-term protections and buffs.
Problem 4: contingencies are a difficult thing to really do well. And a cleric only gets them in the rarest of circumstances (domain, miracle). A UMD monk could get them faster.
Essence: monk has better 24/7 anti-magic defenses than the cleric and can also get longer-term divine protections (via items).


Best base damage, you mean? 'cause Sneak Attack adds up to more than Monk's base damage and size increases.

In core, sneak adds up to more damage (although not much, by level 20, level 15 they're about the same). Unfortunately for the rogue it applies, much, much less often and also is not multiplied in a critical. Plus, the monk is always ahead by two full BAB attacks (doing extra damage) in a full attack.


Also note that on level 20, Monk can no longer be affected by Enlarge Person.

Arguably he can be. Permanently enlarged before level 20 and not being dispelled for a while...:smallwink:
But of course I'd simply call for a DM to allow enlarge person to still benefit the monk at level 20 IN CASE the campaign would have no polymorph effects (which the standard game assumes).
Or the monk could simply get a rightuous might effect (much stronger than enlarge, but also a bit more expensive/difficult to pull, but at level 20 cash is abundant).


You can do something elaborate. Or just spam Finger of Death at save DC 33+ until it fails, passing its SR on 2. Since hiding is apparently the thing of the day, hide that 105' away from it, then move in and quicken one - it's got a relevant chance of failing. Then you roll Initiative and hit it with two more (you can find numbers in my last post) and kill it. Sure, this is just a bruteforce method that doesn't work against smart Solars, but the Solar with nothing but that Mithril Full-Plate and casting boosters on hanging around/flying around aimlessly fails the Fort-save real fast and can't detect the Druid from that range before he takes the move and casts the first Quickened FoD. Seriously, the reason this is so easy is because you assume the Solar is an idiot.

I do not assume the Solar is an idiot, only that it cannot act when being surprised and losing initiative.
Actually your finger of death tactics is quite good (how do you get DC 33+ in core?) and should carry a similar chance of success vs the (likely cloak of resistance +5-wearing solar) as the monk melee attack. Still, you'd need enlarge spell applied to the finger of deaths as well (feat, otherwise no way to quicken it), or within 105ft the druid would be in true seeing range, and he has no hide class skill. So he'd not be able to surprise the solar...
Additionally, several greater spell immunities or protection from spells cast on a regular basis (with extend effect/item even!) would be the druid's undoing, though. And even with wildshape he has no chance, I guess, to attack the solar with more hopes of success.
ZeroNumerous' idea of hoping a solar does less than nothing for a round (i.e., wait for ONE hour nearby!!!) is of course not something "elaborate".
And the fact that people did not tear apart his suggestion for level 20 druid tactics vs a solar tells me a lot about a quite unproductive discussion bias around here.
In particular, since posters meanwhile jumped on my level 20 monk tactics, for instance for not considering contingencies through miracles, armies of light surrounding the solar and thus boosting it to CR 100+ or some such, or believing barbarians can charge from 70-80ft in the surprise round and avoid true seeing. (courtesy Talic).
Ah- some air elementals somehow keeping a solar "occupied" until the druid flies up with a harm scroll touch spell. Hilarious! (one SLA wish and the solar is gone for those still wondering, or just word of recall away).

Speaking about a solar using miracle or wish for contingency effect: I guess from a very intelligent solar's perspective, a good contingency is to bring up an ortiluke's sphere whenever flat-footed. That would possibly stop all attempts to bring it down in a surprise round/when it loses initiative.


But you're right, this seems to be going nowhere.

I hope that my answers have convinced you somewhat more.
But truth to tell, having tried in a guide of 70 pages long to convince people to give up their wrong notions about the monk class and some other aspects of the (core) game, it is probably better to focus on builds and duels now.
It certainly will be more fun!

I will check the posts above for the challenges to the test of spite (I remember stoopidtallkid did a challenge).
Maybe everyone would like to repeat their challenge, and their preferred setting:
- level
- rulesset
- other stuff.
Then I'll try to make a monkish character to show how strong the class can be.

- Giacomo

PS: I guess I adressed most issues and critical comments brought up elsewhere in my replies to Eldariel.
Thanks go to Nohwl for his support and more neutral views above.
@Pharao's Fist - you somewhere raised the issue that I would object to giving MM feats to a monk - the opposite is true, and should be apparent from my guide.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-15, 06:04 PM
Almost overlooked...


Giacomo, I think in one of the older Monk threads from months ago you admitted that you never actually play Monks in games, or at least not this particular type of "Joker Monk". Has this changed meanwhile? And if yes, what was it like playing this build?

... yes, indeed I tried it out, two largely core settings.
Most notably I played a (slightly varied) joker monk concept as a monk in a five-member party from levels 3-8 (stopped afterwards, DM moved on). I also did a short high-level game at level 15 with a more combat-oriented joker monk version (a bit higher STR).

Unfortunately, I did not have more opportunity to try the concept.
Some positive insights:
- buffing was highly useful and relieved the party casters (in particular when I bought with my treasure pearls of power for my buffs, but also for general party use, they thought I was a saint or some such :smallwink:)
- grappling was a good tactics in the lower levels, and even saved the day vs a black dragon once
- the damage output at level 15 was awesome
Some negative insights:
- indeed the buffing was somewhat unreliable at lower levels. I overcame it in part by handing enlarge wands to the arcane caster of the group who used it when he had the time (mostly he tried to survive or use battlefield control). I'll need to improve that - either use long-term buffs more often (permanent enlarge? a bit awkward, the fluff only applicable in some cases), or improve the UMD, maybe via custom +5 or better item (depends on DM).
- the joker monk indeed was able to take out some enemy spellcasters- but regrettably the DM either did not use npc spellcasters that often, or others were also able to take out an enemy arcane caster quite quickly.

Will post more about this when I have the time.

- Giacomo

Yukitsu
2009-06-15, 11:12 PM
I did not "insist". Similarly I did not "insist" that the monk wins initiative. I only pointed it out that
- a monk having the surprise round rather than the other way round is probable due to his good stealth skills and

Note the reliance on magic to match the +32 spot of the solar. As well note that you rely on a master crafted item of hide granting a +2 bonus. I would like to know which mastercraft item would grant this, as any nonmagical singular clothing item would not in fact grant this bonus in all places. As well, darkweave clothes, which grants a +1 bonus seems to imply that the core generic mastercraft doesn't apply, since there is a specific item for that skill, much as you can't gain a mastercraft book on a topic, since that is found in the stronghold builders guide at a much higher price that was not updated in 3.5. Even more outrageous is the mastercrafted item to UMD. I'd love to hear as to what that would be, considering that it must help with wand waving, pretending to be a cleric, pretending to be a paladin, etc.

As well, while your monk certainly can manage this hide check roughly half the time, it does not manage what you have mentioned below.


- a monk winning the initiative is also probable given the good initiative.
This holds true for both the level 1 comparison (vs the non-improved initiative, armoured barbarian), as well as for the solar encounter at level 20.
Saying that "a monk never has a chance vs...xy" can be easily opposed by these two things.

As both are required, and not sufficient on there own, slightly more probable than the solars also high initiative check is not sufficient for anyone to believe that you hold an advantage in both cases.


Oh, the point is that
- the high-DEX-types you mentioned will auto-lose a grapple check and thus the grappling attack is worthwhile, whereas

Your monk has only a +22 to grapple, assuming you want to effectively hide prior to battle. As well, high dexterity types tend to have higher escape artist checks, which one can use instead of grapple. As well, many individuals have some form of freedom of movement when they do not have high escape artist (or even when they do, as there are many effects that influence movement)


- the well-armoured or thick-hided opponents will be better hit due to lowish touch AC and involved in a grapple, effectively removing them as a threat vs the weaker members of the party.

Again, the complaint is that an armoured person will have a sufficiently higher grapple check by comparison (A solar for instance having +35 minimum.)


Is a grey elf with improved initiative as feat really the best possible pc wizard? Could be. *shrug" I personally prefer halflings in core as race for my wizards, because they are way more likely to survive to the higher levels.

A wizard at higher levels should not be reliant on hit points to survive, nor the AC and reflexes granted from a small size and higher dexterity. A wizard is best suited to using spells in a paranoid manner to survive. As such, the wizard with less HP, but more intelligence is the superior choice.


My argument is that their mundane items and the two super-major items alone are already enough for most purposes. I also admitted that adding a cloak +5 resistance is not out of the question, either.
But keeping adding animated shield, +5 protection rings and what have you simply overdoes it.

This is false. Your above assertions require a +6 glove of dexterity, a luck stone, a robe of eyes, and wings of flying. These all told cost over 200 K, or a third of your wealth. This leaves out such gimmicks as wands, permanent spells or other paraphenalia. That's simply what you require to barely win initiative, to hide sucessfully, to see it coming easily, and to fly period.


But it did (using long-term buffs). Unfortunately, it is likely against the lvl 20 monk build that I posted that it loses both surprise round and initiative, while a contingency used by DM is so iffy, that it should not be brought up in a way to ridicule a class because of it.

It did not use effective and powerful in combat spells. For example, power word blind, which is both useful and powerful in one on one matches involving a non-monster opponent. As well, it isn't clear that you automatically gain both surprise and initiative. I'll take this time to point out that you also only ascend at a half rate, so if the solar is above you by more than 120 feet, you don't reach. You can't ascend to his level without being spotted.


That is also what I wanted to point out: the monk has a decent chance to down the solar BEFORE the solar can hit back with all its might.
And people have yet to show how other classes do it - but more on that below.

Yours will on average see the solar from a distance of 300 or so feet. Any wand you use instantly alerts the solar of your presence from out to a distance of 320 feet. This means no buffs may be used from wands without alerting the solar to your presence. Since you can't buff without instantly getting for example a greater dispel magic as the solar moves to close, nor can you feasibly afford to keep all wand based buffs active all the time, your build fails to do enough damage to take out the solar at all.

As such, your monk has a 21 to hit vs. a 41 AC (assuming a simple leather jerkin with vestments cast on it.) And will then only hit on a natural 20. This means your average damage is 3 per round, assuming you're lucky enough to get in a hit.


But they can get killed by a housecat. That's their big vulnerability and that is why I keep saying that they are not overpowered.

I'll point out that a monk "can" be killed by a common house cat. It isn't necessarily likely. Let's take a standard level 1 wizard with say, a common house cat familiar against this standard housecat. Hey, wait a second.

At any rate, a cat, say it gets the surprise round. It gets a charge, and hits, with say a 70% chance of causing 1 point of damage (the max it can deal) It then likely loses initiative because wizards in general buff initiative for reasons given above. The wizard 5 steps back and crossbowing it, on average killing it, or colour spraying it then coup de graing it. Or magic missiling it. Cats do not, in point of fact, on average kill a typical adventuring wizard.

Even when it wins initiative, it only has an average of 3 points of damage dealt, and a maximum of four. The wizard is guaranteed to survive, and is likely to be above 0, save drastic oddities in luck.


A 1st-level wizard cannot deal with them in most circumstances or require a very, very generous DM (and my impression is that many wizard players in fact have such a generous DM in their low-level careers, since there are so many surprised posts about surprise rounds :smallcool:)
Two+ ogres go beyond the sleep spell power. Color Spray could work, but it is unlikely that 1) the wizard is able to get within 15ft range, in particular when the ogres wield reach weapons and 2) both ogres would need to fail their +1 will saves, or the wizard is dead on their turn (due to the close range).
Meanwhile, the stealthier classes - rogue, ranger and monk - could simply sneak past those ogres at 1st level.

An ogre, having a +2 to spot, including the -5 penalty you have for hiding whilst moving will on average spot your stealthy character, unless you can dart past in one round. Given that it's two checks at -5 and at flat, it's still probable that if there will be a failure of some description, unless the character is optimized for stealth more than the monk you demonstrated. In fact, your monk build fails to sneak past around 70% of the time. If there are two ogres, you're virtually guaranteed to fail.

An optimized wizard at 1, would require a party to herd the ogres together before colour spraying them. The stealth aspect however, is actively hindered by a party, so don't bring that up as a contention here.


Neither mine. I simply showed that, yes, of course in core a monk lvl 20 has a chance vs a solar (and outside core, the solar has a really big problem vs a level 20 monk).

I'd argue that, even outside core, assuming that the solar gains spell access opened up as is appropriate, that the monk does not gain any particular advantage. For example, a solar with a greater visage of the diety becomes significantly more powerful, they can use cheap level 2 spells to bump there spot up to 47, and they can just generally do more.


It is very odd imo that 99% of the dicussion about alleged monk weaknesses focuses on the start and (theoretical) end of the adventuring career: level 1 and 20. Meanwhile, the most commonly used adventuring levels are 3-10 I guess. Why not discuss those?

I'm willing to discuss that.


My point would be that it is very, very hard for a wizard to protect him self durably and reliably before level 11 (when contingency is around). And after that, he is still not safe (since contingency is tricky).
And parties do not get surprised all that easily when they have good spotters among them - druids and monks being the best usually.

Level 9 wizard:

Stats: Who cares, really. Int over 15
Of note: Has ethereal jaunt at will, via lesser planar binding, assuming core only. He is now immune to any ambush appropriate for the CR, unless the DM rolls two simultaneous encounters, of which the party only has to fight one.

Level 7 wizard:

Stats: Who cares, really. Int over 14.
Of note: Can animate 28 skeletons, which are capable of covering every square around him, preventing all forms of ambush except some reflex save based spells. Of the monsters listed of the level, few have effective reflex save based spells.

Level 5 wizard:

Stats: Who cares really. Int over 13.
Of note: Casts phantom steed, and can outrun/kite anything of the level, including a monk.

Level 3 wizard:

Stats: Who cares really. Int over 12.
Of note: Breaks the game by casting alter self, turning into something with earth glide and bypassing all CR appropriate challenges with no opposed rolls possible. Note I don't commend this method, and think that it's kind of dumb.

1. Fluff/gamepower perspective:
Imagine you run a core campaign with three players - druid, monk and barbarian.
Now - The druid happily at level 8 walks around as a dire tiger with full spellcasting STR 27, +7 AC and pounce/rake, accompanied by his pet tiger animal companion. Knowing that STR and DEX are not really an issue even from level 6 (before polymorph is even available), since he had the interim forms of a bear or a cheetah, he used them as "dump stats", only to now sport higher STR and/or DEX than the monk and barbarian.
WHAT ON EARTH makes you think that the players of the monk and the barbarian (the first with a "tiger claw school", the latter with a "tiger totem tribe) think your decision to ban polymorph or polymorph any object is balanced, because "wildshape is a completely different thing"?!?!:smalleek:
SIDE COMMENT: the thing I can least understand about the attempts to keep wildshape different from morphing to keep the one and ban the other is that the same people often argue how overpowered druids are. What the...? SIDE COMMENT END.[/quote]

In general, it's taken as broken when they retain spell casting, but less so without. In isolation it's not too overwhelming. To contrast, polymorph, which can be used to achieve odd effects, can more importantly be cast on team mates, such as turning that rogue into a girallon, rather than turning the druid into one.

[B]Who will cast "polymorph" on the, say, two melee characters of the iconic-four-man-party for each of the four combats per day?[/quote]

Typically warweaver wizards, whom focus on mass buff effects. I also built one for an evil campaign, where I played a buff/chess master type, who could cast 7 spells per round, mostly chained buffs.


Certainly not the party wizard at level 7 who wishes to save his butt first. He MIGHT choose polymorph as one of his two new spells, but chances are that, apart from the musthave dimension door, he'd rather choose: solid fog or black tentacles, shadow conjuration, stoneskin or confusion. Maybe later. And 8 spells per day devoted to this? Unlikely.
Maybe the sorcerer?

Depends on the caster. Some people do, some people don't. Since there are so bloody many ways to play a caster, any one type will generally be rare.


- the buff only lasts min/lvl. That's eating a standard action before the encounter and only lasts during that encounter, likely.

Typically why it's the warweaver build that does it.


- the buffed will be unable to cast spells when their form cannot speak (unlike the druid)

Not generally useful on casters.


Additionally, polymorph/shapechange banners, because they often have broken interpretations of what you can do in your new form, tend to ban the whole spell instead of just using milder interpretations.
- then, the choker cannot cast spells with its claws (ability of "fine manipulation" is clearly lacking).

In the cases that one does choose choker, one should take spells that have no somatic component, or take still spell.


- shapechange is tough in that you need to be FAMILIAR with the form. That's entirely up to the DM to decide, since there is no game definition of "familiar".

Most useful forms are ones that are readily findable, and typically a wizard is capable of the knowledge of them, such as powerful outsiders (planes) or chokers (low HD). In the event that your DM is making you become intimately familiar with all forms you endeavor to turn into, I highly recommend hunting them down via divinations and graphically describing how you sleep with them. If that doesn't grant you familiarity, I don't know what would.


- even so, you should check as a DM that a player never simply maximises HIS knowledge of the MM to get the best AC, STR, DEX and extraordinarly attack abilities (polymorph) or supernatural abilities and qualities (shapechange). The DM alone says what a player knows as qualities of a certain creature, with the relevant knowledge check of DC 10+HD +5 per useful information. There. Balanced polymorph handling already within the rules.

Useful to note until one realizes that a level prior, wizards were forced to take a school of magic up to level 8 with a spell that grants a +20 to knowledge checks. If your DM insists on tossing you irrelevant information where relevant information is warranted, insist that you sleep with everything, then try all those forms out via trial and error.


- a hydra form does not yield you multiple head attacks (up to 12) and even move in addition, since 1) this ability is not listed among the extraordinary attacks and 2) the alter self spell on which polymorph is based explicitly excludes extra attacks from extra limbs.

Since no form of polymorph explicitly grants the user the use of any natural attacks, one would assume this to be an oversight, but assuming it is not true, wildshape is far less powerful as they lose all forms of attack, since the forms they have generally cannot use manufactured weapons.


- most morph forms are useless to the fighter (other than giants/monstrous humanoids) since they do not use weapons - quite awkward for a "weaponmaster".

There are plenty of excemptions. Giants are in particular a favourite amongst fighters that I know.


Yep, the pin uselessness for the monk when wearing armour I overlooked...even with no WIS bonus for the STR 22 orc, wearing an armour may not be always advisable then.
Actually with my interpretation of the rules, as well as the FAQ 3.5, you can flurry grapple checks without a problem (since they are based on "modified BAB", the only time this expression is ever used).

Modified BAB doesn't imply that you may use special attacks to deliver it necessarily. It does mean that as your iteratives progress, you lose grapple, definitively, but it does not necessarily follow that because of this that you may apply special attacks to grapple, such as flurrying grapples. I'll grant that as feasible however, as I'm still of the opinion that many people will evade the grapple numbers given, and that many will out damage the monk in a grapple anyway, since you have to make a succesful check to cause any lethal damage, which the enemy will generally do more often than the monk.


Actually, not a feat, but a skill: UMD. :smallwink: (boostable by feats, though).

Level 1 characters do not start with sufficient funds to have any castables of note. Perhaps a pair of level 1 scrolls, though those are better spent elsewhere.


The problem is the "being caught" part. Then, the rogue will have no chance to sneak attack. And he'll be relieved of his weapons. And infiltrating without armour (which would raise suspicion) he has lower AC than the monk.

I'll note that a typical rogue would not, at level 1, have lower AC than your monk, even with only a thick leather vest on. As well, a thrown rock in the hands of a rogue can be fairly deadly, if they play a long term game instead of not using skills, and forcibly slugging things out.


But once you choose the STR-enhancing races, the barbarian does not even have improved grapple (getting only 1 feat at level 1, and needing 2 for it) - so falls already behind.
And the fighter would have a higher grapple check (by 1, due to BAB), but
- has MAD due to needing also DEX 15 once enlarge enters the picture and

When this is consistantly in the picture, a +2 item is attainable, or alternatively, they could opt not to be enlarged at that time. Due to higher strength focus than for instance your strength 14 monk, a fighter or barbarian at 4 can match or outmatch your monk build in grapple checks, even when you are enlarged and they are not.


- doing lower damage, with no chance to pin AND damage in the same round (monk has flurry).

I would like your odds of succesfully pinning and dealing damage in the same round using flurry at any level given your monks +2-2+2+4 (+6) bonus at level 4. A CR 4 polar bear for example, has a +16 to grapple. A harpy, which you can't even effectively try to grapple, and must instead try to shuriken to death has a +7. You have a decent chance of not getting to attack or pin (or even start grapple) and an even worse chance of doing both, and a poor chance of maintaining grapple.


Unfortunately for the barbarian, his speed is land speed only. As soon as fly enters the picture (musthave for meleers from mid-levels), he is clearly slower than the monk; theoretically already at level 3.

Alternatively, the entire party rides around on nightmares (gotten via lesser planar binding, which is in essence free) with horse shoes of speed. (worth it) Much, much faster, at earlier than you get your wings of flight.


Problem 1: cleric does not have spell resistance up all the time, but rather only 1 min/lvl (so useless defense unless the cleric knows that danger is coming).

I'll point out that, for instance in the solar example, the amount gained from being a monk, you'll only influence the battle about 1 in 10 spells. Not having it in either instance is acceptable in most circumstances.


Problem 2: CON as secondary stat for cleric means that not only will he lose the surprise round (due to low spot vs high opponent stealth), but also likely the initiative. That spells death in combat at high levels.

Not many opponents of the level for one have high stealth. For two, assuming it does have high stealth, because it's for example, your monk, you don't deal enough damage per round to kill the cleric. Lastly, clerics do most of there combat intensive tricks outside of core, where they are buffed to the nines 24/7. Lastly, in core, where necessary, and since wisdom is still a primary skill for clerics, they may be in perpetual alternative forms via shapechange. They can manage an entire adventuring day in say solar form if they so want (in core), whos DR makes them less prone to death via ambush than one would normally believe.


Problem 3: all the magic you listed can only be cast when it's the cleric's turn, since these are all short-term protections and buffs.

Again, those shine outside core, mostly. Inside core, shapechange is a fairly reliable turn to. It only takes 2 castings to get a whole adventuring day. As well, greater magic weapon on a variety of weapons, and magic vestments on your armour is a fairly high end buff, making your +1 great sword with +9 in effects into a functionally +14 sword, and your armour the same.


Problem 4: contingencies are a difficult thing to really do well. And a cleric only gets them in the rarest of circumstances (domain, miracle). A UMD monk could get them faster.

Not faster than say a UMD cleric, as clerics have charisma dependance that monks don't (outside core mostly). With spells, contingency could be cast by a cleric 6 levels earlier, simply due to an ability to buff charisma based skill checks faster. Up +3 by level 3. In any event, no one takes a UMD contingency seriously, as each scroll costs 1650. No small sum for something that must be cast every 11 days, or sooner depending on whether or not it is used. Plus, as a monk, you'll have to either hope the party has the exact effect that you want on a contingency, or you'll have to pay even more for it. A cleric can cast there own spell to go with it.


Essence: monk has better 24/7 anti-magic defenses than the cleric and can also get longer-term divine protections (via items).

Only in core on the first point, and completely false in the latter, as you assume that no one else may use those items (which they do better than your monk in this case), or that it's even cost effective to attempt to do so.


In core, sneak adds up to more damage (although not much, by level 20, level 15 they're about the same). Unfortunately for the rogue it applies, much, much less often and also is not multiplied in a critical. Plus, the monk is always ahead by two full BAB attacks (doing extra damage) in a full attack.

Calculate that out. I'd love to see a first round comparison, TFW rogue vs. monk (using a full attack using alchemist fire/acid/flashfrost/etc.) in terms of damage, then subsequent rounds of rogue/flank buddy vs. monk/flank buddy against most of the standard enemies in the book. Of course there are plenty of things out there that flat out cannot be sneak attacked in core, but as well, there are things that a monk flat out can't bypass the DR of in core. At least, not effectively.


Arguably he can be. Permanently enlarged before level 20 and not being dispelled for a while...:smallwink:

Possible, but not really a likely scenario. Most games I play in, the DM notes when someone is over 8 feet tall, and those individuals for instance take a -4 penalty to all hide checks. Amongst other social problems, such as giant slayers and small rooms.


But of course I'd simply call for a DM to allow enlarge person to still benefit the monk at level 20 IN CASE the campaign would have no polymorph effects (which the standard game assumes).

And why don't I just ask if my wizard can cast wildshape on himself while I'm at it?


Or the monk could simply get a rightuous might effect (much stronger than enlarge, but also a bit more expensive/difficult to pull, but at level 20 cash is abundant).

That's illegal. You can't wand a level 5 spell, and righteous might is a personal effect, making it OMG expensive to get put on an item under any reasonable DM. A use activated item of it would cost a value putting it into epic territory, which it belongs in.


I do not assume the Solar is an idiot, only that it cannot act when being surprised and losing initiative.

Both spurious conclusions at best, as well leaving out that when they travel, they have no reason to be 120 by the ground, nor is there home plane in which they are stationary filled with cover of any sort.


I hope that my answers have convinced you somewhat more.

Nope. Most of them are assuming that the monk is viable because he can sort of do things that every class up to and including commoner can. Wizos optimization challenges assume that any method that could have been done with an elite array commoner is illegal, and that's just what we're seeing here in your examples. Some conclusions are reached by stretching really hard. I'd go so far as to say that monks are worse meleers than wizards because I can make a use activated item of divine might for my wizard.


I will check the posts above for the challenges to the test of spite (I remember stoopidtallkid did a challenge).
Maybe everyone would like to repeat their challenge, and their preferred setting:
- level
- rulesset
- other stuff.
Then I'll try to make a monkish character to show how strong the class can be.

I should probably use my level 6 halfling abjurer from the wizos boards to contrast. It did well in these challenges, being the first to solo a CR 6 adventure on under 10 dollars.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-16, 12:10 AM
I will check the posts above for the challenges to the test of spite (I remember stoopidtallkid did a challenge).
Maybe everyone would like to repeat their challenge, and their preferred setting:
- level
- rulesset
- other stuff.
Then I'll try to make a monkish character to show how strong the class can be. Make a Monk, state which of the 4 party roles he will be filling(Buffer, skillmonkey, tank, god-wizard). Pick a point-buy and a level. I'll make a Druid to fill the same role, same pt-buy. Core-only if you want to nerf yourself, or a reasonable book combination(your pick). We find someone to make the rest of the party, and get someone to run us through an adventuring day(4 encounters). PM the Monacled Beholder to settle rules disputes. My only variant rule request is the DMG one-shot magic item rule(expendables cost 5x normal).

Alternatively, we both make a party to enter the Test of Might on the same level(I've already seen all challenges run so far, so your options aren't as open as they'd be otherwise, sorry). I'll limit myself to Core if you want, but I don't recommend it. My only new restriction is that you need to have a Monk in the party.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-16, 12:18 AM
Alternatively, we both make a party to enter the Test of Might on the same level(I've already seen all challenges run so far, so your options aren't as open as they'd be otherwise, sorry). I'll limit myself to Core if you want, but I don't recommend it. My only new restriction is that you need to have a Monk in the party.

Dibs on skillmonkey. Either Ranger or Rogue.

Saph
2009-06-16, 12:50 AM
How about the ECL 1-2 Test of Might challenge? Since I've both played and DMed it I'm very familiar with it by now.

Afro's rules require that the party contain one beatstick, one skillmonkey, one arcane caster, and one divine caster. So you could, in theory, make a party with:

• Monk (Beatstick)
• Monk (Skillmonkey)
• Divine Caster (any)
• Arcane Caster (any)

Only requirement is that you're not supposed to read the previous battle reports.

- Saph

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-16, 12:59 AM
Only requirement is that you're not supposed to read the previous battle reports. And I have. Like I said, it would have to be a challenge that hasn't been run yet.

Also, for clarity: I proposed 2 challenges. Either both Giacomo and I enter teams into the ToM and see who does better(fair but unlikely to be conclusive since we will likely both die), or we each make a character to fill the same role, someone makes a party, and someone DMs, and we run the game twice, once with a Monk, once with a Druid(unlikely to finish, requires a lot of dedication from at least 2 other people).

Doc Roc
2009-06-16, 01:21 AM
May I counter with an invitation for both of you to the test of spite?
It's more directly relevant to the situation at hand, and much more favorable to monks.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-16, 01:30 AM
May I counter with an invitation for both of you to the test of spite?
It's more directly relevant to the situation at hand, and much more favorable to monks.Isn't that solo, though? I prefer team matches, because it is more accurate to real play. The Monk is survivable, I admit, which is far less of a benefit when in a team than when alone. I could bring either a char into that if Gia prefers it to either of mine, but I don't really like the concept for providing evidence in this debate.

Doc Roc
2009-06-16, 01:36 AM
There's an option for a 2v2. I'll let you play both characters as long as only one of them is permitted into the dungeon. I started it up because of my experiences, largely negative, with this thread. Be a shame if it didn't serve it's purpose :: puppy eyes ::

ZeroNumerous
2009-06-16, 03:36 AM
Oh my...will have a closer look at the other monk-critical posts and first feeble attempts to show how a barbarian or druid at level 20 in core tackle a solar.

Uh. I'll have you know my druid killed his solar. Using only 4,500 GP and his sexah 9th level spell slots no less.

Saph
2009-06-16, 03:47 AM
There's an option for a 2v2. I'll let you play both characters as long as only one of them is permitted into the dungeon. I started it up because of my experiences, largely negative, with this thread.

Because you wanted to inflict some violent deaths? :P

More seriously, the problem would be first, that arena matches don't really have all that much in common with typical D&D play (which leans towards teamwork dungeon crawling rather than PvP) and second, that 13th-level is a touch on the high side - so character creation and combat will take a while.

- Saph

Eldariel
2009-06-16, 04:50 AM
Trying to be brief (and failing miserably):


I did not "insist". Similarly I did not "insist" that the monk wins initiative. I only pointed it out that
- a monk having the surprise round rather than the other way round is probable due to his good stealth skills and
- a monk winning the initiative is also probable given the good initiative.
This holds true for both the level 1 comparison (vs the non-improved initiative, armoured barbarian), as well as for the solar encounter at level 20.
Saying that "a monk never has a chance vs...xy" can be easily opposed by these two things.

As I've said before, I was just doing calculations on the encounters you gave me (Level 1 Orc Monk surprising level 1 Orc Barbarian, initiating combat with Charge, etc.).

As for Monk never having a chance vs. a given thing, all it takes is a sufficient amount of preparation (such as the Solar I presented with given Gear, or using its Wish or Miracle once per 3 weeks on Contingency or whatever).

But yeah, stealth of course helps - it's just hard to beat many things' Spot-rolls due to huge HD, and even with PCs (Druids in particular have completely obscene Spot, getting free Alertness from being near their AC, being completely Wisdom-focused and having both in class) often. One of the principal problems Monk has on this front is that you can't really be Small without giving up your Unarmed Damage. In fact, you generally want to be Large which actually has penalties to Hide.


Oh, the point is that
- the high-DEX-types you mentioned will auto-lose a grapple check and thus the grappling attack is worthwhile, whereas
- the well-armoured or thick-hided opponents will be better hit due to lowish touch AC and involved in a grapple, effectively removing them as a threat vs the weaker members of the party.

*shrug* True, high Dex types typically have poor Grapple-checks. Barbarians and Fighters are often built with high Dex too though (14 is pretty high) and they tend to have the Str to go with it. Occasionally one runs into trouble where you have two difficult rolls to make instead of one because of the decision to Grapple.


Fortunately not. It's state-of-the-art as per FAQ3.5.

Well, there's only so much weight you can put on the FAQ as they seem to have read their own books so-so. I'm personally not opposed to it and would allow it, but you can check one of Shneekey's arguments against it, if interested.


Is a grey elf with improved initiative as feat really the best possible pc wizard? Could be. *shrug" I personally prefer halflings in core as race for my wizards, because they are way more likely to survive to the higher levels.

Int is good. All I'm saying. Having that extra level 1 slot from 20 Int is just gold, and having an extra 5% chance of making opponents fail their saves tends to rock too. As for Improved Initiative, it's a solid level 1 build; later on it's still a decent feat, but becomes less valuable as other means of protection and defense become available. Still, going first means you get to do your thing and run for cover.


My argument is that their mundane items and the two super-major items alone are already enough for most purposes. I also admitted that adding a cloak +5 resistance is not out of the question, either.

But keeping adding animated shield, +5 protection rings and what have you simply overdoes it.

It's CR23. According to DMG tables, that means an average of 6 major magic items, a total value of 240000gp. It's got the about same amount of treasure as a level 20 NPC has equipment (level 20 NPC has 220000). Assuming it has no stat buffers, there are little limits to what it can add to its already considerable repertoire.


But they can get killed by a housecat. That's their big vulnerability and that is why I keep saying that they are not overpowered.

That really mostly applies to Commoners. Wizards with their maximized first HD and higher-than-10 Dex & Con are more than a match to a cat even without a spell.


A 1st-level wizard cannot deal with them in most circumstances or require a very, very generous DM (and my impression is that many wizard players in fact have such a generous DM in their low-level careers, since there are so many surprised posts about surprise rounds :smallcool:)
Two+ ogres go beyond the sleep spell power. Color Spray could work, but it is unlikely that 1) the wizard is able to get within 15ft range, in particular when the ogres wield reach weapons and 2) both ogres would need to fail their +1 will saves, or the wizard is dead on their turn (due to the close range).

Meanwhile, the stealthier classes - rogue, ranger and monk - could simply sneak past those ogres at 1st level.

You should use two spells on this encounter. Given the chance, Sleep one from far away and Color Spray the other. Failing that, try to line them up for Color Spray; failing that burn go for two Color Sprays (better have 'em prepared, mister).

As for the sneaking, taking the whole party with 'em is going to be a challenge. And hope they aren't guarding anything too important (well, I guess the Rogue could try to sneak up and Sleight of Hand, but the chances of having Cover/Concealment in such a place are slim).


Neither mine. I simply showed that, yes, of course in core a monk lvl 20 has a chance vs a solar (and outside core, the solar has a really big problem vs a level 20 monk).
It is very odd imo that 99% of the dicussion about alleged monk weaknesses focuses on the start and (theoretical) end of the adventuring career: level 1 and 20. Meanwhile, the most commonly used adventuring levels are 3-10 I guess. Why not discuss those?

*shrug* I'm not making the examples; as far as I'm concerned, any level is a fair game. Outside Core though, I think Solar gains more than Monk since Solars can pick basically any feats thanks to their stats and abilities, and can cast just about any spells. Basically any material out of core is available to Solars. Oh, and they qualify for Epic Spellcasting. Just saying.


My point would be that it is very, very hard for a wizard to protect him self durably and reliably before level 11 (when contingency is around). And after that, he is still not safe (since contingency is tricky).

I think Yukitsu covered this pretty well; the first few levels are tricky, but not really more so than for anyone else. And when you do come up to those Ogres, you'll thank god you kept that Wizard alive.


And parties do not get surprised all that easily when they have good spotters among them - druids and monks being the best usually.

Add Cleric to that list; while Spot isn't in class for them, they'll have so much Wis that they can match just about any non-Druid class cross-class for most of their career.


1. Fluff/gamepower perspective:
Imagine you run a core campaign with three players - druid, monk and barbarian.
Now - The druid happily at level 8 walks around as a dire tiger with full spellcasting STR 27, +7 AC and pounce/rake, accompanied by his pet tiger animal companion. Knowing that STR and DEX are not really an issue even from level 6 (before polymorph is even available), since he had the interim forms of a bear or a cheetah, he used them as "dump stats", only to now sport higher STR and/or DEX than the monk and barbarian.
WHAT ON EARTH makes you think that the players of the monk and the barbarian (the first with a "tiger claw school", the latter with a "tiger totem tribe) think your decision to ban polymorph or polymorph any object is balanced, because "wildshape is a completely different thing"?!?!:smalleek:
SIDE COMMENT: the thing I can least understand about the attempts to keep wildshape different from morphing to keep the one and ban the other is that the same people often argue how overpowered druids are. What the...? SIDE COMMENT END.

It's not balanced. It's just the case things commonly seem to be ruled. Read of a few games here and there; see how many ban Wildshape :/ Then see how much Polymorph is used (justifiably; the spell basically means humanoid Fighters are obsolete).


Additionally, polymorph/shapechange banners, because they often have broken interpretations of what you can do in your new form, tend to ban the whole spell instead of just using milder interpretations.
- then, the choker cannot cast spells with its claws (ability of "fine manipulation" is clearly lacking).

You could just Shapechange into a Choker and then Polymorph back into yourself, retaining Quickness.


- shapechange is tough in that you need to be FAMILIAR with the form. That's entirely up to the DM to decide, since there is no game definition of "familiar".

All these spells and effects require that.


- even so, you should check as a DM that a player never simply maximises HIS knowledge of the MM to get the best AC, STR, DEX and extraordinarly attack abilities (polymorph) or supernatural abilities and qualities (shapechange). The DM alone says what a player knows as qualities of a certain creature, with the relevant knowledge check of DC 10+HD +5 per useful information. There. Balanced polymorph handling already within the rules.

Eh, but Wizards make those checks trivially and they're the ones with Polymorph überboosts in the first place.


- a hydra form does not yield you multiple head attacks (up to 12) and even move in addition, since 1) this ability is not listed among the extraordinary attacks and 2) the alter self spell on which polymorph is based explicitly excludes extra attacks from extra limbs.

That statement in Polymorph restricts you from using weapons in the other hands. You do gain the creature's natural weapons (as per spell description, it's especially spelled out there). Hydra's natural weapons-entry? 12 Bite-attacks. Yeah.


- most morph forms are useless to the fighter (other than giants/monstrous humanoids) since they do not use weapons - quite awkward for a "weaponmaster".

The thing is, in a game with Polymorph, a Fighter's feats are better spent becoming an awesome Hydra/Troll/whatever 'cause he isn't gonna be using weapons enough to gain any leverage out of those feats. A Fighter can focus on his weapons, but there's no point when such vastly superior combat forms are available. That's one of the big reasons to ban Polymorph in the first place; keeps humanoids game.


Actually with my interpretation of the rules, as well as the FAQ 3.5, you can flurry grapple checks without a problem (since they are based on "modified BAB", the only time this expression is ever used).

Yeah, this comes back to the problem of FAQ referring to inexistent rules (such as modified BAB). I've always found it easiest to give Grapple essentially whatever extra attacks you get (Whirling Frenzy, Haste, whatever) but apply all the relevant penalties (really, I don't see a problem in applying bonuses either as long as grapple can't be "Greater Magic Fangged"). Bonuses are kinda on a case-by-case basis. I really can't see myself allowing bonus attacks as grapple-checks unless all the associated penalties are carried over too.


No, the issue has been clarified for a long time already (FAQ): grapple check is a grapple check (a separate kind of check, or "special" check).
Otherwise, the monk could be way more successful in grappling since you can add so many more modifiers to attack than to grappling.

But again, that's just FAQ from the same people who gave the random CustServ answers that contradicted each other and were overall pretty uninformed.


Actually, not a feat, but a skill: UMD. :smallwink: (boostable by feats, though).

On level 1 though, way too expensive, unreliable and not very useful offensively anyways as there's no stat added to the save DC.


The problem is the "being caught" part. Then, the rogue will have no chance to sneak attack. And he'll be relieved of his weapons. And infiltrating without armour (which would raise suspicion) he has lower AC than the monk.

It's possible to Disguise yourself after having armor on. There are even no penalties for it. As for weapons, Sleight of Hand enables hiding weapons all over your body. Rogue can pull the "wops, I had one here too!"-shtick so often played in movies. Even naked, there's that hand crossbow in his hair and the mini-Dagger behind his teeth and so on.

As for sneak attack, with creative use of the environment, flat-footedness, any kinds of concealment-creating effects and possibly magic, a smart Rogue can easily create the proper circumstances. Even Sleight of Handed weapon can grant an SA in some circumstances.


But once you choose the STR-enhancing races, the barbarian does not even have improved grapple (getting only 1 feat at level 1, and needing 2 for it) - so falls already behind.
And the fighter would have a higher grapple check (by 1, due to BAB), but
- has MAD due to needing also DEX 15 once enlarge enters the picture and
- doing lower damage, with no chance to pin AND damage in the same round (monk has flurry).

You can multiclass them though (indeed, if I wanted to play a Grappler from the start in Core-only, I'd prolly go Barbarian 1/Fighter 1/Barbarian X). And while Fighter needs Dex, he doesn't need Int or Wis with a grappling build so he's golden with 18 base Str.


Unfortunately for the barbarian, his speed is land speed only. As soon as fly enters the picture (musthave for meleers from mid-levels), he is clearly slower than the monk; theoretically already at level 3.

This is true in a sense, but the enhancement speed bonuses exceed or keep up with Monk up until level 11 in this case too.


Problem 1: cleric does not have spell resistance up all the time, but rather only 1 min/lvl (so useless defense unless the cleric knows that danger is coming).

Assuming no Persistent Spells, true.


Problem 2: CON as secondary stat for cleric means that not only will he lose the surprise round (due to low spot vs high opponent stealth), but also likely the initiative. That spells death in combat at high levels.

Cleric can actually have very decent Spot & Listen thanks to the Wisdom focus. And Con being secondary does mean a Cleric might trample on Dex, but that does nothing to lessen his ability to withstand the attack; on the contrary. And a Wis/Con/Dex Cleric isn't really out there at all.


Problem 3: all the magic you listed can only be cast when it's the cleric's turn, since these are all short-term protections and buffs.

Freedom is 10 min/level, which is pretty good. Ward and Resistance are indeed annoyingly 1 min/level, but workable in e.g. dungeon settings or when your divinations revealed when you'd need the buffs.


Problem 4: contingencies are a difficult thing to really do well. And a cleric only gets them in the rarest of circumstances (domain, miracle). A UMD monk could get them faster.
Essence: monk has better 24/7 anti-magic defenses than the cleric and can also get longer-term divine protections (via items).

UMD Monk unfortunately has to pay a ton for each Contingency he uses, and it's not clear whether you can use Contingency without a spell to go with it (actual spell, not a spell activation/completion item; the text refers to a spell). So it might not work, and if it does, it's still expensive as hell (since no Wands are available of level 6 spells, and Monks cannot even craft their own Scrolls). 1650gp for each quickly adds up.


In core, sneak adds up to more damage (although not much, by level 20, level 15 they're about the same). Unfortunately for the rogue it applies, much, much less often and also is not multiplied in a critical. Plus, the monk is always ahead by two full BAB attacks (doing extra damage) in a full attack.

On the upside, the Rogue is much less bothered if his buffs get dispelled; Monk loses a bunch of damage dice while the Rogue merely suddenly needs to Flank. Really, thanks to Flanking working for SA, it's possible to get it almost always vs. vulnerable opponents in a party. Alone, it comes much more of the hide'n'kill of course. As a bonus though, since Rogue can afford to be Small, his Hide will be through the roof. Crits are a fair point though, but Rogue's weapons are cheaper to enchant so he'll probably have better offensive enchantments on the flipside (including the ability to penetrate DR/Good+Silver or Cold Iron).


Arguably he can be. Permanently enlarged before level 20 and not being dispelled for a while...:smallwink:
But of course I'd simply call for a DM to allow enlarge person to still benefit the monk at level 20 IN CASE the campaign would have no polymorph effects (which the standard game assumes).
Or the monk could simply get a rightuous might effect (much stronger than enlarge, but also a bit more expensive/difficult to pull, but at level 20 cash is abundant).

Righteous Might has the problem of not being persistable and being only Rounds/level. It practically requires a buff round, and it's not even Wandable making it over 1000 a piece; multiple such consumables to be an Item Wizard really add up. But yeah, a nice DM doesn't let you take Monk 20 anyways.


I do not assume the Solar is an idiot, only that it cannot act when being surprised and losing initiative.
Actually your finger of death tactics is quite good (how do you get DC 33+ in core?) and should carry a similar chance of success vs the (likely cloak of resistance +5-wearing solar) as the monk melee attack. Still, you'd need enlarge spell applied to the finger of deaths as well (feat, otherwise no way to quicken it), or within 105ft the druid would be in true seeing range, and he has no hide class skill. So he'd not be able to surprise the solar...
Additionally, several greater spell immunities or protection from spells cast on a regular basis (with extend effect/item even!) would be the druid's undoing, though. And even with wildshape he has no chance, I guess, to attack the solar with more hopes of success.

DC 33 is very simple: 10 base+13 stat (18 start + 2 age/race + 5 levels + 5 book + 6 item = 36)+8 level+2 Spell Focus. You could cram Heighten Spell for 34, although I suppose you could just Enlarge Spell and blast it from 170' given Beads of Karma active (150' otherwise). But as you probably won't have neither, I'll just default to a Greater Metamagic Rod of Quicken and a move action on the surprise round (notice that Wildshape makes hiding pretty easy with the range bonuses added in).

As for the other kills, it's mostly that nobody wants to go through the trouble of doing all the calculations. Probably some charger form could do it pretty well, but really, is it worth going through the numbers? Of course, the charge falls prey to Solar being properly equipped.


I hope that my answers have convinced you somewhat more.
But truth to tell, having tried in a guide of 70 pages long to convince people to give up their wrong notions about the monk class and some other aspects of the (core) game, it is probably better to focus on builds and duels now.
It certainly will be more fun!

Fun is always good. But yeah, I'm not really convinced to any degree; you haven't really gone to any lengths on things actually perceived as the Monk's downfalls (MAD, inability to efficiently combine their speed and Flurry, medium BAB on a frontliner, inability to bypass metallic DR, poorly synergistic/poor abilities like 1/week Quivering Palm [WTF!], Perfect Self, Slow Fall and overall getting a lot of stuff that doesn't really do anything) and I don't think it really is possible to go to any length on them since...well, yeah.


I'm gonna keep using Unarmed Swordsages, but I have nothing against 1-2 level dips in Monk as the first two levels really do give a bunch of handy stuff. I just find how the progression really has the next relevant thing on level 5 (reduced flurry penalties), then 9 (more reduced flurry penalties) and finally on 11 (greater flurry) kinda suck.

After that, they just don't get much; Diamond Soul on 13 (in other words, you're harder to affect with spells from both sides, hurting you as much as helping; that Heal could really do good), Quivering Palm on 15 (1/week, WTF?! And why can't Monk target any save but Fort? I mean, they have to beat the AC already to do even that :S) and then 1/day Abundant Self and Empty Body (why 1/day?). I don't think there really is anything to it; the class should have more relevant class features, better synergies within the class features and maybe that full BAB, at least for Grappling & al.


With that, I probably won't be responding anymore since I don't really see us getting anywhere (we're still discussing the same points as few pages back).

mostlyharmful
2009-06-16, 05:48 AM
mostlyharmful also posted further up that he also sees wildshape as completely different from polymorph, since the latter is gained much earlier for powerful forms than wildshape.
Let me try it from two different perspectives:

And yet you seem to have missed my point in almost every way, as shall be shown.


1. Fluff/gamepower perspective:
Imagine you run a core campaign with three players - druid, monk and barbarian.
Now - The druid happily at level 8 walks around as a dire tiger with full spellcasting STR 27, +7 AC and pounce/rake,

Meh, sounds about balenced with a medium BAB in a combat character..


accompanied by his pet tiger animal companion.

Ok, that sounds pretty strong when tossed in with Widshape, toss in full casting and you've got a very very strong class but each particular feature isn't over the top and you can balence the whole by banning any one and getting rid of Natural Spell (or giving it a +1 Meta cost). Wildshape is one part of a synergistic powerhouse, the spell Polymorph is the whole of a powerhouse.


Knowing that STR and DEX are not really an issue even from level 6 (before polymorph is even available), since he had the interim forms of a bear or a cheetah, he used them as "dump stats", only to now sport higher STR and/or DEX than the monk and barbarian.

There's roleplaying restrictions, communication restrictions, casting restrictions (provided you nerf Natural Spell). Wildshape has it's downsides and it doesn't open up more than a big boost in Str, Dex and Natural Armour for the most part, Pounce being the other big bonus. But that's compared to using boostable weapons and armour which is cheaper. The weapon enhancements can get pretty juicy and the spells magic vestments and magic weapon match up pretty well to barkskin and magic fang but the meleer can get a barkskin and have weapon enhancements and magic armour benefits and armour bonusses and use items other than that....


WHAT ON EARTH makes you think that the players of the monk and the barbarian (the first with a "tiger claw school", the latter with a "tiger totem tribe) think your decision to ban polymorph or polymorph any object is balanced, because "wildshape is a completely different thing"?!?!:smalleek:

In 3.5 there are tiers of power in the classes, the druid is in the top tier and the rogue and barb are well well behind, their class features are powerful and they synergize so yes, they will be behind but that's the game. Polymorph is so powerful it derails the system as I have already shown, Alter Self is so low and so long lasting everyone can get pretty big boosts from early on, Polymorph any Object blows Wildshape out of the water and Shapechange has no real functional limits at all.

The other two players need to rely on the Druid for buffs and even then they need to play with skill and care to keep up. That's what we are saying. Wildshape is just one part of that melee machine along with the AC, the long term buffs, the summons, the dominated minions, the synergistic nature of the whole caboodle.


SIDE COMMENT: the thing I can least understand about the attempts to keep wildshape different from morphing to keep the one and ban the other is that the same people often argue how overpowered druids are. What the...? SIDE COMMENT END.

See above comments, synergy and full casting being the key parts. Also, there's a huge gap between powerful and overpowered and broken, different in each game but it tends to break down like this, powerful stuff is a generally good choice (power attack and THF, Sneak Attack and flanking, Wildshaping into a Bear), overpowered stuff is the stuff that it only makes sense to use if they are available since they are THE best options and anyone not using them is artificially reducing their power (Natural spell, Wildshape into a Bear and cast buff spells and have an AC and use summons, Diplomacy as written) and Broken which utterly destroys the game or overloads the game engine (the poly line, celerity, metamagic reducers, Gate, the Candle of Invocation, SLA for XP spells, planer binding....). See the difference now?


2. Technical gamepower perspective:
mostlyharmful argued that polymorph is so much more powerful than wildshape, since you get (as he admitted the eventually equivalent) forms much, much earlier.

Sigh. No, I didn't. To admit something is to have previously maintained something different, the Poly line can replicate many of the wildshapes options but (and here's one of the big things), they can do a whole lot more to including forms that are NOT equivilant. Being able to Wildshape into a Treant by level 15 is NOT equivilant to being able to turn the Barb into one 8 levels earlier, by the time the druid can match it for himself the mage has other toys to play with. Polymorph opens up types Wildshape never does, Alter Self opens up things level earlier, PaO does it permenantly and gives a HUGE range of possible stuff and Shapechange utterly breaks the game engine as you can be just about anything every turn. Polymorph can do equivilant stuff to Wildshape, Wildshape cannot do things equivilant to Polymorph.


I do not think this is the case.

We know you don't. That's not at issue.


Who will cast "polymorph" on the, say, two melee characters of the iconic-four-man-party for each of the four combats per day?

The mage if they are tripped out to be a buffer, this in one of the tactics that they can use and a damn effective one if Poly line is available.


Certainly not the party wizard at level 7 who wishes to save his butt first.

Ah, teamwork. it depends on the team at question but there's plenty of defensive self buffs at level 3 and below if the mage is focussed on team play.



He MIGHT choose polymorph as one of his two new spells, but chances are that, apart from the musthave dimension door, he'd rather choose: solid fog or black tentacles, shadow conjuration, stoneskin or confusion.

yup, he has plenty of options that he can use if he want's and can change on a day to day basis. And DimDoor isn't essential, it's very useful in core but that's it.


Maybe later. And 8 spells per day devoted to this? Unlikely.
Maybe the sorcerer?

Or the Focussed Speciallist Transmuter which is a very very normal wizard build in a game with the Poly line at full power.


Yes, from level 8 he might endeavour to become a big party buffer. But...8th level also happens to be the big point for the druid, giving him access to ALL large animals out there.

Guess what... no-one cares. There are plenty of decent animal forms available at level 7 and there are plenty of polymorph forms that kick everything elses arse that aren't available to the druid.


And the remaining gap to interesting polymorph buffs like cloakers, treant, lammasus etc. are very, very much narrowed

no they aren't, you know how uber Treant is, stop it.


due to
- the buffer has to KNOW about the forms in the first place (knowledge DC 10+monster's HD, not all wizards have all knowledge skills maxed at that level, much less sorcerers!).

yes they do. Knowing stuff is part of what they do. And Knowledges (Arcana, planes, religion, dungeonering and nature is generally enough to know everything you need to know). And you can choose low level stuff, get skill boosts like a library, aid another and such and the monsters HD in question isn't that much for an Int focussed class to make.


- the buff only lasts min/lvl. That's eating a standard action before the encounter and only lasts during that encounter, likely.

that's the buffers role. That's what you're supposed to do if that's your part of the team.


- the buffed will be unable to cast spells when their form cannot speak (unlike the druid)

Ah, yes, this again. The wizard or sorceror has a chance to choose good forms tailored to the recipiant and poor forms that make them suck. Which they choose seems to vary based on whether it's you or someone else giving the acount. What does that tell you?

have yet another look at Treant, why do they choose to turn the caster into a giant spider or a dire tiger or whatever?


Additionally, polymorph/shapechange banners, because they often have broken interpretations of what you can do in your new form, tend to ban the whole spell instead of just using milder interpretations.

Their interpretation is what the spell says.


- then, the choker cannot cast spells with its claws (ability of "fine manipulation" is clearly lacking).

Iffy call that, it says it's got hands and if you want to nerf that ok, houserule but ok, since by the time you've got shapechange the choker is just one of a whole list of broken stuff.


- shapechange is tough in that you need to be FAMILIAR with the form. That's entirely up to the DM to decide, since there is no game definition of "familiar".

And this old chestnut. As has been mentioned by above posters you then need to give your DM the eyeball for a dodgy dodgy call and then get them to explain EXACTLY what they mean by 'familiar' which goes beyond simply roling knowledge skills (the actual game way of elucidating the characters knowledge) and then do that. in detail. loudly and graphically and repeatedly until the DM grows up and just uses the rules as intended. If you've got to see it go to Sigil, if you've got to meet it go to Sigil and barter with it for some fish, if you've got to have sex with it, disect it, eat it's internal organs and run around with it skin on to 'emotivly connect with it's inner pitfiend' then do that. several times.


- even so, you should check as a DM that a player never simply maximises HIS knowledge of the MM to get the best AC, STR, DEX and extraordinarly attack abilities (polymorph) or supernatural abilities and qualities (shapechange). The DM alone says what a player knows as qualities of a certain creature, with the relevant knowledge check of DC 10+HD +5 per useful information. There. Balanced polymorph handling already within the rules.

Meh. Wizards have huge knowledges and huge libraries, they talk to each other and share tips if they're in a guild. There's a small number of uber forms and a larger number of very very good ones, any of them should be openned up with a bit of off screen work or you're just banning it and then lying to your players and letting them write useless crap into their books. Just ban it if you're going to.


- a hydra form does not yield you multiple head attacks (up to 12) and even move in addition, since 1) this ability is not listed among the extraordinary attacks and 2) the alter self spell on which polymorph is based explicitly excludes extra attacks from extra limbs.

'Hydras can attack with all their heads at no penalty, even if they move or charge during the round.' Why can't the rogue attack with every head again? The spell also gives you everything in the special attacks bit but it does turn you into a hydra too, you get the basic hydra package of size, natural armour, number of limbs, etc... none of that's in the 'special attacks' part of it's entry, it's just part of, you know, BEING a hydra.


- most morph forms are useless to the fighter (other than giants/monstrous humanoids) since they do not use weapons - quite awkward for a "weaponmaster".

Then don't use those. See above point.


- Giacomo

We still know who you are. You can stop doing this every time. The site automatically signs your post.



PS. having just reviewed the post on page 23 and you know.... you have either misunderstood, misrepresented or flat ignored everything in it. Funny that.

Kurald Galain
2009-06-16, 05:51 AM
With that, I probably won't be responding anymore since I don't really see us getting anywhere (we're still discussing the same points as few years back).

Fixed that for you :smalltongue:

Doc Roc
2009-06-16, 07:51 AM
Because you wanted to inflict some violent deaths? :P

More seriously, the problem would be first, that arena matches don't really have all that much in common with typical D&D play (which leans towards teamwork dungeon crawling rather than PvP) and second, that 13th-level is a touch on the high side - so character creation and combat will take a while.

- Saph

There's a dungeon attached to the tail end of the arena, if you check the rules... It's designed to provide a fairly accurate simulation of actual DnD.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-16, 08:09 AM
It would test claims of both PvP ability and utility in a dungeoncrawl.

Saph
2009-06-16, 08:36 AM
Well, theoretically, but only if it ever actually finished. I'd rate the odds of that very low, personally, and making it higher level reduces the probability further.

PbP games tend to stall, and die, very often. The Test of Might battles have been exceptions to the rule because there are only two people per trial, meaning that it's relatively easy to get both of them online at the same time.

- Saph

Doc Roc
2009-06-16, 08:48 AM
The rules for the test of spite include that the GM may take control of absent players after three days.

That said, I am worried about stall.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-16, 08:29 PM
The rules for the test of spite include that the GM may take control of absent players after three days.

That said, I am worried about stall.

You have my axe.

Origomar
2009-06-21, 02:05 PM
{NOTE: This post and a couple that follow were merged here. The OP of this post apparently did not see this thread before posting. ~Sheriff of Moddingham}

I dont understand why people dont like monks they get

1. The best (that i know of) saves for a class

2. The ability to attack 5 times in one round without much penalty

3. Incredibly high speed combined with mobility feat= hit and run

4. Unarmored strikes that have the ability to bypass DR

5. Spell resistance

6. This is more of a luxury but the ability to have a decently high AC without ANY armor on

7. The only combat oriented(aka slashin and stabbin) that can teleport

While they may still be inferior to casters and the restriction of one use a day is kind of lame what other classes don't have these problems?

Josh the Aspie
2009-06-21, 02:06 PM
It's because of all of that latin chanting, and hitting themselves in the head with boards. I mean, come ON.

vezopub
2009-06-21, 02:08 PM
-shrug- I love monks :D And multiclassing them into casters to make punch-touch attacks xD

Origomar
2009-06-21, 02:12 PM
It's because of all of that latin chanting, and hitting themselves in the head with boards. I mean, come ON.

This made me lol.

Kroy
2009-06-21, 02:16 PM
Question is simple, why do people hate monks?

I mean they obviously arent as god like as casters but they get

1. The best (that i know of) saves for a class
True, but their MADness doesn't help

2. The ability to attack 5 times in one round without much penalty
Except they can't hit. 3/4ths BAB + MAD+Penalty=/=Good meleer

3. Incredibly high speed combined with mobility feat= hit and run
Mobility feat fails. A few ranks in Tumble has the same affect. It also takes a full attack to furry.

4. Unarmored strikes that have the ability to bypass DR
At that level who can't?

5. Spell resistance
Not that much. Plus, it blocks positive spells to.

6. This is more of a luxury but the ability to have a decently high AC without ANY armor on
The bonus is not high enough, and the monk needs Wis. Not helping the MADness

7. The only combat oriented(aka slashin and stabbin) that can teleport
It's short range (400 ft. + 40 ft. per 2 monk levels) makes it mainly useful for retreating, something you shouldn't be doing in the first place.

While they may still be inferior to casters and the restriction of one use a day is kind of lame what other classes don't have these problems?
It also has Perfect Self, making it immune it Enlarge person (the most useful monk buff) & being able to be dismissed. If you want to know more check out the thread titled "Out of curiosity."

Does this help?
Edit: Ninja Mods are awesome & helpful!

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-21, 02:18 PM
I dont understand why people dont like monks
Have you not read the thread?



1. The best (that i know of) saves for a class
Barbarian with Steadfast Endurance matches the monk on everything but reflex. And reflex isn't that important.


2. The ability to attack 5 times in one round without much penalty
Quality>Quantity. And the Barbarian does it better.


3. Incredibly high speed combined with mobility feat= hit and run
Running up to the enemy and slapping them doesn't do much other than piss them off.

4. Unarmored strikes that have the ability to bypass DR
How does the monk bypass DR Slashing, Piercing, Good, Evil, etc?

5. Spell resistance
Spell Penetration. Bead of Karma. Orange Ioun Stone. Done.

6. This is more of a luxury but the ability to have a decently high AC without ANY armor on

If you focus on Dex and Wis for AC, you lose the ability to deal damage and take hits. Good job.

7. The only combat oriented(aka slashin and stabbin) that can teleport

Horizonwalker.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-21, 02:19 PM
Question is simple, why do people hate monks?Read the thread
1. The best (that i know of) saves for a classBut defenses aren't useful. People will either target your weaker party members(in which case you've done nothing to help the party) or go around them by attacking your AC or similar, in which case the Saves still aren't helping.
2. The ability to attack 5 times in one round without much penaltyFull Attacks aren't reliable, and none of your 5 hits do much damage anyways
3. Incredibly high speed combined with mobility feat= hit and runEnhancement bonus to speed makes it not stack with the boost from things like Haste that meleers, including you, always want.
4. Unarmored strikes that have the ability to bypass DRAs do real weapons, and they can bypass all DR, while you can't bypass something as simple as DR/silver
5. Spell resistanceBlocks healing and buff spells as often as enemy offenses. I wouldn't take it if you gave it to me free.
This is more of a luxury but the ability to have a decently high AC without ANY armor onExcept that you really don't. MAD means both your Dex and Wis are going to be low. You can't get Armor Enhancements like Blurring, and have to spend your money on Bracers of Armor that aren't affected by Magic Vestments. Rogues have better AC than you.
The only combat oriented(aka slashin and stabbin) that can teleportShadowdancer. PsyWar. Cleric with Tavel Domain. And 1/day is cheaply replicated by an item.
While they may still be inferior to casters and the restriction of one use a day is kind of lame what other classes don't have these problems?Tome of Battle.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-21, 02:19 PM
You were Batman'd.

Eldariel
2009-06-21, 02:22 PM
I dont understand why people dont like monks they get

It's not that people don't like Monks, it's just that the class isn't very good. The problems have been outlined in this thread quite a few times. If you just gave their Stunning a bit of versatility, made them able to combine their impressive speed and Flurry, make them able to stack magical enhancements with their speed boost, and make them HIT (full BAB, fight based off Dex/Wis (to hit, DAMAGE and any special combat maneuvers you use) to make Str less necessary, etc.) you'd have a decent class in your hands.

Also, note how a level 20 Fighter attacks at 20/15/10/5, while a Monk attacks at 15/15/15/10/5. Basically, he trades the highest bonus attack for two -5 attacks (and limits himself to crappy weapons without reach, two-handing or such, but that's neither here nor now). This in and of itself wouldn't be that bad, but you can't really afford to focus on pumping your attack because all your other stats are necessary too meaning you just don't have the kinds of attack bonuses to make this work out.

Kurald Galain
2009-06-21, 02:24 PM
As do real weapons, and they can bypass all DR, while you can't bypass something as simple as DR/silver

Then again, every cool monster has DR/bilver these days...

Winterwind
2009-06-21, 02:35 PM
Have you not read the thread?His post was the opening post of a new thread, which was then merged with this one, so I'd assume he didn't, as he was not aware of this thread. :smallwink:

Bayar
2009-06-21, 02:56 PM
3. Incredibly high speed combined with mobility feat= hit and run

Yeah, run around and hit once. Then get full attacked by the twelve-headed cyro hydra. Which gets ripped to pieces by your druid pal wild shaped also into a cyro hydra.

Doc Roc
2009-06-21, 03:03 PM
Here is what I think you might enjoy:

Gestalt games.

No, seriously.

Gestalt games.

Where gishing is as simple as
Sorc20/Wb20.

My fave super-simple gestalt build?
Factotum20//Swordsage20.
Plays like a monk was meant to play, covers every last little gap in the party.
It's not a fifth wheel, it's a highly articulated set of self-repairing tank treads.


Here's my sticking point:
There's a vast body of well-written information available on this topic, as well as some really cool monk builds. There's some on this board, some on the Wizards of the Character Optimization boards, and some on the brilliant gameologists boards. It covers, in loving detail, the ecology of optimization.

What I mean, is that it carefully examines what has which abilities and what these are worth. But I have yet to see a proponent of un-multiclassed monk who seemed to have a strong grasp of the theory behind the game. Just for fun is fine, but it's not a compelling argument when I'm having so much darn fun with tome of battle. I've played a bunch of monks, a lot of them very powerful and highly tuned builds. But frankly, the big issue is that unarmed swordsage with a monk dip is just easier to enjoy.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-21, 03:11 PM
Also keep in mind, most of us don't hate the Monk for sucking. Heck, most of us recognize it's strengths(Gestalt, dipping). Most of us enjoyed the Monk when we first saw it in the books. And then most of us played the Monk and realized just how bad it actually is by being useless. And then people keep coming on here wondering why we think it sucks, meaning threads like this hit 50 pages of us repeating the same arguments over and over for new people, while a few Monk supporters refuse to listen.

Doc Roc
2009-06-21, 03:21 PM
The big issue, and this is very simple, is that monk _does_ look good on paper the first few times you play. Because a lot of D&D is unnecessarily subtle. A lot of D&D is broken due to the fact that it was never very thoroughly playtested. Rather, it was, but mostly it was played just like it was second edition. Even after the 3.5 revision, a lot of crucial problems were never fixed.

Here's the question...
I'm an NPC. A BBEG let's say. A wizard. Or maybe a sorcerer.
Around level twelve...

You and your friends are coming for me. How much is your death worth to me?


88k A Piece, according to EWL guidelines. 44k if I'm using proper resale rules for your gear, and not haggling.

That's a lot. 44k is a lot of pain directed at you.

Where does the monk sit in this sort of an economy, where villains are really trying to murder you?

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-22, 12:58 PM
OK, I'm back...:smallamused:

First things first: Tidesinger, Stoopidtallkid and Saph - I'd very much like to join any kind of playtest to illustrate whether a monk can keep up with other classes that you come up with.
Test of spite, test of might - you design the party members or I do, it does not matter.
Just let me know the setting/framework.

I guess trying core first would be a good idea, and then continue from there.

In particular I'd love to see Stoopidtallkid showing exactly HOW a druid can ALWAYS beat a monk AT ANY LEVEL in either the scout/skillmonkey role, or the beatstick/tank role. Hint: the animal companion is much weaker in both regards than you think...:smallsmile:

Will address some of the new posts above individually.

- Giacomo

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-22, 01:04 PM
Yeah, run around and hit once. Then get full attacked by the twelve-headed cyro hydra. Which gets ripped to pieces by your druid pal wild shaped also into a cyro hydra.

The anti-monk fraction does stuff like this without blushing (nor any correction from others). I detected two rules mistakes (more anyone?)
1. No-one can ready a full-round action to counter a spring attack. Nor will the hydra heads be able to AoO a tumbling monk at the levels that such hydras come up.
2. A druid cannot wildshape into a cyro hydra, which is a magical beast.

It is stuff like this imo which contributes more to monk discussions 50 pages long, Stoopidtallkid, rather than not delving in a more constructive manner into possible monk strategies and tactics, and the pros and cons compared to other classes.

- Giacomo

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-22, 01:13 PM
The anti-monk fraction does stuff like this without blushing (nor any correction from others). I detected two rules mistakes (more anyone?)
1. No-one can ready a full-round action to counter a spring attack. Nor will the hydra heads be able to AoO a tumbling monk at the levels that such hydras come up.
2. A druid cannot wildshape into a cyro hydra, which is a magical beast.

It is stuff like this imo which contributes more to monk discussions 50 pages long, Stoopidtallkid, rather than not delving in a more constructive manner into possible monk strategies and tactics, and the pros and cons compared to other classes.

- Giacomo

I think there is a feat that allows you to wildshape into a Cryo hydra, actually.

Also, how does you monk have good tumble if he needs to cross class UMD, take hide, move silently, spot and listen in addition to tumble?

Feel free to ignore this post, which is probably what's going to happen.

Eldariel
2009-06-22, 01:13 PM
I think there is a feat that allows you to wildshape into a Cryo hydra, actually.

Frozen Wildshape [Frostburn].

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-22, 01:15 PM
The pro-monk fraction does stuff like this without blushing (nor any correction from others). I detected one rules mistake (more anyone?)

It is stuff like this imo which contributes more to monk discussions 50 pages long, Giacomo.

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-22, 01:38 PM
On "should wildshape be banned alongside polymorph stuff" or not?



Ok, that sounds pretty strong when tossed in with Widshape, toss in full casting and you've got a very very strong class but each particular feature isn't over the top and you can balence the whole by banning any one and getting rid of Natural Spell (or giving it a +1 Meta cost). Wildshape is one part of a synergistic powerhouse, the spell Polymorph is the whole of a powerhouse.

No. Polymorph is not "the whole of a powerhouse". Only druid (to an extent), but more the monk get full synergy out of it, because they can use all of their class abilities in the new form.
The fighter? Loses his armour and weapons. Duh.
The spellcasters? Possibly lose their spellcasting and need to have a VERY, VERY lenient DM to research the potentially better forms with knowledge checks. Double duh.
The rogue? Would rather prefer small forms (but those may leave him with lower DEX than he usually has (and also loses his light armour!). The big forms (penalty to hide) are mostly useless to his sneaky combat form (and he likely loses use of his thief weapons). Yup.

Additionally, it makes absolutely no sense to say - yeah, that ability may be broken, but only when the druid combines it with the rest of his class abilities (which he always does). What kind of argument is that?

I mean, come on: people talk (justifiably to a certain extent) that druids have DEX and STR as "dump stats" due to the cool forms available from level 6. Until then, they just get by as full spellcasters and the animal companion doing the physical combat stuff.
And now you come here and tell us that polymorph is sooo much more breaking the game because fighter players will just dump STR and DEX in the vague hope that
1) their wizard friend will regularly cast polymorph buffs on them from level 7 onwards (oh, the flak I drew for even daring to suggest casters in the group buff their non-caster friends regularly...) and
2) to even SURVIVE without any big combat abilities up to that 7th level. And:
3) even then, to SURVIVE outside the 1min/lvl buffs (say, when - gasp - the party is surprised?).


There's roleplaying restrictions, communication restrictions, casting restrictions (provided you nerf Natural Spell). Wildshape has it's downsides and it doesn't open up more than a big boost in Str, Dex and Natural Armour for the most part, Pounce being the other big bonus. But that's compared to using boostable weapons and armour which is cheaper. The weapon enhancements can get pretty juicy and the spells magic vestments and magic weapon match up pretty well to barkskin and magic fang but the meleer can get a barkskin and have weapon enhancements and magic armour benefits and armour bonusses and use items other than that....

Wonderful! You have just described all the disadvantages of using polymorph - which even lasts only 1min/lvl. Thanks for supporting my case.:smallsmile:
Every reader: just replace in the paragraph above "wildshape" with "polymorph".


In 3.5 there are tiers of power in the classes, the druid is in the top tier and the rogue and barb are well well behind, their class features are powerful and they synergize so yes, they will be behind but that's the game. Polymorph is so powerful it derails the system as I have already shown, Alter Self is so low and so long lasting everyone can get pretty big boosts from early on, Polymorph any Object blows Wildshape out of the water and Shapechange has no real functional limits at all.

And exactly why should only one thing, acessible only to one class, you even admit als "top tier" out of this morphing family be left out?

(...snipping away several comments as I do not think replying to them will help...)


And this old chestnut. As has been mentioned by above posters you then need to give your DM the eyeball for a dodgy dodgy call and then get them to explain EXACTLY what they mean by 'familiar' which goes beyond simply roling knowledge skills (the actual game way of elucidating the characters knowledge) and then do that. in detail. loudly and graphically and repeatedly until the DM grows up and just uses the rules as intended. If you've got to see it go to Sigil, if you've got to meet it go to Sigil and barter with it for some fish, if you've got to have sex with it, disect it, eat it's internal organs and run around with it skin on to 'emotivly connect with it's inner pitfiend' then do that. several times.

So tell me: when you need to houserule a spell into brokenness - why then ban the spell altogether? Why always go for the most broken interpretation. Why?


'Hydras can attack with all their heads at no penalty, even if they move or charge during the round.' Why can't the rogue attack with every head again? The spell also gives you everything in the special attacks bit but it does turn you into a hydra too, you get the basic hydra package of size, natural armour, number of limbs, etc... none of that's in the 'special attacks' part of it's entry, it's just part of, you know, BEING a hydra.

It's part of being a hydra, true, but the morphing spells which are based on the alter self spell description EXCEPT WHEN EXPLICITLY STATED OTHERWISE are crystal clear on this - SRD: A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal.
And even if you could somehow make a case to say - ah it only refers to the typical humanoid multi-attack feats or whatever, again:
WHY, again, go for the most broken interpretation?
Either you think this is too powerful, then do not add broken interpretations ontop. Or do not.
Everything else is just inconsistent.

Let me sum up:
You - alongside many posters who believe monks (and fighters) suck, while casters are great (strange how this often coincides) wish to deny in general the morphing buffs, because you think this would break the game. In reality though, in game mechanics it would immediately restore a lot of the alleged lack of fighting power of the non-caster classes in mid-high levels, since the casters usually do not get such a mileage out of the forms for lack of combat feats (although imo the boost is much less than many people would think).
Meanwhile, same-level superb spells like black tentacles, dimension door, lesser planar ally, solid fog or divine power are absolutely accepted. But OK.

For FLUFF reasons, too, I'd as a DM limit the polymorphing spell line.

But still - I'd never then allow the druid to keep wildshape and at the same time in boards discussions make a big case on why this should be allowed for a class that I think is uber, anyhow.

Wildshape and polymorph are of similar power. The reasons in a nutshell (for those who have not followed it up to now) are:
1. both wildshape and polymorph allow access to high STR/DEX/AC forms with special extraordinary attacks (like pounce or poison).
2. Whether polymorph provides 10-20% more of that than wildshape is not a big deal, since wildshape a) cannot be dispelled and b) lasts 24/7 eventually (and polymorph only 1min/lvl, the permanent polymorph any object available when the druid gets near-equivalent wildshape forms) which c) means a druid player thanks also to his spellcasting can "dump" STR and DEX as stats in case he wishes to do melee combat with his druid.
3. The availabilty of bigger sizes and better forms is better for polymorph in mid-levels (note that the druid is only limited by size, not by HD of the form!), but the arcane casters will not have enough spell slots to make the use of this spell more than an occasional boost in an entire adventure, at best.
4. Both wildshape and polymorphing have similar drawbacks (see above), with the druid the only one to overcome the drawback of spellcasting impairment (inability to speak).

That's about it on this matter.

- Giacomo

Sir Giacomo
2009-06-22, 01:40 PM
Also, how does you monk have good tumble if he needs to cross class UMD, take hide, move silently, spot and listen in addition to tumble?


Check out my example joker monk build in my guide (sig).

- Giacomo