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View Full Version : monk class features as feats, also additional revisions



elliott20
2009-06-16, 05:42 AM
This started off as a project to basically find ways to emulate the monk abilities without having to take the monk class. (which is a locked package of ability progression that unfortunately fits a very narrow fluff and even more narrow mechanical focus) Whilst doing so, some other feats got re-done in the process.

All of this, btw, is supposed to be for people who want to play a martial arts character without going TOB. While I personally love the book, I know people who don't really find it all that appealing. This is an attempt to give the core martial characters a bit more umph

I'm still not quite done with the rest of the monk features yet, but I'll get around to them eventually.

Monk Abilities turned into Feats

Martial Unarmed Strike
Pre-req: Improved Unarmed Strike/natural weapon
Benefit: Your unarmed strikes now deal a damage of 1d6. In addition, dealing subdual damage no longer imposes a -4 penalty to hit.

Advance Martial Unarmed Strike
Pre-req: Martial Unarmed Strike
Benefit: Your unarmed strike now deals 1d8 damage. You may also sunder without penalty and disarm without provoking an attack of opportunity

Master Martial Unarmed Strike
Pre-req: Advance Martial Unarmed Strike
Benefit: Your unarmed strike now deals 2d6 damage.

Flurry of Blows
Pre-req: Improved Unarmed Strike, Unarmed Progression
Benefit: flurry attack as monk ability. Progression

Monk's Agility
You are trained the art of maneuvering out of harm's way
Pre-req: Wis 13+
Benefit: You now gain +1 dodge AC bonus per 4 levels.

Ki Body
You can use your ki to better protect your body
Pre-req: Wis 15+, Monk's Agility
Benefit: After 20 minutes of quiet meditation, you gain +1 deflection AC bonus and +1 deflection reflex save bonus per 4 levels for the rest of the day.

Ki strike
Pre-req: improved unarmed strike, stunning fist/Ki Body
Benefit: your unarmed strikes can now be treated as weapons that can be used to by pass DR.
{table="head"]Character Level|BAB

1-4|Magical, +1
5-9|Lawful/Chaotic, Good/Evil, +2
10-13|Cold Iron, Silver, +3
14-17|Mithril, +4
17-20|Adamantine, +5
[/table]

Ki Channeling Strike
Pre-req: Ki Strike, Ki Body, Stunning Fist
Benefit: At the beginning of the round, you may declare that you are channeling your ki directly into your unarmed strike to deal extra damage. You must sacrifice the deflection bonus you gained from the Ki Body feat. For every +1 deflection AC bonus you sacrifice, you deal an additional 1d6 damage for this round. Once the round is over, you lose the deflection AC bonus until you have had a chance to meditate and regain the bonus. You may also sacrifice stunning fist attempts in the same fashion at an exchange rate of 1d6 extra damage per stunning fist attempt.

Quivering Palm
Pre-req: Ki Channeling Strike
Benefit: You gain two new options

1. You may now use Ki Channeling strike AFTER you've scored a hit, allowing you to channel the extra damage after you've confirmed a hit.
2. You may, by announcing that you're sacrificing 4 stunning fist attempts, attempt to perform a quivering palm technique as PHB.

Diamond Body: as PHB, but with pre-req of Ki Body
Diamond Mind: as PHB, but with pre-req of Diamond Body

Monk speed: +10 to movement speed. Cannot be used with armor.
Advanced Monk Speed: another +10 to movement speed
Master Monk Speed: another +10, for a grand total of +30


And now, since Im at it, some old feat revisions


Weapon focus: as PHB, but the bonus is now +1 to hit / 5 levels
Weapon Spec: as PHB, but the bonus is now +2 to damage / 5 levels
Greater Weapon Focus: as PHB, improves the bonus by an addition +1, for a total of +2 to hit / 5 levels
Greater Weapon Spec: as PHB, but the bonus is now +4 to damage / 5 levels
Dodge: as PHB, but the bonus is now +1 dodge bonus every / 5 levels
Toughness:+1 hit point / level


And while were all here, some new feats I thought Id throw out there


Shield Specialization
Youre more adept at using a shield as a means for protection
Pre-req: shield proficiency, +1 BAB
Benefit: you gain an additional +1 AC shield bonus / 5 levels whilst using a shield.

Shield Riposte
Youve been trained to integrate defense and offense into one action through the use of your shield.
Pre-req: shield proficiency, +3 BAB
Benefit: while using a shield and another weapon, any time a melee attack misses you, you may make an immediate attack of opportunity. This counts against your total allotted attacks of opportunity.

Defensive Advance
You can now turn your defensive prowess towards an offensive end.
Pre-req: Shield Specialization, int 13+
Benefit: While using a shield, you may deduct 1 AC from your shield bonus to give yourself and additional +1 to hit for that round. (used in the same fashion as combat expertise, limited by your shield AC)

Slippery Shield
You now have learned how to use your shield to not just block, but to maneuver as well.
Pre-req: Shield Proficiency, int 15+, +7 BAB
Benefit: You may now apply your shield bonus to your touch AC as well.

J.Gellert
2009-06-16, 06:25 AM
I like the idea very much, but I would have done the execution differently - namely, I wouldn't scale the feats with levels, but do it like so:

I won't follow the standard format because this is faster

Improved Unarmed Strike:
1. You are treated as armed and don't provoke AoO's
2. Your unarmed attacks do 1d4 damage (really, WotC, d3?)

Advanced Unarmed Strike:
1. Your unarmed attacks do 1d6 damage
2. You may deal normal damage instead of subdual without the -4 penalty

Expert Unarmed Strike:
1. Your unarmed attacks do 1d8 damage
2. You no longer take a penalty when attempting a Disarm with unarmed attacks
3. You may make Sunder attempts with your unarmed strike

It's mostly a matter of personal preference though. I see you are making many feats scale with your level, which is not a bad thing, but if you do it with the monk feats then you cheapen them, and people that pick them up will be very powerful (in essence, they will be almost gestalt).

But as always, it's just my theory. I won't know how it works until I see it in-play.

Pyrusticia
2009-06-16, 06:38 AM
Any chance of rewriting these so that they waive the Improved Unarmed Strike prereq if the character has a natural attack (claw or slam)? It never made much sense to me to require a feat whose only benefit is removing the AoO from an unarmed attack, if they already don't suffer an AoO from an unarmed attack...

Cieyrin
2009-06-16, 08:36 AM
The thing with that is unarmed attacks and natural attacks are not the same. They're not interchangeable between one another and function independently. A troll monk couldn't flurry with its claw attacks any more than a centaur monk could with its hooves. It is a little strange but there are plenty of ways to improve natural weapon damage as is, plus, depending on creature type, natural weapons can far outdo unarmed attacks by sheer amount, especially if the Rapidstrike feat chain is invested into.

elliott20
2009-06-16, 09:04 AM
I like the idea very much, but I would have done the execution differently - namely, I wouldn't scale the feats with levels, but do it like so:

I won't follow the standard format because this is faster

Improved Unarmed Strike:
1. You are treated as armed and don't provoke AoO's
2. Your unarmed attacks do 1d4 damage (really, WotC, d3?)

Advanced Unarmed Strike:
1. Your unarmed attacks do 1d6 damage
2. You may deal normal damage instead of subdual without the -4 penalty

Expert Unarmed Strike:
1. Your unarmed attacks do 1d8 damage
2. You no longer take a penalty when attempting a Disarm with unarmed attacks
3. You may make Sunder attempts with your unarmed strike

It's mostly a matter of personal preference though. I see you are making many feats scale with your level, which is not a bad thing, but if you do it with the monk feats then you cheapen them, and people that pick them up will be very powerful (in essence, they will be almost gestalt).

But as always, it's just my theory. I won't know how it works until I see it in-play.

This works too. The reason why I did level scaling was because it was well... the easiest to write up for the time being and the book keeping change would be minimal in this case.

You're right about the cheapening part though. It's the reason I was having a hard time writing up some of the other abilities like diamond mind, diamond body and other abilities of it's kind.

The only way I can think doing this is to really split all the abilities up into smaller chunks and then have you build on top of one another. Of course, this would mean that the only good monk is a fighter, since it would be so feat intensive that only a fighter could possibly hope to get the entire tree down.

as for natural strike vs. unarmed strike. Well, I certainly could change the wording, and you would just have to justify it with fluff. (i.e. troll martial arts, designed specifically to take advantage of troll-like physiques)

the thing is though, I always thought that unarmed strike is not treated the same as a natural weapon in the PHB, and trying to equate the two might cause more changes to make sure it all hangs together. It can be a start though.

I'll have to take a second look at it later. right now it's kind of late for me.

J.Gellert
2009-06-16, 10:23 AM
The only way I can think doing this is to really split all the abilities up into smaller chunks and then have you build on top of one another. Of course, this would mean that the only good monk is a fighter, since it would be so feat intensive that only a fighter could possibly hope to get the entire tree down.

Keep a moderate number of chunks, and don't go all the way to level 20. Monk-like characters can work even with only a few of the monk abilities - even the current monk-something hybrid PrCs don't advance all the monk abilities.

With the example of the unarmed strike, you don't need feats that go all the way to 2d10 damage; if a fighter can make do with a d8 sword, why can't a monk-styled character live with d8 fists? :smallwink:

Similarly, the speed bonus can be two or three feats; but you don't need to be Flash to be a proper monk (read, wuxia-style unarmed combatant), even one feat for a +10 ft land speed would be sufficient to provide the 'style'.

elliott20
2009-06-16, 09:38 PM
So I've split it up and basically allow you to burn one additional feat at the end of the chain to boot your unarmed strike up to 2d6 damage. Since you gain no other benefit for that feat, I thought it was appropriate.

I've also tried to add in a couple more feats with some more powers. Not sure how balanced they are since they act a lot like arcane strike, but easier to gain.

edit: oh yeah, I forgot the speed stuff. I'll get to that later.

elliott20
2009-06-17, 10:11 AM
added speed feats and added toughness.

I might at some point hit up all the feats.

I realized that most of my feats are just number crunching. I want to be able to do more than just that. Maybe give feats more options in the process.

Demons_eye
2009-06-19, 09:54 PM
I don't get it. Do you have to take all the feats to gain there abilities or can you take the first and every other level you gain another?

elliott20
2009-06-20, 11:13 AM
they're feats, so they function just like normal feats. In a word, you gotta take them to get the benefits.

There are, of course, feats that I put in here which scales with your level. So THOSE are kinda like feats that keep on giving.

the point of all this was just that you break down the monk class and basically allow a fighter (or any character willing to blow the feats) to spend feats gaining monk class features. This was actually a branch off of one of those "fix the monk" type threads where people were all trying to come up with ways to make the monk class work. The thing is, I always thought this was a flawed approach because the fundamental problem with the monk class wasn't that it was bad at it's job, it's that the job it was meant to do was too broad and too vague to begin with. It was meant to be every single martial artist you've ever seen except the funny part was, we already have a martial artist class, we just choose to ignore it - the fighter.

So, my idea at the time was to instead of trying to fix the monk by giving it a bunch of random abilities, or try to lock it into a single style of martial art style, (or just use ToB) was to complete deconstruct the monk class, make all of it's features into feats, and simply angle it so that the original martial character is in place to take advantage of it the quickest.

That's why I reduced it all down into feats. So instead of using the monk class, you would use a fighter and build up to a full monk selecting the right feats.

This also means that if you don't want a monk that fights with unarmed, you don't have to build one as such. You could just pick up monk speed, monk AC, and a couple monk saves, but spend the rest of it on your own fighter-y stuff.