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iElf
2010-02-05, 03:28 PM
Hi, I've decided to play a human monk in our next campaign, and as I've never played one before , I'd like to get some ideas and tips for makeing /playing one

Faleldir
2010-02-05, 03:30 PM
Don't take more actual Monk levels than strictly necessary.

faceroll
2010-02-05, 03:31 PM
Starting level, method of stat generation, books available, and houserules?

Do you want to play a martial arts themed character or do you want to play a build based around the monk in the PHB?

There are a couple useful dips, one is barbarian 1 for pounce (complete champion alternate class feature) and another is shiba protector (oriental adventures) which gets you wisdom to attacks & damage.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-05, 03:32 PM
Don't take more actual Monk levels than strictly necessary.

Two is generally considered the right amount.

Some questions to OP:
What sources are available?
What general power level are you aiming for?
What level do you start?
Houserules?

JeenLeen
2010-02-05, 04:03 PM
Monks are generally considered one of the worse classes, in terms of comparative power and ability to add to a party, especially if the other players are using full-spellcasting classes or optimized. That, although it does not mean you shouldn't play a monk, may explain some comments about the monk class.

I'm not familiar with them, but there are tricks through a multitude of buffs to get your fist-damage very high. I know Fist of the Forest is a good PrC from Complete Champion and helps monk fist damage. It also has some interesting flavour, although it basically prohibits you from any city-oriented plot.

Edit: I would agree with getting out after level 2, getting your good saves, BAB, and Evasion. One book has a lot of alternative class features for fighting styles, which give you different bonus feats. Also on the srd:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#monkVariantFightingSty les

Starbuck_II
2010-02-05, 04:07 PM
Two is generally considered the right amount.

Some questions to OP:
What sources are available?
What general power level are you aiming for?
What level do you start?
Houserules?

5 lowers Flurry, improves damage, speed, Ki Strike, etc. Granted 2 is not bad.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-05, 04:07 PM
Hi, I've decided to play a human monk in our next campaign, and as I've never played one before , I'd like to get some ideas and tips for makeing /playing one
Do you want to play a meditative character competent at unarmed combat, or do you want to play a member of the class called "monk"?

Pharaoh's Fist
2010-02-05, 04:08 PM
{Scrubbed}

Signmaker
2010-02-05, 04:10 PM
5 lowers Flurry, improves damage, speed, Ki Strike, etc. Granted 2 is not bad.

2-3 is usually the suggested value, 2 moreso than 3 because most people see Still Mind as droppable. It's the 4th level that's a pain to get, because unless you ACF-out Slow Fall it's essentially equivalent to a dead level.

Sinfire Titan
2010-02-05, 04:12 PM
5 lowers Flurry, improves damage, speed, Ki Strike, etc. Granted 2 is not bad.

6 is considered the last level of Monk. 8 has been given an Honorable Mention due to an ACF, but is still considered unworthy.

PhoenixRivers
2010-02-05, 04:12 PM
{Scrubbed}

Obligatory UMD reference.

Melamoto
2010-02-05, 04:22 PM
Obligatory UMD reference.

Obligatory Monk 1/Wizard 19 Kung Fu Genius build.

Faleldir
2010-02-05, 04:23 PM
Obligatory 10-page argument about dual-wielding unarmed strikes.

ericgrau
2010-02-05, 04:31 PM
If you want to play an actual monk:
1. Non-humanoids and splatbook tricks will negate you. Make sure you're fighting humanoids, and not ones that all hover, are weaponless and can't be grabbed for odd reasons. Otherwise, see above tips and don't play an actual monk.

2. Never punch something unless you have no other options (see #1 if this is common). Learn the grapple and trip rules, or if the campaign is really humanoid focused you can disarm and stunning fist. Read tumble rules and tumble to the softies in the back line too. Basically make sure nothing can attack you with a weapon while standing, b/c your AC, AB and damage aren't so hot. Your grapple damage is excellent though - more than enough to make up for your grapple modifier - and you can make more trip/disarm/grapple-initiation attempts than other classes. Especially if you TWF monk weapons for an extra attack on top of your flurry. See individual rules on monk weapons. Remember you can 5 foot step in the middle of a full attack and decide on a target for each attack even after seeing the results of the previous attacks. That'll help you make those attempts on multiple targets.

3. Gear: ability score boosters, 4-5 different sources of AC, potions of enlarge person. Other potions and expendable items. Other than that you don't need much. If you already TWF some expensive emergency shurikens can be nice for low AC baddies like liches and so on.

4. Ability scores: Always strength first, then con, dex, wis, w/e. Wis before dex, maybe even before con (but still after strength) if you get stunning fist. Again, only stun if the campaign is crazy loaded with humanoids as your DC will keep up with even a fighter's fort save but not a monster's. EDIT: you have good stats so there's no need for weapon finesse. str 18, dex 17, con 16, wis 16, int 14, cha 10. You could also swap dex and con then pump con up to 18 at level 4. Otherwise pump strength every 4 levels. A 17 dex is good for improved two weapon fighting if you go that route, but gloves of dexterity could also give you enough dex.

iElf
2010-02-05, 04:35 PM
Two is generally considered the right amount.

Some questions to OP:
What sources are available?
What general power level are you aiming for?
What level do you start?
Houserules?

Sources are the core books, the entire set of "complete" books, players handbook 2,books of exalted deeds, and vile darkness ,and The ebberon rulebook

I'm aiming for something that will be competent, but not overpowered, or Munchkinised.

We start at lvl 1

no houserules that are relevant to creating a char

my rolls are 18,17,16,16,14,10

the campaign will probably end at lvl 10 so planing after that is not really necessary

and yes...... i want to play THE monk class

Rasman
2010-02-05, 04:40 PM
The general consenses is that "monks are bad" which I find to be only partly true. You're a supporting melee fighter and you don't really have a single niche that you can fill better than other classes, BUT, with a little help from your DM, you can be EXTREMELY effective.

Rule #1 of playing a monk, if it's REALLY big and there are smaller targets, but still relatively large threats, take out the smaller targets first and let the party fighter deal with the big things, you're probably not going to stun anything big unless they roll a 1 and Mooks are really more of your thing because they tend to have either pretty low damage or really bad to-hit.

Rule #2 your feats are IMPORTANT. If you're planning on playing Monk to 20, know exactly what you want to be able to do at 20. If you want to be a stunning master, go with feats like Pain Touch, Pharaoh's Fist, Ability Focus (Stunning Fist) and the like. If not, then research what feats make what you want to do better.

Rule #3 unless you're going to burn a feat to make your unarmed attacks deal slashing or piercing damage, always ALWAYS carry a weapon that can do either, just to be able to overcome damage reduction. If you take Combat Reflexes, a Reach Weapon, even if you're not profeciant with it, is your friend.

Rule #4 enjoy it, Monks are a really fun class, they're not the best by any means, but the flavor and the fact that you can literally never be disarmed, unless someone cuts your hands, feet and head off, in which case you're dead, is pretty cool. Just be sure to figure out what you want to do in the long run.

Stat wise, I'd go with 18 Str, 17 Dex, 16 Con, 16 Wis, 14 Int, 10 Cha

SurlySeraph
2010-02-05, 04:41 PM
In that case, Human or Dwarf Monk 1 will be a perfectly competent build. Those are very nice stats; I'd go 18 STR, 17 Con, 16 Dex and Wis, 14 Int, 10 Cha. Take Stunning Fist as your Monk bonus, and take whatever 1st-level feat or feats you want, take Pain Touch (Complete Warrior) at 3rd level, and take Improved Natural Attack at 6th. If you're Human and so get two feats at 1st, I'd take Power Attack and Roundabout Kick (from Complete Warrior) to get an extra attack.

Starbuck_II
2010-02-05, 04:43 PM
Rule #4 enjoy it, Monks are a really fun class, they're not the best by any means, but the flavor and the fact that you can literally never be disarmed, unless someone cuts your hands, feet and head off, in which case you're dead, is pretty cool. Just be sure to figure out what you want to do in the long run.

You could play a Lumi Monk. They can't be beheaded.

ericgrau
2010-02-05, 04:45 PM
Hehe, 3 way consensus on stats can't argue with that. :smalltongue:

Jergmo
2010-02-05, 04:46 PM
I have a level 7 monk meant to terrorize my players and get them to work together...

6th level Cobra Strike human monk with 1 level of Shadowdancer.

Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Focus(Unarmed), Weapon Specialization(Unarmed), Spring Attack
(Er...house rule that makes Weapon Specialization not-fighter-only)

He ended up being fairly nasty in a fight. In a one-on-one, with NPC gear, he defeated an 8th level hobgoblin ninja that was beyond WBL for PCs and was allowed to have a couple of things I really shouldn't have let him have. It was a close fight, but eh. I quote my friend after the fight: "THAT WAS STUPID! MONKS CANNOT DO SUCH THINGS!"

Edit: *Looks at above posts* I'm off to Complete Warrior!

Aldizog
2010-02-05, 04:51 PM
Sources are the core books, the entire set of "complete" books, players handbook 2,books of exalted deeds, and vile darkness ,and The ebberon rulebook

I'm aiming for something that will be competent, but not overpowered, or Munchkinised.

We start at lvl 1

no houserules that are relevant to creating a char

my rolls are 18,17,16,16,14,10

the campaign will probably end at lvl 10 so planing after that is not really necessary

and yes...... i want to play THE monk class

Much of the "don't play a monk" advice on this board is based around high-optimization games. In that case, the monk isn't as good. But if that isn't how your group works, the monk can be quite good. So, how much cheese you want to use depends on what your group is like.

You're using Book of Exalted Deeds. Vow of Poverty can be fun for a monk, even if it isn't optimal, because you really get the feel of "It's you, not your stuff." Which is one thing the monk flavor is all about. In a few fights at higher levels, you might need a caster to help you out with an Air Walk or Fly spell.

The Flying Kick feat looks like fun. Having a strong monk who can charge in and kick people in the head for 1d6+1d12+4 damage at level 1 is pretty nice. Add Cleave at level 3. Not because it's optimal, but because it's fun to charge in and roundhouse kick three orcs to the ground at once.

Ability Focus (Stunning Fist) might be worthwhile. Increases the DC by 2, which might mean a 20% increase in success rate (if a foe that needed an 11 now needs a 13).

In Races of the Wild, the halfling monk substitution level gives Skirmish (like a Scout of half level, rounded up) in place of flurry. See if your DM would allow that for any monk, as it synergizes much better with the monk's mobility than Flurry does.

SurlySeraph
2010-02-05, 04:56 PM
Oh, I didn't notice that you were using BoED. Take Touch of Golden Ice. No matter what other feats you take, take Touch of Golden Ice. It's great at low levels, and still can be useful at higher levels.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-05, 04:56 PM
In that case, the monk isn't as good. But if that isn't how your group works, the monk can be quite good. So, how much cheese you want to use depends on what your group is like.


Strangely, monks fare almost as badly in the mid-optimized and unoptimized games I've played in as in the highly optimized games. As a monk player, I think your best bet is to play a highly optimized monk in a mid-optimized game or a mid-optimized monk in an unoptimized game.

Jergmo
2010-02-05, 05:04 PM
...Would it be possible to charge and use Spring Attack?

Mushroom Ninja
2010-02-05, 05:06 PM
...Would it be possible to charge and use Spring Attack?

I don't think so. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#springAttack) Charging is a full round action, not an attack, so it doesn't work with Spring Attack AFAIK.

ericgrau
2010-02-05, 05:07 PM
I think a charge is a full round action and you need to combine spring attack with an attack action. But with monk speed it shouldn't be a big issue. EDIT: Ninja'd, appropriately enough.

Kurald Galain
2010-02-05, 07:09 PM
You could play a Lumi Monk. They can't be beheaded.
Is there some way of playing Rayman? Then you can't be disarmed either...

T.G. Oskar
2010-02-05, 07:16 PM
You're using Book of Exalted Deeds. Vow of Poverty can be fun for a monk, even if it isn't optimal, because you really get the feel of "It's you, not your stuff." Which is one thing the monk flavor is all about. In a few fights at higher levels, you might need a caster to help you out with an Air Walk or Fly spell.

The problem with Vow of Poverty is mostly the fact that it's a trap. Now, I'm not saying it's not roleplay worthy, but there's a few things that make the Vow of Poverty something along the lines of it.

One of the most important is the lack of an ability to fly without magic items. Monks by themselves have no ability that grants them flight, unless they are racially born with it. Monks aren't very good with most ranged attacks, and the few things that help them require both Stunning Fist and doing one single attack, not to mention a 3rd party rulebook (Ring the Golden Bell, or it's low-power counterpart Serpent's Fang from Sandstorm) Aside from that, the Monk won't be capable of contributing against flying creatures, which while not exactly abundant on the usual range of levels a player tends to play (anything perhaps less than 15th level), is still a challenge.

Another is how vulnerable you turn to a DM's whim. The Vow's restriction is quite solidly written, but a DM can use it completely against you. Since you're required to behave on an Exalted (not just good, though IMPO I'd cut some slack to that) manner, while leaving you pretty much unable to hold anything you haven't build or found yourself.

Finally, just how little of the class benefits the Monk nonetheless. You have several good things, or potentially good things, for the Monk: energy resistances, increased ability stats, some nice abilities. However, it still doesn't solve some of the things that even on unoptimized parties would happen: lack of BAB without a reasonable way to rack up hits, which leaves the Monk somewhere between a Fighter with low BAB and a Rogue without Sneak Attack; MAD (the increased ability stats only moderately fix that, but you have to decide whether Strength, Dexterity, Constitution OR Wisdom is more important) and most important of all, a lack of proper proportion between the acquired ability and the level in which you're supposed to have it. You could also argue that it doesn't solve some of the truly effective ways a Monk could have been used, such as how people mentioned Grapple, Disarm and Trip (which oddly do not favor the Monk even though they seem to be built for that), or proper scouting, or even handling spellcasters.

In the end, you'll still depend on your group to handle the events, and if you're playing with a blaster, a heal-bot and a fighter (and hey, maybe as a fifth member along with a skillmonkey), the Monk will still look out of place. What's worse, the blaster may not have Fly prepared (or Mass Fly, which is much better), and the heal-bot may not think of using proper buff spells. Vow of Poverty tends to make you look too optimized for the results, since it grants a huge amount of benefits; however, it has far more restrictions for making it useful.

If the intention is to go Vow of Poverty nonetheless, try to figure out how exactly getting the feat and the feat prerequisites will aid on what you're seeking as a Monk. Grappler? Get the arcanist to imbue you with Enlarge Person, and focus mostly on Strength and Grapple-enhancing feats. Spellcaster-bane? Get buffed and focus on getting to the caster and handling him down. Scout? Not much need to support in that one, actually, since Monks are pretty good scouts (high Wis, Listen and Spot, nice mobility, and a chance to pull off and alert the rest). But in the end, the party buffs will do much more for your Monk than the Vow itself, and that tends to beat the idea of "you, not your stuff" since you're turning that into the more prevalent "your pals' spells, not you".


Ability Focus (Stunning Fist) might be worthwhile. Increases the DC by 2, which might mean a 20% increase in success rate (if a foe that needed an 11 now needs a 13).

Stunning Fist is oddly easy to optimize, actually. You need a few stuff (like Ki Straps from Magic Item Compendium), Ability Focus, and mostly boosts to Wisdom. One of the benefits of Stunning Fist is it's DC scaling process (10 + 1/2 character level + ability mod.), since you can get an insanely high ability modifier and get a high (though not insanely high) DC amount. Consider that you're going with Fortitude, though, which means you need to rack up a save DC roughly equal to the usual Fortitude save for the level +11 to succeed, not to mention countering the Constitution bonus.

Also, Freezing the Lifeblood. Because paralyzed for more than one round is better than stunned for one. It's not going to be effective against immune to stun enemies, but by that moment you've probably gotten a nice tactic.


In Races of the Wild, the halfling monk substitution level gives Skirmish (like a Scout of half level, rounded up) in place of flurry. See if your DM would allow that for any monk, as it synergizes much better with the monk's mobility than Flurry does.

Skirmish is a tad harder to work with, but I agree; it does fit with the Monk's intended "mobile attacker" tactic. I'd say add Snap Kick (from ToB) to the mix if you can, since it works each time you make an attack action (which includes, ironically, Spring Attack and Charge).

Finally: if you're going for Ability Focus, might as well also go for Improved Natural Attack. Your fists count as such, so you get a further increase on your potential damage. Dodge/Mobility/Spring Attack is as much a trap as Vow of Poverty does, but if you can somehow further it (Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz) along with Snap Kick, you can get about six hits on three different enemies while dashing along the battlefield.

If having a high Dex, Combat Reflexes + Decisive Strike (PHBII Alternate Class Feature) + Karmic Strike or Robilar's Gambit makes you also quite strong. The more attacks you can get along with Monk that deal double damage, the better.

Rasman
2010-02-05, 07:34 PM
Oh, I didn't notice that you were using BoED. Take Touch of Golden Ice. No matter what other feats you take, take Touch of Golden Ice. It's great at low levels, and still can be useful at higher levels.

haha...that's kinda cute, I might pick that up sometime just because it amuses me, bad DC though, imo, especially if it's a fort save, but they'd have to Fail it eventually since you're gonna flurry with it...makes me wish I hadn't had to make Con a Dump stat because of bad rolls.

Aldizog
2010-02-06, 02:39 AM
The problem with Vow of Poverty is mostly the fact that it's a trap. Now, I'm not saying it's not roleplay worthy, but there's a few things that make the Vow of Poverty something along the lines of it.

Well, the OP is only planning on the game going until level 10 or so, in which case I have found flight items for non-casters to be rare enough that VoP isn't that much of a problem. The VoP bonuses do look quite nice through level 10 (among other things, you don't run out of good Exalted feats to take by then).

IME, my druid cast Air Walk on the bard-barian all the way through level 20. Quickened Air Walk at higher levels, but still, it was not expected that all PCs would fly under their own power. YMMV. As I see it, most of the arguments against VoP (in general, not in your post) seem a little bit too focused on PvP arenas than actual games where the PCs cooperate. Through level 10, I'd guess that 9 times out of 10 the monk wouldn't need a boost from the party caster, though something like Haste is never unwanted. Oh, and skill tricks from Complete Scoundrel help out here for spotting invisible foes, another major drawback of VoP.

Tokiko Mima
2010-02-06, 04:12 AM
The first two levels of monk are perfectly fine, but be aware why people are saying Monk is a bad class. It gets bad at level 3 and worse the higher you go, but it's not obvious that it's happening until you see one played at that level range. I've had several monks played well at games when I've been both a player and a DM, but they never perform to the extent that well-played characters of most any other class do.

Most of the reason why is MAD, or Multiple Ability Dependency. Classes are considered better if one ability score is a huge benefit to them, rather than a lot of ability scores benefiting them. Wizard is a great example of this, as they are INT based and SAD (Single Ability Dependent); other ability scores are useful, but as long as they have INT they'll be just fine.

Monks are on the opposite end of this; they need good Wisdom, Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity minimum. Fortunately, you'll have good scores for those. It's still a problem for a monk even with good ability scores however. It's going to be more difficult for you to increase all of those abilities later, when a SAD character gains the same benefit for raising only one.

Also be aware that you will experience some difficulty in aquiring magic items to enhance your unarmed attack. The Amulet of Mighty Fists is cripplingly overpriced in the SRD, but the Necklace of Natural Attacks works for monks, so you might want to check on Savage Species 3.0 book for that. In general, you're going to be suffering here: Your BAB progression is not that of a frontline fighter, so you'll be missing much more often, especially if you apply the flurry penalty as well.

As much as it looks like unarmed damage is great because it has a large base it's not really base weapon damage that makes you do more damage, but Strength, 2HW and enhancement/weapon property bonuses that really power through low amounts of DR and slay enemies quickly. You might want to consider buying a few monk weapons to bypass silver and cold iron, and keep focused on improving your strength ability score.

Monks are good at low level grappling, but only things their size or smaller. It's also not a tactic you want to plan to be able to keep using forever. Monsters in D&D rather quickly evolve abilities to make them much better at grappling than you are, usually by being much larger, stronger, and able to autodamage with a grapple check. The few at higher level that aren't those things can usually teleport away or freedom of movement themselves. So enjoy it while you can!

In general, I recommend you take the first two levels of Monk, then class out to something else that's still monk-like, but has class features that upgrade over time. Psychic Warrior is ideal for monk (especially with the Soulknife Replacement class feature and the Ebberon Tashalatora feat.) Rogue also works, but I would want to take Rogue for my 1st level for maximum benefit to skill points. :smallwink:

Edit: Also, here's a nice Monk Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?PHPSESSID=83098b4417f8350a98af316486a346 7e&topic=1015.0). Hope it helps ya! :smallsmile:

faceroll
2010-02-06, 05:14 AM
Sources are the core books, the entire set of "complete" books, players handbook 2,books of exalted deeds, and vile darkness ,and The ebberon rulebook

I'm aiming for something that will be competent, but not overpowered, or Munchkinised.

We start at lvl 1

no houserules that are relevant to creating a char

my rolls are 18,17,16,16,14,10

the campaign will probably end at lvl 10 so planing after that is not really necessary

and yes...... i want to play THE monk class

If you can get away with playing a truly vile creature, kobold monk 7/soul eater 1/monk 2 gets you something like 6 attacks/round, all of which drain a level if you land a touch attack.

Ok, that's totally munchkinized, but it'd still be awesome.

PhoenixRivers
2010-02-06, 05:18 AM
If you can get away with playing a truly vile creature, kobold monk 7/soul eater 1/monk 2 gets you something like 6 attacks/round, all of which drain a level if you land a touch attack.

Ok, that's totally munchkinized, but it'd still be awesome.

Munchkinized is Monk 2 / ToB 7 / Soul eater 1.

Use the feats and maneuvers that give large numbers of touch attacks, at increasing penalties, in exchange for a damage bonus next round.

Harperfan7
2010-02-06, 05:58 AM
Don't forget to mix charging with a stunning fist/grapple/trip/or disarm. You'll have an extreme charging range eventually, use it on casters and other long distance types.

You'll be the perfect bandit. Sneak up on somebody, grab their stuff, run away, hide, repeat. Once they are lacking their most important things, lay down the hurt.

You'll probably have the highest defense vs. enchantment, so be prepared to subdue your own party members if need be.

Once you get poison immunity, coat your hands in the best stuff you can find (preferably a contact poison).

Think like a rogue, don't do straight stand up fights, especially not with CR appropriate enemies, go after enemies with class levels (especially the softer ones).

Servus
2010-02-10, 02:46 AM
Warforged deal d4 unarmed damage by deafault. A warforged monk deals unarmed damage like a medium creature (being medium), or like a large creature (whose basic unarmed damage usually is d4)?

kemmotar
2010-02-10, 04:12 AM
If you're going to play a human monk the first thing to keep in mind is don't bother with grappling or tripping, if you don't start with large/powerful build you're not going to benefit much from them. Except if you plan on getting some size increase through spells/magic items.

If you wanna go the damage route then you can just grab superior unarmed strike (ToB), monk's belt and impr. natural attack (the latter might depend on your DM, though I think it's ok, you can't really break a monk:smalltongue:). It's not very optimized but you can have fun with it.

Also remember that monks are survivors if anything, you have the strength to carry unconscious team mates, the saves to run away and the speed to pull it off. One item I find is good on any character, especially monks, is chronocharm of the horizon walker (300 gp, swift action 1/day [if I remember correctly] move up to your speed [doesn't interfere with your normal movement]), it's a cheap item that maximizes your speed.

You might also take power attack with a view to shock trooper (for heedless charge) and flying kick. Think of the fun you can have charging stuff and flying kicking them in the face with full power attack and no penalty to your attack roll. Not really optimized but could be fun.

Also, as previously suggested you want to multiclass out of monk at some point. If you prefer the actual class I guess the last point you should get out is level 8 for the extra damage dice and saves. With superior unarmed strike and monk's belt you have an extra 8 effective levels in unarmed damage dice and this makes you effectively 16 level. If you want the last level of unarmed damage you need effective level 20. I know no way of getting that without taking levels but possibly a good monk PrC with unarmed progression (however that would require level 12 so irrelevant to you:smalltongue:)

The more logical and optimized approach would be to multiclass out earlier, 4th seems like a good idea, fill the holes with psychic warrior or ToB, possibly one fighter level for the extra feat if you need it.

Also, at the start I mentioned going large via items/buffs. That is usually a bad idea for a monk, it might pump your damage dice and grapple/tripping modifiers but unless you have powerful build it's more likely to gimp you rather than help you since you take a hit to your attack roll which is already low. I've found that goliaths make effective monks due to the inherent synergy of powerful build with monk as well as their stats which pretty much fit the monk quite well (apart from the -2 dex) if you want to go for the str based monk.

Not really optimized ideas, but I think you can cherry pick something you like to complement whatever you had in mind. Also, don't listen to the meanies telling you monks are useless, monks are different and misunderstood creatures:smalltongue:

Kelb_Panthera
2010-02-10, 05:09 AM
Some good advice already, so I'll make this suggestion: consider the sacred fist PrC. You get some divine spellcasting, advancement of monk's unarmed damage, full BAB and some nifty class features, including speed and ac increases that work in light armor. If you're concerned that it'll be more of a caster than a monk, don't be. It only requires a single level in any divine casting class to enter. I suggest druid, since druid buffs work pretty nicely with a monk.

Vizzerdrix
2010-02-10, 05:46 AM
Some good advice already, so I'll make this suggestion: consider the sacred fist PrC. You get some divine spellcasting, advancement of monk's unarmed damage, full BAB and some nifty class features, including speed and ac increases that work in light armor. If you're concerned that it'll be more of a caster than a monk, don't be. It only requires a single level in any divine casting class to enter. I suggest druid, since druid buffs work pretty nicely with a monk.

Hmm... Is sacred fist better than Enlightened fist? I've always wondered what one was stronger...

Oh, On topic, I'm a fan of dipping fighter (1,2 or 4) with monk. The better BAB, HD and feats will lend you a bit more staying power.

And it isn't much, but an earthsilk jersey (from RoS) will give you DR 1/- and isn't that expensive. Should help at lower levels at least.

ericgrau
2010-02-10, 11:00 AM
If you're going to play a human monk the first thing to keep in mind is don't bother with grappling or tripping... <goes on to describe size reasons>

Then nor should you use most anything described in the core monk class. Like I said, use monk in a humanoid heavy campaign or not at all. Or combo it with some splatbooks in which case you merely dip monk rather than playing a pure monk. As for damage it is usually worse than other classes and more importantly forces you to melee. With monk AC and no special attacks you become quite vulnerable. Yeah there are exceptions, but they are not without heavy sacrifices.

OTOH potions of enlarge person are still great for any monk to have. Pumping a ginormous size from splatbooks of course helps any monk too but it gets more cheesy depending on how far you take it.

Optimystik
2010-02-10, 11:11 AM
Seconding Tokiko's suggestion - take 1 level of Monk, then go Psywar and Tashalatora. All the fun of beating people up with your fists, none of the headache.

For even more powers, go Monk/Ardent, Carmendine Monk/Psion, or Battle Dancer/Ascetic Mage/Wilder.

Leon
2010-02-10, 11:26 AM
Hi, I've decided to play a human monk in our next campaign, and as I've never played one before , I'd like to get some ideas and tips for making /playing one

Worst part of the decision about playing a Monk is asking for help here, once you get over that bump It'll be the same as making any other PC.



18,17,16,16,14,10

Nice numbers, particularly for a Monk

18 in WIS
17 in DEX
16 in STR
16 in CON
14 in INT (skills are nice to have)
10 in CHA

What role do you want to fill in your party - common roles i think of for Monks are Recon, Second line combatant, control

My Suggestions for Feats (core) - Combat Expertise (if you want to have Both tripping/Disarming options available), Rapid Reload (you can use a Hvy Crossbow), The Archery line of Feats (that hvy crossbow again).

I'll have some Non core later on as well as other suggestions - I don't think well when im really tired


Make sure to have a selection of weaponry other than your body to cover situations where you don't want to touch something nasty or need a special material.

Soranar
2010-02-10, 03:05 PM
There's a very nice monk variant from Dragon Magazine that let's you wildshape like a druid. You lose all your bonus feats (3),slow fall, abundant step for it and quivering palm for it.

It scales really well though. By level 5 you're effectively a kung-fu creature (and you heal completely whenever you come out of wildshape). It also let's you fly and such and you don't need to multiclass at all. Most creatures have bonuses to AC, hide and move silently, grapple checks , etc. And many can fly. The best early shape you will want is deynonichus (a dinosaur with pounce). If that's not allowed then just pick a big cat like a leopard.

If you choose that I recommend a kobold monk. Kobolds have 3 natural attacks (2 claws, 1 bite) so you qualify for multiattack and improved multiattack which greatly helps your wildshaped forms. (Monster feats, you can find them in the SRD online)

You're only important stats become CON (and some kobolds have no penalties to it) , WIS and some INT for skills. Take dragonwrought and be venerable and you'll get +3 to those stats anyway without other penalties.

Considering you already have a 16.17.18. you would be fine. Oh and take intuitive attack so your huge WIS does something outside of AC and stunning attacks.

If that's not allowed, or to your taste, well there are other options.

A dwarf can make a decent monk. He gets access to twohanded strikes, I forget the source (it's not a Dragon magazine one) but you get 1.5 times your strength to damage by hitting like people on Star Trek. You also get access to the Deepwarden (Con to AC) PrC which works really well with Fist of the forest which is commonly used in Barbarian builds.

Monk 6/Fist of the Forest 1/Deepwarden 2 is a pretty strong character. I'd have to lookup the skill requirements (and BAB) but you'd need a couple of pointless feats to qualify though. Power attack, great fortitude and endurance if I'm not mistaken.

Monk 1 or 2/Cleric x/Sacred Fist 10 is probably one of the best ''monk'' build though. Your stats have great synergy, you can wear light armor to lower your Dex dependency and you can add your Wisdom to damage on top of having a near perfect spellcasting progression with Full BAB . You can reach 9th level spell with full casting power (through practiced spellcaster) , your Wisdom is really high anyway and you can buff yourself well too (divine power comes to mind). And the bonus damage from spellbuffs easily compensates the minor loss in unarmed damage progression.

Jayabalard
2010-02-10, 03:53 PM
Munchkinized is Monk 2 / ToB 7 / Soul eater 1.

Use the feats and maneuvers that give large numbers of touch attacks, at increasing penalties, in exchange for a damage bonus next round.This isn't really applicable for a "human monk" since ToB isn't on the list of approved books.


The problem with Vow of Poverty is mostly the fact that it's a trap. Whether or not it's a trap really depends on whether your gm uses fairly standard WBL, and whether you can generally get custom made items in your campaign, and what level ranges you're going to be playing at. We know that the campaign isn't expected to go much past lvl 10, but the other 2 pieces of info might be useful for providing advice.

Draz74
2010-02-10, 05:05 PM
Geez, people, psionics aren't even allowed in his campaign. Why are you suggesting Tashalatora?

Monk/caster dip/Sacred Fist is worth considering, though.

Another vote for Touch of Golden Ice; I was going to recommend that before I saw someone else had. This is assuming, of course, that a significant fraction of the things you fight will be Evil.

If you go Sacred First or even if you just take Stunning Fist, I'd make Wisdom higher than Dexterity. Strength should be highest with your rolls, though. Nice rolls, btw; that will help with the playing-a-Monk thing.

AslanCross
2010-02-10, 05:17 PM
Since you have PHB2, you might want to take the Decisive Strike alternative class feature instead of Flurry. It's still a full round action so I don't think it's a fantastic alternative, but I'd prefer that over missing with a bunch of ineffective attacks.

Your ability rolls are really good, so I think you will at the very least not suffer horribly from the Monk's MAD problem.

Since you're using Eberron, might I suggest a Warforged Monk? Your Composite Plating does not count as armor for the purposes of armor-dependent class features and can be enchanted, so it works well in raising your AC. Couple that with all the immunities and you'll be highly resistant to a lot of crap that can be thrown at you. An often forgotten issue with the Warforged is that its Slam is its single natural weapon and it therefore gets a x1.5 Strength bonus to damage on it. (Though Races of Eberron is clear in that while the warforged gets this on its Slam, it doesn't get it on its Unarmed Attack. Go figure.)

You could also get a Battlefist.

EDIT: One last thing I forgot. The Monk's wholeness of body class feature heals a warforged without problems. The Warforged is only resistant to Conjuration (healing) spells.

Curmudgeon
2010-02-10, 05:18 PM
A couple of important Monk power-ups:

Invisible Fist alternative class feature (Exemplars of Evil, page 21): trade evasion for the ability to turn invisible for a round at a time
A Sparring Dummy of the Master (Arms and Equipment Guide, page 137): expensive, but after training with this you can make 10' steps in place of 5' steps -- and you can sell it back for price
Ask your DM if you can get just these things; you don't need access to the whole books.

Benejeseret
2010-02-10, 06:11 PM
If you are going for straight out martial arts inspired great, but another options is to simply reconsider what a monk IS and work with alternative concepts - which in turn changes how you play, what situations you end up in, and thus how effective you end up being.

Example: My wife just rolled up a monk character for a recent game. A bordello owner and business women. A monk/rogue bordello owner and business women. The lawfulness was interpreted as a simple respect of business laws and contracts. She tries not to kill any humanoid who could one day be a customer. Somewhat based on the Heather character from CSI.

Use of monk abilities:
Unarmed combat - she's very good with her body...
Purity of body - well, you build up immunity over time...
Wholeness of body - Along the lines of the bene gesserit of Dune
etc.

Key Feats: Carmidine Monk and Aesthetic Rogue with DM's permission to follow the table rather then text.

Monk7/rogue1

With Dex/Cha/Int as main stats in that order.

Now, on its own its not overly powerful, but it is particularly effective because the concept helps to mold actions (form follows function). Which means she never punches anything if she can avoid it by charisma and charms. Essentially playing like a scoundrel only with primarily monk abilities.