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Acero
2010-04-27, 06:06 PM
My party has been complaining that they haven't faced much of a challenge (2 munchkins doesn't help)In the campaign im running, the king of one nation is a level 19 Monk. Pretty soon, The PC's are going to have to face him. Since there are no monk PC's in the game, I can make it a overpowered Monk(if its even possible).


How can I do that?

First Thoughts:

Flurry while moving
Proficient with fists
maybe go wolverine claws
have something for fly
Wands of fireball strapped to the inside of his sleeves (for flavor)

Anything else?

Shpadoinkle
2010-04-27, 06:08 PM
By making him a full caster and calling him a monk.

The Rose Dragon
2010-04-27, 06:08 PM
Does he have to be a monk? Or at least, do the players have to know he has 19 levels of monk class? As he is an NPC, it would be easier to give him whatever powers you think will challenge the party rather than try and make the monk more powerful.

Or of course, you can always go unarmed swordsage. :smalltongue:

Dust
2010-04-27, 06:10 PM
Here's (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19869110/monk_minmax_creation_guide) THE monk minmaxing guide.

GenPol
2010-04-27, 06:11 PM
How do you break a monk? Play a druid. :smallbiggrin:

But seriously, I would suggest the Unarmed Swordsage variant. Optimizing a monk is... difficult at least.

Eternal Drifter
2010-04-27, 06:12 PM
First: Monks don't really fit the concept of a King, so you may wish to consider a different class.

If that isn't enough for you to choose a different path, two feats from the Monster Manual (Ability Focus and Improved Natural Attack) help out.

Ability Focus for the Stunning Fist and/or Quivering Palm abilites, and Improved Natural Attack to increase the damage of the Monk even farther.

Of course, it may help to know a little more about the campaign. If it is Gestalt, for example... then add fighter class to the monk for more options!

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 06:13 PM
Monk 2 + Tashalatoran/Ardent 17
Monk is pretty weak, but this particular combo is very strong and very well-thought of. You'll end up using Dominant Ideal, and the Mantle trade-out ACF, which requires GM approval, so you know, write stuff down, read it, ask yourself, cackle, the usual routine.

ACFs (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070629a)

Darkspear
2010-04-27, 06:14 PM
Homebrew a feat that gives 1/10th (or more) of his speed to AC, reflex and initiative. Also, give him Exceptional Deflection as an early feat, and make Deflect Arrows go from one a round to reflex save per round. So massive AC, massive reflex, and can deflect at least 20 *ranged* touch spells a round.

Nearly impossible to kill, but his damage will still suck beyond belief, just like every monk there is.

Arakune
2010-04-27, 06:15 PM
Monk 2/Psichic Warrior 18

Take tashalatora and be happy: now you are a monk with actual class features.

Edit: Ninja'd by doc on tashalatora

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 06:19 PM
Homebrew a feat that gives 1/10th (or more) of his speed to AC, reflex and initiative. Also, give him Exceptional Deflection as an early feat, and make Deflect Arrows go from one a round to reflex save per round. So massive AC, massive reflex, and can deflect at least 20 *ranged* touch spells a round.

Nearly impossible to kill, but his damage will still suck beyond belief, just like every monk there is.

Or just use the bloody Penny Dreadful monk.

Tinydwarfman
2010-04-27, 06:25 PM
You're the GM, you don't have to play by the rules. Make it a tri-gestalt Unarmed Swordsage // Monk/Fighter // Cleric/Sacred Fist(or Egoist if you prefer psionics) or something like that. And give him a posse of full casters too, just as backup. Because what king doesn't have his own mages/is one?

lsfreak
2010-04-27, 06:41 PM
Agree with Monk2/PsyWarrior18, or unarmed swordsage 20. Call him a monk, they'll only know the difference if they go into metagame. I like the idea of gestalting as well (UASS/PW), it'll make him more versatile without flat-out outstripping the PC's.

Also, don't just have them fight the king, unless he's done something stupid like letting the PC's duel him instead of flat-out fight. Facing a king means likely means also facing his best bodyguards (a pair of crusaders, a batman wizard, and a high-level rogue masquerading as staff, for example), plus plenty of 'mooks' (and by mooks, I mean palace guards that are probably running 8-12th level).

WildPyre
2010-04-27, 06:46 PM
Don't twink the monk... twink the KING.

At no time should the players get to face just the king, he should have his royal secret service as well as his normal guards, and then the double super secret assassin squad...

Certainly pimp out his monkness if you want to go that rout, but don't forget he's also the king.

Draken
2010-04-27, 06:50 PM
Hit him with a pipe. That should break a few bones.

Oh, wait, wrong type of breaking.

The best I can think of (that doesn't basicaly amounts to "play something else with a monk dip, if even that) is by means of gear. Make items that give spells or powers as constant effects (horribly expensive) or reliably on-use (action intensive), a few examples of good spells and powers to have:


Divine Power
Expansion (alternatively, Giant Size)
Greater Mighty Walop
Haste



It's what I can think of right now. Surely there are dozens of other fun little spells to use.

Reynard
2010-04-27, 06:55 PM
Give him a ------ of Dex and Wis +10, to increase his AC by 10.

nedz
2010-04-27, 06:59 PM
Or just use the bloody Penny Dreadful monk.

Has this been play tested?
I only ask because Dance of Sun & Moon gives powers at 12th level for a 10 level class.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 07:00 PM
Give him a ------ of Dex and Wis +10, to increase his AC by 10.
And then the players kill him and take the items. Bad idea.

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 07:03 PM
Has this been play tested?
I only ask because Dance of Sun & Moon gives powers at 12th level for a 10 level class.

Yes it has, very thoroughly. As you may note, a number of the abilities, Dance being one, are advanced as per other monk abilities from the old monk class. This means that things like the monk belt, or PrCs can push you past 10 effective monk levels for many abilities.

nedz
2010-04-27, 07:03 PM
Take 2, possible 4 or maybe 6 levels of Monk, and the remainder as some other class.
Cleric is an obvious option, or dump wis for int via Kung Fu Genious and go with Wizard.

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 07:05 PM
Take 2, possible 4 or maybe 6 levels of Monk, and the remainder as some other class.
Cleric is an obvious option, or dump wis for int via Kung Fu Genious and go with Wizard.

Take a look at Tashalatoran in the feats section of Secrets of Sarlona.

Reynard
2010-04-27, 07:14 PM
And then the players kill him and take the items. Bad idea.

Make it Monk-only, then. Or make it require access to Ki, since by that level no-one is going to put 4 levels into monk for a magic item.

Pluto
2010-04-27, 07:15 PM
Don't twink the monk... twink the KING.
This is good advice.



But if you want to twink the Monk, get some size increases going (Greater Mighty Wallop, Improved Natural Attack, Expansion, all that noise), toss on Travel Devotion (1/day is fine if there's one encounter per campaign) and blow some resources on flight and teleportation abilities.


Hell, you might even listen to Giacomo for playstyle -- this is the king. He should have NPC casters on hand to give him whatever the hell he likes; he should have the resources to load up on partially charged wands of Wraithstrike or Knight's Move or whatever. It's not like he's constrained by the normal limits of adventuring.

Eldariel
2010-04-27, 07:16 PM
Make it Monk-only, then. Or make it require access to Ki, since by that level no-one is going to put 4 levels into monk for a magic item.

Use Magic Device makes that still a bad idea...


Hell, you might even listen to Giacomo for playstyle -- this is the king. He should have NPC casters on hand to give him whatever the hell he likes; he should have the resources to load up on partially charged wands of Wraithstrike or Knight's Move or whatever. It's not like he's constrained by the normal limits of adventuring.

WBL is pretty inconsequential. Why bother with partially anything?

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 07:16 PM
Make it Monk-only, then. Or make it require access to Ki, since by that level no-one is going to put 4 levels into monk for a magic item.
Use Magic Device, DC29 to emulate a 4th level class feature. Not all that hard to get at levels when you're facing CR19 opponents.

Prodan
2010-04-27, 07:16 PM
Totemist has a soulmeld that gives you claws and pounce. Sphinx Claws, I believe.

Here's (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19869110/monk_minmax_creation_guide) THE monk minmaxing guide.

I disagree. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1015.0)

Toliudar
2010-04-27, 07:18 PM
Make his large and immovable throne a magic trap with all sorts of short-term use-activated buffs on it. The +10 wisdom spell from Spell Compendium. Barkskin. Shield. Divine Power. Greater Blindsight. Whatever. Then he'll come off of his throne acting like the wrath of god, still have monk mechanics, and there's no gear that the group can reasonably use (even if they take over the kingdom, it's hard to use the buffs except there in the throne room.

Alternately, give him a non-transferrable item of shapechange. A 19th level monk is going to be much scarier in the form of a planetar, or storm giant, or Cornugon.

Zergrusheddie
2010-04-27, 07:19 PM
How does Claws of the Beast work with Monk?

Reynard
2010-04-27, 07:20 PM
Use Magic Device, DC29 to emulate a 4th level class feature. Not all that hard to get at levels when you're facing CR19 opponents.

Then make it need Empty Body, Slow Fall 90ft, Timeless Body, Tongue of Sun and Moon, Quivering Palm, Diamond Soul, Abundant Step, Diamond Body, Greater Flurry, every monk-specific feature there is.

DarkEternal
2010-04-27, 07:23 PM
Go the Neverwinter Nights game advice way and make a Pale Master Monk. Every melee attack he makes, the PC's need to save or die.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 07:26 PM
Then make it need Empty Body, Slow Fall 90ft, Timeless Body, Tongue of Sun and Moon, Quivering Palm, Diamond Soul, Abundant Step, Diamond Body, Greater Flurry, every monk-specific feature there is.
Then why not just make it an inherent bonus, instead of pointless fiat? "You take the +10/+10 item off the body of the boss that you worked hard to defeat. Except you can't use it because I said so." If you're going to be so arbitrary, at least go the distance and don't needlessly disappoint and antagonize the players.

Eldariel
2010-04-27, 07:26 PM
How does Claws of the Beast work with Monk?

Use UA Strikes as primary and Claws as secondary. In other words, well.

The Shadowmind
2010-04-27, 07:36 PM
With a set of Eldritch Claws (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Eldritch_Claws) striking like a beast (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Beast_Strike), up to 5 levels of enlighten fist, 3 levels of hellfire warlock, and 1 level of binder.

Lamech
2010-04-27, 08:17 PM
Bloodlines, everything is more broken with bloodlines. Please note: They don't change character level.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 08:21 PM
Bloodlines, everything is more broken with bloodlines. Please note: They don't change character level.
Except that Monk class features aren't really broken at any level, especially not with the tiny boost that Bloodline levels give the progression.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-27, 08:21 PM
Bloodlines, everything is more broken with bloodlines. Please note: They don't change character level.

Are you talking about fact that technically they are free levels since they don't change effective character lv so you still have enough XP to level up?

Yeah, RAW is weird.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 08:23 PM
You can still only take 3 Bloodline levels, so there's nothing you can cheese that a real class can't do better at that level already.

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 08:33 PM
You can still only take 3 Bloodline levels, so there's nothing you can cheese that a real class can't do better at that level already.

That's not entirely true. It's possible to get 9th level maneuvers by 10-11th, if you're even remotely determined. Bloodlines, however, do zilch for monk, in any meaningful sense.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 08:38 PM
I was speaking in regard to Monks, yes. I'm well aware that real classes can get great benefits from 3 free levels.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-27, 08:43 PM
I was speaking in regard to Monks, yes. I'm well aware that real classes can get great benefits from 3 free levels.

Monks get Unarmed damage, AC bonus, and speed faster. Not that it helps much, but hey, every little bit helps.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 08:50 PM
As I said, 3 levels of boost gives them very little. At best, it moves them up a die category (+1 damage), gives 1 AC and +10ft speed.

Prodan
2010-04-27, 08:52 PM
Why not dip Cancer Mage and get infested with Festering Anger?

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 09:02 PM
There's a lot of debate about the "Freeness" of bloodline levels, honestly. So in any case, I'd be deeply uncomfortable reaching for them even if I thought they'd help. As for cancer mage, I doubt that's very king-tastic.

Curmudgeon
2010-04-27, 09:05 PM
Rather than jumping on the nay-saying bandwagon, I'll provide some suggestions for how you can make a better straight Monk. The Monk class abilities are all over the place, don't work very well together, and the class has severe MAD (Multiple Attribute Dependency). You can tighten up the focus of the class quite a bit with ACFs, substitution levels, and feats. Plus, as a King, there should be plenty of gp available for magic doodads, even including some custom item creation. The following items are in addition to all the standard magical boosts and protections that the Kingdom's treasury can provide.

The two basic ideas are:

hit more often and for more damage; and
be extremely difficult to hit, or even see, with total concealment + invisibility + magical darkness + Hide in Plain Sight + extraordinarily high Hide + Blink + Dimension Door + empty body + 10' step + awesome Tumble.


Alternative Class Features and substitution levels:

Invisible Fist (Exemplars of Evil, page 21): trade evasion for the ability to become invisible, and use Blink as a spell-like ability.
Draconic Fist (Dragon Magic, page 12): add energy damage to unarmed attacks.
Take all the Dark Moon Disciple substitution levels (from the Champions of Valor web enhancement (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a), page 6): gain darkvision, total concealment, and a Dimension Door ability with increased CL.

Items:
Sparring Dummy of the Master (Arms and Equipment Guide, page 137): train to make 10' steps.
Ring of Evasion, because you've traded away the class feature.
Necklace of Natural Attacks (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fc/20060707a): enhance your unarmed attack, at the same cost as a regular weapon. Enhance this up to +5 and add deadly precision (+1d6 sneak attack) (Magic Item Compendium, page 32).
Fanged Ring (Dragon Magic, page 101): get Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike), and more.
Custom +30 Hide competence boosting item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#tableEstimatingMagicItemGol dPieceValues).
Custom +30 Tumble competence boosting item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#tableEstimatingMagicItemGol dPieceValues).
Custom +30 Use Magic Device competence boosting item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#tableEstimatingMagicItemGol dPieceValues).
Custom +30 Disguise competence boosting item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#tableEstimatingMagicItemGol dPieceValues).
Custom +30 Move Silently competence boosting item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#tableEstimatingMagicItemGol dPieceValues).
Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis (continual version) (Tome of Magic, page 156): grants Dark Creature Template, including Extraordinary Hide in Plain Sight. Get this reconfigured as a brooch or something, because you'll need the throat slot for the Necklace above.
Items (candlesticks to be sneaky, disguising their shadowy illumination with that from the candles) with Deeper Darkness, boosted by Heighten Spell to 9th level, cast on them: create shadowy illumination concealment to satisfy the other requirement to Hide.
Wand of Ebon Eyes (Spell Compendium, page 77): see through magical darkness from those candlesticks.
Monk's Belt, to give you that 20th level maximum damage.
Rogue's Vest (Magic Item Compendium, page 130): +1d6 sneak attack.
Hat of Disguise: use this, along with mundane Disguise, for all public appearances, so your (widely known) appearance won't help with things like Helping Hand or Locate Creature.

Feats:

Snap Kick (Tome of Battle, page 32: extra unarmed attack with any melee attack.
Martial Study (Cloak of Deception) (Tome of Battle, page 31): Greater Invisibility for 1 round.
Martial Stance (Assassin’s Stance) (Tome of Battle, page 31): gain 2d6 sneak attack.
Craven (Champions of Ruin, page 17): add your character levels as a bonus to sneak attack damage.
Darkstalker (Lords of Madness, page 179): Hide even against tremorsense, blindsight, and the like.
Kung Fu Genius (Dragon # 319, page 71 or Dragon Compendium, page 101): use INT modifier instead for WIS-based class abilities; this includes Invisible Fist.
With some minimum cross-class investment in Use Magic Device (1 point to get ½ rank is enough) you'll be able to use wands and scrolls. I suggest you use scrolls of Permanency to give yourself the following:
Arcane Sight
See Invisibility
Then get a whole bunch of Magic Mouth spells cast on you, at all caster levels from middling to high. With an appropriate trigger (like "Look! A flying whale!") these will last forever. The purpose of these Mouths is to make it likely that an area dispel knocks off something useless rather than a buff spell. As you remain visually undetectable at all times in combat, you simply can't be targeted.

Finally, crank up your unarmed damage with Greater Mighty Wallop (Races of the Dragon, page 115) @ caster level 16. That will make your unarmed strike max out at effective Colossal size.

You'll be at a base 16d8 for unarmed damage (4d8 without Greater Mighty Wallop), +5 (your Necklace of Natural Attacks enhancement), +4d6+19 sneak attack, +4d6 elemental (your Draconic Fist). If there are constructs (warforged) or undead (Necropolitan or whatever) in the party, add appropriate wands (Golem Strike, Grave Strike) so you can sneak attack them, too.

Now, I'll agree that other classes could make this easier -- but this is an interesting challenge. With some subtle work to prepare the setting (indoor encounters, setting around lots of those Deeper Darkness candlesticks to radiate shadowy illumination) you should be able to give your Monk a situational advantage. If they can't see you (Hide in Plain Sight + Hide much better than their Spots) you'll be safe from all targeted spells, which includes most of the save or die/sucks. Having your spellcasters use Heighten Spell on Deeper Darkness might get them to waste Daylight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/daylight.htm) or Sunburst (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sunburst.htm) without removing any of the magical darkness that enables your Hide in Plain Sight, but which your Ebon Eyes keeps from impairing your sneak attacks. A large indoor space with a low roof would be ideal for you, as it removes most of the benefit of any flight capability the PCs have. If any of them are of large size or use Enlarge Person, a standard 8' roof is low enough to force the squeezing rules on them (double movement cost).

Now there are still lots of other things you could add here. Take a couple of flaws and go for the Mage Slayer + Pierce Magical Concealment + Pierce Magical Protection approach. If you think you need to boost AB, consider Knowledge Devotion (Complete Champion, page 60). With a good INT you'll have some skill points to put into appropriate Knowledge skills for a boost to attack and damage. You've already got Knowledge: Arcana (constructs, dragons, magical beasts) and Knowledge: Religion (undead) as class skills. Boost Knowledge: Local (humanoids) and you're in pretty good shape to handle a party of PCs. Or whatever. Regardless, this should set a decent framework for how to make a wealthy 19th level Monk into a tough opponent.

EDIT: Added items in RED. Thanks for all the feedback!

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-27, 09:06 PM
There's a lot of debate about the "Freeness" of bloodline levels, honestly. So in any case, I'd be deeply uncomfortable reaching for them even if I thought they'd help. As for cancer mage, I doubt that's very king-tastic.Well, historically-speaking, nobility has always been akin to a festering tumor.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 09:17 PM
@Curmudgeon: With kingly wealth, why not splurge for a +30 to Move Silently, as well? Might come in handy.

With 70 damage per attack (assuming that you can get off the SA and they're not immune to the energy type) that's almost respectable by 19th. Shutting down SA through, say, Fortification will cripple that damage fairly well, and the to-hit would still not be all that fantastic. Much DR will spite it, too. But it would work against lower-level unprepared opponents, certainly.

SoD
2010-04-27, 09:19 PM
How do I break a Monk?

Grab both arms and pull in opposite directions?

Hit it with an axe?

Set a savage butterfly on it?


Wait...what did you mean by 'break' a monk?

...oh. I see. Sorry, we're on different wavelengths.

deuxhero
2010-04-27, 09:21 PM
Facing a king means likely means also facing his best bodyguards (a pair of crusaders, a batman wizard, and a high-level rogue masquerading as staff, for example), plus plenty of 'mooks' (and by mooks, I mean palace guards that are probably running 8-12th level).

How is the king in power?

Lamech
2010-04-27, 09:26 PM
You can still only take 3 Bloodline levels, so there's nothing you can cheese that a real class can't do better at that level already.
Were does it say you can only take three? Sure its a really jerky move... Even if you can only take three every bit helps.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-27, 09:27 PM
How is the king in power?He's not. That's the point.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 09:30 PM
Were does it say you can only take three? Sure its a really jerky move... Even if you can only take three every bit helps.
Right here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/bloodlines.htm#bloodlineLevels). See that table? There are three levels on it. Nothing on the page exists that would as much as suggest that more than one bloodline can be taken, so 3's all you get.

ShneekeyTheLost
2010-04-27, 09:33 PM
Unarmed Swordsage + bloodline + a couple level dip in Monk + Shadow Sun Ninja + immunity to negative levels.

Every attack hurts them, heals yourself, you can template-stack to be almost as immune as an Ikea Tarrasque, without too much effort.

The Rabbler
2010-04-27, 09:40 PM
That's not entirely true. It's possible to get 9th level maneuvers by 10-11th, if you're even remotely determined.

howhowhowhowhowhowhowhow?

The Cat Goddess
2010-04-27, 09:44 PM
Allow Ascetic Hunter, Ascetic Knight, Ascetic Rogue, Daring Outlaw & Swift Hunter to all overlap-stack... so that all your Monk, Paladin, Rogue, Ranger, Swashbuckler & Scout Levels count for each other's abilities.

So, Monk-2, Paladin-2, Rogue-2, Swashbuckler-3, Scout-2, Ranger-2 would count as a level 13 Monk for AC, Move & Unarmed Damage, a level 13 Rogue for Sneak Attack dice, a level 13 Scout for Skirmish AC/Dice, a level 13 Ranger for Favored Enemy, a level 13 Swashbuckler for Grace & Dodge bonus (not to mention that +Int to damage & Weapon Finesse), and a level 13 Paladin for Smite Evil. Take the Paladin variant that makes it "Smite Chaos" instead (since your PCs are probably more Chaotic than Evil).

There's a PrC in Eberron that allows you to mix Monk & Paladin up to the point of wearing any armor and retaining all monk abilities... but I can't think of it right now.

Oh, and make him a Saint (BoED).... and maybe even Half-Celestial.

sonofzeal
2010-04-27, 09:45 PM
howhowhowhowhowhowhowhow?
A bunch of 1-level dips, and bloodline levels. This requires level 12 though.

The Rabbler
2010-04-27, 09:53 PM
A bunch of 1-level dips, and bloodline levels. This requires level 12 though.

hmmm.... I don't see the idea behind the 1-level dips, though I could imagine that bloodline levels might stack with martial adept class levels for IL.

or maybe i'm missing it completely.


anyway, more on topic: warforged graft + battlefists is another size category bonus to UA damage. and you could probably houserule that every +size to the battlefist is another +size to UA damage (unless that's how it works).

EDIT:

there are also psychoactive skins for some extra magic to throw on the king. and don't forget ioun stones. and tomes. there is absolutely no reason that this king didn't improve himself as much as possible with his limitless resources (especially if he's a monk).

Curmudgeon
2010-04-27, 10:07 PM
@Curmudgeon: With kingly wealth, why not splurge for a +30 to Move Silently, as well? Might come in handy.
That's a good idea. Add it to the list.

With 70 damage per attack (assuming that you can get off the SA and they're not immune to the energy type) that's almost respectable by 19th. Shutting down SA through, say, Fortification will cripple that damage fairly well, and the to-hit would still not be all that fantastic. The Monk's AB will be +14 (base) +5 (enhancement) +2 (visually undetectable) -2 (Snap Kick) + STR bonus/DEX bonus (using Weapon Finesse). With a decent INT (because of Kung Fu Genius) it's worthwhile to add Knowledge Devotion for a bonus to hit and damage against various creature types. The Monk gets Knowledge: Arcana (constructs, dragons, magical beasts) and Knowledge: Religion (undead) already. Adding Education (Ebberon Campaign Setting) at 1st level makes all Knowledges class skills, so other Knowledge skills that provide a Knowledge Devotion bonus (especially Knowledge: Local for humanoids) could also be trained.

Much DR will spite it, too. But it would work against lower-level unprepared opponents, certainly.
Monks already bypass DR/magic, DR/lawful, and DR/adamantine. A Planar Monk substitution level can trade that last one for DR/cold iron. UMD and Align Fang or Bless Weapon can help with other types of DR.

Fortification's a tough nut to crack, though. Rogues can get ½ normal sneak attack damage against fortification through the Penetrating Strike ACF. That's a good option for a Monk/Rogue with Ascetic Rogue, but not for non-Rogue sneak attackers.

Probably the best approach is simply to UMD a wand of Greater Mighty Wallop @ CL 16. That'll boost the Monk's unarmed strike to the maximum of effective Colossal size, or 16d8 base unarmed damage (instead of 4d8). That should power through DR pretty handily. Who needs criticals or sneak attacks if you can just kick and head butt them into dust?

The Rabbler
2010-04-27, 10:13 PM
That'll boost the Monk's unarmed strike to the maximum of effective Colossal size, or 16d8 base unarmed damage (instead of 4d8)

actually, damage can go far past colossal size. I don't remember the source, maybe ELH, but if you take the difference in damage from gargantuan to colossal and add that to colossal, you get colossal+. repeat as needed.

Flickerdart
2010-04-27, 10:18 PM
The problem with more and more buffs is that they take time to go up, and then start dropping like flies when the Dispels come to town. Darkstalker doesn't bypass all modes of detection, far from it: Lifesense or Mindsight defeat it handily, and Lifesense also causes the creature to give off light to the viewer, denying it any darkness.

jiriku
2010-04-27, 10:26 PM
There are several worthy improvements on the monk class in the homebrew forum. You can search them up and choose one you like, or just use mine (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150122).

Ravens_cry
2010-04-27, 10:31 PM
How do you break a monk? Well, if you read "The Order of the Stick #0: On the Origin of PCs" you'll know that Belkar broke a monk pretty badly, psychologically speaking. Alternately, you can take the route Bane did with Batman, over the knee (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/Bane-breaks-Batman-497pg21.png). KRAKT!

Godskook
2010-04-27, 10:36 PM
actually, damage can go far past colossal size. I don't remember the source, maybe ELH, but if you take the difference in damage from gargantuan to colossal and add that to colossal, you get colossal+. repeat as needed.

Curmudgeon was only referencing the one spell, GMWhallop, which caps at colossal. Sure, you can stack more increases over that, but Curmudgeon was just speaking to GMW's individual effect.

The Rabbler
2010-04-27, 10:39 PM
Curmudgeon was only referencing the one spell, GMWhallop, which caps at colossal. Sure, you can stack more increases over that, but Curmudgeon was just speaking to GMW's individual effect.

ah. but couldn't you use GMWhallop and then start stacking up your +size modifiers?

Curmudgeon
2010-04-27, 10:51 PM
ah. but couldn't you use GMWhallop and then start stacking up your +size modifiers?
Greater Mighty Wallop works on your existing weapon size, so you'd have to apply size boosts after casting the spell. And you don't want any real size increases. Taking up 4 squares instead of 1, and being over 8' tall, is a situational disadvantage. You don't want to make it easy for enemies to flank you, and you'd much rather force them to use the squeezing rules under a standard roof. Causing a massive damage save on every hit, and hitting often, is really good. It's not a good tradeoff to bog yourself down with double movement penalties for an extra 25% of base damage (less than 15% increase in total damage).

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 10:52 PM
The problem with more and more buffs is that they take time to go up, and then start dropping like flies when the Dispels come to town. Darkstalker doesn't bypass all modes of detection, far from it: Lifesense or Mindsight defeat it handily, and Lifesense also causes the creature to give off light to the viewer, denying it any darkness.

More importantly, touchsight cuts through it like a knife through butter.

The Rabbler
2010-04-27, 10:57 PM
Greater Mighty Wallop works on your existing weapon size, so you'd have to apply size boosts after casting the spell. And you don't want any real size increases. Taking up 4 squares instead of 1, and being over 8' tall, is a situational disadvantage. You don't want to make it easy for enemies to flank you, and you'd much rather force them to use the squeezing rules under a standard roof. Causing a massive damage save on every hit, and hitting often, is really good. You don't want to bog yourself down with double movement penalties for an extra 25% of base damage (less than 15% increase in total damage).

by +size, I meant UA size bonuses. lets say you cast GMWallop then put on size category large battlefists while wearing strongarm bracers and having a warforged arm graft. that'd be at least one size category (two if larger battlefists actually does increase UA size damage) larger than colossal.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-27, 11:00 PM
If you want to make an item UMD-proof, make it so that it improves class features, rather than requires them.

For example:
Fists of Fury

This set of handwraps, when worn by a character with a Flurry of Blows ability which grants at least two extra attacks, allows the character to make a full attack as a standard action, rather than a full attack action. This feature may only be used while using the Flurry of Blows ability.

UMD doesn't allow you to use the abilities. So, if the class feature requires the ability to be used, UMD won't help you.

Curmudgeon
2010-04-27, 11:11 PM
The problem with more and more buffs is that they take time to go up, and then start dropping like flies when the Dispels come to town.
Well, that's if they hit you, and a big reason for why I emphasized remaining visually undetectable at all times. An area dispel only has a 20' radius, and only knocks one spell off at a time. As a precautionary measure, get Magic Mouth spells cast on your body at a bunch of caster levels above and below your buff spells. They'll last forever with the right trigger (like "Look! A flying whale!") and will provide blocking to keep your useful buffs intact. If there's no line of sight to you, there's no chance of a targeted dispel.

Darkstalker doesn't bypass all modes of detection, far from it: Lifesense or Mindsight defeat it handily, and Lifesense also causes the creature to give off light to the viewer, denying it any darkness.

To your eyes, a Medium or smaller creature gives off life force sufficient to provide bright illumination in a 60-foot radius, revealing itself and all features and objects in range to your life-adapted sight. This life-light behaves like regular light—you can’t see into solid objects, or past solid walls. Deeper Darkness will dampen down Lifesense light like any other, meaning you'll still retain concealment. There's no denying magical darkness for as long as it lasts. (See why I want those Deeper Darkness spells heightened to 9th level?)

Mindsight only lets someone pinpoint a square; you're still safe from being targeted.

nedz
2010-04-28, 02:46 AM
Yes it has, very thoroughly. As you may note, a number of the abilities, Dance being one, are advanced as per other monk abilities from the old monk class. This means that things like the monk belt, or PrCs can push you past 10 effective monk levels for many abilities.

So, if I understand this correctly, you require a Monk Belt to access some of your class abilities ?

Doc Roc
2010-04-28, 02:50 AM
Or a PrC that continues your 10 level class, or any of many other items that work, or you could use the included update of the tashalatoran feat, or the ascetic sage feat. Or one of the other existing (and admittedly weaker) ascetic feats. Or yeah, a monk's belt.

The Cat Goddess
2010-04-28, 03:41 AM
Well, that's if they hit you, and a big reason for why I emphasized remaining visually undetectable at all times. An area dispel only has a 20' radius, and only knocks one spell off at a time. As a precautionary measure, get Magic Mouth spells cast on your body at a bunch of caster levels above and below your buff spells. They'll last forever with the right trigger (like "Look! A flying whale!") and will provide blocking to keep your useful buffs intact. If there's no line of sight to you, there's no chance of a targeted dispel.

^ This... very much this.

Everyone keeps talking about buffs getting dispelled... well, anyone who plays Everquest knows about applying "**** buffs" first, to avoid having your important ones affected by such tactics.

In D&D, you just have to have them applied last. :smallbiggrin:

Spiryt
2010-04-28, 03:49 AM
Grapple him, take his back, lock the spine, solid pressure...

SNAP!

Broken monk.

That's the best way IMO. :smallbiggrin:

Doc Roc
2010-04-28, 04:24 AM
Well, touchsight will still find you, as far as I can see. And there are a couple of tricks like Helping Hand that are virtually inescapable.

jpreem
2010-04-28, 08:35 AM
Allow Ascetic Hunter, Ascetic Knight, Ascetic Rogue, Daring Outlaw & Swift Hunter to all overlap-stack... so that all your Monk, Paladin, Rogue, Ranger, Swashbuckler & Scout Levels count for each other's abilities.

So, Monk-2, Paladin-2, Rogue-2, Swashbuckler-3, Scout-2, Ranger-2 would count as a level 13 Monk for AC, Move & Unarmed Damage, a level 13 Rogue for Sneak Attack dice, a level 13 Scout for Skirmish AC/Dice, a level 13 Ranger for Favored Enemy, a level 13 Swashbuckler for Grace & Dodge bonus (not to mention that +Int to damage & Weapon Finesse), and a level 13 Paladin for Smite Evil. Take the Paladin variant that makes it "Smite Chaos" instead (since your PCs are probably more Chaotic than Evil).

There's a PrC in Eberron that allows you to mix Monk & Paladin up to the point of wearing any armor and retaining all monk abilities... but I can't think of it right now.

Oh, and make him a Saint (BoED).... and maybe even Half-Celestial.
Senǒr Vorpal Kickass'o ?
:smallbiggrin:

Curmudgeon
2010-04-28, 09:19 AM
Well, touchsight will still find you, as far as I can see. And there are a couple of tricks like Helping Hand that are virtually inescapable.
Touchsight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/touchsight.htm) just pinpoints your square, so you still can't be targeted. And Helping Hand (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/helpinghand.htm) will flat out fail if the King always uses a disguise when in public.
When the spell is cast, the hand appears in front of you. You then specify a person (or any creature) by physical description, which can include race, gender, and appearance but not ambiguous factors such as level, alignment, or class. When the description is complete, the hand streaks off in search of a subject that fits the description. So that's useful information; thanks, DR. Add a Hat of Disguise to the King's equipment list for all public appearances. :smallsmile:

Barbarian MD
2010-04-28, 10:01 AM
I second Doc Roc's vote that you use his monk: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYdLcxsM7Nx0ZGc2NzhibjNfNzJnNWpkZDJ2cA&hl=en&pli=1


I've used their monk a few times, and it's definitely not your mama's monk. I've taken on multiple player characters of equal level with this thing, and I've stood my ground against them.

It's built by Penny Dreadful, and they did a fantastic job with it. Standard action to flurry. He can fly. He can create mirror images of himself. His AC can go through the roof. With fly-by attack, a ridiculous move speed, maxed tumble, and flurrying as a standard action, he's pretty nasty to catch in melee.

Give him Grappling Block and Defensive Throw. If he gets hit, he can disarm to negate the blow. If he's missed, he can throw (trip) the opponent. This destroys full attacks and makes action economy a beautiful thing against melee.

If you want to be really evil, give him a level of Soul Eater, and he'll bestow 4-5 negative levels on a fly-by attack, and 9 or so levels on on a full attack.

If you gestalt him, you can blow his saves through the roof, making him pretty much immune to a lot of the things casters can do.

Monk 10/Swordsage 8. If you gestalt, it can be ridiculous. Soul Eater, and your PCs will cry.

Curmudgeon
2010-04-28, 10:07 AM
Just a note here: I've inserted responses to your analysis of my hard-hitting, never-seen Monk King into the original post on Page 2. The additions are in RED to make them easy to distinguish. Thanks for all the feedback, folks! It's been really helpful.

OldFart
2010-04-28, 12:58 PM
An NPC with 19 levels in Monk is may be difficult to optimize. (Curmudgeon is doing a fine job, though). In the past, I have tried to maximize the number of attacks, via snap kick, TWF, etc. pump up the initiative, sprinkle in something that allowed a move as a swift action (diamond mind maneuver, hustle psi power, belt of battle, etc), add as many dice of sneak attack as possible, and have said NPC try to take someone the and opening salvo. Not too difficult - monks easy qualify for assassin, as do monk/sword sages. This build still fights for all intents like a monk, so minimal retcon would be required.

As many have pointed out, "King" is an excellent excuse for "ignore WBL guidelines." So give him Tomes +5 for virtually every stat, which won't "break" party WBL after the encounter is over. It also helps with Monk's MAD, and dovetails nicely with the fact that Monks suffer less than other classes in magic-free environs such as AMF zones.

However, the most obvious avenue IMO for optimizing this encounter: he's a King, which practically assumes the Leadership feat; and CL 19 means he could have a cohort who is a pure caster with 9th-level spells. So never mind optimizing the King - optimize the high priest, court mage, etc.

Don't forget that unlike most (N)PCs with leadership, a King could easily have more than one high and mid-level followers. Enough people casting buffs, counterspelling, working battlefield control, and distracting with summoned creatures can turn even a "wimpy monk" into the fight of the party's life.

~LuckyBoneDice~
2010-04-28, 01:09 PM
I adore monk/ninjas that use acstetic stalker. Be sneaky and take Ninja of the Crescent Moon. Sudden Strike progression, Full BAB, and Monk Abilities. Then take one level in Tattooed Monk

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-28, 01:45 PM
Who is this king? What kind of person is he? And why is he a level 19 monk?

I might suggest homebrewing a feat like Talashtora that grants monk benefits to a totemist, and see where things lead.

Curmudgeon
2010-04-28, 02:01 PM
Who is this king? What kind of person is he? And why is he a level 19 monk?
Well, a king is a ruler; i.e., the supreme manifestation of the law of the land. And Monks are inherently lawful. It's a bit odd, perhaps, but I can see how this could work.

Doc Roc
2010-04-28, 02:11 PM
Well, a king is a ruler; i.e., the supreme manifestation of the law of the land. And Monks are inherently lawful. It's a bit odd, perhaps, but I can see how this could work.

And it does tie in with the mandate of heaven\perfection of self thing, too.
Which only makes it more painful that it's a monk ;)

MonarchAnarch
2010-04-28, 02:21 PM
Kinda had a fun idea. Wherever the fight goes down, have a buddy Marshall up high overlooking the fight or behind the throne or something giving the king aura bonuses..but the big thing about the marshall is his ability to use his round to give the King extra movement. He can't make him attack more, but he can help position the king for the his next round.

Mark Hall
2010-04-28, 02:55 PM
DC 15 Strength Check; a 20 to burst it.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-28, 03:30 PM
DC 15 Strength Check; a 20 to burst it.You could always be an arsplomancer.

The Glyphstone
2010-04-28, 04:01 PM
In case anyone's counting, the "break a Monk" joke has been made 5 times so far in 3 pages...

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-28, 04:03 PM
In case anyone's counting, the "break a Monk" joke has been made 5 times so far in 3 pages...Yes, yes. We're way behind quota.

GET OFF OUR BACKS, MAN! :smallmad:

:smallwink:

randomhero00
2010-04-28, 05:24 PM
trick out his jump skill and make the terrain highly in his favor. Multi sections with explosives and alchemy items to push off onto the party. Make it an anti magic locale to prevent flying.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-28, 05:30 PM
Make it an anti magic locale to prevent flying....which will destroy any advantage the monk could possibly have had.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-28, 05:34 PM
Make places that you have to fall down to reach goal (with nearby walls for monk's slow fall. :smallbiggrin:)

Optimystik
2010-04-28, 05:36 PM
^ This... very much this.

Everyone keeps talking about buffs getting dispelled... well, anyone who plays Everquest knows about applying "**** buffs" first, to avoid having your important ones affected by such tactics.

In D&D, you just have to have them applied last. :smallbiggrin:

An Area Dispel acts against the highest CL spells first, then goes down the line until it removes something. Your trick faces a dilemma - if you make your key buffs lower CL, they won't be first in line, but they'll be easier to dispel. If you make your key buffs higher, they'll be harder to dispel, but they'll be closer to the front of the line.

Not to mention, keeping your buffs low CL to hide them behind Magic Mouths will mean shorter duration and other level-dependent effects.

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-28, 05:38 PM
You may want to see about having the king challenge them to a string of contests, rather than a straight-up fight. Things that monks are generally good at.

However, the only things they're good at is making saving throws, so I'm not sure how this is relevant.

Nohwl
2010-04-28, 05:47 PM
so that's running really fast and what else? a contest that involves jumping off of cliffs?

Lycanthromancer
2010-04-28, 05:50 PM
so that's running really fast and what else? a contest that involves jumping off of cliffs?Barbarians are better at running really fast (see: boots of speed). Wizards and druids are better at speed as well (cheetah forms via polymorph and wild shape). And psionics types and wizards are both better at base-jumping.

Nohwl
2010-04-28, 05:55 PM
yeah, you're right. what if no magic/magic items was one of the rules of the contest?

Prodan
2010-04-28, 05:57 PM
so that's running really fast and what else? a contest that involves jumping off of cliffs?

Slow Fall only works if the monk can reach a surface, while Feather Fall works regardless.

Doc Roc
2010-04-28, 06:02 PM
Slow Fall only works if the monk can reach a surface, while Feather Fall works regardless.

Flight is pretty great at handling falls.... ;)

Ravens_cry
2010-04-28, 06:12 PM
Flight is pretty great at handling falls.... ;)
To misquote Buzz Lightyear, "This isn't falling, it's Flying. With. STYLE!"

Flickerdart
2010-04-28, 06:15 PM
Barbarians are also great at handling falls. With their chest.

Doc Roc
2010-04-28, 06:22 PM
To misquote Buzz Lightyear, "This isn't falling, it's Flying. With. STYLE!"

Thank you so much. I labored to set that line up, and was worried no one would take it.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-28, 06:26 PM
Thank you so much. I labored to set that line up, and was worried no one would take it.
Ah, a fellow clown. Yes, it is indeed delightful when a joke goes in the manner we desire.

Doc Roc
2010-04-29, 12:09 AM
I second Doc Roc's vote that you use his monk: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYdLcxsM7Nx0ZGc2NzhibjNfNzJnNWpkZDJ2cA&hl=en&pli=1


I've used their monk a few times, and it's definitely not your mama's monk. I've taken on multiple player characters of equal level with this thing, and I've stood my ground against them.

It's built by Penny Dreadful, and they did a fantastic job with it. Standard action to flurry. He can fly. He can create mirror images of himself. His AC can go through the roof. With fly-by attack, a ridiculous move speed, maxed tumble, and flurrying as a standard action, he's pretty nasty to catch in melee.

Give him Grappling Block and Defensive Throw. If he gets hit, he can disarm to negate the blow. If he's missed, he can throw (trip) the opponent. This destroys full attacks and makes action economy a beautiful thing against melee.

If you want to be really evil, give him a level of Soul Eater, and he'll bestow 4-5 negative levels on a fly-by attack, and 9 or so levels on on a full attack.

If you gestalt him, you can blow his saves through the roof, making him pretty much immune to a lot of the things casters can do.

Monk 10/Swordsage 8. If you gestalt, it can be ridiculous. Soul Eater, and your PCs will cry.

That was really nice to hear. Thanks for the thumbs-up. :)

Curmudgeon
2010-04-29, 01:04 AM
An Area Dispel acts against the highest CL spells first, then goes down the line until it removes something. Your trick faces a dilemma - if you make your key buffs lower CL, they won't be first in line, but they'll be easier to dispel. If you make your key buffs higher, they'll be harder to dispel, but they'll be closer to the front of the line.
I think The Cat Goddess was under the impression that more recently applied buffs at the same CL would be stripped first. Dispel Magic doesn't specify what happens when you have multiple spells (say one Greater Mighty Wallop and 3 Magic Mouths) at the same caster level.

Since there's no RAW answer, this would be a DM's call. Personally, I'd choose one spell randomly if there were multiples at the same CL.

Togo
2010-04-30, 12:27 PM
Set the fight inside a giant death trap. A bizzare clock full of whirling blades, traps, explosives, and timed hazards. The monk practices in there every day, so he knows the whole place backwards.

This enviroment has a number of advantages. It removes any need for an actual floor, meaning that simply surrounding the monk and hitting him is impractical. It's easy to set up the hazards so that they'll regularly hit anyone who flies, or is larger than medium size. Gvie him slippers of harmonius balance or similar and he'll be moving through quite handily. It's full of cover for him to hide behind, and noise for him not be heard, while obviating the need for any magical concealment that might make him more detectable. An enough explosive traps (treat as explosive spell - ie the explosion moves the characters from square to square if they take damage, possibly setting them up to take even more damage) plays to the monks best feature - his saves.

Make sure you give the monk some good hit and run abilities so that if the party just close ranks and try to destroy the room, they'll be suffering attrition for all the time they're taking to do so.

Alternatively, make up a plotline about the kind ingesting raw kingly power and model it using the rules for drunken master, except without the drawbacks. You could do the same with that divine template (in MM IV?) that gives you special abilities and DR for a limited time in return for LA+1.