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View Full Version : Yet another monk build 3.5



Flavel
2010-04-27, 06:36 PM
Hi folks. First post.

Been kicking around an idea for a monk/druid build.

Monk 2/Druid 5/Fist of the Forest 3/Sacred Fist 10.

As the character can't wear armor, use weapons, and has to dig tubers for food
I figured a VOP wouldn't be much of a additional hindrance, although that would necessitate an alignment change from lawful good to neutral good at level 3.

With a standard 25pt buy
the initial stats would look like
Str 13, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10

At level 20 with VOP it would look like
Str 18, Con 20, Dex 14, Int 12, Wis 24, Cha 10

The class features & VoP stuff make the build freakishly complicated but from what I could puzzle out the character would spell cast at 13th level druid (sorta like a bard's spellcasting), and fight with the abilities of a level 20 monk...at least in terms of number of attacks and damage output. Movement looked okay at 70.

I'm not certain how all the AC modifiers for the classes would stack but, assuming they all did, it looks in the neighborhood of around 42 with feral trance and inner armor bringing it up to 50. Not including buffs.

Saves look okay, though reflex might be a little weak.

The feat requirements for all the various classes don't leave a lot of room for tweaking but extra wildshape would be fun.

The base BAB looks to be 17 but with intuitive attack, VoP, and str it would be execute at 33.

Is such a build adequate (or even correct) at level 20?

Eldariel
2010-04-27, 06:39 PM
Well, you miss out on 9th level spells by taking too many FotF and Monk-levels, which will certainly bite you in the arse. I'd rather just take Monk 1/FotF 1/Druid 18. Druids tend to be best off as Druids. Getting 9th level spells gets you, among others, this spell named "Shapechange" which gives you AC in the 60s-70s alone. It's 10 min/level too so casting it enough to last all day isn't out of question.

And honestly, you could just start off with 18 Wis, 14 Con, 10 Int, 9 Cha and 8s in the others and profit of the fact that Wildshape replaces your physicals (though you still use your Con to derive your HP) and just cast spells until then.


As for AC stacking, different types stack. So you get:
Natural Armor (Wildshape)
Armor (Exalted from VoP)
Dex (from Dex)
Wis (from Monk)
Con (from FotF)
Deflection (from VoP)
Natural Armor Enhancement (from VoP)

And yes, all of those stack. Other Natural Armor Enhancements, Deflections or such (stuff Druid-spells give) would overlap though. But yeah, different types, and typeless bonuses from different sources all stack.

sonofzeal
2010-04-27, 06:44 PM
Have you considered Wild Shape Ranger instead of Druid for this? You're trading enough spellcasting that it's not going to be a major strength, and this way gets you better BAB, HD, and combat feats.

VoP is indeed a viable choice for you, though. Wild Shape + Monk + VoP is pretty much an ideal situation for an otherwise poor feat.

Flavel
2010-04-27, 06:45 PM
The focus of the build was a character that was more monk then druid with druid being a distant second.

9th level druid spells would be nice but this was more designed around a monk who could also do a bit of wild shaping and spell casting.

Flavel
2010-04-27, 06:48 PM
The wild shaping ranger would indeed improve BAB but at the lose of additional spellcasting. I felt spellcasting as a level 13th druid at character level 20 would be good flavor. On a more practical level, a wisdom of 24 provides a bonus to level 7 spells.

Jyokage
2010-04-27, 07:06 PM
Have you thought about the wildshaping Monk ACF? It's in Dragon magazine. You have a slightly changed skill list, and you lose Flurry; but you gain wildshape at the same rate as a druid I believe. It can be easily found through crystal keep. Also you will definitely want improved natural attack and supreme unarmed strike. (it is not like you are going to be breaking the laws of physics, so no nerfing needed). If i might recommend also powerful charge? ( it lets you hit at one size category larger at the end of a charge, the name escapes me atm). Anyways, I've got more stuff, but I am afb atm. More later.

Pluto
2010-04-27, 07:21 PM
Your build looks fine, provided you have access to the Spell Compendium.

(For flight and pounce, among other things.)

I don't think Fist of the Forest is going to work as hard for you as 3 more casting levels would (even with the focus on Monk-ness). But even with FotF, you should to be able to push Warblades around -- a good sign in a melee character.

Flavel
2010-04-27, 11:46 PM
Couple things. Eldariel, I agree that the level 9 shapechanging spell is THE end all and be all of polymorphing.

However, a lot of the enjoyment of D&D is progressing through the levels. Getting wildshape at level 7 and being able to play a wildshaper for the next 14 levels means a lot to me. Shapechanging can be gotten at level 17 but its competing with a lot of other ubber spells for memorization.

Also, while I agree that the character could be front ended more wisdom at the expense of other stats, there's less room for play then you might think. FotF requires power attack as a preq feat and power attack requires a preq stat of 13 strength.

Thank you for the ruling on Armor class stackings. Walking around with a 42 AC and around 200 hp should allow this critter to go toe-to-toe for a few rounds at least.

On another note, I hadn't realized that dragon put out a wildshaping monk variant. It might be worth looking at but it would change the build only a little as the pure monk class only consumes two levels in this build. Thanks Jyokage.

As for Fist of the Forest being sub-optimal as compared to spellcasting levels. Your doubtless right Pluto, but there is just no substitue for Scent (su:) :smallcool:

Seriously, FotF is needed to advance the monk's fighting ability. Sacrificing FotF for additional spellcasting still won't get you ninth level spells. We'd end up with a character who was lousy at both monk fighting and spell casting.
Whereas FotF advances the monk capabilities to at least maintain combat parity with a pure monk build. At least, that's how I'm seeing it from over here.

Doc Roc
2010-04-27, 11:49 PM
Depends. A lot of people hold that sacred fist is full casting, as text trumps table.

Eldariel
2010-04-27, 11:56 PM
Couple things. Eldariel, I agree that the level 9 shapechanging spell is THE end all and be all of polymorphing.

However, a lot of the enjoyment of D&D is progressing through the levels. Getting wildshape at level 7 and being able to play a wildshaper for the next 14 levels means a lot to me. Shapechanging can be gotten at level 17 but its competing with a lot of other ubber spells for memorization.

The thing is, that also gets you Wildshape into bigger and bigger forms ASAP. So...yeah, you get the best of shapechanging that way. If you want a Monk, *shrug* of course. Do note that Sacred Fist does not advance Wildshaping though.


Also, while I agree that the character could be front ended more wisdom at the expense of other stats, there's less room for play then you might think. FotF requires power attack as a preq feat and power attack requires a preq stat of 13 strength.

This can...be bypassed by utilizing the fact that a Wildshaper can pick a feat as long as he qualifies for it in Wildshape (can't use it while not Wildshaped) or through stat bonus; put 1 rank in Str, get +4 Strength eventually and you can PA. But again, as you wish.

Flavel
2010-04-28, 12:07 AM
The thing is, that also gets you Wildshape into bigger and bigger forms ASAP. So...yeah, you get the best of shapechanging that way. If you want a Monk, *shrug* of course. Do note that Sacred Fist does not advance Wildshaping though.

Noted. We don't get to kiss all the pretty girls.


This can...be bypassed by utilizing the fact that a Wildshaper can pick a feat as long as he qualifies for it in Wildshape (can't use it while not Wildshaped) or through stat bonus; put 1 rank in Str, get +4 Strength eventually and you can PA. But again, as you wish.

That...is...very creative.

Il_Vec
2010-04-28, 12:22 AM
This can...be bypassed by utilizing the fact that a Wildshaper can pick a feat as long as he qualifies for it in Wildshape (can't use it while not Wildshaped) or through stat bonus; put 1 rank in Str, get +4 Strength eventually and you can PA. But again, as you wish.

Warning: DM might rule that if you only qualify for your prestige class while in wildshape, then you only gain the class benefits while in wild shape.

Prodan
2010-04-28, 12:24 AM
Warning: DM might rule that if you only qualify for your prestige class while in wildshape, then you only gain the class benefits while in wild shape.

This would force him to constantly be in a wildshape form. Pretty crippling.

Eldariel
2010-04-28, 12:28 AM
This would force him to constantly be in a wildshape form. Pretty crippling.

Or wait...pretty optimal? Just pick telepathy or something and you're fine.

Il_Vec
2010-04-28, 12:30 AM
This would force him to constantly be in a wildshape form. Pretty crippling.

Not the end of the world by any means, but if his concept is being more monk than monkey...

Prodan
2010-04-28, 12:31 AM
Sarcasm, people! Sarcasm!

Eldariel
2010-04-28, 12:37 AM
Sarcasm, people! Sarcasm!

That sentence was hard since it could be stated seriously too. If I knew you better, I could tell it but it was really 50/60 kinda split. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

Flavel
2010-04-28, 10:12 AM
I hadn't really considered (or understand the mechanics) of wildshaping as a combat feature for a monk. I have this vision of trying to explain to a DM how this Wildshaped Monk can perform a flurry of blows whilst in the shape of an Anaconda...although the grapple would be fun to roleplay. :smallsmile:

I was perceiving the Wildshape feature as something that would give the character additional flexibility since he can't use equipment.

gorfnab
2010-04-28, 02:40 PM
How about Treant or Tendriculos Kung-Fu?
Warforged Monk 2/ Druid 3/ Landforged Walker 5/ Sacred Fist 10

Eldariel
2010-04-28, 02:58 PM
I hadn't really considered (or understand the mechanics) of wildshaping as a combat feature for a monk. I have this vision of trying to explain to a DM how this Wildshaped Monk can perform a flurry of blows whilst in the shape of an Anaconda...although the grapple would be fun to roleplay. :smallsmile:

I was perceiving the Wildshape feature as something that would give the character additional flexibility since he can't use equipment.

It does it both. It just so happens Wildshape does anything you desire, more or less. You replace your Str, Dex and Con (though don't gain increased HP; special case with Wildshape) with the animal form's, gain its natural attacks and then its natural armor and size and so on. Oh, and Extraordinary Special Attacks. And keep your own stuff derived from class levels, like Unarmed Strike.

And Kung Fu Bears (http://02varvara.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/kung-fu-bears.jpg) kick ass; you don't even need to be a cub! Like, you get Brown Bear (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/bearBrown.htm)'s strength (27), Dex (13), Con (19) and its two claws + bite and Improved Grab and +5 Natural Armor. And Large Size. 26 Str (plus VoP bonus) + Improved Grapple + Large Size + BAB = Good Grapple-check. Note, you gotta have Druid level 8 to Wildshape into Large forms tho.

The awesome part is that since you have Monk's Unarmed Strike, you can combine that with your natural attacks (do primary Unarmed Strikes as per the class feature with any part of the body; it's not limited to your fists - and then all your natural attacks as secondary with only Strength to damage, but still), and beat things silly. Again, why Monk 1/Druid 19 rocks :smallbiggrin: You're plenty good a Monk as long as Wildshape provides you with strength and Druid provides you with spells to enhance your unarmed combat.

Then, you also have tons of great flying forms (if not just casting Air Walk, y'know); Dire Eagles are particularly nice and many flying Dinosaurs are quite good too. In general, Dire animals tend to make for great combat forms later on. You can even find some burrowing forms (Dire Badger, for example) and so on. So yes, it's versatility but it's also combat power and such. And spells help in making you all the more awesome.

Human Paragon 3
2010-04-28, 02:58 PM
There is a druid alternate class feature from unearthed arcana (it's also on the SRD) that gives you some monk abilities, like wis to AC. You won't get it twice, but at least you'll be sure the druid levels and monk levels will stack for AC.