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Yeturs
2011-01-03, 12:21 AM
Can a monk add a disarm/trip/sunder attempt into there normal flurry of blows?

i have a friend wanting to play a monk. he is looking for a good feat to grab at first level. not knowing monks well, i suggested improved trip, as that would be cool and kinda nice (trip then punch (with +5 vs the now prone target))

but i dont know if that works like that or not, and reading the PhB does not say you can, but also does not say you cant.

im not the DM this time, so thats a no go.

If this does not work, whats a good feat for a first level monk? (aside from not being a monk :P)

KillianHawkeye
2011-01-03, 12:32 AM
Yes, disarm, sunder, and trip can all be done in place of a normal melee attack.

Be sure to check that your friend's Monk qualifies for Improved Trip, however. It requires Int 13 and Combat Expertise if you're not waiting until level 6 (when the Monk can take it as a bonus feat without meeting the prerequisites). It's pretty rare to see a Monk with a 13 Intelligence because they need so many other good stats, and most non-human characters don't have access to more than one Feat at level 1 unless you're playing with Flaws.

Cerlis
2011-01-03, 12:37 AM
I believe it says anytime you can make an attack you can substitute it for a trip/disarm attack.

Which is why Imp trip is good for monks, not only can you trip without penalties (putting your enemy at a huge disadvantage for your allies) but you get the extra attack. Flurry starts out at -2 but prone opponents are 4 points easier to hit

So essentially you can be a dervish using all your first attacks to trip. If it doesnt succeed try again, and you can do it with multiple opponents, as long as you dont get tripped back you either just fail, or get a free attack and make em vulnerable.

So normal attack at lvl one -2 to hit-normal dmg/-2 to hit-normal damage
or you could do -2 to hit- Tripped/ +2 to hit.

and at later levels when you're flurry penalty is taken to 0 and you get extra hits, its great.

You can also combine stunning with Tripping, a stunned person is an easy target to trip.

I personally like the image of seeing my monk

Spin around, tripping the enemy. Standing over them and giving a Ki punch to their gut,stunning them. And then wailing on them with the rest of my attacks.

Minion #6
2011-01-03, 12:42 AM
If you are playing a low level campaign, I've heard that Vow of Poverty, from the Book of Exalted Deeds is great for monks, but I can't tell you exactly what it does.

At later levels, taking things like Superior Unarmed Strike from the Tome of Battle, and especially Improved Natural attack are great for monks, but there is a drought of great 1st level feats.

KillianHawkeye
2011-01-03, 12:46 AM
If you are playing a low level campaign, I've heard that Vow of Poverty, from the Book of Exalted Deeds is great for monks, but I can't tell you exactly what it does.

I don't know if I'd call it "great", since in the long run having actual equipment tends to be better. And again, it requires another feat (Sacred Vow), so you can't take it at level 1 unless you can get a second feat from race or by using flaws.

I agree that there aren't a ton of great feats for a Monk at 1st level. Improved Initiative might be a good idea.

mabriss lethe
2011-01-03, 02:25 AM
at low levels, don't blow feats on improved trip+combat expertise. use kama instead and pick up improved trip as your 6th level bonus feat. Kama are trip weapons (you don't get the nice bonus that Imp Trip gives you, but you can use the feat for something else in the meantime.)

Gavinfoxx
2011-01-03, 02:29 AM
It hasn't been said yet, but despite being, you know, cool looking, Monks are not known as being a class that is competent at much of anything. In general, they are known for being one of the weakest classes in the game.

In all seriousness, you should ask your friend this: How important is it to him that the class of the character he is playing contributes significantly to him being a badass, capable, useful combatant in melee? When he visualizes what his character is actually achieving in melee, what does he see?

You should really get the answer to those questions before offering monk advice. Monk is a HARD class to optimize, because you have to do massive amounts of very obscure splatbook diving to make it decent, because the core of the class is generally terrible in a very objective sense.

Runestar
2011-01-03, 02:31 AM
Tripping is nice, when it works. :smallfrown:

I would go for ability focus: stunning fist. It's not that useful at 1st lv, but as mentioned, many of the better feats become available at later lvs (lv6+) and you may not have the room to squeeze these feats in.

Zaq
2011-01-03, 02:33 AM
Adaptive Style is pretty much a feat tax, and it's as useful at 1st level as at any other time, so you probably won't regret getting it out of the way. Your maneuver recovery really does leave a lot to be desired, and Adaptive Style helps immensely.

Gavinfoxx
2011-01-03, 02:35 AM
Adaptive Style is pretty much a feat tax, and it's as useful at 1st level as at any other time, so you probably won't regret getting it out of the way. Your maneuver recovery really does leave a lot to be desired, and Adaptive Style helps immensely.

Uhm. He's not playing an Unarmed Swordsage, you know, Monk 2.0. He's playing a Monk, as in Monk 1.0, which is much buggier and worse than the updated version. I'm SOOO glad they released a patch, but some people are still using the unpatched version for some reason.

Kylarra
2011-01-03, 02:40 AM
Well Monastic Training (PsyWar) or (Ardent) would be a good bonus feat, and leads neatly into the non ToB "fix" of Monk2/PsyWar(or Ardent) 18 with Tashalatora.

Zaq
2011-01-03, 02:41 AM
Uhm. He's not playing an Unarmed Swordsage, you know, Monk 2.0. He's playing a Monk, as in Monk 1.0, which is much buggier and worse than the updated version. I'm SOOO glad they released a patch, but some people are still using the unpatched version for some reason.

I'm not sure I follow.

Gavinfoxx
2011-01-03, 02:42 AM
I'm not sure I follow.

...He's using the monk in the Player's Handbook, not the Unarmed variant of Swordsage in Tome of Battle. I KNOW, it's a bad idea, but some folk still do that! Really! They even released a few psionic patches for monk too, (mentioned previously) that actually use two levels of the original PHB monk, but folk still often use the full Monk class, the one that exists in the Players Handbook, without really intending to leave the class, in non-joke campaigns.

Yeturs
2011-01-03, 03:52 AM
I'm aware monks blow, but this is a fairly low op game and he is absolutely devoted to monk.

But yeah, Kama is nice. Good call.

So I don't know what he took for his feat (it's a post by post and DM forbids inter-character sheet viewing. But he took it whatever it is :P

Hope it was good.

Minion #6
2011-01-03, 03:56 AM
Truth be told, the worst thing about monk is the ridicule you can often get from people who know better. :smallannoyed:

holywhippet
2011-01-03, 04:32 AM
If you want to play as a monk, take an initial level in either wizard, sorcerer, druid or cleric. Basically you want at least one spell that can boost your AC - mages armor is a good choice as it's a +4 that you'd never get otherwise.

At low levels the monk isn't too bad - they trade off full BAB for flurry of blows so you have lower odds of any given hit connecting but more attacks to increase your chances. Their saving throws are pretty good, and they get some extra bonuses for certain saving throws. At higher levels they really start to pale though - a cleric for example will have better AC, the same BAB and can duplicate many of the monks special abilities with spells.

SilverLeaf167
2011-01-03, 04:39 AM
There we go again, comparing melee classes to full casters. :smallamused:
A common fix, which makes Monks a little better, is giving them full BAB and allowing them to enchant their fists. This makes them actually viable combatants, and encourages the use of Unarmed Strikes.

holywhippet
2011-01-03, 04:43 AM
There we go again, comparing melee classes to full casters. :smallamused:
A common fix, which makes Monks a little better, is giving them full BAB and allowing them to enchant their fists. This makes them actually viable combatants, and encourages the use of Unarmed Strikes.

A monk isn't neccessarily a melee class though. Their speed lets them stay out of melee range and stick to ranged attacks when fighting out in the open.

I'm not sure you can classify a cleric as a full caster rather than being a melee class though. With a few buffs a cleric is even more dangerous in melee than a fighter.

Eldariel
2011-01-03, 04:48 AM
I'm not sure you can classify a cleric as a full caster rather than being a melee class though. With a few buffs a cleric is even more dangerous in melee than a fighter.

Cleric is just as capable of ranged, as melee, combat though so it'd be more fair to say "warrior" rather than "full caster"; though in Cleric's case, he's of course full caster first since being a competent warrior comes from being a full caster (incidentally, Wizard can use Polymorph to be a warrior too).

Curmudgeon
2011-01-03, 04:51 AM
If you want to play as a monk, take an initial level in either wizard, sorcerer, druid or cleric.
(In addition to having no relation to the question posed) this is tactically bad build advice. Absent considerations of class entry requirements, your initial level should generally be of whichever of your base classes gives you more skill points. You'd be needlessly sacrificing at least 6 skill points by this choice.

SilverLeaf167
2011-01-03, 04:51 AM
Yes, Monks can use ranged attacks, but they lose the benefits of most of their bonus feats, and especially at lower levels, their improved unarmed damage.

It's not a classification. If a class gets spells starting from level 1, it's a full caster. Even if they are also good at melee. (Ninja'd!) Also, it's not really an accomplishment to be better than a Fighter...
My point was that people always start comparing the weakest classes to the most powerful ones.

Tvtyrant
2011-01-03, 10:45 AM
Monks can power attack with shuriken if I recall, and flurry with them. That leaves open some room for using flame arrow shuriken flurries with maxed strength.

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-03, 10:49 AM
You can't Power Attack with thrown weapons.

And with that terrible BaB, Power Attacking isn't the best idea anyway. Unless you're using some way to make your attacks touch attacks, but in that case, you're either dipping into magic, psionics or ToB anyway...

Tvtyrant
2011-01-03, 10:53 AM
"When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus 1 or ׽) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks"

Your probably right, but you do get strength to damage with them, which means you do fair damage for dart swarming them.

Greenish
2011-01-03, 11:02 AM
"When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus 1 or ׽) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks"

Your probably right, but you do get strength to damage with them, which means you do fair damage for dart swarming them.Everyone gets strength to damage with thrown weapons.

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-03, 11:03 AM
They're thrown weapons.

You get your Strength bonus to damage anyway.

That passage is referring to what happens if you're wielding a special monk weapon in your off-hand and flurrying with it.

JBento
2011-01-03, 11:07 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "dart swarming", since throwing one shuriken takes one attack - days of throwing 3 shuriken/attack are gone in 3.5

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-03, 11:08 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "dart swarming", since throwing one shuriken takes one attack - days of throwing 3 shuriken/attack are gone in 3.5

Well, monks can flurry and TWF shurikens. It's pretty similar to TWF throwing daggers, except you don't need Quick Draw.

Curmudgeon
2011-01-03, 11:08 AM
You can't Power Attack with thrown weapons.
... unless you have the Power Throw feat (Complete Adventurer, page 111). :smallsmile:

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-03, 11:12 AM
... unless you have the Power Throw feat (Complete Adventurer, page 111). :smallsmile:

But that's even more wasted feats for a Monk. Who would need high Dexterity and high Strength to make it worthwhile...

grimbold
2011-01-03, 11:17 AM
tripping only works sometimes but it is effective. personally i LOVE the power attack chain but that doesn't work as well for a monk, but it does still work. Actually i think improved initiative is a good choice

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-03, 11:19 AM
Actually i think improved initiative is a good choice

Um. Why?

He's not a rogue. He doesn't care if his opponents are flat-footed.

Greenish
2011-01-03, 11:33 AM
But that's even more wasted feats for a Monk. Who would need high Dexterity and high Strength to make it worthwhile...Power Throw has Brutal Throw as a prerequisite, so you'd be SAD for that part.

AshDesert
2011-01-03, 11:54 AM
Um. Why?

He's not a rogue. He doesn't care if his opponents are flat-footed.

Because going first is nice. Admittedly, Improved Initiative is much better on a Rogue (for teh d6's) or full casters who can actually contribute meaningfully, but at least you can get that first punch in.

Yuki Akuma
2011-01-03, 12:00 PM
Because going first is nice. Admittedly, Improved Initiative is much better on a Rogue (for teh d6's) or full casters who can actually contribute meaningfully, but at least you can get that first punch in.

Improved Initiative only does anything special in the first round, though - after that, when you act has no particular bearing on the combat.

Better to spend a precious, precious feat slot on something that works more than three to four times a day.

Psyren
2011-01-03, 12:34 PM
Improved Initiative only does anything special in the first round, though - after that, when you act has no particular bearing on the combat.

However, delaying or readying actions can help you direct the flow of combat better, and going first gives you more options when choosing what to ready.

Curmudgeon
2011-01-03, 02:02 PM
However, delaying or readying actions can help you direct the flow of combat better, and going first gives you more options when choosing what to ready.
The question isn't if Improved Initiative can be useful. The question is if it's a better choice than all of the hundreds of feats available. I can't see that answer ever being "yes" for a class that needs so much work.

Monk is a HARD class to optimize, because you have to do massive amounts of very obscure splatbook diving to make it decent, because the core of the class is generally terrible in a very objective sense.
There are harder optimizations; Rogue certainly qualifies. The saving grace of the Monk problem is that there's one fairly straightforward optimization which works very well to make Monks decent in combat: the Greater Mighty Wallop spell (Races of the Dragon, page 115). This can boost your unarmed damage up to 5 size categories, maxing out at (effective) Colossal. By the time the class table gets you up to 1d10 base damage, your party spellcaster should be able to boost that to 6d8 (+4 size categories) on every hit. Add Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike) and that's 8d8. By the time your Monk maxes out at level 20 their unarmed damage will be 16d8. So at least the melee damage insufficiency of the class is easy to fix.

Togo
2011-01-03, 02:20 PM
However, delaying or readying actions can help you direct the flow of combat better, and going first gives you more options when choosing what to ready.

Improved initiative is an excellent feat, but I think the monk has less to gain from going first than most. You're a light surgical strike combatant, and the last thing you want to do is go before all the heavy melee line people on each side, and maybe get yourself surrounded and pounded before the rest of your party gets an action.

Also the monk is an excellent platform for buff spells, better in many cases than the fighter, and possible one of the best in the game. Going before the buff casters in your party is probably not the best idea.

I'd suggest looking at some of the prereqs for the combat manoeuvre feats in Complete warrior, such as elusive target, or sun school, and going for them. Plan your feats from the start because you won't get many of them.

It's also worth seeing if you really want to get stunning fist. If you don't, wisdom is far less valuable than strength, and you may want to adjust stats with that in mind. +1 to AC simply isn't as good as +1 to hit and damage for every attack, particularly when you have so many of them, and a surprising number of your good skills are strength based. I played a monk with a wisdom of 8, and a strength of 20 and it worked just fine.

Psyren
2011-01-03, 02:30 PM
Improved initiative is an excellent feat, but I think the monk has less to gain from going first than most. You're a light surgical strike combatant, and the last thing you want to do is go before all the heavy melee line people on each side, and maybe get yourself surrounded and pounded before the rest of your party gets an action.

Also the monk is an excellent platform for buff spells, better in many cases than the fighter, and possible one of the best in the game. Going before the buff casters in your party is probably not the best idea.


Don't get me wrong, where monks are concerned I'm inclined to agree. I was simply arguing against the idea that "going first doesn't matter in subsequent rounds of combat."

Person_Man
2011-01-03, 02:33 PM
Your friend should also take a look at the Ritiik (exotic weapon) from Frostburn: If you successfully hit an enemy, the enemy must make a Reflex Save. If it fails, you get a free Trip Attempt. It's basically a weaker version of Knock-Down (www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Knock-Down), except it only takes 1 feat to use. I've found that it's superior for low level builds.

It's not a special Monk weapon, and thus can't be used with Flurry though. But that can be fixed with a hand wave, or by not playing a Monk.