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Enterti
2011-01-10, 10:02 PM
One of my players wishes to run a monk. While I have no problems with this I am worried about the class becoming well, like monks usually do. The rest of the party appears to be teir 3 or higher so its quite obvious that without special attention he will fall behind. So in an effort to keep balance going I am thinking of making the following changes.

1 full BAB

2 D10 HD

3 A free restrictionless Vow of Poverty based on monk levels rather than HD

4 Possibly(though not entirely likely) maneuvers from ToB reflecting the slowest maneuvers gained class

Do you think these will keep him useful and possibly bump the class up a few Teirs?

dgnslyr
2011-01-10, 10:08 PM
If you're thinking about giving him maneuvers anyways, why not just encourage him to be a Swordsage? Or Psychic Warrior, if that's what floats your boat.

holywhippet
2011-01-10, 10:13 PM
Suggest to him that he takes a level in either wizard or sorcerer first. Being able to cast mage armour before a fight will greatly increase a monks survival chances. For that matter, a level of cleric or druid could work instead since they can cast spells like magic fang.

Benly
2011-01-10, 10:16 PM
Give him Pounce so he can actually benefit from having both FoB and increased movement.

Enterti
2011-01-10, 10:24 PM
I have suggested ToB classes to him but he will not budge from Monk(I have no idea why and the closest thing I get to an explanation is "Its a freaking Monk!"-direct quote). Further I was hoping to avoid fix 4 if 1-3 work well enough as he probably won't glance at any of the maneuvers.

I will recommend a level of wizard, but he has in the past expressed a hate of all casters.

Grendus
2011-01-10, 10:24 PM
If you give him maneuvers, he'll bump to T3... might as well be a crusader with Improved Unarmed Strike.

I like the idea of a free VoP, though I'd drop the bonus exalted feats and remove the poverty requirement (monks need gear as bad as, if not worse than, other classes). Bonus AC, enhancement bonus to his natural strikes, and a bonus to his stats will go a long way towards fixing him, though I'd suggest letting his flurry of blows be in addition to his standard action attack (so if he moves, he gets one attack plus his flurry of blows at -2 attack) or just go all the way and house rule that Pounce is a normal feat and anyone can take it (seriously... that would have solved so many problems in core).

Benly
2011-01-10, 10:27 PM
or just go all the way and house rule that Pounce is a normal feat and anyone can take it (seriously... that would have solved so many problems in core).

I don't remember where, but I've heard someone suggest just outright making full attacks a standard action. It sounds like a drastic move until you stop to think and realize that any non-ToB character who wants to melee without being completely terrible is pretty much forced to figure out a way to get Pounce anyway and it's not like they couldn't use the buff.

Enterti
2011-01-10, 10:30 PM
I think I will allow pounce as a feat, shouldn't be too big a deal, and by restrictionless VoP I meant he doesn't actually have the rules just the benefits. Totally forgot about the free exalted feats, yeah those would be gone

Kylarra
2011-01-10, 10:36 PM
Just give them the psywar power progression.

valadil
2011-01-10, 10:36 PM
So in an effort to keep balance going I am thinking of making the following changes.

1 full BAB

2 D10 HD


I saw a monk like this once. He was on par with the other melee characters but still behind the casters.

Zaq
2011-01-10, 10:45 PM
If you're even considering allowing maneuvers, why not just use Unarmed Swordsage and be done with it? People are constantly singing its praises for a reason, after all. They really do feel more monklike than actual monks do. Is it the nomenclature? Really? People are still hung up on this? You might try to convince him to just trust you for a couple of sessions, give the Unarmed Swordsage a go for, say, two or three sessions, and if it doesn't work then you'll promise to retcon the character into something else. Help him make some good choices and see if he likes it.

truemane
2011-01-10, 10:51 PM
The general package of fixes that I've used in the past, and they work out okay. They don't make the Monk UBER but they help a lot...

1. D10 HD. You got this one.
2. Full BAB. You got this one too.
3. Flurry on a Standard Action. It differentiates Monks from other Melee classes and cements them as mobile and quick and such. Makes them a TON more fun.
4. 6 Skill points per level. They have an awesome list. Pity they never get to use it.
5. More bonus feats. This one changes from game to game, but I've given them as many as one every two or three or four levels, chosen from a wide list of Monk-aiding feats like Weapon Finesse, Intuitive Strike (without the Exalted requirement), Improved Natural Attack, etc.

Just to give them more options. Nothing they can do is as unbalancing as single Wizard with half a clue, so let them have some fun out there!

The Glyphstone
2011-01-10, 10:56 PM
The one time I allowed a Monk, it was with the following package:

-Full BAB
-Flurry as a standard action
-Pierced DR equal to Monk level (only came into play once)

The player actually spent more time firing Ki Blasts than punching, though, so I can't say if it helped the class or not.

sonofzeal
2011-01-10, 10:57 PM
1 full BAB
Good. This helps solve the problem known as "flurry of misses", but does make Monk an even more attractive dip class.


2 D10 HD
Good. Should always have been the case.


3 A free restrictionless Vow of Poverty based on monk levels rather than HD
Too much. VoP adds a huge amount to their AC, likely bumping the Monk from "poor" straight through to "omgwtf". VoP sucks because it's static and eliminates the chance for useful things like flight or whatnot, but allowing VoP plus gear is a ridiculous boost. This would seriously damage game enjoyment for me; if I was playing a Monk I'd feel guilty for being so cheesy, and if I wasn't I'd feel ripped off in comparison.


4 Possibly(though not entirely likely) maneuvers from ToB reflecting the slowest maneuvers gained class
As Zaq said, if you're going this route why not just go Swordsage? The main reason to play a Monk instead is that it's Core and some groups don't allow ToB; take that away, and all Monk's base are belong to Unarmed Swordsage.


Do you think these will keep him useful and possibly bump the class up a few Teirs?
The problem with Monk is....

1) The difficulty of getting weapon enchants like "flaming" to help boost damage.

2) Poor AC, and not enough HP to tank

3) Fast movement, but can't flurry without a full attack, leaving the relatively squishy monk stationary and vulnerable.

4) A bunch of random class features that don't synergize and aren't generally useful.


....so they fail on offense, fail on defense, and fail at doing anything else particularly useful. Fix those, and you've got a better class.

Starbuck_II
2011-01-10, 11:00 PM
Suggest he take Snap Kick: extra unarmed attack whenever he attacks.

Enterti
2011-01-10, 11:11 PM
The problem with Monk is....

1) The difficulty of getting weapon enchants like "flaming" to help boost damage.

2) Poor AC, and not enough HP to tank

3) Fast movement, but can't flurry without a full attack, leaving the relatively squishy monk stationary and vulnerable.

4) A bunch of random class features that don't synergize and aren't generally useful.

1 we allow "handwraps" for that within my group

2 thats largely what VoP is in for

3 pounce will be a feat available for all characters with probably pow. attack as a prerequisite

4 sadly I think those are why he wants to run the monk

balistafreak
2011-01-10, 11:16 PM
The player actually spent more time firing Ki Blasts than punching, though, so I can't say if it helped the class or not.

I can't decide if this is sadly amusing or awesomely hilarious. (If those are the PHBII feat-tax Ki Blasts, probably the former. :smallfrown:)

Curmudgeon
2011-01-10, 11:20 PM
Things you can do with a Monk without changing the class rules:

Encourage use of some Alternative Class features that can help the class quite a bit, starting with Invisible Fist (Exemplars of Evil); this gives invisibility for a full round, every 3 rounds. (If you want to compensate for loss of evasion, give the Monk a Ring of Evasion.)
Provide access to a Sparring Dummy of the Master (Arms and Equipment Guide) for training. After the training, the Monk will have the option to make 10' steps as well as 5' steps. So: full attack, then step back 10' and deny the enemy a full counterattack.
Maybe have some benificent spellcaster give the Monk Magic Fang + Permanency?

The Glyphstone
2011-01-10, 11:26 PM
I can't decide if this is sadly amusing or awesomely hilarious. (If those are the PHBII feat-tax Ki Blasts, probably the former. :smallfrown:)

The former..but he was having a blast, no pun intended, so I didn't make a lot of noise about it.

BenInHB
2011-01-10, 11:32 PM
The first PC i ever had was a monk i played from 1-6 and then 7th level was Psionic Fist. Holy hell did that open my eyes when i could manifest Enlarge and Force Screen.

You know what though, it has made me really appreciate and have fun with my subsequent characters (Duskblade, Rogue, Druid, Swash/Wizard)

Let him play what he wants. When he complains or dies because he is behind the power curve let him make something new. Hopefully he learns from his experiences.

sonofzeal
2011-01-10, 11:33 PM
1 we allow "handwraps" for that within my group

2 thats largely what VoP is in for

3 pounce will be a feat available for all characters with probably pow. attack as a prerequisite

4 sadly I think those are why he wants to run the monk
#1 sounds good, and should have gone on your list of fixes. Still doesn't really solve the offence problem (no Power Attack or Precision Damage; he'll have to take tones of size boosts to compete offence-wise), but it helps.

#2 is straight overkill though. You're talking a huge boost to AC, past most heavy armor sorts, and a corresponding massive increase in available gp for use on everything else. Nerf VoP heavily if you want to go this route.

#3 is good, although that still leaves the Monk stationary next to the enemy at the end of his turn, since charging prevents Spring Attack. Really, Spring Attack is what I'd go for here; I might even allow it as a bonus feat at some point.

#4... well, the easiest solution I can think of, with the least change to the rules, is give them PsiWar casting progression. PsiWar get better proficiencies and feats, Monks get... monkness. Balances out, or close enough. Inertial Armor solves the defence problem, Psionic Lion's Charge gives Pounce, and there'll be enough other stuff floating around to make anyone happy. Your friend gets to keep all their Monk toys, you get an effective party member. I might, however, strike any powers that change the PsiWar's body from the list - Claws, Expansion, Metamorphosis. Let those be PsiWar specific, Monks will get by just fine with the rest.

AslanCross
2011-01-11, 12:45 AM
I have suggested ToB classes to him but he will not budge from Monk(I have no idea why and the closest thing I get to an explanation is "Its a freaking Monk!"-direct quote). Further I was hoping to avoid fix 4 if 1-3 work well enough as he probably won't glance at any of the maneuvers.

I will recommend a level of wizard, but he has in the past expressed a hate of all casters.

Wow, this is one of the few times I see the DM suggesting ToB instead. Not to be trite, but I suggest giving him the Unarmed Swordsage and telling him it's Monk. ("Your punch can actually break rocks! You can throw giants! You can teleport through shadows! And FIVE-SHADOW-CREEPING-ICE-ENERVATION-STRIKE!")

Enterti
2011-01-11, 12:57 AM
He has played for longer than I have(a year to his 3 or 4) so he knows that unarmed swordsage is not a monk. The reason I have encouraged it is because I tend to play the Tier 1 casters, generally wizard with plenty of high power tricks to pull out if my usual DM is being a snob. I know that ToB is a strong fix for melee but it still lacks the power of Tier 1 game breakers. That said he has turned down psionics "its just re-fluffed magic". :smallsigh: sometimes I wonder why I bother with him, then I remember that he gives me food :smallbiggrin:

That said I am reducing the VoP to its ability bonuses and the late level gains of regeneration and true seeing

AslanCross
2011-01-11, 01:09 AM
What is he looking for in the Monk that the UA Swordsage can't give? @_@
I guess in the end, just let him do it and give him what he wants. If he starts feeling useless, then you can say "I told you so." If he enjoys it just fine, then more power to him.

Popertop
2011-01-11, 01:10 AM
If he likes the monk flavor,
then he might like Tashalatora.
Psychic Warrior does help,
as well as the power Psionic Lion's Charge.

Greenish
2011-01-11, 01:15 AM
That said he has turned down psionics "its just re-fluffed magic".It's just refluffed magic with way better casting mechanics. :smallamused:

MeeposFire
2011-01-11, 01:15 AM
One of my fixes is making flurry an improved snap kick.

At level one you can decide to use your flurry ability on your turn. If you do you take a -2 on all attacks for the round but you get an extra attack. This can be done on a standard action, full attack action, or whatever. The penalty goes away like the normal flurry and you get an additional attack at greater flurry.

This helps solve the problem of moving and attacking which is a problem for all 3.5 melee classes outside of duskblades, TOB, and chargers. This also works on spring attack and its better versions like bounding assault which are common "traps" that monk players fall into and now they are very good (with rapid assault or whatever it is called you will do a "spring attack" that has 5 attacks not bad on a move). Now the monk has synergy.

Combat Reflexes
2011-01-11, 05:08 AM
If the player of the monk likes special abilities, you could give him a few actually useful spell-likes. Maybe spells like Greater Mighty Wallop or spells/psionics that require touch attacks.

Aquillion
2011-01-11, 05:39 AM
That said he has turned down psionics "its just re-fluffed magic". :smallsigh: Tell him that Monk powers are also refluffed magic.

A monk is basically like a spellcaster, except instead of a full list of spells that they cast, they get a small set list of spells constantly active on them (a refluffed Haste to add additional attacks and movement, a refluffed Mage Armor with a bonus that scales off your Wisdom, etc.)

TaintedLight
2011-01-11, 05:41 AM
The best solution to this may be to just let him play what is widely acknowledged to be an underpowered class. I don't understand the mentality myself, but some folks are plenty content to just play and not worry too much about mechanical deficiencies and number crunching so long as they can at least keep up. If he does start to complain or express concerns, work with him to tweak the class a little in whatever areas you are seeing the most/biggest problems.

Ernir
2011-01-11, 06:05 AM
I'd like to...

Let him play what he wants. When he complains or dies because he is behind the power curve let him make something new. Hopefully he learns from his experiences.
... quote this for truth.

There are 5000 things you could do to make him better. He doesn't want better, he wants his Monk. Just give it to him.

Heliomance
2011-01-11, 07:18 AM
One of my friends has done a monk fix. I don't remember the full details, but the most awesome change is replacing Slow Fall with an ability called Leap Through the Clouds [ex]. It grants a fly speed equal to your land speed, though the distance you can fly each round is limited to the normal slow fall distance and you have to land after movement. It has clumsy manoeuvrability, or perfect if you're within reach of a wall or solid object, even if it couldn't actually support your weight. It's fluffed as wire-fu style running through the air.

Emmerask
2011-01-11, 07:25 AM
Just give them the psywar power progression.

Yep this is quite a good fix !

Galileo
2011-01-11, 07:40 AM
One of my friends has done a monk fix. I don't remember the full details, but the most awesome change is replacing Slow Fall with an ability called Leap Through the Clouds [ex]. It grants a fly speed equal to your land speed, though the distance you can fly each round is limited to the normal slow fall distance and you have to land after movement. It has clumsy manoeuvrability, or perfect if you're within reach of a wall or solid object, even if it couldn't actually support your weight. It's fluffed as wire-fu style running through the air.

That's a really cool idea. I think I'll make that into part of the Unarmed Swordsage in my games.

Anyway, on-topic, I think you should really ask him exactly what it is about the Monk that makes him want it more than anything actually good. "It's a freaking monk!" would suggest it's primarily fluff issues. If so, point out Unarmed Swordsage has exactly the same flavour, just with more interesting mechanics to back it up.

Abemad
2011-01-11, 07:44 AM
How about this:

1. Full BAB

2. Instead of Ki Strike (Magic), Ki Strike (Lawful) and Ki Strike (Adamantium), the monk gains Ki Strike (+1 enhancement), Ki Strike (Axiomatic) and Ki Strike (Brilliant Energy) Manyshot, ie. at level 6 the monk can do 2 attacks at +4,-1 as a standard action. Maybe even remove the restriction on precision based damage (allow for sneak attack/crits on all attacks).

4. Slow fall could be changed to that Leap of the Clouds thing Heliomance mentioned

5. Make Wholeness of Body dependant on Wisdom (Like Lay on Hands, but self only)

6. Make Abundant Step usable a number of times equal to wis modifier.

I Think that should do it, it gives an offensive boost, and a small defensive boost (better maneuverablity, better damage (at least against chaotic enemies), and more healing...)

Enterti
2011-01-11, 10:34 AM
Yeah I think I'm just going to let him have his way, though I will be giving the first two fixes as well as spring attack offered as a bonus feat at level 10 and pounce offered as a feat anyone can take. Possibly an X rounds per day/encounter extra move action based on Wis to capitalize on flurry

gbprime
2011-01-11, 10:47 AM
Why not sit him down in front of a few hours of Dragonball Z and then give him full BAB and an Eldritch Blast? :smalltongue:

Teron
2011-01-11, 12:03 PM
Why Spring Attack? It's bad in general and terrible on a monk. Even when it "works" (i.e., the enemy's only meaningful offense is a melee full attack, without pounce or the like), giving up his ability to flurry/full attack to protect himself (how do you think the wizard will like it when the monk hides behind him?) is the next best thing to useless. The last thing you want to do is encourage him to use it.

AtomicKitKat
2011-01-11, 12:14 PM
One of my fixes is making flurry an improved snap kick.

At level one you can decide to use your flurry ability on your turn. If you do you take a -2 on all attacks for the round but you get an extra attack. This can be done on a standard action, full attack action, or whatever. The penalty goes away like the normal flurry and you get an additional attack at greater flurry.

This helps solve the problem of moving and attacking which is a problem for all 3.5 melee classes outside of duskblades, TOB, and chargers. This also works on spring attack and its better versions like bounding assault which are common "traps" that monk players fall into and now they are very good (with rapid assault or whatever it is called you will do a "spring attack" that has 5 attacks not bad on a move). Now the monk has synergy.

This. Nullifies the "can't flurry and move" dichotomy. Snap Kick is what Flurry should have been.

Grelna the Blue
2011-01-11, 12:19 PM
Have you considered letting him play the Pathfinder version (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/monk)? A while back, Saph wrote a stickied summary (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7607412#post7607362) of the differences between 3.5 and PF classes that might be useful in making a decision.

Sploosh
2011-01-11, 01:39 PM
I may have missed this but does he comment on the disparity? From the knowledge you've give ie. knowing about unarmed swordsages, loving the whacky abilities, the ki blasts, ect.. It sounds like he isn't bothered in the slightest.

I have a few friends in some of my own gaming groups that are almost dedicated to playing the most unoptimized, lowest tiered classes imaginable. A few of us tried restlessly to "educate them" and it failed. We tried to add fixes to thier classes, they didn't notice. We'd even slap on free LA or other things to "catch up", again, no response. Then it hit me, it didn't matter one bit that they were contributing 1% or 110% and we gave up trying to operant conditioning then and let them play their classes and eat paste.
We're all happy with it.

That said, that could be different in your case and if that is the case I'd also like to point out even if you give them full bab, better HD and some decent stat boosts, ability increases, ect from your vow that the monk will still be tier4. Being able to full attack more accurately and take a few more punches wont make it more versatile. The increases bab may make low level tripping and grappling more effective but as a pure monk you won't be able to handle the later monsters and things like freedom of movement. Not even a great t4 as other T4 classes can do more even if you ignore the traps like him using your free spring attack.

Finally, if he is purposefully ignoring the other benefits so that you are hand tailoring his class anyway, do you think he is going to actually take very useful feats and items? What does giving him a trucload of help if he is going to go take Alertness and Weapon Focus?

Greenish
2011-01-11, 03:07 PM
Then it hit me, it didn't matter one bit that they were contributing 1% or 110% and we gave up trying to operant conditioning then and let them play their classes and eat paste.It didn't bug any of you? :smallconfused:

I mean, maybe I'm just a greedy jerk, but I don't like sharing my shinies with dead weight. They're mine, all mine!

Enterti
2011-01-11, 08:49 PM
I think I will show him the pathfinder varient and see what he thinks of it, to me it looks much stronger than normal monks but still lacks some power.

skywalker
2011-01-11, 09:03 PM
It didn't bug any of you? :smallconfused:

I mean, maybe I'm just a greedy jerk, but I don't like sharing my shinies with dead weight. They're mine, all mine!

Dude, it's pretend treasure in a pretend game. Translation: I don't ever mind. Doesn't mean you're a greedy jerk, just means we have different priorities.

I was going to express what has already been expressed: Maybe he is playing a monk for the experience. Maybe he looks down on "optimizers." Who the hell (among us) knows? The DM hopefully knows the guy's reasons, and can analyze them and figure out if the player will work successfully with the group and the game. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. But instead of expending your own energy trying to fix him, figure out whether or not he will work in your game and whether or not your willing to tweak the game itself a little bit to make him comfortable, if necessary. All this effort to "fix" the monk is really unnecessary if he doesn't care enough to do the work himself.

Leon
2011-01-12, 03:28 AM
Just let him play a Monk unmodified.
If he has not been exposed to corruption of over-optimization that often pervades in here he will have fun with it if its really what he wants.
IF after playing it he has doubts then maybe offer some alternatives, but above all let he - the player of the PC choose what he wants.


We have a Monk Character in our current game who is simply brilliant (and this is i have just discovered during last session without 5 feats).

Smeggedoff
2011-01-12, 03:45 AM
See our Monk makes me look at all the monk hate on the forums and go "buh?"

He's responsible for a pretty big protion of party damage (though he is using decisive strike) to the point where the DM's had to surreptitiously bump up monster HP so they last more than two rounds.

This could be helped by the fact that the player rolls a large amount of crits.

Cerlis
2011-01-12, 05:12 AM
I get it! Instead of a Monks are stupid thread, this week we got a People Who Play Monks Are Stupid thread!

Nice to have a change of pace.

Greenish
2011-01-12, 09:56 AM
Dude, it's pretend treasure in a pretend game.For my pretend character, the money is real, though. And why would he want to bring helpless people to dangerous situations?

And well, I do care what pretend characters do in a pretend world with pretend obstacles. If I didn't why would I even play?

Gametime
2011-01-12, 10:53 AM
Just let him play a Monk unmodified.
If he has not been exposed to corruption of over-optimization that often pervades in here he will have fun with it if its really what he wants.
IF after playing it he has doubts then maybe offer some alternatives, but above all let he - the player of the PC choose what he wants.


We have a Monk Character in our current game who is simply brilliant (and this is i have just discovered during last session without 5 feats).

"Corruption of over-optimization?" What, is optimization like a plague, now? :smallconfused:

You know, in my gaming group, we're extremely unoptimized. I'm the only one, as far as I know, who has ever been to this or any other gaming forum. The player who played a monk/shadowdancer still got pretty tired of his incredibly low-damage Spring Attack routine, despite having been kept quite safe from the Internet's vile, corrupting influence.

That said, I think the OP should let the player play a monk. Maybe he doesn't care much about effectiveness, and if that's the case he'll have fun. If he does care, then he'll quickly learn why the monk is so boring and the problem will solve itself. Either way, it'll be more effective than trying to convince him of anything.

Skaven
2011-01-12, 11:03 AM
How about trying this monk variant

http://www.zipworld.com.au/~hong/dnd/martialartist.htm

Most players who want to play monks really just want to be a martial artist.

Tvtyrant
2011-01-12, 11:03 AM
Why not sit him down in front of a few hours of Dragonball Z and then give him full BAB and an Eldritch Blast? :smalltongue:

Warlock lol

Timeless Error
2011-01-12, 04:23 PM
You could try this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150122) monk revision that I think does an impressive job of raising the class a tier or two. It's not quite tier three, but it's a high tier four.

skywalker
2011-01-12, 10:29 PM
For my pretend character, the money is real, though. And why would he want to bring helpless people to dangerous situations?

And well, I do care what pretend characters do in a pretend world with pretend obstacles. If I didn't why would I even play?

Your original post was in the first person. I can agree that the character might be upset. I have had characters wax at length about the uselessness of other party members, but never about the players, and never out of character. So I guess it's a question of whether it's your greed, or your character's. Some players want all the best shinies and no dead weight. I just think we're all there to have fun, and if some people have fun by playing unoptimized things, I'm game to compromise.

Cerlis
2011-01-12, 11:16 PM
"Corruption of over-optimization?" What, is optimization like a plague, now? :smallconfused:

You know, in my gaming group, we're extremely unoptimized. I'm the only one, as far as I know, who has ever been to this or any other gaming forum. The player who played a monk/shadowdancer still got pretty tired of his incredibly low-damage Spring Attack routine, despite having been kept quite safe from the Internet's vile, corrupting influence.

That said, I think the OP should let the player play a monk. Maybe he doesn't care much about effectiveness, and if that's the case he'll have fun. If he does care, then he'll quickly learn why the monk is so boring and the problem will solve itself. Either way, it'll be more effective than trying to convince him of anything.

considering some have said people who want to play an unaltered monk are either Uneducated or Paste eaters, I think its a fair term.

Playing underpowered characters is great, cus when you finally DO do something useful, its that much more awesome.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0168.html stuff like this.

I'll play Jigglypuff and keep trying to use her sleep move and die horribly cus thats all im trying. And it doesnt matter cus if i Ever succeed I have accomplished my goal. "Eat Jiggly doom *itches!"

Just like how Tarquinn can win in his own game, we underpowered characters choose to win in ours. Who cares if the Super Mage ended up buffing himself up and blowing up the tarrasque. I insulted the Tarasques mama and then poked him in the eye!

Gametime
2011-01-13, 12:13 AM
I don't think people should be prevented from playing underpowered characters. I do think people should be educated about the fact that their characters are underpowered, because if they're playing a certain way because of misinformation then they might gain greater enjoyment with greater rules mastery. So long as you understand why your character is weak and don't mind, though, I don't see a problem. (Your friends might, for various reasons, and if they do then that's a whole separate reason to play a stronger character, but taken all by itself I don't think being weak is a problem.)

Where I do see a problem is in being told that playing anything but an underpowered character is a sure sign of corruption. The "Play what you want" mantra has to go both ways.

Tiki Snakes
2011-01-13, 12:23 AM
Given that the monk player in question is not new, It's entirely worth considering that he is playing a monk as an optimisation challenge.

Perhaps he doesn't want to be buffed, but to op-fu his way to not being terrible anyway, on his own terms?

Leon
2011-01-13, 12:41 AM
"Corruption of over-optimization?" What, is optimization like a plague, now? :smallconfused:


Yes.
WhiteText

Cerlis
2011-01-13, 01:12 AM
Yes.



Where I do see a problem is in being told that playing anything but an underpowered character is a sure sign of corruption. The "Play what you want" mantra has to go both ways.

addressing both of these with the same comment...

I think the issue is the Middle ground of optimization seems to be decreasing. For me the straw that broke the cammels back was seeing 3 different character concepts suggested an animated shield in the same day ( i think). Like i bet if i said i wanted to play a monk because of the +30 speed increase someone would say to get boots of speed or something. The issue would be that its not my character that was fast, it was his amazing shoes that happen to be attached to a monk. "optimization" seems to be near 100% where it seems a large amount of suggestions are all Swordsage/Cleric Gishes with Animated shields and one level dips in 4 prestige classes.

I'm sure people who love playing underpowered classes want to be effective as well. So we need 20% or 50% or 80% optimization. But the reason for the opinion "Optimization plague" is because sure enough someone says "X wants to play a monk" the first (group of) post(s) is almost always "Dont. play an unarmed swordsage" . Rather than "Try these feats" or "Exchange it for this class feature" or "aim for this prestige class".

JonestheSpy
2011-01-13, 01:56 AM
I'm sure people who love playing underpowered classes want to be effective as well. So we need 20% or 50% or 80% optimization. But the reason for the opinion "Optimization plague" is because sure enough someone says "X wants to play a monk" the first (group of) post(s) is almost always "Dont. play an unarmed swordsage" . Rather than "Try these feats" or "Exchange it for this class feature" or "aim for this prestige class".

Word. I wish there was some kind of viewing option so that when someone wants to talk about the monk you wouldn't have to wade through the glut of "don't be a monk, be a swordsage/psywarrior/etc". It would cut down on the number of useless posts to scan through considerably. (Ditto for fighter/warblade, paladin/crusader, etc threads).

As for the original topics, there's a couple of good ideas that haven't been mentioned. One is to allow Wisdom to sub for Strength modifying To Hit and Damage bonuses, to cut down on the MAD problem - this could either be an innate class feature or a feat. Another is to just increase the AC bonus to something that actually makes it worthwhile - perhaps 1/3 levels or even 2/5. And I agree with the folks who think that a free VoP is too much.

MeeposFire
2011-01-13, 05:17 AM
The reason you get so many answers like "play a swordsage" is that balance is so bad in 3.5 that you can unbalance a game on accident. you can also create terrible builds even with the best of classes. They can be game wreckers. Of course this does not happen all the time but it can happen and it happens enough to be a known problem.

Often times saying "play a swordsage" is the better answer anyway as it has a similar flavor but the mechanics are better and you do not need to optimize the character as much to make it work well. A swordsage 20 is an excellent build outside of them most optimized game while it would take some obscure monk build optimized to a high degree to match the simple swordsage build. I too have grown tired of building characters with 6 different classes and such so I have gone back to a more old school (and new school oddly) theme of less is more with classes. What sounds more crazy (and took more "optimization") swordsage 20 or monk5/X7/Y3/Z2/A4/B1/C3? And you know what the swordsage is probably still better and does a better job at being a monk like character.

The Big Dice
2011-01-13, 05:50 AM
Unarmed Swordsage
I always thought that name is something of an oxymoron. And now back to your scheduled monk discussion.

Coidzor
2011-01-13, 06:01 AM
^: Indeed. Names in D&D never were all that inspiring to me though. Actually, I'm trying to think of what I would consider the best name for a class and am drawing a complete blank.
I think the issue is the Middle ground of optimization seems to be decreasing. For me the straw that broke the cammels back was seeing 3 different character concepts suggested an animated shield in the same day ( i think).

You don't even know that it happened or that the instances were on the same day or what? :smallconfused:

Either way, that just shows that you're overreacting. 3 builds in one day being suggested the same fairly generic answer is not an extreme number by any stretch of the imagination considering how the number of threads started asking for build advice is highly variable.

Kami2awa
2011-01-13, 06:08 AM
You could show him this:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52048

It's a set of ideas for building a martial artist without supernatural abilities using Fighter as the base class.

However, why not just let him play the monk and see if he has a good time? I suspect he will.

Thespianus
2011-01-13, 06:44 AM
I wish we had Monk Mondays here on the forum.

If you have a Monk question, or want to discuss Monk fixes, wait 'til next Monday. :smallwink:

Emmerask
2011-01-13, 07:40 AM
I always thought that name is something of an oxymoron. And now back to your scheduled monk discussion.

Fistsage :smallbiggrin:

Coidzor
2011-01-13, 08:34 AM
Fistsage :smallbiggrin:

Fistsage Sagefist. Great. Now I'm thinking of Anonymous as an unarmed swordsage. x,x

Leon
2011-01-13, 08:34 AM
I wish we had Monk Mondays here on the forum.

If you have a Monk question, or want to discuss Monk fixes, wait 'til next Monday. :smallwink:

Just another manic monkday....

Thespianus
2011-01-13, 08:35 AM
Just another manic monkday....
I hesitated, but decided against it. ;)

2xMachina
2011-01-13, 01:07 PM
Did anyone else see "Its that time of the month again" when they first glanced at this thread?

The Glyphstone
2011-01-13, 01:44 PM
Did anyone else see "Its that time of the month again" when they first glanced at this thread?

No, whatever could you be talking about? (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Ptitle0t9r68ih?from=Main.DontExplainTheJoke):small smile:

Gametime
2011-01-13, 02:09 PM
I think the issue is the Middle ground of optimization seems to be decreasing. For me the straw that broke the cammels back was seeing 3 different character concepts suggested an animated shield in the same day ( i think). Like i bet if i said i wanted to play a monk because of the +30 speed increase someone would say to get boots of speed or something. The issue would be that its not my character that was fast, it was his amazing shoes that happen to be attached to a monk. "optimization" seems to be near 100% where it seems a large amount of suggestions are all Swordsage/Cleric Gishes with Animated shields and one level dips in 4 prestige classes.



There is a world of difference between "I don't like being told to play a swordsage, even though it is mechanically stronger than a monk" (which is an entirely reasonable position, given certain goals) and "Anyone who optimizes their character is deeply and fundamentally wrong about how to play the game" (which is not).

It is the second assertion to which I object, and not the first. But I've probably derailed this thread enough already, so I'll abstain from further comment unless someone wants to continue this in a PM.

MeeposFire
2011-01-13, 05:31 PM
I do not remember this being said but you can improve your unarmed strikes with the strong arm graft in faith of eberron and then use a battlefist from the eberron campaign setting. This will give you a cheaply enhanced weapon that also boosts your unarmed attack size one step. The combo is amazing for a monk.

Aquillion
2011-01-13, 08:03 PM
I always thought that name is something of an oxymoron. And now back to your scheduled monk discussion.
I think that Katanagatari (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2dm5SsHGrU) is probably the best example of what an unarmed swordsage is like -- an unarmed martial art based around the ideas of using a sword, based around the philosophical ideal of turning your body itself into a blade.

Benly
2011-01-13, 08:38 PM
I have nothing against the unarmed swordsage, but it's really its own thing and an unsatisfying answer to a lot of people who want to play a monk. That said, it is also the easiest way to play an effective unarmed martial artist without major houseruling or third-party material in 3.5, and a lot of the other effective solutions feel even less monklike (gishes with Greater Mighty Wallop and Enlarge, Frostrager/Fist of The Forest barbarians, and so on.)

Personally I like the Monk 2/Psychic Warrior X Tashalatora solution reasonably well; choosing your feats and powers properly gives you a fairly monk-feeling character.

Coidzor
2011-01-13, 08:49 PM
^: But not unsatisfying to everyone and so without being told by them, there's no way to know that the OP has a visceral hatred of the class.
I do not remember this being said but you can improve your unarmed strikes with the strong arm graft in faith of eberron and then use a battlefist from the eberron campaign setting. This will give you a cheaply enhanced weapon that also boosts your unarmed attack size one step. The combo is amazing for a monk.

The interaction between battlefists and monk unarmed strike damage is a bit contentious last I checked, more so than the perfectly legitimate suggesting of swordsage as an alternative in case someone is not familiar with them or hadn't thought of them as options. If it's kosher, then, yeah, definitely something to consider.

Benly
2011-01-13, 09:03 PM
^: But not unsatisfying to everyone and so without being told by them, there's no way to know that the OP has a visceral hatred of the class.

There's a fine line between mentioning the unarmed swordsage and the ever-popular "LOL MONK WHAT PLAY UNARMED SWORDSAGE ONLY", though.

Coidzor
2011-01-13, 09:05 PM
There's a fine line between mentioning the unarmed swordsage and the ever-popular "LOL MONK WHAT PLAY UNARMED SWORDSAGE ONLY", though.

Yeah, I haven't seen what you describe on this board at all.

Benly
2011-01-13, 09:08 PM
Yeah, I haven't seen what you describe on this board at all.

It's entirely possible that it's not here. I read a fair number of D&D boards, and it's a pretty common reaction to monk requests on a lot of boards.

I guess we're even, then: I assumed this was a common response, and you assumed I was saying NEVER MENTION THE SWORDSAGE when I said it was probably the easiest solution even if it's unsatisfying to some. We get to both be the jerk who projected their own assumptions onto other people!

Aquillion
2011-01-13, 09:11 PM
Also, most of the time, people suggest Unarmed Swordsage in response to people asking "How do I optimize a monk?" So accusing everyone who recommends it of being evil optimizers is... bizarre.

The truth is, it isn't about optimization. You can optimize a fighter to do far more damage than a Warblade. The issue is that Swordsage is just better-designed, mechanically. They give you more options and make it easier for you to contribute in a variety of situations. They make it much easier to represent any one of a wide variety of concepts that people associate with unarmed combat, while Monks leave you straightjacketed into one extremely narrow, limited, and poorly-represented concept.

People who want to play a monk because they're interested in doing Bruce-Lee stuff are going to generally be disappointed. It's not a matter of it being underpowered, it's a matter of it being generally badly-designed. If it hadn't been released in the corebook with the name "Monk" on it, nobody would defend it.

(Notice that the other alternative people frequently suggest for a monk-type character -- an unarmed Psychic Warrior -- is definitely not that powerful, comparatively speaking; they're a Tier 3 at most. But in general, while these things are subjective, most people are probably going to find it more fun to play.)

Enterti
2011-01-13, 10:05 PM
Well today was the first session and many a question posted on this thread was answered by the characters name alone "'Krillin"

That's Krillin the halfling monk to be precise. So after a rather hard facepalm a few hours of running the session the party meets the BBEG(of the storyarch) where krillin in the players own words "charges at him ending with a flying kick over the edge of the cliff missing by a large margin"

We then found that his plan from the begining was to make a character fail spectacularly so that his actual character's backstory make more sense. He is now running a swordsage named Goku trying to avenge krillin.

MeeposFire
2011-01-13, 11:30 PM
^: But not unsatisfying to everyone and so without being told by them, there's no way to know that the OP has a visceral hatred of the class.

The interaction between battlefists and monk unarmed strike damage is a bit contentious last I checked, more so than the perfectly legitimate suggesting of swordsage as an alternative in case someone is not familiar with them or hadn't thought of them as options. If it's kosher, then, yeah, definitely something to consider.

Contentious? That is surprising considering that the battlefist says "A warforged monk who uses a battlefist deals increased damage as though the character were one size larger than actual, and he can add the battlefist's enhancement bonus to his unarmed attack and damage rolls". I think the rules are about as clear as anything can ever be in 3.5. Unless it is contentious for another reason?

skywalker
2011-01-14, 12:33 AM
Did anyone else see "Its that time of the month again" when they first glanced at this thread?

Nope, just you. :smallwink:


I think that Katanagatari (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2dm5SsHGrU) is probably the best example of what an unarmed swordsage is like -- an unarmed martial art based around the ideas of using a sword, based around the philosophical ideal of turning your body itself into a blade.

The Way of No Sword. Hmmm. *strokes beard*


Well today was the first session and many a question posted on this thread was answered by the characters name alone "'Krillin"

That's Krillin the halfling monk to be precise. So after a rather hard facepalm a few hours of running the session the party meets the BBEG(of the storyarch) where krillin in the players own words "charges at him ending with a flying kick over the edge of the cliff missing by a large margin"

We then found that his plan from the begining was to make a character fail spectacularly so that his actual character's backstory make more sense. He is now running a swordsage named Goku trying to avenge krillin.

This resolution gets two thumbs up! from me.

EDIT: Although, Goku might have a hard time killing that cliff...

Coidzor
2011-01-14, 12:34 AM
Contentious? That is surprising considering that the battlefist says "A warforged monk who uses a battlefist deals increased damage as though the character were one size larger than actual, and he can add the battlefist's enhancement bonus to his unarmed attack and damage rolls". I think the rules are about as clear as anything can ever be in 3.5. Unless it is contentious for another reason?

I don't remember the specifics, I just remember hearing it mentioned as one of those topics that people can get into it over. Or possibly I'm misremembering entirely... Battlefists and something at least...

Gametime
2011-01-14, 01:43 AM
Well today was the first session and many a question posted on this thread was answered by the characters name alone "'Krillin"

That's Krillin the halfling monk to be precise. So after a rather hard facepalm a few hours of running the session the party meets the BBEG(of the storyarch) where krillin in the players own words "charges at him ending with a flying kick over the edge of the cliff missing by a large margin"

We then found that his plan from the begining was to make a character fail spectacularly so that his actual character's backstory make more sense. He is now running a swordsage named Goku trying to avenge krillin.

That is almost certainly the best possible way this story could end. :smallbiggrin:

userpay
2011-01-14, 01:58 AM
You could try this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150122) monk revision that I think does an impressive job of raising the class a tier or two. It's not quite tier three, but it's a high tier four.

I can't emphasize the monk fix linked here enough, I'd say it bumps monk up to tier 3 (can't really go higher without actual spells). He's got many of the same skills as a rogue, even trapfinding, and if one considers the unarmed damage as like sneak attack or skirmish (a variant the homebrewer provides lets you trade unarmed progression for skirmish anyway) except that the damage is with every attack rather than needing flank or moving to activate it. With a feat you suddenly have fists with a switchable enchantment and the same with another feat for armor enchantments. On top of that you get some crazy bonus's on certain skills so that the monk can actually do monk stuff like damn near fly by jumping.

AslanCross
2011-01-14, 02:02 AM
Well today was the first session and many a question posted on this thread was answered by the characters name alone "'Krillin"

That's Krillin the halfling monk to be precise. So after a rather hard facepalm a few hours of running the session the party meets the BBEG(of the storyarch) where krillin in the players own words "charges at him ending with a flying kick over the edge of the cliff missing by a large margin"

We then found that his plan from the begining was to make a character fail spectacularly so that his actual character's backstory make more sense. He is now running a swordsage named Goku trying to avenge krillin.

Wow, that's well-played. :smallbiggrin:

Smeggedoff
2011-01-14, 02:05 AM
I think that Katanagatari (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2dm5SsHGrU) is probably the best example of what an unarmed swordsage is like -- an unarmed martial art based around the ideas of using a sword, based around the philosophical ideal of turning your body itself into a blade.

YES!
I just found this show. Up to around episode 7, tis very good.

And I wholeheartedly agree.

MeeposFire
2011-01-14, 02:28 AM
I can't emphasize the monk fix linked here enough, I'd say it bumps monk up to tier 3 (can't really go higher without actual spells). He's got many of the same skills as a rogue, even trapfinding, and if one considers the unarmed damage as like sneak attack or skirmish (a variant the homebrewer provides lets you trade unarmed progression for skirmish anyway) except that the damage is with every attack rather than needing flank or moving to activate it. With a feat you suddenly have fists with a switchable enchantment and the same with another feat for armor enchantments. On top of that you get some crazy bonus's on certain skills so that the monk can actually do monk stuff like damn near fly by jumping.

Yea tier 3 is about as high as you want to go anyway. Tier 1 or 2 are defined as classes that can break the game to varying degrees. Tier 3 is a great place to be. This version had a lot of what I have thought to do so I think it is a nice version. I also agree with you on the monk role. To me the monk is a striker (to borrow 4e terminology) that has a similar damage mechanic as the rogue. Rogues get a class ability to deal lots of damage and then you use feats to use it more often. Monks get a little bit of that extra damage (unarmed damage and gets the extra attacks as a class feature (though it is limited to full attacks in the standard game) and then you spend feats and stuff to boost your striker damage 9imp nat. attack etc).

dgnslyr
2011-01-14, 02:29 AM
-hilarious monk story snippage-

Hilarious!

Maybe the moral of the story is that you should always trust your players?
Awh, that's a lie and we all know it. *glances towards Demotivator thread*

ericgrau
2011-01-14, 02:54 AM
One of my players wishes to run a monk. While I have no problems with this I am worried about the class becoming well, like monks usually do. The rest of the party appears to be teir 3 or higher so its quite obvious that without special attention he will fall behind. So in an effort to keep balance going I am thinking of making the following changes.

1 full BAB

2 D10 HD

3 A free restrictionless Vow of Poverty based on monk levels rather than HD

4 Possibly(though not entirely likely) maneuvers from ToB reflecting the slowest maneuvers gained class

Do you think these will keep him useful and possibly bump the class up a few Teirs?
First tiers are versatility not power, so all except for 4 won't change his tier. Second you have the problem that a monk with a weapon will still deal more damage and have higher attack bonus than one without. So a poorly played monk who goes unarmed all the time and punches thing will still be weaker than a fighter even with the above changes because at least the fighter has a weapon. Maybe if he flurried with a greatsword and got to wore armor then he'd hit par.

So you gotta see if the character is using: weapons, his 1st level feat, his 6th level feat, jump or tumble or similar with his speed, flurry and evasion. If he isn't using these and is merely charging and punching things it's time to give him another class because this is karate kid not a monk. If he is using them then you check his competence level and adjust from there.

EDIT: He's a halfling? Halflings can't use either 6th level feat nor one of their 1st level options and have reduced speed. I smell disaster. Look man, throw the whole class away and start over. You may keep maybe flurry, but not even the normal unarmed damage progression, it's too low even compared to monk weapons. Give him something else with a flavor he likes because he is not playing a monk.

turkishproverb
2011-01-14, 07:15 AM
I don't remember the specifics, I just remember hearing it mentioned as one of those topics that people can get into it over. Or possibly I'm misremembering entirely... Battlefists and something at least...

You probably heard it from the same people who erroneously claimed that a Warforged needed to remove their built in armor to get the monks class features (They don't, they just can't upgrade it)

Curmudgeon
2011-01-14, 09:10 AM
Second you have the problem that a monk with a weapon will still deal more damage and have higher attack bonus than one without.
That's not right at all. A Monk starts with 1d6 unarmed damage, which equals or exceeds all the weapons they're proficient with. Add Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike) and their unarmed damage is always that of a character one size larger. A Medium Monk's unarmed strike then deals 4d8 base damage at level 20, which is way beyond what any weapon available to a Medium character can do.

As for the higher attack bonus issue, a Necklace of Natural Attacks will boost the Monk's unarmed damage for the same cost of enhancing just one manufactured weapon. You can also get (Greater) Magic Fang (which can benefit from Permanency) for a much cheaper boost to attack bonus.

If the party Wizard gives the Monk a daily casting of Greater Mighty Wallop when they're capable of pulling off CL 16, that Monk's base unarmed damage will be 16d8.

TalonDemonKing
2011-01-14, 10:29 AM
Take the monk class, tell him your 'improving it'.

Swap it with the unarmed sword sage, rename everything.

See if he notices :D

sonofzeal
2011-01-14, 10:52 AM
That's not right at all. A Monk starts with 1d6 unarmed damage, which equals or exceeds all the weapons they're proficient with.
Base damage. At lvl 1, a Str 14 Monk does more damage with a quarterstaff than they do with their fists. Even at lvl 10, the same applies for a Str 22 Monk.



Or, let's take a lvl 20 Core Monk with a base Str score of 16. The following example will be incredibly simplistic, but just illustrates a point. We'll compare Core Unarmed vs Core Armed.

With a +6 enhancement to str and a +5 Amulet of Mighty Fists, the Core Unarmed is paying 186k gp to do 2d10+11, or 22 average damage per hit.

The Core Armed also gets the same enhancement to str, but he could use a +5 flaming thundering shock quarterstaff for less than the cost of the amulet, and deal 4d6+14, or 28 average damage. He saves 22,000 gp, and boosts his offence by 27%. He also gets a relative +8 on Disarm, a 2x Power Attack ratio if he chooses to use it, and any effect which boosts strength further gets 50% greater effect on damage.

Outside of Core there's ways to mitigate and even reverse this. Inside Core, there's the "Improved Natural Attack" feat and "Monk's Belt" item to boost your effective size category. But you still can never Power Attack with your fists, and you can with a quarterstaff.


tl;dr - I think you're underestimating the inherent limitations of unarmed strike.

Leon
2011-01-14, 10:55 AM
Second you have the problem that a monk with a weapon will still deal more damage and have higher attack bonus than one without. So a poorly played monk who goes unarmed all the time and punches thing will still be weaker than a fighter even with the above changes because at least the fighter has a weapon.

At early levels you wont be doing much difference compared to a manufactured weapon but as your level increases the static weapon dice lags behind - particularly if your a small monk.

Our games Halfling Monk is now in the 1d10 level of unarmed damage but her weapons are still d4s - they are still useful if you come across something you don't wish to touch or such but for dealing typical damage not a focus anymore.

NichG
2011-01-14, 12:48 PM
For what its worth, I had good luck with an unarmed Githzerai monk in a Lv8-10 mini-campaign. It wasn't at all underpowered with respect to the rest of the party (which may be saying something about the rest of the party of course). It ended up being an AC monster with the +6 Dex from Githzerai and the always-on inertial armor. It wouldn't've held up to a fully optimized group, but at that table it was a reasonable choice (we had tier 1 casters but their players were new to the game and didn't play them tier 1).

If you place the monk in an Oriental Adventures context, there are a couple good PrC options. The big one is that a 1-level dip into the Shiba Protector PrC gives you wisdom to hit and damage (that stacks with strength), which helps catch up a lot. Its a clan-only PrC though so it does depend a lot on either a permissive DM or actually being a Phoenix clan member. Depending on one's tolerance, one level in paladin and the dragon magazine feat Serenity gives you Wis to saves and smite as well, but thats a bit stranger.

Alternately, a Cha-based monk that goes into Tattooed Monk and uses the... bellflower tattoo, I think, can add their Cha modifier to any one of their stats including Cha a couple times a day. Combine with Ascetic Sorceror and you've got Cha to AC. Combine with Slippers of Battledancing and you have Cha to hit and damage... This is more a consequence of Cha being the godly stat for SAD though, than something that works particularly well for monks.

Curmudgeon
2011-01-14, 01:07 PM
But you still can never Power Attack with your fists, and you can with a quarterstaff.That's obviously wrong.

Special: If you attack with a two-handed weapon, or with a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands, instead add twice the number subtracted from your attack rolls. You canít add the bonus from Power Attack to the damage dealt with a light weapon (except with unarmed strikes or natural weapon attacks)

tl;dr - I think you're underestimating the inherent limitations of unarmed strike.
Gee, when you put that "tl;dr" there to indicate you didn't read my earlier post, it's hard to resist just saying "you're wrong". Also if you'd read the OP then you'd realize your "Core" argument isn't germane to this topic. But no, unarmed damage isn't a significant limitation of the Monk class; that's about the only problem that has an easy solution. (The solution just doesn't happen to rely on Power Attack.)

Talya
2011-01-14, 03:02 PM
If you ignore Giacomo's fervent pleas that monks are not underpowered, this thread i discussed several ways to fix monk problems:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68791

Aquillion
2011-01-14, 04:00 PM
It's not that you can't Power Attack as a Monk, it's that the real damage from Power Attack requires a two-handed weapon so you get that 1.5x multiplier.

However, as others have said, that's not the real problem anyway -- 3/4ths BAB already limits them much more dramatically in that regard.

Gametime
2011-01-14, 04:03 PM
Gee, when you put that "tl;dr" there to indicate you didn't read my earlier post, it's hard to resist just saying "you're wrong".

This is sort of tangential to the actual content of your post, but usually "tl;dr" is tacked onto the end of a post, followed by a short sentence, to indicate a summary of the post's (usually lengthy) argument. It's only when "tl;dr" is posted instead of, not in addition to, a substantive post that it indicates not reading the poster whom the post addresses.

I could be wrong, but I don't think sonofzeal's intent was to be dismissive.

T.G. Oskar
2011-01-14, 05:37 PM
For what its worth, I had good luck with an unarmed Githzerai monk in a Lv8-10 mini-campaign. It wasn't at all underpowered with respect to the rest of the party (which may be saying something about the rest of the party of course). It ended up being an AC monster with the +6 Dex from Githzerai and the always-on inertial armor. It wouldn't've held up to a fully optimized group, but at that table it was a reasonable choice (we had tier 1 casters but their players were new to the game and didn't play them tier 1).

Actually, Githzerai are pretty powerful in terms of what they can do and how they help a Monk. Granted, they are much better if you place them as Ardents or Psychic Warriors, but as Monks they do exceedingly well. They get bonuses to two of the four key ability scores of the Monk (three if you work it out carefully), their inertial armor counters the troubles they have with lack of armor, and their abilities are decent enough. The psionic version of Githzerai is even more monstrous, since they do well even without Tashalatora (but with Tashalatora they are extremely good). With good Con, you can have someone with lots of defenses even as a mere Monk (good AC, good Fortitude, good Reflex, good Will).

The killer, though, is the +2 LA. However, if you do LA buy-off, you have the best race for a pure Monk (all you need to do is focus on what to do with the Monk anyways).


If you place the monk in an Oriental Adventures context, there are a couple good PrC options. The big one is that a 1-level dip into the Shiba Protector PrC gives you wisdom to hit and damage (that stacks with strength), which helps catch up a lot. Its a clan-only PrC though so it does depend a lot on either a permissive DM or actually being a Phoenix clan member. Depending on one's tolerance, one level in paladin and the dragon magazine feat Serenity gives you Wis to saves and smite as well, but thats a bit stranger.

Well, Oriental Adventures is rare, but not that bad. The biggest buff you could say you have is the fact that Monks can multiclass freely, the increased weapon proficiency, Knowledge (religion) as a bonus feat (that way you can use Knowledge Devotion, since you'll have various knowledges to power up that ability), as well as a larger list of bonus feats (most of the feats from Oriental Adventures migrated into Complete Warrior, and you can plausibly ignore (or 'brew upgrades to) the style feats. Though...they are a bit complex to understand (you basically replace one of your 1st, 2nd or 6th level bonus feats for one of the feats mentioned in page 79, so as long as you meet the prerequisites).

And Shiba Protector is almost a given. You add Wis to your attack and damage rolls, not replace Str (or Dex) with them. But they're good only for a single-level dip, so what you get is basically two bonus feats (since you get Intuitive Attack, which while only worth with simple weapons is still good enough for about half of the weapons you actually use with a Monk, and the equivalent of Shadow Blade for damage) with the caveat of addition. Still, you require 3 feats to enter so it's in the end a bit more perjudicial (considering monks are feat-starved).


Alternately, a Cha-based monk that goes into Tattooed Monk and uses the... bellflower tattoo, I think, can add their Cha modifier to any one of their stats including Cha a couple times a day. Combine with Ascetic Sorceror and you've got Cha to AC. Combine with Slippers of Battledancing and you have Cha to hit and damage... This is more a consequence of Cha being the godly stat for SAD though, than something that works particularly well for monks.

Tattooed Monk is actually a decent Monk PrC, since while it keeps advancing Monk abilities, you also gain new ones. The big problem is that most of those abilities are very limited in duration, in comparison to, say, spells. A Monk/psionic class with Tashalatora or a Monk/Sorcerer with Ascetic Mage gains much more than that. Still, it's not just Bellflower; Arrowroot is basically a second use of Wholeness of Body, Chameleon offers the always useful Alter Self spell as a spell-like ability, Butterfly adds to your Wis, Bamboo adds to your Constitution and Bat adds to your Dex, which is three of your needed four ability scores, and if you reach 9th level they are one step better than Owl's Wisdom (but not Owl's Insight which is pretty much broken), Bear's Endurance and Cat's Grace. And that's just a touch of what they can get.

The big problem with Tattooed Monk is that they only get 5 class abilities, which while scaling with each other, grant nothing else. It's pointless to get 10th level as a Tattooed Monk unless you're going for class completion, since you gain nothing at 10th level. It's...a PrC that could redefine what you should add to a Monk, but fails short of completion. In fact, I think someone in here made a Tattooed Monk base class, but can't recall whom (the 'brewer or someone friendly enough to do me the favor of searching it please post it?)

Greenish
2011-01-14, 05:56 PM
Actually, Githzerai are pretty powerful in terms of what they can doÖ

The killer, though, is the +2 LA. However, if you do LA buy-off, you have the best race for a pure Monk (all you need to do is focus on what to do with the Monk anyways).I'd say warforged give them a run for their money, what with extensive blanket immunities, easy access to armour & weapon enchants and special materials (with Battlefist). Slap in the warforged monk ACFs and you've got something pretty nifty (for a monk).

Curmudgeon
2011-01-14, 06:55 PM
This is sort of tangential to the actual content of your post, but usually "tl;dr" is tacked onto the end of a post, followed by a short sentence, to indicate a summary of the post's (usually lengthy) argument. It's only when "tl;dr" is posted instead of, not in addition to, a substantive post that it indicates not reading the poster whom the post addresses.

I could be wrong, but I don't think sonofzeal's intent was to be dismissive.
I was unaware of such a convention. Since sonofzeal's response was only to the first two sentences of my post, and then his message took a Core-only digression, I assumed it meant the usual "too long; didn't read". Anyway, I'll keep that possibility in mind for the future. Thank you.

JaronK
2011-01-14, 07:37 PM
Well today was the first session and many a question posted on this thread was answered by the characters name alone "'Krillin"

That's Krillin the halfling monk to be precise. So after a rather hard facepalm a few hours of running the session the party meets the BBEG(of the storyarch) where krillin in the players own words "charges at him ending with a flying kick over the edge of the cliff missing by a large margin"

We then found that his plan from the begining was to make a character fail spectacularly so that his actual character's backstory make more sense. He is now running a swordsage named Goku trying to avenge krillin.

There are two morals to this story.

1: This player is awesome.

2: Let your players play what they want to play. Offer advice if it's warranted, but in the end, they should have control of the story too, so if they want to do it, let them.

JaronK

T.G. Oskar
2011-01-14, 11:06 PM
I'd say warforged give them a run for their money, what with extensive blanket immunities, easy access to armour & weapon enchants and special materials (with Battlefist). Slap in the warforged monk ACFs and you've got something pretty nifty (for a monk).

Oh, I know that. I mean, in the same session I decided to try the Monk, there was another who coincidentally was a Warforged, and that had a Battlefist.

Basically, he was the (sorta) bruiser, while I was the tank (yes, since I was barely hit at all, what with Dex and Wis 18 plus Inertial Armor). I can attest that Warforged are quite good at hitting and damaging with a Battlefist added in.

And to make things harder, it was in Ravenloft of all places. A small one-shot, I was planning to go Psionic Fist (with the DM waiving the requirement for Wild Talent since I was going with psionic Githzerai), and I was planning to one-shot Strahd with Stygian Disruption (but never came to happen, since the group dissolved right around that point). Had Fiery Fist to pump up the damage output, but I had just enough uses of Stunning Fist to work it out.

So yeah...two Monks, using what you might consider to be two of the best racial choices, on wildly different paths, well after the purported worthwhile level range (all were level 6, except me because of LA +2), on a place full with Undead to the brink, where a Cleric would have done wonders. Oh, and a Swordsage which had lots of fun with Desert Wind, I tell you (but oddly, given the racial choices, I was resisting far more than the Swordsage would, even though he DID played the main damage dealer; the Undead-specced Ranger was the second and the Battlefist Monk was the third). So yeah...talking from experience here.

Also: Warforged Monk ACFs? Unless you're speaking of the ability to wear composite plating without counting as armor, I don't recall Warforged having that... I know about Warforged Paladin, and Warforged Fighter, but no Warforged Monk.

Greenish
2011-01-14, 11:13 PM
Also: Warforged Monk ACFs? Unless you're speaking of the ability to wear composite plating without counting as armor, I don't recall Warforged having that... I know about Warforged Paladin, and Warforged Fighter, but no Warforged Monk.Ah, The City of Stormreach is not the most prominent supplement there is, but it contains two warforged monk ACFs, which trade away normal monk's Purity of Body and Diamond Body (which would be redundant on a warforged) for ability to sort of heal normally (meditate 8h to regain 2x level hitpoints) and to treat each unarmed attack as piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage (your choice, no action required), respectively.

[Edit]: They're on page 121, hidden among the fluff for Iron Watch, Stormreach's elite city watch comprised of warforged.

Enterti
2011-01-14, 11:18 PM
There are two morals to this story.

1: This player is awesome.

2: Let your players play what they want to play. Offer advice if it's warranted, but in the end, they should have control of the story too, so if they want to do it, let them.

JaronK

Yeah he definitely pulled one over on me. When I saw him pull the second character sheet out the only words I could think to say were "clever girl".

MeeposFire
2011-01-15, 12:22 AM
Warforged make the best monks overall. You can get battlefists for anybody if you are willing to use a strongarm graft which is cheap but it does prevent you from using non construct grafts.

Unarmed strike is the way of power. If you want to use weapons use a differnt class. Size bonuses go up fast on a monk. Just using a battlefist and imp natural attack gives you a base damage damage (assuming a medium sized creature) of 6D8. Get any more size mods you can really be in business. I know with a few prestige classes you can up three or more sizes. You can not get that just using weapons.

T.G. Oskar
2011-01-15, 12:52 AM
Ah, The City of Stormreach is not the most prominent supplement there is, but it contains two warforged monk ACFs, which trade away normal monk's Purity of Body and Diamond Body (which would be redundant on a warforged) for ability to sort of heal normally (meditate 8h to regain 2x level hitpoints) and to treat each unarmed attack as piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage (your choice, no action required), respectively.

[Edit]: They're on page 121, hidden among the fluff for Iron Watch, Stormreach's elite city watch comprised of warforged.

Wow...no wonder.

And by looking at it...heck, DDO really did some work trying to make Stormreach look exactly as the book describes it. I mean, I was arms waiving when seeing the Leaky Dinghy (the first tavern you actually get into) IS part of the actual write-up of the book. And...darn, Stormreach is HUGE.

Greenish
2011-01-15, 01:04 AM
Wow...no wonder.

And by looking at it...heck, DDO really did some work trying to make Stormreach look exactly as the book describes it. I mean, I was arms waiving when seeing the Leaky Dinghy (the first tavern you actually get into) IS part of the actual write-up of the book. And...darn, Stormreach is HUGE.I haven't tried DDO, but the book is indeed pretty nifty. I especially liked "the three faces of war" cult.

sonofzeal
2011-01-15, 11:22 PM
I was unaware of such a convention. Since sonofzeal's response was only to the first two sentences of my post, and then his message took a Core-only digression, I assumed it meant the usual "too long; didn't read". Anyway, I'll keep that possibility in mind for the future. Thank you.
Gametime is correct in how I used it in this context. Instead of "your post was too long, so I didn't read it", it was "my post may be too long, so if you didn't read it here's a summary".

Anyway, you're correct about being able to power attack with fists, but quarterstaff still has the advantage there with the 2:1 ratio.

As for Core-Only, it served to simplify the argument somewhat. Non-Core introduces variables that are difficult to control for, and I merely wanted to demonstrate the danger of getting seduced by high base damage dice. Even with the houserules presented in the OP, the Monk would generally be better with a quarterstaff than his fists. This can change if he's optimizing his effective size category, but resources spent there might be better-spent elsewhere. You seemed to be arguing that high base damage dice of unarmed strike made them inherently superior to weapons, and I simply don't think that's the case, and did some simple math to try and demonstrate why.

JonestheSpy
2011-01-15, 11:48 PM
Take the monk class, tell him your 'improving it'.

Swap it with the unarmed sword sage, rename everything.

See if he notices :D

The fact that they're now a spellcaster in martial arts fluff might be a tipoff.

sonofzeal
2011-01-15, 11:51 PM
The fact that they're now a spellcaster in martial arts fluff might be a tipoff.
....right, because that totally sets it apart from the teleporting, ethereal, magical-healing class we all know and love.