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Draz74
2011-05-21, 11:23 PM
My normal Homebrewing technique is to fix "everything." Turn into a perfectionist, change so many little things about D&D that it ends up looking like a whole new system (which it is).

I have high hopes for my spinoff RPG system, "CRE8." But I realize that most players will never have the dedication and curiosity to really check it out. So here's my attempt to give something to the less-fanatical segment of the D&D community -- the players who are solidly attached to 3.5e Core, and not particularly eager about learning a whole bunch of new rules or buying splatbooks. But who are still serious enough about playing that it bothers them how the Monk feels worthless in some battles or the Druid eats encounters by accident.

Of course this Forum is already overflowing with class fixes, fixes with a great deal of thought and creativity put into them. But most of them have a few issues that I think would keep my DMs from ever trying them out:

They assume a game that is being played with a rich supply of splatbooks
They assume a lot of other houserules to the game (like Fax's d20r classes)
They are just plain long, so that most readers will never have the patience to read through them carefully
They try to give the classes a lot more customizability than they originally had, which seems like a nice option to give the player, but undeniably makes the game more complicated
They fix the classes by the means of new abilities that, while possibly effective, would tend to slow gameplay down (e.g. adding loads of situational bonuses to various die rolls, which are annoying to keep track of)

So my goal here is to write up classes that, without any (?) other house rules in play, can be played in a casual Core-Only* environment in a way that streamlines play and leaves different characters relatively balanced. (Perfect balance is too lofty a goal, but if I can keep everything confined to the Low-Tier-2 to High-Tier-4 range, that's good enough for most playgroups IMO.)

* In a few places, I will assume the players have access to the SRD, in addition to Core.

Here is a quick summary of the planned changes to classes:

Barbarian (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11070809&postcount=7)

change Rage to have mostly the same overall effects, but involving slightly less bookkeeping. Make it usable more consistently at lower levels.
Trap Sense is a silly ability: weak and not particularly appropriate for the class. Get rid of it.
fill in "dead levels" (formerly occupied by Trap Sense or +1/day Rage uses) with interesting new abilities:

things to make the Barbarian better at charging and bull rushing, so he is less dependent on full attacking
combat uses for the Intimidate skill

Bard

change Bardic Music into a series of low-bookkeeping Aura-style abilities to buff the party, rather than a system of Bardic Music Uses/Day
nerf Fascinate to have a more reasonable Save DC (still higher than most abilities)
give the Bard additional class features:

something similar to Bardic Knack or Cunning Knowledge, to make her a more viable jack-of-all-trades
something similar to the Versatile Performer or Melodic Casting feats?
something to encourage multiclassing?
infinite cantrips feature?

Cleric

nerf the class chassis slightly (Hit Die, armor proficiency, Fort save), so that the Cleric needs buffs to be a viable melee combatant; avoid ClericZilla
4+Int skill points per level
make the Cleric into a spontaneous caster, with Domain Spells representing a significant fraction of his Known Spells
re-write the general Cleric Spell List quite a bit:

overpowered spells get banned, get moved to a higher spell level, and/or get moved to Domain-only spell lists
underpowered spells get banned or get moved to a lower spell level
some well-balanced spells get moved to Domain-only spell lists, just for flavor reasons

give the Cleric a reason not to PrC out to a full-casting PrC. Unfortunately, I think this means I'll pretty much have to also re-write most of the Domain Powers. :smallsigh: That's more extensive alteration of the system than I was hoping for, but I don't see another way to give the Cleric continuing class features that are appropriate for a wide variety of Clerics under a wide variety of deities.
as long as I'm re-writing Domain Powers, I might as well get rid of the generic Turn Undead, as it's a crappy sub-system of the game and doesn't make sense for a lot of Clerics out there. Some form of Turn/Rebuke Undead will still show up as part of many Domain Powers.
give Clerics a third Domain at Level 10 or 11?

Druid

re-write the Druid spell list; ban or move troublesome spells to make spell options more balanced
make the Druid a spontaneous caster
remove class features that are too situational to be worth keeping track of, e.g. Resist Nature's Lure
delay Animal Progression slightly, so that the Druid doesn't have a Fighter as a class feature at low levels
replace Wild Shape with a series of swift-action, long-duration, self-only buffs that change the Druid's form but prevent other spellcasting (similar to the PHB2 shapeshift options, but you can combine several of them, and using them requires a spell slot). These become automatic Spells Known, like Domain spells for the Cleric.
I might have to make an exception to my general rule of not re-writing Feats, for Natural Spell.

Fighter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11258161&postcount=26)
The Fighter was a tricky case, but I think I managed to keep it pretty true to the flexible feel of the original. Fighters with a particular style, such as the "duelist" archetype, still have plenty of room to PrC.

give 4+Int skill points, duh
give actual class features at levels that don't have Bonus Feats. The rate of gaining Bonus Feats may or may not change.

Monk (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11041902&postcount=2)
As the weakest PHB class, the Monk will be undergoing the most extensive changes. Besides gaining two more skill points, nearly all of his class features are being re-written.

The new Monk is still a secondary melee combatant and a secondary skillmonkey, specializing in neither role. Wisdom is his most important ability score; he is a viable combatant with or without weapons, and with or without light armor. Surviving magical attacks and other hazards and acting as the party scout are perhaps his greatest strengths. He is also better at hindering an opponent with status conditions and battlefield control than he is at dealing extreme quantities of damage.
Paladin
I know Paladin is one of the most popular classes to fix -- and probably the most popular class for which the fixes often turn out really long and complicated. But I haven't thought much yet about what my "simple" Paladin fix will entail.
Ranger

keep Favored Enemy, but make it simpler and less annoying
I don't want to go crazy adding new Combat Styles, but possibly add a third combat style for Rangers who don't want either TWF or archery
make the Animal Companion as tough as the Druids (post-nerf). Duh.
spontaneous casting. Possibly trim down the spell list and let the Ranger cast from the entire list, like the Beguiler, rather than adding a table of Spells Known per Level. Possibly add a class feature to let most Ranger spells be cast as swift actions, like Battle Blessing.
add a moderate amount of precision damage, kind of similar to the Scout's Skirmish, but less restrictive to playstyle
steal appropriate class features from the Scout to fill in dead levels

Rogue

tone down Sneak Attack, so it doesn't dominate the class so much
replace Trap Sense with a one-time ability with less bookkeeping
buff some weak Rogue Special Ability options up
steal some of the more mundane Factotum class features to fill in dead levels. This will involve giving the Rogue a per-encounter pool of "devilish luck" points.

Sorcerer

re-write the Sorcerer spell list; ban or move troublesome spells to make spell options more balanced; also re-flavor to make a "witch" archetype work.
4+Int skill points (duh!) and a more extensive class skill list, like the Binder's or Warlock's
give bonus feats to discourage PrCing out
get rid of silly restrictions to metamagic use
infinite cantrips feature?
note that while I'm buffing the Sorcerer in several ways, it will still have delayed access to new spell levels compared to other full casters

Wizard
The Wizard is another tricky case. It should remain a prepared caster for flavored reasons, and it's hard to have a full caster with unlimited Spells Known without straying into Tier 1 territory. I guess I'll just have to be extra-careful about which spells I allow it to keep on its list.

I'm thinking I will probably require it to specialize, then make the General Wizard Spell List quite restrictive, putting most of the good spells in a Specialization-only List (like the Psion, but harsher).

Also, I may require the Wizard to sacrifice one of its Bonus Feats if it wants a familiar. I'm undecided about whether to bump its skill points up to 4+Int per level; it needs the boost less than most classes, but it also seems kind of mean to leave it as the only class with 2+Int.

Draz74
2011-05-22, 12:45 AM
Monk
This Monk is a secondary melee combatant and a secondary skillmonkey, specializing in neither role. Wisdom is her most important ability score; she is a viable combatant with or without weapons, and with or without light armor. Surviving magical attacks and other hazards and acting as the party scout are perhaps her greatest strengths. She is also better at hindering an opponent with status conditions and battlefield control than she is at dealing extreme quantities of damage.

I'm a believer in the Monk's fluff being very compatible with psionics fluff, so I did incorporate the Psionic Focus rules into this version of the Monk class. However, rather than just slapping Psychic Warrior powers onto the Monk, I'm trying to keep it quite a bit closer to the original. In a game that does not use psionics, it should be extremely easy to incorporate this version of the Monk, simply by re-naming some of its features. The Psionic Focus rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/skills/concentration.htm#gainPsionicFocus) are pretty very simple to learn.

While I've added a lot of worthwhile class features to the dreadful mediocrity that filled the Monk's table before, I'm generally trying to preserve the original feel of the Monk class. That's why I've made choices like not turning the Monk into a full skill monkey (8+Int skill points, trapfinding, Search & Disable Device), or a full "tank" class. For that reason, I still think this Monk might have a challenge finding a role in a party. But at least he can look cool doing it, I hope.
Alignment: any non-chaotic.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: The monkís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (6+Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6+Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|Base AttackBonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Ki Strike[br]Damage|AC Bonus[br](+Wis)

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+2|Unarmed strike, ki strike (magic), sixth sense|1d6|+0

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+3|Bonus feat, baffling defense|1d6|+0

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Ki strike (lesser hardness), flurry of blows|1d8|+0

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Elegant grace, evasion|1d8|+0

5th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Bonus feat, elegant technique|1d8|+0

6th|
+4|
+5|
+5|
+5|Ki strike (versatile), greater baffling defense|1d10|+2

7th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+5|Wild Talent, elegant mind|1d10|+2

8th|
+6/+1|
+6|
+6|
+6|Bonus feat, flickering step|1d10|+2

9th|
+6/+1|
+6|
+6|
+6|Ki strike (lawful or cold iron), quivering palm|2d6|+2

10th|
+7/+2|
+7|
+7|
+7|Greater sixth sense|2d6|+2

11th|
+8/+3|
+7|
+7|
+7|Bonus feat, elegant form|2d6|+4

12th|
+9/+4|
+8|
+8|
+8|Ki strike (greater hardness), greater flurry|2d8|+4

13th|
+9/+4|
+8|
+8|
+8|Psionic Meditation, elegant soul|2d8|+4

14th|
+10/+5|
+9|
+9|
+9|Bonus feat, flickering step (move action)|2d8|+4

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+9|
+9|
+9|Ki strike (adamantine), perfect form|2d10|+4

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+10|
+10|Perfect grace, tongue of the sun and moon|2d10|+6

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+10|
+10|Bonus feat, perfect mind|2d10|+6

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+11|
+11|Ki strike (supernal), retributive flurry|2d12|+6

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+11|
+11|Perfect technique|2d12|+6

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+12|
+12|Bonus feat, perfect soul|2d12|+6[/table]

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the monk.

[B]Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light and heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. They are also proficient with any natural weapons they may possess, including unarmed strikes.

Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

Unarmed Strike [Ex]

At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monkís attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

Usually a monkís unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk's unarmed strikes may be enhanced as if they were masterwork magic items. They may also be targeted by spells and effects as if they were manufactured weapons.

Ki Strike [Su]

The kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and unarmed strike are considered "special monk weapons." When a monk attacks using a special monk weapon, she gains special advantages.

At 1st level, a monk may deal 1d6 base damage with monk weapons. Her attacks with monk weapons are considered to be magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

At 3rd level, a monk may deal 1d8 base damage with monk weapons. A monk attacking an object with a monk weapon may ignore that object's hardness, as long as it is less than 10.

At 6th level, a monk may deal 1d10 base damage with monk weapons. Her monk weapons are considered to be slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

At 9th level, a monk may deal 2d6 base damage with monk weapons. Her monk weapons are considered to be Lawful and cold iron for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

At 12th level, a monk may deal 2d8 base damage with monk weapons. A monk attacking an object with a monk weapon may attack incorporeal foes, as if her attacks had the ghost touch property.

At 15th level, a monk may deal 2d10 base damage with monk weapons. Her monk weapons are considered to be adamantine for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and object hardness.

At 18th level, a monk may deal 2d12 base damage with monk weapons. Her attacks with monk weapons overcome all damage reduction.

Sixth Sense [Ex]

A monk adds her Wisdom bonus (minimum +1) to her AC. This bonus applies as long as the monk is not wearing armor, not wielding a shield, not carrying a medium or heavy load, and not helpless. It applies even when the monk is flat-footed.

Sixth Sense does not stack with any other ability that adds a Wisdom bonus to AC.

Bonus Feats

At 2nd level, and every three levels thereafter, a monk may select a bonus feat from the following list of options: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm, Improved Grapple, Improved Trip, Master of Poison, Psionic Fist, Speed of Thought, Stunning Fist, Up the Walls.

A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them. Note, however, that some of these feats may not be useful until the monk has the ability to hold a psionic focus.

Master of Poison is a feat from Drow of the Underdark. If this supplement is not being used, treat the effects of this feat as being identical to the Assassin prestige class's Poison Use feature.

Baffling Defense [Ex]

Starting at 2nd level, if a monk is hit by an attack, she may make a Sense Motive check as an immediate action. The DC of this Sense Motive check is equal to the attack roll of the attack. If the Sense Motive check succeeds, treat the attack as a miss.

Baffling Defense may not be used if the monk is wearing medium or heavy armor, wielding a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows [Ex]

At 3rd level, once per round after a monk makes an attack, she may make another attack as a free action, using her highest base attack bonus. This bonus attack must be made using an unarmed strike or a thrown shuriken.

This ability is not dependent on the monk using the full attack action. The extra attack granted by the flurry ability may be added to a standard action attack, a full attack, an attack of opportunity, or an attack made as part of using the Spring Attack feat.

Flurry of Blows may not be used if the monk is wearing medium or heavy armor, wielding a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Elegant Grace [Ex]

Starting at 4th level, a Monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to all Strength and Dexterity checks (including initiative checks), and to all Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks.

Evasion [Ex]

At 4th level or higher, if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Elegant Technique [Ex]

At 5th level, a monk learns additional ways to expand the use of some of her monk bonus feats.

If a monk has the Stunning Fist feat, she learns to utilize it far more often than other characters. When using Stunning Fist, if the monk expends her psionic focus, her stun attempt does not use up one of her daily uses of the feat. All other restrictions of Stunning Fist apply normally, such as the restriction of use once per round. Also, she may Daze an opponent instead of Stunning them with her Stunning Fist feat.

If a monk has the Improved Grapple feat, she learns grappling techniques that help her keep up with more conventional warriors. She may use her character level, rather than her base attack bonus, to calculate her grapple check modifier.

If a monk has the Speed of Thought feat, she gains a +10-foot insight bonus to her speed for every five monk levels. This bonus overlaps (does not stack) with the bonus provided by Speed of Thought, but it does not depend on the monk maintaining her psionic focus.

If a monk gains these feats after 5th level, these features apply from the time she gains the corresponding feat.

Greater Baffling Defense [Ex]

At 6th level, whenever the monk uses her Baffling Defense ability, she may also take a 5-foot step as a free action after the triggering attack is resolved.

In addition, the AC bonus provided by the monk's Sixth Sense feature improves by +2.

Wild Talent

A monk gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat. (This class feature provides the character with the psionic power she needs to hold a psionic focus, if she has no power points otherwise.)

Elegant Mind [Ex]

At 7th level, a monk gains the ability to make a Will save or an Autohypnosis check in place of a Concentration check in order to gain psionic focus. All other requirements for regaining psionic focus remain unchanged.

In addition, a monk may expend her psionic focus in order to "take 15" on a Will save.

Flickering Step [Su]

At 8th level, as a full-round action, a monk may expend psionic focus in order to move up to her normal speed, ignoring barriers to her movement. This movement still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal, but it can be used to pass through another creature's space, as well as walls, ceilings, floors, magical force effects, and so forth.

The monk may choose not to fall through the floor or other surface she is standing on when she uses this ability (even if that surface normally could not support her, e.g. water). If the monk ends this movement within a solid object or another creature's space, she is shunted into the nearest open space available, taking 1d6 damage per 10 feet of shunted movement.

At 14th level, she may use flickering step as a move action, rather than a full-round action.

Quivering Palm [Su]

At 9th level, as a standard action, the Monk may expend psionic focus to make an unarmed strike attack. If the attack hits, the monk may set up vibrations within the body of the target that can be fatal if the monk so desires. The target may make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + Ĺ the monkís level + the monkís Wis modifier) to negate this effect. If the save fails, thereafter the monk can slay the victim at any later time as a free action, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to her monk level. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time.

Quivering Palm may be used 1/day. If the attack misses, the Monk's daily use of Quivering Palm is not expended, but her psionic focus and standard action are forfeit.

Greater Sixth Sense [Su]

At 10th level, a monk gains special Spell Resistance, equal to her monk level +12. Unlike other Spell Resistance, the monk may choose to allow beneficial magical effects to pass through this spell resistance freely.

Elegant Form [Ex]

At 11th level, a monkís Evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

In addition, the AC bonus provided by the monk's Sixth Sense feature improves by +2, and she is immune to damage from falling.

Greater Flurry [Ex]

At 12th level, a monk may use Flurry of Blows twice per round, rather than once. The two bonus attacks may be triggered by the same attack, or by two separate attacks. In addition, each time the monk makes an attack using Flurry of Blows, she may take a 5-foot step as a free action.

Psionic Meditation

At 13th level, a monk gains Psionic Meditation as a bonus feat.

Elegant Soul [Ex]

At 13th level, if the monk succeeds on a Fortitude or Will save that has a lesser or partial effect on a successful save, she is instead unaffected by the effect that provoked the save.

In addition, she is immune to all poisons and diseases.

Perfect Form [Ex]

At 15th level, the monk learns that size matters not. She does not take any penalty to trip, grapple, disarm, bull rush, or overrun attempts due to her size, and opponents do not gain any bonus due to size when making such checks against her.

In addition, the monk's movement is not reduced when using the Tumble skill.

Perfect Grace [Ex]

At 16th level, a monk may use Baffling Defense (including the free 5-foot step) by expending an attack of opportunity for the round, rather than an immediate action.

In addition, the AC bonus provided by the monk's Sixth Sense feature improves by +2.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon [Su]

A monk of 16th level or higher can speak with any living creature, even if that creature is unintelligent or has no language.

Perfect Mind [Ex]

At 17th level, a monk may attempt to regain her psionic focus as a swift action. She does not provoke attacks of opportunity when attempting to regain her psionic focus.

Retributive Flurry [Ex]

At 18th level, any attack against a monk provokes an attack of opportunity from the monk. Even if she does not threaten her assailant, she may make a retaliatory attack of opportunity using a thrown shuriken or sai, if she already has such a weapon in hand.

Retributive Flurry may not be used if the monk is wearing medium or heavy armor, wielding a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Perfect Technique [Su]

At 19th level, the monk may give up an attack of opportunity for the round in order to use Flickering Step as a free action. She may also use her Quivering Palm ability whenever she makes an attack of opportunity (which must be made with her unarmed strike, as normal). These abilities still require expending psionic focus, but her daily use of Quivering Palm is not expended when used in this manner.

Perfect Soul [Ex]

At 20th level, the monk no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged, nor die of old age. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue.

The monk also gains a +4 inherent bonus to either Strength or Dexterity.

A monk of this level also is under a constant air walk effect.

Agent_0042
2011-05-22, 10:55 PM
I'm liking what I see here. The change to Flurry of Blows was the important one, considering the monk is supposed to a skirmisher class.

Since you dropped the regular movement speed increase, I'd suggest giving Speed of Thought as a set bonus feat rather than an option, especially since you have a class feature later on that refers to it.

For Greater Baffling Defense, does the 5ft-step occur before or after the attack?

Quivering Palm, you might want to increase or drop the daily use limitation, at least at higher levels. The need for a psionic focus is a decent enough action cost to prevent the monk from spamming it incessantly. Besides, casters already have access to SoDs by this point; no reason to deny monks the fun.

Draz74
2011-05-24, 01:21 AM
Thanks for the feedback!


I'm liking what I see here. The change to Flurry of Blows was the important one, considering the monk is supposed to a skirmisher class.
Making Flurry not depend on a full attack has to be the most common Monk fix (other than giving unarmed proficiency). I hope my fix is a little more unique than that. :smalltongue:

I did go a little further with it, though. I took away the attack penalty for using Flurry, even at low levels. (As far as I'm concerned, the lesser accuracy of the flurrying style can be represented by the Medium-BAB lesser accuracy.) I also restricted it to unarmed strikes and shuriken ... but in return, I made Monk weapons all use Monk "unarmed" base damage. The goal here was to make it so that either pure unarmed Monks or Monks using a mix of monk weapons and unarmed attacks are both viable.

Honestly, I think the addition I'm most proud of -- the one that I almost can't believe I've never seen before, because it's so simple and elegant and feels so appropriate flavor-wise -- is reducing MAD with the ability currently called "Elegant Grace." (It's shamelessly stolen from the Factotum ability Brains over Brawn, but with Intelligence replaced by Wisdom.)


Since you dropped the regular movement speed increase, I'd suggest giving Speed of Thought as a set bonus feat rather than an option, especially since you have a class feature later on that refers to it.
Yeah, that's under consideration, as I shuffle around abilities' order in hopes of making the progression more intuitive.


For Greater Baffling Defense, does the 5ft-step occur before or after the attack?
Good question. After the attack. I will edit that in.


Quivering Palm, you might want to increase or drop the daily use limitation, at least at higher levels. The need for a psionic focus is a decent enough action cost to prevent the monk from spamming it incessantly. Besides, casters already have access to SoDs by this point; no reason to deny monks the fun.
Now this is an interesting discussion.

Balance-wise, I agree this wouldn't actually be overpowered without a daily limitation. Well, at Level 9 it would be very powerful (spellcasters are just starting to get decent Save-or-Dies at L9), but by Level 12 or so it wouldn't be exceptional. Especially because it can't be used as part of a full attack.

What's more, I'm initially inclined to agree with you, just because I don't like daily-limited abilities in general.

But I decided to keep the 1/day limitation for other reasons. One is to make the class actually stay closer to basic 3.5e rules, which generally do include daily abilities for most classes. Another is flavor -- Kung Fu Panda martial artists don't use their ultimate "Skidoosh" move on every attack, or even in every battle. It's a rare, dramatically loaded move. And I thought a 1/day ability reflected that better.

However, if my version of Quivering Palm is too weak to actually get used, or too weak for the Monk to be excited about gaining it, I'm interested in discussing ways to beef it up until it's worthwhile, without reducing its dramatic impact. (Save DC increase? Offer it at a lower level, when spellcasters don't really have Save-or-Dies yet? Make it a swift action to deliver? Hmmm ...)

Draz74
2011-05-24, 04:08 AM
OK, I cleaned up the names and order of some of the class features. I'm pretty satisfied with this Monk Fix at this point, but still open to feedback.

Ingus
2011-05-24, 06:59 AM
It appears to be a good job. I use to playtest homebrews with my players before making any call, but it seems to be rounded and playable.
I still don't like the Quivering Palm ability, but it is so even for the original ability: it's just that it seems not harmonized well, like a single spot.

Overall, a very good job. I'll playtest it as one of my NPC: if it is a challenge for my PCs, it is good. I'll keep you posted

Draz74
2011-05-26, 12:29 AM
Barbarian
Barbarian is one of the better-designed PHB classes. It's normally considered quite powerful, but not game-breaking, by casual D&D playgroups. That doesn't mean there's no room for improvement, though. The class could certainly use a couple of extra tricks to make it more adaptable to different combat situations.

This Barbarian has a significantly altered Rage ability, designed to speed gameplay but have a similar overall effect.

I've dropped Trap Sense (a weak ability, and not particularly Barbarian-ish) in favor of a number of more interesting abilities, designed to make the Barbarian more fearsome to opponents, less reliant on full attacks, and more inclined to a charging and bull rushing combat style.

I've left Uncanny Dodge and Damage Reduction features nearly untouched in an effort to keep the fix simple and make the class feel familiar to playgroups.
Alignment: any non-lawful.

Hit Die: d12.

Class Skills: The barbarianís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (percussion instruments) (Cha), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4+Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4+Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|Base AttackBonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+0|Illiteracy, rage 2/day, beast's step

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+0|
+0|Uncanny dodge

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+1|Fearsome rage

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+1|Rage 3/day

5th|
+5|
+4|
+1|
+1|Improved uncanny dodge

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+2|DR 1/-

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+2|Powerful charge

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+2|
+2|Rage 1/encounter

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+3|DR 2/-

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+3|Furious impact

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+3|
+3|Greater rage

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+4|DR 3/-

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+4|Cow the masses

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+4|
+4|Indomitable will

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+5|DR 4/-

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+5|Dungeonbane

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+5|Tireless rage

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+6|DR 5/-

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+6|Chieftain of dread

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+6|Mighty rage[/table]

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the barbarian.

[B]Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A barbarian is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Illiteracy

Barbarians are the only characters who do not automatically know how to read and write. A barbarian may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.

A barbarian who gains a level in any other class automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a barbarian level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.

Rage [Ex]

A barbarian can fly into a rage as a swift action. When he enters a rage, the barbarian gains 2 temporary hit points per character level, +1d6 damage to attacks, and a +2 bonus on strength checks. While in a rage, he may make a Fortitude saving throw in place of any Will saving throw and use its results instead. If he makes any other Fortitude saving throw (not one that replaces a Will save), or any Climb, Jump, or Swim check, and does not like the results, he may reroll, but he must accept the new result even if it is lower than the original.

While raging, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function.

A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 5 + the characterís (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A barbarian may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the barbarian loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength, -2 penalty to Dexterity, canít charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter; he may not enter another rage while fatigued in this manner.

A barbarian may enter a rage twice per day. At 4th level, he may enter a rage three times per day. At 8th level, he may enter a rage unlimited times per day, as long as he has had five minutes of calm activity since the previous fit of rage.

Beast's Step [Ex]

A barbarian's speed is not reduced by wearing medium armor.

Uncanny Dodge [Ex]

At 2nd level, a barbarian retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a barbarian already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Fearsome Rage [Ex]

At 3rd level, when a barbarian enters a rage, he may attempt to demoralize an opponent (see the Intimidate skill) as a free action.

Improved Uncanny Dodge [Ex]

At 5th level and higher, a barbarian can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has barbarian levels. (Classes other than rogue that grant Sneak Attack count as rogue levels for this purpose.) If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Damage Reduction [Ex]

At 6th level, a barbarian gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the barbarian takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 9th level, and every three barbarian levels thereafter (12th, 15th, and 18th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Powerful Charge [Ex]

At 7th level, a barbarian gains the ability to add damage equal to his base attack bonus to any charge attack.

If the barbarian has the ability to make multiple attacks as part of a charge (due to the Cleave feat or the Psionic Lion's Charge power, for example), this damage bonus applies only to the first such attack made.

Furious Impact [Ex]

At 10th level, if a barbarian successfully bull rushes an opponent into an unyielding barrier (such as a wall), he may deal 5d6+Strength modifier damage to the bull rushed foe.

Greater Rage [Ex]

At 11th level, the barbarian's rage ability improves. It grants 3 temporary hit points per character level, +2d6 damage, and a +3 bonus to Strength checks, in place of its previous bonuses.

In addition, while raging, the barbarian gains a +10 bonus to land speed.

Cow the Masses [Ex]

At 13th level, when a barbarian uses the Intimidate skill to demoralize a foe, he may target all foes within 30 feet. This ability works regardless of whether the demoralization attempt is made using the Fearsome Rage class feature.

Indomitable Will [Ex]

At 14th level, as a standard action, a raging barbarian may remove any undesired [charm] and [compulsion] effects from himself. He may use this ability even if a [charm] or [compulsion] effect would normally prevent him from using a standard action on his turn or would restrict his use of this standard action.

Dungeonbane [Ex]

At 16th level, if a barbarian hits a foe with a melee attack as a standard action or as part of a charge, he may initiate a bull rush attempt against the struck foe as a free action.

Tireless Rage [Ex]

At 17th level and higher, a barbarian no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his rage.

Chieftain of Dread [Ex]

At 19th level, a barbarian may attempt to demoralize opponents (using the Intimidate skill) as a swift action, rather than as a standard action. When attempting to demoralize opponents in combat, he may always calculate his Intimidation check as if he had rolled a natural 20.

Mighty Rage [Ex]

At 20th level, the barbarian's rage ability improves. It grants 4 temporary hit points per character level, +3d6 damage, and a +4 bonus to Strength checks, in place of its previous bonuses.

A raging barbarian of this level may roll two d20's for any Fortitude save (other than a Fortitude save that replaces a Will save), and use the higher result of the two to determine the results of his saving throw. He does not necessarily fail Fortitude saving throws on a natural die roll of 1 (determine success or failure of such a save simply numerically).

In addition, a barbarian of this level may enter a rage as a free action when he rolls initiative, rather than entering rage as a swift action on his turn.

Haldir
2011-05-26, 02:09 AM
This is not a balance concern, so if that is what you are exclusively looking for, please disregard this. But any melee character archetype needs full BAB, including the monk. If I am to believe that a character dedicated a large segment of their life to learning how to punch things, then they'd better be really good at punching things. Lesser BAB simply doesn't make any sense for a monk.

Draz74
2011-05-27, 02:01 AM
This is not a balance concern, so if that is what you are exclusively looking for, please disregard this. But any melee character archetype needs full BAB, including the monk. If I am to believe that a character dedicated a large segment of their life to learning how to punch things, then they'd better be really good at punching things. Lesser BAB simply doesn't make any sense for a monk.

I have to respectfully disagree. In my book, "normal" people have Poor BAB progression. Good BAB is reserved for "hardcore warriors" ... which the Monk really isn't. The stereotypical Monk's goal in life isn't "become the mightiest in the land," it's "master my inner self until I reach Nirvana."

If I were to change any of the PHB classes' BAB progressions based on flavor, it would probably be dropping the Ranger to Medium BAB.

Balance-wise, I don't expect to make a change to either the Ranger or the Monk. My Monk fix is intended to be a powerful enough character even with the handicap of Medium BAB, and the Ranger on the other hand tends to focus on fighting styles that give him attack penalties anyway.

Haldir
2011-05-27, 04:21 AM
Of the huge list of class features that your monk has, only about four of them can not be said to be focused on combat.

Many of their skills rely specifically on "special monk weapons."

So they honed all aspects of their body to develop a myriad of combat skills that would be great in close quarters, specifically spent time training with weapons that only they have proficiency with, yet never bothered perfecting their ability to hit a target? To me, this does a disservice to the entire idea of monk discipline.

Draz74
2011-05-27, 02:06 PM
More on the topic of balance, I actually think (upon reflection) that my Monk is too powerful, in early levels. Monk 1 or 2 was already considered a decent "dip" option, and I've gone and made it better. (Flurry improvements, skill points, etc.; most Monk-dippers didn't really care about the L1 bonus feat anyway.)

I'm not sure what to remove or delay in order to keep it from being too appealing as a dip, though.

I'm also considering adding a line somewhere that says they can Daze opponents instead of Stunning them when they use Stunning Fist. Not sure what class feature that should be added to, or how necessary it is.


Of the huge list of class features that your monk has, only about four of them can not be said to be focused on combat.

Many of their skills rely specifically on "special monk weapons."

So they honed all aspects of their body to develop a myriad of combat skills that would be great in close quarters, specifically spent time training with weapons that only they have proficiency with, yet never bothered perfecting their ability to hit a target? To me, this does a disservice to the entire idea of monk discipline.

I could use almost the same argument to advocate Good BAB for Druids or maybe even Rogues.

D&D is a combat-focused system, so all characters are good in combat. That doesn't mean they should all have Good BAB. There has to be a line between Medium BAB classes and Good BAB classes somewhere ... and as I said earlier, for me that line has to do with the "warrior" concept (which is different from just being good in melee).

It's a lot easier to find a Monk who will tell you "I'm not a 'warrior'" than to find a Fighter, Barbarian, or Paladin who will tell you the same thing.

I'm sorry, but I actively disagree (and always have disagreed) with Monk fixes that give them Good BAB, flavor-wise, even if it's a sound adjustment to make balance-wise. I'm not going to budge on this. I just want to make a Monk who is worth playing in a casual playgroup in spite of this handicap.

I could easily imagine a Good-BAB Prestige Class for "warrior monks" who really are doing everything they do for the sake of being able to kill stuff with their bodies. But not the base Monk class.

... While we're on the topic of Monk fluff, though, one thing I am still open to input about is the alignment restriction. Restore its original version, or get rid of it entirely, or leave it as it is now?

Immonen
2011-05-27, 02:59 PM
3 things, in regard to the monk. First off, you might want to consider making one of the allowed bonus feats being poison use; this way, your monk could also be a ninja without having to deal with PrCs. Ninjas seem to be a very popular choice, and taking out the PrC element would simplify that a lot. Second, there seems to be a typo on the 20th level class feature. It simultaneously says that you can't die of old age, and that you die when you reach maximum age. Thirdly, I like the alignment restriction the way you put it. I've never really thought of monks as law-abiding citizens; they're all vagrants and commit assault and battery on a weekly basis. They might have a personal moral code, sure, but they can just be wanderers if they so choose.

Draz74
2011-05-27, 03:40 PM
I'm surprised there is no commentary on the Barbarian yet ...


3 things, in regard to the monk. First off, you might want to consider making one of the allowed bonus feats being poison use; this way, your monk could also be a ninja without having to deal with PrCs. Ninjas seem to be a very popular choice, and taking out the PrC element would simplify that a lot.
I like the thought. The one thing that makes me hesitate is that it's a non-Core/SRD feat. Oh well, I guess I'm already referencing non-Core material in a couple places, just in case. So I'll add this in. I do intend for this class to work fine for Ninjas.


Second, there seems to be a typo on the 20th level class feature. It simultaneously says that you can't die of old age, and that you die when you reach maximum age.
:smallredface:
Will fix. Thank you.


Thirdly, I like the alignment restriction the way you put it. I've never really thought of monks as law-abiding citizens; they're all vagrants and commit assault and battery on a weekly basis. They might have a personal moral code, sure, but they can just be wanderers if they so choose.

Thanks for weighing in.

DaTedinator
2011-05-27, 11:43 PM
No commentary on the classes (yet?), but can I just say this is a fantastic thing to do? Really brilliant.

NeoSeraphi
2011-05-29, 09:21 AM
To the barbarian, I greatly enjoy what you've done with the class, it has many useful features now that the PHB one lacked. My only concern is that you improved Bull-Rushing and charging but not Sundering. Sure he gets a slight bonus on Strength checks, but there's no real boost to it, and I think that fits, flavor-wise. I mean, I can see a barbarian raging down a hill smashing someone so hard that not only does it hurt them, but their armor shatters apart.

As for an actual suggestion, well, maybe give them a free Sunder attempt against armor if they confirm a critical hit, using the same damage they dealt to the victim? (only while raging, of course)

The monk fix looks good, and I'm glad to see you're sticking with the flavor of the original class instead of just reaching for the easy Full BAB fix. I'm sure Factotums everywhere are drooling at the possibilities of a one-level dip with this Flurry of Blows, but for the monk itself it's a much needed fix that prevents the Flurry of Misses. The Elegant Resilience class feature is actually fairly interesting as well.

Elegant Grace makes sense, as a monk would easily be able to think outside the box when climbing or moving silently, so his superior Wisdom would always be a factor. It also opens the door for possibly roleplaying opportunities, as the DM could possibly want to challenge the monk occasionally to see how he's using his Wisdom in character (No penalty if he can't come up with it of course, a class feature is a class feature, but it opens the door for more interesting descriptions than 'My monk makes a Strength check to break the door down')

Also, I'm glad to see that finally there's a monk fix that makes shuriken proficiency and shuriken flurrying worthwile. (I actually played a game where my barbarian was being strangled by an assassin vine and I kept failing my Grapple checks. The other party members were a cleric, an archer who didn't have Precise Shot yet, and a monk. And the monk was flurrying with shurikens. It was pathetic and hilarious at the same time, watching her roll 1d2)

Baffling Defense is an amazing class feature that really helps the monk stay in melee and actually the check will most likely be much higher than the monk's AC at higher levels, so it's very effective.

Retributive Flurry is like Karmic Strike on crack, which not only makes sense, it also saves a monk from having to take all those feats to get up to Karmic Strike. You also put it in at a good level when the wizards start doing their ridiculous 9th level shenanigans (as opposed to their ridiculous 7th and 8th level shenanigans) so I don't have a balance issue with it.

In fact, I'm sorry, but I can't offer any constructive criticism at all with the monk fix, I like it the way it is. Good job, keep it up!

Draz74
2011-05-31, 05:05 PM
No commentary on the classes (yet?), but can I just say this is a fantastic thing to do? Really brilliant.
Glad you think so! :smallsmile:


To the barbarian, I greatly enjoy what you've done with the class, it has many useful features now that the PHB one lacked. My only concern is that you improved Bull-Rushing and charging but not Sundering. Sure he gets a slight bonus on Strength checks, but there's no real boost to it, and I think that fits, flavor-wise. I mean, I can see a barbarian raging down a hill smashing someone so hard that not only does it hurt them, but their armor shatters apart.

As for an actual suggestion, well, maybe give them a free Sunder attempt against armor if they confirm a critical hit, using the same damage they dealt to the victim? (only while raging, of course)
Hmmm. You're right, Sundering is definitely a Barbarian-esque tactic flavor-wise. The problem is that it tends to be a tactic that, if successful, makes the rest of your party hate you ("You destroyed our loot!"). That's why I wasn't sure how or if to give the Barbarian a boost in this area.


The Elegant Resilience class feature is actually fairly interesting as well.
Interesting, yes, but I'm not sure it feels as Monk-ish to me as the rest of the features. But I wasn't sure what else to do to make the Monk a little tougher defensively ... because even with the Baffling Defense features, it seems like the Monk would go down awfully fast against numerically superior foes.


Elegant Grace makes sense, as a monk would easily be able to think outside the box when climbing or moving silently, so his superior Wisdom would always be a factor. It also opens the door for possibly roleplaying opportunities, as the DM could possibly want to challenge the monk occasionally to see how he's using his Wisdom in character (No penalty if he can't come up with it of course, a class feature is a class feature, but it opens the door for more interesting descriptions than 'My monk makes a Strength check to break the door down')
Yep. The more I think about this feature, the more I'm pleased with it.


Also, I'm glad to see that finally there's a monk fix that makes shuriken proficiency and shuriken flurrying worthwile. (I actually played a game where my barbarian was being strangled by an assassin vine and I kept failing my Grapple checks. The other party members were a cleric, an archer who didn't have Precise Shot yet, and a monk. And the monk was flurrying with shurikens. It was pathetic and hilarious at the same time, watching her roll 1d2)
Heh. I'm a little worried that flurrying shuriken will be a little too powerful at higher levels, when magic shuriken become pocket change ... but I think that's more a problem with the magic items system than with this Monk class.


Baffling Defense is an amazing class feature that really helps the monk stay in melee and actually the check will most likely be much higher than the monk's AC at higher levels, so it's very effective.
Thanks to Tome of Battle for the inspiration on this one. I also like how it means the Monk will likely invest in a flavorful out-of-combat utility skill.


In fact, I'm sorry, but I can't offer any constructive criticism at all with the monk fix, I like it the way it is. Good job, keep it up!
Thanks. But as you and I both noted, the current version of the Monk is a little too good for dipping. Any suggestions how to nerf the early levels slightly?

NeoSeraphi
2011-05-31, 05:18 PM
Glad you think so! :smallsmile:


Hmmm. You're right, Sundering is definitely a Barbarian-esque tactic flavor-wise. The problem is that it tends to be a tactic that, if successful, makes the rest of your party hate you ("You destroyed our loot!"). That's why I wasn't sure how or if to give the Barbarian a boost in this area.


I refer you to the Frenzied Berserker, good sir. The party will always have reasons to hate a Barbarian, but they can deal with it. You're not playing the barbarian to make friends, you're playing the barbarian to smash heads in. You shouldn't avoid class features that fit thematically because you're afraid the optimizers won't like it. You could make it optional, after all. If a barbarian really had a problem with it, he could use a piercing weapon.




Interesting, yes, but I'm not sure it feels as Monk-ish to me as the rest of the features. But I wasn't sure what else to do to make the Monk a little tougher defensively ... because even with the Baffling Defense features, it seems like the Monk would go down awfully fast against numerically superior foes.


The monk is a secondary melee class. It is a skirmisher first, tank somewhere down in the low seventies. If you feel the class feature doesn't fit thematically, then drop it. It's up to the players to make the class survivable, you're just trying to make it better while keeping it monk-like.




Yep. The more I think about this feature, the more I'm pleased with it.


Great! When a class feature helps both in combat and out of combat, that's when you know you did something right.




Heh. I'm a little worried that flurrying shuriken will be a little too powerful at higher levels, when magic shuriken become pocket change ... but I think that's more a problem with the magic items system than with this Monk class.


Magic RETURNING shurikens. But hey, if you're playing a monk to throw six shurikens in one round, it's not that different from throwing six punches in one round, right? You made it so the damage is all the same, and shuriken only have a 10 foot throwing distance, so it's not overpowered.




Thanks. But as you and I both noted, the current version of the Monk is a little too good for dipping. Any suggestions how to nerf the early levels slightly?


The PHB monk is too good for dipping. People call the monk a two level or a six level class for a reason. Same with fighter. Flurry, Wis to unarmored AC, two feats, double unarmed damage and all good saves is what the monk needs to live through 1st level. I wouldn't worry too much about it. If people are one-level dipping into your monk, that means they're using your homebrew, which means you did something right, right?

Zale
2011-05-31, 05:30 PM
Doesn't making a cleric a spontaneous caster while still allowing it to know every spell for that level make them even more powerful? :smallconfused:

jasonguppy
2011-05-31, 06:17 PM
I love druids, so dont de druidize them to much. But they do need a fix.

And i think get rid of resist natures lure. Useless

Draz74
2011-06-01, 01:51 AM
Yay feedback from multiple people!


I refer you to the Frenzied Berserker, good sir. The party will always have reasons to hate a Barbarian, but they can deal with it. You're not playing the barbarian to make friends, you're playing the barbarian to smash heads in. You shouldn't avoid class features that fit thematically because you're afraid the optimizers won't like it. You could make it optional, after all. If a barbarian really had a problem with it, he could use a piercing weapon.
On the other hand, if the Barbarian does want to Sunder stuff, does he actually need class features to specifically help with it? Or can he already be plenty effective by taking Improved Sunder, buying an adamantine weapon, and using the charge-based damage bonus I gave him?


The monk is a secondary melee class. It is a skirmisher first, tank somewhere down in the low seventies. If you feel the class feature doesn't fit thematically, then drop it. It's up to the players to make the class survivable, you're just trying to make it better while keeping it monk-like.
Oberoni Fallacy (or a corollary for players)!


Magic RETURNING shurikens. But hey, if you're playing a monk to throw six shurikens in one round, it's not that different from throwing six punches in one round, right? You made it so the damage is all the same, and shuriken only have a 10 foot throwing distance, so it's not overpowered.
The problem is the enormous selection of magical shuriken that can be afforded with the 1/50-price discount they receive. Even without Flurry it's an issue. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=11763.0) For one very simple example, you don't have to be very high-level before you can afford +1 Bane Shuriken for every creature type. But as I said before, that's not really a new problem created by my Monk fix.


The PHB monk is too good for dipping. People call the monk a two level or a six level class for a reason. Same with fighter. Flurry, Wis to unarmored AC, two feats, double unarmed damage and all good saves is what the monk needs to live through 1st level. I wouldn't worry too much about it. If people are one-level dipping into your monk, that means they're using your homebrew, which means you did something right, right?
Heh. It also means DMs have a reasonable reason to object to adopting my homebrew. :smalltongue:


Doesn't making a cleric a spontaneous caster while still allowing it to know every spell for that level make them even more powerful? :smallconfused:
It would, if spontaneous Clerics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/spontaneousDivineCasters.htm) still knew every spell on their list. :smalltongue:


I love druids, so dont de druidize them to much. But they do need a fix.

And i think get rid of resist natures lure. Useless
Yes, I was planning to axe Resist Nature's Lure. (Although, now that I think about it, it's pretty flavorful. Maybe I should just make it a reroll instead of a +4 bonus that you have to keep track of?)

I admit to a bit of bias against Druids myself, because they're just so stupidly redundant in their overpoweredom. But I'll try not to be too brutal.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-01, 12:42 PM
Yay feedback from multiple people!


On the other hand, if the Barbarian does want to Sunder stuff, does he actually need class features to specifically help with it? Or can he already be plenty effective by taking Improved Sunder, buying an adamantine weapon, and using the charge-based damage bonus I gave him?



On the one hand, I'm inclined to agree with you. On the other hand, I see monks with slow fall, when it would just work as well to buy a ring of feather fall, I see ninjas with ridiculous Jump checks, and I see Scouts with a continuous freedom of movement.

A fighter or a paladin or a BARD could take Improved Sunder, buy an adamantine weapon, and charge. Yes, you do have extra damage on the charge, but this is a BARBARIAN we're talking about. The guys who were made famous for burning homes and breaking down doors. Did those doors get attacks of opportunity when the barbarians initiated their Sunder attempts? No way. (Which is a good thing, doors as improvised weapons deal like 2d12 damage).

I just like what you're doing with the monk and the barbarian. You're trying to stick to their intended flavor, and I as an honest PEACHer am attempting to help you further that goal.

Edit: Also, I don't want to nitpick here, but you don't have the clause about Ex-Barbarians, you know, if you become lawful you can't Rage anymore. A solution which can be solved with some simple copypasta, which I shall even provide for you in case you use hardback PHBs instead of pdfs

Ex-Barbarians
A barbarian who becomes lawful loses the ability to rage and cannot
gain more levels as a barbarian. He retains all the other benefits of
the class.

wiimanclassic
2011-06-01, 06:24 PM
I never got that part. "Oh, I'm lawful and can therefore no longer rage." I don't get it. I would think being able to rage would be something you just DO. Sure if your lawful and always have been then it makes no sense to know how to rage. IDK I always just thought maybe reducing its effects due to being lawful meaning you pay more attention and don't lose your self as much. Or something.

Zale
2011-06-01, 06:46 PM
Because raging implies a loss of self control, something that sits uneasy with a lawful alignment.

wiimanclassic
2011-06-01, 09:39 PM
Because raging implies a loss of self control, something that sits uneasy with a lawful alignment.

Yeah, just thought some penalty to what rage does due to not losing as much control could work.

Just shifting alignment shouldn't make you lose your rage. Maybe dull it so it has less effect on you or something but it just going away completely makes no sense.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-03, 10:45 AM
Yeah, just thought some penalty to what rage does due to not losing as much control could work.

Just shifting alignment shouldn't make you lose your rage. Maybe dull it so it has less effect on you or something but it just going away completely makes no sense.

Remember that in the PHB, the lawful classes were the monk and the paladin. The monk is someone who spends a large part of his life in meditation, (theoretically speaking, not when it comes to actual gameplay) and the paladin is a warrior of justice.

Part of the lawful alignment is the willingness to deal nonlethal damage and take prisoners. Because you are unable to do this while enraged, it's an alignment confliction. True, a player could play a lawfully aligned character for an entire game without ever dealing nonlethal damage and still be portraying his character as very lawful, but still. If we looked at the lawful subtype as a Martial Discipline, it would be the Diamond Mind Discipline, with Concentration (which you can't use while raging) as a class skill and abilities that require thought and concentration to perform, but give you a deadly advantage in battle.

Barbarians aren't lawful. They draw their power to rage from inner fury. It isn't so much that raging would be lessened if you were lawful than you wouldn't have the ability to because you couldn't just let your mind go enough to give you a boost to your physical strength.

Draz74
2011-06-21, 07:18 PM
Fighter
The thing we have to remember here -- both me and anyone critiquing this fix -- is that the Fighter is already plenty powerful, at low-mid levels, for most casual playgroups. Game balance works out better in practice than in theory, and I need to resist the temptation to throw a lot of powerful new features onto the Fighter, at least until high levels.

That said, there are definitely things that can be fixed about the Fighter. I don't think anyone would argue that odd-numbered Fighter levels (other than Level 1 and maybe Level 11) aren't boring. And the class is definitely lacking in out-of-combat utility. And it's a little too dip-friendly, and a little too shoehorned into two-handed Power Attacking, and a little too dependent on making full attacks.

I also need to be careful that any new Fighter features don't encroach on tactics that feel more Barbarian-ish (charging, fear, bull rushing), or more Paladin-ish (self-sacrificial bodyguarding), or more Ranger-ish or Monk-ish or Rogue-ish (lots of things, including incredible mobility about the battlefield, fall into these categories). So, rather than make the Fighter able to make full attacks a lot more easily, I have tried to give him alternative perks that only are activated when he doesn't get a full attack.
Alignment: any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills: The fighterís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (architecture and engineering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perform (weapon drill) (Cha), Profession (soldier) (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4+Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4+Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|Base AttackBonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+0|Called shot, art of war

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+0|
+0|Bonus feat

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+1|Stalwart Heart

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+1|Bonus feat

5th|
+5|
+4|
+1|
+1|Guardian Stance

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+2|Bonus feat

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+2|Armor mastery

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+2|
+2|Bonus feat

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+3|Veteran's technique

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+3|Bonus feat

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+3|
+3|Weapon mastery

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+4|Bonus feat

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+4|Veteran's grit

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+4|
+4|Bonus feat

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+5|Dogged pursuit

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+5|Bonus feat

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+5|Greater guardian stance

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+6|Bonus feat

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+6|Heroic accuracy

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+6|Bonus feat, supreme slayer[/table]

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields or one other type of exotic shield).

Called Shot [Ex]

A fighter learns to make difficult attacks that, if they manage to hit, will especially hinder his foes.

On your turn, before making any attacks, you may choose to take a penalty to all of your attack rolls for one round. The amount of this penalty may not exceed your fighter level. In return for this penalty, you add a bonus to all damage rolls equal to double the penalty taken.

The damage granted by the called shot feature does not stack with the damage granted by the Power Attack feat. However, a fighter who has the Power Attack gains an additional +2 damage bonus to melee attacks when using his called shot feature.

Art of War [Ex]

A fighter who uses the Bluff skill to feint gains a bonus to his Bluff check. This bonus is equal to either his fighter level, or his ranks of Perform (weapon drill), whichever is greater.

Bonus Feats

At every even-numbered level, a fighter gains a bonus feat, drawn from feats with the [Fighter] tag. These feats are in addition to the feats he gains normally according to character levels. He must meet all prerequisites for his bonus feats normally.

Stalwart Heart [Ex]

At 3rd level, a fighter has learned courage and fortitude against certain special attacks. When a fighter makes a saving throw, ability check, opposed attack roll, or another d20 roll to resist a [fear] effect, a bull rush, a trip, a disarm, a sunder, an overrun, or a grapple, he may roll two d20's and take the better of the two results.

Guardian Stance [Ex]

At 5th level, a foe that begins its turn in the threatened area of a fighter must treat all of the fighter's threatened area as difficult terrain.

Armor Mastery [Ex]

At 7th level, a fighter becomes an expert at using his armor to its best advantage. The armor check penalty of any armor he wears is reduced by 2, and he gains a dodge bonus to AC equal to half his fighter level (to a maximum of the base AC bonus of the armor he wears).

Veteran's Technique [Ex]

At 9th level, a fighter gains access to a number of different minor abilities, depending on the fighting style he is using at the time. In borderline cases, such as a fighter with a spiked gauntlet (which could be considered an empty hand or an off-hand weapon), the player is free to choose any of the following bonuses, subject to DM approval; but he should never benefit from more than one of the following categories of bonuses in the same round.
[b]One-Handed Melee Weapon; Off-Hand Empty:
As a standard action, the fighter may make a melee attack and take a five-foot step before or after the attack.
As a standard action, the fighter may feint and make a melee attack.
If a fighter hits an opponent using a standard action, he may make a disarm attempt against the struck foe (if he still threatens that foe) as a swift action.
Ranged Weapon (or Two Thrown Weapons):
As a standard action, the fighter may make a ranged attack and "take 10" on his attack roll.
As a standard action, the fighter may make a ranged attack and take a five-foot step before or after the attack.
Two-Handed Weapon:
As a swift action, the fighter may add +1d6 damage to a melee attack he is about to make.
As a standard action, the fighter may make a melee attack. If this attack hits, its target must make a Fortitude save or be sickened for one round. The DC of this save is (10+1/2 the fighter's character level+Str modifier), or (15+1/2 the fighter's character level+Str modifier) if the fighter has the Power Attack feat.
If a fighter hits an opponent using a standard action, he may make a disarm attempt against the struck foe as a swift action.
Weapon and Shield:
As a standard action, the fighter may make a melee attack and "take 10" on his attack roll.
If a fighter hits an opponent using a standard action, he may make a disarm attempt against the struck foe as a swift action.
As an immediate action, the fighter may force a foe to roll an attack roll twice, taking the worse of the two results. The target of the attack must be the fighter or an adjacent ally.
Two or More Weapons:
As a standard action, the fighter may attack once with his main weapon and once with his off-hand weapon. The main weapon takes a -2 penalty to its attack roll.
As a swift action, the fighter may gain a +3 shield bonus to AC, which lasts for one round.
If a fighter hits an opponent using a standard action, he may make a disarm attempt against the struck foe as a swift action.

Weapon Mastery [Ex]

At 11th level, the fighter is proficient with all weapons.

If the fighter has the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat, he gains an insight bonus to all attack rolls equal to (1+the number of Exotic Weapon Proficiency feats he has).

Veteran's Grit [Ex]

At 13th level, the fighter is able to partially shrug off many negative effects. When he is subjected to one of the following conditions, replace his condition with the condition one cell to the right.

{table=head]Condition|... Becomes|... Becomes|... Becomes
Blown away | Knocked Down | Checked | none
Cowering | Frightened | Shaken | none
Panicked | Frightened | Shaken | none
Paralyzed | Stunned | Dazed | Dazzled
Fascinated | Dazed | Dazzled | none
| Blinded | Dazzled | none
| Nauseated | Sickened | none
| Exhausted | Fatigued | none
| | Slowed | Entangled
| | Ability Drained | Ability Damaged
[/table]

Dogged Pursuit [Ex]

At 15th level, the fighter may make an attack as an immediate action.

If a foe the fighter threatens takes a five-foot step, the fighter may make a five-foot step and attack that foe as an immediate action.

Greater Guardian Stance [Ex]

At 17th level, any foe the fighter threatens who attacks one of the fighter's allies provokes an attack of opportunity from the fighter.

Heroic Accuracy [Ex]

At 19th level, once per round the fighter may "take 15" on an attack roll.

Supreme Slayer [Ex]

At 20th level, if the fighter hits a foe as a standard action (including a use of his veteran's technique feature), he may slay that foe as a swift action. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 fighter's character level+Str modifier) allows the target to instead be entangled for one round. Undead and constructs are not immune to this effect.

Draz74
2011-06-21, 08:05 PM
OK, I really intended to present a full caster next, but I haven't gotten around to editing spell lists (:smallyuk:), and the Fighter was looking pretty good, and the thread needed a bump ... so here's my Fighter Fix.

I basically know what I'm going to do with the Wizard, Cleric, and Sorcerer; I think it's just a matter of writing them up. Druid and Bard are a little trickier.

I've also made some edits to the Monk fix: got rid of a couple abilities that didn't feel Monk-ish, incorporated a few suggestions people have made in this thread, adjusted the order so that abilities are gained in a more regular pattern, and delayed some abilities to make Monk a less frontloaded dip. I'm pretty happy with how it's looking except maybe for the order of ki strike features.

Draz74
2011-06-23, 02:08 PM
The Barbarian's Chieftain of Dread feature felt really weak for a Level 19 ability, so I gave it a boost in the form of a "take 20" clause. This should also speed up play a little bit.

Also made some minor edits to the Fighter's "Veteran's Grit" and "Weapon Mastery" features.

Draz74
2011-06-25, 03:52 PM
And made another tweak to Ki Strike. I wanted to consolidate the "adamantine" and "hardness" steps of it, but I wasn't sure what else to give as a Ki Strike level ... and then today I had an epiphany that the Monk should really have a way to bypass incorporeality. (At low levels, she'll still need to rely on party buffs or magic weapons if shadows come knocking, but that's the same as everybody else.)

Quellian-dyrae
2011-06-25, 05:52 PM
These look really cool. I don't think I see any serious balance concerns. I have a few suggestions, but they are almost entirely based more on personal preference than worries about effectiveness.

With the monk's stunning fist -> daze effect, you could make it a Will save if they choose to daze. Give them a bit more of a target-the-weaker-save strategy.

I might give a monk Wild Talent earlier...it just seems the sort of thing you pick up in the first level or so, to me.

One thing with Quivering Palm that I've always disliked was how you roll the save when you choose to kill. I know in practice it usually won't matter, since you'll go for the kill as soon as you hit, but I think the ability would have so much more tactical value if you placed it, they rolled the save, and if they failed, they knew, with complete certainty, that you could kill them with a thought.

This is nitpicky, but I'd maybe swap levels for Greater Sixth Sense and Elegant Form, so that the AC improvement falls under the improvement to the ability that actually...improves...AC. Eh, and I'd rate SR somewhat better than Improved Evasion anyway.

The "weapon in hand" clause for throwing weapons with retributive flurry is a bit off to me with regards to shuriken, since their whole shtick is kind of being able to draw and throw rapidly. Removing it doesn't work for sais and specifying each separately is kinda inelegant, but there ya go.

I'd love to see Air Walk come earlier, myself (somewhere in the 9th-11th range is where I'd peg it). It's just such a monkish ability to me, and also a valuable way for the melee-focused monk to deal with flying foes.

I don't know that I'd have gotten rid of strict Fast Movement for the barbarians. Sure in practice Beast's Step will probably wind up amounting to the same (and I suppose in most higher-op environments it just gets traded for Pounce anyway), but being strictly faster seemed appropriate to barbs, to me.

I'm a little concerned about the half level as dodge to AC bit. I suppose fighters can probably use the AC though, and it makes sure they're top choice for tanking.

Little issue on the Veteran's Grit table...it seems to me that Dazed is a worse condition than Fascinated, because Fascinated is so much easier to break.

I think that's all I have. Great job!

Draz74
2011-06-25, 07:34 PM
Thanks!


With the monk's stunning fist -> daze effect, you could make it a Will save if they choose to daze. Give them a bit more of a target-the-weaker-save strategy.
Hmmm. Interesting. I like the effect, though I'll need to decide if it falls under the "too complicated for this project" heading.

The idea behind the Daze clause was just because Daze is supposed to be a weaker form of Stunning, but is actually considered a better condition in high-op because fewer things are immune to it. :smallannoyed:


I might give a monk Wild Talent earlier...it just seems the sort of thing you pick up in the first level or so, to me.
I wanted to give it at the same time as Elegant Mind, and I couldn't fit it in any earlier without feeling like I was frontloading the class. :smallsmile:

Besides, I kind of like the way this Monk is almost purely non-supernatural -- a believable martial artist -- for the first few levels.


One thing with Quivering Palm that I've always disliked was how you roll the save when you choose to kill. I know in practice it usually won't matter, since you'll go for the kill as soon as you hit, but I think the ability would have so much more tactical value if you placed it, they rolled the save, and if they failed, they knew, with complete certainty, that you could kill them with a thought.
Oh, interesting. Yes, I think I will take that suggestion. Much more roleplay value. :smallamused:


This is nitpicky, but I'd maybe swap levels for Greater Sixth Sense and Elegant Form, so that the AC improvement falls under the improvement to the ability that actually...improves...AC. Eh, and I'd rate SR somewhat better than Improved Evasion anyway.
OK, I want to keep the AC boost at Level 11 for the sake of regular progression. I'll assume you want that as well, and that you're suggesting that the AC boost come at the same time as the SR.

That ... could work, although Improved Evasion and immunity to falling is a pretty booooooring class feature at Level 10.


The "weapon in hand" clause for throwing weapons with retributive flurry is a bit off to me with regards to shuriken, since their whole shtick is kind of being able to draw and throw rapidly. Removing it doesn't work for sais and specifying each separately is kinda inelegant, but there ya go.
Yeah, well ... the monk can still use two shuriken in-between-turns in this way, then do the "free draw" thing on his own turn. I don't know how to fix this one, so I'll probably just leave it. Retributive Flurry works better in melee range, and that's ok.


I'd love to see Air Walk come earlier, myself (somewhere in the 9th-11th range is where I'd peg it). It's just such a monkish ability to me, and also a valuable way for the melee-focused monk to deal with flying foes.
Balance-wise I agree it could be level 10-ish, but flavor-wise, being able to walk constantly on air without magic items or spells is kind of the pinnacle of "I am high level" statements.

Flight tends to be considered more optional in "normal" D&D playgroups than in the optimization community ...


I don't know that I'd have gotten rid of strict Fast Movement for the barbarians. Sure in practice Beast's Step will probably wind up amounting to the same (and I suppose in most higher-op environments it just gets traded for Pounce anyway), but being strictly faster seemed appropriate to barbs, to me.
I think I changed this one mostly out of simulationist concerns -- the way a Barbarian with the Run feat is way faster than any real-life runner at certain distances. At Level 1. :smallannoyed:


I'm a little concerned about the half level as dodge to AC bit. I suppose fighters can probably use the AC though, and it makes sure they're top choice for tanking.
Yeah, I'm not quite sure about this one either. The basic idea was to make sure AC remained relevant at high levels for Fighters, and also to give them a little encouragement to be heavily armored even at earlier levels ... but I'm not sure about the execution. Suggestions welcome.


Little issue on the Veteran's Grit table...it seems to me that Dazed is a worse condition than Fascinated, because Fascinated is so much easier to break.

Hmmm, good call. Maybe I'll just leave Fascinated out of the picture entirely?

Quellian-dyrae
2011-06-25, 08:43 PM
I wanted to give it at the same time as Elegant Mind, and I couldn't fit it in any earlier without feeling like I was frontloading the class. :smallsmile:

Besides, I kind of like the way this Monk is almost purely non-supernatural -- a believable martial artist -- for the first few levels.

Ah, fair enough.


OK, I want to keep the AC boost at Level 11 for the sake of regular progression. I'll assume you want that as well, and that you're suggesting that the AC boost come at the same time as the SR.

That ... could work, although Improved Evasion and immunity to falling is a pretty booooooring class feature at Level 10.

Yeah basically. It just seems a little weird that you get Greater Sixth Sense...and then one level later Sixth Sense improves. It's a nitpick, what can I say?


Yeah, well ... the monk can still use two shuriken in-between-turns in this way, then do the "free draw" thing on his own turn. I don't know how to fix this one, so I'll probably just leave it. Retributive Flurry works better in melee range, and that's ok.

Fair enough.


Balance-wise I agree it could be level 10-ish, but flavor-wise, being able to walk constantly on air without magic items or spells is kind of the pinnacle of "I am high level" statements.

Flight tends to be considered more optional in "normal" D&D playgroups than in the optimization community ...

Okay I can see that.


I think I changed this one mostly out of simulationist concerns -- the way a Barbarian with the Run feat is way faster than any real-life runner at certain distances. At Level 1. :smallannoyed:

Ah got it.


Yeah, I'm not quite sure about this one either. The basic idea was to make sure AC remained relevant at high levels for Fighters, and also to give them a little encouragement to be heavily armored even at earlier levels ... but I'm not sure about the execution. Suggestions welcome.

Hmm...I'm not really sure. You could make it a Deflection bonus. It's a better bonus, but won't stack with a Ring of Protection. Even that's assuming it's too high to be a problem, though, which maybe it isn't. I tend to figure two "high" bonuses to AC is pretty good (armor, monk, class-based defense, etc, if you can get them stacking with either house rules or optimization), more than that excessive, so this actually probably does work well enough.

Draz74
2011-06-25, 09:47 PM
Yeah basically. It just seems a little weird that you get Greater Sixth Sense...and then one level later Sixth Sense improves. It's a nitpick, what can I say?
You know, it's a good sign of the quality of my work when this level of nitpicking becomes an issue. :smallcool:


Hmm...I'm not really sure. You could make it a Deflection bonus. It's a better bonus, but won't stack with a Ring of Protection. Even that's assuming it's too high to be a problem, though, which maybe it isn't. I tend to figure two "high" bonuses to AC is pretty good (armor, monk, class-based defense, etc, if you can get them stacking with either house rules or optimization), more than that excessive, so this actually probably does work well enough.

Hmmm ... just brainstorming, here's a new idea I haven't really had time to weigh properly -- what if the Fighter just got free Fortification (light, medium, heavy, to match the armor he wears)? Might make e.g. Warforged feel a little put out ... And doesn't make AC still matter at high levels ...

Quellian-dyrae
2011-06-25, 10:09 PM
I actually like that idea quite a bit...although it does turn right around and shaft rogues (of course, if you give them ways around crit immunities when you do their fix, it won't be an issue). I...would tentatively say that's the better option. Really, either AC needs to be higher across the board, or adding half-level to one class (one already presumably decent at getting a high AC) is just going to create the situation where if it has a chance of hitting the fighter, it almost always hits everyone else, or when it only has an average shot of hitting everyone else it has no chance at all of hitting the fighter.