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JKTrickster
2011-06-25, 10:59 AM
So I might be playing in a solo gestalt campaign soon and I was wondering: is it worth it to take Vow Of Poverty as a Druid//Monk?

The DM is allowing all feats and Wildshape forms from various sourcebooks but everything else has to be in the SRD (Items, Spells, PrCs, even no extra Animal Companions, etc.). Given that I won't have access to Wilding Clasps, most of my gear would be useless when I wildshape anyway right? So wouldn't I benefit from taking Vow Of Poverty?

Just want to hear the Playground's opinion on this one.

grarrrg
2011-06-25, 11:20 AM
So I might be playing in a solo gestalt campaign soon and I was wondering: is it worth it to take Vow Of Poverty as a Druid//Monk?


VoP is generally regarded as a bad choice the higher your level goes; less good bonus feats to pick, you get 'locked in' to certain bonuses instead of being able to spend your money on ANYTHING you might need (source books notwithstanding).

But, of all the characters to stick VoP on, Monk and Druid are usually regarded as the best options.

I say if you're going to be playing to a high level then skip it.
If you are playing to a lower level, or starting at a low level (or just don't expect to survive that long) then go for it.

sonofzeal
2011-06-25, 11:29 AM
But, of all the characters to stick VoP on, Monk and Druid are usually regarded as the best options.
Not quite true. Druid and SORCERER are the best traditional options. VoP Monk is terrible.

...however, Monk makes a brilliant "passive side" in gestalt when paired with VoP Druid as the "active side". So, yes, the build works.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-25, 11:34 AM
Strictly speaking, this is a non option for you.

Monks must be lawful. Druids must be neutral. Exalted must be good.

You can be lawful good, neutral good, or lawful netural. But you can't be lawful neutral good.

As a monk//druid, you must be lawful neutral. Which means you are not good. Which means you are not exalted and don't qualify for Vow of Poverty.

Talya
2011-06-25, 12:10 PM
Strictly speaking, this is a non option for you.

Monks must be lawful. Druids must be neutral. Exalted must be good.

You can be lawful good, neutral good, or lawful netural. But you can't be lawful neutral good.

As a monk//druid, you must be lawful neutral. Which means you are not good. Which means you are not exalted and don't qualify for Vow of Poverty.

Depends what level they are starting at.
A monk does not need to be lawful. You must be lawful to advance as a monk, but you do not need to be lawful to BE a monk.

sonofzeal
2011-06-25, 12:17 PM
I'm fairly confident you can find a Neutral variant for Monks somewhere in some Dragon Mag.

prufock
2011-06-25, 12:24 PM
Vow of Poverty, if you're going to be playing past level 4-6, is mechanically not worth it. Magic items at WBL are going to be superior. So unless you're playing at low level, skip it. Druid is generally one of the best choices for VoP. Monk is generally regarded as weakened significantly by VoP, though.

Of course, if you really WANT to play an ascetic character just for the concept, VoP does help soften the blow of not having items.

If you're going to do it, though, I always suggest having a good look at the Saint template. Bonus to Wis, Wis to AC as an insight bonus, bonuses to cha and con, fast healing, DR, and a whole bunch of other cool features. It's +2 LA, so it will slow the progression of your spells, unarmed damage, and wild shape, but it's a VERY GOOD +2 LA, especially for Druid or Monk.

Amnestic
2011-06-25, 12:33 PM
I'm fairly confident you can find a Neutral variant for Monks somewhere in some Dragon Mag.

Just had a look at a fairly comprehensive list (which I'm loathe to link, as it's probably against the rules >.>) and the only non LG/LN/LE variant of the monk is the Chaotic Monk (Dragon #335), which is CG/CN/CE. There aren't any NG variants that I can find.

Talya
2011-06-25, 12:52 PM
Vow of Poverty, if you're going to be playing past level 4-6, is mechanically not worth it. Magic items at WBL are going to be superior. So unless you're playing at low level, skip it. Druid is generally one of the best choices for VoP.

Without wilding clasps, VOP is pretty much the only way to really trick out a wildshape focused combat druid. (even with Wilding Clasps, they so seriously eat into your WBL that you end up with far, far lower bonuses than you'd get from VOP anyway.)

JKTrickster
2011-06-25, 01:03 PM
In that case how should I play my druid then? Wildshape loses some of its advantage because I lose access to all my items, even my Periapt of Wisdom, etc.

Or should I simply not depend on Wildshape at all? That sounds even worse.

I will be starting out at level 1, and progress from there. The DM has already stated his intent to try his best to kill us so I'm not sure how high I will be able to go.

And wow good catch NeoSeraphi - I'll see if I can talk to the DM about it...

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-25, 01:25 PM
In that case how should I play my druid then? Wildshape loses some of its advantage because I lose access to all my items, even my Periapt of Wisdom, etc.

Or should I simply not depend on Wildshape at all? That sounds even worse.

I will be starting out at level 1, and progress from there. The DM has already stated his intent to try his best to kill us so I'm not sure how high I will be able to go.

And wow good catch NeoSeraphi - I'll see if I can talk to the DM about it...

You are welcome. The Book of Exalted Deeds is very unpopular, and as such DMs have a tendency to be very strict and RAW when using it, at least in my experience, so when I help others with it, I try to imagine how stickly a DM would be for it so they won't have to deal with it in their actual games (VoP especially)

I suppose I shall offer for the sake of clearing it up, but I guess the Book of Nine Swords is not available? If it is, the unarmed swordsage does not have an alignment restriction and you could easily play a NG Swordsage//Druid.

Quietus
2011-06-25, 01:35 PM
And wow good catch NeoSeraphi - I'll see if I can talk to the DM about it...

The easiest route is to play LN, and ask if you can have the VoP on the basis of your "Dedication to avoiding manufactured items". Ends up with the same mechanical basis (though, bonus exalted feats? Eh..) and the flavor is similar enough that I know I would allow it.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-25, 01:37 PM
The easiest route is to play LN, and ask if you can have the VoP on the basis of your "Dedication to avoiding manufactured items". Ends up with the same mechanical basis (though, bonus exalted feats? Eh..) and the flavor is similar enough that I know I would allow it.

I agree with this. The Vow feats always seemed more lawful to me anyway. Ask your DM if you may take Sacred Vow and Vow of Poverty as Lawful Neutral, but without access to any bonus feats (Because, since you're not exalted, you don't qualify for them)

Jack_Simth
2011-06-25, 01:49 PM
Strictly speaking, this is a non option for you.

Monks must be lawful. Druids must be neutral. Exalted must be good.

You can be lawful good, neutral good, or lawful netural. But you can't be lawful neutral good.

As a monk//druid, you must be lawful neutral. Which means you are not good. Which means you are not exalted and don't qualify for Vow of Poverty.
Good point. Replace Monk with Ninja. Druid has to have one neutral component, Exalted needs to be good, and Ninja has no alignment restrictions. Plus Ghost Step and Sudden Strike will be really, really fun with the many natural attacks you can get from Druid Wildshape....

Edit: Ah, classes not on the list of things that can be drawn from elsewhere. Hmm. Well, that nixes that.

Zaq
2011-06-25, 02:03 PM
Without wilding clasps, VOP is pretty much the only way to really trick out a wildshape focused combat druid. (even with Wilding Clasps, they so seriously eat into your WBL that you end up with far, far lower bonuses than you'd get from VOP anyway.)

You can make a case for using your items for out-of-combat challenges and relying on your, well, Druidness to carry you through combat. Yes, I know you said "combat druid," but that's not always your choice to make.

Not saying that your method doesn't work. Just pointing out that there are plenty of really good items that you wouldn't want to use after initiative is rolled ANYWAY, so you really don't need Wilding Clasps for 'em.

JaronK
2011-06-25, 02:29 PM
I couldn't tell from your OP whether you were allowed to take classes from outside the SRD. If so, you could always go Unarmed Swordsage//Druid with VoP, which is plenty strong and allows for appropriate alignments. If not, there's always Cloistered Cleric//Druid with VoP, and you can just take Improved Unarmed Strike and Superior Unarmed Strike if you really want.

JaronK

JKTrickster
2011-06-25, 03:01 PM
Oh sorry to clear things up, only feats and Wildshape forms are allowed from alternative sourcebooks.

My base classes, spells, PrCs, items, everything else has to be from the SRD. Otherwise he says it would be too "unbalancing".

From that perspective I really can't tell what SRD items are worth it out of combat. Or at least at the very high levels anyway. Should I focus towards Wildshape anymore? Or leave it as a backup and just use my gear + spells?

EDIT: The main thing here is that Wildshape can benefit from all the extra books while my Items + Spells don't. Yet using Wildshape basically nullifies whatever items I spend my gold on so....

EDIT2: Hmm Cloistered Cleric seems fun! Although with so many spells, it would be sad if I couldn't use any action economy abusing tactics. Monk is a better passive side isn't it?

Jack_Simth
2011-06-25, 03:12 PM
EDIT2: Hmm Cloistered Cleric seems fun! Although with so many spells, it would be sad if I couldn't use any action economy abusing tactics. Monk is a better passive side isn't it?

Yes and no. Monk + Druid + Vow of Poverty doesn't work as written. To progress as a Monk, you must be Lawful. To have the Vow of Poverty, you must be Good. To be a Druid, you must have at least one neutral component to your alignment. Choose any two.

Now, an Ex-Monk could work, but you'd lose out on a lot of the early VoP bonus feats. Monk-1/Rogue-X//Druid-Y could work out (as long as you can arrange for Monk to be your favored class, anyway). You'd take Sacred Vow at 3rd, and Vow of Poverty at... not 6th, obviously, so 9th. Requires two alignment changes: LN -> TN between 1st and 2nd, TN -> NG between 2nd and 3rd.

Autopsibiofeeder
2011-06-25, 05:52 PM
I don't know how fixed you are on your classes, but one idea could be (and I am not saying it is per se a good idea) to use the simple druid variant from UA, which also appears in the SRD.

This makes you lose your wild shaping (yes, bad idea), but gives you barbarian fast movement and monk AC bonus (both wisdom and the table bonus) for the monk-y feel. Next to that you get ranger favoured enemy and tracking. This removes the issues of items in wildshape and adds a monk/martial flavour to your druid AND leaves you with one side of the gestalt open to pick a martial orientated class. Between you and your animal companion, you will have enough combat oomph and the beast is an excellent flanking buddy, so you could look into adding a little sneak attack here and there for damage (allowing you to go weapon finesse route and dump the strength score a bit).

Divide by Zero
2011-06-25, 05:59 PM
Otherwise he says it would be too "unbalancing".

Druid
I'm confused.

Szar_Lakol
2011-06-25, 06:46 PM
You're starting at level 1, so either your first gestalt level must be Monk//x or Druid//x -- you cannot be a Monk//Druid at the same time and pick Exalted feats, as has already been mentioned numerous times.

If you start as a 1st level Monk//Rogue, for instance, you can simply choose Lawful Good and then change alignment immediately after beginning the game to Neutral Good, so your second level can be Druid//Rogue.

You could also gestalt it with a Ranger or a Fighter (but not a Paladin, as you would Fall as soon as you become Neutral, and then there isn't much point) for BAB and feats. Fighter is probably the better bet (bigger HD, and you already have 4+ skill points).

You could also go Monk 1//Fighter 1 then go Neutral Good and switch to Druid//Barbarian for Rage and Pounce.

Of course, this presupposes that you aren't using multiclassing penalties (which really do not work well with gestalt, especially considering the extremely limited class-list you have to work with; for example, there isn't really any prestige class which is worthwhile for you to take from the SRD).

Divide by Zero
2011-06-25, 07:19 PM
Hmm. Could you do Monk/Wildshape Ranger//Cleric (with nature-themed domains)? Your wildshape and AC wouldn't be as powerful, but it'd be a pretty similar character thematically, and no alignment issues.

JKTrickster
2011-06-26, 09:56 AM
Hmm should I just ditch VoP then? And not use Wildshape? E.g. Take the shapeshifter variant?

faceroll
2011-06-26, 10:10 AM
I'd be tempted to put light bringer cleric5/sacred exorcist1/radiant servant of pelor on the other side. Get DMM:persist. Thanks to light bringer + sacred exorcist, you get 2x the turn attempts for DMM fuel.


Vow of Poverty, if you're going to be playing past level 4-6, is mechanically not worth it. Magic items at WBL are going to be superior. So unless you're playing at low level, skip it. Druid is generally one of the best choices for VoP. Monk is generally regarded as weakened significantly by VoP, though.

Of course, if you really WANT to play an ascetic character just for the concept, VoP does help soften the blow of not having items.

If you're going to do it, though, I always suggest having a good look at the Saint template. Bonus to Wis, Wis to AC as an insight bonus, bonuses to cha and con, fast healing, DR, and a whole bunch of other cool features. It's +2 LA, so it will slow the progression of your spells, unarmed damage, and wild shape, but it's a VERY GOOD +2 LA, especially for Druid or Monk.

Well, that may be true in general, but since all items are coming from the DMG, and he's going druid, VoP may actually be superior.