View Full Version : Monk Tweaks

2008-03-31, 06:52 PM
I really like monks, as an idea and as a class. That being said, they do seem to be underpowered when paired with other core melee classes (do not even start with wizards). Thus, I conceived a few tweaks, some minor and some major, that I felt would close the gap. What do you think?

Full BAB

AC bonus: Can add wis to AC when wearing light armor, but still not when carrying a shield or encumbered. The max dex armor quality applies to this bonus too. EX: With a wis mod of +5 (and +5 dex), Mina the monk would have an AC of 20 unarmored, an AC of 22 in leather armor (+2 armor, +6 max dex), and an AC of 22 in a chain shirt (+4 armor, +4 max dex)

Flurry of Blows: Standard action.

Abundant step: 3 + Wis mod times per day, minimum 3. As dimension door, but can act afterwards (it is a standard action to use this ability).

Bonus feats: The following feats are addition options to the bonus feats that a monk could normally choose.
Level one: blind-fight, run
Level two: stealthy + alertness, combat expertise
Level six: Spring attack, Armor proficiency (light)

Uncanny dodge: lvl 2
Imp Uncanny dodge: lvl 9

Slow Fall (all)

Reasons for Tweaks
As I see it, monk should be a melee primary class. As such, I gave it full BAB.

I've always felt a monk should be able to use light armor, and, while I don't really like to book too much, ToB justified me with the AC bonus of a Swordsage. Note that while monks can use light armor, they are not initially proficient with it, and would take the armor check penalty on attack rolls unless they took the appropriate feat.

Flurry of Blows: When your primary lead over other classes is mobility, why would one of your main abilities not reflect this? Standard action works much better for this.

Abundant step: Well, no one should have a class ability that is a spell, otherwise any caster can overshadow you quite easily in that area. Thus, more uses per day (which still won't be that many, usually) and a little boost over the spell version.

Uncanny dodge and Improved UD: Why wouldn't a monk have these? They fight unarmored as per core, and if your monk doesn't concentrate on finding opponents before they find him, he loses his dex bonus to AC. With Wis as the main stat, I don't know why a monk wouldn't have the senses of a Barbarian, thus, I gave the monk these abilities.

So, horribly unbalancing? Still not enough? Pathetic attempt? Perfect in all forms and aspects? What do you think?

The Professor
2008-04-01, 06:44 AM
My group already gives Full BAB and Flurry as a Standard Action.

I like the Abundant Step modification though, I'll run it by my fellows and see how they like it.

Loss of Feather Fall? Meh, I can live with it. It's not that great anyway.

The armor? Well, that's inching on the Sword Sage, but I would agree that they would put it to good use. They, uh, could really use it with their awful MAD.

I would agree with Uncanny Dodge and Imp. Uncanny Dodge, makes sense to me, however...

The feats: Those seem to be more of a preference, really. I might suggest just increasing their choices for monk feats at those levels a bit, hopefully give people slightly more control over how they make them.

Overall, I like those fixes.

2008-04-01, 11:35 AM
Makes sense and I agree but they should sacrifice something in exchange.

Why has Flurry of Blows been changed into a standard action? It's a full-attack action just like when anyone else takes a full-attack action. It's fair as it is, don't change it.

Monk's wearing armor? Well, their AC does suck which is wierd because you'd expect a martial arts type to be really good at dodging. Perhaps you could just give them more dodging abilities or feats? Or you could just say they can wear armor but do not gain any proficiencies for them and their Wisdom is restricted just as their Dexterity is by the armor and their Monk AC bonus doesn't work while armored or shielded.

I think making it useable 3 + Wis mod per day would be better and fair since as it is you may as well not even have it. What would be a nice exchange for the armor and increased BAB though would be to change this to some sort of acrobatic ability such as Great Leap.

I don't like the change there. Personally I think just expanding the monk's options with these bonus feats would be better rather than just setting them in place. For example, add "Spring Attack" as another possible option the monk can choose for their monk bonus feat at 6th level, add Dodge and Mobility for 1st and 2nd levels.

I think the loss of this ability is terrible. The monk sliding down a wall with acrobatic grace is a great scene from many martial arts movies. Take this away and you may as well take away their unarmed strike and bonus feats. They'd be just as much a martial artist.

I recommend you get rid of Empty Body. I have no idea what that has to do with martial arts unless you watch those new anime shows for kids with all the wierd ninja powers.

2008-04-01, 12:25 PM
Flurry of blows:
I changed this because a monk's main strength is mobility. And having a level 11 monk run up to something and hit it once, vs. a level 11 rogue (assuming enemy is flat-footed or flanked) is hardly balanced. Monk = 1 attack at 1d10, rogue = 1 attack at weapon damage + 6d6. With three attacks of the best flurry you can have, the monk will get three attacks at 1d10. It still doesn't balance completely, but I'll take it over 1d10.

They do not gain proficiency with them unless they burn the feat for it, and they do lost the AC bonus if they were anything but light armor. Their Wis bonus to AC is restricted by their armors max dex. There is even an example in my first post.

Abundant step:
3 + wis mod (min 3) is better. Since the ability is only usable 1/day as per core, I didn't really think that people would accept it being usable that much more, but I like it.

Bonus feats:
You both have convinced me, I will expand the monks choices instead of the original changes I intended to make.

Slow fall:
Just like abundant step, slow fall is an ability based loosely on a spell: feather fall. However, even the top level of this ability is worse than that spell, requiring a wall nearby. Logical, yes. Cool, yes. Good, not really.

Edit: Updated original post. Have to troll through my PHB to see what feats would be appropriate for each level bonuses though.
All done!

Lord Iames Osari
2008-04-01, 12:40 PM
For a good-quality monk fix that shares many of the same traits as yours, you might want to check out (http://www.faxcelestis.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=87#p726) these (http://www.faxcelestis.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=87#p544) links (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGIQ7ZuuiU).

2008-04-01, 01:01 PM
That first link has some nice changes, and some changes I don't really like. I enjoy the enhancement ability on unarmed strikes, but I was just planning on allowing wraps or gloves or something similar.

The second link would be nice if I planned on using combat styles, but I don't, so thanks anyway.

But why, oh why, would you subject me to Rick Roll!!!???!?!???!?! WHY curse you!?!??!?!!?!?!

I'm not that upset :smalltongue: . Nice April Fool's

Lord Iames Osari
2008-04-01, 01:06 PM

Can I ask what you didn't like about that fix? Or, better yet, ask you to register at that forum and post your comments in the appropriate thread? *shameless plug*

The reason I included the sample style was because styles are quite literally built into the fix.

2008-04-01, 03:25 PM
Mostly I didn't like it because it has some big changes to the monk in it, including some additional new abilities and some more SLA's. The style focus, while nice for some people, doesn't really appeal to me.

So, while this fix probably would have made me incredibly happy a few months ago, now I simply wish for some small, simple changes.

That being said, I'm really hoping that others see these changes as simple :smalleek:, otherwise I'll never get it past any DM...