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Quietus
2008-11-09, 07:43 PM
Let me start this off by saying : THIS IS NOT A THREAD TO DISCUSS WHETHER OR NOT THE MONK SUCKS. I'm just curious regarding what people's thoughts are on his potential role would be, as a fifth member of an iconic (healer cleric, blaster wizard, fighter tank, rogue skillmonkey) party, if he were to focus on his Stunning Fist abilities.

Now then. As I said, I think the monk might actually have a potential role in a party, if he takes his role as a debuffer, of sorts, through the use of Stunning Fist and other related feats. I don't have access to all my books at the moment, but the following six are from core monster feats, Complete Warrior, and Oriental Adventures.


Ability focus (Core, monster feats) : Require a special attack, which I believe Stunning Fist qualifies as. Adds +2 to the DC, and when you're low level with limited uses, that +2 isn't a bad thing to have.

Extra Stunning (Complete Warrior) : BAB +2, three extra stunning attacks per day. Not bad, when you're level 3 and could really use this.

Pain touch (Complete Warrior) : BAB +2, stunned opponents are nauseated for one round after being stunned. Nauseated means they get only a move action and can take no attacks, nearly doubling the effectiveness of a stun.

Weakning Touch (Complete Warrior) : Wis17, improved unarmed strike, BAB +2. You can apply a -6 penalty to a target's strength for one minute, by making an attack that deals no damage - but this gives no save, either.

Rapid stunning (Complete Warrior) : Combat Reflexes, BAB +6 : Lets you use one additional Stun effect per round. By level 9, it's not really a bad option, as you just removed the attack penalty on Flurry (if you're using it), and in two levels you get an additional attack from Flurry.

Freezing the Lifeblood (Complete Warrior) : BAB +10. Against humanoid opponents, a failed fort save = paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. Your attack does no damage, but who cares? Paralyzed = win. Situational because of the "humanoid" clause.

Falling Star Strike (Oriental adventures) : BAB +4. Again limited to humanoids. A failed save renders the opponent blinded.



So, what I'm looking at at this point is a Monk with primary dex/wis, secondary con. I'll freely admit that he's even more limited in how often he can pull out his shtick early on, but picking up Ability Focus and having an 18 wis would mean DC 16 fort save in the early game (With ability focus), where it's relatively rare in my experience to see things with higher than +4. This might also be a good character to try to use the Dodge/Mobility/Spring Attack line with, combining the Monk's speed with what are essentially sniping attacks. Human Monk6 with one flaw could have Dodge, Mobility, and Ability Focus at first level, pick up Pain Touch at third, and Spring Attack at sixth, with a 50 foot base speed.

Any thoughts guys? Ways of improving this? Also, I'd like to state again : No discussing whether or not the monk sucks in this thread. It's underpowered, I know, but let's keep this discussion to constructive comments, please?

afroakuma
2008-11-09, 07:54 PM
I personally preferred the Stunning Fist extension feats from the PHB2. You can actually make Ryu from Street Fighter now.

Flickerdart
2008-11-09, 07:57 PM
Hm, interesting. Any way to make it less MAD? You don't need STR since you're not hitting for damage, but DEX, CON and WIS are still necessary. Kung Fu Genius doesn't really help and neither does Faerie Mysteries Initiate, since those do INT, and are using up valuable feat slots.

ocato
2008-11-09, 08:12 PM
I've seen some decent monks who work sort of like this. However they tend to supplement it with tripping, disarming, sundering, and/or grappling.

Eldariel
2008-11-09, 08:15 PM
It'd be more efficient to make it happen through ToB. When you think about it, ToB has precisely those mechanics, which is why it's heralded as the replacement for oldschool melee - you get a variety of status-causing attacks. Taking it one level further, the best thing to do would be to write a new school specifically designed for Status Causing (Setting Sun is mostly focused on different basic [Unarmed] attacks and Shadow Hand is mostly the Sneak Attack school). Something like Thunder Fist would make for a perfect school of such type.

Anyways, if you want to build such a Monk, go Wisdom SAD with Intuitive Strike and pump all your points into Wis. Unfortunately, without a large number of feats, you won't have the ability to both, improve your unarmed strikes and pick up all the status effects, so your base abilities will be very poor, but you may be able to deal a decent number of status effects indeed. The present feats I find too limited though - almost all of them target Fort (and the one that doesn't is only effective against Str-based combatants and they can still kick your ass even if you land a Weakening Touch). My suggestion: Homebrew. A primary status inflictor needs to be able to attack multiple saves to be effective. Secondary status, primary damage isn't really doable as being status attacker really requires high Wis and high Wis is otherwise rather limited in terms of damage

elliott20
2008-11-09, 09:08 PM
I personally feel that the problem from the 3E monk (and by extension 3.5) stemmed from a design philosophy flaw. It's painfully obvious that when they were putting the monk together, they wanted a class that was EVERY martial arts flick character they've ever seen. Not just a couple, but every single one of them mashed together. I'm convinced that they probably threw everything onto the class, realized it was overpowering, and starting cutting things out left and right until we have this current mess of a class.

To make a successful martial character (specifically, one that is kung-fu-y), you need to recognize that just like a wizard, monks need options. Not in the sense that they should be a friggin' utility belt, but that they need to be allowed to explore their options and specialize in fields that seem to be interesting, rather than get assigned this list of abilities that MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be useful.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-09, 10:27 PM
Be able to target multiple saves. If it can't do that, it dies to the first Skele that comes along.

ChaosDefender24
2008-11-09, 10:28 PM
Don't overlook Fist of the Pharaoh from Sandstorm! This terrific feat turns your stunning fist into an AoE effect!

It's quite an effective tactic, too; I once saw a build that had the DC at 24 or something at 9th level, and he teamed with a hexblade/paladinoftyranny/blackguard who had a -6 to saves aura... if you can get that kind of synergy, your enemies should beware!

streakster
2008-11-09, 10:29 PM
To make a successful martial character (specifically, one that is kung-fu-y), you need to recognize that just like a wizard, monks need options. Not in the sense that they should be a friggin' utility belt, but that they need to be allowed to explore their options and specialize in fields that seem to be interesting, rather than get assigned this list of abilities that MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be useful.

*cough* Frank and K Rewrite *Cough*

Flickerdart
2008-11-09, 10:42 PM
Be able to target multiple saves. If it can't do that, it dies to the first Skele that comes along.
Except Undead have abysmal Fortitude saves, so this fellow should be able to cut through them like the Gurren Lagann through butter.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-09, 10:56 PM
Except Undead have abysmal Fortitude saves, so this fellow should be able to cut through them like the Gurren Lagann through butter.Can you Stun a table? Daze it? Undead are immune, then. It's like a Rogue, but worse.

ocato
2008-11-09, 10:58 PM
All of my furniture has been both stunned and dazed. That way it doesn't interfere with my dinner or drop the TV. Most people don't take the time to properly incapacitate their inanimate objects, but I suggest it whole-heartedly.

Flickerdart
2008-11-09, 10:59 PM
Can you Stun a table? Daze it? Undead are immune, then. It's like a Rogue, but worse.
That's why you have all those other things the guy does...none of which work, it would seem.

In my next session, I'm totally Stunning a table, though.

Jerthanis
2008-11-09, 11:01 PM
I always thought this was a great way to make monks interesting and useful. However, Eldariel is right, it needs homebrewing to really fill itself out with Reflex and Will based save targetting attacks. I always meant to homebrew up a group of class features and feats that a monk could decide between to extend this idea but... I procrastinated and then 4th edition came out and I stopped being quite as interested in 3.5, since I knew I was probably not going to play it again for years. The only DM in our group who still wants to run 3.5 games also hates the idea of homebrewed or houseruled anything with a passion.

(When the group of players suggested a houserule to make Quantum Bolt and Mega Strength in Aeon/Abberant turn rolled damage dice into auto-successes up to the listed value rather than the book's rule of adding that many extra auto-successes on top of rolled damage, he just stopped running the game. By the Book, getting hit even just barely with a Quantum Bolt, or scratched by a punch from a Nova with even a tiny bit of Megastrength would obliterate any equivalent level character, even if they invested everything they had in Mega Stamina and Health Levels... making the game Mega Dexterity, absolute immunity to an attack type or INSTANT DEATH)

It's a really good idea though, in my opinion.

theMycon
2008-11-10, 01:38 AM
I've seen some decent monks who work sort of like this. However they tend to supplement it with tripping, disarming, sundering, and/or grappling.

My current monk (experiment to see how much they sucked, kept when I realized they're basically invincible) is basically this thread's guy, tripping, and bag of trick (or UMD-wand of summoning).

Since he has 1.5 anyone else's AC*, provoking an AoO to summon as a standard action isn't bad- it even helps, in the sense that everyone else is now confident to move freely. Also, this means he's now flanking with an animal who tears through encounters. With his obscene saves & evasion, he can pin the enemy down while the blaster fireballs 'em. And, while flanking, he can actually hit, occasionally.


*I'm considering... enlarged, his AC & would go down by two, still being the best by far. He'd do more damage & have 10' reach. With combat reflexes, he'd AoO all the darn time. This would help with pinning them down. But his to-hit would also go down by two, which he can't really afford, except when fighting big groups of weak enemies. He's already good at that. And I won't have the feats to spare 'til level seven, at which point I've usually got at least three characters banned.

Signmaker
2008-11-10, 01:46 AM
Does Touch of Golden Ice work through an unarmed attack? I've always assumed no by RAW (though most DMs I know allow it for humour's sake), but I haven't gotten a thoroughly straight answer yet.

If yes, tack that on.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-10, 01:48 AM
Does Touch of Golden Ice work through an unarmed attack? I've always assumed no by RAW (though most DMs I know allow it for humour's sake), but I haven't gotten a thoroughly straight answer yet.

If yes, tack that on.It says "Natural Weapon" and "Fist", so I'd say it is. Though we're at a point where all you're doing is waiting for a nat-1 on a Fort save.

Quietus
2008-11-10, 03:57 AM
I do agree that this build does have a major weakness in the form of having no way to target reflex and/or will saves, barring equipment and magical items. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows of abilities we could use to facilitate that.

As for reducing the MAD even more, it's like Eldariel said - you can almost go Wisdom SAD with this, picking up Intuitive Attack to fix the attack bonus issue. Then dex/con become secondary things, dex for AC/reflex and con for HP/fort. Personally I'd probably try and balance both.

The Fist of the Pharoah thing is pretty neat, but does it distinguish friend from foe? Perhaps more importantly, if it doesn't distinguish, does it at least exclude you from your own effects? If not, you'll probably want to focus on con over dex. The thought of wading into a melee and blinding everyone in an area is pretty awesome though, and that's definitely a good way to get more bang for your punch. I mean, your buck.

So, the most important weakness being the lack of a way to target Reflex/Will saves, does anyone know if there's a way to do anything with these with Stunning Fists? I mean, I know there's the replacement options from PHB2 to set your fists on fire and throw balls of burning ki, but that's not saves, and put simply, 3d6+wis isn't really enough to make me give up the opportunity to blind an enemy/group of enemies. Even if it *is* ranged touch.

turkishproverb
2008-11-10, 04:30 AM
Any thoughts guys? Ways of improving this? Also, I'd like to state again : No discussing whether or not the monk sucks in this thread. It's underpowered, I know, but let's keep this discussion to constructive comments, please?

You can also try adding Poison covered gloves as an option, to add more possible ways to effect an enemy when unarmed attacking.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-10, 04:32 AM
You can also try adding Poison covered gloves as an option, to add more possible ways to effect an enemy when unarmed attacking.Fort saves, yet again.

turkishproverb
2008-11-10, 05:07 AM
Fort saves, yet again.

Mostly fort saves anyway, yes. My point was that it was another option for attack.

Talic
2008-11-10, 05:42 AM
...That carries all the weaknesses of the other ways. If you have an enemy immune to one special effect, it's immune to all of them.

It's really just throwing more eggs in that one basket there.

turkishproverb
2008-11-10, 05:46 AM
...That carries all the weaknesses of the other ways. If you have an enemy immune to one special effect, it's immune to all of them.

It's really just throwing more eggs in that one basket there.

Which is still useful if egging a house.

My point was more options are always good, even if they're in the same vein as the previous ones. And it does open up good combos with poison + stunning fist, for example.

Talic
2008-11-10, 05:55 AM
Yes, it opens up the ability to perform overkill at some things.

However, once you have enough to win against one thing, and are completely vulnerable to another, it makes sense to try to develop ways to win.

Would you rather be able to win a fight, barely, against anything in the multiverse, or

Be able to utterly destroy and dominate, in 1 round, all 13th level caster, 2nd level dragon disciples named Steve in the world, all at once.

??

turkishproverb
2008-11-10, 06:16 AM
Yes, it opens up the ability to perform overkill at some things.

However, once you have enough to win against one thing, and are completely vulnerable to another, it makes sense to try to develop ways to win.

Would you rather be able to win a fight, barely, against anything in the multiverse, or

Be able to utterly destroy and dominate, in 1 round, all 13th level caster, 2nd level dragon disciples named Steve in the world, all at once.

??

Or to, you know, make up for other weaknesses. There are poisons that lower base stats for heaven's sake.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-10, 06:32 AM
Or to, you know, make up for other weaknesses. There are poisons that lower base stats for heaven's sake.All poisons have a Fort save. Most of the time, the DC is less than 20, and generally is ~15. Not changing the problem, really.

Talic
2008-11-10, 06:50 AM
Or to, you know, make up for other weaknesses. There are poisons that lower base stats for heaven's sake.

Let's see. Name all the types of creatures immune to stunning.

Now name the types of creatures immune to poison.

Look at the overlap.

So, now you have a character that can dish out 2-3 fort saves a round.

Unless it's undead, construct, plant, or a couple other types.

Then it's completely hosed.

Say it with me kids.

Hosed.

That seems like a glaring weakness to me. So it makes sense to me, that rather than add random fort save 72 to the character....

that you, you know, put in something that allows the character to be more effective against creature types immune to all of those saves.

Because the poison can be DC 52, cost 1gp, and have an initial and secondary effect of 10d20 Con damage...

If the creature's immune to poison, it doesn't do diddly.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-10, 07:14 AM
I once played a character headed toward Monk 1/ Sorcerer 4/ Enlightened Fist 5/ Master of the East Wind (http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Prestige.pdf) 10 with Ascetic Mage (16th level Monk abilities without belt/tattoo, 18th level Sorcerer spellcasting, +12 BAB/+14 fractional). I'd taken Draconic Heritage/Breath (Lightning) and Blinding Breath, which nothing is immune to unless it doesn't rely on sight. It was before Spell Compendium ruined Bladeweave, and Arcane Fist is great with Shivering Touch or many of the slightly less broken touch spells. He'd actually turned out to be a spellcaster first and an unarmed combatant second, spamming debuff and status spells before going to town with Flurry and Arcane Strike.

Keld Denar
2008-11-10, 07:33 AM
I once played a character headed toward Monk 1/ Sorcerer 4/ Enlightened Fist 5/ Master of the East Wind (http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Prestige.pdf) 10 with Ascetic Mage (16th level Monk abilities without belt/tattoo, 18th level Sorcerer spellcasting, +12 BAB/+14 fractional). I'd taken Draconic Heritage/Breath (Lightning) and Blinding Breath, which nothing is immune to unless it doesn't rely on sight. It was before Spell Compendium ruined Bladeweave, and Arcane Fist is great with Shivering Touch or many of the slightly less broken touch spells. He'd actually turned out to be a spellcaster first and an unarmed combatant second, spamming debuff and status spells before going to town with Flurry and Arcane Strike.

See? This...the ability to target multiple save, or not target any saves at all. This is what a monk needs to suceed. Fort is the strongest save of all, because most things like animals, magical beasts, outsiders, dragons, etc, have strong fort saves. The fact that CON scale upwards pretty quickly too among higher CRed foes means that fort is the worst save to target. Reflex would be a much wiser choice, if possible. But alas, game designers threw all of monks offensive abilities as fort saves.

Also, Unarmed Swordsage with maneuvers from Shadow Hand can stun, disable, do ability damage (which is only 1/2ed on a save) and so much more. Immune to that? Adaptive Style, swap over to some Desert Wind stuff, or Stone Dragon power, or Diamond Mind shanananananananananagans. Regardless, you can adapt to a multitude of foes, instead of hiding in the back because "everything easily makes my saves or is outright immune".

Fishy
2008-11-10, 07:50 AM
The traditional way for martial characters to target Will saves is fear effects of various kinds: and of course monks don't have Intimidate as a class skill, and use CHA as their dump stat. Dagnabbit. And again, look at the critters that are immune to fear, and look at the critters that are immune to stuns.

If you wanted to try it, though, there's Dragontouched and Draconic Heritage (Red), or Wild Talent and Illithid Heritage, or Martial Study (anything Devoted Spirit). The last one is easiest, obviously, but then you're playing a base Monk and using ToB content, when Swordsage is right there.

Anyway. I've always thought Disciple of the Eye (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060106a&page=2) was a pretty cool PrC. Go with Dragonborn Of Bahamut to get yourself dragonblood-ed, then take Entangling Breath for something to target reflex saves?

EDIT: And is anyone else irritated that Ascetic Mage requires 2nd level spells and IUS, instead of 1st level spells and Still Mind?

Fishy
2008-11-10, 07:53 AM
EDIT: Oops, double post. :/

Epinephrine
2008-11-10, 08:16 AM
If you're not opposed to using the ToB, dipping one level for Swordsage can let you take Shadow Sun Ninja, which adds to Monk levels for most things.

The Falling Sun Strike feat allows you to use stunning fist with any Setting Sun strike, and adds 1 to the DC of stunning fists (nice bonus).

Quietus
2008-11-10, 10:12 AM
I once played a character headed toward Monk 1/ Sorcerer 4/ Enlightened Fist 5/ Master of the East Wind (http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Prestige.pdf) 10 with Ascetic Mage (16th level Monk abilities without belt/tattoo, 18th level Sorcerer spellcasting, +12 BAB/+14 fractional). I'd taken Draconic Heritage/Breath (Lightning) and Blinding Breath, which nothing is immune to unless it doesn't rely on sight. It was before Spell Compendium ruined Bladeweave, and Arcane Fist is great with Shivering Touch or many of the slightly less broken touch spells. He'd actually turned out to be a spellcaster first and an unarmed combatant second, spamming debuff and status spells before going to town with Flurry and Arcane Strike.

I like this. It adds a lot more feats required, but you could instead go with Dragonborn (as someone else mentioned, sorry but I'm on limited time and suck at remembering names), use the breath weapon option, and use their metabreath feats to start targetting Reflex saves. Anything with Evasion tends to have low fort, in my experience, so now we're branching out a bit... at the cost of more feats. I'd probably drop Ability Focus now that we're looking at different special attacks, I'd rather have Entangling Breath than Ability focus.


Oh, and to those of you mentioning ToB : Yes, we all know how Swordsage = good Monk. I'm not looking to make a martial striker Monk by making a swordsage, I'm trying to make a use for a much-maligned base class that can contribute to the party in a useful way, without having to resort to Swordsages. I do love ToB, it's got a lot of fun stuff to work with, but I'm trying to do something based around stunning fist, not something that completely replaces it with other things just because it's easier.

DrizztFan24
2008-11-10, 10:42 AM
Who needs gloves? Monks become immune to poison anyways so just take a bath in a contact poison and rust monster essence and run around touching people/equipment.

AslanCross
2008-11-10, 05:15 PM
I personally preferred the Stunning Fist extension feats from the PHB2. You can actually make Ryu from Street Fighter now.

Yeah, I found those pretty awesome.
<DM> The orc charges you. What do you do?
<Monk> SHORYUKEN! (Fiery Fist)

The Hadouken is pretty cool too. The problem is, the ki blast is practically a full-round action.

Eorran
2008-11-10, 05:43 PM
Who needs gloves? Monks become immune to poison anyways so just take a bath in a contact poison and rust monster essence and run around touching people/equipment.

That works until you want your fellow PCs to cast a touch spell on you. (Healing, anyone?).

Also may cause awkward social situations.

Aquillion
2008-11-10, 05:54 PM
...That carries all the weaknesses of the other ways. If you have an enemy immune to one special effect, it's immune to all of them.

It's really just throwing more eggs in that one basket there.
It does at least give you two chances to have the enemy roll a 1 on their save, which is a non-trivial improvement. But most poison is pretty expensive, too... you're pretty much stuck using Drow Poison, which is really useless for anything but spamming it until the enemy rolls a 1. And also, it only lasts until the first enemy you poison, right? Not so good against a group.

Still, it's not a totally useless build. Touch of Golden Ice and Drow Poison will apply to every hit you make when you flurry, unlike Stunning Fist. But at that point... if you're making a full attack, you might as well be a full melee class and kill whatever you're attacking, rather than hoping they roll a natural 1.

Toxic Avenger
2008-11-10, 05:56 PM
Actually, only priests and divorce lawyers are allowed to be marital status-dealers around these parts...

Oh, wait...I misread the title...

Nevermind, then...

Quietus
2008-11-11, 01:17 AM
Actually, only priests and divorce lawyers are allowed to be marital status-dealers around these parts...

Oh, wait...I misread the title...

Nevermind, then...

I give you an "A" for effort!

And a C in reading comprehension. =P



As for poison, I don't really see that as viable, because it's ridiculously (prohibitively) expensive.

So, looking at this so far, using a dragonborn monk, we can force saves vs stun, blind, and nausea through fort, saves vs entanglement and blind through reflex... any way we can get some Will saves happening here?

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-11, 01:28 AM
Blinding Breath is a 4th level spell (was 3rd level before SC). My character also used Bladeweave, which at the time every attack forced a Will save to avoid being Dazed for a round. I only used my Stunning Fist uses with Arcane Fist, to cast a touch spell as part of a full attack. In one round, cast Bladeweave (Swift Action), activate Arcane Strike (Free Action), full attack with Flurry of Blows, on the first attack use Arcane Fist to cast Chill Touch. Every attack forces a Will save vs Dazed and a Fort save for a point of Str damage, plus it gets a decent amount of damage per attack without relying on Str or Power Attack.

Khanderas
2008-11-11, 02:54 AM
Originally Posted by Flickerdart
Except Undead have abysmal Fortitude saves, so this fellow should be able to cut through them like the Gurren Lagann through butter.Can you Stun a table? Daze it? Undead are immune, then. It's like a Rogue, but worse.
Ok, Sunder the undead then if they are pure objects.
I Invoke the Rule of Cool on that one, you may not object ! :smallcool:
Enter that crazy priest from Braindead.... I Kick Ass For The Lord !!

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-11, 03:18 AM
Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
I think that's what he was referring to when he asked if you can stun a table. If so, then it would work on undead, but since you can't stun a table, you also cannot use Stunning Fist on the undead.

That's part of the reason why whenever I play a Cleric I take Radiant Servant of Pelor and at least one item that increases my level for Turn Undead. Then nobody has to worry about what they're immune to because they all get destroyed in the first round of combat. For all of the immunities and buffs undead get, they're one of the weakest challenges in the game when faced with something focused on their destruction. Though that still doesn't make the Monk any more useful against constructs, oozes, elementals, plants...

Quietus
2008-11-11, 05:40 AM
Blinding Breath is a 4th level spell (was 3rd level before SC). My character also used Bladeweave, which at the time every attack forced a Will save to avoid being Dazed for a round. I only used my Stunning Fist uses with Arcane Fist, to cast a touch spell as part of a full attack. In one round, cast Bladeweave (Swift Action), activate Arcane Strike (Free Action), full attack with Flurry of Blows, on the first attack use Arcane Fist to cast Chill Touch. Every attack forces a Will save vs Dazed and a Fort save for a point of Str damage, plus it gets a decent amount of damage per attack without relying on Str or Power Attack.



Ohh, a spell. Well, that makes things a little more difficult, then. Either we'd have to look at multiclassing into a caster-class, or give up Blinding Breath. And multiclassing into said caster-class means less stunning fists per day, which is kinda what I'm aiming at.

Neat idea, though.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-11, 06:31 AM
Ohh, a spell. Well, that makes things a little more difficult, then. Either we'd have to look at multiclassing into a caster-class, or give up Blinding Breath. And multiclassing into said caster-class means less stunning fists per day, which is kinda what I'm aiming at.

Neat idea, though.

As has already been pointed out plenty of times, Stunning Fist is inherently flawed. Out of 15 creature types, 5 are outright immune to it, that's 1/3 of the types of opponents you'll face. An improvement for a status-dealer Monk is to multiclass or prestige class into something else that's good at putting status effects on opponents, because a Monk just isn't good enough at it on its own. Tacking Entangling Exhalation onto a Monk is not a fix, a single-classed Commoner could go Dragonborn and pick up Entangling Exhalation and Recover Breath to be a good status dealer. Maybe if you go with the Martial Monk variant (Dragon 310) or find another way to get Intimidate as a class skill and take Frightful Presence (DCN) it could work, but it's still not as good as if you multiclass or prestige class out for more versatility.

A Monk 1/ Sorcerer 4/ Enlightened Fist 5/ Master of the East Wind 10 gets only three fewer Stunning Fists/day than what a Monk 20 has, and he can use them to cast touch spells during full-attacks. That turns Stunning Fist into tricks like dealing extra damage and save-or-Str damage (Chill Touch), make Undead save-or-run (Chill Touch), deal a disabling amount of Dex damage (Shivering Touch), deal damage and heal yourself (Vampiric Touch), deal extra damage and get a bonus to hit (Shocking Grasp), etc. In the early levels you can spam spells like Color Spray, Web, and Glitterdust, and use your unarmed combat abilities as backup. In the later levels you'll be putting out some serious damage with Arcane Strike and Flurry of Blows, plus throwing around all the debuffing/status spells like Blinding Breath.

The biggest improvement you can make to a status-dealer monk build is to forget about staying single-classed, because the class just can't do it on its own.

Talic
2008-11-11, 07:24 AM
It does at least give you two chances to have the enemy roll a 1 on their save, which is a non-trivial improvement. But most poison is pretty expensive, too... you're pretty much stuck using Drow Poison, which is really useless for anything but spamming it until the enemy rolls a 1. And also, it only lasts until the first enemy you poison, right? Not so good against a group.

Still, it's not a totally useless build. Touch of Golden Ice and Drow Poison will apply to every hit you make when you flurry, unlike Stunning Fist. But at that point... if you're making a full attack, you might as well be a full melee class and kill whatever you're attacking, rather than hoping they roll a natural 1.

Another chance to roll a 1 is non-trivial? Let's look:

{table=header]# of saves | Chance of failure
1 | 5%
2 | 9.75%
3 | ~14.26%
4 | ~18.55%
5 | ~22.62%
6 | ~26.49%
7 | ~30.17%
8 | ~33.66%
9 | ~36.98%
10 | ~40.13%[/table]

So, if you have 10 forced saves, on which a 1 will fail, it's just about equivalent to the character that forces a 13+ save. The difference between 1 and 2 is less than 5%. Every difference after that is less than the first.

It takes 14 forced saves to even have better than a 50% chance...

And even if every hit is forcing 3 saves, that's still 5 hits... The fight should be over by the time you get 5 hits. The charger will likely do it in 2. The mage? 1-3, by targeting the weak save.

I mean really, if you're going the save-or-X route, play a sorceror. Monks are too inflexible and limited to pull it off.

Quietus
2008-11-12, 04:29 AM
@Biffoniacus_Furiou : Yes, but I have a distinct dislike for any argument when the question is "How do I optimize this, without completely changing it?", and the answer is "Completely change it". I agree, your way is far more optimized, but it's more about the spellcasting than the stunning fist. Don't get me wrong, I like it - and might even consider using it at some point, because it sounds like fun. It just suggests a different flavor than what I'm asking for.

*Reads his above post* Well. That from a guy who's answer to a guy who wanted to play a Drow in a level-1 start PbP was "Make an elf with black skin and white hair". Yay hypocrisy.


That all being said, where's this Master of the East Wind from? I searched the Prestige Class Index, and didn't find it.

::Edit:: Oh, Dragon Magazine. I don't have access to those. Anything that could replace that in that spellcasting monk build?

Aquillion
2008-11-12, 04:39 AM
Another chance to roll a 1 is non-trivial? Let's look:

{table=header]# of saves | Chance of failure
1 | 5%
2 | 9.75%
3 | ~14.26%
4 | ~18.55%
5 | ~22.62%
6 | ~26.49%
7 | ~30.17%
8 | ~33.66%
9 | ~36.98%
10 | ~40.13%[/table]

So, if you have 10 forced saves, on which a 1 will fail, it's just about equivalent to the character that forces a 13+ save. The difference between 1 and 2 is less than 5%. Every difference after that is less than the first.

It takes 14 forced saves to even have better than a 50% chance...

And even if every hit is forcing 3 saves, that's still 5 hits... The fight should be over by the time you get 5 hits. The charger will likely do it in 2. The mage? 1-3, by targeting the weak save.It's not one extra save, it's one extra save per hit. Although I agree, of course, it's still not very good compared to the more sane option of forcing saves your opponents might actually fail on something other than a 1; I'm certainly not saying Monks are particularly useful for anything.

But drow poison is so cheap, and they're already immune to poison at higher levels, so why the heck not.

EDIT: Oh, right, because the poison only lasts until the first time you hit something. Well, technically, a monk can use their punches and kicks interchangeably -- can you poison each limb separately?

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-12, 04:49 AM
Master of the East Wind gets 10/10 spellcasting and 10/10 Monk abilities. It is absolutely necessary to gain 10/10 spellcasting in the last ten levels of the build to have 9th level spells by level 20, and MotEW is definitely the class to use. Barring that, I'd say maybe finish the build with Dragon Slayer 1/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 3, or any other combination of the standard Gish PrCs as long as you don't lose any more spellcasting.

There are no good choices for a replacement for Master of the East Wind, and given the specifics of those four PrCs (http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Prestige.pdf) (each continues progressing the same as the first two levels shown, each gives the Air domain at the 7th level) there are really no game balance reasons to disallow them. "It's from Dragon magazine" is not a good enough reason for something to be outright banned IMO, and it would be very easy to include an Order of the Four Winds into any setting.

Project_Mayhem
2008-11-12, 04:53 AM
Oh, right, because the poison only lasts until the first time you hit something. Well, technically, a monk can use their punches and kicks interchangeably -- can you poison each limb separately?

You might read it (as my group did) that a monk can make attacks with any part of his body. So, extrapolating cheesely, thats an infinite number of striking surfaces. So the poison lasts till you wash.

Quietus
2008-11-12, 05:07 AM
Master of the East Wind gets 10/10 spellcasting and 10/10 Monk abilities. It is absolutely necessary to gain 10/10 spellcasting in the last ten levels of the build to have 9th level spells by level 20, and MotEW is definitely the class to use. Barring that, I'd say maybe finish the build with Dragon Slayer 1/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 3, or any other combination of the standard Gish PrCs as long as you don't lose any more spellcasting.

There are no good choices for a replacement for Master of the East Wind, and given the specifics of those four PrCs (http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Prestige.pdf) (each continues progressing the same as the first two levels shown, each gives the Air domain at the 7th level) there are really no game balance reasons to disallow them. "It's from Dragon magazine" is not a good enough reason for something to be outright banned IMO, and it would be very easy to include an Order of the Four Winds into any setting.


The trouble there is that I simply do not have access to the books. In my experience, Dragon Magazine material is creatively balanced, though this one class in particular doesn't seem to be too outrageous, all things considered. It DOESN'T, however, appear to continue to give Stunning Fist attempts, meaning you'd have 1 from your Monk levels, 5 from Enlightened Fist, and 3 from your other 15 levels. Not that that would really matter, since you're effectively an unarmored duskblade with wis-to-AC now, not a monk. Which is not what I was looking for, sorry.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-12, 06:16 AM
"A monk who selects this feat may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to her monk level, plus one more time per day for every four levels she has in classes other than monk." I take that as meaning that any class that gives +1 level of Monk abilities per level would also give +1 Stunning Fist per level, so only your four Sorcerer levels would cause you to fall behind. Besides that, Ascetic Mage adds your Cha bonus to AC, so Wisdom is actually a dump stat for that build. Like I said, it only uses the Stunning Fist uses to activate Arcane Fist from Enlightened Fist, because the DC is too low.

Stunning Fist is not the only status effect that a Monk can deal, and it is far from the best to focus on. If I were to build a Monk focused on making Stunning Fist attacks I'd build differently for offense and defense.

Defensively I'd probably make him a small sized race for starters. Whisper Gnome (RoS) is the "best" choice, Gnome or Halfling would also be good. I'd probably use the Hand and Foot style (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#monkVariantFightingSty les), get Ability Focus at 1, Dodge at 3, Titan Fighting (RoS) at 6, Mobility at 9, Spring Attack at 12, Improved Natural Attack at 15, and probably Bounding Assault at 18.

Offensively I'd go Human Martial Monk (http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Classes-Base.pdf), which loses the Knowledges but gains Intimidate as class skills, gets only 3 skill points/level, and can choose any Fighter bonus feats at 1, 2, and 6. That's three feats at level 1 (five with flaws), I'd probably get both Pharaoh's Fist and Rattlesnake Strike from Sandstorm. Note that both are on a separate save DC from Stunning Fist, so Ability Focus would have to be taken for each of them, though each could be used in a single full attack or even on the same attack without taking Rapid Stunning. That means Stunning Fist, Improved Initiative, Rattlesnake Strike, Ability Focus: Rattlesnake Strike, and Virulent Poison from Savage Species at level 1. Pharaoh's Fist can be taken at level 2, Ability Focus: Pharaoh's Fist at 3, Frightful Presence (DCN) at 6 along with Extra Stunning, probably Ability Focus: Frightful Presence at 9, Improved Natural Attack at 12, and I'm not really sure what I'd get at 15 and 18. Rattlesnake Strike would have a DC of 14 + 1/2 level + Wis bonus, and dealing Con damage will reduce their chances of making future saves. Single opponents get poisoned, multiple opponents get the Pharaoh's Fist, and Frightful Presence gives them a -2 to saves and attacks if they fail its save. Definitely doable as a 5th character, but not the best 5th character and probably not a stand-in for any of the other four.

Quietus
2008-11-12, 09:19 PM
Like I said, it only uses the Stunning Fist uses to activate Arcane Fist from Enlightened Fist, because the DC is too low.

This is the problem. I asked how to optimize Stunning Fist and other things, and your answer was "Don't use stunning fist". This is pretty much an epidemic among these forums, where "Don't play a monk, make a swordsage" comes up in EVERY monk thread, even if it's specifically stated in the original post that Swordsage is not an option.

As for the martial monk stuff; That does actually seem really interesting. However, we're again looking at Dragon Magazine material, which is not allowed in most people's games, mine included, from what I've seen. Making it kind of pointless.

elliott20
2008-11-12, 09:48 PM
I'm still waiting for Sir_Giacamo (or however you spell his username) to show up with his brand spanking new monk build that "proves" monks are very much competitive compared to an SS.

Aquillion
2008-11-13, 06:25 AM
This is the problem. I asked how to optimize Stunning Fist and other things, and your answer was "Don't use stunning fist". This is pretty much an epidemic among these forums, where "Don't play a monk, make a swordsage" comes up in EVERY monk thread, even if it's specifically stated in the original post that Swordsage is not an option.

As for the martial monk stuff; That does actually seem really interesting. However, we're again looking at Dragon Magazine material, which is not allowed in most people's games, mine included, from what I've seen. Making it kind of pointless.
That's not what you asked. What you asked was:
I'm just curious regarding what people's thoughts are on his potential role would be, as a fifth member of an iconic (healer cleric, blaster wizard, fighter tank, rogue skillmonkey) party, if he were to focus on his Stunning Fist abilities.

Now then. As I said, I think the monk might actually have a potential role in a party, if he takes his role as a debuffer, of sorts, through the use of Stunning Fist and other related feats. I don't have access to all my books at the moment, but the following six are from core monster feats, Complete Warrior, and Oriental Adventures.And the answer (which just about everyone here has quite honestly given you) is no. It won't work. His one trick won't be worth very much overall; he'll still be overshadowed by everyone else and will not contribute effectively. What else do you want us to say? You told us not to tell you that the Monk is underpowered, then you gave us an extremely underpowered Monk build and asked us for our thoughts on it.

What it comes down to is that the 'debuffer' role requires, at a bare minimum, attacks that hit every saving throw. There is no reasonable way for the monk to get access to that short of alternative classes or other "don't be a monk" suggestions. The vanilla monk can never effectively do what you're asking us to do here; the answer to your question is that no, it doesn't work. That's all there is to say about that.

Incidentally, if your goal really is simply to optimize stunning fist (and not to optimize the monk) then that gives us a lot more flexibility. For instance, Stunning Fist is actually comparatively effective for a druid (who can use it while wild shaped, and benefits from a high wis mod anyway). They don't get as many attacks per day, but they shouldn't need that many anyway. Of course, this is all very non-optimal, but who needs to optimize a Druid?

Assuming that that's out of the question, though, I have to ask... why are you interested in the monk? I mean this as a serious question. Is there one particular aspect of the monk you're interested in? Is it just the idea that you could take a class that everyone else has dismissed as weak, and finding a mechanically effective use for it?

If it's just that -- if you're just interested in being the one who digs a class out of the garbage bin -- then I recommend you work with the Fighter instead. They're another fairly weak class that most people dismiss, but their bonus feats do give you at least something to be creative with; you could probably find a few fun fighter builds if you looked hard enough.

Stupendous_Man
2008-11-13, 01:11 PM
You might read it (as my group did) that a monk can make attacks with any part of his body. So, extrapolating cheesely, thats an infinite number of striking surfaces. So the poison lasts till you wash.

Pelvic thrust of doom?

Deadly touch, man. Deadly touch.

Project_Mayhem
2008-11-13, 02:44 PM
Pelvic thrust of doom?

It's all about the groin based coup de gras. Killing a man with your John Thomas is just pro.

Sir Giacomo
2008-11-13, 05:42 PM
Hmmm Quietus,

some ideas of mine:
- indeed fort-based saves mostly are the strongest enemy save you are going to meet, so building your monk tactics on stunning fist is probably not advisable
- stunning fist is best when it gets added ON TOP of already high damage or something nasty. Sure, that giant has a high fort save. But if you hit him at the same time with a 50+ damage hit (high monk damage base dice help you here), a contact poison (you have poison immunity at high levels), a touch spell effect (from a ring of lesser spell storing, say ghoul touch), AND a stunning fist (possibyl two effects with rapid stunning), yes - then you have a good chance to take him down in that round.
- having said that, I'd only take stunning fist expansions that do not add some more effect in case the enemy does not make the save, but rather which force more saves (rapid stunning, Pharao's fist, I guess)
- ToB is good for either 1) dipping into the very frontloaded warblade, crusader or swordsage to get you more maneuvers for more variability (the multiclass rules are generous here, and not necessarily the highest-level maneuvers are the best). Or 2) just get martial study/stance feats for those key maneuvers that you really need for a DEX/WIS monk. Some maneuvers add more attacks, some provide you with means to make the best out of jump skill (sudden jump for a monk with high jump skill is a hidden pounce ability)
- I think there is a level 2 cleric spell out there in the spell compendium which gives +10 WIS for a time (=+5 to stun DC). Either UMD it, spell store it, or get it with cleric/sacred fist monk combinations. Some other spell compendium spells also give good WIS bonuses (but I guess they are higher level). Also, the pixie could be a race to consider, since they have massive WIS and DEX bonuses and can fly (although the LA means you lose your WIS gain through lower monk level for stunning DC).
- get a means of flying fast and the flyby attack feat. Saves the costly spring attack tree, and you'll have a very high move (the monk enhancement move bonus comes on top the 60ft flying speed). You'll need to fly, anyhow, to stun flying creatures/opponents.

- Giacomo

Stupendous_Man
2008-11-13, 06:29 PM
It's all about the groin based coup de gras. Killing a man with your John Thomas is just pro.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i131/Number655321/Halo3-teabagging.jpg

Project_Mayhem
2008-11-13, 08:55 PM
win

I think we are in rats alley
Where the dead men lost their bones

elliott20
2008-11-13, 09:14 PM
fighting game example of the Pelvic Thrust of Doom

http://www.wikicheats.com/images/thumb/5/51/SC4_Voldo.jpg/250px-SC4_Voldo.jpg

Project_Mayhem
2008-11-13, 09:18 PM
fighting game example of the Pelvic Thrust of Doom

Voldo upsets me

Stupendous_Man
2008-11-13, 09:21 PM
Voldo upsets me

You ever play Captain Falcon?

OOOHHHHH YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!

Da Beast
2008-11-13, 09:40 PM
It'd be more efficient to make it happen through ToB. When you think about it, ToB has precisely those mechanics, which is why it's heralded as the replacement for oldschool melee - you get a variety of status-causing attacks. Taking it one level further, the best thing to do would be to write a new school specifically designed for Status Causing (Setting Sun is mostly focused on different basic [Unarmed] attacks and Shadow Hand is mostly the Sneak Attack school). Something like Thunder Fist would make for a perfect school of such type.

I started work on a school based around buffing and debuffing based. It was called inner flame and flavored loosely after Lucario's aura abilities. I don't think I ever got too far and quite working on it when forth edition came out, but I can look to see if I still have anything from it.

Edit: seem to have gotten ride of it.

Collin152
2008-11-14, 12:02 AM
Actually, only priests and divorce lawyers are allowed to be marital status-dealers around these parts...

Oh, wait...I misread the title...

Nevermind, then...

Here I was looking for a place to make a crack like "Overbearing wives are Marital Controllers"

You beat me to the punch, like the ideal Monk!

Demons_eye
2008-11-14, 11:42 AM
Saint template gives +2 DC to all special attacks,spells, supernatural, spelllike,& extraordinary abilities.Gain an Insight bonus to AC equal to the Saintís Wisdom modifier,Gain Fast Healing (HD/2), Con +2 Wis +2 Cha +4 La+2