Originally Posted by willpell
Please explain this one. The VOP Monk seems like an obvious idea, but there was a thread a while back where it was stated quite emphatically by a large number of optimizers that the already-weak Monk absolutely needs certain magic items to not be even more unable to function than it is. Amulet of Mighty Fists was one thing that was cited, along with the usual things that wizards can do and fighter-types can't, such as flying or seeing the invisible. I'm not familiar with Kensai, does it fix any of these issues?
In theory, ravages and afflictions were supposed to cause just
suffering/pain/etc. To quote Razia the Archangel from Magic: the Gathering, "Justice is toothless without punishment. Righteousness cannot exist without the suffering of the guilty."
(Personally I would have said "Innocence" there since "Righteousness" already means pretty much the same thing that Razia is getting at and so the point is less meaningful than it could have been.)
I haven't read all of CD, but I do consider it one of the better supplements based just on the Deities chapter.
They may not be intentionally evil, but they were clearly an aberration against life which is too dangerous to permit to exist. Good still has an obligation to destroy such things, although it also should be trying to prevent them from arising in the first place; the rules don't provide any mechanisms to do that. It's possible that there should be a third alignment axis with Nature things on one end and Aberrations and Undead on the other, where they're inimical to life and the natural world but not evil in a moral sense.
Wizards actually web-published a non-evil Assassin called the Avenger. Though going Lawful rather than Evil is dubious given that Law is usually associated with Honor and assassination, while not necessarily Evil, is definitely dishonorable.
Kensai's in complete warrior. It's key class feature, signature weapon, allows it to enhance its weapon as a magic weapon without a gp cost, and the unarmed strike can be the designated signature weapon. Unfortunately this can only get you up to +9 worth of abilities and just flying and blind-sight will take up +4 of that. Kensai doesn't even begin to close the gap on a VoP monk.
As for assassins and honor, that goes to motivation and the subjective concept of honor. If serving your master is more honorable than a sneak-attack kill is dishonorable, then you're following a lawful dictate while breaking a less important one, the net value being an overall lawful action. In otherwords, without a clear definition of honor to go by, most anything can be specc'ed as honorable/dishonorable. It's kinda like good and evil in the moral sense that way.