Um, well, less, questions, and more ideas for tinkering based on play and observation and thoughts on things none casters need/benefit from and that fit certain themes.


Toward that end, this is gonna be long winded.


Spoiler: Related to gear dependency.
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Ok, so, I've looked at Greater Ki Defense and Greater Ki Strike. There helpful, but I can't help but feel like unless there both gonna be bonus feats (I don't mean the kind were you pick them off a list or pick one or the other, I mean the kind were at a set level you just flat get it, period. And again, that's for both of them.) that they should just be class features instead. The idea is there, but it doesn't feel fully realized on that front. I'd also add related to them that letting greater Ki defense pick up more in the way of how many bonuses it can apply at a time would not hurt. (Nore would adding heavy Fortification and Freedom of movement to the defense list.)

As it stand, the way I'm reading Defense in particularly, I can get 1 +4 Armor ability at most in my whole career. Meanwhile the Rogue/Ranger/Scout bought a +1 Chainshirt, a +1 Buckler, and put Animated on the Buckler. Then he cut some deal with the cleric for Magic Vestments on his Armor and shield, and in addition to an extra +6 AC, has +16 worth of special property's.

Now, potential for a higher Dex, and Wis (again, potentially very high Wis at that.) to AC will mitigate that AC bonus. But what about that +4 worth of Armor Properties vs +16? Even if I'm being VERY conservative, over the career, I'm still at +4 Special properties vs. +9 for just armor.



And to top it off, the Ranger/Rogue/Scout get's to have there magic weapon properties (and comparable bonus to me for, at most, a 3rd level pearl of power and maybe a chunk of the price of a lesser rod of extend spell and 1 scroll 1 time, and that's with just core.) And the armor property. Meanwhile, the Monk, unless he makes it a point to qualify for both feats independent of the 1 bonus feat at level 10, has to choose weapon abilities, or armor abilities, but needs both just the same. And again, my reading says, 1 ability on that weapon, while the Ranger/Rogue/Scout can afford at least +5 worth on 2 weapons or if there using 1 weapon, can go to +9 worth of special abilities.


Now, true, I can change them more easily, but that's NOT that big an advantage outside of VERY low level/low op game play. The level were a core PHB monk might be able to keep up on it's own or Kensai would be an amazing PRC instead of interesting but not terribly potent.

So, related to those two feats, I think I would suggest making them class features, and moving them to scale up some so that more bonuses can be acquired over a career. (The points mentioned are NOT start points, there end points. Just, to make sure I'm coming through clearly on that. ) Given also that, on top of the above, simply picking up Carmadine Monk or Astetic Mage or Kung Fu Genius could lock you out of having access to them as presently configured. Or at least to both of them, when the intent seems to be that you could get both of them. Or a DM that bans Psiconics and won't let you put ranks in Autohypnosis.




This leads to the second thought I had.

The 2 feats/class features are covering 2 of the bigger requirements for basic functionality in the game for martial/skill characters. Magic Weapons and Magic Armor. And there are some class features to help take care of the skill use side of this.

But what about those flat, static, expensive bonuses required for stats and saves to keep them up to snuff? That cloak of resistance, the Periphery of Wisdom, the Amulet of Health, The Gloves of Dex or Gauntlets of Oger Power/Belt of Giants Strength, and the various tomes at higher levels. You have to have all of them, there boring, there a gear dependency, and there one you have to tolerate.

But what if you didn't? What if, for these bonuses, you had a class feature or two, spread out over 20 levels, giving you a +5 Resistance Bonus to saves, a +6 Enchantment Bonus to Wis (or Cha/Int if you have Ascetic mage or Carmine Monk/Kung Fu Genius.), a +6 Enchanment Bonus to Con, A +6 Enchantment Bonus to either Str or Dex depending on the characters general preference for one or the other at level 1, and also gave a +5 Inherent Bonus to those same stats.

Not all at once, you'd start off with like a +2 Enchantment bonus to the stats and a +1 Resistance bonus to saves when the class features come online. Over time they'd build up. And by Mid levels you'd have your +6 Enchantment bonuses and start picking up Inherent bonuses 1 at a time over the remainder of the career. Finishing at like, level 17 or 18 so that there are a couple of levels left to actually enjoy the bonuses.

They don't really need much of the standard gear items now with these changes/add ons, so there not gear dependent and indeed, are highly self sufficient, but the bonuses can't be stacked with them anyway, so pile it on play is avoided. And it frees up gold in a standard wealth by level game to do other things. Buy items that are cool or flavorful or novel but not essential under normal circumstances. Give money to charity in character in amounts that really have some oomph. Put that money into a nation building experiment if there so inclined/it's the right kind of game. Options are on the table.


Spoiler: Related to Mobility.
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So, the next point is actually more straight forward. I'd like to propose a pair of monk feats and a tweak to the wording of one class feature, to help improve the monks mobility. It's good, but I feel like this would really clench it.

Tweak: The class feature, it's really more an editing tweak. Dance with the elements has a mention in the design notes that it should be compatible with haste. It might not hurt to just add a sentence explicitly mentioning that in the actual class feature description at the end. "This movement speed explicitly stacks with castings of the Haste spell.". or something.


Feats: There are 2 I'd like to propose making options. (These are first passes at the basic idea. )

Leaf On The Wind:

Prerequisite: Dance With The Elements Class feature. Flurry Of Blows class feature.

Benefit: A number of times per day equal to your Wisdom Modifier (Or Charisma, or Intelligence, if you are using a feat such as Astetic Mage or Kung Fu Genius or Carmine Monk.) + 1, you may activate this feat as a swift action. Once activated, for the following ten rounds, you may choose to expend your swift action to move up to your speed, including improvements from outside sources such as the hasten spell. This movement provokes AoO's as normal, and is subject to reductions in speed if the player attempts to use it in combination with applicable circumstances, such as using the tumble skill. This is an extraordinary ability.



Tigers Pounce:

Prerequisite: Dance With The Elements class feature. Flurry Of Blows class feature. BAB +6/+1.

Benefit: Upon taking this feat, a Monk has trained himself in the art of closing quickly with an opponent and incapacitating him in an efficient manner. He gains the benefits of the Pounce Ability, as Described in the Monster Manual. This is an extraordinary ability.



Not everyone needs one or both, so by making them feats, it gives players the option to have something good to fit that fast melee skirmisher fighting style (Cause I can not recall the last time I tried to build something like that or help with building something like that were dipping for Pounce and Dipping Cleric for Travel Devotion and Turn Undead to fuel it weren't the first thing I did.), while requiring a wait and a resource investment so as not to make Monk a cheap go to dip to get his on other builds. And by having that + the Existing options for Damage and Debuffing and the other mobility increasers already on the table out of the box, everything that could reasonably be needed at up to high end of Mid Optimization for that play style is all available in one convenient location.



Spoiler: Lastly: Combat Manuver Checks.
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Ok. So.

Experience has taught that the higher level one get's, the harder it is to use things like grappling and tripping. Monsters get bigger, get crazy high Str, get full BAB, Get big size bonuses and benefits to there checks to resist and use these tactics against you.

Even at low levels, you learn you want Powerful Build or Enlarge Person and Expansion or just a size large race to use these things effectively.

Now, the Monk as presented, with the 2 stats, gets around the BAB and high stat requirements with some proper investment in those 2 stats. But the Size Modifiers do have a tendency to put it over the top.

Therefor, I propose a class feature.

All The Force Of A Great Typhoon:

For the purposes of determining results of contested combat maneuver checks such as Grappling, Tripping, Bulls Rush, Over Run and Trample, The Monk, starting at 1st level, is treated as size category large, and gains the applicable benefits related to those checks. If he has a feat/magic item/ext that requires or benefits him being smaller then his opponent for such a check, for the purpose of using that feat/magic item/ext, he is teated as his normal size category, but still gains the benefits of this class feature.

He gains no other penalties or benefits associated with this size category from this class feature. If he is subjected to something that would increase his size, such as an enlarge person spell, this class feature bumps up to the next size category for it's benefits, up to a maximum of Colossal +, for the duration.

Advancement: At level 4, The Monk is treated as size category Hugh for these check bonuses. At level 8, The Monk is treated as size category Gargantuan. At level 12. The Monk is treated as size category Colossal. At level 16, The Monk is treated as size category Colossal +.





The idea here is to keep the Monk at even or 1 step advantage on these checks against common enemy's appropriate to his level for most of his career. He still isn't getting the full BAB and dedicated Str some of them are, but it makes him consistently stay competitive through out his career, meaning there's more incentive to branch out and try these things instead of just sticking too "I hit it with my fists, I roll damage" EVERY round in EVERY fight. Further, it removes the block of "Well, It's Size Category Hugh so I can't even attempt to make checks against it on my own, so, yeah." problem that starts to creep in around mid level game play and get's worse as the game progresses. The added versatility will keep the class fun and fresh longer. And the fact that he's not getting reach or size bonuses to STR if he's focusing on STR means there's room to still build an STR based monk and get something nice, and incentive to be willing to at least still think about size change magic effects, so it doesn't render them totally useless either.



So, yeah, that was long and poorly typed as I had about 6 hours of sleep after being up for 24. I think I'm gonna go hit the sack again. Let me know what you think on these observations/ideas.