Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
OK, I've added Dance with the Elements at level 3. This gives the monk a competence bonus to Balance, Jump, and Climb equal to his bonus move speed.

  • By level 6, the monk can leap 10 ft up, to strike targets 20 ft above him. This is enough for most high-ceiling rooms and indoor encounter areas.
  • By level 18, the monk can leap 30 ft up. With likely reach, he can tag someone 60 ft above, meaning casters using close-range spells are not safe.

  • By level 6, we're looking at balancing on thin branches and other precrious places.
  • By level 18, the monk can run across dash across the water, stand on surfaces that technically cannot support his weight, even balance on a cloud.

  • At level 6, not so impressive, but the monk is a proficient tumbler.
  • At level 18, the monk can take 10-ft steps, use tumble to run right up a wall, kip up without devoting a feat to it, even ignore falling damage (which renders slow fall pointless, but as Delb has pointed out, that's probably getting replaced with an ACF anyhow).

This is going to support several design goals:
  • The monk can use Tumble and Balance to exploit environmental features to gain altitude, then use Jump to cover additional distance in order to strike at flyers. Battle Jump becomes a more attractive feat for him. I could see Hood builds that might use this monk. His Slow Fall feature and improved Tumbling are now more useful, since leaping from ridiculously heights is now a more viable combat tactic and the monk needs the ability to land without splatting.
  • The monk is even less reliant on gear, as the competence bonuses he's getting are better than (and won't stack with) any level-appropriate skill-boosting items he might find, so he's no longer interested in skill-boosters, at least for those three skills.
Woah. +60? If you also max out the skill points (although the net benefit of this might be rather less than investing in other skills you don't get this bonus in), that's a total of +81 at 18, before you get into stat, racial, or item-based bonuses. Going up alongside bonus move speed does seem very appropriate, however - how about just half this as a bonus? Also, don't you mean "Balance, Jump and Climb Tumble" (here and on p1)?

I still need something to improve the monk's ranged potential.

Current capabilities:
  • He can already flurry with shurikens as a standard action.
  • He's Dex-reliant so he'll be fairly accurate.
  • He gets bonus damage from both Dex and Wis on those shuriken.
  • Although they're disposable, shuriken can be enchanted or made from special materials cheaply, since they count as ammunition.
  • If using the Crash Like a Wave, Bend Like a Reed ACF, he's also adding up to 5d6 skirmish damage to his flurried shuriken (or up to 7d6 if he takes the Improved Skirmish feat).
  • Range is quite limited though, even if he takes Far Shot.

Anyone have any suggestions? Perhaps I could extend the Ki Strike feature and Improved Ki Strike feat to apply to special monk weapons. What impact do you think that would have?
I think that would be pretty reasonable.

Some other suggestions:
  • Dragon mag feat: Ring the golden bell
  • Wands
  • Zen archery feat
  • Alternative monk weapon sets, some including bows (pretty sensible, really).

Also, see this variant monk class for some other ideas.