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    Default Disciple of the Crane: Staff Monk PrC (PEACH)

    Disciple of the Crane

    Gristle sneered as he twirled his twin, rusty daggers menacingly. The young girl in front of him was beautiful and sensuous, with a tanned, tightly toned body. She wore simple wool clothes, with a simple bamboo walking stick (though strangely it seemed a bit too long) and a straw hat tucked over her smooth, bald head tattooed with a crane… kinky. He licked his lips in anticipation- he would enjoy this very much. “Take off yer clothes, harlot” he growled.
    “Please sir; I am a simple servant of the monastery”
    “I said strip!” roared Gristle, as he lunged forward with one of his daggers. He liked it when they were bleeding. The dagger shot into air. What?! Gristle’s head snapped upwards- the woman had thrust her bamboo staff into the ground, and was now perched atop her staff like a crane.
    That was the last thing Gristle saw.


    These martial artists have trained extensively using the most unassuming of weapons- the quarterstaff. By mimicking the grace and strength of the crane, a simple wooden stick becomes a deadly tool in their hands. Most disciples are monks who have decided to focus on using their staff, rather than their fists, as their primary means of heightening their physical prowess. But there have also been many cases of mercenaries, fighters and barbarians traveling to monasteries so that they may learn this deadly art, and defeat their foes not with steel, but merely simple wood. Even Rogues have been known to study this path.

    Requirements: Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip, Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff), Base Attack Bonus +6

    Base Attack Bonus: Good
    Saves: Fortitude Bad, Reflex Good, Will Bad
    Hit Dice: d8
    Skill Points: 4 + Int Modifier
    A Disciple of the Crane gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.
    Special: A Monk who takes level of Disciple of the Crane can still continue to take levels of Monk.

    Special Abilities
    1: Crane’s Defense
    2: Staff Twirl, Fast Trip
    3: Fury of the Crane
    4: Ki Weapon
    5: Improved Staff Twirl
    6: Eyes of the Crane
    7: Crane’s Reach
    8: Swift Trip
    9: Way of the Crane
    10: Greater Staff Twirl

    Crane’s Defense (Ex): When wearing no armor and using a quarterstaff, the Disciple of the Crane can add one point of his dexterity modifier to his AC for every level of Disciple of the Crane he has. This stacks on top of the already existing dexterity bonus to AC inherent in all characters. He retains this armor bonus against touch attacks, but not when flatfooted. This stacks with the monk’s wisdom AC Bonus, as well.

    Staff Twirl (Ex): When wearing no armor, as long as the Disciple of the Crane is wielding a quarterstaff, he can make double weapon attacks at a lowered penalty, as if he had the Two-Weapon Fighting feat.

    Fast Trip (Ex): When wearing no armor, the Disciple can now make trip attacks using his quarterstaff as a move action.

    Fury of the Crane (Ex): The Disciple gains the fighter feat Weapon Specialization for the Quarterstaff

    Ki Weapon (Su): The Disciple of the Crane can transfer his Ki energies into his Quarterstaff, but cannot be encumbered by armor while doing so. A Disciple of the Crane can, if he had these abilities before entering the prestige class, make Stunning Fist, Ki Strike and Quivering Palm and all other unarmed special attacks using his quarterstaff.

    Improved Staff Twirl (Ex): During a full attack action, a Disciple can make an extra attack with his quarterstaff, albeit at a -5 penalty to the attack roll, when using his quarterstaff as a double weapon and wearing no armor.

    Eyes of the Crane (Ex): The Disciple gains the fighter feat Greater Weapon Focus for the Quarterstaff

    Crane’s Reach (Ex): The Disciple has learnt how to extend the reach of his staff to the very limits. This requires the Disciple to stretch and flex his body unencumbered. When using a quarterstaff and wearing no armor, he doubles his natural reach.

    Swift Trip (Ex): When wearing no armor, the Disciple can make trip attacks using his quarterstaff as a swift action.

    Way of the Crane (Ex): The Disciple gains the fighter feat Greater Weapon Specialization for the Quarterstaff

    Greater Staff Twirl (Ex): During a full attack action, a Disciple can make a second extra attack with his quarterstaff, albeit at a -10 penalty to the attack roll, when using his quarterstaff as a double weapon and wearing no armor.

    EDIT: I wrote this class to take up on molonel's challenge that there were no good Monk prestige classes. I tried to create a hybrid between the monk and the fighter, with a weapon focus on the quarterstaff. If this proves popular I might write up some similar prestige classes using the monk's other weapons... like a praying mantis style monk using kamas or something.

    EDIT1: Changed the saves so that reflex is good
    EDIT2: Switched Crane's Defense from drawing upon wisdom to drawing upon dexterity (double whammy AC for dex! w00t!)
    EDIT3: Added "Monks can still take levels of monk after taking levels of Disciple of the Crane"

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    If this PrC is about "mimcking the grace of the Crane," why is Fort the class's good save and Ref a bad one?

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    They fail to dodge fireballs in an elegant way?
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Iames, the CoP
    If this PrC is about "mimcking the grace of the Crane," why is Fort the class's good save and Ref a bad one?
    Very good question! Answer: I don't know.
    Changing it now, thanks

    EDIT: I was basing this class off of the fighter, but crafting the abilities so that it meshes well with the monk... besides, I think the swashbuckler class (which seems to be a reflex based class to me) also uses a good fort save. But no matter, I agree with you that the good reflex save is much better. I was thinking of making ALL the saves good, like a monk, but then that would make the class way too powerful and I would have to lower the BAB.

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    I notice that this seems to be more "Fighter" based than "Monk" based... I dunno... that doesn't make all that much sense... Monks are more staff fighters...
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent
    I notice that this seems to be more "Fighter" based than "Monk" based... I dunno... that doesn't make all that much sense... Monks are more staff fighters...
    Yeah I know, but the abilities are supposed to merge with the monk's abilities. The fighter is a more flexible template to build a prestige class off of... because you never know when a monk might decide to start into this prestige class, and therefore it would feel like it's a gyp for monks if they get, say, body of purity in both their core class and their prestige class. Plus I wanted to make sure monks sacrificed their normal monk abilities in order to get their proficiency with this weapon. Also I wanted to make this PrC accessible to fighters, and I doubt fighters would want to reduce their BAB just for these quarterstaff feats- a subpar weapon in the eyes of many. Plus, it's a weapon based prestige class... it just screams max BAB in my opinion. But max BAB + a monk's maxed out saves = way too uber, so I had to throw the monk's godly saves away.

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    But thw whole unarmored thing is what Monks are all about, the problem I'm seeing, is that a Fighter won't get all that much AC out of this if he wants the staff flavor... how often do you see a full plate guy with a quarterstaff?
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent
    But thw whole unarmored thing is what Monks are all about, the problem I'm seeing, is that a Fighter won't get all that much AC out of this if he wants the staff flavor... how often do you see a full plate guy with a quarterstaff?
    That's why I added Crane's Defense, which is just like the Duelist's Canny Defense except using wisdom instead of intelligence. That makes up for the loss of AC point boosts for monks, and gives the fighter the ability to have decent AC without armor.

    Also if you read the abilities closely, almost all of them require that the character is not wearing armor.

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by adriankas
    Staff Twirl (Ex): When wearing no armor, as long as the Disciple of the Crane is wielding a quarterstaff, he can make double weapon attacks at a lowered penalty, as if he had the Two-Weapon Fighting feat.
    Why would a monk bother? He can already use a quarterstaff in a flurry of blows, which doesn't carry the strength penalty for the off-hand associated with TWF.

    Let a monk using this get his monk damage plus that of the staff, or, better yet, count his size as one bigger while using a staff for the flurry of blows (after all, the staff is harder and a better lever than most body parts).

    Ki Weapon (Su): The Disciple of the Crane can transfer his Ki energies into his Quarterstaff, but cannot be encumbered by armor while doing so. A Disciple of the Crane can, if he had these abilities before entering the prestige class, make Stunning Fist, Ki Strike and Quivering Palm and all other unarmed special attacks using his quarterstaff.
    I wouldn't require them to have them before entering the prestige class, or even before getting this ability. It's all about the retroactivity.

    Improved Staff Twirl (Ex): During a full attack action, a Disciple can make an extra attack with his quarterstaff, albeit at a -5 penalty to the attack roll, when using his quarterstaff as a double weapon and wearing no armor.
    See Staff Twirl. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Eyes of the Crane (Ex): The Disciple gains the fighter feat Greater Weapon Focus for the Quarterstaff
    With a name like Eyes of the Crane, it might make sense to be a little bit different than another +1 to strike with it. How about Blindsense 5' when fighting with a quarterstaff? You can tell when people are near either end of your constantly moving weapon.
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Fighters rarely have the pointages to put more than a +1 or +2 bonus into Wisdom... a Duelists Intelligence based ability draws off of the many Fighter Feats that go off of Intelligence. Generally speaking, classes focus on 1 main ability score with 2 or three sub-abilities. Fighters, it's Constitution, followed by Strength and Dex. Intelligence is a fourth, and only used in specific builds. Wisdom is almost never used at all...

    Monks on the other hand focus on Wisdom or Dexterity with secondary focus in Strength and Constitution.

    Also, the "Staff Twirl" is awkward, as any fighter who would have taken the Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff) abilit should have already taken Two-Weapon Fighting.

    The Quarterstaff is a sub-par weapon. It's a Simple Weapon, which makes it less viable for fighters anyway...
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by MrNexx
    Why would a monk bother? He can already use a quarterstaff in a flurry of blows, which doesn't carry the strength penalty for the off-hand associated with TWF.

    Let a monk using this get his monk damage plus that of the staff, or, better yet, count his size as one bigger while using a staff for the flurry of blows (after all, the staff is harder and a better lever than most body parts).
    I needed to leave this in so that fighter's entering this class wouldn't feel left out. If a fighter wasn't granted the same number of attacks as a monk, it would severely underpower this class for fighter/discipline of the cranes. I might as well have just made the prerequisite "8 levels of monk" if I didn't add this in, and the DMG says that class level prerequisites for PrCs are bad.

    I'd make staff twirl stackable with flurry of blows, but then that's an insane nine attacks. But I suppose since the monk has no form of additional damage to those eight attacks (except maybe the +4 from the dual staff weapon specializations), it wouldn't be TOO overpowered, and also I guess the dervish can do fourteen attacks.

    I got it: I'll make it stackable with flurry of blows only if the monk uses his unarmed attacks for all of his flurry of blows. Since the monk/disciple doesn't get improved unarmed strike damage once they start taking levels of disciple, it means that the other attacks will have nerfed damage.

    I wouldn't require them to have them before entering the prestige class, or even before getting this ability. It's all about the retroactivity.
    Hmm... I was aiming for a sort of trade-in/trade-out mechanism. Retroactivity only really works for spellcaster PrCs. If the monk waits until level 16 to start taking disciple of the crane, he gets just enough to use quivering palm with a staff weapon at level 20. An instant death attack using a possibly magical weapon that can do trips seems just enough power for a level 20, imo.

    I'll think about it. Maybe I'll add "Quivering Staff" as an ability around level 8 or something.
    With a name like Eyes of the Crane, it might make sense to be a little bit different than another +1 to strike with it. How about Blindsense 5' when fighting with a quarterstaff? You can tell when people are near either end of your constantly moving weapon.
    Hmm. Blindsense is tricky because it can get mighty powerful under certain circumstances. Fighters only get a feat every two levels, and this ability is already equivalent to one fighter-only feat... and considering the load of other abilities that the DotC gets, adding Blindsense 5ft on top of that (I think that there's a feat that grants blindsense 5ft but that just means I'm stacking two feats on a single level) seems like a bit too much. But who knows, maybe the class is weakened enough by not being able to wear armor.

    The majority of power in this PrC comes from the increased reach and the swift trip, making it a battlefield controller like a spiked-chain user. I guess a spiked chain already has high reach, but I wanted to make sure that the swift trip (the move-action trip is pretty useless since you could just use a full attack action and use one of the attacks as a trip attack... but I wanted to make sure there was some sort of progression) had strict requirements- sort of like how the IB's improved uncanny feint requires daggers, the DotC's swift trip requires quarterstaves.

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent
    Fighters rarely have the pointages to put more than a +1 or +2 bonus into Wisdom... a Duelists Intelligence based ability draws off of the many Fighter Feats that go off of Intelligence. Generally speaking, classes focus on 1 main ability score with 2 or three sub-abilities. Fighters, it's Constitution, followed by Strength and Dex. Intelligence is a fourth, and only used in specific builds. Wisdom is almost never used at all...
    Hmm. That is true. I considered using intelligence, but I didn't want this ability double stacking with Canny defense.
    I think then, instead, I'll make Crane's Defense work off of dexterity, making the class a much more dex-based fighter or monk. By doubling the AC bonus you normally get from dexterity, it would encourage some monks to focus on dexterity instead of wisdom, and help out the dreadfully underpopulated dex-based fighters. Thanks.

    Also, the "Staff Twirl" is awkward, as any fighter who would have taken the Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff) abilit should have already taken Two-Weapon Fighting.
    Well that is one of the drawbacks to the PrCs. A lot of PrCs make the characters take useless feats or skills, or otherwise force them to be weakened for a certain amount of time. My intention was to make the Fighter be a subpar quarterstaff wielding fighter for his first six levels, and then manifest into a much more powerful character once taking this PrC.

    Besides, who says all fighters use the quarterstaff as a double weapon? Some might decide to use the quarterstaff as a two-handed weapon for the first six levels, for the x2 bonus to STR mod to damage.

    The Quarterstaff is a sub-par weapon. It's a Simple Weapon, which makes it less viable for fighters anyway...
    That's kind of the point. I know this class is vastly underpowered compared to a spiked chain user, but I think everyone can agree that a spiked chain user is overpowered and overused. The payoff is when they get Swift Trip.

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Actually, if you read the FAQ on the website, Two Weapon Fighting is in fact stackable with Flurry of Blows... but that's still a -2 penalty on ALL attacks...

    Also, Monks can't get specialization. It's Fighter only. or in certain special cases other classes...

    Oh and also, make it okay for a Monk to multiclass into this thing and go back to monk...

    also, the "8 Levels of Monk" prereq is in fact a bad idea. But still, Monk abilities might be necessary, commonly each class has their own basic requirement.

    Divine Prestige Classes: Turn Undead

    Combat based ones: BAB possibly a few feats

    Monk specific: Improved Unarmed Strike

    Rogue Based ones: Skill Prereqs, and Sneak Attack

    Arcane: Usually "Able to cast 3rd level arcane spells"
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by adriankas

    Besides, who says all fighters use the quarterstaff as a double weapon? Some might decide to use the quarterstaff as a two-handed weapon for the first six levels, for the x2 bonus to STR mod to damage.
    Couldn't the Fighter just use something like... oh... a Greatsword? and take Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff) as a fluff feat until he gets to the proper level? I mean there's nothing keeping him from just not having a quarterstaff until that point...
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent
    Actually, if you read the FAQ on the website, Two Weapon Fighting is in fact stackable with Flurry of Blows... but that's still a -2 penalty on ALL attacks...
    Oh. Well that settles that then. We officially have a nine-attacks monster on our hands! :D And that -2 penalty on all attacks is then offset by the Disciple of the Crane's high BAB and free weapon focus feats. Boy if this guy gets access to a Flaming Frost Shock quarterstaff, he'd be pretty deadly... that's 27d6 damage if all attacks hit from the elemental damage alone. Quite a lot for a +3 weapon. But oh well, I suppose it could have been done with a normal monk anyways.
    Also, Monks can't get specialization. It's Fighter only. or in certain special cases other classes...
    This is a prestige class that actually seems more similar to the fighter than the monk, so I think this counts as one of those special cases. And that's the idea: that a monk can gain weapon specialization to quarterstaff only through the use of this prestige class.
    Oh and also, make it okay for a Monk to multiclass into this thing and go back to monk...
    Oh yes! I forgot about this one! Thanks very much. But wait... don't prestige classes not count against the "no more levelling as monk/paladin if multiclassing" penalty? No matter. I'll add this in just in case.
    also, the "8 Levels of Monk" prereq is in fact a bad idea. But still, Monk abilities might be necessary, commonly each class has their own basic requirement.
    I still don't want to restrict this class to only monks... I guess this class is pretty underpowered for a fighter and meshes much better than a monk, but I think that's a good thing. Invisible Blade meshes better with Rogue than a fighter, even though fighter was the base class for the IB PrC.
    Couldn't the Fighter just use something like... oh... a Greatsword? and take Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff) as a fluff feat until he gets to the proper level? I mean there's nothing keeping him from just not having a quarterstaff until that point...
    Sure. But then the DM might slam the guy for poor roleplaying: "Why the hell do you have the feat Weapon Focus (Quarterstaff) when you don't even USE quarterstaves?! -500 XP!!" But then that's none of my business.

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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    On that note, your grasp of the magic weapons rules are slightly flawed. A Weapon needs a +1 bonus before it can even gain any additional magical properties. And Flaming, Frost, and Shock can only have one of them active at any one time.
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent
    On that note, your grasp of the magic weapons rules are slightly flawed. A Weapon needs a +1 bonus before it can even gain any additional magical properties. And Flaming, Frost, and Shock can only have one of them active at any one time.
    Not true. You can have all of these active at once. The errata/FAQ is clear on this.
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    oh...
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    Default Re: Staff Monk PrC: Disciple of the Crane (PEACH)

    So do you guys think that this class is, in general, overpowered or underpowered?

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    Default Re: Disciple of the Crane: Staff Monk PrC (PEACH)

    Mods: Can someone please move this to the homebrew design forum? Thank you very, very, very, very, very much

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