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    confused Out of curiosity...

    ...why do people think the monk is underpowered? The monk's my favorite class! i'm forced to assume that either, A.) people on this board and in other places are crazy, B.) someone had a bad experience with a monk and now everyone agrees with him/her, or C.) there's something I missed about the monk.
    Will someone please explain?
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Mostly because of the low BAB and the MAD. Not only does it get 3/4 BAB, and it's a melee class, it uses flurry to get the right amount of attacks, which even with no penalty gives a net -5 compared to a fighter 20.

    Monks also need quite a few high ability scores to be pretty decent. They need STR for attacks/damage, DEX for AC, CON for HP (another of their weaknesses is that they're a frontliner with only d8 hit dice), WIS for AC and Monk abilities, then INT if they want to have some skills too.

    While exaggerrated somewhat (no, it would not be better to play a commoner 20), monks are pretty weak.
    Last edited by Dogmantra; 2009-05-28 at 08:59 PM.
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    confused Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmantra View Post
    Mostly because of the low BAB and the MAD.
    Uh...not to sound dumb, but what's MAD?
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    And all the abilities they get are useless and have no synergy. They have a high movement speed (enhancement, so stacks with almost nothing) but need Full Attacks to Flurry. Stunning Fist's DC is too low, and Quivering Palm is useless. Their SR will just block out allied buffs. Wholeness of Body is useless. Tongue of the Sun and Moon is random and can be replicated by Tongues. Their Slow Fall is like Feather Fall but much worse.

    And then people VoP them...which makes them even worse.

    MAD = Multiple Ability Dependent. They need all but Charisma not to suck, while, say, a Wizard only needs pretty much INT.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2009-05-28 at 09:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Uh...not to sound dumb, but what's MAD?
    Multiple Ability Dependence. monks need everything except Int and Cha.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    My monk post a couple weeks ago(since I don't want to type it out again). I'm considering making a 'Monks Suck' handbook and just linking that though, at this point.
    Monk problems:
    MAD: You need Wis for AC, Dex for AC, Con for HP, Str for to-hit and AB. You also can't dump Int since skills are pretty important.
    Low AC: You can't wear armor, meaning that your Wis needs to be higher than the Armor bonus the Rogue is getting. Generally, you fall behind on AC. MAD excabrates this.
    Low AB: Flurry of Blows costs at low levels, and the partial BAB doesn't help. By high levels, Fighters are Power Attacking for 20 and still hitting, so the fact that you can, too, isn't helpful. MAD excabrates this.
    Low damage: You have to stack size increases(not easy) to get your fists up to dealing good damage, and you still end up not great. MAD excabrates this.
    Wierd/useless abilities: Tongue of the Sun and Moon? Really? Are you really in so many situations where you need to speak Treant and the casters can't cast Tongues? Most of their abilities fall into similar problems by either replicating low-level spells or being too situational(or both), with the Capstone being nearly as much of a nerf as a benefit. SR is useless, too, blocking allied combat buffs and not helping with the BBEG casters or certain low-level deadly spells.
    Limited abilities: A lot of their abilities only happen once/day, including the Fort SoD that is once/week. Speed boosts that don't stack with(and are inferior to for half of the levels) the most common spell to boost speed. Just not useful.
    Poor synergy: Lots of movement-based abilities and skills, then a major class feature that requires a full-attack. All of their attacks target either Fort or AC, which are generally either both low or both high. The special combat actions are always either Str-checks(which MAD wrecks), AB checks(ruined for obvious reasons), or penalize light weapons and boost THF, meaning the Monk is poor at them.
    Low skill points: Really, you expected me to put something here? Fine, MAD excabrates this.
    Poor proficiencies: You're limited to using 'special Monk weapons', most of which have poor base damage and weak special abilities. Effective PA is pretty much closed off to you, and most of the weapons are Light, meaning special combat actions are harder. You also have no reach weapons at all, meaning that AoO(the normal method for dex-focused special combat action-based fighters) is sharply limited.
    Unarmed wakness: Unarmed strikes cannot be enchanted, meaning you have no way to overcome DR/Silver or similar, and no way to strike incorporeal creatures at all. Yes, you can buy magic Kamas or something, but then why aren't you playing a Fighter and using something good?

    Not saying they don't have uses, or that a Monk can't be optimized to be great, just that generally other classes are a better fit most times.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    In essence, most of the things a monk can do can either be done as well - or better - by an equal level character of another class, and those features unique to the monk are not particularly useful to the party.

    At the same time, a typical monk also has to pump at least four ability scores in order to be on par with other characters in combat.

    The end result is basically that almost any other class will give rise to a better companion for an adventuring party.

    A major example, just using the core rulebooks, is Abundant Step (1/day) - an 11th level character (Fighter/Ranger/Horizon Walker) can manage the same thing every d4 rounds. The following level, he can gain a flat immunity to any alignment-based effect, tremorsense, or another feat. At the same time, he is also using a spiked chain/guisarme/kusari-gama/glaive-glaive-guisarme-glaive or similar weapon and regularly tripping and carving up any opponent.

    A monk can't compete with most of those.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-05-28 at 09:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    MAD is really the biggest problem with them (aside from mostly lame class features; really, the first 2 levels are great for dipping from other classes but beyond that the abilities aren't amazing [Diamond Soul isn't worth staying straight Monk; Greater Flurry is the only notable ability beyond level 6 and you don't spend 5 levels on 1 ability]). If you could start with 18 Str, 18 Dex, 18 Wis, 14 Con, 14 Int and 8 Cha, a Monk would be pretty servicable. In fact, you'd have quite a few options; you could use Improved Trip-line to a good effect, you could use Stunning Fist very decently, you could make an ok Grappler (although you'll never be too good at that because of medium BAB), you could even pull a decent damage output and tank.

    In short, a Monk with those stats can do about the same amount of stuff well as a Fighter with 18 Str, 13 Dex, 14 Con, 13 Int, 8 Wis and 8 Cha. Notice the critical point? The Fighter has stats from a high-powered game (that array comes down at 32pb) while the Monk has stats you could practically never buy or roll ever (that comes out at 60pb). And the Fighter isn't even very SAD. A Druid could be perfectly servicable with Str 8, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 18, Cha 8 from level 6 on. That's the equivalent of a 22pb or a low-powered game.

    Level 1-5 would be hard without some Dex, but the Druid could do just fine with Str 8, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 8, which is the same 22pb. That same array works for the Wizard and the Cleric (the Cleric doesn't need Dex thanks to heavy armor, but can make great use out of Str & Cha). Now try to build a Monk on 22pb.

    You end up with something like...14 Str, 14 Dex, 12 Con, 8 Int, 14 Wis, 8 Cha. Yeah, you're gonna suck. Your AC is gonna be 14 for most of the game, you won't have any HP to speak of and your attack bonuses will suck.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-05-28 at 09:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    And then people VoP them...which makes them even worse.
    Just out of curiousity (and because I don't honestly know), how does the Vow of Poverty make them worse? I always figured it was kinda designed with monks in mind.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by HP McLuvin View Post
    Just out of curiousity (and because I don't honestly know), how does the Vow of Poverty make them worse? I always figured it was kinda designed with monks in mind.
    Monks(and other martial classes) need certain magic items. Things like a way to fly. VoP may give you 80% WBL, but it doesn't let you choose the WBL you need.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by HP McLuvin View Post
    Just out of curiousity (and because I don't honestly know), how does the Vow of Poverty make them worse? I always figured it was kinda designed with monks in mind.
    Monks need magic items to do things like fly, which VoP doesn't replicate.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by HP McLuvin View Post
    Just out of curiousity (and because I don't honestly know), how does the Vow of Poverty make them worse? I always figured it was kinda designed with monks in mind.
    No access to magic items.

    EDIT: Sigh, ninja'd. Twice.
    Last edited by Siosilvar; 2009-05-28 at 09:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    My DM thinks monks are overpowered. I'm not sure why being able to easily overcome hardess, being unable to age, being able to take less damage from magical attacks, being immune to poison is either underpowered or overpowered.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by HP McLuvin View Post
    Just out of curiousity (and because I don't honestly know), how does the Vow of Poverty make them worse? I always figured it was kinda designed with monks in mind.
    It's great for the first 4-5 levels. They get a decent AC 'cause they stack their normal stats with the bonuses and so on. But, you'll never:
    -Be able to hit incorporeals reliably
    -Penetrate damage reductions
    -Be able to fly
    -Be able to teleport
    -Be able to take extra actions
    -Be able to acquire rerolls
    -Be able to charge and full attack
    -Gain Haste on your own
    -Get inherent boosts to your stats
    -Get +5 Deflection & +5 Natural Armor bonuses
    -Get miss chances

    and so on and so forth. VoP just doesn't give you the most important abilities a Monk needs out of items (flight, teleportation, penetrating various damage reductions, hitting incorporeals, rerolling, boosting all stats [the focused "pump 1 stat a lot and others less"-effect of VoP is very bad for Monks needing 4 of their stats majorly buffed], etc.); it improves your numbers a bit and that's it.

    Items do so much more than just improve your numbers; your numbers don't really matter if what you do with them doesn't affect the opponents. You could deal infinite damage for all your opponents care if you can never reach them in the first place. Items are the grand "equalizer" between casters and non-casters; that is, they're the way non-casters get access to stuff casters have been playing around with for a dozen levels already. VoP means you'll never get the equalizers so you'll never be on the same playing field as the rest of the party (after the first few levels where everyone has nothing but a bunch of small numbers and VoP makes your slightly bigger than the others'; whoppidoo?).


    If you want a class that can make decent use out of VoP, try Druid. It can make much more good out of the whole +8-to-1-stat deal (moar Wis!) and they can replicate everything items would do for them with spells. Still not as good as an itemed Druid, but much closer than a VoP Monk vs. normal Monk.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-05-28 at 09:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin89 View Post
    I'm not sure why being able to easily overcome hardess
    What? Even if Monks could, I've got an Adamantite Dagger that does the same thing. Never spend levels on something that can be replicated by money. If you must, any ToB char gets Mountain Hammer.
    being unable to age,
    Do your games normally go 50+years in-game?
    being able to take less damage from magical attacks
    BBEG casters are generally higher level than you and ignore it, low-level casters generally buff their allies anyways. All SR stops is buff spells.
    being immune to poison
    Too expensive for the save DC. You only need immunity one time out of 20, if your DM follows NPC wealth guidelines.
    Last edited by Sstoopidtallkid; 2009-05-28 at 09:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    What? Even if Monks could, I've got an Adamantite Dagger that does the same thing. Never spend levels on something that can be replicated by mony. If you must, any ToB char gets Mountain Hammer.
    Eh, Power Attack called. It also does the same thing, and everyone has it. Oh, and it does it really well.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Assassin89 View Post
    My DM thinks monks are overpowered. I'm not sure why being able to easily overcome hardess, being unable to age, being able to take less damage from magical attacks, being immune to poison is either underpowered or overpowered.
    Consider this: Everything the Monk can do (except tank), a Wizard, Cleric, or Druid can do far, far, far better.

    Ovecoming Hardness? Innuendo aside, Acid damage. Sonic.
    Unable to Age? Warforged. Dragonborn technically reverse the aging process. Necropolitan.
    Take less damage from attacks? Don't get me started. This list would take pages.
    Immune to Poison? Heroes' Feast, a number of other spells, being a Warforged, or just boosting your Fort save to the point where you can't feasibly fail.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    being able to take less damage from magical attacks
    First of all, at level 20, when Monk gets Perfect Self ability that gives him DR 10/Magic, 10 dmg isn't that much, since anything will hit for about 70 dmg anyway.

    Second of all, who the hell doesn't have a magic weapon on lvl 20? Note that, at lvl 20, you'll be facing CR 20+ creatures, who'll undoubtabely have the means to either buy a 2000 gp magic weapon, cast magic weapon, have magical natural attacks, etc etc...

    Third of all (?), at lvl 20 you have bigger issues than getting hit in melee. Avoiding those nasty 9th lvl spells or god forbid epic ones.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid et al
    Monks(and other martial classes) need certain magic items...
    D'oh! Right, sorry...for some reason I wasn't really thinking when I asked that question.
    Although, Eldariel's suggestion of Druid plus VoP sounds veeeery tempting.
    Last edited by HP McLuvin; 2009-05-28 at 10:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    ...why do people think the monk is underpowered? The monk's my favorite class!
    Well, there's a big gap between those two things. Yeah, the Monk pretty much sucks as-is, as everyone has explained; however, I still LOVE the idea of the class, and I've played several. So, I mean, it's not that people all HATE the Monk, it's just that, mechanically, it isn't so good, even at what (fluff-wise) it's supposed to be good at.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    My monk post a couple weeks ago(since I don't want to type it out again). I'm considering making a 'Monks Suck' handbook and just linking that though, at this point.
    This is what we need. We seriously need a thread, stickied, up top, saying exactly why this conversation never has to return.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    I've seen monks played reasonably well in a game where they were homebrewed to have full BAB and d10 HP. They were competent but not great. This leads me to believe that a monk as written is gimped.
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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    The two alleged weakest classes, Monk and Fighter, are the two most effective combatants in my current party. The Monk's stunning fist and mobility have been decisive in many battles.

    The much debated "uselessness" of certain classes various hugely depending on the gaming style and composition of groups out there.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    ...why do people think the monk is underpowered? The monk's my favorite class! i'm forced to assume that either, A.) people on this board and in other places are crazy, B.) someone had a bad experience with a monk and now everyone agrees with him/her, or C.) there's something I missed about the monk.
    Will someone please explain?
    I don't know why people are so anti-monk either. It's one of the best classes.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    i was just thinking that i missed this months monk thread.

    anyway, most of the monk abilities are handled by spells. except you get the spells really early. at 20th level, you can slow fall any distance. a level 1 wizard can cast feather fall and get the same effect. almost every other ability is like that.

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Berserk Monk View Post
    I don't know why people are so anti-monk either. It's one of the best classes.
    Maybe you can actually back this up by addressing some of the points people bring up?

    Come on, people, one to twenty pages in 24 hours or less - you can do it!

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Berserk Monk View Post
    I don't know why people are so anti-monk either. It's one of the best classes.
    My monk post from a page ago. I didn't feel like typing it out again.
    My monk post a couple weeks ago(since I don't want to type it out again). I'm considering making a 'Monks Suck' handbook and just linking that though, at this point.
    Monk problems:
    MAD: You need Wis for AC, Dex for AC, Con for HP, Str for to-hit and AB. You also can't dump Int since skills are pretty important.
    Low AC: You can't wear armor, meaning that your Wis needs to be higher than the Armor bonus the Rogue is getting. Generally, you fall behind on AC. MAD excabrates this.
    Low AB: Flurry of Blows costs at low levels, and the partial BAB doesn't help. By high levels, Fighters are Power Attacking for 20 and still hitting, so the fact that you can, too, isn't helpful. MAD excabrates this.
    Low damage: You have to stack size increases(not easy) to get your fists up to dealing good damage, and you still end up not great. MAD excabrates this.
    Wierd/useless abilities: Tongue of the Sun and Moon? Really? Are you really in so many situations where you need to speak Treant and the casters can't cast Tongues? Most of their abilities fall into similar problems by either replicating low-level spells or being too situational(or both), with the Capstone being nearly as much of a nerf as a benefit. SR is useless, too, blocking allied combat buffs and not helping with the BBEG casters or certain low-level deadly spells.
    Limited abilities: A lot of their abilities only happen once/day, including the Fort SoD that is once/week. Speed boosts that don't stack with(and are inferior to for half of the levels) the most common spell to boost speed. Just not useful.
    Poor synergy: Lots of movement-based abilities and skills, then a major class feature that requires a full-attack. All of their attacks target either Fort or AC, which are generally either both low or both high. The special combat actions are always either Str-checks(which MAD wrecks), AB checks(ruined for obvious reasons), or penalize light weapons and boost THF, meaning the Monk is poor at them.
    Low skill points: Really, you expected me to put something here? Fine, MAD excabrates this.
    Poor proficiencies: You're limited to using 'special Monk weapons', most of which have poor base damage and weak special abilities. Effective PA is pretty much closed off to you, and most of the weapons are Light, meaning special combat actions are harder. You also have no reach weapons at all, meaning that AoO(the normal method for dex-focused special combat action-based fighters) is sharply limited.
    Unarmed wakness: Unarmed strikes cannot be enchanted, meaning you have no way to overcome DR/Silver or similar, and no way to strike incorporeal creatures at all. Yes, you can buy magic Kamas or something, but then why aren't you playing a Fighter and using something good?

    Not saying they don't have uses, or that a Monk can't be optimized to be great, just that generally other classes are a better fit most times.
    Maybe you could try, I don't know, responding to this or one of the other 15 posts on the topic instead of just ignoring it and saying "But I'm RIGHT!"?
    [/sarcasm]
    FAQ is not RAW!
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  28. - Top - End - #28

    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    My monk post from a page ago. I didn't feel like typing it out again. Maybe you could try, I don't know, responding to this or one of the other 15 posts on the topic instead of just ignoring it and saying "But I'm RIGHT!"?
    I love it when people use the "But I'm right!" argument. Gives me something to rag on.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Harperfan7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    I have a few things to say.

    1-The monk always has his bases covered, even naked. He can attack, deal plenty of damage, have a good AC, get away quickly, heal himself (a little bit), ignore some things (poisons, diseases, spells), talk to anybody, turn into a ghost (damn useful when escaping or infiltrating), fall without injury, and even teleport a little, etc. He never has to have an item or a spell to do these things.

    2- Not needing items for these things, he can spend all his money on increasing ability scores and the rest of his numbers.

    3- I can't stress enough how damn awesome his saving throws are. Nobody is free from **** as much as the monk.

    4- They are the perfect bandits. If anybody can sneak up on you, take your ****, and escape without consequence, it's the monk. People always say monks can't compare to other fighting classes. Well, try fighting a monk after he's stolen all your stuff from you (after taking out your spellcaster).

    Ending statement, monks only suck if all you look at is numbers and straight up fighting ability. (Cue horde of hurtful criticism)

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Forbiddenwar's Avatar

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    May 2009

    Default Re: Out of curiosity...

    Monks with all their abilities do make for good solo play, Probably the best class to play when going solo.

    also on the raging on monks- Monks were complete nerf in 3.0 edition. In 3.5 they were vastly improved. Statistically, more attacks at lower BAB = less attacks at higher BAB. If you think stunning fist is poor (don't knock it if your 4th lvl wizard is flanked by a 1st lvl monk and rogue) don't take it, monks have access to all bonus feats that fighters have, and some as a bonus feat.s

    And come on, moving 50 feet to a target, attacking it for 2d10+30 damage and moving 50 feet back, in 1 round with no attacks of oppertunity. And can do it all day and all night. That's bad assery that no class can match.

    And yes, all classes depend on the player, they're not called PC for nothing. We had a sumo monk, who could and did trounce wizards and fighters alike.

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