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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    I've been wondering. How can you make a useful monk? How can you make an awesome monk. (gonna put personal opinion next to or under questions)

    What race, makes the best monk?

    To fix the monk's range issue? Dragonborn with wings.

    What class combination do you think MAKES the monk a serious threat?

    I've seen the monk/kensai route. I'd rather not use Vow of Poverty though. even if i don't take the vow, +10fists of random enchantments? Plus the ability to cut down a crap ton of arrows that might be coming at me? Sign me up!

    Monk/eternal fist seemed like an interesting alternative. At the same time, not quite useful enough. Eternal fist genuinely gives me mixed feelings. I feel more like I'm bruce lee, rather than I'm actually capable of killing demons.

    Dipping into magic seems to .. well if it's buffs that might work, but if I'm a monk I should be punching something... to death. (Personal love for monk, weapons are okay with me *the more you know*)

    How about magic items/weapons? What is important to a monk?

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superstar View Post
    I've been wondering. How can you make a useful monk? How can you make an awesome monk. (gonna put personal opinion next to or under questions)

    What class combination do you think MAKES the monk a serious threat?
    Unarmed Swordsage or Talashtora.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2011-05-16 at 04:22 PM.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superstar View Post
    I've been wondering. How can you make a useful monk? How can you make an awesome monk. (gonna put personal opinion next to or under questions)
    Unarmed Swordsage.

    Edit: Swordsaged!

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Never choose a race, class, or feat when you can solve the problem with gp. Don't pick a race just to get wings; buy a Feathered Wings graft instead. Don't dip into Kensai just to add magic to your unarmed strikes; buy a Necklace of Natural Attacks instead. Don't squander a feat on Superior Unarmed Strike for unarmed damage as if you were 4 Monk levels higher; buy a Monk's Belt for unarmed damage as if you were 5 Monk levels higher instead.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Unarmed Swordsage, Monk 2/ Psychic Warrior X with Tashalatora, or Cleric/ Sacred Fist. All of them are far better than pretty much any monk.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Monk/warlock/hellfire warlock/binder with eldritch claws feat. I had one of these in the last game I ran. He could solo monsters of a CR a few higher than himself in a round with no effort. Had the option of fighting at a range if needed, and could fly. (My group plays high power, which is sort of odd since we always play eberron)

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Never choose a race, class, or feat when you can solve the problem with gp. Don't pick a race just to get wings; buy a Feathered Wings graft instead. Don't dip into Kensai just to add magic to your unarmed strikes; buy a Necklace of Natural Attacks instead. Don't squander a feat on Superior Unarmed Strike for unarmed damage as if you were 4 Monk levels higher; buy a Monk's Belt for unarmed damage as if you were 5 Monk levels higher instead.
    Oh yes, since you can totally just wander down to the magic mart and get everything you want in every campaign.

    To say nothing of WBL, and how you're wasting it on things you could get for free from class levels.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Monk/Cleric/Sacred Fist. Full BAB and 3/4 spellcasting progression. Monk and Cleric synergise very well since both benefit from high WIS. Throw some of the clerics magical buffs on yourself and you get a very strong combat type.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    I made a really cool E6 gestalt monk. It was Warlock 6 // Crusader 1 / Monk 2 / UA Swordsage 2 / Shadow Sun Ninja 1, using Beast Strike and Eldritch Claw feats.

    The point was to create a Fighting Game (e.g. Street Fighter/ Mortal Kombat) style monk. You have ranged blasts, moves to teleport you across the screen, and a very nice and flashy punch and kick.

    In my eyes, the best monks contain 2 levels of the PHB Monk class, or less.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    OA Shaman with Travel and Hero domains nails it. D&D magic does kung fu movies better than it does sword or sorcery.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Fanged Ring is one of the best Monk (or unarmed!) magic items, granting you Improved Natural Attack, Improved Unarmed Strike (redundant on Monks but not on Tashalatora builds that don't have any Monk levels) and the ability to deal 1 Con damage on a critical hit.

    Other good Monk or monk items have already been described, the lowercase monk being those thematically and functionally similar to monks but not the actual Monk class. On classes...

    Ardents make strong mystical monks with Tashalatora, having far more power points than a Psychic Warrior and more diverse power selection that advances in level at the psion rate (but not on any one Ardent, who must chose at +mantle levels what his small list of selectable powers is).

    Psychic Warriors are generally a bit more martial though, with better HD and tons of bonus feats. Both Psywar and Ardent are Wisdom-based casters, so it's nice to have that on AC as well.

    Soulknives can take Reshape Mind Blade (unarmed strike) and the Tashalatora line to enhance their unarmed strike as a Mind Blade and advance unarmed damage as well. Even the combined abilities of Monk and Soulknife aren't spectacular, but it's easy and kind and works out nicely. The bonus feats you can replace Psychic Strike with IMO make it a little more appealing than Monk/Kensai, comes online earlier and doesn't take days and experience sacrifices to improve.

    Cleric or Archivist / Monk multiclass builds are possibly the most effective, but it feels buying a pickup truck and some rope to make your wheelbarrow go faster.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Unearthed Arcana Fighting Styles, Exemplars of Evil Invisible Fist and a 2 level Monk dip, so sweet that it almost rots your teeth. But then you stare at the average BAB progression and you cry for the loss of that one point.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Unarmed Swordsage or Talashtora.
    This. Though, I'm going to be nit-picky and point out that it's "Tashalatora". Also, a Swordsage need not actually be Unarmed to make a good Monk Monk's don't have to use unarmed strikes, you know. A Monk's fists don't out-damage various options that a Swordsage has for a weapon until 8th level, and even at 20th it's only an average of +6.5 damage more than offset by any enhancement(s) that is (are) adding at least +2d6 damage to your weapon attack.

    But in general for 3.5, the fewer levels in the "Monk" class that you have, the better "monk" character you'll be.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnath View Post
    Oh yes, since you can totally just wander down to the magic mart and get everything you want in every campaign.
    Who said anything about a Magic MartTM? If you want something badly enough, it's worth a quest, I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marnath
    To say nothing of WBL, and how you're wasting it on things you could get for free from class levels.
    Those features from class levels aren't "free" unless they're giving you everything you need for the character, plus more. For instance, it takes 5 levels of Kensai plus something more than 1,000 XP to get your unarmed strike boosted to a +5 bonus. (The "something more" part is problematic, because even though you've only got a single unarmed attack, Kensai requires an XP expenditure for each part of your body you might ever want to use for a strike: 2 fists + 2 feet + 2 elbows + 2 knees + 2 hips + 1 head = 2,000 XP.) The Necklace of Natural Attacks would cost you 50,000 gp instead (or 45,000 gp if you put points into your Diplomacy class skill to Haggle), which you could swing by level 13 with standard treasure. The earliest you could get there with Monk->Kensai is Monk 7/Kensai 5 and then another 2,000 XP to be able to pay for your signature unarmed strike. Meanwhile a Monk 13 hits harder and more often, and moves faster.

    TANSTAAFL

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    If i may, towards the kensai

    Ye can only imbue one part of your natural weapon. Like kicking? Imbue your feet. Like punching etc.

    I do agree with kensai not being ABSOLUTELY worth it, however you don't have to have +5 fists to touch the other enchantments available. Make your fists keen? SURE! Make your fists ... Dancing? Uhm... Maybe? I guess? Ghost touch etc. etc.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    A vow of poverty.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by faceroll View Post
    A vow of poverty.
    For a low level only campaign yes. For high level campaigns it's kind of a bad idea. A lot of good improvements for monks come with a high price tag or market value. Monk belts and stat boosting items for example.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnath View Post
    Oh yes, since you can totally just wander down to the magic mart and get everything you want in every campaign.

    To say nothing of WBL, and how you're wasting it on things you could get for free from class levels.

    Oh yes, because this is a game without spells that tell the future, locate objects, or divine solutions to problems. Problems like where can I buy this item.


    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-05-17 at 02:06 AM.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superstar View Post
    I've been wondering. How can you make a useful monk? How can you make an awesome monk. (gonna put personal opinion next to or under questions)

    What race, makes the best monk?

    To fix the monk's range issue? Dragonborn with wings.

    What class combination do you think MAKES the monk a serious threat?

    I've seen the monk/kensai route. I'd rather not use Vow of Poverty though. even if i don't take the vow, +10fists of random enchantments? Plus the ability to cut down a crap ton of arrows that might be coming at me? Sign me up!

    Monk/eternal fist seemed like an interesting alternative. At the same time, not quite useful enough. Eternal fist genuinely gives me mixed feelings. I feel more like I'm bruce lee, rather than I'm actually capable of killing demons.

    Dipping into magic seems to .. well if it's buffs that might work, but if I'm a monk I should be punching something... to death. (Personal love for monk, weapons are okay with me *the more you know*)

    How about magic items/weapons? What is important to a monk?
    If you're Bruce Lee, any kind of a Monk is the wrong class for you since Monks are 100% supernatural in D&D. They teleport, go ethereal, have ACF to go invisible and do all shorts of magical ****. If you want a pure facesmasher, you should look at Shou Disciple [Unapproachable East], or more relevantly Warblade [Tome of Battle] with the Superior Unarmed Strike-feat. That's yet another awesome thing about ToB; it produced a feat that gives anyone decent (not as good damage progression as a Monk's but it'll do) unarmed fighting capability making actual mundane asskickers doable.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnath View Post
    Oh yes, since you can totally just wander down to the magic mart and get everything you want in every campaign.
    Easy with that scorn, my friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Item Compendium, pg. 231
    A player points to an item published in this book or the Dungeon Masters Guide and asks, "Can I buy this?" The answer should usually be, "Yes."
    So yeah, it's a safe default assumption that you should, in fact, be able to buy what you want with your WBL. That's kind of what it's for. Does it apply in every campaign? Of course not, but no rule applies in every campaign. Doesn't mean that we shouldn't make a few baseline assumptions based on, you know, what's in the books.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Rather than go down the path of layering your fists in cheese, you could do one of those ridiculous exalted/console fighting game/Final Fantasy N where they use swords that are 2-3 foot wide and 10 foot long.

    At low levels a Monk with a greaterthangreatsword, doing a flurry of blows with it... simply refluff one of the Eberron 'use X weapon as a monk weapon' feats.

    For really grotesque Monk damage though, you've got to go psionic. For starters the Ectoplasmic dohickeys only work if you're psi.

    Alternately, go ridiculous. A monk who transforms into a bear and then does flying kicks versus everything (and again, add the eberron feats to pump up your charge damage, for 'your charge damage' + 1d12 + 2d6. Add snap kick, circle kick and roundabout kick...

    Do something whacky that appeals to your DM's sense of humour/style. Favour of the gods is better than any feat :D

    Dual flurry falchions with improved crit ranges. With your sucky BAB you won't hit often, but everything will be a crit threat. Layer on some 'only happens when you get a crit' modifiers to the weapons. Give your seventeen attacks per round silly names: chopping celery (for the falchions), flying waterbuffalo (for the kickmaster) etc.

    Above all, have fun.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Easy with that scorn, my friend.

    So yeah, it's a safe default assumption that you should, in fact, be able to buy what you want with your WBL. That's kind of what it's for. Does it apply in every campaign? Of course not, but no rule applies in every campaign. Doesn't mean that we shouldn't make a few baseline assumptions based on, you know, what's in the books.
    I dislike that idea, really. Even in large cities, I usually offer a limited selection of items. Yes, that includes Sigil. You can probably find a special item with some searching, but usually, they have to be either custom-made or found.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I dislike that idea, really. Even in large cities, I usually offer a limited selection of items. Yes, that includes Sigil. You can probably find a special item with some searching, but usually, they have to be either custom-made or found.
    Or you, know, for the first 9 levels of the game (40% of it) where you usually don't have plane shift or teleport. Or for all those times you're in the field and don't have the time to go to town and purchase that item that provides exactly the solution to your current problem.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    That depends on what you mean by "monk." If I want something with unarmed, eastern flavor that can do Kung-Fu, I'd probably throw Fist of the Forest onto something silly. Should something do that as a base class, though? The unarmed part, certainly. The flavor part, honestly, doesn't matter to me.

    The issue here is that a straight brawler is hard to do without going into natural attacks like a Totemist does or having to suck up monk or unarmed swordsage class levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnath View Post
    Oh yes, since you can totally just wander down to the magic mart and get everything you want in every campaign.

    To say nothing of WBL, and how you're wasting it on things you could get for free from class levels.
    To be fair, those all do help a monk be a monk without having to invest a significant feature of a character on a thing like race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Oh yes, because this is a game without spells that tell the future, locate objects, or divine solutions to problems. Problems like where can I buy this item.

    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.
    Doc Roc, I don't know if I've ever told you this, but I think I love you.

    That quote is wonderful.
    Last edited by Thrice Dead Cat; 2011-05-17 at 04:27 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Seriously, can we kill this misconception now? A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He shops for precisely what he means to.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    The best monk is a dead one.

    You don't have to kill it yourself, it can't attempt to defend itself when you tell it how useless it is, and best of all, you get a free corpse!

    The value of the corpse is only limited by your creativity.
    Last edited by TroubleBrewing; 2011-05-17 at 06:41 AM.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrice Dead Cat View Post
    Doc Roc, I don't know if I've ever told you this, but I think I love you.

    That quote is wonderful.
    I'm quite flattered!

    On the topics of monkz: Sacred fist is much under-rated, I think.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veyr View Post
    Also, a Swordsage need not actually be Unarmed to make a good Monk Monk's don't have to use unarmed strikes, you know.
    This is quite true. Look up legends of Condor Heroes or other martial novels like that(they have some in English comic form and they are quite good). Monks use swords, staffs, spears and all kinds of weapons besides their fists. Normal, weapon-wielding Swordsages are actually closer to the eastern idea of a monk than the actual monk class. Traditional Shaolin uses unarmed combat for sudden defense and increasing self discipline. If a Shaolin monk wanted to kill something, he would use one of these: http://www.chinashaolintemple.com/da...article_64.htm
    Personally my favourite is the 3-pronged sword and I've been trying to get it into my game as a special monk weapon.

    The whole monks mainly use their fists thing is actually pretty wierd when seen from an easterners point of view.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veyr View Post
    This. Though, I'm going to be nit-picky and point out that it's "Tashalatora". .
    You're right. Sorry. I hide in shame.

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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    You're right. Sorry. I hide in shame.
    It's okay, I didn't even have to look it up, which is so much more shameful.
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    Default Re: What makes the best monk in your eyes?

    I'm with DocRoc there; I didn't look it up either.

    I've also noticed that I've started being able to tell friends what page numbers things are on, without actually having the book. Tome of Battle's maneuver list starts on page 48; the Crusader's table is on 10, Swordsage's 16, and Warblade's 21; the feat table is on 30. Tome of Magic's Binder's class table is the bottom of page 12; the Warlock's is on the bottom of page... 10? of Complete Arcane. Oh, and the Binder feats start on page 72 of Tome of Magic. The Incarnum classes are on... I wanna say 19, 24, and 28 of Magic of Incarnum? I definitely knew that at one point.

    EDIT: When I have time later, I'm going to check myself just for my own amusement/terror. I'm absolutely certain on the Tome of Battle stuff.

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