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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zelkon's Avatar

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    Default What makes the monk so bad?

    I mean, it doesn't seem too bad to the untrained eye. What, generally, has to be fixed for the monk to work. Is it's damage output bad? Not enough versatility?
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    There was a thread on that exact topic recently...

    Basically:
    - No synergy between abilities (fast movement and flurry of blows that requires you not to move)
    - Poor class features (you get worse version of featherfall as capstone...)

    It looks good at first because it gets a lot of features with fancy names.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    "Abilities which synergise with one another" would probably be top of the list along with "Abilities which can't be replicated by cheap magical items".

    Less MAD wouldn't hurt either.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    I'm not an optimizer at all; to me being a little on the weak side is a feature, not a bug, because it means you're not breaking the game before breakfast like a Wizard or Cleric. That said, even I don't like the monk much, not because it's weak but because it's boring. The skeleton of the class is good, but when you get to the part about ki abilities, there's virtually nothing there; they picked out abilities that do virtually nothing, and they're always the same for every member of the class, or perhaps one of two possible choices.

    The Ranger has much the same problem in my book, apart from getting a few spells and an animal companion, both of which are basically just a built-in Druid multiclass; take those things away and all you're left with is Favored Enemy. And I love the ranger class, largely because it has Favored Enemy (though all those Skills don't hurt either). You don't need a lot of options, IMO, but you need some. Three or four bonus feats and a lot of rather pointless abilities just aren't enough to make an interesting character class.

    Full casters (and full manifesters, and full initiators, and full meldshapers, and the Tome of Magic classes) all have the same problem IMO - too much diversity, too many choices to make. Monks and to a lesser extent Rangers and Rogues have the opposite problem; there are hardly any decisions involved and you don't have much that you can do outside of a very narrow niche (and the monk barely has that, hence why he is the worst of these). That's why I consider the Fighter to be one of the best-made classes; he has a nice big list of options to pick from, but he only makes one pick every level or two, plus deciding on choice of weapons or the like in a fight. Just a small amount of choice in both the short and long term, so you're neither bored nor overloaded - that's what I consider ideal.

    (Granted my perspective is a bit skewed; I hardly ever actually play since I'm nearly always the DM, so instead of making a character with enough bells and whistles to keep me amused for however long it takes to level up, I'm making NPCs in large numbers that I need to be able to assemble fairly quickly and understand how to use them in-game.)

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    monks have the least options of any class. Even a warrior has the choice between melee, or ranged. while a monk has to use unarmed if they want to be even remotly usefull.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Last edited by Coidzor; 2012-11-17 at 10:18 AM.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Cross-posting my commentary on "Why each class is in its tier":
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    [Monks] aren't exceptional tanks due to lowish HD, medium BAB, multi-attribute dependency (and thus comparably lower combat stats than melee monsters; this also hurts their supposed strengths in Grapple, Tripping & other combat maneuvers, along with Stunning Fist; all of those heavily reward straightforward dedication to a single stat over all else, and a Monk really can't pull that off), the fact that you can't combine their movement speed with Flurry (Flurry requires full attack, movement allows only one) and lack of weapon proficiencies (unarmed strikes getting decent dice later on, but lacking in special abilities and enhancing them costs a ****ton; oh, and no reach, no AoO-builds). Flurry is needed for them to do decent damage forcing them to ignore their speed boost in combat.

    They aren't exceptional scouts due to lacking Trapfinding and having relatively low skill points and being unable to afford decent Int thanks to multi-attribute dependency (Hide/Move Silently/Tumble is all good, but if you don't have Trapfinding, scouting ahead in a hostile environment is like to get you killed).

    They aren't exceptional mage killers (*chuckle*) because they really have nothing to especially threaten mages with. Just like every other warrior type, their movement is inferior to teleportation (once-per-day Dimension Door doesn't cut it), they have few if any ways to locate the mage and penetrate magical defenses (Mirror Image + Displacement + Blink: good luck hitting... Or Wall of Force) and they can't even reasonably use bows so their ability to act at range is infinitely diminished. Oh, and if they somehow manage to plop an Anti-Magic Field around themselves? They just gave up like 70% of their class features. Thanks to Greater Spell Penetration (in Core)/Assay Resistance (out of Core), their multi-attribute dependency, spells that ignore saves (even just good ol' Rays like Enervation/Scorching Ray/whatever, or Forcecages or something dumb), spells that trivialize touch AC (hello, True Strike!) and so on, all their magical defenses really add up to jack ****.

    They aren't exceptional skirmishers due to not being able to Flurry with standard action and their speed bonus being enhancement thus, while probably being able to somewhat remain out of the harm's way with Spring Attack, not reducing the damage their allies take one bit and dealing negligible damage themselves. Indeed, this is the worst thing a Monk can do since it means the people who do the fighting are now taking all the beatdown while the Monk isn't contributing to the team's damage in any meaningful way either. In other words, the Monk isn't taking any hits and he isn't dealing any damage this way; thus he's as good as an empty slot in the party.


    And overall, their class features kinda suck. Mostly, you can look at 'em like this:
    -Flurry? That's nice! Now if only I were able to focus on one stat and have full BAB, I'd be doing a lot with my extra attacks on highest bonus!
    -Improved Grapple/Trip/Stunning Fist/whatever? Nice! Now, if I only were able to focus on one stat and have full BAB, I could be landing these and winning the opposed checks!
    -Speed boost? That's nice! Now, if I only could move and attack with my Flurry (which "almost" makes me equal to full BAB types), I could be doing something! Oh, and if this only stacked with magical speed boosts I'd actually be faster than the other classes.
    -Unarmed Strikes? That's nice! Now, if I only got size increases or something so the damage dice would actually add up to something, and got 2x Power Attack returns and full BAB, this could add up to something!
    -Ki Strikes? Nice, my unarmed strikes pretend to be weapons and get some minor abilities that almost replicate what my 1000gp weapon does! If only my WPL wasn't 100000...
    -Slow Fall? So I get to replicate a 1st level spell by level 20? No? It only works next to walls? Well, almost replicate a 1st level spell!
    -All this nice stuff, Abundant Step, Quivering Palm, Empty Body, I can replicate many kinds of spells poorly...once per DAY! Oh, make it Once per WEEK for that scary scary, broken Finger of Death With Save DC Derived Off Secondary Stat That Requires An Attack To Hit To Be Used.
    -Oh, there's more? I get to replicate few more random low level spells? Cool. Oh, and Evasion? Yeah, nice, my Reflex-saves actually matter something! That's like...25k saved on the Ring.
    -I get Spell Resistance? Just to ensure my team can't waste a Heal on me when I'm about to die? Cool!


    Lack of synergy and multi-attribute dependency pretty much screw Monks up. Oh, and the good class features being limited to Very Few Uses Per Day. Seriously, if Monks had the ability to use Flurry whenever making an attack, if they got like Wis x uses of their now-daily abilities and the ability to use Dex for combat maneuvers, and Wis/Dex for damage, they'd be just fine. Grab Weapon Finesse/Intuitive Attack and they'd be able to go to town. As all those things are ****ed up though, they don't. As I mentioned above, those multiclass builds easily sidestep these issues. Mono-classed Monks don't though.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I'm not an optimizer at all; to me being a little on the weak side is a feature, not a bug, because it means you're not breaking the game before breakfast like a Wizard or Cleric. That said, even I don't like the monk much, not because it's weak but because it's boring. The skeleton of the class is good, but when you get to the part about ki abilities, there's virtually nothing there; they picked out abilities that do virtually nothing, and they're always the same for every member of the class, or perhaps one of two possible choices.

    The Ranger has much the same problem in my book, apart from getting a few spells and an animal companion, both of which are basically just a built-in Druid multiclass; take those things away and all you're left with is Favored Enemy. And I love the ranger class, largely because it has Favored Enemy (though all those Skills don't hurt either). You don't need a lot of options, IMO, but you need some. Three or four bonus feats and a lot of rather pointless abilities just aren't enough to make an interesting character class.

    Full casters (and full manifesters, and full initiators, and full meldshapers, and the Tome of Magic classes) all have the same problem IMO - too much diversity, too many choices to make. Monks and to a lesser extent Rangers and Rogues have the opposite problem; there are hardly any decisions involved and you don't have much that you can do outside of a very narrow niche (and the monk barely has that, hence why he is the worst of these). That's why I consider the Fighter to be one of the best-made classes; he has a nice big list of options to pick from, but he only makes one pick every level or two, plus deciding on choice of weapons or the like in a fight. Just a small amount of choice in both the short and long term, so you're neither bored nor overloaded - that's what I consider ideal.

    (Granted my perspective is a bit skewed; I hardly ever actually play since I'm nearly always the DM, so instead of making a character with enough bells and whistles to keep me amused for however long it takes to level up, I'm making NPCs in large numbers that I need to be able to assemble fairly quickly and understand how to use them in-game.)
    I really like this post. Although I don't agree about the full casters part, at least the ones from the PHB. I actually find the most fun classes to build and level are the fighter, cleric, and wizard. Basically because what you start with is an almost complete blank table that you get to fill in. Choose your feats and bonus feats, and for the casters there are domains, schools and spells. It's customization galore.
    The other classes have a bit too many pre-written abilities. It's like the difference between Lego and Playmobil: with Playmobil you have a starbase or a starbase with a slightly different setup, and with Lego you can build a starbase or a starship from the same box.

    That being said, I've played a monk once that was a tumbling, spring attacking, impossible to catch tripping machine, that was fun to play. Not alot of damage but useful for the rest of the party.


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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    I had done some math somewhere on the boards...years ago now it seems, that showed how level for level the commoner class can be built better at disarming someone than the monk. I can't remember exactly how long they were better, but it was for a good while.

    Now, disarming may not be the best tactic you may say, but Monks can get it as a bonus feat and have special weapons that help with it, so it served as a good comparison point. But the fact remained that with equal stats and the same feats a commoner with a spear (or even better, a longspear) is better at disarming someone than a monk with a sai (their special disarming weapon).

    A shame.

    :edit:

    Which is to say, the reason they are so bad is that everything they are designed and intended to do can be done by someone else better, stronger, and usually faster.
    Last edited by Gerrtt; 2012-11-17 at 12:15 PM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Compare this:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150122

    With the original monk and the original versions of the feats mentioned in that thread. Looking at the fixed versions and the original versions, you can easily see where the problems are.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    I wrote a long-ish post recently comparing the Monk's class features to various (usually cheap) magic items. Spoiler alert: nearly all of them are available to every other class in that form.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edenbeast View Post
    That being said, I've played a monk once that was a tumbling, spring attacking, impossible to catch tripping machine, that was fun to play. Not alot of damage but useful for the rest of the party.
    Honestly, leave Spring Attacking out and you have the best kind of Monk possible without a lot of work; the Improved Trip Strength-focused machine. You get your AoOs and even full attacks occasionally and you have the tripper's utility.

    The reason this aspect isn't much vaunted for a Monk though is because there are better Trippers in the game. In Core, you have the Barbarian and the Cleric in particular. Cleric has trouble with the Int prerequisites but a smart Cleric with Improved Trip and the boost spells is a true monster. And Barbarian has the natural Strength-increases in Rage and a high basic move speed making him a superb tripper.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    They are not proficient with unarmed strikes, think about that for a second.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Courier6 View Post
    They are not proficient with unarmed strikes, think about that for a second.
    That's really not a problem with the monk, just excessive literalism in the reading. Not one class in the game specifically states that you ARE proficient with unarmed strikes, so doubtless the writers figured it was obvious that everyone was. The fact that unarmed strike is on the table as a Simple weapon is misleading, but it doesn't actually prove that proficiency is required, it's just done in case anybody needs to know what type of weapon the unarmed strike counts as for the purposes of a feat or spell or something. But no one is ever not proficient in their natural attacks, and an unarmed strike is a natural attack for the human(oid) body.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    In my experience, the monk class is excellent for a dip of a level or two, but not worth the trouble of sticking with. You get a few useful bonus feats, wisdom to AC, a respectable attack that you can always fall back on, evasion, and those saves. If you happen to be playing the right kind of character, I'd say go ahead and take a level or two in monk; it still won't be your best option, but it's not a bad one. Taking more than, say, five levels, however, seems downright silly.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    That's really not a problem with the monk, just excessive literalism in the reading. Not one class in the game specifically states that you ARE proficient with unarmed strikes, so doubtless the writers figured it was obvious that everyone was. The fact that unarmed strike is on the table as a Simple weapon is misleading, but it doesn't actually prove that proficiency is required, it's just done in case anybody needs to know what type of weapon the unarmed strike counts as for the purposes of a feat or spell or something. But no one is ever not proficient in their natural attacks, and an unarmed strike is a natural attack for the human(oid) body.
    To be honest, I would disagree. Most people do not, in fact, know how to properly punch or kick (for evidence of this, ask any competent martial artist). So I have no problem modeling, say, Joe Blow in 21st-century America as being non-proficient with unarmed, and I can only suppose that a similar situation would prevail in most other times: fighting without weapons is a learned skill, and it is not one that everyone learns. Random Commoner 1 NPCs therefore should be non-proficient unless they picked unarmed strike as their proficiency, druids should not have any special training in fist-fighting (since they are proficient with wild shape natural attacks by magic, and since there is little or no commonality between those and human fists, elbows, knees, and feet), and so on and so forth.

    TL/DR: Unarmed strikes should not be auto-proficient by common sense, and (by a happy coincidence) aren't by RAW either.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Honestly, leave Spring Attacking out and you have the best kind of Monk possible without a lot of work; the Improved Trip Strength-focused machine. You get your AoOs and even full attacks occasionally and you have the tripper's utility.

    The reason this aspect isn't much vaunted for a Monk though is because there are better Trippers in the game. In Core, you have the Barbarian and the Cleric in particular. Cleric has trouble with the Int prerequisites but a smart Cleric with Improved Trip and the boost spells is a true monster. And Barbarian has the natural Strength-increases in Rage and a high basic move speed making him a superb tripper.
    Even a fighter (or hell, even a warrior) is a better tripper than a monk. Better BAB and better str usually (due to less MAD); A PB monk with 18 starting Str has to make a lot of sacrifices. a 18 str 10 dex, 15 con 14 int fighter is perfectly playable for example.

    The issue with the monk IMO is, like others have said, that it provides a lot of abilities but most of them are, non-synergizing(flurry of blows&fast movement), easy to replicate(slow fall vs. ring of feather fall), come online way too late(like DR 10/magic at level 20) or don't do anything at all(like immunity to magical aging at level 17, when at the time of writing there was no magical aging effect, and during the whole run of 3.5 there have been only 1 or 2 such effects)

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    I saw a thread not long ago that looked a lot like this one. It was very enlightening. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned my two favorite tidbits yet.

    Spell resistance
    It's a great defense against spellcasters for a single monster, but it's a huge inconvenience for any character who's traveling with a party.
    Unlike a spell's saving throws, you can't voluntarily accept a spell through spell resistance. You must spend a standard action to lower it, and it then reactivates automatically on your next turn unless you intentionally leave it off. This means that either anyone trying to heal or buff you needs to make a caster level check to get through.
    Even if you keep it deactivated at all times and render the ability useless, it reactivates automatically if you are knocked unconscious (as you can not consciously focus on keeping it down). This is ultimately a giant middle finger to your healer, as his spells have a significant chance of failing at the most critical time.

    Perfect Self
    You become an outsider.
    Not a native outsider. Just an outsider.
    You're subject to dismissal and banishment.
    Where will you be banished to? I don't know. Nobody does.
    This may seem like a crazy interpretation of RAW, but that makes it no less true and no less hilarious to think about.

    A Little Extra, Just For The Lulz
    In a grapple, if one combatant is using a light weapon, the other can use that weapon against him. Unarmed attacks are considered to be a light weapon.
    This means that, if you are ever grappled, you may find yourself on the wrong side of a game of "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!"
    ...for up to 2d10 damage per attack, depending on what level you are.
    Last edited by Vaern; 2012-11-18 at 06:07 AM.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zelkon View Post
    I mean, it doesn't seem too bad to the untrained eye. What, generally, has to be fixed for the monk to work. Is it's damage output bad? Not enough versatility?
    All of the above and then some.

    -----

    Let's start with attributes, which is the base of a lot of the other issues as well: Just like a Fighter, a Monk needs high Strength to hit things and high Constitution to be able to take a hit. Unlike the Fighter, the Monk also needs good Dexterity and Wisdom to keep his AC up, among other things. Which might not be all bad, except that the Fighter will have higher AC anyways due to wearing actual (magic) armor, and gets a larger hit die to boot.

    Meanwhile, on offense: The Fighter will have much better to-hit than the Monk, due to
    1. Better base attack bonus.
    2. The -2 for flurrying for the Monk's first eleven levels.
    3. Higher Str, since the Monk will inevitably have to divert resources away from boosting Str and towards boosting Dex and Wis.
    4. A magic weapon.

    The Fighter will also have much higher damage, due to:
    1. A greatsword, which has the same or higher damage dice (2d6) as the Monk's unarmed strikes until 16th level, and even then the difference isn't much to write home about (a mere four damage on average between 2d6 and 2d10).
    2. A magic weapon (starting to see part of the pattern here)?
    3. Higher Str (see above).
    4. 1.5x Str to damage and 2:1 Power Attack thanks to attacking two-handed. This is the big one, because after the first few levels your Str bonus and Power Attack are where all the real damage comes from.

    The comparison isn't too great with a Rogue either:
    1. Possible toss-up on AC, but with the edge going to the Rogue thanks (once again) to having actual armor.
    2. Edge on to-hit also goes to the Rogue, thanks to magic weapon bonuses.
    3. Damage goes to the Rogue handily, because Sneak Attack.

    -----

    Okay, so we've established that the Monk loses out to pretty much any other melee class in terms of the basic math of fighting things. What does it get in return?

    1. An extra attack. This would be a lot better if it weren't for the Monk's problems actually hitting things in the first place (see above).

    2. All good saves. Nice, but the other classes can easily make up the difference via a Cloak of Resistance, purchased with the cash they don't have to spend increasing more than one or two attributes.

    3. Bonus feats. These are genuinely good, especially with some of the Fighting Style variants from Unearthed Arcana, but can't justify the class as a whole due to all coming in the early levels.

    4. Evasion. Always nice to have, but Rogues get it too, and so will everyone else once they have 25000 gp to spare for a ring.

    5. A genuine bucketload of other class features that each look cool, until you ask yourself the simple question, "When will this actually be relevant?" Let's go down the list:

    Fast Movement

    Doesn't stack with Haste, and to use Flurry of Blows you have to stand still.

    Still Mind

    Meh, I've seen better. +2 save bonuses are a dime a dozen, and this one is vs. one of the easiest effects to become outright immune to.

    Ki Strike

    Cool, now you can pretend your fists are magic weapons. Except for the part where a real magic weapon can hit incorporeal creatures, or give you extra attack and damage, or be on fire.

    Slow Fall

    At 20th level, this is almost as good as a ring you can buy with your pocket change.

    Purity of Body

    When was the last time your DM used mundane diseases? Exactly.

    Wholeness of Body

    That sound you hear? It's the Cleric laughing at you.

    Improved Evasion

    If you're ever missing a Reflex save by the time you get this, then something's gone horribly wrong.

    Diamond Body

    As above, you should be making the saves anyways.

    Abundant Step

    At 1/day it's too awesome to use, minus the awesome. As a utility option you can (and likely have been for five levels already) just grab the Wizard's hand while he uses his full caster level Dimension Door, and as a get out of jail free card it's shown up by some fairly cheap items.

    Diamond Soul

    Fun fact: Did you know that most buffs and healing spells are "SR: Yes?" And that it takes a Standard Action to waive your spell resistance? This ability is a trap.

    Quivering Palm

    1/week!? Are you kriffing kidding me!?

    Timless Body

    You're more likely to advance an age cateogry in real life than you are in a D&D campaign.

    Tongue of the Sun and Moon

    The casters have been doing this for the past twelve levels.

    Empty Body

    This one's actually pretty good, except for the part where you had to go through eighteen levels of the above to get to it.

    Perfect Self

    If you're 20th level and still remember that DR/magic exists, then your DM's kid gloves are several feet thick. In exchange, you lose the ability to get Enlarge Person'ed.

    -----

    Short version: The Monk is a class designed to fight unarmed and unarmored, in a game system built from the ground up around the assumption that combatants will be armed and armored. In return for that natural deficiency, it gets a bunch of abilities that you'll forget you even have.
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-11-18 at 06:12 AM.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    Even a fighter (or hell, even a warrior) is a better tripper than a monk. Better BAB and better str usually (due to less MAD); A PB monk with 18 starting Str has to make a lot of sacrifices. a 18 str 10 dex, 15 con 14 int fighter is perfectly playable for example.
    Well, Monk does have the advantage of not requiring 13 Int for Improved Trip. BAB does not factor into Trip so a Strength-focused Monk is as good as anything else. Of course, yeah, their MAD still hurts them but overall, tripping tends to be the best option for a Monk and a tripping Monk isn't as far behind of tripping everything else as a non-tripping Monk is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
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    You're more likely to advance an age cateogry in real life than you are in a D&D campaign.
    Well no, with fast time planes and plane shifting this is pretty easy to turn into "+3 to all mental stats". Alas, it's often too little too late but if I somehow ended up playing a level 17 Monk (or more likely, a Druid) I sure as hell would use the hell outta this.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2012-11-18 at 07:36 AM.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    @ Eldariel: The player wants that time nonsense. Would the character, though? In 2nd Ed. I never once allowed anyone to cast Haste on me, even when I played a dwarf or an elf. That's a year of life gone by!
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    @ Eldariel: The player wants that time nonsense. Would the character, though? In 2nd Ed. I never once allowed anyone to cast Haste on me, even when I played a dwarf or an elf. That's a year of life gone by!
    *shrug* A monk going by the fluff package would, probably. Meditating for years is basically what monks do, after all; seeking enlightenment is their whole purpose in life. If it enables them to unlock their true potential, well, I'd imagine they would indeed go for it.

    Of course, there's more to each character than just the archetype and there is more to each class than just the default fluff but a monk is one of the narrower classes if going superdeep and 17 levels is pretty darn deep. Not everybody has a thirst for life, after all, and a monk's enlightenment is pretty much all about getting rid of that thirst if it's there in the first place.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    except a fighter/warrior is still better at tripping becuase he will be using a reach weapon that might have been specificaly enchanted for tripping.

    edit haste no longer ages you
    Last edited by awa; 2012-11-18 at 11:28 AM.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Weeell, if the guy thought meditation was all there is to enlightenment, why is he adventuring in the first place? Why would he ever stop, once he found a quiet place to do it? And if he doesn't, wouldn't he like to spend over half his life's years trying to find enlightenment?
    I can certainly see some monk going for what you describe, though. I can't guarantee I wouldn't feel a desire to roll eyes if it came up at my table, on the other hand.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    Weeell, if the guy thought meditation was all there is to enlightenment, why is he adventuring in the first place? Why would he ever stop, once he found a quiet place to do it? And if he doesn't, wouldn't he like to spend over half his life's years trying to find enlightenment?
    I can certainly see some monk going for what you describe, though. I can't guarantee I wouldn't feel a desire to roll eyes if it came up at my table, on the other hand.
    Monks seek enlightenment all their lives; that's why the class has the multiclass restrictions in the first place, it's something you have to see to the end. And adventuring monks, yeah, it's a kind of a weird role but I suppose for a monk seeking enlightenment through martial arts (rather than using martial arts just to keep your body in shape) seeking different adversaries to keep improving makes sense.

    Ultimately, as a player I feel if I'm playing a level 17 Monk tho I'd damn well better utilize the class features to the fullest or I'm going to mechanically drag the party down and get everybody killed. As such I'd make small concessions on things like that starting top-down and figuring out why the character wants to do what makes him more powerful, rather than decide on something else 'cause while it might make sense it would also probably cripple me even further.


    In general, in 3.5 when designing characters I pick a concept, and build mechanics to match that while not crippling the character power mechanically since that's what I feel the system is built to support. If I wanted full organic character building I feel I'd need a different system for that. The way 3.5 is designed, you both tend to need to keep an eye on your power level and plan things ahead of time.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Diamond Soul is a bit stronger then people give it to be, as Spell Resistance is overridden by Foregoing your save. I dont think there is a heal in the game that lacks a save.

    The problem with monk is the only real way to make them effective is to use a quarterstaff (which people forget about). At least they have ONE twohander they are proficient and centered with.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-11-18 at 12:29 PM.


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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    Weeell, if the guy thought meditation was all there is to enlightenment, why is he adventuring in the first place?
    Same reason Haley quit the thieves' guild and went to go improve her lockpicking skill by killing kobolds. In D&D land, adventuring is the fast-track to self-improvement; regardless of what you do, you can do it a lot better after three years of raiding dungeons and hunting owlbears in the wood than you could in thirty years of daily toil and tedium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Monks seek enlightenment all their lives; that's why the class has the multiclass restrictions in the first place, it's something you have to see to the end.
    Or rather, something that you can stop, but then can't start again. Which sort of makes sense, if you get into a bad habit it's very hard to get back whatever discipline or rigor you've lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Ultimately, as a player I feel if I'm playing a level 17 Monk tho I'd damn well better utilize the class features to the fullest or I'm going to mechanically drag the party down and get everybody killed. As such I'd make small concessions on things like that starting top-down and figuring out why the character wants to do what makes him more powerful, rather than decide on something else 'cause while it might make sense it would also probably cripple me even further.
    Whereas in my circle it's much more important to roleplay a character, and if that means you pass up your existing class features because they don't fit the flavor, then the DM works around that. It might mean you can't call yourself the badassest of the badass, but as long as everyone is playing their character and having fun, achieving objectives is of secondary importance. And I usually don't give my players "do this or die" type plots anyway. I'll admit that I'm a bit slower than I should be about bending the rules to make sure they can function in spite of a little self-handicapping; when I made an NPC cleric who didn't wear armor, I was fully prepared to just take a hit to her potential, and while I did eventually homebrew up an alternate class for her (which involved gaining Charisma to AC the way a monk gains Wisdom), if it had been one of my players rather than myself with that idea, I'd probably have hemmed and hawed about game balance for a long time before I signed off on it. Still, that's a failing on my part, and forcing players to sacrifice their concept for the sake of "ability to contribute" is just as much a failing IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    If I wanted full organic character building I feel I'd need a different system for that. The way 3.5 is designed, you both tend to need to keep an eye on your power level and plan things ahead of time.
    Or at least have a DM who is as willing to bend the rules in your favor as I am, but more confident than me in actually getting it done.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    Perfect Self
    You become an outsider.
    Not a native outsider. Just an outsider.
    You're subject to dismissal and banishment.
    Where will you be banished to? I don't know. Nobody does.
    This may seem like a crazy interpretation of RAW, but that makes it no less true and no less hilarious to think about.
    This is incorrect. Dismissal and Banishment refer to extraplanar creatures, not outsiders. "Extraplanar" is a subtype that has nothing to do with the creature's type and everything to do with its plane of origin, which the Monk capstone doesn't change.

    Admittedly, the writers don't seem to have always realized this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    This is incorrect. Dismissal and Banishment refer to extraplanar creatures, not outsiders. "Extraplanar" is a subtype that has nothing to do with the creature's type and everything to do with its plane of origin, which the Monk capstone doesn't change.

    Admittedly, the writers don't seem to have always realized this.
    Actually, it does make monks vulnerable, as it changes your type to Outsider (no subtypes). Because they have no native descriptor, they are considered extraplanar no matter what. Fey'Ri and most other planetouched at least specify that they have the Native subtype by refferencing back to teiflings.


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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Why do we need one of these threads every week? If this was last year, you'd get Giacomo jumping to say that the monk is still totally good because of sepcific cross-class UMD shenanananigans.

    I think he got banned, though. Ah, memories.
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    It doesn't so much as demean the celestial monkey's existence, so much as fulfill it. Without the ability to be summoned to set off traps, retrieve objects from dangerous situations, and all and all be a party's guinea pig, the Celestial Monkey would languish in obscurity in the MM and do nothing more legendary than eat celestial bananas.
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