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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    To speak more generally than the specific, mechanical problems of the monk (which have been enumerated at length in this thread and elsewhere), I think the primary flaw of the monk, from a design perspective, is that it really has no business being a base class. Of course, that's just my opinion, and I don't mean it as anything against the monk class, I just feel that, in both its flavor and mechanics, it is better suited to be (that is to say, it would function better if designed as) a prestige class than a base class.

    Basically, the base classes all represent at least fairly broad archetypes which can evolve in a variety of ways and towards a variety of different concepts. A fighter can be a grizzled, pragmatic veteran of a mercenary company, a desert nomad who focuses on mobility and grace, or an honorable knight, in his family's ancestral plate, questing for justice and truth. A wizard can specialize in any number of schools and build a spell list any number of ways, from a power-mad necromancer to a battle-mage blaster wizard to a zany illusionist. These are all concepts the class can represent not just in terms of its fluff, but concepts that can be created and represented by the mechanics of the class, more-or-less viably. Not only does the flavor of monk narrow the concept down much more than just about any other core base class (Paladin, I'm looking at you), but the lack of mechanical options enforces this narrowly-tailored class.

    The monk class basically necessitates that anyone who want to be a martial artist plays a character that's pretty much a kung-fu movie version of a Shaolin monk. As such, the class gets a lot of mechanically useless features which add to this flavor, but in the process define the flavor; a very specific character concept, with little room for change, is an entire class. Now, this is more what I think of when I think of prestige classes, classes who go down a more specific path than the base class from which one enters them, and which one must meet certain prerequisites, in alignment and character build, to enter.

    Now, this isn't to say all monks are one-note characters, but rather that the system as written encourages monks to be one-note characters, or at least much more similar to one another than two members of another class, even if players can overcome this. Before splatbooks gave us a bajillion extra base classes and as such provided one for essentially any specific concept, concepts as narrowly tailored as the monk, at least in my opinion, were mostly represented through mechanical choices in base classes and/or taking more specific prestige classes. Stretching monk out over twenty levels gives it a bunch of useless "filler" abilities with cool names, abilities than come too late to be useful, and a notable lack of the variety of choices offered to other base classes.
    Quoted for truth. The Monk gets it even worse though, as most designers basically gave up on trying to fix them in the expansions. While the Paladin is narrowly defined, he gets enough splat support that you can play a peaceful healing Paladin, a scourge of evil smiting paladin, a Sword of the Arcane Order spellcasting paladin, a Drakenmount charging paladin, or any of the moderately broad varieties of holy warrior out there. The Monk has very few ACF's, and most of them fail to give the Monk any real synergy or even allow the Monk to fill a different archtype. I'd go so far as to say that the Monk is probably the worst supported core class in the game, trailing after the Rogue (who got a lot of lackluster ACF's and average feats but a decent variety of PrC's).

    Part of the reason the Unarmed Swordsage is such a popular suggestion is that the maneuvers can fill in for a broader variety of monk archtypes - the Naruto-esque magic monk, the badass normal martial artist, or anything in between. It was the Monk we always wanted, but didn't get until the end of 3rd edition.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Actually, the Monk has a TON of ACF's; they are mostly in Dragon Magazine, though.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Actually, the Monk has a TON of ACF's; they are mostly in Dragon Magazine, though.
    Although his claim that there are few ACFs and supporting feats is wrong (monks have more ACFs then druids, ranger, rogue, Sorcerers, and clerics), Their ACF's and supporting feats are some of the worst for actually providing options.

    When people say play a Swordsage, or a Warblade, i dont argue typically because they both are much better built classes then their predecessor (unless its Swordsage for rogue, Rogue has a niche, and can be built quite effectively for ranged combat if given more feats.)

    The reason why i dont like people saying play a Crusader instead of a paladin is that a paladin can be improved by leaps and bounds with only a small cross-section of the game.


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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    I have never met anyone who owns tome of battle while the srd is free online so just saying monks dont matter sword sages exsist is not particularly helpfull or usefull.
    On the bright side, warblade is freely available online and all of the maneuvers are freely available through WOTC's web enhancements.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    I'll quote a post I made... monk with a huge amount of ACF's is viable!

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...47&postcount=2

    "5.) Monk with a huuuuge variety of alternative class features. Namely: Wild Monk (Dragon Magazine #324), Holy Strike (Complete Champion), Invisible Fist (Champions of Valor), Resistant Body (Planar Handbook), who picks up the 'X Wild Shape' (where X is a descriptor) feats from Draconomicon, Book of Exalted Deeds, and Frostburn. Make sure the DM lets you use your unarmed strikes at the end of your natural attacks. Focus on Wild Shape forms that get Pounce. Only works as 'powerful' once you get Wild Shape, and if you use a method of speaking while in Wild Shape, and of getting your gear to work while in Wild Shape as well (Wilding Clasps from Magic Item Compendium, or taking your gear off and putting it on after you shape)."
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-19 at 04:32 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    I'll quote a post I made... monk with a huge amount of ACF's is viable!

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...47&postcount=2

    "5.) Monk with a huuuuge variety of alternative class features. Namely: Wild Monk (Dragon Magazine #324), Holy Strike (Complete Champion), Invisible Fist (Champions of Valor), Resistant Body (Planar Handbook), who picks up the 'X Wild Shape' (where X is a descriptor) feats from Draconomicon, Book of Exalted Deeds, and Frostburn. Make sure the DM lets you use your unarmed strikes at the end of your natural attacks. Focus on Wild Shape forms that get Pounce. Only works as 'powerful' once you get Wild Shape, and if you use a method of speaking while in Wild Shape, and of getting your gear to work while in Wild Shape as well (Wilding Clasps from Magic Item Compendium, or taking your gear off and putting it on after you shape)."
    All you really need to make 'em viable is Wild Monk TBH. Martial Monk can do some fairly decent things too but Wild Monk is what pulls the class to tier 3.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    Problems with monks.

    Medium BAB: You're a warrior class. I'd understand this if you gained bonuses specific to your unarmed strike and monk weapons that make your BAB equivalent to full, but you don't.
    Full bab is overrated, as totemist, psychic and swordsage demonstrate

    D8 hit die: Warrior class!
    HD isn't a big deal, again with swordsage, totemist, and psychic warrior. The problem is with lack of viable defenses, other than ACFs the monk is either just too vulnerable to melee attacks or is a waste of space due having no offense.


    Flurry of Blows: No movement and medium BAB? With a weapon that's harder to enchant than normal? Bad. Easily fixed, but that ain't the point.
    Again your over estimating the BAB deal, The weapon that's harder to enchant is the real problem, and nobody gets movement and a full attack except for barbarians and natural attack pouncers.

    Fast Movement: Great, so now you can waste your turn running up to the enemy...
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    All your other class features: Either useless, or too little too late.
    Evasion that you can trade for invisible fist or feign death, and bonus feats are pretty nice.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    All you really need to make 'em viable is Wild Monk TBH. Martial Monk can do some fairly decent things too but Wild Monk is what pulls the class to tier 3.
    The other stuff helps you survive till you get to Wild Monk's actual Wild Shape...

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Full bab is overrated
    It is, in general, but I don't feel that Jade Dragon is doing so. There is a definite weakness in the Monk where he cannot hit things. This is due primarily to his Medium BAB and the additional penalties thrown on top by Flurry of Blows. You could just not use Flurry, but then you're missing out on one of the few real features that Monks do get.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Full bab is overrated, as totemist, psychic and swordsage demonstrate
    They all get stuff to make up for it though. A ton of natural weapons which don't suffer the same problems as the monk's flurry and a lot of flexibility in addition to the ability to get additional bonuses to hit with them.

    A lack of full BAB means that the main schtick of mundane melee combatants, Power Attack, is gimped.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Again your over estimating the BAB deal, The weapon that's harder to enchant is the real problem, and nobody gets movement and a full attack except for barbarians and natural attack pouncers.
    And monks are supposed to be all about mobility, so them not getting it is kinda whack.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Answerer View Post
    It is, in general, but I don't feel that Jade Dragon is doing so. There is a definite weakness in the Monk where he cannot hit things. This is due primarily to his Medium BAB and the additional penalties thrown on top by Flurry of Blows. You could just not use Flurry, but then you're missing out on one of the few real features that Monks do get.
    I think the MADness is a bigger issue, hindering damage as well as attack bonus. At low levels flurry is like TWF with full strength mod to both hands. Which would be awesome if a monk could afford a strength modifier.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    If you want the monk to be about as strong as the fighter, or barbarian, it's pretty easy.

    Full BAB, full saves, 4 + int skillpoints, d8 HD, Pounce, unarmed strike, bonus feats it already gets, give stunning fist a real DC and more stunning attempts, faster movement progression, more AC, short range teleportation at will from about level 7, wall-running at like level 3, triple to quadruple jump range, air walk at higher levels etc, plane shift and teleport at higher levels, as well as meld with stone, water breathing, incorporeality, a swim speed, and some choices between this sort of thing and elemental attacks/abilities.

    You can even make it tier 2ish if you want, the Tome Monk is basically there already. Just got to add some of the kind of things wizards can do to the class, but more limited in scope, and usable at will.


    Monk is so bad largely because 3.5 is a superhero game and monks are sword and sandals melee combatants. They have no way to break out of being one, unlike barbarian and fighter who can access feat chains and ACFs to become chargers or trippers or whatever. Batman is always going to be more awesome than Trogald the Sneak-Thief. Sandman(Fighter/Barbarian), while maybe not as awesome as Batman, can at least play in the same leagues.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Answerer View Post
    It is, in general, but I don't feel that Jade Dragon is doing so. There is a definite weakness in the Monk where he cannot hit things. This is due primarily to his Medium BAB and the additional penalties thrown on top by Flurry of Blows. You could just not use Flurry, but then you're missing out on one of the few real features that Monks do get.
    Addendum: I think the important distinction to draw between Monk and your average medium BAB class is that Monk is designed to eventually do 3 attacks (inherently, before Haste comes into play) at their maximum attack bonus. Now, medium BAB, early level flurry penalties and their lack of internal options to increase their attack bonus combined ensure that all the full BAB attacks will be at such a low attack bonus that they still suffer a significant chance to miss, something no other warrior class in this game can really boast.

    If the class weren't based on throwing a large array of unenhanced attacks at their maximum attack bonus (to compensate for the attacks' individual lack of damage and the poor attack bonus) or if the class had built-in means to boost its attack bonus medium BAB wouldn't be a big deal, but as it stands without a lot of work it leaves Monks behind even their sucktown companions like Fighters and Warriors.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Full bab is overrated, as totemist, psychic and swordsage demonstrate


    HD isn't a big deal, again with swordsage, totemist, and psychic warrior. The problem is with lack of viable defenses, other than ACFs the monk is either just too vulnerable to melee attacks or is a waste of space due having no offense.
    Alright.

    1. Swordsage. Hitting the enemy is a problem with swordsages. A problem they solve with Strikes, especially Emerald Razor. Swordsages can also get dex-to-damage, so they rely on strength less, or they can forgo Wisdom and some Dexterity in favor of Strength.
    2. Totemist. The Totemist's strength doesn't lie in its melee. It lies in its versatility. But a totemist can get so many attacks at maximum bonus that it just doesn't matter. A totemist can easily get as many attacks as Flurry has, but all at full BAB and without a penalty, so it beats out monk both at low and high levels. I think they can also gain touch attacks.
    3. Psychic Warrior. I actually have really no idea how Psychic Warriors work outside of fundamentals and how to build a tripping machine.
    Again your over estimating the BAB deal, The weapon that's harder to enchant is the real problem, and nobody gets movement and a full attack except for barbarians and natural attack pouncers.
    ...

    Let me just give you a list.

    1. Travel Devotion. For paladins and melee clerics, and monks who are willing to spend a feat to get this once per day.
    2. Tome of Battle Strikes. Technically not full attacks, but a viable replacement.
    3. Tome of Battle mobility. Sudden Leap, Pouncing Charge, and Shadow Blink.
    4. One level of Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian. Easy dip for any class that doesn't have access to any of the other methods (except, y'know, monk, who has alignment AND multiclass restrictions that are incompatible with this method).
    5. Totemist.
    6. Spell: Dire Lion's Charge (I think that's what it's called). For gish builds.
    7. Power: Psionic Lion's Charge. For Psychic Warriors.
    Evasion that you can trade for invisible fist or feign death, and bonus feats are pretty nice.
    Forgot about Evasion. Still, one class feature. Maybe two if Improved counts as separate. Unarmed Strike and Evasion, the only two decent class features the monk has.
    Last edited by Jade Dragon; 2012-11-19 at 05:41 PM.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    2. Totemist. The Totemist's strength doesn't lie in its melee. It lies in its versatility. But a totemist can get so many attacks at maximum bonus that it just doesn't matter. A totemist can easily get as many attacks as Flurry has, but all at full BAB and without a penalty, so it beats out monk both at low and high levels. I think they can also gain touch attacks.
    The only melee touch attack that totemist gets that I am aware of only deals non-lethal cold damage, that being said they have a couple of ranged touch attacks. The damage they deal is piddly compared to what wizards, sorcerers, psions, and wilders can do, but it can be a useful trick up your sleeve. The real power of the class comes from girallon arms, landshark boots, and manticore belt, since they are gateways to a huge number of attacks at full bab. Since they qualify for multi-attack they can significant reduce their attack penalties, where as monk doesn't have that option. Totemist and monk are very similar in that they rely on masses of attacks, and weird special abilities, the difference is that totemist can choose from a wide variety of attacks, and they choose their special abilities, and they choose them every morning, and several of the choices are pretty good, where as monks have a predefined list of mostly useless abilities.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Actually, the main strength of Totemist is not in it's versatility - one could argue that about Incarnate, or Binder, but Totemist's only real versatility is in using Manticore Belt or Landshark Boots or Girallon Arms - i.e. do you want ranged attacks, melee attacks with partial pounce, or melee attacks with +grapple?

    Totemist is best used as a gateway drug. When you already have added damage from sneak attack, skirmish, X stat to damage, or power attack, a 2 level dip in Totemist adds between 3 and 5 attacks (depending on what you're attacking with already) which can double or triple your damage output.

    That said, mixing a small amount of Incarnate into totemist, if Evil, can really boost your damage output(Incarnate Avatar), especially if you go Incarnate 3 for the Arms Bind, as that adds another 2 attacks (slams) to your attack routine(Astral Vambraces).



    But uh. In terms of melee fighting, a totemist craps all over a monk. Thanks to Blink Shirt and the speed-increasing and jump-increasing melds, totemists crap all over monks in terms of mobility, too. With Landshark boots, they can even pseudopounce(which monks can't). Totemists are vastly superior than the monk at anything the monk would do.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Actually, the main strength of Totemist is not in it's versatility - one could argue that about Incarnate, or Binder, but Totemist's only real versatility is in using Manticore Belt or Landshark Boots or Girallon Arms - i.e. do you want ranged attacks, melee attacks with partial pounce, or melee attacks with +grapple?

    Totemist is best used as a gateway drug. When you already have added damage from sneak attack, skirmish, X stat to damage, or power attack, a 2 level dip in Totemist adds between 3 and 5 attacks (depending on what you're attacking with already) which can double or triple your damage output.

    That said, mixing a small amount of Incarnate into totemist, if Evil, can really boost your damage output(Incarnate Avatar), especially if you go Incarnate 3 for the Arms Bind, as that adds another 2 attacks (slams) to your attack routine(Astral Vambraces).



    But uh. In terms of melee fighting, a totemist craps all over a monk. Thanks to Blink Shirt and the speed-increasing and jump-increasing melds, totemists crap all over monks in terms of mobility, too. With Landshark boots, they can even pseudopounce(which monks can't). Totemists are vastly superior than the monk at anything the monk would do.
    Totemist can also fly, trip, debuff, AoE, and with a very fluff appropriate dip get pounce ( from barbarian (and not even lose illiteracy)). They have a slightly harder time with AC than monk, but monks aren't all that good to start with. And while yes, girallon arms, landshark boots, and manticore belt are certainly the most obviously powerful attacks, there are other good attack totem binds that can great in certain situations. Kruthik claws offer two attacks (as opposed to 4) with some very nice acid damage on top, and make you pretty good at hide and move silently bonuses while they're on (especially fun as a dip for rogues). Phase cloak gives you con damage poison on the sting. Plus the gorgon mask's temporary petrification is darn nice when you have a friend who has one of the mountain hammer manuevers ready to go.

    Ironically the glue feat that really holds totemist together (especially as a dip) is improved unarmed strike, giving you an iterative to use alongside whatever monsterous appendages you have chosen to assemble. Monk could be used instead of ius, but that's wasting a level that could be totemist, barbarian, bear warrior, frenzied berserker, or what have you, and more to that point it locks you into lawful alignment, which is inferior to chaotic when it comes to issuing a massive beatdown. Also since all melee combatants need con and either str or dex (frequently both), it really helps that all of the totemists class abilities are con based (as opposed to incarnate, who uses con and wis), freeing him from dependence on any mental stat, where as monks wis dependence and greater reliance on skill (creating a round about int dependence), mean his only dump stat is cha. A totemist with straight 8s in mental stats is all but unperturbed, where as a monk would be hurting.

    People often bring up monk when referring to gestalt, especially alongside druid. This is yet another case where living in a monastery is inferior to growing monster parts. IUS is just as potent as before (more so due to wildshape size), and you can add extra attacks to your animal form. Why be a kungfu bear, when you can be a pugilist bear with two tentacles coming out of your shoulders. Yeah, you have less AC than you would as a monk//druid, but not dying is less effective than killing things quickly when it comes to not dying. Even swordsage//druid is getting a lot more good stuff than druid//monk (wolf fang strike with real wolf fangs), and still has all good saves and wis to ac. For the real gestalt fun: spirit lion totem barbarian1/totemistX/swordsageY//druidX+Y+1
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    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.
    Could we get a reference for this? Because I'm pretty sure this isn't how this works at all. You have to spend a standard action to lower your spell resistance; there's no other way to do so, far as I know. Is this a houserule?
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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?
    It needs a role. A Monk class built around being a striker, or a controller, or a debuffer could be quite good. This is not the case however; it has no role and has to be pigeonholed into one to be playable.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    2: Monks do not gain the Native subtype, which is not RAI. They gain specifically a unique subtype to their ascension that is Outsider (Can be ressed). This becomes a significant problem when Outsiders have to have either the Native or Extraplanar descriptors, which no other creature types in the game have normally on the Prime Material Plane.
    Native does not mean "you are on your home plane". Native means "you are a kind of Outsider that also has traits of a mortal".

    A Devil in Baator does not have the Extraplanar subtype, and he doesn't gain the Native one either.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    Native does not mean "you are on your home plane". Native means "you are a kind of Outsider that also has traits of a mortal".

    A Devil in Baator does not have the Extraplanar subtype, and he doesn't gain the Native one either.
    I believe what Toapat (and I) meant is that because Monks should still have the traits [native] confers, it would be more elegant to simply give them the proper subtype rather than wedging in the ability to be resurrected separately.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Tongue of the Sun and Moon

    The casters have been doing this for the past twelve levels.
    [nitpick]The casters can only understand and be understood by intelligent living creatures, the monk can speak with any living creature[/nitpick]

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devmaar View Post
    [nitpick]The casters can only understand and be understood by intelligent living creatures, the monk can speak with any living creature[/nitpick]

    "Hello Mr.Gelatinous Cube, would you care to join Mr.Large Monstrous Centipede and myself for a discussion on local politics?"
    nope. Tongue of the Sun and Moon lets you talk to, not understand, what the creature replys with. the dysfunctional rules thread covered this hilariously:

    "Sheep, W H E R E I S T H E B L A C K S M I T H?" ~monk
    "Baa"
    (monk leads the party in the wrong direction)
    "I dont get how he does it, but im impressed" ~Fighter


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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    nope. Tongue of the Sun and Moon lets you talk to, not understand, what the creature replys with. the dysfunctional rules thread covered this hilariously:

    "Sheep, W H E R E I S T H E B L A C K S M I T H?" ~monk
    "Baa"
    (monk leads the party in the wrong direction)
    "I dont get how he does it, but im impressed" ~Fighter
    Even better Monks can talk to Plants, no, not Plant type, plants. See as plants like rose bush aren't creatures but living objects in D&D.
    There are no spells to talk to them. Monks can...

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Even better Monks can talk to Plants, no, not Plant type, plants. See as plants like rose bush aren't creatures but living objects in D&D.
    There are no spells to talk to them. Monks can...
    Speak with plants.

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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    nope. Tongue of the Sun and Moon lets you talk to, not understand, what the creature replys with. the dysfunctional rules thread covered this hilariously:

    "Sheep, W H E R E I S T H E B L A C K S M I T H?" ~monk
    "Baa"
    (monk leads the party in the wrong direction)
    "I dont get how he does it, but im impressed" ~Fighter
    Nope. Tongue of the Sun and Moon lets you speak WITH, not TO, a living creature. That means you can understand what it says - otherwise it would, indeed, be "to." "With" implies that you can understand what the other side tells you.

    Also, no, you can't talk to non-Plant plants (boy, that sounds weird), because as you've pointed out, non-Plant plants aren't creatures by the rules and thus do not fall under the group of "any living creature."
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Even better Monks can talk to Plants, no, not Plant type, plants. See as plants like rose bush aren't creatures but living objects in D&D.
    There are no spells to talk to them. Monks can...
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    the problem is, Talking To does not necessarily mean you can understand what the opposing party is saying. The wording the ability should have is "Converse With"


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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the problem is, Talking To does not necessarily mean you can understand what the opposing party is saying. The wording the ability should have is "Converse With"
    The srd wording is "speak with." I'm AFB, so I don't know if it's differently put in the PHB.
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    Default Re: What makes the monk so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBento View Post
    Also, no, you can't talk to non-Plant plants (boy, that sounds weird), because as you've pointed out, non-Plant plants aren't creatures by the rules and thus do not fall under the group of "any living creature."
    Which would be relevant if speak with plants had "any living creature" as a target, but it doesn't. It has "Target: You" and grants you the ability to "comprehend and communicate with plants, including both normal plants and plant creatures."

    So yeah, spellcasters can do that one too. Druids have had access to it for 12 levels at this point.

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