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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Mar 2007

    cool Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo’s Guide to Monks
    Making the Most of What you Have (When Casters Believe What They Have Is Already Ridiculously Good)


    “We need to be enlightened by the OMFGWTFBBQ Ultimate Monk Build” – Solo

    FIRST POST: 5-17-2008
    FIRST UPDATE: 5-22-2008
    SECOND UPDATE: 5-25-2008
    THIRD UPDATE: 6-13-2008
    FOURTH UPDATE: 6-14-2008
    Note: This is the REAL guide, not the cheap copy Azerian Kelimon posted on the WoTC boards...:smallcool:

    45 pages! And still rising...

    I. Introduction

    Face it. If you play a non-caster, a monk in particular, chances are that caster players or wizard fans will laugh in your face, try to mop the floor with you and have a chat with a fellow caster while doing it (range: unlimited). Ever since the logicninja’s Batman concept hit the boards (and likely before that), casters and wizards in particular seem to be UBER. More astoundingly, actually, often even the non-casting classes appear to be a way more viable choice for...everything: fighting, scouting, etc.
    And, to add insult to injury, it appears as if the 4th edition gave up on monks altogether.
    However, this guide is intended to provide some ideas to make monks (and you can easily apply stuff found here to other non-casters) more of a challenge/fun to play throughout all levels. Feel free to add ideas and comments!

    Specifically, it can be a guide for, say,
    - players, when you play a monk in a party with highly-powered casters – and thus also highly-powered caster oppostion (basically, a proof vs said players kindly asking to play a caster instead lest you spoil their fun)
    - DMs, create some npc monk challenges to your caster players
    - Overall inspiration to show the monk is definitely balanced with all other core classes EDITED NOTE: This means that what this guide is NOT about, is showing that the monk is STRONGER than other classes.

    For simplicity and better usability in most campaigns, as well as help for beginning players (as well as my own limited purse to buy rule books), I’ll restrict it to generally available core rules (PHB, DMG, MM, SRD excepting psionics and divine domain rules) – so no celerity combos, timestopped maws of chaos (whatever that is) on the caster side and no belt of extra actions, vows of xy or or feats that push your damage to the colossal lvl 18 monk size by level 9. If you wish to (ab)use all the many great companions out there, you should still be able to use the principles outlined here as a source of ideas.

    EDIT4:
    Before reading on and doubting monk power, pls first read the
    Monk Rules FAQ
    Additionally, there are a great many links down in the Appendix of this Monk's Guide - both to external sources, and to WITHIN this ever-growing thread, to check whether your question has already been answered somewhere.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Throughout this thread, you'll find a lot of denial, sometimes based on different playing experience, but sometimes also on rules misperceptions. This lists tries to clarify the latter. I already once did a summary after 32 pages.
    Basically, many posters started their criticism based on assumptions that by now I proved to be false. And still they never change their views, which is in part responsible for the length of this thread.

    NOTE: For general monk and core game misperceptions and fallacies (imo) check below the chapter II.2. "Monk Myths"

    1. Can the monk flurry his grappling checks?
    Yes. More grappling attempts are based on base attack bonus, and the monk's flurry results in a modified base attack bonus (see the monk class description). Check also the 3.5 FAQ p. 20 which clearly outlines grappling as a possibility in a flurry to do in place of an attack.
    And for those remaining doubters, Lord Silvanos is quoting the Rules Compendium to support the notion that you can flurry in a grapple.

    2. How can the monk be good at grappling? He needs to hit first with a melee attack roll!
    No. He actually needs a melee TOUCH attack roll, where his lower BAB matters much less.

    3. Can the monk make use of any move enhancements? After all, his move his an enhancement bonus which stacks with nothing.
    Actually, the monk's movement enhancement is added to all forms of movement - swim, climb, fly, burrow - you name it. The most common form is get access to fly (60ft speed), on which the enhancement bonus is added. Note that the barbarian's higher move is not an enhancement bonus, so it would stack with the monk's bonus in multiclassing.

    4. Can the monk ever get an enhancement bonus to his unarmed strike with magic items and/or permanently?
    Yes. First of all, you can get greater magic fang or magic fang permanencie'd on your monk.
    The more resilient way (vs dispels at least) is, though, to get gauntlets. Now there is a big debate raging on whether a gauntlet can be considered an unarmed strike (the gauntlet description suggests so), although many (like Lord_Silvanos) would argue that the gauntlet is a simple weapon proficiency, and thus needs to be learned separately with a feat by the monk.
    What the gauntlet does, though, is deal unarmed damage as per monk unarmed damage table IN ADDITION to any enhancements it is enchanted with. Just like other weapons as well.
    Somewhere in the 3.5 FAQ, though, it was ruled that gauntlets are not a monk weapon and thus cannot be flurried. You can deliver stunning fist attacks with it, though (without the "ki" enchantment).

    5. Can the monk hit an incorporal creature with his ki strike - magic?
    No, unfortunately not. He'll need to either enchant his fists (or other parts of his body) with a magic enhancement bonus like magic fang or magic weapon, to at least get only a 50% miss chance. Or get a magic monk weapon for emergency.

    6. Spell Resistance and Perfect Self appear to have some drawbacks. What are they?
    Spell Resistance can be dangerous for buffing, in particular inside combat. For buffs with the "harmless" SR descriptor, the monk needs to lower his SR with a standard action. In rare circumstances, for buffs like enlarge (a key one), the SR cannot even be lowered. So you'll need to get some tricks (found in this guide) to get by. Luckily, those buffs cast by the monk are unaffected by his SR. And, the key buffs like divine power do not even have an SR entry, so they just work fine throughout all SR levels.
    Perfect Self at level 20 also prevents enlarge PERSON, since you're now considered an outsider for magical effects.

    7. The monk gets either improved grapple or stunning fist, as well as others at level 2 and 6 as bonus feats without meeting the requirements. What does that mean?
    Actually, in core 3.5, these are fairly rare boons. It means the monk needs no high stats that are otherwise minimum requirements in those feats. This can mean that in enlarged form (DEX -2), the monk needs not have a DEX of 15 from the start to keep the improved grapple feat, a great advantage over any other class trying to specialise in grappling.

    8. I heard that the monk receives the highest base damage in the game. Is that true? And will this be enough to be in line with the extra damage from sneak (rogue), rage (barbarian) and power attack (barbarian, fighter with TH-Weapons)?
    Yes and yes.
    The monk eventually, with a monk’s belt, will by level 15 have the highest medium sized base damage in the game, at 2d10. Actually, at level 6 already with the improved natural attack feat, at 3d6. This base damage is multiplied in a critical (unlike the rogue’s sneak attack) and applies always (unlike the rogue’s sneak attack- which is blocked by a simple concealment). By level 15, you’ll have enlarged a base damage of 6d8 (rougly in line with the 8d6 damage the rogue deals as sneak), which is enough to keep you in line with the big fighter and, at times, even barbarian damage dealers due to
    - higher number of attacks with
    - higher number of highest BAB attacks
    - and with divine power, equal BAB to the full BAB classes.
    As an aside, in this link, even Solo admits that the monk can outdamage the fighter in core

    9. What exactly makes you think the monk is the best grappler? What about the barbarian?
    The rules make me think so. The monk gets the following advantages over a barbarian.
    - improved grapple as a bonus feat, so he does not need DEX 15 to keep an enlarge effect in a grapple. In other words, he has likely higher base STR than the barbarian, in particular when with the high STR, you also wish to take improved trip (which is a gain a bonus feat for the monk, but necessitates INT 13 for everyone else, plus expertise as another feat cost).
    - The monk gets by far the highest unarmed damage in the game. So he deals more damage per won grapple check. This is not even overcome by the barbarian using an armour spike in a grapple (which by RAW only applies to the initial grapple ATTACK, not subsequent checks).
    - The monk gets the highest number of grapple attempts, since he can flurry (see above). This can overcome already a 2-3 difference in the grapple check.
    - At higher levels, grappling becomes somewhat unreliable (vs freedom of movement and huge size+ monsters). Thus, the barbarian having poured two of his feats into this combat technique would wish to have rather taken weapon focus and cleave to complement with his power attack.
    - The rage of a barbarian only lasts for one encounter, after which he gets a STR penalty and is fatigued. In direct grappling contest this means that the monk with higher move, hide, spot, move silently and listen can actually evade the barbarian, wait out the rage and return when he is fatigued.
    - Eventually, the BAB disadvantage can be overcome with a divine power effect for the monk.
    - And before you wonder – while a monk may use power attack with unarmed strikes, power attack cannot be applied to grapple checks (only to unarmed strikes, albeit at the usual -4 penalty in a grapple).

    10. Eversmoking bottle – what can be done and what not?
    The following things are RAW, no matter how much batman’s fans try to squirm around it:
    a. The eversmoking bottle provides full concealment. So no more line of sight, no more targeting, and 50% miss chance with ray attacks (provided you can pinpoint at all the silently moving monk in the smoke with the batman’s meagre listen check).
    b. The eversmoking bottle creates smoke. Smoke effects are outlined in the DMG and SRD – you need to either hold your breath (for a no. of rounds equal to your CON score, see Swim skill description), or when doing stuff like spellcasting, you’ll have to do a FORT save every round, with DC +1 for every round. When you fail, you spend the round coughing and choking, meaning you can no longer cast spells with vocal component (you need a loud, clear voice for that).
    c. A gust of wind CANNOT get rid of the smoke for long, only for 1 round – and only in the area of the spell effect. Ditto the wall of wind, which is static and will only get the smoke away in the area of effect. Whirlwind attacks by air elementals can entirely disperse the smoke for the FEW ROUNDS that they can keep up their attack. After that, the smoke resumes. The only thing able to disperse the smoke constantly (for 10 min/lvl) is the druid and air cleric (divine) control winds spell, which usually is not at the disposal of batman.

    11. OK. Assuming the joker monk made it all the way to the very high levels to face Batman. What will he do against Batman always going first thanks to Moment of Prescience? And Contingency-DimensionDoor in case he loses initiative? And what about Foresight, extended?
    Simple.
    a. Moment of Prescience does not apply to initiative checks, which are not opposed skill checks. This is clear from the RAW , Lord_Silvanos solidly supported it in this thread. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1253
    b. Contingency is highly tricky for two reasons. The first is that you hardly know when that initiative thing gets tritggered. It could be a bar brawl, a rat attacking you. Puff, contingency gone. The more complicated thing is that you hardly ever know the setting where the contingency goes off. Dimension door needs exact dimensions where you want to go AT THE MOMENT YOU CAST THE SPELL. So you can only say “100ft up, and 50ft to the south”. Which could mean you end up where you do not wish to be.
    c. Foresight is good to prevent that likely surprise round of the monk (he is much stealthier at those levels, even true seeing and see invisbiltiy do not help vs hide!). However, to keep that up 24/7, even extended, the wizard will need almost all his 9th level slots.

    12. What about partially charged wands? How can they be even possible? And why do you assume a "magic mart" campaign here?
    DMG p. 199 explicitly allows new players entering the game at a higher level to choose partially charged wands. So choosing partially charged wands for equipment is assumed to happen for pcs in the game.
    DMG pp. 212-215 outlines how magic items should be handled. At the bottom of page 214 even the process of pricing a partially charged wand is explained and that player characters can of course sell them when having found them in treasures. Now, I wonder, if they can sell them why should they not be able to buy them? Why should there be only a market for new cars, but not for used ones? And why should used items be less common than new ones? Plus, on p. 214 a linear rule for gold price determination is applied - showing that there are no additional scarcity effects for wands with less charges.
    By providing item gold piece prices (and not some sort of "relative power units") , as well as item availabiltiy table in DMG on p. 137, the game assumes that characters, at least between adventures in cities of appropriate size can obtain equipment as appropriate by their wbl.


    Ah, and let us not forget: the monk while focusing on what this class can do greatly (being a bane to casters) should not become an idiot specialist. He/she (for simplicity, and with due respect to the female posters here, I’ll use the male abbreviation henceforth throughout if you forgive me…) has also to fight monsters and other non-casters. While the monk might be ideal to specialise in overcoming magic-reliant opponents (it’s simply a facet of the PHB recommendations of spy, assassin, infiltrator and opportunist combatant), some tricks should help him survive long enough to actually reach that enemy caster through his minions. Or in a caster-rare (not magic-poor!) campaign. Or whatever.

    Here it comes…

    II. The Very Basics of Monkery

    As logicninja has immortally put it:
    “The traditional adventuring party has four people, filling the roles of Meat-Shield, Skill-Monkey, Heal-Bitch, and Batman.
    You're--as Frank Miller put--the goddamn Batman.”

    As a monk you’re – as Frank Miller would have paraphrased as well – the goddamn Joker!
    Relying on tricks and unusual stuff to overcome the physically…er magically stronger Batman. Perform is even a class skill, so you could tell some jokes to entertain your desperate enemies and awestruck adventuring teammates while you squish the casters and face everything else as easily as other non-casters.

    1. Key Insights on Giamonk strategy (and: what the Joker would say….)

    1) “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” – The Joker
    Be prepared for a harsh truth: Magic is cheap in core 3.5. And the “Giamonk” (courtesy Kurald Galain) intends to make full use of it. In that way, he is quite close to the classic gish…
    The Batman may think he is special, but in a magic world as envisioned in the core 3.5 rules, everyone will want to have magic. And everyone gets it, thanks to four major goodies for all classes
    - fellow pc casting. This is the way assumed by the game (for instance, the enlarge spell has almost no use for the sorcerer or wizard, but it is greatly helpful for fighting characters). In many instances, though, the non-caster or monk needs to be on his own..
    - npc casting (this could be helped by, but does not need the leadership feat)
    - wealth by level guidelines and thus, permanent magic items
    - Use Magic Device (UMD), either cross-class or class. It does not really matter, since the greatest bargains, the wands simulating ALL 1-4 spell levels are safely usable with just a UMD score of +19. And even one rank of UMD and total bonus of +0 will allow you to eventually activate a wand…only a “1” rolled without +19 UMD will mean stopping to use that item for the day, but you could carry several for the same effect, lowering your risk greatly. Wands are the cheapest way for non-casters to obtain non-pc buffs. Based on the usual casting and spell levels of arcane and divine spells, level 1 spells, it is 15 gp per use, for level 2 spells 90 gp, for level 3 spells 225 gp and for level 4 spells 420 gp.

    Additionally, while you can for a long while not safely activate a wand in one round (meaning in combat you often cannot use it reasonably), you can still make use of:
    - longer-lasting buff spells (10 mins/lvl & up)
    - short-lasting buff spells when you have the opportunity to buff up before combat (say, enlarge wand)
    - instantaneous spells usable between combat without stress (healing, research)
    - touch spells with “holding the charge” use. This is something where the non-casters would even surpass the casters since they 1) have better hitting chances and 2) they most often do not cast spells in between, ending “the charge”.
    Some of the great things for a monk using wands:
    - you can grapple while using/holding wands (even in both hands)
    - you can do all your unarmed strikes while holding wands (even in both hands)

    This basically gets you everything you need. For the higher spell levels, either get
    - scrolls or
    - other casters casting (via npc spellcasters, cohort spellcasters or team member spellcasters).
    If all fails, level the playing field, either with AMF or lower-level effects (yes, there are some, see below).
    Plus, there are some fairly cheap single spells that can shut down the effects of whole schools of magic:
    - mind blank (enchantment, divination)
    - true seeing (illusions, excepting the real part of shadow magic)
    - death ward (necromancy)
    - wall of force (all conjuration/evocation/necromancy/transmutation/phantasm/shadow attacks)
    Some of those are available in existing magic items (true seeing, wall of force, death ward), some could be available as custom items (explicit DM’s approval).

    EDIT: concerning coutertactics by Batman like dispel magic and mage's disjunction (at VERY high levels, level 17&up!)
    - dispels need a target. This can get stopped by total concealment and reduced in chance by blink and mirror image effects.
    - mage's disjunction allows a will save, which happens to be the highest save of the monk at very high levels.

    Make use of one of the biggest balancing insights of the game: magic is cheap, and can counter magic easily! Batman got the most recent computer technology…eh spell innovation? Well, get the same stuff cheap!

    So here, in a nutshell, are the two Giamonk principles:
    1. Get spells that synergise greatly with the monk abilites
    2. Get items that synergise greatly with the monk abilities


    2) “And where...and where...is the Batman?” – The Joker
    Some things that will help you in your noble quests to make life miserable for casters:
    You have spot and listen as class skills (only the druid on the caster side can compete here). So since ALL casters have no move silently skill, they can try to use invisibility, but at high levels you can still pinpoint them. Before that, simply use see invisibility or cheaper faerie fire wands, which are a bargain when you know that someone is around invisibly (which requires only a simple listen check).
    Alternatively, you can make caster life quite tough by simply obscuring their (whatever magically-enhanced) perception abilities, too – it blocks most of what they can do to attack. A simple smokestick does the trick at low levels. Better stuff is available at higher levels (see also the advanced monkery below in part III.)
    It also helps that you will thus not only likely be the one with a surprise round vs casters (and my, does your range for a partial charge extend the higher you rise in level!), You can also often go first in regular rounds as well (if you have good DEX and the improved initiative feat). Against monster manual casters and monsters, you most likely do.
    Only at very high levels, when the 9th level foresight spell could be up quite often on the caster side, things will start to get complicated…

    3) “And where…and where….is the Joker?”
    There is one vital thing about how to survive in combat at all levels for the monk:
    Control. The. Encounter.
    There are basically two sets of class abilities that let you do it:
    - the combination of the skills spot/listen, meaning more likely than not that YOU will surprise the enemy instead of the the other way round.
    - the combination of move silently/hide and your superior move skill that lets you move out of the range of the enemy while still keeping close to him , waiting for an opening.
    Some wizard fans will fantasise about “casters flying out of range invisibly and raining death from above” while a monk using the same tactics in a different manner is called “fleeing”. You know why. Because it’s what they fear most:
    Someone simply waiting out their buffs and spell defenses – and with ranks in Spellcraft as a monk you can actually have a chance to gauge how long that particular buff lasts..
    A key insight here is: in the core games, there are hardly any longer-lasting buffs. Fly and invisibility last 1 min/lvl and can thus easily be waited out. While this is in a way sad for a monk using UMD (since most buffs are too short-lived to be of use, and can likewise in some instances be waited out by clever opponents), it is the great chance to fight casters. Note though, that the Joker’s magic spells cannot be recognised when cast with Spellcraft (it’s only an obscure command word), while the spellcasters’ spells can...

    4) “You wouldn’t hit a man with glasses, would you?” – The Joker
    For a class which needs to go into melee range (though not to stay for long in classic melee fights until much higher levels), you need to somehow resort to all kinds of tricks to
    survive (you are quite similar to the Batman here, only that you have double Hp, better saves, more stealth skills and higher AC and thus have a much better start).
    Some basic insights:
    - in the beginning in case of a low WIS, you COULD even wear a leather armour for a +2 bonus, since that does not incur any penalties even without the light armour proficiency. And the penalties to your monk ability are negligible. (as yet).
    - Otherwise, eventually a monk’s AC bonus with continuously maxed WIS will surpass a full plate +5 (and it is touch AC as well).
    - Items and tricks and spells that give concealment and miss chances are good for you as well (since you do not have to rely on sight much with a blind-fighting feat).
    Another tactics is to look different. For instance, like a sorcerer, wizard or rogue (basically all who do not normally/necessarily wear armour) or even a usual npc (commoner, adept or expert). You do not even need to disguise, just appear as you are – and let your opponents draw their conclusions and prepare for the wrong challenges. With UMD, you can even wield a magic staff/wand, cast from scrolls and appear to be a spellcaster…er batman.

    5) “Haven’t you ever heard about the healing power of laughter?” – The Joker
    One often-overlooked monk ability is self-healing. It appears not that important, but for the usual encounter-fillled adventuring day, it is basically equal to a +4 CON score for hit points compared to other non-healing classes. Throw in CLW wands with your UMD, as well as your high WIS with healing and you can be a solid secondary party healer (who may devote resources for the wands of CLW you carry).


    2. Monk Myths
    “Stop the press!” – The Joker

    or: why the heck do so many believe in Monk Suckage?

    1) “Don’t even go MAHAHAHAHAAAAD” – The Joker

    Spoiler
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    Most of the times, you’ll read about a very popular monk myth, the multi ability dependence (MAD). Allegedly, the monk has to have more high stats everywhere than everyone else
    True, the monk can make use out of great scores in all his abilites. So can everyone else. No difference. So everyone is MAD (multi ability dependendet), to the same degree. Or no one is. It is that simple.
    Examples: a fighter who wishes to be strong in combat and still not a complete klutz for skills nor easy victim to will-based saves (alongside vital spot and listen checks) will need exactly the same amount of high abilities. Even batman who loves “dump stats” and only focuses on INT, DEX and CON will then see there are problems with his low stats in STR (hit by ray of enfeeblement? There goes that spellbook), WIS (oh noes! Enemy maxed casters could target a wizard with WILL saves? Really? And how do I spot/listen my enemies again?), or CHR (enchanters at the very least like this score rather high).
    Overall, as for casters using “dump” stats and the like…well, they are the only ones who even NEED certain minimum scores to function at all. The monk can have WIS of 8, or, for that matter, an 8 IN ALL STATS and still use all his class abilities to his heart’s content. You get the idea...
    As an aside, the monk’s bonus feats like combat reflexes and improved trip and even improved grapple do not require the minimum stats that other characters need to have. So if there is one of the classes in the core game that has no MAD, it’s the monk.



    2) “The monk has no specialty, so at best makes a nice 5th team member”

    Spoiler
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    Here’s a short list of stuff either ONLY the monk can do or can do best in core.
    - best grappler (No. of attacks, damage, bonus feat, spc additional effects like stunning fist- Note: FAQ has nerfed to no longer use stunning fist to be possible alongside grapple damage, so use unarmed strike with stun before grapple or in grapple at -4. His medium BAB does not matter much, and he can easily overcome it – see below)
    - fastest scout (highest move, spot/listen/move silently/hide as class skills). Combined with the highest movement speed this means the monk has the highest chance of achieving a surprise melee attack.
    - best defensive non-spell abilities in the game. Most are still useful once you use Silence and Antimagic Field (AMF) spells to your advantage.
    - Highest base damage dice eventually. The full BABers with their martial weapons have power attack and two-handed weapons. The rogue has sneak attack. The monk has the unique power to make use of scaling his base damage (which also gets mutltiplied in a critical btw) with size increases. Weapon damage dies also increase with rising sizes, but 1) the monk achieves the highest base damage dice by level 15 in core with a monk’s belt, 2) the monk is the only one to get his fists enchanted since only his unarmed strikes are considered manufactured weapons and 3) the monk COULD be the one best affected by any morphing spells since he never has to worry about his weapons growing with him in morph, while he also retains all his other abilities like superior saves, SR and move enhancement.

    EDIT: So, in short, the monk can fill a great many roles (as suggested by the PHB roles) in the party. The iconic roles of the party (tank, heal, sneak, cast) are not all there is to the game.

    The above unique abilities mean that the monk can do the following special things for the group:
    - get them out of trouble/protect them when they are facing superior odds (move and high STR means at higher levels you can simply carry the wizard to safety, dimension door, AoO builds)
    - defeat enemy spell users
    - scout the fastest for the others
    - be the BEST rogue buddy, because you can go everwhere on the battlefield to give him that sneak opportunity with 1) grapple 2) flanking 3) stunning fist.
    - the joker monk has so many magical abilities that he greatly helps the group with spellcraft, UMD and his knowledge-arcane in this respect. The party wizard failing that spellcraft check to see what the BBEG is up to? The Jokermonk may jump in and tell him. (at least until the mid-levels the Joker monk provided below in part IV is able to do that).




    3) “If for any reason the monk uses spells and UMD cross-class he only shows that his own class abilities suck”.

    Spoiler
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    Ahh…the power of synergy. So obvious to me, but apparently so confusing to others. Think about it.
    UMD a wand of divine power (you can get a 10-charge wand thereof at 7th level, the moment the cleric gets it). It immediately equals your BAB disadvantage to the full BAB classes, and synergises well with your main lower-level attack: grapple, as your STR score goes through the roof.
    But say, batman uses a rod of divine power (assuming he has high enough WIS or CHR, his “dump” stats, to use a divine spell item and even devote part of his skill points to cross-class UMD). Batman would have full BAB, and be stronger by +6 in his STR score. But so what? A wizard has never any real chance for melee combat, since he lacks all other stuff for it (feats, spc. Attacks, hp, AC).
    But the Joker does not lack those…
    Simply said, the monk is the core class that gets most out of a divine power (even more than the cleric), because he gets the most attacks this way, the item slot of belt can go to monk’s belt instead of a giant strength belt, and compared to a cleric has more combat-related feats.
    If you are not among the faint-hearted WoTC designers who recommend playing without it in some campaigns, you could also try polymorph for even more Joker fun: the monk as an unarmed combatant of course makes most use out of a spell that gives him a bigger, nastier form independent of weapons, spell components and armour.


    4) “Speaking about magic items: the monk has to get so many, since he is so weak. Amulets of mighty fists alone cost a fortune.”

    Spoiler
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    You actually do not need as many items as the other non-spellcasting classes. Why? Because you have the most special abilities; magical or non-magical, that already do the stuff that items can do.
    For instance, you need no (but in many cases you makes still high use of)
    - extra saving throw protection (best BASE saves in the game, plus enhancement spell save bonus)
    - spell resistance items
    - immunity to disease and poison
    - healing items
    - movement-enhancing items (speed, dimdoor, etheralness, slow fall)
    And if someone suggests to you to take the Amulets of might fists, use the last word to smack him over the head for it. Seriously. They are not only expensive, but also block the spot for other valuable amulets like WIS and CON enhancers. And WoTC designers themselves say by now that since the amulet occupies the wrong body slot, they should be cheaper in bracers form.

    “The pen is truly mightier than the sword” – The Joker

    A good idea is to get either some greater magic weapon of fang effect, and eventually a wand of holy sword with UMD if you desperately need any enhancement bonuses (plus holy damage) to your unarmed strikes. A pearl of power of third level means making most use out of weapon enhancements in extended from a party or npc cleric. Or enhance some of the monk weapons (for instance, a staff, which you could then use later for great synergy with possible power attack, disarm , all in a flurry). If you desperately want to have a permanent enhancement bonus, get a permanencie’d greater magic fang (more expensive, though, than the divine power trick).
    Or follow WoTC’s guidelines for custom items and point out to your DM that bracers of mighty fists cost actually LESS than the amulet variant, since the amulet uses a non-combat slot.

    EDIT: There appears to be a lot of disbelief so far (after 25 pages of the thread, still counting) that the monk will be able to fulfill his UMD tactics and still be in line with the wbl. Some words on this:
    - I use the WBL guidelines of the DMG, p.135. My interpretation of this (and I feel that the majority on these boards and over at WoTC sees it in a similar manner) is that consumable items will not be replaced over the course of your career; so what ever wand or scroll is used up, will be deducted from your wbl.
    - Wbl is meant for the moment you enter that respective level. For the time in between this and the next level, you should have items using simple linear interpolation.
    - Wbl is meant as a guide for balance. But this does not mean that you should slavishily follow it 1:1 all the time. Characters may have for some time lost some equipment (due to being captured, sundered swords, wands etc.). Or they may temporarily have a very powerful item for a particular purpose, lost again later.
    - the budget for consumable item for the joker monk is around 20-40%, depends on what good permanent items are avaiable in the respective levels. Incidently, this means that the Joker monk can cast enlarge 1,000 (one thousand!) times by level 10. And he can cast heroism (a 2nd level bard spell, extended lasting 80 minutes) about 150 times. Based on 14 encounters per level gain (and not all of them have to be combat!), this means for the 140 encounters of 1-11, the joker monk with UMD can go into combat ALWAYS buffed with +2 morale bonuses on attack rolls, saves, skill checks AND ability checks, including initiative rolls.



    5) “The monk is a melee class. So why doesn’t he have full BAB and why can’t he flurry as a standard action? My homebrew monk can do it!”

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    For the Joker, this is not necessary.
    Outside grappling or having stunned an opponent, you do not WANT to go melee for long. Ever. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but the combat abilities of the monk point to a different direction: TOUCH ATTACKS. Grapple. Trip. UMDed rays. Touch spell attacks delivered on top of unarmed strikes. And for touch attacks, you have enough of a BAB, more than the arcane casters, anyway..
    And btw in core, there ARE ways to get a move AND a full attack action to hit home your flurry:
    - polymorph spells for forms with the pounce ability (many will say that this is overpowered to have for some minutes, but at the same feel no problem with a druid able to do this 24/7., non-dispellable)
    - getting a mount that will move/charge for you. As a bonus, you get its attacks (if trained for combat) and you get +1 on the attacking roll for higher ground. EDIT: Note that this only applies to your shuriken flurry.
    - At high levels, get an intelligent special purpose item with dimension door.
    - Or convince your fellow pc caster or an npc hirling/henchman with dimension door to carry you next to the enemy.
    - And the grand monk-thing: freeze your opponent in place with a charge and stun. And after that, use full attack (I guess this combo is what the designers had in mind instead of giving the monk the game-breaking ability to do a full attack as a standard action).

    And while I’m at it, other alleged weaknesses for “houseruling” and what can be already done within the existing core rules:
    Body not enchantable? Get the spells holy sword or greater magic weapon since the monk's unarmed strike are considered manufactured weapons.
    Overcome DR? Get Align weapon if you need it, otherwise magic, lawful, and adamantine are yours eventuallly.
    More dimension door? Get items that do it. (wand, cape of mountebank), or the horizon walker prestige class.
    Gain airwalk? Forget airwalk. Get a flying item (boots of flying for 16,000 are good) and add your movement enhancement bonus on top. Way better than any air walk.
    Lose slow fall? Why? It is much underrated. In dungeons (traps etc.) it's golden. Plus, it adds to your movement total.
    6 skill points per level? Why? Be human with INT 14 (INT 18 as intended by you). 7 or 9 skill points per level. It can hardly get better.


    6) “Hey, I have a great idea: make use the monk’s high move and get him spring attack.”

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    Don’t do it. IT’S A TRAP! (to use the logicninja mystic theurge analogy).
    Seriously. Play one. And look at the fellow monk player who has access to flying after you spent three of your prescious feats to get spring attack. Said monk player simply takes the flyby attack feat and his tumbling class skill. Then cry.
    It’s “We deliberately trained him wrong – as a joke…” (Kung Pow) all over again…
    Only in some rare circumstances (magic-poor campaigns, highly defensive monk builds, zombie campaigns, campaigns starting at high level without flyby attack feat) the spring attack feat tree could be worthwhile.


    Now, after getting rid of these more known monk fallacies, let us move to more advanced stuff and then on to what some on these boards have been looking forward to eagerly…


    III. Advanced Monkery – The Art of being the Joker
    “Gentlemen! Let’s broaden our minds” – The Joker

    1) The art of grappling:

    This is THE casterbane tactics throughout all levels, althoug the advent of freedom of movement at some point means it’s best up to mid-level, and at very high levels, this tactics returns with a vengeance and AMF.
    It is also a great general combat tactics, though. And the monk excels at it.
    At low level, it makes a lack of armour and your inferior starting damage dice obsolete, since you lower your opponent damage potential to a mere 1d3 starting damage dice (possibly non-lethal), and TH weapons and power attack of opponents are nullified (power attack is not applicable in a grapple!). Not to mention that a grappled caster is reduced to spells with only vocal components (not that many below dimension door leverl) or, with two successful grapple checks and pinned, the caster cannot do any more spells – barring some still, silent feat prepared spells. But hardly any casters will 1) even have those feats and 2) have it prepared at the time of your attack.
    You can also use your higher number of grapple attempts (flurry) to pin and force opponent to waste their highest grapple check to escape the pin. You can move with your opponent through squares threatened by your allies and have fun watching him get x AoO (more AoO with combat reflexing allies).
    The major objection to grappling may be that big and strong creatures hit the scene quite quickly (CR 3 & up). There are two caveats to this, though:
    - until the mid-levels MOST creatures you encounter you either can still grapple since your grapple check mostly exceeds theirs (and do not forget, if you are, say, level 6, you will not always fight single CR 6 creatures, but more often the CR 2-4 kind in greater numbers alongside the party in one-on-one combat. Plus, your main prey- casters- usually have only freedom of movement as means to foil you – and this only through divine casting (assassin prestige class a rare exception here).
    - the big and strong creatures of the earlier levels are exactly that: big and strong. But have few other abilities and no brain to speak of. Animals and vermin or huge zombies/skeletons may be outsmarted quite well.

    EDIT3: Then, the issue of: freedom of movement - a 4th level spell winning all defensive grapple checks. A permanent item providing it is only available at the earliest at level 16 with ¼ wbl (DMG recommendation for pcs). Note, though, that the ring of freedom of movement is made of gold (as per DMG/SRD), and thus can be sundered easily at those levels with just one hit. You do not even need the improved sunder feat for that (an AoO from a spellcaster? Come on!).
    The wand is available earlier, but apart from sundering, you could disarm it away (grab an item option).
    That leaves the (divine) spellcasting. Even though monsters mostly do not have the spell up, casters will – sometimes. Try to win initiative before the FOM is up (and prevent it with a silence around you). Or, recognise it with spellcraft and then wait out the buff (i.e. retreat , hide, and strike when spell is over. Few casters have prepared it several times).

    2) D-Fense, Part II

    A monk has good defenses, but less offensive powers until later levels (when the no. of attacks and monk’s belt really provide great damage output). How to turn good defense into offensive use?
    By creating a combat environment that favours the monk who has a particular kind of immunity that others don’t have!
    For instance, centre fireballs on yourself in the midst of overwhelming odds surrounding you (with necklace item) and (improved) evasion the damage away. Or grapple an opponent and let your party wizard fireball you and the opponent. Use poison once you are immune to it yourself. Create situations where weapons do not help much (say, tight quarters). Sight is not as important to you as it is for spellcasters (you can even throw shuriken into pinpointed areas with listen). Use your immunity to disease vs, say, an enemy camp by spreading some disease the day before you attack (some diseases even cause WIS and INT loss, or deplete their CON to soften them up vs your stunning fists attacks). Think the “Flesh and Blood” movie. Be creative

    3) Prestige classes and multi-classing

    WHEN TO QUIT MONK?
    Well, there some possible prestige classes in core for the monk. Where then are good departing points (meaning departing for good, since a monk may not lose his class abilities getting to another class or turning non-lawful, but they can never return).
    At lvl 1,2,6: have most bonus feats without ability requirements as possible. Possibly interesting for special fighter builds.
    At lvl 11: you just received your 2nd flurry attack. Get full BAB with divine power and thus have most attacks per round. Or wait for level 12 to grab the supernatural dimension door. You can use that ability even when paralysed – it’s a great escape pod for all levels.
    EDIT: at lvl 12: another good exit point. In particular since with level 13, you can likely no longer use enlarge for buffing (SR!). So it is good to add some combat-heavy prestige class or base class. For instance, one level of barbarian for rage bonus to STR, and two fighter levels for extra feats (though you need to be human or half-elf to avoid multi-class penalties).
    At lvl 15: with a monk’s belt you have reached the highest possible unarmed damage.

    PRESTIGE CLASSES
    Good prestige classes reinforcing the roles meant by PHB for the monk (spy, infiltrator, assassin, scout, opportunist combatant) and also good vs casters in general are
    - Duelist (get INT to AC, unarmed strike can be considered weapon in only one hand, you get great boosts to your initiative which is vital vs casters)
    - shadowdancer (hide in plain sight)
    - Horizon walker (for dimension door every 1d4 rounds, a rare competence bonus to listen, etc.)
    - Assassin prestige class
    I also like a combo of dragon disciple for the STR stat boosts and tremorsense, and possibly fying ability (the monk has knowledge arcane as class skill!) , with a 1+-level dip in assassin to get the spontaneous arcane casting ability. The assassin also gets you wand access to all assassin spells, even without UMD.
    For instance, monk 15/assassin 1/dragon disciple 4
    This build would add +1d6 sneak, death attack, poison use, a 1 first level spell (could be true strike), access to assassin spell wands, +4 STR, claw and bite attacks in addition to monk unarmed strikes, Bonus to natural AC. This would replace the monk abilites of lvl 16-20 of: etheralness rounds/lvl/day, continuos non-magical tongues, outsider status for magical effects, ageing immunity to physical stats.
    Note that you lose out on Spell Resistance and quivering palm DC with any multi-classing – and you cannot return to the monk class.

    MULTI-CLASSING
    EDIT: For a level dip ahead of monk, the rogue, fighter, barbarian, cleric, druid and wizard are all good choices.#
    The non-casters for providing you extra oomph in case you wish to specialise in fighting
    - rogue: sneak attack, synergising with your stunning fist.
    - fighter: extra feats for complete unarmed/spiked chain combat control
    - barbarian: extra STR for improved trip and/or grapple builds. (note that you do not lose your monk abilities when you turn chaotic barbarian)
    The spellcasters will all either give you some buff spells from their spells/day and wand use without UMD to the spells 1-4 level of your class list.



    4) “I have given a name to my pain. It is Batman.” – The Joker

    Basically, what would hurt casters most?
    Not being able to affect the monk with their magic/effect any magic at all. This can be accomplished by
    - blocking their somatic components (grappling)
    - blocking their material components (disarming)
    - blocking their vocal components (grappling, using silence spell effect)
    - blocking all actions (stunning)
    - blocking their line of sight (blinding, obscuring vision)
    - blocking their line of effect (force effects, use of full cover)
    - blocking their area effects (evasion, improved evasion)
    - blocking their range (fast moving out of range. Great vs summons and the usual temporary buffs that you recognised before with Spellcraft)
    - blocking their refreshment methods (attacking during prayer, learning, disrupting sleep etc.)
    - blocking all magic (Anti-magic-field, spell resistance, saving throws, certain force effects; although recent magic item compendium rules which can be seen to update the core rules appear to have AMF no longer block line of effect for magic – courtesy Lord_Silvanos. It is irrelevant for the AMF grappling tactics, though.).

    Normally stopping the spells/spellcasting of a caster means almost certain win. A cleric has some decent fighting abilty, but without spells even (or rather, in particular with) heavy armour will be no match in combat for a monk.
    Of all the casters the monk can go against, druid is the toughest one. The reason is straightforward: most skill points of full casters (not counting the bard here) and many useful non-spell abilities besides.
    In particular the monk can get trouble due to the animal companion protecting the druid (if it is the large kind and not the one with more abilities), and his spells providing most of the powers of the other full casters at high levels (and lower levels besides). As for the usual wildshaping zilla druid – just point out to your DM that most likely polymorph is banned and thus, the druid should likewise not be able to get this kind of superior combat boost (24/7, at that!).
    At high levels, a druid hit by an AMF will, of course, also crumble, but before that – what can a monk do in addition to the stuff above (i.e. obstructing the druid spells)?
    Some suggestions:
    - use hide from animals effects (50 uses in wand for 750 gp only). This negates the animal companion until you have reached and managed to grapple the druid.
    - Note that your eversmoking bottle stealth mid-level tactics work not that well vs a druid, since the druid can summon air elmentals spontaneously that will whirlwind your smoke away AND they are the only class (apart from air domain clerics) to cast control winds.

    For those batmen retreating to a MMM or tower (abandoning adventuring) the Joker would only say:
    “I'm givin' away free money, and where is the Batman? He's at home washing his tights!”
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-07-10 at 03:40 PM.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    IV. Some build ideas

    1. Joker Build (core) – Level by Level 1-20
    “Do I look like I am joking?” – The Joker

    This joker (or Giamonk) build is intended to be quite versatile, but with a bias to combat casters.
    It is a human monk, 28-point buy, with wbl guidelines (and at most 25% devoted to one item, as per DMG p. 199 recommendation). This is also the build many monk-doubting posters may have expected for a while...

    Level 1
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    Human monk build, 28-point buy
    STR 14, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude
    SKILLS: Move Silently +6 (DEX, 4 ranks), Hide +6 (DEX, 4 ranks), Spot +6 (WIS, 4 ranks), Listen +6 (WIS, 4 ranks), Use Magic Device +3 (CHR, 2 ranks, feat), Spellcraft +6 (INT, 2 ranks, feat), Knowledge-Arcane +6 (INT, 4 ranks)
    ITEMS: as per PHB starting monk kit. Caltrops are also quite good.
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 30ft
    AC 14 (WIS, DEX)
    HITS 9 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES Fort +3, Reflex +4, Will +4
    GRAPPLE: +6 (+4/+4)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +2 (+0/+0); Damage 1d6 +2

    COMMENT: The stage is set for the joker...
    Taking improved grapple instead of stunning fist as bonus feat is a tough choice. When going for a DEX/finesse monk, you should go for the stunning fist ability early.
    However, at low levels, grappling is simply a very strong tactics, and in those early levels you do not get that many stunning fist attacks, and you still can have the stunning fist attack at level 12, when losing whole rounds is really painful for opponents.
    As for whether anyone would be better suited than a monk for grappling tactics...
    If you happen to encounter a strange wizard with an octopus familiar to (futilely) beat you at grappling, point out to him that you are faster than he can cast enlarge (he got no improved initiative if he goes for grappling) and that his octopus familiar just died for lack of water or, if in a water bowl, will slow down the wizard for sheer encumbrance prohibitively. And, of course, he resorted to non-core material...
    As for the fighter and barbarian – well, they will not be that amused that they have to take a starting DEX of 15 and thus lower their STR starting scores, in case they do not wish to lose their grapple feat when enlarged later. And of course, you should tell them that they never will equal your no. of attacks and unarmed damage in grappling. So they should concentrate on their weapon s/battlefield control stuff.
    Needless to say that at a +6 modifier, there is no MM monster with a higher grapple modifier at CR 1.


    Level 2
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    STR 14, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat)
    SPECIAL: Evasion
    SKILLS: Move Silently +8 (DEX, 4 ranks, MW item), Hide +8 (DEX, 4 ranks, MW item), Spot +8 (WIS, 4 ranks, MW item), Listen +8 (WIS, 4 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +5 (CHR, 2 ranks, feat, MW item), Spellcraft +10 (INT, 2 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +9 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item), Perform- Comedy +0 (CHR, 1 rank)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills except perform (400 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325)
    WAND BUDGET: 150 approx (for instance, 5 CLW, 5 enlarge)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 30ft
    AC 14 (WIS, DEX), 17 fighting defensively, 20 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 15 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +4, Refl +5, Will +5
    GRAPPLE: +7 (+5/+5); enlarged +12 (+10/+10)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +3 (+1/+1); Damage 1d6 +2, 1d8+3 enlarged

    COMMENT: Hoodiho! The joker’s grapple bonus just doubled with the help of either an enlarge spell by a fellow pc caster – or, to make you more self-reliant – by your own wand of enlarge. Provided, you get off the spell with currently only UMD of +5. So at this level, it can only be done for encounters that you see coming and have some rounds beforehand to buff.
    +12 grapple check is, of course, enough to overcome any CR 2 monsters with grappling – with flurried +10/+10 you will also be able to pin most creatures in a round. And those CR 2 monsters - if being the same number as the iconid 4-member group – will remain around for challenging encounters up to CR 6.
    Concerning combat reflexes, there is the trick to ready a standard action and enlarge just when someone charges you (courtesy Talic).– you’ll get an AoO this way and will stop the charge with a grapple, and the opponent’s +2 attack bonus does not apply in a grapple check But that is more viable once you get higher UMD modifiers.
    The Masterwork spiked chain is at -4 (non-proficient), but enlarged a charger will get hit by two AoO before reaching you, so even at only a bonus of +0 total attack, it is better than nothing. The masterwork spiked chain will mature lateron in level 6, though.
    Evasion at 2nd level means you can start to dodge some traps nicely, area damage effects by magic lateron. When there is no rogue in the party, you can try to deal with traps the lord_khaine way: just walk into them and trigger them for the party. You have good saves, evasion, and lateron slow fall. Only some traps reset.
    In case you wish to at some point deviate from your grappling tactics, use a wand of shillelagh and get an enlarged +1 staff that will deal 3d6+3 damage in your hands and can be flurried.


    Level 3
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    STR 14, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device
    SPECIAL: Evasion
    SKILLS: Move Silently +8 (DEX, 4 ranks, MW item), Hide +8 (DEX, 4 ranks, MW item), Spot +10 (WIS, 6 ranks, MW item), Listen +9 (WIS, 5 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +9 (CHR, 3 ranks, feats, MW item), Spellcraft +11 (INT, 3 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +9 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item), Perform- Comedy +2 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (450 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335)
    WAND BUDGET: 1,000 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 40ft
    AC 14 (WIS, DEX), 17 fighting defensively, 20 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 20 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +4, Refl +5, Will +5
    GRAPPLE: +8 (+6/+6); enlarged +13 (+11/+11)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +4 (+2/+2); Damage 1d6 +2, 1d8+3 enlarged

    COMMENT: UMD at +9 now means the joker get off his wands with a 50% chance. Which is a solid thing; with the rising wand budget it means you’ll have enlarge up for many fights, except for the instances where the party is surprised. However, the high move silently/hide/spot/listen combo means this gets less and less likely.
    Note also that some of your wand spells – enlarge, CLW, obscuring mist etc. – can also be helpful for the party, meaning you could get more wands from the party pool (in case there is no arcane or divine spellcaster in the group and noone else has a higher UMD).
    Generally speaking, you could also start to get some 2nd level effects – since this level is now available for spellcasters in your group (this is a rough guide for the maximum level you should aim to cast). But load up on good first level spells first. The cheapest core first level spell in a permanent item is the bless spell in the 600 gp prayer bead. It’s a good monkish fluff item, and highly useful for the party to have as an extra ready.
    Ah, and you just got as fast as the barbarian. With a spiked chain reach in enlarge, this now means you have a range of 60 ft in one move.


    Level 4
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    STR 15 (stat gain), DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device
    SPECIAL: Evasion, Slow Fall 20ft, Ki-Magic
    SKILLS: Move Silently +10 (DEX, 6 ranks, MW item), Hide +10 (DEX, 6 ranks, MW item), Spot +11 (WIS, 7 ranks, MW item), Listen +11 (WIS, 7 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +9 (CHR, 3 ranks, feats, MW item), Spellcraft +11 (INT, 3 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +9 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item), Perform- Comedy +2 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (450 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), Pearl of Power, level 1 (1,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 2,700 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 40ft
    AC 18 (WIS, DEX, mage armour), 21 fighting defensively, 24 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 26 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +5, Refl +6, Will +6 (+8 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +9 (+7/+7); enlarged +14 (+12/+12)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +5 (+3/+3); Damage 1d8 +2, 2d6+3 enlarged

    COMMENT: Level 4 yields a lot of nice stuff for the joker: save boosts (including +2 vs the most threatening low-level spells from the enchantment school), BAB gain, stat gain, as well as ki strike. This last one means you can strike creatures with DR/magic – before anyone else can (without buffs), since +1 magic weapons (of 2,300 gp+) only become available in level 6 in this setting following DMG recommendations (i.e. only 25% of wbl to one item). For the rare occasion of incorporal foes, try to get a first level magic weapon spell buff on your fists.
    And the monk gets another often-ridiculed ability: slow fall. Things you can do with slow fall:
    - survive traps (mentioned already before)
    - gain extra movement (falling counts as taking no time- so move your max to the chasm and fall over it, then land safely 20ft+ below. More, if you make your tumble check.
    - Grapple and move with your opponent and drag him to fall. You will take no damage, but he will…
    The pearl of power fulfils two roles: combined with your increased wand budget, and your occasional bless boost to everyone from your bead, you can also help the preparing casters with this one out, when every you do not use it for the second role: getting an hour/lvl boost to AC via mage armour.
    Ah, and your grapple check has increased to that of a troll, while your damage equals a greatsword (note that due to your UMD path, you’ll do more often enlarged damage than the normal fighter types). Who ever said monks are weak at low levels?


    Level 5
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    STR 15, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device
    SPECIAL: Evasion, Slow Fall 20ft, Ki-Magic, Purity of Body (immune to Disease)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +10 (DEX, 6 ranks, MW item), Hide +10 (DEX, 6 ranks, MW item), Spot +12 (WIS, 8 ranks, MW item), Listen +12 (WIS, 8 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +10 (CHR, 4 ranks, feats, MW item), Spellcraft +12 (INT, 4 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +9 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item), Perform- Comedy +2 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item), Jump +11 (STR, 1 rank, MW item, synergy, move)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (500 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1
    WAND BUDGET: 4,300 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 40ft
    AC 19 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour), 22 fighting defensively, 25 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 31 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +6, Refl +7, Will +7 (+9 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +9 (+8/+8); enlarged +14 (+13/+13)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +5 (+4/+4); Damage 1d8 +2, 2d6+3 enlarged

    COMMENT : Arguably the weakest joker level. Your first stagnation in attacking ability (OK, your flurry gets a bit better). At least your defense goes up a bit with the first monk AC boost. You could treat yourself to some 2nd or even third level spells in wands for some nova events. Flying casters start to become an issue, but they need to go first and not be surprised by you. You can also use silence more often – both for scouting as well as grappling (and area affecting) enemy spellcasters. The second pearl of power adds versatility for the casters in the group.
    Purity of Body is a bit obscure – in some campaign settings (dark middle age plague areas ; zombie campaigns) it can be very powerful. Otherwise most likely ignored in the game (except in some innovative instances as brought up in III. 2))


    Level 6:
    (note: this is also the version playtested Here; it includes a more detailed equipment list and the budget fully used for wands.
    Spoiler
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    STR 15, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack
    SPECIAL: Evasion, Slow Fall 30ft, Ki-Magic, Purity of Body (immune to Disease)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +10 (DEX, 6 ranks, MW item), Hide +11 (DEX, 7 ranks, MW item), Spot +13 (WIS, 9 ranks, MW item), Listen +13 (WIS, 9 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +10 (CHR, 4 ranks, feats, MW item), Spellcraft +12 (INT, 4 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +11 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +2 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item), Jump +19 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move)
    ITEMS (7,760gp, 30#weight): Masterwork tools for all above skills (500/10), Masterwork spiked chain (325/10), bead of bless 1/day (600/-), Masterwork light crossbow (335/4), 2 Pearls of Power level 1 (2,000/-), Cloak of Resistance +1 (1,000/1), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000/5).
    WAND BUDGET: 4,950 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 50ft
    AC 19 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour), 22 fighting defensively, 25 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 37 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +7, Refl +8, Will +8 (+10 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +10 (+9/+9); enlarged +15 (+14/+14)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +6 (+5/+5); Damage 2d6 +2, 3d6+3 enlarged

    CHOSEN REMAINING EQUIPMENT FOR PLAYTEST:
    NON-WAND (440 gp: weight: 24#: Exporer’s Outfit (10/-, worn, with 1 Everburning torch wrapped in black cloth 110/1, 2 rations ½, 2x 50 gp gems, 29 gp, Belt with 40 Crossbow bolts (5, 4.5), Belt with Wands-see below (1/0.5) Belt with pouches (1/0.5, grappling hook bound to one silk rope 11/9, 100 Chalk 1/-, Waterskin 1/ 4, small steel mirror 10/0.5, 1 regular torch/flint/steel 1/1, Healer’s Kit 50/1, 1 Everburning torch wrapped in black cloth 110/1, TOTAL belt 185/17)
    WANDS (4,800, weight around 2#; x5 costs...):
    3x Enlarge (5 charges each, total 1,125)
    2x Heroism (bard version, 1 charge each, total 1,200)
    2x Silence (1 charge each, total 900)
    2x Hide from Animals (2 charges each, total 300)
    2x Obscuring Mist (2 charges each, total 300)
    2x Detect Secret Doors (1 charge each, total 150)
    2x Detect Magic (1 charge each, total 75)
    2x Comprehend Languages (1 charge each, total 150)
    2x Cure Light Wounds (2 charges each, total 300)
    2x Resist Energy (Ranger version, 1 charge each, 300)


    COMMENT: Another good level for the joker. Two feats, saves, BAB, move and even slow fall all improve. The most striking features:
    - With the great improved natural attack feat, the monk now does more base damage than any non-enlarged weapon. 3d6 damage in large size is equal to the 3d6 sneak extra damage of the rogue. The monk now is not the biggest damage dealer around, but he can definitely contribute.
    - With the spiked chain and the improved disarm feat, there is now a check of +15 (attack bonus, TH weapon, large size, feat)– good enough vs chargers to get disarmed with two AoO, and to foil any attempt of a sneak attacker with a light weapon to get close to the monk (when spotted). You could, of course, also try to disarm with a shillelagh staff at +18 (flurry +17/+17), albeit at a reduced reach (10ft).
    - The monk now has the highest move of all classes in the game (Barring spells and mounts, eventually he overtakes those as well). His jump skill is also likely the highest. By now it is possible that an enlarged monk can jump up to reach a wizard who just used the fly spell to fly up (30ft).
    - With +15 grapple, the monk is still equal to or much better vs well over 90% of all CR1-6 monsters (not counting the many humanoid opponents with class levels who are not large size). And many of the approx 20 monsters out there that have a higher grapple check than the monk are often vermin, mindless undead or animals (which can get outsmarted quickly). Or some magical beasts and small dragons (which the monk may know something about with knowledge arcane)
    - With the help of the rod of extend, as well as the two pearls of powers, you now can have a 24/7 mage armour (provided a friendly arcane caster is nearby). You can also help other casters extend their low-level buffs by lending them the rod.




    Level 7
    Spoiler
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    STR 15, DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack
    SPECIAL: Evasion, Slow Fall 30ft, Ki-Magic, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (14 hits/day)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +10 (DEX, 6 ranks, MW item), Hide +11 (DEX, 7 ranks, MW item), Spot +14 (WIS, 10 ranks, MW item), Listen +14 (WIS, 10 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +14 (CHR, 5 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +11 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +19 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500)
    WAND BUDGET: 5,800 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 50ft
    AC 19 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour), 22 fighting defensively, 25 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 42 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +7, Refl +8, Will +8 (+10 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +11 (+10/+10); enlarged +16 (+15/+15)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +7 (+6/+6); Damage 2d6 +2, 3d6+3 enlarged

    COMMENT: Thanks to the circlet of persuasion, you have 75% of UMD wand activation chance. So you can now dare to use wands more often also in combat. You also get around much better with your social skills.
    Your healing ability makes your hit points also last longer.
    Note that at level 7, powerful opponent spells like solid fog, enervation, black tentacles and freedom of movement need to be overcome. And they can.
    Some maybe with low-charged wands of blink. Others with won initiative, stealth and surprise. The tentacles you can tentacle er tackle with your own quite steep grapple check of +16 (and flurry +15/+15), vs an caster’s tentacle grapple of around 15. Anyhow, those spells are not as abundant yet, and thus freedom of movement will not that often yet make grappling tactics obsolete.


    Level 8:
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    STR 18 (stat gain, item), DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack
    SPECIAL: Evasion, Slow Fall 40ft, Ki-Magic, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (16 hits/day)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +15 (DEX, 11 ranks, MW item), Hide +11 (DEX, 7 ranks, MW item), Spot +15 (WIS, 11 ranks, MW item), Listen +15 (WIS, 11 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +14 (CHR, 5 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +11 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +21 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500),
    Gauntlets of Ogre Power +2 (4,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 10,800 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 50ft
    AC 19 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour), 22 fighting defensively, 25 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 48 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +8, Refl +9, Will +9 (+11 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +14 (+13/+13/+8); enlarged +19 (+18/+18/+13)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +10 (+9/+9/+4); Damage 2d8 +4, 3d8+5 enlarged

    COMMENT: 8th level is the interim capstone of your low-to mid-level grappling strategy. You receive one more strong stat boost, and a +2 stat booster to push your STR to 18 (20 enlarged). Your damage dies go up to a maximum of 3d8, which combined with a third grapple attempt in flurry of blows can really increase your grappling damage per round,
    Roughly 80% of creatures will still be outgrappled by you, but by the next level, it is time to think up a new tactics.
    The rest of your treasure goes to almost double your wand budget (which you likely have pretty much used up by now, so it is good to get it refreshed).


    Level 9:
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    STR 16, DEX 16 (+2 item), CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 40ft, Ki-Magic, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (18 hits/day)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +22 (DEX, 12 ranks, MW item, boots), Hide +14 (DEX, 9 ranks, MW item), Spot +16 (WIS, 12 ranks, MW item), Listen +16 (WIS, 12 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +15 (CHR, 6 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +12 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +24 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+2 (4,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Elven Boots (2,500)
    WAND BUDGET: 11,500 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +7 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 60ft
    AC 20 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour), 23 fighting defensively, 26 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 53 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +8, Refl +9, Will +9 (+11 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +13 (+13/+13/+8); enlarged +18 (+18/+18/+13)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +9 (+9/+9/+4); Damage 2d8 +3, 3d8+4 enlarged

    COMMENT: This and the next level, the joker takes account of the fact that the dangers around him, including from spells, get more lethal. The eversmoking bottle is a great way to cut down enemy attacks – in particular when the monk is on his own, but also with a group that is ambushed and needs quick protection up vs enemy spells and missile attacks.
    The monk’s abilities synsergise greatly with this tactics. He has listen and move silently as class tactics, and with his high speed can move quite quickly in the total concealment. Area effects would not need to pinpoint him, but by now he has received improved evasion that foils most such attacks. Furthermore, his large number of attacks (including now shuriken at possibly 1d3+4 damage each) means with blind-fight he is less affected by the total concealment in full attacks.
    Plus, the smoke can take out everyone caught too long inside, and spellcasting should be nigh impossible, since you cannot cast a spell and hold your breath at the same time.
    A note on UMD: with a base score of +15, you could now with wands of heroism and eagle’s splendour get to the +19 modifier to make 100% sure that your wands will be usable IN combat.


    Level 10:
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    STR 16, DEX 16 (+2 item), CON 12, INT 14, WIS 14, CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 50ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (20 hits/day)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +23 (DEX, 13 ranks, MW item, boots), Hide +18 (DEX, 13 ranks, MW item), Spot +17 (WIS, 13 ranks, MW item), Listen +17 (WIS, 13 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +15 (CHR, 6 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +12 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +24 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +7 (CHR, 3 ranks, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+2 (4,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Elven Boots (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 15,500 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +7 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 60ft
    AC 23 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, +2 enhancement), 26 fighting defensively, 29 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 59 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +9, Refl +10, Will +10 (+12 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +14 (+14/+14/+9); enlarged +19 (+19/+19/+14)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +10 (+10/+10/+5); Damage 2d8 +3, 3d8+4 enlarged

    COMMENT: You continue one more level with your more defensive and scouting tactics. A level 3 pearl of power can give you access to magic vestment (extendable to last 18 hours), which provides you with that second monk AC bonus with 3 higher AC total


    Level 11:
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    STR 18 (+2 item), DEX 14, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 16 (+2 item), CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 50ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (22 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +23 (DEX, 14 ranks, MW item, boots), Hide +18 (DEX, 14 ranks, MW item), Spot +19 (WIS, 14 ranks, MW item), Listen +19 (WIS, 14 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +16 (CHR, 7 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +11 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +24 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +8 (CHR, 4 ranks, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gauntlets of Ogre Power+2 (4,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Elven Boots (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+2 (4,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 15,500 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 60ft
    AC 23 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, +2 enhancement), 26 fighting defensively, 29 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 64 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +9, Refl +10, Will +11 (+13 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +16 (+16/+16/+16/+11); enlarged +21 (+21/+21/+21/+15)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +12 (+12/+12/+12/+6); Damage 3d8 +4, 4d8+5 enlarged

    COMMENT: Level 11 marks another turning point. With the joker’s er... monk’s belt, the full core damage stacking is now up. Combined with greater flurry and a switch back to a strength-enhancing item, the monk can now in full attack do per round an impressive 16d8+20 (or on average 92 damage).
    The rather weak “to hit” (note that more attacks are at highest bonus than for any other class) can be already remediated by wands of heroism (+2) and greater magic weapon (+2) buffs. In key battles, one of a few divine power charges nets +4 more STR and one more attack at full BAB, sending your damage/round way above 100.
    And you can always still resort to a grapple when appropriate…you are ahead by +6 in the grapple check vs a STR 18 non-enlarged fighter.
    Ah, and you now are immune to poison. While your opponents may also have some poison immunities, it does not hurt to coat your gauntlets in cheap carrion crawler brain juice for touch attack paralysis (only DC 13, but eventually that save is not made). To cut the poison costs to a third, you could shift some of your skill points to craft-poisonmaking. Drow poison doses would be thus 25gp each. You can take out dragons this way (provided to live long enough to hit for several hits until the critter rolls a “1” on its save...) In the coming levels, though, no more poison-making is assumed. You could get some poison from your wand budget.

    A key thing, though, is that now AMF is available – the great caster bane (for 1,650 per use). You can cast it from a scroll at currently +18 UMD, meaning to hit DC 31 required in combat you have a 40% chance. Well, Giacomo, you may say – this is not yet a reliable tactics when fighting casters, so you can only use it with some further boosts at 100% success in lvls 19 or 20? NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS...
    Here is the kicker:
    Among 6th level spells, there is also the possibility to turn your monk staff into a “spellstaff” from the druid list. You can store an AMF into it between your adventuring times without any problem (just repeat UMD until it works). Congratulations. You can now cast AMF once/day.
    Well, to be honest...the wording of the spellstaff spell shows it was never intended to be used by a non-caster, so check with your DM whether he allows it. But the wording in RAW is quite clear imo. If spellcasters can get around buying a permanent item with a 1/day spell use, why not a non-spellcaster? Would not make sense to me.
    Note, though, that it costs you 3,300 gp still and can be dispelled any time. On the flipside, you can actually store ANY spell into that staff, also at high-level play things like time stop, plus you can also use rods of metagmagic to, say, quicken any spell...divine power anyone?...


    Level 12
    Spoiler
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    STR 18 (+2 item), DEX 15 (stat gain), CON 12, INT 14, WIS 16 (+2 item), CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (13/day, DC 19)
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 60ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (24 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +19 (DEX, 15 ranks, MW item), Hide +19 (DEX, 15 ranks, MW item), Spot +25 (WIS, 15 ranks, MW item, eyes), Listen +19 (WIS, 15 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +16 (CHR, 7 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +11 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +29 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +11 (CHR, 7 ranks, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 3 Pearls of Power, level 1 (3,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gauntlets of Ogre Power+2 (4,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS +2 (4,000), Boots of Flying (16,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 20,500 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 70ft (100ft flying)
    AC 24 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, enhance +3), 27 fighting defensively, 30 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 64 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +10, Refl +11, Will +12 (+14 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +17 (+17/+17/+17/+11); enlarged +22 (+22/+22/+22/+17)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +13 (+13/+13/+13/+8); Damage 3d8 +4, 4d8+5 enlarged

    COMMENT: In level 12, the joker starts to mature. Melee hitting chance and thus damage output goes up a bit further, but more importantly, your stunning fist attacks are now added for up to 13 rounds. Losing one round of actions is devastating for opponents, in particular spellcasters, at those levels. It is also a way to ascertain 1) more sneaks for your fellow rogue player and 2) more full attacks for you after a typical tactics: sneak up within partial charge range of 100ft (flying). This gives the enemy -10 to spot/listen against you (so you can afford the -4 hide penalty when enlarged). Then charge/attack/stun in the surprise round. Full attack and stun again. Repeat.
    And you now have added two great move modes more often than already before with your wands with your dimension door ability (non-dispellable, usable even in paralysis) and your flying boots, pushing up your move to among the fastest creatures of the game.
    With a +25 Spot skill, you can also start to pinpoint invisible opponents.


    Level 13:
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    STR 18 (+2 item), DEX 15, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 16 (+2 item), CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (14/day, DC 18)
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 60ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (26 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 23).
    SKILLS: Move Silently +20 (DEX, 16 ranks, MW item), Hide +20 (DEX, 16 ranks, MW item), Spot +26 (WIS, 16 ranks, MW item, eyes), Listen +21 (WIS, 16 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +17 (CHR, 8 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +11 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +29 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +12 (CHR, 8 ranks, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +1, Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gauntlets of Ogre Power+2 (4,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+2 (4,000), Boots of Flying (16,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 21,000 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +6 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 70ft (100ft flying)
    AC 20 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour), 23 fighting defensively, 26 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 70 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +10, Refl +11, Will +11 (+13 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +17 (+17/+17/+16/+11); enlarged +21 (+21/+21/+21/+16)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +17 (+17/+17/+17/+12) +3 enhance bonus, blinking; Damage 3d8 +7, 4d8+8 enlarged

    COMMENT: Obtaining the ring of blinking and also gaining Spell Resistance pushes the joker’s defenses into the stratosphere. Basically, you halve almost all incoming attacks in their chance of success, and whatever spells get through will also be reduced in their chance of effect (45% vs same level attacks – while casters may boost their casting level in various ways, there are many monsters out there with lower spell casting levels, though). This also arrives just in time since power words and holy words start to fly around – you may stop them, though, with moving up to the opponent caster with a silence spell, You have a higher move than the close range of those spells.
    Blinking is also a great boon against walls, enemy grappling attempts and ways to pass through doors and floors in a dungeon. You can even duck underneath a wall of force.
    With that much jacked up defenses, you can now afford to switch from armour enhancement to weapon enhancement (24/7 since level 12 btw with rod of extend).
    What does the joker do vs batman using also blink? Well...the joker has enough attacks, while the batman against his blink effect only has that one (at best two) spell attacks per round...And with the coming levels, you’ll get more and more resources to make an AMF tactics more viable..
    For what’s it worth, in a campaign without polymorph, you can also try the following trick from scrolls of changestaff and magic jar (2250 and 1,125) and your scroll UMD of +19 (you can try it until you succeed):
    Prepare your staff monk weapon to become a treant with the changestaff and occupy its body. Your combat abilities then skyrocket for 9 hours (basically, the adventuring day) and you can grapple creatures up to gargantuan size....


    Level 14:
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    STR 16, DEX 19 (+4 item), CON 12, INT 14, WIS 16 (+2 item), CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (15/day, DC 20)
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 70ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (28 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 24).
    SKILLS: Move Silently +23 (DEX, 17 ranks, MW item), Hide +23 (DEX, 17 ranks, MW item), Spot +27 (WIS, 17 ranks, MW item, eyes), Listen +22 (WIS, 17 ranks, MW item), Use Magic Device +17 (CHR, 8 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet), Spellcraft +13 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item), Knowledge-Arcane +9 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item), Tumble +13 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy), Perform- Comedy +5 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet), Jump +28 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move), Diplomacy +15 (CHR, 11 ranks, MW item, circlet)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +2 (4,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+4 (16,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+2 (4,000), Boots of Flying (16,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 34,000 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +8 (DEX, feat)
    MOVE: 70ft (100ft flying)
    AC 25 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection), 28 fighting defensively, 31 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 75 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +12, Refl +14, Will +14 (+16 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +17 (+17/+17/+17/+12); enlarged +22 (+22/+22/+22/+17)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +17 (+17/+17/+17/+12) +3 enhance bonus, blinking; Damage 3d8 +6, 4d8+7 enlarged

    COMMENT: This level gets you relatively little from the monk class (possibly- despite the BAB and save boosts- the weakest since level 5). Your items should go to push up defenses a bit and fatten you wand budget. Your higher DEX also means better initiative. At these levels, this can be crucial.



    Level 15:
    Spoiler
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    STR 16, DEX 19 (+4 item), CON 12, INT 14, WIS 16 (+2 item), CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (16/day, DC 20), Flyby Attack
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 70ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (30 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 25), Quivering palm (1/week, DC 20)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +25 (DEX, 18 ranks, MW item, luck), Hide +25 (DEX, 18 ranks, MW item, luck), Spot +29 (WIS, 18 ranks, MW item, eyes, luck), Listen +24 (WIS, 18 ranks, MW item, luck), Use Magic Device +19 (CHR, 9 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet, luck), Spellcraft +14 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item, luck), Knowledge-Arcane +10 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Tumble +14 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, luck), Perform- Comedy +6 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet, luck), Jump +33 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move, luck), Diplomacy +17 (CHR, 12 ranks, MW item, circlet, luck)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Cloak of Resistance +2 (4,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX +4 (16,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+2 (4,000), Boots of Flying (16,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Stone of Good luck (20,000), Rod of Cancellation (11,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 53,000 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +9 (DEX, feat, luck)
    MOVE: 80ft (110ft flying)
    AC 29 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection, +3 enhance), 32 fighting defensively, 35 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 75 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +12, Refl +14, Will +14 (+16 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +18 (+18/+18/+18/+13/+8); enlarged +23 (+23/+23/+23/+18/+13); with divine power and enlarge +30 (+30/+30/+30/+25/+20)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +16 (+16/+16/+16/+11/+6), blinking; Damage 4d8+2d6 +3, 6d8+2d6 +4 enlarged; with divine power and holy sword up, enlarged: +26 (+26/+26/+26/+21/+16), Damage 6d8+2d6 +12 (or avg 46 damage per hit)

    COMMENT: Level 15 is again one of the strongest levels for the joker. You get a great many things: Your damage caps to the 20th level thanks to monk’s belt. Yourwand budget now allows more use of divine power and holy sword than ever, so these effects are now built into the combat statistics. You do not have most attacks yet – so your overall damage output will peak at level 16 (more about it then). Choose also the flyby feat – it gives you way more versatility in combat combined with your once more increased speed.
    The advent of your quivering palm attack (which you can use also with any kind of attack, btw!) means that you could force with one attack altogether 5 fort saves of your enemy (stun, quivering palm, massive damage and poison, possible a touch spell) if you like.
    Meanwhile, 8th level spells can start to threaten you. One oft-spread notion of a “win” spell is an arcane reached irresistable dance. What to do against this?
    Well, there are actually now 4 defenses at your disposal: 1) your touch AC of 22 (quite good vs casters without true strike), 2) your Spell resistancre of 25), 3) your blink effect and 4) you could have a mind blank up – possibly all the time in case you use a spellstaff with it. Although the play thread mentioned in the introduction showcased that a monk hardly even needs a mind blank due to his other good defenses.
    Then, sometimes forcecage is advocated as no-save wins for batman. Well, this also has now several defenses: 1) dimension door ability and 2) your brand-new rod of cancellation which gets rid of all force walls, cages and prismatic walls/spheres – without being used up, since that cost only applies to permanent magic items.


    Level 16
    Spoiler
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    STR 16, DEX 20 (+4 item, stat gain), CON 12, INT 14, WIS 18 (+4 item), CHR 8
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (16/day, DC 22), Flyby Attack
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 80ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful/adamantine, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (32 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 25), Quivering palm (1/week, DC 22)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +32 (DEX, 19 ranks, MW item, luck, boots), Hide +27 (DEX, 19 ranks, MW item, luck), Spot +31 (WIS, 19 ranks, MW item, eyes, luck), Listen +26 (WIS, 19 ranks, MW item, luck), Use Magic Device +19 (CHR, 9 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet, luck), Spellcraft +14 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item, luck), Knowledge-Arcane +10 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Tumble +14 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, luck), Perform- Comedy +6 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet, luck), Jump +33 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move, luck), Diplomacy +20 (CHR, 15 ranks, MW item, circlet, luck)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX +4 (16,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+4 (16,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Stone of Good luck (20,000), Rod of Cancellation (11,000), Wings of Flying (54,000), Boots of Elvenkind (2,500)
    WAND BUDGET: 64,500 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +10 (DEX, feat, luck)
    MOVE: 80ft (110ft flying)
    AC 31 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection, +4 enhance), 34 fighting defensively, 37 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 81 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +11, Refl +14, Will +14 (+16 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +19 (+19/+19/+19/+14/+9); enlarged +24 (+24/+24/+24/+19/+14); with divine power and enlarge +31 (+31/+31/+31/+26/+21/+16)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +17 (+17/+17/+17/+12/+7), blinking; Damage 4d8+2d6 +3, 6d8+2d6 +4 enlarged; with divine power and holy sword up, enlarged: +27 (+27/+27/+27/+22/+17/+12), Damage 6d8+2d6 +12 (or avg 46 damage per hit)

    COMMENT: Well, joker’s damage output just peaked. Basically, when not using a blink and hitting with all attacks (and there are many wand buffs to shoot the attack and damage bonuses up even further), it means you do around 277 damage per round. This should be on par with what the other melee classes do at those levels.
    The monk has now a good chance to survive and overcome just about anything a DM throws at him, and in various ways and tactics. And he should – because next level, 9th level spell craziness sets in. We’ll see what can be done about it..
    Wings of flying are now available for 24/7 flight. You should get the bat wings variant to make fun of your victim....
    The wings unfortunately replace your cloak of resistance. From your wand budget, you may wish to get an up to +5 cloak for some occasions to boost your saves and replace the wings with a wand of fly effect. Some wands spells, though, can also provide resistance boosts (like protection from evil).
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-25 at 04:19 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Level 17
    Spoiler
    Show

    STR 16, DEX 20 (+4 item), CON 12, INT 15 (age), WIS 19 (+4 item, age), CHR 9 (age)
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (16/day, DC 20), Flyby Attack
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 80ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful/adamantine, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (34 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 25), Quivering palm (1/week, DC 20), Timeless body, tongue of the sun and the moon (constant tongues as extraordinary ability)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +28 (DEX, 20 ranks, MW item, luck), Hide +28 (DEX, 20 ranks, MW item, luck), Spot +32 (WIS, 20 ranks, MW item, eyes, luck), Listen +27 (WIS, 20 ranks, MW item, luck), Use Magic Device +19 (CHR, 9 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet, luck), Spellcraft +14 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item, luck), Knowledge-Arcane +10 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Tumble +14 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, luck), Perform- Comedy +6 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet, luck), Jump +33 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move, luck), Diplomacy +23 (CHR, 18 ranks, MW item, circlet, luck)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+4 (16,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+4 (16,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Stone of Good luck (20,000), Rod of Cancellation (11,000), Wings of Flying (54,000), Boots of Teleportation (49,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 98,000 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +10 (DEX, feat, luck)
    MOVE: 80ft (110ft flying)
    AC 31 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection, +4 enhance), 34 fighting defensively, 37 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 86 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +12, Refl +15, Will +15 (+17 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +19 (+19/+19/+19/+14/+9); enlarged +24 (+24/+24/+24/+19/+14); with divine power and enlarge +32 (+32/+32/+32/+27/+22/+17)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +17 (+17/+17/+17/+12/+7), blinking; Damage 4d8+2d6 +3, 6d8+2d6 +4 enlarged; with divine power and holy sword up, enlarged: +28 (+28/+28/+28/+23/+18/+13), Damage 6d8+2d6 +12 (or avg 46 damage per hit)

    COMMENT: The monk now no longer takes penalties from ageing (magical or normal). To illustrate what it can mean, it is assumed above that joker now is middle-aged. This is debatable (ageing needs to coincide with level gains at that point), but it also has negligable effects for now.
    Tongues constantly now is also a monk power. You may have noticed that since mid-levels, spare skill points were used to boost diplomacy. Now the monk can become a true master diplomat, even able to calm animals this way (the kind that can still outgrapple him, although this is a rarer and rarer occurance).
    But what to do about those pesky 9th level spells? Well, one could go through them one by one (maybe at a later time). But the following combo by the joker can take care of most of it (including foresight):
    Cast time stop (from scroll, your budget allows some uses), then teleport next to batman, cast AMF (from scroll or spellstaff). Profit.
    One thing where the joker may be behind batman is in terms of intelligence (meaning research, finding out about the opponent). But you could try to find out stuff with diplomacy; or wands of legend lore and other divination spells can get you quite far.



    Level 18:
    Spoiler
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    STR 16, DEX 22 (+6 item), CON 12, INT 15, WIS 21 (+6 item), CHR 9
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (16/day, DC 26), Flyby Attack, Ability Focus: Stunning Fist
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 90ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful/adamantine, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (36 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 25), Quivering palm (1/week, DC 24), Timeless body, tongue of the sun and the moon (constant tongues as extraordinary ability)
    SKILLS: Move Silently +30 (DEX, 21 ranks, MW item, luck), Hide +30 (DEX, 21 ranks, MW item, luck), Spot +34 (WIS, 21 ranks, MW item, eyes, luck), Listen +29 (WIS, 21 ranks, MW item, luck), Use Magic Device +19 (CHR, 9 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet, luck), Spellcraft +14 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item, luck), Knowledge-Arcane +10 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Tumble +14 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, luck), Perform- Comedy +6 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet, luck), Jump +33 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move, luck), Diplomacy +26 (CHR, 21 ranks, MW item, circlet, luck)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (550 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+6 (36,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Eyes of the Eagle (2,500), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+6 (36,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Stone of Good luck (20,000), Rod of Cancellation (11,000), Wings of Flying (54,000), Boots of Teleportation (49,000), Gem of Seeing (75,000)
    WAND BUDGET: 103,000 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +11 (DEX, feat, luck)
    MOVE: 90ft (120ft flying)
    AC 33 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection, +4 enhance), 36 fighting defensively, 39 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 92 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +13, Refl +17, Will +17 (+19 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +20 (+20/+20/+20/+15/+10); enlarged +25 (+25/+25/+25/+20/+15); with divine power and enlarge +33 (+33/+33/+33/+28/+23/+18)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +18 (+18/+18/+18/+13/+8), blinking; Damage 4d8+2d6 +3, 6d8+2d6 +4 enlarged; with divine power and holy sword up, enlarged: +28 (+29/+29/+29/+24/+19/+14), Damage 6d8+2d6 +12 (or avg 46 damage per hit)

    COMMENT: The major event for joker abilities is that the stunning fist DC has jumped to 26, which is quite tough to beat for batman.
    Also, you can now do a partial charge just outside see invisibiltiy and true seeing range (although it does not mean that much, since your hide skill even without invisibility is good enough). Meanwhile, your current most expensive item is the gem of true seeing – neutering all illusion spells used against you.


    Level 19
    Spoiler
    Show

    STR 16, DEX 22 (+6 item), CON 12, INT 15, WIS 21 (+6 item), CHR 9
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (16/day, DC 26), Flyby Attack, Ability Focus: Stunning Fist
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall 90ft, Ki-Magic/Lawful/adamantine, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (36 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 25), Quivering palm (1/week, DC 24), Timeless body, tongue of the sun and the moon (constant tongues as extraordinary ability), Empty body (etheralness up to 19 rounds/day).
    SKILLS: Move Silently +31 (DEX, 22 ranks, MW item, luck), Hide +31 (DEX, 22 ranks, MW item, luck), Spot +40 (WIS, 21 ranks, MW item, robe, luck), Listen +30 (WIS, 22 ranks, MW item, luck), Use Magic Device +19 (CHR, 9 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet, luck), Spellcraft +14 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item, luck), Knowledge-Arcane +10 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Tumble +14 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, luck), Perform- Comedy +6 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet, luck), Jump +33 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move, luck), Diplomacy +27 (CHR, 22 ranks, MW item, circlet, luck), Sense Motive +10 (WIS, 2 ranks, MW item, luck), Search +15 (INT, MW item, luck, robe)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (650 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+6 (36,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Monk’s Belt (13,000), Amulet of WIS+6 (36,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Stone of Good luck (20,000), Rod of Cancellation (11,000), Wings of Flying (54,000), Boots of Teleportation (49,000), Gem of Seeing (75,000), Robe of Eyes (120,000).
    WAND BUDGET: 125,500 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +11 (DEX, feat, luck)
    MOVE: 90ft (120ft flying)
    AC 33 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection, +4 enhance), 36 fighting defensively, 39 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 97 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +13, Refl +17, Will +17 (+19 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +21 (+21/+21/+21/+16/+11); enlarged +25 (+26/+26/+26/+21/+16); with divine power and enlarge +34 (+34/+34/+34/+29/+24/+19)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +20 (+20/+20/+20/+15/+10), blinking; Damage 4d8+2d6 +3, 6d8+2d6 +4 enlarged; with divine power and holy sword up, enlarged: +30 (+30/+30/+30/+25/+20/+15), Damage 6d8+2d6 +12 (or avg 46 damage per hit)

    COMMENT: Well, there is not much more going on. This is the Joker’s level of etheralness, so to speak. Add in a robe of eyes for your so far vacant robe/armour slot (replacing the eagle eyes) and you’ll see etheral creatures before they see you. Plus, you are no longer flat-footed and can no longer be flanked.
    Plus with empty body, even on a different plane you can actually always return to the primary plane with your etheralness ability – you go etheral, and then when can choose to get back to the prime material plane. You are the only non-spellcaster to do that trick (btw, etheralness actually gives you a flying effect).
    You could get other items for 120,000 for the joker (say, an intelligent item as described for level 20, or inherent stat boosts) – it does not really matter.



    Level 20:
    Spoiler
    Show

    STR 16, DEX 22 (+6 item), CON 14 (+2 item), INT 15, WIS 22 (+6 item, stat gain), CHR 9
    FEATS: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple (Monk bonus feats), Improved Initiative (human bonus feat), Magical Apitude, Combat Reflexes (Monk bonus feat), Skill Focus- Use Magic Device, Improved Disarm (Monk bonus feat), Improved Natural Attack, Blind-Fight, Stunning Fist (16/day, DC 26), Flyby Attack, Ability Focus: Stunning Fist
    SPECIAL: Improved Evasion, Slow Fall (any distance), Ki-Magic/Lawful/adamantine, Purity of Body (immune to Disease), Wholeness of body (36 hits/day), Diamond body (immunity to poison), Abundant Step (Dimension door 1/day), Diamond soul (Spell resistance: 25), Quivering palm (1/week, DC 24), Timeless body, tongue of the sun and the moon (constant tongues as extraordinary ability), Empty body (etheralness up to 19 rounds/day), Perfect Self
    SKILLS: Move Silently +32 (DEX, 23 ranks, MW item, luck), Hide +32 (DEX, 23 ranks, MW item, luck), Spot +41 (WIS, 22 ranks, MW item, robe, luck), Listen +31 (WIS, 23 ranks, MW item, luck), Use Magic Device +19 (CHR, 9 ranks, feats, MW item, circlet, luck), Spellcraft +14 (INT, 5 ranks, feat, synergy, MW item, luck), Knowledge-Arcane +10 (INT, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Tumble +14 (DEX, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, luck), Perform- Comedy +6 (CHR, 1 rank, MW item, circlet, luck), Jump +33 (STR, 5 ranks, MW item, synergy, move, luck), Diplomacy +29 (CHR, 22 ranks, MW item, circlet, luck, synergy), Sense Motive +13 (WIS, 5 ranks, MW item, luck), Search +15 (INT, MW item, luck, robe)
    ITEMS: Masterwork tools for all above skills (650 gp), Masterwork spiked chain (325), bead of bless 1/day (600), Masterwork light crossbow (335), 2 Pearls of Power, level 1 (2,000), Lesser Rod of Extend (3,000), Circlet of Pesuasion (4,500), Gloves of DEX+6 (36,000), 50 Masterwork Shuriken (310), Eversmoking Bottle (5,400), Pearl of Power level 3 (9,000), Belt of Dwarvenkind (19,000), Amulet of WIS+6 (36,000), Ring of Blinking (27,000), Ring of Protection +2 (8,000), Stone of Good luck (20,000), Rod of Cancellation (11,000), Wings of Flying (54,000), Boots of Teleportation (49,000), Gem of Seeing (75,000), Robe of Eyes (120,000).
    WAND BUDGET: 303,600 (cumulative with prvs levels)
    INITIATIVE: +11 (DEX, feat, luck)
    MOVE: 90ft (120ft flying)
    AC 33 (WIS, DEX, monk, mage armour, deflection, +4 enhance), 36 fighting defensively, 39 full defense (tumble)
    HITS 123 (max d8 at first level, CON)
    SAVES: Fort +17, Refl +20, Will +21 (+23 vs enchantment)
    GRAPPLE: +22 (+22/+22/+22/+17/+12); with rightous might +28 (+28/+28/+28/+23/+18); with divine power and rightous might +36 (+36/+36/+36/+31/+26/+21)
    UNARMED ATTACK: +21 (+21/+21/+21/+16/+11), blinking; Damage 4d8+2d6 +3, 6d8+2d6 +4 enlarged; with divine power and holy sword up, enlarged: +32 (+32/+32/+32/+27/+22/+17), Damage 6d8+2d6 +13 (or avg 47 damage per hit)

    COMMENT: Congratulations! A joker at 20th level quite sight to behold. The treasure can go to all kinds of things. I like the intelligent item with special purpose “help joker vanquish all casters” with a dimension door ability to grant the monk full attack AND move in the same round. But it’s just crusting on the cake. One item you can afford to swap out is the monk’s belt, since you no longer get anything from stacking damage dice. The belt of dwarven kind costs almost the same and helps get you some benefits, like higher hp.
    Perfect self now means you are an outsider for magical effects. This DOES carry some disadvantages, like being no longer able to use enlarge. So you should get rightous might effect instead (scroll or spell storing).
    Advantages:
    And at 20th level, you have DR 10/magic, meaning hardly anyone will be able to hurt you when grappling (which is non-magical damage for most). And of course, you can use alter self to turn into awesome creatures, for instance into a ravid granting perfect fly speed of 60ft and +15 natural AC.(courtesy Solo). …not necessarily the devil of Joker’s choice, though...

    “Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” – The Joker


    2. Other build ideas with UMD

    "Little Sister" (based on House of Flying Dagger movie)
    Main stat: CHR. Secondary stat(s): DEX, INT
    Spoiler
    Show

    Human Rogue 1/Monk 19
    Some (not necessarily exhaustive) suggestions on:
    FEATS: Negotiator, stunning fist, blind-fighting, combat reflexes, blind-fight, improved disarm, exotic weapon proficiency - net (scarf), Improved Natural Attack
    SKILLS: Bluff, UMD, Diplomacy, Perform-Dance, jump, tumble, all stealth skills.
    ITEMS: Circlet of Persuasion

    COMMENT: This is an idea incorporating the thread's discussion on multi-classing and making better use of UMD when taking one level of rogue first.
    This basically moves the monk more towards being the "skillmonkey" or filling the rogue's role, while improving his UMD ability.
    On the other hand, he delays vital anti-magic skills (SR lower by 1 point, will save and enchantment bonus delayed by 1 level, other immunities and dimension door 1 level lateR). Plus, he also has 1 lower BAB, making it more difficult to do direct combat (including grappling).

    Obviously, the rogue's bluff skill makes a good synergy - not only for diplomacy, but also for this girl's favourite trick to pose as blind (while not actually being blind, although she also has the blind-fight feat).
    Basically, this is a "geisha" able to be quite deadly with an array of wand spells and surprise on her side in those moments her opponents let their guard down...(note that many monk mock threads brought up the idea that a "dancing girl" could be a good idea for a monk due to the immunity to disease...)
    The good thing of rogue is also to get short sword proficiency for sword-swinging monk fluff.
    The net should actually be a scarf and/or silk spiked chain variant with which little sister can disarm, distract, entangle etc. (though for fluff's sake this bends the core rules somewhat).


    The true medieval scholar/healer monk...or "core Vow of Peace" monk
    Main stat: WIS, secondary stat: DEX, INT.
    Spoiler
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    Halfling Monk 20
    FEATS: Skill Focus - Healing, Weapon Finesse, Stunning Fist, Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm, combat expertise, Improved Natural Attack
    SKILLS: knowledge-religion, knowledge-arcane, tumbling (5 ranks for fighting defensively), stealth, healing (X-class), UMD, spellcraft.
    ITEMS: Wand of Chill Touch for a limited "turn undead" ability; wand of CLW; ranger wand of delay poison etc. small Undead bane staff, disruption (later)

    This is mostly about a monk able to heal, aid, backup, and - if possible - only subduing enemies with unarmed strikes (only undead are to be destroyed).
    The AC should be quite high by level 7 (with full expertise and fighting defensively, mage armour and ring of protection +1 around 30).

    Adding a level of cleric first and then going monk is also entirely possibly, making all 1-4 level cleric spell available as wands without UMD.

    Note that similar to the level 1 rogue/19 monk above, multiclassing lowers monk and combat abilities.


    3. Other build ideas without UMD

    Archer monk
    DEX main stat, STR and WIS secondary
    Spoiler
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    Elf monk 20 or Fighter 4/monk 15/shadow dancer 1
    FEATS: Point blank shot, stunning fist, deflect arrows, rapid shot; (possibly weapon focus and weapon spc with the fighter levels), improved disarm, far shot, manyshot etc.
    SKILLS: the whole stealth set (spot/listen/movesilently/hide). Not much more.
    ITEMS: Archery items.

    COMMENT: A monk makes a better archer than most would give him credit. First of all, either choose elf and/or bracers of archer as items to get the composite longbow.
    Then some advantages of an archer monk:
    - the full stealth skill set (like the ranger)
    - the high move
    - the ability to threaten adjacant squares even with a bow in the hand (unarmed strikes with stunning fist no less)
    - deflect arrows bonus feat vs enemy archers
    - dimension door ability
    - poison immunity (can coat without problem own arrows in poison
    - when using RAW, the quivering palm ability can also be used with a composite bow attack


    Gladiator/pit fighter monk
    (possibly a variant of the lord_khaine school)
    Main stat STR, secondary DEX, CON
    Spoiler
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    Half-Orc Monk 12/assassin 1/dragon disciple 7
    FEATS: Exotic Wp Prof. Spiked Chain, Improved Grapple, Combat Reflexes, Blind-Fight, Improved Trip, Improved Natural Attack etc
    SKILLS. no full stealth skill set, although listen would be good, as would be the 8 hide and move silently ranks each, and knowledge arcane for getting into dragon disciple eventually.

    COMMENT: You want to have a monk fill fully a fighter role? Here it is. An idea to avoid prohibitive potion of enlarge costs is to get him "cursed" to be permanently enlarged by a quite high-level wizard or strength priest.
    He would be thus quite powerful to grapple and trip.
    Of course, this kind of monk will fall more often victim to spell attacks than the other monks.
    Stealth is also quite limited here - although at high levels wands from assassin spells can help well (get a modified INT of 12 and you should be fine to cast your 1 assassin spell per day). Dragon disciple is great for a monk, since like polymorph it provides him with a better form to synergise with his class abilities.
    STR eventually could be around 34
    with dragon disciple, full stat gains, +6 enhance, enlarge effect (note that this monk build never reaches level 13 & up where enlarge becomes a problem).

    In the grappling contest by Talic, I posted a detailed level 6 orc monk, which is quite powerful.



    Neo
    "I know...Kung-Fu!"
    Main stat DEX, secondary INT, WIS.
    Spoiler
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    Human Monk 20
    FEATS: Weapon Finesse, The whole two-weapon fighting tree, improved initiatve, stunning fist, improved natural attack, deflect bull..er arrows,
    SKILLS: profession-computers, spot, listen, perform-acting (OK, one rank is enough...), tumble (max out!), jump (ditto!!)
    ITEMS: Boots of speed (for the full attack adding), ring spell storing with divine power (now THAT fits), fyling cloak, ring of blinking etc

    COMMENT: It is debatable whether the level 20 monk-neo-considered-outsider can really emulate the great Matrix movie hero. But one can certainly give it a try for a fantasy world. DEX should be maxed like crazy (get a 30 at least by level 20, with inherent bonuses). Maybe still take Improved Grapple for the heck of it (he DOES move with Mr Smith up in a grapple in the undergorund).

    With the two-weapon fighting tree, you could, when hasted, with divine power and flurry, get to a grand total of 10 melee attacks/round. That's the maximum in core (barring Hydra veritable Gauda morph).

    If you can squeeze it in, get expertise/dodge/mobility/spring attack somehow for a whirlwind attack with a staff (you know the scene...).
    You get 8 feats to spend - 3 for two-weapon fighting, 5 you could use for the whirlwind effect).

    The fly speed of 120ft means around double the speed of a horse- but not as fast as Mr. Reeves moves around in best animated sequence technique.


    Survive!
    Zombie no magic item campaign:
    Human Half-Orc 20
    Spoiler
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    Main: DEX and WIS
    FEATS: This is the opportuntiy for getting the dodge/mobility/spring attack theme at low levels.
    SKILLS: Stealth, jump and tumble

    COMMENTS: Avoid getting touched and contaminated for as long as possible! Grapple may or may not help you; plus your immunity to disease may or may not help you.
    Hear/spot the zombie and trip it with a reach weapon before it reaches you!


    4. Some ideas that came up from other posters in this thread for monk builds

    Turcano’s non-core monk mageslayer build (paladin multiclass variant) and

    (hexblade multiclass variant)
    .

    Pax_Chi providing good ideas of how to include SRD psionics into a core monk build.


    V. Appendix - Idea collection

    1. Some notes on what wands to use with UMD
    Spoiler
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    Level 1: Enlarge, Cure Lights Wounds, Chill Touch (also helps vs low-level undead; better than shocking grasp due to the STR damage potential), Faerie Fire (great cheap anti-invisibility tactics for all levels), Mage Armour (though you should preferably get that with your 1st level pearl of power from a party arcane caster or npc for longer duration), Bless Weapon (good for improved critical- unarmed strike builds), Obscuring Mist (great cheap low-level control vs missile and spell attacks), Shillelagh (the staff is a monk weapon, so you can flurry with it – and it will deal 3d6+1 damage when you are enlarged, and it counts as a magic weapon)

    EDITED Note: Enlarge is such a key spell for your tactics at the levels up to 8 (and highly useful beyond), that you may wish to use the potion version instead of the wand to make CERTAIN that you cast it ahead of combat. Or, you could manage to get enough extra time ahead of combat because you are stealthier than the enemy.
    Two more points:
    From level 13-19, your SR will PREVENT you getting buffed with low-level enlarge effects from someone else, but not your own wand uses. You could also get a permanent enlarge, use the trick provided in the level 13 of the joker monk build above. Or get rightuous might from a scroll or ring of spell storing (possible from level 15 according to wbl).
    At level 20, you are no longer a legal target for enlarge PERSON, since you are now considered an outsider for the purpose of magical effects. But your immense wbl lets you get plenty of buffing stuff galore for larger sizes
    .

    Level 2: Silence (the poor man’s AMF, remarkably effective). Good hour/lvl buffs are darkvision and false life. Then possibly bull’s strength (for grapple boost) and heroism (from the bard list, lasts 40 minutes then) and POSSIBLY ghoul touch (EDIT2: Does it allow a save vs the parlysis effect or not? The description appears to refer the fort save only to the stench part. Note also that ghoul touch only affects humanoids, whereas the similar irresistible dance spell of 8th level affects all creatures. Check with your DM before choosing this one; I would lean towards the "no-save" fraction, but it certainly would be quite powerful)
    Basically, for touch attacks at first and second level, chill touch is most effective, possibly chasing away undead, or lowering opponent's grapple check ontop of 1d6 damage. Meanwhile shocking grasp and touch of idiocy (possibly shutting down enemy spell casting without a save) are more stylish for a true “Joker”.
    Level 3: Fly, Blink
    Level 4: Divine Power, Holy Sword
    Will update as soon as I get new ideas!


    2. And on the issue of fluff ("A monk waving wands? Ridiculous!")...
    Spoiler
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    You could easily emulate what the wands do by turning them for UMD joker monks into cloth belts (with the same weight, properties, sunderability etc) that are awared to the monk by his school and/or monastery between adventures.
    So, you could have a monk with belts all the way up to black (with divine power, 50 charges, then higer black dan levels emulating spell level 5-9 one-short cloths for scroll effect).
    A good place to look for inspiration is the cleric domain lists to see how a certain "school theme" could be provided from levels 1-9 spells over the monk's career from 1-20. Choose bonus feats and other feats as well as skills to match the fluff of the school.
    EXAMPLE:
    "Kung Fu Monkey Style"
    Improved Grapple (big ape), Escape Artist (small ape), Improved Trip (big ape) or Improved Disarm (small ape)
    Tier 1: Hide from Animals
    Tier 2: Enlarge (big ape) or reduce (small ape)
    Tier 3: Bull's Strength (big ape) or cat's grace (small ape)
    etc.
    All the way up to
    Tier 7: Animal Form

    "Lightning Style"
    Level 1:
    Tier 1: Shocking Grasp
    Tier 2: Resist Energy
    Tier 3: Fly
    Tier 4: Dimension Door
    Tier 5: Teleport
    Tier 7: Control Weather
    Tier 9: Time Stop

    Be creative!



    VI. Appendix 2 - Link Collection

    1. External Links for some great monk sources
    Spoiler
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    A great link compilation can be found on the WoTC boards, courtesy Surreal here. Simply scroll down to "monks". It contains also links to some great monk builds, mainly focusing on the great damage-dealing potential or stunning fist attack builds. Incidently, there is also a link to this guide - but only in the thwarted version Azerion Kelimon put up unfairly, which is a pity.

    MONKS IN ONLINE PLAY
    The Joker monk is getting playtested!
    Here is the level 6 testing in a group of three (with Solo as the sorcerer and Talic as the cloistered cleric companions). Note that this thread is the general rules discussion thread, while this is the actual play thread.

    Then, there is a grappling competition (core, level 6) going on here, where a monk build of mine - a variant of the joker monk - shows how powerful the monk is at low-medium level grappling tactics.

    Currently, there are also duels on the line of the joker monk vs a batman wizard of levels 10 (vs Mojotech) and level 16 (vs Emperor_Tippy). Will try to keep you updated!

    And for a highly entertaining read, Talic once started a playing thread of a 20th level group with monk played by lord_khaine, barbarian by Worira, sorcerer by Solo (who else?) and cleric by Rachel Lorelei to prove how weak monks are.
    Unfortunately, the excercise stopped in the midst of the first serious encounter – up to that point it was unable to prove anything at all. What the thread (and its accompanying rules discussion thread) nicely illustrated, though, was a great many hints how ultra-high-level play might really work.

    MONKS NON-CORE
    A great link for monks outside core in particular can be found here…
    Non-core monk by emeraldstreak. But this link is also in the link collection by Surreal above.

    MONKS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
    Monk as balanced? Any good at all?
    Here is where some of the more heated debates on this subject has happened on these boards.

    Will put in more links as I come across them!


    2. A guide through this thread with 13 interim summary posts of mine (most of your answers to the joker monk build can be found here)
    Spoiler
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    INTRODUCTORY NOTE: These are links to my comments, and - together with I write here - reflect MY opinion. Imo I interpret the rules and possibilities of the monk class correctly, while those of different opinion I believe do not.


    My first answering post to criticism and interim summary
    , disproving that a barbarian/ranger or rogue would be able to do (with our without UMD) what the joker monk can do, in particular with grappling. Likewise, Solo’s fallacy that monks get outgrappled at lower levels by most creatures is dealt with.
    Plus, it also tried to set the basis for a fair discussion by excluding, for the time being, non-core build comparisons (some posted non-monks with superior unarmed strike or runescarred barbarians or whatever to show how bad the core monk is in comparison. Really!).
    Finally, there are some comments of mine how to interpret “masterwork tools” for various things like UMD and spellcraft fluffwise.


    2nd summarising interim comment of mine
    . It deals with a lot of continuously repeated fallacies: that the joker monk cannot make use of UMD, that the joker monk cannot outgrapple the majority of encouters in the levels he uses those tactis most often (1-8), that the monk is MAD, plus some fluff and alignment issues.


    This is my third interim summary
    . A great many questions are answered here (although it continues to be met with denial afterwards). I also deal at length with a post by Eldariel, responding at length to his (rather representative) criticism.


    Draz74’s comments get responded to in more detail in this post of mine, which also serves as a fourth interim summary of the discussion.


    This is the fifth interim summary
    , answering in detail to the repetitive mistakes of some monk doubters. There is also a reply to a temporary poster who saw the guide at the WoTC boards and, understandably, had a lot of questions. NOTE that I commit the mistake in there to say that when multi-classing your max skill ranks when rising in level as a monk are still half his level, even when once having done a level dip in rogue (for UMD, for instance). This opened the way for more level dip/multiclass suggestions for a monk.


    Short interim 6th summary
    opposing the odd idea that higher spot and listen will not help you get a surprise round vs opponents. Plus, also that of course the eversmoking bottle provides total concealment, thus impedes line of sight and the monk can no longer be targeted with a dispel magic.


    Interim update No. 7
    . The usual stuff. Plus, it is shown that once morhping stuff is in, the monk can at times outgrapple and keep definitely up with the druid in terms of grappling, throughout all levels.


    Interim update No. 8
    . Here, the fallacies that you cannot buy partially charged items, the eversmoking bottle is bad party tactics (a classic!) and misc. stuff is answered. Plus, for some reason, the effect of divine power to eventually yield +8 to hit, one more attack, +3 damage and +8 to grapple (with temp. Hp besides) are somehow seen as not providing the monk with enough oomph in high-level combat – a first reply is done here.
    Note that lateron, the debate on partially charged items was settled by Lord_Silvanos that indeed, due to lack of explicit RAW, you cannot buy partially charged items during adventuring career, but that due to DMG p. 199 you can have them at your leisure for creating pcs above 1st level. This is enough for the purpose of this thread.


    And no. 9
    ; a very detailed interim summary with a lot of information. Among other things, I take on the notion popping out all of a sudden that the joker monk should be able to consistently take on CR higher than his level, since all other classes can do that. Apparently a feeble attempt, after I proved that the monk CAN contribute nicely for the CR of his level, that the monk is still the weakest class.
    Consequently, I pull down back to reality the idea that a level 10 wizard can take on CR 11 encounters easily.


    To celebrate the 10th interim summary
    , I summarily (pun intended...) deal with Kurald Galain, Solo, Chosen_of_Vecna and Talic who all repeat their same fallacies over and over again.
    Something new in this post: I acknowledge Lord Silvanos’ Salomonic ruling that partially charged wands are only available for creating above level 1 pcs, not purchasable during an ongoing campaign.


    This is interim comments summary No. 11
    , quite short and focusing on the lingering doubts that the monk can do high damage and powerful grappling.
    This is where the discussions ultimately lead to the Grappling contest initiated by Talic (see also the playtest links).


    And No. 12 interim summary
    . There was a good point made by Signmakerens that familiars would also make great wand wielders with the improved familiar feat. Then, I pointed out that all characters can take the leadership feat and get exactly the same effects. Most DMs will not enjoy those classes with companion-like stuff to actively play it, in case they do not like them running several characters. Those who do, though, would also readily admit the use of leadership feat for special mounts, cute companions like the pseudodragon (for a fighter, for example) etc. Not allowing the leadership feat in this case would be just unfair.


    And so far the last interim summary of mine (No. 13)
    . You’ll find in there some news on how the two Batman vs Joker duels (level 10 vs Mojotech and level 16 vs Emperor Tippy) are evolving (before that, a lot discussion went down to outline the conditions of the duels).
    Also, I respond to Stupendous_Man with his question how a monk would fare in a campaign with only few magic.
    In there I forgot to mention that grappling in such a setting would be vastly increased in effectiveness, from levels 1-20, since freedom of movement and huge creatures would not be so abundant anymore.
    I also suggest that the mage’s disjunction spell may be disappointing in its effect for some...although greenknight provided a custserv ruling here
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1353



    3. A Collection of more links to guide you through this thread
    Spoiler
    Show

    INTRODUCTORY NOTICE: Just like in VI.2. above, this is a personal opinion of mine - many may find the choice biased to fit my opinion - of course it is! However, I try to never potray something wrongly. Please point where you feel I am wrong, but be prepared to meet with critical countercomments...

    POSITIVE REVIEWS:
    You could get the impression from the length of the thread full of monotonously repeated same (faulty) criticism that everyone would reject the ideas of the guide. But fortunately, some see the light...

    By KIDS
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...5&postcount=35

    By lord_khaine
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...8&postcount=47

    By Deepblue706
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=163

    By Quirinius Obsidian
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=258

    By Cenghiz
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1032

    By Stupendous_Man
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1345

    A good early reminder by Ne0 of what is wrong with a lot of the criticism posted (in particular adressing Solo and Nebo),
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=270

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=518
    Good, short, comments on a lot of criticism by TurkishProverb and Ne0

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=705
    Oslecamo provides a thoughtful insight on the typical double standards of wizard fans.


    CRITICAL INDIVIDUAL POSTS AND MY COMMENTS
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=106
    A good example of a, for once, critical and at the same time fair comment, by Draz74.
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=478
    And another one of his.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1020
    Here, starting with Behold_the_Void, I respond to the odd notion that the human joker monk can be outgrappled by fighters and barbarians with STR bonus races like half-orc and orc devoted to grappling and that this shows how weak monks are at grappling. Of course the joker monk is outgrappled by those specialists!
    But to show that the whole monk class is better at grappling than those specialised grapplers, of course you also need to assume a max STR orc/half-orc monk grappler – who then is ahead, since fighter and barbarian cannot afford as much to put all their point buy into a starting STR of 18 AND DEX of 15 (to keep improved grapple when enlarged). It is definitely impossible for them to do all that and get the INT of 15 for the orc to obtain improved trip which is a highly useful feat for high STR builds. The orc monk can.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=181
    In this post, I disprove entirely Reel On, Love’s fallacy that the joker monk will not be able to grapple the significant majority of CR3 creatures at level 3. Actually,even the joker monk can outgrapple almost all (not to mention what a monk focused on grappling could do). And even deal with the fearsome Allip at that level. Needless to say that Reel On, Love, never admittted being shown wrong here.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=479
    Here I deal with the fallacy brought up by Reel on, Love, that I would think the posters at the WoTC maximisation boards are all bad – actually, there are many highly skilled posters on those boards who also (successfully) challenged the alleged caster supremacy.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=879
    Here, Reel on Love’s continued criticism is disproven that the joker monk allegedly cannot afford his consumable items, or even UMD them.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=191
    In this post, I try to convince Talic of the wrongness of his criticism, one of which was his wrong notion that the joker monk will never be able to safely activate wand, although the build I posted showed it from level 15, and with some imagination even possbile around level 11. After that, his criticism got even worse (inventing new wbl rules to show that the joker monk cannot afford wands, saying that FAQ is not a valid source for rules questions, etc.). It’s for you to decide who you think is right. In later posts, Talic commits some of the most outrageous rules errors in this thread, trying to avoid admitting he is wrong imo.
    Here the second large comment of mine on Talic’s posts
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=230
    And here a third...
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=863
    And a fourth
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=947

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=950
    Here is where Chosen_of_Vecna, almost as stubborn as Talic, is responded to. Chosen_of_Vecna had various criticisms, which I all showed to be wrong; among others:
    - that the joker monk cannot do as much damage as a rogue or fighter at high levels
    - that a level 10 wizard, rogue or cleric can take on consistently higher CR creatures, so a monk failing to do that is weak
    - that I allegedly “hate” non-core rules (whereas the only thing I did was to point out that it does not make much sense to compare my core build to non-core material; which has also been pointed out by many posters before in this thread.
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1224
    Here is where I reply to Chosen_of_Vecna starts a flurry (so to speak) of attempts to prove that a level 15 orc fighter will clearly outdamage a monk. He fails, in part due to faulty assumptions and wrong math.
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1289
    Here is my final say on the matter – although Chosen_of_Vecna remained unconvinced in subsequent posts.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=951
    In this post Griffin131’s ideas are dealt with – not anything that others have not brought up; but I provide responses for the usual doubts in the sense of using the eversmoking bottle, and also that, no, level 10 clerics and rogues will NOT be able to take on CR 11 creatures consistently (reasons being in short that many CR 11 creatures are immune to sneak attacks or could get concealment, and that many CR 11 creatures are faster than the armoured archery cleric).

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=207
    Here, I oppose Solo’s constant funny, but still wrong remarks. I also outline where in the DMG the basis for assuming partially charged wands are found.
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=233
    This is a second reply to more of Solo’s comments. Basically, Solo’s criticism of a monk using UMD is tantamout to the notions that 1) this is not viable since this uses outside sources for buffs (actually the opposite is true) and 2) magic is monopolised by casters (which, as shown by wbl, and buffs, plus UMD is not true).
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1144
    Another one of Solo’s many posts, this time with the new notion that even IF the joker monk is keeping with the fighter or even better, then only because there are to many “resources spent”. I.e. too much effort. Which I show to be not true. (only if you consider building any character from scratch is an effort).

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=211
    This is quite a short reply to SweetRein, but it’s quite important since it deals with the typical fallacy “a commoner can use a candle of invocation, so the monk using a wand is stupid” (insert also the UMD expert out-fighting a monk, a favourite fallacy of Kurald Galain).
    Plus, I show where the rogue and monk can differ in what they UMD: obscuring mist helps the blind-fighting monk for attacking combat purposes, but not the rogue who could no longer sneak attack.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=216
    In this, I reply to Stoopidtallkid making an issue on “a monk always flees” when the monk only uses his superior move and stealth skills. Plus, the monk does make a good party member and the joker monk has plenty of group contribution.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1054
    This is where I reply to of the more desperate attempts to ridicule the joker monk (by Stoopidtallkid). He says a heavy horse animal companion can outgrapple the monk (wrong) and that you should therefore just play a horse...oh well.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=232
    Arguing against Renegade_Paladin’s notion that the barbarian always outfights the joker monk – but I readily admit that the barbarian is probably stronger at melee on average. Which is why the monk has so much other stuff he can do.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=281
    Here, I make reference to Zanatos777 build of a 10th level wizard to illustrate how good a joker monk can deal with typical wizards of that level. Interestingly, soon after, Solo posted a 10th level version of his famed Ozymandias sorcerer build, somewhat stronger, but with scrolls of polymorph (cheese!) and freedom of movement (which he cannot cast without UMD).
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=294
    It would be interesting to see that one take on a level 10 Joker, but Mojotech got the first shot here...

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...&postcount=875
    For once, Kurald Galain tries to make a more lenghty contribution with a thought-up scenario of his to prove the joker monk cannot do anyhting in combat at level 10. Of course I prove him wrong...

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showp...postcount=1132
    And here I comment on one of the few posts of Nebo to actually contain some content – but it is shown that his perceptions of the game are astoundingly wrong, explaining in part why he refuses to ever respond in detail or give constructive criticism of the joker monk guide and build.



    Well, I hope even after 45+ pages of thread, you continue to enjoy!

    - Giacomo
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-07-10 at 03:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Behold! It has arrived!

    Now, in case anyone reading this thinks that it's actually a serious guide to monks, I should point out that this is an impractical and backwards attempt at optimisation. If you want a good monk, go elsewhere or play a Swordsage.
    Last edited by Nebo_; 2008-05-17 at 05:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Just try not to include any obvious untruths, like "any party will be delighted to build themselves around your eversmoking bottle" and "you can obviously buy any number of wands in any number of charges, because that's 100% the same thing as occasionally being able to find non-fully-charged wands."

    ETA: And I see we've hit "partially charged wands" already.

    If you find them, you can sell them. If you sold it, you can buy it back (unless someone else did first).

    But if you want a 1-charge wand of Divine Power, that means someone had to use 49 charges of a wand of Divine Power, and then sell it. What are the odds of that? You can only have partially charged wands if the DM explicitly decides to give them to you.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-05-17 at 08:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    My avatar compliments your guide perfectly.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    If only Giacomo's Monks got Black Belt's ability to ignore the rules of the game so long as he wasn't aware of them, Solo.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    And thus, another round of Sir Giacomo's battle against Logic, Rules and Hard, Cold Facts begins. You can't deny him persistence.
    Last edited by Morty; 2008-05-17 at 08:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    hooray, a guide to monks!

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    If only Giacomo's Monks got Black Belt's ability to ignore the rules of the game so long as he wasn't aware of them, Solo.
    Or if they took a few pages out of Red Mage's notebook, like the sacred ritual of the Stat Swap!

    And thus, another round of Sir Giacomo's battle against Logic, Rules and Hard, Cold Facts begins. You can't deny him persistence.
    I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked, but he certainly is persistent.

    (-ly wrong, might I add )
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-17 at 08:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    BTW, I hope there'll be sample builds included. That way we can track how much you're spending on magic items (how many wands? Divine Power AND Holy Sword AND Blink AND Fly AND... just when can you afford that? How fast do you go through them?), what you can actually do (no more Shroedinger's Monk, who somehow is both high-DEX and high-STR at the same time and have 8 different skills maxed), and so on.

    These builds should also track your UMD total (since you're going to be using the skill a lot) and chance of success.

    Also, PLEASE try not to assume you will get to spend multiple rounds buffing before every single fight. Anyone who's played D&D knows that that's a rarity.


    Oh, and another thing: monks don't need cloaks of resistance? Yes they do! Without them, their saves are only mediocre. A good save progression isn't enough.


    ETA 2: Ahh, of course, "just use AMF."
    Please explain how to use AMF, move up, and grapple in the same round. You know, for those rare occasions when you can't have a long time to buff ahead of time.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-05-17 at 08:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks



    You had me at the title, Giacomo.
    Last edited by Illiterate Scribe; 2008-05-17 at 08:39 AM. Reason: modblock

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    If you're a single classed Monk, you can't create magical items, and you can't cast spells (although you can use magical items which can cast spells for you). In other words, if you're relying on magical items, you need the Batman, but it can be demonstrated that the Batman doesn't need you. That's not beating Batman IMO, it's just using Batman's own tools against him. If you're really going to beat Batman, you need to show how the Monk can do it without relying on some other class for assistance.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    Oh, and another thing: monks don't need cloaks of resistance? Yes they do! Without them, their saves are only mediocre. A good save progression isn't enough.
    It's not? Well, doesn't he already assume good Dex and Wis scores, so you're kinda okay on 2 anyway?

    Edit: Poking at Gia's build a little before I get back to my cleaning, but I don't think you can get Masterwork items of any-damn-skill-you-please..
    Last edited by Rutee; 2008-05-17 at 08:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    It's not? Well, doesn't he already assume good Dex and Wis scores, so you're kinda okay on 2 anyway?
    Dex, possibly, sure. Who targets a monk's Reflex save anyway?
    Will will be decent, but definitely beatable, since the monk is either cranking STR or DEX, and leaving WIS at (presumably) a reasonable amount.

    Monks need cloaks of resistance if they want to be able to rely on their saves.

    Now I sleep. Back tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    reserved to see if this turns out good or bad
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Well Giacomo, you definitely deserve an award of some kind for how dedicated you are to Monks. I'll wait and see if what you say is effective in-game.
    Last edited by InkEyes; 2008-05-17 at 09:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    On your level 20 build, you've allocated 650gp for MW items for every skill you listed. From the SRD, it looks like skill MW items cost 100gp each.

    You owe some more gold - I didnt look to see if you had any left tho, so you might, so this is irrelevant. Just wanted to point it out.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    In Disgaea, I named my brawler Giacomo. To honor the man who will defend monks even with his dying breath. His cause might be a delusion, but you have to respect the determination.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    /me breaks out the popcorn.

    Sorry Gia, but my samurai still has you beat. "Now remember that the casters in your party, particularly the wizard, aren't there to torch the enemies with magic. Everybody on the boards these days knows that blasting spells do much less damage than a melee attack. Obviously, negative status effect spells are even worse, since a blast spell can kill things, and a debuff can't. No, the casters are there to provide buffs for your Samurai character. From True Strike to Righteous Might, all spellcasting classes have good spells that make your already strong Samurai even better. After all, the characters are a team and should work together. Remind the other players that they aren't just playing for themselves; there is no I in "dungeon"."
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    I'm trying envisage what tools are used in Use Magical Device that can be made masterwork. The task of making a wand operate requires force of personality and seems inherently toolless. The magical device itself is not a tool for the purposes of making it work. As tools are mundane items, they must be plausible. One cannot simply say "Magic!" because they're mundane. This is a question my DM would ask. I'd ask the question if I was the DM.

    While we're at it, what are the tools for Move Silently, Hide, Spot, Listen, Spellcraft, Knowledge (Arcana), Tumble and Jump? Presumably the masterwork tools for Perform (Comedy) could be a slapstick or a kazoo.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Something I'd like to point out on his UMD-ness.

    The build relies on it, I think we all knew that. He can not reliably (I call it 'reliable' if you have a 75% chance to do it. That's been my bench mark for quite a while now, except when I decide it's 80%) succeed on UMD Checks for Wands until level 9.

    He will never gain the ability to reliably UMD a first level scroll.

    In Disgaea, I named my brawler Giacomo. To honor the man who will defend monks even with his dying breath. His cause might be a delusion, but you have to respect the determination.
    He would be a determinator if he were awesome.
    Last edited by Rutee; 2008-05-17 at 09:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    A word of warning: since UMD is cross-class, other classes have an easier time using it. Same problem as the Fighter, IMO. The monk can do it, but others do it better.

    EDIT: sorta ninja'd
    Last edited by Bauglir; 2008-05-17 at 09:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    So if I take the UA variant Rogue that gets fighter bonus feats, focusing entirely on Unarmed Combat and Grappling... and max my UMD (since its a class skill)... Have I just become a better monk?

    Cause... monks just are unarmed UMD machines... right?

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    He's rather Quixotic, don't you think?
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by warmachine View Post
    While we're at it, what are the tools for ... Jump?



    That bit of silliness out the way, I have nothing to add that hasn't already been said, except for one thing. For a guide explaining how to play monks, there does seem to be a lot of talk about how monks are the equal of wizards... not just in the 'myths' section but running throughout. Also, I'm not entirely sure that the Joker is the best choice of character, since as an antagonist, the Joker will always eventually lose to Batman; perhaps not the best choice of metaphor?

    Apart from that, in terms of writing and tone it's nice and amusing throughout. In terms of the actual advice being given, however; well, I'll go get the Goggles. Oh wait, they do nothing![/meme]

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    I feel the need to point out that in the comics, the joker has consistently failed to beat Batman. Ah, the irony


    (edit) ninja'ed.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2008-05-17 at 09:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by warmachine View Post
    While we're at it, what are the tools for Move Silently, Hide, Spot, Listen, Spellcraft, Knowledge (Arcana), Tumble and Jump? Presumably the masterwork tools for Perform (Comedy) could be a slapstick or a kazoo.
    Padded shoes, camoflage gear, lenses of some description, a ear trumpet, don't know, a book, padded clothes and possibly shoes with springs on them, if you're feeling a little silly.

    Quite a few of these items are in the Arms & Equipment Guide.
    Thanks to Veera for the avatar.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by SamTheCleric View Post
    So if I take the UA variant Rogue that gets fighter bonus feats, focusing entirely on Unarmed Combat and Grappling... and max my UMD (since its a class skill)... Have I just become a better monk?

    Cause... monks just are unarmed UMD machines... right?
    No, cause you don't get the cool monk abilities, like slow falling, talking to Pochahontis and all her little woodland friends, and being able to kill some one once per week (and watching them die a week later).

    Suck it, UA variant Rogue that focuses on unarmed combat, with plentiful fighter bonus feats, high skill points, and UMD as a class skill.

    Padded shoes, camoflage gear, lenses of some description, a ear trumpet, don't know, a book, padded clothes and possibly shoes with springs on them, if you're feeling a little silly.
    Shoes with padded springs, of course!
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-17 at 09:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Thank you Giacomo. This is obviously quite a lot of work and although I disagree with virtually everything you say It's still impressive how much effort you're prepared to put into the Gonk
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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