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dman11235

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Monk's Handbook
« on: July 08, 2008, 01:13:25 AM »
[size=8]The Guide to Monks[/size]



Table of Contents
Post 1: Introduction/party interaction
Post 2: Attributes and races
Post 3: Class features and alternate class features
Post 4: Feats and skills
Post 5: Equipment
Post 6: Multiclassing and prestige classes
Post 7: sample builds.

Introduction

When I talk about monks, I am referring to both the class presented in the Player’s Handbook and the archetypal unarmed/unarmored combatant.  Yes, the archetype has been hyped up so much in fantasy it has its own class in the Player’s Handbook.  Imagine my surprise when it turns out that the class isn’t very good on its own.  I love this concept though (and I’m sure many of you feel the same way), so here I am trying to make this concept a viable one.  Questions and comments are, of course, welcome, but I don’t want to hear any “swordsage this!” and “swordsage that!”  I couldn’t care less about that class, but it does deserve mentioning, which I will cover later.  I’m not very familiar on the ToB system though, so constructive help there is very welcome.

There are a couple rules when building a monk.  The first one is multiclass.  The second one is prestige class.  The third is don’t take more than 6 levels of monk.  And the fourth is to increase unarmed damage whenever possible, to make it viable as a weapon.  And the fifth is DON’T TAKE MORE THAN SIX LEVELS!

PARTY INTERACTION

Well, this role is pretty limited in the party to the tank or damage dealing role.  It can become a battlefield control role with the right build, but due to the class restrictions it’s not too easy to do much else.

Primary Melee: This is pretty simple.  The goal is to up your unarmed damage as much as possible, trying to make yourself a viable threat on the battle field.  There are quite a few secondary goals you can achieve here, depending on your class selection and prestige class options.  Of course high strength is desired for damage, or so you would think.  If you can get your unarmed damage high enough, you don’t really need strength anymore, and can focus on dexterity and wisdom.  The strength required for Power Attack is probably desired, but the defenses provided by high dex/wis/con are probably superior to the desire for a couple more points of damage on a 1:1 attack/damage trade off.  1:0 if the light weapon part of unarmed strikes trumps the natural weapon part (seen cases for both, I believe that it should count as a 1-handed weapon for PA, but I believe that RAW it is light).  Your class abilities as a monk don’t lend much to attacking beyond Flurry of Blows, which will grant you an extra attack per round at your full base attack bonus.  The -2 penalty isn’t much, especially when compared to average ACs as levels progress.  So getting out before any lowering of this penalty doesn’t hurt too much.

Battlefield Control: The monk gets a few bonus feats early on, so a tripping focus and grapple focus monk aren’t entirely out of the question.  And with that great unarmed damage, grappling seems a logical choice for a monk.  The problems: medium BAB gets in the way of this big time.  So do size limitations and overall suckage of grapple.  If you can get grapple to work well, it can be amazing in the hands of a monk.  Trip as well, but reach limitations get in the way here, unless you have ways of circumventing them.  I will get into these later in the multiclass segment.

Defensive Master: Okay, so not a party role, but this is what the class was designed for.  Unfortunately they failed.  Miserably.  Not to mention that a turtle isn’t a threat, and therefore not useful on a battlefield.  It doesn’t help that you can’t get hit if they don’t target you and instead target that juicy wizard over there that’s actually hurting them.  Luckily, there are ways around this, or rather, ways to focus on other things and have this as secondary.  Reducing MAD by increasing unarmed damage (thus needing less strength) raises your AC but quite a bit.  Items provide the alternative methods of defense that are needed.  You already have a high touch AC with two primary and secondary stats being applied to it, and with all good saves you’re set there if you focus on con as well.  I repeat: this is not a viable role in a party.  It is merely a secondary goal for a character that fills some other role.

Scout: With hide and move silently on the class list, as well as spot and listen, coupled with the high movement rate, monks actually make great scouts.  Lacking those delicious ranger spells however present a small problem overcoming that class as a scout, and lack of skill points prevents competition with any other skill based class, like the, well, scout.  The mobile aspect of this class plays a very important part in scouting, and the ability to deal a lot of damage at once helps with first strike capabilities.  This role is better performed by many other classes, but it is worth mentioning, maybe as a secondary goal for your character.

Unfortunately, there aren’t very many more paths you can take with this concept.  Ranged combat is out of the question, as is skill monkeying, due to the lack of support for either one.  Sure the skill list is nice (and has Diplomacy!) but with int being a low priority stat and only 4+int skills, there’s not much to do here, you’re stuck with either hide/move silently or spot/listen and then tumble and one other, without an int bonus.  It is also hard to do more than two of the above things, due to the lack of versatility present in the class.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 01:15:33 AM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 01:13:37 AM »
ATTRIBUTES

str: Since strength is an off/on stat for monks, it deserves two entries.  This one is for pure damage builds and defense builds.  Since you can get your unarmed base damage so high, you actually don’t need this stat very much to deal damage, and can use the focus on dexterity or wisdom to supply a higher AC and the use of Weapon Finesse or Intuitive Attack for your attack bonus.

str: This is the most important stat by far for most monks, those who focus on damage as a secondary goal and trip/grapple/disarm/ etc. as a primary fighting method.  It boosts your ability to hinder opponents and provides a small amount of extra damage (small compared to your base damage, that is).

dex: Dexterity is one of the most important stats for monks for three reasons: 1: AC.  2: Combat Reflexes.  3: Reflex saves.  Yeah, I know it’s one of the least important saves as direct damage isn’t all that hot, but I’d rather take no damage thanks to evasion than some damage or even full damage.  It goes a long way to making you unkillable.

con: Probably a more important stat than dexterity, con gets you more HP, boosts your fort save, and can give you more AC.  Con is always important, unless you’re undead.  Or a construct.

int: Finally a bad stat!  But, it’s still slightly important due to skills.  You have a nice skill list, but other stats come first.  You can switch the importance of this stat with wisdom with Kung Fu Genius or Carmedine Monk.

wis: Wisdom is probably the defining stat for monks.  It makes you that wise old man with crazy kung fu skills.  It can be your most important stat with Intuitive Attack.

cha: You don’t need this.  Unless you’re an Ascetic Mage, dump this all to Baator and back.  Sure Diplomacy is a class skill, but I have NEVER needed charisma.

RACES

LA+0
[spoiler] Many thanks to AZNsupermarket for making and maintaining the Master Player Race List Version 2.0.  If a race is not on here, it's because it was too "meh" to mention. There're no pros or cons for it.  Or I just don’t have it, in that case let me know, I’d be happy to add it.
Note: I never play with multi-class penalties. If you do, make sure to take that into account

Buoman: I thought these were worth mentioning as they are played up to be monks.  But they’re really odd.  Boost to a key stat, penalty to an utter dump stat make a nice monk though.

Changelings: Changelings are good for one reason: Warshaper.  Warshaper increases the size of your unarmed attacks and gives you nice boosts and reach.  And immunity to crits.  And an infinite number of natural weapons, but let’s ignore that cheese for now.

Dwarf: Who am I kidding?  Dwarves are always cool.  And the boost to con and penalty to cha is nice.  Just be sure to not take a subrace that penalizes dex.  Also opens up possibilities for Deepwarden fun.

Elan: Now, you may be wondering why this isn’t blue.  It’s because even though it penalizes a dump stat, it doesn’t give you back anything really useful.  Sure if you go Tashalatora it can be a pretty good race, but it’s not all that impressive.  It’s a decent race.

Elf: Elves suck.

Oh, you wanted me to elaborate?  Con penalty.  The aquatic, artic, desert, snow and wild elves might be useful….maybe, but really, go with something else.

Gnome: Gnomes are fun, but not really all that good.  The small size gets in the way of things, but the con boost is nice.  Special mention is Whisper Gnome of awesome.  Those things are really good for stealth characters.

Goblins: About the same as gnomes, bonuses in the right spots, penalties in the right spots, but small.  And that hurts.  Try to find something else, but it’s alright.  Would be fun though.  Special mention: Hobgoblin.  Some say this should be LA+0, and I’m inclined to agree, with a -2 penalty to cha or int (either one fits, probably cha).  If that’s the case, it’s a nice race with boosts to two important stats.

Half-elf: It’s still an elf.  But the real issue is that it doesn’t give you anything at all.  No penalties though.  But I mean come on, is there a more boring race to pick?

Half-Orc: Why is this red?  Play an orc.  Or better yet: a water orc.  There’s no real reason to play a half-orc other than to be Angsty McGee the shunned member of both cultures.  Stat wise it’s decent I guess, but you can do much better.  Of special note: if your DM's a DB and doesn't let you multi-class to barbarian (there's no reason for you not to be able to) you can take half-or paragon to get rage if you really wanted to.

Halflings: Another race cut down by being short!  Would be great if it wasn’t so small, but it’s alright because stats and sheer awesomeness make up for it.  Special mention: Strongheart Halflings.  The bonus feat is nice.

Humans: Bonus feat.  ‘Nuff said.  All around one of the best races for just about anything.  Special mention: Mongrelfolk.  +4 con is always a welcome thing, along with penalties to two dump stats.  Especially good with Dragonborn and Fist of the Forest.

Jermlaine: This odd, odd race gets massive boosts to all important stats and penalties to dump stats.  Why not blue?  It’s tiny.  It even has a fly speed and it’s faster than a human!  But it’s tiny.  I guess it’s a little more balanced that way.  At least, without cheesy stuff.

Kenku: Worth mentioning because they’re fun.  Nothing in particular about them is great, but they make excellent teamwork soldiers.

Kobolds: They’re kobolds.  Con penalty and size penalty hurts, but then you gain access to kobold things, which much more than makes up for it.  Go with jungle kobold for no con penalty.

Neanderthal: In a frostfell campaign, these guys are great.  The penalty to dex hurts, and you’re probably better off using a weapon they get a +1 bonus with, but it’s a solid choice.  I’d say do Water Orc over them though.  Same -1 AC, but +2 str over them.  And more attacks of opportunity with Combat Reflexes.

Neraphim: They’re LA+0 outsiders, which can be abused.  That’s the calling card of these guys.

Orcs: The +4 strength is nice, and penalty to two dump stats is better, but you lost me at -2 wisdom.  That said, they are a really nice race, especially Water Orcs, if you don’t care as much about your AC.  And if you go with Fist of the Forest, then the con boost and wis penalty Water Orcs get cancel out.

Planetouched: Surprisingly, the Lesser Teifling is one of the best ones of these.  The Lesser Aasimar is also nice, what with the +2 wis.  But you can do better.

Raptorans: These are not descended from elves.  I don’t care what RotW says.  There is no way such a cool race is descended from those snobs.  Extraordinary flight is always a plus, and depending on your direction this might even be better than human.

Shifters: Again, Warshaper.  No infinite natural attacks (dang it I said ignore that from now on!) but the other bonuses are still great.  Also, there is a shifting form that grants a boost to wis.  And they have a boost to a key stat and penalty to two dump stats.  All around a good option.

Xeph: This fairly obscure yet in the SRD race is decent with a boost to a key skill and an ability that increases its speed, but there are many better options.[/spoiler]

LA+1
[spoiler] First off, there's no Master List for races with a level adjustment, so I’m just going through what I have time for/what I care to look at.  If it’s not here, I haven’t considered it a good race, but feel free to enlighten me.  I’d like some help on these next two sections for the above facts.

Catfolk: A pretty good race.  Charisma bump is useless, but it’s alright, the +4 dex makes up for it.  Since you aren’t likely a caster, the LA doesn’t hurt as much, and with LA buy-off, well, you’re set.  The extra speed is also a good thing.

Half-Giant: It’s not that good unless your DM rules that natural attacks are affected by powerful build.  If they aren’t (most don’t) then it’s an average race, and you’d be better off with a LA+0 water orc.

Goliath: See half-giant.  Though this one is a little better, thanks to the superior stats.  And they’re cool, and we all know that’s the most important thing.

Uldra: A very nice race, with boosts to two important stats and a penalty to a not so important stat.  Really good for a frostfell campaign.[/spoiler]

LA+2
[spoiler]Githyanki: Just…no.  Penalties in bad spots, no bonuses to the right things, just…no.

Githzerai: Penalties in the right spots, bonuses in the very right spots, this race was made for monks.  And look at him, he’s just waiting to punch your face in!  Not to mention the Intertial Armor (or just +4 AC for being conscious, if using the MM version) that scales (though manifester level is only ½ character level).  Also gets spell resistance.  This can be a bane though, I change the spell resistance rules so it’s not a bad thing to have (SR: harmless spells go through automatically, instead of requiring a standard action to lower SR).

Half-Ogre: This is a nice race.  If you don’t care about dex as much, then the -2 doesn’t hurt as much, but you’re large.  That means more damage faster.[/spoiler]

Templates
[spoiler]Templates can be great.  High LA ones…not so much usually.  Here are a few good ones.

Dragonborn: Boost to a good stat, penalty to a dump stat.  And flight.  Or something else, but flight!  At LA+0, it’s pretty dang sweet.  Just make sure your original race doesn’t have any good traits you want to keep, and has really nice stat adjustments.  Like Mongrelfolk.

Lolth-Touched: Sure you have to be C/E, but +6 str AND +6 con?  For +1 LA?  Yes please!

Feral: This is a good one.  Boosts to important stats, no penalties to important stats.  Abilities that scale with level.  There’s little to not love.

Shadow Creature: No stat boosts, but the fast healing alone is nice.  This is a great template for stealth builds.

Saint: Best LA+2 template ever.  EVER!  With this: wisx2 to AC.  A slew of immunities.  The catch?  You must be exalted, which is a major commitment.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 04:05:16 AM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 01:13:43 AM »
CLASS FEATURES

This part will focus solely on the monk class, and at the bottom I will mention other classes (I’m looking at you swordsage).

  • Hit Dice: d8, not bad.  Not that good either for a primary meleer.
  • Skills: This one is mixed.  A decent skill list, but only 4+int skills per level and no int synergy.  Has diplomacy.
  • Proficiencies: With almost no good proficiencies and no armor, it would seem to be a terrible way to start for a melee, but there are some goodies, and you don’t need armor or a weapon, so it’s a fair trade.
  • saves: All good, so all good.
  • BAB: How?!?  A melee class with medium BAB!?!  There are ways around this, thankfully.
  • Unarmed damage: This is the workhorse of this class.  With the right combinations of PrCs, you can get this to reasonable levels.  Enough to compete with other primary melees, even without magic weapons.  But they certainly help.
  • AC bonus: Well, the class granted AC bonus isn’t so hot (+5 for 20 levels?), but the second stat to AC is nice.  The fact that you can’t wear armor though is a bummer, and leads you to realize that wearing armor generally gets you a comparable AC, and probably a better defense.  It’s this combined with other things that make it nice.
  • Bonus Feats: These are nice.  Bonus feats are always nice.  And the list isn’t all that bad either, I mean, Improved Trip without that silly int requirement?  Yes please!
  • Flurry of Blows: This is nice.  It’s a free extra attack per round.  Unfortunately it must be a full attack, but Haste does the same thing.
  • Evasion: Sure damage isn’t the best way to play for spell casters, but when they do resort to it, and when that dragon breathes on you, and when any of a number of other things happen, you don’t take damage.  That’s a good thing.
  • Speed boost: This is another good thing.  Who says ‘no’ to free speed boosts to all speeds?  Doesn’t stack with Boots of Striding and Springing, but that’s alright.  Also doesn’t synergize with most all other abilities listed so far.
  • Still Mind: You don’t need this.  You have a high wis and good will saves, you shouldn’t be failing anyways.  It is a prerequisite for a few prestige classes though, and the same level gets you +10 foot speed.
  • Ki Strike: We have items to do this.  And spells.  It is not a necessary thing at all, except it is a prereq for a few things.  The same level grants you a damage boost though, so it’s not a total waste.
  • Slow Fall: I’m sorry, what is the use of this ability again?  There is a level 1 spell and a fairly cheap ring that makes this useless.  And those can be used anywhere.  And how was it supposed to mesh with the rest of the class again?
  • Purity of Body: This is alright I guess, but not totally necessary.  Same level grants +1 AC and +1 attack when flurrying though, so not a total loss.  Sure diseases are nasty, until you realize that a fairly low level spell makes them useless.  And let’s face it: no one uses diseases.
  • level 6: Not a class feature, but worth mentioning for this: +1 attack, +10’ speed, +1 to all saves, and a bonus feat.  The last good level.
  • Wholeness of Body: Very limited amount of healing.  Max of 40 points at level 20, at level 7 it’s 14.  That’s like a cure spell in combat…that gets worse with higher levels.  Especially bad when you consider a one level dip into Shadow Sun Ninja gives you infinite healing that can actually matter even in combat.
  • Improved Evasion: This is an unnecessary ability.  You shouldn’t fail reflex saves anyways, so it’s not all that necessary.  Your flurry improves at the same level, and you get faster, but it’s not all that great of a level.  Certainly not worth the last two levels.
  • Diamond Body: This is alright, if your campaign actually uses poisons at all, but there are ways to neutralize poison.
  • Greater Flurry: This is nice, extra attacks are always welcome, but at the price of the previous four levels, not worth the effort.  This is an island level, it’s got nothing good around it on either side, thus making it useless.
  • Abundant Step: Would be good if it weren’t 1/day.
  • Diamond Soul: Spell resistance is a bane and a boon.  You can’t be buffed efficiently (and you need it), but it’s harder for enemies to hurt you.  Personally, I’ll take the buffs over this any day.  Not to mention the easy with which they can overcome it, if necessary.  Using SR: no spells and various ways to increase chances to overcome leave you wanting more.  Totally not worth it.
  • Quivering Palm: Unless you’re out to kill all the girls you’ve slept with, this isn’t a good ability.  I mean, 1/week?  Seriously?
  • Timeless Body: Not worth it.  When a kobold can do this at level 1, you know you’re in bad shape.
  • Tongue of the Sun and the Moon: Yippee!  I can talk to anything!  Good for a diplomancer build.  But a diplomancer build will just use “Tongues” and no levels in monk.
  • Empty Body: Can find use, but not worth the level investment.
  • Perfect Self: You’re an outsider, and that’s a plus, but it’s not worth it!
Alternate Class Features

If I don’t have an ACF, I’m not familiar enough with it to judge.

Fighting Styles-UA: These can be good, and can be bad, I’ll go through each one:

[spoiler]Cobra Strike: Not worth the loss of those other feats.  Dodge is nice as a prereq for some good things, but mobility and spring attack?  Not very good feats, and you need full attacks anyway.

Denying Stance: About equal trade here, due to the flat bonuses to grapple and disarm.  Could do better, could do worse.  You still need Combat Expertise to get trip, which means int 13+.

Hand and Foot: Gets you Improved Trip for free, and some nice boosts to defend against combat maneuvers.  Could do better though.  Does require Balance, which is a good skill to have 5 ranks in, too bad it’s 9 required.

Invisible Eye: Requires Agile?  And three not so great feats.  Combat Reflexes is almost necessary, but the other two are not needed at all.

Overwhelming Attack: Only decent because of Power Attack.  And that might not be such a good thing, depending on the ruling of unarmed strikes being light or as natural weapons.

Passive Way: This is a good one.  Free Combat Expertise and Improved Trip, letting you take all those other good Combat Expertise required feats without the requisite int.  And the 6th level bonus might even be worth the throw away feat if you have a reliable method of making opponents flat-footed (or denied dex, I guess).

Sleeping Tiger: It’s alright if you want Weapon Finesse anyway, but what were they thinking?  Giving WF, and then requiring Power Attack?  For a 1/round sneak attack 1d6?  Only useful 1-2 levels.

Undying Way: Wat.  No seriously: wat.  Toughness, Endurance, and Diehard.  Three throw away feats.  And DR 2/-.  Just 2.  And requiring a useless skill.  Wat.[/spoiler]

That other variant in UA-UA: Gain a small amount of DR the level after you stop taking monk, only if you continue with monk, in exchange for that delicious speed and AC bonus.  Just the AC bonus, and at every time you’d gain an AC boost you’d get DR 2/-, then maybe.  Maybe.

Decisive Strike-PHBII: This is great for battlefield control builds of all types.  One of the many reasons monks make great dips.  If you focus on attacks of opportunity to fight, use this.

Sacred Strike-DRG 346: While not all that impressive (it requires charisma) what it replaces is nothing, so it’s like trading a copper piece for a spyglass.

Soulwarp Strike-CM: It’s about as good as Stunning Fist, but I’d rather have the Passive Way variant, something I need that bonus feat for.

Spell Reflection-CM: I guess it’s not terrible, and if you can get evasion from somewhere else, go for it.  It’s the limited number of times per day and the rarity of rays that get me I guess.  It is a more limited version of the epic feats Reflect Arrows+Exceptional Deflection.

Holy (Unholy) Strike-CC: Again, it’s not all that great, but what you get rid of is close to nothing, so like trading a copper for a spy glass.

Prayerful Meditation: I hate the idea that monks must be lawful (I even get rid of that requirement, same with most all base class and some PrC alignment restrictions) so this isn’t all that hot for me, and even ignoring that it’s about as restrictive as Still Mind.  Not to mention that your saves are likely insane so you don’t need it.

Draconic Fist-Dragon Magic: It’s extra energy damage a limited number of times per day the eliminate a bonus feat.  Not worth it.

Standing Jump-Dungeonscape: Well, it’s almost a ‘red’ feature, because jumps are not very useful at higher levels.  But it’s alright I guess.  I’d much rather have the speed boosts (which aid jump anyways)

Wall Walker-Dungeonscape: What you get rid of is sort of useless, but this is about the same.  I’d rather have this I guess.

Planar Sub Levels-PH: The resist energy one is decent I guess, it replaces something worth very little, but the other two are terrible.  What do you get when you make a sub-par class feature even worse?  You guessed it!  Nothing good!

Stormwrack stuff-Stormwrack: Ignoring the first one which is useless as the monk speed boost already applies to every movement option, the second one is miles better than slow fall.  It’s actually possible that you don’t have the ability to fly at the low levels when you get this, so it might actually get use!

Other classes: Swordsage.  With the unarmed variant, this can pull the same, or similar, stuff as the monk, but doesn’t have the bonus feats.  The maneuvers make up for this, as some are really good, but it’s just another option.  A lot of my ‘monks’ have two or more unarmed swordsage levels to capitalize on those maneuvers.  Since the key to good unarmed fighting lies in PrCs amping up your unarmed damage (or just high unarmed damage) it’s not always viable to do straight swordsage as a monk.  It’s an available option, any many things the monk can do this class can do better, or more cool looking, so it’s an option many take.

Any class with Superior Unarmed Strike: It works, but sometimes it doesn’t.  I can easily see a base of Fighter with some barbarian thrown in and some of those great ‘monk’ prestige classes.  The damage isn’t as high, but to the extent that it gets increased, it’s hard to notice.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 01:18:54 AM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 01:13:51 AM »
FEATS

I’m not going through all of the feats obviously, just some traps and some of the better feats.  This section needs a lot of help.  They are arranged in the order that I thought of them in, except for the obvious red/black/blue arrangement.

Any +2/+2 skill feat, and Skill Focus: As a monk, you don’t need these.  As anyone, you don’t need these.  Except maybe a diplomonster.  Unless it’s a prereq, don’t take it.

Deflect Arrows: Unless you plan on going epic, or can take epic feats early, and are taking Infinite Deflection, Reflect Arrows, and Exceptional Deflection, not worth it.

Power Attack: Yes, for a primary melee I said PA was a bad thing to take.  The reason: you get no bonus damage with light weapons.  You’d be lowering your attack modifier and getting nothing in return.  See below though.

Fist of Iron: Seriously, a stunning attempt for +1d6 damage 1/round at the most?  Come on!

Fiery Fist: It’s better than Fists of Iron, but still not worth what you’re giving up.

Fiery Ki Defense: It’s better than Fiery Fist (slightly) but also very situational.  Still a waste of a feat compared to most any other feat out there.

Dodge: +1 AC vs. one opponent.  Wouldn’t be worth anything ever if there weren’t some great feats and PrCs that require it.

Mobility: See Dodge.  Also, you have tumble.  You won’t provoke anyways.

Eagle Claw Attack: 1) requires Improved Sunder.  2) Is only against objects.

Water Splitting Stone: No.  +4 situational damage is not a good feat.  You shouldn’t even be suffering from DR anyways.

Distant Touch: Instantly becomes a black feat if you’re not allowed to get throwing put on your Necklace of Natural Attacks.  Point is, that item does this better.

Vow of Poverty: Monks are extremely item dependant.  This feat is a major trap.

All other vows: Way too limiting for their bonus.  Sure having all of the vows would be great thematically, but not in your typical campaign.  It’s a shame that they don’t work for monks.

Ki Blast: Other than making you a super saiyan, this feat is worthless.  The damage is so low as to be worthless, even by the time you can take the feat.

Versatile Unarmed Strike: Feats that are made obsolete by an item are not good.  Just get Transmuting put on your unarmed strike and you’re fine.

Improved Sunder: No!  Bad!  No destroying your own loot before you get it!

Stunning Fist: It’s decent, I guess.  There are some stunning feats worth taking, but on its own, the DC+times per day+miscellaneous factors mean it’s not actually all that great.  Because it’s nice it’s not red, stunning means they can’t do anything for a round.

Extra Stunning: Since it’s a whole feat, don’t take it until you don’t have anything else to spend it on, but since some stunning feats are nice, it can be a good feat.

Pain Touch: Great if you focus on stunning.  In fact, not taking this if focused on stunning would be irresponsible.

Weakening Touch: A penalty to enemy’s strength is nice, but -6 isn’t overwhelming.

Ability Focus (stunning fist): See Pain Touch.

Mage Slayer: Aside from the required CC skill ranks, it’s a pretty good feat if you don’t cast spells.  There are better, and if you’re focusing on AoOs, then this is almost a must have.

Kung Fu Genius/Carmedine Monk: Take the second one if possible.  They make you int based instead of wis based.  More for wizard/monk gishes than anything else.  Makes skills useful, and that’s of note, but wis powers quite a few other things (stunning fist, listen/spot, etc.) so it’s an even trade off, maybe a little less since it costs a feat.

Ascetic Mage: for sorcerer/monk gishes, it’s a requirement.  Not much more than that.

Intuitive Attack: Reduces MAD considerably, but without dex/str (whichever one you were going to use) you aren’t as effective at ____, _____ being battle field control, not being exalted, etc.  Mainly the whole trip being str checks thing.

Weapon Finesse: See Intuitive Attack.  If you can focus on strength and not care so much about AC, don’t use this, and have a token amount of dex, for Combat Reflexes.

Improved Initiative: If you have nothing else to spend the feat on, this is never a waste of a feat.

Quick Reconnoiter: on the same vein as Improved Initiative, this is helpful for scouts.  And it gives you an initiative boost, and that’s always a good thing.

Rapid Stunning: Not as useful for stun based builds as you’d think, but still pretty useful.

Improved Grapple: If grapple wasn’t simultaneously so bad and good, then it might be better or worse.  But grappling is weird.  Good way to round off your combat maneuver based monk though.

Serpent Fang: Useful, but get that extra reach somehow and take a 5’ step.  Generally not worth the stunning attempt.

Sun School:  This feat has some decent options with it.

Improved Natural Attack: Why when I have been so adamant about increasing unarmed damage, have I placed so little value on this feat?  Because items can do it better, of course.  And so can spells.  Sure, if you don’t have access to any other way to increase unarmed damage (except Warshaper, it stacks with that) then take this feat.

Improved Bull Rush: It’s alright at combat control, but not as good as tripping, so it goes here.

Cobalt Expertise: Bonus to trips is always a welcome thing.  Unfortunately a +1 bonus isn’t worth a feat slot, so unless you have more essentia than this gives you, don’t bother.

Saphire Fist: bonus to the DC for stunning fist is nice, and it may apply to all those awesome stunning feats, depending on your interpretation, but it’s only +1 without more essentia.

Pharaoh’s Fist: For a stunning fist user, this is nice to have, but very situational.

Snap Kick: It’s an extra attack, what more need I say?

Pierce Magical Protection/Concealment: If facing mages these are niiiice.

Inhuman Reach: It’s an extra 5’ reach.  At the cost of -1 attack.  Though it does require Aberrant Blood.

Broken Fist Mastery I and II: Massive bonuses to trip.

Knock-Down: Whenever you deal more than a low amount of damage, you get a free trip attempt (and if you trip, a free attack thanks to Improved Trip).  These last three are 3.0, and thus of dubious quality, but if you can get them allowed, whoo-boy will you be awesome with the trips.  Very feat intensive though, be prepared to multiclass into psychic warrior and/or fighter.

Dark Stalker: All stealth builds must have this feat.  Period.

Combat Reflexes: As a monk, you are likely to utilize many things that rely on attacks of opportunities.  More of them=more chances to shine.

Superior Unarmed Strike: While it may seem that +1 or 2 average damage isn’t all that much, consider that with only 7 monk levels, this feat, a monk’s belt, and a monk’s tattoo, that’s +6.5, and then with all the ways to increase damage, you’re at an average of +30 or so with this one feat.  It adds up.

Law Devotion: A pretty significant boost to either AC or attack.  Not bad.  Better with a cleric dip, grabbing Knowledge Devotion and Air Devotion as well.  Or travel devotion.  Or animal devotion.  Mmm, animal devotion.  Consider this a review of all domain feats.  Those not mentioned=not worth it.  So they get mentioned: protection is decent, and trickery is abusable.  Not as much for you as a monk, but still abusable.

Elusive Target: I mean, who doesn’t want to negate power attack?  Also, see if you can get it to work with Expeditious Dodge, to be able to negate PA from all enemies.  Catch is you have to move 10 feet every round, but not something so hard with a DC 40 tumble check.

Freezing the Lifeblood: Better than Stunning Fist.  Paralyzed for more than one round.  Can you say Coup de grace?

Karmic Strike: For a decisive strike AoO focusing build, this feat is key.

Robilar’s ambit: See Karmic Strike.

Improved Trip: This is a great feat.  If you can get the reach, even better.

Improved Disarm: If you can get your bonus up high enough, this is almost as good as tripping.  Combine with tripping for fun.

Tashalatora: One of the best feats for monks to take for one reason: Psychic Warrior.

SKILLS

Your skill list is pretty nice, but you don’t care about int and you have few skills/level.  This will help you figure out where to put those few skill points you do get.

Balance: 5 ranks is good, otherwise this skill isn’t so hot.  It helps you balance.  Woohoo.  At epic levels you can walk on air, but that’s not too helpful.
Climb: Flight makes this obsolete.  At low levels it’s not going to matter much because half the party won’t be able to climb anyways, and this is all around a pretty dumb skill.  Is sometimes necessary.
Concentration: Why do monks even have this?  Is a prerequisite for a few nice things though.
Craft: It’s craft.  Big whoop.
Diplomacy: You lack the charisma synergy to make good use of this skill.  If you really want to you could, but it’s best left alone.
Escape Artist: Good as an anti-grapple measure, but you know what’s better?  Close Quarters Fighting.  And a high grapple check, not something too far fetched for you.
Hide: A good stealth skill.  Consider this.
Jump: Flight makes you obsolete!  And doesn’t get much use anyways.  A prereq for some nice things though.
Knowledge (arcana): Only useful as a prereq.
Knowledge (religion): Ditto.
Listen: Good detection skill.  Consider taking.
Move Silently: Same as hide.
Perform: It’s perform.  You aren’t a bard and likely aren’t a Dervish.
Profession: Profession: craft but weaker.
Sense Motive: Decent skill, but made obsolete by some low level spells.  Consider having though, I’ve been in way too many instances where it’s needed.
Spot: See listen.  More important than listen, arguably.
Swim: Spells can take care of this, but this is better than climb of jump.
Tumble: All of my monks have this skill.  It is nice for getting in there and not suffering AoOs on the way.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 01:21:50 AM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 01:13:58 AM »
EQUIPMENT
NOTE: I’m using the MiC list to complete this area with two exceptions.  Any help is welcome.

Armor
[Spoiler]You don’t wear any.  Move along.[/spoiler]

Shield
[Spoiler]You don’t use one.  Move along.[/spoiler]

Weapon
[spoiler]You use you unarmed attacks.  Move along.

If you’re still here, you’re here about those special monk weapons.  Well…they suck, for the most part.  Notable exceptions: Scorpion Kama (MiC) lets you two weapon fight with unarmed damage.  The Handaxe is notable for one reason: you’re proficient with it, and it is a martial weapon.  This means you can qualify for Abjurant Champion without any jumping through hoops.  Or maybe you’re here about the Necklace of Natural Attacks?  That’s down below.[/spoiler]

Now we get to the bulk of the items, wondrous items.

Arms
[spoiler]Bracers of Armor.  Done.  There really isn’t much of anything else here of use.  Maybe Greatreach Bracers.  Maybe.  And you can put the armor on them anyways.[/spoiler]

Body
[spoiler]Use this slot for miscellaneous things you can’t put elsewhere, there aren’t any good items existing that go here.  Suggested robes: Ghost Shroud, and increase the deflection bonus, Robe of Useful Items (hey, they’re useful!), and Robe of Eyes.  None are really all that great, so my main suggestion: Ghost Shroud.  Saves money on the weapon.[/spoiler]

Face (not the face!  Not the face!)
[spoiler]Reserved for wis item, but you can put that enhancement bonus on something existing at no extra charge, so let’s find a good one!  Raptor’s Mask is nice, with immunity to blinding, and you can increase the spot boost.  Moonstone Mask is alright, I guess, but you can just put those on an existing face slot item.  Crystal Mask of Insight is an insight bonus to spot, something you can’t just buy.  Now here’s a good one: Third Eye (conceal).  Immune to detections based on your mind.  Basically constant Mind Blank.  A really good catch, albeit expensive.[/spoiler]

Feet
[spoiler]Surprisingly enough, there aren’t many good boots for you.  Boots of Striding and Springing are great…except you already have a speed boost.  You might as well go with Cobra Straps so you can get the collection benefits of Gharyn’s Monastic Array.  Sandals of the Light Step are also acceptable.  Gwaeron’s Boots are also acceptable.  Feel free to put a dex enchantment on these.  And maybe a move silently/hide enchantment.

I did find the Sandals of the Tiger's Leap in Sword and Fist, which are amazing.  Very under priced at a mere 3,500 GP, these sandals let you deal x2 damage with an unarmed attack at the end of a charge.  The way it's worded one of the following occurs: you get an additional unarmed attack at double damage, all of your unarmed attacks are at double damage, you get one unarmed attack (not additional) at double damage.  So it's kind of a...DM's call item.  That's a nice way of putting it.[/spoiler]

Hands
[spoiler]Despite the obvious gloves of dex (which can be put most places, actually), there are a few nice hand slot items.  Ki Straps give +2 to your Stunning Fist DC, and all feats keyed off that.  Gauntlets of the Talon increase unarmed damage.  Gloves of the Balanced Hands are a bonus feat.[/spoiler]

Head
[spoiler]Helm of Battle: decent, but only 3/day.  Hat of Anonymity is nice for stealth build, with a +5 untyped bonus to hide.[/spoiler]

Rings
[spoiler]Remember when I said Slow Fall was worthless?  2,200 gp, make it obsolete.  Ring of featherfall.  Also for cheap: Ring of Sustenance.  Ring of Invisibility is also nice.  As is the Ring of Evasion, if you decide to nix evasion for Spell Reflection, or only have one monk level.  Ring of Freedom of Movement is really good.[/spoiler]

Shoulders
[spoiler]Two words: Phoenix Cloak.  Fly speed equal to your land speed, perfect maneuverability.  Get it.  Though the Cloak of Displacement (minor) is nice…  And you may have a faster fly speed with Wings of Flying, depending on your build, and good maneuverability isn’t that much below perfect.[/spoiler]

Throat
[spoiler]Necklace of Natural Attacks.  This is even more set than the shoulders.  If this glorious item isn’t allowed, then I don’t know what to say, other than get a Scorpion Kama and forget unarmed strikes.  It’s not worth it without this.  Since I have all this room now, let’s go over some good weapon enchantments.  1) only a +1.  Enchantments are better than an enhancement bonus.  2) no elemental +1d6 damage nonsense.  Those are terrible.  3) Wounding, Transmuting, and Collision are three great ones.  Speed is decent, but I’d rather get Haste cast on me.  Bodyfeeding is amazing when you do crit.  Vampiric is alright, as it gives you healing.  Warning and Eager are initiative boosts, always welcome.  Impact is nice as an alternative to Improved Critical.  Throwing is just fun.  You don’t even need Returning, as a millimeter of your hair does the same damage as your fists…[/spoiler]

Torso
[spoiler]You don’t have many good options here, other than common effects.  The Shirt of Wraith Stalking is alright in an undead campaign.[/spoiler]

Waist
[spoiler]At low levels, Healing Belt.  As soon as you can afford it, Monk’s Belt.  It’s pretty set.  Sure it’s only a small boost to unarmed damage alone, but with everything else, it adds up big time.[/spoiler]

Other
[Spoiler]Pearls of Power: Your party spell casters are your friends!  Treat them with respect, and buy a couple level threes so the can cast stuff on you.  Specifically Greater Magic Weapon/Fang and Greater Mighty Whallop.  Ioun stones for all characters as well.  They’re just common.  A Handy Haversack is something I always have.  It’s just handy.  Manuals and tomes for important stats are a given.  See if you can get your DM to allow stacking, as it costs the same, otherwise save up for that +5.  Finally a Monk’s Tattoo (MoF).  Increases your monk level by 4 for unarmed damage, speed, and AC bonus.  Expensive, but it’s unslotted and stacks with SUS and the Monk’s Belt, meaning you only need 7 effective monk levels to get level 20 unarmed damage.[/spoiler]

Common Effects
[Spoiler]These are important stats and other common effects that can be put on any associated slot.

Dexterity
Wisdom
Strength
Constitution
Skills
Saves (resistance bonus)
Armor bonus
Natural armor bonus
Deflection bonus
And Resistance to Energy.

See MiC for details, along with the DMG for skills.

Note the Rings of Universal Energy Resistance.  They are useful.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 11:56:05 PM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2008, 01:14:11 AM »
MULTICLASSING

As a monk, you need to multiclass to be effective, especially at the high levels.  There are many paths you can take, including an arcane twist, cleric casting, and even a healbot.  A healbot that’s better at healing than the Healer and can still do other things.  Yeah.

Swordsage: This multi-class is great with the unarmed substitution if you need maneuvers and stances as prereqs.  The class can stand on its own, but if you don’t want to focus on maneuvers, and want to focus elsewhere (unarmed damage, for instance) a few levels are really nice if taken in the right spots.

Fighter: Bonus feats.  You likely need more feats, especially early on.  Decent for this fact.  And the full BAB and higher HD don’t hurt, and if you need those proficiencies for some reason, there you go.

Psychic Warrior: Possibly the single best class to multiclass into for monks.  Thanks to Tashalatora it increases you unarmed damage as well.  And gives you bonus feats.  That right there already trumps the fighter.  And then you get powers.  Juicy powers like Expansion.  That’s really all you care about power-wise.  There are some more good ones, but this one is awesome.

Arcanist: Enlightened fist allows this gish to work well.  And thanks to that proficiency with the hand axe, you qualify for Abjurant Champion, the king of gish PrCs.  A really rewarding path, as it can get you near full (16 levels) casting, and the ability to channel ranged spells through unarmed strikes.  Enter with either wizard or sorcerer.  Wizard has better spell casting (prepared casters usually are) and you don’t need to devote precious spells known to spells used 1/day like Greater Mighty Whallop.

Divine: Ironically, the cleric/monk doesn’t work as well.  Because divine casting is better for melee (all those delicious buffs), you’d think it would be great, and the wis synergy is awesome.  But the PrC is so-so.  You’re almost better off just straight cleric with PrCs and taking Superior Unarmed Strike and having a Monk’s Belt.  If you don’t have the feats to spare, then it can be alright.  Definitely worse ways to go.

Paladin: Yeah, you heard me right.  Want insane saves?  Or wisx2 to AC?  Two levels here get you wis to either saves or AC.  Wait, but I thought it was cha to saves?  Dragon Compendium has a feat called Serenity.  It keys your paladin abilities off of wisdom.  There is an alternate class feature that subs the save boost for an AC boost.  Coupled with full BAB and an alright spell list it’s not the worst dip for monks.

PRESTIGE CLASSES

These are the back bones of monk builds.  Without them, you won’t be as effective.  Except maybe a psychic warrior build.

Fist of the Forest-CC: This is hands down the best monk PrC out there.  Adds con to AC and increases your unarmed damage by a dice size with only one level.  And there are three levels.  Take all three.  I use this in almost all of my monk builds.  The only three types I don’t: near full psychic warrior, enlightened fist, and sacred fist.  Fluff can be changed remember.

Initiate of Draconic Mysteries-Drac: This is another great PrC for monks.  The unarmed damage boosts are spread out more, but at level 9 this class gains a x3 crit on unarmed strikes.  The entry requirements are a pain though, just because of the skills.  And the PrC doesn’t lend much besides these things, spell resistance that’s negligible, evasion (which you already have), and darkvision.  You can scare really low level things!

Enlightened Fist-CArc: For gishes, there are many worse PrCs than this one.  The ability to channel touch spells, and eventually rays, is amazing.  Combine with Abjurant Champion for fun.  Enter with wizard or sorcerer, wizard is obviously more powerful, but either one works fine.

Sacred Fist-CD: Full casting means there’s little reason to not take it as a cleric/monk.  I say take SUS and forget monk levels entirely, but some say otherwise.  You could definitely do worse.

Shou Disciple-UE: I don’t find this class to be all that good.  I feel it’s worth mentioning because some people seem to love it.  I honestly don’t know why.  The ability to flurry with any melee weapon, a couple bonus feats from a very limited list, full BAB, and unarmed strike progression.  That’s about all worth mentioning.  The ability to flurry with any melee weapon (at the cost of 5 levels, mind you) isn’t so hot if you’re only using unarmed strikes anyway.  And if you aren’t using unarmed strikes, why are you a monk?  Go find flurry somewhere else, like Exotic Weapon Master.

Bear Warrior-CW: A barbarian PrC, but so fun.  Who doesn’t want to be a crazy kung-fu bear?  Note: I do not use alignment restrictions on most base classes, but even if you do, this is still easy to enter: start monk, after 2 to 6 levels start barbarian and don’t look back.  You lose nothing.  Anyways, the extra size makes tripping/grappling easier, and increases damage.  Not as good as Expansion.

Shiba Protector-OA: One level is how long this class is.  Okay, it’s 10, but you only care about that first level: +wis to attack and damage.  Yeah, you read that right, it’s just +wis.  So that’s in addition to any other stat, like str, dex, or, oh yeah, wis.  Take this and Intuitive Attack and that’s wisx2 to attack.

Shadow Sun Ninja-ToB: This allows you to heal at will, and thus lets you heal better even in combat than the Healer.  With unarmed damage average of 162+wis, that’s better than a heal cast by a healer with Augment Healing and the same-1 in cha as you have wis.  Oh, it also has some other great abilities, this just lets you do one more thing.  It advances initiator level and grants maneuvers and stances, so that’s nice, but it uses most likely the swordsage mechanic, which sucks.  It does advance monk abilities and it has all good saves though.  I can see up to level 8 being useful, and maybe level 10.

Drunken Master-CW: People love this PrC.  Why?  I don’t know.  Its main class feature makes you worse.  Improvised Weapons aren’t as damaging as unarmed strikes can get without these levels (and +1d12 is nothing compared to +16d8) and aren’t as easy to get enchanted (you have to have VoPov).

Kensai-CW: Get a Necklace of Natural Attacks.  But the move action to gain +8 strength is nice.  This can be a good PrC to take, probably for Enlightened Fists who take VoPov and don’t care about caster levels after they get level 9 spells.  Not entirely a bad decision, but it’s epic.  If the NoNA isn’t allowed, this can be a substitute, but it’s a very poor substitute.

Reaping Mauler-CW: In order to take this PrC focused on grappling, you first need to make yourself worse at grappling.  Do not take this PrC under any circumstances.  But what if…NO!.

Tattooed Monk-CW: It’s a monk but better!  If only other PrCs weren’t as good, then this prC might get some screen time.  But when it comes down to it, this PrC is only good for making pun-Pun have infinite stats.  I’ve tried forever to make this PrC viable, but to no avail.  There are some nice tattoos, but when it all comes down to it, items and or spells do it better, and getting other PrCs are worth more.

Warshaper-CW: You must be able to shapeshift, but the benefits are well worth it.  Extra reach, more damage, more str/con, immune to crits, and fast healing.

Monk of the Enabled Hand-drg 299: A 3.0 class that is worth 3 levels: make an AoO against someone who hits you in combat.  Also stacks for just about everything important with monk levels.

Psionic Fist-SRD (Fist of Zuoken-XPH): Go psychic warrior/tashalatora instead.  If that feat’s not open, this is an adequate substitute.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 01:23:18 AM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2008, 01:14:19 AM »
SAMPLE BUILDS

The S.S. Icanhealbetterthanahealer-dman11235

Race: changeling
Alignment: any.
Monk (Passive Way) 2/psychic warrior 2/swordsage 1/initiate of draconic mysteries 4/SS+1/shadow sun ninja 1/fist of the forest 3/warshaper 2/IoDM+4
1: Combat Expertise (bonus), Power Attack
2: Improved Trip (bonus)
3: Alertness, Iron Will (bonus)
4: Great Fortitude (bonus)
6: Tashalatora
9: Superior Unarmed Strike
12: Practiced Manifester
15: open
18: open

Skills:
1: hide 4, concentration 4, know (relig) 4, know (arcana) 4, jump 0, tumble 4
2: hide 5, concentration 5, know (relig) 4, know (arcana) 5, jump 2, tumble 4
3: hide 5, concentration 6, know (relig) 4, know (arcana) 5, jump 4, tumble 4
4: hide 5, concentration 6, know (relig) 4, know (arcana) 6, jump 5, tumble 4
5: hide 8, concentration 6, know (relig) 4, know (arcana) 6, jump 8, tumble 4 (with one left over)
Open after this.

Items: Monk’s Belt, Monk’s Tattoo, Fanged Ring, Necklace of Natural Attacks

Full attack is 4 unarmed strikes at 36d8 (or 48d8, depending on your extrapolation of the chart) damage each, and insane trip modifiers, as well as decent reach.  Add in Inhuman Reach and one more Warshaper level for +10 foot reach.  Add in Broken Fist Masteries I and II and Knock-Down for more trippy goodness.  Tomb-Tainted Soul somewhere in the party would be great, and would make the healing go twice as fast.

Enlightened Sorcerer-dman11235

Race: any, human is nice.
Alignment: any
Monk 2/sorcerer 3/enlightened fist 3/abjurant champion 5/enlightened fist+7
1: Stunning Fist (bonus), Combat Casting
2: Combat Reflexes (bonus)
3: Ascetic Mage (take the quick metamagic substitution for sorcerer)
6: open
9: open
12: open
15: open
18: open

Equipment: Monk’s Belt, Necklace of Natural Attacks

Spells of note: Greater Mighty Whallop, Greater Magic Weapon, Superior Invisibility, Bite of the Wear Bear, Otto’s irresistible Dance, other good touch spells/ranged touch spells.

This one is kind of open.  You don’t need any specific feats to pull this off.  Same with equipment.

Any more good builds are welcome, and advise on existing ones is welcome as well.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 01:23:45 AM by dman11235 »
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 02:20:09 AM »
Half orcs are good for one thing: half orc paragon. Half orc paragons allow for a lawful character to rage so you can take the extra rage feat and qualify for PrCs that require the rage ability like Bear Warrior.

A few sample half orc paragon/monk builds:

halforcparagon3/monk12/bearwarrior5

halforcparagin3/monk6/bearwarrior1/kensai10

dman11235

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2008, 03:59:27 AM »
Why do that when I can just multi-class to a full BAB d12 HD class with a similar skill list and decent saves, and get Uncanny Dodge in the deal as well (two levels)?  Point taken though.  Can be a decent substitute.
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ninjarabbit

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2008, 04:20:53 AM »
monk2/paladin17/bard1

Key feats: able learner (to keep up on perform and UMD), ascetic knight, devoted performer, initate of milee (sp).

You get the unarmed strike damage of a 19th level monk, smiting damage of a 20th level paladin, and the bardic music abilities of 18th level bard.

You also might want to consider the overwhemling attack monk variant from UA/SRD since it gets you power attack and improved bull rush, setting you up for shock trooper and divine might.

dman11235

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2008, 04:23:17 AM »
So what does that build do?
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AndyJames

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 04:37:41 AM »
Sounds like a Chargedin utilising boosters like Bardic Music and Decisive Strike...

dman11235

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 04:48:10 AM »
Sounds like it, but feats?  Skills other than UMD/Perform?  Everything else?  Roles it can fill in the party?  Can it do more than one thing?  Effectively?

Also: no Decisive Strike.  It's a full round action.
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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2008, 05:19:34 AM »
Why do that when I can just multi-class to a full BAB d12 HD class with a similar skill list and decent saves, and get Uncanny Dodge in the deal as well (two levels)?  Point taken though.  Can be a decent substitute.
Alignment.

dman11235

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2008, 05:49:14 AM »
Doesn't matter.  Not being lawful just means you can't progress with monk levels.  So: no loss whatsoever.  And I don't play with those anyways.  I realize that that doesn't help, but still.

EDIT: On the same note, my bear warrior build: monk 3/barbarian 2/FotF 3/ BW 5/ Warshaper 4.  Needs three more levels.  Something with mettle will be nice.  Also trading out that third monk level for a level of swordsage or crusader would be acceptable.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 05:51:07 AM by dman11235 »
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ninjarabbit

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2008, 10:18:34 PM »
So what does that build do?

Primary melee, secondary support, basically an almost full-BAB monk who fights equally as well with sword or fist and who can really nova..... chargadin sounds about right

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2008, 11:30:52 PM »
Most people read Shou Disciple to stack for Flurry of Blows. That means monk 6/shou 5 has greater flurry (three attacks at full BAB, no penalty). When interpreted that way, I think that makes Shou Disciple one of the best monk PrCs.

It also lets you flurry in armor, which means you can dump Wisdom, as long as you're not using Stunning Fist (much). Improved Grapple and Improved Trip go well with high Strength, which you can afford if you dump Wisdom and don't worry too much about Dex (you're wearing armor).

This makes for a different kind of "monk" than what most people play. I've played several "monks" built like this, and enjoyed them alot. They're more "braulers" than the typical monk.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 11:33:12 PM by PhaedrusXY »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

dman11235

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2008, 11:49:19 PM »
Yeah, I just came across that interpretation over on the Tier System thread the other day.  It's still not one of my favorite PrCs, because, well, it's so bland.  Miles better than those 5 monk levels though.  It's one of those "take if you need to" PrCs.  If you've got something better, do it, if not, why not?

On armor: well, my monks are typically getting two different stats to AC: con and wis.  Both require no armor, so just eliminating wis on the armor side of things doesn't help.  It's a balancing act.  Generally if it's just wis, you're better off with armor, if it's wis+dex you're better off without armor, if it's wis+small dex and you can wear armor, then you can get a +9 with a chain shirt or something and save a bunch of money.
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Cyrocloud

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2008, 12:00:44 AM »
If you use the shou disciple can't you use gauntlets to get what ever enchantnment bonuses that you want to your unarmed strike and still work with flurry?

Isn't there also a monk/pally hybrid prc in the FoE that is alright ,(lowers the need for dex but in exchange cha isn't a dump anymore. also I think it grants wis to ac in armor).

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Monk's Handbook
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2008, 12:07:03 AM »
Fist of the Forest came out after I'd pretty much quit playing D&D. So I've never played a character that got Con to AC. I think assuming that everyone will have access to a specific PrC is not a good idea, though. Without FotF, Shou Disciple is pretty good.

Yeah, you can flurry with gauntlets with a Shou Disciple. Some DMs will probably say they always do 1d3, instead of your improved unarmed strike damage, though.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]