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zergrusheddie
08-23-2008, 04:57 AM
Howdy folks. I have always loved Monks. The fact they get some real whacko powers and the concept of always having your weapons at the ready has intrigued me ever since I started playing.

Finally, my father is going to DM and I have no need to be the Wizard/Rogue/Tank/Cleric so I'm going to now play the character I am most fond of, a Monk. Sadly, I know Jack and his well-known brother about making a Monk that is effective. When our group plays DnD, we use it as an excuse to play out Tactical-based Warfare {we use the D20 system because it offers the most customization}, so I don't want to play a Monk that uses a Barbed Chain or anything; I want to be effective, fun, and still revolve around using Unarmed Strikes.

So, what kind of feats/skills should a Monk have? I know that taking any Armor/Weapon proficiency would be, in an effect, peeing on my own feet but I'm pretty much clueless otherwise. So, to all you Masterminds out there, any suggestions to a Monk Fanboy?

Best of luck to all of you and your families.
-Eddie

dentarthur
08-23-2008, 11:23 AM
I haven't played a Monk but have given it some thought. One thing to consider is how the Monk makes use of his stats. As a fighter, for example, it's a no-brainer to put that 18 in Str; but it's not so clear cut when you're running a fist jockey.

Wis applies to your AC. Con helps some of your class features, as well as your relatively scarce hit points. If you focus on Str over Dex, you can do more damage, but your AC will suffer. If you favor Dex instead then you can pour skill points into Tumble and flit around the battlefield dodging blows, but you'll do less damage and have to take Weapon Finesse to have a decent attack bonus.

As with any other class, you need to pick a field of specialization and run with it. Don't try to be everything a monk can be at once; rather, focus on building your Hulk-monk with ++damage, or your dodgy-monk with Dex-related feats, or whatever.

Take Stunning Fist (bonus feat) and use it liberally. Your enemies are a bit less scary when they can't hit you or dodge you.

If your DM includes interesting terrain in your games, put it to use. As a 4th+ level monk, you can grab an enemy and jump over a cliff with him, and take less or no damage due to your slow fall ability. Your speed bonus and the Tumble skill may help you out with terrain, too; you just gotta remember to find places to use them.

Dodge and Mobility can help you out with your inevitable AC problems, and a well-used Spring Attack can force foes to run past your opportunity-attacking comrades if they want to get close to you. Weapon Focus can apply to unarmed strikes (or even grapple if that's your thing), giving you access to +damage feats as well as better attack rolls, which you'll be aching for when your buddies all have plus-infinity weapons and a better BAB.

DMMike
08-23-2008, 11:46 AM
My ideal monk has the following attributes:

Wisdom 16
Knowledge (Religion) 4 ranks
Craft (Brewmaster) 4 ranks
Diplomacy 4 ranks
Sense Motive 4 ranks
Skill Focus (Craft (Brewmaster))
Negotiator

Most of his adventures involve bribing enemies with lager.

nijineko
08-23-2008, 05:29 PM
an off the wall idea, but works very nicely with monks. if you can afford the feats (which is hard, but if you can convince them to use the optional flaw rules from the unearthed arcana campaign options rulebook, that'll net you two more.) take the wild talent feat (or if they'll let you the hidden talent feat) from the expanded psionics handbook. this will allow you to take psionic feats like "up the wall" (allows you to run along and up walls) and psionic fist/greater psionic fist which boost your hand-to-hand damage by 2d6 each (stacks). if you do that you'll have to make sure you take ranks in concentration. there is also a monk-psionic hybrid prestige, but that might be overkill. the powers you get access too are pretty sweet though....

zergrusheddie
08-23-2008, 09:49 PM
psionic feats like "up the wall" (allows you to run along and up walls) and psionic fist/greater psionic fist which boost your hand-to-hand damage by 2d6 each (stacks). .
An extra 2d6 Damage? Jeez, I was thinking of taking 3 levels of Assassin to get that, but I think taking feats for super-crazy damage is just fine.

WHERE can I find these feats? Currently, one of the group members is proud to be a Warlock. He says "The Warlock's motto is 2d6+1 every round." I would REALLY like to be able to say: "Damn, I only hit once. Oh well, 1d8 4d6 +2 this round."

Thanks for all the help and keep it coming!
-Eddie

nijineko
08-24-2008, 08:47 PM
you will find the psionic feats in the expanded psionics handbook.

wild talent nets you 2 power points and confers upon you the designation of "psionic character". this allows you to take psionic feats, use psionic skills (if you can justify getting trained in them), and qualify for any psionic prestige classes that you can manage to meet the prereq's for.

(just a note for completeness sake: 3 out of 4 psionic base classes does the same thing....)

up the wall has a wisdom requirement, 13 i think. you have to start and end your movement on a horizontal surface. (first 5' and last 5', that is.) that works nicely with a monk, especially as you get more speed boosts. don't forget that you can do a running high jump as part of running up a wall. (ninja wall leaping, anyone?) just think of how far you could get if all you are doing for a round is a double move action. ^^ note that it only works while you are "psionicly focused". (see below)

psionic fist has a str req... again 13 i think. it also requires you to "expend your psionic focus". see below. in return you get +2d6 on your next strike.

greater psionic fist has same reqirements as above, but also a bab of +5. and you get +4d6 out of it. hows that for a "boot to the head"! note that despite the name, this works for any natural weapon. ^^ (head, foot, hand, elbow, claw, tail, anything else that one could conceivably hit an opponent with....)

psionic focus: this is a new use of the concentration ability for psionic characters only. you must have 1 or more power points left. then you make a concentration check against a certain dc 20 to become "focused". it takes a full-round action to do this, and provokes AoO. (see psionic meditation feat, if you can meet the prereq's and aren't already dying for feats. ^^) once you are "focused", you can expend it to fuel a feat or other ability that requires it, or you can remain "focused" indefinitely. some abilities only work if you are "focused". you can only hold one focus at a time. you either are focused or you aren't.

psionic meditation: if you can qualify for it, you can gain focus in a move action instead of a full-round action. very handy. especially when you close toe-to-toe with someone, then instead of moving, you can recharge and hit them again! i do believe that you still get your 5' step doing this trick.

some general notes: a psionic fist attack only counts for the first attack-hit or miss. so consider if you want to use flurry of blows, or not with this. at higher monk levels it doesn't matter as much, but it can at lower, when your bab is a lot higher than your flurry bonus. unless you want to take two more feats... then you would be able to use psionic focus twice in a round. but it would still take the actions to recharge each.

feel free to send any questions my way. all my friends and acquaintences seem to consider me the resident expert on psionics. =D

here's a link to most of the info you need: http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/psionicFeats.htm

rabkala
08-24-2008, 09:26 PM
I personally would never go psionic. I do not let psionics in my games, as the whole thing is neat in concept but wonky in deliverance.

What sources are open to you? What alignment are you? What type of monk do you desire; the tripping fool, the defensive master, the grappling fiend, the secondary fighter, the offensive powerhouse, etc. ? There are a few cool feats from the old Dragon magazine. I have gone defensive master and tripping fool with relative success. While feat light, you can search nearly every available feat at http://realmshelps.dandello.net/datafind/feats.shtm (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/datafind/feats.shtml).

nijineko
08-24-2008, 09:33 PM
oriental adventures and the 3.5 update to said in the dragon mag are also great sources for alternitives for monks. =D look to your iaijutsu skill, and to the many feats that do fun and different stuff. plus school styles! look to dragon mag again for animal school styles for some serious get-your-kung-fu-panda-on.

i understand that psionics does not sync for everyone, but one has to admit, as far as chambara style monkish antics go, the options i listed do fit the bill, despite being "psionic". strip the psionic designator and change up the requirements a bit, and they should work for you non-psionics-types just fine. ;D call it ki-fist, and greater-ki-fist. use up a stunning fist attempt to power it instead of psionicly focused. or you can alternately keep the focusing skill-based mechanic, open it to monks, and call it ki-focus instead.

it's just a mechanic. use it how you will. ^^ and if you won't, why then change it till you're willing to use it.

zergrusheddie
08-25-2008, 01:59 AM
Rabkala, the DM ruled that Rogues only get a single sneak attack a round {we usually give it for every hit}, so being an Offensive Powerhouse would be useful. Monster still need to die very qucikly, so being a Glass Cannon sounds nice/fun. I may be 18, but I'm a sucker for "Ohhh, B1g dmG Dic3!"
I can already say ANY Oriental stuff is right out. The DM hates the idea of the Unarmed Fighter always having to be an "Asianisque Monk." He recreated Monk to a Warder. Same thing, but he got rid of all the "weird 'stuff' like the Asian weapons" and increased how quickly they get their Armor bonuses.
He also gives a feat every 2 levels, so almost any Feat that is going to add "B1g dmG Dic3!" will be taken.
I'm here to ask for any significant feats that add a bonus to the Mo..ergh... 'Warder's' combat abilities.

Note: Warders and Monks are the same thing, so Monk only feats are still available.

ignimbrite
08-25-2008, 06:21 PM
one fun thing to do is to disarm opponents, plus you'll have empty hands so you can disarm the fighter and then throw his weapon away so he cann't pick it up again. Or disarm the wizard of his staff or wand or take away the clerics holy symbol so he cannot cast spells requiring a divine focus (that use of disarm is really cruel).

there is also the feat Leap Attack which adds to damage when you do a running jump at the opponent (or is it a charging jump?) anyway it adds damage.
other good feats are: Improved initiative, Spring attack, Imp disarm, Imp trip and Dash (that extra 5' can be critical sometimes).

personally I think a monk that can skip through enemy lines to spring attack the spellcaster and disarm or trip or stunning fist them so that they are out of commission for a round is a lovely way to run a Mo ... "warder".
once they are on the ground grapple them and pin them so they cannot cast spells - voila no more nasty offensive spells to worry about.

rabkala
08-25-2008, 10:37 PM
The powerhouse type of build is the most difficult to achieve as it is not with the intended role of a monk. Many see it as very cheesy and would require feats from Oriental adventures, Unapproachable East, and a couple third party sources like the quintessential monk. Many DM's wouldn't go for it.

You should also seek an early approval to see how the DM would view the Two weapon fighting string of feats. It was considered okay by the FAQ writers and customer service reps at wizards to stack the feats with the monks abilities, thereby doubling potential attacks. Some Dm's will not go for that either.

Barring those things, you would then need to seek to up your damage by size increases, level increases, and the like...
Some ways to improve your effective level are:
Monk's Belt (Dungeon Master's Guide): +5 levels; 12,000 gp
Monk's Tattoo (Magic of Faerun): +4 levels; 80,000 gp
Gloves of the Talon (Complete Divine; requires True Believer feat): +5 levels; 20,000 gp
Two levels of the Swift Scion PrC (Unearthed Arcana): +4 levels



one fun thing to do is to disarm opponents, plus you'll have empty hands so you can disarm the fighter and then throw his weapon away so he cann't pick it up again. Or disarm the wizard of his staff or wand or take away the clerics holy symbol so he cannot cast spells requiring a divine focus (that use of disarm is really cruel).

there is also the feat Leap Attack which adds to damage when you do a running jump at the opponent (or is it a charging jump?) anyway it adds damage.
other good feats are: Improved initiative, Spring attack, Imp disarm, Imp trip and Dash (that extra 5' can be critical sometimes).

personally I think a monk that can skip through enemy lines to spring attack the spellcaster and disarm or trip or stunning fist them so that they are out of commission for a round is a lovely way to run a Mo ... "warder".
once they are on the ground grapple them and pin them so they cannot cast spells - voila no more nasty offensive spells to worry about.

The improved disarm is a trap! The monk has a medium BAB progression and tends to fight unarmed. At higher levels it becomes very difficult for a monk to overcome a fighters MUCH higher BAB along with the -4 penalty if the monk is unarmed, the +4 bonus if opposed by a two handed weapon, size differences, the fighters generally better strength, etc.

You are far better stunning the enemy which will cause them to drop their weapons. (really, check the DMG)

Spring attack requires three feats on a feat light monk, but can be useful. If you can play a flying creature (like the anthro-bat from savage species, an awesome tripping type monk) you easily beat it with One flyby attack feat.

Leap attack was trumped by things like bounding assault (?) in the PH2 I believe.

A monk can become a decent grappler with a little optimization, but is usually better at optimizing stunning or tripping.

zergrusheddie
08-26-2008, 02:02 AM
I've been reading about people making Monks than can do upward of 24d12 {seriously...} per attack. Most of the require different PrC, but I'd be happy with some good ol' fashioned equipment. Unfortunatly, The Google has failed me in finding the following items:
Fanged Ring
Battlefists
Any info on any things {aside for Monk's Belt, already drooling} that increase the damage or staying for of a Monk would be fantastic. Feats would be perfect to, but please no Psionic Feats; they got the chop =(.

Also, I found a little feat called Imp Natural Attack that increase the damage of a fist attack by one size. It requires a Natural Armor; how do I get that?

Thank

rabkala
08-26-2008, 06:53 AM
Battlefists are from the Ebberon setting and are for Warforged.

The fanged ring, ... don't remember. Maybe champions of Valor? I can find it later when I got time.

ignimbrite
08-26-2008, 05:38 PM
OK ok so improved disarm is not quite as good against a fighter with a two handed weapon, but I still maintain that it works great against wand/holy symbol wielding clerics and wizards - they get a -4, you get -4 and +4.
Now if your cleric could enlarge person you then it gets even better. Although at that point why not just grapple them ...? Anyhoo..

rabkala
08-26-2008, 06:25 PM
http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=332596[/url] ]Size increases:
Fanged Ring (Dragon #308); 10,000 gp
One level of Warshaper (Complete Warrior; must be able to change shape)
Improved Natural Attack feat (Eberron/Savage Species/Monster Manual; requires BAB +4)
Battlefist (Eberron; requires at least one level in monk for size increase); 2,600 gp
Ectoplasmic Fist Shard (Eberron); 4,000 gp
Expansion (Expanded Psionics Handbook; 1st-level psychic warrior power) - may be manifested twice: first time costs one point; second time costs an additional six points
Metamorphosis (Expanded Psionics Handbook) - 4th-level Egoist power
Empty Hand Mastery (Oriental Adventures; requires Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Improved Unarmed Strike, Eagle Claw Attack and Fists of Iron feats)
Sharptooth (Draconomicon; 4th-level sorcerer/4th-level wizard spell)
Earth Hammer (Races of Stone; 5th-level cleric/3rd-level paladin spell)
Stone Fist (Races of Stone; 2nd-level cleric/2nd-level paladin spell) - damage increases according to size (given on table); not a true concrete size increase
Total size increases available: 11/12

Die increases:
Initiate of the Draconic Mysteries (Draconomicon) 4 (requires Alertness, Improved Unarmed Strike and Power Attack feats)
Initiate of the Draconic Mysteries 8
Acolyte of the Fist (Dragon #296) 4 (requires Improved Unarmed Strike, Iron Will and Stunning Fist feats)
Acolyte of the Fist (Dragon #296) 8
Total die increases: 4

Miscellaneous:
Northern Fist Mastery fighting style (Dragon #315; requires Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Falling Star Strike, Freezing the Lifeblood, Unbalancing Strike, Pain Touch and Combat Expertise feats) - make a ranged attack at five feet plus five feet/character level; either use this ability in conjunction with one of the above feats or choose to do double your normal damage
Battlejump feat (Unapproachable East; requires character origin from the Taer region) - a charge may be executed from a jump of at least five feet above an opponent; results in double damage
Valorous (+1) enchantment (Unapproachable East) - deals double damage on a charge
Sandals of the Tiger's Leap (Sword and Fist) - perform a flying kick as part of a charge that deals double damage; 3,500 gp

Also try, http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=48573 or http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=978174

There may be a few gems from the last few books that these didn't get to, but they are worth the read if you plan a monk.

zergrusheddie
08-27-2008, 02:08 PM
Thanks to everyone for providing information. I think I'm coming up a basic idea of what I am going to do.

Now, a VERY brief explanation of the lack of 'Monks' and the reason for Warders. In our World, about 400 square miles had a Permanent Deeper Darkness cast upon it and it was over the primary capital for the center of the Monk's Religion and teaching. Monks died out, and Warders appeared 250 years later. Warders no longer work of Ki, but Soul and have a certain number of points that let them do some pretty impressive stuff. Think of Soul Points like a Sorcerers spells per day; 1/2 Warder level + Wis = Soul Pool with feats to increase it.

They are "HIGHLY sought after as Royal Bodyguards, hired as protectors, and rumored has it nefarious dealings..." {as the GM put it}. The have lost 95% of all Religion that they once had and have now focused on what they call the Great Art {Unarmed Combat}. They are so sought after because a diplomat can bring his Unarmed 'Advisor' into a meeting and if it hits the fan, has someone that don't need no stinkin' weapons.