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Thread: Improving the Monk
Saturday, 20th March, 2010, 09:14 PM #1
Improving the Monk
This is the sequel to my work on Fighters (see sig line for link), since I consider these two to be among the weakest of the core classes. Furthermore, they are completely outshined by Tome of Battle adepts. For monks, the problem is largely about combat, while as for Fighters, they needed more skills and out of combat options, on top of more combat versatility. Here are the changes I am considering to add, first of all:
Just as the Fighter gained several maneuvers and great flexibility in selection of them, so too does the monk gain stances. While Fighter gained a maneuvers readied mechanic identical to the Warblade's (but keeping non-readied maneuvers as available once/encounter on top of it) and the ability to learn a great many maneuvers overall, Monk gets the option to change stances as an immediate action a few times/day. He also can completely ignore maneuver pre-reqs, which is somewhat necessary to actually learn some higher level stances w/o additional feat expenditure. Of course, he can never get to level 8+ stances if he needs to fall back on that option.
Rushing Torrent I consider essential to marry the monk's fast movement major feature to his flurry of blows. It also adds a great deal of offensive punch (haha!) for someone who actually sticks it out in monk. A frequent concern is that monks cannot keep up with other classes for damage. Idea came from my friend and the Snap Kick feat.
Wholeness of Body just seemed like it could use a boost to be useful, I see no harm in making it equal the healing capacity of Paladin's lay on hands. The level 15 benefit isn't enough to entice people to stay monk straight classed on its own, but hopefully will help.
I'm wondering if I should drop a class discipline. Six looks like too much. then again, Swordsage and my Gladiator Fighter both get 6. If I dropped one, it'd probably be Desert Wind.
Sunday, 21st March, 2010, 09:04 PM #2
Consider full BAB. Consider changing 1/week or 1/day abilities to 1/encounter. Get rid of Tongue of Sun and Moon.
Monday, 22nd March, 2010, 04:19 AM #3
I am fine with changing Quivering Palm to 1/day. Abundant Step as 1/encounter seems fair, too.
Why get rid of it? It doesn't really do much, it's just some random "magical monk" ability that has no real tie in to the rest of the class. But you could say that of many monk class features.
Thanks for your input, I think the question I'd like answered the most is, "Do these benefits make the monk appealing to play to level 20?" I'd like to leave the class as compatible with the old version as possible, so variants and splat book rules aren't affected much.
Monday, 22nd March, 2010, 04:31 AM #4
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
One tweek I've used on occasion is to make Monk's weapon selections reflect real-world martial arts styles a bit more. I've posted it a few times here on ENWorld:
Weapon Proficiencies: The Martial Artist is proficient in all simple weapons, PLUS choose one of the following groups as the PC's Melee Martial Arts Weapons and additional Ranged weapons:
1) 1 One-handed and 2 Light Martial weapons + 1 Martial Ranged Weapon
2) 3 Exotic Light weapons + 1 Martial or Exotic Ranged Weapon
3) 1 Exotic Light Weapon + 1 Exotic One-handed weapon + 1 Martial Ranged Weapon
4) 1 Martial or Exotic 2 handed weapon + 1 Martial or Exotic Ranged Weapon
5) Any 5 Simple weapons +1 Martial or Exotic Ranged weapon
These Melee Martial arts weapons may be used with Flurry of Blows
One thing this does is fold into one class one of the more common changes involved in some of the variant base class monks that WotC has published- many have alternative or expanded weapons lists...such as the one in Oriental Adventures.
In addition, this tweek minimizes the need for the various feats that are used to expand the monk's weapon list (see my database or check out Secrets of Sharlona, DCv1, or PHB2)- essentially saving this feat-hungry class at least one if not 2 feats (or more) while increasing damage output (with certain selections) and style.
Monday, 22nd March, 2010, 04:56 AM #5
I don't know about that tweak...
First of all, not all simple weapons are created equal, especially for a monk. The longspear in particular stands out to me. Flurry at reach (and unarmed covers adjacent)? Sold! You also get some very nice synergy there with the set against charge property. Rushing Torrent makes that route especially deadly (tossing in Hold the Line for extra overkill, perhaps). putting aside flavor for a second, and strictly looking at things mechanically, why would any monk pick another simple weapon over the longspear?
I would be willing to make different weapons lists for other martial arts (and use ones already printed). I would not feel comfortable just letting a player choose one of those options and compile his own list, if that is what you meant. And I don't know about giving proficiency with all simple weapons.
Monday, 22nd March, 2010, 09:56 PM #6
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
Because of the way that slaves were handled, Capoeira was practiced with both hand AND leg chains. Thus, both upper and lower body strikes could be delivered even if seemingly neutralized. In addition, some of the manacled Capoeirists could use the chains for chokes, grapples & locks.
But that's all beside the point.
IME, the proficiency with all simple weapons doesn't affect monks much- most players only carry monk weapons and some kind of ranged weapon anyway. However, I did it that way because some martial traditions do concentrate on a wide variety of weapons...and some RW martial arts weapons are derived from simple weapons. Heck, some are technically just Eastern versions of Western simple weapons.
And actually, I DO just let my players choose their weapons...after talking to them about their monk and what they're trying to model. Not everyone leaps at the longspear, even if they stick to the simple weapons. Some have opted for twin shortspears. One, who multiclassed into Druid, chose sickle as a monk weapon.
Still, you know your players best.
Tuesday, 23rd March, 2010, 12:45 AM #7
Ok, I thought you meant the selected weapons are treated as monk weapons for the purposes of flurry of blows and such. If it's just proficiency and they still have to spend a feat to make the new weapons special monk weapons it's not an issue.
Thursday, 10th March, 2011, 06:07 AM #8
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
Thursday, 10th March, 2011, 07:56 AM #9
Thursday, 10th March, 2011, 11:46 AM #10
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
@OP: Just out of curiosity, do you plan to make a version of Paladin that uses stances and maneuvers as well? I just found the prospect of a Paladin with similar abilities to the Monk and Figther you had given out to be interesting, since I have gained a fondness for the Tome of Battle material as of late.
Second reason would be because I plan to play a Paladin once my DM gets the game running (and finds two more players), but that is not as important as the reasons stated earlier XD
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