D&D 5th Edition How Magical or Non-Magical Should the Monk Be? - Page 10




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  1. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    Why does it irk you?
    Because they are such Johnny-Come-Lately classes (and synonyms for wizard), i would prefer they released some classes with more traction first (like Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, etc).

 

  • #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    Yes, as I said, the original Monk was sort of a Druid/Rogue/Psionic deal.
    If you mean Druid/Rogue/Psion in the sense that he had no druid spells, no wild shape, no back-stab, no open locks/disable devices/pick pockets, no psionic powers, horrifying MAD stat requirements to enter, and was completely functional in a setting without any psionics then, yeah, sure - totally a druid/rogue/psion ...

    He looks a heck of a lot more like a terrible melee warrior with a ton of gimmicks bolted on to crudely ape an occidental stereotype of orientals spawned from 1970s television and movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salamandyr View Post
    Not sure where the druid thing comes in? Because they were called Grandmaster of Flowers?
    It was the bolt-on gimmicks he shared: speak with animals, speak with plants, immunity to diseases, immunity to poisons, immunity to aging, fighting a higher-level master in order to level.

    The original monk was written because somebody in Dave Arneson's game wanted to play Kaine from Kung Fu.
    And it totally reads like that too, shoehorn and all.

    - Marty Lund
    Last edited by mlund; Thursday, 11th October, 2012 at 07:34 PM.

  • #93
    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    If you mean Druid/Rogue/Psion in the sense that he had no druid spells, no wild shape, no back-stab, no open locks/disable devices/pick pockets, no psionic powers, horrifying MAD stat requirements to enter, and was completely functional in a setting without any psionics then, yeah, sure - totally a druid/rogue/psion ...

    He looks a heck of a lot more like a terrible melee warrior with a ton of gimmicks bolted on to crudely ape an occidental stereotype of orientals spawned from 1970s television and movies.



    It was the bolt-on gimmicks he shared: speak with animals, speak with plants, immunity to diseases, immunity to poisons, immunity to aging, fighting a higher-level master in order to level.



    And it totally reads like that too, shoehorn and all.

    I think at this point the monk is not the issue, are you okay?

    You just come off as a bit passive-aggreisve and bitter, did you have a traumatic experience with the 1st Ed monk?

    Mod Note: Ladies and gents, this is a classic example of making a discussion personal. Don't do this unless you're actively seeking to earn infractions an a boot from the thread. ~Umbran
    Last edited by Umbran; Thursday, 11th October, 2012 at 08:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    Because they are such Johnny-Come-Lately classes (and synonyms for wizard), i would prefer they released some classes with more traction first (like Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, etc).
    Paladin, Ranger and Monk are all synonyms for fighter~

    See, part of the problem of Wizards is that they got to concentrate all magical awesomeness into themselves. A necromancer who raises an army of the dead? Wizard. An illusionist who tricks people and deceives them? Wizard. A pyromancer who hurls fireballs and burns things? Wizard. A summoner who raises an army of magical constructs? Wizard.

    Making the Sorcerer and Warlock full classes and then splitting the Wizard's magical awesomeness with those two classes fixes a lot of problems.

    Chances are they wanted to test those fixes and nail them down more than they wanted to nail down the Monk mechanics (especially if they're quite happy with how monks work).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    If you mean Druid/Rogue/Psion in the sense that he had no druid spells, no wild shape, no back-stab, no open locks/disable devices/pick pockets, no psionic powers, horrifying MAD stat requirements to enter, and was completely functional in a setting without any psionics then, yeah, sure - totally a druid/rogue/psion ...
    Point of information: The 1e monk did have find/disable traps and open locks as a thief of their level. It was one of the nerfs the monk took moving across to 3.0 to lose this. They were basically a variant rogue in 1e but billed as something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    If your monk is the most effective member of the party, the party has really done something terribly wrong. I'm not talking about optimization. I'm not talking about using the fixed melee classes like Warblades and Swordsages. I'm talking that a barbarian can pick up a big 2 handed weapon and just go to town.
    I gave how he was effective. And it wasn't effective at "being a barbarian" so I don't get where any of that comes from.

    In 3e, even a fighter is a poor barbarian.

    Besides that, a monk isn't a barbarian, nor is he trying to be?

    It is like comparing a rogue to a wizard and then saying "haha, see you are wrong Tovec, rogues aren't really a class, see!" Granted that comparison would be a little more extreme but the point remains.

    P.S. If you wanted to fix him, you could make it so he could use flurry even when moving or charging and move his BAB to full. Sadly, he'd STILL be weak, but at least he'd be better.
    All valid ideas, do you want to discuss how to fix the monk? I have several ideas too. Sadly, I didn't realize that you were trying to fix it, instead it seemed you were trying to say monks don't belong. Which I happen to disagree with.

    P.P.S. Who made D&D a team game? Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
    I could be wrong, having never had an actual conversation with either gentleman, but I could have swore they created DnD as a WAR game. Not a team game. There may be cross-over elements between the two, but it seems like Gygax was never happiest except when PCs died in droves and the game mastery was on the GMs side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salamandyr View Post
    My bad, I don't think too hard about clerics because I find them redundant.
    Should we now cut clerics because you find them redudant? I mean they are basically just wizards/druids.

    But it seems to me you've extrapolated just fine. A monk with divine powers is a cleric with the monk background. Yay!
    Not really what I said. I said I kind of get why you would want to make a monk-fighter, or a monk-rogue, but I definitely didn't get the monk-wizard. And I didn't understand why you didn't even try for the monk-cleric, which as a "background" would seem to be the most applicable.

    Then again, that monk background for the cleric would be based on a more traditional, and less DnD version of the monk word itself, but that isn't really important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tovec
    Fifth, all the backgrounds we have seen so far are relatively minor. They grant a couple +3's to certain skill checks. So how do you replace an entire class with those?
    That's all the monk is...a background. Someone who lives in a monastery as part of a monastic order is a monk. What they've trained to do there is an entirely different thing.
    I think you missed what I said with this one, because you didn't answer my question.

    How do you replace all the monk features with a background? Especially since backgrounds CURRENTLY only provide +3 to certain skills? Monks might have good balance (as an example) but they have other class features too. That is like replacing fighters with a +3 to athletics, and nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tovec
    Sixth, what happens if you (as they have already expressed) don't want to use backgrounds and yet still want to play a monk?
    Then you do the same thing do if you're playing in my B/X game. You tell everybody, "My fighter was raised in a Monastery, so he's a monk"
    Right, but a fighter isn't a monk. And a monk isn't a fighter. If anything a monk is closer to a rogue. So I guess you could play a rogue and say "he was raised in a monastery" but even then you wouldn't be playing a monk. You would be playing a guy who says he is something without being that thing.

    Just like playing a fighter and calling himself a rogue, people would expect you to pick locks and you wouldn't be able to .. because you are a fighter really.

    So, what happens if you want to be a monk? But not be saddled with all those silly backgrounds and traits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tovec
    Seventh, what do you have to give up in order to be a monk with this system? This is of course assuming you solve the 5th question's problem of actually using backgrounds to create monk abilities.
    Because assuming you use something other than backgrounds to create a monk, such as specialties/traits/whatever they're calling them now, you won't be able to be an archer anymore because all of your specs/traits are now ALL monk.
    Being a monk shouldn't grant anything particularly special. If you want to be an archer, make an archer, call him a monk. Done.
    Again, I think perhaps you are missing what I'm saying.

    Your suggestion was to get all the monk features via backgrounds (which currently you can't). But assuming you could there are a lot of features that don't really conform to background abilities.

    And assuming you could, then what are you no longer going to be able to do by putting all of your customization/specialization points into monk?
    For example, in 3e: You have a monk class, and that monk can do certain things. If you wanted to make that monk into a monk-archer then you had a number of feats you could take to do that effectively.
    With your idea: You have a fighter/rogue class, and that class has a number of things that are un-monk-like. You now have to spend all of your feats to get the monk powers to do that effectively. However, in so doing you are no longer going to be an effective archer. So, while you might be able to make a fighter-monk you could no longer make a fighter-monk-archer.

    Actually they can. A monk is someone raised in a monastery who has taken vows. It's actually a lot simpler background than being the son of landed gentry. Monk is NOT all about "spend whole life training your mind and body (and soul)" That just as easily describes a fighter, or even a rogue, or even, in some cases a cleric. Heck, I could use that same schtick to describe a sorcerer. That's a question of motivation, not character class.
    (I covered most of what this one was talking about in the previous section.)

    Actually a monk kinda is related to that whole 'spent whole life training' thing. A fighter spends their whole life training too, but they do it differently. It is just like that wizard/cleric split. They both train in spells their whole life, but they do it very differently.

    So, yes, 'spending whole life training' does describe a fighter, sorcerer, rogue, or cleric. I think 'spending whole life training' describes nearly all classes. What was important was WHAT they are spending their time on. Fighters spend their time on weapons and combat (arms and armor), they may learn to fight bare handed but usually not. Rogues are about cunning and tricks (talents, SA, etc.) but not usually about the mind or soul so much. And while clerics usually fill that ascetic/meditative niche, they rely on their connection to an external source (divine magic) to perform remarkable feats, whereas a monk draws their power from within. And sorcerers are a completely different kettle of hammers.

    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    You can count on the "raised in a monastery" aspect to be shoved into a background. "Proficient in unarmed fighting to the point where bare hands on competitive lethal weapons," ought to be open to all characters via Feats. The "Lawful Only" alignment restrictions will probably be dropped entirely. The laundry list of self-centered immunity powers will probably need to be reigned in or pruned (the 2E and 4E Monks lacked these).

    And remember: the best person at Unarmed Fighting in all the land will be a Fighter. If you want to be the Best Martial Artist and a "Monk" you'd better hope the "Monk" is a Fighter build.
    Hopefully I don't get a mod warning like Steely did, but I do have to ask if you have something against monks?

    Or do you just really want just four classes or something?

    As far as the classes not appearing and 'not been promised', well we kind of were. Beyond that, there would be a minor riot if classes got cut or didn't appear after they specifically said they would be included.

    Now, if they (WotC) are able to perform that perception shift and convince us that they should be part of something else then that is fine. You aren't doing it Marty.

    And, back to the quote, I can personally assure you I have never said monks should be the only unarmed (or even unarmored) combatant. Those are elements of monk, sure. But there are MANY more elements too. You may not like them, or think they are minutia, but clearly we don't think so.

    There are elements of monks that can (and I say should) be used by other classes. I absolutely agree here. I'm not sure WotC sees it that way, if only because no classes look that way so far. I'm not saying it should be that way, but it is so far. I'm going to try my hardest to see that CS dice not stay locked with fighters, want to join me? If we can get that CS thing unrestricted then I'm sure you'll convince a few more on the monks aren't unarmed issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tovec View Post
    I gave how he was effective. And it wasn't effective at "being a barbarian" so I don't get where any of that comes from.

    In 3e, even a fighter is a poor barbarian.

    Besides that, a monk isn't a barbarian, nor is he trying to be?

    It is like comparing a rogue to a wizard and then saying "haha, see you are wrong Tovec, rogues aren't really a class, see!" Granted that comparison would be a little more extreme but the point remains.
    No, the point doesn't remain. Wizards can be a better version of almost any other class in the game, and those they can't Clerics and Druids can manage to be a better version of. That's not the point.

    The point is to compare two classes who are trying to do very similar things. There's actually four and a half classes who are trying to do the same thing in the 3.5 PHB - be a close range weapon-using damage dealer. Of them:

    The Barbarian - Clearly the highest damage, by far and away. Very tough and hard to kill.

    The Fighter - Built correctly, probably the toughest of the martial damage dealers. Their near-infinite well of feats gives them access to some very interesting (if highly repetitive and limited) tricks. The Dungeoncrasher variant is very good in, well, dungeons before level 8 or so. So yes they're narrow, but they can be tough and dish out the damage.

    Two Weapon Ranger - This is just kinda bad, but they do bring an animal companion and some spells. Wildshape Variant easily eclipses everything else here once level 5 is reached.

    Paladin - A bad fighter in many respects, and a classic example of too many tricks and not enough meat. Still have some good stuff, and the spell list isn't too awful.

    Monk - No spells. Hmm. Less damage than fighter, nevermind a Barbarian. Much less tough than a Fighter. 3/4 BAB so they miss all the time. And a collection of gizmos. This is... humiliating. They're about as effective as a rogue in combat (Flurry of Blows vs Backstab). And with none of the Rogue features that makes Rogues unique (well, until Factotems came along).


    Look, you don't have to be more effective than a Wizard, Druid, or Cleric to be a real class. Each one of those should be banned at character creation if you're playing 3E or the party should be dragged up to their level. That's not the standard you measure classes by.

    Measured by the standards of actual classes that

    Monks DO belong in D&D. I said as much. But not the 3E monk, a bad unarmed fighter with a collection of random garbage. No. Not that at all. Monks belong in as a unique class that feels different from every other class on the battlefield and can hold their own whatever the circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    No, the point doesn't remain. Wizards can be a better version of almost any other class in the game, and those they can't Clerics and Druids can manage to be a better version of. That's not the point.
    Right, so to compare a barbarian and a monk to in terms of being a barbarian, the monk can't ever win.
    Same as comparing a barbarian and a wizard in terms of being a wizard, the barbarian can't compare to wizard or ever win.

    The point is to compare two classes who are trying to do very similar things. There's actually four and a half classes who are trying to do the same thing in the 3.5 PHB - be a close range weapon-using damage dealer. Of them:
    They aren't though. You say that monks are trying to be fighters, but I would show that they have a 3/4 BAB and a bag of tricks. They aren't trying to be fighters. The other classes you say in this (rangers, paladins, barbarians) could all conceivably be fighters because they all have full BAB. The monk doesn't. It isn't that the monk is a poor fighter/barbarian, it is that the monk isn't TRYING to be a good one.

    Monk - No spells. Hmm. Less damage than fighter, nevermind a Barbarian. Much less tough than a Fighter. 3/4 BAB so they miss all the time. And a collection of gizmos. This is... humiliating. They're about as effective as a rogue in combat (Flurry of Blows vs Backstab). And with none of the Rogue features that makes Rogues unique (well, until Factotems came along).
    So I'm glad we agree, monks are as effective as rogues in combat. Monks SHOULD be compared to rogues. Now 3e monks are still a poorly built class. If you think I disagree then you should point out where I've said otherwise.

    I have said that they are among the more effective in a party but that is only when they are played to their strengths. Their strengths are not a fighter, nor a fighter substitute. Their strengths are LIVING, and avoiding obstacles.

    Look, you don't have to be more effective than a Wizard, Druid, or Cleric to be a real class. Each one of those should be banned at character creation if you're playing 3E or the party should be dragged up to their level. That's not the standard you measure classes by.
    Okay, 3e had flaws? And?

    I'm definitely of the camp where 'those classes' should be muted in some form, as opposed to all classes being 'dragged up' to the same level. I've worked on a number of ways to address this concern in my own games. But currently we are talking about 5e and about what a class should look like there. I'm saying that monks should exist and they should be viable. I'm not saying they should replace fighters. I am saying that 3e has some good ideas, I also say they need to be greatly fixed to make them better.

    Measured by the standards of actual classes that

    Monks DO belong in D&D. I said as much. But not the 3E monk, a bad unarmed fighter with a collection of random garbage. No. Not that at all. Monks belong in as a unique class that feels different from every other class on the battlefield and can hold their own whatever the circumstances.
    You slightly lose me here, if only because I don't think all classes need to hold their own in combat. They need to excel in their chosen niche, not all classes need to be as good as the fighter/wizard (depending on edition) in combat. Similarly, not all fighter/wizards need to be as competent as rogues out of combat.

    My point I guess is that they should FIX that garbage, instead of just tossing out everything about the monk that makes them unique. This is the same objection I would raise about tossing out the paladin, ranger, bard or druid. All of the classes have a specific set of qualities that define them. The abilities themselves can be hit or miss but the qualities remain the same. So they should spend time fixing those qualities instead of trying to invalidate people who like a class. (Invalidating them would include, but not be limited to, the class appearing years later than the 'original' classes.)

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    @Tovac: Okay, lets compare Rogues to Monks

    In combat:
    3/4 BAB
    Sneak Attack vs. Flurry of Blows
    Magic Weapon vs. pseudo-magic weapon
    Improved Evasion/Uncanny Dodge vs. Evasion
    Opportunist vs. Flurry of Blows
    Use Magic Device vs. A bunch of daily or weekly abilities.

    Out of Combat
    8 Skills base and one of the best skill lists in the game vs. 4 skills base and okay skills
    The ability to disarm traps easily and safely (including magical traps) versus the ability to step on traps and avoid most conditionals (but take more damage)
    The ability to use magical devices vs. the ability to fall down walls without taking damage


    So what you're saying is the monk is either a really bad fighter in combat with marginally more utility out of combat, or an okay rogue in combat with infinitely, indescribably less utility outside of combat.

    So in other words they're the worst class in the PHB, have no unique identity, and replaced their unique identity with a bag of mediocre tricks.

    A ROGUE IS BETTER AT LIVING THAN A MONK!

    Improved Uncanny Dodge versus nothing
    Improved Evasion versus baseline Evasion
    Use Magic Device gives them huge amounts of flexibility for niche situations

    A BARBARIAN IS BETTER AT LIVING THAN A MONK

    Improved Uncanny Dodge and Trap Sense versus Evasion
    d12 vs d8 hit dice
    More ability to raise Con versus MAD
    Damage Reduction!
    Rage!

    OH YEAH AND THE MONK HAS TO MAKE A STANDARD ACTION TO BE RELIABLY HEALED OR CURED OR AFFECTED BY BUFFS OR ANY POSITIVE SPELL WHILE IN COMBAT


    They're friggin terrible. There's no excuse for calling them a serious character class. The best thing you can say about them is that the DM typically leaves them alone because there's bigger threats, and thus they don't take damage very often (which is good, because in-combat healing is risky on them).

    Now yes, it is very true that the best 4 man party of PHB classes is probably 2 Wizards, a Cleric, and a Druid. And the best 5 man party probably adds an extra druid, an extra wizard, or a bard (bards can do some unique things). But this isn't because of necessarily flawed design. It's due to flawed balance.

    The Barbarian is legitimately a tough, dangerous combatant who deals the most damage of any martial class. It's just bad balancing that a Druid in Wildshape form and their animal companion can outdo that damage with ease.

    The Fighter is legitimately a tough and flexible warrior. It's just bad balancing that none of that flexibility turned out to be all that flexible and that toughness was less than a Druid in Wildshape form with their armor/monk bracers (better on druids than monks! Quel surprise).

    The Rogue is legitimately capable of doing things that no other class can with their skills and being a great secondary striker in combat alongside the frontline classes. It's just bad balancing that the Wizard gets spells that can replicate most of what the Rogue can do.

    The Ranger and the Paladin do suffer from the "and the kitchen sink" school of design as well, in that they have a pile of mostly situational and useless abilities that make them MAD as heck but they still have the solid core of full BAB and magic weapons/armor. Although the Paladin gets a knock because they have literally zero dump stats.

    It's no exaggeration. Read the Monk entry once, and ask yourself "what did they mean this class to do?" Read it twice, and three times, and ask that question again. You can't answer it. There's no design goals there.

    We will not be sticking to the 3E vision of the monk because there is no 3E vision of the monk. Just a bunch of bad stereotypes drawn from Kung Fu the Legend Continues.
    Last edited by GreyICE; Monday, 15th October, 2012 at 07:38 PM.

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    Third edition monks are VERY effective if you aren't fighting the standard "immune to all their special attacks" monsters.

    When monks are pitted against humanoids that are subject to grapple, disarm, and stuns, they are incredibly effective. I played a monk in 3e from levels 1-22, and he was devastating against armed humanoids. By high level, he was the go-to wizard/lich killer because of saves, evasion, immunities, and spell resistance.

    No one else ever played a monk like that?

    How about the grapple specialist monk? Very, very nasty.
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