D&D 5th Edition How Magical or Non-Magical Should the Monk Be? - Page 7


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  1. #61
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    Cortex+ZEITGEISTWotBSI Defended The Walls!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tovec View Post
    Failures might be a strong term. I think generally monks have not been well-made in the history of DnD but I don't see what that has to do as far as the viability or uniqueness of a class. A monk is a terrible fighter and it isn't exactly a rogue either (no sneak attack or trap finding)
    Point of information 1: A 1e monk gained Find/Remove Traps and Open Locks as a thief of the same level.
    Point of information 2: Why shouldn't monks with their training on ... interesting ground get trap finding?

    but it is certainly as much rogue as it is fighter. It is a 'martial' class that uses skills (or tricks or w/e) to provide extra ability beyond simply standing there and fighting.
    This shouldn't set it apart from any other martial art. The biggest place where pre-4e fluff did not meet reality unless you wanted really abstract combat was that the fighters simply stood there and fought.

    Has it been designed poorly in the past? Possibly but that doesn't invalidate the attempts.
    As far as the 'contemplative' class. I think that is much more spot on. What other classes are even trying for that role?
    Some clerics, some wizards. But contemplatives should contemplate. Not adventure.

    Who says that monks can't have martial arts while letting every other (or any other) class have unarmed abilities too?
    The same people who think that martial art = unarmed abilities? They aren't. Many martial arts start unarmed and then progress to weapons. Some start with weapons and progress to unarmed. And the unarmed fighter should be possible (4e has an excellent Brawler Fighter).

    Even with the core four you have niche protection. The wizard isn't going to have the armor or weapons of a fighter and a fighter isn't going to have the spells of a wizard.
    Which is new since the AD%D Fighter/Magic User.

    Also, if anything monk is that one class that belongs as a hybrid of fighter and rogue unlike any other class.
    I don't believe that that gap has existed since 2000. If we want a 1e monk, we are looking at a variant acrobatic rogue. Which can work. Or we go 4e monk and raise the acrobatics through the roof.

 

  • #62
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    Ignore GreyICE
    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    As much as I agree that the 4E Monk was a totally distinct, well-constructed class in the context of that game, he's also a PHB3 Psionic refuge that has basically nothing but the class name in common with the version of a monk most other people are advocating putting into the D&D Core. He's a Fist-base Gish emphasizing movement. They want an up-gunned version of the failed AD&D / 3E / Pathfinder monk design.

    I'd be much more inclined to support a 4E take on the monk than the prior versions. I think the Martial Artist should be a Fighter build, though. The fireball chucking, supernatural leaping, lightning-fisted Shoto-clone monk is another kettle of fish, basically a Gish using fists and feet instead of sword-magery.

    On the whole note of "uses X instead of a sword" tangent: I'd like to see ZERO classes in DNDNext that are defined to an exclusive weapon or weapon group (unarmed, blades, axes, whatever) rather than being a build option specialty (crossbow sniper, great weapon wielder, etc.). That means no "sword-mage" who can't use an axe, hammer, or pole-arm instead of a heavy or light blade, etc.

    - MArty Lund
    Yes, and then they look at their upgunned version of the failed design and say "well, he's basically a fighter, but with a few toys." And then they wonder why they're making this a unique class.

    The 4E monk actually built on the 3E Swordsage heavily, and you can find powers that are straight up lifted from the Swordsage, with different wording (that jump power is very suspiciously like a Teleport power the Swordsage could pick up, Dragon Tail Kick was lifted straight from Desert Wind, etc.).

    To be a class you should bring something totally unique to the table. There were a few classes that broke this rule in 3E, and without exception every single one ended up a weaker version of some other class. The Ranger stacked up miserably next to the Druid, the Sorcerer just ended up looking like a 2nd class Wizard (which is still... quite good), the Monk looked like a joke next to a fighter (flurry of misses indeed) or a barbarian, etc.

    4E really did bring the focus back to 'every class should be a unique thing.' You don't have to take it as far as 4E did, but every class should have a reason for its existence. A mobile, mystical warrior who can perform feats and maneuvers that do far more than "more damage" or "more defense" is worthy of existing. A guy who goes into battle with no armor and no weapons... really isn't.

  • #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Tovec View Post
    Okay, but monks, real monks not just unarmed combatants, are more like 25% fighter, 25% rogue, 15% wizard, 10% cleric, and 25% something none of them has, a sort of X-factor.

    Exactly, the original monk to me is a sort of Druid/Rogue/Psionic hybrid with a layer of Bannor/The Bloodguard (the "X-Factor").

  • #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    Yes, and then they look at their upgunned version of the failed design and say "well, he's basically a fighter, but with a few toys." And then they wonder why they're making this a unique class.
    Exactly why the AD&D/3.X Monk shouldn't be a unique class. It's a Fighter build path with Background and Specialty selections.

    The 4E monk actually built on the 3E Swordsage heavily, and you can find powers that are straight up lifted from the Swordsage, with different wording (that jump power is very suspiciously like a Teleport power the Swordsage could pick up, Dragon Tail Kick was lifted straight from Desert Wind, etc.).
    So are we agreed then? The Magical Monk who shoots fire and leaps 15' in up and 40' across and explodes people's heads Fist of the North Star Style is just an unarmed take on the Mystical Warrior shitck? He's a dodgy Gish.

    Also, traditional fighting monks indeed do no do most of their damage unarmed. The Okinawan Monk used farming tools etc. due to Japanese weapon-control laws. The Chinese monks used military-grade pole-arms, bows, and swords.

    - Marty Lund

  • #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    If we want a 1e monk, we are looking at a variant acrobatic rogue.
    How was it acrobatic?

    And rogues can't talk to animals & plants, or have increased speed, heal themselves, resist ESP/mind attacks, bonus damage with weapons, 17 HD, etc, etc.

  • #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    Exactly why the AD&D/3.X Monk shouldn't be a unique class. It's a Fighter build path with Background and Specialty selections.

    So are we agreed then? The Magical Monk who shoots fire and leaps 15' in up and 40' across and explodes people's heads Fist of the North Star Style is just an unarmed take on the Mystical Warrior shitck? He's a dodgy Gish.

    Also, traditional fighting monks indeed do no do most of their damage unarmed. The Okinawan Monk used farming tools etc. due to Japanese weapon-control laws. The Chinese monks used military-grade pole-arms, bows, and swords.

    - Marty Lund
    I hate the term "gish" with a fiery passion, because everyone who uses it has their own unique meaning for it, and NO ONE who is not BURIED in the hobby has any idea what they're talking about. Even people who use it don't realize that it originated with a specific race/class combo that that race encouraged people to take. It's obtuse as hell and virtually meaningless. What do you mean when you say Gish? Not Githyanki Fighter/Wizard multiclass, that's for sure.

    Also, monks could be armed in 4E, and often got bonuses and powers that only worked when armed. They really liked maces (okay, blunt objects that hit people) and quarterstaves, but they had powers for a variety of weapons.

    So "unarmed" isn't the schtick, it's the mobile and mystical warrior. That truly is something unique to the game (and a Fighter/Wizard multiclass does NOT do that).

  • #67
    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    I hate the term "gish" with a fiery passion
    Me too, in the context it seems to be used, a Gish is specifically a Githyanki thing (Fighter/Magic-User), just like Anti-Paladins.

  • #68
    Quote Originally Posted by mlund View Post
    Exactly why the AD&D/3.X Monk shouldn't be a unique class. It's a Fighter build path with Background and Specialty selections.


    Not at all, it can (should) be its own class.

    Fighters cannot/do not/don't have, etc:


    -Talk to animals & plants

    -increased speed

    -Heal themselves

    -Extra Resistance to ESP/mind attacks

    -Fall great distances unharmed

    -Extra resistance to disease/poison

    ...etc.

  • #69
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    Ignore GreyICE
    But those things all feel like gimmicks, Steely.

    Increased Speed: Easily granted from a commonly-cast spell, monk speed does not stack.

    Heal Themselves: Fighters can do that in pretty much any edition.

    Bunch of Resistances: Meh, cute

    Talk to plants/animals: Meh cute

    It's not a real class, it's a collection of cute gimmicks. The 3E monk was the weakest class in the players handbook, and its not even a very close margin. Building an effective monk was literally impossible.

    The monk needs more than its 3E gimmicks to be a class.

  • #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Dan View Post
    Not at all, it can (should) be its own class.

    Fighters cannot/do not/don't have, etc:

    -Talk to animals & plants
    1.) Not necessary as a class feature, much more a background feature
    2.) Not a prominent feature in fighting monks or martial-artists of any stripe - it's a left-over from occidental stereotypes of oriental mysticism and maybe one too many re-runs of the "Kung Fu" television series.

    -increased speed
    1.) It was a bad mechanic as implemented in previous editions
    2.) It's nearly irrelevant to combat, exploration, and interaction pillars
    3.) Hard to capitalize on or integrate into a team game
    4.) I don't want to adjust jumping mechanics based on land-speed

    -Heal themselves
    1.) Everyone can heal themselves with Hit Dice in 5E and as a Fighter the Martial Artist is the best at it.
    2.) Mid-combat healing is more restricted in 5E.
    3.) 4E Fighters could already self-heal with powers.
    4.) The Martial Arist Combat Superiority tree could easily include an option to use Hit Dice mid-combat.

    -Extra Resistance to ESP/mind attacks
    1.) Another great example of bad, insular character class design around denial mechanics
    2.) Fighters are already supposed to have extra resistance to such things.
    3.) Cuts into the Elven racial ability - terrible for a class that should be open for everyone, OK for a specialty.

    -Fall great distances unharmed
    1.) Another example of bad, insular character class design around denial mechanics - seriously, what good is it to a party to have one guy randomly immune to falling?

    -Extra resistance to disease/poison
    1.) Another example of bad, insular character class design around denial mechanics
    2.) Cuts into the Dwarven racial ability - terrible for a class that should be open for everyone, OK for a specialty.

    It all just illustrates how big a train-wreck the AD&D / 3E monk class was. He's a giant pile of exceptions that does not do team work. He's story is as thus: "Look at me! What can I do? Oh, I'm immune to A through Z. How do I contribute to the party? Um ... well ... I do front-line combat! Um ... well, yeah, basically all I do is miss every round ... and yeah, I can't take much damage. Well, yeah, the monsters can just ignore me with impunity - but hey, look at all my special-snowflake bells and whistles I got in exchange to balance my class. I'm immune to mind-control and the common cold! Hey, guys, where are you going? Guys? Aw come on!"

    AD&D/3E Monk - he knows Kung Fu and he's still one of the last guys to get picked for the dodge-ball team.

    The lesson here is not to weigh down a class with a bunch of man-of-steel trinkets because when it comes time to add in abilities that actually contribute to the team goals of the party he'll either be unbalanced (full character + trinkets) or unhelpful (balance down to compensate for said trinkets).

    Within the class keep it pithy and relevant - two things the old-school monk is awful for.

    - Marty Lund

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