5E Monk/Rogue MultiClass Help
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  1. #1
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    Monk/Rogue MultiClass Help

    Hello,

    Im building a character for a summer swashbuckling campaign and I think I want to do a Monk X/Rogue (Scout) 3 - Starting the campaign as 5th level characters. Were a pirate/smuggler morally questionable crew. Im envisioning a Triton character with effectively a Navy SEAL background (Sailor crunch with Naval twisted Soldier flavor). Im torn between Shadow, 4 Elements, and Kensai for the Monk subclass. I like that the Monk speed boost also applies to my swim speed - Triton Torpedo. Thoughts and advice would be great, TIA!

  2. #2
    I would pick Shadow. Best utility, mobility and synergy with rogue.
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    I agree that shadow gives you the best subclass features, but Scout doesn't mesh that well with monk in general, if you ask me, particularly if monk is going to be the primary class. The Skirmisher feature is mainly useful for a ranged combatant, since it keeps your bonus action free to hide (or take a shot with a hand crossbow, if you have crossbow expert) instead of having to disengage to get out of melee. And if you're staying at range, some central monk features are unusable (flurry of blows, stunning strike). Others are redundant (step of the wind is reduced to "spend a ki point to jump farther"). Shadow step is nice, and you might want to use patient defense sometimes instead of hiding or attacking with your bonus action. But you're mixing an archery-oriented subclass with a punching class. On balance, I'd rather ignore Skirmisher than ignore all those nice monk features, so if the extra expertise of Scout is worth more to you than what you could get with a different rogue subclass, go for it, and I'd lean toward a melee build.

    But maybe worth considering Swashbuckler, which has some nice synergy with monk: fancy footwork gives you a free quasi-disengage without eating up your bonus action, leaving it free to spend ki points to do something (plus, if you target multiple creatures between your main attack and one or more bonus action unarmed strikes, none of them can make AoOs against you).

    If going swashbuckler, I'd probably lean toward Kensei: it lets you use a rapier as a monk weapon, which would become magical at monk 6. And once you get extra attack, if you are able to land your sneak attack on the first attack with your rapier, you can make an unarmed strike with your second attack for a +2 to AC.

    Keep in mind that even though monks can use dexterity with any monk weapon, you still need to use a bona fide finesse weapon to qualify for sneak attack.
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    I opted for Scout largely because I liked what Survivalist added and because of the Special Ops feel that it had. Skirmisher I saw as a way of keeping myself from getting overwhelmed as a striker without too much beefiness. I'm happy to get up and battle one-on-one, but when the second or third foe approaches, or I get flanked Skirmisher allows me to re-position myself in the melee fight where I can still be in melee but not swarmed. And the ability to move half my movement is made especially useful when I have the Monk's unarmed movement rate. Already at 5th level as a Monk 2/Rogue 3 I'm moving as fast as a Scout would at 9th level when they got Superior Mobility and my speed will keep improving.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ava/sh I. View Post
    I would pick Shadow. Best utility, mobility and synergy with rogue.
    I have to admit I'm leaning this way, but it's also my favorite subclass, so I wanted to hear from others that might not have my bias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcan_idic View Post
    Hello,

    Im building a character for a summer swashbuckling campaign and I think I want to do a Monk X/Rogue (Scout) 3 - Starting the campaign as 5th level characters. Were a pirate/smuggler morally questionable crew. Im envisioning a Triton character with effectively a Navy SEAL background (Sailor crunch with Naval twisted Soldier flavor). Im torn between Shadow, 4 Elements, and Kensai for the Monk subclass. I like that the Monk speed boost also applies to my swim speed - Triton Torpedo. Thoughts and advice would be great, TIA!
    Drunken Master Monk does a Disengage whenever they use Flurry of Blows, if youre willing to look outside of those three.

    Kensei is especially fun if the game allows guns.

    Shadow has a ton of utility, and pass without trace is cool for a seal team.

    4 Elements can be a lot of fun, but I recommend reducing all ki costs by 1, to a minimum of 1 ki. Makes it roughly 1/spell level, matching the cost of Shadow Monk Spells.
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    Also, Kensei/scout does allow you to be a sniper who cant be pinned down, if thats what you want. If you wanna stab without being pinned down, seriously look at Drunken Master, and remember that it doesnt actually involve/require ACTUAL drunkenness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcan_idic View Post
    I opted for Scout largely because I liked what Survivalist added and because of the Special Ops feel that it had. Skirmisher I saw as a way of keeping myself from getting overwhelmed as a striker without too much beefiness. I'm happy to get up and battle one-on-one, but when the second or third foe approaches, or I get flanked Skirmisher allows me to re-position myself in the melee fight where I can still be in melee but not swarmed. And the ability to move half my movement is made especially useful when I have the Monk's unarmed movement rate. Already at 5th level as a Monk 2/Rogue 3 I'm moving as fast as a Scout would at 9th level when they got Superior Mobility and my speed will keep improving.
    Fair enough! I didn't realize you'd already been playing this character. I'm a big fan of expertise, so Survivalist is definitely appealing. And yeah, there's definite value in offloading the "dip away" part of the round to your reaction instead of your bonus action, since you have so many other things to use your bonus action for besides disengaging, even if it does mean taking one attack first.
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    Also scout is great for melee rogues, too. Being a melee rogue is dangerous, and your bonus action is valuable. Scout and Swashbuckler can bypass that problem better than other subclasses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
    Also scout is great for melee rogues, too. Being a melee rogue is dangerous, and your bonus action is valuable. Scout and Swashbuckler can bypass that problem better than other subclasses.
    True, though Swashbuckler bypasses it better than Scout does, IMO, especially if you have a mobility boost, and especially if you can make a lot of attacks (as a monk does), since you can move away on your own turn instead of waiting until after a creature attacks you, and you don't have to use up your reaction to do it. The reaction use is less of an issue if stopping at Rogue 3, since uncanny dodge isn't in play, but it's still something. If ranged, you'd rather have Skirmisher, since you're not wanting to be making the melee attacks that proc fancy footwork.

    In any case the other level 3 subclass feature favors Scout: extra expertise is better than a small (or possibly nonexistent) initiative boost.
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