Need some build advice! (Grappling Caster)

Cocomonkey

Visitor
Hi all...lurked here for a while, and can usually find whatever info I may happen to be looking for, but this time around, I can't seem to find the right info...it's either a bit out of date, or not quite what I'm looking for.

Basically, I'm joining a campaign that's already begin, but isn't too far in (level 2), and which should be going to 20 if it manages to get all the way through (Mad Mage). The group appears to be mostly ranged chars or casters who think they're melee (as part of their character), so they're lacking a tank-y or melee char. My problem is, I just finished a long campaign as the party's tank and have started a new one again as that party's tank (albeit as a different class). So I don't want to just do that again for a third time, even if it's as a third class. So I need something that can fill that role, while still being engaging/enjoyable for me, but isn't just a straight tank.

My thought was to try to build a grappling caster of some kind...basically someone who looks like an wizened, shriveled old man, but when he wants, rips open his robe to reveal a chiseled torso and 8-pack abs, grabs someone by the throat, and starts pouring spells into his face with his fists (not literally, but you get the idea...casts into the grapple).

I don't mind multiclassing (but wouldn't want to do it too much--two classes max). I'm not sure what's allowed or disallowed at the table, but I'm assuming anything UA is not allowed for now (until I can clarify that), so it would have to be out of the books.

I thought about an EK (with stat focus split between Str and Int) and Prodigy to boost Athletics for grappling, but they're pretty lacking in spell slots, and just not sure if there isn't a better route. War Magic Wizard with a couple levels of Fighter? I don't know. So I thought I'd ask here if anyone has better advice for how to accomplish this. Oh, and standard array starting stats.

And if the advice is that this isn't even something that can really be done viably, or won't scale up well/at all, I can always abandon the idea; I'm not wedded to it.

Thanks in advance!
 

Esker

Explorer
Bard is the usual choice for this, since you can get expertise in athletics, and you have some other helpful abilities and spells. If you want to go all in on grappling, you could start with one level of fighter for heavy armor so that you don't need DEX for AC can can focus on STR and CHA; plus you get CON save proficiency, which will help you maintain concentration spells while you're in the thick of things. Enhance Ability is on the bard list, so you can give yourself advantage on grapple checks while you have that up. This doesn't really come online until level 4 though, since that's when you'd get expertise.. If you can get expertise from bard though, you could pick up a feat like Shield Master at 1st from human, for the grapple+shove prone combo (both of which benefit from athletics expertise once you have it).

As for subclass, there are multiple options depending on your priorities (particularly if you already have armor proficiency from fighter). Valor or swords give you extra attack at Bard 6, so you can make multiple grapple attempts per turn; plus for valor, combat inspiration is a great "support tank" feature that mostly doesn't compete for resources with your grapples. Swords could work well with Tavern Brawler, since you can attack with your shield boosted by dueling style (or just use a fist), if you hit use defensive flourish to boost your AC, and grapple as a bonus action (once you have extra attack you could use your second attack to shove prone). Lore Bard can cutting words the target's check to oppose, and could use Magical Secrets to pick up something like Hex as an alternative to Enhance Ability (bonus action cast time and lower level slot, or upcast to increase the duration).
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
If you'd be happy with someone who uses magic, also consider the Rune Knight from Unearthed Arcana. Additionally, while not magical, if you're interested in grapplers overall, the alternative class features UA has some great options for the fighter and grappling.

If wanting to do a full caster, Bard seems to be the solid choice.

There's a grappling guide on this forum somewhere but it's a good bit out of date now. Still has some solid info.
 

Esker

Explorer
Just for the sake of suggesting something unconventional: Fiend Warlock with a rogue dip could be interesting. Hex and Command, Dark One's Own Luck to boost a failed athletics check... Maybe blade pact with some of the hex invocations, and tavern brawler if your DM would let you summon an "improvised weapon" as your pact weapon. AC is an issue though. I suppose you could still start Fighter 1, then warlock, and pick up a rogue level once expertise is worth more, though that's a lot of stat requirements. Or you could just take Prodigy instead of a rogue level; or if using the new UA class variants, you could take the new invocation that lets you instantly don a suit of armor and be proficient with it.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I had a flash of a Sorcadin concept that... might work with this? Casitng grappler is really hard with the base rules.

I'm doing a Giant Soul Sorcerer from UA that is working ok (I just grappled and held an Oni while we killed it dead), but again, that is UA.

The new Class Features UA and Rune Knight REALLY goes a long way to allow for some kind of Unarmed/grappling concepts that have been lacking for a long time. If you can lobby for them I would. Then you can get the Unarmed Strike Fighting Style from your Paladin 2 level or as @RSIxidor said you can pick up Fighter (Rune Knight) which has Giant Might at 3rd, and you can stack Enlarge on it, Rune Knight has fun things to it and the three of those (Unarmed Fighting, Giant Might, Enlarge) combined has you doing 1d6/1d8 (Style)+Str+1d6 (giant might)+1d4 (enlarge) +1d4 if in a grapple (style) per hit.

Anyway, my quick idea, if they're level 2, is Variant Human Sorcerer (Divine Soul) 1/Paladin 1. Get it to Paladin 2 for Divine Smite, then go, Sorcerer, the rest of the way. Paladin 3 if you really want an Oath and some free prepared spells I suppose.

You need at least Str 13 and Cha 13 to do the multiclassing. Start with Sorcerer for proficiency in Con saves. Multi into Paladin because you get up to medium armors, shields, and martial weapons. Multiclassing to Sorcerer gets you... nothing.

Divine Soul gets you Cleric spells, so you can do things like a Bonus Action Spiritual Hammer that can attack into your grapple while you also are attacking or casting spells.

Variant human feat... a couple of options:
  1. Prodigy for expertise in Athletics,
  2. Tavern Brawler so you have 1d4+Str on unarmed strikes and can do a grapple as a bonus action,
  3. Which is interesting thematically for me: Magic Initiate (Warlock) to pick up a couple more cantrips and Hex which you can use to give your targets disadvantage on their Str (Athletics) going into a grapple. It's like you getting advantage, but in reverse :)
Other feats you're going to want: Grappler, Tough, and Warcaster probably. ASI's to Str/Con/Cha is also nice. Warcaster lets you hold a shield, grapple someone, still cast somatic spells with both hands occupied in the grapple, if they run away you can cast a spell, like Hold Person, as an Opportunity Attack, and gives you advantage on Concentration saves due to damage which stacks up well with your Proficiency in Con saves.

Stats in order of Priority: Cha/Str/Con/Dex/Wis-Int (about even for these two).

At tier 2, you're Concentrating on one of: Enhance Ability, Enlarge/Reduce, Hex. Grappling with your Spiritual Weapon pounding on your foe and you either kicking with your Tavern Brawler Feat for 1d4+Str+Divine Smite damage. Plus you've got all the other spells in your arsenal at your disposal.

I hope you're rolling for stats and roll high, it'll free up your ASI's for Feats.
 

Cocomonkey

Visitor
Bard is the usual choice for this, since you can get expertise in athletics, and you have some other helpful abilities and spells.
If wanting to do a full caster, Bard seems to be the solid choice.
Haha, of course it would be bard...the campaign I just finished that had me tanking was using a bard (Swords). I was hoping for a change of pace from that...

I had a flash of a Sorcadin concept that... might work with this? Casitng grappler is really hard with the base rules.
I like this Sorcadin idea...I also agree, casting grappler is hard, and the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking it may not really work. The casting is going to end up being a support mechanism, rather than a damage function (which is fine, if that's the direction the character goes). Part of that is how the mechanics fall, and part is probably that I'm not even sure what part each would play...is the character a melee grappler that can also cast spells in a pinch? Or a spellcaster that can also grapple in a pinch? Am I grappling everything in sight, or only when it would be most helpful? If it's an as-needed thing, then what am I doing outside that? If it's every time, how do I best use it to my advantage?

I think the concept still needs refining...I know that Rune Knight makes a grappler a bit more viable, but even assuming the DM allows it, because Giant Might is twice per LR, that feels a bit like a one-trick pony, and with situations like that, I always tend to fall into the trap of not using those abilities abilities because I dont' know if I'll need it before I get it back (as a hexblade bard, I almost never ended up using Hexblade's Curse, because I was always worried I might need it before the next rest, and not have it...). Plus its attacks would never be magical, so higher levels could become problematic, no?

Sigh...I think I need to figure out what it'll do first and foremost, then find the best way to make it, which probably means waiting for a one-shot or a temporary new char intro to give something a dry run. But thanks for the ideas (and if anyone else has any, I'm still open to thoughts!).
 

Esker

Explorer
Anyway, my quick idea, if they're level 2, is Variant Human Sorcerer (Divine Soul) 1/Paladin 1. Get it to Paladin 2 for Divine Smite, then go, Sorcerer, the rest of the way.

<snip>
Magic Initiate only gives you 1hr/day of Hex, since you can't use your own spell slots to cast it. Not sure that's worth a feat unless you're in a campaign where all the combat occurs in a short period.

Feels like you may as well be a Lore Bard instead of Sorcerer, grab Hex and Spiritual Weapon with Magical Secrets. Then you don't need Magic Initiate or Prodigy, and you can just get Resilient with one of those feat slots to get back what you lost by not starting Sorcerer. Plus you're then free to start Paladin if you want and get Heavy Armor. Unless there's some other benefit of sorcerer I'm not seeing. Granted Magical Secrets is three levels later than getting access to spiritual weapon through Divine Soul, and you have to wait for Bard 3 for expertise instead of getting it at level 1, but if you instead take Tavern Brawler at 1st and Dueling style at 2nd, followed by the bard levels you can get 1d4+5 plus smites on shield bash, and still execute grapples with your bonus action. Then you get expertise, enhance ability just as it's scaling to +3, along with cutting words when you need it.

Or instead of Paladin you could do the ol' Hexblade dip, for medium armor and shields, plus Booming Blade / Green Flame Blade (I guess those are a benefit of sorcerer vs bard too), the Hex spell on a short rest refresh or using Bard slots. No smites, but it's not hard to find other things to do with your spell slots, especially if you have War Caster. The smite piece seems orthogonal to the grappler concept anyway.
 

Esker

Explorer
How about a Conquest Paladin 5 / Fiendlock X, focused on fear and fire and brimstone, etc.? Frightened targets are excellent grapple targets.

Or, if WGtE races are allowed, Aereni High Elf Bladesinger? Or Abjuration Wizard, maybe with a level of warlock to get Armor of Agathys?
 

Cocomonkey

Visitor
Would the Astral Self Monk UA be decent for a grappler? The way I see it, at level 11, if you assume 18 Wis and 17 Dex (standard array, VHuman, ASIs in Wis and Dex at 4/8) it would have up to 5 uses per SR of its astral arms, +8 to Athletics attempts to grapple (using Wis through the astral arms, and without Prodigy), 10' reach (would that even apply to grapple?), and once grappled, it would have +8 to attack rolls (again, Wis through arms) and make 4 attacks (two attacks, two bonus attacks with the arms) for 1d8+4 radiant or necrotic dmg each, plus 1d8 bonus damage from Empowered Arms (Awakening of the Astral Self), so 5d8+16 potential damage each round. If Grappler is taken on top of that, those attacks would be with advantage. And it would have 17 AC and 1d8 HD, so at least some survivability. (If Prodigy is taken instead, then it would be +12 to grapple attempt.)

And when not using the arms, it would still be 3 attacks at +7 for 1d8+3 (magical) without using any ki for extra bonus action attacks, so not totally useless. But the ki could be used for flurry or stunning strikes.

Or pump Dex to 20 and keep using that for attack/dmg rolls, so Wis would stay 14, but with Prodigy to boost Athletics up, it would be +10 to grapple, but 1d8+5 for attacks with or without arms, so 5d8+20 per round with the astral arms, and 3d8+15 without.

It takes out the spellcasting part, I know, but is that a viable grappler as opposed to the Rune Knight UA? It has more opportunities to do its thing than Rune Knight (one more time per SR every even level, plus it regains on a SR as opposed to Giant Might being LR), and I think a little more utility when not grappling.
 

Esker

Explorer
Would the Astral Self Monk UA be decent for a grappler?
<snip>
Hmm... If I'm reading the ability literally, it seems to suggest that the arms are monk weapons, and they allow you to use WIS in place of STR for attacks using them, and for STR checks in general. And then it says if you attack with them you get a bonus action attack with them for free, or you could use other abilities (like Flurry of Blows) that let you make regular unarmed strikes as a bonus action (but these would still use STR).

But I think if you make a grapple attempt, it wouldn't be an attack with the arms, and so it wouldn't by itself proc the bonus action attack with the arms. But once you have extra attack you could grapple once and attack once with the arms, and then qualify for the bonus action attack.

I'm not seeing in the document what damage die the arms use? (This is the first I'm reading it, tbh) Is it based on your martial arts die?

It's interesting to be able to grapple and punch using WIS, but since you're not a spellcaster anyway, it's not completely obvious to me why that makes you a better grappler per se than a fighter using STR, say, who uses one of their attacks to grapple. I guess maybe you can do a bit more damage, since at level 5 you can get one grapple and two attacks, vs the fighter's one grapple and one attack (assuming they don't have another way to get a bonus action attack), but the fighter isn't using resources to do it, is probably doing more damage per attack, and has higher AC... (plus bonus feats)

Also, if we're including UA material and giving up on spellcasting, why not a Battlemaster with unarmed fighting style and the Restraining Strike maneuver?
 

Cocomonkey

Visitor
And then it says if you attack with them you get a bonus action attack with them for free, or you could use other abilities (like Flurry of Blows) that let you make regular unarmed strikes as a bonus action (but these would still use STR).
Right (although it would be with DEX, not STR).
But I think if you make a grapple attempt, it wouldn't be an attack with the arms, and so it wouldn't by itself proc the bonus action attack with the arms. But once you have extra attack you could grapple once and attack once with the arms, and then qualify for the bonus action attack.
Yeah. And I think you'd still need to attack with your regular fists for the grapple (can't grapple through a weapon, after all). Then punch with the astral arms for regular attack and bonus attacks.
I'm not seeing in the document what damage die the arms use? (This is the first I'm reading it, tbh) Is it based on your martial arts die?
It's a monk weapon, so it would use your martial arts die, yep.
It's interesting to be able to grapple and punch using WIS, but since you're not a spellcaster anyway, it's not completely obvious to me why that makes you a better grappler per se than a fighter using STR, say, who uses one of their attacks to grapple. I guess maybe you can do a bit more damage, since at level 5 you can get one grapple and two attacks, vs the fighter's one grapple and one attack (assuming they don't have another way to get a bonus action attack), but the fighter isn't using resources to do it, is probably doing more damage per attack, and has higher AC... (plus bonus feats)
If it's a fighter with restraining strike like you mention later, it would still be expending resources (superiority die) to grapple. Using WIS over STR as a monk versus fighter is mostly just flavor, letting you do the same thing as a monk as you would as a fighter, with a stat you'll likely have a higher score in.
Also, if we're including UA material and giving up on spellcasting, why not a Battlemaster with unarmed fighting style and the Restraining Strike maneuver?
TBH, I'm not sure I see the appeal of the unarmed fighting style. The d8 attack only works on the initial attack; once it's grappled, it would be a d6 damage die (because you only have one hand free, the other is holding the target), so once a monk scales up to d8 MA die, they're out-damaging that. The extra grapple damage is only a d4, so only 2.5/rd on average (which I know can add up over time, but still). And restraining strike can't even trigger off of an unarmed attack (it requires a melee weapon attack, not a melee attack, so an unarmed strike wouldn't trigger it). So unarmed fighting style and restraining strike...don't go together well? All the UA style adds is the extra d4 damage per round.

So correct me if I'm wrong, but at 11, a fighter with 20 STR, UA style, and restraining strike would what...d10+5 weapon attack (assuming LS used 2h), superiority die/restraining strike as BA (+9 + 4.5 for sup die, so +13.5, avg, or +17.5 avg with Prodigy) for d4, then 2 more attacks for d8+5 with advantage (LS used 1h). Subsequent rounds would be 3 attacks for d8+5 with advantage plus d4. No BA attacks once it's grappled (that I can think of). So...

Round 1 - d10+2d8+15+d4 = 5.5+9+2.5+15 = 32 dmg avg
Round 2+ - 3d8+15+d4 = 13.5+15+2.5 = 31 dmg avg

5 rounds = 156 dmg
5 rounds if you use action surge in one of them = 184.5 dmg

(Not factoring in advantage, because I don't know offhand how that affects these kinds of calculations.

With the Astral Self Monk at that point with say 20 DEX and 14 WIS, round 1 would be BA trigger arms, attack for grapple (+6, or +10 with Prodigy), extra attack for d8+5+d8 (bonus astral arm damage), with advantage if with Grappler (but if so, no Prodigy or less DEX). Subsequent rounds would be 2 attacks and 2 BAs each for 1d8+5, with advantage if with Grappler, plus the 1d8 bonus die for attacking with the arms. And if you know combat is about to occur, you can summon the arms beforehand as preparation; they last 10 minutes. So...

(No Arms Already) Round 1 - BA arms, grapple, 2d8+5 dmg = 14 dmg avg
(No Arms Already) Round 2+ - 5d8+20 = 44.5 dmg avg

(No Arms Already) 5 rounds = 192 dmg avg

(Arms Already Out) Round 1 - grapple, 2d8+5 (reg attack+bonus), 2d8+10 (BA) = 33 dmg avg
(Arms Already Out) Round 2+- 5d8+20 = 44.5 dmg avg

(Arms Already Out) 5 rounds = 211 dmg avg

Am I missing something here with the math? It seems to me like an Astral Monk in this situation is going to out-damage a fighter with restraining strike and UA, even if they use a weapon. And even if the monk has to spend the first round setting up, over 5 rounds they'd out-dmg a fighter even if the fighter action surges.

If the monk takes both grappler (to match the advantage on attacks from restraining strike) at prodigy (for the boost to Athletics to keep the grapple) and loses say, 2 DEX, that only drops the 5-round averages to 175 dmg average with no arms already out and 193 dmg average if they're already out. Still higher than the fighter.

Outside of the grapple situation, sure, the fighter would be making 3 attacks for 1d10+5 (with LS used 2h) or 1d8+5 (with shield) versus 3 attacks (no flurry) for 1d8+5, and would have higher AC (18/20 versus 17 for Monk). And less HP (d8 versus d10, and likely lower CON, so what, around 2/3 of the HP of the fighter?). So survivability would be a factor, for sure. But as long as it stays alive, seems like it will out-damage the fighter, and if it ops not to grapple, the arms can be used as reach weapons to still make the 5d8+20 round attacks against anyone within 10 feet (so increased survivability).
 

Esker

Explorer
Right (although it would be with DEX, not STR).
Oh, yeah, of course.

Yeah. And I think you'd still need to attack with your regular fists for the grapple (can't grapple through a weapon, after all). Then punch with the astral arms for regular attack and bonus attacks.
Yeah, it's a bit of a weird middle place since they're arms, and they let you grapple using WIS, but as written you're using your wisdom to grapple using your regular arms. The language in the rule needs some tightening, IMO, but that's not too surprising since it is UA after all.

It's a monk weapon, so it would use your martial arts die, yep.
Ah, right. Sorry, I've never played a monk so I'd forgotten the "or a monk weapon" clause in that ability.

If it's a fighter with restraining strike like you mention later, it would still be expending resources (superiority die) to grapple. Using WIS over STR as a monk versus fighter is mostly just flavor, letting you do the same thing as a monk as you would as a fighter, with a stat you'll likely have a higher score in.
Yeah, but restraining strike is icing on the cake for the fighter. What they're able to do without expending resources is fairly comparable to what the Astral Self Monk is doing with resources.

TBH, I'm not sure I see the appeal of the unarmed fighting style. The d8 attack only works on the initial attack; once it's grappled, it would be a d6 damage die (because you only have one hand free, the other is holding the target), so once a monk scales up to d8 MA die, they're out-damaging that. The extra grapple damage is only a d4, so only 2.5/rd on average (which I know can add up over time, but still).
The extra d4 is per attack, isn't it? I don't see the benefits of the fighting style as hugely powerful, but if you're going to be doing a lot of grappling it's nice to be able to get a little damage along with it. If you have a shield, you can switch off between damage and grappling without having to sheathe a weapon (though then you don't have the free hand to continue attacking once you have the grapple, unless you take Tavern Brawler, in which case you are proficient with shield bash, which now does 2d4+STR, slightly above dueling style). If you don't have a shield you can grapple and punch for d6+d4+STR, which is half a point below what you'd get with dueling style, but comes out ahead with the initial 1d4 on the grapple itself.

And restraining strike can't even trigger off of an unarmed attack (it requires a melee weapon attack, not a melee attack, so an unarmed strike wouldn't trigger it). So unarmed fighting style and restraining strike...don't go together well?
Unarmed strikes are considered melee weapon attacks, even though your fists aren't considered melee weapons. It's one of those wording oddities.

On my phone at the moment, so not going through all the math, but I'll have a look when I get a chance at my computer.
 

Esker

Explorer
Ok, so going through the 11th level comparison:

Build 1: Vuman Battlemaster, Empty hands, Unarmed Style, 20 STR, Prodigy, (Some other Feat)

Build 2: Vuman Astral Monk, Prodigy, 20 WIS, 16 DEX
(prioritizing WIS makes the actual grapples equally effective since both have Prodigy, and allows two free BA attacks with the arms instead of spending ki to do Flurry of Blows)

We'll assume 2x 5 round encounters per short rest, which is too many rounds, IME, but it should favor the monk since they are spending ki per encounter rather than per round.

For simplicity, I'll assume a 60% base chance to hit with your main stat, and for extra simplicity just assume that both characters hit often enough to get their bonus damage from other superiority dice and empowered arms, respectively, since both are triggered after you know you hit. I'll also assume that the grapples are successful; both have a +13 on their Athletics check, though the fighter gets a +1d10 on the initial attempt.

Fighter:

E1, R1: 2H Unarmed Strike, BA Grapple (Restraining Strike), 5x 1H Unarmed Strike (Action Surge) at Advantage from Restrained

Expected Damage: (1d8+5 + 1d4) w/o advantage + 5x(1d6+1d4+5) with advantage
= (4.5+5 + 2.5)0.60 + 5(3.5+2.5+5)*0.84 = 53.4

E1, R2-R5: 3x 1H Unarmed Strike at Advantage

Expected Damage: 4x(3x(1d6+1d4+5)) at advantage = 4*3*(3.5+2.5+5)*0.84 = 110.9

Total Damage in Encounter 1 (w/o Superiority Dice): 164.3

Encounter 2: Same but no action surge, so reduced by 3*(3.5+2.5+5)*0.84 = 27.7

Total Damage in Encounter 2 (w/o Superiority Dice): 136.6

Remaining Superiority Dice: 3d10 = 3*5.5 = 16.5

Total Damage / SR: 317.4

Monk:


E1, R1: BA summon arms, Unarmed Strike (using DEX)

Damage on Hit: 1d8+3 = 7.5
Expected Damage: 7.5 * (0.50) = 3.75

E1, R2-R5: 4 Attacks With Arms (using WIS)

Damage on Hits: 4x(1d8+5) = 4*(4.5+5) = 38
Bonus Damage: 4d8 = 18
Expected Damage: 4*(38*0.60+18) = 163.2

Total Damage in E1: 167

E2, R1 (assume w/i 10 min so arms already out): Grapple + 3 Attacks w/ Arms (using WIS)

Damage on Hits: 3x(1d8+5) = 3*(4.5+5) = 28.5
Bonus Damage: 1d8 = 4.5
Expected : 28.5 * 0.60 + 4.5 = 21.6

E2, R2-R5: 4 Attacks With Arms

Expected DPR: 163.2

Total Damage in E2: 184.8

Total Damage / SR: 352

So, with these simplifications, the monk is edging out the fighter's damage by about 10%. The assumption of longer encounters favors the monk, since they have a relatively weaker 1st round, whereas the fighter gets a boost from action surge in one first round per SR. The assumption that the fights are within 10 mins of each other also helps the monk. And the fighter is also getting some debuffing with restraining strike, though to be fair the monk has ki to spare that they are likely going to be using on stunning strike, so that's close to a wash I'd say. The fighter also has a feat to spare, which could be used on something like Magic Initiate to get Hex, which will add a fair bit of damage for two or so encounters per day, since the bonus action is currently not being used after the 1st round.

So anyway, I think it winds up being fairly close. I thought the fighter would be comfortably ahead, which isn't the case, at least with these long encounters. But I had also missed the Empowered Arms feature before.
 

Cocomonkey

Visitor
So anyway, I think it winds up being fairly close. I thought the fighter would be comfortably ahead, which isn't the case, at least with these long encounters. But I had also missed the Empowered Arms feature before.
Awesome, glad to know someone else's math came out around the same as mine. I know the fighter has a few more options available to them in doing the same thing, but I don't necessarily have to play the best min/max version of this. I just wanted to find a way to do it that seemed interesting without being too subpar, so as long as this monk is somewhere around the same level, I'm cool with it. The fact that it might edge out the fighter in damage is icing on the cake, really, heh. I'll have to report back how it goes; my monk's joined the campaign, but they're still only 2, and the astral self monastic tradition doesn't get chosen until 3 (and even then, this likely won't really come online much until 5-6, when it has enough ki points to do 2-3 encounters per SR safely).
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I mean to be fair... the Astral Monk is crazy and weird.

To have it out edge the fighter is damage just means it probably won't see print as-is!
 

Esker

Explorer
I mean to be fair... the Astral Monk is crazy and weird.

To have it out edge the fighter is damage just means it probably won't see print as-is!
Well, it edges out the fighter for a specific grapple-focused build, with some relatively favorable workday assumptions, and without the fighter taking advantage of their level 6 feat. The base monk is really weak on damage, so I don’t personally mind that Astral Self is strong here.
 

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