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5E Shadow Monk: Straight, or Monk/Rogue

Elfcrusher

Explorer
And if multi-classed with Rogue, how deep?

The main reasons I would want to dip rogue are:
Expertise (1 and 6). Double proficiency at Stealth is just awesome, but perhaps overkill (or perfect kill?) when combined with Pass Without Trace. Top contenders would be Stealth, Perception, and Acrobatics. (Perception is probably "optimal" but maybe less fun/flavorful.)
Sneak Attack. (1 and 5). This amply compensates for smaller Monk damage die.
Uncanny Dodge (5) Simply awesome damage reduction
Assassinate (3, assuming that sub-class) Ironically half of it is largely redundant: you already get Advantage for Bamfing into range, so Advantage vs. anybody who has not yet had a turn isn't so great. However, this is also the supreme Surprise class, so the automatic crit is amazing.

Cunning Action is less useful, both because it is somewhat redundant with Step of the Wind, and because it consumes the same bonus action that is the whole point of being a shadow monk. Who needs Disengage when you can teleport at will? (Ok, shadows won't always be available...)
Beyond level 6 the next really great ability is Blindsense at 14. And while Shadow Monk 6/Rogue 14 is also a cool option, I'm trying to focus on the Monk here.

So the likely candidates would be level 1, 3, or 5.

Downsides of multi-classing:
- In general, delayed Monk abilities.
- Lost ASIs. Rogue 3 and 5 ultimately cost one ASI. On the other hand, designing for Level 20 is, let's face it, kinda dumb. So the other way of looking at it is that Rogue 1 and 5 delays ASIs by one level, Rogue 3 by 3 levels.
- No Shadow Monk capstone at Rogue 5. A Rogue 3 you'd keep the capstone, which has huge synergy with Sneak Attack, but for only 2d6.

Summary:
Rogue 1 gets you 1d6 Sneak Attack and Expertise (plus a bonus proficiency and some decent ranged weapons if you start Rogue) and minimizes impact on Monk progression.
Rogue 3 gets you Assassinate which is great but, unless you are playing a solo game, not very reliable.
Rogue 5 doubles Sneak Attack and gets you Uncanny Dodge

Looking at all that, and weighing against the downside of delaying Monk levels, I think Rogue 1 is my favorite. If I'm going to go deeper than that I'd go all the way to 5.

Thoughts? Experience?

Oh, and race-wise I love variant Humans (Mobile? Lucky?) and Wood-elfs are practically designed for monks, even if the RP is...weird. But I'm really jonesing to play a SCAG variant Tiefling (with Dex instead of Cha) just so that I can make a Bamf! noise every time I shadow step. Also, Acrobatics with a tail makes for good RP.
 
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Bladecoder

Villager
I personally have always liked the Monk/rogue combo and it works very well mechanically, so if you want to I would say go ahead!
 

Iskande

Villager
I'm currently Rogue 1, Monk 4. I'm usually glad I went rogue early for the extra skill proficiencies and expertise. I'm feeling the lack of second base attack and d4 vs d6 in combat, though our other melee player also multiclassed so it's not soooo bad.

Sometimes I wish I had went straight monk, but I think once I get to level 9 it will be worth it. I'm planning on assassin 3 monk 6 at level 9, and I'm not sure how far I will go beyond that with this character in this campaign.

Overall i I enjoy my character and I'm good at all the things I try to do. I have a +10 to stealth and a 17 ac without armor. I have two attacks thanks to martial arts, and I apply sneak attack most every round to compensate. It's working out well.
 

Ben Swinehart

Registered User
Have you concidered Arcane Trickster? Control flame alone is really useful in making shadows out to 60 feet and will save you ki points to make darkness. There are lots of really useful spells on the wizard list that won't require a high Int.
 

DwynnsPlace

Villager
Goblin Shadow

Double proficiency in tumble for the AC bonuses or dodge mods would be a good switch as well. Especially for tumblers and jugglers that like to keep the attention of the enemy so the party can counter attack.

Now make sure your goblin is half way intelligent and has a high dex.

Stalking PC/NPC goblin shadow or Bounty Hunter lots of fun
 
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Elfcrusher

Explorer
Double proficiency in tumble for the AC bonuses or dodge mods would be a good switch as well. Especially for tumblers and jugglers that like to keep the attention of the enemy so the party can counter attack.

Now make sure your goblin is half way intelligent and has a high dex.

Stalking PC/NPC goblin shadow or Bounty Hunter lots of fun
What edition are we talking about here? Goblin? Proficiency in Tumble? For AC bonuses? Dodge mods? Jugglers? Bounty Hunter?
 

DwynnsPlace

Villager
Any and all Editions that a GM wishes to include Goblin Characters as PC or NPCs.

Throughout the development of all the D&D games, compendiums, Class mods from Handbooks, Magazine classes, or any other gamer source, Most Feats, Abilities, class mods, race mods, Skills and Proficiency are all adaptable to any other editions or games. Heck you can take a Pathfinder goblin and easily switch the character over to X-edition D&D. So....Use your imagination, confer with your DM/GM and have fun with new creations like say.....Hafling/goblin character.

It's all about having fun right?
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Any and all Editions that a GM wishes to include Goblin Characters as PC or NPCs.

Throughout the development of all the D&D games, compendiums, Class mods from Handbooks, Magazine classes, or any other gamer source, Most Feats, Abilities, class mods, race mods, Skills and Proficiency are all adaptable to any other editions or games. Heck you can take a Pathfinder goblin and easily switch the character over to X-edition D&D. So....Use your imagination, confer with your DM/GM and have fun with new creations like say.....Hafling/goblin character.

It's all about having fun right?
Well heck in that case I'm going to play a Jedi.
 

DwynnsPlace

Villager
Sure and in a galaxy far far away. Where magic and Technology works hand in hand with the Force, a lone goblin Jedi leaves his swamp to travel to the great council meeting...

Thanks for GURPs, Rifts, and many other RPG's it would be easy to create a campaign for a young Jedi.....even Star Wars the RPG....

Hope you find that group and have a great time.

~DWYNN~
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
It does occur to me that a fun version would be to dip a few levels of Great Old One/Blade Warlock. I'm not sure it would actually improve your damage output, but with Mask of Many Faces and Devil's Sight you'd really be a rocking infiltrator/assassin. And the telepathy adds just the right amount of creepy.
 

nswanson27

Villager
So I play a shadow monk/rogue. I would say step of the wind is disappointing - you'll want all of your ki points for stunning (after level 5, that is). Also, arcane trickster is a very viable choice. Finally, I highly recommend mobility as a feat.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Finally, I highly recommend mobility as a feat.
Could you say more about that? Isn't the value of the primary benefit of Mobility somewhat diminished when you can teleport away with a bonus action?

FWIW, the feat I really want is Mage Slayer. Between teleporting within range, Sneak Attack, Sneak Attack as a Reaction, and Stunning Strike it could be really fun....
 
It does occur to me that a fun version would be to dip a few levels of Great Old One/Blade Warlock. I'm not sure it would actually improve your damage output, but with Mask of Many Faces and Devil's Sight you'd really be a rocking infiltrator/assassin. And the telepathy adds just the right amount of creepy.
I have been wanting to make a "Shadow Thief" based on Kensi from Lost Girl.

Starting out as a Rogue 1 - thief as she starts the show, then Warlock for 2 levels for Mask of Many Faces and Devil's Sight based on her Gypsy blood not a conscious pact, then she starts training to be a Shadow Monk to get in and get out of anywhere based on Dyson's training of her. Granted it will take 9 levels to eventually reach that concept.
 

Lidgar

Explorer
For this build, it's all about the bonus action economy.

Lot's of your perks rely on bonus actions. Flurry of blows/bonus attacks. Shadow step. Cunning action.

Taking the Mobile feat helps, in that it avoids the opportunity attack from the for you hit. Plus, you just will move really darn fast.

A typical strategy with Mobile feat is to shadow step to your foe, attack, then run 40'-50' away with no opportunity attack.

Rinse, repeat.

Adding two level of Warlock can indeed add to the fun with Devil's sight.

Cast darkness, then teleport away, then pound away at advantage.
 

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