View Full Version : [3.5] Fixing the Monk (or another Class)

2009-07-17, 02:44 PM
There have been a lot of threads about why this class sucks or why that class is broken. In this instance, I am thinking about the Monk.

Granted, not everyone agrees that any particular class sucks or is broken, so I figured I would use the following format.

Class: Name of class
Make a note in italics about why discussing this class, if you wish

Perceived issue: Mentioned in as few words as possible (maybe with a little explanation)
Explain why you believe this is a problem. Please take note of the word "perceived". Not everyone will agree with you.

Solution: Make this as simple as possible
Again, give your rationale


Class: Monk
Yes, I know, it has been discussed. Multiple times.

Perceived issue: MAD (Multiple Ability/Attribute Deficiency).
The monk, as-written, has good reason to make use of every single ability with the exception of Charisma, which becomes a dump stat. Strength for damage, Dexterity for AC, Wisdom for AC and class abilities, Intelligence for skills, Constitution for hit points.

Solution: Increase skills to 6+Int modifier. Grant 1st-level class feature granting Monk ability to use Wisdom modifier in place of Strength modifier for to-hit and damage.
Increasing the Monk skills to 6+Int may make the Monk a bit of a skills monkey now, but given that the Monk has been seen as underpowered, this may not be a bad thing. Alternatively, you can play with a low-Intelligence Monk and not gimp yourself on necessary Monk skills. Allowing Wisdom to take the place of Strength for melee combat might make Strength seem unneccessary, but Strength still determines how much gear you can carry and the Monk functions best when still Lightly Encumbered. No, I don't know how this would affect Grapple rules.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-07-17, 02:48 PM
Link to WotC thread on this subject (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1215645)

I liked these ideas:

Full BAB.
6 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level.
Hit Die: d10
Make flurry of blows grant just 1 extra attack and add a -1 penalty to all attacks in that round if used. At 11th monk level get rid of the penalty.
Every 2 levels after 12th give an extra daily use of Abundant Step.
That should be it.

On the second note there, I usually allow monks to wear gauntlet/glove/handwrap/etc as weapons that do basic monk damage but can be enchanted. Otherwise, I don't see why a monk can't himself be enchanted with weapon enhancements...

Full BAB, move a total of up to 1/2 his class speed bonus during a full attack, and for gods sake- make Amulet of Mighty Fists cheaper/allow special abilities on it!

Things that monks need that I have determined from watching far too many Kung Fu movies:

1. Dungeonscrasher I replaces Still Mind, Dungeoncrasher II replaces Wholeness of Body
2. Powerful Build as a class feature at 8th level
3. Awesome Blow as a bonus feat at 11th level, replaces Diamond Body
4. Half Wis mod as a bonus to attack and damage
5. Full BAB
6. Flight of some sort (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style.)
7. Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shaolin monks train with martial weapons, after all.)
8. Uses of Abundant Step equal to 1+Wis mod per day
9. Quivering Palm costs 2 uses of Stunning Fist to activate. No more 1/week bullcrap
10. Get rid of tongue of Sun and Moon. Seriously.

The Glyphstone
2009-07-17, 02:48 PM
Percieve Issue:
Conflicting class features. Monks get large boosts to speed, but their primary offensive class feature, Flurry of Blows, is restricted to Full Attacks.

Solution: Make Flurry of Blows function like Manyshot, usable as a Standard action with the concurrent penalties.

Twilight Jack
2009-07-17, 03:12 PM
A very simple monk fix would be to give every monk 1/4 of his speed bonus as a bonus to 5' steps. Now a monk with a +20' bonus gets to take a 10' step, a monk with +40' gets a 15' step, and a monk with +60' gets a 20' step.

Increase skills to 6+Int to cut down on the MAD, and begin playtesting to see if you need more.

This fix has the added benefit of giving the monk something truly unique, to set them further apart from other melee-dependent classes.

2009-07-17, 03:15 PM
Pharaoh's Fist's post pretty much covers it. There's also the ever popular, "use an Unarmed Swordsage."

2009-07-17, 03:19 PM
Are we talking about fixing them in the mechanical or veterinary sense of the word?

2009-07-17, 03:22 PM
They were long ago fixed in the latter sense. Thus was the Order of the Faded Glory born.

T.G. Oskar
2009-07-17, 04:25 PM
I think it would work fine with the 4+Int skill points and the d8 Hit Die (it's comparable to Ranger), and even the average BAB.

Now, there are things that definitely should change.

Flurry is fine as it is. It needs, though, to be usable a bit more. I've found that Hustle is a fine fix for it (you move at your move speed, which is much higher than others, just before your actions which allow thus a full attack), so I'd mostly say that they have a Hustle-like ability right at the moment where they get a dead level. Perhaps sacrifice 10 ft. of move speed for the chance to move your speed as a swift action. Nothing about half your speed or something; full move or nothing. Since by 11th level you actually have two extra attacks and no penalties...

Amulets of Mighty Fists can be enchanted. I mean, there was a book that considered logical to enchant Bracers of Armor with armor special abilities, so why can't Amulet of Mighty Fists do the same? They provide the enhancements to the unarmed strikes of those who wear it. I mean, if Warforged Monks can shoot their fists as rocket punches, why can't the non-living construct Monks have a similar move?

This is a fix that I find relatively useful for all classes. For the classes that are below tier 3, and to prestige classes that don't raise a tier or actually lower it, I've found that you can work something similar to the Improved Natural Attack to certain abilities.

For example:
Uses per time range: 1/week -> 1/day -> 1/encounter -> 1/round
Quantity of uses: once -> X times -> X times + ability score modifier -> at will.

Depending on the tier, you can decide to raise the "steps" a certain number of times or the "recharging" times. So, for something like Abundant Step, you could say it can be used instead of once per day, something like once per round or half class level + Wis modifier per day or even half class level per encounter. Find out which one is effective and apply. This is because Monk is usually considered Tier 5, which is 2 levels below Tier 3. As well, a Monk can use its Quivering Palm either X times per day or X times + Wis modifier per week, or once per encounter, following the same rules. Stunning Fist, having quite an amount of uses, wouldn't be affected by this. Though, I like the idea of consuming 2 uses of Stunning Fist for Quivering Palm.

As a final addition: more of a general fix for SR, but remove the stupid penalty of having SR apply to buffs. If it's a definite buff, then it automatically bypasses SR (I mean, it automatically bypasses your SR if you're the caster of ANY spell, even Fireball or Disintegrate...) That way, any form of SR is useful.