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Hawkflight
2011-07-23, 01:10 PM
Hello everyone. I'm a fan of cheesy martial arts style characters, but I've always found the Monk lacking, and I was never happy with the Unarmed Swordsage. Therefore, I decided to try my hand at making my own ToB-style monk. Please review and PEACH!

Table: Sublime Monk
{table=head]
Level|
Base Attack Bonus|
Fort Save|
Ref Save|
Will Save|
Class Features|
Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus|
Maneuvers Known|
Maneuvers Readied|
Stances Known|
Unarmed Damage|
AC Bonus

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+2|Quick to Act +1, AC Bonus, Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows|
-2/-2|
6|
4|
1|
1d6|
+0

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+3|Uncanny Dodge|
-1/-1|
7|
4|
2|
1d6|
+0

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Martial Training, Fast Movement +10 ft.|
+0/+0|
8|
5|
2|
1d6|
+0

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Abundant Leap, Cliffhanger|
+1/+1|
9|
5|
2|
1d8|
+1

5th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Improved Uncanny Dodge, Quick to Act +2|
+2/+2|
10|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

6th|
+4|
+5|
+5|
+5||
+3/+3|
11|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

7th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+5|Sense Magic|
+4/+4|
12|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

8th|
+6|
+6|
+6|
+6|Fast Movement +20 ft.|
+5/+5/+0|
13|
7|
3|
1d10|
+2

9th|
+6|
+6|
+6|
+6|Evasion|
+6/+6/+1|
14|
7|
4|
1d10|
+2

10th|
+7|
+7|
+7|
+7|Quick to Act +3|
+7/+7/+2|
15|
8|
4|
1d10|
+2

11th|
+8|
+7|
+7|
+7|Greater Flurry of Blows|
+8/+8/+8/+3|
16|
8|
4|
1d10|
+2

12th|
+9|
+8|
+8|
+8|Leap of the Clouds|
+9/+9/+9/+4|
17|
8|
4|
2d6|
+3

13th|
+9|
+8|
+8|
+8|Fast Movement +30 ft.|
+9/+9/+9/+4|
18|
9|
4|
2d6|
+3

14th|
+10|
+9|
+9|
+9||
+10/+10/+10/+5|
19|
9|
5|
2d6|
+3

15th|
+11|
+9|
+9|
+9|Quick to Act +4|
+11/+11/+11/+6/+1|
20|
10|
5|
2d6|
+3

16th|
+12|
+10|
+10|
+10||
+12/+12/+12/+7/+2|
21|
10|
5|
2d8|
+4

17th|
+12|
+10|
+10|
+10|Improved Evasion|
+12/+12/+12/+7/+2|
22|
10|
5|
2d8|
+4

18th|
+13|
+11|
+11|
+11|Fast Movement +40 ft.|
+13/+13/+13/+8/+3|
23|
11|
5|
2d8|
+4

19th|
+14|
+11|
+11|
+11|Mystic Foresight|
+14/+14/+14/+9/+4|
24|
11|
5|
2d8|
+4

20th|
+15|
+12|
+12|
+12|Perfect Self, Quick to Act +5|
+15/+15/+15/+10/+5|
25|
12|
6|
2d10|
+5[/table]
Hit Die: d8
The Sublime Monk's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sublime Monks are proficient with all simple weapons, as well as with special Monk weapons (namely the bolas, kama, katana (bastard sword), naginata (glaive), nunchaku, sai, shuriken, siangham, sling, and wakizashi (short sword)). Sublime Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

Maneuvers: A Sublime Monk gains the maneuvers and stances known/readied of a Swordsage, with the Swordsage's recovery method. The disciplines available to her are Circling Vulture (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183826#post10181158), Dancing Leaf (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85614), Desert Wind, Setting Sun, Stone Dragon, and Tiger Claw.

AC Bonus (Ex): A Sublime Monk may add her Wisdom modifier plus 1/4 her level as a bonus to her AC as long as she wears light or no armor, is unencumbered, and does not use a shield. This bonus applies even against touch attacks and when flat-footed. However, she loses this bonus when when she is immobilized or helpless.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a Sublime Monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A Sublime Monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

Usually a Sublime Monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

A monk also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Monk. The unarmed damage on Table: The Monk is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large monk deals more damage.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy when performing an attack or a full attack action, or as part of a charge. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus columns on Table: The Monk. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears.

When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons, although she may use them interchangeably as desired. When flurrying with a weapon, a monk applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1˝ or ×˝) to her damage rolls, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands.

A monk with the Combat Reflexes feat can declare a flurry of blows when taking an attack of opportunity.

Greater Flurry: When a monk reaches 11th level, her flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.

Quick to Act (Ex): A Sublime Monk gains a +1 bonus on initiative checks. This bonus increases by 1 at 5th level, then again every 5 levels thereafter.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a Sublime Monk retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a monk already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Martial Training: At 3rd level, a monk may choose be counted as one size category larger for the purposes of all contested combat maneuvers, such as bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, sunder, or trip checks, if it would be advantageous to her. In addition, she no longer threatens attacks of opportunity when making such maneuvers.

Fast Movement (Ex): A Sublime Monk’s land speed is faster than normal for her race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when she is wearing light or no armor, is unencumbered, and does not use a shield. This bonus increase by +10 at 8th level, then again every 5 levels thereafter.

Abundant Leap (Ex): At 4th level, a monk's ability to jump is unbounded by her height. In addition, the DC for any jump check she makes is halved.

Cliffhanger (Ex): At 4th level, a monk within arm's reach of a wall or other vertical surface can use it to stop herself from falling. When using this ability, she may cease falling, then make a climb check to climb up or down as per normal.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a Sublime Monk can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the monk by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has monk levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Sense Magic (Su): At 7th level, a Sublime Monk can spend 10 minutes focusing upon an item such as a weapon or a suit of armor. If she succeeds on a level check (DC 10 + the caster level of the item), she can identify the properties of that item, including its enhancement bonus and any special abilities. This ability does not reveal the properties of artifact or legacy weapons, though it does indicate that such items are immensely powerful.

Evasion (Ex): At 9th level or higher if a Sublime Monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Leap of the Clouds (Ex): At 12th level, the DC for any jump check the monk makes is divided by 5.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 17th level, a Sublime Monk’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a Sublime Monk no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when her time is up.

Mystic Foresight: At 19th level, a monk achieves a supernatural state of awareness, reacting to danger before it happens. She continuously gains the benefits of the Foresight spell upon her person at all times.

Perfect Self (Ex): At 20th level, a Sublime Monk becomes a magical creature and her type changes to outsider. When targeted by spells and magical effects that consider her type, she may choose whether to be considered an outsider or a member of her former type, whichever is most advantageous. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 15/epic. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-23, 01:17 PM
So... you built a swordsage with more class features and replaced Shadow Hand with a bunch of homebrew disciplines?

It would really help if you, y'know, actually LINKED the homebrew disciplines, and you put Oncoming Storm on the list twice.

Also, What are class skills and skill ranks?

Hawkflight
2011-07-23, 01:31 PM
Whoops, sorry. I hit Submit prematurely. ^^;

That said, I also took a couple things away from the Swordsage. And a number of the new abilities are mostly cinematic/situational, which I think helps balance out the power curve a little better.

gkathellar
2011-07-23, 01:46 PM
Have to agree with swiftmongoose. You took away, what, dual boost? Discipline focus? Neither really deeply essential to the class. This is basically just a +1 ki focus swordsage.

EDIT: Not to mention you traded Evasion for Mettle, its significantly better counterpart.

(I personally think that swordsage is slightly weaker than the other ToB classes, but it doesn't need a boost this big, if it needs one at all.)

Hawkflight
2011-07-23, 01:52 PM
Well, I'm trying to find where it's overpowered. I mean, I gain Mettle, but I also lose Improved Evasion. I lose Dual Boost and Discipline Focus (the equivalent of 5 feats) and gain Martial Training, Fast Movement, Mystic Foresight, and Perfect Self, along with a few cinematic movement abilities.

Ziegander
2011-07-23, 02:00 PM
I'm almost inclined to say that this is actually weaker than a Swordsage. It exchanges a higher attack bonus and AC, for a higher fort save and "Monk features" (which are every bit as useful as those of the core Monk). It does gain Improved Uncanny Dodge and Mystic Foresight, and that ain't nothing, but it's still a melee class that can't hit worth a damn.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-23, 02:10 PM
I'm almost inclined to say that this is actually weaker than a Swordsage. It exchanges a higher attack bonus and AC, for a higher fort save and "Monk features" (which are every bit as useful as those of the core Monk). It does gain Improved Uncanny Dodge and Mystic Foresight, and that ain't nothing, but it's still a melee class that can't hit worth a damn.

Swordsages only get 3/4 BAB. The only way they get a higher attack bonus is the tiny +1 from discipline focus.

gkathellar
2011-07-23, 02:10 PM
I'm almost inclined to say that this is actually weaker than a Swordsage. It exchanges a higher attack bonus and AC, for a higher fort save and "Monk features" (which are every bit as useful as those of the core Monk). It does gain Improved Uncanny Dodge and Mystic Foresight, and that ain't nothing, but it's still a melee class that can't hit worth a damn.

Uh ... it has better AC than the swordsage, because it can wear light armor in addition to its monk AC bonus. And it has the same attack bonus as the swordsage. So ... what?

Hawkflight
2011-07-23, 02:14 PM
I believe he's referring to Discipline Focus.

Ziegander
2011-07-23, 02:24 PM
Swordsages only get 3/4 BAB. The only way they get a higher attack bonus is the tiny +1 from discipline focus.


Uh ... it has better AC than the swordsage, because it can wear light armor in addition to its monk AC bonus. And it has the same attack bonus as the swordsage. So ... what?

Ah, for some reason I had thought that, at some point, Swordsages got +2 from discipline focus to their attack rolls. I also just assumed that this Monk didn't get to wear light armor, so that's my bad there.

Okay, then the Sublime Monk trades in Diamond Mind, Shadow Hand, Discipline Focus, and Improved Evasion in order to obtain a slightly higher Fort save, Dancing Leaf, Oncoming Storm, and a bunch of mediocre class features that do very little to improve its combat ability. The gain of Improved Uncanny Dodge and eventually Foresight are both definitely powerful, but in my opinion Diamond Mind and Shadow Hand are both more powerful and more useful than the two homebrew disciplines gained.

Overall... Sublime Monk is still probably ever so slightly weaker, but the trade appears to be negligible in value.

Hawkflight
2011-07-27, 04:07 PM
Here's a pared down version for those who require such.

Table: Sublime Monk (Hit Die: d8)
{table=head]
Level|
Base Attack Bonus|
Fort Save|
Ref Save|
Will Save|
Class Features|
Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus|
Maneuvers Known|
Maneuvers Readied|
Stances Known|
Unarmed Damage|
AC Bonus

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+2|Quick to Act +1, Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows|
-2/-2|
6|
4|
1|
1d6|
+0

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+3|AC Bonus|
-1/-1|
7|
4|
2|
1d6|
+0

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Martial Training, Fast Movement +10 ft.|
+0/+0|
8|
5|
2|
1d6|
+0

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4||
+1/+1|
9|
5|
2|
1d8|
+1

5th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Quick to Act +2|
+2/+2|
10|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

6th|
+4|
+5|
+5|
+5||
+3/+3|
11|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

7th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+5|Sense Magic|
+4/+4|
12|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

8th|
+6|
+6|
+6|
+6|Fast Movement +20 ft.|
+5/+5/+0|
13|
7|
3|
1d10|
+2

9th|
+6|
+6|
+6|
+6|Evasion|
+6/+6/+1|
14|
7|
4|
1d10|
+2

10th|
+7|
+7|
+7|
+7|Quick to Act +3|
+7/+7/+2|
15|
8|
4|
1d10|
+2

11th|
+8|
+7|
+7|
+7|Greater Flurry of Blows|
+8/+8/+8/+3|
16|
8|
4|
1d10|
+2

12th|
+9|
+8|
+8|
+8||
+9/+9/+9/+4|
17|
8|
4|
2d6|
+3

13th|
+9|
+8|
+8|
+8|Fast Movement +30 ft.|
+9/+9/+9/+4|
18|
9|
4|
2d6|
+3

14th|
+9|
+9|
+9|
+9||
+10/+10/+10/+5|
19|
9|
5|
2d6|
+3

15th|
+9|
+9|
+9|
+9|Quick to Act +4|
+11/+11/+11/+6/+1|
20|
10|
5|
2d6|
+3

16th|
+12|
+10|
+10|
+10||
+12/+12/+12/+7/+2|
21|
10|
5|
2d8|
+4

17th|
+12|
+10|
+10|
+10|Improved Evasion|
+12/+12/+12/+7/+2|
22|
10|
5|
2d8|
+4

18th|
+13|
+11|
+11|
+11|Fast Movement +40 ft.|
+13/+13/+13/+8/+3|
23|
11|
5|
2d8|
+4

19th|
+14|
+11|
+11|
+11||
+14/+14/+14/+9/+4|
24|
11|
5|
2d8|
+4

20th|
+15|
+12|
+12|
+12|Perfect Self, Quick to Act +5|
+15/+15/+15/+10/+5|
25|
12|
6|
2d10|
+5[/table]

Yitzi
2011-07-27, 05:37 PM
1. What sort of cheesy martial arts character can't roll through explosions unharmed? Give him Evasion and Improved Evasion at appropriate levels, it just makes no sense not to.
2. You've got a whole stretch of more or less dead levels in the 13-18 area. You might want to give some thought to changing that.

Hawkflight
2011-07-27, 05:40 PM
So you're suggesting replacing Mettle with Evasion and Improved Evasion?

Yitzi
2011-07-27, 06:52 PM
I'm thinking more that it'd be in addition...it'd make them an absolute killer against mages (at least if they can deal with invisibility), but there's nothing wrong with that.

Hawkflight
2011-07-27, 08:13 PM
I'm thinking more that it'd be in addition...it'd make them an absolute killer against mages (at least if they can deal with invisibility), but there's nothing wrong with that.

Well, the problem is, then it would be overpowered. And I want to try to keep its power level under NINE THOUSAAAAAAND at a reasonable level where it can be dropped into a tier 3/tier 2 game without too many problems.

Hawkflight
2011-07-27, 08:42 PM
Replaced Mettle and Timeless Body with Evasion and Improved Evasion. PEACH.

Also, please ignore this spoiler, I'm just posting a modified version for a campaign.

Table: Sublime Monk (Hit Die: d8)
{table=head]
Level|
Base Attack Bonus|
Fort Save|
Ref Save|
Will Save|
Class Features|
Maneuvers Known|
Maneuvers Readied|
Stances Known|
Unarmed Damage|
AC Bonus

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+2|Quick to Act +1, Unarmed Strike, Snap Kick|
6|
4|
1|
1d6|
+0

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+3|AC Bonus|
7|
4|
2|
1d6|
+0

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Martial Training|
8|
5|
2|
1d6|
+0

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Fast Movement +10 ft.|
9|
5|
2|
1d8|
+1

5th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+4|Quick to Act +2|
10|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

6th|
+4|
+5|
+5|
+5||
11|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

7th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+5|Sense Magic|
12|
6|
3|
1d8|
+1

8th|
+6|
+6|
+6|
+6|Fast Movement +20 ft.|
13|
7|
3|
1d10|
+2

9th|
+6|
+6|
+6|
+6|Evasion|
14|
7|
4|
1d10|
+2

10th|
+7|
+7|
+7|
+7|Quick to Act +3|
15|
8|
4|
1d10|
+2

11th|
+8|
+7|
+7|
+7||
16|
8|
4|
1d10|
+2

12th|
+9|
+8|
+8|
+8|Fast Movement +30 ft.|
17|
8|
4|
2d6|
+3

13th|
+9|
+8|
+8|
+8||
18|
9|
4|
2d6|
+3

14th|
+9|
+9|
+9|
+9||
19|
9|
5|
2d6|
+3

15th|
+9|
+9|
+9|
+9|Quick to Act +4|
20|
10|
5|
2d6|
+3

16th|
+12|
+10|
+10|
+10|Fast Movement +40 ft.|
21|
10|
5|
2d8|
+4

17th|
+12|
+10|
+10|
+10|Improved Evasion|
22|
10|
5|
2d8|
+4

18th|
+13|
+11|
+11|
+11||
23|
11|
5|
2d8|
+4

19th|
+14|
+11|
+11|
+11||
24|
11|
5|
2d8|
+4

20th|
+15|
+12|
+12|
+12|Fast Movement +50 ft., Quick to Act +5, Perfect Self|
25|
12|
6|
2d10|
+5[/table]

Snap Kick: A Sublime Monk knows that the Way of the Fist is also the Way of the Elbows, Knees, Feet, and Various Other Appendages and uses this to her advantage. The Sublime Monk gains Snap Kick as a bonus feat, except the attack penalty is halved to -1 at 6th level, and eliminated entirely at 11th level.

Yitzi
2011-07-28, 11:40 AM
Well, the problem is, then it would be overpowered.

Can you really call a class overpowered when its maneuvers and stances are all that prevent it from facing a probable loss (well, unless it runs) against a fighter of equal level? If you're still concerned, reduce that DR 15/epic at level 20 to something more reasonable, and it'll be clearly inferior (1-on-1) to a fighter with the same maneuvers and stances replacing its bonus feats.

Just because something can totally destroy an overpowered class does not mean it is itself overpowered, so long as it'll lose to less overpowered classes.

Hawkflight
2011-07-28, 11:51 AM
Yes, but its maneuvers and stances are its defining trait. That's what makes it so good. There will never be a situation in which you won't have them.

Also, if your DM will let you replace the fighter's bonus feats with the maneuvers and stances of a Swordsage, then something's clearly wrong.

cmakonline
2011-08-05, 05:43 AM
Read through this and I do like it! Just some thought on this.

Your chart has evasion and improved evasion, but the descriptions do not have them listed (you have Mettle and Timeless Body there which from what I read is probably an older version/thought).

Suggestion might be to have a choice between improved evasion and Mettle. Or for the choice between Evasion/Improved Evasion and Mettle/Timeless Body.

Just curious why you did not include Shadow Hand Discipline?

With it a character can use the Shadow Sun Ninja PrC which I think blends Monk and Swordsage decently
Are there alignment restrictions?

Not sure if this is following the Monk only lawful path or the Swordsage any alignment.

I know you took out Discipline Focus, but gave different features instead. I think that the Weapon Aptitude from the Warblade might be useful as a better replacement (for at leas the Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus)).

Yitzi
2011-08-05, 12:44 PM
Also, if your DM will let you replace the fighter's bonus feats with the maneuvers and stances of a Swordsage, then something's clearly wrong.

Point. So the point is that a swordsage's maneuver's/stances make this a good straight-melee build even with medium BAB, so giving him mettle as well as evasion is just too much.

I'd say the best approach should probably make him weak against similar-level melee enemies...a cheesy martial arts should be able to beat up mooks all day long, but should be extremely challenged against an equally skilled fighter (probably losing unless he makes the utmost of his mobility). Maybe allow him to regain maneuvers by killing enemies (each time he kills an enemy, he regains a maneuver) instead of just needing an FRA?

Hawkflight
2011-09-09, 12:21 AM
Fixed the descriptions to include Evasion, and changed the list of available disciplines. I didn't include Shadow Hand because I didn't feel like it fit thematically, but if you want to use it by all means feel free to swap out one of the disciplines for it, like Circling Vulture. And no, there is no alignment restriction, I think those are stupid.

Working on making some changes to this, so look forward to them.