View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class [PEACH] A quick and dirty monk fix

ace rooster
2014-07-07, 05:45 AM
As I see it, the main issue that many of the mundane classes is that they are very MAD. The monk takes this to a whole new level, as well as having no real niche to call it's own, so I thought, why not just make monk be the class that improves your abilities, gradually turning into a paragon of your race (not the template, though that would be an awesome capstone), while not focusing on anything (average bab, skill points and hit dice). Every level you get a boost to 2 abilities, cycling around every three levels. These are in addition to the standard monk features.

abilities boosted

+1 wis, +1 con

+1 cha, +1 dex

+1 int, +1 str

see n

+4 str, +4 dex, +3 con,
+4 int, +3 wis, +4 cha

Depending on the reaction to this I may look into extending this sort of thing to other classes, as it irks me that a level 17 fighter will have similar physical abilities to a level 1 orc, and will not have significantly higher con than most wizards.

2014-07-07, 06:16 PM
First, prioritize wis and dex at first level

Prioritize Str and Con and 2nd level.

Prioritize Int and Cha at 3rd level.

Never forget a monk's primary stats are wis and dex.

Second, never boost stats by +1. Always by +2 so the mod changes.

2014-07-07, 09:59 PM
Functionally, you're granting upgrade from a d8 to a d12 hit die, +4 AC, ~+1 skill point per level, +2 to all attack rolls, damage rolls, ability save DCs, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. However, all the benefits are back-loaded so that the benefits aren't felt until you're well into the game.


It's actually better than I'd thought at first blush, but kind of a sledgehammer approach to a needlework problem. I think the worst criticism of it is that it does little or nothing to help the monk at levels 1-6, which is where a lot of groups spend most of their time gaming, and the best benefits are reserved for levels 13+, a level at which many groups never play. Still, on the average over a long campaign, it probably bumps the monk from a tier 5 class to a tier 4.

This is sort of an aside, but I'd disagree with your assessment that the "main issue" with mundane classes is MAD. Most mundane classes are very good at stacking up numbers. The main issue with mundane classes is that they don't have a meaningful way to interact with the game world except by swinging a stick at it. They barely get any skill points, and all of their class features are basically variations on "I hit it" and "I try to keep it from hitting me".

2014-07-09, 05:27 AM
Edit: heh, it would behoove me to read the full post. I was actually thinking that if any class could justify free stats it would be the Monk with their perfection of body thing. I still don't think it's the right way to balance classes though (and I just spent forever making this post) so I'ma leave this here anyway. It's possible you might like this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?357810-Chopping-Down-the-Christmas-Tree-Low-Magic-Item-Rules&) low magic item variant as well, which uses competence bonuses, ability increases, and a nifty menu of gifts and knacks gained as you level up to replace most magic items. With this variant, any person who reaches a high level has the raw numbers to go up against powerful monsters naked, instead of being the same as a level 1 orc without their gear, so it should match your "high level characters are paragons of power" idea.

What monks need are not more ability points to fuel their broken mechanics, rather they need mechanics that actually address their problems. In my mind, the absolute biggest problem with the Monk is the lack of AC. People will put up with a lot of problems if the class actually fits the image they want, but what do most people see when they think martial artist? Kung-fu movies where people dodge everything and never get hit. AC is that stat of not getting hit, and Monks are the worst at AC, so that's the problem I address first. I've never finalized my stuff since I haven't had someone playing a monk, but I'll post my stuff here for perusal.

Defensive bits, the easy part
Monk bonus to AC is 2+1/2 levels. This is never lost but overlaps with armor bonuses (enhancement bonuses to armor still stack though, such as bracers of armor or magic vestments on clothing or monk robes). We'll say it's not lost when wearing armor so you can still wear ceremonial stuff and dodge touch attacks, but a lot of your other features will still go poof.
Add a dodge bonus to AC, +1 at odd levels. This is lost if the monk uses a shield of any sort, unlike the overlap with armor above, and cannot be enhanced.
Slow Fall includes both wall ascending and water walking variants (Dungeonscape and Stormwrack?), but not wall running- that's okay being left as a matrixy pisonic feat.
Wholeness of Body is equal to your full normal hit points, inspired by guardinal lay on hands and generally not sucking.

The AC numbers come the fact that armor does not in fact range from +0 to +8. It ranges from +4 with Chain Shirt to +10 at Mechanus Gear, and since unarmed strikes are equivalent to one handed weapons and monks are supposed to be hard to hit, there's another base +2 from Heavy Shield missing (the "shield" dodge bonus could be swapped out for a "two handing" variant, but that's annoying and less monk-ish). So here monks have AC 13+stats at 1st, same as a rogue, AC 18+stats at 6th, like a medium armor+shield, and AC=lots after that. If it ends up too high cut the extra dodge bonus, but note that the monk's official niche here is high AC+movement, and if they've got both high dex and wis then they should be paying the price in str, con, and int.

Offensive bits, the more talking part
Unarmed damage increases can be applied to any monk weapon. All monks still gain the usual unarmed strike 1d6 lethal/non-lethal flurry of blows etc, but whenever unarmed strike damage would increase they can choose a monk weapon instead, even splitting it between weapons at different levels if they really want. Standard monk weapons are all the same 1d6 so it's personal choice, but feats to add other weapons like longswords are available and make unarmored weapon masters possible with this (best taken at 1st level so you can specialize the whole way). note that the 1 step from say a longsword isn't any more than the 1 step from improved natural attack (beware allowing bigger weapons). Also note the monk die progression is not the same as the size progression, and smaller weapons have different tables as well, oy. Stunning fist is still unarmed only by default.
A monk may choose his bonus feats normally, pick a fighting style (see unearthed arcana), or design his own style (subject to DM approval). Monk bonus feats continue every 4 levels (through 10th, 14th, and 18th), and lists can be found in oriental adventures under various prestige classes, and including any feat attached to those feats. And I want a bounding asault style, possibly even ignoring the usual 12th level and coming in at 10th.

That stuff should be enough to pull the monk back out of the gutter and eventually make him a nigh-unhittable badass (for a mundane, so like tier 4? I hate tiers). Extending the bonus feats gives you an actual reason to keep taking monk levels even if the other abilities still suck, and the lists have always needed official expansion. That stuff doesn't actually make them better at killing though:

Offensive bits, the buffing part
Flurry of Blows (or PHBII Decisive Strike) can be used on a standard action attack (this one's pretty popular so you can move around and attack properly)
Use gauntlets or hand-wrappings enhanced as weapons (instead of their neck slot for a Necklace of Natural Weapons, it's just easier and cheaper and can use weapon crystals).
Add +1/2 level bonus on combat maneuvers (3/4 BAB+ 1/2= 1.25, better base than a Fighter
For more shenanigans, allow monks to upgrade the damage on any weapon they have proficiency with in place of upgrading their unarmed, even if it's not a monk weapon or a monk weapon because of a feat. This would allow gunslinger "monks" and basically make it into a general unarmored weapon specialist suitable for lots of pulp heroes. Presumably this would also let them Flurry it.

Note that I've very specifically not upgraded them to full BAB. "Monks have 3/4 BAB" has been around so long that it's fully ingrained in a lost of people's minds, including my own, and even Unarmed Swordsages use 3/4 BAB. They also still get wis to AC, so they can choose their favorite 2 of str/dex/wis and fill in with Finesse if they want through style/bonus feat. Con and HD size are important for everyone and lots of classes including Cleric, Ranger, and Swordsage all have d8's so I don't see that as a problem but d10 if you want.