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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class The Monk of 7 Shadows - A Sneaky semicaster Monk



GrayDeath
2018-02-25, 01:35 PM
Preface: as with all my CLasses, this CLass is meant to be "Full 3.p" Material.
If you are only using 3.5 Material, reduce the SKillpts/Level by 2, adapt the Skill List accordingly and you should be fine.



The Monks of the Seven Shadows


Long centuries ago, there was a monastery of rather ... evil aligned Monks. It had been decaying in power and reknown for a while, and decided that was the fault of the Lawful Neutral Concurring Orders in the Area.
They spent most of their remaining Influence (and cash) to hire a well known Guild of Assassins to remove the leadership of their competitors.
THe Guild succeeded ... but sadly a Mage friendly to the Orders leader found out, and decimated the Monasteries Monks rather completely.

Fast forward 15 years, and one of the Assassins decided he did not want to be one any longer, and chose to buy the abandoned Monastery.
Finding the sutras and Zeachings of the Monks was childs play for an experienced Assassin ... and to his surprise there were many among them that did not really say "Monk" as much as "Shady but disciplined"...

He himself was too old to profit from them much, but he decided to teach 7 pupils in them.

And thus the Monks of the 7 Shadows were born.


Relations to other CLasses/Races

Like most more or less secret society, the relations depend heavily on their relating being knowing about the order. If they do then many a Rogue, Warlock, or ... less than faithful Monk might start drooling and insisting on Initiation.
Most Traditionally good aligned People are wary about them, even if they are not necessariy non-Good themselves.

Usefulness-wise they are best to provide flexible and fast support to Casters and slower melee Classes, but with many stealthier sorts they might cause redundancies.
They are alsp good at semipermanently debuffing foes, and striking well armored Creatures.


Mechanics:

Requirements: Alignment non-CHaotic
BAB 3+, Sneak Attack +1d6, No Save total below +5.
Improved Initiative and Uncanny Dodge.
5 Ranks in Stealth and either Intimidate or Bluff.

Monks of the 7 Shadows, not unlike Rogues or regular Monks, thriwve on mobility and speed. Therefore they need high values in Dexterity, as welol as the usual good Values in Strength and Constitution for Frontline Combattants. They also need one high mental Stat, whichever they choose, so are quite MAD (but not as much as a Monk).


Hitdie: D8

Proficiency: Becomes prof. with the Unarmed Attack, the Spear, the Quarterstaff, the Kama, the Kusamagiri and one more close combat Weapon of simple or martial make of the Players choice. All these weapons are compatible with any special Attacks Except Sjadow Strike the Mo7S makes.
Does not gain any Armor or Shield Proficiencies.

Skillpts/Level: 6+Int Modification
Class Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Disguise self, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (Planes, Religion, Local), Perception, Stealth, use Magic item and any one from the Monks or Rogues List of the players choice.

Class Feature Progression: Each level of Monk of the 7 Shadows except for the 7th counts as Rogue Level regarding Sneak Attack Progression.

A Character with levels in this Class counts as Monk of Level of Mo7S+1 (or adds its Level of Mp7S if Monk Levels exist) for Monks Bonus Movement and Bonus AC and suffers from the same Armor Restrictions as a Monk.

Unless specified otherwise, all Abilities of the Mo7S except their Spells are [Ex]


Mo7S4


Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special


1st

+1

+0

+2

+2
Shadow Monks Strikes, Shadows Evasiveness


2nd

+2

+3

+3

+0
Shadow Strikes 1,


3rd

+3

+3

+3

+0
Evasion, Superior Lowlight Vision


4th

+4

+4

+4

+1
Hide in Plain Sight, Flurry



5th

+5

+4

+4

+1
Weapon Fcus and Specialization: Unarmed Strike


6th

+6/+1

+5

+5

+2
Shadow Strike 2



7th

+7/+2

+5

+5

+2
Movement of 7 Shadows


8th

+8/+3

+6

+6

+2
Greater Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge


9th

+9/+4

+6

+6

+3
Shadow Strikes 3


10th

+10/+5

+7

+7

+3
Shadow Form, Shadow Spell





Shadows Evasiveness: The Mind of a Mo7S is shadowy indeed.
At gaining this feat, choose one mental Attribute. You gain a Bonus to your AC eual to its attribute bonus, and you use it as your casting Stat for all Spells gained via Levels of this class.

Shadow Monks Strikes: The Unarmed Strikes of a Monk of the 7 Shadows begin at 1d6 Bashing/Piercing, 20-20*2. For each Level (starting with the first) one of the following Modifications may be applied to them:
+1 Die Size (Progression is: 1d8. 1D10. 1D12. 2D6, 2d8, 3d6, 2d10, 3d8 Max), Crit Range +1 (up to 16-20), Crit Multiplier (up to *4). Also, for every 3 Levels in this class, round down, they count as being +1 magical Weapons. (Evample: A Level 7 Mo7S could have 3d6, 19-20 *2 or 1d8, 17-20*4, in both cases counting as +2 weapons.
attention: This progression does NOT stack with the Monks Unarmed Progression!
If the Mo7S aquires enough Monk Levels that he would gain additional Unarmed Damage Die increases, he instead may choose a Single Bonus Feat from the Monk Bonus Feat List.


Shadow Strike 1: Shadow, both metaphorical and literal, infuses the attacks of the Mo7S.
The Mo7S Strikes can attack incorporeal Enemies normally. THis Mode of Attack is always "on".

Shadow Strike 2: The Strikes of the Mo7S if concentrated attack Touch AC. Reduce the number of attacks made by one (down to one, can only be done if the number CAN be reduced by 1, cannot be combined with Flurry or other ways to incfrease the number of Attacks/Turn) to enable this ability.

Shadow Strike 3: The strikes of the Mo7S, if properly focussed, sap the strength of their targets if they focus on them doing so.
Choose one: Either they also deal 1d2 Strength Damage (DC 10+Level in SMo7S+Mental Att. Mod, fortitude saves) OR Deal one Negative Level at hit (DC 10+Level in Mo7S+Mental Attribute Mod, fortitude saves).
As this action needs a lot of focus, this means this ability cannot be combined with any ability adding additional Attacks, and if combined with Shadow Strike 2, the necessary focus increases, subtracting another attack per turn (again, this needs to be possible, so they can only be combined if the Mo7S would have 3 or more attacks!).
The Duration of these maluses is as usual. The Maximum number of negative Levels applicable on a single target via this ability is 3.


Flurry: Some times, more is better. The Mo7S may decide to forgo accuracy and Power for maximised number of attacks.
At any time he makes a melee attack, he may accept a malus of 2 and a reduction of the Strength Bonus of 1 point and add another attack. This cannot provide him with more Bonus attacks than his Level in this Class/2 (so at Level 10 he may accept an Attack penalty of -10 and a Strength Bonus Penalty of 5 pts to all his attacks, and add 5 Extra Attacks).
Flurry can only be used on your turn and cannot be combined with any ability that requires Focus (reduces Attack numbers, or requires certain Combat Maneuvers/other actions than simply attacking). It can however be combined with the Monks Flurry of Blows (al maluses stack for that purpose!).



Movement of 7 Shadows: At this Level, the Monk moves in a way that makes observing him increasingly difficult.
As a passive Bonus, whenever he moves more than 30ft he gains 50% Concealment until his next turn.
Depending on which of the Principles of his order he follows, he gains one of the follwing 3 active abilities:
1.: First Shadows Movement: Created by the founder of the Order, even if he himself was never a true member, this movement concentrates around maximum deadliness. Whenever attacking an Enemy in Darkness OR by stepping out of a Shadow of any kind, the attack makes its target much easier to wound with followups. The Target is stunned for 1d3 turns (DC 5+Level in Mo7S+ Chosen Mental Stat Modifier).
2. :Third Shadows Movement: Created by the first female leader of the Order, this movement centers around supernatural lightness of Step. Up to an amount of 2 minutes per Mental Stat Bonus (See Shadows Evasiveness) per day, to be spent in increments of 1 minute or more, the Monk may move his full speed (including Running/Charging) without incurring any stealth penalties or making any sound, no matter the grund he is walking on.
3.: 7th Shadows Movement (Su): The Pinnacle, many say, of the Orders abilities. A monk choosing this movement can enter any shadow that can hide him completely, and merge with it. As long as he does not take any actions except a 5ft step, he remains part of the shadow and is udnetectable by any non-epic means and immune to all AOE Damage except Light Effects or other Effects that would completely remove the SHadow.
If a strong magical or Sunlight Light should remove the shadow, he is expelled and suffers 5d6+5 untyped Damage and one point each of Constitution and Strength Damage.


Shadow Form: At achieving the tenth level, a Mo7S gains the ability to transform into a Shadow Form. He looks like a shadow of himself, lacking any depth or details.
In this form he is incorporeal, but his unarmed attacks can strike corporeal foes normally. He looks like a shadow of himself. He gains DR 30/Magic, Fortification 100% and Darkvision 120ft, as well as a fly Seed of 70ft/perfect. While in this form and not in direct light, he gains +15 to Stealth Checks. This transformation lasts until the next sunrise/Sunset or 5 hours, whichever is less, and cannot be ended prematurely.

However, this form is not without danger: First he is wounded by positive Energy (and healed by negative, as if he were undead). Secondly, whenever he suffers enough Damage to bring him to 7 HP or lower, roll a D20 (add 1 for every time this has happened within the last week). On a Roll of 20 he permanently transforms into a Shadow (See Template on the PFSRD).


Shadow Spell: [Su] At Level 10 the Mo7S gains the Ability to use the Shadow Conjuration Spell as a SLA 2 times/(Day. In addition to its normal effects, every time a Mo7S casts a Shadow Conjuration and is in SHadow while doing so, he is healed 3d6+10 Hitpoints.




Spell-Casting: Mo7S gain a limited amount of Spells which they can cast.
Spells can only be chosen only from Abjuration, Divination or Necromancy Schools, free choice from the Wizard/Cleric Lists.
Spells are cast Spontaneously, Casting Stat is the Stat chosen at gaining the Shadows Evasiveness Feat. Bonus Spells/Day calculation works as with the Paladin/Ranger.
Mo7S Spells are always silent and also always (not removable via metamagic) require somatic components.
They do not require Spell Components costing less than 50 Gold. Components of higher value are required normally.





B]DB/Mo7S Spells known[/B]
=======================
Level 1 2 3 4
=======================
1 1 - - -
2 2 - - -
3 2 1 - -
4 3 2 - -
5 3 3 1 -
6 3 3 2 -
7 3 3 3 -
8 3 3 3 1
9 3 3 3 2
10 3 3 3 3








DB/Mo7S Spells/Day
=======================
Level 1 2 3 4
=======================
1 2 - - -
2 3 - - -
3 4 2 - -
4 5 3 - -
5 6 4 2 -
6 6 5 3 -
7 6 6 4 -
8 6 6 5 2
9 6 6 5 3
10 6 6 5 4

JNAProductions
2018-02-25, 02:00 PM
Right... So if I have 1 level of Monk and 10 levels of Mo7S, I'm a level 11 Monk for the purposes of AC and Move Speed. If I have NO Monk levels, I'm instead treated as level 13.

The Unarmed Strike damage can get a little ridiculous. Enter as a 6th level Monk, your base damage is 1d8, meaning your max is 4d6. Add on size enhancers, and you can get pretty ridiculous.

Always striking Touch AC with one less attack is, in general, FAR better than full attacks at regular AC. Like, way better.

Is it a Fortitude save? I would assume so. How long does the Strength damage and Negative level last?

Shadow Form... That's insane. DR is basically irrelevant, since most everyone is striking with magic weapons, but Incorporeality, immunity to crits and precision damage, 70' move speed, and the ability to have unlimited out of combat healing via Inflict Minor Wounds/Dread Necro? That's pretty crazy awesome.

Overall, though? You made a far better Monk without actually addressing a single issue the Monk has. This class is, at low-op, far too good, but once you reach a certain optimization point, it flips to basically irrelevant.

GrayDeath
2018-02-25, 05:04 PM
Right... So if I have 1 level of Monk and 10 levels of Mo7S, I'm a level 11 Monk for the purposes of AC and Move Speed. If I have NO Monk levels, I'm instead treated as level 13.

Yes, unil Level 11 and 12 being a Monk AND Mo7S is worse. Thats intentional, as the styles and philosophies kind of clash (and mechanically I want those of non Monk Origins to not be worse off).
But if you really want all the AC and movement SPeed (the weakest feats of the Monk anyway) you will be Monk 10/Mo7S 10 (or add another PrC.



The Unarmed Strike damage can get a little ridiculous. Enter as a 6th level Monk, your base damage is 1d8, meaning your max is 4d6. Add on size enhancers, and you can get pretty ridiculous.


This class has its own progression. This does not stack with the Monks, you use one or the other. So no matter if youre a Fighter 2/Rogue 3 Mo7S 10 or a Monk 5/Mo7S 10, the bonus is the same. Only Monk AC and Movement stacks with this. After all, I dont want to force people to be a bad Monk to become a Good Monk. ^^
Also in PF, for which this is mainly built, Size Enhancers are harder to come by.
Yet even in full 3.P it pales compared to some more...innovatice Damage builds.




Always striking Touch AC with one less attack is, in general, FAR better than full attacks at regular AC. Like, way better.

It only works in Situations where you could Full Attack, so quite few. But yes, then it is better in many cases (not all Monsters have that much a lower touch attack though. Grantzed, its a Dragon Killer ^^).



Is it a Fortitude save? I would assume so. How long does the Strength damage and Negative level last?


My Mistake, Fixed.



Shadow Form... That's insane. DR is basically irrelevant, since most everyone is striking with magic weapons, but Incorporeality, immunity to crits and precision damage, 70' move speed, and the ability to have unlimited out of combat healing via Inflict Minor Wounds/Dread Necro? That's pretty crazy awesome.


YOu wont achiev eit before Level 13. And at that Level any Caster worth its salt can do worse.
But I realized I did not enter the duration...fixed.




Overall, though? You made a far better Monk without actually addressing a single issue the Monk has. This class is, at low-op, far too good, but once you reach a certain optimization point, it flips to basically irrelevant.


Realoly?

Lets see...

Monk Issues:

Extremely MAD: Slightly reduced in this class, as you can choose the mental stat you need amd dump the rest.

Bad Skill List and too few Out of Combat Usfulness/SKills: Fixed.

Dichotomy of either FLurrying or utilizing fast Movement: Fixed.

Too slow improevement/too little Choice with unarmed Strike? Fixed.

Lack of FLexibility? Fixed due to (minor yet still) Casting and better SKill(pts).

Nonporificiency with Unarmed Strike? Also fixed.

So pray tell, how did I not adress any of the monks problems?

Also I did not build this class for "Borderline TO Usage"
Aside from the fact that with higher Level OP any non full caster Class is useless outside of specific situations anyway.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-26, 12:39 AM
It still is counterintuitive that taking monk levels actually degrades the class abilities. Do you forget how to run fast & dodge, or something?
Also, given that the class already grants AC through Shadow's Evasiveness, I think giving those abilities is just unnecessary overall- the class is good enough without it.

Shadow Monk's Strikes is a really weird way to build unarmed strikes. I'm not convinced that there is a good reason to do it this way, rather than simply progressing monk-type unarmed strikes.

As they are class abilities, the saving throws should be standardized to 10 + (stat) + (level) or 10 + (stat) + (level)/2. As this is a prestige class, the first one is the most appropriate IMO.

Flurry is probably busted in combination with Shadow Strike 3. I can turn one attack of opportunity into up to 6 different attacks, each of which can apply a negative level to my enemy? Or I can, on my turn, apply several attacks which almost always hit, and similarly apply them (Shadow Strike 2)? Also, the interaction between Shadow Strike 2 and virtually any effect that increases attack # is very concerning.

First shadow movement is noticably way better than the other two. Third Shadow's Movement is really weak; Seventh Shadow's Movement is rarely relevant. However, 1st shadow movement turns any fight where you drop a darkness spell into a near-automatic victory.

Shadow Form can't grant DR/Magic or Fire, because Fire is an energy type, not a weapon damage type.

You grant spellcasting at level 1, but don't select a key casting stat until level 2. This leaves the class in rules limbo at level 1.

GrayDeath
2018-02-26, 01:32 PM
It still is counterintuitive that taking monk levels actually degrades the class abilities. Do you forget how to run fast & dodge, or something?
Also, given that the class already grants AC through Shadow's Evasiveness, I think giving those abilities is just unnecessary overall- the class is good enough without it.


Monk gives Wis to AC and has a Monk AC BOnus Progression, this class gives Chosen mental Stat to AC and has a reduced Monk AC Progression. I dont see more power there (not that that would be bad, as Monk sucks^^)
Also no, being a Monk does only make youi worse if you dip it. If you go Monk 10 Mo7S 10 you are better off. It is supposed to show that it takes time and effort to integrate two very different philosophies (and to discourage Dipping).




Shadow Monk's Strikes is a really weird way to build unarmed strikes. I'm not convinced that there is a good reason to do it this way, rather than simply progressing monk-type unarmed strikes.


It is meant to offer both better Progression speed and, more importantly, cusomization. A thing Unarmed COmbat otherwise does not.
So it stays, even if it is a bit finicky.




As they are class abilities, the saving throws should be standardized to 10 + (stat) + (level) or 10 + (stat) + (level)/2. As this is a prestige class, the first one is the most appropriate IMO.


Absolutely true. Will be rectified.




Flurry is probably busted in combination with Shadow Strike 3. I can turn one attack of opportunity into up to 6 different attacks, each of which can apply a negative level to my enemy? Or I can, on my turn, apply several attacks which almost always hit, and similarly apply them (Shadow Strike 2)? Also, the interaction between Shadow Strike 2 and virtually any effect that increases attack # is very concerning.


It specifically states that you cannot use FLurry and Attack Decreasing Moves at the same time. Also it can only be used on your turn, though I DID forget to mention that.
So Shadow Strike 2/3 or AoO`s dont pose a problem with Flurry.
I however overlooked to mention the maximum Number of negative Levels applicable with the skill. Rectified.



First shadow movement is noticably way better than the other two. Third Shadow's Movement is really weak; Seventh Shadow's Movement is rarely relevant. However, 1st shadow movement turns any fight where you drop a darkness spell into a near-automatic victory.


Yes amd mo. It is the only one allowing for a Save.
The other 2 are either allowing you to run wiole stealthed without revealing yourself in any way (quite powerful) or to eprfectly hide in Shadows and do other stuff (situational indeed, yet powerful).
Is the first going to be THE Pick if you focus deadliness? Yes.
So?




Shadow Form can't grant DR/Magic or Fire, because Fire is an energy type, not a weapon damage type.

You grant spellcasting at level 1, but don't select a key casting stat until level 2. This leaves the class in rules limbo at level 1.

Stupid Oversights. Corrected.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-26, 02:41 PM
The fact that a monk dip degrades your class features is still counterintuitive! I'm not worried about a Mo7S 10/Monk 10, I'm worried about a Rogue 5/ Mo7S 10/Monk 1!
The class requires at least rogue 4 to get in, and the BAB requirements mean that rogue 5 is the simplest entry. So then you get your progression in Mo7S sorted out, and you're looking at your next level.
Given how you just spent 10 levels progressing your unarmed strike, you might assume that more monk levels is the way to go, right? WRONG. From your next monk level, you get:
-No more unarmed strike
-Bonus movement actually drops
-AC bonus is actually unchanged, but you won't get more for 4 more levels
-Flurry of blows, but unless you're abusing the interaction with SS2 and SS3, you already have Flurry.
-One bonus feat.
This level is worse than multiclassing to Fighter! Your next level, Monk 2, gives you... your 10 ft of movement back- you already had evasion through rogue levels. Oh, and you got a bonus feat. Still worse than multiclassing to Fighter.
At 3rd level, you're up to your old effective Bonus Movement level. And you got +2 to Will saves. Hooray. This is 18th level, and your past 3 levels have been virtually dead.

In addition, given that the class already has an AC bonus inherently, there is no reason to give them another one, much less one with bizarre rules for multiclassing.
There's just no reason to keep it in!
Oh, and you get the Wisdom to AC off Bonus AC anyway, even if you don't have monk levels, and it stacks. They're part of the same feature.



It is meant to offer both better Progression speed and, more importantly, cusomization. A thing Unarmed COmbat otherwise does not.
So it stays, even if it is a bit finicky.
I feel that
a) Having a class that is not focused on unarmed strikes have a faster progression than the monk's is not good class design
b) If you want to develop customization of unarmed strikes, it should be implemented within the base monk first or in addition
c) Your system for customizing unarmed strikes does not offer particularly good diversity of options, with the two "best" builds being max damage or max crits.


t specifically states that you cannot use FLurry and Attack Decreasing Moves at the same time. Also it can only be used on your turn, though I DID forget to mention that.
So Shadow Strike 2/3 or AoO`s dont pose a problem with Flurry.
Yes, but I can use Flurry of Blows off my monk levels, or two-weapon fighting with two fists, or haste, or any number of ways to give extra attacks, and basically ignore the attack penalties through Shadow Strike 2. At which point Shadow Strike 3 becomes overwhelming.
Capping the negative levels gained is something- I can still automatically take down many foes through strength damage relatively easily, but at least the AoOs have been patched out.

Also also, Flurry seems to work fine with SS3, unless I'm missing something?



Upon review, I missed Hide in Plain Sight at level 4, which makes the Third Shadow Movement usable. Not great, but usable. You can run around in plain sight twice as fast.... or you could win literally every fight in which you can use Darkness.
7th shadow movement is still pretty terrible, though. For it to be useful, it requires that:
-There is darkness available
-You do literally nothing except a 5-ft step, so unless there's an unbroken path to your target full of darkness, you can't get there.
-You have the time to travel at the rate of 5 ft per round
-You couldn't sneak through normally, using your normal stealth skills and Hide in Plain Sight, faster and easier, maybe with an Invisibility spell and Nystul's Magic Aura ongoing
-Once you get to your chosen location, the area where you're hiding remains in darkness, because unless I miss my mark, a simple Light spell instantly wrecks you

GrayDeath
2018-02-27, 01:54 PM
Some valid pts, but I am horribly tired atm.
Gonna edit this post tomorrowish to answer your points.

Just stating up front that YES, you miss something, as both SS2 and 3 ar eincomatible with flurry, as they require focus/concentration on their strikes and second: what makes you think this class is NOT geared towards Unarmed strikes?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-27, 03:49 PM
I didn't realize I had to read flavor text to interpret rules text, no.
My points re: TWF/Speed weapons/Monk flurry + SS2 + SS3 holds, though.


Unarmed strikes?
There is precisely one other feature in this entire class that cares about unarmed strikes- Shadow Form.
Everything else cares about melee attacks, generically.

The fact that one feature makes it get unarmed strike, even if it's faster than a monk, does not make the class as a whole about unarmed strikes.
The class as a whole is very well tuned towards stealth and moderate spellcasting, decent at defense between its AC bonus/speed/shadow form plus abjurations, and pretty good at wearing people down through SS3 strikes and necromancy spells.
The number of features that relate to unarmed strikes are far outnumbered by those that don't.

GrayDeath
2018-03-01, 05:06 PM
I`ll rework the Shadow Strikes so that they only work unarmed. That in coombination with their "Wither FLurry OR use them should keep them balanced, gice the class a clearer focus, and remove misunderstandings.

Not now though, dang tired....:)

GrayDeath
2018-03-02, 09:28 AM
Removed the problematic parts, increased necessity for Unarmed Strike Usage.

Should do what I intended now. :)