View Full Version : A katana-wielding monk! [Build] Help!

2008-01-20, 10:28 PM
I am trying to figure out the best monk combination to two weapon fight with a katana in one hand and his body with the other "hand." I like the feats that stack levels for determining unarmed strike damage but I can't really find a combination of those feats to have a great outcome. I also really like grapple, trip, disarm, and all the like. But anyways, any and all help would be awesome, even just a helping hand to guide me to the feats to make all this work would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time and effort!

2008-01-20, 10:39 PM
So, basically, you want two-weapon fighting, with a katana in the main-hand, and using your off-hand as a second weapon?

It seems to me that your best bet would be playing a variant of a Monk, with the Denying Stance (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#denyingStance) fighting style, and then using your other feats to get the various two-weapon fighting feats, but you'd also have to take another Weapon Proficiency feat just to use the katana. If you'd be willing to take, say, a kama or a sai? That would leave you with an extra feat.

I'm afraid I'm not much help with this, but it seems like too much work, personally. If you want to roleplay it, it'd be great, but it seems like you want this to be a "better combat" sort of thing.

2008-01-20, 10:45 PM
There's Whirling Steel Strike (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Whirling_Steel_Strike,ECS) (ECS) and Ascetic Hunter (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Ascetic_Hunter,CAd) (CAd).

Ranger 1/Monk 4/Ranger X might not be the best build in the world, but if you grab the "Favored Enemy--Arcanist" option from Complete Mage, it shouldn't be too bad.

2008-01-20, 10:46 PM
I do really wanna roleplay it, but I just don't want to hamper the party, and I just really like special combat actions:smallbiggrin:. However, thank you for your help!

2008-01-20, 10:49 PM
You want special combat actions, and to fight with main hand katana/ off-hand unarmed?

Swordsage. Diamond Mind, EWP, Snap Kick.

2008-01-20, 11:05 PM
Can you pick Improved Unarmed Strike and TWF, use your Katana in both hands and do the unarmed part with kicks?

Reel On, Love
2008-01-20, 11:07 PM
I do really wanna roleplay it, but I just don't want to hamper the party, and I just really like special combat actions:smallbiggrin:. However, thank you for your help!

Basically, you're screwed. You need a high dexterity for the Two-Weapon Fighting chain (and will be getting -4 AB from TWF and Flurry), but you need a high STR to hit with your katana since you can't apply Weapon Finesse to it.

What you should do is play an Unarmed-variant Swordsage from the Tome of Battle.

2008-01-20, 11:14 PM
Two-Weapon fighting isn't worth it unless you have a good source of bonus damage(such as sneak attack), and monks don't really have that.

Reel On, Love
2008-01-20, 11:16 PM
However, simulated TWF via Swordsage maneuvers such as Wolf Fang Strike and Dancing/Raging Mongoose is just fine.

2008-01-21, 12:00 AM
Sounds like you are heading down the path of my current character. He is a lawful neutral half-orc who spent his early years among his Orc father's clan, his teen years as a page/aide de camp to an Ogre Magi during a war, and then several years in a human monastary.

I am role playing him as a very lawful and thoughtful warrior. More strategist than barbarian.

He is a fighter that took the following feats:

Two-weapon fighting
Improved Unarmed combat
Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Katana)

At early levels, this is a fine combo if you have a good strength and dex, as I used the katana and wakizashi for TWF. The extra attack from your off-hand is decent damage when it hits. However, as I progressed in levels, I have taken Power Attack and switched to Two-Handed Fighting, as the damage output is just so much better than with the TWF style. (Technically, you can actually use THF with your katana and use a foot, knee, etc. for your TWF attack, but in our campaign it became a bit overkill, so I relegated my character to just the THF attacks.) I have since multi-classed into Warblade to add a bit more flavor to the character and more versatility to his attacks.

There is nothing to say you couldn't also pursue Combat Expertise and Improved Trip and Disarm progressing as a fighter. With such a build you may not have an overly optimized fighter, but he will have a lot of the flavor you are interested in. If your group plays with fairly optimized characters I would recommend building a Swordsage with the Setting Sun and Shadow Hand disciplines.

Good luck,


2008-01-21, 12:06 AM
How many levels do you have to play with? This is important because there is a prestige class called the Shou Disciple which gets at 5th level of the PrC Martial flurry - any. Allowing you to flurry with any martial weapon. Since katana is a bastard sword you could use it with such. Plus if you play with regional feats you would be able to start with a MW Katana too. Catch is you need a +5 BAB so you'd need at least 8 levels to even come close.

D Knight
2008-01-21, 12:15 AM
Catch is you need a +5 BAB so you'd need at least 8 levels to even come close.

its not lv 8 but level 7 that has bab of +5.so that mean one more lv to play around with.

2008-01-21, 12:21 AM
Your right level 7 to get the +5BAB but then level 8 to get the first level of Shou Disciple.

2008-01-21, 01:51 PM
Well, you can't perform Flurry of Blows or Stunning Fist with a katana (bastard sword). But you have many other options:

1) Be something else (Swordsage, Fighter, OA Samurai) entirely and call yourself a Monk. This is what I suggest doing.

2) Pick up a few levels of Monk for the bonus feats and then head into something else. I personally think that this is a cop out, since you're essentially doing the same thing as choice number 1. Wordmiser's suggetion is a solid one. Though I would throw in a few levels of Stalker of Kharash from Book of Exalted Deeds so that you can get Favored Enemy (Evil).

3) Use a really weird combo: Monk 6/Disciple of the Eye (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060106a&page=2) 5/Warmind (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/warMind.htm) 9
Pick up the PHBII Monk Flurry/Decisive Strike variant. You get fewer attacks, but each will deal double damage. Use unarmed attacks for all of these strikes (feet, elbows, headbutt, etc.)

Pick up the Karmic Strike feat (Comp Warrior, and eventually Robilar's Gambit from PHBII). Now whenever someone hits you in melee, you get a free attack of opportunity on them. Use your katana two handed. Thanks to Decisive Strike, each attack of opportunity deals double damage. AoO do not have the Monk Flurry weapon restrictions.

Disciple of the Eye will give you Fear attacks, which will cause enemies to run away (generating further double damage AoO). It also stacks to determine your Flurry/Decisive Strike ability.

War Mind will give you Sweeping Strike and access to Expansion (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/psionicPowersDtoF.html#expansion), to improve your reach and damage.


Tokiko Mima
2008-01-21, 02:23 PM
Personally, I would use a Swordsage or Warblade for what your are talking about.

As far as feat, you might wanna think about Snap Kick and Superior Unarmed Strike, both from the Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords. Snap Kick is kind of like Flurry of Blows, except it can done on a stardard action attack as well as a full attack with non-monk weapons, and the -2 attack penalty doesn't gradually lessen. Superior Unarmed Strike adds 5 to your level for the purposes of determining unarmed damage.

Seriously consider Swordsage, though. At level two you can pick Diamond Mind as your discipline focus feat and get Weapon Focus (katana) for free. Pick the Unarmed Swordsage varient and you even get Unarmed Strike as a monk!