View Full Version : Fist of the Forest

2008-03-30, 06:36 PM
All this talk of monks got me to looking at various monk builds. How would one go about making a Fist of the Forest to his best ability... Would you do all monk? Monk/Barbarian or Monk/Ranger?

I was thinking of Monk/Barbarian (3/2 maybe).

Feats useful? Snap Kick? Superior Unarmed Strike?

I submit to you, lords of the optimize. *worship*

2008-03-30, 06:38 PM
Monk/Barbarian? How are you pulling that alignment off exactly? :smallconfused:

2008-03-30, 06:41 PM
By taking some XP penalty (or not if Human)...

Just go chaotic...


A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk but retains all monk abilities.

2008-03-30, 06:42 PM
Your lawfully chaotic silly :smallbiggrin:

2008-03-30, 06:43 PM
Handwave Barbarian reqs? I was never convinced on lawfulness being bad after I saw Mr. Furious in Mystery Men :smallbiggrin:

2008-03-30, 06:45 PM
Monk 4/Barbarian 1 (Spirit Lion Totem Variant)/Fist of the Forest 3/Drunken Master 10/*Something* 2

That would be fun, I think.

2008-03-30, 06:46 PM
Add in Deepwarden.
Some levels in Warblade for Concentration check over saves is handy
Depending on DM, feral trance may qualify you for Warshaper... which is yum.
Otherwise to qualify for warshaper try Berserk 4 (reasonable BAB/Rage Like Abilities and that transformation). Otherwise primeval.

Ordered Chaos allows you to qualify as lawfull and chaotic (if you want the barb/monk thing)

2008-03-30, 06:49 PM
You don't lose your monk abilities if you stop being lawful, you just can't advance as monk any more.

Not a big deal since the combo of Monk 4 (With Superior Unarmed Strike) + Fist of the Forest 3 would be 2d6 damage on unarmed strikes. Big ole greatsword fists :)

And if you're a spirit totem variant barbarian... you can pounce... and if you're a drunken master... you dont have to charge in a straight line. Woohoo!

2008-03-30, 06:50 PM
Well you can either give up some parts of each class after an alignment shift, or go Chaos Monk from some Dragon I think.

In many ways, Chaos Monk is superior to regular Monk.

My build would probably be something like:

Sorcerer 1 with Precocious Apprentice/Chaos Monk 2 with asectic whatever/Whirling Frenzy Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Hexblade 3/redemption leading into Paladin of Freedom 2/Fist of the Forest X.

Cha to AC, Con to AC, Cha to saves (twice versus spells), Mettle, Evasion, Unarmed damage, pounce, and chaos monk version of flurry (different from regular) plus Whirling Frenzy.

This is assuming that Fist of the Forest AC stacks with regular Monk AC, if it doesn't then don't take any Monk levels.

2008-03-30, 08:19 PM
With a little bit of browsing, I have come up with the following...

Monk 4/Barbarian 2/Fist of the Forest 3/Thief Acrobat 2/Drunken Master 9

Variant Abilities
Monk - Cobra Strike Style (Unearthed Arcana)
Monk - Wall Walker (Dungeonscape)
Barbarian - Spirit Lion Totem (Complete Champion)

Great Fortitude, Dodge*, Mobility*, Superior Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Feint*, Improved Grapple*, and a lot more.

(*=Bonus Feat)

Unarmed Damage: 3d6, Counts as magical and lesser ghost touch
Improvised Weapons: 1d12+Unarmed Damage
Dex, Wis and Con to AC
AC bonus from classes: +2 from Drunken Master, +1 From Thief Acrobat
Movement: +20 (10 from monk, 10 from Fist of the Forest)
Rage: +4 Str/Con, -2 AC
Feral Trance: +4 Dex, +2 Unarmed Strike Damage, Bite Attack (1d6+str)
Improved Uncanny Dodge

EDIT: Oops, forgot that spirit lion variant costs barbarian fast movement. Fixed!

2008-03-30, 09:06 PM
I've already got this build done (you can get rid of Bear Warrior if you want, but then you have to get rid of Warshaper too): monk 3/barb 2/FotF3/BW 5/WS 4/Witchslayer 2 (or something else that gets mettle). Laugh as enemies try to take you down, but fail to your insane AC, saves, and HP, and fail at affecting you with any spell due to your mettle and evasion! Oh, and did I mention that you turn into a BEAR! Deal huge damage with your US as well, taking a monk's belt, SUS, and a Monk's Tattoo.

Monk 3/barb 2 is what I'd do, even without the soulless killing machine build.

2008-03-30, 09:22 PM
Honestly, I've always figured that using monk to get into the fist of the forest class was a bit of wasted potential, considering how you can avoid monk entirely, but whatever floats your boat.

You should definitely at least look at frostrager if you're going to be a barbarian character using unarmed strikes, the 5th level rending ability alone is utterly destructive and it enhances your existing rage rather than replacing it. Totem rager from magic of incarnum also gives some nice bonuses, but it isn't full BAB.

and Dman, you might want to look at Primeval (frostburn) as a possible replacement for bear warrior. The requirements are tougher, but the overall payoff is very nice, and you don't have to wait until halfway through to get a decent shape.

2008-03-30, 10:16 PM
The great part about taking it as a monk is: free IUS, and damage dice increase (not increase in monk level). That equates to a much greater return than just granting a 1d8 or d10 damage.

And I know of Primeval, but it doesn't work for this due to the requirements and...something else. I can't remember, but half a year ago when I made this build it didn't work for some reason. And the first shape is alright: you get +8 str. Frostrager can fill in the empty levels at the end of the build. Or more monk, or a LA. Or it can replace Bear Warrior (sniff, warshaper is so nice for this: +4 str and +4 con (thus +2 AC), and immunity to crits, and reach) and Warshaper. There's a lot of liberty to be had with it.

2008-03-30, 10:24 PM
The build I made up (which was actually intended to make VoP for a melee character good rather than meh) was ranger 1/fighter 2/barbarian 1/fist of the forest 3/ranger +2/primeval 9/warshaper 2. It's not as optimized as it could be, certainly, but shapechanging into a dire bat negates the 'flight' portion of VoP and is decent stats-wise.

Ended up having +19 str, +17 dex, +13 con, +3 wis, +13 natural armor and -3 to intelligence and charisma without adding in the VoP bonuses or rage/feral trance.

2008-03-30, 11:06 PM
Not bad. See, I like the monk (though the class lacks) so I try to fit in 2 levels into my unarmed builds. And the problem with your build (though the stat adjustments are alright) is that unarmed damage is only 2d6 (3d6 with INA). If you get rid of two ranger levels (why three anyways?) you can take SUS and deal as a level 6 monk, huge (INA+Warshaper). That's...oh, it's the same. But this way you get evasion.

Well, your build is nice. I might take some elements of it sometime (I've been wanting to play a primeval anyway). I've also wanted to do my bear build with VoP, but occasion has not arisen. Heck, I'll settle for any FotF build with VoP.

2008-03-31, 07:21 AM
If I give up monk, I have to go a different direction than Drunken Master... I'll have to take a look at frost rager to see what tasty things come from an unarmed barbarian. :)

2008-03-31, 08:03 AM
I submit to you, lords of the optimize. *worship*

If Person_Man doesn't mind, allow me to put up the Obligatory "Frozen Dwarf Hulk Smash" link:


2008-03-31, 08:11 AM
Wow, that's taking it to a whole new level.

2008-03-31, 08:56 AM
If Person_Man doesn't mind, allow me to put up the Obligatory "Frozen Dwarf Hulk Smash" link:


I don't mind. It's good to see my weak but fun builds still get some play on the boards.

I'm surprised no one linked to my TWF post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4072995&postcount=40) (which I basically just update and repost when the TWF topic comes up, which is every month). Scroll down to "unarmed damage." 12d8 unarmed damage by ECL 12ish with built in uber grapple ability.

2008-03-31, 08:59 AM
Superior Unarmed Strike and Monk's Belt don't stack... but that's still impressive unarmed damage nonetheless.

I'm really liking this double con to ac. Make a dwarf Monk/barbarian/deepwarden/fist of the forest ... you'd get CONx2 and Wis to ac. Focus on Con, Wis and Str. Dump dex, int and cha. Tasty.

2008-03-31, 11:06 AM
They do, as there is nothing that says they don't, yadda yadda. About 50-60% of people think they do stack (and have evidence, though circumstantial, supporting it) and 50-40% say they don't, and also have the evidence (though circumstantial). There is nothing concrete on either side (except maybe an FAQ that says they do), so it's DM's call.

The problem with dumping dex: reflex saves. And initiative. My build (using Mongrelfolk, I love that race) got dex 20@20, because (30 PB) he started with a 14 and got a +6 item. Con started with a 14 (thus 18) and received no boost other than a +4 tome and a +6 item, str started at 16, and got +5 levels, +5 tome, and +6 item. Wis same as dex, int got a 10, thus 8, charisma: 4. Glorious thing to RP in social situations. I'm as charismatic as a squid!

2008-03-31, 12:13 PM
I must have been the only one who thought fist of the forest meant shapeshifting druid/monk build...


2008-03-31, 12:40 PM
Hey, Mongrefolk from Races of Destiny might be good for this... +4 to Con, anyone?

2008-03-31, 01:06 PM
Hey, Mongrefolk from Races of Destiny might be good for this... +4 to Con, anyone?

Do they get a wisdom penalty? I know they get a heavy CHA penalty... but monks don't need charisma. I don't need to be pretty to punch you in the face.

2008-03-31, 02:07 PM
Do they get a wisdom penalty? I know they get a heavy CHA penalty... but monks don't need charisma. I don't need to be pretty to punch you in the face.

Nope, according to Races of Destiny they've got +4 Con, -2 Int, -4 Cha and then a bunch of other little bonuses. Sounds pretty decent to me for this kind of build, since you don't really lose anything. And it's LA +0, so no need to worry about that.

2008-03-31, 02:08 PM
That does sound fairly perfect.

2008-03-31, 02:43 PM
The problem is, then you need to take Stoneblessed to go Deep Warden, which is a Dwarf-only class.