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    Default (3.5) What's a good trade for monklike attacks/AC?

    I'm putting together a few characters meant to be skilled martial artists without the well-trodden thread that is the monk, which got me to thinking just what the monk's combat skills were worth in terms of weapon and armor skills. Would fists fit well on another class in lieu of martial weapons, etc.

    So would it be reasonable to swap out martial weapon equips for a monk's unarmed damage, flurry, and ki strike? What level armor profs for Wis and (level/5) to AC? Or should I look for other ways to give kung-fu to classes that could actually make use of it?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (3.5) What's a good trade for monklike attacks/AC?

    There are two RAW ways to do this:

    1. the Unarmed Swordsage, a variant presented in Tome of Battle. It gives up the Swordsage's armour proficiency in favour of Monky damage progression.

    2. the Tashalatora, a feat from Secrets of Sarlosa (I think?), which gives monk progression to a single psionic class that you've selected. Psychic Warrior is popular for this.


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    Default Re: (3.5) What's a good trade for monklike attacks/AC?

    This won't scale, but there's always the Monk's Belt. Technically anyone can be a martial artist, at least a 5th level martial artist.

    Belt, Monk’s

    This simple rope belt, when wrapped around a character’s waist, confers great ability in unarmed combat. The wearer’s AC and unarmed damage is treated as a monk of five levels higher. If donned by a character with the Stunning Fist feat, the belt lets her make one additional stunning attack per day. If the character is not a monk, she gains the AC and unarmed damage of a 5th-level monk. This AC bonus functions just like the monk’s AC bonus.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What's a good trade for monklike attacks/AC?

    Virtually every Monk class ability can be gained with Feats or low level magic, which is why the class is so weak.
    • Bonus Feats: Feats
    • Wis to AC: Monk's Belt
    • Movement Bonus: Alter Self, Expeditious Retreat, various magic items.
    • Unarmed Damage Bonus: Anything that increases size.
    • Flurry of Blows: Anything that adds extra attacks.
    • Abundant Step: Dimension Door.
    • Diamond Soul: Spellward Shirt Soulmeld, Spell Resistance spell, various +1ish LA templates.
    • Stunning Fist uses: Anything that grants a Stun or Daze effect (the latter being more useful). Generally 3ish feats or 3rd level or higher spells.


    So I would allow tradeoffs using the above as benchmarks.

    But note that several Monk abilities are functionally disadvantages, not abilities. Wis to AC is worse then heavy armor proficiency, in that heavy armor can be enchanted in a much cheaper and more versatile way, whereas your Wisdom bonus is quite expensive to improve. Ditto for Unarmed Strikes vs. magic weapons. Flurry of Blows limits you to certain weapons (none of them reach weapons by default) and one-handed-ness, which limits Power Attack. So trading X class feature for Y Monk ability is probably making your build weaker, not stronger. It also doesn't add anything to the martial artsy-ness of the class, as any class can be roleplayed that way without nerfing it's abilities.

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    Default Re: (3.5) What's a good trade for monklike attacks/AC?

    Most of the above doesn't actually work, but it's off topic anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    I'm putting together a few characters meant to be skilled martial artists without the well-trodden thread that is the monk, which got me to thinking just what the monk's combat skills were worth in terms of weapon and armor skills. Would fists fit well on another class in lieu of martial weapons, etc.

    So would it be reasonable to swap out martial weapon equips for a monk's unarmed damage, flurry, and ki strike? What level armor profs for Wis and (level/5) to AC? Or should I look for other ways to give kung-fu to classes that could actually make use of it?
    Since unarmed damage is less than weapon damage, this is a flaw not a benefit. It must be combined with stunning fist or grappling to be of any use. In which case you might as well dip monk.

    Likewise wis to AC is still less AC than having armor, and is a flaw unless combined with other class features that require you to be armor-less.

    So you actually need to give such a class extras that make him want to accept the reduced damage and AC. Do check for potential multiclassing abuse of your class with another unarmored class, as that might give double the special abilities for the same cost.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2010-07-30 at 02:03 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) What's a good trade for monklike attacks/AC?

    The problem with emulating the monk through gear like the Monk's Belt is that by the time such things become reasonably affordable, you can completely ignore their impact. While my goal is to make the guy who punches things really hard at least somewhat on par with the guy who hits things with a big axe from early on in the game. Preferably as an easy trade-out rather than focusing on it as the whole class.

    Unarmored could probably be fixed with UA's defense bonuses, actually, but that still leaves out some form of damage equalizer. Are there any good and reasonably cheap boosters for unarmed damage, or is this something I'll have to work out by myself?

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