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    Default [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Introduction!
    Ok, yeah, we're all tired of monk fixes, and I feel kinda really terrible that I'm posting one (something I swore I wouldn't ever do). However, I feel that I've really hit on something good here, and I wanted to get some more feedback for it.

    The core concept is that this is a parkour artist mixed with a martial artist. I built the entire class around that idea. Its hardly perfect though, and has a stupidly annoying dead level at 17 that I just can't figure out what to fill it with.

    Also, note on the mechanics:
    -Athletics, Acrobatics, Perception, and Stealth are combo skills (Climb/Jump/Swim, Tumble/Balance/Escape Artist, Listen/Spot, and Hide/Move Silently, respectively).
    -Battle Meditation is actually Iaijutsu Focus.
    -The Will save is the average progression, which I personally like using.
    -The flavor is mutable, and you can ignore it if you wish. If you'd like to know what the hell I'm talking about, check out the Traveler's Guide in my sig. I love more feedback.

    Without further ado, here it is!

    The Monk
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    By JasonEngle of deviantArt

    Movement is key. Anything can be defeated with the proper motion.
    -Water-Upon-Rock, Monk of the Unending Road

    Considered stodgy, doddering old keepers of knowledge now useless by many until recently, the Monks of the Unending Road were originally a monastic order dedicated to the preservation of all martial arts for future generations. However, as the years passed, and knowledge of the order waned, the guardians grew dispossessed with their ancient charge. They eventually decided that the best thing to do was to synergize all the styles they were charged with guardianship of. Over the centuries, they trained relentlessly to produce a unified style, and when the Shadowstar Wars loomed, the Monks of the Unending Road stood ready. Today, the monastery trains all those that come to it seeking to learn.

    These are the Monks of the Unending Road, and this is their power.

    Abilities: Dexterity is the most critical ability score for monks, followed closely by Strength. Constitution is useful, but non-critical, as good monks shouldn't be getting hit much anyways.

    Role: Monks are martialists, but are poor at standing on the front-lines. Monks are better as mobile strikers, dealing damage and getting away to come back again later for more.

    Background: Monks are universally trained by the Monastery of the Unending Road or by someone who was trained there. The arts of the monk do not spontaneously self-generate.

    Organization: Monks are not actually beholden to the Monastery, though it always welcomes brothers back into the fold. The Monastery, being independent of any nation, has little political clout and offers few services, beyond room and board for monks. There is an unspoken brotherhood between monks in the world though, and many of them come to each other's aid.

    Alignment: Monks can be of any alignment, though they tend strongly towards law, as befits their origins in an ordered monastery.

    Races: The Monastery of the Unending Road admits any supplicant and is massive, occupying most of the interior of a mountain. Any race can be found within its walls.

    Religion: Monks tend to worship gods of law and order, or at least of martialism. Hawkmoon, Donblas, Xiombarg, Vghotan, and the Dark Prince are all common gods for monks to follow.

    Other Classes: Monks, as skilled martialists and very nimble individuals, are regarded much like rogues and scouts by other classes. Monks are somewhat not combat-capable though, and garner a bit more respect than rogues and scouts tend to receive.

    Hit Die: d8. Monks don't like being hit, but can take a slug or two before collapsing.

    Starting Gold: 3d4x10 gp

    Class Features

    Class Skills: The Monk's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (history, local, religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Autohypnosis (Wis), and Battle Meditation (Cha).

    Skill Points at First Level: (4+Int Mod)x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4+Int Mod
    {table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
    Speed Bonus
    |
    AC Bonus

    1st|+1|+0|+2|+1|Flowing Strike, Unarmed Strike|
    10'
    |
    +1

    2nd|+2|+0|+3|+1|Agile Combatant, Bonus Feat|
    10'
    |
    +1

    3rd|+3|+1|+3|+2|Athletic Superiority|
    10'
    |
    +2

    4th|+4|+1|+4|+2|Acrobatic Superiority|
    20'
    |
    +2

    5th|+5|+1|+4|+3|Perpetual Motion|
    20'
    |
    +3

    6th|+6/+1|+2|+5|+3|Pounce, Bonus Feat|
    20'
    |
    +3

    7th|+7/+2|+2|+5|+3|Vanishing Step|
    30'
    |
    +4

    8th|+8/+3|+2|+6|+4|Athletic Superiority|
    30'
    |
    +4

    9th|+9/+4|+3|+6|+4|Acrobatic Superiority|
    30'
    |
    +5

    10th|+10/+5|+3|+7|+5|It's Not The Destination, Bonus Feat|
    40'
    |
    +5

    11th|+11/+6/+1|+3|+7|+5|Contrail|
    40'
    |
    +6

    12th|+12/+7/+2|+4|+8|+6|Barrel Roll|
    40'
    |
    +6

    13th|+13/+8/+3|+4|+8|+6|Athletic Superiority|
    50'
    |
    +7

    14th|+14/+9/+4|+4|+9|+6|Bonus Feat, Acrobatic Superiority|
    50'
    |
    +7

    15th|+15/+10/+5|+5|+9|+7|Inexorable Progress|
    50'
    |
    +8

    16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+5|+10|+7|Meteoric Strike|
    60'
    |
    +8

    17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+8|Fast As Lightning|
    60'
    |
    +9

    18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+8|Bonus Feat, Athletic Superiority|
    60'
    |
    +9

    19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+8|Acrobatic Superiority|
    70'
    |
    +10

    20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+9|The Unending Road|
    70'
    |
    +10

    [/table]

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with unarmed strikes, gauntlets (all varieties), daggers, punching daggers, sickles, quarterstaves, darts, slings, kukris, kamas, sais, nunchaku, sianghams, whips, bolas, nets, shuriken, hand razors*, tunnel blades*, switchblades*, armblades*, double daggers*, double ulus*, war talons*, and hook and daggers*. They are proficient with no armor.

    Note: The weapons marked with an * are from here.

    Speed Bonus (Ex): Monks of the Unending Road, as befits their style, learn to accelerate their movements at all times, the better to hunt down and destroy their foes. They gain the listed bonus to their movement speed as an enhancement bonus.

    AC Bonus (Ex): The arts of the monk include basic dodge training, as good monks should avoid being hit at all times. The monk gains the listed amount as a dodge bonus to their AC.

    Flowing Strike (Ex): The most basic of the techniques of the Unending Road, the technique of the flowing strike is what gives monks their reputation as agile, leaping combatants. Monks add their class level as a circumstance bonus to melee attack and damage rolls made after moving at least 10 ft in a round.

    Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, the monk gains the Improved Unarmed Strike and Superior Unarmed Strike feats as bonus feats, regardless of if he meets the prerequisites.

    CRITICAL NOTE: The Superior Unarmed Strike feat adds to his damage rolls, since he is not a normal D&D 3.5 monk and has no unarmed damage progression to advance.

    Agile Combatant (Ex): Monks are supple and know how to use the environment to their advantage. They may ignore movement penalties from terrain.

    Bonus Feat: At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, monks gain a bonus feat. This feat must be taken from the Fighter bonus feat list (ie. any feat with the [Fighter] tag), and the monk must qualify for the feat.

    Athletic Superiority (Ex): Monks are tough and fast, but more than that, they are excellent movers. At 3rd level, and every 5 levels thereafter, monks may select one ability from the list below, and add it to the list of abilities that the Athletics skill can be used for.
    • Athletics Focus: The monk selects a sub-category of Athletics (jumping, climbing, or swimming). The monk gains a +4 to all Athletics checks related to that sub-category. Additionally, the monk gains a 1/day reroll of a failed Athletics check related to that sub-category. This ability can be selected more than once, but must be applied to a different sub-category each time.
    • Double Jump: When making an Athletics check to jump, the monk may opt to make a second Athletics check at the end of their first one's movement. If they do, they take a -10 to that check, but jump further, as per the second check's result. The second check is part of the same movement and action as the first check.
    • Battle Leap: The monk can, at the end of an Athletics check made to jump, make a single melee attack. If the monk successfully jumps at least 10 ft, this attack counts as a charge and if the monk has Pounce and a sufficient base attack bonus, he may make a full attack instead of a single attack. If the monk successfully jumps at least 20 ft, the attack is not only a charge, but deals double damage (if it is a full attack, only the first attack to hit deals double damage).
    • Wall Jump: As a full-round action, the monk may attempt to make a chain of Athletics checks to scale a walled area very rapidly. This can only be done if at least two walls exist to jump between. The monk makes an Athletics check for climbing to begin the attempt. Once the monk is at least 10 ft off the ground, he may make an Athletics check to jump to a nearby wall, then rapidly jump off of it back to the original wall, and continue in this fashion (making an Athletics check each time) until he is out of walls to use in this fashion. If the monk fails a jumping check, he can make a final Athletics check to cling to the wall (ending the attempt; this check is as per the check to climb the surface normally, but at an additional -10 for the momentum of jumping back and forth rapidly). If he fails the recovery, he falls the full distance and his action is wasted.
    • Water Warrior: When making an Athletics check to swim, the monk may opt to take a penalty of -10 in order to keep their hands free. While doing so, they can move at no more than one-quarter of their speed, but they may fight unhindered. While in water in this fashion, the monk does not gain their Dexterity to their Armor Class, but is not considered flat-footed.
    • Long Breath: The monk can hold their breath for up to four times their Constitution modifier, even while fighting (such as with Water Warrior, above).
    • Rocks Fall: The monk can attack from above, falling like a stone onto their foes. The monk may make a special bull rush attack from at least 20 ft above their target. To do so, they make an Athletics check as they jump downwards at the target. This Athletics check takes the place of the monk's Strength check in the bull rush. For each 5 ft the target would be moved, they instead are pile-driven into the ground, taking 2d6 damage and being immobilized for one round/square that they would normally be moved (so, if the monk would normally move them 3 squares, the target would instead take 6d6 damage and be immobilized for 3 rounds). The monk does suffer an attack of opportunity for this attempt.


    Acrobatic Superiority (Ex): Monks are tough and fast, but more than that, they are excellent movers. At 4th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, monks may select one ability from the list below, and add it to the list of abilities that the Acrobatics skill can be used for.
    • Acrobatics Focus: The monk selects a sub-category of Acrobatics (tumbling, balancing, or escaping). The monk gains a +4 to all Acrobatics checks related to that sub-category. Additionally, the monk gains a 1/day reroll of a failed Acrobatics check related to that sub-category. This ability can be selected more than once, but must be applied to a different sub-category each time.
    • Ghost Flanker: When in melee with an opponent who the monk is not flanking, the monk may, as a standard action, make an Acrobatics check of DC 25. If they make the check, they can make a single melee attack, and be treated as flanking, even though no other creature is involved, for that attack. If they fail the check, they still gain an attack, but they don't gain the benefit, and are treated as flat-footed for that opponent's next turn.
    • Superior Ghost Flanker (requires Ghost Flanker): As Ghost Flanker, but is a full-round action and grants a full attack.
    • Tumbling Defense: Once/encounter, the monk may attempt an Acrobatics check as an immediate action when attacked. The check is rolled, and the result functions as the monk's AC against that attack, for better or worse.
    • The Magician: When entrapped by magical bonds of any kind, the monk may attempt an Acrobatics check to escape them in place of the appropriate saving throw for that effect. The DC for this Acrobatics check is twice the save DC of the spell.
    • Bladerunner: When the monk is in melee with a creature two or more size categories larger than he is, he may attempt an Acrobatics check as a full-round action to climb the creature by running up an arm or blade, and make an attack against them from in their space. This check has a DC of their Armor Class, and this use of Acrobatics provokes an attack of opportunity. If the check succeeds, the monk enters the creature's space and can make a single melee attack that deals double damage. The monk then exits their space into any adjacent square, ending the action.
    • Like the Wind: Monks are unsubtle combatants, striking hard and fast at their targets, but some few monks believe in the idea of trickery in battle. During a charge, the monk may make a feint attempt against the target of the charge, using his Acrobatics check in place of a Bluff check. Otherwise, this feint works as normal.


    Perpetual Motion (Ex): Monks are masters of movement and of the use of movement in battle. As a full-round action, a monk can move up to his speed and make a single melee attack at the end of the movement (gaining flowing strike regardless of the distance moved; this is a special exemption for that ability). Then, after the first attack, the monk may move up to his speed again, and make a second melee attack. This attack gains twice the benefit from flowing strike (ie. it gains a bonus on attack and damage rolls equal to twice the monks level). None of the movement of Perpetual Motion provokes attacks of opportunity, the monk must move at least 5 feet each time, and the attacks must be taken against different targets

    Pounce (Ex): At 6th level, the monk gains the pounce special ability, permitting him to full attack at the end of a charge.

    Vanishing Step (Sp): At 7th level, the monk gains the ability to teleport short distances in what is one of their only truly supernatural effects. The monk can cast dimension door as a standard action once/day/two monk levels with a caster level equal to their monk level. This use of dimension door does not trigger that spell's clause as regards to losing actions, letting the monk take actions as normal after using Vanishing Step.

    It's Not the Destination (Ex): There is a famous monk saying that goes "it's not the destination that matters, it's the journey." The concept is to provoke disciples into realizing that they view the world incorrectly, that it is not the current location that matters, but the one just across the room, or across the city, or across the world, and that they must seize upon the chance to go there. The order of the Unending Road has done just that. Whenever an opponent fails to take a move action or to move more than 5 ft in a round, the monk gains an extra melee attack against them on the monk's next turn. This attack is at the monk's highest base attack bonus. This ability applies to all enemies the monk is engaged with (making it deadly when combined with Perpetual Motion).

    Contrail (Ex): Monks move so fast that sometimes they cause issues with the speed of their movement. The clever monk learns to use this incidental issue to their advantage. As a standard action, the monk may move up to his speed and draw a cloud of dust and dirt behind him. The squares he moves through are filled with this cloud for 1 round per monk level. This forms an impromptu wall, which is composed of 5-ft squares of dust clouds, and gives anything on one side of the cloud 20% concealment against anything on the other side of the cloud. Additionally, anything passing through a cloud of dust in this fashion suffers a -2 penalty to attacks, and Search and Perception checks for a round, as the dust clogs their eyes for a moment. The monk is immune to his own contrails. Multiple contrails do not stack.

    Barrel Roll (Ex): Monks are melee combatants first and foremost. To counteract enemies who manage to maintain their distance and use ranged attacks, the monks of the Unending Road developed a technique to deflect projectiles mid-flight. The monk gains a circumstance bonus to their AC against ranged attacks each round equal to +1 per 10 ft moved.

    Inexorable Progress (Ex): The most famous of all monk techniques thanks to the famed Master Chan, who used Inexorable Progress to great effectiveness against the qualnargan Impulse at the Battle of Theactgkatic in the Shadowstar Wars. The technique of Inexorable Progress is considered the most powerful offensive technique of the style of the Unending Road. As a full-round action, a monk may make a melee attack against a foe. If this attack hits, the monk may, at their option, push the foe backwards five feet, step up with the foe, and attack again. This chain of attack, push, step up, attack, push, step up, continues until the monk either misses, or has made a number of attacks equal to half of their monk level (rounded down). There is no save against Inexorable Progress, and the movement is in any direction the monk wishes (the monk cannot push someone through an object nor can the monk push someone into the air, unless the monk can fly or otherwise follow them). This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity for the monk's movement, but does for the target's. Should this ability push an enemy off of a cliff or into a liquid, saves may apply, at the DM's discretion.

    Meteoric Strike (Su): There are few things as powerful and humbling as a meteor crashing to the ground, and the monk has learned to emulate the fire and fury of a meteor. As the monk moves, he gains a bonus to his damage rolls in that round equal to 1d6 fire per 10 ft moved in that round, to a maximum of 1d6 fire damage per monk level. For example, Water-Splitting-Stone charges an enemy, moving a total of 100 ft to get to that enemy. He gains 10d6 fire damage to all of his attacks (which thanks to Pounce, is a good number of attacks).

    Fast As Lightning: A famous monk once said that he was as fast as lightning. To that end, all monks seek to replicate that master's speed. Once/encounter, the monk may use Vanishing Step as an immediate action.

    The Unending Road (Su): The monk has reached the end of the Unending Road, and no more techniques are known. From here, the monk is on his own. Upon reaching this point, two things happen.

    First, the monk unlocks the final secret of movement. All movement the monk makes is a teleportation effect. The monk no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for movement and can ignore all terrain. The monk still needs line of sight (you can't go where you can't see, after all), but the actual movement itself is unrestricted (so, the monk can ignore things such as walls of force but not a wall of stone without breaking a hole in it first). This ability does not function in a dead magic area or an anti-magic field.

    Second, the monk learns a unique attack, special to that monk. The player is encouraged to present ideas for this attack to their DM for assistance and approval. Examples include:
    -The ability to teleport from enemy to enemy, attacking each in turn.
    -The ability to break through walls and other solid objects that block movement paths while attacking and use the debris in the attack.
    -And other similarly extravagant yet awesome attack forms.

    DM NOTE:
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    The Unending Road is an old-style AD&D type ability. It is purposefully left open-ended, both to encourage player creativity and to preserve the spirit of the class as a free-spirited and untamable force. As the DM of your game, you have the final say over this ability, but it is recommended you show leniency. After all, the Monk is not a primary spellcaster, but must compete with them on even footing at this level.

    If the DM is uncomfortable with allowing a character to suggest their special ability for The Unending Road, it is suggested that the DM simply give the player the ability to make a full attack in place of a single attack action. However, the intent of the capstone of the Monk is to foster the spirit of the class and to promote player involvement in character creation, and it is STRONGLY recommended that the DM and player work together to create a unique and thematic final ability.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2014-04-05 at 08:34 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Zaaman-Rul, Base Class] The Monk

    Man, nothing? I know monk threads are unpopular, but wow. Figured on at least one comment by now.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Zaaman-Rul, Base Class] The Monk

    This class is... so wonderful.

    For a class so focused on movement, it seems kind of strange that it gets no bull rush bonuses, or bull rush-like abilities. Maybe that is just me.

    Still thinking of an idea for the dead level. Unfortunately, it is fairly hard, since it has to be balanced with the other class abilities, still powerful, and something that fits the theme of the class.

    [Edit]: For the Vanishing Step ability, maybe at higher levels you can use it on opponents, or spend multiple uses to cast Teleport?
    Last edited by unosarta; 2011-03-29 at 04:51 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Zaaman-Rul, Base Class] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    For a class so focused on movement, it seems kind of strange that it gets no bull rush bonuses, or bull rush-like abilities. Maybe that is just me.

    Still thinking of an idea for the dead level. Unfortunately, it is fairly hard, since it has to be balanced with the other class abilities, still powerful, and something that fits the theme of the class.

    [Edit]: For the Vanishing Step ability, maybe at higher levels you can use it on opponents, or spend multiple uses to cast Teleport?
    It does have Inexorable Progress, which is somewhat bull-rush-like.

    I was also thinking that some sort of improvement to Vanishing Step could fill the dead level. Maybe something like being able to use it either once per encounter as an immediate action after an enemy misses you. Or being able to expend two uses to use it as an immediate action whenever you want.
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    Baldric Sea Campaign Setting (work in progress)
    later version of the Sea Dog base class from it

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    Default Re: [3.5, Zaaman-Rul, Base Class] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    This class is... so wonderful.

    For a class so focused on movement, it seems kind of strange that it gets no bull rush bonuses, or bull rush-like abilities. Maybe that is just me.
    The bull rush issue is actually something that a different class is going to focus on somewhat more (the Juggernaut, if you're curious). Monks can always use their bonus feats to acquire Imp. Bull Rush of course, though that's likely not what you're looking for.

    I felt that the monk would be better served by solving the movement and attack/damage issues first. If there is a consensus that bull rushing needs to be worked in somewhere (though frankly, I hate the bull rush mechanics, they're f***ing terrible ), we can make something happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by playswithfire View Post
    I was also thinking that some sort of improvement to Vanishing Step could fill the dead level. Maybe something like being able to use it either once per encounter as an immediate action after an enemy misses you. Or being able to expend two uses to use it as an immediate action whenever you want.
    A Vanishing Step improvement is certainly viable. I could definitely give it a thought. I do like the idea of a once/encounter immediate effect.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Zaaman-Rul, Base Class] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    The bull rush issue is actually something that a different class is going to focus on somewhat more (the Juggernaut, if you're curious). Monks can always use their bonus feats to acquire Imp. Bull Rush of course, though that's likely not what you're looking for.

    I felt that the monk would be better served by solving the movement and attack/damage issues first. If there is a consensus that bull rushing needs to be worked in somewhere (though frankly, I hate the bull rush mechanics, they're f***ing terrible ), we can make something happen.
    Oh, no no no, you don't need to give them some weird bull rush bonus, or whatever. However, something that has to do with moving an enemy, through any means, seems like it would sort of fit the theme of the class, in a way.

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    A Vanishing Step improvement is certainly viable. I could definitely give it a thought. I do like the idea of a once/encounter immediate effect.
    Although, that would mean some serious implications for the spell. I will speak to this later in the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by playswithfire View Post
    It does have Inexorable Progress, which is somewhat bull-rush-like.

    I was also thinking that some sort of improvement to Vanishing Step could fill the dead level. Maybe something like being able to use it either once per encounter as an immediate action after an enemy misses you. Or being able to expend two uses to use it as an immediate action whenever you want.
    It depends. As an Immediate action, how does the clause about how after casting Dimension Door the Caster cannot take any actions for the rest of the turn? Would it simply not trigger the clause? Would it ignore it? Would it not be able to take any actions on their next turn?

    If that issue is dealt with, it would definitely work.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Zaaman-Rul, Base Class] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Oh, no no no, you don't need to give them some weird bull rush bonus, or whatever. However, something that has to do with moving an enemy, through any means, seems like it would sort of fit the theme of the class, in a way.
    It would, but I just never found a good place for it honestly. I mean, with all the shenanigans and unique abilities they already get, I figured missing out on bull rushes was alright.

    It depends. As an Immediate action, how does the clause about how after casting Dimension Door the Caster cannot take any actions for the rest of the turn? Would it simply not trigger the clause? Would it ignore it? Would it not be able to take any actions on their next turn?

    If that issue is dealt with, it would definitely work.
    I'd probably just say they ignore it. Also, I'll add something to that effect about Vanishing Step, which was intended to ignore that clause, on the basis of it being stupid.

    EDIT: It's done. Fast As Lightning is now in at 17, thanks guys!
    Last edited by arguskos; 2011-03-29 at 10:59 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    How exactly does fast as lightning work? Is it in addition to vanishing step? Does it use a vanishing step use for the day? Is it independent of vanishing step, just using the name?
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    How exactly does fast as lightning work? Is it in addition to vanishing step? Does it use a vanishing step use for the day? Is it independent of vanishing step, just using the name?
    It's fairly self-explainatory. It lets you use Vanishing Step at immediate action speed once per encounter.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Anybody else? Or is this is perfect?

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Powerful.
    Pretty.
    Perfect...?
    Probably.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    This isn't a monk fix, it's a how the monk should have been in the first place!
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    Powerful.
    Pretty.
    Perfect...?
    Probably.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nopraptor View Post
    This isn't a monk fix, it's a how the monk should have been in the first place!
    awesome class man
    Very happy people like it, but I'm kinda hoping for some more constructive feedback. Anyone see any issues? Is there anything I've overlooked? Is the balance good? Etcetcetc.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    What rough tier are you looking for here? Because, honestly, this doesn't quite seem tier three. It has basically one gimmick in combat; run around and do stuff. That is fine. However, if its speed is lowered in some way, it gets kind of screwed. It has some skills, and fortunately enough Jump can sort of function as a move speed if you get it high enough, but their skills are going to be kind of low, since they especially won't be focusing on Int, most likely, or if they do, it will be a quartiary stat (Strength, Dex, and Con being higher in priority). However, besides those skill tricks (which also sort of focus on movement), there really aren't any non-movement based abilities that I can see. Feel free to correct me. The feats sort of alleviate this, but to a slight degree. To be really good at tripping, you have to invest a bit of feats, equipment, and abilities, and those feats equipment and abilities are probably going to go towards other things, more than likely.

    Some ideas:
    • Think about increasing the skill points (maybe also the skill list).
    • Maybe something like Flowing Strike, but 1/4 Class Level to opposed Strength or Dexterity checks (which covers all of Grapple, Trip, Bull Rush, Disarm (I think), and the other combat maneuvers), adjusting the numbers to taste.


    Other than that, it seems perfectly around tier 3, which is probably what you were going for.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Hm, not really parkour. More Wushu/Wuxia. That's not a bad thing, it's just not really parkour.

    two actual issues:
    Improved Ghost Flanker: how useful is flanking to the monk that they're giving up flowing strike?

    Blade runner: I'm not sure this is really useful. They're taking a full round action to make one attack at double damage (as apposed to 2,3 or 4 attacks at normal damage) and in the exchange have to make a skill check and risk an AoO.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    Hm, not really parkour. More Wushu/Wuxia. That's not a bad thing, it's just not really parkour.

    two actual issues:
    Improved Ghost Flanker: how useful is flanking to the monk that they're giving up flowing strike?

    Blade runner: I'm not sure this is really useful. They're taking a full round action to make one attack at double damage (as apposed to 2,3 or 4 attacks at normal damage) and in the exchange have to make a skill check and risk an AoO.
    I would argue it is, in fact, far more parkour than Wuxia. It focuses more on athletics, speed and mobility than marital technique. This class can't really model a brawler, but a parkour/free runner? That it can do pretty easily. Wuxia martial artist? Not really. That would be more the Shadow.

    [Edit]: MARITAL TECHNIQUE? REALLY UNOSARTA?
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Maybe not the more traditional wuxai, but the stuff like contrail and Meteoric Strike remind me heavily of Kung Fu Hustle and the "push back step push back step" routine definitely reminds me more of Chinese martial arts than parkour which make me think of things like mirrors edge (quick approach and a swift disarm, less flowing more efficient, more focused on not getting hit [which might not model well in D&D]). But this is about interpreting flavor and thus almost entirely subjective.
    Though that does remind me, some take downs and disarms would be nice to see though I'm not sure where you'd put them.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    Maybe not the more traditional wuxai, but the stuff like contrail and Meteoric Strike remind me heavily of Kung Fu Hustle and the "push back step push back step" routine definitely reminds me more of Chinese martial arts than parkour which make me think of things like mirrors edge (quick approach and a swift disarm, less flowing more efficient, more focused on not getting hit [which might not model well in D&D]). But this is about interpreting flavor and thus almost entirely subjective.
    Though that does remind me, some take downs and disarms would be nice to see though I'm not sure where you'd put them.
    Those abilities are also at high levels. Where the Monk is competing with casters. So, you are judging the entire class's flavor from... 3 abilities? Not meaning to be aggressive or anything (lord knows I can), but yeah.

    True on the subjective part, though.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    What rough tier are you looking for here? Because, honestly, this doesn't quite seem tier three. It has basically one gimmick in combat; run around and do stuff. That is fine. However, if its speed is lowered in some way, it gets kind of screwed. It has some skills, and fortunately enough Jump can sort of function as a move speed if you get it high enough, but their skills are going to be kind of low, since they especially won't be focusing on Int, most likely, or if they do, it will be a quartiary stat (Strength, Dex, and Con being higher in priority). However, besides those skill tricks (which also sort of focus on movement), there really aren't any non-movement based abilities that I can see. Feel free to correct me. The feats sort of alleviate this, but to a slight degree. To be really good at tripping, you have to invest a bit of feats, equipment, and abilities, and those feats equipment and abilities are probably going to go towards other things, more than likely.

    Some ideas:
    • Think about increasing the skill points (maybe also the skill list).
    • Maybe something like Flowing Strike, but 1/4 Class Level to opposed Strength or Dexterity checks (which covers all of Grapple, Trip, Bull Rush, Disarm (I think), and the other combat maneuvers), adjusting the numbers to taste.


    Other than that, it seems perfectly around tier 3, which is probably what you were going for.
    Originally, Tier 3. I felt that the unique and extended uses of Acrobatics and Athletics helped a lot here, and let you do really awesome things.

    As for a skill list increase, I can consider it, though there is really nothing else I can think of that needs to go on here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    two actual issues:
    Improved Ghost Flanker: how useful is flanking to the monk that they're giving up flowing strike?
    That's a great question, and is an interaction I'd not noticed originally. You know what? I think I'll add the ability to make either multiple five-foot steps or a single ten-foot step to the class. That makes Superior Ghost Flanker far more useful, and is a strong tactical ability in general.

    Blade runner: I'm not sure this is really useful. They're taking a full round action to make one attack at double damage (as apposed to 2,3 or 4 attacks at normal damage) and in the exchange have to make a skill check and risk an AoO.
    I've learned that any multiplication effect has extreme potential, thus I limited it with the check and AoO. Don't forget that you can combine Bladerunner with Tumbling Defense though, if you wish.

    Doubling damage is quite potent if done correctly. Also, it is quite possible to argue that you should gain Flowing Strike for a Bladerunner, since you are moving, it's just inside their squares. Personally, I'd let it fly.

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    I would argue it is, in fact, far more parkour than Wuxia. It focuses more on athletics, speed and mobility than marital technique. This class can't really model a brawler, but a parkour/free runner? That it can do pretty easily. Wuxia martial artist? Not really. That would be more the Shadow.
    Wuxia/Wushu is indeed far more the Shadow's thing. This is a class with three non-Ex abilities, and is centered around using Athletics and Acrobatics to punch people with fists/sharp metallic things. That... really doesn't scream Wuxia to me.

    Contrail is the one Ex ability that's a bit shaky, but then again, if you watch cars on dirt roads, they kick up great big gouts of dust. Who's to say the Monk, with the truly stupidly high movement speed he has at that point (base 70' as a human, if you do x4 that's 280', in 10 rounds that's 2,800', in 60 minutes it's 162,000 ft, which is equal to 31 MPH), can't do the same thing? I mean, it's a dust cloud.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    Maybe not the more traditional wuxai, but the stuff like contrail and Meteoric Strike remind me heavily of Kung Fu Hustle and the "push back step push back step" routine definitely reminds me more of Chinese martial arts than parkour which make me think of things like mirrors edge (quick approach and a swift disarm, less flowing more efficient, more focused on not getting hit [which might not model well in D&D]). But this is about interpreting flavor and thus almost entirely subjective.
    Meteoric Strike is Su, it's supposed to. Contrail, as stated above, is quite reasonable if you do a little math and think about it some. Inexorable Progress may be a bit of a stretch, but it strikes me as possible in reality (perhaps not in 6 seconds, but perhaps it is possible; there are samurai who can cut bb pellets out of the air, why not a guy who can punch another guy across a room in 6 seconds?). The parkour influence here (which I'll remind you, is all it was, just an influence) is that of the heavy heavy emphasis on Athletics and Acrobatics.

    Though that does remind me, some take downs and disarms would be nice to see though I'm not sure where you'd put them.
    I thought about those sorts of things, but felt that'd be better suited to a grappler, which this monk was never intended to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Those abilities are also at high levels. Where the Monk is competing with casters. So, you are judging the entire class's flavor from... 3 abilities? Not meaning to be aggressive or anything (lord knows I can), but yeah.
    Agreed, in some respects. Fluff is of course mutable, and no one's denying that. However, I tried pretty hard to keep the class to almost entirely realistic things, meaning that the Su stuff does stick out somewhat. As the designer though, I can assure you the intent (which I really think is evident) was for parkour and martial arts instead of Wuxia/Wushu, which is the realm of the monk's spiritual cousin, the Shadow.

    Also, I absolutely appreciate the feedback, Epsilon. I'd love some suggestions on where to place the afore-mentioned five-foot multi-step/ten-foot step ability, since I think that'd be really useful. Perhaps at level 6, next to Pounce?

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    I would say that the Grapple/Trip/Disarm/Bull Rush/whatever increases are probably more important than extra five foot steps, although both fit the theme very well. Extra 5FSs tend to be a higher level ability, though (barring an item like a Master's Training Dummy, but 2 5FSs are better than 1 10FS.)

    I would like to know why you really have a problem with adding something like what I mentioned earlier. I saw that you said "It would be better on a grappler," however, there really is not grappling class, and none that you appear to be making. In addition, that is some pretty shaky logic. "This character can't do anything but run and attack" (or some variation thereof), "So I won't add anything like a grapple/trip/disarm/bull rush bonus that is based on movement" (which totally still fits the class) "because that is more the area of the grappler, a character concept" (character concepts not being defined by classes) "instead of giving this class something like that, even though no grappler class is in existence, therefore this is probably the only place to be giving it. And it still fits the class theme and concept very well, and provides some diversity of combat that would otherwise not be seen."
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    One quick question, there's no note on there (that I can see) about multiclassing with this. If, like the standard monk, you lose abilities if you c/c out of it, then perhaps it does need the odd little tweak, but the abilities presented allow for a potent movement based combatant. Surely this means the feats you chose can cover many shortfallings, most I'd argue, since I don't think you really need bother about more movement or combat-direct feats, it does enough of that as it is.
    Perhaps the Perpetual Motion ability should count as Spring Attack for the purposes of gaining feats (it's basically a souped up version after all). Also, the way I see this class, Flowing Strike gives more of a direct combat bonus than anything, if you added Corkscrew Charge to it's repertoire then it would become triply as effective.
    One last thing, although Str is obviously a good choice, many years of playing has taught me that Dex can replace Str almost entirely, and remove a little MAD from the character build. W Finesse is all you need to ignore Str and pump Int instead, once again, Flowing Strike will see to that. Why bother tripping or disarming at all? Most foes will only be able to get 1, perhaps 2 attacks in /round as it is...
    This class should excell at picking off strategic targets, one or two at a time, the Battle skill would aid in identifying these targets, so perhaps it's addition is also pertinent. Overall, I don't see much wrong with it and would happily sub out the standard (which I usually ban in honesty), and it would get used in my campaigns.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    One quick question, there's no note on there (that I can see) about multiclassing with this. If, like the standard monk, you lose abilities if you c/c out of it, then perhaps it does need the odd little tweak, but the abilities presented allow for a potent movement based combatant. Surely this means the feats you chose can cover many shortfallings, most I'd argue, since I don't think you really need bother about more movement or combat-direct feats, it does enough of that as it is.
    Feats are not class features. This is the entire shortfall of the fighter. Let me repeat that, feats are not class features. There is a long explanation why, but basically; the monk is movement related. If they are wanting to remain competently movement related, then they need to invest feats. If they invest feats, then they won't have feats to do much else. If they have too many feats, and can only use them for Combat Maneuvers, then, seriously, just give them combat maneuver related class features. Giving them the option and not the actual ability, and saying that that is balanced does not make it balanced.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Hm, I'm not sure I'd put the improved 5ft step at level six where you're already getting a feat and pounce (which I think is supposed to be really useful but since I've never actually played a charger I don't know). Why not key the 5 ft steps off of the movement increases getting an additional step at 7 and 16 when most characters will be, respectively, doubling and tripling their speed?

    Also, when I suggested disarms and take downs I was once again thinking about mirrors edge where these techniques would be part of your movement not some stationary attack chain (which would be more grappler-esque).
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    I would say that the Grapple/Trip/Disarm/Bull Rush/whatever increases are probably more important than extra five foot steps, although both fit the theme very well. Extra 5FSs tend to be a higher level ability, though (barring an item like a Master's Training Dummy, but 2 5FSs are better than 1 10FS.)
    Well, movement is critical, though you are perhaps correct.

    I would like to know why you really have a problem with adding something like what I mentioned earlier. I saw that you said "It would be better on a grappler," however, there really is not grappling class, and none that you appear to be making. In addition, that is some pretty shaky logic. "This character can't do anything but run and attack" (or some variation thereof), "So I won't add anything like a grapple/trip/disarm/bull rush bonus that is based on movement" (which totally still fits the class) "because that is more the area of the grappler, a character concept" (character concepts not being defined by classes) "instead of giving this class something like that, even though no grappler class is in existence, therefore this is probably the only place to be giving it. And it still fits the class theme and concept very well, and provides some diversity of combat that would otherwise not be seen."
    I wanted to avoid making this a combat maneuver class since I felt that is something that others have already done, and should be focused on, such as the Fighter. Fighters gain feats. That's... all they gain. Feats allow you to specialize in combat maneuvers (Bull rush, disarm, trip, etcetcetc). The logic is that the monk doesn't do that because he does something unique, the running, leaping, punching dudes, etc. Other martialists do the supercharging and/or the combat trickery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    One quick question, there's no note on there (that I can see) about multiclassing with this. If, like the standard monk, you lose abilities if you c/c out of it, then perhaps it does need the odd little tweak, but the abilities presented allow for a potent movement based combatant. Surely this means the feats you chose can cover many shortfallings, most I'd argue, since I don't think you really need bother about more movement or combat-direct feats, it does enough of that as it is.
    There is no multiclassing note because I don't like them.

    Perhaps the Perpetual Motion ability should count as Spring Attack for the purposes of gaining feats (it's basically a souped up version after all). Also, the way I see this class, Flowing Strike gives more of a direct combat bonus than anything, if you added Corkscrew Charge to it's repertoire then it would become triply as effective.
    That's a curious idea.

    This class should excell at picking off strategic targets, one or two at a time, the Battle skill would aid in identifying these targets, so perhaps it's addition is also pertinent. Overall, I don't see much wrong with it and would happily sub out the standard (which I usually ban in honesty), and it would get used in my campaigns.
    I appreciate that. If you do use it (and you're welcome to), please, let me know how it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Feats are not class features. This is the entire shortfall of the fighter. Let me repeat that, feats are not class features. There is a long explanation why, but basically; the monk is movement related. If they are wanting to remain competently movement related, then they need to invest feats. If they invest feats, then they won't have feats to do much else. If they have too many feats, and can only use them for Combat Maneuvers, then, seriously, just give them combat maneuver related class features. Giving them the option and not the actual ability, and saying that that is balanced does not make it balanced.
    Actually, you are aware that they by super technicality, they ARE class features.

    However, the point is valid. But then again, feats are meant to branch you out, no? To give you options your class does not, no? In this case, that would be a monk taking Improved Disarm to be better at disarming, to specialize in disarming, even though his training does not include it naturally. If you are really going to argue that I should give the monk bonuses to all those combat maneuvers, than I'm going to ask you what the hell he needs feats ever for. Feats specialize. Those combat maneuvers are things he can already do, and if he wants to do them better (to specialize, as it were), he needs to take feats for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    Hm, I'm not sure I'd put the improved 5ft step at level six where you're already getting a feat and pounce (which I think is supposed to be really useful but since I've never actually played a charger I don't know). Why not key the 5 ft steps off of the movement increases getting an additional step at 7 and 16 when most characters will be, respectively, doubling and tripling their speed?
    Good thought.

    Also, when I suggested disarms and take downs I was once again thinking about mirrors edge where these techniques would be part of your movement not some stationary attack chain (which would be more grappler-esque).
    True enough.

    Allow me to be perfectly transparent. I don't like adding combat maneuvers to the monk. I don't feel it needs them. Several of them are going onto the Juggernaut (a class that is yet to come), several already have support through the Shadow, and they already have support in many other classes and PrCs. I feel that the monk has a niche, that of the melee skirmisher, and that it fulfills it very well, and that adding the combat maneuvers is not conducive to the idea of the monk.

    However, since there is a large outcry in favor of them, I will admit to being outnumbered, and what is the point of public review if I don't listen to the public? I'll add one ability to Athletic and Acrobatic Superiority each re. combat maneuvers to meet the proponents half-way, then be done with this chain of argument. Is this a fair compromise?

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    However, since there is a large outcry in favor of them, I will admit to being outnumbered, and what is the point of public review if I don't listen to the public? I'll add one ability to Athletic and Acrobatic Superiority each re. combat maneuvers to meet the proponents half-way, then be done with this chain of argument. Is this a fair compromise?
    This works for me.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Added to Athletic Superiority:
    [*]Rocks Fall: The monk can attack from above, falling like a stone onto their foes. The monk may make a special bull rush attack from at least 20 ft above their target. To do so, they make an Athletics check as they jump downwards at the target. This Athletics check takes the place of the monk's Strength check in the bull rush. For each 5 ft the target would be moved, they instead are pile-driven into the ground, taking 2d6 damage and being immobilized for one round/square that they would normally be moved (so, if the monk would normally move them 3 squares, the target would instead take 6d6 damage and be immobilized for 3 rounds). The monk does suffer an attack of opportunity for this attempt.
    Added to Acrobatic Superiority (something no one probably saw coming too, which makes me happy):
    [*]Like the Wind: Monks are unsubtle combatants, striking hard and fast at their targets, but some few monks believe in the idea of trickery in battle. During a charge, the monk may make a feint attempt against the target of the charge, using his Acrobatics check in place of a Bluff check. Otherwise, this feint works as normal.
    Honestly, why did Feint get absolutely no love? It's such a cool combat option, but was totally ignored. I almost want to do a Feint-themed PrC now.

    Does this mollify you fine folks?

    Also, I'm actually surprised no one's even commented on The Unending Road. I expected more reaction, honestly.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2011-04-01 at 05:49 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    I effin love Rocks Fall. Like the Wind is interesting, and probably useful, but Rocks Fall is really evocative and awesome.

    No comments for Unending Road mostly because the power level of the ability is going to depend directly on the DM or player, and their ingenuity or lack thereof.
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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    I effin love Rocks Fall. Like the Wind is interesting, and probably useful, but Rocks Fall is really evocative and awesome.
    I liked the idea of Wall Jumping to the top of something reaaaaally high, then being all "rocks fall, you die" and smashing a guy.

    Also, I seriously think Wall Jump is my favorite thing in this entire class, enough for me to dip Monk 3 to get, then going into Artificer or Warlock so I can play Samus Aran.

    No comments for Unending Road mostly because the power level of the ability is going to depend directly on the DM or player, and their ingenuity or lack thereof.
    Yeah, I know your stance. Was mostly curious about other people's.

    EDIT: By the by, I am... concerned about the Monk's defenses. They don't have the best saves ever, they have no method to get around being flat-footed (which turns off their AC bonus, since it's a dodge bonus), and they don't wear armor. That all spells "oshi-" to me. Thoughts? Tumbling Defense is nice, but hardly enough. Mages are going to walk all the hell over monks, and that's something I'm worried about. Perhaps working Evasion and/or Mettle in there somewhere? If so, where?

    EDIT2: Added something really really important to the table, the Improved and Superior Unarmed Strike feats at level 1, since really, being forced to pay that particular feat tax is just stupid. Dammit WotC, why did you make unarmed strikes SO PATHETICALLY BAD?! WHYYYYYY????
    Last edited by arguskos; 2011-04-01 at 07:52 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    I like it. It's not exactly a standard Monk anymore, but...

    ...Well, screw standard Monks.

    I'd agree that the Monk's defenses are lacking; you might want to put Evasion at 3rd or 4th level, and bump the Fort save from low to medium. Maybe even give 'em all 3 good saves, like a standard Monk, and give them Mettle at level 5 or 6. (Mettle does count for two saves, after all.)

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    Default Re: [3.5, Base Class, Z-R] The Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    EDIT: By the by, I am... concerned about the Monk's defenses. They don't have the best saves ever, they have no method to get around being flat-footed (which turns off their AC bonus, since it's a dodge bonus), and they don't wear armor. That all spells "oshi-" to me. Thoughts? Tumbling Defense is nice, but hardly enough. Mages are going to walk all the hell over monks, and that's something I'm worried about. Perhaps working Evasion and/or Mettle in there somewhere? If so, where?
    You could make that Dodge bonus a Deflection bonus at high levels, which will never go away, and applies to touch attacks as well. You could flavor it as going from being able to sense the attack coming to you, to simply forcing the attack away with sheer force of will (hence higher levels).

    Evasion and Mettle are both good ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    EDIT2: Added something really really important to the table, the Improved and Superior Unarmed Strike feats at level 1, since really, being forced to pay that particular feat tax is just stupid. Dammit WotC, why did you make unarmed strikes SO PATHETICALLY BAD?! WHYYYYYY????
    Because they are simply not comparable to weapons for the sheer speed of taking an opponent out, in real life. At higher levels, yes, this does not make sense. But for modeling reality, it is entirely logical.
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