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    Default [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Any previous thread where this miracle could happen?
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    What kind of fix are you looking for? Homebrew? Or the right combination of classes, prestige classes & ACF to make a decent monk?

    Homebrew fixes I believe are abundant in the Homebrew section and in general people say that the Unarmed Swordsage is the best in-game monk fix. Just take 2 levels of Monk for Stunning Fist & the Invisible Fist ACF and then just go Swordsage all the way.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    If you're looking for Homebrew Monks type this into Google without the quotation marks: "site:giantitp.com monk fix"

    Otherwise the Unarmed Swordsage is IMO the simplest Monk Fix. The second easiest Monk Fix would be Monk 2/Psychic Warrior X with the Knight Training and Tashalatora feats.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    The monk in the playing group I run for is an unstoppable killing machine who can punch for a theoretical amount of damage of 1800+ points of damage (But usually in the 100 to 200 range), attack a theoretical unlimited number of times a round (But usually in the low teens), When completely buffed maxes out with a total of +43 Enhancement and Weapon enhancement bonuses to her fists, and can get her touch attack AC over 200 for 10 rounds.

    Do note, this is after the other spellcasters layer a few dozen enchantments on everyone. She still has +20-odd of WSAs to her fists with Ward Cestus, Necklace of Natural Weapondry, Bracers of Striking un-enchanted. Buck naked in an AMF she's still a terror.

    What EXACTLY needs to be fixed?

    Here's another possibility:

    Monks are complicated and you have to search through many rule books to fix fixes to make them work. However, if you are dedicated (Like the player in my group) you can make a solid Tier 3 killing machine. Yes, she can't handle anything that does not involve the following solutions:

    1. Being unhittable/unkillable/unstoppable
    2. Hitting for horrific amounts of damage.

    While punching things for obscene amounts of damage DOES fix many problems, it doesn't fix everything, which gives the other players something to do.

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    I personaly really like this monk fix: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150122

    But as other people have mentioned, a million monk fixes exist, and you just have to google them.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Monday already?

    Anyway... when these topics come up, one of the odd things I notice is most people talk about this theoretically weak (Or Pickford's Almighty style) monk as someone who's build is simply Monk 20. And even in the case of the Almighty Monk Styles it still ends up being WBLmancy more than actual Monk Power.

    But... you wouldn't go Fighter 20. Or Ranger 20. Or Barbarian 20. Might go Paladin 20 just because Paladin Class features depend on your levels in Paladin... but that's more of the exception than the rule. So why would you look at Monk and think of it in terms of Monk 20?

    Going more like Monk 5, Tattooed Monk 1, Henshin Mystic 1, Shintao Monk 4, Maho-Bujin 1, Intitiate of Pithis Sophia 2, etc, etc, etc, would be not only more "normal" for what you'd expect of a mostly warrior type character build philosophy, but also generally a much higher power threshold than just straight Monk. And other than Maho-Bujin, all are monk PrCs so you don't run into the "Well then I'm not really a monk I'm just a barbarian who Hulks out!" sort of arguments.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    There are TONS of them. Everybody's had a crack at it. Here's mine.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Giving it free gestalt with monk prcs without need to meet the prereqs

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    IMO? Take tier 1 class, invest in unarmed attack feats, smiting spell (or possibly arcane strike), and touch spells.

    For example. If one were to take wizard, I would suggest spells like greater mighty wallop, and maybe de-buff spells to simulate "stunning fist". to simulate speed, pick up a spell that increases it. Hell, there is a spell to equal every monk class feature.

    Its easier, as you get more spells, but it's still just easy. Pick up things like snap kick and superior unarmed attack, versatile unarmed attack. Especially with a martial wizard. You can gish really well with them.

    This gets much easier if you use a divine class as well. They are built more hardy, and have better combat buffs in general. A cleric 20 with a monks belt is a FAR better monk than the actual class.
    Thinking of them like rishi/roshi(sages), and you get the picture.

    also, psionics does a great deal as well. A Psychic warrior does MUCH better than a monk. Hell, so does a wilder, really.


    As long as your monks are aesthetics that learn philosophy and metaphysics, as well as combat arts, and not just those chop-socky movie kung-fu exponents, then using casters to emulate them is actually better than the actual classes. You get to have things like magic sutras (scrolls), vajras (wands), and kevala sutta (Magic/psychic powers).

    If you want the spiritual aesthetic in a more theravada/mahayana sense, take a spellcaster or psychic. Unarmed combat can be bought with feats, which are cheaper than class levels.

    If you want caine from kung-fu, then choose the monk class.

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    The core question is this: Why Monk? If you are seeking to make an unarmored bare-handed mystical fighter, there are numerous ways to achieve that that barely if at all touch the class "Monk". Most are better built; the core classes tend to have the worst design mistakes just out of the fact that they were designed by people who had little experience of seeing play in the system in action.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by prufock View Post
    There are TONS of them. Everybody's had a crack at it. Here's mine.
    And here's mine.

    And here's a list of links to 12 other homebrew Monk fixes. Plus similar lists for a number of other classes.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Well, answering a lot of questions here:

    It should be a fix to the core description.

    It should not be optimized but level it up from Tier 5 to Tier 4 (at least), according to this Tier System.

    It could be a homebrewed version, but it shouldn't change the basic mechanics that much (for example: adding new features instead of just improving the current).
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    People bring up the "if you want a monk, play that monk-ish other class" option a lot. Very similar to the "if you just want to be good at punching, play x instead." I don't feel that either option is necessarily not good, just that the very existence of people that express interest in monk, whatever it represents or fails to represent, suggests that there is a need for a more direct approach to the issue.

    Things many fixes consider:

    1.) Full BAB or some other way to mitigate the "I'm melee but miss in combat." See #2.

    2.) Flurry. It's not an effective class ability if you often can't use it because
    a.) it screws you by causing you to miss
    b.) you need a full round action to use the poorly worded RAW ability, despite being a class with no small amount of equally RAW text devoted to a skirmishing/running around role

    3.) Sad MAD. Monk is pretty MAD, probably the worst offender of the lot. There are a number of strategies to fix this. My two favorite are
    a.) A "Brains Over Brawn" variant that allows monks to add Wis mod to Str Dex checks and checks for skills based on those abilities.
    b.) Automatically allowing better of Str/Dex to attack, or some use of Wis mod to attack and damage (either instead of or in addition to the normal calculus, depending on the desired power level).

    If you don't want some variety of fix, there are about a billion monk variants and ACFs, and, as others have stated, sufficient op can still produce a RAW monk that is pretty fierce (with an inordinate amount of work and system mastery, usually). Invisible Fist is mentioned a lot, but I have a soft spot for Int-based Kung-Fu Genius monks with Knowledge Devotion, but it's hard to hack that with pure RAW monk.

    An amount has been written and discussed on this that dwarfs whole sets of encyclopedias, so I'm going to shut it now, before I really start ranting (when I should be sleeping).
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captnq View Post
    The monk in the playing group I run for is an unstoppable killing machine who can punch for a theoretical amount of damage of 1800+ points of damage (But usually in the 100 to 200 range), attack a theoretical unlimited number of times a round (But usually in the low teens), When completely buffed maxes out with a total of +43 Enhancement and Weapon enhancement bonuses to her fists, and can get her touch attack AC over 200 for 10 rounds.

    Do note, this is after the other spellcasters layer a few dozen enchantments on everyone. She still has +20-odd of WSAs to her fists with Ward Cestus, Necklace of Natural Weapondry, Bracers of Striking un-enchanted. Buck naked in an AMF she's still a terror.
    That sounds like an awesome build!

    I'm very interested to see if I can steal some ideas for my build. Do you mind sharing the build?

    Thx!

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by UrashimaJamez View Post
    It could be a homebrewed version, but it shouldn't change the basic mechanics that much (for example: adding new features instead of just improving the current).
    Try this on for size:
    • Full BAB
    • 6+Int skill points
    • Allow Flurry of Blows to be used with standard attack options as well. (Alternately, replace it with Skirmish, as the Scout)
    • Use the better of Strength or Wisdom for melee attack rolls, damage rolls, skills, combat maneuvers, and ability checks, starting at level 1. (Diptastic, yes, but necessary if you want to make things work when starting at level 1).
    • Replace Ki Strike with the Soulknife's enhancement bonus abilities.
    • Add the Fast Movement bonus to Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks.

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaikujin View Post
    That sounds like an awesome build!

    I'm very interested to see if I can steal some ideas for my build. Do you mind sharing the build?

    Thx!
    I lost all interest when I saw the bit about the casters dumping on a few dozen buffs. If I've had 24 buffs put on me and wasn't spitting out insane damage, then something is wrong. And it isn't my build.

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    A long time ago, I posted a bare-bones fix like the one requested. Here it is:
    • 6+INT skill points/level
    • Flurry of Blows usable on any attack (1/round), not just full attack
    • Monk is proficient with unarmed strike
    • Monk's unarmed strike can be enchanted like a masterwork weapon
    • Monk deals "unarmed damage" with any monk weapon, but can only make extra Flurry attacks with unarmed strike (or shuriken)
    • AC bonus is +1 per three Monk levels (instead of current progression)
    • Spell Resistance does not block beneficial effects
    • Perfect Self DR changed to 10/-
    As you can see, it's reasonably similar to what Phelix and Grod are suggesting.

    I would make at least two more changes, though. First, I apparently forgot to do something about the absurdly harsh restrictions about how often Monks can use Quivering Palm. Once per encounter (limit: uses per day equal to WIS mod) would be more sensible.

    Second, it's kinda a "new" class feature, but I really like the feature Phelix suggested (which is also on my more complicated Monk fix), where the Monk adds WIS to all STR checks, DEX checks, STR-based skill checks, and DEX-based skill checks. You can tack this effect onto "Purity of Body" if you really don't want to add any entirely new features to the class.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2013-10-28 at 01:38 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Almost everyone who has been on the forums for more then a few year's has a Monk fix. In fact, I'd argue that writing a Monk fix is part of the natural evolution process of any D&D player. Newb -> Munchkin -> Power Gamer -> Elaborate House Rules -> Homebrew Fix Classes -> Variant D&D Games (Pathfinder, Iron Kingdoms, Fate, etc) -> Original Homebrew -> Maybe I Should Just Play the Game as Written for a While -> Mature Gamer

    Anywho, my simple fix is to just cram the entire class into a prestige class:

    Person_Man's Prestige Monk

    Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Jump or Tumble 8 ranks.

    Hit Die: d8

    Class Skills: The monk’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int bonus.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with their own Unarmed Strike, plus the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling.

    {table]Level |BAB |Fort|Ref|Will|Special |Unarmed| Fast Move
    1st | +1| +2 | +2 | +2 | Ki Strike (damage, magic), Fast Movement, AC Bonus| 1d8 | +10
    2nd | +2| +3 | +3 | +3 | Purity of Body, Slow Fall (any distance), Bonus Feat | 1d8| +10
    3rd | +3| +3 | +3 | +3 | Evasion | 1d10 | +20
    4th | +4| +4 | +4 | +4 | Ki Strike (aligned strike, extra attack), Wholeness of Body | 1d10| +20
    5th | +5| +4 | +4 | +4 | Diamond Body, Bonus Feat | 2d6 | +30
    6th | +6| +5 | +5 | +5 | Abundant Step | 2d6 | +30
    7th | +7| +5 | +5 | +5 | Ki Strike (adamantine, extra attack), Diamond Soul | 2d8| +40
    8th | +8| +6 | +6 | +6 | Tongue of the Sun and Moon, Timeless Body, Bonus Feat | 2d8 | +40
    9th | +9| +6 | +6 | +6 | Quivering Palm, Perfect Self | 2d10 | +50
    10th | +10| +7 | +7 | +7 | Empty Body | 2d10 | +60
    [/table]


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    Ki Strike (Ex): As per the Monk's Improved Unarmed Strike ability (including bonus damage based on the chart above, counting as natural and manufactured, etc) and Ki Strike (magic) ability.

    At 4th level, the Monk's Unarmed Strike are also treated as Lawful or Chaotic and Good or Evil, matching the alignment of the Monk. This bypasses certain types of damage reduction. For example, a Lawful Good Monk would have a Lawful Good Unarmed Strike (which bypasses the damage reduction of some magic or Chaotic and Evil enemies). If your alignment drifts into Neutral, you lose this ability for that alignment axis. For example, the Unarmed Strike of a Lawful Neutral Monk would only be Lawfully aligned. In addition, whenever they make a full attack action using only Unarmed Strike, natural weapons, and/or special Monk weapons, they gain one additional attack at their highest base attack bonus.

    At 7th level, the Monk's Unarmed Strike also counts as adamantine, and whenever they make a full attack action using only Unarmed Strike, natural weapons, and/or special Monk weapons, they gain another additional attack at their highest base attack bonus.

    These abilities only function while the Monk is unarmored and unencumbered.

    AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) plus his Monk class level to his AC. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

    Evasion: At third level, you gain Evasion. If you already have or later gain Evasion from another class or prestige class, you instead gain Improved Evasion.

    Bonus Feats: At 2nd, 5th, and 8th levels, you gain a bonus feat of your choice. You must otherwise qualify for the bonus feat in order to select it.

    Everything Else: As per the standard Monk abilities, except you should change any calculation (Stunning Fist uses per day, Abundant Step, Diamond Soul) from Monk level to twice your Monk level, and readjust Save DC's as needed per standard PrC rules (10 + Monk level + Wisdom Bonus).

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    You could try a super monk that gets the all the alternate class features divided evenly up starting from the level gained and 20. So if at 1st you get either flurry, skirmish or decisive strike, and at 7/8 you get another and at 14 you get the last.

    And at for the bonus feats it might work out to "At 1st level, a monk may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist, dodge, combat reflexes, power attack, combat expertise, weapon finesse, or toughness, and gain that feat, at levels 3, 5 ,8,10, 13, 15, and 18 he may select another feat from this list
    Last edited by Lans; 2013-10-28 at 10:27 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    You could try a super monk that gets the all the alternate class features divided evenly up starting from the level gained and 20. So if at 1st you get either flurry, skirmish or decisive strike, and at 7/8 you get another and at 14 you get the last.
    Along those lines, if you use the Pathfinder Monk, and allow them to pick from any Archetype or 3.5 alternate class/racial substitution class level each morning (ie, you can change out your class features and bonus feats), with the only restriction being that you can't trade away the same ability away more then once or trade away a feat that you're using as a pre-req for something else, you can definitely cobble together a tier 3 class.

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    People bring up the "if you want a monk, play that monk-ish other class" option a lot...
    And I have yet to be clear on why that isn't a completely acceptable answer.

    There isn't actually anything wrong with an old class that was created by people with a poor understanding of the game being obsoleted in favor of a class that serves the same conceptual role that was simply better made with a better understanding of the game.

    Classes are merely tools to build a character who mechanically performs the feats imagined within the concept. If one tool is not working well, and other tools are available that do in fact work well, then those newer tools should be the ones you reach for.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Hmm, I actually like the thing Person_Man suggested. There is nothing in the core monk concept that exceeds the 15th-16th level power level. You can condense it all into a slightly buffed up PrC and not lose much. Sadly, some people want a "monk" from level one....

    As to the broader issue, people are interested in a monk, whatever that is. If you are satisfied by substituting in a different class and refluffing, that is fine by me. But I think the constant, unending stream of people looking for a usable "monk" suggests that there is something about the archetype that escapes easy replacement by unarmed swordsage or punchbarian.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    Sadly, some people want a "monk" from level one....
    Since you're in the realm of homebrew anyway, you could just make it a base class with only 10 levels. Or cram the greatest hits into a 6 levels for E6. Or just add monk class abilities into a homebrew class like the Knight Champion (check signature).

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    people are interested in a monk, whatever that is. If you are satisfied by substituting in a different class and refluffing...
    I have yet to hear an explanation of what "fluff" the Monk class has that is substantially different from the other ways of building unarmed and unarmored mystic warrior combatants, without any need to "refluff" anything. The Monk has no specific "fluff" to lose in this.
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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Heh. Monks had clearer defined, more exacting Fluff in 4th edition, where they supposedly all got their powers from some Elder God of the Far Realm and how he blew up some crystal (seriously, that's their fluff for Psychic powers, of which monks are classified as being psychic). So if you cared about the fluff in that, you picked a monk to be a guy who was unwittingly warped by madness's schemes.

    But in 3rd? Their fluff, outside perhaps specific settings, is more or less kinda void, trying to tie into vague Shaolin Mystic references without actually fully committing to it. It's actually the reason the class IS so bad. Is that the Monk is a class where they tried to build off Fluff instead of pure mechanics (Like the Fighter who is pure mechanics based, and we all know how that ended up...). Granted, there are a lot of "better" classes that are purely fluff built based. Barbarian, Druid, Wizard, etc.

    But one of the reasons that "Hey, play that instead" is bad, is that DnD classes ARE fluff based. As much as we sometimes try to pretend they aren't. The reason most classes are the way they are is to match some fluff concept. It's why design choices were made in that direction, why they have "silly" requirements like banning alignments or codes of conduct.

    Granted you could just say "Well change the fluff then and keep the mechanics" or something. But really that's no different than homebrew. What is a Paladin without it's fluff? A samurai without Bushido? A barbarian without it's savage countenance? Might as well just whip up a new class to match the flavor and mechanics more towards your liking.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    D12 Hit Dice
    Full Base Attack
    Barb Damage reduction progression
    Any Alignment allowed
    Wis to hit, damage and special combat manuveurs.
    Flurry as standard action at 9th, Swift at 15th.
    +1 to natural attacks at 6th, +1 every 4 levels after.
    Ki focus weapons delier monk stuff (damage penetration, larger damage, etc..)
    Stunning fist per encountre, quivering fist at level12 and per day

    There you go, a crap tier 3 with nothing interesting about them but playable.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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    Talya's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlyharmful View Post
    D12 Hit Dice
    Full Base Attack
    Barb Damage reduction progression
    Any Alignment allowed
    Wis to hit, damage and special combat manuveurs.
    Flurry as standard action at 9th, Swift at 15th.
    +1 to natural attacks at 6th, +1 every 4 levels after.
    Ki focus weapons delier monk stuff (damage penetration, larger damage, etc..)
    Stunning fist per encountre, quivering fist at level12 and per day

    There you go, a crap tier 3 with nothing interesting about them but playable.
    getting a full attack + on a swift action at 15 is... it's... *sigh*... it isn't like going to break the game or anything when wizards are casting level 8 spells.
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    But you said it yourself: You are making a character to match fluff, using
    1: a class which is virtually devoid of fluff,
    2: while there are multiple classes available which PERFECTLY match with the exact same "fluff" you are aiming to construct.

    there is no compelling "fluff" reason to make a Monk when you can make an unarmed Swordsage, an unarmed variant Soulknife, an unarmored and unarmed Psychic Warrior, et cetera which all are perfectly interchangeable with the "fluff" you are looking for by default, without having to do even the slightest bit of "refluffing".
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.X] Fixing the Monk class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talya View Post
    getting a full attack + on a swift action at 15 is... it's... *sigh*... it isn't like going to break the game or anything when wizards are casting level 8 spells.
    But it's vaguely on par with a non-UMD focussed rogue, hence tier 3. Isn't that what we're going for?
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

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