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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default That's no monk...

    I have an idea for a character who began to train as a monk, but owing to some nasty circumstances (he was framed for assassinating his sensei) he had to flee the dojo with a horde of vengeful monks after him, with only what he learned in the monastery to help him.

    He was targeted to take the fall for the murder because he was effectively a rebel against the discipline of the dojo, and his alignment will be CG or more likely CN. To simulate that he has monk training but not monk initiation, he has no levels of monk but is a human Fighter instead with Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike and Combat Expertise (I'm basing that on my own knowledge of martial arts, specifically jiu-jitsu).

    His personality is outwardedly calm and contemplative but he's got a lot of internal fire and un-monk-like emotions too, especially againt those who betrayed him. He has an enemy; the monk who he suspects of betraying him. If the DM agrees I think he should also be inspired by the ghost of his sensei; who is unfortunately powerless to do much more than advise (rather like Roy's Dad).

    Any thoughts on this idea? In rules terms I'm hoping to build an oriental martial artist warrior without using the monk class, which many people say is underpowered (I would agree) and also doesn't represent real martial arts very well.

    I also need to think of a name for him, preferably Japanese-sounding and quite dramatic. I'm starting him at lvl 1; armed probably with a glaive (naginata), bow and a few shuriken.
    Last edited by Kami2awa; 2007-07-28 at 08:02 AM.

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Could you possibly switch to the unarmed variant of the Swordsage? For the fighting style in question, your best bet is Setting Sun maneuvers.
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    How about Tatagami No'ga Ronin for a name?

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    I like the character concept. Very nice.

    For a long time, I was very anti-monk and have often wondered about the best way to build a monk-like character that's not a monk. I decided that a plain ol' fighter with the appropriate feat selection was the way to go. The one problem that I couldn't resolve was armor issue. Do you envision your martial arts expert wearing any type of armor? I never found a way around that and subsequently stopped hating the monk class.

    Curious to see what others suggest.

    Edit: P.S. - Whenever I have trouble coming up with a name, I go to this fabulous website. It has list after list of names sorted by culture, historical period, source (e.g., fantasy books), etc. A list of Japanese names is here.
    Last edited by ranger89; 2007-07-28 at 09:23 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadrian_Emrys View Post
    Could you possibly switch to the unarmed variant of the Swordsage? For the fighting style in question, your best bet is Setting Sun maneuvers.
    I don't own the relevant books, and I like to keep things in the realm of the core rules anyway. I don't know how the Swordsage works, but I'd prefer this fighter not to have supernatural abilities.

    I might give him a guisaume, rather than a glaive, because a glaive cannot be used in trip attacks (though this is slightly bizarre because naginata and bo jitsu* includes lots of tripping opponents by striking their legs), or a longsword as a katana-substitute (he's lvl 1 so a katana is out of his price range).

    *Quarterstaff fighting.
    Last edited by Kami2awa; 2007-07-28 at 09:57 AM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Most of the Setting Sun maneuvers are (Ex) - but not owning the Tome of Battle does put a damper on that plan.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami2awa View Post
    I don't own the relevant books, and I like to keep things in the realm of the core rules anyway. I don't know how the Swordsage works, but I'd prefer this fighter not to have supernatural abilities.
    Don't think of them as supernatural abilities think of them as Chi or Ki abilities using manuevers and stances..
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2007-07-28 at 09:45 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    I really like the idea. Two thoughts on the build part:

    Armored: I could see a martial artist wearing leather armor or a toughened gi (same stats as padded). Ask your DM if you can have a variant of spiked gauntlets that instead are leather gloves with metal studs in them or brass knuckles. It's really all flavor and past maybe the damage type changing from piercing to bludgeoning the stats for the weapon could remain the same. This would give you access to masterwork versions (+1 to attack) and finally weapon enchancements. Maybe multiclass a bit in ranger for TWF and favored enemy (they taught you how to hit a human/elf/etc where it hurts).

    Unarmored: This may not be what you're looking for, but multiclassing as the Battledancer base class from the Dragon magazine (also in the Dragon Magazine Compedium) might be helpful. I think some of their later abilities don't make sense but just taking the early levels would allow you to add your charisma bonus to ac if unarmored.

    Hope that helps.

    ranger89: Cool, love the website for generating names, going to have to start using that in my games. Even though it wasn't directed towards me thanks for posting it.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami2awa View Post
    I don't own the relevant books, and I like to keep things in the realm of the core rules anyway. I don't know how the Swordsage works, but I'd prefer this fighter not to have supernatural abilities.
    If you do a little searching at the Wizard's web site you can download most of the maneuvers and stances for free.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    I love the character concept, it's absolutely fabulous! The AC problem might be a bit rough, though, except that with a good dex and a chain shirt you should be able to handle that.

    One thing you'll want to look into is a way to increase your unarmed damage. I believe Superior Unarmed Strike will let you count your fists as being equal to those of a monk four levels higher, which should give you a 1d8 damage - it can be found in Tome of Battle, unfortunately, though. Improved Natural Attack is the best you'll get otherwise, which will limit you to 1d4... you'll definitely need something to get better than that.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by illyrus View Post
    Unarmored: This may not be what you're looking for, but multiclassing as the Battledancer base class from the Dragon magazine (also in the Dragon Magazine Compedium) might be helpful.
    Ehh? Battledancer? This is from which Dragon mag?
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    I am in love with this thread. I even brought flowers.

    The armor question is easy to solve if you put aside your natural assumptions and think outside the box a bit. Many Chinese Wuxia martial artists wore armor, but if that is to much I find a simple breast plate and arm/leg guard equivalents suffice quite well. Whatever weapon you decided, someone out there has dedicated a unique martial art around. Hell, if they have tessen-jutsu (war fans) they have Glaive-jutsu. I know your origional character concept was japanese, but don't let that discourage you from using several chinese ideas when it comes to being monk-like with out the monk.

    P.S. Stunning Fist is a fighter bonus feat.
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Taking the "hunter" variant druid from Unearthed Arcana as inspiration, you might talk to your DM and see if he'll just let you swap your armor proficiencies for a monk's AC bonus (including Wisdom to AC).

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    A bit of-topic, but what is the unarmed swordsage varaint? I'm assuming you don't just mean a swordsage you takes the improved unarmed strike feat from ToB?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by ToB p20, "Adaptation"
    However, a swordsage works very well as a supernatural martial artist of almost any school or origin. To create a monklike character with a tremendous array of fantastic moves and strikes, give the swordsage the monk's unarmed strike progression and remove his light armor proficiency.
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    Last edited by Inyssius Tor; 2007-07-28 at 07:43 PM.
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Skjaldbakka View Post
    A bit of-topic, but what is the unarmed swordsage varaint? I'm assuming you don't just mean a swordsage you takes the improved unarmed strike feat from ToB?
    Nope. Look at the last part of the Swordsage section of ToB. There is an unarmed version and a narutoesque magical version. I am very fond of all three versions. Swordsage is my favorite class period at the moment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    Toho has retroactive powers of awesome. He makes things that he hasn't done, and have already happened, better by his existence
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganurath View Post
    If anything, the term should be What Would Toho Do?
    Of course, in all situations the answer is Be A Badass.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Maybe the simplest way is a FIghter who puts all of his feats into improving his Unarmed Strike:

    - Improved Unarmed Strike
    - Weapon Focus (US)
    - Weapon Specialization (US)
    - GWF (US)
    - GWS (US)
    - Two Weapon Fighting
    - ITWF
    - Improved Critical (US)
    - Stunning Fist
    - Superior Unarmed Strike

    Etc.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Lord Iames Osari's Avatar

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Skip the Weapon Focus tree and take Superior Unarmed Strike earlier, followed by Improved Natural Attack.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Question Re: That's no monk...

    Isn't there some debate as to whether INA actually works with an unarmed strike? Some inconsistencies in rules descriptions seem to say the unarmed strike is not a natural weapon...

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    Lord Iames Osari's Avatar

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Not that I'm aware of.

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Apropos of nothing, when I saw the thread title, I initially mused that it was probably about a sumo wrestler type.

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus_Obsidian View Post
    Ehh? Battledancer? This is from which Dragon mag?
    yeah i was thinking of this class to, but it's actully in the dragon compedium (really great book btw). I'm not a 100% positive but i think this class may be the chaotic monk your looking for. Then again it may destroy the concept by having to many monk like abilites. Check it out if you can though
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    I love your concept but sadly I have no advice. I do agree that studded leather or a chain shirt would probably be wise. And ALOR, you probably get this alot, but you have an AWESOME avatar.
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    Default ... it's an idiot who thinks he is!

    It sounds like a great idea, and it's something I have thought of doing as well. I'm not sure how it would work out, but give it a try and let us know how well it does. I think it could work.
    My idea? Don't wear armor, at least at higher levels (you might have to at lower levels, or just suffer through the low AC). Get items like the amulet of natural armor and rings of deflection, stuff like that. That way, you have a passable AC and you look like a monk. Also, see if you can get enhancements added to simple clothing. Yah, my shirt is +2. Why? I think that would be quite funny and would probably allow it as DM.
    This also reminds me of the unarmed combat style feats I want to create. Feats that give you abilities you would have if you studied different martial arts, such as tai-kwon-do, or jui-jit-su. I also have an idea for brawling. They deal different amounts of damage and give you different abilities (such as jui-jit-su allowing you to counter an enemies attack, or brawling giving you damage reduction). You could probably use something like that.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    If you're basing this on BJJ, you should probably have some grappling supplements, like Improved Grapple.

    Keep in mind, though, that using Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu (If it's called 'Jiu Jitsu' and not Jujutsu, it's 'Brazillian', as 'jiu' and 'jutsu' are misromaniztions) is slightly incongruous with the other aspects of the character, especially the oriental flavor. BJJ does have its roots in Judo, but it's much less Asian now (if often rather more practical). I'd recommend using something like Karate or Kung-fu as a base, especially since D&D is geared toward strike-based martial arts.

    As a Japanese name, I'd suggest Shishido Baiken, a not-too famous chain-user known for being defeated by Musashi.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    No, the style I study is oriental jiu-jitsu/ju jutsu and there are a lot of ways to spell it in English. It is the style favourite by the BJJF (British Jiu-Jitsu Federation). It is primarily based on throwing and locking techniques.

    I'm thinking actually of switching Improved Unarmed Strike to Power Attack to represent a Kiai'd strike, unarmed or with the longsword. Can Power Attack be used on the follow-up attack to a trip attack using Improved Trip?

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    As an alternitive you could try to find one of the many chaotic monk varients posted on the homebre section.
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Monk 2/Fighter 4/Barbarian 4/Drunken Master 10

    You're a renegade Monk at 1st level, but you cling to your old training until you can appropriately change your alignment (level 3, when you take your first level of fighter).

    Your inner anger is expressed through barbarian levels, and you've learned that drowning your anger and frustration in alcohol is a way to keep you sane and help you cope with your demons.

    With this build, you're focused on hitting people with improvised weapons, and gaining massive strength bonuses by consuming huge amounts of alcohol and raging.

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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami2awa View Post
    I'm thinking actually of switching Improved Unarmed Strike to Power Attack to represent a Kiai'd strike, unarmed or with the longsword. Can Power Attack be used on the follow-up attack to a trip attack using Improved Trip?
    As far as I know, yes, but you would have to incur the AB Modifier at the beginning of the Round and it would apply to your Trip Attack as well.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-07-29 at 09:57 PM.
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    Default Re: That's no monk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Isn't there some debate as to whether INA actually works with an unarmed strike? Some inconsistencies in rules descriptions seem to say the unarmed strike is not a natural weapon...
    The FAQ confirms that this feat works for Monks, due to the line in their rules where it says
    A monks unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
    However, I haven't seen any justification for this feat working for a wannabe-Monk Fighter. Not that it would be particularly game-breaking.
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