A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 132
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D



    Preamble:




    This started as something I wanted to do for a while, was continuously encouraged to do, but just never seemed to have found the time to do.

    Then I saw the community tier list pop up again yesterday while in transit and it reminded me of all the ridiculous assumptions and assessments that have been made of the class recently and over the years. It reminded me why I had been meaning to write something like this in the first place. So I decided to see what I could do in an hour or two of my free time. This thread is the result. Consider it a handbook, or whatever.





    Misconceptions:



    Since it's the most recent and salient example demonstrating that people either don't understand the monk on a fundamental level, don't understand the mechanics of the game that it does objectively better than other classes, or are blatantly misrepresenting facts, I'm going to use the blurb from the thread to kick things off. The description for why it got placed an entire tier below classes like Fighter and Barbarian contains many of the commonly floated misconceptions about the class that have come up over the years, so it's a good starting point.

    Bear in mind I disagree wholeheartedly with the tier list's rankings and the reasons behind them. If you think what someone who's first starting to play 3.5 would do has any bearing on a class's power, then we never will agree. In light of that, I'm keeping the discussion of this treatise to the facts of the monk as a class relative to its competitors (other mundane classes), not as a player of any particular skill level would play it. If the "standard" for barbarian has become one who takes the Lion Spiritual Totem ACF, the Wolf Tribal Totem ACF, and the Whirling Frenzy rage variant, why wouldn't the standard monk be one who takes options like Shadow Blend, Holy Strike, and Invisible Fist? In the course of playing the monk many times over the years, I've changed more than a few minds about the class. So, who knows, maybe I'll change yours too.

    Let's start with a misconception about the class from the thread that influences the very way people think about approaching the monk: class role. An interesting excerpt for the previously mentioned tier list:

    Thirdly, youíre meant to be a melee fighter, but your damage output sucks and you canít tank worth beans either, so what are you even doing?"
    First of all, the presumption that a class must fill any one role in a particular way is laughably inane and myopic to the exploration of classes and their potential for diversity. Yet I've seen this argument in far more places than just the tier list. The idea that you--as a melee fighter--must be held to the same style and standards as a crusader is absurd. Even Fighters and Barbarians don't have to build to go into the front lines and trade blows, and to assume they would or fail at "their job" is asinine. Monks are just different. How a monk approaches survivability will never be the same as a Fighter or Barbarian simply by virtue of differences in class features. To name a few of the the basic areas where monks compare survivability-wise:

    • Monks have d8 hit dice. That means 1 less average hit point per level than a fighter and 2 less average hit points per level than a barbarian. Not much.
    • Monks have lower AC, but significantly higher touch AC than their fellow mundanes.
    • Monks have higher saving throw bonuses across the board.
    • Monks have faster movement on the battlefield for the majority of their career.
    • Monks have better skills that are directly related to character longevity in terms of: Detection (Spot, Listen, and Sense Motive vs the barbarian's Listen only), Mobility (Balance, Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble vs the fighter and barbarian's Tumble or Ride, since they can't have both), and Monster Knowledge (arcana and religion vs none).
    • Etc.


    And that's just one vector. There are plenty of others including use of resources (which can also impact survivability), damage output, control, etc.

    So I'm not going to talk about the monk in terms of the fact that it must do one thing one way. No, I'm going to discuss it on the merit of its class features and let you decide how they stack up relative to what's provided to other classes, and what you want to use them all for. To keep things brief, I'll be sticking to some of the better (or more notable, but not necessarily as well-known) class features and support the monk has. There are still plenty of others you can do cool things with, but I think the ones I'll be discussing are sufficient in debunking the myth that monk sucks.



    Monk Guide:




    WHAT MAKES A MONK (BUILDING BLOCKS):

    1) Unarmed Strike (the most powerful D&D weapon ever printed)

    2) Alternative Class Features (mine are better than yours) and Class Features (still better here too) aka Monk is more than a 2 level class

    3) Feats (or the feat, Mantis Leap, aka the 7th level capstone, and its supporting cast)

    4) Martial Arts (you mean Dodge can be used for something?)

    5) The Myth of MAD (why embracing madness is a more efficient use of resources--and your sanity)

    6) Items (cuff links for your fisticuffs)




    1) UNARMED STRIKE

    This section is actually fairly simple. As bludgeoning weapons with the highest base damage in the game while simultaneously counting as both natural and manufactured weapons, unarmed strikes have the highest potential damage of any weapon in 3.5 (and the most versatility to boot). Period.

    • Easy to Buff: spells like Mighty Wallop and Greater Mighty Wallop are buffs monks get to enjoy on top of size increases and item increases. Just remember that WotC explicitly tells us to apply all of this in the most beneficial order.
    • Item Support: you can buff your fists with your necklace slot, bracer slot, hands slot, etc. Think having a +10 weapon is good but prohibitively expensive? Monks can get +10 worth of enhancements for roughly half the price by spreading it out across 3 item slots, and they're by no means limited to that. Ring slots, feet slots, and other slots can be used to increase damage dice, multipliers, and more. A monk can almost always afford something that will help his unarmed strike between each adventure.
    • Works with Any Attack or Maneuver: Can it trip? Yes. Can it disarm? Yes. Grapple? Yes again. Etc. No matter what you're trying to do mundane attack-wise, an unarmed strike can do it. With the right modifications, it can even be fired from a bow.
    • Cannot Be Taken From You: Any part of your body can be used as an unarmed strike. This means you can do whatever you want with your hands during combat (a bigger deal than most people realize) or even take the forms of creatures with no limbs and still have your attack form available to you. Furthermore, an unarmed strike cannot be disarmed, sundered, or pick-pocketed.


    Let's take a quick look at how its damage dice scale before moving on:
    The main break point for unarmed damage is 2d6, but 2d8 and 2d10 provide significant increases to damage as well. Let's look at the traditional scaling of this weapon:

    2d6 -> 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 6d6 -> 8d6 -> 12d6 -> 16d6 -> 24d6 -> 32d6 -> 48d6 -> 64d6 -> 96d6 -> 128d6 -> Etc.

    (this is corroborated by books like Eberron Campaign Setting p.54 for feats like Improved Natural Attack)

    And identically for any 2d8 damage. 2d10 damage skips ahead to 4d8 after the first increase, per the Rules Compendium, then continues along the same pattern.

    This means that with only 1 spell, a monk's weapon can easily be doing 16d8 damage. That's like punching someone with a caster level 16 Bombardment (an 8th level spell), you get at least 5 of these and there is no save for half. Your move barbarian.




    2) ALTERNATIVE CLASS FEATURES AND CLASS FEATURES

    • Shadow Blend: at 7th level monks achieve a superpower unlike any other. Total concealment. Always active, should you desire, and only bested by daylight.

      What this does? According to the Rules Compendium, a creature with total concealment is always considered hidden. Also according to the Rules Compendium an enemy is considered flat-footed against any hidden attacks. That means 1) you no longer care about hide checks; 2) all your attacks against an opponent are made against their flat-footed AC with a +2 bonus.

      What else does it do? 50% miss chance if they correctly guess your square (12.5% chance if you're attacking from melee without reach), you cannot be targeted by targeted spells, and your opponent gets no attacks of opportunity against you. The biggest one is obviously the inability to be targeted with targeted spells. It means you no longer have to worry about some chump trying to use dispel magic on your buffstack or using maze as an easy way to dismiss your presence.
    • Invisible Fist: Invisibility as an immediate action at 2nd level and Blink as an immediate action at 9th level. The invisibility lasts only a round, but the blink can be kept up continuously by the time you get it.

      First off, at level 2 if they can't detect you, this is action denial on par with party favorites like Abrupt Jaunt and Wings of Cover. It also represents an increase in your chance to hit (+2 + attacking vs flat-footed AC). Meanwhile, blink provides coverage for an area martials are traditionally weak in: transdimensional combat. Not only is this a miss chance, it's also a means of being able to interact with things on the ethereal plane. In a dungeon, it's a way to bypass walls, doors, and traps with everyone's favorite game: how many times in a row can my coin flip land on heads. With just 16 Wis, this one stays up permanently.
    • Wild Shape: If you don't like your feats, you can trade them for a slightly delayed version of the druid's most powerful (non-spellcasting) class feature instead. Monks also make much better use of it in melee combat since they can use their significantly more powerful unarmed strikes as a primary weapon and all of their natural weapons as a secondary.
    • Martial Monk: Feat requirements are for chumps like barbarians and fighters. Let's grab the fighter's capstone feat (Weapon Supremacy) at level 1, just to show 'em the monk don't play.
    • Holy Monk: Ever felt like going down the Awesome Smite route? What about taking Travel Devotion or Law Devotion and actually being able to use it during every encounter without having to take a cleric dip? Yep, monk can do that too for the cost of only 2 feats.
    • Diamond Soul and Purity of Body: I had to include at least one of my favorite core monk tricks: turning yourself into a biological weapon. Immunity to poison and disease means you can dunk yourself in whatever and apply it via contact and/or injury at no risk to yourself. With flurry of blows that's a lot of ability damage or conditions.
    • And More!: I'll be honest, the first two alone are enough to put the monk far ahead of its mundane compatriots. The others help, but there are even more (like adding 1d6 damage to each of your attacks instead of ki strike (magic) to help even the damage gap between you and barbarians in the early levels). There's a reason I left out Decisive Strike, and we'll get to that soon.





    3) FEATS or THE Feat: Mantis Leap (and its supporting cast):

    If you thought level 7 was a monk capstone because of its continuous total concealment, then you'd be right. But there's also another little known secret from 3.0 that is exclusive to monks (of 7th level), that is: the feat from Sword & Fist known as Mantis Leap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis Leap
    Designate an opponent who is within the maximum distance you can reach with a successful Jump check. Make a normal Jump check; if your check is successful, you can make a normal charge attack against the opponent you designated as part of the same action. If your charge attack is successful, you inflict normal damage, plus your Strength modifier multiplied by 2.
    As part of the same action required to make a jump check? Are you certain you'd like to allow me to do that Wizards of the Coast? I mean, after all...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump
    Action
    None. A Jump check is included in your movement, so it is part of a move action.
    So we can jump all we want during a move action as long as we keep making the check and we still have movement left? Okay. And if I take this feat each one of those jumps ends in a charge so long as it puts me in range to attack someone? I hear monks have a lot of movement. Let's remind ourselves not to trade away that class feature...

    But wait, there's more! What if we could pounce? Oh, we can? Barbarian + Chaos Monk, right? Naw, nothing that complex, just a couple skill points in Knowledge (local) and a feat: Lion Tribe Warrior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lion Tribe Warrior
    You may make a full attack with a single light weapon as part of a charge action. If you have light weapons in both hands, you can instead strike with each weapon once, following the normal rules for fighting with two weapons.
    This couldn't possibly be better than 5x shadow pounce, could it? Yes, it is, and yes, it can. Remember that monks can use flurry of blows whenever they can full attack.

    You're probably thinking, great trick buck-o. But we all just started flying and you can't jump while flying. Well you'd be incorrect, again. Air Walk allows for mid-air jumping. If it's relevant to you, there's even a Tome of Battle stance that gives you continuous Air Walk known as Balance on the Sky. Enjoy.

    Better yet, you can combine this with actual flight to switch between the two as needed. I'm partial to the feathered wings graft, as it really is one of the few items that allows mundane characters to somewhat keep up in the wealth department.

    I'm done now, right? This Mantis Leap stuff couldn't possibly get any better, could it? Well, let me tell you about the feat Sun School. It creates potential for a not actually infinite attack loop (as long as you don't roll a 1). Inexorable Progress of Dawn allows you to push your foe back 5ft and lets you move forward 5ft. What happens if you decide to make that 5ft of movement with a jump? Oh, that's right, you get another charge attack. It's clobbering time!

    In case you wanted to crank things up another notch, buff yourself with Sadism or a friend with Masochism. Hell, feel free to use this to start making sacrifice checks. That has to be the reason they gave you Knowledge (religion), right?

    But wait, there's more! Okay... I'll stop for now. We have other things to talk about after all.




    4) MARTIAL ARTS:

    These are why my fighter builds tend to look more like monk builds. Because let's face it, some of these are actually worth all the feats you need to dump into their requirements. Which ones are those? Let's talk.

    • Word Given Form: Insane for all the same reasons the Shadow Blend alternative class feature was, except even more so, because nothing overcomes it. Expeditious Dodge and Desert Wind Dodge are nice and easy ways to give the middle finger to that dodge restriction. But even if your DM rules to now allow it to work for anything other than Dodge targets designated in the traditional vanilla feat sense, there are still plenty of ways to get multiples, one of which is another martial arts style you got for free in the process of qualifying for Word Given Form.

    • Temerad Mastery: self explanatory, get a second target. Since you can change dodge targets for free during any action (including immediate actions), two should be plenty (you also may start to see the synergy with class abilities like Invisible Fist). Target any casters and switch to your current attack target as needed. If you've been reading my treatise, they'll die in one punch, then you'll just pick another one, make a jump check, kill them, etc.
    • Ninja (Rokugan): if your DM allows "OA Samurai" they might as well allow "Rokugan Ninja." It has about the same officiality, especially since samurai was explicitly updated in Complete Warrior--but whatever. This lets you split your dodge bonus among as many targets as you want. Take Midnight Dodge or Shou Disciple and enjoy yourself.
    • There are even more, including another martial arts style with no limit on targets, but this section is growing tiresome to write, especially since Expeditious and Desert Wind dodge will probably work at your table. Figure it out yourself.


    • Broken Fist Mastery I-II: 1/2 your character level as a bonus to trip, but at a heavy cost. If you can afford the feats for it and are doing a trip build (or Setting Sun build), this could potentially be worth it. Don't forget that Broken Fist Mastery I also gave you another +4 bonus to trip, and using Passive Way to qualify for Whirlwind Attack could have also given you another +4. When your damage is based on how badly you beat them with a trip check (Setting Sun), or you absolutely must be able to throw down a tarrasque, this is one way to do it.





    5) THE MYTH OF M.A.D.

    Somehow, somewhere the community decided it was bad to be mad. Maybe it was Dr. Seuss, maybe it was group-think on the loose. Either way, it's not mathematically supported. Ability score increases get increasingly more expensive in both point-buys and for items that provide bonuses to them. Mundanes of all kind are encouraged to invest in at least two attributes: 1) their primary attack attribute; 2) secondary defense attributes. The rest of their points tend to go into qualifying for feats (most commonly the 13-15 range for Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Intelligence to get started down a certain feat chain) or get dumped into Wisdom to increase a lagging saving throw. Unless a mundane goes for a particularly high single ability score, there tend to be points left over for such expenditures and more total bonuses. In these instances in particular, having multiple abilities that benefit your character is actually a good thing.

    Even in situations where they aren't afforded such luxuries, Monks have less pressure on their tertiary ability scores by virtue of being able to ignore feat prerequisites and less pressure on their saving throws by virtue of having high saves across the board. This allows them to get away with minimal scores in key places that are often considered "secondary" attributes, such as Constitution, Dexterity, or Wisdom. Furthermore, as level increases, monks become increasingly independent of having to invest in Strength. As previously mentioned, unarmed strike scales for monks with minimal effort, so you don't really have to invest a lot in Strength either.

    This leaves monks with a greater wealth of options when it comes to distributing ability scores, while still allowing them to benefit from boosts to most of the primary, secondary, and tertiary abilities, which (as previously mentioned) get cheaper as you spread costs. To put things into perspective, for the cost of a single +4 item, a monk can buy 3 +2 items. Scaling things up, it costs 4,000 gold more than buying a second +4 item to go from a +4 bonus to a +6. This means your typical "mad" character can benefit from +10 (or +5 to modifiers) total bonuses for the same price that it costs a "sad" character to benefit from +6 (or +3 to modifiers). That's a 40% cost saving. And for a monk, those all attribute to relevant combat stats.

    Ability scores also shouldn't be thought of conventionally for a monk, as they have skills and class features that allow them to get around the necessity of high statistics in certain areas. Similar to higher levels and class features obviating the need for a high strength score, monks at mid and low levels can invest in stealth or class feature lines of defense in lieu of AC, nullifying a potential weak spot until they can shore it up with efficient gold expenditure.




    6) ITEMS (cuff links for your fisticuffs)

    Items do a better job supporting a monk's unarmed strike than any other attack form out there. They can also help you qualify for martial arts styles by providing free feats. And since we just talked about it, it's cheaper for you to support a few different ability scores than it is to try and feed one big one. That being said, items are a huge rabbit hole, so I'm not going to go through all of them, just ones that get a few of the ideas previously discussed across.

    • Mantis Leap Boosters:

      Gloryborn weapons/armor: you'll always be charging with Mantis Leap, so you might as well take advantage of this.

      Bracers of Majere: make an extra attack with every Mantis Leap you end in a flurry of blows.

      Sandals of the Tiger's Leap: don't let your Valorous weapon enhancement feel cold or lonely, give it a multiplier menage a trois.
    • Unarmed Strike:

      Ectoplasmic Fist: another increase to your damage dice.

      Fanged Ring: and another one.

      Necklace of Natural Attack: enhancements to this apply to your fists.

      Bracers of Striking: enhancements to this also apply to your fists.

      Gauntlets or Ward Cestus or Battlefists, etc.: enhancements to these also apply to your fists.

      You can also add weapon crystals to any of the last three. Yet another reason why I was not joking about the monk having a ridiculous weapon.
    • Free Feats for Martial Arts, PrCs, etc.:

      Golden Dancing Pegleg graft: a pirate monk? Does it even get anymore meme than that?

      Silverhelm of the Guardian

      Belt of Endurance: you wanted to qualify for Fist of the Forest to increase your unarmed damage, didn't you?
    • Unique Monk Stuff:

      Obi of the White Lotus Master: miss chance that can't be overcome by anything.
    • How to Shoot Your Fist:

      Scorpion Kama: throw in Sizing and Morphing to turn the thing into a bow. You're now shooting your unarmed strike damage. Throw in the Aptitude enhancement and take Unorthodox Flurry to flurry of blows with your fist bow.





    But shhhh, monk has to suck. So let's discuss it like it has to play like a fighter.
    Last edited by Sleven; 2019-10-17 at 09:44 PM.
    Sorcerer advice:
    Learn to play wizard.
    Monk advice:
    A Treatise on Monks
    A new infinite CL loop:
    The Meh-Gus
    Don't let crafters exceed WBL, it's the rules.
    How to parse Master Spellthief using the feat's text and PHB

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Reserved in case of future entries (not likely).
    Sorcerer advice:
    Learn to play wizard.
    Monk advice:
    A Treatise on Monks
    A new infinite CL loop:
    The Meh-Gus
    Don't let crafters exceed WBL, it's the rules.
    How to parse Master Spellthief using the feat's text and PHB

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    I'll take a second reserve if I want to add links.

    Here's a post that emeraldstreak made me aware of that articulates a few of the points I made in an alternative fasion:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...2#post15183972
    Last edited by Sleven; 2019-10-18 at 09:05 PM.
    Sorcerer advice:
    Learn to play wizard.
    Monk advice:
    A Treatise on Monks
    A new infinite CL loop:
    The Meh-Gus
    Don't let crafters exceed WBL, it's the rules.
    How to parse Master Spellthief using the feat's text and PHB

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleven View Post
    Works with Any Attack or Maneuver: Can it trip? Yes. Can it disarm? Yes. Grapple? Yes again. Etc. No matter what you're trying to do mundane attack-wise, an unarmed strike can do it. With the right modifications, it can even be fired from a bow.
    Spoiler: Something like this I imagine
    Show

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    So I have played with Sleven a few years and this guy earlier this year wanted everyone to play "tier 3 characters only" and he rolled in with a monk at level 4 or 5 and was doing over 70 damage a round. I also DMed a game where at level 7 or so he would kill everything in one attack.

    The only push back I could give, is that no matter the monk- high level casters can completely solve encounters often with a single spells. That doesn't diminish the argument (unless you are suggesting that monks are in the same league as full casters).


    I have also never considered the diminishing returns on ability score increases.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Frozen City
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Going into melee with a monk is a pitfall.
    "Movement speed is the most important statistic in this game."

    "Give them no mercy for they give no mercy to us."

    "I see one of those I kill it!"

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    You know what I really like? That you mentioned that given how easy size increases you don't need to invest in a lot of strength. This is true. In my monk/fist of the forest/bear warrior my only strength increases came from my brown bear form. I started the game with 18 STR and never actually raised it. In brown bear form I ended up with 37/37/37/32/27/22 flurry at 16d8+17. This is before buffs, potions, and activated "items."

    I also didn't optimize as hard as I could, this was a character from an actual game. Could easily be higher than that. Could easily accomplish more but it was in line with the group's optimization level.
    Last edited by Rhyltran; 2019-10-17 at 11:11 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Karrnath
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Alright Sleven. I'm not going to attempt to argue here on most things. In fact I'm going to bring up two things only.
    1) A charge attack requires ten ft of movement. Even with Mantis Leap allowing you to count jumps as charges, I do not see it rescinding that requirement.
    2) even with things like pounce, Flurry of Blows =/= Full Attack Action. A full attack action is a specific full round action that you may undertake. Flurry of Blows is another such action. Pounce allows you to make a full attack action at the end of a charge, which means you may not flurry of blows.

    With both of those out of the way:

    Unarmed Strikes are indeed one of the most powerful attack forms, but are usually the most expensive to get there. Either through build resources, gold, or a combination of the two. As a seventh level monk it is as simple as a single feat and a belt to reach some of the best without much more investment, so you are correct here.

    Many of these alternate class features are powerful. I do like invisible fist a lot and see it a good amount. Wild Monk is new to me, however barred in many games that I am a part of, as well as competitions on these boards.

    Mantis Leap is an unconverted 3.0 feat with shaky wording that I know I personally would rule differently. I doubt any dm that I know would allow it to be used how you intend it to be used. However unlike a lot of shaky wordings people use, I can see how it could be eschewed to mean what you believe it to, and can understand why others would as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    Alright Sleven. I'm not going to attempt to argue here on most things. In fact I'm going to bring up two things only.
    1) A charge attack requires ten ft of movement. Even with Mantis Leap allowing you to count jumps as charges, I do not see it rescinding that requirement.
    2) even with things like pounce, Flurry of Blows =/= Full Attack Action. A full attack action is a specific full round action that you may undertake. Flurry of Blows is another such action. Pounce allows you to make a full attack action at the end of a charge, which means you may not flurry of blows.

    With both of those out of the way:

    Unarmed Strikes are indeed one of the most powerful attack forms, but are usually the most expensive to get there. Either through build resources, gold, or a combination of the two. As a seventh level monk it is as simple as a single feat and a belt to reach some of the best without much more investment, so you are correct here.

    Many of these alternate class features are powerful. I do like invisible fist a lot and see it a good amount. Wild Monk is new to me, however barred in many games that I am a part of, as well as competitions on these boards.

    Mantis Leap is an unconverted 3.0 feat with shaky wording that I know I personally would rule differently. I doubt any dm that I know would allow it to be used how you intend it to be used. However unlike a lot of shaky wordings people use, I can see how it could be eschewed to mean what you believe it to, and can understand why others would as well.
    While you are right about pounce do note travel devotion does allow you to move and flurry. Not to mention with unarmed damage optimization deleting enemies on a pounce even without flurry is possible.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Karrnath
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    While you are right about pounce do note travel devotion does allow you to move and flurry. Not to mention with unarmed damage optimization deleting enemies on a pounce even without flurry is possible.
    Yup, I'm not arguing that monk isn't strong enough to be t4. It has a high ceiling, but an incredibly low floor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    I am continually astounded by how new you are here in contrast to how impressive your mind is.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Santa Barbara, California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Most mundane classes can pull off these types of things.

    And did you seriously just try to finagle MADness into a good thing? It isn't. Period.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleven View Post


    5) THE MYTH OF M.A.D.
    Furthermore, as level increases, monks become increasingly independent of having to invest in Strength. As previously mentioned, unarmed strike scales for monks with minimal effort, so you don't really have to invest a lot in Strength either.
    Indeed if you take Intuitive Attack (BoED), you don't need to invest in STR for attack bonus purposes at all. An unarmed strike is classed in the SRD itself as a simple weapon, to which the feat applies and allows you to sub in WIS for STR. Did we also mention Intuitive Attack is a Fighter bonus feat which Martial Monk can take advantage of?

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    Most mundane classes can pull off these types of things.

    And did you seriously just try to finagle MADness into a good thing? It isn't. Period.
    Being MAD isn't a good thing but the monk isn't as MAD as people think. You can easily mitigate most of the madness with feats, items, acf, prestige options, and more. It really isn't that big of a deal.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    {Scrubbed}

    Just because you disagree with how tiering works doesnít change anything. Not everyone plays characters at high op. And a vanilla barbarian or fighter beats a vanilla monk pretty badly. Actually an optimized one is way better than your suggestions also. But any PC class can be melee viable with sufficient optimization (and pulling stuff from 3.0 and exemplars of evil is absolutely as obscure as it gets. Martial monk is Dragon content. Thatís not comparable to unearthed arcana barbarians at all). T5 doesnít mean you canít create a viable melee character. It means that it is easy to fail to create a viable melee character (check) and that doing so requires a level of optimization that would be way easier with other options (check) wouldnít fly at many tables (check) needs specific stuff you canít create (check) and obscure sources that may not be in play (supercheck)

    Guide suggests that good saves allow monk to tank Dex, Con and Wis. ďThis allows them to get away with minimal scores in key places that are often considered "secondary" attributes, such as Constitution, Dexterity, or WisdomĒ Without good dex your AC sucks and half of those supposedly useful skills suck, and evasion needs you to be making saves to be useful. Without good wis the other half of those skills suck, your AC sucks worse, and stunning fist becomes useless. Without good con you are farther behind the HP game than you already were. Moreover, those good saves were supposed to be a key to survivability and you just tossed that away by dumping stats. The difference between good and bad saves is only 4 points at level 10. Everything else is just irrelevant. Wandering into melee as a monk without good dex, con, wis is just suicide.

    {Scrubbed} [U]narmed strike. Can you cast mighty wallop? No. Can you make any of that specialist gear? No. You can hope for a permissive DM and team support, the hallmark of a weak class. The barbarian is reasonably likely to acquire a decent 2 handed weapon. You need a bunch of specific stuff you canít create. You can trip or grapple with it, but you talked a lot about dumping strength and your bab is weak so you canít really do that well either. Intuitive attack doesnít help a trip/grapple. Also, there is a lot of stuff in game you just donít want to punch, and throwing your fists is ridiculous. Almost as silly as the kung fu bear idea you also endorse when discussing wildshape. Druids are decent melee combatants because they have a ton of self buffs you canít get, not because most games think they can do a bunch of unarmed strikes combined with claw claw bite.

    {Scrubbed} [M]onk skills. Int is tertiary on a mad class, so you canít even take them all. You lack key skills (like listen and search) to be a decent scout. And you say you donít need dex or wis which all your good skills are based on.

    A game permissive enough to allow rules {Scrubbed} like this was won by wizards before you cracked the spine on exemplars of evil.
    Last edited by truemane; 2019-10-18 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Scrubbed

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MaxiDuRaritry's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    Being MAD isn't a good thing but the monk isn't as MAD as people think. You can easily mitigate most of the madness with feats, items, acf, prestige options, and more. It really isn't that big of a deal.
    So if you spend all of your character resources in mitigating the monk's crippling weaknesses, it suddenly becomes awesome?

    Make the monk great again?

    I don't think that means what you think it means.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    So if you spend all of your character resources in mitigating the monk's crippling weaknesses, it suddenly becomes awesome?

    Make the monk great again?

    I don't think that means what you think it means.
    All of your resources? Absolutely not. I never said all of the above is needed. You can use a few here and there. The options to decrease how MAD a class isn't hard. As for gnaeus, items, racial modifiers, feats, and more can shore up weaknesses. There are plenty of ways to increase dexterity as well if you truly desire it. Including items. It is a small investment when by level 20 you have 760,000 WBL. Most of the items are relatively cheap. There are rules as well for combining magical items as well as the ability to make your own custom ones. Even if you forego those rules you still end up with 760,000 by the end of the game. Also listen is a class skill. Unlike the OP I am not claiming monk is the best martial but it is certainly not as weak as people make it out to be. I also find it funny when people claim it can't scout. I used it for that role in an actual game. Gnaeus also keeps mentioning INT is tertiary and thus can't take all the useful class skills. Carmendine and/or kung fu genius would like to have a word with you.
    Last edited by Rhyltran; 2019-10-18 at 01:52 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    As for gnaeus, items, racial modifiers, feats, and more can shore up weaknesses. There are plenty of ways to increase dexterity as well if you truly desire it. Including items. It is a small investment when by level 20 you have 760,000 WBL.
    Of course you can. Is monk unplayable? No. Is it among the weakest classes in the game? Yes. Can I pull out all the opti fu and make a kickass samurai? With a lot less odd sources and spotty rules than OP. Truenamer? Hell, with magic mart assumed and all possible sources and a caster throwing buffs you canít provide yourself optimizing skill checks is a cinch. Every feat, every item that is fixing a weakness is one you donít have to do something else. Why is warblade T3 and fighter on the 4/5 border? With 760,000 gp, magic mart all sources I can make a great fighter. One that performs more than competently. Can I do it with random drop treasure? Ehhhh? Maybe? With luck? Warblade? Easy. It has a lot less weaknesses to fix.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2019-10-18 at 01:54 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Of course you can. Is monk unplayable? No. Is it among the weakest classes in the game? Yes. Can I pull out all the opti fu and make a kickass samurai? With a lot less odd sources and spotty rules than OP. Truenamer? Hell, with magic mart assumed and all possible sources optimizing skill checks is a cinch. Every feat, every item that is fixing a weakness is one you donít have to do something else. Why is warblade T3 and fighter on the 4/5 border? With 760,000 gp, magic mart all sources I can make a great fighter. One that performs more than competently. Can I do it with random drop treasure? Ehhhh? Maybe? With luck? Warblade? Easy. It has a lot less weaknesses to fix.
    Never said monk is on the level or above warblade. Yet fighter is considered above monk. Yet it isn't. Again, I would take a monk over a fighter equal optimization on the table. Racials can take care of a lot. Heck whisper gnome isn't the best race for this but it is a common race given cursory looks online. The race alone will allow you to be a moderately skilled scout with little investment in dex. Even suppose 4 maxed skills. Hide, move silently, spot, and listen. This is literally if you have no int bonus. Again, custom items sure can allow most classes to be amazing but monk doesn't require that much effort. Again, outside acf you can easily go carmendine, improved natural attack, and really whatever. Assuming literally zero magical items the fighter has a greatsword or glaive or spiked chain and the monk has topped out on 4d8 damage + strength. Fighter has lower class skills and less versatility. A monk has more useful skills out of the gate and movrment to put them to good use. It isn't even a contest. One of the worst classes? Please it is far superior to the likes of samurai that doesn't even have useful features or synergy. Once you bring in items and acf the monk has useful features there. Chaos monk + invisible fist together fix much of the monks problems. Trading crappy features for better ones. Wild shape monk alone craps on many other martials. I have always seen monk based on the chasis mediocre but not bad or terrible as other people view them. Though the beauty of 3.5.. anything can be amazing with the right know how.
    Last edited by Rhyltran; 2019-10-18 at 02:14 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Gonna have to echo the chorus here, man.

    I love playing a monk as much as anyone but the class itself doesn't give you much beyond a solid platform to build off of with your gear.

    A lot of the criticisms are -way- overblown (seriously, 3-5 points of difference from an ability mod is the difference between a skill being good and useful vs sucking to the point of useless?) but they're not entirely invalid.

    The class' abilities don't synergize particularly well by default and while you can trade them away most of those trades aren't spectacular. You've highlighted pretty much all the best ones here.

    They -are- MAD. It probably only means a couple points difference in the long-term but a couple points here and there add up. You really need to either mitigate it in some way or accept it and let your features lag a little compared to where they could be.

    Biggest nail in the coffin though; virtually everything but unarmed strike and fast movement are defensive. Defenses are only half the equation.

    You can make a perfectly viable character out of a monk. Doesn't change the fact you've got to work harder to do so than with most other classes.
    I am not seaweed. That's a B.

    Praise I've received
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

    Avatar by Tiffanie Lirle

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rynjin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    So I have played with Sleven a few years and this guy earlier this year wanted everyone to play "tier 3 characters only" and he rolled in with a monk at level 4 or 5 and was doing over 70 damage a round. I also DMed a game where at level 7 or so he would kill everything in one attack.
    Neat. Counter-argument: so?

    I like Monks. I'm pigeonholed into being "the Monk guy" in my own group (though I play Pathfinder rather than 3.5). Monks are incredibly fun to play and almost unmatched in the versatility of build they can present.

    But the first step to enjoying Monk is understanding Monk, and the fact of the matter is that Monk sucks; building a Monk is all about taking weaknesses and shoring them up before focusing on strengths, because their strengths also suck and their weaknesses are nigh-crippling.

    The list of "Monk strengths" in the OP is self-evident enough for this:

    Monks have d8 hit dice. That means 1 less average hit point per level than a fighter and 2 less average hit points per level than a barbarian. Not much.
    Monks have lower AC, but significantly higher touch AC than their fellow mundanes.
    Monks have higher saving throw bonuses across the board.
    Monks have faster movement on the battlefield for the majority of their career.
    Monks have better skills that are directly related to character longevity in terms of: Detection (Spot, Listen, and Sense Motive vs the barbarian's Listen only), Mobility (Balance, Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble vs the fighter and barbarian's Tumble or Ride, since they can't have both), and Monster Knowledge (arcana and religion vs none).
    Etc.
    Monks have a d8 HD. yes, this isn't "much" worse; but it IS worse.

    They have a lower AC, but a higher touch AC...so? 90% of all attacks you'll be taking are against regular or flatfooted AC; neither of which your Monk abilities are conducive to increasing.

    Monks do have better saves (with the caveat that in PF instead of 3.5 this is not true, as Barbarians have bonkers save bonuses).

    Monks do have faster movement; however this is largely irrelevant, as mobility is heavily discouraged by the game.

    I won't comment much on skills, as my experience with 3.5 is limited, but I'll go out on a limb and say that nobody plays a Monk to be a skillmonkey any more than they play a Fighter or Barbarian.

    In a list of 5 supposed strengths, they really only have one unequivocal benefit over other classes. The post damns itself from early on if the premise is that Monks are strong inherently.

    CAN Monks be strong? Absolutely, but it's not a function of the class itself. Anything and everything can be optimized, even otherwise weak options. That you can think of ways for a Monk to potentially outshine X doesn't much matter, even before figuring out that you can most likely figure out how to make an optimized build for X that blows your optimized Monk out of the water too if you're a "specialist" in X class.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2019-10-18 at 02:16 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Gonna have to echo the chorus here, man.

    I love playing a monk as much as anyone but the class itself doesn't give you much beyond a solid platform to build off of with your gear.

    A lot of the criticisms are -way- overblown (seriously, 3-5 points of difference from an ability mod is the difference between a skill being good and useful vs sucking to the point of useless?) but they're not entirely invalid.

    The class' abilities don't synergize particularly well by default and while you can trade them away most of those trades aren't spectacular. You've highlighted pretty much all the best ones here.

    They -are- MAD. It probably only means a couple points difference in the long-term but a couple points here and there add up. You really need to either mitigate it in some way or accept it and let your features lag a little compared to where they could be.

    Biggest nail in the coffin though; virtually everything but unarmed strike and fast movement are defensive. Defenses are only half the equation.

    You can make a perfectly viable character out of a monk. Doesn't change the fact you've got to work harder to do so than with most other classes.
    Curious about this kelb do you think the monk is below Fighter or about the same level? The OP and I don't agree. My view is monk is a mediocre chasis like the Fighter. It isn't terrible on the level of Samurai. I do not argue that monk is good. Never claimed that. I do argue with the idea that it is one of the worst classes.
    Last edited by Rhyltran; 2019-10-18 at 02:18 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    My view is monk is a mediocre chasis like the Fighter. It isn't terrible on the level of Samurai.
    Did someone say Samurai?
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Haha. You seem to view Samurai the way I view monks. As someone who always wanted to like the Samurai it is late. Will give it a read and pm you tomorrow if you don't mind.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    Curious about this kelb do you think the monk is below Fighter or about the same level? The OP and I don't agree. My view is monk is a mediocre chasis like the Fighter. It isn't terrible on the level of Samurai. I do not argue that monk is good. Never claimed that. I do argue with the idea that it is one of the worst classes.
    I'd put the fighter ahead of the monk by a decent margin. Not so much that they don't belong in the same tier but certainly enough to matter.

    Definitely better than CW's samurai still. That isn't much of a bar though and you can still make a competent character even with that hot mess. You've basically got to go to NPC non-casters to get any lower.
    I am not seaweed. That's a B.

    Praise I've received
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
    [...] bringing Kelb in on your side in a rules fight is like bringing Mike Tyson in on your side to fight a toddler. You can, but it's such massive overkill.
    A quick outline on building a homebrew campaign

    Avatar by Tiffanie Lirle

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tula, Russia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleven View Post
    In light of that, I'm keeping the discussion of this treatise to the facts of the monk as a class relative to its competitors (other mundane classes), not as a player of any particular skill level would play it.
    Stop right there!
    If you meant "mundane" as "non-magical" (rather than as "boring"), then Monk isn't "mundane", and never was "mundane":
    • Ki Strike? Su!
    • Wholeness of Body? Su!
    • Diamond Body? Su!
    • Abundant Step? Su!
    • Quivering Palm? Su!
    • Empty Body? Su!
    • Shadow Blend? Su!
    • Invisible Fist? Su!
    • Wild Shape? Su!
    • Turn Undead? Su!
    So, as we can see, Monk is a mage!
    (One of the lamest mages in the whole game!)
    Thus, competitors would be Psychic Warrior and Sworsage (or, if Core-only, then... Ranger?)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    For this to be a useable guide on how to make monks viable, it needs to give sources.
    Not all of us (especially those who don't know how to make monks viable) know where most of the ACFs you quoted come from.

    I am not against ACFs, in fact I actively try to get the group I play with to try taking the things, but it's a lot easier to take in your suggestions if you give sources rather than expecting us to go and look up where things come from every other line of your guide.

    So, please re-work this into a load a serious advice on the different ways of how to make monks more effective - I would love to play a useful monk, but I have seen too many fails and I don't know how to do it. Also please remember to cover the monk across all levels - a character who is effectively dead weight until level 7 is unlikely to reach level 7 to be come awesome if the campaign starts at level 1...

    And two rules queries:
    The ability to jump as part of a charge does not negate the movement limitations for a round (obligatory OOTS link) so Mantis leap allows the monk to attack kung-fu film style in mid air, finishing the jump the next round after attacking the opponent (cool, but not over-powered) it does not allow extra movement in a round.
    As for natural attack size increase effects, in my experience nearly all of them include the clause "one size larger than you actually are" which means they don't stack. If you are saying that the monk can easily count as 4 or 5 times larger you need to specify how.

    In short, please work on this guide - it could be brilliant, but currently it just serves to start rules debate.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Here to agree with the original post and Khedrac. The monk gets stronger from things people assume are obscure sources. Maybe if this got turned into more of a guide and an argument at the same time it would help. Doing a level by level breakdown of the posibilities ranking the alternates might be a good idea, willing to help this weekend pm me. I think this thread was started to not derail the new tier system thread as monk was taking over.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    Never said monk is on the level or above warblade.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran
    Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D
    Unless you're counting ToB classes as "not mundane?"

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyltran View Post
    It is a small investment when by level 20 you have 760,000 WBL. Most of the items are relatively cheap.
    The problems with this: one, most people don't play to level 20. Second, you're spending those resources in the early and mid-game when you really need that money for a whole bunch of helpful items, and having to spend part of that money to just slightly alleviate your MAD issues is not helpful. Other martials get to spend the same money, and many aren't stuck with Monk's MAD issues.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Aotrs Commander's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Derby, UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Treatise on Monks: Why the Monk is the Most Powerful Mundane Class in 3.5 D&D

    I suppose it is worth noting that MAD factors less depending on the PC's starting stats - if you're not using 3.5's default stat system and running something like base 8, 30-36 points, point-for-point, you can easily afford to have a good couple of 18s and some spare. (And not worry about any diminishing returns1.

    (And that it doesn't really make the SADs significantly better, since by definition, their one and only stat can't get any better.)

    So, as usual, precise environment does have an effect.



    1Frankly, I suspect 3.x's insistence on trying to make a purely linear scale have a nonlinear cost was principally to maintain a bit of a sacred cow to keep the AD&D grognards swtiching over happy that you couldn't just pick high stats because high stats were supposed to be "rare" because of the legacy of rolling for stats (same as the multiclassing restictions). I have never used them myself; when we stopped rolling for stats, we started using point-for-point without a second thought.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2019-10-18 at 08:16 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •