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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    So there is a rogue. Then there is the Shadow Monk. Can anyone explain to me why one might pick one over the other?

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Because you want all of the Monk goodies and not the Rogue goodies?

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    We give up. What is the point of a shadow monk?

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Because they occupy totally distinct mechanical niches, and have very little in common other than both being generally expected to be stealthy?
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    So that your lips can keep moving after you've stopped talking?

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    So, honestly, it comes down to flavor and player preference. Both are highly sneaky, and can put out decent damage, and neither are tanks. It's easy to see the similarities, so lets list some differences.

    1. The monk is a bit more mobile, with abilities like fast movement and slow fall to help. The Rogue can't really keep up in this department (Trickster can with clever spells, but those cost resources).

    2. They have different attack methods. The rogue is a one shot, one kill type, where the monk tends to spread out a bit. So rogues end bosses, while monks handle the four goons. Actually make a good team.

    3. The rogue is better at straight SNEAKING, but with access to Pass without Trace, the shadow monk can more or less win out in sneakiness over the rogue, and with Shadow Step, the Rogue gets left behind. Even the AT with Misty Step can't keep up.


    In a nutshell, the difference lies in play style. If you want to be the typical "thief" skulking through shadows and picking pockets, rogue is the way to go. If you want to be the king's advisor and disappear in a puff of smoke, monk has you covered. If you want to tag team a boss with the fighter, rogue is the way to go. If you want to dispatch four goons per round, monk is better suited.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessEternal View Post
    We give up. What is the point of a shadow monk?
    Because its a ninja, and rogues don't have enough kung-fu/combat ability for my taste.
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by carrdrivesyou View Post
    1. The monk is a bit more mobile, with abilities like fast movement and slow fall to help. The Rogue can't really keep up in this department (Trickster can with clever spells, but those cost resources).
    It's worth noting that the Monk doesn't really become more mobile than the Rogue until about lvl.10 when Fast Movement catches up to Cunning Action Dash. Yes, the Monk can spend Ki to Bonus Action Dash, but that comes with the consideration of whether the resource cost is worth it, while the Rogue always has that option.

    Once you hit tier 3 though, the Monk absolutely does overshadow Rogue in mobility.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    rogue is skillmonkey and thus superior
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    The rogue is a "hits-hard" sneaker with mobility, plus stealing abilities and great skills.
    The monk is a "disables" sneaker (stun, silence, darkness) with mobility, with better defenses (AC + saves) and more native magic (teleport, invisibility options at 11 & 18).

    There's conceptual overlap with mechanical differences. I'm interested in going Shadow monk if I ever get to play instead of DM... right after I do a half-orc wizard.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Monk is more flexible as a damage dealer than rogue and doesn't rely on ulterior circumstances to deal more damage.

    Monks have the potential to make more attacks in a turn than almost any other class. Each of which have a separate chance to crit. Rogue can benefit from sneak attack only once per turn, so it roughly evens out between the two classes. Rogues start strong, but monk gets better for a long time, until rogue climbs back on top. The versatility, however, is in that the damage doesn't have to be made to just one target, but rather, it can be spread out between multiple targets. That's actually very good thing, because the attacks each deal relatively same amount of damage (especially after 11th level, when martial arts deals as much damage as best weapon the monk has proficiency with).

    Monk's damage is spread out between multiple attacks. Don't shy away from the class just because their martial arts die starts at 1d4. It adds up eventually, even though rogue seems to get higher overall. But again, keep in mind that monk has four separate attacks, while the rogue has only two, and only one of them can deal the extra damage, if they meet its requisite circumstances. Monk needs only to spend one ki point for the two bonus attacks.

    Spoiler: MONK VS ROGUE COMPARISON
    Show

    The following is made only to compare both classes' damage output without subclasses or magic weapons taken into consideration.

    Spoiler: 1st level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    1st-level Monk (w/Martial Arts + quarterstaff ability modifier +3)
    1d8+1d4 + 2 × [ability modifier] = an average of 13 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    1st-level Rogue (w/two short swords ability modifier +3)
    3d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 14.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 2nd level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    2nd-level Monk (w/Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff ability modifier +3)
    1d8+2d4 + 3 × [ability modifier] = an average of 18.5 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    2nd-level Rogue (w/two short swords ability modifier +3)
    3d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 14.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 3rd level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    3rd-level Monk (w/Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff ability modifier +3)
    1d8+2d4 + 3 × [ability modifier] = an average of 18.5 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    3rd-level Rogue (w/two short swords ability modifier +3)
    4d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 18 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 4th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    4th-level Monk (w/Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +4)
    1d8+2d4 + 3 × [ability modifier] = an average of 21.5 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    4th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +4)
    4d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 19 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 5th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    5th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +4)
    2d8+2d6 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 28 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    5th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +4)
    5d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 22.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 6th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    6th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +4)
    2d8+2d6 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 28 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    6th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +4)
    5d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 22.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 7th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    7th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +4)
    2d8+2d6 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 28 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    7th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +4)
    6d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 26 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 8th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    8th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    2d8+2d6 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 32 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    8th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    6d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 27 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 9th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    9th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    2d8+2d6 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 32 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    9th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    7d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 30.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 10th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    10th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    2d8+2d6 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 32 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    10th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    7d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 30.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 11th level: Monk = Rogue
    Show
    11th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d8 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    11th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    8d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 12th level: Monk = Rogue
    Show
    12th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d8 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    12th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    8d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 13th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    13th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d8 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    13th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    9d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 37.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 14th level: Monk > Rogue
    Show
    14th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d8 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    14th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    9d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 37.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 15th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    15th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d8 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    15th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    10d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 40 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 16th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    16th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d8 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 34 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    16th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    10d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 40 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 17th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    17th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d10 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 42 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    17th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    11d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 43.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 18th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    18th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d10 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 42 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    18th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    11d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 43.5 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 19th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    19th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d10 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 42 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    19th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    12d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 47 damage in one turn.


    Spoiler: 20th level: Monk < Rogue
    Show
    20th-level Monk (w/Extra Attack + Flurry of Blows + quarterstaff; ability modifier +5)
    4d10 + 4 × [ability modifier] = an average of 42 damage in one turn.
    VS.
    20th-level Rogue (w/two short swords; ability modifier +5)
    12d6 + 1 × [ability modifier] = an average of 47 damage in one turn.
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2020-01-17 at 03:29 AM.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    Monk is more flexible than rogue and doesn't rely on ulterior circumstances to deal more damage.
    ??? How do you figure the Monk is more flexible? I've always viewed the Monk as one of the least flexible classes, due to limited build options, MADness and concepts. On the flipside, Rogue has the potential to fill conceptual design space ranging from Lovable Street Rat to Mage College Wrestling Team Champ and just about everything in between...and that's before considering Rogue archetype.

    Besides, Rogue is definitely more flexible than Monk. Monks don't get Expertise in Acrobatics...
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    The Rogue is a skillful expert that excels in some particular technical area (stealth and infiltration is *an* area they can specialize in, not the *only* area) and develops their skullduggery/efficient attacks (sneak attack). If you want to be primarily a combatant and an expert, Rogue is the better choice over something like Bard (which most recognize as the Rogue-type caster.)

    The Monk is an ascetic that has unlocked mystical abilities. The Shadow monk in specific is one that has mastered supernatural means of infiltration, disappearance, etc. Their focus lies in their discipline and transcendence of mortal limitations through achieving some kind of higher state of being or enlightenment; this allows them to see a layer of the world inaccessible to the uninitiated, and the secrets of that world can be accessed and manipulated.

    The point where the two are similar is the Arcane Trickster and the Way of Shadow. Both use supernatural power to deceive and manipulate in some way. The key differences are the greater potential depth of the AT but lower resources (they have a wider pool of tricks to pick from, but often fewer spells/day than Monks have ki/day), and the more "innate" nature of the WoS (they don't pick features and, as noted, eventually just become better at mobility etc. without spending anything at all).

    They *are* similar archetypes. This is not a bad thing. A magical assassin is more European/Middle Eastern in flavor and structure. A ninja is more East Asian/South Asian in flavor and structure. They reach similar destinations. Like how Fighter and Barbarian often reach similar destinations via different paths.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    For the same reason every d&d class exists, sometimes people don't want to play a wizard.

    Shadow monk vs rogue is about punching, more upfront combat abilities, and pass without trace to bring allies along for the stealth. Also they pair well, a shadow monk with stunning fist can facilitate more sneak attacks and more sneak attack crits because of advantage. So, go shadow monk when:
    a. you want to aid allies hiding and sneaking
    b.the rogue's more fragile AC and reliance on effective cunning action doesn't work well with your party/you party is more benefited by a character will some more frontline capacity.
    c.you already have a rogue that can work well with what the monk brings to the table.
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    I Am A: Lawful Good Human Wizard/Sorcerer (1st/1st Level)
    Ability Scores:
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    ??? How do you figure the Monk is more flexible? I've always viewed the Monk as one of the least flexible classes, due to limited build options, MADness and concepts. On the flipside, Rogue has the potential to fill conceptual design space ranging from Lovable Street Rat to Mage College Wrestling Team Champ and just about everything in between...and that's before considering Rogue archetype.

    Besides, Rogue is definitely more flexible than Monk. Monks don't get Expertise in Acrobatics...
    I got distracted while I was typing the initial message, and I forgot to add "a few" important key characteristics I find rather valid and important to take into consideration when comparing monk and rogue.

    Rogue's got skills and expertise, that's for certain, and monk can't really compete in that regard. However, Monk's got attacks, a lot of them. Not to mention they can use Stunning Strike with each of them if they want to, and potentially disable several opponents in just one turn. Rogues can deal a huge amount of damage with one hit, if "the stars align". Monk can also deal a huge amount of damage, either to one target, or spread out to several.
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2020-01-17 at 03:39 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by loki_ragnarock View Post
    So that your lips can keep moving after you've stopped talking?
    Can I send my dry cleaning bill to you for spitting my coffee? That was funny lol
    Last edited by blackjack50; 2020-01-17 at 07:47 AM.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    It's worth noting that the Monk doesn't really become more mobile than the Rogue until about lvl.10 when Fast Movement catches up to Cunning Action Dash. Yes, the Monk can spend Ki to Bonus Action Dash, but that comes with the consideration of whether the resource cost is worth it, while the Rogue always has that option.

    Once you hit tier 3 though, the Monk absolutely does overshadow Rogue in mobility.
    In terms of raw speed? Sure.

    However, Monks get a free Disengage (and a doubled jump) with their bonus-action Dash. Heck, Drunken Monks get a free Disengage whenever they Flurry. Monks are generally better equipped to run in-and-out of fights than Rogues are¹.

    In terms of general mobility, Rogues do win until 9th level - up until that point, (potentially) having Expertise in Acrobatics or Athletics is a big boost. But then Monks get to run up walls and walk on water, and Rogues can't really compete anymore.

    ¹ Unless you're my current GM and arbitrarily decide that Dashing means that you're "too fast" for a given monster to react to...
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    However, Monks get a free Disengage (and a doubled jump) with their bonus-action Dash.
    Umm...whut? Might want to check that one again. Monks get Disengage OR Dash for their Ki point (plus the double jump). Wouldn't know about Drunken Master (see my sig) so can't comment.

    There's still the issue that it competes with Flurry and Dodge for both Ki and Action as well as other abilities that cost Ki. Monk has serious competition for that Bonus Action and Ki, especially pre-lvl.10 when Ki points are still not plentiful enough to blow them at whim. The Rogue...not so much.

    Generally speaking, I consider Rogues the more mobile, because Slow Fall, Water Walking and Wall Running are so incredibly niche and by the time the Monk can reliably outpace the Rogue, run-speed is by-and-large irrelevant compared to Fly (and Fast Movement doesn't help there, but Cunning Action still does).
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Mobility-wise it is tough to pick between them; they rock back and forth between levels.

    Both can move very fast but with different resources consumed.

    Bonus actions are not free; there is an opportunity cost.

    I would say that shadowmonk's level 6 ability adds more to mobility than the rogue gets. The ability to just bypass obstacles, to get the effects of a dash, a disengage and advantage from a single bonus action is pretty epic. With this and at higher levels the ability to run over walls and water the monk is decidedly special... however magic items can change all this. If the rogue can fly then this can change.

    The martial focus of each of the classes is different as well. The shadowmonk is more control than damage - darkness, silence and stunning strike can really curtail the effectiveness of some enemies whilst rogues can dish out some serious damage.

    Both are viable - it just depends on what you want to be good at.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    In the same way that a fighter with Outlander background overlaps a ranger, a rogue overlaps a shadow monk... which is to say only somewhat. Theoretically the monk class as a whole doesn't need to exist, but then most of D&D could be something else. If the designers wanted to, they could have made a martial-arts themed archetype for each class and omitted the monk class altogether (kind of how 2e AD&D initially did it, with various 'oriental' kits; but then they also introduced a monk class 2-3 times as well throughout the edition). However, that would have disappointed people who liked the monk class and it's not clear who it would have benefited (although I'd argue that there should be the option of doing better unarmed fighting as an archetype for rogue and some other martial classes, it's not like overlapping niches/multiple-avenues-to-the-same-goal aren't already a thing in this edition).

    Looking at the rules as the actually are, it's pretty easy to make a sneaky guy who ambushes people and runs away (particularly using short swords) with either class. It's fairly difficult to switch those short swords out for fists if you use the rogue (Tavern Brawler only works if you use feats, is str-dependent, and does not support sneak attacks). Thus there's definitely a 'martial arts movie ninja' role that rogues don't well serve. Again, they could, with a slight tweak to the existing rules, but there's also a way to do it already presented.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Somewhat fun aside: Shadow Monks pair well with rogues as a MC combo. Hell, go Wood Elf and Scout 9, rest Shadow Monk. That's a LOT of mobility, Expertise, attacks, and defense, and decent SA damage. It kinda brings the base strengths of both classes into play in a very synergistic fashion.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Umm...whut? Might want to check that one again. Monks get Disengage OR Dash for their Ki point (plus the double jump).
    OK, so we've apparently been playing Monks wrong. Well, time to completely ignore that and make that a houserule!
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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    It's worth noting that the Monk doesn't really become more mobile than the Rogue until about lvl.10 when Fast Movement catches up to Cunning Action Dash. Yes, the Monk can spend Ki to Bonus Action Dash, but that comes with the consideration of whether the resource cost is worth it, while the Rogue always has that option.

    Once you hit tier 3 though, the Monk absolutely does overshadow Rogue in mobility.
    shadow monk gets 60ft of teleport as no-cost bonus action at level 6.
    Last edited by NaughtyTiger; 2020-01-19 at 08:30 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Monks hit things with their simple weapons, Rogues stab things with their finesse weapons.

    Monks do so consistently for swingy damage per hit, Rogues do so swingingly for consistent damage per hit.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post
    shadow monk gets 60ft of teleport as no-cost bonus action at level 6.
    Yes, but it has the limitations of both start location and destination being in dim light or darkness and the destination being visible from the start location. This is a far cry from a no-cost bonus action Dash, considering that at lvl.6 you'll likely have access to flight via the Fly spell, if not something like a Broom of Flying (50ft fly speed, uncommon magic item).

    The Monk looks, on the surface, to be inherently more mobile than the Rogue, but the reality is that the Monks mobility is limited by both resource and circumstance, whilst the Rogues inherent mobility, which comes close to (if not exceeds) the Monks, is enhanced by resource expenditure and circumstances in a way that the Monks is not.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Yes, but it has the limitations of both start location and destination being in dim light or darkness and the destination being visible from the start location. This is a far cry from a no-cost bonus action Dash, considering that at lvl.6 you'll likely have access to flight via the Fly spell, if not something like a Broom of Flying (50ft fly speed, uncommon magic item).

    The Monk looks, on the surface, to be inherently more mobile than the Rogue, but the reality is that the Monks mobility is limited by both resource and circumstance, whilst the Rogues inherent mobility, which comes close to (if not exceeds) the Monks, is enhanced by resource expenditure and circumstances in a way that the Monks is not.
    got it. shadow monks are limited by resource (bonus action) and circumstance (dim light). rogues have inherent resource and circumstance independent mobility like magic items and a wizard who will concentrate on fly.
    Last edited by NaughtyTiger; 2020-01-19 at 03:58 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack50 View Post
    So there is a rogue. Then there is the Shadow Monk. Can anyone explain to me why one might pick one over the other?
    Honestly they really differ much more than you apparently think. :)

    First quick reaction on a tidbit. :)
    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    ??? How do you figure the Monk is more flexible? I've always viewed the Monk as one of the least flexible classes, due to limited build options, MADness and concepts. On the flipside, Rogue has the potential to fill conceptual design space ranging from Lovable Street Rat to Mage College Wrestling Team Champ and just about everything in between...and that's before considering Rogue archetype.

    Besides, Rogue is definitely more flexible than Monk. Monks don't get Expertise in Acrobatics...
    Point about Expertise (that is moot if feats or multiclass are allowed, although that does restrict race in the former case ;)) aside, I'd argue that it's simply a matter of context.

    In general, Monk is much more flexible than Rogue *in the context of a fight*: Rogue is all about Sneak Attack to help kill an enemy as fast as possible, and that's about it. Monk can paralyze multiple persons, tank quite decently for a round, or distribute damage to finish off two enemies for example.
    With that said, archetypes can make that statement extremely blurry or outright invalid: for example, a Thief that knows how to use objects smartly, or an Arcane Trickster that can access powerful spells (once paired with Magical Ambush), can reach a level of flexibility in tactical answers that even a 4E Monk can't match.

    In general, Rogue is much more flexible than Monk *outside combat*: the sheer number of skills paired with Reliable Talent (and Expertise) means you can safely pull the weight for party on at the very least six or seven skills. Provided your DM gives chance to exploit evenly all kinds of skills, you'll be more efficient than a Monk in, say, informing about a creature's specifics, or even perceive dangers although you probably have lower WIS.
    With that said, Monk gets unique tools that can be invaluable.

    In specifics (SM vs R), mobility:
    At lower levels, Rogue has more mobility. At level 6, Monk may have more mobility when Shadow Step is usable, but it's not guaranteed. At level 11, any Monk outmatches Rogue, stat (particular mention for 4E).

    In specifics, tanking:
    Both have similar AC overall until at least level 10. Whenever resources are available, Monk can be more tanky. As soon as you're out of resources, Rogue wins because its defensive abilities are free of charge (Disengage to avoid OA, Uncanny Dodge to soften a powerful blow like a critical).
    So whoever is the "best tank" depends a lot on your playstyle, how often you can actually do what you'd like, and the short rest management.
    Note though that at level 14 plus, things change with Monk taking back the head: ability to be proficient in all saves AND reroll if needed is very important (note though, Rogue can get all three important with class features and Resilient: Constitution, not as good but still nice), and late tier resistance to all damage is basically permanent Uncanny Dodge or a whole minute.

    In specifics, spying:
    From level 1-10, Shadow Monk will win this one in most situations, easily, unless you match it with an Arcane Trickster: in all other cases, visibility will be the same problem to enable sneaking, except that Pass Without Trace both provide a flat +10 (so like Reliable Talent at level 3 for a 2nd level slot) and erase sound (in case your DM takes this kind of thing into account).
    Problem though is that spell lasts one hour. So for long solo missions, Rogue easily wins.
    Arcane Trickster would have an edge over Shadow Monk in having access to Invisibility, but only one or two slots for it.
    At level 11 Reliable Talent without resource means Rogue gets on top again... But not for long.
    At level 13 Monk gets ability to understand ALL languages. Unless the Rogue decided he really wanted to know all languages (which is rarely the case) and worked on it during downtime since level 1 (provided it's actually a known language and you have teachers/resources availables) it's invaluable for a spy. So unless your adventure makes you face the same few kinds of races, or you happen to get a caster that can store Comprehend Languages in a Ring for you, it's a big difference, especially at high levels where traveling around planes can become common.
    Again, Arcane Trickster has a big edge over other Rogues here: Comprehend Language he can get at level 3, and at that level, it should be enough to cover the few times you encounter enemies which speak an uncommon language.

    So, really, you can probably pick a Shadow Monk and a Rogue and use the same playstyle for both, but it would be definitely a conscious choice, because otherwise imo they can have many different playstyles each, but all different from one class to the other.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    OK, from my experience, the rogue don't surpasse the shadow monk in mobility. Yes he can bonus action dash, which is the least used free bonus action rogue ever use, period. Rogue need to hide to generate damage, or they are engaged with an enemy and will take disengage. In my experience dash is rarely used more than once in a fight. The monk has an innate increased movement speed, and their chassis is made to move around constantly. They have all the monk goodies with water and walls etc. I love rogues, but for pure useful mobility any monk can do better.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronic View Post
    OK, from my experience, the rogue don't surpasse the shadow monk in mobility. Yes he can bonus action dash, which is the least used free bonus action rogue ever use, period. Rogue need to hide to generate damage, or they are engaged with an enemy and will take disengage. In my experience dash is rarely used more than once in a fight. The monk has an innate increased movement speed, and their chassis is made to move around constantly. They have all the monk goodies with water and walls etc. I love rogues, but for pure useful mobility any monk can do better.
    Rogues trying to hide in a fight for "pop-up" sneak attacks are, IMO, doing it wrong. It's far easier to generate SA by standing next to an ally than it is to waste actions and risk failure by hiding. On top of that, a Rogue that isn't angling for an off-turn Sneak attack by staying in the melee has some learning to do, or has something more important to do.

    Bonus Action hide is great if your Rogue is going solo, but generally speaking you shouldn't need it or it shouldn't be the best course when the whole team is playing. Likewise, a Rogue is far tougher than Monk in a straight up fight due to Uncanny Dodge and better armour options (not to mention the possibilities the Arcane Trickster has access to) and can survive better than most expect or realise; this should make Disengage a rarely used action, though certainly more than Hide.

    Dash is far and away my most used Cunning Action aspect; whether it's maneuvering around foes to avoid OA's, to navigate around them to access the squishies behind, or staying *just* out of reach. At the end of the day mobility is all about speed before anything else. On the whole, the Rogue is faster. Yes, the Monk *can* be faster but most of the time he *won't* be faster. It's the difference between what is potential and what is actual. The Rogue is *actually* faster, even though the Monk is *potentially* faster.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: What is the point of a Shadow Monk?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Rogues trying to hide in a fight for "pop-up" sneak attacks are, IMO, doing it wrong. It's far easier to generate SA by standing next to an ally than it is to waste actions and risk failure by hiding. On top of that, a Rogue that isn't angling for an off-turn Sneak attack by staying in the melee has some learning to do, or has something more important to do.
    Rogues that constantly stay in melee are often dead rogues. Run in and out using Disengage or Dash and risking an OA (if you don't have Mobile) is totally a great thing of course.

    But Hiding can (depending on circumstances) also be a good way to avoid being targeted completely.

    Not saying there aren't times that sitting in melee isn't good, or that removing yourself as a possible target isnt bad, but it isn't usually that way around as the optimal strategy for the typical rogue.

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