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  1. - Top - End - #901
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    what makes you assume that? You have a car and there is always someone who'll buy it right away? Whereas you can never buy a car when you want it?

    Sounds strange to me.

    - Giacomo
    My dad sold a 1992 Geo-Storm in 1996, while I was still living in Mississippi.

    Now, Giacomo, would you care to visit your local used car shops and see if you can find a 1992 Geo-Storm for sale?

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    My dad sold a 1992 Geo-Storm in 1996, while I was still living in Mississippi.

    Now, Giacomo, would you care to visit your local used car shops and see if you can find a 1992 Geo-Storm for sale?
    You mean the party wizard's dad sold a wand 12 years ago and now you expect the monk to buy it back? What strange logic is that? In case that car...er wand was unused/undepreciated in the meantime, then it's of course even possible.

    Some points to make here, guys:
    - eversmoking bottle is used when the party is outpowered or when it is USEFUL, not otherwise. Example: the bottle is used clearly signalled to the others in the party before, getting th 50ft necessary distance (easy thanks also to the monk's good move). Tactics, guys, tactics!!! Will the wizard in your book cast black tentacles when the rest of the party is in melee vs the bad guys? Nope, he'll do something else. Why do you expect the monk player not to follow that simple logic?
    - now if the ugly green things all of a sudden are not big nasties, but mooks, then the monk simply flurries to his heart's delight in melee combat, disarms with combat reflexes up to 4 (3 enlarged) times per round IN ADDITION to what he already does on his turn etc. Enlarged that means possibly 6 attacks per round at 3d8+4 damage each (or 3 unarmed strike up to 10ft range plus 3 spiked chain disarms at +20 up to 20ft range).
    READ THE JOKER MONK BUILD. PLEASE.
    And, btw, the rogue CAN sneak attack several enemies per round at once. It's called two-weapon fighting, +7 BAB and full round attack.
    - the non-short-term-buffed UMD at level 10 can be +17 (with heroism up around 80 minutes), or +15.
    - partial wands are available. Get over it. The ONLY thing that the rules have to say about availability is the PRICE. Because that is what determines which size of city can offer this kind of item. Check out DMG p.199 and the magic item introduction rules.
    DMs who hand out random treasure WITHOUT giving their players the chance to exchange it for the eventual wbl items they like to have are not assumed by the rules, though you can certainly play this way in your campaign. However, based on your variant of the rules I daresay you cannot argue about whether a class is useful or not. Similarly, you can have a campaign where, after created with 50 charges, wands are either sold or never change hands for some reason. But this is not what is assumed in the rules.
    - yep, I misread Talic's part about the druid casting shapechange (Talic wrote "shapeshift", so we both erred here), not wildshape. Still, that assumes the druid is level 17& up. For those rare encounters where the monnk needs to share in the morphing cheese suggested by Talic, he can easily afford it. Plus, a much cheaper AMF will bring down that druid's glory quite fast. Or even a silence in case the druid loses initiative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    Oh, I know it can be done. I've played it. I did worse in combat than the Fighter, and worse out of combat than the Rogue.
    You have played a monk with diviner power up and still you found that you did worse than fighter and rogue in combat?
    Again: with divine power, your BAB equals that of the fighter, you get more attacks than the fighter. This should roughly even out the feat advantages the fighter has in mere melee damage output (though not the tactical versatility of the fighter in melee combat).
    The rogue needs sneak opportunities to even compete here.
    WITHOUT divine power, it is an entirely different matter, true. Which I would call balanced, or the monk would be too strong.

    Your point? You're arguing the usefulness of UMD here, not grappling. And since thats the thing I think is a sub-par choice, thats what you should concentrate on.

    Nope. A rogue UMDing divine power to better grapple would not get such a return out of his investment, simply because his class abilities (sneak anyone?) do not synergise well with grappling boosts.

    There are people who can spit toothpicks with great accuracy. But I can shoot someone before those toothpicks will do anything worthwile to the same target.

    There are people who can grapple really well. But there are many many many many many more effective ways of disabling a target than grappling.


    Well, not at the levels 1-8 I portrayed as good levels of grappling for the joker monk. Though, there certainly are some ways. Care to name some? At levels 1,2,3,...8.
    I'll suggest some likely contenders:
    - sneak? Situational, target needs to be flanked or loose DEX bonus. Grapple? Just move close and touch attack. Your grapple should beat opponent's. If not, use different method. If it does, the opponent has almost no chance to escape.
    - spell? Well, solid fog and black tentacles are quite good, all others before necessitate saves to REALLY take out opponents. And solid fog is not taking the opponent out, it slows him to 5ft steps AND provides him with concealment from the caster's attacks. And black tentacles? Well, a monk COULD maybe beat that grappling check at those levels...
    - barbarian charging with power attack? Powerful, but will it take out the opponent? Can that opponent still maybe flee after getting hit for 30 damage?
    - tripping build? Tumble helps escape it.

    And now Chosen_of_Vecna's idea about an above-CR-optimised-core-party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    Rogue-Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Acid Flasks, Ring of Blinking, Hulking Hurler, Perfect Two Weapon Fighting without any pre-reqs at level 10. Core works fine, but you can also make a non-core one with a Wand Bracer filled with Sniper's Shot, and Golem/Grave/Plant Strike.
    Apparently core does not work fine, since I discern some hulking hurler in there. Anyhow, ring of blinking is not available by wbl at level 10 yet (or you go beyond the 25% wbl recommendation). Acid flasks?* Yes, that’s a great idea- 3 ranged touch attacks for 6d6 damage each (it’s non-magical, though, so watch out the creatures with damage red/magic).
    Anyhow, the rogue MAY create with UMD wands often enough blink effects to get in his 6d6 damage (=21 average). 20% of his attacks do not hit (=17 avg damage), so the damage output vs the flurrying monk (3d8+4=17) could be roughly the same (for the duration of the blink, which lasts less than the enlarge; although this is in turn equated by the rogue’s better to hit). Meanwhile, the monk may have slightly better AC, slightly better hp and more tactical feats and his grappling option that the rogue does not have.

    Cleric-Either Caster type, using SRD only, Cloistered Cleric, spontaneous domains, using buffs and debuffs. Or go DMM Persist with nightsticks and become nearly immortal.

    Let's keep to the core stuff. OK, simple cleric level 10 is your answer. You know my reservations about whether clerics (or casters) are uber. Just some more hints:
    - the cleric likely has some armour on, possibly limiting his move to a quite static 20ft
    - the cleric has a different role to the monk. So it is hard to compare them. In any case, a simple cleric of level 10 will NOT be able to consistently face enimies of CR 11 or more, encounter after encounter. Show the spell combo up 4 times/day that can do that; with example pls. And note also that a monk with silence up can take out nicely an enemy level 11 cleric and up (provided said cleric has not freedom of movement up, but still a silence spell would close him down nicely).

    Wizard-Overland Flight at all times, save-or-X, and just plain X spells. Or go non core and get even better spells and permanent invulnerability.

    Overland flight? You mean, the wizard is still clearly visible to all enemies (and there are tons of flying or missile-using enemies at CR 11&up which you expect to consistently beet with a 40ft move flying wizard)

    Fighter-Core Archer Fighter is best, or SRD only Stand Still Spiked Chain Fighter. Or go non-core, make an Uber-charger, Or a much better Lockdown type. Or better yet, replace him with a Cleric/Druid/Rogue/Wizard. I'm partial to Druid.

    Stant still already is non-core.
    The fighter core archer is good (I should know ). But he'll be glad about an occasional meleeing monk, I dare say! (including one that warns him with his higher spot and listen of distant enemies).
    Anyhow, I think the 4 arrows/round fighter archer of 10th level (boots of haste, rapid shot) will not be able to win consistently vs CR 11 creatures or more. But perhaps you have a good example of this? Which would really interest me.

    - Giacomo

    *EDITED - overlooked all aspects of the good idea for a rogue to use acid flasks.
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-31 at 03:33 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #903
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    My dad sold a 1992 Geo-Storm in 1996, while I was still living in Mississippi.

    Now, Giacomo, would you care to visit your local used car shops and see if you can find a 1992 Geo-Storm for sale?
    I have actually seen one for sale three places. City of Dis, City of Brass and in Sigil.
    I tried bargaining with the Imp and Quasit, respectively, but they insisted charging the price of an almost full wand and I am fairly certain they were backed by some higher power.
    In Sigil the Modron salesthing did not have bargaining as a function, so unfortunately I was unable to buy it at a reasonable price even though I was so lucky to find it in all these three cities.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    You mean the party wizard's dad sold a wand 12 years ago and now you expect the monk to buy it back? What strange logic is that? In case that car...er wand was unused/undepreciated in the meantime, then it's of course even possible.
    If it can be sold, it can be bought, right?
    I believe you are seeing the flaw in the argument that you can get a specific kind of used wand, with a specific amount of charges, that may have been sold at any time in the past, available for your monk?

    I am really quite interested in hearing how a shop is guaranteed to have used wands with the exact amount of charges your monk wants available.

    For standard 50 charge wands, the answer is obvious; the shop makes them. But used wands? It's not like a band of adventurers spontaneously decides to sell a 20 charge Wand of Enlarge Person 5 days before you came in to search for that exact same item.
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-31 at 03:55 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #905
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    So, I'm kind of perplexed Giacomo. You keep citing grappling as one of the major strengths of the monk. I've been messing around with grapple myself, and even when I homebrewed a class specifically designed to grapple REALLY well, I was still coming up short against a good chunk of the monsters.

    So let's get a quick comparison up here, using a basic core fighter:
    Starting stats, with 28 pt. buy are Str. 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10 and Cha 10, which is pretty well-balanced for a fighter with no glaring flaws. We'll say he's cross-classing UMD so he can conceivably do what Giamonk can. We're using your own stat block, I'm ignoring buffs since with his 10 Cha and cross-class UMD he can potentially buff just as much as the Giamonk. Better, even, with his lack of a charisma penalty.

    Level 1: Giamonk has +6 to grapple, the Fighter has +8
    Level 2: Giamonk has +7 to grapple, the Fighter has +9
    Level 3: Giamonk has +8 to grapple, the Fighter has +11
    Level 4: Giamonk has +9 to grapple, the Fighter has +12
    Level 5: Giamonk has +9 to grapple, the Fighter has +13
    Level 6: Giamonk has +10 to grapple, the Fighter has +14 (with Wealth by level, around here fighter may have Gauntlets of Ogre Power for +15)
    Level 7: Giamonk has +11 to grapple, the Fighter has +15/16
    Level 8: Giamonk has +14 to grapple, the Fighter has +18 (should definitely have Gauntlets of Ogre Power by this point, stat boosts to strength bring it higher as well)
    Level 9: Giamonk has +14 (listed as +13 but it shouldn't have dropped) to grapple, the Fighter has +19
    Level 10: Giamonk has +15, the Fighter has +20 (with Wealth by level, around here a fighter may have upgraded to a Belt of Giant's Strength for a total of +21)
    Level 11: Giamonk has +16, the Fighter has +21/+22
    Level 12: Giamonk has +17 to grapple, the Fighter has +23 (by now should definitely have that belt)
    Level 13: Giamonk has +17 to grapple, the Fighter has +24
    Level 14: Giamonk has +17 (apparently gauntlets were sold to fund wands) to grapple, the Fighter has +25 (Fighter's also sitting pretty with wealth, so he may by this point have a +6 belt for +26)
    Level 15: Giamonk has +18, Fighter has +26/+27
    Level 16: Giamonk has +19, Fighter has +29 (by now, should definitely have that belt, stat increase brings his strength higher as well)

    So, with the expenditure of 2 feats, the Giamonk starts 2 points behind the fighter, and the gap increases to 10 by the time it hits level 16. If the Giamonk gets lucky, he MIGHT be beating the fighter in a grapple on occasion, but the higher level they go the less likely that becomes. Even if the fighter didn't take Improved Grapple, it balances out at level 5. It gets worse if you've got a Barbarian, who can rage and not even need the feat, and who, if human, can get the feat anyway and be up on the Giamonk even more.

    Now, if there's one thing I know about grappling since I like the concept of a character who can fling stuff around that he shouldn't be able to. A lot of the creatures you'd be encountering at these levels even the FIGHTER can't outgrapple (remember, Fighter can get Enlarge just as easily as Giamonk can with his own cross-class UMD).

    You've been touting grapple as an effective strategy, but I'm just not seeing how it works. I'll post up some monster examples later (it's almost 3:00 a.m. here), but I'd like to see how you can grapple effectively with your score.
    Last edited by Behold_the_Void; 2008-05-31 at 04:38 AM.


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  6. - Top - End - #906
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    - partial wands are available. Get over it. The ONLY thing that the rules have to say about availability is the PRICE. Because that is what determines which size of city can offer this kind of item. Check out DMG p.199 and the magic item introduction rules.
    The problem with this argument is that even if partially-charged wands are available to buy, a campaign with any sort of verisimilitude is going to hamper your selection considerably. You're pretty much confined to rooting around in the bargain bin of your local Tom's Magic Shoppe, and the odds of your finding exactly what you need there are minuscule.


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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Some points to make here, guys:
    - eversmoking bottle is used when the party is outpowered or when it is USEFUL, not otherwise. Example: the bottle is used clearly signalled to the others in the party before, getting th 50ft necessary distance (easy thanks also to the monk's good move). Tactics, guys, tactics!!! Will the wizard in your book cast black tentacles when the rest of the party is in melee vs the bad guys? Nope, he'll do something else. Why do you expect the monk player not to follow that simple logic?
    How does one know when the party is outpowered before a fight starts all the time?

    Actually, the wizard won't probably cast Black Tentacles. Glitterdust is more effective (and easier to aim, too).

    - now if the ugly green things all of a sudden are not big nasties, but mooks, then the monk simply flurries to his heart's delight in melee combat, disarms with combat reflexes up to 4 (3 enlarged) times per round IN ADDITION to what he already does on his turn etc. Enlarged that means possibly 6 attacks per round at 3d8+4 damage each (or 3 unarmed strike up to 10ft range plus 3 spiked chain disarms at +20 up to 20ft range).
    READ THE JOKER MONK BUILD. PLEASE.
    Huh what? It's TWFing Spiked Chains and Unarmed Strikes? Look at the feat cost:
    Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), TWF, SF (UMD), Magical Aptitude, Improved TWF. Monk has to be human for it to work, and there's a high chance that he won't actually hit. And he can't disarm with combat reflexes if the enemies don't provoke AoOs.

    And, btw, the rogue CAN sneak attack several enemies per round at once. It's called two-weapon fighting, +7 BAB and full round attack.
    Never claimed otherwise. In fact, that supports my point that Greater Invisibility is better than grappling a single target in terms of dishing out d6s.

    DMs who hand out random treasure WITHOUT giving their players the chance to exchange it for the eventual wbl items they like to have are not assumed by the rules, though you can certainly play this way in your campaign. However, based on your variant of the rules I daresay you cannot argue about whether a class is useful or not. Similarly, you can have a campaign where, after created with 50 charges, wands are either sold or never change hands for some reason. But this is not what is assumed in the rules.
    But then you wouldn't find 5 charge wands lying around everywhere, will you? You can't even craft a 5 charge wand in the first place, and "we sell everything you need" shops don't necessarily exist.
    RAR!

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    I'll get to the rest of the fail later (especially the part where he thinks parties don't take on above-CR challenges all the time; he must never actually PLAY D&D, because parties do this -all the time-), but Giacomo, QUIT IT with the partially charged wands.

    There's a price for SELLING them if you find them. The game NEVER says you can buy whatever wands you want. You can buy what's listed.
    You try to argue "but it makes sense to buy partially charged wands if you can sell them", but that's obviously wrong, because it only makes sense to buy *the ones you sold*. There is like a 0.00001% chance of someone else selling the exact wand you want with the exact number of charges you want.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-05-31 at 06:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo
    Acid flasks?* Yes, that’s a great idea- 3 ranged touch attacks for 6d6 damage each (it’s non-magical, though, so watch out the creatures with damage red/magic).
    Acid flasks deal acid damage, so they are unaffected by DR/magic.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Seriously, Giacomo, you've been proven wrong time and time again. Nobody takes you seriously any more. At this point, you're just trolling.
    Last edited by Nebo_; 2008-05-31 at 06:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    but let us assume that a situation comes up where noone has the surprise.
    Such situations are surprisingly common.

    No, at level 10 you''ll probably have realised that the joker monk will use the eversmoking bottle,
    Ah, so you agree that your initial plan of UMD'ing is a bad strategy. Good. However, while UMD'ing amounts to the monk doing nothing, the bottle trick will amount to the monk being a net negative to party effectivity. In that case, it goes like this:

    Round one: Rogue sneak attacks, fighter charges, cleric prayers, wizard does imp invis. Gonk pops the bottle.

    Round two: The entire party (minus the fighter who charged out of range) has to make fort saves to avoid choking. Statistically, one of them will fail, possibly more. So the wizard runs out of the cloud, and is on the wrong side with no LOS to the enemy. The cleric runs out of the cloud in the different direction, and gets attacked by the UGTs. The rogue is invisible so doesn't have that problem, so he goes "facepalm" and sneak attacks his idiotic teammate who just gimped the party.

    Round three: Wizard casts Gust of Wind to clear out the smoke. Cleric and fighter clear out the UGTs while the invisible rogue clears out the gonk. And there was much rejoicing.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    - yep, I misread Talic's part about the druid casting shapechange (Talic wrote "shapeshift", so we both erred here), not wildshape. Still, that assumes the druid is level 17& up. For those rare encounters where the monnk needs to share in the morphing cheese suggested by Talic, he can easily afford it. Plus, a much cheaper AMF will bring down that druid's glory quite fast. Or even a silence in case the druid loses initiative.
    No once again, because you can't actually activate that scroll, you don't have enough money to use it consistently, the Druid can easily stay 60ft up in the air so that you can't reach him with the AMF, and then he can send in his Animal Companion who can easily beat you while you are in the AMF. Nor does Silence help you in any way, since the Druid can easily wildshape into a big creature with a better grapple check, or just move away and cast spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Apparently core does not work fine, since I discern some hulking hurler in there. Anyhow, ring of blinking is not available by wbl at level 10 yet (or you go beyond the 25% wbl recommendation). Acid flasks?* Yes, that’s a great idea- 3 ranged touch attacks for 6d6 damage each (it’s non-magical, though, so watch out the creatures with damage red/magic).
    Anyhow, the rogue MAY create with UMD wands often enough blink effects to get in his 6d6 damage (=21 average). 20% of his attacks do not hit (=17 avg damage), so the damage output vs the flurrying monk (3d8+4=17) could be roughly the same (for the duration of the blink, which lasts less than the enlarge; although this is in turn equated by the rogue’s better to hit). Meanwhile, the monk may have slightly better AC, slightly better hp and more tactical feats and his grappling option that the rogue does not have.
    1) Firstly this has nothing to do with fighting the Monk, I am explaining how to build a party that regularly beats above CR enemies. None of these care about the Joker Monk, because he is quite honestly a joke, and would be easily killed before even getting off most of his UMD effects.

    2) The Rogue at level 10 is throwing (assuming 20 dex halfling, which is quite low) +10/+10/+10/+5/+5 targeting flat footed touch AC for 6d6 Acid damage, and 6d6 ongoing acid damage next round (forcing concentration checks). And probably another +2 for attacking as invisible.

    3) And if you happen to be playing in a game, then the Rogue would have just saved money and bought the ring at level 9.

    4) Actually, when using Blink, you have no miss chance with ranged attacks, because as soon as the flask leaves your hand, it is no longer under the effect of the blink spell, forcing it to strike in the material plane with no miss chance (unfortunately, not allowing you to strike anything in the ethereal.)

    5) It's acid damage, or fire damage, or whatever he chooses. It's elemental, so it ignores DR or all kinds, and can be switched around if they do have Acid resistance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Cleric-Either Caster type, using SRD only, Cloistered Cleric, spontaneous domains, using buffs and debuffs. Or go DMM Persist with nightsticks and become nearly immortal.

    Let's keep to the core stuff.
    No, let's not. You are the only person in the entire world that thinks D&D should be limited to 3 of the 300 books. Everyone else plays D&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    OK, simple cleric level 10 is your answer. You know my reservations about whether clerics (or casters) are uber. Just some more hints:
    - the cleric likely has some armour on, possibly limiting his move to a quite static 20ft
    - the cleric has a different role to the monk. So it is hard to compare them. In any case, a simple cleric of level 10 will NOT be able to consistently face enimies of CR 11 or more, encounter after encounter. Show the spell combo up 4 times/day that can do that; with example pls. And note also that a monk with silence up can take out nicely an enemy level 11 cleric and up (provided said cleric has not freedom of movement up, but still a silence spell would close him down nicely).
    1) I'm not comparing him to the Monk, or saying that he single handily takes on higher CR challenges, I am saying that he is a very useful part of a party that does so. And is far more useful then a Giamonk.

    2) The Cleric doesn't care if he's confined to 20Ft, not that he needs to be. His job is to buff the party, and debuff the enemies. He can do this fine either way. Because unlike your ideal party of Monk and helpers, this party doesn't run away from every challenge, it just kills everything it faces.

    3) My answer is not simple Cleric 10, and never has been, not that such a thing even exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Wizard-Overland Flight at all times, save-or-X, and just plain X spells. Or go non core and get even better spells and permanent invulnerability.

    Overland flight? You mean, the wizard is still clearly visible to all enemies (and there are tons of flying or missile-using enemies at CR 11&up which you expect to consistently beet with a 40ft move flying wizard)
    I mean the Wizard can do whatever he wants, because it usually takes him about one round to disable half or more of the enemies, and most ranged attacks are pitiful, not that overland flight is his only buff. I expect such a Wizard to help his party easily defeat CR 11 and up challenges on a regular basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Fighter-Core Archer Fighter is best, or SRD only Stand Still Spiked Chain Fighter. Or go non-core, make an Uber-charger, Or a much better Lockdown type. Or better yet, replace him with a Cleric/Druid/Rogue/Wizard. I'm partial to Druid.

    Stant still already is non-core.
    The fighter core archer is good (I should know ). But he'll be glad about an occasional meleeing monk, I dare say! (including one that warns him with his higher spot and listen of distant enemies).
    Anyhow, I think the 4 arrows/round fighter archer of 10th level (boots of haste, rapid shot) will not be able to win consistently vs CR 11 creatures or more. But perhaps you have a good example of this? Which would really interest me.
    No he won't. And neither will the party. Because you various solutions:

    1) Buff for 5 rounds while the party defeats the enemies.
    2) Smoke Bottle so he can't shoot anything.
    3) Run away, forcing him to kill it with the party.

    do nothing to help him.

    Secondly, he is easily replaced by a Druid who does more damage, tanks better, and does all that without casting spells, though he can of course do that too.

    You missed this, It's tha party that beats CR 11-15 challenges several times a day, not the individuals.

    So yes, in the first round of combat the Rogue has his intelligent blink ring activate throws his 5 acid flasks. The Wizard casts Black Tentacles, Solid Fog, or something like ray of stupidity if there are any animals (like Hydras) to beat or Enfeebles something. The Druid and his Animal Companion both Pounce charge and Pin/damage/poison two enemies (all three). Then the Cleric casts some party buff (he already has several others going) or casts an area debuff on enemies.

    See, each member of the party does more in the first round, then you do in the whole fight with your Giamonk. And of course, the fight is usually over by the second or third round.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    You mean the party wizard's dad sold a wand 12 years ago and now you expect the monk to buy it back? What strange logic is that? In case that car...er wand was unused/undepreciated in the meantime, then it's of course even possible.
    You mean someone somewhere decided to sell back that awesomely useful wand of Enlarge which means you automatically get to find it?

    - eversmoking bottle is used when the party is outpowered or when it is USEFUL, not otherwise. Example: the bottle is used clearly signalled to the others in the party before, getting th 50ft necessary distance (easy thanks also to the monk's good move). Tactics, guys, tactics!!! Will the wizard in your book cast black tentacles when the rest of the party is in melee vs the bad guys? Nope, he'll do something else. Why do you expect the monk player not to follow that simple logic?
    Does you monk also have the skill Predict The Future? Because combats go awry pretty easily. At level 3 my party was facing two Ogres (zomg higher CR than our level! And this was the 3rd such fight!) and we were doing fine -- until one of the Orgres critted our Cleric. 4d8+14 damage dropped him to -8, and we were pretty much forced to run.

    - now if the ugly green things all of a sudden are not big nasties, but mooks, then the monk simply flurries to his heart's delight in melee combat, disarms with combat reflexes up to 4 (3 enlarged) times per round IN ADDITION to what he already does on his turn etc. Enlarged that means possibly 6 attacks per round at 3d8+4 damage each (or 3 unarmed strike up to 10ft range plus 3 spiked chain disarms at +20 up to 20ft range).
    You can't flurry with the spiked chain.

    READ THE JOKER MONK BUILD. PLEASE.
    Hi, skirting the rules again. I have -- I'd kinda have to based on my posts, wouldn't I?
    And, btw, the rogue CAN sneak attack several enemies per round at once. It's called two-weapon fighting, +7 BAB and full round attack.
    Haha... If the Wizard throws greater invis, yes he can. If the monk says "Nevermind Wizard, I can grapple!" and the wizard doesnt throw greater invis, like you said he shouldnt, then the rogue can grapple *1* target. It doesnt matter how many attacks he has.
    - the non-short-term-buffed UMD at level 10 can be +17 (with heroism up around 80 minutes), or +15.
    so you have a 25% chance to not activate a wand (15% if you have Heroism up). And you dont see that as a problem that you're COUNTING on that working?
    - partial wands are available. Get over it. The ONLY thing that the rules have to say about availability is the PRICE. Because that is what determines which size of city can offer this kind of item. Check out DMG p.199 and the magic item introduction rules.
    DMs who hand out random treasure WITHOUT giving their players the chance to exchange it for the eventual wbl items they like to have are not assumed by the rules, though you can certainly play this way in your campaign. However, based on your variant of the rules I daresay you cannot argue about whether a class is useful or not. Similarly, you can have a campaign where, after created with 50 charges, wands are either sold or never change hands for some reason. But this is not what is assumed in the rules.
    Show me where it says partial wands are available. And yes, players can sell/buy items to their hearts content and stay with WBL - but they buy fully charged items.

    You have played a monk with diviner power up and still you found that you did worse than fighter and rogue in combat?
    No, I found I was less useful than the fighter in combat. I went and grappled 1 opponent. The Rogue ginsued that opponent for me. The Fighter tripped everything and generally made himself impossible to pass, leaving the clothies in the back nice and safe.
    Again: with divine power, your BAB equals that of the fighter, you get more attacks than the fighter. This should roughly even out the feat advantages the fighter has in mere melee damage output (though not the tactical versatility of the fighter in melee combat).
    Combat is not about damage. It's just not. Disabling effects are more powerful than damage.
    The rogue needs sneak opportunities to even compete here.
    WITHOUT divine power, it is an entirely different matter, true. Which I would call balanced, or the monk would be too strong.
    So the monk has to have UMD to compete?

    Nope. A rogue UMDing divine power to better grapple would not get such a return out of his investment, simply because his class abilities (sneak anyone?) do not synergise well with grappling boosts.
    ... A Rogue would not UMD to grapple. A Rogue would UMD to do more efficient things (theres lots of them).

    Well, not at the levels 1-8 I portrayed as good levels of grappling for the joker monk. Though, there certainly are some ways. Care to name some? At levels 1,2,3,...8.
    I'll suggest some likely contenders:
    - sneak? Situational, target needs to be flanked or loose DEX bonus. Grapple? Just move close and touch attack. Your grapple should beat opponent's. If not, use different method. If it does, the opponent has almost no chance to escape.
    - spell? Well, solid fog and black tentacles are quite good, all others before necessitate saves to REALLY take out opponents. And solid fog is not taking the opponent out, it slows him to 5ft steps AND provides him with concealment from the caster's attacks. And black tentacles? Well, a monk COULD maybe beat that grappling check at those levels...
    - barbarian charging with power attack? Powerful, but will it take out the opponent? Can that opponent still maybe flee after getting hit for 30 damage?
    - tripping build? Tumble helps escape it.
    You're talking about PVP here (you said "And black tentacles? Well, a monk COULD maybe beat that grappling check at those levels..."). Black Tentacles is an awesome WIN spell at lower levels (and an awesome way to funnel bad guys where you want them later). Solid Fog delays bad guys so you can set up more traps for them. Solid Fog + Black Tentacles is winz. At low levels, Color Spray is disgustingly powerful -- yes its a save, but its a Will save. Your level 4 monk has a Will save of +6 for comparison (most monsters have lower). Without taking Spell Focus: Illusion, someone with a +6 save would need a 9 or better (60% chance). Thats a higher chance than the dragons at that level, non-Dire animals... heck anything but the Dires and outsiders.

    Meanwhile, the monk may have slightly better AC, slightly better hp and more tactical feats and his grappling option that the rogue does not have.
    Better AC is evened out by the blinking. HPs are close enough to not really matter. Grappling is a poor choice no matter what.

    - the cleric likely has some armour on, possibly limiting his move to a quite static 20ft
    Why does he have to be faster? And remember, he can go 80 if he wants in one round - just cant do anything else.
    - the cleric has a different role to the monk. So it is hard to compare them. In any case, a simple cleric of level 10 will NOT be able to consistently face enimies of CR 11 or more, encounter after encounter. Show the spell combo up 4 times/day that can do that; with example pls. And note also that a monk with silence up can take out nicely an enemy level 11 cleric and up (provided said cleric has not freedom of movement up, but still a silence spell would close him down nicely).
    Spoiler
    Show
    Magic+Travel
    5+1
    Entropic Shield
    Magic Weapon
    Bless x3
    Longstrider
    5+1
    Hold Person x5
    Identify
    4+1
    Bestow Curse x2
    Searing Light
    Fly
    4+1
    Divine Power x4
    Dimension Door
    2+1
    Righteous Might x2
    Spell Resistance

    And a silence would mean you lose in this situation -- the Travel domain allows me to effectively have FoM for rounds/level/day.

    Overland flight? You mean, the wizard is still clearly visible to all enemies (and there are tons of flying or missile-using enemies at CR 11&up which you expect to consistently beet with a 40ft move flying wizard)
    Because thats all the wizard does -- fly around like a target. Yup, you got him there.

    Stant still already is non-core.
    It's in the SRD, which is pretty close. Tho you don't need that to make a good tripper.
    But he'll be glad about an occasional meleeing monk, I dare say! (including one that warns him with his higher spot and listen of distant enemies).
    Why? I daresay the monk won't enjoy the fighter's arrows hitting him in the face while hes grappling. I'm sure I saw that rule somewhere...
    Methinks you're overestimating how far you'll be able to hear/see things.
    Anyhow, I think the 4 arrows/round fighter archer of 10th level (boots of haste, rapid shot) will not be able to win consistently vs CR 11 creatures or more. But perhaps you have a good example of this? Which would really interest me.
    Then its a poor/average build. Just FYI.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Um, guys. Giacomo is partially right.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMG, pg 199
    Charged Magic Items: A player may select a partially used magic item for part of his character's starting gear. Such an item's value is proportional to the charges left compared to the charges in a newly created item (half price for a wand with 25 charges, 20% of full price for a wand with 10 charges, and so on).
    Of course this only applies for character creation. You cannot buy partially charged wands in regular gameplay.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by SamTheCleric View Post
    Um, guys. Giacomo is partially right.

    Of course this only applies for character creation. You cannot buy partially charged wands in regular gameplay.
    The point is that he wants to keep buying them at every level-up. That means that, as has been repeatedly pointed out, his builds don't work in actual campaigns.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by SamTheCleric View Post
    Of course this only applies for character creation. You cannot buy partially charged wands in regular gameplay.
    Don't you only get starting gear at level one?

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Don't you only get starting gear at level one?
    The title of the chapter for that quote is "Creating PCs Above Level 1"
    Last edited by SamTheCleric; 2008-05-31 at 08:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by SamTheCleric View Post
    The title of the chapter for that quote is "Creating PCs Above Level 1"
    Ah, I see.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    4) Actually, when using Blink, you have no miss chance with ranged attacks, because as soon as the flask leaves your hand, it is no longer under the effect of the blink spell, forcing it to strike in the material plane with no miss chance (unfortunately, not allowing you to strike anything in the ethereal.)
    Yes you do. The spell says you have a 20% miss chance with attacks, not with melee attacks. If you throw an item onto the Ethereal Plane, it's still there.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Round one: Rogue sneak attacks, fighter charges, cleric prayers, wizard does imp invis. Gonk pops the bottle.

    Round two: The entire party (minus the fighter who charged out of range) has to make fort saves to avoid choking. Statistically, one of them will fail, possibly more. So the wizard runs out of the cloud, and is on the wrong side with no LOS to the enemy. The cleric runs out of the cloud in the different direction, and gets attacked by the UGTs. The rogue is invisible so doesn't have that problem, so he goes "facepalm" and sneak attacks his idiotic teammate who just gimped the party.

    Round three: Wizard casts Gust of Wind to clear out the smoke. Cleric and fighter clear out the UGTs while the invisible rogue clears out the gonk. And there was much rejoicing.
    Actually, the rogue can't even sneak attack. You can't sneak attack things with concealment relative to you. And the wizard/cleric can't cast spells, according to Giacomo, since casting spells will make you inhale smoke.
    RAR!

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Armads View Post
    Actually, the rogue can't even sneak attack. You can't sneak attack things with concealment relative to you. And the wizard/cleric can't cast spells, according to Giacomo, since casting spells will make you inhale smoke.
    That's an interesting claim, because looking into the SRD I can't find any reference to smoke prohibiting spellcasting, except for the spell Stinking Cloud (which, obviously, has nothing to do with eversmoking bottles). So it would seem that Gia was even more wrong about his bottle trick than we originally thought.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's an interesting claim, because looking into the SRD I can't find any reference to smoke prohibiting spellcasting
    You're probably looking in the wrong place. Here's where you can find info about smoke.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by greenknight View Post
    You're probably looking in the wrong place. Here's where you can find info about smoke.
    So... it doesnt prevent spellcasters targeting him, just gives him concealment.

    Heh.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by greenknight View Post
    You're probably looking in the wrong place. Here's where you can find info about smoke.
    How exactly is it a good thing to sit in that smoke cloud again? The DC of the Fort save while sitting in the cloud rises by +1 every round, and every 2 rounds it even deals 1 d6 nonlethal damage. Unless the whole party makes like a squid spewing out ink and FLEES out of the damn cloud, it sounds like a recipe for self-defeat, because eventually especially the low-fort types mage and rogue will simply keel over in there.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Freelance Henchman View Post
    How exactly is it a good thing to sit in that smoke cloud again? The DC of the Fort save while sitting in the cloud rises by +1 every round, and every 2 rounds it even deals 1 d6 nonlethal damage. Unless the whole party makes like a squid spewing out ink and FLEES out of the damn cloud, it sounds like a recipe for self-defeat, because eventually especially the low-fort types mage and rogue will simply keel over in there.
    And the monk too. I don't think he can hide in the cloud for long, even with his high fort save.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by greenknight View Post
    You're probably looking in the wrong place. Here's where you can find info about smoke.
    There's three problems with that. First, the bottle produces "smoke", whereas these effects are caused by "heavy smoke"; that is not necessarily the same.

    Second, the primary effect caused is "choking and coughing", which is not noted anywhere as preventing spellcasting.

    And third, the other effect is "nonlethal damage" on the second failed save, which would only prevent spellcasting if the caster fails a DC 10-13 concentration check.

    So no, eversmoking bottles aren't particularly helpful against spellcasting.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    So no, eversmoking bottles aren't particularly helpful against spellcasting.
    Even defensively -- the best he gets is concealment, which still allows you to be targetted.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    So no, eversmoking bottles aren't particularly helpful against spellcasting.
    Agreed. I've mentioned a few times in the past that a simple Gust of Wind could take out the effects of the bottle, even IF Giacomo's fervent proclamations of the bottle's effectiveness hold true. Frankly, I don't see it helping.

    Another problem I would like to comment on, which I believe Talic has mentioned several times, but hasn't been quite responded to.

    Guides are created to ease playing, by suggesting strategies and tidbits that could help players. They are designed to be used in play, otherwise it wouldn't be so much of a guide as it would an 'optimization experiment'.

    In play. Please keep this in note.

    Giacomo, your build, whether it be highly UMD-dependant or not, is incredibly costly. You buy magic items, partially charged wands (not debating this point), and other utility items in order to 'contribute'.

    Your build, from level 1 progressing to level 20, cannot exist. You fail to include loss of wealth that occurs due to, simply put, adventuring. While yes, level 20 wealth is INCREDIBLY high, have you accounted that:

    a. You have spent potentially hundreds, possibly thousands of charges on wands, and they range from 7.5 gp per charge (a 0th level spell, CL1) to 420 gp per charge (a 4th level spell, CL 7). Let's list the by-charge pricing on wands while we're here. This assumes wizard caster level progression (cheapest by core, along with clerics)

    0th - 7.5 gp
    1st - 15 gp
    2nd - 90 gp
    3rd - 225 gp
    4th - 420 gp

    Let's say you spend an ratio of 0:4:3:2:1 charges. Fair enough, I'd hope, because the odds of you spending charges on cantrips and orisons seems excruciatingly low. Equates to an average of 120 gp a charge.

    Let's say you have, I don't know, 10 encounters per level. I believe the average is 14.3 (Confirmation please?), but 10's a nice number. So, to get from level 1-20, you run across 190 encounters.

    Let's say that for each encounter, you spend an average of 1 charge. You may spend 3 in one, you may spend none, but for this sake it averages to 1. From what I can understand of your builds (please don't bash solely on this comment), you spend maybe 1-3 charges per encounter. So, this and the above paragraphs are low approximations. Please bear in mind this as I continue.

    For 190 encounters, you spend 1 charge, each at an average of 120 gp a charge.

    22,800 gp spent, throughout the levels, on charges for combat wands. Again, extremely low approximation. Also, bear this in mind, this is assuming that:

    a. You can get exactly the right kind of partially charged wand you need.
    b. You do not spend charges out of encounters.
    c. You manage to buy said wands at listed price.

    This does not include the costs for potions and scrolls, which are quite expensive in comparison to wands.

    Now, here's another estimate for you. Let us ignore the 'encounter' aspect. Concentrate on wand charges by itself. Holding my above charge-cost approximation to be valid, let's list some values.

    Assuming that you have spend X charges in all of your career, in and out of combat, Y as a cost:

    200 charges - 24000 gp
    300 charges - 36000 gp
    400 charges - 48000 gp
    500 charges - 60000 gp
    600 charges - 72000 gp
    700 charges - 84000 gp
    800 charges - 96000 gp
    900 charges - 108000 gp
    1000 charges - 120000 gp

    Let me remind you again, this is merely for wands, and does not include the cost of other consumables such as:

    a. Potions
    b. Scrolls
    c. Alchemical Items
    d. Others

    Hm... here's a scenario that may apply more to play. 6th level would be a realistic campaigning level, correct? 13000gp to work with, and this is around the point where WBL starts to grow at a faster pace. Should be fair.

    From level 1 to level 6, with 10 encounters per level, as above, 50 encounters.
    As above, 1 charge per encounter. In or out of encounter, we'll assume 1 to a battle.
    Let's say the ratio of wand charges (We'll assume use of only 1st and 2nd level spells) is 2:1. This averages to 40 gp a charge.

    2000 gp, at level 6, with 13000 gp starting gold. Again, low estimate, but 15.4% of total wealth going to only one KIND of one-shot (potions and scrolls not included in calculations) is quite a bit, eh?

    Hopefully, this post is read in full, and not picked apart through excessive quote usage which may cause comments of mine to be misconstrued.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Worira View Post
    Yes you do. The spell says you have a 20% miss chance with attacks, not with melee attacks. If you throw an item onto the Ethereal Plane, it's still there.
    Not according to Skip Williams.

    Items held by ethreal characters become material when dropped. So do acid flasks thrown. And arrows shot for that matter.

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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    Not according to Skip Williams.
    If Skip Williams said the sky is blue I'd triple-check.

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