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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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

    OK, I'll try to disprove some of Reel On, Love's great CR 3 grapplers bit by bit, and first...

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    How do you use a "run away and wait out buffs" tactic in a party? Where do you run to? Why won't the spellcaster chase the party?
    Well, if in a party someone does not have the means to make a quick escape (say, the usual 20ft move fighter tank), then that party better get a means for that member to be able to - or else the party is dead (if they prefer to stay with that party member and get cut down).

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    What makes you think you're more likely to fight *under*-CR enemies than *over*-CR? Performance against low-CR creatures is totally irrelevant, because anyone can blow through them.
    Er..the DMG encounter guidelines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    At level 2, you have an AC of 14. I'm pretty sure this is a federal crime. While you're grappling, you can't move around--monsters can walk up to you and bury their appendage of choice in your kidney.
    AC 14 a federal crime? Oh well, poor batman. In jail before getting a single spell off

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    Now, some CR 3 monsters (note that at level 3 your grapple is only +1 over level 2):
    Yes, and it is +13. In case the enlarge is not up, exactly the creatures you quoted likely have trouble spotting the hiding monk.
    And "some CR 3" monsters mean they are just a few out of a hundred or so of CR 1/2 - CR 3 creatures normally faced by a party.

    Allip: you want to grapple an Allip? Really?

    Oh, a tough one. Grappling an incorporal creature usually is not a good idea, true. Something tells me all classes would have a difficult time here - although the monk likely has the highest touch AC and has the best chance to make the will save (it is an enchantment effect). The monk could deal with it by having magic weapon his fist and a chill touch way before. Then on a hit, the allip might flee...
    Otherwise, it just gets beaten to a pulp by the fists turned magic weapon, since the monk has a higher attack bonus while the Allip will only hit him with a 45% chance and deal WIS damage, of which the monk happens to have quite a few points. Next.

    Animated Object, Large: I've never seen one of those used, but whatever. Grapple of +10. You *have* to be Enlarged for this.

    Er...yes. Which is the whole point about UMD Enlarge. Next.

    Air Elemental, Medium: at a grapple of -3, I'm pretty sure anyone can outgrapple this thing. Of course, you have to grab it first, and it has Flyby Attack, a 100-foot fly speed, and a touch AC of 14 (meaning you need to roll an 11+ to grab it in the first place).

    In the "first" place? Well, yes, there is an AoO before the elemental even reaches the Joker monk. And then, the monk can simply ready the attack to when the elemental reaches him. Yep, the elemental is toast. Next.

    Ankheg: +12 grapple. Gotta be enlarged to even stand a chance, and then it has a higher score.

    Yes. You see, the joker wins again. And with +13 the higher STR score does not matter. Next.

    Juvenile Arrowhawk: another monster I've never seen, but it has a ranged attack and a fly speed. Grappling is totally irrelevant and useless.

    Ready attack to when it's near. If it does not wish to go melee, then just hide or seek cover (wand of obscuring mist anyone?). Or jump at it when there's a confined space. It's an outsider, so chances are the BBEG at that level may have conjured it in his lab.

    Assassin Vine: I had a low-level rogue nearly killed by one of these once. Grapple of +12, Constrict, etc. gotta be enlarged to even stand a chance.

    Yes. And...btw with +13 grapple it is not "even stand a chance" but "superior in grapple and likely win".

    Wyrmlings: you can grapple these, I guess... except they have a fly speed and a breath weapon to strafe with.

    Yes, but will they go first? And their touch AC is cute.

    Centaur: grapple of +12 again, and just hope there's only 1, a full attack from this thing will destroy your grappling, AC-12 (no DEX) ass.

    +12 again means the joker monk with +13 wins again. If there are 2 of these, then this encounter is completely out of proportion (come on, Reel on Love, 2 CR 3 creatures vs 1 Joker Monk. My build is strong, but not that strong...). Luckily, the joker monk can simply move silently around them (they have a listen/spot +3 vs the monk's move silently/hide +8; add in any distance penalites on top).

    Cockatrice: never seen it used (probably because of the petrification). It does have a fly speed, though.

    Yes, and a lower initiative, a low AC (so the joker could use his crossbow on it), is dumb as a doorknob and the Joker knows a lot about it thanks to knowledge-arcane.

    Derro: SLAs, sneakiness, Darkness at will. good to grapple if you can catch them; odds are you get hit by SLAs and poisoned bolts first.

    Touch AC 13, low speed - you are getting desperate. With an obscuring mist, their ranged sneak attack is moot, while the Joker pinpoints and grapples the derro (if they attack, they are not exactly moving silently).

    Deinonychus: grapple of +7. Finally, something you can *approximately* match in a grapple without Enlarge.

    Yep. It's a typical example of the majority of creatures by CR 3.

    Dire Ape: grapple of +13. Bad idea.

    Hmm -this is a tough one, the first with an even grapple score. Evenly matched. Well, the Joker allows the Ape the grapple, and then it loses its DEX bonus vs what the party does. (CR 3 is the usual encounter for 4 party members).
    This now means like - what ONE creature of all creaturs up to that level?

    Dire Wolf: grapple of +15!

    Ah no, here is a second one. Wait...what did I write again in the guide about the most common stronger grapplers? Something about their INT scores...or them being animal and easiyl negated with a hide from animals effect? Yes, something like that.

    Doppelganger: grapple of +5, but *killing* one of these things? It's easy. *Discovering* them, now... that's the big part More of a social challenge than a combat one.

    Yes. So this is irrelevant for deciding whether grappling at that level is a good COMBAT tactics.

    Dryad: you're going to punch a Dryad in the face? What are you, some kind of jerk? (If you are, it's grappleable, but it has SLAs a-plenty.)

    It does. And they do what, target the monk's +7 save against it? Good luck. The monk grapple flurries and kills it in one round.

    Giant Eagle: Fly Speed, Flyby Attack, and a +12 Grapple to boot! You lose.

    Er...how? Again: ready attack, AoO AND +13 grapple. Ah...and it's ... AN ANIMAL!

    Earth Elemental, Medium: you win this one.

    Yep, like vs all the others.

    Ethereal Filcher: uh, wtf? But... it just pops back to the ethereal plane I guess.

    Yes. But if it wishes to fight, then it loses.

    Ethereal Marauder: same. Can't hold it. Pops in, hits, pops back.

    Ready grapple.

    Ettercap: if you can get past the webs, sure. But at that point it's feeble for anyone.

    Get out a torch and burn its web.

    Fire Elemental, medium: you don't want to grab a fire elemental.

    Maybe with a wand of endure elements or pc cleric buff you want to?

    Formian Warrior: Formians don't freaking count. But if they did, you could grapple it.

    ?

    Violet Fungus: Again, wtf? The poison is the real threat here. You shouldn't get close.

    If it wishes to bite in a grapple, it gets a -4 to hit. And the poison damage is negligble, should the monk not make his good fort save.

    Ghast: you get to make multiple saves against Stench and paralysis! Whee! Hang back and let people with bows take this one.

    Archers no doubt are better at some things - would be horrible if it were not so!
    Similarly to the fungus, though the special attacks will be delived only at a -4 in a grapple.

    Giant Ant, Queen: +10. Acid Sting. Doesn't count, though (who the hell has their level 2/3 party fight giant ants? That's just dumb).

    Yep, dumb. And the joker monk would still win.

    Giant Preying Mantis: +11, sneaky.

    Sneaky and losing the grapple. Next.

    Giant Wasp: +11, but you've got to be kidding.

    Yep!

    Grick: DR 10/magic. You are screwed until level 4.

    And at level 4, the monk is the first from his class abilities to be able to hit it in melee. Or he gets a wand of magic weapon enchantment. Then the Grick is toast.

    Hell Hound: fire breath, which it can use in a grapple. On the upside, you have Evasion. On the downside, you'll fail like 40% of the time. I suppose grappling it isn't a bad idea.

    Yes, thank you!

    Howler: +15, quills, ugh. You lose.

    Now here, truly, you have come up at long last with a CR 3 creature that the joker monk would not grapple. Rather, he'd try his chances with a shillelagh staff (still enlarged) and do 3d6+4 damage per hit, possibly in a flurry, against it. And hope he does not stand alone against it...

    Lion: +12, Rakes, will likely Pounce you. OTOH, you should grapple it anyway, because wrestling a lion is freaking awesome.

    Yes, this is the awesomeness that is the joker. He wins - the lion'S charge and pounce is stopped dead in its tracks by the AoO of the enlarged monk (who uses it to grapple). No pounce, sorry.

    Werewolf: you'd win, but, DR.

    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    I'm gonna stop here. I can cover the rest of them if you really want.
    But so far, at level 2/3, the SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY of monsters out there aren't at any disadvantage against the monk's grappling, even when he is enlarged. A good number are even at an advantage. Very few are truly at a disadvantage.
    Meleeing these things is easier. Well, for the members of the party competent in melee, which doesn't include you.
    Well, as you see, the joker monk is way more effective than you gave him credit. And you can add whatever other CR creature you want - chances are that the Howler is rare exception to the rule. That creature can knock out everyone, including a wizard at much higher levels (it can charge with an initiative of +7 from 120 ft away!!!!)
    I hope also that the other posters will see how the joker monk works in practice this way, in particular at low-mid levels.

    - Giaocmo

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This thread is friggin' awesome.

    The great posters of the Gaming Board, divided in their beliefs and gaming philosophies, have united to stop a dark terror that threatens to destroy the world of optimization as we know it.
    Actually, now they have.

    I just haven't bothered to post yet because others have been doing a perfectly fine job of refuting this.
    People who think Tippy equals win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    Tippy=Win
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Immabozo View Post
    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone who shall remain anonymous
    This post contains 100% Tippy thought. May contain dangerous amounts of ludicrousness and/or awesomeness.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    AC 14 a federal crime? Oh well, poor batman. In jail before getting a single spell off
    14 Dex and Mage Armor.

    16 AC, 2 higher than your monk's venerated 14 AC by the subtractive property of mathamatics.


    Actually, now they have.
    We're missing CoV, but only cause his Internet is broken.
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-18 at 03:04 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Actually, now they have.

    I just haven't bothered to post yet because others have been doing a perfectly fine job of refuting this.
    And another answers the call for justice.

    Hmmm... who do we still have missing?

    Perhaps we should have that guy who admires this guy:
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    show up and add one of his slightly incomprehensible but well-thought out posts to the weapons battery.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Enough! Cast Away The Mask And Show Yourself, Vile Coward! Defile My Avatar Space No Longer!!!!
    It's funny because he's dead.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    OK, I'll try to disprove some of Reel On, Love's great CR 3 grapplers bit by bit, and first...
    Ogre! Consider yourself disproven!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Then will you kindly explain how this abomination is tainting my account, from beyond the grave, no less?

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

    Oh, I'm in now. Was just having IRL issues (for those unfamiliar, IRL is a fancy way of saying AFK). Now, I've noticed, and I'll do what I do best. Completely refute the UMD side of the build. Note that, for a +13 to grapple, at level 3, we need the following:

    +3 Str, +2 BAB, +4 Size, +4 Improved Grapple.

    Note that, with a 14 Str (+2 enlarged) and an 18 cha, he has a less than optimal chance of dropping a wand bomb for enlarge at level 3 (also, let's not forget that the wand is 29% of total WBL, or all disposable WBL up to level 6... Make it last, buddy... Make it last). By my last post, if he has the following, he'll have a 55% chance:

    Max ranks in UMD (equivalent to 33% of class granted skill points)
    18 Charisma
    Skill Focus (Use Magic Device)

    All of that, at level 3, will grant a 55% chance to use a Wand of enlarge. If a scroll of enlarge, the above will grant a 50% chance of use.

    The failure of this will likely break whatever hide you had, resulting in fully 50% of fights, even if you start fully hidden every time, the monster will see you before you're enlarged. That will be a +8 grapple starting in half your fights. In that grapple, you've got a 55% or so chance of getting off the wand, with a DC 20 concentration check (45% chance with max ranks), and no chance on the scroll. Thus, in a grapple, your odds of getting off the enlarge to get to parity drop to 24.75%. Again, the monster can wail on you.

    Now half the time, you've got a near certainty of getting hit 2-3 times before the party drops the critter. If your only contribution to the fight is to expertly block the enemy's fists and claws with your soft tender spots...

    Then you're not contributing much more than anything with D8 hd and +2 con mod can do.

    The other half, in fairness, you'll go back and forth, likely dealing as good as you're getting.

    Now, as for all classes have a hard time vs incorporeal? Level 3 mage has Magic missile. Cleric has spiritual weapon. Both are low level staple spells. Most melee classes will, granted. But you yourself opened the door to caster competition when you posted that rubbish on page 1, Giacomo.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo
    Well, if in a party someone does not have the means to make a quick escape (say, the usual 20ft move fighter tank), then that party better get a means for that member to be able to - or else the party is dead (if they prefer to stay with that party member and get cut down).
    THE PARTY SHOULDN'T HAVE TO RUN!!! If that's your strategy, my current Warblade would kick you from the party after the first fight. The Beguiler would probably kill you in your sleep afterwards, and the CG Sorcerer would probably help him. I won't even mention what the Ninja would do. You're part of a team, and your actions need to be taken based on what the team needs. Even the "God guide" said a lot of times that the meatshield and glass cannon would feel like they won the encounter with his tactics, and to let them, because, after all, you're god, and you can let the mortals have their glory. You know about it, and that's what matters. The monk tactics you've listed wouldn't be beneficial to a party:
    "Hey, caster, gimme a buff or 2, I need them to be effective."
    *he buffs you, spending his class abilities*
    "Ohsh-This enemy is buffed, let's retreat and wait it out"
    "It's faster than the rest of us! We can't, we'll have to fight!"
    "Screw you guys" *flees*

    In all honesty, the monk makes a great solo opponent for the party. As a DM, you can build a bit Schroedinger, it can survive and escape repeatedly, but it's not likely to kill any of the PCs with it's damage output, so it can be a great recurring Dragon. However, in a party, "survive" isn't enough to get you 1/4th of the loot. You have to contribute to do that. Great saves and a high move speed can help someone make it through anything, but in a party enviroment, you have to stick together, and the monk can't do much to help actually "defeat" an encounter, just to escape it.
    [/sarcasm]
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Then will you kindly explain how this abomination is tainting my account, from beyond the grave, no less?
    clearly this great hero has risen from the grave to help defend the name of all good monks!

    All of that, at level 3, will grant a 55% chance to use a Wand of enlarge. If a scroll of enlarge, the above will grant a 50% chance of use.
    at this level potions of enlarge are dirt cheap, and work 100% of the time.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Talic View Post
    Dissasembly commence..
    Disassembly of Talic's post commence...

    Profanity aside, I'd appreciate you not defame the world's greatest supervillain in a cheap attempt in overcoming wizards.

    Er...where in my post did I do that? The logicninja's guide is great, but somehow led many posters around here to develop some strange notions about the game; what is possible, and what not, and above all, that wizards are way more powerful than anyone else. And this monk's can help to remedy that.

    Class balance is firstly, not about PvP.

    Where in that guide did I say anything about PvP? There are npc casters, you know. This monk CAN be taken with some minor modifications to be a good pvp duel character, in particular against casters.
    In what you write here and in the following below you clearly signal that you 1) did not read my guide completely and 2) what you read you did with a preset idea of how I allegedly argue and what I allegedly wish to do.

    Logicninja's guide hailed to the many functional uses wizards have in a party. Your guide seems to be designed to be a "X class is better tha Y class", which on its very nature, removes it from the realm of a practical guide, and moves it to the realm of "biased class wars".

    No, actually you and other posters often post with a notion of "biased class wars." You do challenges to ridicule monks and then refuse to give up your rules perceptions even when the evidence is waved in front of you.
    THIS guide is a DEFENSE, not an ATTACK on other classes. It should be fairly obvious.

    Yup. Everyone does. Even the wizard. Let's see your methods.Your exact example is of limited usefulness to monks at level 20, as they are no longer legal targets.

    WHAT? You reduce the viability of the UMD concept to the little detail that at level 20 (where hardly anyone ever ventures) one (1!) spell can no longer be used by a monk? Bearing in mind that 1) game assumes by that level other methods to get larger and 2) even if morph is frowned upon this includes other things. This is ridiculous to the extreme.

    Barbarians, however, can still make full use of Enlarge Person.

    And the monk with a level 20 character wbl budget can use rightuous might (as the barbarian). And read again what I wrote about when to use grappling tactics until what level and when not.

    However... Any guide that starts by stating that it can be made viable or better by relying on other classes is doing little to support the claim that it is powerful on its own. ´

    Yep. I see all the fighter players happily giving back their magic weapons (they were created by spellcasters, after all) and get reduced to nothing by an allip.

    This actually seems like a argument for casters, in that their actions and spells can be of great use to this melee class. Thus, the caster is providing usefulness to the fighting class.

    And the non-caster class is providing the caster class with the permanent protection, that they, with their only limited duration magic, cannot emulate (only at much, much higher levels, where they will still need to have the non-caster abilities around in case their magic is countered/foiled in one of the many, many ways that I described in the guide. Read it, you'll be surprised.
    But read the guide's section on the typical monk myth - you just brought up one again.

    Actually, this is a key concept of the batman build. Thank you for illustrating it so well.NPC casting is primarily limited to out of hazardous situations (as PC NPC spellcasting services in the SRD are negotiated for hazardous situations, and the default answer is "no".). Further, you have to go to them, which severely increases your dependence on solid supply lines/bases of resupply.Which all characters get, regardless of class. using many of these items requires the most precious commodity of all, more valuable than any gold coin... Actions. We'll get to that in a moment. Herein lies the rub. Let's go with the numbers now. For monks, UMD is cross class. Thus, if a human monk is getting max ranks in this skill, with 1 of his 2 feats being for skill focus:UMD, and an 18 starting charisma (pretty optimal, for core)... The following is true:

    Which proves you have not read the guide. Your numbers may be correct, but UMD can be reached for the critical +19 level much earlier.

    The Monk player will never, at level 20, with an 18 charisma and skill focus, have a 100% chance at activating a wand. NEVER.

    Yes, in your dreams desperately clinging to fantasy UMD scenarios to avoid admitting that you are wrong.

    That means, to be guaranteed to activate a wand of Enlarge PERSON, then you have to be at a level where it will no longer work on you.

    Ah, so this is the reason why you brought up that enlarge person thing. Grats, complete failure in this argumentation style attempt.

    You have a chance to use it at level 1, yes... Heck, when fully optimized like this, you have a 50% chance.

    This is what optimisation is about. Meahing "the best" (derived from Latin).

    Which means when you use the wand, you will need to draw it, and then spend 2 of your most valuable resources, on average, Standard Actions, to use it. At level 11, you have a 75% chance, with an 18 charisma and skill focus, and 33% of your total class skill points in UMD. This means that you'll usually get your buff off.

    Read in the guide on what to do with UMD if you do not wish to cast in combat.

    Granted, I'll give you some of your spells as viable, with less. 10 charisma, skill focus (UMD), and Max ranks... That gives you a +5 at Level 1, and a good chance of 5-6 uses of a wand before failure (30% success). This would be useful for out of battle spells, general usefulness things. Like cure light wounds, and, in certain key situations, spells with a duration of hours per level or better. The advantage casters have in this situation is that they get spaces for these kind of spells, absolutely free of charge, with little to no chance of failure chance, and they recover daily. Hence why Batman has enhanced versatility with utility spells.

    Hence why the Joker has so many other class abilities that help him do his job.

    Note that, at level 20, you will still not have 100% chance to activate. "A long while" is something of an understatement.

    See above.

    However, if you are going in an area of exceptional danger, I can see the use of a buff that has a total duration of 1 hour or greater (only available in hour/level buffs for wands at standard caster levels). I can also see spells where charges can be held, though if this is the case, the monk may not touch anything. He can't open doors, draw items, change items from one hand to the other, pat a friend on the back, shake a hand, enter or exit different mediums(such as water), swing across a ravine by rope, climb up a cliff by rope, squeeze through a cave in, etc etc etc. In other words, any ability that requires the monk touch anything is simply off limits, greatly mitigating the monk's usefulness.

    Well, for the touch to trigger it, the target must be legal. Most touch spells are necromantic or enchantment, so you can touch liveless things like water, air, doors, traps etc. to your heart's content.

    Maybe and yes. Grapple is an attack that does require some method of grabbing. If your legs are otherwise occupied, it is perfectly reasonable for someone to disallow that.

    Yes, deviating from the core rules, sure.

    This does risk multiple items highly vulnerable to sunder.

    Yes, can't have all...but notice how until mid-high levels, most of the time the Joker monk will NOT use wands IN combat?

    Also, out of combat, many of a monk's key skills rely on free hands.

    Which?

    WBL is designed to shore up weaknesses and provide useful abilities. Not to make you combat viable in the first place.

    ? Where is that strange idea from? Not the core rules. You simply think it's wrong that the monk makes so good use out of items? But it's in the rules. So no need to whine about it.
    And in a world without items, the monk would still have a place due to his many abilities - not as much in combat, but for tasks involving stealth and getting to places where other non-casters cannot (dim door, etheralness, highest jump skill if maxed).
    And in a world without magic, the monk would be able to use grappling again, since so many fantasy creatuers like incorporal undead and huge outsiders are no longer there.

    NPC spellcasters again, default to "no", and are showing how another class is useful to YOU, not how you are useful.

    Well, let me tell you about synergy. If a party batman casts enlarge on the joker, he will defeat (as I showed answering Reel on, Love's post) all monsters up to CR 3, with no save. This is true synergy in a group. Both classes are needed to achieve it. Where is this strange attitude coming from that everyone should be grateful to batman, but not the other way round?

    As for scrolls... See the following:

    The Joker uses primarily wands, not scrolls, and definietly no scrolls at levels 1-10. At high levels, he uses scrolls that he can cast outside of combat (like mind blank).
    And AMF is possible with a wand of greater heroism to be pushed to +25 modifier to make it 75% likely to be activated and ending an NPC Batman's reign at that level. Those are good odds.

    Silence could be good here as an occasional use.

    Yes, lest casters do not get impaired so often. That is a noble request. But actualy, yes, since silence is a 2nd level spell, the wand will be used much more rarely.

    Still, you're usually better off with a single pearl of power so that you can have 1 key fight every day, rather than 1 here and there.

    You'll notice the Joker has some of these pearls already.

    If you want a low level boost in battle, consider investing (out of core) in a Circlet of rapid casting for your wizard/sorceror/cleric/druid friend. Thus, he can get you most of the level 1-4 buffs without impacting his other actions in a round. Again, this showcases how useful those casters are to you... Not the other way around.

    Yes, this strange notion again. Batman helping Joker - pure pity. Joker helping Batman - not necessary or even possible.
    Who is making an agressive class vs class argument here?

    The problem with this is... Magic's really not that cheap. Even the level 1 wand with 50 charges is over 10% of your WBL until level 5, and is more than the allocated disposable WBL until level 9. Assuming 1 use each fight? It's equal to disposable WBL at level 5. Disposable WBL is the difference between the average awarded treasure and the WBL gains between levels. As it's not OGL, I can't post any tables here, unfortunately. What does this mean? At level 5, if you get a Wand of Enlarge Person, that is all of your disposable WBL for level 5... about 80% of disposable WBL for level 6. About 40% of disposable WBL for level 7. About 10% of disposable WBL for level 8. That one purchase has occupied all of that, assuming 14 combat encounters per level, and average treasure rewards per encounter, along with 1 charge used for each encounter. That one wand is a major investment at level 5. At level 7 and 8, when it's running out? Now it's less of an expenditure, though you'll only get 8 charges out of it during level 8. So, this Combat spell, with a duration of 10 rounds, at levels 5 and 6, represent most of your disposable WBL, and have a 60% chance of successful activation, with a 5% catastrophic failure chance. At levels 7 and 8, you have a 65% chance. (assuming, again, 18 charisma, skill focus in UMD, and 33% base skill points every level on UMD)

    Well, summarised that - it's difficult to track it bit by bit. But your message is clear: the wand budget is not enough.
    Well, I outlined to Reel on, Love above already that by level 10 the Joker will be able to have cast 1,000 first level spells. That should be enough for all purposes, since it is the first level spells the Joker intends to make most use of in those first 10 levels.

    Showed how wands and scrolls, the two useful items listed, are misrepresented as to their utility, and spells only showcase the usefulness of the caster that you're depending on for them, rather than the monk. Check. Also, showed that the monk is going to be whiffing in combat with failed UMD's quite often. Failed UMD = wasted actions. On a round you fail a UMD, you have your base move, and that's pretty much it. You have no offensive contribution, and little skill contribution to the party. Actions are the main currency.

    As you outlined yourself above, there are other ways to make use of UMD than in combat. So no crucial actions wasted.

    Though it is possible to spend more than your disposable WBL on disposable items, such as Wands and Scrolls, doing so will cause your WBL to fall behind the rest of the party, as you're spending into your permanent wealth on things you'll use and destroy.

    It does not fall behind the rest, since the monk has so many class abilities that he can afford to spend his money on other stuff.

    Thus, it's been shown that by disposable WBL, the UMD monk is certainly not very viable before level 5, and very limited in UMD after that. If he purchases a wand at level 5, a scroll at level 6 (level 1 only), another wand (level 1) at level 7, and 6 scrolls (level 1, if level 2, 3 scrolls) at level 8. The amount of one shot items you have are limited. Quite a bit moreso than the enounters.
    This is a refutation of one of the core principles of the UMD monk. UMD at low levels.


    see above.

    As for the rest? The majority of the concept of the post is a direct confrontation between classes, and as such, is limited in usefulness for practical character development. Expect a monk guide from me focusing on monk utility, versatility, and usefulness later on.

    This is really a disappointing review, one that I have difficulty to understand even coming from someone with a different opinion. Imo it illustrates that you have failed to read it through. It is quite revealing that your post actually only deals with part II.1. (on the Giamonk principles) and then simply shrugs off all the rest.
    Answer me one question: If the joker build replaced UMD with Balance and maxed tumble, got weapon focus and power attack (for the staff) of the UMD feats, and would devote his 300,000+ wand budget over level 1-20 to some magic monk weapons, ring of spell storing with silence and enlarge, would you then be happy?
    The funny thing is - the Joker would still be quite a threat to casters this way.

    I hope that at least some readers of this thread (if not posters) will get something out of the guide. You apparently do not.

    It's been in the works for about a week, and will attempt to showcase the strengths of the monk class, giving options for useful directions to take it, without focusing on the individual comparisons between classes that take away from the usefulness of such a guide. Expect it to be a helpful resource for those who like the concept of the monk, and would like to try one.

    Feel free to do so. Actually, a non-core guide would be great, since I lack many of the resources needed for it.

    Currently, it has planned:

    Theme and principle of the monk class.


    Check the PHB. You'll find everything of the assumed roles in my level 1-20 build, ontop of the the casterbane tactics.

    Different appealing aspects
    Options for focusing and bringing out the best in these
    Typical weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the class
    Options for defending and protecting those weaknesses
    Typical roles the monk can fill in the party
    Class Synergy, and the usefulness of monk when a short term dip or when
    using other classes to support the monk theme


    I wonder how many things will simply repeat what I already posted. But I hope for new insights to add to the Joker's already vast versatility.

    - Giacomo

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    clearly this great hero has risen from the grave to help defend the name of all good monks!
    *opens mouth to argue*

    *looks at avatar*

    Le Gasp!


    IS YUO!

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

    This argumentation style is pointless, since, this only leads to the ability of one or the other to simply say "ah, but this!" to each refuting point.

    The largest perpetrator:

    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo
    "Which means when you use the wand, you will need to draw it, and then spend 2 of your most valuable resources, on average, Standard Actions, to use it. At level 11, you have a 75% chance, with an 18 charisma and skill focus, and 33% of your total class skill points in UMD. This means that you'll usually get your buff off."

    Read in the guide on what to do with UMD if you do not wish to cast in combat.
    --
    The note of this post is that, slow down.
    I believe each topic would be best left in a singled out fashion (since, each point of action is a single action as part of a whole - even if there is a whole, each whole is a series of sects, and it is most productive in this case of argumentation for the sects to each be individualized - since - also in this case, no more than a single action, due to the game mechanics, can be taken at once.)

    For example, instead of doing Monks on a whole, focus on UMD.

    --
    I would then like to expand this drawing point further by firstly just focusing upon this point. Specifically:
    How is UMD (for a Monk) decent in combat given the failure rate is quite high.

    ---
    Final side note: I feel as though Giacomo may have ignored a few posts. May I get a comment on my previous commoner?
    Last edited by Reinboom; 2008-05-18 at 04:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    at this level potions of enlarge are dirt cheap, and work 100% of the time.
    Thanks, lord_khaine, for pointing out the obvious to Talic and me- I forgot a bit about the potion possibility. While wands are more cost-effective - yes, potions can jump in at low levels in those cases where attempting to buff for 2 rounds is not possible.

    @Solo: nice avatar! However, your AC comparison is odd. Add a mage armour to the wizard but ignoring it for the monk? Hmmm. Although you may say that it is a class ability for one, but not for the other...in which case fighting defensively from level 2 boosts the monk by 3...So I guess both batman and joker have ways to keep out of jail, wouln't you agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRein View Post
    The largest perpetrator:
    This already shows me that there is a bit of a bias in your post...but I hope that we all heed your advice.
    Still, would you have me accept half-truths about my original guide and obvious errors?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRein View Post
    I would then like to expand this drawing point further by firstly just focusing upon this point. Specifically:
    How is UMD (for a Monk) decent in combat given the failure rate is quite high.
    The failure rate is nil by level 15, can be made nil quite easily by level 13, and with some effort by level 9.
    Apart from that, the simple answer is: use UMD outside of combat. It is meant mainly for buffs. Some buffs last quite long.
    In combat you can maybe also use your higher move and hide to get another chance to activate the item.
    In case of escape pods, such as obscuring mist - well, having a 75% chance to turn the situation to your advantage is better than having no chance.

    - Giacomo

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

    Double post arg!
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-18 at 04:31 AM.

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

    Er.. level 15? You built this thing to start from level 1, didn't you? Level 15 is a /lot/ of sessions. You also rely on MW items (The problem being that you /can't/ get a MW item of everything). Without it, well, that's 10% off at every level.

    You also have buffs that last in a time span of turns, not hours, though not all buffs are as such. In combat, using "Hide" and "Movement" to get more chances to buff equates to doing nothing (And not using the AC you hail as vaunted to keep characters you feel are less survivable around).

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

    Glad to answer your commoner statement, SweetRein.

    A commoner having a candle of invocation to cast gate has exactly NOTHING to do with the monk's guide.

    Seriously, SweetRein. People around here take great issue with how good UMD is to use in certain situations and ignore the rest of the class - it is so comfortable for them, you know? Because they can thus safely dodge the question to actually PROVE that the monk class is weak.
    If they show that UMD is not soo-great (but it is), or that allegedly my build relies on "broken stuff" (which it does not), then they believe they show the monk is a bad class.
    And this is not exactly helpful.

    - Giacomo

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

    @Solo: nice avatar! However, your AC comparison is odd. Add a mage armour to the wizard but ignoring it for the monk? Hmmm. Although you may say that it is a class ability for one, but not for the other...in which case fighting defensively from level 2 boosts the monk by 3...
    Same for the wizard.

    The wizard, however, gets MA for free each day. the Monk has to spend $$$ and suffer a 50% do nothing chance to get it up. Seems inefficient.

    So I guess both batman and joker have ways to keep out of jail, wouln't you agree?
    Pfft. Batman has his cave and the Joker spends his time in an asylum.

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

    Open and shut. All arguements have been refuted, all qualifications, codified. He has been mathematically, logically, and to all depths and reaches of human understanding disproven, and I would like to provide you with this from the past...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassetking 10-15-2007, 10:37 pm
    Azerian Kelimon: Thank you for the offering of your services. I'm afraid I must, also, turn you down. I constructed three, viable, legal, reasonable builds under Giacomo's extant restrictions, and feel no need to re-engage him. I am flatly certain, at this point, that regardless of outcome, he will remain unswervingly unconvinced. Regardless of proof, logic, math, or truth, he will refuse the information presented, and trumpet his willful ignorance.
    It is more akin to watching the man on the street corner, ranting as to how the government is trying to spy upon his teeth, how the Venusians are monitoring his thoughts through Starbucks instore Wifi, and how Moon Ghosts are endevouring to keep him from being employable.

    By which, I mean, Street Theater.

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

    Thoughts:

    Giacomo should actually play one of his monks in a game and see how that turns out. (He has received countless offers to actually do so in test runs, but I suppose he turned them down because he never had the time to actually play his builds, being busy writing guides and defending the honor monks everywhere)

    Giacomo should submit his Monk Guide to the CharOp forums and receive their praise and adulation, rather than our narrow sighted, unimaginative, capitalist roadster, biased scorn.

    When the vast majority, including experts, reject your thesis, you are either a groundbreaking rebel or completely wrong.
    Which one you see yourself as depends entirely on the size of your hubris.

    Just so we're clear, does anyone actually support the UMD monk? Lord_Khaine? Emeraldstreak?
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-18 at 04:46 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Pfft. Batman has his cave and the Joker spends his time in an asylum.
    ... you have been lining that line up for how long?

    THIS guide is a DEFENSE, not an ATTACK on other classes. It should be fairly obvious.
    Er, y'know, from the title, and your main arguing target, I'd say not, actually. I can't precisely put my finger on it, but ... something just suggests it to me.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo
    THIS guide is a DEFENSE, not an ATTACK on other classes. It should be fairly obvious.
    Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks
    Making the Most of What you Have (When Casters Believe What They Have Is Already Ridiculously Good)
    As a monk you’re – as Frank Miller would have paraphrased as well – the goddamn Joker!
    Relying on tricks and unusual stuff to overcome the physically…er magically stronger Batman.
    Some things that will help you in your noble quests to make life miserable for casters:
    Basically, what would hurt casters most?
    Normally stopping the spells/spellcasting of a caster means almost certain win.
    This joker (or Giamonk) build is intended to be quite versatile, but with a bias to combat casters.
    ________________________
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-18 at 04:53 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    Er.. level 15? You built this thing to start from level 1, didn't you? Level 15 is a /lot/ of sessions.
    Yep. The gonk spends the first year of the campaign hiding behind the other characters, promising that he'll be useful at some point in the future, honestly. Wow, does that ever sound like a great character to play!

    Of course, Gia is conveniently ignoring the points that e.g. masterwork UMD items aren't acknowledged to exist by anyone other than himself, or that most of the wants he wands aren't available on the big OGL table of wands, or that in many campaigns a significant part of the treasure is given out by the DM rather than bought in the magic item shoppe, or that spending 3-5 rounds to get your buffs on means that the battle will be over before you do something useful.

    The easy way to make a gonk viable for play? Replace all of his "monk" levels by "rogue" levels, or even "expert" levels. Ta dah!
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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

    Might I ask why so much time is devoted to countering casters, and so little to combating monsters and enemies with PC levels?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Glad to answer your commoner statement, SweetRein.

    A commoner having a candle of invocation to cast gate has exactly NOTHING to do with the monk's guide.

    Seriously, SweetRein. People around here take great issue with how good UMD is to use in certain situations and ignore the rest of the class - it is so comfortable for them, you know? Because they can thus safely dodge the question to actually PROVE that the monk class is weak.
    If they show that UMD is not soo-great (but it is), or that allegedly my build relies on "broken stuff" (which it does not), then they believe they show the monk is a bad class.
    And this is not exactly helpful.

    - Giacomo
    UMD is to Monk as Candle is to Commoner.
    That was my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    This already shows me that there is a bit of a bias in your post...but I hope that we all heed your advice.
    Still, would you have me accept half-truths about my original guide and obvious errors?



    The failure rate is nil by level 15, can be made nil quite easily by level 13, and with some effort by level 9.
    Apart from that, the simple answer is: use UMD outside of combat. It is meant mainly for buffs. Some buffs last quite long.
    In combat you can maybe also use your higher move and hide to get another chance to activate the item.
    In case of escape pods, such as obscuring mist - well, having a 75% chance to turn the situation to your advantage is better than having no chance.

    - Giacomo
    Yes, I am biased. I believe this is an open and shut case, as has been mentioned. This does not stop me from wanting a more structured form of argumentation, however.

    And I believe, based on your posts, you accept the half truths about your original guide. Or you would not post them. However, this line provides nothing to the point to be had - and that is the mechanical analysis upon which the argument should be presented, and not the argument itself.

    For the failure rate:
    Show how. Exactly. Don't just say it can be. Exact builds, data, etc.
    On everything. Everything needs to be directly supported. Others have shown their's.

    On the obscuring mist:
    The difference between 75% chance from a Monk and 95% chance from a Rogue is VERY significant. As is in comparison to all actions. Also, obscuring mist is a singular example, I would like to see more than that. We now have obscuring mist on the list - which is prime in it's own situational set up. However, more information is required than singular examples.

    Also
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    wants he wands
    *biggest selling mars candy bar*
    Last edited by Reinboom; 2008-05-18 at 04:56 AM.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Coming up next:

    Druide, where's my Cart? Kurald Galain's Guide to Commoners. In which I honestly am not dissing the druid class, I'm just showing that commoners are a much better class. Than druids. You see, they're called commoners because everybody plays one (that's what "common" means) and people wouldn't be playing them unless they were so great. It's not about PVP, it's just that a commoner can totally kick a druid's ass. YA RLY.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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

    (interim) Last, but not least, Solo...

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    As for the potion of Enlarge giving you a bonus.... what if the monster gets Enlarged as well*
    Enlarge person only works on, er...persons.

    I approve of the School of Khaine.

    ***Bows in the presence of the monk master, too***

    Actually, come to think of it, my major gripe with the School of Gia is that he has a UMD grapple build, not a monk build, but he doesn't acknowledge the fact that it is a not-monk build.

    Hmm. There is no class in core that could equate the Joker Monk in the School of UMD grapple build (which is actually an enlarge person grapple build like the lord_khaine school which you praised, only with some UMD and skills spread for versatility for the sacrifice of a lower STR score by 2-4).
    You do not seem to acknowledge that outside UMD, around 95% of the guide is devoted to the monk class and its abilities.

    Giacomo:
    You an Enlarge something by using a spell other than Enlarge Person, can't you?


    Yes. Shown in the guide.

    70%-65% fail chance @ level 10

    ?

    Cause they use their class abilities (which they are suppose to, being class abilities), whereas your monk uses a non class ability?

    You mean...a non-caster should never be ever buffed by a spell? Because, you know, it is not a class ability. Strangely I got the feeling that the introducation of buff spell target: touch means the designers intend the casters to buff others, too. Hmmm.

    Say, Giacomo, maybe you're busy, but how come this part of my post wasn't addressed?

    Oh, sorry. Was busy answering to 20 other posts. But now...

    You can sell a 1988 Audi at any used car lot, but the chances of going to any used car lot and finding a 1988 Audi are much smaller. Understood?

    Ahh...ignoring the wonders of the internet...
    But seriously, it is handled a bit different in the core rules where the only thing affecting availability is the value or price (used interchangeably in the core rules).

    By the way, can you quote the specific text for those of us without a copy of the DMG?

    That was done already further up by a different poster, but just for you again:

    p. 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."

    p. 214: "Prices listed are always for fully charged items. (When an item is created, it is fully charged). For an item that's worthless when its charges run out (which is the case for almost all charged items), the value o f the partialyl used item is proportional to the number of charges left."
    Now, as we know from economics 101, value or price is derived from two things: supply and demand. If demand does not exist, the value is 0, if supply does not exist, the value is infinite. So if the DMG assumes a simple proportional rule for value, it assumes demand and supply. Simple.
    Like it or not, it's part of the game.

    You only need INT and moderate DEX/CON to be an effective wizard. An effective monk needs more than good ONESTAT and moderate OTHERSTAT/OTHERSTAT. Thus they are MAD by the additive property of addition.

    And as I have shown, and as the lord_khaine monk has shown, this is not the case. The important skill UMD is even taken with an 8 in CHR.

    1. As Talic's table of CR appropriate and under CR monsters has shown, your grapple modifier will be outclassed by a lot of monsters in the DMG.

    It was actually Reel on. Love's table and it by now got disproven (see above).

    2. Barbarians move quickly too.

    What kind of argument is that? You know, rangers are also be able to cast spells, like druids. But guess who is better at that.

    3. How are you maxing out spot/listen/move silently/hide while also having enough skill points to max out UMD and avoiding MAD?

    Er...read the build?

    Base damage is weak if you don't have the muscle to back it up. That means you'll need high strength. MAD yet?

    As shown, it is not necessary.

    Level 10 Joker
    UNARMED ATTACK: +10 (+10/+10/+5); Damage 2d8 +3, 3d8+4 enlarged

    Lol.

    Avrg. 12 dmg, 17.5 enlarged @ lvl 10.

    Lulz


    Flurried that's already 52.5 damage. He still outgrapples the fighting classes, btw (improved grapple bonus +4 vs the 3 BAB disadvantage, not counting the enlarge effect of +5). And you'll notice that in my build I made explicit mention that in levels 9-10, the monk should use stealth tactics until his unarmed damage really goes throug the roof with a monk's belt and more attacks by level 11.

    SAVES: Fort +9, Refl +10, Will +10 (+12 vs enchantment)
    Ozymandias can toss out a DC23 Save or X spell at your level. 20 (+5) CHA, +4 (+2) item, +1 School Focus (pre-req for Archmage), +5 from a level 5 spell (Baleful Polymorph, anyone?) + 10 = +23
    Your fort save succeeds on a 14. that is a 70% chance of failure. But I'm sure your 3d8+4 base damage and your +14(+19) grapple mod make up for it.


    Against Ozymandias, the grapple is more than enough.
    And how exactly will Ozymandias target the Joker monk when he hides or when the smoke from the eversmoking bottle is up? And not that it would be of great avail, but to completely defeat the joker with baleful polymorph, you'll have to also defeat his will save. Fear the squirrel with monk unarmed strikes! (only a holy hand grenade could defeat it then).

    Also, for a guide to playing monks, you sure spend a lot of time talking about how to PvP wizards.

    Actually, I wrote about that nowhere in the guide, which is the funny part about it. You WISH to read it in there, although it is not there.
    It's all about npc caster enemies.

    Thus, I conclude

    Your monk fu is weak; remain in the sorcerer college where you belong....

    - Giacomo

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

    Your monk fu is weak
    +20 racial bonus from being Asian.

    In case of escape pods, such as obscuring mist - well, having a 75% chance to turn the situation to your advantage is better than having no chance.
    You know what's better than a 75% chance? A 100% chance. I hereby endorse this statement as being true by the power vested in my by the William and Mary Department of Mathematics.
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-18 at 05:39 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Yep. The gonk spends the first year of the campaign hiding behind the other characters, promising that he'll be useful at some point in the future, honestly. Wow, does that ever sound like a great character to play!
    Another proof you have not read the guide. Or you only know the "rush the monsters and attack them with TH weapon, or else you would not choose to ignore the possbility of stealth and grapple tactics. Have you even read also other parts of the thread where I showed what a +13 grappling monk at level 3 does to the worst monsters of CR 3 (intended for FOUR party members)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Of course, Gia is conveniently ignoring the points that e.g. masterwork UMD items aren't acknowledged to exist by anyone other than himself
    and the PHB/SRD

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    , or that most of the wants he wands aren't available on the big OGL table of wands,
    That table is for random treasure only. And it INCLUDES wands of enlarge btw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    or that in many campaigns a significant part of the treasure is given out by the DM rather than bought in the magic item shoppe, or that spending 3-5 rounds to get your buffs on means that the battle will be over before you do something useful.
    Again, read the rules again. And what I wrote already several times: the build can be provided with a different fluff, but the rules simply assume that you can have all these items however you like them. Like it or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The easy way to make a gonk viable for play? Replace all of his "monk" levels by "rogue" levels, or even "expert" levels. Ta dah!
    Yep. That is the most you can argue, that much I have learned. But I greatly enjoyed your samurai's guide, and look forward to the commoner guide

    - Giacomo

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Hmm. There is no class in core that could equate the Joker Monk in the School of UMD grapple build
    Sure there is. Any full-BAB class is a better grappler and has the same chance at UMD. Any bard/rogue/expert is better at UMD and has the same chance at grappling.

    [COLOR="Green"]p. 199 "Charged Magic Items: A player may select a partially used magic item for part of his character's starting gear.
    You are, I hope, aware that after level one, you're no longer selecting starting gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    The failure rate is nil by level 15, can be made nil quite easily by level 13, and with some effort by level 9.
    So you are admitting your build is ineffective at levels below 9. That's nearly half of the game, right there. At levels 9-13, what happens is that you spend the first two or three rounds of combat buffing yourself to get your UMD up to speed. Most of the buffs you selected won't last from one combat to the next, and that includes the UMD boosting buffs.

    In case of escape pods, such as obscuring mist - well, having a 75% chance to turn the situation to your advantage is better than having no chance.
    That depends, obviously, on what the other 25% are; in this case, they amount to standing around fiddling with a stick.
    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
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