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  1. - Top - End - #451
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Nonsense! Monks have crossbow proficiencies (1d8 damage per round!) and shuriken that they can flury with (multiple 1d2 damage weapons ftw!) plusgood armor class because of their dexterity and wisdom modifiers!
    Doubleplusgood?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlyharmful View Post
    "Holy Rusted Metal Batman!!!!" You've completely kicked my ass at my own game. With a fraction of the resources I dedicated to the idea. And You're a Freakin' NPC class fer cryin' out loud!!!!
    You've been Dan'd, son.

  3. - Top - End - #453

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    You've been Dan'd, son.
    OOOOYAAAAJIIIII!

    AK Madnesscorp informs you that you...



    ...Have just Lost The Game. Please, Have a nice day.

  4. - Top - End - #454
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks



    Anyway, where be Giacomo? He has a straw-hatted, porcelain-masked companion, now.

  5. - Top - End - #455
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    I can't help but feel like this guide plays a monk more like a rogue than anything else. I have no disagreements with it, only that it feels like a rogue.

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

    OK, I'm back.

    One thing right away, guys. I kindly ask some of you to stop making fun of what I post. Not because I can't take it (actually I greatly enjoy your many logical mistakes and attempts to replace them by lame jokes or sheer number repeating the same wrong arguments again and again). It's because I do not want to get this thread locked down. If you wish to make only fun and not contribute anything meaningful (at least not repeat the same jokes over and over, pls), I kindly ask you to leave this thread.
    It is a joker thread - but that does not mean that you should replace arguments with just jokes...

    Then a short note on this "he refuses to give in" thing. Yes, guys. You simply fail to convince me.
    You keep throwing flawed data at me (CR 3 monsters allegedly outgrappling the build I posted even at 3rd ! level), allegedly MOST CR 8-9 monsters unable to even touch a wizard using fly and invisbility (for 1min/level). Additionally, odd notions of yours come up like the Joker monk allegedly unable to buy all his wands (shown in this build yes, after that still denied), grease taking out a level 20 monk (or even a level 1 one because all of a sudden the wizard has rogue buddy nearby), the joker monk I posted allegedly unable to use a wand safely before level 20, the core monk being beaten easily by non-core material (wow, that's a surprise!), the monk not being able to flurry in a grapple, the monk having to use normal attacks instead of touch attacks for a grapple, the monk being outgrappled by other classes (shown again, he is not), the monk allegedly having no niches and being not the best at anything (shown repeatedly: yes, he does), allegedly that he cannot do anything apart from UMDing spells, has leadership feat and so on and so on.

    This is the reason why I am so adamant about my position. Because you keep arguing with the same fallacies over and over again. Some you admit and still do not budge one iota.
    I am also disappointed by greenknight here potraying my notion that core classes are rather balanced as a completely odd idea - and this after we had a year ago such a lengthy and interesting discussion with the fighter and cleric archer (which actually went a long way that thread from illustrating the fighter had no chance vs a balor to "is he actually able to kill a balor in 1 round?" to "can he beat the famed cleric archer"? Eventually, greenknight "won" by polymorphing any object into a stronger form and misinterpreting the holy word spell - which is no longer the state of the art, I dare say, on these boards).

    Having said that, I do see some light coming up here and there in the WoTC boards where Azerion Kelimon so nicely put a ruined part of my guide to make fun of me there (and displaying the extent of what he understands as being fair by not changing the post there to a simple link. What astounds me even more is that NO one around here criticised him for doing so)..
    Some posters there start to see some sense in it and pick up on the ideas. Most of them, though, are opposed to it completely. Which is highly disappointing in that they even admit not reading the guide, or making quite clear that they read it only up to the WHAT OMFG A MONK ABLE TO USE MAGIC WHAT NO ONLY BATMAN SHOULD DO THAT! Oh, well,...

    What I feel is lacking so far here in this thread is a discussion of what is really still a problem with the joker build. Instead, I feel a lot of emotional responses coming up (even disguised in jestful form). The reason is probably that you all like playing casters (in particular the arcane kind) so much - and you behave as if I were your DM and would send an npc monk your way that actually caused trouble using the normal core rules.
    In this case I point you again to what I wrote in the introduction. This is a guide intended for players who wish to play monks but get laughed at by their fellow caster players, or for DMs wishing to make npc monks more ofa challenge (although the wbl would be much less then).

    Anyhow, on to the posts...

    For a start, over at WoTC the poster Necroramo tried to do a Kurald Galain-style satire - and actually was completely right with it (without apparently knowing it). One problem for the Joker monk IS actually overcoming the spot/listen of the wizard's familiar (or a well-chosen animal companion of the druid), at least until mid-levels.
    THAT would have been some criticism that I would have gladly taken up. Unfortunately, you utterly failed.

    Then, what little constructive criticism was there so far I summarise thus in this interim summary comment post:
    - at low levels enlarge wand should maybe be replaced by enlarge potions to make the enlarge effect more certain in and just ahead of combat. (courtesy lord_khaine) Although for some reason the potion price is 250 instead of 50. So the wand is way more efficient.
    - the guide should include fluff ideas to make the UMD thing more workable in a campaign
    - the spellstaff idea is not really feasible (as in : DMs will likely not allow it)
    - I should rewrite the introduction to make it utterly clear that the guide is not intended to provide a basis or proof that "Beating Batman" means "Always or most of the time beating Batman". Regular forumgoers will know that I believe in the balance of the 3.5 core classes, but I'll nonetheless make it clearer soon.

    Meanwhile, I'll comment on two longer posts in more detail, but first on two more recent ones giving build ideas for comparison, one meant to be funny, the other a good fighter build for grappling.

    @Sam the Cleric:
    An expert 20 with UMD? Wow, that's new. Why not a commoner level 20? Ah - also not very original. Anyhow, just for you again:
    AMF. And all of a sudden the expert using UMD is reduced to the rest of his class abilities: non-boosted skills. He loses.

    @Talic
    Will answer to your longer post after this one, but just to correct your most recent mistake: you can flurry a grapple. It's obvious from the wording of the grappling rules in the PHB and SRD, and it's also clarified in the FAQ.
    1-2 better grapple mods will definitely overcome with a flurry. Note also that the barbarians and fighter's grapple attacks will suffer much faster from the lower BAB base with each attempt, whereas eventually the monk has 3 (!) going at his highest rate.
    And once again, guys, do not forget divine power. This is one of the key joker UMD spells at higher levels. With one stroke at high levels, it completely negates any grappling check advantage the fighter might have had, and gets quite close to the barbarian (who likely has no reliable source of enlarging effects without UMD, and may have trouble taking the improved grapple route with it since he needs DEX 15 alongside his sky-high STR.). Whatever is left as advantage for the barbarian who wasted two feats for this combat is easily outgrappled by the monk due to more attacks (flurry) better secondary attacks (flurry) and higher damage (the best stacking in the game, thanks to highest starting damage dice).


    @Griffin131
    Your fighter build looks good- although he has mage armour AND a breastplate? They do not stack.
    Anyhow, the fighter is +3 ahead due to higher BAB. This can be equated by using a divine power effect (which does not give any BAB to the fighter, this is what I mean with synergy) - and the monk does more damage in a grapple AND has more number of grapple checks (so it is rather him more likely to pin the fighter who then has to use the highest of his grapple check to get out).
    More of a problem is that the fighter is utterly behind in the hide/spot game. So the monk will set the timing of the encounter here, rather than the other way round. So likely the monk's buff will be up (simple enlarge is enough), while the fighter's will not be.
    Finally, I already wrote in the guide that levels 9-10 are the stealthier levels of the monk because grappling gets less effective, and it is just before he can start to also fight in regular combat with more damage thanks to the monk's belt.
    Mind you- providing the fighter with a UMD is also quite good, but he should use it more to compensate his lack of skills.

    Now on to the first of the longer posts with a mixture of old and new mistakes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Let's make things simple:
    -Monk cannot be a proper scout since he cannot find traps (no Trapfinding, no Search, no Disable Device), so in any dungeon, he'll just walk into traps and die. Congratu-****ing-lations. You just got rid of yourself.
    Of all classes except the rogue, the monk is best fit to trigger and survive traps. (courtesy the great monk school of lord_khaine). Heck, he could get the cleric find traps spell with a wand and raise search a bit. Although yes, nothing beats a rogue at finding traps -it's one of his niches, after all. But a scout is not only about finding traps. Being fast is another part. so let us say both monk and rogue have their scout uses/niches, OK?

    -Monk doesn't have maxed Dex or Wis and since Spot/Hide and Listen/Move Silently are opposed checks, he's at a disadvantage versus anything which is focusing on either trait while also maxing the skill. That means he cannot be a reliable spotter, listener nor a hiding/move silently scout. Leave that to the Rogues and Druids, your Monk is only good enough to sneak past mooks and low HD monsters.

    Well, my monk build happens to have maxed skill ranks and good DEX/WIS scores on top (and items besides).
    And er...druids do not have hide or move silently (and remember, we live in a non-morphing world since some are allergic to cheese here). And yes, as long as a ranger and a rogue are in the party, then the monk can focus more on combat - which the joker build can ALSO do. Or he just added to the power of the scouting team or overall stealth of the group.
    And you have to back up your odd idea how the majority of monsters with CR up to the monk's level will be able to consinstly spot/listen him? I mean, the build I provided. Note also that due to the monk's superior move, he can afford to make a wider berth and thus impose penalities on the opponents' checks.

    -Use Magic Device is mostly wasted here as you don't use the utility wands nor the offensive ones and you don't have the time to buff before most fights. You spend a huge amount of resources on getting UMD without Charisma and with it as a crossclass skill. All you get for the trouble is a slightly-more-economic-than-potions way to use few spells, and still a total inability to use Moment of Prescience, Time Stop, Shapechange, all the spells worth using

    You fail to see the tactics of the Joker monk. It is not using attack spells with UMD. It is using buff, utility, research and healing spells.
    And it does not matter how I got the UMD, I got it - and the build is still powerful (or rather, more powerful due to it).
    And this build can also use MoP, Time Stop and Shapechange (Cheese Supreme, but...strangely enough noone reprimanded you for this...wonder why...). Since they are all divine spells as well, which the Joker monk can cast from scrolls thanks to his high WIS.

    Sure, spells help you, but that doesn't make Monk better than any other class in comparison; indeed, even Fighter has the same ability to UMD as a Monk, except since Fighter has less MAD, he can afford some points on Charisma. Also, the whole AMF tactic is pretty crappy as you negate all your buffs when using it, and Monk without buffs wasting two feats on UMD won't be standing up to anything.

    Yes, the fighter can use UMD. And will likely get stuff like fly, continuous armour/weopon enchantment, will save boosts, stat boosts, divine favour and enlarge.
    Yes, the monk can use UMD. And will lilkely get stuff like mage armour (for the non-armour class), divine power, enlarge, silence, shilllagh, shield.
    Yes, the rogue can use UMD. And will likely get maybe grease at low levels, or reduce, invisibility, silence etc.
    See the recurring theme? Yes? SYNERGY! Why is it so difficult to understand this?
    And UMD is not only there to replace the pc spellcaster in emergency or stinginess situations or instances where there is noone around. No, it also helps get the great range:personal only spells.
    EDIT: And the AMF tactics is good against those who lose more from not having magic: casters. Against a dragon or even a barbarian, it would not be a good idea.

    -You don't get a way to consistently use Wands in time, which sucks as the boosts with low CL don't last long and therefore you don't have much time to boost even when knowing the opponent is coming beforehand.

    The point is that the boosts last long enough and those that don't get boosted with the rod of extend. And the whole point about being good in the hide/movesilently/spot/listen combo is that the joker monk gets consistently more often the situation where he can buff.

    -Grappling is a very limited tactic. When fighting against a single tough opponent, it's probably way too tough to Grapple (either has the magic to avoid grapple, or has the power to easily outgrapple you) and when fighting against hordes, you should be controlling masses and dealing damage instead of focusing on a single opponent.

    Sigh. Read the statistics, already posted way up. You need "hordes" of more than four monster opponents to actually make a situation of being outnumbered feasible - and those are around 2 CR lower than the single monster opponent. And as I already said: the grapple capstone for this monk is level 8, after that it's different tactics.

    -Grappling is a PvP tactic mostly and mediocre at best even there. Leave it to those with incredible Strength and full BAB (Barbarians, mostly). Unfortunately Monk doesn't get anything beyond extra attacks that they can't even use after a move to help them in Grapple. Everyone can pick up Improved Grapple and anyone with full BAB and Strength-focus is going to outgrapple you. Anyone with Dex-focus is going to be able to escape your Grapple.

    Read. The. Guide. Or what I wrote above. Why toss around the same fallacies over and over again? Incredible.
    Escape ARtist? Standard action and move. AoO. Monk's turn. Grapple re-established. Great.
    Anyone with full BAB and strength focus needs a minimum DEX 15 to keep improved grapple while enlarged. Highly difficult,.
    Full BAB gets equated with divine power (which also pushes the flurry attack advantage to up to two).
    Grapple damage is the highest from the monk.

    In other words, you have a build that devotes a ton of resources to being able to spend actions (spending actions = not contributing in combat; every round you buff, your allies are getting pummeled by the guys you should be holding back) to buff in the beginning of each combat and cannot fight nor scout.

    Funnily, grappling is one of the tactics that literally can hold back an enemy, even a huge one. One successful touch attack as the huge tiger tries to rush by to reach the Solorcerer and it's stopped dead in its tracks, its charge wasted.

    This whole "tactical fighting" thing you're saying implies you'd have the ability to shape the battlefield somehow and thus restrict the opponents and enable your own allies to fight more effectively. This Monk cannot do that. You need reach and attacks of opportunities to do it; grapple is totally opposite, making you threaten no space and taking you out of combat while making you an easy target for opponents to kill.

    Sigh. Enlarge grapple has 10ft reach. From 6th level, the joker monk can disarm at a quite substantial bonus up to 20ft away. Grapple negates enemy charges with AoO. This joker monk even has 2 attacks of opportunity (3 later or in normal size).
    Similarly, due to UMD this joker monk has plenty of possibilities to create concealment at low levels and worse stuff and sky-high AC at higher levels. Heck, he can get an alter self like the Solorcerer and add +6 natural AC at low levels as well.

    You cannot scout since you lack the skill inherent to keeping yourself alive while crawling in dungeons. You have a good speed, but that doesn't let you outrun a trap you triggered.

    Funny. Commented on already above.
    Actually, with the speed, you can JUMP over whole trap areas.

    Here are Monk's problems in a nutshell:
    -Their primary attacks have a low chance of hitting due to medium BAB, and the thing they advance in damage (unarmed strike) is horribly expensive to enhance magically*.


    Their primary attacks are entirely enough due to touch attack for grapple tactics.
    And I showed many ways to enhance the unarmed strike to produce 300 damage or so per round at level 16. Or was it 15? Do not remember right now.

    Your proposed fix? Use Divine Power. Requires an action. Also, doesn't give your attack any abilities, just full BAB. Helps, but you cannot have it up all day so you tend to waste few turns you could be dealing damage to pump up. Also, you waste 2 perfectly good feats.

    Help! The monk uses actions to do something. Like..er...everyone else?
    Once again: at the time where divine power is used more often, the UMD is up to the +19 needed.
    The two feats are not wasted, since you get UMD reliably around level 13-15 instead of never outside epic. Plus, you also get your spellcraft up by +2.

    -They advance two useful abilities, fast movement and flurry of blows, but cannot combine these in a meaningful way in combat. Fast movement mostly would allow them to scout if they had Trapfinding (they don't), while Flurry would make up for their medium BAB if they had a way to take full attacks (they don't). Main problem here is Spring Attack-feat sucking.

    Sigh. I have shown in the guide how it's possible to combine move with flurry.

    Your proposed fix? Grapple. Doesn't work. You don't have Strength and BAB to pull it off without boosting and the time to boost. Also, you'll still only get one hit turn 1 (a relevant hit chance) and you'll lose in grapple to most CR appropriate encounters and you're not helping enough by just taking out one guy vs. swarms. It doesn't address the main issue of not being able to move and attack properly.

    Please. Have a look at the monster manual yourself. Up to CR 8. Deduct the animals (can be evaded with cheap hide from animals wands). You'll be surprised.

    -They need Dex and Wis for AC, Con for HP (especially with their low hit die), Int due to their low natural skills and Str if they want to ever pursue a combat style other than just hitting things. That means they'll have ~+2 to all, which leaves them doing all their things in a mediocre manner**.

    Mediocre? If you do not believe in grappling tactics, what difference to +2 to grapple check make? (meaning spending 10 more point buy on Strenght). But true, you could focus the monk on a few abilities only. I did not go that path.

    Your proposed fix? Just spread scores around. Leaves you sucking in all areas. You really need high scores in at least Str and Wis for a Monk to work out; Con too to survive.

    Yes. A 14 stat means "sucking". Strangely enough, the stats are just fine as they are.

    -Their feats are very limited. Stunning Fist is good, but due to low Wis will never reach credible levels without extreme focus. Others of them are mediocre or poor. Str and medium BAB mean you won't be a good grappler. Same goes for tripping. Disarming without helping weapons is nearly impossible, and sundering is just dumb.

    You repeat yourself.

    Your proposed fix? None, you go with the plan of taking a tactic you cannot really pull off.

    Tell me a way to avoid grapple without freedom of movement. And higher grapple check does not count, since it was shown already that the monk has a higher grapple check most of the time.

    -They have no protections from Sneak Attack (and can't wear armor so they can't pick up Fortifications), and with their low HP, strikers will kill them really fast.
    our proposed fix? None. You actually make it easy for them by grappling people.


    Should I say Eversmoking Bottle? Yes, I should. Or better yet: concealment, available from level 2 in obcuring mist form. Sneaks are over.

    *Amulet of Mighty Fists and Natural Attacks are both much more expensive than enhanced weapons so the best you can hope is a +5 Greater Magic Weapon from the party caster if you want to afford other things.

    See what I wrote in the guide on the issue of amulet of mighty fists. And my ideas to overcome it.

    That means you'll need to roll high all your career to hit any real ACs.

    Touch AC up to level 8? Not so much. And at the high levels when divine power is there? Just like the fighter. OK, the monk does not have weapon focus and greater weapon focus, true.
    Seriously - the monk SHOULD not be able to hit as well consistently, since he has so many other class abilities - it would not be balanced with the fighter and barbarian classes.

    **They can't get high AC since they can't afford high Dex and Wis.

    Strangely enough, my build can.

    They can't get high saves since they can't afford high Con, Wis and Dex (even with their progression).

    Strangely enough, my build can.

    They can't get enough skillpoints since they can't get a high Int.

    7 skill points per level is all this build needed. I had difficutly assigning the points after around level 12-15. Maybe they should go to knowledge--arcane and diplomacy rather than to diplomacy (since even using it is also some kind of no-no by some on these boards). This is btw also a sign that without great problems this build can be adapted to other core races.

    They can't hit well enough and use alternative combat styles,

    Grapple, Disarm, Stun, Flurry (incl. Shuriken), Flyby hit-and-run attack. Yep, sounds enough to me.

    since they can't afford high Str.

    STR 20 by level 8 is OK, I guess.

    They cannot make use of Stunning Fist without high Wis.

    At high levels, they can make use of it with a WIS of 8 since it's just added gravy which constantly threatens opponents to be knocked out in one hit when they throw a "1". Weak fort types will get knocked out more quickly.
    And the joker monk has quite a good stun DC.

    Their opposed checks are poor due to the lack of stats.

    Against rank maxed-out, item-using, DEX/WIS 18 opponents, maybe. Against the other 99%, not so much.

    They have low HP due to lowish hit die and low Con.

    Ah, finally a rather weak area of the joker monk. He'll have to use good tactics to survive, I guess?

    Ach, too late now - will react to Talic's long post later...tomorrow maybe.

    - Giacomo

    PS: I'll also focus a bit more now with my spare time on the 6th level adventure with Ozymandias.
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-19 at 05:45 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #457
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    that was an example to explain why i thought it was a flawed idea when you claimed monks were a bad class, just because other classes did some thing better than them.
    I'm not claiming that monks are bad. I'm saying that they're worse at everything than someone else. Something that you yourself implied than with your 80% comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    im really disapointet about this question, for it shows you hasnt really paid any attention to my posts at all, Gia is the one who uses UMD, not me.
    a movement speed of 20 is really bad, compared to the monk who has 50 at this level, and is able to charge 100 and still deliver an attack at the end.
    Now, how about the barbarian, who has a movement of 40, and a better attack bonus and much higher damage output?
    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    that aside, in the grapple, then im pretty sure my monk would win, when we start to considder that the monk would do 17.5 with each grapple check, compared to yours 6.5, and also the monk has 2 attacks at full bonus, thats a very big advantage thats often forgotten.
    Really? How about this one? Level 8. Monk just got a boost to flurry, lowering the penalty. monk's built with a 16 strength. Fighter, built with an 18 strength, also has improved grapple. Fighter also has a +2 str item, but so does monk. Both have a 14 con. Fighter has armor spikes, and gauntlets. Monk, unfortunately, is not wearing armor. Monk charges in, and manages to get a hold, despite his 34% chance of success. Deals decent damage.

    Fighter attempts to pin, gets it, follows up with a second attack to damage for 1d3+str + armor spikes (1d6). Now, the monk will have to spend an average of 2 attacks every round just to have a 50% chance at breaking the pin, giving him an average of 1 attempt to damage every round. 1 in 3 rounds, he'll actually damage. Meanwhile, the fighter will get his damage 2 our of 3 rounds. So now, compare the monk's 1d10+4 once every 3 rounds, to the fighter's 2d3+2d6+10 in the same time, while keeping the monk controlled.

    Or perhaps just straight rolls? Fighter will have 2 attacks, and will do 1d3+1d6+5 per hit, with a 66% accuracy. Weighted damage per attack is 6.93 per attack, or 13.86 for each round's 2 attacks.
    Monk will have 3 attacks, for 1d10+4 damage each hit. Average damage per hit of 9.5, with a 34% chance of success. Weighted damage is 3.23 per attack, or 9.69 for his 3 attacks in a round. The fighter has slightly better hp, due to damage die, and is outputting an average of 4.17 damage more per round. Upgrading the monk to Str 18? Lowers the bonus to +2, and changes the average damages to:
    Fighter: Weighted damage 12.35 per round.
    Monk: Weighted damage 12.05 per round.

    Now, it's close to parity. The fighter, however, can get by with a 12 dex, 14 con, and 10 wis, with 8's everywhere else. (28 point buy) Alternately, for the enlarge trick, he can go with a 16 str, with the monk's 16, have a 16 dex, a 14 con, and a wis 10.
    Monk with 16 str, 14 dex, 14 wis, 14 con is 28 points. Fighter has a +2 advantage, and the enlarge makes up the str difference between 16 and 18 str for both sides, for weighted numbers:
    Fighter: 12.35
    Monk: 12.05

    No matter how you skew it, the fighter comes out with more HP and better average damage per round, by virtue of more attacks hitting. This means that, all things equal (+2 str items, potions of enlarge), the fighter will always win the grapple, by the averages. This qualifies the fighter as being a "better grappler". At level 9-10, when the monk has an additional attack from flurry, he's got a darn good chance of being slightly better. That will disappear permanently at level 11, when the fighter gets a bonus attack from BAB. Thus, the monk is not the best at grapple. Even WITH the extra attacks from flurry.
    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    besides those think the monk would also have 2 more skillpoints per level, and a much better list of class skills, as well as improved evasion and better saves. if that makes him better than the fighter is a matter of oppinion.
    No, whether that makes his class better is a matter of optimization. If the monk is trying to keep up in grapple, he will have a lower AC. If the monk is trying to keep his saves up, he will have lower AC. Lower AC = greater chance to be hit. Further, the monk will typically have less HP. Further, the fighter will typically have several other feats available (at level 8, after the imp grapple, the human fighter has 6 feats to burn, on other things to boost effectiveness). While the monk may be better than the fighter at some things, he'll be worse at any combat related task. Thus, the monk is a less effective combatant than the fighter.

    Rogues? Have better skills, evasion, superior damage through sneak attack, and an ability to be unflankable and retain dex to AC. They also have trapfinding. Now, a monk could reliably compete in fighting ability with a rogue. However, the monk will fall behind in scouting (unable to find and remove most traps, including every magical trap in existence), skills (if you thought the monk had a decent list of skills, check out the rogue), and espionage.

    Bottom line, the monk is an effective character within a very specific party subset that is not often played. That is the stealth party in core. Monks make really good stealth combatants in that situation. Outside of core, there are feats that give fighters/barbarians similar stealth abilities, so that pretty much goes away.

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    actualy, its specificly mentioned in the FAQ, that the monk is able to use his flurry of blows attacks to grapple with.
    also this means that even with a difference of 7 in grapple modifiers, then a lv 11 or higher monk would still have a greater than 50% chance of getting a hold.
    That same monk would have to start the round in full attack range, and make 4 attacks to have a better than 50% chance to land 1. Meanwhile the grappler with the +7 mod will be landing 80.5% of hits. Even assuming that the monk deals twice the damage per hit of the enemy grappler, he will need to make twice as many attacks every round to be even in average damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    and thats one of the things i considder a mistake in the book.
    And the SRD? And everywhere else that prices are listed? Mighty widespread mistake, that. When the RAW doesn't agree with you, it's a mistake, now? Heh.

  8. - Top - End - #458
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    PS: I'll also focus a bit more now with my spare time on the 6th level adventure with Ozymandias.
    Cool. It'll be good to see you. The fact that the OoC thread already has >100 views, with only four posts, and no characters yet, shows that we'll have spectators .

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

    Giacomo, I gotta say.

    The people on the CharOp boards are the experts on D&D character power. If you're failing to convince any of us, failing to convince any of them, well...

    What I'm trying to say here is, have you considered the possibility that you're not some kind of unsung genius, the only one who knows what he's talking about, whom the ignorant masses reject out of stupidity or spite?

    It'd just be really, really strange if you somehow magically understand monks better than the people who know D&D best... especially since you haven't actually ever played a monk like this.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-05-19 at 05:47 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    This is the reason why I am so adamant about my position. Because you keep arguing with the same fallacies over and over again.
    MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS ARE NOT FALLACIES

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverClawShift View Post
    MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS ARE NOT FALLACIES
    Some of them are.
    I <3 Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.
    But those ones aren't equations, strictly speaking.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    Giacomo, I gotta say.

    The people on the CharOp boards are the experts on D&D character power. If you're failing to convince any of us, failing to convince any of them, well...

    What I'm trying to say here is, have you considered the possibility that you're not some kind of unsung genius, the only one who knows what he's talking about, whom the ignorant masses reject out of stupidity or spite?

    It'd just be really, really strange if you somehow magically understand monks better than the people who know D&D best... especially since you haven't actually ever played a monk like this.
    First of all, Reel on Love, I already convinced some. Not the majority, but some.
    And if the majority keeps proclaiming the same mistakes as truth again and again, I'll try to oppose that.
    Check the thread for yourself. Some of those who reject it admit they stopped reading it after some sentences (wonder how much this has to do with the way it is presented...hmmm...)
    And to this "majority" I should give in? What kind of optimisers are that? This is simple ideology "SAY AFTER ME: BATMAN IS UBER, WILL BE UBER, AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE THAT", no discussion.

    - Giacomo

    EDIt: as an aside, Talic: I guess that armour spike damage is only added on a successful grapple ATTACK (SRD: "Armor Spikes: You can have spikes added to your armor, which allow you to deal extra piercing damage (see Table: Weapons) on a successful grapple attack. "). So it does not apply on further checks. So, in case the monk surprises/wins initiative and initiates the grapple on HIS attack, the spike damage does not apply at all (only when the fighter manages to detach and then attack/grapples on his turn). Makes also sense to me intuitively.
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-19 at 05:56 PM.

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

    Oh, BTW, is there any space left in the test for a skillmonkey? I have one who is willing to play that role.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    This is simple ideology "SAY AFTER ME: BATMAN IS UBER, WILL BE UBER, AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE THAT", no discussion.

    - Giacomo
    This message approved by Big Solo; he is watching you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Oh, BTW, is there any space left in the test for a skillmonkey? I have one who is willing to play that role.
    Talic was looking at the third and final place, but the thread is here, and you can fight over the slot. Skill monkeying may be a little boring though, as we're trying to control our variables (read: Ozymandias, Giacomonk).
    Last edited by Illiterate Scribe; 2008-05-19 at 05:57 PM.

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

    Question.

    You mention the validity of Grappling with Flurries as "Obvious".

    Please quote the text, with bolded statement that makes said above statement true? Last I checked, Talic did that to prove his point. People tend to believe his arguments more. Savvy?
    Last edited by Signmaker; 2008-05-19 at 06:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverClawShift View Post
    MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS ARE NOT FALLACIES
    Oh yes, you were the one hwo compiled the huge list of AC boosters for a monk to show their defense to normal attacks wasn't that super high, weren't you? Poor thing.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    First of all, Reel on Love, I already convinced some. Not the majority, but some.
    And if the majority keeps proclaiming the same mistakes as truth again and again, I'll try to oppose that.
    Check the thread for yourself. Some of those who reject it admit they stopped reading it after some sentences (wonder how much this has to do with the way it is presented...hmmm...)
    And to this "majority" I should give in? What kind of optimisers are that? This is simple ideology "SAY AFTER ME: BATMAN IS UBER, WILL BE UBER, AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE THAT", no discussion.

    - Giacomo
    So, what you're saying here is, "I understand D&D and optimize better than the people on the CharOp boards, who give us the most powerful builds--core or not--in the game."

    That's awfully modest of you.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-05-19 at 05:58 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Illiterate Scribe View Post
    This message approved by Big Solo; he is watching you.



    Talic was looking at the third and final place, but the thread is here, and you can fight over the slot. Skill monkeying may be a little boring though, as we're trying to control our variables (read: Ozymandias, Giacomonk).
    Just one thing: TA-RA-RA-RA...TA-RA-RA!

    Indy will do it, and even better if he DOESN'T have to spend the last feat on imp. unarmed strike.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Just one thing: TA-RA-RA-RA...TA-RA-RA!

    Indy will do it, and even better if he DOESN'T have to spend the last feat on imp. unarmed strike.
    Core only, I'm afraid. You can have the theme tune, though, as an idiosyncrasy.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talic View Post

    WBL AND DISPOSABLE INCOME

    The game provides for PC's to have certain amounts of wealth at certain levels. This is "Wealth by level", or WBL. It achieves this by granting an average amount of awarded treasure per encounter.

    Listings for both of these are found on DMG, p.135, and DMG, p.51.

    When you take the average amount of treasure per encounter, and divide it by 4, you get the amount of treasure that each party member should make in that encounter, per level.

    In D&D, the experience table is scaled so that 14 even CR encounters will get you a level.

    Thus, taking the information on Table 3-3 (DMG, p.51) and dividing it by 4 (for party division), then multiplying by 14 (for all the encounters in the character level), you get the total amount a PC should earn in that level, on average.

    But that's greater than the current wealth of the PC + wealth gained. It puts a PC above WBL. This is intentional. The designers put in extra earnings to reflect the use of items that are disposable. These items are used, and then are no more, such as wands, potions, scrolls, food, poisons, alchemical items, and the like.

    The table I derived for monk (class only matters at level 1, where starting gold is different) is thus:
    {table=header] Level/Next Level | Gold allocated for Disposable items
    1 to 2 | 162.5
    2 to 3 | 300
    3 to 4 | 450
    4 to 5 | 600
    5 to 6 | 1,600
    6 to 7 | 1,000
    7 to 8 | 1,100
    8 to 9 | 2,900
    9 to 10 | 2,750
    10 to 11 | 3,300
    11 to 12 | 4,250
    12 to 13 | 12,300
    13 to 14 | 5,500
    14 to 15 | 9,500
    15 to 16 | 17,000
    16 to 17 | 18,000
    17 to 18 | 26,000
    18 to 19 | 24,500
    19 to 20 | 100,000[/table]

    Costs for items per level (assuming used 1 time in each encounter):
    Potion (50gp) - 700gp
    Potion (250gp - Enlarge Person) - 3,500gp
    Wand (750gp) - 210gp (cost per item reaches DMG advised 25% total WBL at level 4, first obtainable with 83.3% WBL at level 2)
    Wand (11,250, or level 3 spell, such as heroism) - 3,150 gp

    Thus, the first level that you could reliably use a standard 50gp potion once an encounter, and not fall behind WBL, is level 5.

    The first level you could reliably use Enlarge Person potions? Level 11.

    The first level you could use a level 1, 750gp wand? By disposable income, level 2. By DMG advised WBL guidelines, level 4. First time viable in combat? Well, without heroism, level 13-14, depending on who you ask.

    First time the Level 3 heroism spell is viable in a wand? Level 10, and it'll use so much WBL, you won't have enough left over for a level 1 wand without falling behind. Level 11 gets you the ability to use it and afford wands, without falling behind.

    Thus, we can conclude that potions, which use a combat action, are not viable to make a character combat effectiveness until almost the level you could attain reliable UMD use with wands, as a monk. Wands are more cost effective, but are not reliable until level 11, at the earliest, unless you want to fall behind the WBL curve... And that's with heroism correctly guessed before every enounter (with a 30 minute duration, it's a bit rough to get perfect). Without that, you're mitigating the effectiveness of your actions, with actions that are not even sure to be taken, much less successful.


    This needs addressing faster than I intended - it's already spread as "truth" on the WoTC boards and I sincerely hope that the one who posted it there will correct it.*

    Talic, what has gone into you here? You are trying to show that the monk cannot use the wands I budgeted becaused you show actually that by the DMG pcs are actually supposed to HAVE EVEN MORE AVAILABLE FOR CONSUMABLE ITEMS?

    This is the most confusing post you made so far.

    And, of course, it is wrong. The DMG p. 135 table is the only one that counts. And it is the only wbl table ever used to my knowledge to make character builds. You can spend all your wbl in scrolls or potions or wands. As long as you follow the 1/4 per single item guideline (DMG p. 199), you're fine.

    Eagerly awaiting your correction.

    - Giacomo

    *EDIT: And something tells me Dandu on WoTC=Solo.... So much for the alleged "optimisation giants" over at WoTC...
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-19 at 06:25 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    a movement speed of 20 is really bad, compared to the monk who has 50 at this level, and is able to charge 100 and still deliver an attack at the end.
    True. I pointed that out, if you'll note. I also pointed out that I can move 80 in one round, without an attack at the end.

    that aside, in the grapple, then im pretty sure my monk would win, when we start to considder that the monk would do 17.5 with each grapple check, compared to yours 6.5, and also the monk has 2 attacks at full bonus, thats a very big advantage thats often forgotten.
    My grapple mod is higher than yours. How much damage do you do while pinned? 0? Okay.

    besides those think the monk would also have 2 more skillpoints per level, and a much better list of class skills, as well as improved evasion and better saves. if that makes him better than the fighter is a matter of oppinion.
    Better saves? Versus Gia's level 10 monk, I had a better Fort save, and he had better Ref by *1* and Will by 3. Yeah. Much better.

    Gia: I oppose all your +14's with my +17. You can use all the attacks you want, praying you'll get to un-pin then roll to hit me. Oh, and change the Mage Armor to Barkskin - my apologies about that. Or, I could spend money on magic items to buff my AC.

    You use Divine Power to get +3 to your grapple check (making yours +22, mine +22 with Enlarge) and I hit Bull's Strength which puts me back on top (by 2).
    Last edited by Griffin131; 2008-05-19 at 06:33 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Escape ARtist? Standard action and move. AoO. Monk's turn. Grapple re-established. Great.
    Not true for all cases. Most Wizards and Rogues I've seen have at least a few ranks in Tumble. Bards have it as a class skill, and light- and un-armored clases like Ranger, Druid, Barbarian, and Sorcerer tend to stick a couple ranks in it (if only to have the possibility open to them). Clerics, Fighters, and Paladins are the only three core classes I would count on not having any ranks in Tumble at all. Tumble Past DC is only 15. With just a few ranks and a decent Dex, you'll be reliably moving past your grappler with no AoO's.

    That said, this is actually a fairly viable tactic to take a foe out of the fight, assuming the Monk has a grapple check somewhere near the target's. Against NPC foes, you'll usually be able to neutralize one target, allowing the rest of the group to concentrate fire on other targets, or allowing the Rogue to unleash stabbity doom on the person you're grappling. Against monsters, you can also often use this as a delaying tactic. However, there are dangers to this. If it's a monster, rather than an NPC, many times you will be unable to pin it (even with enlarge person). That leaves you open to the (often powerful) natural attacks of the enemy when it gets its own chance to grapple you. If you're fighting NPC enemies, the enemy Rogue can unleash stabbity doom on you. Note that, once you are in a grapple, you cannot make any AoO's, since you do not threaten any square, and you lose your own Dexterity to AC.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Please. Have a look at the monster manual yourself. Up to CR 8. Deduct the animals (can be evaded with cheap hide from animals wands). You'll be surprised.
    This tactic troubles me, because of the following things.
    1) should the whole party avoid animal encounters just because you can't handle them? There are definitely parties that won't stand for that.
    2) what if the animals ambush you or at least notice you when you notice them, you can't expect to have a druid with 4-5 of his first level spells devoted to hide from animals and your UMD isn't high enough to use reliably in combat yet.
    3) what if you for some reason must kill the animal e.g. it is attacking innocents or you want it's skin, maybe it's sleeping on your loot?

    It's a nice spell, but not the answer to all animals you'll ever encounter.

    Second I'll try to give you some "constructive criticism".
    I think you wand budget is a bit to vague, you've seen Talic's analysis, if you want to prove that you build is viable it would be a good idea to give a structured overview of how you spend every single penny, this will also prevent the so called schrödinger's monk arguments.
    You need to show what you buy in chronological order(with price) and list how often you expect to use it(e.g. wand of enlarge(750 gp) 80% of the encounters).
    I think that would be far more useful then to constantly refer to your guide, people on this board want cold-hard numbers!
    good luck.
    Schrödinger cat? Schrödinger wizard? Schrödinger monk?
    What's next? Schrödinger equation? HΨ=EΨ? Seriously WTF?


    The best summary of this board I've seen so far:
    Quote Originally Posted by Frigs View Post
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Illiterate Scribe View Post
    Core only, I'm afraid. You can have the theme tune, though, as an idiosyncrasy.
    Ooh, tasty super sneak attack! Pity I don't get Ambush feats, but hey, super Sa is still good.

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

    Their primary attacks are entirely enough due to touch attack for grapple tactics.
    And I showed many ways to enhance the unarmed strike to produce 300 damage or so per round at level 16. Or was it 15? Do not remember right now.
    IF you hit with all atacks, which are at -4 penalty. Where did you get the idea that in grapple you need to hit only touch AC? It only says that you can make an attack against the opponent you're grappling at a -4 penalty.
    Common sense is not so common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm da Rogue!
    You make sense in an annoying way.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    My grapple mod is higher than yours. How much damage do you do while pinned? 0? Okay.
    Since the monk has more grapple checks availble, it is more likely that your fighter will find himself pinned and having to waste his highest grapple check to get out. But overall, with no side able to buff, the fighter should be slightly ahead. With both sides able to buff (include divine power), the monk is ahead. With only the monk able to buff (due to better chance at surprising), then monk wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    Better saves? Versus Gia's level 10 monk, I had a better Fort save, and he had better Ref by *1* and Will by 3. Yeah. Much better.
    Yes, as you said. Better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    Gia: I oppose all your +14's with my +17. You can use all the attacks you want, praying you'll get to un-pin then roll to hit me. Oh, and change the Mage Armor to Barkskin - my apologies about that. Or, I could spend money on magic items to buff my AC.
    You realise that your touch AC remains low?

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    You use Divine Power to get +3 to your grapple check (making yours +22, mine +22 with Enlarge) and I hit Bull's Strength which puts me back on top (by 2).
    No, with bull's strength you are still +1 behind (you received +4 enhance, the monk received +6 enhance).

    And note: one level later, the odds tilt in favour of the monk, due to monk's belt and the next flurry max BAB attack (plus an extra iterative attack from divine power).

    - Giacomo

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    [spoiler]
    *EDIT: And something tells me Dandu on WoTC=Solo.... So much for the alleged "optimisation giants" over at WoTC...
    Oh, I see!

    The people at CharOp--you know, the ones who invented Pun-Pun--are bad optimizers because they disagree with you!

    You're not just an unsung genius, everyone who disagrees with you doesn't even know what they're doing!

    Your arrogance has a -8 Size penalty to AC.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    ... the monk not being able to flurry in a grapple, ...
    I have a vague memory that you're actually right that the monk can use Flurry in a grapple, but I can't find where the rules actually allow it. Could you point me to a quote?

    the monk allegedly having no niches and being not the best at anything (shown repeatedly: yes, he does),
    The scout/skill monkey role? Hmmm.

    This is the reason why I am so adamant about my position. Because you keep arguing with the same fallacies over and over again. Some you admit and still do not budge one iota.
    Some of the arguments against you are being iterated in a very sloppy, repetitive, poorly-explained way; yes. They are tossed about as "obvious" statements with no evidence to back them up. But you do the same thing ... a lot, honestly. The Flurry & Grapple question above is one example, and it's even an example where I think you're ultimately right, but I still say your "evidence" for it that you've posted so far is rather shaky.

    - and this after we had a year ago such a lengthy and interesting discussion with the fighter and cleric archer (which actually went a long way that thread from illustrating the fighter had no chance vs a balor to "is he actually able to kill a balor in 1 round?" to "can he beat the famed cleric archer"? Eventually, greenknight "won" by polymorphing any object into a stronger form and misinterpreting the holy word spell - which is no longer the state of the art, I dare say, on these boards).
    Well, you're ignoring the part where people were saying, all along, "A PvP fight is not really going to settle the question." And the part where you only had a chance in the Balor fight because you went with an archer, which is universally accepted as one of the stronger options for a Core-only fighter. Being able to make an OK archer does not redeem some of the other weak aspects of a Core Fighter.

    Having said that, I do see some light coming up here and there in the WoTC boards where Azerion Kelimon so nicely put a ruined part of my guide to make fun of me there (and displaying the extent of what he understands as being fair by not changing the post there to a simple link. What astounds me even more is that NO one around here criticised him for doing so)..
    You're right, that was lame to do without permission and without taking the time to put your writing in ideal format.

    The reason is probably that you all like playing casters (in particular the arcane kind) so much
    Now I think you're jumping to conclusions. Some of us are quite upset that casters are stronger than non-casters in 3e, because we like playing non-casters.

    @Talic
    Will answer to your longer post after this one, but just to correct your most recent mistake: you can flurry a grapple. It's obvious from the wording of the grappling rules in the PHB and SRD, and it's also clarified in the FAQ.
    This is the "shaky" evidence I referred to earlier ...

    1-2 better grapple mods will definitely be overcome with a flurry.
    (Edited to demonstrate what I assume this statement was claiming.) More shakiness. Can you back this claim up with statistics, for those of us who aren't sure whether it's true and don't want to do the math?

    And once again, guys, do not forget divine power. This is one of the key joker UMD spells at higher levels. With one stroke at high levels, it completely negates any grappling check advantage the fighter might have had, and gets quite close to the barbarian (who likely has no reliable source of enlarging effects without UMD, and may have trouble taking the improved grapple route with it since he needs DEX 15 alongside his sky-high STR.). Whatever is left as advantage for the barbarian who wasted two feats for this combat is easily outgrappled by the monk due to more attacks (flurry) better secondary attacks (flurry) and higher damage (the best stacking in the game, thanks to highest starting damage dice).
    Hmmm. Typical Fighters and Barbarians have significantly higher STR than your Monk build. (They don't need WIS and CON as badly, mind you.) And a dedicated Barbarian grappling build will have lots of damage on his grapple attacks via magic Spiked Armor.

    Of all classes except the rogue, the monk is best fit to trigger and survive traps. (courtesy the great monk school of lord_khaine).
    More too-quickly-explained "evidence." Still, I agree with this point ... IF it's a Monk build with a high AC. Which yours most certainly is NOT. Lots of traps attack you with attack rolls, you know.

    Being fast is another part. so let us say both monk and rogue have their scout uses/niches, OK?
    Traditionally the "skill monkey role" of the party values trapmonkeying much more than speed. I don't know if it should. Probably extremely campaign-dependent. But if you're trying to present the Monk as viably filling the "Rogue" role of the party, you'll have to start by attacking these more fundamental assumptions about what that role in the party is supposed to do.

    And this build can also use MoP, Time Stop and Shapechange (Cheese Supreme, but...strangely enough noone reprimanded you for this...wonder why...). Since they are all divine spells as well, which the Joker monk can cast from scrolls thanks to his high WIS.
    Assuming you can find them in divine form. Yes, they are divine spells, but the SRD seems to place them in the category of "scrolls that you should assume will be found in arcane form, since finding a high-level Cleric making/selling scrolls and having the specific Domain you need is pretty rare." Totally depends on how lenient your DM is with "magic shops," and I think most DMs will fall in the "not lenient enough" category.

    Yes, the fighter can use UMD. And will likely get stuff like fly, continuous armour/weopon enchantment, will save boosts, stat boosts, divine favour and enlarge.
    Yes, the monk can use UMD. And will lilkely get stuff like mage armour (for the non-armour class), divine power, enlarge, silence, shilllagh, shield.
    Yes, the rogue can use UMD. And will likely get maybe grease at low levels, or reduce, invisibility, silence etc.
    See the recurring theme? Yes? SYNERGY! Why is it so difficult to understand this?
    And UMD is not only there to replace the pc spellcaster in emergency or stinginess situations or instances where there is noone around. No, it also helps get the great range:personal only spells.
    EDIT: And the AMF tactics is good against those who lose more from not having magic: casters. Against a dragon or even a barbarian, it would not be a good idea.
    His tacit point was: And yet, with all the hundreds of Fighter builds out there, you rarely see one utilizing this UMD ability. If it were really such a great strategy, wouldn't you think it would have caught on by now?

    The point is that the boosts last long enough and those that don't get boosted with the rod of extend. And the whole point about being good in the hide/movesilently/spot/listen combo is that the joker monk gets consistently more often the situation where he can buff.
    Again, you need to read between the lines and attack more fundamental underlying assumptions that are differences between your opinion and others' experiences. People who are arguing with you don't seem to think that, playing D&D, you usually get good enough "encounter control" to be able to spend a couple rounds buffing just before a fight. (I don't, btw, understand why they can't just say that to avoid repeating the same old arguments.)

    So a lot of your build rests on this. How well does maxed H/MS/Spot/Listen actually allow you to be aware of fights before they start, and control when they start? I think it should work pretty well ... and yet my own experience matches the common opinion better. I don't understand the discrepency between theory and practice on this point, and I would appreciate if anyone can explain it to me. It would make my stealthy characters more effective.

    Sigh. Read the statistics, already posted way up. You need "hordes" of more than four monster opponents to actually make a situation of being outnumbered feasible - and those are around 2 CR lower than the single monster opponent. And as I already said: the grapple capstone for this monk is level 8, after that it's different tactics.
    OK, I'm not directly responding to this point; it just reminded me of something else earlier in the thread.

    People's experience also seems to indicate that they rarely face monsters of below their party's level. If they're fighting 3-5 monsters at the same time, those monsters are usually about the same CR as the party level. If they are fighting a solo encounter, it's usually 2-3 higher CR than the party level.

    This seems to run contrary to your assumptions about what CRs of monsters you will be expected to grapple with your Monk build. If you want people to respect your grappling ability, you have to convince them that you will indeed be facing the CR of monsters that you expect.

    Escape ARtist? Standard action and move. AoO. Monk's turn. Grapple re-established. Great.
    Nobody is going to be dumb enough, after using Escape Artist, to try to just walk away from you, and let you grapple them again. They'll Tumble, or (if they have a high Touch AC and Mobility) just walk away from you and you'll miss them when you try to re-grapple, or they'll just whack you, or they'll cast a spell (with Defensive Casting). So downplaying Escape Artist as completely useless is not an argument most people agree with.

    You also seem to assume that most opponents will have the same Reach as you, or lesser reach when you're Enlarged. This is a bad assumption to have so universally. Lots of enemy melee NPCs will have reach weapons. (Yes, I know you have a spiked chain, but flurry, grapple, and a lot of your other tricks don't work with it.) Lots of monsters are big enough to have natural reach. If you get Enlarged, so do the NPCs ... and the monsters might still be bigger than you, quite likely.

    Anyone with full BAB and strength focus needs a minimum DEX 15 to keep improved grapple while enlarged. Highly difficult,.
    I've seen quite a few STR-based melee builds with Dex 15. They like their Combat Reflexes-based AoOs.
    Or they could have 13, and be Enlarged by some other process (Righteous Might, or being a Half-Giant ...)

    Actually, with the speed, you can JUMP over whole trap areas.
    Most dungeons have lowish ceilings. Especially the parts of them that are trapped, like doorways. And not all traps are triggered by pressure plates on the floor. And how is your party going to follow you after you bypass a trap by jumping past it?

    And I showed many ways to enhance the unarmed strike to produce 300 damage or so per round at level 16. Or was it 15? Do not remember right now.
    If I recall correctly, a number of those ways were rather controversial, and led to their own Monk-debate threads. Like whether magical gauntlets were a good solution.

    Help! The monk uses actions to do something. Like..er...everyone else?
    Again, there seems to be a fundamental difference between your experience and others'. In this case, it's "how much of a problem is it when a character wastes a round or two buffing himself before he can be effective at fighting?" And most people seem to think it's a big problem. You don't seem to ... or you're relying on "encounter timing control" (as I talked about earlier) even more than I thought.

    By the way, I haven't seen you respond to the Table of Expendable Wealth that got posted. It seemed like a very interesting argument to me, and you seem to be recommending spending a lot more on UMD-items than that Table would allow you to use.

    Sigh. I have shown in the guide how it's possible to combine move with flurry.
    I don't remember that. Core only? In one round, move and flurry? I don't think that's possible, shuriken/sai attacks aside.

    Yes. A 14 stat means "sucking". Strangely enough, the stats are just fine as they are.
    14 is fine, for a secondary stat at Level 1. But you don't have any score above 14, and you can't afford to keep boosting all of the stats that are important to a Monk.

    Tell me a way to avoid grapple without freedom of movement. And higher grapple check does not count, since it was shown already that the monk has a higher grapple check most of the time.
    Dimension Door. Escape Artist (& Tumble).

    That means you'll need to roll high all your career to hit any real ACs.

    Touch AC up to level 8? Not so much.
    I think he was talking about after Level 8, when you're supposed to be doing something besides grapple.

    And at the high levels when divine power is there?
    You're going to burn 700 gp on a Scroll of Divine Power every battle after Level 8?

    Or not? That's one thing that's confused me about your guide all along. In what percentage of battles are you expecting to have which buffs, more or less?

    **They can't get high AC since they can't afford high Dex and Wis.

    Strangely enough, my build can.
    AC 23 at Level 10 is in no way "high." It's pretty low.

    7 skill points per level is all this build needed.
    ... since it didn't care about Balance, Climb, Jump, ...
    Last edited by Draz74; 2008-05-19 at 07:03 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #479
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    So, what you're saying here is, "I understand D&D and optimize better than the people on the CharOp boards, who give us the most powerful builds--core or not--in the game."

    That's awfully modest of you.
    Ah...twisting what I said...
    No, Reel On, Love. I criticised many of what so far those who posted over there at that thread posted - some even admitted that they did not read my guide but still they found it proper to comment it's worthless.
    There are many threads on the WoTC optimisation boards going on - heated debates of great fighter optimisers like Aelyrinth and Argaud and Khan the Destroyer against some of the wizard optimisers. So there is controversy there as well.
    There was even one about monks where despite emeraldstreak's great proof of how powerful the size stacking rules make monk damage output even at mid-levels outside core. Of course it got denied by the wizard fans. Why they and you do that, although you maintain here and there that you'd love to play a strong non-caster and not have to face this dominance of casters in DD 3.5, I have no clue.

    And before I go to bed at long last now, @Fenix of Doom. You want even MORE hard numbers than I already provided in the most detailed level-by-level guide of any character class on these boards yet?
    Well...no. I left the wand budget flexible for a reason: to offer it plenty of room for interpretation for plenty of tactics that will depend on the campaign and fellow pcs entirely.
    What I DID show already several times was, that by level 10, the Joker monk will have been able to cast a 1st level spell a thousand times (and yes, Hide from Animals can also be put inside a wand and can help the whole group clearing an animal encounter)
    A 2nd level spell? Over 150 times.
    Number of encounters up to level 10? 140.

    You derive the rest.

    Good night.

    - Giacomo

  30. - Top - End - #480
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    Worira's Avatar

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

    Talic, keep in mind that you have to spend an attack every round to maintain a pin, and that you can always fail them.

    Giacomo, I simply cannot manage to add up the items in your 20th level build the same way twice, but as far as I can tell, it breaks WBL by the DMG chart, although not by Talic's chart. So that seems a tad counterproductive on his part.

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