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  1. - Top - End - #691
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Planar biding takes 10 minutes to cast. It's a big deal, giving enough time for a bunch of comoners to kill you with rocks and natural 20s.
    You're a wizard. You've got oodles of ways of controlling when you fight any one given mook. The only time this'd challenge you is if you're on a time budget and you haven't made any prearrainged deals with extraplaners yet.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

  2. - Top - End - #692

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mostlyharmful View Post
    You're a wizard. You've got oodles of ways of controlling when you fight any one given mook. The only time this'd challenge you is if you're on a time budget and you haven't made any prearrainged deals with extraplaners yet.
    I'm any character. I have time to prepare and must win at all costs. I buy a candle of invocation, start a wish loop and become pun-pun.

    If you want to start an arms race, then the D&D universe will colapse before any one of us can win.

  3. - Top - End - #693
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    I'm any character. I have time to prepare and must win at all costs. I buy a candle of invocation, start a wish loop and become pun-pun.

    If you want to start an arms race, then the D&D universe will colapse before any one of us can win.
    Yes. Now please explain how using the basic class abilities of a core class which bases it's powers around the PCs intelligence being played non-suicidally is the same as candle of invocation cheese loops? It's one thing to use dirty tricks to break the game engine, it's anouther to get annoyed that the smart magic user uses magic smartly.
    Last edited by mostlyharmful; 2008-05-21 at 05:21 PM.
    Give them bread and circusses and the plebs wont rise against you. Give adventurers dungeons and trapped chests and they won't waste time looking to ransack your home and kill your wife.

  4. - Top - End - #694
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    I'm any character. I have time to prepare and must win at all costs. I buy a candle of invocation, start a wish loop and become pun-pun.

    If you want to start an arms race, then the D&D universe will colapse before any one of us can win.
    Yeah. This is why I don't think duels or power contests really work. It always turns into "who can abuse the rules more efficiently" and the other guy can usually one-up you by coming up with something even worse. (Remember the gigantic argument over Polymorph that followed the abortive monk PvP duel.)

    The only two things stopping players from using any of D&D's many infinite loops are a) DM fiat and b) the fact that gaining maximum power at any cost isn't what they're playing the game for in the first place. If you take away both those restraints, the system falls apart quickly.

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    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and the final book in the series, Risen, is out as of December 2021. For updates, check my blog!

  5. - Top - End - #695

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Planar biding takes 10 minutes to cast. It's a big deal.

    Also since you kindly locked yourself up in the AMF there's no room to put the magic circle. Good work Batman, the joker manages to get whatever he wanted to get while you play with your gadgets.

    And if we're going with summoning cheese, please, by all means, let me present you to my good friend, candle of invocation.
    1) Which is why I said use Alacritous Cognition. Not that it matters because you can genuinely just wait ten minutes.

    2) The shaped AMF that doesn't effect me?

    3) Did I say anything about "the Joker?" No. I said, that a core only "mage slayer" competition was stupid. Because he can't get what he wants, because the only thing he wants is to kill you. Try not to confuse different conversations going on at once.

  6. - Top - End - #696
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    2) Mage Slayers: If you can get casting of second level spells, you should think about Monk levels, and then taking Asectic Mage to get Cha to AC in place of Wisdom. Then pump Charisma. Also take note of Force of Personality for Cha in place of Wis to Will saves, and Fist of the Forest.
    If I drop any more monk levels, I'll lose improved evasion, Is that trade-off worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Indeed. Just...Otto's.
    Otto's what? It makes a big difference.

    Also, who's DMing this little contest? I need to ask him or her a rules question.

    Anyway, updated build (and a name):

    Clodpool the Monastic Mage-Mangler

    Human Hexblade 3/Monk 9/Occult Slayer 5/Cleric 1/Incarnate 2
    Medium Humanoid (Human)
    HD 15d8+5d10+80, hp 179
    Init +11; Speed 60ft./x4
    AC 39 (+8 armor, +7 Dex, +7 Wis, +5 deflection, +3 monk), touch 31, flat-footed 32
    Base Attack/Grapple +16/+19
    Full Attack +27/+22/+17/+12 (2d4+9 +1d6 vs. casters, 19-20/x2, +5 adamantine keen spiked chain)
    SA & SQ: Armor restriction, elemental affinity (air & earth) (Ex), detect imbalance (Sp), smite extremist (Su), divine grace (Su), elemental burst (Su), hexblade's curse (Su), arcane resistance (Su), mettle (Ex), spontaneous casting, restricted spells, domains (pride, charm), turn undead (Su), AC bonus (Ex), flurry of blows (Ex), improved evasion (Ex), fast movement (Ex), still mind (Ex), ki strike (Su), slow fall 40 ft. (Ex), purity of body (Ex), wholeness of body, magical defense (Ex), weapon bond (Su), mind over magic (Su), vicious strike (Ex), auravision (Su), nondetection cloak (Su), blank thoughts (Ex)
    Alignment N
    Fort +28/+35, Ref +26/+33, Will +34/+41
    Str 16 (+3), Dex 24 (+7), Con 19 (+4), Int 10 (+0), Wis 24 (+7), Cha 18 (+4)
    Skills: Balance +20, Climb +9, Escape Artist +20, Jump +28, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Spellcraft +25, Spot +18, Tumble +23
    Feats: Blind-Fight, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Occult Opportunist, Mage Slayer, Pierce Magical Concealment, Pierce Magical Protection, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (spiked chain)

    Important Equipment: +5 adamantine keen spiked chain (75,000 gp), Bracers of Armor +8 (64,000 gp), Cloak of Resistance +5 and (49,000 gp), Monk's Belt (13,000 gp), Gloves of Dexterity +6 (36,000 gp), Ring of Protection +5 (50,000 gp), Headband of Wisdom +6 and Health +6 (custom item, X2.5) (90,000 gp), Scarab of Protection (38,000 gp), Winged Boots (16,000 gp), Manual of Gainful Exercise +2 (55,000 gp), Manual of Quickness of Action +2 (55,000 gp), Manual of Bodily Health +2 (55,000 gp), Tome of Understanding +2 (55,000 gp), stone of good luck (20,000 gp), pale green ioun stone (20,000 gp), Ring of Freedom of Movement (40,000 gp), Potion of Cure Serious Wounds x4 (3,000 gp), rod of cancellation (11,000 gp), light crossbow and bolts (14,846 gp), Quiver of Elhonna (1,800 gp), 2 tanglefoot bags (100 gp), 8 thunderstones (240 gp)

    Disposable Wealth: 14 gp
    Last edited by Turcano; 2008-05-22 at 01:18 AM.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    1) Yes it doesn't protect from everything, only melee attackers, which is exactly what I said.
    Doesn't protect from reach weapons, as they can fly outside of your bubble and whack.

    But no, I never said core only. If they want the Occult Slayer PrC, go for it. I have SpC, I'm happy.

  8. - Top - End - #698
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    I saw this on the gleemax boards and was going to post this earlier, but then I decided to read the (then) 12 pages of posts. Now that I'm done, it looks like everyone's finished talking about Giacomo's guide. I don't care; I already remade my account so I'm posting this anyway.

    Giacomo, regarding the guide:

    First, it doesn't help much with optimization. It seems more geared toward coping with the Monk class once you've given up on optimizing and have decided to just go Monk 20. This isn't what most people want when they look for a class handbook or playguide on this forum or on gleemax. They want to know how to make a good character, not how to prove that Monks can be played in a game setting.

    Every aspect of your Monk philosophy would be improved by starting with a level of Rogue. Stealth? Improved. Trapfinding? Available. UMD? Full ranks. Speed? Just one level behind. Damage? Probably about the same, considering you only lose one level and gain 1d6 SA.
    Your guide makes things difficult for impressionable readers by not pointing this out. It’s much easier to acknowledge that Monks comparatively suck with traps, damage and UMD and to just fix the problem than it is to jump a straight Monk through hoops to become almost competent. I find it troubling that your guide does not try to make Monks capable scouts or wand-users, when those are the strategies you support using. In fact, it doesn’t even mention the easy ways to get UMD onto a class skill list (and thus making the Giacomonk actually work).

    You also pose D&D as a solo game (except when hitting up your buddies for buff spells). You don't seem to acknowledge that there is little benefit to being a generalist--you're in a group; if you can't do something, somebody else probably can. There is massive benefit to being a specialist; if your group needs something done, somebody can do it consistently and effectively. Your goal shouldn't be to generalize, it should be becoming really good at two or three specific things. Unfortunately, the Monk class doesn't do that on its own. It actually will take some effort.

    So I would also recommend dividing your guide to cover some of those specific party uses. For example:
    Scout: This one's easy. Take the Rogue dip and you're golden.
    Utility Guy/Skillmonkey: This one isn't something you can do very well. You could just use UMD, but that consumes permanent resources. You should leave this one for somebody else with the skills or the renewable spells.
    Battlefield Control: Take EWP: Spiked Chain, Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, possibly Weapon Finesse. Stunning Fist could help with the "control" aspect. This is something a straight Monk can do fairly well.
    Damage-DealerA couple Monk levels followed by a quick multiclass into Fighter or Paladin could help for a Power Attacker. Or start with some Rogue levels and TWF. This isn't something a straight Monk can swing at all. It is something characters taking Monk-dips can do pretty effectively, though.
    Party Face: Boosting Charisma is expensive and you won't be as good at Diplomacy as any Paladins/Rogues/Clerics/Druids/Bards your party might have. You also aren't going to be as good at Enchantments as the party Wizard/Sorcerer. You probably have the Ranger, Fighter and Barbarian trumped though.

    An added benefit of the Rogue dip is that you can afford to drop your Charisma to typical Monk levels and still not completely suck at UMD. That means that you will probably be able to tank almost as well as a Fighter or Barbarian.

    I would de-emphasize Grappling. As has been mentioned before, Grappling big scary monsters will get you eaten and Grappling members of larger groups will get you Sneak/Power-Attacked in the face. It is circumstantially useful (say, if you can get your hands on a Wizard who, for whatever reason, can't use Teleport or Dimension Door), but not enough to value it so highly.

    Very little in your guide convincingly supports Monks. It seems like it could just as easily be a very specific guide for Fighters, Barbarians or Rogues as it is for Monks. Back when you were raving about Polymorph and Monks, you at least had a sort of a point--Monks do something different than other classes while under Polymorph effects. Whether they Polymorph *better* than Barbarians, Fighters or Rogues is up to debate, but they're at least different. Now you're basically writing about grapple, speed and your items. Haste (one of the few buffs that you might actually expect to see regularly due to its massive utility and multiple targets) narrows the gap between Monk and non-Monk speed during combat.

    I would suggest modifying your guide to developing what Monks do have going for them that other classes don't; specifically extra attacks (that and improved speed are the only defining Monk abilities that I can recognize... and I don’t think speed is something you can expect to use ahead of time).
    By adding either bonus damage (probably in the form of Sneak Attack or weapon enhancements) or different methods of disabling the baddies (disarm the gish of his sword and his component pouch, trip him and attempt a stun attack in a single round), the extra attacks can actually become useful. Using them to grapple or attack directly for their base damage + GMW + Str. isn't.

    Also, I would recommend adding Haste to your spell list. It is one of the few spells to have a direct effect on combat before you start punching the baddies. Good Hope and Rage also do this, but they sort of suck. And you apparently missed the "Fortitude Save" part of Ghoul Touch; it's actually a pretty terrible wand.

    And I don't like saying this but your guide isn’t very good as a character class handbook. It looks like you're trying to mirror the Logic Ninja’s guide, but you never get to the meat... y’know, the stuff people care about: spell selections, feat selections, item selections, race selections... that sort of thing. Instead, you show off one feebly optimized build and one set of equipment. I recommend you look at Dictum Mortuum’s guide to guide-writing if you do want to remake this into something people take seriously. You’ll also need to expand beyond the Core rules (where there isn’t enough freedom for build advice to matter all that much).
    Last edited by Temp.; 2008-05-21 at 10:53 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #699
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    (disarm the gish of his sword and his component pouch, trip him and attempt a stun attack in a single round)
    I don't know if that's possible, but that does sound interesting.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    I don't know if that's possible, but that does sound interesting.
    Its only 4 attacks, why wouldn't it be possible?

  11. - Top - End - #701
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Hm, I suppose you could have your iterative attacks each do something different...
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-05-22 at 06:11 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Hm, I suppose you could have your iterative attacks each do something different...
    Are you being sarcastic? I cant tell. :(

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nebo_ View Post
    He's been inactive for a long time, now. Anyone know what happened to him?
    Busy/Dead Busy.
    And his work comp changed protocols.

    I get to only talk to him via a slow web based game. I miss my papa.

    --on (new) topic:

    The place of battle is important.
    Should the dungeon be randomly generated, or specifically generated to try to give some form of power to each character without making things unlimited to any single one? (Ie: make sure there's a high ceiling somewhere - but make damn sure that there is at least a ceiling)
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  14. - Top - End - #704

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

    1) I'm sorry everyone. My Core Wizard cheated when he cast spells. Casting spells is exactly like using infinite Wish cheese to become Pun-Pun. What was I thinking.

    2) Actually, AMF + Flying does protect against reach weapons, but it doesn't protect against enlarged reach weapon wielders. Of course, all the Wizard needs is for his enemy to end within 60-120ft (depending on how much effort is put in) one time.

    3) I am not arguing that Mage Slayers are impossible, I'm arguing that a Mage Slayer versus Wizard duel in Core only where the Wizard knows he is going to face a Mage Slayer before he builds his character is pointless.

    4)"(disarm the gish of his sword and his component pouch, trip him and attempt a stun attack in a single round)"

    I believe Solo's point is that you are now making:

    1) An opposed attack role at a -8 against someone with a higher BAB and Str then you with multiple buffs.
    2) An easy check that doesn't matter because he just uses his second one.
    3) An opposed attack role against a higher BAB/Str character with multiple buffs up.
    4) Forcing a Fort save on a character that:
    a) could easily be immune to stunning.
    b) has dipped into multiple good Fort save classes, in addition to having most of his levels in such classes.

    So you have maybe one success, and that's it.

    5) "If I drop any more monk levels, I'll lose improved evasion, Is that trade-off worth it?"

    My theory is that with Cha to save 3-4 times and a good racial Cha bonus, that you won't fail on anything but a 1, and I'm not going to take 7 Monk levels for something that comes up only on 1/60 times (assuming all saves are equal, even though they aren't and Ref is the least used.)
    Last edited by Chosen_of_Vecna; 2008-05-22 at 07:15 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #705

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    1) I'm sorry everyone. My Core Wizard cheated when he cast spells. Casting spells is exactly like using infinite Wish cheese to become Pun-Pun. What was I thinking.
    Casting spells isn't cheating. Memorizing the entire MM and then use calling effects to bring creatures that are easily controled by the wizard but are tough nuts for the melees, thanks to you knowing their stats number by number, while claiming that the melee can't bring out his candle of invocation to counter your blatant metagaming, in the other hand, is cheating.

    By using planar biding you're not proving that the Wizard is superior. You're just proving that there are strong monsters out there. It's the exact reason why candle of invocation is so broken.

    This is, I could claim that my melee trains diplomacy/bluff, and turns everybody in the universe in his fanatical unquestionable servant.

    If your wizard has all the time in the world to bind creatures, then it's only fair the melee has all the time in the world to talk to monsters to join his side.

    But wait, since diplomancy can be used all day long, my melee will easily gather much more minions than your biding wizard, and win by sheer numbers.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Casting spells isn't cheating. Memorizing the entire MM and then use calling effects to bring creatures that are easily controled by the wizard but are tough nuts for the melees, thanks to you knowing their stats number by number, while claiming that the melee can't bring out his candle of invocation to counter your blatant metagaming, in the other hand, is cheating.
    If I was a wizard, I'd be summoning and studying creatures during my spare time... just to find out what did what in the future. Not just as a source of potential minions, but also as a source of knowledge about possible future foes. If I summon something that is a fearsome melee opponent, but weak versus my spells... that means I just found a minion. Theres literally no metagaming about it.

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

    Memorizing the entire MM and then use calling effects to bring creatures that are easily controled by the wizard but are tough nuts for the melees, thanks to you knowing their stats number by number, while claiming that the melee can't bring out his candle of invocation to counter your blatant metagaming, in the other hand, is cheating.
    Well, then what does a wizard with 32 INT and 23 ranks in Knowledge: Arcana do?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Well, then what does a wizard with 32 INT and 23 ranks in Knowledge: Arcana do?
    Stand in the middle of a room with no buffs, and memorize nothing but Magic Missles, Fireballs, and the like.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Well, then what does a wizard with 32 INT and 23 ranks in Knowledge: Arcana do?
    The same thing he always does - cheats like mad and breaks the laws of physics.

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

    ...Yeah it's kinda hard to say the high int character playing incredibly smart is being metagamey. I mean, I know full well that it's IC reasoning come up with after the fact to justify the OOC trope, but they've got a point on what their character would do. But then, this is OOC-motivated behavior done with the intent of breaking the game, so.. I'd have little mercy.

    Edit:
    More clearly, you're being completely IC, but also completely metagaming, with these kindsa statements. The two aren't really mutually exclusive. And the only reason I mind is that this metagaming is the kind of metagaming that'll break games, not 'cause it's metagaming.
    Last edited by Rutee; 2008-05-22 at 07:58 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    ...Yeah it's kinda hard to say the high int character playing incredibly smart is being metagamey. I mean, I know full well that it's IC reasoning come up with after the fact to justify the OOC trope, but they've got a point on what their character would do. But then, this is OOC-motivated behavior done with the intent of breaking the game, so.. I'd have little mercy.
    I'm sorry, but what else is a supremely intelligent person supposed to do with their off time? Do you think people like Stephen Hawking only think about physics at work?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    ...Yeah it's kinda hard to say the high int character playing incredibly smart is being metagamey. I mean, I know full well that it's IC reasoning come up with after the fact to justify the OOC trope, but they've got a point on what their character would do. But then, this is OOC-motivated behavior done with the intent of breaking the game, so.. I'd have little mercy.
    If that character can't play smart, then NPCs with less than half that INT better make their fair share of mistakes.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna
    1) An opposed attack role at a -8 against someone with a higher BAB and Str then you with multiple buffs.
    2) An easy check that doesn't matter because he just uses his second one.
    3) An opposed attack role against a higher BAB/Str character with multiple buffs up.
    4) Forcing a Fort save on a character that:
    a) could easily be immune to stunning.
    b) has dipped into multiple good Fort save classes, in addition to having most of his levels in such classes.
    1) The Disarms are toss-ups: 3/4 BAB with MAD-reduced Strength v. Partial BAB with MAD-reduced Strength. Unless you expect the Monk to try to disarm things with his bare hands.
    B) This one has a better chance for the Monk but, as you say, it might not even matter. It can also act as a second try for the weapon.
    III) BAB doesn't matter and Str is probably about the same for the two. Since the Monk in question was a suggestion for a Giacomonk, it's already hemorhaged its wallet into UMD. The buffs are probably about the same.
    d.1) Most Gish have Heart of Water now-a-days, but there's always a chance...
    iv.2) This is a toss-up again. (Slightly less than 2+1/2lvl+Con v. 1/2 lvl+Monk Wis)

    None of it's reliable, but the alternative for a Monk is what, damage? With those puny fists and no bonus damage? With combinations of disabling attacks, the Monk can at least be a contributing party member.

    Monk might make an interesting dip for a source-restricted Fighter if non-lawful alignment breaks the character concept. It wouldn't be something I'd advise, but it would sure beat the Fighter's level 13-20 class abilities.
    Last edited by Temp.; 2008-05-22 at 08:12 AM.

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

    None of it's reliable, but the alternative for a Monk is what, damage? With those puny fists and no bonus damage source?
    WHAT!?!!??!

    Monks have the best base damage in the game!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    I'm sorry, but what else is a supremely intelligent person supposed to do with their off time? Do you think people like Stephen Hawking only think about physics at work?
    Nononoonono, don't even get started on that. It doesn't matter that you're being IC. You're still metagaming. You deliberately constructed your character in such a fashion as to allow an OOC desire to be made IC. Unlike some strange people whom I can't understand, I don't consider metagaming to be a bad thing by default. That's stupid; We're people. Do I really expect you (Or me, or anyone else) to hold a perfect line between themselves and their character? I can't expect perfect objectivity, and objectivity is far more important and critical in the course of life; of course I can't expect a perfect divider between IC and OOC. I look at the nature of the metagaming instead.. and this is the kind of metagaming that breaks games. Is it in character? Sure. But that's 'cause you constructed the character in such a way as to be so.

  26. - Top - End - #716

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

    And of course, there's not even a need to do a planar binding or the like.

    Three words: Maw of Chaos.

    Say goodbye, sucker. And if that doesn't bring you down, a Timestop and a few delayed blast fireballs'll do the trick.

    How humiliating can it be to be defeated by damage dealing spells?

  27. - Top - End - #717

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    If I was a wizard, I'd be summoning and studying creatures during my spare time... just to find out what did what in the future. Not just as a source of potential minions, but also as a source of knowledge about possible future foes. If I summon something that is a fearsome melee opponent, but weak versus my spells... that means I just found a minion. Theres literally no metagaming about it.
    Using what? Mormekdain's random summonings? Takeda's carefull study?

    And as I said, then the melee will spend his time using diplomacy/bluff to convert everybody and anybody he finds in his loyal follower. No metagaming at all, specially because I just need to talk to the monsters to convert them, whitout need of knowing their weakness or strenghts.

  28. - Top - End - #718

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Casting spells isn't cheating. Memorizing the entire MM and then use calling effects to bring creatures that are easily controled by the wizard but are tough nuts for the melees, thanks to you knowing their stats number by number, while claiming that the melee can't bring out his candle of invocation to counter your blatant metagaming, in the other hand, is cheating.

    By using planar biding you're not proving that the Wizard is superior. You're just proving that there are strong monsters out there. It's the exact reason why candle of invocation is so broken.

    This is, I could claim that my melee trains diplomacy/bluff, and turns everybody in the universe in his fanatical unquestionable servant.

    If your wizard has all the time in the world to bind creatures, then it's only fair the melee has all the time in the world to talk to monsters to join his side.

    But wait, since diplomancy can be used all day long, my melee will easily gather much more minions than your biding wizard, and win by sheer numbers.
    1) Yes, I'm sure my max ranks in multiple knowledge skills is there to show my ignorance of monsters.

    Seriously, I say I'm going to use Planar Binding and it automatically means I have memorized multiple MMs? I don't know squat about the MMs. I do know that any sensible DM will do me the favor of telling me a monster that is big, strong, and has a low touch AC when I make my knowledge check of 1d20+37.

    2) Candle of invocation is not strong because of strong monsters, if you use it to summon a big monster and win an encounter you are an idiot. It's broken because it can be used to get infinite wishes.

    3) I don't have all the time in the world to Bind monsters. I see my enemy, I fly 200ft up in the air if for some reason I can't see him when I fly 100ft up, and then I begin casting Planar Binding. If he wants to fight me that's fine, because then I just kill him. If he runs away, then yes I start Binding something, like an inevitable to chase him down.

    Seriously, I've never see so much whining about how it's not fair for the Wizard to do anything smart when his enemy runs away or hides. If you don't want me to Planar Bind, feel free to come attack me, so that I can kill you.
    Last edited by Chosen_of_Vecna; 2008-05-22 at 08:56 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #719

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    1) The Disarms are toss-ups: 3/4 BAB with MAD-reduced Strength v. Partial BAB with MAD-reduced Strength. Unless you expect the Monk to try to disarm things with his bare hands.
    1) Yes I expect him to disarm things with his hands because I don't see any other weapons on him (remember how he's always holding two wands at any given time?).

    2)Um? MAD reduced Str versus the Gish's primary stat? of two?

    3) BAB of 15 vs BAB of 17. Do you know what a Gish actually is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    III) BAB doesn't matter and Str is probably about the same for the two. Since the Monk in question was a suggestion for a Giacomonk, it's already hemorhaged its wallet into UMD. The buffs are probably about the same.
    1) UMD doesn't buff to the same degree as nearly full Wizard casting spent entirely on buffing (9th level spells at 20) no matter how much you put into it.

    2) Str is not equal, Str heavily favors the character that cares about Str/Int/Con in that order over Dex/Wis/Con/Str or Str/Wis/Con/Dex.

    3) Which reminds me, you can't trip someone using magical flight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    d.1) Most Gish have Heart of Water now-a-days, but there's always a chance...
    I was thinking Elemental Body, but whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    iv.2) This is a toss-up again. (Slightly less than 2+1/2lvl+Con v. 1/2 lvl+Monk Wis)
    Um? No. Try: 1/2 lvl + Wis versus 2+2+2+2+1/2lvl+Con.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by Chosen_of_Vecna; 2008-05-22 at 09:12 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #720
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Mar 2007

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

    Well, hello again,

    time for another interim post of mine.

    First of all, good comments, Oslecamo!

    The tread appears to have drifted into discussing some (non-core) mageslayer builds - it's OK, but if it gets longer maybe you wish to open a separate thread on this?
    Having said that, I'd love to put links to Turcano's build (the latest version) into the main guide above, as an example of non-core, multiclass monk build. Similarly, Solo's Hex-mageslayer looks interesting, so I'm likewise asking for permission to put a link into the main build as example of non-monk mageslayer (non-core).

    Will update the main guide as soon as possible with various issues already raised.
    This includes one thing that came to my mind when looking at the WoTC board - the issue of spell buffs and SR. Actually, the point made there was just that the monk will lose a standard action often to lower his SR voluatarily for the buff. This is not true for the key buffs at those levels: holy sword, divine power, silence, AMF, magic vestment, greater magic fang and weapon all just work fine. Heroims may be an issue, but you cast that WAY before combat (it's a long-lasting buff, around 80 minutes in the 2nd level bard version with the minor rod of extend).
    Well...er...excepting one thing: ENLARGE! Oh, how I laughed about that one - and that no-one of you pointed it out yet. Not only does'nt the monk get enlarge anymore with perfect-self-turned-outsider in level 20, but also from level 13 because the enlarge spell allows SR (not "harmless", and thus the monk cannot even voluntarily lower his SR...
    Well, I guess that lord_khaine's monk school needs a revision.
    It MAY be possible that you get a friendly high-level npc caster and get an enlarge for 3,000+ permanent on you. At least to last you until level 15, when a ring of spell storing with rightuous might gets available.
    Anyhow, it's not such a big deal. And note that I put up already way before the idea at level 13 that the monk gets magic jar and changestaff scrolls and getshimself a treant to occupy mentally and go to town in huge form (with trample, STR 29 and with high natural AC), all without polymorph. It's a bit absurd, but who cares? There are worse spell combos out there

    But I digress..

    Now on to what some of you posted in between.

    @Griffin131:
    Spoiler
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    1) Mages Disjunction and Dispel ending the UMD monk
    Nope. Mage Disjunction allows a will save (the highest of the monk at those levels), won't work in an AMF at those levels to boost. And dispel needs a target, which incidently is difficult. Since from level 9 (eversmoking bottle) and 13 (blink), dispel gets hard. Otherwise, you can just foil enemy dispels (or any targeted spells) already at lower levels with other means of total concealment (obscuring mist) and mirror image, for instance.
    I'm not saying that the monk is immune to dispel. But he normally has so few buffs on him that it is not worthwhile for a wizard to use a dispel on him, when he can target with a save/suck/lose spell like Solo's favourite baleful polymorph instead.

    2) Initiate grapple or grapple in FAQ?
    You guessed it. It says GRAPPLE not INITIATE grapple.

    3) Grappling at level 10 without flurry penalty?
    Yes. That's what the class says. The flurry penalty goes away until level 9.

    4) Traps make noise?
    Yes. And I admitted already before that my joker build is not ideally optimised for doing the trapmonkey role. Still, a silence spell will stop any sounds.

    5) You do not get spot/listen checks that often?
    Yes, you do. You always get them ahead of encounters, both when the opponents are hiding/moving silently and when they are not. Some DMs may be lazy and just say "Ach, here's the encounter". But this is not what the game rules assume (note also how stealthy characters are widely seen as teh weakest, only the rogue appears to be quite OK due to his - sneak attack).

    6) Armour spike damage added to grapple attack?
    In the rules section you quoted it says grapple ATTACK, not grapple CHECK. Although I have to admit that the RAI should be that it is added to all successful grapple checks.
    STill, basically the spikes are just an alternative to get extra damage to the monk's belt for non-monk characters (you cannot have both at the same time, since the belt only works when wearing no armour). In both cases, the monk's unarmed damage remains the highest.

    7) Buff in surprise round instead of attacking?
    Well, ideally, you make use of your encounter control and stealth to buff outside hearing range, and THEN also use the surprise round for attacking.


    @Chosen_of Vecna

    Spoiler
    Show

    Welcome to the thread! Your playtest checks is much welcomed! I'm looking forward to the results.
    On the WBL question. This is how imo the WBL recommendation/GUIDEline works:
    The moment a character gets to a new level, he is assumed to have the kind of item value as provided by the DMG p.135. More or less, as owed to the campaign's events. For a short while, the character may be even at 5,000 item value at level 12 because he was robbed - or, conversely, at 300,000 item value because he struck it lucky or possesses a powerful item usuable only for some short purpose/quest. ON AVERAGE, though, the wbl guidlines should hold.
    Between levels, just use linear interpolation to gauge how much wealt a character should have.

    Then on your questions by number (by your counting):
    2) Never being able to sneak up to someone?
    This way you would obliterate a main part of a whole class: the rogue. Sure you do not mean this? And if a rogue can do it with move silently/hide, why not those who also use these skills?
    3) No wand usage possible/losing too many actions?
    This is why I advocate buffing outside combat so much, or using your encounter timing control/surprise ability to use wands outside of hearing range. I'm not arguing it should be 100% safe tactics, but it should help.
    4) Large tiger has rake and does more damage to monk in a grapple
    Well, a tiger has a CR of 4, so it should be a level 4 monk going against it. They are a quite even match. Both would have the same grappling bonus (with the tiger winning in a tie), and the monk's 2d6+3 damage would be in line with the tiger's 1d8+6. The bite attack would be +0, and the rake at only +4 (35% chance of hitting the monk, and not in the first round). The tiger has more hp, so the monk better had a good idea with this one (like his fellow 3 party members quickly dispatching the beast negated by the grapple).
    But the good thing is: the monk can also attempt to pin the tiger in a flurry, with at +12 is around a 55% chance of success vs the tiger's +14. At that point, the tiger always needs to get out of the pin first with its grapple check (and cannot rake as long as it is in a pin).
    6) flurry penalty?
    Yes, flurry penalty goes away by level 9.


    @Talic:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Your grapple test is a good idea. You might have checked the levels 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 for yourself, but here are the grapple check data (note also that even I already in the guide said that grappling all opponents should be a major tacticcs only until level 8. I'm interested to see how many opponents will actually be overcome in grappling even at the higher levels. Do not forget to factor in the much higher number of attempts of grappling than most creatures have....
    level 1: +6 (+4/+4); enlarge
    level 5: +14 (+13/+13); enlarge
    level 10: +19 (+19/+19/+14); enlarge
    level 15: +30 (+30/+30/+30/+25/+20); enlarge (permanencie'd, note my SR entry above - plus divine power for the rnd/lvl effect).

    level 20: Well, no more enlarge...and rightuous might as second 1 round/lvl effet as per your setting are out.
    But for level 20, we can really crack out the two major non-polymorph, long-term buff ways to really get kicking for the monk (also netting huge or gargantuan size,respetively).
    Tadaa: the true Treantmonk (get change staff for an obedient treant, use magic jar to occupy its mind. Lasts hours/lvl. Put divine power ontop).
    Nets huge form (only colossal types are no longer grappable by you) and thusly:
    +44 (+44/+44/+44/+39/+34/+29). And I do not wish to calculate the damage here (note that the base monk's damage just received two size increases, so it is 8d8).
    Or, get an animal form scroll or npc caster and turn into a roc with divine power and thus get gargantuan size (you can now grapple everything) and flying to boost (enhanced by monk speed to 170ft flight):
    +51 (+51/+51/+51/+46/+41/+36)
    Guess it's dragon grappling time! (note, though, that many would catch some faint notion of gruyere, since the animal form is so close to polymorph stuff...)


    Now, onto another of the more serious criticism posts by a new poster in more detail:

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    I saw this on the gleemax boards and was going to post this earlier, but then I decided to read the (then) 12 pages of posts. Now that I'm done, it looks like everyone's finished talking about Giacomo's guide. I don't care; I already remade my account so I'm posting this anyway.

    Giacomo, regarding the guide:

    First, it doesn't help much with optimization. It seems more geared toward coping with the Monk class once you've given up on optimizing and have decided to just go Monk 20. This isn't what most people want when they look for a class handbook or playguide on this forum or on gleemax. They want to know how to make a good character, not how to prove that Monks can be played in a game setting.
    This is why I included an (albeit short) section on prestige classes in the main guide whic hyou appear to have overlooked. But true, I'll also include some multiclassing advice.
    In core, though, multiclassing for the monk is a bit limited by the rules. But I'll se what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    Every aspect of your Monk philosophy would be improved by starting with a level of Rogue. Stealth? Improved. Trapfinding? Available. UMD? Full ranks. Speed? Just one level behind. Damage? Probably about the same, considering you only lose one level and gain 1d6 SA.
    Good idea, in particular a synergy with stun (when you take that at first level bonus feat from the monk). Might think on posting a multiclass build idea in there with rogue that I've been playing for some time...

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    Your guide makes things difficult for impressionable readers by not pointing this out. It’s much easier to acknowledge that Monks comparatively suck with traps, damage and UMD and to just fix the problem than it is to jump a straight Monk through hoops to become almost competent. I find it troubling that your guide does not try to make Monks capable scouts or wand-users, when those are the strategies you support using. In fact, it doesn’t even mention the easy ways to get UMD onto a class skill list (and thus making the Giacomonk actually work).
    Well the monk IS a capable wandwielder and scout. A level of rogue would mean you can only raise UMD non-crossclass for THAT level. AFter that, if you turn monk, you can never raise another level of rogue AND be able to turn back to monk. So you have to time your rogue re-entry quite well, and you'll be more of an unarmed fighting rogue than a monk.
    I did the monk level 20 build because so many say the monk's abilities suck and throughout levels 1-20 I wanted to comment on them and include them in a viable build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    You also pose D&D as a solo game (except when hitting up your buddies for buff spells). You don't seem to acknowledge that there is little benefit to being a generalist--you're in a group; if you can't do something, somebody else probably can. There is massive benefit to being a specialist; if your group needs something done, somebody can do it consistently and effectively. Your goal shouldn't be to generalize, it should be becoming really good at two or three specific things. Unfortunately, the Monk class doesn't do that on its own. It actually will take some effort.
    Well, I NEVER posed DD as solo game. The guide is plenty full of suggestions where a monk with his abilities can help the group (I should put in a separate section on this, though).
    I'll post some monks doing way more specialisation. Some of them will no longer have UMD and thus use the usual buffing methods to get spell effects.
    But there can be great use out of a monk who is specialised to be a caster bane and AT THE SAME time still a good secondary melee combatant, secondary scout, and secondary party face (note the high diplomacy scores at later levels).
    Forcing optimisation to be geared towards the typical roles of the iconic party limits unnecessariy, I'd say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    So I would also recommend dividing your guide to cover some of those specific party uses. For example:
    Scout: This one's easy. Take the Rogue dip and you're golden.
    Utility Guy/Skillmonkey: This one isn't something you can do very well. You could just use UMD, but that consumes permanent resources. You should leave this one for somebody else with the skills or the renewable spells.
    Battlefield Control: Take EWP: Spiked Chain, Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, possibly Weapon Finesse. Stunning Fist could help with the "control" aspect. This is something a straight Monk can do fairly well.
    Damage-DealerA couple Monk levels followed by a quick multiclass into Fighter or Paladin could help for a Power Attacker. Or start with some Rogue levels and TWF. This isn't something a straight Monk can swing at all. It is something characters taking Monk-dips can do pretty effectively, though.
    Party Face: Boosting Charisma is expensive and you won't be as good at Diplomacy as any Paladins/Rogues/Clerics/Druids/Bards your party might have. You also aren't going to be as good at Enchantments as the party Wizard/Sorcerer. You probably have the Ranger, Fighter and Barbarian trumped though.
    Excellent ideas! Will include them into the guide, if that's OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    An added benefit of the Rogue dip is that you can afford to drop your Charisma to typical Monk levels and still not completely suck at UMD. That means that you will probably be able to tank almost as well as a Fighter or Barbarian.
    Could be the case - although a rogue level dip costs you BAB, plus hp. So you fall behind in "tanking".

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    I would de-emphasize Grappling. As has been mentioned before, Grappling big scary monsters will get you eaten and Grappling members of larger groups will get you Sneak/Power-Attacked in the face. It is circumstantially useful (say, if you can get your hands on a Wizard who, for whatever reason, can't use Teleport or Dimension Door), but not enough to value it so highly.
    I already pointed out that it should only be used in levels 1-8 often enough. After that, use different tactics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    Very little in your guide convincingly supports Monks. It seems like it could just as easily be a very specific guide for Fighters, Barbarians or Rogues as it is for Monks. Back when you were raving about Polymorph and Monks, you at least had a sort of a point--Monks do something different than other classes while under Polymorph effects. Whether they Polymorph *better* than Barbarians, Fighters or Rogues is up to debate, but they're at least different. Now you're basically writing about grapple, speed and your items. Haste (one of the few buffs that you might actually expect to see regularly due to its massive utility and multiple targets) narrows the gap between Monk and non-Monk speed during combat.
    Just grapple, speed and items? Hmm - perhaps you wish to read the guide again?
    It is full of instances where the spells synergise greatly with monk abilities, like divine power. And as you pointed out, haste is NOT among them (since the enhancement bonuses to speed to not stack). So it is better for the other classes. Meanwhile, the monk then gets boots of flying in the boots of speed slot - because THAT stacks greatly with his movement enhancement. And so on. And so on.
    This is a MONK's guide. It would not work this way for any other classes. The only insight that DOES work is that other classes like the fighter (and even the sorcerer/wizard for divine spells btw!) can also make great use out of UMD, even cross-class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    I would suggest modifying your guide to developing what Monks do have going for them that other classes don't; specifically extra attacks (that and improved speed are the only defining Monk abilities that I can recognize... and I don’t think speed is something you can expect to use ahead of time).
    By adding either bonus damage (probably in the form of Sneak Attack or weapon enhancements) or different methods of disabling the baddies (disarm the gish of his sword and his component pouch, trip him and attempt a stun attack in a single round), the extra attacks can actually become useful. Using them to grapple or attack directly for their base damage + GMW + Str. isn't.
    That's what I wrote alreay in the guide, exactly those ideas. For instance, look up the monk myth section where I describe what only the monk can do/can do best. And in plenty of other areas (including in the joker build itself).

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    Also, I would recommend adding Haste to your spell list. It is one of the few spells to have a direct effect on combat before you start punching the baddies. Good Hope and Rage also do this, but they sort of suck. And you apparently missed the "Fortitude Save" part of Ghoul Touch; it's actually a pretty terrible wand.
    Nope. Haste simply does not stack so well with the monk. He does not get the move enhancement bonus on top of his own; and getting a full round attack (with flurry) is quite rare - OK, not so rare when grappling. But still.
    And the fort save in the ghoul touch is only vs the stench, not vs the paralysing effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    And I don't like saying this but your guide isn’t very good as a character class handbook. It looks like you're trying to mirror the Logic Ninja’s guide, but you never get to the meat... y’know, the stuff people care about: spell selections, feat selections, item selections, race selections... that sort of thing. Instead, you show off one feebly optimized build and one set of equipment. I recommend you look at Dictum Mortuum’s guide to guide-writing if you do want to remake this into something people take seriously. You’ll also need to expand beyond the Core rules (where there isn’t enough freedom for build advice to matter all that much).
    Ah...I'm starting to realise something. You have only read Azerion Kelimon's thwarted excerpt of the guide in the WoTC -well, it is MUCH longer. Check the top three posts of this thread, there is a full level 1-20 detailed treatmant of what you should do and when.

    ...coming to think of it...likely that explains also the lukewarm responses of the posters at WoTC - they do not realise that the stuff AK posted is just an excerpt. So once more, I kindly ask:
    AZERIAN KELIMON WOULD YOU PLEASE EDIT THAT POST IN WOTC TO A MERE LINK WITH 1000 EXCUSES FOR YOUR RUDENESS? thank you.

    - Giacomo
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-05-22 at 09:16 AM.

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