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  1. - Top - End - #991
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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

    OK, now for some posters who bring up truly new stuff...

    ...OK the first post not really...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurellien View Post
    Sir Giacomo
    1) Your build relies mostly on items that can be used a finite number of times before they run out. These are almost all spell completion items such as wands and scrolls. Why is a monk (that must by these items at price) better than a cleric that can use these spells for free, buy less items (e.g. sorcerer buys divine power wand, cleric buys wizard wands) and can mimic the essential monk abilities by buying a monk's belt?

    Well, where did I ever say that a monk is better at spellcasting than a cleric? The difference is that of some spells, he can make better use!
    The sorcerer buying a divine power wand and going melee simply does not have the melee tactics (flurry attacks, or sneaks, or raw damage) to back it up - and his low hp will mean he gets killed quite quickly.
    The cleric buying wizard wands can get some use out of them, true. But no class can emulate a monk's abilities by merely buying a monk's belt from level 11.
    - only the unarmed strike, stunning fist and improved grapple feats make full use of the monk's belt. But will other characters get those feat before level 11? Not that likely.#
    - the unarmed damage (1d8) is not a big advantage over the heavy mace the cleric can alreay wield. Additionally, the WIS +1 monk AC bonus provided by the belt may not be that much of a gain over the full plate the cleric gives up.
    - finally, the cleric, even with divine power, will have 2 less number of attacks than the divine power monk.

    2) These items which your monk relies upon can only be reliably activated after level 12 or so, OVER HALF WAY through his adventuring career, whereas a cleric casts his spells every time, with greater ease, how is the monk better then considering this and the above?

    Sigh. Read my reply to Kurald Galain above. Plus remember: not all buffs need to be cast just ahead of combat, and for those that are, the monk is stealthy enough to get at least a surprise round to activate it.

    3) Your monk buffs before combat, he must do as DP only lasts 7 rounds from a wand. He cannot be guaranteed to activate it first time, and he also uses other buffs too such as heroism. A cleric or druid can buff in one round, and a wizard can buff at the start of the day, and the barbarian, paladin, rogue, ranger and fighter need not buff. Why then is the monk better if the combat is already won (maybe not over, but won) by the other classes by the time he gets in?

    Rarely a combat is won in the surprise round, I daresay. And maybe it helps you to realise that the monk will not only use consumable items for buffing.

    4) Another thing: How can your monk reliably ensure that he gets the jump on his enemies? Buffing takes time and makes noise, and many creatures in the mm can detect the monk, and sneak themselves, and many that can't don't need to bother.

    Get distance. Look up the listen modifiers. The monk's move mean he's back in no time.

    5) And yet another thing: If I was to use an expert and give him a monk's belt, wouldn't he be better than your monk at using your monk's tactics, or a rogue? or a bard? After akk, they get umd as class skills.

    As for the cleric, the expert of course would be worse at the monk's tactics.
    Grappling? The expert does not get it as bonus feat and is feat-starved.
    Blind-fight tactics? The joker monk has flurry of blows and thus more attacks; as well as higher move.
    Full melee attack at high levels? The joker monk again has flurry (2 more attacks than the expert) and many special attacks and defenses that the expert does not have, even with buffs. Do not commit the KuraldGalain expert npc class fallacy here... The expert has TWO more skll points per level, and even less class skills (although he can choose them). Do you think that equates ALL of the monk's abilities? Seriously.

    Now...
    @Behold the Void
    Several points regarding your post:
    - the fighter has more MAD than the monk, because 1) the improved grapple feat needs DEX 15 for enlarge tactics and 2) the fighter needs INT 13 to get the key spiked chain improved trip feat. Meanwhile, a monk COULD (though the joker monk does not) pour 16 point buy into a STR 18, go half-orc and even laugh at the INT penalty (the monk has 2 more skill points to start with) and be generally more tricky warrior than the fighter trying to also take STR 18 and do the same.
    - the joker monk took improved grapple as a bonus feat for which a monk does not need any DEX, even a DEX of 8 would be fine
    - armour spikes, as written in the description, only add their damage on a successful grapple ATTACK (and not check when in a grapple). Additionally, their enhancement cost is added on top of that of the armour, so basically you reach the wbl 25% cap to a single item quite quickly this way. More importantly, using the spike with armour as a non-monk bars you the way to a monk's belt, which means your otherwise unarmed damage remains at 1d3 (1d4 enlarged, 1d6 with INA feat). So overall, monk wins vs spiked armour grappling fighter.
    - power attack cannot be used in a grapple (you deduct from your BAB in melee attacks, not in grapples, see also the feat description and the FAQ). This means TH-weapon power attackers are neutralised quite nicely in a grapple.
    - as for grapple damage not needing to be that high - the higher the damage, the faster you down the enemy. You can only grapple one opponent at once, so you may feel the need for higher damage. Luckily, the monk provides that.

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Now, the best for last, @cenghiz.
    First, your question on the masterwork tools. The PHB (though not as much the SRD) is quite clear about this. This category basically provides the opportunity for ALL skills to get a circumstance +2 bonus. It's apparently factored into the DCs and difficulties of the skill checks, so it would be odd not to use them.
    As for the fluff, how an item that boosts UMD would look like, I thought best so far the idea that in that particular campaign, certain wires of metal wrung around the forearms (though not occupying a magic item spot, as no mundane items do!) provide bonuses to UMD (like a natural material "affinity" with magic).

    Now, for your scenario question (forget about Kurald Galain's useless post here).

    Spoiler
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    Level 4 rogue, evoker, druid, barbarian and joker monk.
    Setting: Party setting camp for the night.
    Opponents: 6 Dire Wolves (thus some kind of forested area).

    Well, this encounter should actually most easily be solved by the druid casting hide from animals twice. 'The dire wolves will simply ignore the party, without any save. The joker monk can even help doing that by handing him his pearl of power.
    If that is not possible (the druid not having prepared it for the day, or the dire wolves coming back during the night), the following would ensue:
    At +0 to hide and +4 to move silently, the large dire wolves will be noticed from afar by the joker monk (+11 spot/listen; meaning he'll notice them from around 100ft). Likewise the rogue will note them from a similar distance. And possbily also the druid (depending on where he put his skills) and his companion.
    Surprise round:
    Now, provided the evoker does not already have it, the monk will hand him the wand of enlarge (he at this point has two fully charged ones, plus a wand of obscuring mist; even with the ruling that pcs can only buy fully charged wands). The evoker (likey not yet seeing any enemy, and thus unable to target) will be quite low on spells (it is the evening). And thus be happy to do something useful. He waits for the first round to unfold
    The rogue hides.
    Both rogue and monk whisper warnings to their comrades.
    1st round.
    The dire wolves cannot charge through that terrain from 100ft away, so they are cunning enough to move half their speed and be stealthy about it (they fail vs the higher spot/listen scores of monk, rogue, druid).
    Rogue and monk have higher initiative (dire wolves have only +2 mod). Probably the evoker too (wizards should be fast to get their spells off before they are hit).
    Monk positions himself to hide in a way that the dire wolves cannot see him, but that the wizard will still (hide check +10 vs dire wolves' spot of +7 minus 5 penalty for distance). He uses his remaining standard action to cast bless on the party from his prayer bead. The wizard casts spider climb and climbs to safety on a tree.
    The barbarian readies his TH weapon. The druid casts protective buffs on himself and the animal compainon (say, barkskin).
    2nd round
    The dire wolves smash into the party camp - but rogue and monk go first! Rogue emerges, sneaks Dire Wolf 1, likely doing around 2d6 (sneak) plus 1d6 (shortsword) damage.
    The wizard casts enlarge on the monk, who likewise emerges with 5ft step and, fighting defensively, flurry-grapples for 10ft reach one of the dire wolves He likely hits with +3 (+3 flurry, +1 morale, +2 from hiding, -3 fighting defensively) vs flat-footed touch AC of 9 of the dire wolf. Two attempts of +12/+12 vs +15 of dire wolf mean he has an approx 54% chance to establish a grapple (doing 2d6+3 damage).
    Note that scent did not help avoid being flat-footed for the wolves, due to 1) it only being useful up to 30ft and necessitating a move action and 2) the rogue and monk went first, anyhow).
    Now it's the wolves turn. The wolf grappling with the monk has the option to bite at -4 (since it's grappling) or grapple back (doing less damage, though, 1d4+10). It decides to follow its instinct and bite. It needs to hit AC 21 with +7 (remainder from the monk's grapple touch attack fighting defensively) and likely misses.
    Assuming two more wolves go before the rest of the party, in the following combat pairs this means:
    Wolf 2 vs the rogue hitting the rogue for 1d8+10 damage (ouch! The rogue gets tripped as well...ah, the dangers of not grappling...)
    Wolf 3 vs the raged babarian gets hit first from the readied attack for power attack (say, greatsword 2d6+15 damage), then gets hit as well by the dire wolf for 1d8+10 (it has +11 to hit vs the barbarian's rage-lowered attack bonus. His raging STR avoids the trip, though it's a lucky call...since the +11 likely beats the raging barbarian's +6)
    Druid and animal companion fight side by side vs the wolves. Let us assume the animal companion (which is a slightly boosted wolf) manages to hold off one, the druid tries manages to handle/calm/charm the other. So let's assume wolves 4 and 5 are neutralised for the fight.
    Wolf 6 tries to climb the tree of the wizard (yelp, yelp - it's an animal! It DOES have a +7 climb bonus due to STR, though. The wizard moves up with spider climb where the twigs no longer support the large wolf)
    3rd round
    Rogue stands up from prone (drawing an AoO from the wolf, but say this time it misses), tumbles away behind a tree (out of line of sight).
    Monk sees rogue wounded quite heavily (one more hit would kill him) and druid engaged as well. While still in a grapple (he cannot abandon it on his own save in pin) he activates one of the wands HE is holding, a wand of obscuring mist with 50% chance (possible in a grapple). Let us assume this time he makes it. He shrouds the rogue in mist, providing him full concealment.
    The rogue's wolf 2 sees the mist, hestiates and sniffs for the vanished rogue.
    The monk's wolf 1 bites back, hitting this time (even at -4) doing 16 damage to the monk (avg). Luckily, he cannot trip while in a grapple.
    The wizard, seeing a good opportunity when he gets one, casts enlarge from the joker monk wand on the barbarian.
    The barbarian now attacks his wolf, hitting for 3d6+13 damage, killing his dire wolf. He moves with 40ft move to intercept the wolf
    Druid and his ac deal with wolves 5 and 6.
    Round 4
    Rogue moves silently&hiding out of obscuring mist and sees monk grappling. Sneaks wolf that grapples with monk, another 3d6 damage (that wolf now has left 24/45).
    Monk grapples in a flurry, again getting one through at 2d6+3 (wolf down to 14/45). He shouts to the wizard "I could need some help here"
    Monk wolf bites back, this time missing the 18 AC of the monk with his +7 to hit bite attack.
    Rogue wolf turns towards barbarian, attacks (but misses)
    Wizard casts magic missile on monk wolf, killing it.
    Barbarian hits rogue wolf (misses)
    Wolf at wizard's tree gives up, attacks barbarian (hitting for 16 avg points of damage).
    Druid and his ac just do fine vs wolves 5 and 6.
    Barbarian, wizard, rogue and monk now face only 2 dire wolves.
    Round 5
    Rogue withdraws into mist (one hit and he's gone!).
    Monk flanks one of the wolves that fight the barbarian, failing to grapple it (touch Attack succeding, grapple fails)
    Wizard casts ray of enfeeblement on the wolf next to monk.
    Barbarian attacks, misses.
    Wolves attack babarian, one of them hitting - barbarian now took 48 damage, which is quite tough.
    Druid and AC...see above.
    Round 6
    Rogue holds action to monk grappling
    Monk grapples enfeebled wolf, pinning it in a flurry, doing also 2d6+3 damage (the wolf now has way lower grapple)
    The wizard casts magic missile at the other wolf
    The barbarian hits the other wolf, which turns to flee, drawing an AoO (which the barbarian also hits, killing it).
    Druid...etc.
    Round 7
    Monk flurry damages the last wolf for another 2d6+3 damage. Rogue sneaks it.
    Barbarian hits at it. Last dire wolf is dead. (one fled, and just now the druid and his ac emerge victorious vs the last two).

    What do you think?


    Will deal with the other scenario tomorrow or on the weekend.

    - Giacomo
    Last edited by Sir Giacomo; 2008-06-04 at 07:13 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #992
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    I guess we won't get anywhere then because I disagree.
    yep. Note though, that you disagreed from the beginning and did not change your view one iota, despite all the rules errors that you made.

    Sorry, but I'm not going to do your work for you, however, if you insist on being linked to an error that you were quick to admit, I believe we could start with the phrase "characters being able to buy partially charged wands after character creation."

    Not working for me? You do not seem to get this correctly...if you wish to prove me wrong, you need to do the research yourself.

    Flaming people tends to make people ignore your opinions.

    Among other things.


    He called you a noob when it came to monk optimisation. Someone who at that stage maintained an attack to establish a grapple is not a touch attack, but a normal attack, does not come across as really very advanced about monk optimisation.
    And making huge claims about a class that you apparently know not much about tends to make people ignore your opinions. Among other things. (as emeraldstreak did) Not all are as patient as I am

    6d8 damage is still an average of 27 damage. Do you think this is enough at level 15?
    And remember, you get this damage from buffing yourself. What's to stop a fighter from buffing himself and exceeding you in damage?


    Well, the fighter starts with lower damage dice and cannot use improved natural attack to boost up his greatsword. So a large size fighter with a greatsword does 3d6+STR and other boost damage (including power attack double damage), while the joker monk has 6d8 to start with that the fighter needs to narrow with his extra sources of damage (weapon spc, power attack). Magic bonuses are otherwise available to both.
    If the fighter took the 2d4 spiked chain route (2d6 large), he is even more at a disadvantage in terms of raw damage output.

    And is it enough to be competative at lower levels, Giacomo?
    Actually, as has been pointed out, a level 1 barbarian.
    Without power attack or rage.


    Well, it's great the monk at low levels can also do other things and has better defenses (vs magic in particular) than a barbarian, isn't it? Raw damage dealing is the barbarian's niche!

    0. Masterwork tools for everything don't necessarily exist, so keep that in mind.
    1. You get a +3 bonus from a CoC +6.
    2. You are spending two valuable feat slots on subpar feats.
    3. To get the synergy from Decipher Script, you have to have 5 ranks in it.

    s monks do not have Decipher Script as a class skill, that means you will have to spend 10 skill points on it.

    Where are you getting these skill points?

    I hope you update the high level build accordingly.


    Oh, the MW tools do exist, as per PHB. I understand DMs not admitting them, but then they houserule. (actually it was Reel on Love who suggested them first for UMD).
    The feats are not subpar, but allow the use of UMD already at lower levels. Plus, the apitude feat boosts spellcraft, which is good for a mageslayer build.
    And decipher script need only 10 skill points, easily available from level 12&up (where it starts to matter).

    - Giacomo

  3. - Top - End - #993
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Actually, I was in the middle of editing my post. Could you re-read the post and update your reply accordingly?

    Not working for me? You do not seem to get this correctly...if you wish to prove me wrong, you need to do the research yourself.
    Of course. How foolish of me to expect you to have a hand in your own undoing.

    He called you a noob when it came to monk optimisation. Someone who at that stage maintained an attack to establish a grapple is not a touch attack, but a normal attack, does not come across as really very advanced about monk optimisation
    He called everyone noobs at mok optimization. Furthermore, he was scrubbed by the mods for it. I think we can reasonably conclude that he was flaming.

    Well, it's great the monk at low levels can also do other things and has better defenses (vs magic in particular) than a barbarian, isn't it? Raw damage dealing is the barbarian's niche!
    In all of the other things, he is outclassed by specialists. That's not very good, is it?

    Grapple is subpar, his damage dealing is poor, stealth is ok, but can't scout due to lack of trapfinding...
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-06-04 at 07:13 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #994
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    AssassinGuy

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

    I freely admit I made UMD Tools up and they're not likely to get accepted, Giacomo. In my pesonal experience, about 1/3 of DMs will let that fly.

    I mean, what IS the tool, exactly? How does something mundane help you with magic? If it's a book, you have to be studying the book whenever you use UMD.

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

    How goes the Ozymandias playtest, Solo?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    How goes the Ozymandias playtest, Solo?
    Giacomo has not posted yet. I kinda wish he would. More action, less talk.

  7. - Top - End - #997
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Of course, Silvanos, you do realise, that the only measure of scarcity that the DMG provides is the PRICE of the item (and the rules provide the was to calculate the price for partially charged items in a LINEAR way). Why, for instance, would a magic item merchant have more likely available a ring of blinking for 27,000 gold and not a wand of 10 enlarge charges (actually the Joker monk would be also happy with a rough area around that, say 5-15), that costs only 150 gold?
    Or once more appealing to your logic in a different way- what is the incentive of a merchant to BUY from the pcs a 10-charge enlarge wand IF it is so darn difficult to ever find a BUYER himself for it? The rules for proportional pricing of the wand charges do not suggest that it is exponentially more difficult to sell a wand with lower charges.
    Essence: with your ruling, all other rulings concerning partially charged wands break down or are rendered illogical.
    What I accept, though, it is not explicit RAW. It is clearly RAI, though.
    You're misinterpreting things here. You have to consider not just the price of the item but the supply and demand of such a thing. People here have already stated the reasons why half-charged wands would be rare to see for sale:
    1. If a wand is created, it is always created fully charged.
    2. For someone to have a wand that is half-charged but unwanted requires it to have changed into their hands from someone who was using it but died to them. The wand itself will have to be generally unuseful for the party to pawn it off; if enlarge is so fundamental to your build, say, why would any other party be selling it?
    Thus most wands are going to be on sale with all charges. However, out of the ones that are for sale half charged the distribution is going to be roughly even from 1 to 49, meaning that if you need to buy a certain wand with specific charges on it your chances are not good that you will find exactly that at the town you are in. (Someone has already done the calculations in a preivous post) This doesn't mean that half-charged wands will never be sold; if you aren't pushing your budget to its very limit, you could settle for a wand with a wider range of charges, not a specific one, just as all adventurers could. You could also be after a wand with X charges but settle for one with X-5 if that's all that's available, say.
    On another note, from my not-fully-educated point of view I'm seeing invalid points raised on both sides. Argue, sure, but if you're convinced your opponent is wrong and you are right, don't get in hubris over it; verify your own arguments and assumptions with as much veracity as you would those of an opponent. And try not to throw emotional appeals like 'oh, my opponent hates monks' or 'oh, my opponent hates D&D' into it, it makes proper debate break down.

    Whew, I'm done.

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

    I just wanted to point out that his thread has been going on for only 18 days and has almost 1000 posts and 22,000 views... and -nothing- has changed.

    That amazes me.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SamTheCleric View Post
    I just wanted to point out that his thread has been going on for only 18 days and has almost 1000 posts and 22,000 views... and -nothing- has changed.

    That amazes me.
    Ah. You haven't seen any of the other iterations of it, then? Nothing new here.

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

    It's actually sadly funny to watch. Although, it does make me think monks could be decent again. :)
    Most excellent Rising Echo avatar created by GryffonDurime.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardea View Post
    That is the scariest two lines I have read in a forum of any kind.
    Take two internets, a cookie and a vorpal sword, please.
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    Don't be stupid.

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    AssassinGuy

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

    Oh, yeah. Giacomo, you can get a Ring of Blinking but not a partially charged wand because (1) that's what the rules say, so quit kvetching about it and (2) Because you can have someone CRAFT a Ring of Blinking. You can not have someone craft a partially charged wand.

    Would you get off this already? There is literally no argument you can make. The rules say you're wrong, period. Logic laid out for you in painful detail says you're wrong, too. You have no resort.

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

    Well, the fighter starts with lower damage dice
    And higher damage from Str.

    and cannot use improved natural attack to boost up his greatsword.
    Doy. He'd get some other feat for improving weapon damage if he wanted to.

    So a large size fighter with a greatsword does 3d6+STR and other boost damage (including power attack double damage), while the joker monk has 6d8 to start with that the fighter needs to narrow with his extra sources of damage (weapon spc, power attack)
    27 damage per attack at level 15 isn't too competative all things considered. Your high base damage isn't as great as you make it out to be.

    At level 15, you do 27 damage on average, whereas the fighter does 10 + Str.

    To do the same damage as you, he has to have +17 damage from somewhere. This could easily come from a combination of weapon enhancements (maybe energy damage and/or +5/5 weapon) and high Str (from items, leveling up, and size increase).

    Assuming +4 weapon with 1d6 extra cold damage (or something), and a Strength Score of 18+3=21 from leveling up, a +4 item and +2 from size, you get a fighter with Str 27, which means he has a modifier of +8. Two handed weapons make it a +12 to damage. This gives a total of +19 to damage, on average, after the greatsword damage.

    +29 to damage at level 15. And I'm not optimizing this: there are probably ways to get it much higher.

    Then comes the various weapon specialization feats and Power Attack....

    This is all standard stuff to a fighter. Meanwhile, your monk is spending a ton of money to get up to that (or slightly below, depending on how much you prioritize strength).

    Congradulations. You've spend so much time and resources to optimze the monk to the level of an unoptimized fighter. Woo.

    The rules say you're wrong, period.
    And the rules experts say it as well.
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-06-04 at 09:06 PM.

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

    I have to question the existance of "Masterwork Tool" as a valid item in a guide. As usual.

    This is because:

    A. Specific 'named' tools take dominance over "Masterwork Tool" in terms of GP and weight. For example, Alchemist's Lab costs 500 gp, and a Disguise Kit weighs 8 pounds. Understanding this, it can be seen that "Masterwork Tool" is more of a pricing/weight guideline more than an ironclad existance.

    B. Not all skills can have reasonable "Masterwork Tools" that are usable during the moment of a check. For example, one cannot simply flip a monster index open during a battle to provide a 'circumstance bonus' to provide +2 to Knowledge (Arcana). This being said, what exactly would a UMD tool be? Masterwork Tools are mundane in nature, what mundane item could possibly link one closer to magic in a circumstancial manner? Sure, the DM could provide a campaign-related reason for this interface, but then, guess what happens? DM screening. Meaning that this is NOT a valid item choice for a guide, which is intended to be usable for a large majority of campaigns.

    Therefore, I beseech that Sir Giacomo remove the +2 Circumstance bonus on UMD, and change his calculations to reflect it. Otherwise, he is arguing under false data.
    "So Marbles, why do they call you Marbles?"

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Solo View Post
    Giacomo has not posted yet. I kinda wish he would. More action, less talk.
    Victory by default?

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

    You're all being unfair. Personally, I think Giacomo's monk can successfully manage a track record against wizards just as good as the Joker's track record against Batman.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiara LeSabre View Post
    You're all being unfair. Personally, I think Giacomo's monk can successfully manage a track record against wizards just as good as the Joker's track record against Batman.
    He can kill his cohort once out of several decades and hundreds of encounters?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    He can kill his cohort once out of several decades and hundreds of encounters?
    A cohort who later comes back to life more effective than before.

  18. - Top - End - #1008
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Now...
    @Behold the Void
    Several points regarding your post:
    - the fighter has more MAD than the monk, because 1) the improved grapple feat needs DEX 15 for enlarge tactics and 2) the fighter needs INT 13 to get the key spiked chain improved trip feat. Meanwhile, a monk COULD (though the joker monk does not) pour 16 point buy into a STR 18, go half-orc and even laugh at the INT penalty (the monk has 2 more skill points to start with) and be generally more tricky warrior than the fighter trying to also take STR 18 and do the same.
    - the joker monk took improved grapple as a bonus feat for which a monk does not need any DEX, even a DEX of 8 would be fine
    - armour spikes, as written in the description, only add their damage on a successful grapple ATTACK (and not check when in a grapple). Additionally, their enhancement cost is added on top of that of the armour, so basically you reach the wbl 25% cap to a single item quite quickly this way. More importantly, using the spike with armour as a non-monk bars you the way to a monk's belt, which means your otherwise unarmed damage remains at 1d3 (1d4 enlarged, 1d6 with INA feat). So overall, monk wins vs spiked armour grappling fighter.
    - power attack cannot be used in a grapple (you deduct from your BAB in melee attacks, not in grapples, see also the feat description and the FAQ). This means TH-weapon power attackers are neutralised quite nicely in a grapple.
    - as for grapple damage not needing to be that high - the higher the damage, the faster you down the enemy. You can only grapple one opponent at once, so you may feel the need for higher damage. Luckily, the monk provides that.
    - Giacomo
    You keep assuming I'm going spiked-chain tripper. It's not the only viable fighter build, and if I were getting grapple-based feats I would be doing a power-attack or mounted combat build so it's irrelevant. Consequently, if I were going spiked-chain tripper your Monk would never get close enough to grapple, so your monk's grapple strategy would still never work. Thus, I could easily go Half-Orc too, but I would also point out that you suggest half-orc which has a Charisma penalty and yet you rely on UMD. I don't quite think this argument his holding weight.

    Spiked Gauntlet plus Armor Spikes do 1d4+1d6+strength (which is higher than yours)+enhancement, a +1 enhancement to each of them is a mere 4,000 gold and is giving me an average of 11 damage fairly early on, even before his strength starts climbing. You're not really outdamaging him all that much. Also, your monk's grapple damage is a bit irrelevant since he's not winning the grapple due to his low grapple check. This build can be a perfectly serviceable fighter build and still grapple better and with roughly equitable damage than you through the expenditure of a small amount of resources. And as far as the Monk's Belt is concerned, why would I want one? I could get a Belt of Giant's strength, which is generally better for my damage in the long run anyway.
    Last edited by Behold_the_Void; 2008-06-04 at 09:16 PM.


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  19. - Top - End - #1009
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by SamTheCleric View Post
    I just wanted to point out that his thread has been going on for only 18 days and has almost 1000 posts and 22,000 views... and -nothing- has changed.
    Not true.

    4th edition has come out. Monks no longer exist, at least in the latest version of the game. Eventually these threads will die, the same way we don't get that many "How can I arrange the death of a higher-level Druid so my druid can keep gaining levels?" threads.*

    ...hmm, someone needs to make a "Monk vs. 4th edition" thread, in which a 3rd edition monk fights each of the 4th edition base classes.

    * For those not in the know, there could only be so many 2nd edition druids of a given level within each geographical region, and only one 15th level druid in the entire world. If you wanted to advance past level 11, you had to challenge and defeat a higher druid, or wait for one to die; to advance to level 15, you had to be specifically chosen as the current grand high druid's successor (sucks to have more than one druid on a party.) You simply could not advance in level until then. I don't think anyone ever actually used that rule, but it was in the books. Don't even ask what happens if you want to go past level 15. It wasn't pretty.

    Keep that in mind whenever anyone says 2nd edition's rules were better.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2008-06-04 at 09:53 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #1010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    ...hmm, someone needs to make a "Monk vs. 4th edition" thread, in which a 3rd edition monk fights each of the 4th edition base classes.
    Finally a situation where the Monk has more and better options then another class.

  21. - Top - End - #1011
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    Finally a situation where the Monk has more and better options then another class.
    Disagree. The typical 4e character has a variety of options at most levels, all of which can be chosen from lists and replaced with higher-level options as they advance, and all of which can be chosen to be useful. While they're not going to compete with 3e wizards in terms of versatility, I suspect any 4e class could mop the floor with a 3e monk.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2008-06-04 at 10:53 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    Finally a situation where the Monk has more and better options then another class.
    So I hear you haven't actually read the 4e PHB.

  23. - Top - End - #1013

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    So I hear you haven't actually read the 4e PHB.
    Of course, because it's physically impossible to disagree with you, so ignorance is the only possible reason for someone to express an opinion you don't like.

  24. - Top - End - #1014
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Well, where did I ever say that a monk is better at spellcasting than a cleric? The difference is that of some spells, he can make better use!
    Whether or not he can make slightly better use (and I still want to see Solo's proposed grappling cleric, as that could make the cleric better in that area) the cleric make use of it as and when he wants up to 4 or 5 times per day, whereas your monk can use it a number of times that he has it ready with his partially charged wands. Also, I would argue that the cleric could make better use of almost every single one of his spells than the monk. A cleric can tank, shoot, berserk and grapple better than a monk and for a fraction of the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    The sorcerer buying a divine power wand and going melee simply does not have the melee tactics (flurry attacks, or sneaks, or raw damage) to back it up - and his low hp will mean he gets killed quite quickly.
    Actually, the sorcerer can do very well in melee, he can use his own polymorph, or the spell in the spell compendium which lets you transform into a warforged titan. He can then dish out the raw damage (thanks to his new improved strength), do the flurry damage (12 headed hydra lets him make more attacks than a mook). And as for hp, polymorph increases his hp to match the new form, and there are a variety of spells available such as barkskin, stoneskin, delay death, bear's endurance etc... that can increase his health, and as a full caster, he can use these regularly without too much expense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    The cleric buying wizard wands can get some use out of them, true. But no class can emulate a monk's abilities by merely buying a monk's belt from level 11.
    The point is that they can emulate the monk's abilities to a limited extent with a single, cheap magic item, the fact that they don't need to should say something about the monk's power compared to their power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    - only the unarmed strike, stunning fist and improved grapple feats make full use of the monk's belt. But will other characters get those feat before level 11? Not that likely.#
    actually, if they are building an unarmed fighter, then it is very likely that they will take these feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    - the unarmed damage (1d8) is not a big advantage over the heavy mace the cleric can alreay wield. Additionally, the WIS +1 monk AC bonus provided by the belt may not be that much of a gain over the full plate the cleric gives up.
    But crucially it gives the cleric a way of getting the same speed as the monk, he is one (very cheap) wand of mage armour and wand of shield away from tanking better than a monk whilst naked, and this suits the cloistered cleric even more, as he usually doesn't wear armour. As far as the mace goes, it does exactly the same damage as the unarmed damage, so there is no drawback for an unarmed cleric with a monk's belt, he does exactly the same damage as normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    - finally, the cleric, even with divine power, will have 2 less number of attacks than the divine power monk.
    Unless he uses a simple level 4 spell such as righteous wrath of the faithful. And even if he doesn't, lion's charge allows the cleric to pounce, and thus make his full attack on the charge, additionally, the shapechange spell will allow him to take the form of something like a hydra, with a greater number of attacks than a monk, and a higher strength. You need to remember that a cleric can use spells much more viably than the monk, and that as a buffer, his spells can make himself greatly better than a monk in combat at whatever the monk tries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Sigh. Read my reply to Kurald Galain above. Plus remember: not all buffs need to be cast just ahead of combat, and for those that are, the monk is stealthy enough to get at least a surprise round to activate it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    But I showed they can. Once more for you: UMD wand of heroism 80 minutes outside encounter, cloak of CHR +2, and you are set for level 11. Of course, below that you can also RELIABLY UMD wands everything they need OUTSIDE COMBAT. And at 80% chance IN combat (from level 7 or so). Well, it's not exactly "unreliable".
    All I see is an assertion, and quite a bold one at that "80 minutes outside of combat" pray tell, how in the blue hell do you know when combat is coming that reliably? Additionally, being able to guarantee success at level 11 is very poor indeed, what are you doing for the first half (and possibly a greater proportion than that) of your adventuring career? failing, that's what. 20% failure chance is very high, and it applies in or out of combat, and before level 7 that chance is even higher. You also need to realise that many monsters will be able to reliably spot the monk, and only a handful of encounters will give you the opportunity to get the jump on your enemies. Your stealth is not the be all and end all of combat, it frequently won't help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Rarely a combat is won in the surprise round, I daresay. And maybe it helps you to realise that the monk will not only use consumable items for buffing.
    Actually, most of the time the enemies will get a surprise round if there is one. Additionally, it takes you one activation to use the wand, a second to move into combat, and by then most of the work will have been done from two wizard and ranger bombardments (if they use that tactic), two tank rounds (one of which will be a full attack) and one or two of whatever the codzilla fancies doing today. So your monk will possibly make one attack in round 2, and by round 3 most of the work will be done and the monk is largely superfluous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Get distance. Look up the listen modifiers. The monk's move mean he's back in no time.
    That is assuming that every encounter will be in a wide open space, which it won't be. Most encounters are fought in rooms which the PC's enter. You may be able to jump the odd animal or beast in a random encounter, but the proper prepared bandits, or the monsters in the next room are one challenge that you won't be able to jump. I repeat, and this is very important, most encounters take place in enclosed spaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    As for the cleric, the expert of course would be worse at the monk's tactics.
    Grappling? The expert does not get it as bonus feat and is feat-starved.
    Blind-fight tactics? The joker monk has flurry of blows and thus more attacks; as well as higher move.
    Full melee attack at high levels? The joker monk again has flurry (2 more attacks than the expert) and many special attacks and defenses that the expert does not have, even with buffs. Do not commit the KuraldGalain expert npc class fallacy here... The expert has TWO more skll points per level, and even less class skills (although he can choose them). Do you think that equates ALL of the monk's abilities? Seriously.
    Ah, the expert may have less feats than the monk due to the monk's glut of bonus feats, but the expert does not need to spend many of those feats on enhancing skills that are cross-class (the monk is already using at least 3 as far as I can see). Those three spare feats just bought me improved grapple, improved unarmed strike, and power attack. And as I can UMD more effectively, it actually becomes worthwhile for me to invest in consumable items, poor though that tactic is. And yes I do think that that equates to all of YOUR monk's abilities, as the expert does not need to spend the feats on enhancing skills that a monk does, nor does he need to blow all of those skill points to get synergy bonuses to UMD as he already has a high enough bonus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurellien View Post
    Here's a good one

    "We are not working on 4th edition and we have no plans for it."
    -Every single person at WotC when asked
    You sir, win.

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  25. - Top - End - #1015
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    (and I still want to see Solo's proposed grappling cleric, as that could make the cleric better in that area)
    I'm just saying that, fluff wise, clerics of Kord are described as having grappling/wrestling contests with each other. A fluff-centric cleric of Kord would probably have a few wrestling feats and MWP greatsword.

    They'd be pretty good at grapple too, having all the necessary buff spells on their spel lists, and only having to focus on three stats, Str, Wis, and Con.

    Comparison:
    Stats:
    Cleric of Kord: Str, Con, Wis
    Joker: Str, Con, Dex, Wis

    Spells:
    Cleric: On spell list.
    Joker: Must buy access, faliure chance present.

    Feats:
    Cleric: Improved Grapple, any other grappling feats, MWP Greatsword (Kord's favorite weapon)
    Monk: Improved Grapple, Stunning Fist, UMD related feats

    Saves:
    Cleric: Fort and Will good, Refex poor, but since Reflex saves spells are almost always blasty spells, he can just pop off a cure spell if necessary.

    Monk: All three saves good

    Combat:
    Same BaB, Cleric may have higher grapple mod due to higher strength.

    Damage:
    Possibly cleric, due to buffing spells.
    Without buffing, maybe monk.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Solo; 2008-06-05 at 05:55 AM.

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

    Really the problem here is that anything the monk can do, someone else can do better.

    A fighter an become a grappler easier, cheaper, and more effectively than a monk because he has fewer stats to worry about and higher BAB/HD.

    A druid can become it sickeningly easily by, say, wildshaping into a girallon or Fleshraker.

    Wizards have Freedom of movement...

    Clerics have Divine Magic. These include the best self-buffs in the game.

    And this isn't getting into cheesy PRC's like Initiate and Incantatrix...

  27. - Top - End - #1017
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin131 View Post
    Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo
    Is your Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus a Base Attack Bonus?

    Yes.
    No. Base Attack Bonus is explicitly defined as:
    A base attack bonus is an attack roll bonus derived from character class and level or creature type and Hit Dice (or combinations thereof). Base attack bonuses increase at different rates for different character classes and creature types. A second attack is gained when a base attack bonus reaches +6, a third with a base attack bonus of +11 or higher, and a fourth with a base attack bonus of +16 or higher. Base attack bonuses gained from different sources, such as when a character is a multiclass character, stack.
    Flurry of Blows is defined as a modified Base Attack Bonus.
    When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Monk.
    (emphasis mine)

    If you have two cogs, one is a modified cog, and one is a cog, and someone asks you for a cog, can you hand them the fundamentally different modified one?

    Modified Base Attack Bonus != Base Attack Bonus. Why can you not understand that?

    Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot. How ya doin.

    The usual response of someone who is wrong and can't think of anything else to say.
    So its okay for you to tell me I'm wrong, and to stfu and read (implied from your posts) but its not okay for me to ask when you'll admit that you're wrong?
    Reposting for a response -- if I got one I missed it. Also edited in the underlined words in the cog question.

    Level 4 rogue, evoker, druid, barbarian and joker monk.
    Setting: Party setting camp for the night.
    Opponents: 6 Dire Wolves (thus some kind of forested area).
    One problem regarding your scenario -- You don't catch them flat footed. Heres the rules on that:
    Flat-Footed

    A character who has not yet acted during a combat is flat-footed, not yet reacting normally to the situation. A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.
    This is the only one that even close to applies. The only time they have not acted in the combat you posit is during your "surprise round". You'll still likely succeed in the grapple, but you have a 10% worse chance of doing so.

    edited to add:
    (4) in any combat that does not involve the PCs surprising the enemies, and getting 2-4 rounds of buff time

    Hmm. It's like saying "the wizard sucks in any combat where he cannot cast spells". Cool.
    The monk has the skills and the UMD to surprise and need most of the times only 1 round of buff time directly before combat (at low levels most often an enlarge effect.)
    Wow. I thought UMD and buffs were a small portion of your build. Likening your monk to a totally useless character when you can't use them is pretty much saying you rely on them.
    Last edited by Griffin131; 2008-06-05 at 07:11 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #1018
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Something feels inherently wrong about using a wand of *Divine Power*, which is presumably a power granted by a god to one of his most devouted followers to defeat the enemies of the fate. That any rogue can buy one of those (at Wands-R-Us) and use it to potentially attack a cleric of that god seems just ludicrous. (Which god is it anyway that provides the Divine Power? Does it say so on the wand? Or is this "generic" divine power?) Arcane wands I can see make sense, but *divine* wands? I think I'd just houserule those to not exist, or at least the more martial ones. If you want Divine Power, cast it your frigging self. It's just another facet that contributes to the general surreality of the Gonk.
    ... ... ... YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

  29. - Top - End - #1019

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Freelance Henchman View Post
    Something feels inherently wrong about using a wand of *Divine Power*, which is presumably a power granted by a god to one of his most devouted followers to defeat the enemies of the fate. That any rogue can buy one of those (at Wands-R-Us) and use it to potentially attack a cleric of that god seems just ludicrous. (Which god is it anyway that provides the Divine Power? Does it say so on the wand? Or is this "generic" divine power?) Arcane wands I can see make sense, but *divine* wands? I think I'd just houserule those to not exist, or at least the more martial ones. If you want Divine Power, cast it your frigging self. It's just another facet that contributes to the general surreality of the Gonk.
    I don't think you fully understand the concept of divine magic in D&D.

    It's not about following a god. It's about believing in something. 99% of the clerics out there don't actually follow a god, but rather an ideal, aka they cherry pick their two favorite domains.

    So, anyone can indeed use a wand of divine power, and that power will be granted by what they belive in, be it a god, justice, power or friendship if you plan to play a magical girl.

  30. - Top - End - #1020
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    Default Re: Beating Batman: Sir Giacomo's Guide to Monks

    Hi everyone,

    just for a quick break within work...

    Before I'll try to answer to Cenghiz' second scenario (level 10 group vs 7 hieracosphinxes), I'll try to the again resurfaced doubt about

    - whether the monk is the best grappler in core and
    - whether he can do the same kind of damage.

    Note, as I already managed several pages abvove, that the joker monk is NOT the best monk grappler, or even monk damage dealer - he's versatile and has a large array of tactics available to keep up while doing his special thing: bringing down batman.
    So for a true grapple class grapple capability comparison, I'll assume a half-orc with max STR build (20 at first level) and all his stat gains going to STR.

    Behold_the_Void provided me with a good point to start.

    Quote Originally Posted by Behold_the_Void View Post
    You keep assuming I'm going spiked-chain tripper. It's not the only viable fighter build, and if I were getting grapple-based feats I would be doing a power-attack or mounted combat build so it's irrelevant.
    You realise that power attack cannot be used in a grapple?

    Consequently, if I were going spiked-chain tripper your Monk would never get close enough to grapple, so your monk's grapple strategy would still never work.

    Er...tumble? (the skill your fighter does not have, and likely cannot even raise cross-class since you dump INT).

    Thus, I could easily go Half-Orc too, but I would also point out that you suggest half-orc which has a Charisma penalty and yet you rely on UMD. I don't quite think this argument his holding weight.

    The joker monk does. The lord_khaine-focused monk on grappling does not. If we want to compare your grapple specialised fighter build, it needs to be done with a grapple specialised monk build.
    Note also that without UMD, both fighter and monk will be dependent on either rather expensive enlarge potions or outside buffs. But let's assume for both they have access to it.

    Spiked Gauntlet plus Armor Spikes do 1d4+1d6+strength (which is higher than yours)+enhancement, a +1 enhancement to each of them is a mere 4,000 gold and is giving me an average of 11 damage fairly early on, even before his strength starts climbing. You're not really outdamaging him all that much.

    Let us see. In our direct comparison, of course, the two half-orc's STR will be the same. Note, though, that your fighter has to have DEX 15 (or lose his improved grapple feat when enlarged), so this boils down to him having to spend 4 meagre points on the rest of his four stats in 28-point buy. The monk can afford to distribute his points more evenly (AND will have higher skill points). But I digress.
    By level 6, the grapple monk does the following kind of damage enlarged (thanks to his improved natural attack feat; for the around 5,000 you spend on armour, +1 spike and +1 spiked gauntlet, the monk can get a 4,000 gauntlet of ogre power = STR 24 vs your fighter's STR 22; or at that level considering 25% max for a single item, maybe 4 pearls of power to receive enlarge from the party caster 4 times per day. Or get enlarge permancie'd)
    3d6+7= 18 on avg.
    Now, this compares to your fighter's (enlarged)
    1d4 (enlarged from your normal unarmed damage- the spiked gauntlet counts as a light weapon and does not cause unarmed damage), +6 = 9 damage on avg. Note also that your armour spike will do extra damage (of enlarged 1d8 +1+7 ONLY on the first grapple attack, not on subsequent grapple checks.
    So, we see, the fighter specialised in grappling is seriously outdamaged by the monk (stacking base damage dice, guys! STACKING!). And gap widens, the higher the level, and in particular when the monk's belt is available.

    Now what the fighter COULD do is get metal gauntlets instead of the spiked kind. It APPEARS as if the grapple rules would allow damage from the gauntlets instead. But then you'll have exactly the same kind of damage coming from the monk, who would also have gauntlets than can be enchanted.

    Also, your monk's grapple damage is a bit irrelevant since he's not winning the grapple due to his low grapple check.

    Hmm let me see. In the above situation, the monk half-orc would be behind by 2 BAB, and ahead by 1 STR, also winning ties due to higher STR (not counting the problem of your fighter who vastly lacks in defenses vs magical attacks, so normally he'll have not put so many point buy into STR - which the monk can afford due to his class abilities).
    When flurrying, he greatly increases in chance to win vs the fighter, even if he were behind by 3 (!) in grapple check ability.

    This build can be a perfectly serviceable fighter build and still grapple better and with roughly equitable damage than you through the expenditure of a small amount of resources.

    As has been proven once again, this is not the case. The specialised grapple build does not have UMD- although he COULD have it, since the halforc fighter with INT 6 only has 1 skill point/level (that will be needed for your riding skill since you want to also take mounted combat feats), whereas his monk brother has around 3 skill points/level left. Enough for tumble, UMD and may spot so he sees the fighter way before the other way round.
    A "perfectly serviceeable" fighter build does one or more of the following:
    - make the most of martial or exotic weapons (power attack anyone?)
    - try to control melee areas with INT-based feats (trip etc.- not good for the half-orc fighter, whereas the half-orc monk could even get improved trip without INT requirement AND be great at grappling)
    - rule at ranged attacks (archery)
    He COULD throw in two feats for ius and impr. grapple, but that really should not be the basis for full-blown tactics imo. (only as backup vs grappling monsters if you have the feats to spare).

    And as far as the Monk's Belt is concerned, why would I want one? I could get a Belt of Giant's strength, which is generally better for my damage in the long run anyway.

    Yes, intuitively you are right. The monk belt does not benefit the (half-orc or otherwise) fighter as much. The monk gains most of it. The moment he receives it, he gets +1d8 damage, +1 stun and +1 AC. That's quite good for a 13,000 gp item.

    Ah, I need to rush off. I'll respond to Solo later tonight (disproving his notions of weak monk damage, if what I've written is not yet enough to prove it). Plus, of course, Cenghiz' question on the level 10 fight vs the 7 hieracosphinxes.

    - Giacomo

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