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snakeman830 May 8 '09 1:44am

Monk Fix (PEACH)
 
Due to the much larger number of changes than I first anticipated, I can no longer call this a "basic" fix.

Also, it was time to start fresh without the near-flame war in the original thread.

Without further adu, here is the current fix.



Constructive criticism is welcomed. Examples to back up the criticism are more so.

Paul_V May 10 '09 1:27am

Well, I'm not sure you'll find my post helpful, but I can tell you what my tackle on the Monk was, for a campaign I'm planning to run soon. Basically, I didn't follow the "mundane" path, I tried to make the Monk an assailant specialised in taking down foes that rely on magic. This stems from the fact that my campaign has a different magic system (Spell Points from UA), generic spells and where every person in the world is a Gestalt character with the unified Mage class, which makes magic extremely common.

As such, I made the following changes:

Quote:

Monks do not get Purity of Body (is replaced by Mettle), Wholeness of Body (is replaced by lowering Ki Strike Lawful 3 levels and Ki Strike Adamantine 4 levels), Tongue of Sun and Moon (is replaced by Improved Mettle), and Empty Body (Is replaced by Stamina at level 16 and Improved Stamina at level 19). Diamond Body gives immunity to poisons and nonmagical diseases, remains at the same level. Unarmed Strike damage becomes a Flurry Bonus (Unarmed Strike still does 1d3 damage, but they gain the bonus on every attack they make during a Flurry). They get Stunning Fist at level 1, Improved Disarm at level 2, Improved Trip at level 3, Improve Grapple at level 4, Combat Reflexes at level 5, Deflect Arrows at level 6 and Snatch Arrows at level 7.

Mettle and Improve Mettle only affect spells that grant a Will Save. Improved Mettle: As Mettle, but even if you fail your save, you are only partially affected. Stamina: On a successful save against a spell that allows Fortitude half or Fortitude partial, you instead suffer no ill effects if you save. Improved Stamina: As Stamina, but even if you fail your save, you are still only partially affected by the spell.
I hope you find something of my list this useful, and I hope you don't mind if I borrow a thing or two from yours. ;)

I'll take a closer look at the build and make a formal critic later. So far, everything looks coherent and well thought-out, though I have no idea how you can justify certain abilities as Extraordinary, especially Quivering palm, Diamond Body and Diamond Soul (the latter is specially hard to believe, since one has to wonder what kind of mundane method gives resistance to magic...).

snakeman830 May 10 '09 1:41am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul_V (Post 1953508)
I'll take a closer look at the build and make a formal critic later. So far, everything looks coherent and well thought-out, though I have no idea how you can justify certain abilities as Extraordinary, especially Quivering palm, Diamond Body and Diamond Soul (the latter is specially hard to believe, since one has to wonder what kind of mundane method gives resistance to magic...).

Quivering Palm: There are spots on the human body where a single blow will kill. I don't know any player that would actually keep the guy they just QP'd alive for a bit before willing him to die later.

Diamond Body: This ability can partially be replicated with a good Autohypnosis check. No reason for it to be supernatural (especially as some races get immunity to poison).

Diamond Soul: Point out to me inherent spell reisistance that isn't extraordinary and I'll give you this one (doesn't mean I'll change it)

Paul_V May 10 '09 2:36am

Warning: I am not familiar with ToB. If ToB has manouvers that already do some of this, then I am unaware of that. I am simply comparing the Monk to the rest of the Core classes and rules.

Alright, let's see. From the top:

Martial Arts: Weapon Finesse on steroids. Fits the theme.

Flurry of Blows: I'm not sure I follow, but how is this different from the regular Flurry of Blows? Are you saying it can also apply to attacks during a grapple? Or that a Monk may take a Move Action AND attack with a Flurry of Blows? Because if it's the latter, not only is it overpowered, it goes against the Full Attack rule (since Flurry of Blows is supposed to be a Full Attack, which is a Full Round action)

Following Step: I'd personally rule that if the Monk uses this ability, then he cannot take a 5-foot step on the following round, but that's just a personal preference to prevent abuse.

Ki Strike: I think that it's all good except for the part that it affects Monk weapons too. You're basically making materials useless, as you get the DR-bypassing of Silver without the damage penalty, the Cold Iron/Adamantine/etc without the added cost, etc. If it only affected Unarmed Strikes, it'd be good. I understand that you want to make the Monk worthwhile, but this is a bit extreme. If every other class has to pay the price to have its weapon made of a certain material (not only GP price, but some materials have drawbacks as well), then I don't see why the Monk is exempt from this. Also, I have no idea how you can justify having a class ability that makes your hands magical as an Extraordinary ability. Not to mention that it transmutes materials, and duplicates the effects of Align Weapon. Also, why should the Monk get Align Weapon at will? Or an at will version of Silversheen and every other material-altering spell/item/oil ever invented? Or even a free way of bypassing any and all DR for free, which affects any Monk weapon he wields on top of his Unarmed Strikes? This alone should reduce most encounters (especially low-to-mid level ones) to a walk in the park.

Crippling Strike: For an attack that, as long as it hits, it will hamper an enemy no matter if it saves or not, it should have a limited daily use. If it counted as a use of Stunning Fist, I think it'd be more balanced.

Fast Healing: Quick math: Assuming a Constitution of 20 (obtained via magical means, most likely, and not even trying too hard), a level 20 Monk has Fast Healing 20. I have tried to find an equivalent in the MM, but I have failed. It seems that that value is so high, it's usually Regeneration instead. In the cases of Undead, who cannot have Regeneration because they are not alive, I haven't found anything higher than Fast Healing 10. In my opinion, you should keep it as Fast Healing = Con bonus, plus an extra 5 at level 15.

Improved Technique: So, a level 18 Monk is the equivalent of a Huge creature for those special attacks? I understand that she has improved her technique, but it strains willing suspension of disbelief. The reason large creatures gain bonuses to those attacks is because they are actually bigger than their enemy, and that's not something any amount of technique can replicate.

Sickening Blow: See Crippling Blow.

Diamond Body: Yeah, not seeing how it's Extraordinary instead of Supernatural. Immunity to all kinds of poison isn't something you can achieve through natural means, no matter how hard you try. Autohypnosis specifically states that it doesn't work against the Initial saving throw of the poison, which means that you can't use it to prevent yourself from contracting it, only to lessen its effects once it's already in your system. And the fact that only psionic classes get the skill as a class skill should lead us to the conclusion that it's not entirely natural. Also, the MM doesn't state whether Immunity to Poison is Extraordinary or Supernatural, but it would still not matter, since natural, inherent immunity should be Extraordinary, while acquired immunity should be Supernatural, since it's not something that you can acquire in a natural manner.

Disrupting Blow: Not only do I point out to what I said about Crippling Strike, I also find it simply too excessive. Not only is it unlimited (see Crippling Strike), but it also effectively nullifies all enemies that a Monk is currently threatening. They can't take a 5-foot step to cast, because of Following Step, they can't cast on the defensive, because this interrupts them as well, they can't use a Quickened spell to avoid the AoO, because, guess what? It interrupts them again. They want to attack you? You interrupt them and take no damage. And since you can interrupt Full Round actions, they can't actually damage you, ever. And it's not only against humanoid foes. It gets even worse when you nullify pretty much every monster in the book, since not matter what they try to do, whether it's attacking or using a special ability, you'll interrupt it no matter what. And since all uses of abilities are either Swift, Standard, Full Round or Immediate actions, there will not be a single action they can take against you or anyone else. And the worst part is that it's not simply once per round, it's once per round per enemy, which means that the Monk can prevent all actions (even Withdrawing!) simply by standing there and doing nothing. Wait. That's not the worst part. The worst part is that it doesn't allow a save, it merely requires that the attack hits. I think this ability needs an urgent remake. Either daily uses, adding a save, making it count as a Stunning Fist attempt (or all of those together), but it needs something.

Diamond Soul: Actually, you're right. SR is Ex.

Quivering Palm: I'm not arguing with the fact that there are spots that can kill when hit. What I'm saying is that if you allow the players to kill the enemy whenever they want, you can't possibly justify it as Ex anymore. It doesn't matter if most players won't do it, it's still incoherent.

Dazing Blow: See Crippling Strike, and also, while I understand what you tried to do there, you are still dazing creatures with no discernible anatomy (such as Plants, Aberrations and most Vermin), or who should not be affected by this mind-affecting effect (such as Undead and Constructs). And even if you say that there is some spell or magical effect somewhere that allows you to Daze Plants, Aberrations, Vermin, Constructs and/or Undead, not only would it still lack coherence, but it most definitely would not be Extraordinary under any concept.

Perfect Self: Meh. Everyone from level 20+ is already using Epic weapons anyway.

Hope that helps.

Artistshipper May 10 '09 7:21pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul_V (Post 1953668)
Warning: I am not familiar with ToB. If ToB has manouvers that already do some of this, then I am unaware of that. I am simply comparing the Monk to the rest of the Core classes and rules.

Alright, let's see. From the top:

Martial Arts: Weapon Finesse on steroids. Fits the theme.

Flurry of Blows: I'm not sure I follow, but how is this different from the regular Flurry of Blows? Are you saying it can also apply to attacks during a grapple? Or that a Monk may take a Move Action AND attack with a Flurry of Blows? Because if it's the latter, not only is it overpowered, it goes against the Full Attack rule (since Flurry of Blows is supposed to be a Full Attack, which is a Full Round action)

No, no it is not. We've been over this in the last thread. First of all, Melee characters desperately need a way to move an full attack in the same round to keep up with "mage" characters. It's only overpowered if you compare it to the fighter... but the fighter is also grossly underpowered and in need of a fix, so that logic falls flat. Psychic warriors learn "hustle" and can move-full-attack by level 4. Let me repeat. The goal is to make the monk competitive with the Swordsage, Psychich warrior, or Totemist. By definition, that means 2 steps better than the fighter.

Quote:

Following Step: I'd personally rule that if the Monk uses this ability, then he cannot take a 5-foot step on the following round, but that's just a personal preference to prevent abuse.
TOB characters with 5th level stances can do this already with no penalty. So can anyone with Pursue from the ECS and a spare action point. Not a problem.

Quote:

Ki Strike: I think that it's all good except for the part that it affects Monk weapons too. You're basically making materials useless, as you get the DR-bypassing of Silver without the damage penalty, the Cold Iron/Adamantine/etc without the added cost, etc. If it only affected Unarmed Strikes, it'd be good. I understand that you want to make the Monk worthwhile, but this is a bit extreme. If every other class has to pay the price to have its weapon made of a certain material (not only GP price, but some materials have drawbacks as well), then I don't see why the Monk is exempt from this. Also, I have no idea how you can justify having a class ability that makes your hands magical as an Extraordinary ability. Not to mention that it transmutes materials, and duplicates the effects of Align Weapon. Also, why should the Monk get Align Weapon at will? Or an at will version of Silversheen and every other material-altering spell/item/oil ever invented? Or even a free way of bypassing any and all DR for free, which affects any Monk weapon he wields on top of his Unarmed Strikes? This alone should reduce most encounters (especially low-to-mid level ones) to a walk in the park.
Uhm, no. The problem for monks is being able to hitting things and doing enough damage to more than annoy them. negating damage resistance doesn't help if the enemy is flying out of your reach, or has too high an AC to hit. Those are much more serious problems for the monk than DR. Negating DR does not make anything a "walk in the park". Do note that level 11 factotums can auto-bypass DR. So can martial adepts using Stone Dragon, as early as level 3 for single strikes, and 6 for full attacks. I agree that it should only apply to unarmed strikes though.

Quote:

Crippling Strike: For an attack that, as long as it hits, it will hamper an enemy no matter if it saves or not, it should have a limited daily use. If it counted as a use of Stunning Fist, I think it'd be more balanced.
I concur.

Quote:

Fast Healing: Quick math: Assuming a Constitution of 20 (obtained via magical means, most likely, and not even trying too hard), a level 20 Monk has Fast Healing 20. I have tried to find an equivalent in the MM, but I have failed. It seems that that value is so high, it's usually Regeneration instead. In the cases of Undead, who cannot have Regeneration because they are not alive, I haven't found anything higher than Fast Healing 10. In my opinion, you should keep it as Fast Healing = Con bonus, plus an extra 5 at level 15.
Hydras get fast healing 13. Thing is, even fast healing 10 is pretty much Negligible. By the time fast healing shows up, PC's are doing 30+ damage per hit. At best fats healing gives you 1 extra round of being alive. Fast healing 20 looks like a lot, perhaps, but it's actual effect in combat is maybe 2 extra rounds of not dying from HP damage instead of 1.

The real function of Fast healing is free out of combat healing. Whether monks auto-healing to full after some downtime is bad or not I won't comment on. (It isn't in the games I play, but I play at a higher optimization level than some people.) So if you cut it down to fast healing 5, the actual in game effect is pretty small.

Quote:

Improved Technique: So, a level 18 Monk is the equivalent of a Huge creature for those special attacks? I understand that she has improved her technique, but it strains willing suspension of disbelief. The reason large creatures gain bonuses to those attacks is because they are actually bigger than their enemy, and that's not something any amount of technique can replicate.
Monks already have increasing damage dice for their unarmed strike, representing improvements in their martial arts technique. Increasing size too doesn't make much sense; I agree.

Quote:

Diamond Body: Yeah, not seeing how it's Extraordinary instead of Supernatural. Immunity to all kinds of poison isn't something you can achieve through natural means, no matter how hard you try. Autohypnosis specifically states that it doesn't work against the Initial saving throw of the poison, which means that you can't use it to prevent yourself from contracting it, only to lessen its effects once it's already in your system. And the fact that only psionic classes get the skill as a class skill should lead us to the conclusion that it's not entirely natural.
But you don't need to be psionic to use aautohypnosis, so clearly it's no psionics reliant. It's based on training your mind, which is what psionic characters must do. It's like Wizards getting all the knowledges or Truenamers having speak language.

Quote:

Also, the MM doesn't state whether Immunity to Poison is Extraordinary or Supernatural, but it would still not matter, since natural, inherent immunity should be Extraordinary, while acquired immunity should be Supernatural, since it's not something that you can acquire in a natural manner.
Your body actually changes, so that your immune system is so uber it beast all disease? not necessarily supernatural.

Quote:

Disrupting Blow: Not only do I point out to what I said about Crippling Strike, I also find it simply too excessive. Not only is it unlimited (see Crippling Strike), but it also effectively nullifies all enemies that a Monk is currently threatening. They can't take a 5-foot step to cast, because of Following Step, they can't cast on the defensive, because this interrupts them as well, they can't use a Quickened spell to avoid the AoO, because, guess what? It interrupts them again. They want to attack you? You interrupt them and take no damage. And since you can interrupt Full Round actions, they can't actually damage you, ever. And it's not only against humanoid foes. It gets even worse when you nullify pretty much every monster in the book, since not matter what they try to do, whether it's attacking or using a special ability, you'll interrupt it no matter what. And since all uses of abilities are either Swift, Standard, Full Round or Immediate actions, there will not be a single action they can take against you or anyone else. And the worst part is that it's not simply once per round, it's once per round per enemy, which means that the Monk can prevent all actions (even Withdrawing!) simply by standing there and doing nothing. Wait. That's not the worst part. The worst part is that it doesn't allow a save, it merely requires that the attack hits. I think this ability needs an urgent remake. Either daily uses, adding a save, making it count as a Stunning Fist attempt (or all of those together), but it needs something.
Hmn, yeah, this needs a nerf.

Quote:

Diamond Soul: Actually, you're right. SR is Ex.

Quivering Palm: I'm not arguing with the fact that there are spots that can kill when hit. What I'm saying is that if you allow the players to kill the enemy whenever they want, you can't possibly justify it as Ex anymore. It doesn't matter if most players won't do it, it's still incoherent.
So he should just remove the ability to delay the death from the attack.

Quote:

Dazing Blow: See Crippling Strike, and also, while I understand what you tried to do there, you are still dazing creatures with no discernible anatomy (such as Plants, Aberrations and most Vermin), or who should not be affected by this mind-affecting effect (such as Undead and Constructs). And even if you say that there is some spell or magical effect somewhere that allows you to Daze Plants, Aberrations, Vermin, Constructs and/or Undead, not only would it still lack coherence, but it most definitely would not be Extraordinary under any concept.
Good point.

Quote:

Perfect Self: Meh. Everyone from level 20+ is already using Epic weapons anyway.
Except the monsters.

snakeman830 May 10 '09 7:47pm

Notes: Daze is not a mind-affecting attack. Constructs and Undead are susceptible to daze.

Disrupting blow: Think about it this way. At level 5, wizards can do the same thing, except better. It's called Slow. If the target fails the will save, they are limited to one action per turn in addition to other penalties. They can't take full-round actions, and they have to choose either amove action or a standard action to do. Now the Monk gets a slightly worse ability 7 levels later. Disrupting Blow, because it can only interrupt one action per round per enemy, is actually not as good as everyone makes it out to be. If someone wants to be sure to get off their standard action, they use a move action to get away from the Monk first. If the Monk interrupts it (which there is still a chance they don't, thanks to it being an attack roll each time), they can go through with their standard as normal. If not, then the enemy moves and performs the standard action as normal. Later on when the Monk gets the ability to nail them for swift and immediate actions, again, it isn't as unbalancing as people assume. If the Monk interrupts the swift action, then the move and standard are free, even allowing a full-round without problem.

Crippling/Sickening Blow: In both of these cases, Stunning is superior, so having them cost Stunning Fist attempts is pointless. It will just mean they never get used. Remember, a Monk always will have Stunning Fist available.

Improved Technique: There is more to martial arts than just training yourself to hit harder. This ability reflects the various styles and techniques being improved while also having the Monk at least be somewhat good at these manuvers against more than just humanoids.

Ki Strike: I will limit this to Unarmed attacks. I understand your point here.

Flurry of Blows: They only gain the extra attacks from Flurry of Blows if they move/do whatever else, they do not get a full attack (meaning a 20th level monk can move and get attacks in at +20/+20/+20, but he has to execute a full-attack to get the +15/+10/+5 as well). They cannot use Flurry of Blows on an Attack of Opportunity.

Paul_V May 10 '09 8:42pm

While I understand where most of everything's coming from, I still disagree on some points:

Quivering Palm: Yes, that would make sense.

Diamond Body: While I concede the point on Autohypnosis, I still don't know how you can become immune to diseases and poisons without resorting to magic. As a related note, Paladins' Divine Health is Ex, Monk's Purity of Body is Ex, but Diamond Body is Su. Not seeing the logic even within the game rules. Personally, I'd make all of those Su. Also, how can your body "change" to develop sudden immunity without the aid of magic or supernatural forces? Biology does not work like that.

Daze: It's a status, true, but one that can only be applied (as far as I know) via mind-affecting effects. Can you name something that Dazes Constructs and Undead that isn't a Mind-Affecting Effect (and make sure to mention whether it's Supernatural, Spell-like or Extraordinary)? Also, how can you daze someone withot affecting their minds?

Disrupting Blow: It doesn't allow a save. At high levels, it can interrupt multiple actions per enemy. It's at will, so you can't compare it with either spells or manouvers, because you have to spend those. You are still not explaining how it's not unbalancing to effectively stunlock all the enemies you threaten for free.

Crippling/Sickening Blow: Stunning Fist lasts for 1 round. Make this last longer, giving players the alternative to either Stun for a round or Cripple or Sicken for 1d4+1 or something. Also, I just realised that you rendered Plants, Constructs, Elementals and Undead affectable by this. While I understand that Slow affects them, this is not magic, which means that it has to rely on physics/biology. And that tells us that you can't cripple creatures without a discernible anatomy without the use of magic. On top of that, I've realised that your Monk gets attacks that aren't Save or Suck, they're Suck or Suck Some More. And while I understand that many spells do the same (though they're still a minority), they allow SR, can be Dispelled and don't work in Antimagic Fields. And even Supernatural effects can be rendered null in the aformentioned Antimagic Field. You've just created abilities that not only are usable at will, apply a negative effect no matter if the subject saves or not, and cannot be resisted in any way (except with a high AC, cover or concealment).

Improved Technique: Sorry, but I don't see the logical justification. How does being better at grappling makes you suddenly count as a larger creature? I would understand a bonus for all those attacks, but handwaving it as "it's all a matter of technique" isn't enough. You aren't giving a rational explanation for the size increase.

Flurry of Blows: Oh, I get it.

EDIT re: Perfect Self: Actually, many monsters have natural attacks that count as Epic Weapons. Solars, Tarrasques, those from the Epic Level Handbook, etc...

sleeplessghost May 10 '09 10:06pm

I'm going to be dming for someone using this fix soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

Also:
Quote:

Improved Technique: Sorry, but I don't see the logical justification. How does being better at grappling makes you suddenly count as a larger creature? I would understand a bonus for all those attacks, but handwaving it as "it's all a matter of technique" isn't enough. You aren't giving a rational explanation for the size increase.
So if he instead just said he became better at martial arts techniques and gave a +4 bonus every six levels it would be fine? I think you might be getting caught up on it being a size modifier, if that is the problem just make it a competence bonus.

Paul_V May 10 '09 10:41pm

No, size modifier does more than giving a flat bonus. I can't remember the mechanics correctly, but I distinctly remembering doing something more than modifying the dice, on some of those cases.

Silverlocke May 10 '09 11:55pm

Disparity in sizes also makes certain grapple attempts impossible. You can only grapple a foe a certain number of size categories larger than you. If you increase a monk's size category, you not only make him more competent at grappling in general, but you also allow him to grapple foes too large for him to grapple previously, which does not make sense.

If a monk who gains Improved Technique can now exploit a greater understanding of momentum and stuff to put an armlock on an ogre which a couple of levels ago would have torn his arms off, that's fine. If a monk can suddenly grapple a titan by SQUEEZING ITS FINGER REALLY HARD, that's not fine. Or a purple wurm or something.


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