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Basic Monk fix (PEACH)

   
Basic Monk fix (PEACH)

Everyone knows how Monks are rather underwhelming, thanks to their MAD. A bit of the fix I'm proposing will result in lessening that, but mostly it is going to be simple changes that can be done on the fly.

First off, we need to define exactly what the Monk class is supposed to be as this will aid in determining what needs to really be done. For purposes of this fix, I will treat the Monk as someone who seeks perfect control over their own body.

The Monk as written seems like a jumble of mismatched abilities, most simple, some mystical. The Tounge of the Sun and Moon, Abundant Step, and Empty Body don't match up with the idea of one seeking personal control, so they get thrown out.

Diamond Body can partially be replicated by Autohypnosis, so there isn't a real reason for it to be a Supernatural ability. It gets changed to Extraordinary.

Changes:No Abundant Step
No Empty Body
No Tonge of Sun and Moon
Diamond Body is Extraordinary (Ex).


Ki Strike and Perfect Self will be discussed below
This leaves one Supernatural ability: Wholeness of Body. While having it doesn't really fit as far as not being extraordinary, it does fit the self-control bit. For now, this stays.

Timeless Body stays as well. It isn't hard to see an old guy that kept himself in better physical condition than a lot of young adults and also fits the self-control theme.

Now, a lot of the Monk class focuses around unarmed combat. Most martial arts are taught as a form of self-discipline, so again, it fits the theme. However, the execution was not the best. For one, shouldn't a guy that's good at fighting be able to, oh, I don't know, hit something? Monks need full BAB. Not only does this make them more likely to hit, but it also gives them a 6th attack when they flurry.

The bonus feats they give to Monks are nice, but Monks are so strapped for feats as is that they don't like having to choose one path. I suggest we give both feats to Monks. Would it really hurt for them to have both Stunning Fist (which is a common prequisite for Monk PrCs and feats) and Improved Grapple? Combat Reflexes andDeflect Arrows? Improved Tirp and Improved Disarm? Five of the six would be taught as a part of martial arts and the sixth (Deflect Arrows) is also possible. In a world where bat crap and gobbledygook can set fire to a ship, it wouldn't be hard to see a guy who can block an arrow. However, to prevent power-dipping, it would be best to space them out over several levels.

Changes:Monk Base Attack Bonus increases at each level (as Fighter)
At first level, a Monk gets Stunning Fist as a bonus feat.
At second level, a Monk gets Improved Grapple as a bonus feat.
At third level, a Monk gets Improved Trip as a bonus feat.
At fourth level, a Monk gets Improved Disarm as a bonus feat.
At sixth level, a Monk gets Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat.
At seventh level, a Monk gets Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat.


The true power of Martial Arts is not the amount of force, but the correct application of it. I see this manifesting in two ways mechanically. The first way is represented by the Ki Strike. Since it really is skill driving this ability and not some sort of magic, it becomes Extraordinary. I suggest that it works as written at 5th level when they first obtain the ability, treating the Monk's unarmed strike as a magic weapon for overcoming DR. At 10th level, however, I suggest it overcomes alignment-based DR instead of just lawful (or another alignment for some variants) At 16th, it overcomes material-based DR and is counted as adamantine for damaging objects.

The second way this manifests would be in the actual attack and damge (you were wondering when I would get around to reducing the MAD). Since martial artists use training and intuition instead of brute force to be effective, it would make sense for the Monk to do the same. Thus, Wisdom should affect attack and damage rolls with Unarmed Strikes and Monk weapons.

Changes:Ki Strike is an Extraordinary (Ex) ability.
At 10th level, a Monk's Unarmed Strike overcomes all alignment-based Damage Reduction.
At 16th level, a Monk's Unarmed Strike overcomes all material-based Damage Reduction. It is treated as Admantine for the purpose of damaging objects.
A Monk may use their Wisdom score instead of their Strength for attack and damage rolls with Unarmed Strikes and special Monk weapons.


Now, someone that focuses so much on self-control ought to be able to do better at negating attacks against the body and mind. At 2nd level, Monks already get evasion, but Mettle should be in there as well. I am still debating about letting them keep Improved Evasion later on or possibly getting something like Improved Mettle.

Along the same lines is Diamond Soul. The spell resistance needs to be upped a bit to remain relatively relevant. I suggest raising it by 5 points to 15 + class level. This at least means that a guy of your level casting won't succeed all of the time if he has Arcane Mastery (letting him take 10 on caster-level checks)

Also, Autohypnosis is a skill that fits the theme perfectly, so why not make it a class skill?

Finally, Perfect Self needs a bit of adjustment. At 20th level, who gives a damn about DR10/Magic? The answer is absolutely nobody. I think DR20/Epic might be better suited, even if it won't matter much in a couple of levels. Either that, or DR10/-

Changes:Monks get Mettle as well as Evasion at 2nd level.
Diamond Soul provides Spell Resistance equal to 15+Monk level
Autohypnosis is a class skill
Perfect Self provides DR 20/Epic or DR 10/- instead of DR10/Magic.


In summary, here the changes are again.

Changes:
  • No Abundant Step.
  • No Empty Body.
  • No Tonge of Sun and Moon.
  • Diamond Body is Extraordinary (Ex).
  • Monk Base Attack Bonus increases at each level (as Fighter).
  • At first level, a Monk gets Stunning Fist as a bonus feat.
  • At second level, a Monk gets Improved Grapple as a bonus feat.
  • At third level, a Monk gets Improved Trip as a bonus feat.
  • At fourth level, a Monk gets Improved Disarm as a bonus feat.
  • At sixth level, a Monk gets Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat.
  • At seventh level, a Monk gets Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat.
  • Ki Strike is an Extraordinary (Ex) ability.
  • At 10th level, a Monk's Unarmed Strike overcomes all alignment-based Damage Reduction.
  • At 16th level, a Monk's Unarmed Strike overcomes all material-based Damage Reduction. It is treated as Admantine for the purpose of damaging objects.
  • A Monk may use their Wisdom score instead of their Strength for attack and damage rolls with Unarmed Strikes and special Monk weapons.
  • Monks get Mettle as well as Evasion at 2nd level.
  • Diamond Soul provides Spell Resistance equal to 15+Monk level
  • Autohypnosis is a class skill
  • Perfect Self provides DR 20/Epic or DR 10/- instead of DR10/Magic.


Again, these were supposed to be simple changes to make the class more viable. One of the changes was removing Strength's importance, dropping them down to only three dependant abilities (Dex, Con, and Wis) Interestingly, these abilities are also the ones saves are based on.

Now, here is the current version of my Monk fix:

You've now made monk exceptional for dippage. 4 feats in 2 levels, couple with the abyssal shuffle and you have amazing gains. Overall, I still see no reason to take this class beyond 2 levels - but hoo boy, are those first two levels amazing. Mettle, evasion, Wis to attack with specific weapons which I can flurry, excellent saves. A 2 level "new monk" dip is great, beyond there it suffers the flaws that all core melee do. It may now be better than the fighter, but thats not really helping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenos View Post
You've now made monk exceptional for dippage. 4 feats in 2 levels, couple with the abyssal shuffle and you have amazing gains. Overall, I still see no reason to take this class beyond 2 levels - but hoo boy, are those first two levels amazing. Mettle, evasion, Wis to attack with specific weapons which I can flurry, excellent saves. A 2 level "new monk" dip is great, beyond there it suffers the flaws that all core melee do. It may now be better than the fighter, but thats not really helping.
Hmm. I see your point. Perhaps delaying Mettle/Evasion a level and limiting the bonuses from Wis (to say, 1 point per Monk level) would lower the desire for dippage, but I don't know if it would help the class.

I'm trying to make it a viable option without resorting to TOB and without a total rewrite, but how about some suggestions?

Without going the ToB route, it's really not going to work. Melee doesn't get... anything, really. So long as you stay within the paradigm of default melee, Monk will always be relegated to sucking hard. Without something that scales in a manner comparable to spells, melee will never be balanced even against the fair casters.

Add more self-heal points (can't remember class ability name), because the amount you get is tiny, and you don't really need it anyway. But totally fits in on the whole body control thing. Or take away that ability and replace it with an ability that allows full health healing once per day, or a heal ability once per day, or something like that. Kinda unbalanced, but just raw ideas being tossed out there. Besides, at higher levels, you're gonna get murdered even with the healing. Kinda just an "after-battle" type thing.

Perhaps Wholness of Body would best be suited for something more like the Paladin's Lay on Hands for amount. Say, Monk level * Wis modifier?

The biggest problem with melee is the lack of combining mobility and effectiveness, correct?

Regrettably, rewriting one class will never solve that problem, so please stick to Monk-specific (whether original or now present) issues. Saying that all Melee sucks is no feedback on the quick fix I'm attempting.

Alright...so melee sucks...and also, delay the feats a bit. Counters dipping, and also, it's not a big loss. Hardcore monk players can wait a level or two to get their feats. Maybe like this:
Level 1: Stunning Fist
Level 2: Improved Grapple
Level 3: Improved Disarm
Level 4: Improved Trip
Level 6: Combat Reflexes
Level 7: Deflect Arrows

Quote:
Originally Posted by snakeman830 View Post
I'm trying to make it a viable option without resorting to TOB and without a total rewrite, but how about some suggestions?
Thats your problem. What you desire is simply not possible.




 

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