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Ninja Grandmaster build (Monk10 / Ninja10). Critique, please?


Advice


7 people marked this as a favorite.

So I finally ironed out the kinks in my Ninja/Monk multiclass build (mostly when to take levels in what so that the feats slot in nicely).

Here are the goals of the build:

1.) Wisdom for as much as possible (AC, ki points, to hit, ability DC)
2.) The ability to use dastardly finish as much as possible (crane riposte - stunning fist - coup de grace)
3.) Decent mix of damage, buffing (both self and party) and weird abilities.

And here is the build:

Ability scores (Assuming 20 point buy):

Str 10
Dex 14
Con 15
Int 10
Wis 18 (+2 from human)
Cha 8

Feats:

Mnk 1 (Sensei, Qinggong, Drunken Master): Improved unarmed strike (free), Stunning fist (free), Dodge (Monk bonus feat), Endurance (Human Bonus feat), Drunken Brawler (1st lvl)
Mnk 2 / Ninja 1 (Scout): Sap adept (3rd level)
Mnk 4 / Ninja 1: Fast Drinker (5th level)

5th level overview:

Spoiler:
Interesting combination here, while trying to make a quickly ki-replenishing character (fast drinker and drunken master), I found that drunken brawler combines well with the ability to down a tankard as a swift action, it's basically (with the right equipment) free temporary hit points every round.

Note, to get the 18 con required for fast drinker, the extra stat point goes into Con at 4th level and a belt of Con +2 is required ASAP, might work better in some games than others. Hopefully Paizo puts an endless tankard in Ultimate equipment and shows the drunken masters some love.

Mnk 4 / Ninja 2: Crane Style (Ninja trick: Style Master)
Mnk 4 / Ninja 3: Crane Wing (7th level)
Mnk 4 / Ninja 5: Sap Master (9th level)
Mnk 4 / Ninja 6: Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike) (Ninja trick: Weapon Training)

10th level overview:

Spoiler:
So basically 6th to 10 level is to fill out the sap mastery line, as well as to pick up crane style and crane wing for added defense. This character is quite competent in both dealing damage as well as avoiding it at this level.

Mnk 4 / Ninja 7: Crane Riposte (11th level)
Mnk 4 / Ninja 9: Dastardly Finish (13th level)
Mnk 6 / Ninja 9: Vital Strike (15th level)

15th level overview:

Spoiler:
This is where the dirty tricks mentioned earlier come in, this character can riposte when he is hit, do a stunning fist which is hard to resist and then on his next turn coup de grace the enemy (any enemy, really that fails his stunning fist) via dastardly finish.

I could have gone for a 10th level of ninja here, but I chose to hold it off for last so I could slot in a small bonus later, not sure its worth it but you can tell me if my judgement was correct.

Vital strike is there because the scout's charge kicks in now whenever you move more than 10 ft, after which you can just vital strike them along with SA for even more damage.

Mnk 8 / Ninja 9: Knockout Artist (17th level)
Monk 10 / Ninja 9: Quicken Spell Like ability (True Strike) (19th level), Medusa's Wrath (Monk bonus feat 10th level)

20th level overview:

Spoiler:
Really, these last 5 levels are just icing on the cake. Knockout artist is for more damage, Quicken SLA (True strike) is a nice bonus from Qinggong and finally being CL 10 and Medusa's wrath is for when enemys are stunned during a full attack.

Ninja Tricks:
Ninja 2nd: Style Master (Crane Style)
Ninja 4th: Vanishing Trick
Ninja 6th: Weapon Training (Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike)
Ninja 8th: Forgotten Trick
Ninja 10th: Unarmed Combat Mastery

Tricks overview:

Spoiler:
Pretty self explanatory, unarmed combat mastery is a nice capstone at Ninja 10, and while invisible blade would have been nice (for both me and the party, from Sensei), I already have vanishing trick and would be hard pressed to turn down the extra damage. Maybe when they release the extra ninja trick feat?

Oh, forgotten trick is awesome for this character, 4 replenishable floating ki points means that you basically have access to any basic ninja trick at any time you want to use it. Just chug as a swift action the next turn to fill up.

I think it turned out rather well, but what do you, the Paizo public think? Do two wrongs (Monk and a rogue alternate class) make a right?

prototype00


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i absolutely love it, but isnt that only a fifteen point build?


toastwolf wrote:
i absolutely love it, but isnt that only a fifteen point build?

Glad you like it Toastwolf! I'll add the Qinggong abilities into the build, but basically he gives up slow fall, high jump and wholeness of body for Barkskin, Truestrike and Gaseous form.

On the statistics front:

Str 10 (0)
Dex 14 (5)
Con 15 (7)
Int 10 (0)
Wis 16 (10)
Cha 8 (-2)

So that adds up to 20 if I'm not mistaken.

prototype00

Cheliax

I like the build and added it to my favorites. I will be the first to admit I never played any of the above classes, that being said I have one question...

Your 15th level build includes Scouts Charge is that not from the Scout archetype for Rogues? Can that be used with Ninja/Monk?

I may have missed something in the build it was a quick read...


You dont like "o"'s, do you?


WhipShire wrote:

I like the build and added it to my favorites. I will be the first to admit I never played any of the above classes, that being said I have one question...

Your 15th level build includes Scouts Charge is that not from the Scout archetype for Rogues? Can that be used with Ninja/Monk?

I may have missed something in the build it was a quick read...

I'm going with the interpretation (supported by either James Jacob or SKR) that an alternate class is basically an archetype for the same class writ large, and if it can accomodate other archetypes, then they fit together (TL:DR Ninja = Rogue Archetype basically, and fits with other rogue archetypes).

You really need to know what you're doing when you play a rogue or a monk (less so if you play a ninja, but doubly so if you do something foolhardy like playing a wisdom based monk). They're something of a trap class whose mechanics look straightforward enough but need substantial optimization to really sing.

Quote:
You dont like "o"'s, do you?

I can't imagine what you mean by that. ?_?

prototype00


Just a couple of questions:

1.) For the drunken brawler feat, when drinking (to regain ki points, say), is it possible not to take the benefit (and the penalty to reflex saves, which stacks with multiple drinks since it's unnamed!). In a fight with a wizard, I want all my wits about me for when the fireballs come!

2.) Is it possible to take a free five foot adjustment and the five foot movement from drunken ki? Or is it just for moving five feet away after you've already moved in a round (which is useful by itself, after charging, say, you can stagger 5 feet away from your foe)

prototype00


Just one last bump for posterity before I put this baby to bed. I'm personally reasonably happy with it, but if others have a thought as to how to improve it, please share.

For my part, I would probably switch out vital strike for ability focus (stunning fist) *are you allowed to do that these days, take ability focus that is?*, as forgotten trick allows you to duplicate vital strike as a combat feat.

Speaking of forgotten trick, what kind of action is it to activate, if I use it to gain the use of a feat say? Is it basically free? As long as I pay the ki surcharge?

prototype00


I'd say you should assume the Drunken Brawler things are all alchemical. And why not Invisible Blade for 10th lvl Ninja? It's the best thang there. One die increase (I believe it ends up in) with Unarmed Combat Master isn't better than that. You've got Vanishing Trick already.


Raje wrote:
I'd say you should assume the Drunken Brawler things are all alchemical. And why not Invisible Blade for 10th lvl Ninja? It's the best thang there. One die increase (I believe it ends up in) with Unarmed Combat Master isn't better than that. You've got Vanishing Trick already.

On the drunken brawler front, I just read off the Pathfinder SRD that penalties, whatever the source, stack, apparently (which I didn't know), so the penalty from drunken brawler will stack no matter what the source.

I just wonder if being from the same source means that it applies only once since x from the same source don't stack?

Invisible blade is basically as good as unarmed combat master for this build, one gives action economy (this character has lots of uses for swift actions) and the other gives straight damage. I always feel slightly sad when monk characters of mine don't reach 2d10 damage, is all.

prototype00


...Where's your stat bonuses from level? I'd also make a point of having Improved two-weapon feint, as it works on almost everything, and it's an easy way to get sneak attack when you don't have or don't want to spend the ki.

I'm also of the opinion that the ninja is superior to the monk in every way except saves and those don't really matter that much when you can make your enemies go away with a single strike. You can also make them largely stop functioning with a full round of attacks, which is also particularly nasty.


Blue Star wrote:

...Where's your stat bonuses from level? I'd also make a point of having Improved two-weapon feint, as it works on almost everything, and it's an easy way to get sneak attack when you don't have or don't want to spend the ki.

I'm also of the opinion that the ninja is superior to the monk in every way except saves and those don't really matter that much when you can make your enemies go away with a single strike. You can also make them largely stop functioning with a full round of attacks, which is also particularly nasty.

Hmm, I'm not sure I have the feats to go down the TWF tree just to get improved two weapon feint, besides this character is literally rolling in extra ki, he just needs to take a swig as a swift action and hey, more ki.

Ninja is good damage wise, and straight ninja 20 will be able to do 6d10 (monk unarmed damage -4 + monks belt + improved vital strike) + 20d6 with sap master. Which will ruin everyones day, but I think this character is as you say, better in saves and able to leverage ki and various ki abilities better. Still, yeah, straight ninja is nasty.

prototype00

Andoran

You're basically a below average BAB character with no strength bonus. Don't get me wrong, it is a creative build and its one I might play around with for an npc, but as a pc you're going to have a hard time hitting and getting damage through, at the very least I would recommend dropping wisdom by 2 points for 4 points of strength. This will grant > 10% increase in DR.


ShadowcatX wrote:
You're basically a below average BAB character with no strength bonus. Don't get me wrong, it is a creative build and its one I might play around with for an npc, but as a pc you're going to have a hard time hitting and getting damage through, at the very least I would recommend dropping wisdom by 2 points for 4 points of strength. This will grant > 10% increase in DR.

To hit is boosted by wisdom in this build thanks to the 2nd level of Sensei, or had you already taken that into account?

Damage, it is true I'm basically depending on the 2x SA, Sap adept and knockout artist to do the crippling blows.

prototype00


Nice build prototype00, one of my player actually uses it as he wanted a stealthy ninja-monk type of character. He just needs a clarification. Can you spend a ki point for an extra attack on a full round attack? The description seems to forbid that, as it says that you can add an extra attack on a flurry of blows attack and not on a full attack, a feature that you don't have.


That's from the ninja side of things:

Quote:
By spending 1 point from her ki pool, a ninja can make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus, but she can do so only when making a full attack.

prototype00


prototype00 wrote:

That's from the ninja side of things:

Quote:
By spending 1 point from her ki pool, a ninja can make one additional attack at her highest attack bonus, but she can do so only when making a full attack.
prototype00

Well, that is fortunate, I had completely forgotten it. Thanks for the info!


I am looking at it because I love your builds.

First thing I ran across (just thinking outside of the box) is that the race could have been Half-Orc. You use the human feat to pick up Endurance. Half Orcs can get Endurance through the alternative racial trait Shaman's Apprentice, which replaces intimidating. Then you also get darkvision and orc ferocity. The latter could be replaced by Sacred Tattoo for even higher saves.


Driver 325 yards wrote:

I am looking at it because I love your builds.

First thing I ran across (just thinking outside of the box) is that the race could have been Half-Orc. You use the human feat to pick up Endurance. Half Orcs can get Endurance through the alternative racial trait Shaman's Apprentice, which replaces intimidating. Then you also get darkvision and orc ferocity. The latter could be replaced by Sacred Tattoo for even higher saves.

Good point. You also gain Darkvision, very useful for a scouting character.


Combine Sacred Tatto with the trait luck's favored and you have even higher saves.

Also, is there any particular interesting half-orc feat for the late lvls?


Hey, I have finished through level five. I think you should have included the class abilities so that people would see how they mesh with the build as a whole.

That said, the question came to my mind about how big is a tankard of ale and can the monk carry enough ale through an adventure at levels 1-5 to really take advantage of the fast drinker / drunken brawler combo. Would Crane Style serve him better at earlier levels?

Maybe you have to take the feats in the order that you have because they won't fit any other way. However, maybe you could make your build around the re-training rules. So start with crane wing, then retrain crane wing with drunken brawler, then pick up crane wing again with Style Master.

I have not thought it out fully though.


Driver 325 yards wrote:


That said, the question came to my mind about how big is a tankard of ale and can the monk carry enough ale through an adventure at levels 1-5 to really take advantage of the fast drinker / drunken brawler combo. Would Crane Style serve him better at earlier levels?

My low level solution was a bag of holding in the shape of a wineskin. Mid level-high level solution was a flask of endless sake.

Quote:

Maybe you have to take the feats in the order that you have because they won't fit any other way. However, maybe you could make your build around the re-training rules. So start with crane wing, then retrain crane wing with drunken brawler, then pick up crane wing again with Style Master.

I have not thought it out fully though.

I haven't thought much about retraining, as I don't have the book. I must admit, Orc makes a lot of sense for this build if you like. Either I missed the free endurance feat the first time around or it wasn't available yet.

I do wonder how well the coup-de-grace stunned enemies in the middle of combat trick works in actual play though, for me this build is mostly theoretical.

prototype00


According to this page a tankard (or mug) of ale weights 1 lb. Why carring enough ale should be a problem then? 10 tankards weight 10 lb, are you going to need much more ale than that?


I stop reviewing at 15th because I rarely have the pleasure of playing at higher levels.

That said, Mythic Wisdom from Sensei at monk 6th is incredible. It is a shame that you don't get to Monk 6th until 15th level.

I know you do this to chase down dastardly finish. However, Mythic Wisdom actually works better with the infinite Ki theme. I am not saying that your path is bad. I am just pointing out that with all of the Ki abilities your guy will have and with the infinite Ki, this build could have become a Ki ability team buffer (i.e. give the fighter barkskin or an extra attack or vanish or whatever) early on at the expense of getting the dastardly finish feat at later levels.

However, that is all that I have. I like the build and the feats are all taken when you meet the prereq from what I see.

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