Monks: What is their "role?"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D


Kegluneq wrote:
At least a few comments have been made with regard to what character one would prefer to have in the party. Magus over Monk, in this instance. My question is how often this choice is actually in anyone's control? Do your groups commonly build characters independently or as a group? Has anyone actually attempted to persuade another player from playing a monk in their game? It has never come up for me, and the Monk players I have had have always enjoyed playing a Monk and had no problems integrating with the team.

Honestly, my local groups would take a monk over a magus-style character any day of the week. My local groups tend to prioritize resilience, rely a lot on teamwork and synergy, and avoid combat when possible through stealth and role-play. Magi are thoroughly unimpressive in all of those fronts. Heck, I'm running a drow campaign right now and practically begged one of my players to play a magus (or inquisitor for that matter) and the overwhelming answer was "no thanks", a source of frustration for me considering evil campaigns are fertile ground for gishes and the classes fit the campaign perfectly.

I have only ever seen one character in the magus-style played in my circles; that was a warforged duskblade/juggernaut I played in a Forgotten Realms campaign, mainly because the character had a killer backstory, perfectly fit the locale and campaign flavor, and the party needed a tank and fortuitously had an artificer (and that character actually blew away everyone's expectations on that front, including mine).


Ashiel wrote:
Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D

The Sohei is a horse mounted monk that flurry of blows people with his bow from the top of his mount.

It is as awesome as it sounds.


Ashiel wrote:
Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D

Ah, but what about a monk on a monk/druid wildshaped as a horse?


Eacaraxe wrote:
Honestly, my local groups would take a monk over a magus-style character any day of the week. My local groups tend to prioritize resilience, rely a lot on teamwork and synergy, and avoid combat when possible through stealth and role-play. Magi are thoroughly unimpressive in all of those fronts.

...

... As opposed to monks, whose ki pool provide a lot more teamwork than any spell ever, and are far more stealthy than an invisible character.

Not to mention monks provide 63% more roleplay than any other class.


Ashiel wrote:
Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D

Which is why barbarians are better, fast movement for the mount. Is there anything they can't do?


Andy Ferguson wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D
Which is why barbarians are better, fast movement for the mount. Is there anything they can't do?

Can he see what kids love about Cinnamon Toast Crunch?


TarkXT wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D
Which is why barbarians are better, fast movement for the mount. Is there anything they can't do?
Can he see what kids love about Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Sundering?


Andy Ferguson wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Yeah, as fast as the horse! :D
Which is why barbarians are better, fast movement for the mount. Is there anything they can't do?
Can he see what kids love about Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
Sundering?

It's the cinnamon and sugar swirls in every bite!


Guys, this isn't a Barbarians > everything thread.

I mean, it's totally true, but this isn't that thread.

Let's focus on what monks can do. Now.

In my experience, monks make perfectly viable frontline fighters. Do they have spells? No.

Can they down an enemy by kicking it six or seven times in the gonads with Dragon Style and Dragon Ferocity?

...you bet your sweet bippy.

'And what do you do if you're out of melee range?' the party inevitably asks.

Answer: Overrun. Since Monks have patently absurd CMB, there's no reason they can't prone something.


Hungry Ghost Monk flurrying with a temple sword makes a pretty sweet front liner.

A Maneuver Master with a quickened true strike makes a pretty scary skirmisher.

All the funky style's with Master of Many styles.

The ability to pounce at higher levels.

The choice of splashing cleric and getting flurry with Dervish Dance.

Monk's have a lot going on.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Kegluneq wrote:
At least a few comments have been made with regard to what character one would prefer to have in the party. Magus over Monk, in this instance. My question is how often this choice is actually in anyone's control? Do your groups commonly build characters independently or as a group? Has anyone actually attempted to persuade another player from playing a monk in their game? It has never come up for me, and the Monk players I have had have always enjoyed playing a Monk and had no problems integrating with the team.
Honestly, my local groups would take a monk over a magus-style character any day of the week. My local groups tend to prioritize resilience, rely a lot on teamwork and synergy, and avoid combat when possible through stealth and role-play. Magi are thoroughly unimpressive in all of those fronts. Heck, I'm running a drow campaign right now and practically begged one of my players to play a magus (or inquisitor for that matter) and the overwhelming answer was "no thanks", a source of frustration for me considering evil campaigns are fertile ground for gishes and the classes fit the campaign perfectly.

I'm surprised, actually. I've never found monks to be all that resilient beyond their nice saving throw bonuses (and they don't lead the race in that department either). Their HP is medium, their AC is poor (unless you invest excessively in Dexterity and Wisdom and then it's merely mediocre), and their nice defensive abilities take a bit to kick in (evasion is nice at 2nd level, which makes monks a great dipping class, but stuff like purity of body requires 5th level, and diamond body requires 11th level, and diamond soul at 13th level is a trap because it makes it harder to buff you (the monk will have to spend a standard action to lower spell resistance so that he can be hit with stuff like haste, death ward, freedom of movement, etc).

If I was going for survivalist gish, I'd go Paladin. Paladins have the best saving throws in the game. If you wanted a gishy guy but Magus isn't rockin' your socks defensively, (Anti)Paladin 2 / Sorcerer 8 / Eldritch Knight 10 results in 9th level arcane casting, charisma to saving throws, above average base attack (+16/+11/+6/+1), and good hit points as well. EDIT: Likewise if you're running an evil-friendly game (judging by it being drow-focused) then antipaladin/sorcerer/eldritch knight is an excellent path if you become undead, as you get Charisma to HP, Fort, Saves, spells, and access to several good divine spells via spell-trigger items (if you pick up animate dead with sorcerer you can access desecrate via wands with antipaladin).

For martial characters, multiclassing gets your saves rapidly without losing a lot in combat effectiveness. Some sort of multiclass abomination is definitely a fast path to defensive superiority due to stacking save bonuses. There are many classes that grant good saves in different areas, and dipping a few levels at a time in each of them will increase your versatility mildly while remaining an effective melee combatant, since you will typically break at least a medium base attack if you do it correctly.

Example: Ranger 2 / Bard 2 / Monk 2 / Cleric 2 / Druid 2 / Barbarian 10 has a +16/+11/+6/+1 base attack bonus, fast movement, uncanny dodge, evasion, rage, improved uncanny dodge, trap sense, rage powers, DR 2/-, several bonus feats, access to many arcane spells and divine spells via spell-trigger items, solid hp, a fair spread of skill points, a lot of class skills, and of course +19 Fort, +9 Ref, +12 Will before modifiers.

Quote:
I have only ever seen one character in the magus-style played in my circles; that was a warforged duskblade/juggernaut I played in a Forgotten Realms campaign, mainly because the character had a killer backstory, perfectly fit the locale and campaign flavor, and the party needed a tank and fortuitously had an artificer (and that character actually blew away everyone's expectations on that front, including mine).

Nice. ^-^


Bringing up previous editions doesn't really work because fighters/paladins/rangers did have something unique to them.

They had magic items.

See, before 3e, magic items were very much a fighters only thing. Most of the really good weapons and armor and items? That's stuff only the fighters could use. Wizards had scrolls, wands, rods, and staves, and that was about it. Not only that, but wizards couldn't really make magic items that easily, so it put another wall between "fighters only do good when wizards want them to."

They also had immidiate access to gaining a keep and followers and eventually becoming a king, rogues got a thieves guild that would eventually span the continent, while wizards got to sit in a tower forever alone.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but earlier editions were very different from 3e. Do not assume that Pathfinder is how it's always been.


To go back to monks, I sadly don't have my AD&D stuff with me, but I do have the good ol' Rules Cyclopedia for the non-Advanced D&D. So, let's go back to an age where elf was a class and the monk was called the Mystic.

So, what did monks get? Quite a lot in fact!

But first, let's talk differences between editions.

As I already mentioned, magic items weren't really a wizard's thing. They couldn't effectively pump them out, and couldn't use a good chunk of them. But there are two other, much more major balance changes. First off, wizards who get hit lose their spell. Period. You don't get a concentration check. If you get hit before your spell goes off, the spell is gone. This means attacking fast and moving fast is really good, because of how much easier it is to inturrupt spells.

Secondly, look at how many spell slots you get in 3e. Yeah, that wasn't around. You got far, far less. And none of that scribing scrolls or memorizing spells later or regaining spells garbage neither! Not only that, but spells tended to last significantly shorter then they do in 3e. And if fly ends, you don't float to the ground gracefully; you fall like a stone.

Thirdly, AC went from 10 to -10. That's it. There was nothing past -10, that's as good as it got. Attack bonuses were also significantly rare, with THAC0 going from

Now, the Mystic.

First off, your AC isn't connected to Wisdom, it goes down (going down is good) on it's own, eventually reaching -6. -6, I should point out, is literally the best armor you can get without using a magic shield. Suit armor, the best armor, is AC 0, and can hit +5. That means, without a shield, your max AC before dexterity is -5. Monks get -6. And suit armor certainly had a lot of disadvantages, too! So, right off the bat? Monks, while starting at AC 9, lose one every level until they hit -6. This is a big deal.

Secondly, monks get their famed movement - with the catch that it stacks with haste, and that nobody else gets this. Remember what I said earlier about spells? Wizards aren't just auto-flying all day erry day. So that speed matters.

Thirdly is the multiple attacks. Again, important to point out - only monks get this at this level. What monks get at level 5, fighters and demihumans have to wait until level 12. Additionally, their unarmed combat damage goes up every single level. They even get some fighter abilities!

Mystics get your standard supernatural skill in acrobatics, but with two catches. First, they're trained in all the acrobatics skills automatically. No need to spend points in those. Secondly, they have supernatural skill, which gives them abilities only they can do. This includes crossing rough/broken terrain at no loss of movement...and cross a line of enemies without having to go around them, at no loss of AC.

This makes monks the most efficient wizard killers without needing a single magic item. Their speed and acrobatics mean both terrain and enemy defenders are meaningless. Oh, and did I mention? They use the Fighter attack chart. No 3/4ths BAB here! Oh, and we aren't done yet.

How about the magic, eh? Well, monks also get a bunch of thief abilities, so there's that. Climbing walls, hiding in shadows, moving silently, and finding and disarming traps. Then the magic starts happening. First off, boom, level 2, you're almost never surprised. Two levels later, boom, you can heal yourself. It ain't a lot, but healing is rare. Now both those are pretty cool so at level 6 all you get to do is talk to any animal, ever. That's not enough? Ok, at level 8 spells do half damage to you. Period. Oh, and it's a quarter damage if you make the saving throw. Again, no other class gets this. We'll take a break from the awesome and only give you speaking with any living creature forever at level 10 to make a sort of language sandwich. That's sorta lame, so tell you what, at level 12 you have permanent Mind Blank. That means no ESP, no Hold or Slow spells, no Geas, no Quest, and no charm spells. That's not quite good enough, so at level 14, once a day, you vanish. Not just turn invisible, but for one round per experience level, you don't exist to any creature, living or undead. Absolutely, 100% undetectable. Now, level 16 is our last level, so let's end with a bang - you get Gentle Touch, which lets you, on a touch, do almost anything. Saving throw? Nope! They just can't have more HD then you do. Charm. Cureall. Death. Quest. Paralysis. Each of these lasting 24 hours (except Death which is, you know, death).

...There is a good reason monks were considered hilariously overpowered in previous editions.

Liberty's Edge

A Man In Black wrote:
ciretose wrote:
I've posted builds level by level and asked people to critique them.

Yeah, you've been pretty good about that. My point is only that there isn't any sort of mystic secret to the monk that you need extensive experience to understand, and that's speaking as someone with reasonably extensive experience playing with them as a GM and a player.

The rest we don't really disagree about. My beefs with the post-UC monk is that being halfway decent at melee fighting requires either an obscure weapon or obscure feat/ability combos, that far too many options are useless traps, and that the core monk is still insanely weak.

This is a significant improvement over PF core, where the monk was basically bad at everything and was only good at things that weren't useful.

I do agree with you that some of the patches are just that, patches.

Sean made a comment that they may be doing a re-write at some point for the monk prior to any version change. My suggestion was to have ability point boosts to Str/Dex/Con at appropriate levels to get around the MAD issue (I also think this thematically fits the best of any "fix" when you consider the basic concept is physical perfection) and adding a way to enchant your hands directly, perhaps through some kind of ritual that has the same cost as enchanting a weapon. Armor is already handled through bracers, although I wouldn't mind being able to enchant the monk body directly (not stacking, obviously)

I think the monk works, currently. I don't think either of the above would "break" the monk, and I think they would make it fit better thematically so you don't need the "patches" to make it work.

Liberty's Edge

Atarlost wrote:


5 minutes is an eternity in combat. 50 rounds. Remember, we're talking roles which means PC monks, which means the wizard is an NPC. NPCs only have one encounter per day: the one with the PCs.

It is. And at 5th level it is your highest level spell, meaning you have it at best a few times a day, if you memorized it multiple times or want to burn your arcane bonded item for the day.

You cast fly (standard action) and you fly up as your first action in combat, if you get initiative.

You are now in the 30 feet at best (ascent at half speed, you only had a move action left) so well within ranged attack range.

At 5th level all the monk saves are high (+4), but you didn't attack. You just burned your highest level spell to be a flying rather than standing target.

As I said, if the monk win initiative he will try to stun you, an attack against your low save that will also do damage. If successful, next round the monk gets a full flurry attack (which could include another stunning fist) before you can act.

Fly at 5th is nice. But it's also the best spell you have at that level and it doesn't really "win".


ciretose wrote:
My suggestion was to have ability point boosts to Str/Dex/Con at appropriate levels to get around the MAD issue (I also think this thematically fits the best of any "fix" when you consider the basic concept is physical perfection)

That's actually not a terrible idea. Thanks for sharing.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

ProfessorCirno wrote:
To go back to monks, I sadly don't have my AD&D stuff with me, but I do have the good ol' Rules Cyclopedia for the non-Advanced D&D. So, let's go back to an age where elf was a class and the monk was called the Mystic.

I should find my copy of Blackmoor. I do recall that the AD&D monk was more or less unchanged from Blackmoor, though.

Interesting trivia: the D&D monk is based on Kwai Chang Caine, from Kung Fu.


Ashiel wrote:
I'm surprised, actually. I've never found monks to be all that resilient beyond their nice saving throw bonuses (and they don't lead the race in that department either). Their HP is medium, their AC is poor (unless you invest excessively in Dexterity and Wisdom and then it's merely mediocre), and their nice defensive abilities take a bit to kick in (evasion is nice at 2nd level, which makes monks a great dipping class, but stuff like purity of body requires 5th level, and diamond body requires 11th level, and diamond soul at 13th level is a trap because it makes it harder to buff you (the monk will have to spend a standard action to lower spell resistance so that he can be hit with stuff like haste, death ward, freedom of movement, etc)...

Actually, there's a feat in Drow of the Underdark, Reactive Resistance, that allows you to raise and lower SR as an immediate action. Great balance for a feat, and considering there's no analogue in PF yet I see no issue allowing it in my games; DotU was one of the later 3.5 books and more in line with PF's balance than other 3rd edition resources. Does wonders for making spell resistance less a trap.

That said, heavy investiture in Dex and Wis isn't a terrible idea for a monk, especially if you go whole hog into combat maneuvers and couple with weapon finesse and agile maneuvers. I want to say that somewhere in 3.0 there was also a feat that allowed you to use Wis in place of Str for melee damage bonus, which again isn't so imbalanced so as to preclude it from PF play (at least IMO). Either way, Dex and Wis still do double duty for Reflex and Will saves, and a properly-focused monk can dump Str, Int and Cha and be none the worse for it.

Now, when we start talking about exotic multiclassing, that's where we'll just have to agree to disagree. As a GM and a player I strongly frown upon them, considering when I sit down to play an RPG I play a character, not a disembodied set of optimized stats. You can do both, and I sometimes do, but the further into left field the character gets the harder it is to justify from a role-playing stance with some of the munchkin favorites being highly improbable if not outright impossible.

The Paladin/Sorcerer combo is actually my number-one red-flag combo for that precise reason: I've seen at least half a dozen players do it and of all of them, none of them did it for role-play reasons and maybe one of them hadn't lost their class abilities by the end of the first game session. I had one guy try that trash, wanted to play a Paladin/Sorcerer of Ilmater. I nodded, smiled, and let him roll it up...and the very first thing I did that entire campaign was have his character witness a man beating his wife. Within five minutes he was rerolling with a stern admonishment from me to play a character or GTFO.

Pal 2/Sor 8/EK 10 is caster level 17 by default and doesn't get access to 9th-level spells. Magical Knack, Practiced Spellcaster, and the like only add to effective caster level and don't grant spells per day.

Anyhow, back to Monks. IMO, I wouldn't exactly call them a gish on the back of ki abilities. To me, a gish character maximizes solo performance at the cost of party synergy. That's really the opposite of a monk: the monk's ki abilities are intended to fulfill a party role in a pinch as needed and a handful of clutch abilities on the side, with party synergy emanating from opportunities created for teammates through combat maneuvers.


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ciretose wrote:
Atarlost wrote:


5 minutes is an eternity in combat. 50 rounds. Remember, we're talking roles which means PC monks, which means the wizard is an NPC. NPCs only have one encounter per day: the one with the PCs.

It is. And at 5th level it is your highest level spell, meaning you have it at best a few times a day, if you memorized it multiple times or want to burn your arcane bonded item for the day.

You cast fly (standard action) and you fly up as your first action in combat, if you get initiative.

You are now in the 30 feet at best (ascent at half speed, you only had a move action left) so well within ranged attack range.

At 5th level all the monk saves are high (+4), but you didn't attack. You just burned your highest level spell to be a flying rather than standing target.

As I said, if the monk win initiative he will try to stun you, an attack against your low save that will also do damage. If successful, next round the monk gets a full flurry attack (which could include another stunning fist) before you can act.

Fly at 5th is nice. But it's also the best spell you have at that level and it doesn't really "win".

You're really not thinking this through.

This isn't about the role of the wizard, it's about the role of the monk. The monk is the PC. The wizard is the NPC.

There are two basic ways this can go off the top of my head.

A) He's hunting you (or travelers in general) and casts fly to make his attack run.

B) You're hunting him and he uses his standard action to cast fly and his move action to leave via the window. He'll be back for (A) in another encounter.

Sure it's his highest level slot, but it makes him pretty much immune to all those melee optimized barbarians and rogues and monks. And he's an NPC. He only has one encounter -- ever -- unless he's a recurring villain, and even those don't go above one encounter per day.

The monk's apparent role is anti-caster. How does a monk handle the obvious anti-melee strategy of a fifth level wizard fighting out of doors?


Eacaraxe wrote:
To me, a gish character maximizes solo performance at the cost of party synergy. That's really the opposite of a monk: the monk's ki abilities are intended to fulfill a party role in a pinch as needed and a handful of clutch abilities on the side, with party synergy emanating from opportunities created for teammates through combat maneuvers.

Yeah, a monk maximize solo performance with ki points for synergy and teamwork reasons, while a gish do the same as well as he enhance his teammates at the cost of party synergy.

Not to mention monks are 63% more RP than gish.

... Actually, I think my skill in English language fails here, since what you write doesn't make any sense for me.


GâtFromKI wrote:

Yeah, a monk maximize solo performance with ki points for synergy and teamwork reasons, while a gish do the same as well as he enhance his teammates at the cost of party synergy.

Not to mention monks are 63% more RP than gish.

... Actually, I think my skill in English language fails here, since what you write doesn't make any sense for me.

Well, you're dead set on provoking a response from me, so may as well out with it.

Yes, a monk ideally spends his ki pool to react to ongoing conditions and fill gaps as necessary. It's a standby ability and not a core ability, because what the monk should be ideally doing -- lots of combat maneuvers and flurrying for control and damage when applicable -- does not not stem from an exhaustible resource. That is for the good of the party, synergizes well with other classes (pinning an opponent so a TWF rogue can get off a sneak attack full-attack for example, or using dirty trick to blind an opponent going after a squishie for another), and does not detract from their core purpose. They're a reactionary class, meaning they react to what's currently going on, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

This is compared to someone like the magus, whose "support" options are an exhaustible resource that is very limited in scope, and comes at direct cost to their primary focus which is striking. Every buff a magus memorizes is one less spellstrike they have, which means at their best they are memorizing just enough buffs for themselves and leaving the rest of their slots for damaging spells, and burning arcana in emergencies.

But hey, whatever. You obviously have an axe to grind against monks, and enjoy magi very much. You've made that abundantly clear. Don't allow me to knock you off your high horse, you're entitled to your opinion. So am I....which leads me to:

And yeah, there is an extraordinarily strong correlation between being a crappy role-player and a munchkin, and playing a gish. Stronger than any other class, role, or style in the game. This is coming from someone who has 25+ years' experience playing D&D alone and has easily played with over a hundred different people, and observed quite a bit more than that, between local and semi-local groups, cons of all different sizes, being invited to sit in on other groups, and networking with other GM's.

Offended by that? You would do very well to consider whether you're helping by bashing on one class simply because its playing style doesn't fit your narrow conception of what makes for a good character, which is oh-so-coincidentally the aftermentioned munchkin choice and for munchkin reasons.


Eacaraxe wrote:
And yeah, there is an extraordinarily strong correlation between being a crappy role-player and a munchkin, and playing a gish. Stronger than any other class, role, or style in the game. This is coming from someone who has 25+ years' experience playing D&D alone and has easily played with over a hundred different people, and observed quite a bit more than that, between local and semi-local groups, cons of all different sizes, being invited to sit in on other groups, and networking with other GM's.

Believe it or not, I agree, experimental tests in independent laboratories definitely prove that the monk is 63% more RP than any gish, and that Jar-jar Binks is the best RP character ever.

Quote:
But hey, whatever. You obviously have an axe to grind against monks, and enjoy magi very much.

Actually, I think Magus is one of the weakest caster classes. But every time you mention casters, "yadda yadda wizards yadda yadda druids". Hence, I use one of the weakest caster as an example.

I could talk about the bard, but the bard deliver 19% less RP than a magus - this is coming from someone who has 20+ year experience and has easily played with over a hundred different peoples and has used some dozen of different systems.


Eacaraxe wrote:

Actually, there's a feat in Drow of the Underdark, Reactive Resistance, that allows you to raise and lower SR as an immediate action. Great balance for a feat, and considering there's no analogue in PF yet I see no issue allowing it in my games; DotU was one of the later 3.5 books and more in line with PF's balance than other 3rd edition resources. Does wonders for making spell resistance less a trap.

That said, heavy investiture in Dex and Wis isn't a terrible idea for a monk, especially if you go whole hog into combat maneuvers and couple with weapon finesse and agile maneuvers. I want to say that somewhere in 3.0 there was also a feat that allowed you to use Wis in place of Str for melee damage bonus, which again isn't so imbalanced so as to preclude it from PF play (at least IMO). Either way, Dex and Wis still do double duty for Reflex and Will saves, and a properly-focused monk can dump Str, Int and Cha and be none the worse for it.

It's not terrible if you don't mind spending the feats for it. Dexterity focused builds which use finesse-able weapons to preform combat maneuvers is an arguably cheap way of stacking your CMB in large order. The only problem is once you catch the tiger, what do you do with it? Grappled is a pretty mean condition, but it doesn't stop your opponent from tearing your face off, and you still require magical assistance outside your class (or at least a lot of potions) to keep your AC respectable.

Also I believe the feat in Wisdom to attacks feat is in the Book of Exalted Deeds, so you may need to adjust it to fit your drow-focused game, if it's an exalted feat (it might be general, I forget).

Quote:
Now, when we start talking about exotic multiclassing, that's where we'll just have to agree to disagree. As a GM and a player I strongly frown upon them, considering when I sit down to play an RPG I play a character, not a disembodied set of optimized stats. You can do both, and I sometimes do, but the further into left field the character gets the harder it is to justify from a role-playing stance with some of the munchkin favorites being highly improbable if not outright impossible.

Hardly. Most of the famous characters are in fact multiclassed fairly heavily. Drizzt and Eliminster in Forgotten Realms were both statted with no less than 3 different classes. Classes are merely the building blocks for mechanically representing your character. Most classes do not have innate roleplaying restrictions. A Ranger / Barbarian / Cleric / Druid as mentioned isn't even a stretch, especially if they worship a goddess such as Eliastree.

The vast majority of the classes can be multiclassed while making exceptionally believable characters, and don't run into issues. Hell, most of the dipping classes are even well suited for this sort of thing. Monk? The first few levels don't get much in the way of mysticism, so it's a good dip for someone practicing pugilism. Barbarian? Generic toughness. Rage is pretty much "heroic determination" which virtually every hero in every story has a "the s~+~ has hit the fan" mode where they grit their teeth and rock socks. Bard? It's a bard. And so on and so forth.

Quote:
The Paladin/Sorcerer combo is actually my number-one red-flag combo for that precise reason: I've seen at least half a dozen players do it and of all of them, none of them did it for role-play reasons and maybe one of them hadn't lost their class abilities by the end of the first game session. I had one guy try that trash, wanted to play a Paladin/Sorcerer of Ilmater. I nodded, smiled, and let him roll it up...and the very first thing I did that entire campaign was have his character witness a man beating his wife. Within five minutes he was rerolling with a stern admonishment from me to play a character or GTFO.

Actually I've played a character like this. It sounds to me like either your character didn't really consider the paladin aspect of his character, or you deliberately attempt to create hardships for him just because of his class combination because you somehow feel it is wrong.

It's not very hard. There is factually nothing different between playing a normal paladin and a paladin sorcerer, other than one has a focus on spellcasting rather than swinging a sword.

Quote:
Pal 2/Sor 8/EK 10 is caster level 17 by default and doesn't get access to 9th-level spells. Magical Knack, Practiced Spellcaster, and the like only add to effective caster level and don't grant spells per day.

Ah yes, indeed. I forgot about that -1 caster level with Eldritch Knight. Still, most of the good spells are from 3-8 (but losing timestop would hurt) so it's not that bad. Oracle is a good choice as well, since they're already divinely focused. A paladin/juju oracle can even become undead happily enough, since they make lawful good undead, which is excellent if you're trying to roleplay a Paladin of Wee Jass or similar.

Liberty's Edge

Atarlost wrote:


Sure it's his highest level slot, but it makes him pretty much immune to all those melee optimized barbarians and rogues and monks. And he's an NPC. He only has one encounter -- ever -- unless he's a recurring villain, and even those don't go above one encounter per day.

Immune?

Again, you are max 30 feat in the air, what melee fighter doesn't have a ranged backup weapon? Hell if I'm Zen Archer your move was nothing, and Qinggong can scorching ray you.

The wizard has low hit points and low AC, and if I don't decide to just hit you with arrows now I can ready an action to shoot you as soon as you start to cast in order to disrupt your next spell since at best you can only get 90 feet away before casting next round (move + standard).

The advantage martial and melee classes get is that they are ready to go for more than one encounter a day and don't have to worry about "burning" all their good spells on that one special encounter.

This is why if you look at the AP's they generally have several encounters a day.

"A" monk role is the anti-caster because a monk has all good saves, good combat maneuver bonus (for grappling and such), and an attack that is against the poor save for casters (fort), and high touch ac to negate rays and such.

A monk is also able to fight in combat about as well as a ranger, sneak just below a rogue, outrun a barbarian, etc...

You want to reduce it to "A monk is..." and that is silly. A monk is effective against casters, and effective in melee, doesn't need to put on armor or memorize spells if your ambushed at nights, etc...

At 5th level the monk has two bonus feats that don't require pre-requisites, evasion, functionally twf which works with shruiken, moves at 40 ft a round, is immune to all diseases, has a +2 against enchantments and all good saves

You fly out a window (conveniently open and large enough not to require the squeeze mechanics I assume in your ideal scenario) and what? You run away and come back hoping you once again win initiative and...run away?

If you don't win initiative, or I sneak up on you assuming you have a 16 con (very high) you have a +4 fort save.

Assuming I have a 16 Wisdom (relatively low) my stunning fist save is 15.

So you have a less than 50/50 of making it. Sure I may miss you, but then again your AC is atrocious.

If I don't, I am now next to you for flurry, I can make 3 attacks if I burn a ki point, meaning I've gotten 4 attacks at this point, and I can try to stun you again.

Your 5th level wizard is basically playing rocket tag, and the spell you used (fly) has no effect on anyone else and still keeps you vulnerable to ranged attacks. And that is your highest level spell, now burnt.

Shadow Lodge

you may as well stop this, gatfromki is a troll, look at his post log. all he does is find people and argue with them. he gets his kicks from antagonizing people and inserting his opinion where ever he deems fit. ive already ignored him, i hope you do as well

Liberty's Edge

Gworeth wrote:

... But a monk on a horse... that would be, like, really fast!

Relevant


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TheSideKick wrote:
he gets his kicks from antagonizing people and inserting his opinion where ever he deems fit.

... As opposed to Eacaraxe, who antagonize only with peoples who aren't here, eg by saying that all person playing a bard is a crappy role-player and a munchkin. That's far more relevant.

Anyway, don't you know that trolls provide 63% more roleplay?

Liberty's Edge

GâtFromKI wrote:
TheSideKick wrote:
he gets his kicks from antagonizing people and inserting his opinion where ever he deems fit.

... As opposed to Eacaraxe, who antagonize only with peoples who aren't here, eg by saying that all person playing a bard is a crappy role-player and a munchkin. That's far more relevant.

Anyway, don't you know that trolls provide 63% more roleplay?

Point illustrated. Where is that greasemonkey ignore script...


Kegluneq wrote:
Hurm. Slow Fall is significantly less awesome than I remember. I may just have to house-rule it into Featherfall. That I concede readily.

that's the whole problem of the monk: peoples see they have many power with high number at level 20, and:

  • they think many of those abilities are useful, there's so many...
  • they think at any level, they have many abilities with high number.
  • they forget that any spellcaster has as many ability as he has known spells... the table of known spells of a bard isn't really impressive, but give actually more abilities than any martial.

    For the first point, cf slow fall. Give "feather fall, at-will, at level 1", it's not an overpowered ability, it's fun and sometime useful, and last but not least: it do the job. Slow fall doesn't, but fill the table with high numbers.

    For the second, cf fast movement. The bonus increase incredibly slowly. You need to be level 3 to have it at all (the barbarian has it at level 1), at level 5-6-7 haste becomes a very common buff and it doesn't stack with fast movement, and you need to be level 12 to have a better bonus than the most common buff in the game. Not to mention a bonus to land speed is useful, but it's not that great, especially if you don't have a good standard action. You could double the speed bonus, and/or allow it to stack with haste, it wouldn't be overpowered and it would allow the ability to be useful before the levels in which everything is flying.

    cf also the whole "not full BAB except when he has a full BAB" nonsense: it fill the table with abilities a fighter doesn't have, but is actually less powerful.

    For the third point... Well it's Pathfinder: to be versatile you need spellcasting. Spellcasting is the difference between "you can do 2 special thing, plus the things anyone can do - manoeuvre etc" and "you can do 20+ special thing, and the things anyone can do - manoeuvre etc". The monk is maybe a bit more versatile than a fighter while into melee, but in the end, the only thing the two can do is going into melee.

    sir_shajir wrote:
    Btw the monks I play are usually tanks, strikers and support characters all rolled into one because of their versatility, mobility strength and defensive abilities. And they good perception, stealth (cause everyone has see invisibility as the game drags on) and sense motive (a lil bit of role playing never hurt anyone). When I play a monk, I plan to disarm ...

    That's also what the fighter, the barbarian and the rogue do...

    Actually, monk, fighter, barbarian and rogue are all the same class; they run around, do damage and sometime a manoeuvre. Out-of-combat, they have the same skills as anyone. There is as much difference between them as between a aberrant sorcerer and an enchanter wizard...

    That's the whole problem when you try to define the role of the monk: is the role of a aberrant sorcerer different than the role of an enchanter wizard?... No, their role is to do arcane stuff.


  • Ashiel wrote:
    It's not terrible if you don't mind spending the feats for it. Dexterity focused builds which use finesse-able weapons to preform combat maneuvers is an arguably cheap way of stacking your CMB in large order. The only problem is once you catch the tiger, what do you do with it? Grappled is a pretty mean condition, but it doesn't stop your opponent from tearing your face off, and you still require magical assistance outside your class (or at least a lot of potions) to keep your AC respectable.

    Oh, it's a fantastic way to do it and a lot of fun in the process. The technical fighters are some of the most fun to play, and bigger challenges as a GM. But, where to go from there is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to party synergy: you pin somebody and the rogue opens up with a full-attack since they don't have to worry about getting smished, for example. Or you flurry with a ton of combat maneuvers, well and truly cheese off every monster in arm's reach then go defensive and spend ki for AC. Greater trip an opponent that's surrounded by martials and watch the AoO's fly. Grapple and drag an enemy away from a squishie. Those aren't flashy, overblown, attention-grabbing moves, but they get the job done (and pretty well, IMO) and a lot more interesting to play out.

    Party interdependence isn't exactly a detriment to a class. Any martial class needs someone capable of healing to keep them in the fight. Support characters need buff/debuff/heal targets, and someone to do the smishing. Ranged or melee strikers need martial characters to keep the baddies off them while they build up steam and when they're running out of it. Squishies of any type need someone to make sure the baddies aren't going to get a surprise round and smish them before the party can mount a defense.

    Lesson #1 of Party Composition 101 is that the party should be, and when built and operating properly is, a gestalt. Classes which may be facially weak but contribute greatly to that ideal are not crappy classes. That's where monks fit in, at least IMO; they're an offensive support class that is fluid enough to fill most given roles in a pinch as necessary.

    Quote:
    Also I believe the feat in Wisdom to attacks feat is in the Book of Exalted Deeds, so you may need to adjust it to fit your drow-focused game, if it's an exalted feat (it might be general, I forget).

    That sounds about right. All the same, no one in my game right now is playing a monk (the party is one fighter, one antipaladin, one rogue, one cleric, one wizard, and two sorcerers) so there's no real impetus for me to go feat hunting. Like I mentioned, I really pushed the hybridized or gishy classes because they fit the game, but nobody bit. The players for some reason just decided they would make straightforward role-locked characters and build a group as a team...in the evil campaign. It was kind of a letdown, really.

    Quote:
    Hardly. Most of the famous characters are in fact multiclassed fairly heavily. Drizzt and Eliminster in Forgotten Realms were both statted with no less than 3 different classes. Classes are merely the building blocks for mechanically representing your character.

    Ugh, I definitely wouldn't use Forgotten Realms metaplot characters as the basis for that. FR is notoriously Mary Sue-tastic. I mean hell, look at Elminster for example: he's a hodgepodge of a character who while having a semi-believable multiclass array is powerful mainly by merit of having more levels than most deities, the benefit of the Forgotten Realms Plot-Armor Template, and "should be NPC-only" feats you'd swear were written by Mongoose Publishing and not WotC.

    Quote:

    Actually I've played a character like this. It sounds to me like either your character didn't really consider the paladin aspect of his character, or you deliberately attempt to create hardships for him just because of his class combination because you somehow feel it is wrong.

    It's not very hard. There is factually nothing different between playing a normal paladin and a paladin sorcerer, other than one has a focus on spellcasting rather than swinging a sword.

    I freely admit that example was a laser-guided DM karma bomb. I knew and had played with the guy before, he's a munchkin and couldn't RP his way out of a paper bag; he was hunting for numerical advantages and hadn't put one whit of thought into how he should be playing the character. His only whine was that I "let him make a really good character, singled him out and 'killed it' in five minutes for no reason". Well, no kidding; I knew what he was up to, and if he'd put a tenth of the thought into how to play his character that he did into optimizing it, the character would have had a lifetime of longer than five minutes.

    Seriously, "stop the guy beating his wife" is Paladin 101. Especially if you're a Paladin of the god of mercy, the oppressed, perseverance and martyrdom. Doubly so when the campaign guide specifically states paladins of their order seek out and alleviate the suffering of others by taking it on themselves. That may have been a laser-guided DM karma bomb, but on the other hand it was a potential Crowning Moment of Awesome, scenery-chewing in all its guilty pleasure glory, character establishment moment on a silver platter in the first five minutes of game play.

    I'm not saying that exotic or optimized characters cannot be properly role-played, just that they can stretch credibility at times and raise the question of whether the player's justifying a set of stats, or building a character whose stats happen to best-fit. A Paladin/Sorcerer/EK would be a perfectly reasonable character, under the right conditions and with the right player; perhaps, again in the context of FR, they're a worshipper of Mystra that hunts down people who would abuse the Weave for their own ends, or better yet Shadow Weave users. That's a character custom-made to fit perfectly with the Harpers. That's just not a character I would be comfortable just anybody playing or under any possible circumstance.


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    [THREADJACK]People, please stop refering to god-type casters as munchkins gotta win D&D by my self types, they aren't. God-type casters are focused in buffing, debiffing, battlefield control and/or troubleshooting. They do these by picking spells that are usefuls for multiple situations and covering all the basics.

    By they very desing philosophy, warp reality into making the fight easier for the team, they are team players and would potentially suck in an arena fight because they don't pick most SoD and self defensive spells.

    Humbly,
    Yawar[/THREADJACK]

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