Ninja-monk, could it work ?


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I've not yet played a multi class character.
I was wondering what class could have potential, also on higher lvl, when combined with the monk.

When also browsing the ninja the other day, i was wondering if those two could be combined to a certain extend without becoming a joke.

Example: a flanking FoB with a ninja's SA (with effects like pressure points).


The monk and the ninja are among the weakness classes in the game. With pummeling style the monk is not bad and with sap adept and Master ninja is able to do ok but nok all that often.
In a 10+ level game i think you can be as good as most other non spellcasters. But you will be very MAD with only Int being non important.
A 2-4 level monk dip May work for flurry, ius, stunning first, wis to ac, some feats And pehaps even the extra ki options monks have and then ninja for the rest. And i have often tryed to make this character.
You dont need to be a joke but single class monk with pummeling style will be stronger and with Qigong archtype you will even have a bit of ninja magic options.


I'm playing in a fluffy campaign centered around monks right now, and I'm using a monk/ninja build. It's challenging. The damage output is relatively low and inconsistent compared to the others in the party optimized for combat.

Scarab Sages

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If you want to play a multiclass Monk/Ninja, do yourself a favor and play a single class Stygian Slayer with the Irori combat style. You have unarmed strike progression, Darkness and Invisibility tricks, Sneak Attack, Full BAB, and studied target. You'll hit harder, be more accurate, and more durable.


Its reasonably effective if you do it right. Actually, the player in my Jade Regent Campaign who was a Monk 1/Ninja the rest was consistently one of the highest DPR characters we had. Obviously the SA immune enemies gave him fits, but otherwise he was pretty effective.


I get the picture.

Okay, thanks for the heads up on this.


Cap. Darling wrote:

But you will be very MAD with only Int being non important.

Actually charisma is also a non-important stat since with the monk levels you can have both ki pools based on wisdom.


Some options would be:
a two level dip in flowing monk with snake style and snake fang by level 9 let's you aoo anyone who misses you and make them flat footed to your next flurry.
Sohei let's you flurry in brawling armor and always act in the surprise round but doesn't stack with the above. That lets you ignore wisdom and be less mad though.
Or 2 levels in ninja for pressure point strike and the option for additional ninja tricks with feats.

Scarab Sages

Nicos wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:

But you will be very MAD with only Int being non important.

Actually charisma is also a non-important stat since with the monk levels you can have both ki pools based on wisdom.

Not quote. You have a single ki pool, not two. That ki pool is based off wisdom or charisma, and you stack your levels for the total ki points in your pool, but you only add one ability modifier.

Ninja wrote:
If the ninja possesses levels in another class that grants points to a ki pool, ninja levels stack with the levels of that class to determine the total number of ki points in the combined pool, but only one ability score modifier is added to the total. The choice of which score to use is made when the second class ability is gained, and once made, the choice is set. The ninja can now use ki points from this pool to power the abilities of every class she possesses that grants a ki pool.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you are permitted 3rd party material, the rogue genius games talented monk and talented rogue (which basically takes the classes and their archetypes and breaks everything down into talents that you can choose each level) have rules for mixing the two with relative freedom without multiclassing. Only thing you cant to is combine offensive options (SA and flurry).


Human Monk 1 Ninja 1

Str 18
Dex 14
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 7

Buy a Mage Armor wand and you'll be fine, especially if you choose your feats and archetypes carefully.

Sovereign Court

A split between the two would be bad.

A 1-2 level dip in Sohei Monk combined with ninja can be pretty decent. Though now you might be better off with a 2-3 level dip in Snakebite Striker Brawler. (3 levels if you plan to grab improved feint, two otherwise.)

Still not amazing either way - but viable.


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If I were playing a Monk/Ninja, I would be a Drunken Master, just for the fun of the practically infinite invisibility.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This can work with 3-4 levels monk and rest ninja.
Then take the feats monastic legacy, knockout artist, sap adept line, weapon focus IUS.
Strongly consider going DEX with weapon finesse to reduce MAD.
Stats should be DEX>CON>WIS>CHA.
Or you take 4 levels monk and the ki pool depending on WIS.
That´s actually better because you now have only 3 stats to worry about.

Then at level 10 ninja go unarmed combat mastery, ninja level -4 stacking with monk levels for IUS damage.
Combine this with monks robe and have fun.

Sample without race, only monks robes and free feats::

Unnamed Hero
No race monk 4/ninja 10 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 13)
Medium
Init +4; Senses Perception +2
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 untyped bonus)
hp 111 (14d8+38)
Fort +9, Ref +15, Will +9; +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities evasion, improved uncanny dodge
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +15/+10 (2d10) or
. . unarmed strike flurry of blows +14/+14/+9/+4 (2d10)
Special Attacks flurry of blows, sneak attack +5d6, stunning fist (7/day, DC 19)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 10, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +10; CMB +11; CMD 28
Feats Improved Unarmed Strike, Knockout Artist[UC], Monastic Legacy[UC], Sap Adept[UC], Sap Master[UC], Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +4 (+8 to jump), Disguise +3
Languages Common
SQ fast movement, ki pool (9 points magic), light steps, maneuver training, ninja trick (unarmed combat mastery), no trace +3, poison use, slow fall 20 ft.
Other Gear monk's robe, 150 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Fast Movement (+10 ft.) The Monk adds 10 or more feet to his base speed.
Flurry of Blows +9/+9/+4/-1 (Ex) As full-rd action, higher BAB and combo unarmed/monk wep as if two-weapon fighting.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Lv >=14) (Ex) Retain DEX bonus to AC when flat-footed. You cannot be flanked unless the attacker is Level 14+.
Ki Pool (9/day) (Su) You have a ki pool equal to 1/2 your monk level + your Wisdom modifier.
Knockout Artist (+5) Gain +2 damage per sneak attack when dealing nonlethal sneak damage
Light Steps (Ex) When moving up to twice your normal movement, you may ignore difficult terrain and can move over any surface.
Maneuver Training (Ex) CMB = other BABs + Monk level
No Trace +3 (Ex) Survival DCs to track you are at +3, gain +3 to Stealth when you are stationary and not acting.
Poison Use You do not risk poisoning yourself accidentally while poisoning a weapon.
Sap Adept Gain bonus damage on nonlethal attacks,
Sap Master Deal twice your sneak attack damage when dealing nonlethal damage
Slow Fall 20 ft. (Ex) Treat a fall as shorter than normal if within arm's reach of a wall.
Sneak Attack +5d6 Attacks deal extra dam if flank foe or if foe is flat-footed.
Stunning Fist (7/day, DC 19) You can stun an opponent with an unarmed attack.

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at http://www.wolflair.com
Pathfinder® and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC®, and are used under license.

Sovereign Court

Don't know if this help you or not, but I play a flowing monk in PFS, you can look at his stats if you like, I'm posting with him.

I read all over the place how underpowered and weak monks are. I've not had any complaints about mine and ofter get a response from others in my group about how impressed they were with my charaters actions.

Basic overview: Flowing monk, dex based, tripping focus.

points of interest: vicious stomp feat, redirection (archtype ability), unbalancing counter (archtype ability), improved trip, dex based adds to AC and additional AoO's (if add combat reflexes)

why this matters: tripped or unbalanced enemies would allow you to use SA most of time.

I personally am seriuosly considering tossing a lvl of witch with hex strike (evil eye)to debuff the enemies even more, and open up the use of wands (self buff mage armor and other magic goodies)... but the same plan could be used to offer SA or other abilities you may have your eye on. I might suggest looking at alchemist(vivisectionist) for potions, SA, mutagen buffs, extracts, ect. It would depend on if your trying to add any other specific class features, besides SA.

No one needs to disect my build here, or argue the details of my character. this is just provided as a possible way for the original post'r to flesh out his character idea.


Whoops, the 20-point stat block I have above should have 14 Wis.

Hayato Ken wrote:


Strongly consider going DEX with weapon finesse to reduce MAD.
Stats should be DEX>CON>WIS>CHA.

Dex builds do very low damage on a non-sneak attack. They also tend to get combined with Two-Weapon Fighting which puts you behind when doing anything other than a full attack (and sometimes even then). As a Ninja, one of your main features is being able to vanish and then sneak attack, but that only applies to your first attack. The fixation on dex-based TWF rogues (or ninjas) is one of the reasons they are seen as a poor class.

Hayato Ken wrote:
This can work with 3-4 levels monk and rest ninja.

Yeah, you'd want to get to 4 so you can get the Monk's ki pool and +3 BAB. Sacrificing BAB on a sneak attack character is a bad idea.

Silver Crusade

I went Rogue-Thug, Maneuver Master (blind/trip) - you don't need vanish when the target can't see you. Sap master adds a bit of damage when you can do non lethal. Overall you can put the following conditions on the target. Dex build is where I went - with an amulet of mighty fists (agile)

blind (lasts until the target gets a move action)
sickened
prone
shaken (and/or) panicked (depending on your intimidate roll)

I thought about ninja - but you have to go either wisdom or charisma..and I don't see charisma really being a big need compared to wisdom. So get the ki pool from the monk, then add ninja (2 ki pools will stack off the first ability used.)

So far no troubles - except a double snake eyes save or die (I don't care what bonus you have on saves double ones will take you out.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kavaki Gossamar wrote:
I read all over the place how underpowered and weak monks are. I've not had any complaints about mine and ofter get a response from others in my group about how impressed they were with my charaters actions.

That's because the flowing monk is one of the better archetypes, and PFS is largely low-level where the monk's weaknesses don't show up so badly. Also, how much the monk shows up as underpowered depends on the company which can vary a lot in PFS. A well-made monk in a party of poorly constructed fighters and rogues looks pretty neat. A monk next to an optimised paladin, inquisitor, and arcanist soon feels like a passenger.

@Torchlyte:
The Agile weapon property solves dex-focussed problems.


If your not so keen for FoB. Master of Many Styles can get the Snake Fang feat by level 2. The problem with rogues/ninjas and other secondary frontliners is that the do not have the AC and HP to stay in the heat of battle for long...

Dex based with Weapon Finesse, Slashing Grace, Combat Reflexes and Snake Fang. Can stay in battle for much longer. Using ki points for the dodge bonus... 4th level monk is engouh.

Focusing on defense with Offensive Defense rogue talent can give you a high AC bonus. Damage will come for fanking sneak attack bonus and from snake fang.


Don't believe the monk is as weak as they say. There are many style feats that easily power up the monk. You could even go vanilla monk, not try the new monk types and just buff them with strong feats and be good to go.

I think monk/rogue can work, but not in a game with consistently high Acs, unless you are very tricky and often buffed.


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Far Strike Monk4/Ninja-Scout+ is great, Zen Archer Monk 4/Ninja-Scout+ is great.

Monk? 4/Ninja-Scout 5 focusing on non-lethal damage could be fun. Sap Adept/Sap Master/Knockout Artist, On a charge/flat-footed/flanking scenarios you could do 6d6+18 nonlethal damage not counting STR, then swift action invisible after the attack and do it again next round. Be kind of fun.


It's not all that good. Still, you could probably keep the same fluff and go straight ninja. Now you can dump wisdom, take IUS and the two-weapon fighting tree.

Amulet of mighty fists cost the same as two +x shortswords, anyway.

There's that advanced ninja talent that lets your unarmed damage scale, so that's ok.

Does your GM allow third-party? The Dreamscarred Press' Stalker does precisely what you want fluffwise, with a heap of power on top. If you focus on unarmed, it's about as good as mid-op barbarian, even though it does less damage.

Lantern Lodge

slashing grace + temple sword or nine-ring broadsword will work wonders for you (allows Dex to damage meaning you only need 13 Str so you can pick up Power Attack). You could go weapon adept for the extra focus can on using a blade or sohei to wear light armor and still be able to flurry (you lose your Wis & monk level bonus to AC though).

Also, I would highly advise making a Dex build with slashing grace as this will put you within the golden rule of two ability focuses, Dex & Wis. I would also recommend you only do a 2-4 level dip in one of the classes.


Slashing Grace doesn't let you do that without a swashbuckler dip.


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The problem is that without it you don't get to actually finesse those weapons (since they are not finess-able).

That said, there's a new magic item now that makes it possible, so it's actually workable.

Lantern Lodge

LoneKnave wrote:

The problem is that without it you don't get to actually finesse those weapons (since they are not finess-able).

Deleted post to reflect this ;)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Avoron wrote:
If I were playing a Monk/Ninja, I would be a Drunken Master, just for the fun of the practically infinite invisibility.

Not only infinite invisibility but also infinite inebriation! I also want to play a drunken master ninja. :)


your choices may depend on what makes your character a monk/ninja.

listing monk 1st implies to me that you want a monk with some ninja flavor added. Someone else might envision the broad term on monk/ninja very differently.

in order to provide the best suggestions, it would help to know what elements of each class you deem important with your character concept. Asking "could it work" is also a bit general. Are you only concerned about combat and dpr, role playing, out-of-combat npc interactions, all of the above, ect?


I'm building up a character for a monk/ninja build at the moment. The plan is Hungry Ghost Qinggong Monk to level 5 then go Ninja. The character is only at level three right now so I can't comment on how effective it will be but I can say that a dip into Unarmed Fighter has proven quite worth while for the monk build so far.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:

Don't believe the monk is as weak as they say. There are many style feats that easily power up the monk. You could even go vanilla monk, not try the new monk types and just buff them with strong feats and be good to go.

I think monk/rogue can work, but not in a game with consistently high Acs, unless you are very tricky and often buffed.

They are no where near as weak as people say they are. I'm not sure what "PFS is low level" means since it goes up to level 12 before you get into modules. Not to mention all the newer Adventure Paths are all PFS legal.

A player in our PFS group has played her monk from level 1 to level 16 and has been VERY effective at most levels (1-4 were pretty rough I hear). Her monk is completely vanilla, Panther Style and the Dimensional Dervish feats are the only ones not in Core. The running joke at our games every time her monk completely destroys an encounter we all chant in unison "Yup the monk is underpowered"

As far as the original post: With this character I would be less concerned with your to hit, there are SO many ways to bring that up, as I would be with your AC. Your hit points won't be great, you need a way to keep from getting squashed.


Yeah Jodokai, I found the same thing in a game I just finished. Out-damaging the ranger, my char was the mobile striker for the party.

Yup the monk is underpowered. Hilarious!

Scarab Sages

Outdamaing your party members is not a valid balance comparison, as an optimized character is going to outdamage an non-optimized on regardless of the class.

Merisel can easily outdamage Harsk, but that does not mean that Rogues are stronger than Rangers.


But if people play Merisiels and Harsks, the point is academic.


gossamar wrote:

your choices may depend on what makes your character a monk/ninja.

listing monk 1st implies to me that you want a monk with some ninja flavor added. Someone else might envision the broad term on monk/ninja very differently.

in order to provide the best suggestions, it would help to know what elements of each class you deem important with your character concept. Asking "could it work" is also a bit general. Are you only concerned about combat and dpr, role playing, out-of-combat npc interactions, all of the above, ect?

I wanted to make a monk with the archetype Hamatulatsu Master.

That one focuses on inflicting pain and crippling. Which is why when i looked through other classes, some of the sneak attack bonuses from the ninja tricks seemed flavorful like the pressure points or bleed.

Granted, i can get bleed through feats or via a Style, but those weakening pressure points in a FoB seemed nasty when applied on a full attack.

Being the highest DPR is not the intend, surviving and applying crippling conditions to match the archetype was the main thing. The lvl dip wouldn't be high.

Scarab Sages

If you want bleed, just get Belier's Bite. It's insanely good, much better than any other source of bleed.


Which was one of the considerations on feats.
Though if i pick up Boar Style, it leads to more bleeding potential.
Granted, those would require 2 hits.

Scarab Sages

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Boar Style is a rend, not a bleed until you get the final feat. Also, Belial's Bite is not a style, so you can use with other stlye feats like pummeling or dragon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

DEX-based monks with weapon finesse are really good, because of several points:
-focused DEX + WIS on AC = higher AC = win.
-less stats to worry about, higher stats, more hits.

Power Attack on a monk/ninja is difficult. By multiclassing you loose +1 BAB and you are already 3/4 BAB.
Sneak attack with the Sap Master line and knockout artist will give you more then enough damage normaly, you just have to get the sneak attack, but that´s part of playing a ninja or rogue in the first place.
Vanishing trick is not a reliable source for sneak attack. Better go flanking or other strategies. (Flowing monk could work there too, but your DC gets lower over time since you don´t level monk.)
You can also get DEX on damage with slashing grace when you take a style feat that gives you slashing damage on IUS, but it´s feat intensive.
Better take an agile amulet of mighty fists then.

Scarab Sages

Hayato Ken wrote:


You can also get DEX on damage with slashing grace when you take a style feat that gives you slashing damage on IUS, but it´s feat intensive.

RAW, you can't. Slashing grace must be on a one-handed weapon, unarmed strikes are light weapons.


Hayato Ken wrote:
Power Attack on a monk/ninja is difficult. By multiclassing you loose +1 BAB and you are already 3/4 BAB.

Piranha Strike


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:


You can also get DEX on damage with slashing grace when you take a style feat that gives you slashing damage on IUS, but it´s feat intensive.
RAW, you can't. Slashing grace must be on a one-handed weapon, unarmed strikes are light weapons.

Right, forgot about that.


Dabbler wrote:

@Torchlyte:

The Agile weapon property solves dex-focussed problems.

I'd rather have +1 damage and attack on my 3/4 (most of the time) BAB class. I mean, assuming that it's a comparison between Strength and Dex builds. If you're already a Dex build, then Agile is good.

Sovereign Court

Torchlyte wrote:
Dabbler wrote:

@Torchlyte:

The Agile weapon property solves dex-focussed problems.
I'd rather have +1 damage and attack on my 3/4 (most of the time) BAB class. I mean, assuming that it's a comparison between Strength and Dex builds. If you're already a Dex build, then Agile is good.

For a heavy armor build I'd agree with you. However, in the case of a monk, they can dump strength into the ground (no armor = no encumbrance issues) and they already need a good dex for armor, acrobatics, saves, initiative etc. Plus the points you save on strength can get a dex monk's dex at least a point higher than a strength monk. And monks can never get 1.5x strength damage anyway when they flurry, so they don't have that advantage of going strength vs dex.


Human (for bonus feat) Monk (ki mystic/weapon adept)/ninja
After getting 3 monk for a ki pool, splash 2 ninja for shuriken flurry. Then continue on your monk levels for better flurrying. Level 12 you are popping 8 attack for 1 ki for a total of 8d2+8*str mod+48(from weapon specialization and deadly aim). More if you sneak attack and use point blank shot. Is that viable enough?

Scarab Sages

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
@Torchlyte:. And monks can never get 1.5x strength damage anyway when they flurry, so they don't have that advantage of going strength vs dex.

Well, they can if they use dragon style, but pummeling style us usually better.

That said, there are some clear benefits to a STR monk over a DEX Monk, especially if you have to actually play through the low levels before you get that agile AoMF.


Yamiten wrote:

Human (for bonus feat) Monk (ki mystic/weapon adept)/ninja

After getting 3 monk for a ki pool, splash 2 ninja for shuriken flurry. Then continue on your monk levels for better flurrying. Level 12 you are popping 8 attack for 1 ki for a total of 8d2+8*str mod+48(from weapon specialization and deadly aim). More if you sneak attack and use point blank shot. Is that viable enough?

It's the new flurry of misses.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've always had enemy NpC's with levels in both ninja and monk. Stunning fist uses character level for the DC and makes the target flat-footed against the remaining attacks in your FoB. This can be optimized. It all comes down to you and how you build the character.

Scarab Sages

While stunning fist works, I would not build a pc around using it to enable sneak attacks. First off, you have very few uses per day. Secondly, you have to declare it before you attack, hit, and they have to make the save. Monk/Ninja accuracy isn't that good, most things in melee have good fort saves, and your DC isn't likely to be that great unless you went wisdom primary and took Mantis Style.


A Sensei could circumvent that a bit, but then you are giving up flurry.

Although, Ninja Sensei are kinda cool.

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