Is it mentioned anywhere how/why he has levels in Monk
It doesn’t say where he would have learnt this discipline
I ask because I am looking at trying to convert to 2E and there is no way of replicating all the low level powers he uses as both monk and rogue are quite front loaded in 1E - even if the combo is quite weak from a BAB perspective
So I am torn on:
- Monk with Rogue dedication
- Rogue (probably “thief” but any of the rackets seem like they could work)
- Rogue with Monk dedication
Part of my thought process is around how and why he would have monk levels as pure monk might not make complete sense
That said 2E monk doesn’t need to be mystical and ki based (and neither was tsuto due to low levels)
Anyone have any thoughts ?
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From a mechanical perspective, Tsuto as a Monk allows him to Flurry for multiple, lower damage attacks. This makes him a threat to a full level 1 party without getting swamped by action priority, but not likely to just nuke down a PC or two off the top with a lucky crit.
Lore-wise, Tsuto was raised outside of the Kaijitsu household. Off the top of my head (and without digging in and searching through sourcebooks) I believe he was raised in the Turandarok Academy, which serves as both school and orphanage. While the headmaster there is a Wizard/Rogue, I believe there's a connection between him and the current or past owner of the House of Blue Stone. If I'm remembering correctly, then it's not outside the pale that Tsuto received some 'troubled kid' lessons to try and give him some discipline.
I might be wrong though. Tsuto also ran away from home and spent time in the seedier places around Varisia, and in particular Magnimar - his journey was the flip side of Ameiko, who left and lived the 'good adventurer' life. His skill with fists and feet could be more of a Brawler thing, it just wouldn't be a published class until years after RotRL rereleased it's anniversary edition.
As for bringing him over to 2e, I can't really comment as I haven't looked into the system, sorry.
So, if Tsuto is a Monk 4, I'd probably only give him the Trap Finder. According to the background on Thistletop, Nualia has had Tsuto carefully comb the floors of Thistletop for traps after one of her henchmen got butchered, and that's one of the main reasons their progress has been so slow. Mobility would certainly fit his style if you don't want to give him something that won't come up, mechanically.
While he has a bow in 1e, I think you'll get more mileage out of him if he's just built as a mobile bruiser who can get into the fight easily, deal some damage, then try and flee before he's killed. From a background standpoint, Tsuto has managed to make it this far because he flees from danger - up until he has an overwhelming advantage. He's a bit like a goblin that way.
I wouldn't bother with Sneak Attacker b/c all it does is boost his damage (making him more lethal) while contributing nothing to his options.
I know this is a while later from your OP but with the monster building rules now out for 2e why not just build him as an npc as opposed to class levels. Class levels may be useful if he was going to be recurring like in my 1e game where he was captured and given the choice to either serve in the Hells or join the black arrows. He took the later and ended up as an extra prisoner at the Graul farms.
With the npc rules I would give him both the monk Flurry of blows as well as the ranger flurry edge. That way he can get multiple small hits off and can play to his advantage. If he has allies he will stand back and flurry with a shortbow where as if his goblins or Lyrie are hurt or scarce he can move in flurry with fists and than move out guerrilla style. Additionally he may not be against dirty fighting like shoving someone into one the the glory holes(glass ovens) or lighting a puddle of oil to stop pursuit if he needs to run.
Tsuto is also more interesting if he can be interrogated or if he escapes. He doesn't have any powerful loot but everything he has tells a story like his masterwork flute and his silver earrings and his journal with drawings of Nualia.
Man I wish I'd thought of the Tsuto in the Black Arrows thing. I reckon it feels like a little bit of a stretch to say serving will you get you a pass on fratricide, unless Ameiko bribed some folks. But it would make such a great red herring to distract from rhereal traitor.
In my game Nualia is also alive as I feel her like a lot of book one villans are made just to be killed despite being cool. But my party took a few days in court with the High Justice arguing for lenience for Nualia taking full responsibility for her actions and she is currently the follower of the party Paladin of Shelyn.
As for Tsuto I didn't come up with the idea 100% I read somewhere here on the forum. But I really ran with the Lawful part of his alignment that he thrives under structure even if he has a mischievous bone. So the black arrows having a follow the rules or die attitude became a good home for him and also worked to be a red herring of a potential traitor.
In both cases they used the time between events to retrain Nualia into a warpriest of Shelyn. Tsuto into an unchained Rogue and Zen archer which makes him a great scout and sniper for the Arrows. In future based on things that happen in Return of the Runelords I may have Nualia become a