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Demivrgvs

Kit Revisions (Monks)

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Both background and class features description are clearly work in progress, and due to the restricted amount of text we can have for a single string reference handling this class (which necessarily have tons of abilities to make up for the loss of armors and weapons) will be a real pain.

Monk
"Monks are warriors who pursue perfection through contemplation as well as action. For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield - it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade.

Almost all monks are humans, yet another example of humanity’s ever-varying and ever-changing culture. Due to the discipline imposed by this training, all monks are of an orderly, some would say lawful, temperament. However, monasteries, and the monks that reside within, may vary in morality. Good monasteries are servants of the people, protecting them from bandits and other threats. Evil monasteries, on the other hand, can become tyrannical bastions, ruling the surrounding lands through fear or serving despots as spies and assassins. Most monks adhere to neither extreme, however.

Monks are versatile fighters, especially skilled in combat without weapons or armor. Though monks cannot cast spells, they have a unique magic of their own. They channel a subtle energy, called ki, which allows them to perform amazing feats that most would consider impossible."

Class Features:
- Rolls d8 for hit points.
- Can not wear any armor.
- Can only become Proficient (+) in weapons available to the Thief class (excluding Two-Handed weapons)
- Can make 2 unarmed attacks per round. An additional 1/2 attack is gained every 3 levels, up to 5 attacks at level 18.
- Starts with a base AC of 7 at level 1 and gains a +1 bonus every 2 level, up to base AC -2 at level 19.
- At 1st level, gains a pool of Ki he can use once per day to perform various abilities. For every 3 levels, the monk can use an ability from the pool at his disposal an additional time per day.
- At 3rd level, damage dealt by unarmed attacks increases to 1d8. This increases to 1d10 at level 9 and 1d12 at level 15.
- At 3rd level, gains +1 bonus to AC vs missile attacks. The bonus increases by 1 for every 3 levels.
- At 4th level, gains Ki Arrow.
- At 5th level, becomes immune to all diseases, slow and haste effects
- At 6th level, unarmed attacks are treated as +1 magical weapon and gain a +1 bonus to hit and damage. This bonus improves to a +2 at level 12 and +3 at level 18.
- At 7th level, gains Wholeness of Body.
- At 8th level, becomes immune to charm.
- At 11th level, becomes immune to poisons.
- At 13th level, can use Quivering Palm once per day.
- At 14th level, gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws.
- At 16th level, gains Ki Shout.
- At 17th level, can use Slow Time once per day.
- At 20th level, gains a permanent +1 bonus to STR, DEX and WIS.

KI POOL: With this ability, the Monk focuses his ki for a short time, allowing him to accomplish amazing feats.

KI POOL (STUNNING BLOW): All successful attacks within the next round force the victim to save vs. spell or be stunned for 1 round.

KI POOL (KI DODGE): The Monk gains +4 bonus to AC for 1 round.
At 19th level, the Monk can become ethereal for 1 round.

KI POOL (KI STEP): The Monk can move at twice his base speed for 1 round.
At 10th level, the Monk can instantly "teleport" to any place within sight.

KI POOL (KI ARROW): Fires an arrow of ki energy at a target within sight. The blast inflicts 1d6 points of damage for every 4 levels, up to 5d6 at level 20.

KI POOL (WHOLENESS OF BODY): Restores 2 hit points per level, up to 40 hit points per use at level 20.

KI POOL (KI SHOUT): Enemies within 15 feet suffers 4d4 points of damage and must save vs. breath or be knocked back unconscious for 1 round.

QUIVERING PALM: The next successful attack forces the opponent to save vs. death or die.

SLOW TIME: the monk speeds up so greatly that time seems to cease to flow for everyone but him. He is free to act for 1 round of apparent time while all other creatures seem frozen.

Notes:
KR's Monk is still very similar to vanilla's one, but I implemented a large new Ki-based feature inspired by Pathfinder. Ironically, D&D Next (aka 5th edition) is probably going to do something very similar to my work in many aspects.

- I implemented PnP Flurry of Blows as a permanent +1 apr at level 1. This change should be a huge improvement for BG1 and low levels in general.
- Unarmed Strike damage still improve with levels but caps at a lower dmg output (1d12 instead of 1d20) to prevent OPness at high levels, especially combined with the increased apr. Fists enchantment level is +1/+2/+3 at levels 6, 12 and 18 respectively instead of vanilla's 9, 12, 15. The +1 at level 6 is crucial for BG1 and early BG2 imo.

- Unarmored Defense (aka innate base AC) is 2 points better than vanilla's monk at level 1 then scales as per vanilla. Again, this change should help the class perform better within BG1.

- does not gain fast movement rate (but Ki Step ability more than make up for it)

- the class still has all vanilla's immunities (disease, poison) and I also kept AD&D immunity to slow and haste, as they fit the concept of a Diamond Body imo, while also providing a good balance check against for Monk's insane apr combined with Haste spells.

- with my implementation of Diamond Soul the monk no longer gains magic resistance but in exchange he gets the best saves of any other class (even better than paladins)

- the real big new entries are to be found within the Ki Pool. It contains vanilla's Stunning Blow and Wholeness of Body (aka self only Lay on Hands), but now adds TONS of new abilities like Ki Dodge/Etherealness, Ki Step/Abundant Step (a super fast Dimension Door beta testers seemed to love), Ki Arrow, and the outstanding Ki Shout.

- Quivering Palm is mostly unchanged, but we have been discussing about eventually merge it with the Ki Pool as the natural upgrade to Stunning Fist.

- I took some liberty with Slow Time, which was originally planned as one of the new Monk-only HLA.

Edited by Demivrgvs

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Description comments:

Unarmed attack and AC progression need to note the maximum achievable when the cap is reached. It sounds indefinite right now. (7APR at level 30, whaaaaa? :D)

 

What is the range of Ki Arrow? What type of damage?

 

Is the monk no longer immune to slow/haste?

 

No mention of improved saving throws.

 

A thought on weapon proficiency: the monk can become proficient in the use of some weapons. What is the point of this? Right now it sounds like it would be horribly outclassed by their first attacks. It would be interesting if the monk could also be viable but play somewhat differently if they choose to use a weapon.

 

Quivering Palm is gained at 13th level and has no penalty to save. For it to remain useful later in the game, I think some incremental save penalty is necessary. An epic monk's quivering palm should be at least as difficult to save against as a Finger of Death, especially considering he must hit with an attack and has but one use of it per day.

 

Ki Shout could be upgraded (with a HLA?) to have a wing buffet-like force wave effect.

Edited by Kalindor

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Unarmed attack and AC progression need to note the maximum achievable when the cap is reached. It sounds indefinite right now. (7APR at level 30, whaaaaa? :D)

You're right, I'll re-work the description a little bit right away.

 

What is the range of Ki Arrow? What type of damage?
Standard long range, 30.

 

I've used crushing damage for now. I really don't know if magic would be better.

 

Is the monk no longer immune to slow/haste?
He isn't immune.

 

No mention of improved saving throws.
I do mention the +2 bonus to all saves at level 14. If you mean his base saves (which are good vs. everything but neither great nor bad vs. anything with KR's unimplemented table) those have never been part of any class description. Until we implement the revised table describing the current saves and their progression is almost impossible, they both lack a reasonable pattern.

 

A thought on weapon proficiency: the monk can become proficient in the use of some weapons. What is the point of this? Right now it sounds like it would be horribly outclassed by their first attacks. It would be interesting if the monk could also be viable but play somewhat differently if they choose to use a weapon.
I actually thought about granting the base +1 apr to weapons (he still have lower STR and no specialization to balance it), but other than that I don't know. Very little can be done imo. The Monk will use weapons as he did within vanilla, mostly for ranged combat, or if he needs a particular dmg type or enchantment level, but overall this is a martial artist who focuses on unarmed fighting. If we make monks good with weapons we step over fighters role imo (kensai in particular).

 

Quivering Palm is gained at 13th level and has no penalty to save. For it to remain useful later in the game, I think some incremental save penalty is necessary. An epic monk's quivering palm should be at least as difficult to save against as a Finger of Death, especially considering he must hit with an attack and has but one use of it per day.
I don't know if it really needs much buffing, it's already comparable to Deathblow HLAs. Anyway, playtesting will tell me what to do in terms of small refinements such as this. Right now it's the bigger picture my priority. I'm also still pondering the possibility to actually "nerf" it and merge it into the Ki Pool, like most abilities already do.

 

Ki Shout could be upgraded (with a HLA?) to have a wing buffet-like force wave effect.
Tweaking abilities via HLAs is kinda tricky but doable (it requires a shell system). We'll see, HLAs aren't my top priority. Edited by Demivrgvs

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Ki Shout could be upgraded (with a HLA?) to have a wing buffet-like force wave effect.

Tweaking abilities via HLAs is kinda tricky but doable (it requires a shell system). We'll see, HLAs aren't my top priority.

 

OK. I am just trying to think of more flashy "gimmicks" for the monk class, and a force wave repulsion effect would be unique and conceptually compatible with Ki.

 

What about Ki Arrow? Since it isn't a spell per se, does it ignore spell protections? If so, it would be extremely powerful against mages.

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Ki Shout could be upgraded (with a HLA?) to have a wing buffet-like force wave effect.
Tweaking abilities via HLAs is kinda tricky but doable (it requires a shell system). We'll see, HLAs aren't my top priority.
OK. I am just trying to think of more flashy "gimmicks" for the monk class, and a force wave repulsion effect would be unique and conceptually compatible with Ki.
I'm with you on that goal, and your idea is good imo. I might even prefer it over PnP damage + stun Ki Shout, especially because the latter slightly overlaps with the Stunning Fist.

 

Btw, don't worry, I've said HLAs are not a priority, but I'm actually planning them too (do expect an almost completely unique table a la Refinements). For example if Slow Time will survive playtesting (aka if you guys assure me it's not OP) I'm probably going to make it an HLA.

 

What about Ki Arrow? Since it isn't a spell per se, does it ignore spell protections? If so, it would be extremely powerful against mages.
Well, I've made it use the blue "ice arrow" animation, it bypasses magic resistance, and is not considered a spell (power lvl 0, thus bypasses Globes of Invulnerability and affects creatures such as liches). We'll shape it together during the beta stages depending on in-game performance, and decide its various refinements (e.g. Which spell protections should work against it? Should SR's Protection from Missiles work against it? Do we prefer magic damage type?). Edited by Demivrgvs

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First of all I've to say, that I'm willig to test the monk for you. Alot.

Secondly, I like Kalindor's idea of a wing buffet-like force wave effect for Ki Shout.

And most important (for me), I fear that the monk's thac0 will be mediocre at best (nothing will change on this matter) - even with fighter's progression table -, because he lacks both specialisation's and weapon's bonuses. Beta will show us if this is really the case, but if the memories of my playthroughs with this class (BG2 only) are not wrong I fear this will still be the case...

With your nerfed unarmed strike damage progression table (which I fully support - I always thought that 1d20 was to much) I think one can safely say that there is room for offesive improvements. What do you think of something like True Strike (for example SR's +10 thac0 for 1 round) to join the Ki Pool?

Edited by Lawlight

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I mentioned this a moment ago on the fighter topic, but monks could get Ki Strike ala Kensais. It is a Ki ability after all, and I don't see why the Kensai would have it but not the monk. Obviously that does not abrogate the THAC0 problem that may exist. Like you mentioned, that will take some testing.

 

For Ki Arrow, is it possible to make it affected by physical protections like Stoneskin instead of Mantle, Spell Deflection, etc?

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As a general note: What always bothered me the most about this class is that it can't make use of all that shiny equipment (most importantly weapons) as other classes and at the same time needs very little micromanagement because of the lack of active abilities...

...in other words: it was boring as hell.

I think this class deserves (in Kalindor's words) "more flashy gimmicks" to compensate this. Your Ki Pool feature goes in the right direction. I really like it.

What about different stances? A bad example for a flashy gimmick, but a good one in terms of imporved mircromanagement.

Edited by Lawlight

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I have to agree that a "ki shout" wing buffet-like force effect. as a modified ki arrow it would be pretty cool imo in a ' the force of the blast is so powerful that it knocks opponents back.

 

I can even imagine two different (though not mutual ly exclusive)ways to implement it:

 

1: the target is nicked back and/or down.

 

2: opponents surrounding the monk are knocked down and/or back.

 

Imagine it: the monk is surrounded by mooks and the mage is casting a spell that will surely finish him off. He focuses his ki in a devistating yell that kills the mage outright and knocks the mooks off their feet.

 

Now THAT is the type of monk I'd like to play!

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You guys insisted so much that I've finished tweaking Ki Shout a few minutes ago, and guess what, it knocks back opponents around the monk. ;)

 

I'm willig to test the monk for you. Alot.
Great! :)

 

And most important (for me), I fear that the monk's thac0 will be mediocre at best (nothing will change on this matter) - even with fighter's progression table -, because he lacks both specialisation's and weapon's bonuses. Beta will show us if this is really the case, but if the memories of my playthroughs with this class (BG2 only) are not wrong I fear this will still be the case...
We'll see. The thac0 difference is there but not so huge. Warriors gets the +x from weapons, but the Monk actually gets the +x from fists (when they become "magical" at levels 6, 12 and 18). Warriors also have weapon proficiencies (spec's +1 for warriors and grand mastery's +3 for fighters), but only fighters have a really noticeable advantage imo. It all comes down to how effective the new permanent +1 attack per round at 1st level is.

 

With your nerfed unarmed strike damage progression table (which I fully support - I always thought that 1d20 was to much) I think one can safely say that there is room for offesive improvements. What do you think of something like True Strike (for example SR's +10 thac0 for 1 round) to join the Ki Pool?
It kinda makes sense, I was actually going to suggest that as a low level version of Ki Strike for the Kensai (as it seems the original one is slightly UP in BG1). I'm not 100% sure but I like it.

 

I mentioned this a moment ago on the fighter topic, but monks could get Ki Strike ala Kensais. It is a Ki ability after all, and I don't see why the Kensai would have it but not the monk. Obviously that does not abrogate the THAC0 problem that may exist. Like you mentioned, that will take some testing.
Well, I wanted to preserve the respective low level signature abilities, Ki Strike and Stunning Blow. I'll think about it.

 

For Ki Arrow, is it possible to make it affected by physical protections like Stoneskin instead of Mantle, Spell Deflection, etc?
Stoneskin probably already works against it (I don't remember well right now, but it should) because I'm using a physical (crushing) damage type to represent the force effect. I can easily tweak SR spells to do what we wish if needed.

 

As a general note: What always bothered me the most about this class is that it can't make use of all that shiny equipment (most importantly weapons) as other classes and at the same time needs very little micromanagement because of the lack of active abilities...

...in other words: it was boring as hell.

I think this class deserves (in Kalindor's words) "more flashy gimmicks" to compensate this. Your Ki Pool feature goes in the right direction. I really like it.

I fully agree with you and Kalindor. That's why Ki Pool will be there, and why I'm expanding it as much as I can "within PnP terrain".

 

What about different stances? A bad example for a flashy gimmick, but a good one in terms of imporved mircromanagement.
I've actually already thought of adding a couple of "fighting styles", aka stances. One could be an offensive stance and involve grappling, which is a combat maneuver I'd really love to implement somehow, and the other could be a defensive stance with elusive moves and counterattacks... There's very little PnP material on this matter though, and that's why I'm still uncertain. We'll see. Edited by Demivrgvs

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Unique fighting styles would be cool, rather like in Jade Empire. "Thousand Cuts," "Leaping Tiger," etc. Honestly, if you were going to do this on the monk, I would prefer it to function differently than the fighter stances. More like as follows:

-Styles give passive bonuses. Thousand Cuts-like stance could give +1/2APR, +2 THAC0. White Demon-like stance gives +2dmg, 5% chance to inflict knockdown (save).

-Special ability buttons to switch styles.

-Fighting styles remain active permanently unless the style is switched out for another one.

 

Having no penalties on the fighting styles would allow them to be active permanently until switched. This would prevent the problem of having to activate the stances incessantly ala defensive stance on the Kensai. Otherwise, I fear having to repeatedly activate styles combined with the Ki pool would result in a character that requires a whole lot of micromanagement.

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Unique fighting styles would be cool, rather like in Jade Empire. "Thousand Cuts," "Leaping Tiger," etc. Honestly, if you were going to do this on the monk, I would prefer it to function differently than the fighter stances. More like as follows:

-Styles give passive bonuses. Thousand Cuts-like stance could give +1/2APR, +2 THAC0. White Demon-like stance gives +2dmg, 5% chance to inflict knockdown (save).

-Special ability buttons to switch styles.

-Fighting styles remain active permanently unless the style is switched out for another one.

Erhm, the fighting styles also could do different types of damage as it's easiest to include the style with the melee attack itself as it shouldn't be usable when armed ...

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Oooohhhh, I like the idea of styles. I like it a lot! I have oriental adventures somewhere around here. I'll see if I can find it to help give some pnp justification.

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Oooohhhh, I like the idea of styles. I like it a lot! I have oriental adventures somewhere around here. I'll see if I can find it to help give some pnp justification.
I don't own the Oriental Adventures book, but this and this cover that material relatively well.

 

When it comes to later editions, 3rd edition fighting styles are really not that great imo, but pathfinder's styles are slightly better. One stance that could work well is the Crane Style: defensive stance, chance to evade incoming attack (either % or if doable a save vs. breath) and counter it (e.g. failed attack also means the attacker needs to make a save himself or be countered - the counter could be a fist damage, or even better imo a trip effect).

 

I hate you guys, I wanted a "simple" Monk revision...now we have tons of new Ki Powers and I'm even starting to like this whole "fighting styles" thing. :D

 

Edit: @Jarno, if replacing mfist with a temporary alternative doesn't screw up anything then yes, we don't even need a custom secondary type to make styles remove each other correctly. :)

Edited by Demivrgvs

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I hate you guys, I wanted a "simple" Monk revision...now we have tons of new Ki Powers and I'm even starting to like this whole "fighting styles" thing. :D

 

I think the idea of a monk being a bit more like an active ability-oriented melee fighter with some different stances / maneuvers definitely makes him feel distinct from the fighters, which was what I was originally worried about. This also gives you a lot of wiggle room for playing with the BGEE monk kits. It is a lot of work, though. I just caution that having to repeatedly activate fighting styles will be tiresome.

 

*Edit: Conceptually, I have no problem with very low-level monks being more effective with weapons than unarmed. It seems like the novice would favor weapons as a "crutch" until they achieve oneness with the Ki or whatnot. Right out of some kung-fu movie.

Edited by Kalindor

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