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- Optimizing a D&D 3.5 Monk 13 answers
I have relatively recently teamed up with some high school buddies, joining an ongoing 3rd edition campaign. In the past we have played many 2nd (and even 1st edition) campaigns. Because the campaign was ongoing I have inherited a couple of pre-existing characters.
The party consists of the following characters:
Ranger 5/Bard 5
The last 2 are mine.
Now, I have no trouble with what to do with the cleric but the monk is … a monk. That is, he is underpowered when compared with everyone in the party.
I have carved out a niche for him in combat as a mobile combatant; with his great speed, maximum jump and tumble he can penetrate the opposing front line and either threaten spell casters behind the lines or flank the front line to allow sneak attacks from the rogue or flanking bonuses to the tanks. I find that he is better off moving around from round-to-round to keep the opposition off-balance. If he can manage to land a Stunning Fist or two; so much the better. On occasion, he has greatly benefited from an Air Walk spell from the cleric.
My question relates to what to do with him over the next few levels. I am inclined to take 11th level as monk to get Improved Flurry notwithstanding what happens next. Following that, I have the following ideas:
- Stick it out as a monk
- Take 3 levels of wizard (Int 14) with a view to becoming an Enlightened Fist (Complete Arcane). This would allow “buffs” like Expeditious Retreat, Jump, Mage Armour and latter any of the stat enhancing spells to enhance the current role.
- Take 4 levels of sorcerer (Cha 13) with the same goal (This is more because I have never played a spontaneous caster than because I think its better)
- Take some levels of Cleric (with a Magic domain) with an eye towards Sacred Fist (Complete Divine). The Magic domain would allow use of wands with the above mentioned “buffs”, the divine spell casting would give healing spells to keep in the fight longer.
- Something else?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks to @SimonGill & @KRyan for their comments but they rather miss the point. I like this character and enjoy playing him; the challange is to maximise his usefulness, not replace him with somebody more useful.
Hanz Gurderien said that the engine of a tank is as important as its gun; and the monk has a phenomenal engine. He can distract, harrass and disrupt the opposition in ways that no one else can.
With a base speed of 60 (90 with Expeditious Retreat) +19 tumble (so tumbling past oponents is a certanty and through them is a 75% chance) and +31 jump, virtually no one in an encounter is out of reach.
While the monk may not be able to do much damage directly he acts as a force multiplier; flanking gives the rogue sneak attack and the fighters (as well as the rogue) a 10% better chance of a hit, Stunning Fist is particularly effective against arcane casters becuase they have (relatively) low AC and (relatively) low Fort saves, against divine casters trip is OK, if only a 50/50 shot. With Spring Attack the monk can usually stun an arcane caster AND position himself to give someone a flanking bonus in the same round; and then do it again next round.
So, given that I want to keep playing this character, what is the best way to maximise his contribution?