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I am playing (for story reasons) a Minotaur Battlemind/Monk hybrid.

The Minotaur racials seem to play nicely with the Monk class, but the Monk/Battlemind abilities seem to contradict each other (one has bonuses to unarmed combat, while the other is never unarmed). Is there a way to make these two play nicely together?

I am not looking to maximize any one thing (like damage, or HP) but rather minimize the amount of wastage I end up creating (spending class advantages of some sort on both unarmed and armed combat, or sink advantages rom both classes into the same non-stackable bonuses).

Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to minimize waste?

I've been asked for some detail of the narrative - and have tried to find a copy of the books and my character sheet to get the specifics... but failed. So here is the "vague" version of the detail:

My Minotaur comes from a particularly bestial tribe (herd?) of Minotaur. He got separated from them, had a run-in with another person, panicked, let the bestial nature take over, and killed them. He was determined to counter that side of his nature, and took to a monastery for mental training to achieve that. The monastery he found himself at was tied to the order from whence Battleminds were founded, so he naturally progressed from one to the other, to further his mental discipline.

So - the narrative is not one of "training to be great kung fu master" - but "training to control the bestial nature, first to suppress it and then to use it at will."

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@Ryno keep in mind you can use your ki focus from your monk as the enchantment for both your unarmed attack and a battle mind weapon attack. or you can use your unarmed attack weapon as the weapon for your battle mind powers. –  wax eagle Jun 19 '13 at 4:06
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@Ryno refluffing is rather explicitly supported. It's suggested right in the players handbook to make your PC's mechanics fit your concept (IE the flavor text is modified to fit your story, not the mechanics). –  wax eagle Jun 19 '13 at 4:31
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I totally agree with @waxeagle that you should really build a character from mechanics up rather than vice versa. You can always refluff just about anything. Class names, power titles, and descriptions are all just a veneer which you can paint over. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Jun 20 '13 at 16:02
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@Ryno advice is and always will be subjective. Just because you don't like it does not mean it will not be liked by or help someone else who stumbles upon RPG.SE with a similar issue as yours. I was not saying take the single most optimized path and refluff, but saying that if you are playing RAW it is often wise to take a class or whatnot that on a mechanical level most aligns with what your PC actually does in your head and then fluff/refluff from there rather than focusing only on the names and fluff the designers happened to give to a set of mechanics. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Jun 26 '13 at 15:20
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@Ryno What Josh said is exactly what I'm saying. build to the mechanics you want, make the flavor fit your narrative requirements later. This is both a RAW approach (it's right in the PHB) and also nicely dovetail the desires of some folks to build optimized characters and fulfill narrative requirements. It makes it a both, and choice rather than an either/or one. –  wax eagle Jun 26 '13 at 15:24

3 Answers 3

There exist many acceptable options as a Minotaur Battlemind multiclassed into Monk. While it's not a full hybrid, it's possible to strongly evoke monastic traditions in your action descriptions, your utility powers, your skills, and your paragon path. This makes you a charge-focused damage-dealing defender who can hold their own with most characters.

A bit of a discursive deconstruction here, riffing off my paper.

First: literature reserach. Do there exist any battlemind or monk hybrids?

No.

Do there exist any published multiclass builds that use either?

No, not really.

Now we... must be creative.

In general, when doing a risky combo like this, you can't afford to slip up too badly. Read both class guides battlemind monk to get a sense of appropriate powers. In all cases, take the mechanics of the powers and choose your description for yourself, starting with their name. Steal all names from ancient martial arts moves and be unusually aware of the environment and ways to perform acrobatic manoeuvres while establishing your battlemind as the centre of attention.

Narrative requirement: we must have a minotaur, involve the idea of "monk" and the idea of "battlemind."

Mechanical-functional requirement: we must function as a character.

Primus, there exist no mechanical options for hybrid stats, save for a joint (and unimportant secondary.) Monks are Dex/Wis or Dex/Str, Battleminds are Con/Wis or Con/Cha. Minotaurs are Str Con/Wis.

Monks have a huge reliance on their secondaries. Battleminds have less.

Therefore, is it possible to make a Con/X? battlemind that is heavily invested in monkishness?

Minotaurs are chargers, and there are a number of battlemind charge options that are ... not bad. Momentum Swing as a 3rd level give us an augment 2 charge, which really ties in nicely with a charge chassis (to be a striker) and the minotaur's natural gifts.

There are a number of excellent statless stances from the monk. Most notable being centered defense (utility/6) or other utilities. The monk's positioning utilities synergize wonderfully with the Battlemind's interrupts, especially if flavoured as monastic training rather than psionic power.

At 7, we'll choose forceful reversal as an indication of a judo or akido like form of literally turning the force of the enemy's attack on them, and focus a little more on forced movement.

While we won't choose a daily or encounter multiclass, the utility flavouring as well as the ki-focus should be a nice start. There's even a perfect monk paragon path: Soaring blade. Its abilities are constitution focused, and it gets bonus damage... equal to con... on all melee attacks at 16. Its bonus to acrobatics means that you can even pretend to be a monk somtimes when doing dexy stuff.

Conclusions

So, in heroic, we have a minotaur charger, focused on the augment 2 charger. Your weapon is the sword, echoing your paragon path. (Theme this as your monastic weapon) First feat is Monastic Disciple, to get your iron soul flurry of blows. Choose an appropriately monky theme. You'll want a very high strength to power your basic attacks, which... isn't very good from a theoretical perspective, but survivable.

Equipment is generally the charge chassis, which must be reflavoured not as ubermagicitems, but as monastic tricks to make your damage more interesting. I urge you to grab a book on aikido and Kenjutsu and theme all your attacks appropriatly. Throw in a hint of tai-chi, just becuase it's appropriate to explain your elemental effects.

You'll want to grab the utility multiclass into monk, and the monk PP.

That provides a solid defender who is focused on doing damage and is themed around being a "monk." Your heavy armor focus is a touch unfortunate, but my recommendation is to accept it, and just call it unusually heavy robes.

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Wow, I'm impressed by the amount of work that went into that answer. I've up-voted it, but I'm not going to accept it just yet, mainly because it doesn't directly answer what I asked, but suggests an alternate way to achieve the same thing. –  Ryno Jun 19 '13 at 16:58
    
Yep, as is completely right and proper. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 20 '13 at 3:19
    
Ryno, if you could give us some details of the narrative, I could narrow this down a bit. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 20 '13 at 4:12
    
"Your heavy armor focus is a touch unfortunate" - actually I never liked armor restrictions per class anyway, so that doesn't bother me at all –  Ryno Jun 20 '13 at 19:37

I would recommend trying to focus heavily to either one class or the other and simply try and cherry pick the best utility powers and/or feats of the minor class. So you need to ask yourself, which role would you rather play between the two classes (striker or defender)?

Pesonally I'd lean to playing as a battlemind and focus less on the monk aspects.

I would also suggest Con/Wis & I would ignore dex altogether. Wisdom can be chosen as a minotaur and is used by both classes. Further, seeing how you are primarily trying to get the secondary effects of powers from your monk abilities, it'll work in well.

Next I would work on grabbing the feats that work good under any situation. Versatile expertise (or possibly master at arms), resilient focus, improved defenses, toughness, and then branch out accordingly. Assuming you wanted to be tanky I would recommend taking the battlemind hybrid feat to wear the heavier armors.

I would suggest choosing a paragon path that has virtually no pre-requisites and where the passive effects do not require you to specifically use monk/battlemind powers. For instance, the monk's GhostWalker paragon path could work if you wanted to focus on having concealment/combat advantage. Even with attacks that require dex, they all have fairly substantial effects that will occur regardless of whether you hit or not.

Following this same logic, I would choose monk powers that have lasting benefits and create effects that occur regardless of hitting. I would also choose monk utility powers that focus on wisdom. For your battlemind stuff, you can refine your focus to achieve the goals you specifically want. Related, for your daily powers you can try to stack monk stances that last till end of encounter, with battlemind polymorph effects for twice the fun.

I hope this helps. Probably with more research you might get something that could actually rock.

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Some information I've dug up that may help other people finding this question:

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26404353/?liveView=0 - A thread on wizards.com forums optimizing this build. So not quite an answer either, but more useful information for anyone else looking to do this. I'm not going to copy any of the build specifics here, as at this time the conversation is still ongoing.

The Psionic Power book gives us two builds that work really well together: a Dex/Con Monk and a Con/Dex Battlemind. This at least gets us to two important stats (whereas most other combos have three, and some even have 4)

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Could you summarize some of the information to the link and how it's relevant? –  wax eagle Jun 26 '13 at 17:16

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