Monk Discussion

Share an idea or post some constructive criticism for the server.
Silver Snow
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Silver Snow » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:17 pm

Agreed with LW here, Monks are not -meant- to be tanky but the concern is that when they do draw attention they can hardly survive that. To that end, Parry is great and a +6 boost to it as a matter of course for them is very reasonable. As LW mentioned, the greater number of attacks employed by monks means that they can flank well and, when needed, go to parry mode in order endure the attention they just earned themselves.

My votes go in favor of parry as the primary defensive mechanism, make it as inherent for the class as sheer AC is to full plate fighter types, and increase their mobility in combat through the bumping reduction and Spring Attack. Deflect Arrows and the SR are decent stopgaps against ranged enemies as it is. I am not against Uncanny Dodge being a bit more available and minor AC increases either, they'll still not rival a fighter as those are certainly not feat starved.
On the figure of offense, I like the idea of increasing crit capabilities for the monks in one or a couple ways, whether that's making it 19-20/x2, 20x3, or +4 to confirm. As monks can rarely afford the STR that fighters have nor can they get other bonuses to damage on top of their base and STR (Unlike a sword's, ability to take on various enchantments, Weapon Spec, etc), crits are a good way to fairly up the damage. In terms of which of the ways to improve it is best, I'm not sure.

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EventHorizon
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby EventHorizon » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:05 am

If you want to give Parry some more workable, less-clunky relevance, you can use a system similar to the one they have on Prisoners of the Mist/Ravenloft. The system they have is essentially, Parry functions like Tumble, gaining you AC for every 5 rank - but negatively modified, so that if you are wearing armour or have negative dexterity, this will be detrimental to your Parry-based AC. Further, there are some feats that benefit your Parry AC based on dual-wielding. This gives otherwise easily-destroyed classes that don't use full plate or complete avoidance of combat a means to weather the storm a bit. Makes a whole swath of character concepts viable for NWN's combat (a forefront feature of the game we play, for better or for worse) without cutting in too much to reliable, highish damage of armoured sword-and-boarder or strength-intensive full-on offensive two-hander types.

I don't know what parts of that system you'd want to adapt to TER's Parry, but that's a very good example of what can be done to make Parry relevant and also give Monks a bit of mechanical love.
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Loreweaver
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Loreweaver » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:41 am

That would be the role of Balance/Tumble in our case. For a PC with a modified 10 ranks, it amounts to an average +4 AC for -3 damage.

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Ataraxia
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Ataraxia » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:11 am

Late response but I just noticed the additional posts.

I thought that with a modified 10 ranks it would actually be an average(roll of 10 on d20) of +3 total including the +1 Passive since the check is: For every 10 points on the Balance check the character's armour class increases by 1 (from the Wiki). So to get +4 AC on average including the +1 Passive boost, you'd need a modified Balance of 20. It's how I noticed it working in game too, With a balance of 10 Anton generally gets a +1, +2 from Tumble without including the passive bonus.

I could be wrong though, in any case. Any news on the Parry bonus or other things by the way? Been debating whether investing or not is worth it based on what's been said here.

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Talisman
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Talisman » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:38 pm

I wouldn't worry about that too much, going off of past examples, LETO requests following a major change like that (For example, when Power Attack was changed) are generally granted so long as they are requested soon after the change.

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Ataraxia
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Ataraxia » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:36 am

I have written down my updated review of the Monk class from a mechanical standpoint, as it is close to my character's 1st year since creation.

The Monk is a class that by design, is encouraged to engage in melee rather than ranged combat, and it benefits STR, DEX, CON, as well as WIS. You can forgo STR and make do with DEX, as you acquire Weapon Finesse for free, but you lose out on much-needed damage since your main role in a group is to be assisting the vanguard.

The Monk cannot handle more than one opponent at a time without serious injury, so he finds a place as a flanker. He does not have the rogue’s sneak attacks, the barbarian’s high strength or two-handed weapon, or the dual-wielding abilities of a ranger. He may not even be able to afford Power Attack, given the low amount of feats at his disposal as well as the Strength Requirement, and the AB penalty. DEX is also not that useful since you'll be hovering around ~18AC should you decide to aim for 18DEX and 16WIS at level 8, and neglect other attributes. I won’t speak much about the D8 Hit Die, but for a melee class, it is rather weak compared to other combat classes which possess a D10 or D12 Hit Die. We can say, given the Medium BAB Progression, the class is a semi-combatant like the priest, the bard, the rogue, the druid but those classes have other features that far outclass the difference in AB compared to Combat Classes.

The Monk has Stunning Fist, an ability which is useless against the majority of enemies that realistically pose a threat: dangerous, resilient warrior-types. The only foes he can Stun are Mages and Priests, which, given the Monk's high Fortitude and Reflex, as well as Spell Resistance, are not even worth stunning. On top of that, those types of opponents are neither very common nor very dangerous and can be easily countered by someone with quick reflexes, whether they are a combatant or not.

The Monk receives Uncanny Dodge at level 8, which means Level 1 through 7 strips you of Dexterity AC as soon as you're caught flat-footed. It is not too bad if played carefully, in hindsight.

The Monk has good Will, but Mages and Priests don’t often use mind-affecting spells, and when they do, it is easy to wait for the effect to fade before returning to battle. The Myconids’ Confusion may pose a threat to the party, but it is simple to work around it by staying away from the affected party member. I have also only ever seen one mandatory Will Check happen during events since I joined TER, the rest are usually people rolling it for themselves to weigh their character’s reaction to roleplay.

The Monk is immune to disease, which is only useful against certain types of Undead that he should not be hit by in the first place, since even if they do not spread disease, they will still seriously injure him. For some reason, it is an unwritten rule that people avoid undead like the plague unless they have a priest or a paladin with them (not much to do about that) and curing disease is not much of a problem for them.

The Monk can run at a 120% of normal movement speed, which is great for escaping certain death and triggering Attacks of Opportunity.

The Monk at Level 7 can heal himself for (Level*WIS) HP once per day, which heals the equivalent of a Cure Moderate if you are Level 8 and have 16 WIS. If you have 14 WIS, it’s knocked down to a 16HP Heal. It is good to have a free potion once a day.

The Monk has a lot of Attacks per Round. That, Increased Unarmed Damage and DR Piercing are the redeeming qualities of the class. What I don’t understand is that the Monk is encouraged to engage in Melee combat, as it is in theory where he should shine, but there is no room at all for error and becoming a liability can easily become a recurring theme. Actually, the Monk is almost useless until level 4.

Flurry of Blows is also nice while he still has 1 APR but once he receives his 2nd APR, it becomes less useful due to the AB Penalty.

Given the unarmored and unarmed playstyle, the extra speed, the 1/day self-heal, the evasion, the immunity to disease and the spell resistance, the Monk seems to be just there to survive exotic catastrophic scenarios. What if you run out of potions? What if you need to flee? What if you suddenly are struck by disease and there are no priests nearby? What if a Mage appears and you have nowhere to run? What if you are stripped of your possessions? These things rarely ever happen, but when they do at least he has something up his sleeve to keep death at bay a little while longer.

Outside of those rare moments, it seems as though the Monk is a nice addition to have but ultimately is beyond expendable, since anyone can do what he does but better. He only thrives in an environment where all others are as stripped of tools as he is, except that is never the case.

In the end, I'm not sure if I'm playing the class incorrectly or if I'm looking at it the wrong way, but other perspectives or advice would be good to have since this is normally my favorite class in the game and so far it has been an utter chore to play the mechanical side of it on TER. The closest thing to a solution that I've come up with is equipping my character with a crossbow and stay far away from combat. I can count on one hand the times that a class feature has actually made a difference, and while I was quite satisfied with those occurrences, they don't make up for the rest of the gameplay experience.

TL;DR version: From a mechanical angle, the class exudes mixed signals in terms of its role, poor performance in both solo and group play, and exotic features that rarely see use.

Silver Snow
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Silver Snow » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:48 am

I think it's a pretty comprehensive review, and it should be paid attention to. One thing to add is that a monk cannot leverage their unique flurry of blows and any other combat stance like Power Attack or Expertise at the same time. This essentially means that the monk has a cap on his damage and could at most ever get about 19ac, and practically less when taking a lack of uncanny dodge into account.
The prior suggestion of monk "kits" to help them focus on offense or defense stands a good one, as that could either make them better flankers, or more likely to survive the front line.

Artifice
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Artifice » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:54 pm

Spoiler:
Sorry I didn't read the full thread. Just the most recent posts that say monks are inferior to fighting classes in 1v1 melee.
I always thought a monk's role was not a warriors, like a fighter, ranger, paladin or barbarian, but instead a rogue-analogue. They flank and kill spellcasters in party-play. Instead of sneak attacks, they get extra attacks (all the better to disrupt casting) and a much deeper damage pool, and can stun those they are designed to target more easily.

But that's PnP. I don't know if TER has taken this use into account consistently during its design. There seems to be a couple of mage-enemies around, at least enough to make monk as useful as a wizard with limited spells per day?
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Kerstman
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Kerstman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:07 pm

I agree with Silver Snow and Ataraxia's latest posts. Monks deserve some more love. They do get some more boons here on TER, but it still pales in comparison to how other semi- (rogue, bard, priest, druid) or full-melee (barbarian, fighter, ranger) classes make do in many a combat situation. While monks should not overpower most or even all of them, I believe that some closing of the gap would be very appropriate. Ataraxia's report seems very fair to me. None more than this player has been testing the class on TER this much.
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Endalyor
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Re: Monk Discussion

Postby Endalyor » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:58 am

I was just about to make a monk character so I went on the wiki and did some research and soon realized: "Wow, monks are terrible. Nevermind."

That shouldn't be the case. Every class should be a viable option.

A monk would literally add nothing to a party, nor would it be able to solo anything. The stats would be spread so thin. What do you expect me to choose for stats? Human, 18 Dex, 16 Wis, and literally nothing else? All for 17 AC? That's just awful. There's no way I'd ever be able to hold ground against some baddies with +12 AB (or higher), I'd be eaten alive. The damage would be terrible, AB wouldn't be great, especially if I'm using Flurry of Blows.

Yeah, I guess I'll stick to my level 3 fighter with 27 AC (With Imp Expertise) and much more HP, damage, and AB, thanks...

For real though, I'm very sad that monk and ranger are borderline unplayable. Log into the server, and what do you see? Fighters, Rogues, Clerics, Druids, Barbarians... Not a monk or ranger to be seen. There's a reason why.

#MakeMonksGreatAgain

I'd suggest giving them a serious AC increase. That was their benefit in vanilla NWN, I think that should be their benefit now. Maybe double the AC they get from Dex and or Wisdom, or just have their AC increase a lot more per level. I'd love to play a monk, but it's just not feasible right now.


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