Author Topic: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness  (Read 397 times)

Jamila

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Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« on: January 15, 2018, 06:00:18 AM »
Given how rough it is to play a Monk with the very tight restrictions on multiclassing, I think it is reasonable that the class gains either Uncanny Dodge or Defensive Awareness at some point in its progression. There's really almost no freedom in trying to attain it with the rules in place and it is a very basic sort of thing for a "finesse" class like Monk to have.

About the only routes, a monk has to pursue it is to be evil and go Assassin or be a dwarf and go for Dwarven Defender. Given the classing restrictions, I think it reasonable to just add it to the Monk leveling scheme at some level to put the class on the same footing as the other "finesse" classes.

The idea that every martial artist (like Bruce Lee) is a prone, flat-footed goof in reality just seems wrong.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 06:08:17 AM by Jamila »

Barris

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 04:36:58 PM »
I can't find anything official on why monks do not have UD, but I think it would fit perfectly for the class. From what I can find, though, people seem to think that giving monk UD would detract from rogue by making yet another one of its abilities as not so unique (of course, this ability is already not unique because Barbarian has UD).

For what my opinion is worth (which is obviously a lot :P) I think it would be perfectly fine to give monk UD, so long as you tempered the change by giving rogues something new in response (for instance, perhaps an Int or Cha based feat that gives rogues a bonus to UMD).
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aprogressivist

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 04:49:41 PM »
I mean, being flat-footed is pretty much the only time you can likely catch a Monk. At high levels they're the fastest class with excellent class Skills, innate Spell Resistance making them immune to 50% of spells from equal level casters, excellent saves, get +6 AC from the Parry system here on top of the +4 they get from Tumble in NWN, for a total of +10 from base DnD.

They ought to have some weaknesses rather than permanently sitting on AC 40+ without particular commitment.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 05:17:24 PM by aprogressivist »

Jamila

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 06:42:51 PM »
I can see why you might think that if you've never played one with any dedication, but the weaknesses of a monk are pretty well-known.

You're easily the hardest to start (worse than a rogue, even) and pretty much remain that way til levels long past most ever reach (some could easily argue possibly worst overall, period). You're behind the curve easily for 2/3rds to 3/4ths of 20 levels. Your AB is the worst of all melee classes (all those attacks mean little when most miss). You've the least amount of options when it comes to getting equipment (it wasn't til level 9  when I found a robe with AC on it, I still haven't found gloves comparable to a sword that a level 2 fighter can buy in an evening or two of rat-farming). And to top it all off, you've the most unimpressive damage of any meleer around, most hits will struggle to be double digits even at level 20.

Top it off with your eventual reward is that the entire server's NPC population will hate you if you even get to level 20 someday (something I can't find a reason for in any game source at all).

I think letting them keep 2 to 5 points of Dex AC is more than reasonable. Especially given all the rest of their AC is vapor AC while flat-footed anyways.

aprogressivist

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 07:28:46 PM »
I think letting them keep 2 to 5 points of Dex AC is more than reasonable. Especially given all the rest of their AC is vapor AC while flat-footed anyways.

Except it's not just 2 - 5 points, though; it's eventually around at least 2 Dex, 4 Tumble and 2 from enchanted boots at higher levels. So from level 13+ you're looking at 7-8 Dex/Dodge AC base. If you're a Dex monk, that'll probably be closer to 10-12, even before buffing.

I appreciate that's a high level view but that's where the most effect will be apparent. It's precisely then where almost every single weakness Monks have has a counter (usually a potion or a buff, which can be hoarded/grinded). If you give Monks innate uncanny dodge then you make it that much harder to catch them unawares; meaning they'd be a class that's hard to surprise (Listen), hard to gank (innately high AC all the time), hard to catch or pin down, and almost impossible to kill once prepared. I don't think that's reasonable.

If you really want to have Uncanny Dodge, though, there is a solution: the Paladin Spell Sacred Haven grants that and +2 dodge AC. You might make friends with a high level Paladin; or suggest a monk item with limited charges that casts the spell in the item requests thread.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 07:55:43 PM by aprogressivist »

DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 09:08:52 PM »
As a player of a decently high-level monk, I find the worse problem is not AC but attack bonus. In terms of balancing the weakness of the class, it depends on whether the approach should be to fix deficiencies or make monks the best at what they're good at.

Keeping their AC in all situations is one tact.

The alternative would be something like what has been done with the Fiery Fist feat.

A feat to allow monks to exchange one Stunning Fist for a Fist of True Strike.

Or a feat to allow monks to exchange one Stunning Fist for a number of rounds equal to Wisdom bonus of adding Wisdom bonus to AB.

Or something that makes Quivering Palm actually useful. It's very mediocre for an ability gained only at 15th level.

Something certainly needs to be done for 17th level monks. It's truly pathetic what they get.
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aprogressivist

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 09:33:28 PM »
I mean, a Hector's Essence or a Heart of the Beast turns a monk into a full AB blender, but OK...

DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 09:41:48 PM »
A buffed monk is glorious. No argument there, but so are a lot of classes, and monks cannot self-buff or multiclass so as to be able to self-buff.

Objectively, though, just look at the power gains for most other classes going from 16th to 17th level. What does a monk get? A single hit die! Compare that to gaining access to ninth level spells.

And quivering palm once a day at 15th level? It's laughable.

I don't think any of my suggestions are over powered.

True Strike is a first level spell

My other feat is roughly a monk equivalent to Divine Might.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 09:43:54 PM by DrXavierTColtrane »
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aprogressivist

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2018, 10:07:57 PM »
Monks are all-rounders, which means they shouldn't compete with dedicated classes. And yet a fully buffed monk is very competitive. When used right, their speed lets them dictate the engagement. Quivering Palm isn't weak. Even with enchanted Fort gear and save rings, it can one-shot kill a level 20 non-Fort class with Con 14. Giving them True Strike is basically an auto-knockdown first strike on top of that, even against most classes that have in-Class Discipline.

I appreciate not all monk players grind hard for equipment and levels, but what you suggest things for yourself, you suggest for those who do. And, with the huge amount of equipment and loot, monks are simply not a weak class. They have their own very distinct PvP niche, in a style which is very hard to counter unless you play to their weaknesses.

aprogressivist

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2018, 10:29:04 PM »
(Or at least, Quivering Palm is no weaker than any of those Fort-based spells which equally get negated by heavy Fort builds.)

Always_a_hero

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 01:36:52 AM »
The first thing which bothers me is how this whole conversation turns about the final number which is coming out. I mean, my solution and what I've seen with the implantation of new monk feats such as Fiery Fist/Defense is that it should be considerable to not focus only on building Dex monks, but also Wisdom based monks.

It has it's advantages: bonus to all monk's offensive DCs/feats duration/dmg. And he doesn't lose Wisdom AC when flat footed.

Dex builds gives the following: bonus on AC/reflex saves (deflect arrow) and Parry/tumble skill points (though tumble doesn't augment AC with the final modifier) and of course, augments the AB. Dex builds bring the immediate solutions to all of what seems to be the necessary to survive low lvls. But either Dex or Wisdom based, your character will still have advantages and weaknesses, either offensive or defensive. And it's the role of the player, if he wants to be efficient, to find solutions to these weaknesses.

If you go on adding Uncanny Dodge to monk, it'll just give one more reason for all monk to focus on a dex build. And surprisingly enough, if you remove all feat put on the parry skill and weapon finesse, you find yourself with 3 feats (on the top of my head) which can make your character way more versatile in combat... Or as a wise man or woman would say, will grant you a BALANCE between hitting hard and dodging hard... Because should be more than war machines- at least some of them should have minds too.

I won't go through the calculations for the numbers that comes out, I'm just trying to present a larger range of possibilities which doesn't imply asking the DM Team to make all characters epic heros... I mean, the lvl cap's 20 for a reason.
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DrXavierTColtrane

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 12:09:49 AM »
Firstly, monks are not "all-rounders." They are a pure melee class without any spells whatsoever. The other classes that do not get any spells are rogues, barbarians, and fighters. Monks cannot multiclass on this server, which makes them exceptionally bad to label "all-rounders."

Let's compare rangers (more of an actual all-rounder class) to monks.

Same skill points per level, but rangers have more class skills. Edge: Ranger

Hit points: Rangers receive 10 per level, monks 8. Edge: Ranger

Attack bonus: Rangers receive full AB progression, monks don't. Edge: Ranger

Monks can open hand for an extra attack, but rangers are easy to dual wield. With their greater attack bonus, rangers otherwise innately get more attacks per round at a given level using a weapon.

Monks cannot wear armor and start out with only monk weapon proficiencies. Rangers can wear some armor from the start and get martial weapon proficiencies.

You talk about PVP and object to how hard it is to pin down a monk. The class can be elusive, and monk speed makes quality of life better on this server. But XP are gained by killing monsters, not running from them. Those classes that can actually kill opponents will level much faster than monks.

Other classes have also had their speed augmented lately through additional feats, detracting from the main perk of being a monk.

Rangers are at least as good at stealthing as monks, and with HIPS it's not really a contest.

Rangers get spells, monks do not.

Monks are alignment restricted; rangers are not.

Saving throws: Edge monks. But defensive prowess is again offset because the monk will take longer to kill enemies than the ranger and thus have to make a greater number of saves.

As for quivering palm, it is objectively weaker in all ways than such spells as Gut Wrench and Finger of Death.

DC 10 + half the monk's level
= 17 min
= 24 max
Must hit
Must cause damage
Can be used only on someone of lower level
Gutwrench
DC 18 min 24 max (probably higher because of feats and caster's ability to self buff to make saves more difficult)
No need to hit the target. Can use on a target of higher level. Even with a save causes 10d6 points of damage. User receives a boost of +4 to strength and 4d6 temp hit points.

Finger of Death does not require a hit to inflict, also causes damage even with a save, and is received two levels lower than quivering palm.

TLDR: Seventeenth level sucks for monks. There's simply no way to argue otherwise, and I'd like to see someone try.
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aprogressivist

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 01:26:15 AM »
It's kind of pointless to argue with you point-by-point when you don't register the fact that Monks have access to Tumble and Rangers don't; or that Spellcraft applies against Fortitude-based spells, but not against Quivering Palm (meaning a high level caster is probably losing at least +5 saves, and probably more). Or that Monks don't wear armour because they don't need to (a high level Monk is effectively in Heavy Armour even naked; and gets +4 from Tumble; and gets +5/6 from Parry with low or no Feat investment. Seriously. AC is not a Monk's problem). Or that none of the new speed boosts actually come close to matching the Monks' speed.

To make suggestions, you have to consider both the implications in PvE and PvP. But it's clear you are voicing concerns from a strongly PvE perspective. And yet, there's a recommended solution to all PvE problems: party up. I've seen a Monk - Wizard/Cleric team do most of the content on this server apart from the highest level dungeons. They're not that badly placed in PvE. Sure, they're not as good as full AB classes, but that's the price they pay for their other capabilities, which give them an unique PvP niche.

Have you ever tried to catch a high level monk in PvP? I have. She managed to evade a whole party out to hunt her down, even with a DM helping us to run her down by giving us horses and Haste boots.

If you want to make suggestions, you ought to understand what those suggestions imply in both PvE and PvP.

There are items that you can collect to boost a Monk's low AB; it's not fun to grind for loot, but the opportunity exists. And I've offered a workable solution to the OP's original desire. I don't think there's anything more to be said here. If you have particular suggestions for improving the Monk class, then you should probably start a new thread.

Vonn59

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 06:31:55 PM »
Um, just a little question.

          Does parry work when unarmed?

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Re: Monks and Uncanny Dodge/Defensive Awareness
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 07:13:24 PM »
Um, just a little question.

          Does parry work when unarmed?

Yeah, with Improved Unarmed Attack.