Author Topic: Is a strength based monk viable?  (Read 526 times)

nostalgicsamurai

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Is a strength based monk viable?
« on: April 08, 2019, 05:31:23 PM »
Hi!

I'm a new player here, and I was thinking about making a monk PC. From a few threads I've read in this forum, i've got the impression that it's difficult to get some decent damage as a dex monk here. So I'm wondering if a strength monk would be viable, or if I'd end up sacrificing too much AC and thus become unable to survive in melee combat. I also like the RP implications of a strength build a bit better.

Also, do you think it's worth it to get intelligence to 13-14 in order to get some combat feats with the monk? In some PWs I've played on, expertise is almost essential, even when playing a relatively low AB PC, but it's always a bit tricky to raise intelligence on a monk considering how MAD they are.

zDark Shadowz

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 277
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 05:58:19 PM »
If you're tanking or expecting to solo? You'll need improved expertise at the levels you'll be able to take them on

For the most part if you take a str based route, still do your best not to compromise Dex/con/wisdom too much. Potentially, you may have to just stay on a flanking role, perhaps with some stealth skills for between encounters so you aren't targeted immediately (need them to lock onto your actual tanks first.)

Generally the reversal of str/Dex and lack of further investment in Dex equates to about a 3 - 5 AC loss (depending on how its built), which is significant, but as long as you don't compromise on the other abilities and tumble, get your AC where you can, it should still work out for most things.

Early on and late game content may present more difficulties than is normal for a monk but the flaws of the individual are covered by the strengths of the group usually. Monk is a teamsport.

You may or may not consider using a 2h weapon to get that strength modifier and a better critical range. Eventually the fists do get on par with a weapon but being able to have enchanted gloves on top of a two-handed weapon is one (slight) advantage over a monk that only has the one item slot to work with, having empty hands and being able to Improved Disarm someone to take their weapon and immediately use it on the opponent is a fun gimmick too.

I won't say it's not difficult but like most things you can make it work.
Currently playing Karaz Steel, the Knave with the Glaive.

immasturgeon

  • Dawnslayers
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 06:04:47 PM »
Yes it's viable. Some might even say preferable. As a monk you'll never really have elite defense anyhow... Better to focus on what dps you can and be a flanker.

nostalgicsamurai

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 06:14:43 PM »

For the most part if you take a str based route, still do your best not to compromise Dex/con/wisdom too much. Potentially, you may have to just stay on a flanking role, perhaps with some stealth skills for between encounters so you aren't targeted immediately (need them to lock onto your actual tanks first.)


So, a balanced spread would be best? Like the following for a human:

STR: 15
DEX: 14
CON: 12
INT: 14
WIS: 14
CHA: 8

I'm tempted to start at 17 STR for a bit more AB and damage, but then I'd have to bring INT down to 13, and then DEX to 12 and CON to 10, or something similar, which might bring down my survivability a bit too much.

sammylix

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 06:23:12 PM »

For the most part if you take a str based route, still do your best not to compromise Dex/con/wisdom too much. Potentially, you may have to just stay on a flanking role, perhaps with some stealth skills for between encounters so you aren't targeted immediately (need them to lock onto your actual tanks first.)


So, a balanced spread would be best? Like the following for a human:

STR: 15
DEX: 14
CON: 12
INT: 14
WIS: 14
CHA: 8

I'm tempted to start at 17 STR for a bit more AB and damage, but then I'd have to bring INT down to 13, and then DEX to 12 and CON to 10, or something similar, which might bring down my survivability a bit too much.

Yeah, according to everyone I've talked to that should be a viable build. Once you reach level four you'll put it into strength and it would be worth simply waiting rather than sacrificing your skill spread. At the end-game you'd have 20 base strength. Plus the extra int would allow you to have more skill points for things like hide.

zDark Shadowz

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 277
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 06:25:13 PM »
Looks fine to me for an expertise-focused spread. It's fine if you want to try get to 17 STR, just as long as the +1 AB/Damage is worth the 5 point cost, but that's not for me to say if it is or not.

Since you've said you're new, don't forget to take Parry as you level up your monk alongside tumble, parry grants +1 AC for every 5 ranks after modifiers.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 06:28:34 PM by zDark Shadowz »
Currently playing Karaz Steel, the Knave with the Glaive.

immasturgeon

  • Dawnslayers
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 06:33:29 PM »
Expertise, while situationally useful probably shouldn't be your go to. You're AB is not great as a monk, especially at low levels. Best to leave the tanking to the tank and you work on hitting things alot. When you are surrounded by a ton of enemies that need to roll 19 to hit you gimp your damage output a lot by popping expertise, especially those second and third attacks.

Make friends use your speed plan to be a flanker. They really can be decent at dealing damage.

immasturgeon

  • Dawnslayers
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 06:42:02 PM »
Also: hit up the free advice section in discord people there are great about helping with builds.

nostalgicsamurai

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 12:35:18 AM »
Ok, thank you guys for your answers  :)

Ard

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Lootcifer, hear my prayers !
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 01:33:18 AM »
I would say "depends".
If you're going with weapons - yes.
If you want to fight with fists - better choice is dex monk.

Because your attack increases in time, and having 3 points more dmg instead of 3 more AC  looks like a bad trade once you have the 1d20.
Bear in mind you can't multiclass here as a monk (beside PRC).

Hypatia

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2019, 05:24:04 AM »
In PnP, with improved grappling they are incredibly powerful. They beat other classes like helpless babies in one on one fights.  Its pretty much impossible to loose control once you succeed a touch attack to start the grapple if you have high str. and the feat. There are actual grapple checks in here, and if you could find someone willing to PnP the fight.. you could dominate by PnP rules in a 1 on 1; though maybe not as much because we don't have improved grapple feat available.

But seriously a strength based grappler monk in PnP is utterly broken OP.

Thundron

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 06:05:13 AM »
My DEX Monk, moon Elf 10 18 12 14 14 8 all dex
My ste monk, half-orc 16 14 14 12 14 6 1 int rest STR
Expertise for both

HighPrimate

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2019, 11:08:49 AM »
Sadly,  nwn implementation of monk is not close to pnp. Circle kick is still awful (I heard Beamdog tried to fix it though).
Flurry of Blows can't be implemented with progression as per pnp.

Speaking of feat section I'd choose next for every monk: luck of heroes,  weapon focus,  dodge,  blindfight,  greater fortitude. The rest is optional. Strength based monk will need improved parry feat to maximize parry ac quicker.
Do not pick axiomatic strike. It does not work against 75% monsters of the server.

Also,  I'd advise you to reconsider and play dex based monk. They are much better.

Thundron

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2019, 02:04:57 AM »
Why would you take Even Parry as it doesnt work unarmed?

Legion XXI

  • Community Council
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
  • Domn Clancy
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2019, 02:08:02 AM »
Parry does work unarmed, you just need improved unarmed strike.  Which monks get for free.

nostalgicsamurai

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2019, 03:10:57 PM »
I would say "depends".
If you're going with weapons - yes.
If you want to fight with fists - better choice is dex monk.

Because your attack increases in time, and having 3 points more dmg instead of 3 more AC  looks like a bad trade once you have the 1d20.
Bear in mind you can't multiclass here as a monk (beside PRC).

You only get 1d20 at level 16 though. In my experience unarmed dex monks struggle a lot to kill anything before that. That's not a problem in PWs where you can quickly get to that level, but that doesn't seem to be the case here at all.

Also I'm not so sure it's such a bad trade even when you finally get that 1d20, though I'd have to know what kind of damage bonuses you can get on gloves here to really know. 3 less AC means that you take 15% more damage against ennemies that use physical attacks. Okay, but unless your average damage is more than 20 damage per hit, 3 more points of damage also means an increase or 15% or even more depending on the damage you would have without it. And this is extra damage against all ennemies, including casters, against which AC is useless. So even if it's just an increase of 10% damage because you could reach 30 damage with a dex monk (which I seriously doubt unless there are some really uber gloves here) it might still be overall more useful than the extra AC.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 06:59:19 AM by nostalgicsamurai »

immasturgeon

  • Dawnslayers
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2019, 03:23:15 PM »

You only get 1d20 at level 16 though. In my experience unarmed dex monks struggle a lot to kill anything before that. That's not a problem in PWs where you can quickly get to that level, but that doesn't seem to be the case here at all.

Monks have a hard go of it early on without the benefits of levels and readily available equipment to improve their defenses the only thing they can do is hit things more. Str helps with that. If I had party and I had to choose between a STR monk accompanying me and a DEX monk (melee, not gun) I would pick the STR monk every time.

And you're right planning for some very high level is rather pointless, in my view, as it takes forever to get there.

aprogressivist

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 4666
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2019, 03:39:05 PM »
Dex monks are overall better if you're willing to put in the grind work because alchemical varnishes on your gloves will overshadow the damage loss from Strength.

On the other hand, Strength monks probably make excellent merchants -- you'll have loads of carrying capacity!
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

foxtale

  • Red Vardo Traders Front
  • Outlander
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: Is a strength based monk viable?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2019, 12:52:44 PM »
Quote
" 3 less AC means that you take 15% more damage against enemies that use physical attacks"

That is not quite mathematically correct. If an enemy would usually only hit you on a 17,18 and 20, having 3 less AC means you take 100% more damage against that foe, since the range of rolls at which they would hit you has doubled.

What you are 15% more is hit out of all incoming attacks. That is... Out of all the potential damage that is launched at you, you take 15% more. But that potential number might be tremendously deadly and an undesirable reference point.

What I want to say is is that AC is preciously valuable unless you are already only hit on a 20. Some of our dungeons are designed around the idea that the enemies will only hit you in the upper rolls with a big damage number to make up for it, so each point of AC you can get will protect from a big chunk of punishment.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 01:13:56 PM by foxtale »
Mareike - "The alternative is unlife, Mareike. Worse, the alternative is saving only myself. I will go to any length for this."
Enora - "The Weald belongs to they that can take it."