Discussion:Most Unbalanced Class/Archive 1

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Surgo 14:05, 19 October 2008 (MDT)[edit]

You're joking, right? The Monk is the weakest class in the core books, and one of the weakest classes in the game. You might want to read up on the rules that you're trying to use...namely, Shield, which is a personal-only spell which means that you cannot cast it on other people, and it cannot be made into a potion.

Aarnott 14:19, 19 October 2008 (MDT)[edit]

Probably the Wizard. The class itself isn't unbalanced; the spells are. Druids and Clerics are also not too shabby. Clerics, for instance, can do sneaking a lot better than a rogue using the trickery domain (Invisibility + Silence is a sweet combo).

Surgo 14:22, 19 October 2008 (MDT)[edit]

The Rogue isn't just a sneak-based character, though. The whole point of the Rogue is to reliably drop one enemy a round, which is something it does pretty well. The Cleric can't always accomplish that (the key word here is reliably).

Yeah, the Wizard is definitely the most unbalanced class.

Aarnott 14:30, 19 October 2008 (MDT)[edit]

My point is that one things Rogues are known for, a Cleric can do better. Optimizing any spellcaster will always yield better results than any other class: spellcasting is inherently too powerful. Dropping an opponent in one round is surely easier with an optimized Cleric than an optimized Rogue.

S1Q3T3 23:58, 27 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Spellcasting is overpowered only at very high levels, or in the hands of indulgent DMs who do not put pressure on the main weakness of the spellcasters -- the ease with which they can be killed.

At the higher levels, monks certainly outperform all of the other fighting classes and with levels in Psionic Fist, they poach spellcasters' territory as well. The difficulty is in getting them there. Monks are not weak at the lower levels per se, but you have to use their speed and agility and stay out of stand-up fights.

Especially with the Eberron rules, the higher-level monk can get pretty broken. It's the unarmed combat damage; no other damage in the game scales like that. I'm sure they'll change it in 4e. Not doing anything too weird, bread-and-butter stuff only, a Monk 6/Psionic Fist 9/Warshaper 1/Initiate of the Draconic Mysteries 4 with, Improved Natural Attack, a Monk's Belt and an Ectoplasmic Fist (total cost, 20,000gp) can Metamorphosis into a size G Wyvern and use an enhanced Expansion to get to Colossal plus. Base damage: 64d8 (48d8 if size damage is capped at Colossal) (I made a table.)

Still, there are people who will tell you the monk is underpowered. In their games, that may be true. But I think for the most part it's just a question of whether you know how to build one and run one.


you want unbalanced just use the Book of Vile Darkness and it's counter Part The Book of Divine something, either way the apostle of peace can have 42 ac Dr10/- and Fh/5 by level 12, and the BoVD spells are exorbitantly rigged.

Sleaker 00:41, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

saying a class (monk) is powerful because you can gain the abilities of another class (Psionic Warrior) completely defeats the purpose of saying that class is powerful. The only reason why the Monk has any chance when you take Core sources (SRD, etc) is because you add Psionics on it. But then you are suggesting tradeoffs, if you think the Monk is good when you add a psionic class to it, or can take two feats and stack a psionic classes progression with a monk progression and claim it to still be a 'monk' you are mistaken. The idea is that you have to take so many extra abilities, and features that weren't already built into the class to make it good. Nearly all of the monk builds suffer from one giant problem: they deal physical damage only, and rely on Melee strikes.This does a few things:
firstly, monk BAB is already bad, when you multiclass into casters to give them more power, it just gets worse.
Second: I can't stress how many of the higher CR monsters have some form of evasion mechanic that makes it quite difficult to enter into melee, or to stay out of reach of a melee character.
Third: You always have the issue of dealing with concealment, miss chances, ethereal, incorporeal, and magical invisibilities, but unlike spellcasters you have much less options to deal with them.
Fourth: Your role is SEVERLY limited. You can do only one thing, and one thing good. Smack something in melee. But this can be done generally more effectively by say, a Fighter with a spiked chain and trip feats. At least he can control the battlefield a bit more.. Whereas the monk has to put most of his feats and such into making his already bad abilities good.
Fifth: AC- Even though monks are built as a melee class they suffer from being incredibly easy to hit compared to most other classes. This generally comes from them needing to have 4 High stats (Wis, Str, Dex, Con) and Int if you want more skills..

Per the post above: Unfortunately BoVD and BoED are not 3.5e, they are 3.0 sourcebooks.

I would have to say that the Favored Soul is probably the most powerful straight base class, Spontaneous divine spells, free deity weapon focus, monk saves. energy resistances, wings and dr to boot. On top of 9th level cleric spells. I don't really see how the Monk can touch this kind of power just straight up.

Surgo 08:19, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

What the hell are you talking about, S1Q3T3? Spellcasting is overpowered at every level in the game. Color Spray at level 1 is every bit as good as Wail of the Banshee at level 17. Glitterdust and Web will shut down every level 3 encounter. The list goes on and on and on. As for monks being able to do a little direct damage, who cares? One casting of Telekinesis makes the monk feel small in the pants no matter how much direct damage he can do.

Also, Sleaker, Clerics are far, far better than Favored Souls. The class features the Favored Soul gets don't really matter that much. Wings come too late to be useful, Energy Resistance and a Weapon Focus are pretty useless. What the Cleric gets, however, is Turning and, in turn, Divine Metamagic. Which lets him persist any spell he cares to. Far more useful than some +1 to hit with your primary weapon.


S1Q3T3 15:03, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Let's start with Sleaker: "saying a class (monk) is powerful because you can gain the abilities of another class (Psionic Warrior) completely defeats the purpose of saying that class is powerful."

Well, no, I'm going to have to disagree with you on that. The prestige classes you can access are part of the abilities of the class. A monk with levels of Psionic Fist is still a monk.

"Nearly all of the monk builds suffer from one giant problem: they deal physical damage only, and rely on Melee strikes."

Incorrect. What you are really saying: "I don't know how to do anything with a monk character but (How did you put it?) 'Smack something in melee.'" That's far from the only thing a monk can do.

"I can't stress how many of the higher CR monsters have some form of evasion mechanic that makes it quite difficult to enter into melee, or to stay out of reach of a melee character."

I can't stress enough how ineffectual such evasion is when you are dealing with a character who can move hundreds of feet per round and run up walls, when they cannot actually teleport, or fly.

"You always have the issue of dealing with concealment, miss chances, ethereal, incorporeal, and magical invisibilities, but unlike spellcasters you have much less options to deal with them."

Again, this simply reflects your level of expertise in playing a monk. Who has concealment? Flank them. Miss chances? There are any number of powers and items that negate them. And so on.

"Your role is SEVERLY limited."

Now that is the complete opposite of the truth. You want a monk for reconnaissance and espionage. You want them in an ambush. They have the best saves in your party. They laugh at fortifications. They cruise past controllers to eviscerate spellcasters. Whilst still progressing as monks in terms of AC, dmg, and move, they can acquire just about any psionic power they could want.

Fighters and Barbarians (great classes; I have nothing against them) have a limited role; they hit things with their weapons. Take that away from them, they don't have a lot of options. A monk, in contrast, does.

"AC- Even though monks are built as a melee class they suffer from being incredibly easy to hit compared to most other classes."

Oh, no. Again, that's a matter of how you play the monk. By 6th level they can be enjoying mobility and spring attack, with a high tumble skill; they can attack and be out of reach before an opponent can respond. Fairly soon after that they can charge, make a full attack, and Hustle to safety. Pretty soon after that, they don't have to get to safety, because with 4-5 attacks dealing a couple hundred points of damage each, no one is alive after the first round.

Also, the ability to apply Wis to AC is an extremely powerful ability. Two 20s in Dex and Wis are much easier to achieve than a 30 Dex. There are any number of ways to acquire high deflection bonuses and natural armor. But again, the secret to the monk's not being hit is not standing there waiting to get hit. It's mobility and surprise.

Now let's address the always-calm-and-reasoned Surgo:

"What the hell are you talking about"?

I'm talking about a fantasy role-playing game, Surgo. So are you. No need to get excited.

"Spellcasting is overpowered at every level in the game."

Spellcasting, maybe, but not spellcasters. As I said, it's a function of the DM. Confronting a reasonably intelligent enemy, the spellcaster has a target painted on his back. Say you, for example, are in melee with another party. Who do you want to kill first? A) Who can end the encounter (and you) at any moment? (The caster). Who is likely to be easiest to hit? (The caster). Who is likely to be the least durable, and thus give you the greatest chance of having one less foe to deal with? (The caster.)

You are going to do everything in your power to kill that guy before he can get a spell off. And your chances of success are pretty good.

If you don't lose a fair proportion of your low-level spellcasters to this sort of reasoning, your DM, consciously or not, is coddling you. Ten hit points, and you're going to stand there and cast a spell as a standard action? I'll tell you this, a monk is never going to let you get away with that. Better win initiative every round, and run for your life when you get your spell off (which is, in essence, what the low-level monk does, being far better equipped to do so.)

Daniel Draco 15:54, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Alright, hypothetical situation. Wizard has Celerity and Foresight active, so he ends up winning initiative. Wizard uses maximize metamagic rod to cast time stop. During his four rounds, he gets close and casts forcecage and dimensional lock. Wizard has two hours per level to do whatever he wants to the monk, probably consisting of a bunch of cloudkills or other fortitude/will partial effects. Meanwhile, the monk has absolutely no way of getting out.

Also: by your logic of PrCs being part of the base class, paladin is the strongest class in the game (thanks to the level 1 Pun-Pun).

SteelOrochu[edit]

Cool, you can have a faster then needed monk, but lets go straight class level 20. A well equiped Warlock with the buffs he should readily have can take on a monk any day with about much difficulty as normal player versus player would have. But so this isn't another argument about how monks are deffinatly not the almighty class, my vote for most broken class is warlock. You touch attack dragons for damage for a good chunk of damage. With his attack buffed right he can do more on a hideous blow.

Lord Dhazriel 16:07, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Warlock are not broken. They are viable imo (even there they are so so, they are good crafters however). The most powerful class is archivist, at least that what I tend to believe. (Cloistered Cleric is also very very good).

SteelOrochu[edit]

I'm just throwing my opinion, anything that can his a dragon without having to get within its reach has some power.

Lord Dhazriel 18:22, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Oh yeah and on a side note, BOVD and BOED are 3e not 3.5e.

Daniel Draco 18:44, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

BoVD is 3.0. BoED is 3.5


S1Q3T3 19:32, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

That's amazing, Draco; your hypothetical situation is almost exactly the plan I came up with myself in imagining how an arcane spellcaster might take on a high-level monk. See here (third combat example). It has the force cage, time stop, everything. I guess the moral of the story is, there aren't that many ways to go about defeating a high-level monk.

I looked up Foresight; it doesn't give you an initiative bonus. I can't find Celerity, could you shoot me a link? I don't know what the bonus is, but it would have to be pretty ferocious to grab initiative from a monk who (if he is wise) has been obsessively buffing his initiative bonus from day one.

You've given your Wizard an active 9th-level spell, as well as a powerful magic item. What could you come up with for the monk? That's the first question (Since we both independently came up the with Forcecage idea, I'm starting to think monks should invest in a Rod of Cancellation.) Now, think about things like this: cage or cube? Presumably cage, since you are casting cloudkills through it. But now you have a host of problems. If your opponent has taken even a single level in Drunken Master, he can kill you with a matchstick flung through the bars (his improvised weapons, range increment 10 ft., do unarmed strike damage + 1d4). Watch out for that. You haven't antimagic'd him, so he could simply assume a Fine form via Metamorphosis and exist the cage. Even simpler: use Ectoplasmic Form and just walk out. And so on.


Also, you can't use a straight Dimensional Anchor; it's a targeted spell (ranged touch attack), and "While the time stop is in effect, other creatures are invulnerable to your attacks and spells; you cannot target such creatures with any attack or spell." You'd have to turn it into an area effect spell somehow first.

So it's far from an open-and-shut thing. I have a healthy respect for high-level arcane spellcasters; no one is saying they are weak. Neither is a well-optimized monk.

As for prestige class: you can think whatever you want, although for the record, I did not say "PrCs [were] part of the base class." I said that the PrCs you get access to are part of a class' benefits. That seems obvious to me. How many people in 3.5e go twenty levels in one base class? Talk about your hypotheticals.

Surgo 21:53, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Everyone dies at level 1 if they lose initiative and get hit by someone else, it doesn't really matter their class. Life is cheap at level 1, no matter who you are. But a Color Spray will still end an encounter in one blow. So will any number of spells at any level in the game.

I fail to see why you are so stuck on Monks as being any good. You have one trick, which is a little direct damage. A trick that any Wizard can beat with a single casting of Telekinesis. Meanwhile, the Wizard can also do any number of other things thanks to spellcasting. What's really hilarious is how the Wizard can actually beat the iconic grapplers (including the Monk) at every level -- including level 1!

Also, the matchstick example is pretty much failed. A Wizard who takes both the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil prestige class to full (7) and Incantatrix to merely level 3 (something I always do, at least) can persist a personal disintegrate warding and have any such thrown weapon disintegrated and destroyed before it actually hits.

A high-level fight could go down any number of ways: the Wizard casts Maze, the Wizard uses that irresistible dance spell if the other side lacks mind-affecting immunity, the Wizard uses Telekinesis and a portable hole full of shrunken alchemist's fire to do enough direct damage to kill anything in the game...the options are pretty much endless here.

Note that Rods of Cancellation only effect items, not persistent effects. Stupid, yeah, but that's the RAW for you.

There's a reason I say Monks are weak. And that's because they are outclassed by something else at every level in the game. Even if you can do enough direct damage to maybe make an enemy take you seriously at level 20, you're at the point where you're going to need some more options to cut it. And you're even outclassed at direct damage.

Something else I noted: the idea of Monks having good saves. Straight monks have saves that are merely passable. If you want to have actually good saves, you need to multiclass a lot.

S1Q3T3 22:12, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Everyone dies at level 1 if they lose initiative and get hit by someone else, it doesn't really matter their class.

You really don't see the difference between six hit points and sixteen, or AC 22 and AC 14? You must.

But a Color Spray will still end an encounter in one blow.

Do they not use saving throws in your game? C'mon. You just got done saying any encounter with a 1st-level character could end with one blow. So what's so special about Color Spray?

I fail to see why you are so stuck on Monks as being any good.

Maybe because the people who argue monks are weak clearly don't understand how to play them. Basically, your argument revolves around aggressively asserting that spellcasters are powerful and condemning monks while showing in how you describe them that you don't have the least idea what they can do.

I might ask why you are stuck on arcanes. I respect other classes and what they can so, but you seem to believe that only the class you like to play can possible be powerful or special. Well, sorry, you're wrong. Your poor wizard would get shredded up one side and down the other by a half-decent monk build. Because wizards are weak? No, because you and your attitude are weak. You don't have the slightest idea what monks can do, and all of your ideas here on how such a combat would go are half-baked wishful thinking.


Note that Rods of Cancellation only effect items, not persistent effects. Stupid, yeah, but that's the RAW for you.

No, this is RAW for you: "Like a wall of force spell, a forcecage resists dispel magic, but it is vulnerable to a disintegrate spell, and it can be destroyed by a sphere of annihilation or a rod of cancellation."

There's a reason I say Monks are weak. And that's because they are outclassed by something else at every level in the game.

No, they aren't; it's just that you put all your energy and creativity into thinking up cool things for your arcane spellcaster to try, and you haven't expended one-tenth the effort to see how to do the same thing with the monk class. You're biased, plain and simple. Do you realize that by RAW an ECL 16 Monk/Psionic Fist/Elocater can be wielding his own 9th-level psionic powers? Of course you don't. You've never given it a moments thought. Try. There's a big world out there beyond the arcane spellcaster.

Surgo 22:24, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

What's the average will save at level 1? The DC on Color Spray will be anywhere between 14 and 16 normally (int 16 with spell focus up to being a grey elf (int 20) with spell focus), leaving even the best possible will save (2 + 4 for high wisdom) with a 50% chance of dying. And that's the best case. Now run a color spray over an entire group and watch most of them die. That's what's special about color spray -- the fact that it can hose an entire group of people at once. Nothing else at level 1 is capable of doing that, except for maybe Entangle.

Where are you getting 16 HP at level 1 without being a Barbarian? Where are you getting 22 AC at level 1 at all?

I do know exactly what monks can do: some direct damage. That's where it starts, and that's where it ends. If you want to talk so candidly about my apparent problems, here is yours: you seem unable to see that not only can other classes do that better, they can also do other things. The reason I am "stuck" on arcanes being the best is because, well, they are -- they can seriously do any trick you could reasonably think of. And they have boatloads of options at every single level in the game. That's level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20. No other class has that sort of versatility and power outside of the Druid.

You say that a wizard would get shredded by a half-decent monk build, but you provide no backing for this. If you would like to link to a concept of how a battle with a wizard against your Ultimate Monk would go down, feel free to do so, but please do not just assert something.

Point taken on Rod of Cancellation vs. Forcecage, but I do mean my argument to apply to persistent spell effects in general and not just Forcecage.

Do you realize that by RAW an ECL 16 Monk/Psionic Fist/Elocater can be wielding his own 9th-level psionic powers?

I personally don't believe that build is playable at all levels in the game, so I'm inclined to not care. But I'd like to see how you figure that one (the 9th-level powers).

S1Q3T3 22:54, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

This is just what I mean; you give your beloved spellcaster an Int of 20 but assume the highest wisdom you're going to see is an 18. Make them the same, if you're comparing. Keep your Spell Focus feat; the monk will take Improved Initiative, and you won't even get the spell off. If you get lucky with your initiative roll, the monk will take +2 Will (base) + Wis bonus + 1d6 (action point, since as you point out, his life is at sake). Assuming the target's Wisdom and the caster's Int are the same, you will succeed about 30%. Assuming the same Dex, you will win initiative about 30% of the time. But the 9% of the time you get the spell off and it works, it'll be super impressive. Good luck with that.

It's nice to be able to hit a group of creatures, but it comes at a cost; there is no saving throw for melee attacks. Nor do you run the risk of losing it if you get hit while you're attempting it. And since you can effect a large number of creatures, and are easy to hit and easy to kill, the logical thing for any enemy to do is kill you first.

You say that a wizard would get shredded by a half-decent monk build, but you provide no backing for this. If you would like to link to a concept of how a battle with a wizard against your Ultimate Monk would go down, feel free to do so, but please do not just assert something.

That's rich, Surgo, coming from you. All you do is assert. And I've already linked to a combat example. Why don't you provide some examples of the Wizard at all the levels you specified? Using an optimized monk?

I've also told you why you, in particular, would get shredded; you think that all a monk can do is "some direct damage." "Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make blind."

I personally don't believe that build is playable at all levels in the game, so I'm inclined to not care.

Well, wouldn't want to disrespect your beliefs by intruding awkward facts, would we?


But I'd like to see how you figure that one (the 9th-level powers).

It's pretty simple: the level of power you can get via Psychic Chirurgery is defined as follows: "any level that she can manifest." There are two things needed to manifest a power; knowledge of the power and the ability to pay the point cost. You get knowledge of the power via Thieving Mindlink, and you meet the point cost in any number of ways: Overchannel, a Torc of Power Preservation, and/or Power Link Quori shards. Now you can manifest a 9th-level power. Or any other psionic power. And it gets better. When you get to ECL 21, you can get Epic Manifestation -- and those powers don't even require power points.

Lord Dhazriel 23:03, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Wait monk can't manifest. Obviously. We are not talking about PrC/base class combo, we are talking base classes only. Otherwise Pun Pun annihilate the monk. The omnificier diplomatize the gods in erasing him. So yeah. Monk is a pathetic base class, you can make it good only with a PrC.

S1Q3T3 23:13, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Sorry, milord, but you're not making the rules here. I've made my views on the matter clear; take them or leave them.

Monk is not a "pathetic base class." Please don't make blanket assertions without proof; it upsets Surgo.

Lord Dhazriel 23:37, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

You should try to be less offensives please. Also if we talk about a general 36 point build, generic character with average health and starting gold. The monk is below everyone in every single things. His MAD is great, he can't even spear a 18. With average hp (max at first level) and possibly low constitution (by comparing his con with other team tank). He only have between 8 and 10 hp. His AC is lower them a fighter with a breastplate (+5 Armor +0-3 from Dexterity) (+2-3 Dex +1-3 AC Bonus). Basically his AC, Hp, Attack Power well most everything is inferior to other member of the party. He can't rival the rogue skill (not even the cleric if he is a cloistered cleric). And he is a tank, or a melee support (but the rogue outclass him with sneak attack.. and both have mid bab). Now let go to higher level... Rogue enjoy spells with UMD, Cleric enjoy divine might and other powerful spells (making a better tank than the monk). The fighter enjoy his new equipments (oh shinny +2 keen joviar), the arcanist get new uber spells. What the monk get? Dimension Door 1/Day, weaker lay on the hand (low level pally ability), slowfall! that nice, unfortunately it is duplicated by a 1st level wizard/sorcerer spell? Oh yeah unarmed damages! Hey but how I can bypass DR with my crappy Ki Strike? Magic Items made for you, but cost a lot more than the shiny +2 keen joviar. So you get less magic items and shinny stuff (and you deal less damages, look at power attack and the joviar). By level 20 most class can one-shot the monk, one round with the rogue and a flanking friend, one spell from the spellcasters, the only one you can barely match is the fighter... but unfortunately he got a great armor and thus a great AC. You can't hit him with your mid bab and low-average starting stats. Not to mention his sword outclass your fist (and costed a lot less). You see pathetic, of course no Prc or tricky tricks were involved. If you say so then Pun Pun win.

PS: I am sarcastic to the monk not you, unlike huamns class don't feel emotions. Just don't take it personally.


S1Q3T3 23:51, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

If you deal out sarcasm, you're going to get it back. I'm sorry if your witty banter looks different to you when the sharp end is pointed the other way.

Let me try to put it to you in your native language: Pun-Pun no win. Pun Pun stupid. Multiclass/Prc options part of what make class special. They like magic items or special feats. They part of what you chose when you chose class. This my opinion. You no like? OK. You maybe go talk with another someone, maybe enroll to English grammar course online.

Surgo 23:49, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

"Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make blind."

Then I guess it's an awfully good thing I'm an atheist!

Here's what a Wizard 5 / Incantatrix 8 (banned school: evocation) / Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7 can do to defeat your friendly neighborhood Monk shown in combat #3.

The relevant stats (32 point buy, because I'm not sure what you were using and that seems standard)

Race: Grey Elf Str: 6 (8 - 2) base, +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (17) Dex: 18 base (16 + 2, 10 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (29) Con: 8 base (10 - 2, 2 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (19) Int: 20 base (18 + 2, 16 pts), +5 from level-up, +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (36) (mod of +13) Wis: 10 base (2 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (21) Cha: 10 base (2 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (21) Traits: Aggressive (+2 initiative)

Pertinent equipment: Belt of Magnificence (200k), masterwork tool for spellcraft (50), headband of spellcraft +30 (90k), two orange ioun stones (60k), shapechange focus (1.5k), greater metamagic rod of quicken (175k), pale green ioun stone, normal metamagic rod of twin spell. Some prices are left off because I don't have the books but this is within the wealth limit.

Pertinent feats used for PrC reqs: Iron Will (lev1), Extend Spell (lev5 bonus) Spell Focus (abjuration) (lev 3), Greater Spell Focus (abjuration) (lev 9), Skill Focus (Spellcraft) (lev 6) Other feats of note: Improved Initiative (lev 12), Persistent Spell (Incantatrix bonus feat), Ocular Spell (Incantatrix bonus)

Pertinent skills: Concentration 23, Spellcraft 23, Knowledge (Arcana) 23, Knowledge (nature) 4 ranks

Pertinent other things: by casting Planar Binding many times in a row, our wizard gets an entire room full of Efreets who use their wish powers to give him a +5 inherent bonus to all his stats. We'll stop using it there, because this combat would already be over if we're using the full extent of Wish (for that, see The Wish and the Word).

Thanks to equipment, synergies, and other stuff, we have a total spellcraft modifier of +70. That's easily enough to make the spellcraft checks required for the Incantatrix's Metamagic Effect ability when making a spell persistent, even a level 9 spell. So we will persist the following spells:

- Kauper's Skittish Nerves (+5 initiative) - Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil's personal double veil (Violet/Blue). - Shapechange (turned into a Solar). Since the Solar is a humanoid form, all our gear goes along with it. For those keeping track that pushes Str to 39, Dex to 31, and Con to 31. We also get regeneration, so the monk can't actually kill us. Depending on how you interpret the polymorph rules we have a very good argument for also getting the Solar's cleric spellcasting, just for laughs. - Overland Flight - Greater Invisibility

It's getting late so that's all I've bothered to calculate at the moment. Things of note are initiative of +22, caster level of 22 (so the solar is doable). Any object that passes into our square is automatically disintegrated before hitting us, and anyone that attacks us first has to make two saves of DC 31, Will then Fortitude, the first to avoid being shifted to a random plane and the second to avoid being turned to stone. Since you didn't seem to bother listing the monk's saves on that page, I don't know if these have a good chance of immediately stopping combat or not. I suspect he has a good chance of failing the fortitude save, however.

Anyway, we have better initiative than the monk, so on average we win. We then use our quickened metamagic rod to give us a quickened Time Stop. If we don't already have a portable hole full of shrunken colossal alchemist's fire, we can use Shades to mimic Major Creation (1 round casting time) to make some, which happens to be 22 cubic feet worth of regular flasks of alchemist's fire. Since the math there is pretty ridiculous, let's just say we already bought 30 flasks of shrunken colossal alchemist's fire (6d6 a piece), and we use a twinned telekinesis to hurl them all at the monk when Time Stop ends. Our to-hit is +23, for a touch attack. We'll be generous and assume that only half of them hit, so that's 90d6 damage, or 315 on average, which is overkill by at least a factor of 2.

But what if we don't win initiative? It's okay, we have persistent overland flight and greater invisibility. For the Monk to come get us he has to abandon his fast movement speed for a much lower fly speed, and he has to see us to begin with (something I don't see that monk even being able to do). We also have a bunch of other persistent defenses that I didn't bother dumpster diving for right now because it's late and I'm headed to bed. If it matters, I'll look tomorrow.

Special note: I'm a bit fuzzy on which spells are persistable but, if any spell isn't, we can just combine it with Ocular Spell (still well within reach of our spellcraft check) to make it persistable. You can persist any spell with Ocular Spell.

edit: I'm not even sure what book Danger Sense is from. If we qualify for it, we'll take that feat too. If for some reason the idea of alchemist's fire offends you, we'll just use greatswords instead and accomplish the same effect.

S1Q3T3 00:00, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Then I guess it's an awfully good thing I'm an atheist!

That reminds me of when my cats hide by sticking their heads under blankets. Remember: just because you cannot see them does not mean that they can't see you.

You are missing half the equation: now you need to optimize the monk for your build. This is what I'm saying. You can't work exclusively as advocate for one side or the other.

The primary problem with your build as it stands is that you can't find the monk. He's mind blanked. No one walks around with a fleet of Efferti, buffed to the heavens, 24/7. Either one of them is hunting the other, in which case the hunter will have a significant advantage, or they bump into each other at the coffee shop (or in a lonely wood, or whatever). So if it's the latter, you need a realistic concept of what the wizard would have prepared.

Sulacu 23:56, 28 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Oh wow. I've seen some interesting points being tossed around in this discussion. Like how monks are overpowered because they can become colossal wyverns or a Psionic Fist. In the same way is a druid overpowered because it can become a Planar Shepard. In the same way is a wizard overpowered because it can become an Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil. In the same way you might call a barbarian overpowered because it can become a Frenzied Berserker. Point is, any class can end up contributing to something powerful when you only use like two to six levels of it, and fill the rest up with a ceaseless flurry of optimization. It does not really speak of the power of the individual classes with which you do it, but rather of the anal-retentive meticulousness with which you endeavour to distill optimal power from the collective publishings of WotC. In the case of the monk, think of it like MacGyver using some worthless crap lying around and turning it into something great and handy that can get him out of a tight spot.

And yes, it is a commonly known fact that wyverns are generally bigger and more powerful than human beings.

A low-level adventurer with an AC 22 might be able to glean off some blows, but in order for a 3rd level or so monk to reach that level, he needs to max out two of his stats and use a couple of consumables to boost him the rest of the way. One might even say that a fighter of equal level can do the same thing by equipping a full plate and a tower shield - all mundane items. Because the monk's average base attack bonus and the fact that the fighter's Strength is most certainly greater, he'll still likely have a better chance to hit. Even a paladin using a few variant rules can easily get his Charisma to AC, and he doesn't even have to be unarmored for it. That said, you would have to be weird in the head to take paladin past third.

It still remains you can use a lot of tactics to beat a monk. In fact, in most cases, it doesn't take anything more intricate than 'stay out of the way', which in turn of optimization builds pretty much means 'have a better fly speed and maneuverability than it'. It's not like such tactics like 'spam summons', 'forcecage it' or 'assay spell resistance followed by irresistible dance' aren't usable on pretty much any foe you'll encounter. It just tends to work particularly well on monks.

Cus they suk, lol.

Doesn't the last level kind of give it away? Wouldn't you be extremely pissed if you worked your whole life towards attaining that pinnacle of a certain class, and all you had to show for it was being a native Outsider and having DR 10/magic?

S1Q3T3 00:15, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Oh wow. I've seen some interesting points being tossed around in this discussion. Like how monks are overpowered because they can become colossal wyverns or a Psionic Fist.

Yeah, you don't get it. Anybody can get to be a big creature, not everybody can deal 48d8 or 64d8 base damage four or five times a round. Basically, you are conceding that a monk with a few levels in prestige classes can shred most other builds -- which is why you want to change the subject to 20 levels of straight monk. Who takes twenty levels of straight anything, anymore? That's just not the game. Monks take a little more intelligence to design and use effectively than your average Frenzied Berserker. They're very powerful, all the same.

Sulacu 00:19, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

I could go straight druid. And you sure as hell have no call to determine what 'the game' is, here. What I conceded is, yes, you can have real decent unarmed fighters. Guys that use their fists for everything. But they wouldn't be monks. If you want to determine whether a class is overpowered or not, you should be looking at the damned class already. If we're talking about multiclassing anyway, by core rules you are not even supposed to take half the classes you'd want to take if you start out with monk, and psionics has never made much sense to begin with.

"I could go straight druid." Good idea, great class. Still, a size H or G (enlarged) claw does very little damage -- 3d6 or so. The advantage to the monk as a shapeshifter is the combination of the size and the unarmed damage, as well as the more and AC bonuses, which mesh well with altered forms.
What I conceded is, yes, you can have real decent unarmed fighters. Guys that use their fists for everything. Really that's just backwards. A barbarian uses their weapons for pretty much everything. A monk can fight, or run, or hide, or grapple, or stun, or just fry them with an energy bolt.
I have spent a lot of time playing around with the monk and various multi/PrC options, and I can tell you that you typically need at least eleven levels in straight monk, for Greater Flurry, and a lot of the time (depending on the campaign) it's nice to go a couple more, for dimension door and spell resistance. Add on top of that Psionic Fist, and you have 20th-level monk AC, dmg, and move. If that's not "monkish" enough for some people, they're entitled to their opinion. I'm sharing mine.
You don't have to break any of the core rules on monk multiclassing to get Psionic Fist. They multiclass with monk freely. That's SRD. So do Drunken Masters. Others, you either take the Monastic Training feat or just wait until you've taken you eleven or so levels in straight monk (psionic fist has no such restrictions.)S1Q3T3 00:42, 29 January 2009 (MST)

Surgo 00:04, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

The primary problem with your build as it stands is that you can't find the monk. He's mind blanked. No one walks around with a fleet of Efferti, buffed to the heavens, 24/7.

Bind an efreet. Say "I wish that I was transported to -insert name's- location." Word it in a way that someone with int 38 would word it. That isn't foiled by Mind Blank because it isn't affecting the mind of the monk, it's just discerning its location and is not a scrying spell.

The wizard is not walking around with a fleet of Efreet. That was a one-time thing. The sort of buffs I gave him are seriously the sort of thing you'd cast on yourself every morning.

I just responded to the monk build that you gave up higher, as you gave for an example. And this was hardly tailored to the monk -at all-, I didn't even go dumpster diving. I just remembered a few spells I had on the top of my head that work against anyone. The fact that the monk can't see invisibility is kind of a side note.

And are you seriously trying to get into a religious argument with me on a page about class discussion?


S1Q3T3 00:15, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Bind an efreet. Say "I wish that I was transported to -insert name's- location." Word it in a way that someone with int 38 would word it. That isn't foiled by Mind Blank because it isn't affecting the mind of the monk, it's just discerning its location and is not a scrying spell.

That's the very definition of scrying. It doesn't have to be a scrying "spell": "Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all." If your DM lets you get away with that sort of weak reasoning, no wonder you think an arcane spellcaster is the cock-of-the-walk.

The wizard is not walking around with a fleet of Efreet. That was a one-time thing.

Ah, yes, I see. Bearing in mind that: "Each creature gets a save, makes an independent attempt to escape, and must be individually persuaded to aid you." And you need five of them to agree to aid you simultaneously. And they get an escape attempt every day. You know, the more I talk to you, the more I think it isn't you that's the problem: its whatever soft-hearted DM has been letting you get away with this stuff.

And are you seriously trying to get into a religious argument with me on a page about class discussion?

Most people understand the phrase I quoted as referring to gods in a metaphorical sense, and having more to do with arrogance, of a sentiment similar to "Pride goeth before a fall." You came back with atheism, which really has nothing to do with the matter regardless of how you look at. I was just responding to what you wrote.

Lord Dhazriel 00:07, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Wow things can get bad. Okay, now everyone calm down. Otherwise I bring fire...

"If you deal out sarcasm, you're going to get it back. I'm sorry if your witty banter looks different to you when the sharp end is pointed the other way.

Let me try to put it to you in your native language: Pun-Pun no win. Pun Pun stupid. Multiclass/Prc options part of what make class special. They like magic items or special feats. They part of what you chose when you chose class. This my opinion. You no like? OK. You maybe go talk with another someone, maybe enroll to English grammar course online. "

Ok now last warning, from what i understand my native tongue is idiocy? Yeah im french, yeah i am not perfect in english. Now let me put this in your native tongue: One. last. chance. Oh yeah and im thinking about closing this discussion now, thoughts are going to actions if people don't understand being polite and respectful.

S1Q3T3 00:30, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

By all means, shut it down. The signal-to-noise ratio is terrible. I'm sorry I made fun of your grammar. That was pretty weak. I didn't find your comments to be "polite and respectful" but that doesn't excuse my response. Please accept my apology.

Lord Dhazriel 00:31, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Well I wasn't respectful. I humiliated the monk of my story. I rubbed his face in the mad, bastard I am. But I never insulted any user, and I won't start today.

Surgo 07:23, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

That's the very definition of scrying. It doesn't have to be a scrying "spell": "Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all." If your DM lets you get away with that sort of weak reasoning, no wonder you think an arcane spellcaster is the cock-of-the-walk.

Um, hello? Scrying is a -tag-. See Scrying, for example. When an effect says it stops scrying effects, that means it stops things with the scrying tag. Just as how something that says it stops mind-affecting effects stops things that have the mind-affecting tag, not things that can reasonably argued to be mind-affecting but lack the tag.

Ah, yes, I see. Bearing in mind that: "Each creature gets a save, makes an independent attempt to escape, and must be individually persuaded to aid you." And you need five of them to agree to aid you simultaneously. And they get an escape attempt every day. You know, the more I talk to you, the more I think it isn't you that's the problem: its whatever soft-hearted DM has been letting you get away with this stuff.

Oh, please. It's not difficult to persuade an Efreet to work with you. If you're especially mean, all you have to do is give them the choice between being disintegrated or using their spell-like abilities a couple times and then vanishing, something that costs them nothing. (Efreets are rather weak creatures for their CR.) Life vs. nothing but a few lost minutes, I think I know what I'd choose. And if you're nice, you tell the room that you'll kill them if they don't work with you but, if they do, you'll use however many last wishes to help -them- out (Efreets can't use their Wish spell-like ability for themselves). The choice between death and wealth/boon is extraordinarily persuasive. Not to mention that you can just keep using Charm Monster until you've charmed the room.

S1Q3T3 08:58, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

When an effect says it stops scrying effects, that means it stops things with the scrying tag.

Not in this case. It specifically refers to: "This spell protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering by divination spells or effects. Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subject’s mind or to gain information about it." The Efferti's wish power cannot "be used in such a way" as to perform information gathering about the subject.

Oh, please. It's not difficult to persuade an Efreet to work with you. If you're especially mean, all you have to do is give them the choice between being disintegrated or using their spell-like abilities a couple times and then vanishing, something that costs them nothing.

As I said, you've been spoiled. Five Efeeti in a room together? All cooperating because you make some threats? Repeated six times over with no problems of any kind? Wouldn't happen.

Let's go back to Color Spray for a minute. You stated that you're going to take out "an entire group" of enemies with it, which raises the question, how exactly? You have a 15-foot cone. How many in the group? At least four to six, right? Put them in classic dungeon formation (let alone a loose formation, when what you suggest is absolutely impossible) two by two. To affect the people in back, you need to get out in front of your party and stand five feet away from the front line. Anyone with a reach weapon kills you right there. If not, you're going to die at the hands of the half of the group that makes their saves. End of Wizard.

Whether you're boosting that a 1st-level wizard can out-grapple a monk, or planning on wishing yourself past a mind blank, your strategies have one thing in common; they don't work, except in the case of an absolutely besotted referee who passes all these things without exacting the natural consequences of your behavior -- which in your case, would be a whole lot o' dying.


S1Q3T3 09:38, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Let's look at some of the other problems with the strategy you suggest above (besides the fact you can't find the monk to carry it out, and that your strategy for getting +5 on all your scores is full of holes):

The relevant stats (32 point buy, because I'm not sure what you were using and that seems standard)

Race: Grey Elf Str: 6 (8 - 2) base, +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (17) Dex: 18 base (16 + 2, 10 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (29) Con: 8 base (10 - 2, 2 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (19) Int: 20 base (18 + 2, 16 pts), +5 from level-up, +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (36) (mod of +13) Wis: 10 base (2 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (21) Cha: 10 base (2 pts), +5 from Efreets, +6 belt (21) Traits: Aggressive (+2 initiative)

So you had three hit points and a -1 penalty to AC (Aggressive) at ECL 1? OK.

Pertinent equipment: Belt of Magnificence (200k), masterwork tool for spellcraft (50), headband of spellcraft +30 (90k), two orange ioun stones (60k), shapechange focus (1.5k), greater metamagic rod of quicken (175k), pale green ioun stone, normal metamagic rod of twin spell. Some prices are left off because I don't have the books but this is within the wealth limit.

Ioun stones of the same type don't stack, of course. Spellcraft is not a craft skill -- you don't need tools, and masterwork tools don't give you a bonus.

Pertinent feats used for PrC reqs: Iron Will (lev1), Extend Spell (lev5 bonus) Spell Focus (abjuration) (lev 3), Greater Spell Focus (abjuration) (lev 9), Skill Focus (Spellcraft) (lev 6) Other feats of note: Improved Initiative (lev 12), Persistent Spell (Incantatrix bonus feat), Ocular Spell (Incantatrix bonus)

Are you talking about Persistent Spell? And how does "Ocular Spell" let you cast anything as a persistent spell? The Persistent cannot modify "spells whose effects are discharged." That sounds like Ocular Spell exactly, from what I could find online about it. Enlighten me.

Pertinent skills: Concentration 23, Spellcraft 23, Knowledge (Arcana) 23, Knowledge (nature) 4 ranks. Thanks to equipment, synergies, and other stuff, we have a total spellcraft modifier of +70. That's easily enough to make the spellcraft checks required for the Incantatrix's Metamagic Effect ability when making a spell persistent, even a level 9 spell. So we will persist the following spells:

Persistent spells last 24 hours, and the Incantatrix's metamagic effect is usable once per day at 7th level. So pick an effect. And you don't get the spells: they aren't supernatural abilities, they're spells.

It's getting late so that's all I've bothered to calculate at the moment. Things of note are initiative of +22, caster level of 22 (so the solar is doable).

Bonuses for the ioun stone don't stack, so no solar. Initiative bonus is going to take a hit, too, depending on the level of the "skittish" spell and what a realistic DM would think about your Efferti sweatshop. Also remember you lose those +5s in physical stats when you switch to solar. You could have the genies cast it on your solar form, but you're just going to lose the benefit the next day when you re-cast shapechange.

Also, Magic of Faerûn was published in 2001, no? Wouldn't that make the Incantrix 3.0e and not 3.5e?

At this point your build has so many problems it's hard to run the combat, but suffice to say the problems continue. I suspect you're going to lose initiative and get killed before you get a spell off, but, please, fix the problems and we'll look at it again. For my own part, I should flesh out Feorn a little more (he was designed for that one combat): he has 200,000gp of wealth under the cap yet, and should probably buff his initiative more, and pick up more psion abilities via Psychic Chirurgery.

One more note: Since the math there is pretty ridiculous, let's just say we already bought 30 flasks of shrunken colossal alchemist's fire (6d6 a piece), and we use a twinned telekinesis to hurl them all at the monk when Time Stop ends. Our to-hit is +23, for a touch attack. We'll be generous and assume that only half of them hit, so that's 90d6 damage, or 315 on average, which is overkill by at least a factor of 2.

The build has 10 fire resistance. The SRD states "A direct hit [from alchemist's fire) deals 1d6 points of fire damage." A Colossal 1d6 weapon does 4d6, not 6d6. Furthermore, each shrinking spell works on one target. To get thirty conveniently shrunken flasks you'll need to permanence the effect. The minimum cost will be 1,000 * CL 5 * lvl 3 * 30 = 450,000gp. For a one-shot attack that does -- let's see -- 4d6 - 10 * 15 == about 60 points of damage. The monk is fine. You're financial adviser, though, just had a heart attack. I want to stress I have no problem with your strategy here, I'm glad you chose it, but please edit your items list to reflect the accepted character wealth limit for ECL 20. Remember, just because you made it yourself doesn't mean it doesn't have value.

Surgo 11:07, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Spellcraft is not a craft skill -- you don't need tools, and masterwork tools don't give you a bonus.

There exist no rules that say that masterwork tools do not give bonuses for non-craft skills. In fact, all it says is it gives the bonus to related skill checks. So that is totally valid. The funny thing is it doesn't even matter, because +68 is still good enough. I just included the masterwork tool for hilarity, kind of like having full cleric casting after using shapechange.

Ioun stones of the same type don't stack

Yes, they do. They are slotless, and the caster level bonus is unnamed.

Persistent spells last 24 hours, and the Incantatrix's metamagic effect is usable once per day. So pick an effect. And you don't get the spells: they aren't supernatural abilities, they're spells.

Did you even read the rules for the Incantatrix? Apparently not, because it pretty clearly says under "Metamagic Effect" that it's usable 3 + (int bonus) times per day. In this case, that's 16 times per day. As far as the supernatural ability thing, I don't even get what you're trying to say here. Of course they are spells...that's the entire point.

Also, Magic of Faerûn was published in 2001, no? Wouldn't that make the Incantrix 3.0e and not 3.5e?

Player's Guide to Faerun, which is 3.5.

Initiative bonus is going to take a hit, too, depending on the level of the "skittish" spell

Kauper's Skittish Nerves is a flat +5 bonus, it doesn't matter what level it's cast at.

Also remember you lose those +5s in physical stats when you switch to solar.

No, inherent bonuses are like buff spells. And just like buff spells, they stay with you when you change forms.

That's the very definition of scrying. It doesn't have to be a scrying "spell": "Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all." If your DM lets you get away with that sort of weak reasoning, no wonder you think an arcane spellcaster is the cock-of-the-walk.

and

Not in this case. It specifically refers to: "This spell protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering by divination spells or effects. Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subject’s mind or to gain information about it." The Efferti's wish power cannot "be used in such a way" as to perform information gathering about the subject.

Here's the problem: First of all, it's not an attempt to examine the monk with a crystal, it's discerning the monk's location. If you're not using the (Scrying) tag (which you should be), then what you're using is the dictionary definition which clearly allows it. Furthermore, we are not attempting to gain any information about the subject's mind, merely the location of his body -- which Mind Blank clearly does not defend against it, as it only stops things that "affect the subject's mind or to gain information about it".

As I said, you've been spoiled. Five Efeeti in a room together? All cooperating because you make some threats? Repeated six times over with no problems of any kind? Wouldn't happen.

You could put them in a bunch of different rooms, whatever. And you only need to get 2 of them to work together at the same time, not 5 (2 leaves 1 wish leftover). And even if the first batch fails, you can just conjure up another batch. It's really no big deal, you can just keep doing it until you finally succeed.

Stuff about Ocular Spell

None of the spells I cast are discharged, so they can all be persisted. What Ocular Spell does is transform non-fixed range spells (including touch spells) into fixed-range spells, which can be persisted.

Actually I don't even think you need it because you can apply Persistent Spell to an already-existing effect and not care about the source thanks to Metamagic Effect, but it's there for completeness if nothing else.

At this point your build has so many problems it's hard to run the combat, but suffice to say the problems continue.

Nope, not seeing any problems. Just mistakes in your interpretation of the rules.

Rith (talk) 11:37, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Wow, that is a lot of words to read in one hour

I simply have to appluad S1Q3T3 here, he knows that the monk has potential and should not be merely passed over in the same way that (mostly) everyone else who has had the interest to add their own 2 cents to this discussion knows that the monk is a weak class, and I must comment on the fact that despite repeated attempts to shoot down and belittle his point, he has remained strong and crushed several other arguements without mercy. Namely, color spray and wish versus mind blank, on which note, um, Surgo, are you attempting to assert that the Monks location has absolutely nothing to do with the monk? Because in order to be transported to a location that is dependent upon a person, there must be some direct connection between the person and the spell, since the location is constantly changing and therefore cannot be relied upon. Therefore the spell is attempting to assertain the location of the monk and that location is inherently information about the monk. Mink Blank prevents this from happening and so the wish to be transported to the location of the monk is similar to wishing to be upside-down and rightside-up simultaneously, it merely cannot be done. If you continue to assert that wish should still be able to transport the person to the location of the monk, then I must assume that you are attempting to assert that wish can do anything, in which case, your Efreet buddies would be wearing you as a winter coat on their trips to the material plane by the time you came up with your idea to bypass mind blank.

Wesinator5 12:32, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

An interesting issue to raise in this discussion is that there is an assumption that the characters are already in the level 18+ region. My campaign started four years ago at level 1, and I am ashamed and disgusted to say that they are just about to attain level 13 (their fault, not mine - they do stupid things and die a lot).

What is everyone's opinion of unbalanced at, say: lv 5, lv 10, and lv 15? I have found a bow-spec ranger to be quite devastating - my appropriate CR mobs often don't make it to the front-line fighters. Magic items have been rather rare along the way, but they have gone to town and purchased specific items with their cash. From memory, the ranger had +4 Bracers of Dexterity and a Flaming Bow +1. Sadly, the ranger is now dead (died gloriously making sure the local bad-guy boss and his personal mortal enemy was sent to hell as required against impossible odds... very epic).

The other character I have issues with is the barbarian. He's got this scam where before combat he drinks a potion or two, and gets a tame spellcaster to cast Enlarge on him. We've gone through it carefully, and he ends up with AC30, double weapons at large size, shrugging off so many points of damage per hit, plus more HP than any three spellcasters. About the only issue is the overt use of magic on a character that is supposed to have an aversion to magic... which is a storyline objection, not a mechanics objection.

I'm a bit stoopid about humanoid opponents (I take them straight from the DMG NPCs, and often don't work out specific feats), but then, the things I throw at them are quite competitive against the rest of the party, and there's enough character death as it is. I'm trying to encourage character development and storyline fleshing, which is difficult if you're making a new character every couple of months.

The campaign is firmly European in flavour, and monks, ninjas, wu-jen, and the like are currently forbidden.

S1Q3T3 13:17, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

You keeping getting the rules wrong, Surgo:

Per the SRD: "These tools serve the same purpose as artisan’s tools (above), but masterwork artisan’s tools are the perfect tools for the job, so you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Craft checks made with them."

Craft checks. Spellcraft is not a Craft check. No bonus.

Neither do ioun stones stack. That's utterly absurd. Two of the same item never stack with each other unless it specifically says so in the description of the item. An "untyped bonus" stacks with all typed bonuses, but not with itself.

Nor are inherent bonuses like buff spells. They are instantaneous and cannot be dispelled. In other words, they permanently change an ability score -- your ability score. The bonus doesn't travel.

You go on, but with these howlers, it's hard to take the rest of your assertions seriously.

S1Q3T3 13:27, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

What is everyone's opinion of unbalanced at, say: lv 5, lv 10, and lv 15?

There are some ferocious monster classes in Savage Species. The Anthropomorphic Baleen Whale, for example, would be a 3-level monster class, LA+), finishing with absurd ability scores (+8 Str, +6 Con, +4 Wis, even a Dex bonus as I remember) and +9 natural armor. Plus large size. Pretty devastating. Also, there's lot of ways to make these classes even more powerful using the template rules.

Lord Dhazriel 14:02, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Races or template don't make a class good. In a normal game with a sane DM, it is pretty impossible to do most of the tricks shown here. My point in this discussion is that the cleric (and many other divine caster like the archivist and the druid) well built are very very strong. Arcane caster are the most unbalanced thing in the game.

I don't talk in theoretical optimization, every class can be uber. In a normal game, with normals rules with a DM and fellow players who drink mountain dew together (Pepsi for me, but im a Quebecer can't help it) every class can get smacked. The problem is, the wizard don't alway know what await him, the fighter often don't get the shiny +2 Keen Joviar, the rogue must fight vs monsters with immunity to crit (can be helped with a wand of something, but the DM control the players magic items). The only one who can do fairly well in any situation is the cleric and the druid. I know the wizard can pretty much kill everyone with one spell. But sometime circumstance can literally cripple the wizard. (like a CR1 encounter with skeletons archer and a pit between the party and said skeletons so he can't use color spray). If the wizard lose he was doing it wrong, but we can't alway do it right as human and so often the wizard get smacked. Because wizard being ultimately supremely powerful aren't allowed a second chance, if he take the hit he die.

So then let make my final comment on the monks: In all the time I played I saw people get screwed. By their own stupidity, by circumstances, by their own stupidity (yeah said it twice). The CR 1 monk can't help against the skeleton. Everyone can do a little something, the fighter can pick up a bow (full bab and martial proficiency, the cleric can heal the wounded, the sorcerer and the wizard can throw magic missile. Even the rogue can pick up a bow and help a bit (monk aren't proficient with anything). Yeah it circumstantial and thus one shouldn't judge the power of a class based on this situation. Yet it is an example of fight with enemy you can't touch, flying opponents or incorporeal one are example of such fight for a higher level party. But in a "normal" fight, against opponent of the appropriate CR, everyone have their uses. But when one look at the monk one wonder: what is the use of this class.

  • Q: Is it a tank? A: d8 and mid bab, also lack of ability to overcome DR easily. Wort Tank
  • Q: Is it a skill monkey? A: MAD stop them to have a strong intellect, but with Kung Fu Genius they get a okay intelligence score. Even there their skill listisn't impressive (for sll monkeys) and they have not trap finding. Poor skill monkey.
  • Q: Is it a battle support? A: Pretty much, but you be better with a ranger or a rogue. The monk is too focused on melee, thus is useless against flying opponents or otherwise unattainable opponents. Passable melee support.
  • Q: Is it a buffer? A: no.

of course it my humble opinion, you can do whatever you want with it.

What I suggest to you is that there are more roles in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. How well do tanks actually function on a 21st century battlefield? Not great. True, the monk is not a tank; he's more like an A-10 Warthog, killing the tank on the ground and cruising on by.
Take another look at your example: skeletons have DR 5/bludgeoning. What is the monk's fist? A bludgeoning weapon. Heck of a lot more useful than a bow. What's a skeleton's AC? 14 flat-footed. 12 without the shield. Which means a monk with a Str of 16 who wins initiative and penetrates the skeletons' line will hit 70% of the time with flurry, meaning he has about a 90% chance of dropping a 6-hp skeleton every round.S1Q3T3 17:20, 29 January 2009 (MST)
Not if the skeleton are on the other side of a pit... or the monk have rather long arms. Oh yeah and thinking about it, the cleric can simply turn the skeletons.--Lord Dhazriel 20:44, 29 January 2009 (MST)

Sarrow 14:02, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

I have noticed that most of the arguments are that the classes are overpowered because of feats or suplements and such. You can't judge balance on what they can take, but what they have to start. No class is more overpowered than any other. They all have their focus and stick with that. A sorcerer/wizard has its spells, a rogue its sneak attack, a fighter its weapons, a monk its fist, a barbarian its rage, cleric its turning/spells, a ranger its favored enemy, a paladin its smite, a bard its performance, druid its wild shape/animal companion. Where some lack in combat they excel in other areas, social situations, buffs, saves, sneaking. No one class excels in all of these.

A cleric has spells like a wizard, but the cleric has higher base attack and the ability to turn, the downside is that the offensive spells are weaker for a cleric and the wizard gains a familiar and bonus metamagic/item creation feats. That is balance no to classes can do the same as another to the same degree. Can a cleric who excels in sneaking magic sneak attack, no not unless you multiclass, which defeats the purpose of saying that the class is overpowered.

Also a feat can not be judged for balance purposes, a fighter with weapon focused feats can deal a lot more damage than any other class, no matter how you look at it. Feats like oversized two weapon fighting or monkey grip allow a fighter to weild weapons bigger than normal, and if you get them to use potions or scrolls that enlarge them and then add on the weapon focus branch, including the ones from PH2, you get a ridiculous amounts of damage added without ever taking into account of larger races or prestige classes that increase this even more, I have had a first level fighter that has dealt over 100 points of damage from a single attack.

By the way the BoVD is 3 ed. but the BoED is 3.5 ed. it was made after the change over. Also the apostle of peace is a class that can't attack, so the defense bonuses are due to the lack of offense ability. What can you do besides defend if you can't attack.

Also deal with me if others have stated the same as me or if this is coming late. I have not finished reading all of the posts, just the majority of at least the first ones.

Fishman 16:16, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Heck with arcane spellcasting, I will go with Psionic classes. They have some wicked stuff up thier sleves. They can also take on melee with reasonable skill and deadly persision if you use them right.

I agree, which is why I really love the Monk/Psionic Fist combo. You become probably the deadliest melee fighter in the game whilst acquiring a boatload of psionic abilities and a couple bonus feats.S1Q3T3 17:07, 29 January 2009 (MST)

S1Q3T3 16:52, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Races or template don't make a class good.

You misunderstand me. I'm talking about monster classes. Monster classes are classes. Quite powerful classes. The best ones tend to be rather front-heavy, bringing a lot of benifits with five or ten levels, but not quite as strong at ECL 15+.

Daniel Draco 17:16, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

That's amazing, Draco; your hypothetical situation is almost exactly the plan I came up with myself in imagining how an arcane spellcaster might take on a high-level monk. […] I guess the moral of the story is, there aren't that many ways to go about defeating a high-level monk.

No, it just shows that we came up with the same way. Coincidence does not eliminate other possibilities.

I looked up Foresight; it doesn't give you an initiative bonus. I can't find Celerity, could you shoot me a link? I don't know what the bonus is, but it would have to be pretty ferocious to grab initiative from a monk who (if he is wise) has been obsessively buffing his initiative bonus from day one.

I misunderstood their effects, but the result is the same. Foresight prevents surprise, making you aware of anything that’s happening to you. Celerity is an immediate-action spell that gives you a standard action, even if it isn’t your turn. Together, it ensures that the wizard gets a standard action before you do anything, no matter what. Celerity is in Player’s Handbook 2.

Also, you can't use a straight Dimensional Anchor; it's a targeted spell (ranged touch attack)

I didn’t. I used Dimensional Lock.

PrCs you get access to are part of a class' benefits.

No, they are part of the benefits of the PrC. A level 13 commoner can qualify for ur-priest. By your reasoning, ninth level cleric spells are therefore part of a commoner’s benefits; in reality, that shows the power of the ur-priest class, not the commoner class.

Well, wouldn't want to disrespect your beliefs by intruding awkward facts, would we?

Oh please, intrude to your heart’s content.

There are two things needed to manifest a power; knowledge of the power and the ability to pay the point cost.

I just thought I’d point out that you also need to have a high enough manifester level. “You can’t spend more power points on a power than your manifester level.” I’m sure there’s a way to get your ML high enough, but it still should be addressed. Otherwise, that way to get high-level powers is very clever, I’m impressed.

Pun-Pun no win. Pun Pun stupid.

Pun-Pun kinda always wins. At level one, he becomes omnipotent.

You can't work exclusively as advocate for one side or the other.

You’ve been doing just that. You’ve been saying that if you optimize one side, you must optimize the other to make it fair. Sorcerer 20 is not optimized.

That's the very definition of scrying. It doesn't have to be a scrying "spell"

When a game term is used in the game, you assume that it is referring to the game term and not the dictionary definition. However, the issue all comes down to the sentence “Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subject’s mind or to gain information about it.” If “it” refers to “the subject”, then wish wouldn’t work. If, however, “it” refers to “the subject’s mind”, then it does work, since it wouldn’t specifically be targeting the mind. In any case, in order to determine superiority one must assume they come into contact, one way or another. That means one finding the other.

You came back with atheism, which really has nothing to do with the matter regardless of how you look at.

It was probably a joke.

Ioun stones of the same type don't stack, of course.

This is true. Identical items do not stack, even with untyped bonuses.

Spellcraft is not a craft skill -- you don't need tools, and masterwork tools don't give you a bonus.

RAW, yes they do.

Wouldn't that make the Incantrix 3.0e and not 3.5e?

Both are fair game in optimization, unless you’re trying to use the old version of something that’s been updated.

Player's Guide to Faerun, which is 3.5.

And it’s a moot point anyway.

[Alchemist’s fire is] not a weapon (not on the tables) so the damage isn't by weapon size.

Correct. Surgo was wrong here.

No, inherent bonuses are like buff spells. And just like buff spells, they stay with you when you change forms.

Agreed.

Per the SRD: "These tools serve the same purpose as artisan’s tools (above), but masterwork artisan’s tools are the perfect tools for the job, so you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Craft checks made with them." Craft checks. Spellcraft is not a Craft check. No bonus.

SRD:Masterwork_Tool

They are instantaneous and cannot be dispelled. In other words, they permanently change an ability score -- your ability score.

No, it’s a permanent bonus. Not a change.

S1Q3T3 17:37, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

No, it’s a permanent bonus. Not a change.

It's a moot point in any case [Edit: But I've done some more reading on the subject (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/glossary&term=Glossary_dnd_inherentbonus&alpha=I) and I see you're right; it's a magic bonus, and so it travels with the character when the character changes form. I'm glad I found that out; it's an important point when building shapeshifters. My other points still stand; you can't assume something like that, and, even if you were to get an inherent bonus, it would be part of character wealth like any other permanent magical effect (total cost: 137,500gp * 6 = 810,000gp.)] Firstly, you can't presume as part of an optimization something like summoning dozens of outsiders and forcing them to grant you wishes. Not when there is a chance -- even a small chance -- that they could escape and do damage. That's something that can only be settled in play.

Second, if he were to achieve these bonuses, they would still be part of the character's net worth, just like the monk's Greater Magic Fang. How the character got ahold of them is irrevelant. So that's another big bill for the Wizard's banker: 30 Wishes, cost: over 750,000gp.

If, however, “it” refers to “the subject’s mind”, then it does work, since it wouldn’t specifically be targeting the mind.

I disagree. Putting aside the intent (which I think is clear) RAW says it doesn't matter which way you read it, because the wizard is trying to learn something about the subject's mind; it's location. Nothing in the spell description limits the information-gathering restriction to the inside of the character's mind.

I just thought I’d point out that you also need to have a high enough manifester level. “You can’t spend more power points on a power than your manifester level.” I’m sure there’s a way to get your ML high enough, but it still should be addressed.

I did; Overchannel, power link quori shard, torc of power perservation, 2 bloodline levels. That easily gets you to 17 PP. I'm sure I mentioned at least some of this above.

I could go on, you raise some good points, but I need a break from the break-and-forth. I'll probably post a fuller reply later tonight.

Surgo 21:00, 29 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Alchemist's Fire is just an example, if you somehow believe it isn't a weapon (even though it counts as a throwable one), you can seriously just throw a bunch of greatswords for the same effect. It would even be cheaper. It won't be as overkill, but it will still be overkill so that's okay.

The caster level problem is easily fixable. We have a free feat, so we can just take Minor Shapeshift which gives a +1 CL to all spells of the polymorph subschool (which Shapechange belongs to).

Second, if he were to achieve these bonuses, they would still be part of the character's net worth, just like the monk's Greater Magic Fang. How the character got ahold of them is irrevelant.

No, it is entirely relevant. The Monk can't actually cast Greater Magic Fang, he has to pay someone else to do it. If he could, he could just use it normally and then use Permanency (and pay the XP cost unless it came from somewhere else). The Wizard is just using his class features here; he's not doing anything that actually costs gold or XP (all of those costs have already been taken into account).

I'm not really sure why you think an Efreet maybe breaking free matters at all. An Efreet does not pose any sort of threat to our wizard, and can be killed instantly without a save if they decide to try anything funny. They seriously can't even teleport (dimensional anchor on the circle nullifies plane shift too), so it's not like they'd be going anywhere after they break free. Of course, that still doesn't answer the question of why they would try anything funny at all when they're getting a free wish. Extremely generous diplomacy combined with power is a pretty powerful convincing force.

Besides, just using Charm Monster a bunch of times completely nullifies the threat of them doing anything if they might get free anyway. It's seriously not even a small deal. And so what if they happen to get free? The wizard can just try again the next day, nothing lost.

I think DD covered all the other points. But while we're at it, let's bring out another character example who can do direct damage better: the Rogue. We won't even multiclass, Rogue 20 is good enough.

--

You'll want an 18 dex to start, and that +6 to all stats belt. Wands of Gravestrike and Golemstrike are good to have, and obviously you will max your UMD ranks in every possible way to become awesome. You'll also want to invest in a lot of acid. You'll also want that wonderful item, Ring of Blink. You'll use this pretty much all the time. (Note that ranged attacks do not incur the miss chance.) Make sure to pick up an item that lets you use haste on yourself, preferably without actually using an action.

If for some reason you don't like the idea of taking epic feats at 10th level (which the Rogue can do totally legally), pick up the TWF chain normally. Otherwise, just take Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting at level 10. Precise Shot is also a pretty wise feat to have. Rapid Shot is also key.

This sort of "halfling hurler" (as it tends to be known) is viable at levels 1 to 20. At level 20 you can throw 8 flasks of acid a round, which all strike as touch attacks. The enemy counts as flat-footed too because of the ring of blink, which also makes them all sneak attacks. So you'll probably be hitting with 7 of the 8. (A cool 77d6 damage per round for those keeping track at home, or 70d6 if your opponent is immune to acid. You get a strength bonus too, whatever yours happens to be.) The wonderful Spell Compendium gives the Rogue swift-action wands to bypass pretty much every sneak attack immunity in the game, so that's cool.

At level 1, you probably don't want to be TWFing yet, and acid is probably a little expensive. Life is cheap at 1st level, don't stress.

At level 5, you have either two-weapon fighting or rapid shot and can also easily afford acid so all your attacks become touch attacks. You still need to actually have a buddy to flank with, but that's not a huge deal. You get about 8d6 damage per round here, so that's actually decently impressive for your level. Not great, but it's not like you have much competition at this point in the damage-dealing department outside of the entirely one-dimensional mounted charger.

At level 10, you've really come into your own. You can take epic feats if you want to, and you can finally afford a Ring of Blink. So all your attacks are now flat-footed touch attacks. You probably have both Two-Weapon Fighting and Rapid Shot, and maybe you picked up Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (or Perfect, at 10). If you did either of those things, you now get 5 attacks a round, which will all hit most of the time because they're flat-footed touch attacks, and that's about 30d6 damage a round. You also no longer need to flank with anyone. You can also afford those Spell Compendium wands (they're like pennies) so sneak attack immunity stops being a problem.

Level 15 is pretty much more of the same.

I like the Rogue a lot when it comes to powerful classes because it also happens to be totally playable with the big boys at every level in the game and you don't even have to multiclass (if you're taking epic feats, you obviously won't want to). You also have Abuse Magic Device so you're a versatile utility spellcaster for no good reason. It's not really overpowered like the Wizard is or the Druid can be, but it's strong enough to sit down at the same table with them. And it's probably the best direct damage dealer in the game outside of Tome classes like the Samurai (DnD Class) and Barbarian (DnD Class) when a Wizard isn't utilizing metamagic rod Time Stop total bullshit.

I really think the Rogue is the perfectly balanced class, though, not the most unbalanced.

--

An important question that got lost in snow:

What is everyone's opinion of unbalanced at, say: lv 5, lv 10, and lv 15?

A very good question, one that I'll expand a bit. Level 1 is probably the druid, because for no reason you have lots of survivability and you're also just a totally awesome spellcaster because you can cast Entangle. Not much of a contest here, nobody else can combine that power with that survivability at this point. Also there's a spell that turns a staff into an awesome weapon if you feel like beating down people in melee. You also get a cohort for free, which is helpful.

Level 5: Druids lose out on their survivability advantage, but they are still just randomly awesome because they can turn into dinosaurs (and Entangle is still awesome). Clerics are just awesome spellcasters for no good reason because of stuff like Hold Person, but they lack versatility. Wizards are starting to hit the top power point, if they haven't already.

Level 10: Druid, Wizard, Clerics now have enough feats and money to be able to persist whatever they want.

Level 15: Same, but this is getting to the point where the game stops making sense anyway (that's about level 18).

S1Q3T3 09:28, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

No, it just shows that we came up with the same way. Coincidence does not eliminate other possibilities.

Is it coincidence? I doubt it.

Celerity is an immediate-action spell that gives you a standard action, even if it isn’t your turn. Together, it ensures that the wizard gets a standard action before you do anything, no matter what. Celerity is in Player’s Handbook 2.

Normally, you cannot perform an immediate action while flat-footed (SRD). So one would not be able to use an immediate action to grant themselves a standard action unless they had already won initiative and acted. Of course, this spell may be a special case; I don't have the book in question.

This brings up a major problem with comparing optimizations to one another; there are simply too many sourcebooks, not accessible online. I, for one, don't own a fraction of them. And the rules are so complicated, everybody makes mistakes. So confirming things by checking the rule yourself is absolutely necessary before you reach any firm conclusions. Celerity sounds like a nice spell. I've read there's a similar psionic power in Races of Destiny, called Synchronicity. In any case, if it actually allows you to avoid the initiative roll altogether, Feorn will have to get ahold of it, either in the form of an item or the Synchronicity power.

You’ve been saying that if you optimize one side, you must optimize the other to make it fair. Sorcerer 20 is not optimized.

If you want to compare the relative power of the classes, that's true. If you want to show a sample encounter to illustrate something about a build, it's not necessarily true. But the reality is, I did my best with the time I had and based on my limited knowledge of spellcasters. I made an effort at the most important part; an intelligent plan. What Surgo is doing is completely different; it's one-sided advocacy for one class, and scorn for the other, based upon a blizzard of dubious or outright false uses of the rules which he has no interest in fact-checking himself, with no effort to come up with an intelligent strategy or options for the other party.

His claim is different and much stronger than mine (arcane spellcasters beat everything; monks are unplayable) and his efforts on behalf of the monk are nonexistent (as opposed to my clumsy but earnest efforts on behalf of C4). So no, it's not at all the same thing.

In any case, in order to determine superiority one must assume they come into contact, one way or another. That means one finding the other.

The problem is that Surgo is presuming his build will be buffed to the heavens and the monk will have nothing; no warning of any kind, until the wizard teleports in to kill him. The mind blank effect is there exactly to prevent such an eventuality. The reasonable way to run such a fight is either to have them "bump into" each other, and both start from zero, or give them both time to buff.

No, they are part of the benefits of the PrC. A level 13 commoner can qualify for ur-priest. By your reasoning, ninth level cleric spells are therefore part of a commoner’s benefits; in reality, that shows the power of the ur-priest class, not the commoner class.

That makes no sense, first of all. The benefits of the PrC are that you can qualify for the PrC? No.

What I'm saying is very simple. It is only my opinion: you are free to disagree. But consider. Most of the things we do in D&D we do to get access to something else. If I were to say it is a benefit of the Fighter class that they have access to Weapon Specialization, presumably you would not say "Access to Weapon Specialization is a benefit of Weapon Specialization." Or if I were to argue that it is not the wizard who is powerful, but rather it is arcane spells.

The choices you make determine your options. Access to powerful options is what makes a powerful class. If any other class (or even just a couple) could take levels in a given PrC and become just as effective, then the PrC could not be used to argue the power of the class. But exclusive access to a PrC that allows you to continue to progress in your most important ability whilst adding psionic powers which potentiate the abilities of the first class? That's clearly an advantage that must be considered in evaluating the base class. So say I. Your mileage may vary.

Returning to the earlier point, I think that because these imaginary battles between optimized builds quickly devolve into arguments about the rules and references to sources not everyone has access to, a better way to compare power levels would be to take the standard "power gauge" encounters and run the optimizations through them separately. It would be easier to navigate the rules, easier to compare results, and it would have the additional advantage of reflecting the actual challenges characters typically face; i.e., NPCs and not PCs.

The alternative would be to just get a neutral referee, agree on rules, create optimized characters, and run a duel. Anything else, I suspect, is going to devolve into bickering over what might of or should of happened.

S1Q3T3 09:34, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Alchemist's Fire is just an example, if you somehow believe it isn't a weapon . . .

It's a great example. Your wizard used it, did no damage and is now dead. May he rest in peace.

It's entirely relevant . . .

Nope. The tables say "character wealth" not "character treasure." Whether you make your assets yourself or get it some other way, it turns into wealth. You can't pay the cost of the Wishes, ioun stones don't stack, so the solar is gone, and your attack did from zero to sixty points of damage, depending on how you count. In other words, you're screwed. It's been fun. Talk to you later.

130.214.17.20 11:31, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Just trade a level for archmage. There -- you got your second ioun stone.

Do you actually need your wishes? Probably not. I have a feeling an optimized wizard can beat the optimized monk even if you don't give the wizard equipment and the wizard is "surprised" (Foresight + Cerility still negating that). If you really want to prove an optimized wizard is better, do it with no equipment.

Surgo 14:22, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

It's a great example. Your wizard used it, did no damage and is now dead. May he rest in peace.

Unlike a wizard, I don't have 36 int. Fortunately, he does, so he could break the fourth wall to realize that there's no such thing as colossal alchemist's fire in the world and use lots of greatswords instead.

Nope. The tables say "character wealth" not "character treasure." Whether you make your assets yourself or get it some other way, it turns into wealth. You can't pay the cost of the Wishes, ioun stones don't stack, so the solar is gone, and your attack did from zero to sixty points of damage, depending on how you count. In other words, you're screwed. It's been fun. Talk to you later.

I guess you missed the part where you can just take Minor Shapeshift (we have a free feat) to get +1 caster level for spells of the polymorph school to get the Solar. Or have you started selectively reading what you want on the page and ignoring what you don't like? Because that's what it seems like.

As to the argument that using your class abilities for the wishes somehow counts against your wealth-by-level, sorry, you are incorrect. It is the same concept as using item creation feats to get more items for the same amount of money.

In other words: monks suck, it's been fun, the end.

S1Q3T3 14:54, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

So, just to sum up:

  • You want to change your feat selection, again (having already added Danger Sense)
  • You want to change your battle tactics
  • You want to change your equipment
  • You do not want to change any of the numerous elements of your build that violate the rules

Yeah, it's monks that suck. That's definitely the problem. Of course, there's any number of ways to re-design Feorn, adding an item with Celerity, more psionic powers, etc., such that he'd win the fight anyway, no matter how many bites at the apple we give you. And back and forth we'd go. But I think we've gone on long enough to see what your case for monks being "unplayable" really entails: an absurdly homeruled wizard who averages 9hp at ECL 5 and doesn't take Improved Initiative until level 12, spends 300,000 gp on a one-shot attack that does a couple dozen points of damage, then dies.

To each his own, I guess.

Lord Dhazriel 15:10, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Unfortunately monks doesn't have much Hp neither. A single well aimed spell and it over. With a mage's Disjunction (if the Psionic/Magic Transparency is used of course.) a wizard can simply end the battle with the monk in one spell. I do believe a well built cleric can squash pretty much anything without any effort (and Cleric get good PrCs, but PrCs isn't a class). Of Course an Aristocrat/Ur-Priest can squash the monk, aristocrat is not overpowered. Psionic Fist good, monk suck. Ur-Priest good, aristocrat suck. In that case a Druid/Planar Shepherd squash anything (except pure broken omnipotent build).

Oh btw here is a list of utterly broken build:

  • Omifiscier (infinite skills)
  • Pun Pun (omnipotent)
  • The d2 Crusader (infinite damages)
  • War Hulk Hurler (deal 1179d6+23 damage)
  • The Wish and the Word

Many more. Yeah all broken, but we shouldn't base a class strength on cheap tricks. Maybe in theoretical optimization, but please not in game.

Also imo: Divine > Arcane > Psionic > Anything else. But as I said it my humble opinion.

Fishman 15:41, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

I personaly think that Psionics are the most unbalanced. All that I see is magic + more power. They can generaly use more powers anyways. The powers they get is like magic but you can augment them to deal more damage or what have ya. You can also do more with Psionics than you can with magic. You can even make someone forget every level that they have. That is a powerful weapon in and of its self. I have also had a DM that banned Psionics from the game because they are so powerful. But that is just my oppinion.

Lord Dhazriel 15:50, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Psionic have nice toys. In my games I give spontaneous casters spell point (as seen in UA). Normally I would agreed with you, but there one factor making magic overwhelmingly more powerful then Psionic. Supplement book. Namely spell compendium. A Single Tsunami from a druid can annihilate any medium opponents. Also bite of, make wizard and sorcerers very very powerful in melee (also druid have the spell).

Daniel Draco 15:51, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Is it coincidence? I doubt it.

Coincidence is the state of two or more things occuring in a similar way or in such a way that relates them to one another. So yes, it is coincidence.

There are simply too many sourcebooks, not accessible online.

They are acessible online.

((Some stuff about the Sorcerer 20 optimization))

I'd suggest getting a spellcaster build and tactics from an experienced spellcaster player.

The reasonable way to run such a fight is either to have them "bump into" each other, and both start from zero, or give them both time to buff.

Agreed.

That makes no sense, first of all. The benefits of the PrC are that you can qualify for the PrC? No.

I didn't say that. I said that if the benefits of monk are that you can qualify for psionic fist, then the benefits of commoner are that you can qualify for ur-priest. It was an attempt at pointing out the absurdity of saying that one class is part of another.

Put plainly: Ur-priest is strong, and commoner is not. Similarly, psionic fist is strong, and monk is not.

((Some stuff about character wealth))

It is generally agreed that, if a character can create something under his own power, the monetary cost that he paid is deducted from his wealth. If he payed no monetary cost, then he loses nothing from his wealth (though he may lose XP or something if that's what he paid).

((Various responses given within others' posts))

Please follow the discussion format when responding. That means a new heading, not simply adding a comment under someone else's headed comment.

S1Q3T3 19:15, 30 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

Truly done with the discussion, dropped back to mention that an ECL 20 Wizard cannot persist Shapechange. Per the Player's Guide to Faerûn Errata:

"Page 63: Incantatrix Prestige Class Please add the following sentence to the end of the Instant Metamagic class feature description: The incantatrix cannot use this ability if the metamagicked spell would normally use a spell slot of a higher level than she can cast. "

A persisted Shapechange would take up a 15th-level spell slot. No dice.

I also saw this:

It is generally agreed that, if a character can create something under his own power, the monetary cost that he paid is deducted from his wealth. If he payed no monetary cost, then he loses nothing from his wealth (though he may lose XP or something if that's what he paid).

I have to ask; generally agreed by whom? That's not RAW. I thought we were all happily using RAW. Is there an FAQ page for this sort of question? Sincerely, I'd like to see it.

Again, Surgo's character didn't create these bonuses under his own power. He supposedly captured outsiders and blackmailed them. They get checks to escape. You tell me: can you presume as part of the process of creating an optimized character something which you would not normally be able to do without danger and risk of combat? Could an optimized rouge point to his great stealth skills and state he had stolen magic items before play started? I think not.

Coincidence is the state of two or more things occuring in a similar way or in such a way that relates them to one another.

Coincidence in the common usage is the state of things occurring in a similar way by chance and for no other reason. That is also the way you originally used the term here.

They are acessible online.

How, exactly? Bitorrent?

I didn't say that. I said that if the benefits of monk are that you can qualify for psionic fist, then the benefits of commoner are that you can qualify for ur-priest. It was an attempt at pointing out the absurdity of saying that one class is part of another.

I did not say that one class was part of another. That is a straw man argument. I think if you look at what I posted above, you'll see it addresses your point about the ur-priest. If there are numerous ways to get there, getting there via a given class does not reflect on the class. If you have to take a particular class to get a PrC, and that PrC with the base class creates something desirable, then the ability to get that reflects upon the base class.

Fishman 7:51, 31 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

The magic compendium may be a great resource, and don't get me wrong here, but the ability to augment your spell and the power you can add to it. Magic casters do have a very powerful arsenal, I agree. But there is also something about the mysteries of the mind and being able to use your mind to do great things. Come to think of it, Psionic and Magic characters have stuff to kill eachother. They hate eachother. When I remember that, all Psionic and Magic characters kinda more even out in my mind, but all Psionics are better in my mind. You also have the Complete Psionics and the Expanded Psionics to get stuff from. Not including all of the homebrew stuff anybody could come up with. That is what puts Psionic more powerful in my mind, the ability to make crazy yet not overpowered powers for Psionics. Yet you can do the same with magic. Maybe what every body is arguing over is fruitless. It seem to be all over Monks and Wizards. But in the end, it is what you prefer and what you know how to use to the best of it's abilities.

Daniel Draco 15:11, 31 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

S1Q3T3, your point seems to be that if a PrC is exclusive to a class, then the PrC is part of the benefits of that class. Unfortunately, Psionic Fist is not monk-exclusive. Archivists get still mind at level 4, and therefore can qualify for it. Psionic Fist is not exclusive, and, by your own logic, is therefore not part of the Monk's benefits.

Rith (talk) 15:47, 31 January 2009 (MST)[edit]

You do have a point Daniel, but I must first point out an arguement that S1Q3T3 hasn't yet adressed: Psionic Fist specifically states that it progresses a characters levels in monk, obviously Psionic Fist was intended to be an extension upon the monk, considering that there is no real major benifit the PrC holds for another class. Therefore, it can be effectively argued that psionic fist, as an extension of monk, is essentially part of the class itself.

S1Q3T3 15:45, 1 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

I wouldn't put it that strongly, but they are quite closely connected for that reason. Even if one or a few classes could theoretically qualify for Psionic Fist, that doesn't change the fact that Monk/Psionic Fist is a unquiely powerful combination, and that reflects on the Monk with respect to power, and hence balance, which is the topic of the thread.

On the Celerity issue, I've found a potential solution to the problem (which is that, per the SRD, you can't perform immediate actions, such as Celerity, while flat-footed, and everybody is normally flat-footed before the initiative roll):

I found a spell to give you the effect you want: Foresight, a 9th-level arcane spell, enables you to "never be flat-footed." Then one could use Celerity or its psionic equivalent as an immediate action prior to the initiative roll.

Unfortunately, as a continuous magical effect (necessary if you want to be protected in the case of unscheduled dust-ups) it's going to be expensive: 9th * CL 17 * 2,000gp * 1.5 (10 min/level duration) = 459,000gp. But with a higher-level spell, I always check to see if it would be cheaper as a persisted spell, and in this case it helps: 15th * CL 26 (minimum for a effective-15th-level spell) * 2,000gp * 0.5 (24 hour duration) = 390,000gp.

So for a little more than half your wealth at ECL 20, you can bypass the initiative roll. Such an option is not limited to arcane spellcasters, however: anyone who can pay for the item and can cast or manifest (under their own steam or via an item) Celerity or the equivalent, can bypass initiative and act first. The monk, among others, might have to shell out the gold. If two people are so equipped, I presume we're right back to the initiative roll to determine the order of action.

Daniel Draco 18:11, 1 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

I already brought up foresight. The goal is not to get an item of foresight. The goal is to use a metamagic rod to extend it at a caster level of 24 (Ioun Stone, Archmage's Spell Power, Ring of Arcane Might and Magic Tattoo totals +4 CL at ECL 20). That adds up to 8 hours. If it MUST be up all day, then that's only three castings.

S1Q3T3 10:53, 2 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

You did bring up Foresight! My mistake. I lost track of where we began.

I am by no means assuming that it needs to be up all day in order to be difficult. The whole point of the exercise is to keep people from getting the drop on you. By definition, that doesn't happen on your timetable.

I was thinking about something in a rechargable item that you could use to recast Foresight several times a day without depleting your spell slots (retreating to a safe haven periodically to recharge), but it seems like your solution works better. I like it. Can you think of a good counter for the monk, other than that expensive item?

PS: I was thinking -- I don't know why -- about Surgo's 2nd-line strategy of 30 Greatswords, and I realized it does no better. They aren't a touch attack, so instead of hitting half the time, they hit 5-10% of the time. Very little damage. And even if half of them hit, the damage would be 5.5 * 15 = 82.75 +/- 15 or so, not enough to kill.

PPS: How about this: Set a Psionic Contingency/ Contingency with Synchronicity/Celerity and a condition like "Any time an opponent in combat begins an action before I have acted." You then get the spell effect (and the action) instantanously, you don't have to use your 9th-level spell slots, and the Monk doesn't have to break the bank for a continuous Foresight effect.

130.214.17.20 12:47, 2 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

I don't get why people are trying so hard to get the wizard to win this little fight. Of course a wizard will win... there are like a billion source books that add new spells (so basically new abilities) and very few that add new powers for the monk.

Example: The monk must hit in melee so just use the Conjurer specialist variant class feature in PH2 (I think) that allows you to teleport 10 feet as an immediate action. Going to attack me? No you aren't.

Example 2: I put this on most wizards I play. Contingency (attacked in melee) + Teleport. Duh. I don't even have to explain why a non-surprised wizard with a range advantage wins.

Example 3: Craft contingent spell = GG.

Example 4: Why hasn't anyone mentioned Enervators? Enervation + Arcane Thesis + lots of metamagic says bye bye to all their levels. I guess we are assuming the monk shreds the wizard in the first round, which is accurate without some good spell defense.

Example 5: You killed me first round? Sure. Inside my bag of holding I have a clone (as the spell) now you get surprise attacked by a level 19 wizard. And I'm pretty sure it is easy enough to show how a wizard can take out any opponent pretty easily.

Example 6: Like any other decent wizard, you have moment of prescience active. If initiative is an opposed check (i don't know if it is), you can get the first turn. otherwise, +20-25 ac against 1 attack is nothing to sneeze at. Especially combined with a better Contingency.

Example 7: Travel around ethereally. Shapechange into an ethereal marauder (using some trick to get shapechange to last all day). Ive done this with a wizard before before you go saying nobody would do this. invisible + silent + incorporeal for 95% of encounters? count me in.

Monks are good. They can fill a versatile set of roles diligently, including a quick striking mobile role. Wizards shine at having an answer to everything. This argument will eventually end with the wizard having an unbeatable answer. Then the monk will change tactics and the argument will restart again. Could the monk beat an unprepared wizard -- quite possibly. Could the wizard beat an unprepared monk -- quite possibly. Is the monk broken -- yes it can be like any other optimized class. Is the wizard broken -- optimized, yes, just like any other class.

This argument seems to be like toddlers arguing over who has the redder fire truck toy. Both your fire trucks are red. The question over which class is more unbalanced is silly in the first place.

S1Q3T3 08:52, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

I wasn't impressed with most of the suggestions in the exposition, but the conclusion is spot on. Both classes are quite powerful, properly optimized. The two factors which will weigh heaviest on the outcome of an encounter will be a) who has prepared more careful and intelligently for all contingencies, and b) who (if anyone) has the drop on who in the fight. Neither of those things really relates to the intrinsic power of the classes themselves.

TK-Squared 08:57, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

Quite simply, really. Both classes AREN'T "quite powerful, properly optimized".

Unlike THE MONK of course, who has all this stuff before you said, it just happened you said it in response?

"BUT I CAN TURN INTO A COLOSSAL+ WYVERN" or "PRESTIGE CLASSES ARE PART OF MONKS"; you're still wrong.

Rith (talk) 10:12, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

I was initially interested in this discussion since there was actually someone fighting for the underdog, the monk.

Aarnott 10:16, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

I'm just going to throw this out there before any more hostility arises:

This means please follow Wikipedia's guidlines on Civility and Etiquette when discussing anything. And, if an argument does arise, please use Wikipedia's Dispute Resolution to make sure everyone comes out happy.
Green Dragon's Welcome message

I think this applies to more people than just TK. Please keep these guidelines in mind as you continue this discussion.

Lord Dhazriel 10:38, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

Everything needed to be said have been said. S1Q3T3, please take in account many of us already saw the ultimate monk and made our opinion on the subject. I have nothing more to say in this discussion, I already made my opinion known about divine spellcasting being the pinnacle of power. Please no more discussion about the monk, it not a "monk are good" or a "monk suck" discussion. (if you wish to open such discussion go ahead). Also I think this discussion could use some archive, I mean look at the length of that page. It huge.

Seriously I saw respectable user being unusually aggressive on this discussion (including myself). Maybe monk's power is a sensitive subject? Oh well I think we be better by forgetting all this and return to constructive comments.

Sam Kay 11:07, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

To be quite honest, I think the question you should be asking is "which class is balanced?". Actually, that's a rhetorical question; with so many classes at different levels of balance, who can say what "balance" actually is? I don't think there is such a thing as a balanced class in 3rd. Some are over powered, some are under. And in most cases, it all depends on build. And starting a fight over it is never going to solve the problem or answer the question. Its an unstopable force versus immovable object question, and it rather depends on playing style, build, cicumstance and many other things. So, yes, can we get back to constructive comments?

Daniel Draco 11:15, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

Yeah, it's probably best to just leave this as is.

Fair warning though...knowing TK from conversations in the Tavern, I would guess that he will not let it go. He's probably going to argue a few final points. Let's try not to this escalate into more hostility (though there's no reason a civil discussion can't continue). And don't think that it was just TK. Pretty much everyone who has added anything to this debate besides trying to cool it down was a bit hostile, myself included. For my part, I apologize.

ShadowyFigure 12:51, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

In the hands of an optimizer almsot every class can be "Unbalanced" theres no point arguing over it, if you gonna argue bout balance play 4th edition, or WoW. On another note wasn't TK Banned? ShadowyFigure 12:51, 5 February 2009 (MST)

  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   13:14, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

"Balance" is extremely variable in a game such as D&D. Especially 3.x with its massive material available for the users use or abuse. Keep in mind that it is the player that makes the character, and not the rules. Thus balance is in the hands of the player, not the class.

Daniel Draco 13:28, 5 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

TK was banned, but the time ran out; he's back.

Rogue the Demonchild 01:37, 10 December 2009 (MST)[edit]

There's no such thing as "Balance" in D&D. The whole point of it is that no one is equal. You can never compare a Wizard to a Monk in terms of balance because they don't share a similar style. That is like comparing a bow and arrow to a sword. Which is better? Well the bow and arrow can be shot from long distance! But the sword is much stronger than the bow! It all depends on who is better IN RELATION TO THE AVERAGE of their class.

=== Regulus 16:17, 8 March 2010 (UTC) ===\

Has anyone mentioned the fact that an anti-magic field is basically a death sentence to any spell-caster? I think that would be fairly topical considering the monk class could still shred your typical beholder by standing in the gaze of its anti-magic eye and beating the bejesus out of it. Also take into account that a monk in his boxer-shorts with at least one limb to his name can still deal massive amounts of damage. I think the strength of the melee class is that they can still recover from an encounter getting the drop on them whereas spellcasters tend to have the Batman complex (Can defeat anyone if given enough prep time). There were a lot of really complex hypotheticals thrown out there, but what does that mean when something unexpected comes up? Retooling your strategy to deal with a specific threat is all fine and dandy, but what do you do when the DM throws you into a cage with an iron golem and the party's spell-caster didn't memorize his contingency plan for golems that day? That's where the overall brawlers get to save the day.

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