Talk:Wand User Monk (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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If I've misinterpreted any rules I'd love to know. Aarnott 10:45, 24 January 2007 (MST)

You've confused Divine Favor with Divine Power. —Sledged 11:02, 24 January 2007 (MST)
Thanks :D Aarnott 11:07, 24 January 2007 (MST)
Also, you mention the party chipping in with the costs of the wands so long as the cleric/monk isn't greedy with the charges. The problem with that unless they also have spellcasting levels (or ranks in Use Magic Device), they're not going to be able to benefit from the wands that have spells with a range of "personal." —Sledged (talk) 15:36, 31 January 2007 (MST)
Well the only ones that are personal are Divine Power (which is what all your cash should be going for) and Shield (which is 750 gold). I can't see a party that gets along not chipping in for a CLW wand. Cat's Grace they may get stingy on... But it is 50 charges! That basically lasts a whole adventuring career (which is why I think wands can be lame). I have had a player run out of wand charges once in my entire history DMing. And that was a Magic Missle CL 9 wand that he used as a ranged attack with his rogue. Aarnott 09:59, 7 February 2007 (MST)
iive actuall did a monk variant, it involved 5 levels of sorcerer for the buff spells, but i like your idea better (if you have money). good job ==Alabastor 08:04, 9 March 2007 (MST)
Well after looking at the Complete Adventurer, 5 levels of sorcerer wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea (thanks to the Ascetic Mage feat). I still think that the Cleric level is probably the best bet for Divine Power, but the "Ascetic" feats definitely give some interesting synergy ideas. --Aarnott 10:23, 9 March 2007 (MST)


If you have access to the Player's Guide to Faerûn or the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, you should check out the Runecaster PrC, or more specifically, what it can produce. —Sledged 13:55, 28 January 2007 (MST)

Unfortunately I don't have that book yet. I'll have to check with a friend of mine (who we call the "library"). What in specific does it offer that you are suggesting? Perhaps some way to utilize both arcane and divine spells without spending 2 levels? Aarnott 05:45, 29 January 2007 (MST)
Not arcane, but divine. Runes are more than three times expensive, but they're usable by anyone, and they can made with any number of charges. (A rune with the same spell as a wand at the same cost holds only 15 charges.) If you're willing to spend 8 times the base rune cost, the charges are per day. Other than the cost, the drawbacks are that a successful targeted dispel destroys the rune as does the erase spell. —Sledged (talk) 15:36, 31 January 2007 (MST)
I've seen the class, and it would be good if a party member picked it up, but not likely for this specific optimization. This optimization is quite possible for a solo monk. Aarnott 10:11, 7 February 2007 (MST)

Should Rogue Levels be Included?[edit]

Why not a few levels of rogue? Better synergy with monk skills, and put some focus on Use Magic Device Skill which would let you use most of the wands except the higher lvl ones, plus sneak attack is nice too. --Darkseid 3-24-07 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:37, 24 March 2007 (MST). Please sign your posts!

This is to avoid the chance of failure mainly, but really good call. It seems any class can get UMD as a cross-class, so really a monk could just flat out invest skill points in it. If they invest a feat, and skill points, they can get 2 ranks + 3 skill focus at first lvl, and when they could "cast" 4th level spells as a cleric 5.5 ranks + 3 skill focus, giving a min of 8.5 assuming no cha bonus. That means they need a 12+ to cast divine power successfully. Take 1 level in rogue, and use a feat and they get 2 extra ranks of UMD giving a 10+ chance to cast at 7th lvl. This is just above 50% (though can be better with a higher cha bonus). My point is that when you get to lvl 7, without godly stats, UMD is just not feasible for a rogue/monk. A strict rogue, yes, but not rogue/monk. --Aarnott 14:00, 9 April 2007 (MDT)


I suppose I read the rules wrong about using wands. I thought all you needed was the spell on your list (not to be able to cast it). I figured a way that works fine however (and scraps the cleric level). In the DMG2 there is a feat called Apprentice. One of the options is to train under a mage and you get UMD and Knowledge Arcana as class skills. So you can just progress as a monk getting UMD ranks (at the cost of a 1st level feat). Really this build needs work though since the thing I based it on does not work... --Aarnott 11:22, 3 July 2007 (MDT)

I may not have been wrong after all... From [1]: "To use a spell trigger item, you must have the spell that is stored in the item on your class spell list. You can use the item even if you're not high enough level to cast the stored spell (or even high enough level to cast any spells at all). It doesn't make any difference if the stored spell is arcane or divine, and your ability scores dont matter". Would the Magic Domain therefore allow a Cleric to use any wizard wand freely? The wand user monk may yet have a comeback. --Aarnott 14:07, 25 July 2007 (MDT)
That is exactly it. --Dmilewski 19:28, 25 July 2007 (MDT)
Yes, that is 'exactly' it. This build does have a lot of potential. Of course, I think I remember it mentioning using a wand of Cat's Grace. I do believe that is the one buff spell not on the Cleric list. Although if you take the Magic Domain, I guess you would be able to use those wands. The wording on the Magic Domain confuses me a bit. If I recall, there was some clarification/errata having to do with a spell being "on your spell list." It mostly had to do with spontaneous casters (like sorcerers) and said something about a spell is only "on the list" if it was actually a spell selected as a "known spell". I think it had to do with clarifying whether or not a spell trigger item could be used if it had a spell from a prohibited school. I'll have to look into this again. Does anyone recall any specifics on this? I only mention it because it seems like it might be relevant here. --Skwyd 12:32, 26 July 2007 (MDT)
I doesn't have to be a known spell I wouldn't think because the article I got said that you don't need to be high enough level to cast it (like a 3rd level wizard using a wand of fireball for example). I think prohibited schools remove spells from your class spell list. I'm trying to think what domain would be next best. There are a few that give free feats (darkness gives blindfight), but it would be cool to get a domain with some druid spells (just to have even more spell access through items). Darkness also gives SRD:Armor of Darkness (Spell) which can give a +8 deflection bonus to AC (for an AC maximizer this is like an epic ring of protection). Any suggestions on a second domain? --Aarnott 15:04, 26 July 2007 (MDT)
For armor of darkness to give the full +8 bonus you'd need a wand with caster level 20. At 60,000 gp, That's 3 times as expensive as the normal caster level 7 wand, which gives only +4. --Mkill 04:33, 27 July 2007 (MDT)
I won't argue with that. I'm just pointing out that the domain adds the potential to really get the most out of all the AC bonus types (monk bonus, wisdom, dex, armor, natural armor, deflection, shield). Couple that with a full BAB and flurry, and the build is pretty cool. I want to turn this into a solid build however, so if you have suggestions, please help :). I'm thinking a level of rogue with the ascetic rogue feat (PH2) would be peachy (wand of greater invisibility to get sneak attacks). With 18 monk levels that should give a full 10d6 sneak attack coupled with divine power and flurry that nets a lot of extra damage. Does anyone know if the ascetic rogue feat has been errata'd yet? The chart says it adds sneak attack, but the text does not... Oh and another question: Does two weapon fighting stack with flurry of blows? --Aarnott 07:48, 27 July 2007 (MDT)

Ascetic Rogue[edit]

If this feat does not give sneak attack damage, I still want to have this build deal lots of sneak attack damage. To do that, I will need 9 levels of classes that give sneak attack at first level (Prestige or otherwise) that this character can qualify for. 11 levels must go into monk to get the full flurry power. I consider sudden strike equivalent to sneak attack for this purpose.

So far, here is what I've got:

Cleric 1/Monk 11/Rogue 1/Assassin 1/Ninja 1/SpellThief 1/Invisible Blade 1/Scout 1 (maybe, but 10ft move is required)

BAB is not an issue because of Divine Power. --Aarnott 09:24, 27 July 2007 (MDT)

The fact is Monk 11 is a waste. Sure you get an extra attack compared to Monk 2, and less penalty, but the intermediate levels are too awful to waste. Monk builds tends to go the freak wisdom based builds, that is, you want to aim for 36+ Wis stat. This comes down to ability boosts. Human Paragon gives you +2, Chameleon 7 gives you +4 (and Cham 10 gives +6!). Other things:
  • Make sure you have Ninja 2. With a godly Wis, you should be able to turn swift invisible 10/day
  • Able Learner + Ranger 2 / Rogue 1 converts (almost) everything into class skills. If you don't like Ranger...
    Able Learner + Factotum 1 converts everything into a class skill—Autohypnosis, Use Psionic Device, Truespeak (Tome of Magic), Martial Lore (Tome of Battle)... EVERYTHING! —Sledged (talk) 16:20, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
  • Exemplar does this and you get Skill Mastery on a favorite skill (probably Tumble or UMD)
  • Aesetic Rogue is a waste of a feat if you only do a 1 level dip in Rogue.
  • Intuitive Attack & Zen Archery lets you use Wis on all attack rolls. Intuitive Attack is Exalted however...
  • Get Improved Initiative and Danger Sense to leverage your sneaks.
  • Make sure you don't choose a deity so you can choose the cleric domains freely.
Regards --Pwsnafu 17:37, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

Two things about Ascetic Rogue:

  • You need to be Rogue 1/Monk 1 to take it, but the current build takes it before it has any rogue levels (bad)
  • It does not give more Sneak Attack damage. What it does is, you can multiclass freely between rogue and monk, you get a small bonus to Stunning Fist save DC when you use it with a Sneak Attack, and rogue levels count for monk unarmed damage.

If you ask me, it's not worth it for this build. Just to get Use Magic Device, you could do Human Paragon or take the Able Learner (Races of Destiny)) or Skill Knowledge Feats (Unearthed Arcana). Sneak Attacks are hard to pull off and lots of enemies are immune to it. Since most monk specials depend on level (AC bonus, speed, Wholeness of Body, SR etc.) it's better to stack up more monk levels. --Mkill 21:51, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

I will rebuild this since Ascetic Rogue does not work that way. The book was unclear about it (since the table text conflicted with the full description). --Aarnott 11:18, 30 July 2007 (MDT)

1 attack must be ranged attack? - and why TWF?[edit]

I don't get why it says that one of the attacks of the full attack routine must be a ranged attack. Did I miss something?

Also, I doubt that with low Str, monk BAB, no magic weapon enhancement bonus and -2 from TWF this build will ever hit anything at 10th level. Ever heard of the "Flurry of misses"? It's really not worth to fulfill a Dex 19 requirement and take 3 feats on TWF if you never hit anything. Take something useful, like Combat Form feats.

Think about it: A Balor CR 20 has AC 35. With a Str 15 this build has +15 to hit on his best attack at level 20. That's a 5% hit chance. What use is rolling 10 attacks per round of you have to hope for a natural 20? --Mkill 22:00, 29 July 2007 (MDT)

You missed throwing a shurikan with rapid shot. I have heard of flurry of misses, and I have been considering ways to avoid this. I like the idea of throwing out tons of attacks per round that all sneak attack. The build *does* require magic items (which tends to be different from most good optimizations). I won't say this is an all powerful optimization, but I think the idea is playable. Given the following equipment, I think it has some good power:
  • Wand of Greater Invisibility
  • Wand of Divine Power
  • Wand of Chill Touch 20th level caster (to get around high ACs if required -- 15,000 gp and totally worth it)
Keep in mind the build uses weapon finesse to make use of high dex (making Str an effective dump stat). With decent gear a +13 to the initial dex score is not that difficult to get (+6 gloves, +5 from levels, +2 from wishes/tomes). So with an elite array, it would be 28. That is a +8 right there to hit. It can also benefit from arcane or divine wands that add to hit such as heroism. One thing to note is that the enemy will be losing their dex bonus to hit from invisibility (if they do not have true seeing). I don't know if blink allows them to still lose their dex bonus even if they have true seeing (probably not though). --Aarnott 11:15, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
Rapid Shot!? That's another -2 to attack! You're already pretty tight on hitting. That one more miss with a Shuriken doesn't make any difference. And no, wasting yet another feat on Weapon Finesse and spending huge amounts of gold to boost your dex score is no excuse for a crappy build. Even though you do spend a feat and tons of money you still won't hit that balor. Do I really have to do the math for you? BAB 15; Dex 28 = + 7; -6 from Flurry, TWF, Rapid Shot. You have a 10% chance to hit that balor on your full BAB main attacks, and a 5% chance on the others. That's crap, crap, crap. That Balor's AC 35 isn't even great at level 20.
And did you even realize yet that Ascetic Monk does not give you Sneak Attack dice. You're stuck with 1d6. --Mkill 13:01, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
I know about the Ascetic Rogue now -- I am fixing the build. The BAB is NOT 15 however. It is 20 (Divine Power). Also the total will be a -4 (flurry has no penalty at level 11 monk). I will probably remove Rapid Shot as the extra attack is far too much of a trade-off for -2 to hit on all attacks. Does it matter that the character can't kill a balor though? I will concede this build will not be able to do it regardless. What the build will be able to do however is kick the snot out of opponents not immune to sneak attack that cannot see invisible opponents. Perhaps it is too conditional, but I like the idea. I would also probably have a wand of Silence handy to make it more deadly. Consider this math:
  • Base attack: +20
  • Dexterity 26: +7 (I won't include a +2 tome here)
  • TWF: -2
  • Invisible: +2
This gives the following attack routine:
Primary Hand: +27 (base 1)/+27 (flurry 1)/+27 (flurry 2)/+22 (base 2)/+17 (base 3)/ +12 (base 4)
Off Hand: +27/+22/+17
I should put in the equipment cost for that, just so you can see it is really not so ridiculous.
  • Wand of Invisibility, Greater 21,000 gp
  • Wand of Divine Power 21,000 gp
  • Wand of Chill Touch 10th level caster 7,500 gp (though I think 20th is affordable this is the minimum necessary)
  • +6 Gloves of Dexterity 36,000 gp
Total: 85,500 gp
Seeing as the DMG recommended gold is a little over 9 times that for a level 20, I think those items should be ok... Against a balor this character does not have much of a chance -- you are right. The build has no way of causing a sneak attack condition on its own. I see it having a lot of power against NPCs that are not immune to sneak attacks. 9 attacks dealing 8d6 sneak attack damage (when the build is finished) is nothing to take lightly. With haste, that is 10 attacks dealing 8d6 (80d6 damage). You can read the above section to see what I am planning on doing to the build. The basic idea though is to take Cleric 1/Monk 11 and then take 1 level classes that each give sneak attack. Do you know of any multi-limbed low LA creatures? Also if you know classes or prestiges that give sneak attack at first level, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks for the comments, and keep them coming. I think this build is possible, but just needs a lot of work. --Aarnott 13:49, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
Removing Rapid Shot; You'd be better off replacing Greater Two-Weapon Fighting with Improved Rapid Shot (Complete Warrior). It gets rid of the −2 penalty. I'd rather have an extra ranged attack with my primary hand at my full BAB versus an off-hand attack at a −10 penalty. —Sledged (talk) 15:21, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
Good call! I'm thinking of going for a non-psionic version of the Thri-Kreen. ECL 3 (LA +1 and 2 racial HD), but it gives a lot of extra attacks with the multi-weapon fighting tree. I'll be able to net 6 more attacks that way :). --Aarnott 15:33, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
If I remember correctly anthropomorphic squids also have ECL 3. --Pwsnafu 18:33, 30 July 2007 (MDT)
Where would I find that race? --Aarnott 08:53, 31 July 2007 (MDT)


If you have 3 Classes that arent nearly the same lvl your going to be taking a 40% loss to the exp. you earn... how are you ever going to keep up with the rest of the group? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:46, 3 November 2007 (MDT). Please sign your posts!

The race, human, will always help. --Green Dragon 23:10, 5 November 2007 (MST)
But it will only help with one of the classes. If you have 3 classes and they are (for example) level 5, 3, and 1, the human race will allow you to ignore your highest class level (in this case 5) and only have a 20% penalty to XP. I've played a character that actually had 4 classes and her 20% XP penalty rapidly dropped her behind the rest of the group. And sometimes, you just don't want to play a human...again... --Skwyd 09:15, 6 November 2007 (MST)
First, this build will not suffer an XP penalty because, as it was pointed out, the race used is human, so the highest level class (monk) does not contribute to an XP penalty leaving only the cleric and rogue classes which are both the same level. Unfortunately, race options outside of human are a bit limited. You'd have to be of a race whose favored class is either "any" or monk to avoid the XP penalty. —Sledged (talk) 09:27, 6 November 2007 (MST)
I thought there was some discussion of possible other races to play this that would get even more attacks a round due to multiattack and multiple limbs. --Skwyd 14:15, 7 November 2007 (MST)
I ended up making a different optimized character, which is more easily described as a Thri-Kreen with tons of sneak attack. I'm really not sure where to go with this character anymore. I mean Cleric 1/Monk X is a good way to start a monk I think, but it isn't super optimized I suppose... --Aarnott 07:32, 10 December 2007 (MST)

Doing More Attacks[edit]

If I remember right there's a book called Champions of Ruin or something like it. In there is a weapon ability called splitting. It costs +3, but flat out doubles your attacks. A standard attack gets you another, a full attack doubles your number of attacks. I'm led to believe because it is not speed, it stacks with A Thousand Cuts. TWF dervish with 2 splitting weapons gets...oh you do the maths... :( Regards Pwsnafu 20:42, 4 December 2007 (MST)

How to get +5 attacks[edit]

I originally did this for the Ultimate Monk build. Instead of doing Amulet of Mighty fists, get someone to cast greater magic fang on you followed by permanency.

If Ascetic Rouge doesn't work, you might try the halfling monk racial substitution level, which gives you skirmish damage. The feat Swift Ambusher from Complete scoundrel may be of use... but if you ever find a way to get a sneak attacking monk, please notify me. And the Ultimate Monk guy too. --Sir Milo Teabag 14:04, 20 December 2007 (MST)

Multiclass Monk[edit]

A monk who multiclasses can never take monk levels again. Your build gives a level of rogue, then progresses in the monk class. There is a feat in the Eberron Campaign Setting which allows a monk to multiclass though if you want to add that to the feats needed. Mystrich 19:48, 9 April 2008 (MDT)

Aesthetic RogueCA allows this, but I think this build is flaky regardless. --Aarnott 20:34, 9 April 2008 (MDT)

Any objections to delete?[edit]

I'm definitely not objecting, and I wrote it. This was before I read the char op boards. Go figure. --Aarnott 16:52, 24 July 2009 (MDT)

Delete tag[edit]

There was no deletion discussion other than the author agreeing. The deletion tag claims that the build doesn't work, but I can't see any corroboration. If it's invalid I'll delete it, but as is, it looks fine to me.

The reason I called it a drive-by delete tag is because Ghostwheel (who went through and added invalid tags to many, many optimized builds) added it without making any comment on the talk page to explain it. Aarnott created the page, so it's not true that the author was the one who created the tag (and most of the time, that's not a valid reason for deletion anyway). JazzMan 21:04, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

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