Ultimate Monk (3.5e Optimized Character Build)/Highlights

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Unarmed Strike Damage[edit]

The unarmed strike damage of the monk varies from variant to variant and depending on what buffs the player has available and how they are used. In broad terms, however, if the monk isn't doing an average of a hundred points of damage per strike by ECL 15, you aren't trying.

Base Damage[edit]

Table: Monk Unarmed Damage by Size
Level Fine Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
1st–3rd 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6
4th–7th 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6
8th–11th 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8
12th–15th 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6 8d6
16th–19th 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8 8d8
20th 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 2d10 4d8 6d8 8d8 12d8

A Gargantuan monk with Improved Natural Attack does 12d8 base damage; a Colossal monk (made by combining a Huge Metamorphosis form with an enhanced Expansion effect) and Improved Natural Attack does 16d8 (avg 72). Additionally, class and magical effects may change the monk's base damage, as reflected in the following table (which assumes 20th-level unarmed strike damage as a starting point):

Table: Monk (20th) Unarmed Damage by Size and Special Bonuses
# of bonuses +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8
Medium 2d10 4d8 6d8 8d8 12d8 16d8 24d8 32d8 48d8
Large 4d8 6d8 8d8 12d8 16d8 24d8 32d8 48d8 64d8
Huge 6d8 8d8 12d8 16d8 24d8 32d8 48d8 64d8 96d8
Gargantuan 8d8 12d8 16d8 24d8 32d8 48d8 64d8 96d8 128d8
Colossal 12d8 16d8 24d8 32d8 48d8 64d8 96d8 128d8 192d8
Colossal Plus 16d8 24d8 32d8 48d8 64d8 96d8 128d8 192d8 256d8

Claw Damage[edit]

Many variants of the Ultimate Monk have claw or slam attacks (all can get them via the Claws of the Beast Power), whose damage stacks by means of the Beast Strike feat (if your DM allows the use of Beast Strike, a Dragon Magazine feat.) Claws of the Beast is the best choice at higher levels, even for races and forms with natural claws (again, assuming you have access to Beast Strike; otherwise unarmed strike/claw damage is an either/or proposition).

Claws of the Beast Damage Table[edit]
Power Points Claw Damage
Small Medium Large
1 1d3 1d4 1d6
3 1d4 1d6 1d8
5 1d6 1d8 2d6
7 1d8 2d6 3d6
11 2d6 3d6 4d6
15 3d6 4d6 5d6
19 4d6 5d6 6d6

You can plug these values into the above table (size and special bonuses), substituting d6 for d8. An eleven-point Claws of the Beast (which will last a 9th-level Psionic Fist for nine hours), does 8d6 damage for a Gargantuan creature without Improved Natural Attack (claws), 12d6 for a creature that has Colossal size or has that feat, or 16d6 for one that has both (averages are 28, 42, and 56 respectively). A standard (no charge action) claw+unarmed strike for a 15th-level monk in Colossal form with Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike and claws) would be 16d8 + 16d6 (average 112) + Str bonus.

Charge Damage[edit]

If you have the Flying Kick feat, add 1d12 (useful at the earlier levels, all but gilding the lily by ECL 15). Add the more significant bonus from the Powerful Charge feat:

Powerful Charge (G): 4d8 (Or (C): 6d8)

Sure, you could take Greater Powerful Charge and do 6d8 (8d8), but why? They just took 16d8 + 16d6 +6d8 + 10-20 points of Strength bonus. They're already dead, for goodness' sake. Note also that the Powerful Charge damage bonus applies only to the first attack made during a charge action (which for most characters would usually be the only attack, but not so for the Ultimate Monk). If you expect to rely less on the Charge action, or if you expect typically to be able to make full attacks after a charge (if, for example, you are playing a Black Spirit Tiger or some other variant which has Pounce([ex]) as a racial ability) you may want to spend your feat slot on something that gives a damage bonus to every attack (see Improved Natural Attack (claws), above).

Grapple Check Damage[edit]

They survived the first hundred and fifty points of damage? Don't forget that many of the monk variants enjoy the Improved Grab special ability. After a successful unarmed strike, do a Grapple check, including bonuses for size (Colossal +16, Gargantuan +12, Huge +8, Large +4, Medium +0, Small –4, Tiny –8, Diminutive –12, Fine –16) the Improved Grapple feat (+4), Strength bonuses (high) and/or racial bonuses (squids get +4).

How often will you fail that check? Not often, unless you specialize in Colossal pest control. The Improved Grab special ability does not do damage on the first round, unless you also have the Constrict special ability (as does the Eight Flying Fists variant, or any number of forms you can take via the monk's Metamorphosis ability). In that case, the base damage is specified in the description. But if you lack the Constrict special ability maintain the grapple on the following round, per the SRD, "you deal damage to the target as if with an unarmed strike." So whatever damage you just did, roll it again. The Improved Grab ability with Constrict works immediately on the heels of an attack, like the Cleave feat, so if you were charging when you made the melee attack, you are still charging (and still getting the benefit of Powerful Charge).

Combat Example[edit]

Meska, a 20th-level Ultimate Monk trained in the Overwhelming Attack style, is battling a powerful but paranoid Fire Giant Wizard (15HD/16th Wizard, 262hp), who is known to possess a powerful talisman that will automatically transport him hundreds of miles away to the safety of his own volcanic fortress should he at any time (even during an opponent's action) drop below 100hp or be rendered helpless. The only chance to end the menace for good, Meska realizes, is to drop the monster in one shot.

Prior to round one: Meska has all of his buffs in place including Animal Affinity (+4 Int), Oak Body (+4 Str, enhancement), Claws of the Beast, Expansion (+2) (+4 Str, size), Psychofeedback (-5 Cha, -5 Int, -5 Wis, +10 Str, bonus type unspecified) and Metamorphosis (Sun Giant (Size H): Str 37).

Round one: Meska expends one action point in order to gain use of the Leap Attack feat (Monster Manual 3) for one round. This allows Meska to double the damage bonus from his power attack when he incorporates a 10' foot horizontal jump in his charge.

Meska win initiative and charges. (He makes the Jump check easily.) Making an unarmed strike attack, taking a -15 Power Attack penalty, he rolls a 17, a hit. His base unarmed damage in Colossal form is 16d8 (the player rolls 68 points of damage). He adds 12d6 claw damage due to the Beast Strike feat (44 points). He adds 6d8 for Powerful Charge (28 points). Flying Kick adds 1d12 (8 points).

Meska's strength bonus adds 24 points of damage. Power Attack adds 30 (base 15, doubled for the Leap Attack feat). Greater Magic Fang adds +5. Finally, he expends his psionic focus to activate Empathic Transfer, Hostile, as a swift action (taking 3d8 of damage from the use of the Overchannel feat, for a Quickened power with 50+20hp damage). The giant misses his save, which adds 70 points of damage to the strike while healing Meska of 70hp of wounds sustained earlier in the adventure. The teleport trigger activates, but after sustaining 277 hp of damage from Meska's unarmed strike, dropping him to -15hp, the Fire Giant chieftain is beyond help.

Multiple Attacks[edit]

What's more fun than doing a hundred and fifty points of damage with a single attack? Doing it four to five times a round, of course. The monk attack progression (with flurry) is too well-known to need quoting.

Notably, though, the Ultimate Monk typically has natural weapons either as a racial feature, as a function of his Metamorphosis power, or via psionic powers (Claws of the Beast, Bite of the Wolf, etc.) The monk can take his full routine of unarmed strikes as a primary attack (but may not perform a flurry of blows), and then take all of his natural attacks as secondary attack forms. An 8th-level monk/4th-level psionic fist, for example, could manifest the two powers mentioned above and make the following full attack: unarmed strike/unarmed strike/unarmed strike/claw/claw/bite. Secondary attacks would take a -2 penalty. (Normal: the monk could make the same attack routine, with no penalty to his unarmed strikes (since these never take an off-hand penalty) but would take a -5 to hit on his secondary attacks[1].)

Via the Pounce special ability or using Psionic Lion's Charge, all these attacks can be used at the conclusion of a charge.

Combat Example[edit]

Lu of the Shining Fist order (M6/PF6) is being relentlessly pursued by a pack of wolves set upon him by an evil wizard he is hunting. He has used his superior speed (base 80 feet per round) to put a couple of miles between himself and the wolves, who continue to track him. He identifies a site with good prospects for defense, and prepares for the confrontation.

Lu (M6/PF6)

Abbot to Monster, Cobra Strike fighting style

Human Str: 14 Int: 14 Wis: 16(22) Dex: 20 (24) Con: 12 Cha: 4

Initiative Modifier: +16 (+4 [Improved Initiative], +1 ioun stone, +6 Dex, , +2 Quick trait); special, may reroll 1/day (Danger Sense feat)

AC(Dodge): 21 (23) (+6 Dex, +8 Wis, +2 Monk, +6 Bracers, -1 flaw)

BAB: +8

Move: 110 ft

Attack modifiers: Str (+2), Greater Magic Fang (+5)


Power points: 41 (23 (base) + 18 (Wis))

Powers: Bite of the Wolf, Claws of the Beast, Expansion, Animal Affinity, Hustle, Claws of the Vampire

Magic items: Ioun Stone (Pale green) (+1 initiative), Greater Magic Fang (permanent), Danger Sense, 6-point enhancement, made Incarnate (permanent), Bracers of Armor +6, Ubiquitous Vision made Incarnate, Gloves of Dexterity (+4), Periapt of Wisdom +6.

Note: Does not have the Beast Strike feat; has Multiattack instead

This material is published under the OGL

Wolves (20)

Size/Type: Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8+4 (13 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Bite +3 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack: Bite +3 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trip
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +2, Listen +3, Move Silently +3, Spot +3, Survival +1*
Feats: TrackB, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (7–16)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3 HD (Medium); 4–6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

Prior to round one: Lu manifests the following powers:

Expansion (+2, 1d8 damage from use of the Overchannel feat) (-7PP)

Bite of the Wolf (-1 PP)

Claws of the Beast (1d8 damage from use of the Overchannel feat, 7-point claws) (-7 PP)

Animal Affinity (+4 Str) (-3 PP)

Claws of the Vampire (-5 PP)

He has 23 PP remaining at the start of the fight, and is psionically focused. He has taken 12 hit points of damage via the Overchannel feat.

Round one: The wolves find Lu with a large tree at his back, and attack him from all sides. Lu wins initiative. His attacks (and BAB) are +7(unarmed strike)/+1(unarmed strike)/+5(claw)/+5(claw)/+5(bite). Base damage from these attacks is 3d6/3d6/4d6/4d6/4d8, +6 (Strength). The unarmed strikes (but not the claw or bite attacks) receive a +5 bonus to hit and damage from the Greater Magic Fang spell.

Lu does not have Combat Reflexes, unfortunately, and gets only one attack of opportunity as the wolves surround him. He hits with a claw attack (his choice) and rolls 18 points of damage, killing the lead wolf and healing 6hp via his Claws of the Vampire power.

Lu takes a full attack option, rolling 5, 14, 3, 12, and 1. All but his bite attack (1) hit. He heals 6hp on his next claw attack, restoring him to full hit points. All his damage rolls are high enough to dispatch 13hp wolves. Eight of the remaining wolves have space to attack him (none receive flanking bonuses, due to Lu's Ubiquitous Vision). Two of them hit, dealing 11hp of damage but failing their trip attacks.

Round two: Lu takes another full attack option, rolling 9, 17, 9, 17, and 17. With the deaths of six more of their packmates, the DM rules that the rest of the pack slinks away to face their dark master's disappointment.


The ability to run 80mph straight up a wall and automatic success at any reasonable Jump, Balance, and Tumble skill checks means that while fleeing from a 12-foot, 8,000-pound dire bear may seem like a good idea, it is easier said than done.

Base movement varies widely among different versions of the build, but it always ends up very, very high.

The Spring Attack feat lets you make a single attack and move afterward; the Hustle power allows you to do the same thing with a Charge action by giving you an extra move action in a round.

Up the Walls allows you to transverse walls and ceilings as if they were floors. Abundant Step (monk level 12) allows you to dimension door.

Two levels of Drunken Master allow you to move in any sort of pattern as part of a Charge action. One could make several twists and turns in a charge in order to find an unobstructed path to one's opponent or in order to come on an opponent from an unexpected direction.

Combat Example:[edit]

Fang, an ECL 20 Ultimate Monk, is distributing alms on the streets of Greyhawk when he sees his moral enemies, the Cunning Circle of Chaotic Christmas-trees, emerge from a nearby inn. Both Fang and his foes notice one another and immediately set out to permanently resolve their philosophical differences.

Cast of Characters[edit]

Fang Air(Wind) 20th (Monk 7/Bloodline 2 (Intermediate Fire Elemental)/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 9)

Abbot to Monster, Cobra Strike fighting style


Str: 14 (20)

Int: 14

Wis: 18 (24)

Dex: 18 (22)

Con: 12

Cha: 8

Initiative Modifier: +16 (+4 [Improved Initiative], +1 ioun stone, +9 Dex, , +2 Quick trait); special, may reroll 1/day (Danger Sense feat)

AC(Dodge): 59 (61) (+8 Dex, +8 Wis, +3 Monk, +10 armor, +15 insight, +5 enhancement)

BAB: +15 (+20)

Move: 110 ft

Attack modifiers: Str (+5), Greater Magic Fang (+5)

Save bonuses: +15 (Psionic Amulet of Superior Protection)


Power points: 101 (71 (base) + 30 (Wis))

Feats:Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Wild Talent, Overchannel, Quicken Power, Combat Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike), Danger Sense.

Magic items: Magic items: Greater Magic Fang (permanent) +5 (9,100gp), Danger Sense, 6-point enhancement, made Incarnate (permanent) (10,000gp), Bracers of Striking Truth (As a True Strike Spell, CL 1, 3/day) (12,000 gp), Gloves of Dexterity (+4)(16,000gp), Periapt of Wisdom +6 (36,000gp), Torc of Power Preservation (-1 PP cost to manifest powers) (36,000gp), Monk's Belt (13,000gp), NPC cast Psychic Chirurgery (imparting knowledge of Metamorphosis) (33,000gp), Psychic Chirurgery (imparting knowledge of Mind Blank, Personal) (33,000gp), Boots of Temporal Acceleration (43,000gp), Ring of Divine Power (continuous effect, Cl 7) (140,000gp). Ring of the Mighty Wallop (continuous effect, CL 16th) (96,000gp), Ectoplasmic Fist (4,000gp), Power Link Quori Shards (3 uses/day) (9) (3,000gp * 9 = 27,000gp), Psionic Amulet of Superior Protection (148,000gp).

Value of items: 686,200gp

Aberoth Sorcerer 20

Human Str: 8 Int: 21 Wis: 14 Dex: 16 Con: 10 Cha: 8

Initiative Modifier: +7 (+4 [Improved Initiative], +3 Dex)

AC: 23

BAB: +10

Move: 30 feet

Hp: 60

Magic items: Ring of Ineffable Evil, Ring of Epic Protection (+10), Staff of the Cosmos

Notable feats: Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell, Forge Ring, Silent Spell [Metamagic], Repeat Spell [Metamagic].

al-Sur Barbarian 20

Human Str: 22 (28) Int: 8 Wis: 8 Dex: 10 (Gloves of Dexterity) Con: 16 Cha: 8

Initiative Modifier: +7 (+4 [Improved Initiative], +3 Dex)

AC: 26 (24 while raging)(Chain mail, Bracers of Defense +8, +3 Dex)

BAB: +20

Move: 40 feet

Note: Mighty Rage gives +8 Str, +8 Con.

Hp: 200 (280 raging)

Magic items: Stormbrand, Bracers of Defense +8, Belt of Giant Strength +6, Ring of Chaotic Fury

Notable feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Chaos Rage, Instantaneous Rage, Mad Foam Rager (Once per Rage / Frenzy, you may delay the effect of a single attack, spell, or ability used against you until the end of your next turn.)

Blorin Defender of Moradin (DnD Optimized Character Build) 20

Dwarf Str: 16 (22)(Belt of Giant Strength) Int: 10 Wis: 14 Dex: 18 Con: 12 Cha: 6

Initiative Modifier: +8 (+4 [Improved Initiative], +4 Dex)

AC: 49 (53 in defensive stance)

BAB: +17

Move: 20 feet

Hp: 160

Magic items: +5 Adamantine Full Plate, +5 Adamantine Heavy Steel Shield, Masterwork Warhammer, Amulet of Health +6, Belt of Giant Strength +6, Bracers of Armor +8 (Bracers of Armor don't stack with armor), and Boots of Speed.

Notable feats: Combat Reflexes, Combat Expertise, Improved Initiative, Improved Combat Reflexes (non-epic), Clever Wrestling, Deft Opportunist, Defensive Strike, Defensive Opportunist, Alertness. Special note: Finished his current level progression (requiring lawful alignment) before succumbing to his lifelong fascination with Chaotic Evil.

The Battlefield[edit]

The main streets in this area are 25 feet wide with 5-foot sidewalks on either side.

Fang is 75 feet from his enemies, who are five and ten feet away from the front of the inn, with the warriors in front. There is a straight line between him and Blorin, the Defender. The barbarian is directly behind Blorin and Aberoth, the sorcerer, is to the barbarian's right, directly in front of the door. There is a sharp left-hand turn in the road 20 feet past the sorcerer. The inn is 25 feet in height.


Before round one: The mage's plan is to cast Time Stop, and using the rounds provided to cast a Limited Wish (calling into being a large pile of oil-soaked wood with a flaming brand thrust into the middle of it next to Fang's square), Forcecage (10-foot cube, Quickened), and Antimagic(& antipsionic, via the magic-psionics transparency rule) field (personal range), while advancing towards the time-frozen monk (then resting with his back against the forcecube, the 10-foot radius antipsionic field preventing the monk from using manifesting any powers to escape or protect himself, trapping the monk in the cage as the wished-for bonfire roasts him alive.) The Dwarven Defender's plan is to assume a defensive stance and protect the mage. Al-Sur's plan, as always, is to charge.

Round One: The sides roll for initiative. The monk's foes roll a 5 (defender) , a 10 (sorcerer), and a 15 (barbarian). The monk uses his Danger Sense feat to take the better of two dice. The first comes up a 3 ("Oh, crap.") The second is a 9; still mediocre, but good enough for the monk to act first. Following his action, the barbarian, sorcerer, and the the defender will act.

The Fang actives his Boots of Speed as a free action (becoming Hasted, +30 speed; total move 40 + 70 + 30 = 140 feet per round.) He activates Hustle (-5 PP). He could attack the defender or the barbarian, but the sorcerer (rightly) worries him: he charges the sorcerer (using his Drunken Master stagger ability); he moves 65 feet towards the Blorin, moves 10 feet diagonally away from the line to the target (costing 15 feet of movement,) 15 feet forward, 5 feet diagonally back towards the target (costing 5 feet of movement), an addition 10 feet to the left, and five feet backwards. This places him 5 feet behind the sorcerer without crossing any threatened squares.

He attacks the sorcerer with an unarmed strike, rolling a 12 (+10 Str, +20 BAB, +5 Magic Fang), a hit. Damage is (Colossal via Ring of the Mighty Wallop +1 Improved Natural Attack, +1 Ectoplasmic Fist) 24d8 + 10. He rolls 89 points of damage, killing Aberoth instantly. Fang makes the Fortitude save to avoid the Ring of Ineffable Evil's 1d6 strength damage (+12 base save, +5 Constitution bonus).

The monk then finishes his action, using his extra move action, moving 20 feet towards the bend in the road and 15 feet into it. This places him 45 feet away from the dead sorcerer's friends and out of their line of sight. The defender and the barbarian look at each other. Should they follow? Catching their foe (who has a 45-foot head start) seems like a long shot. Perhaps the barbarian alone might have a chance, but something about the shredded, still-steaming remains of a 20th-level arcane spellcaster makes sticking together seem a capital idea. Besides, the body of Aberoth must be protected if he is to be raised. And -- as much as they would be at pains to deny any mercenary impulse, it does not escape them that there are more than a half a million gold pieces of magic items on the corpse (the decreased, they mentally correct themselves.) So for the moment they stay put.

Now forewarned, Fang manifests Offensive Precognition (-19PP) (+6 to hit), and Expansion (enhanced) (-7 PP). He metamorphosizes into a dire bear and uses his warshaper morphic weapons ability to increase his unarmed damage die. He regains his psionic focus. Finally, he metamorphosizes into an sun giant (Str 36 (46), Dex 11, Con 20; height 64ft) (-7PP).

He can now see his foes over the roof of the inn. They have no cover, as Fang is closer to the inn than they are and at 25 feet, it is less than half his height. The DM decides that al-Bur and Blorin are alert for some shocking ambush, and denies Fang a surprise round. They combatants roll initiative, but as the Charge attack is still prohibited to al-Bur (Fang is around the corner of a 2-story building, from the M-sized perspective; he is behind a fragile knee-high wooden box as far as Fang is concerned), they have hardly anything better than staying put in any case (Blorin could cast a Cleric spell. His best choice would undoubtedly be Plane Shift.)

Fang rolls a 16 (21), al-Bur a 12 (19), Blorin a 9 (16). The monk charges al-Bur (using the stagger ability to charge around the corner).

He charges Blorin (activating Psionic Lion's Charge (-19 PP)) and attacks at +19/+19/+19/+14/+10/+5/+0 (+1 attack due to Boots of Speed), +18 Str, +5 Magic Fang, +6 (insight, via Offensive Precognition) +2 charge, -6 size = +44/+44/+44. He hits Blorin once (13), inflicting (C + 1 morphic weapons +1 Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike) +1 Ectoplasmic Fist) +5 (Magic Fang) + 18 (Str) +16 (Psionic Lion's Charge damage bonus for a 10-point manifestation = 32d8)) 191 points of damage. He hits al-Bur 3 times (his attacks this round miss him only on a natural 1); al-Bur uses Mad Foam Rager to delay the effect of one of the attacks, but the other two easily send even his rage-inflated 280 hit points into negative numbers.

The combat is nearly over, but Fang must roll a Will save against the Confusion effect of the al-Sur's Ring of Chaotic Fury. His Will save takes a modifier of +23 (+12 base, +9 wisdom, +2 Still mind). He rolls a 15 and the battle is over. Idly, he wonders how many poorhouses he can endow with the cash from five Epic magic items.

Notes on the combat[edit]

The sorcerer Aberoth had an excellent plan. Its key feature was that none of the critical magic effects allowed a saving throw. This illustrates both the power of the high-level arcane spellcasters when they have room to maneuver, and the importance of buffing the Ultimate Monk's initiative bonus. Because in the event, of course, Aberoth never got a spell off.

In simulating this combat, several changes were made to tilt the scales in favor of the monk's foes. The perfect plan of Aberoth is one example. The numerical odds were three to one. Yet none of the monk's opponents succeeded in carrying out an attack of any kind. The only damage the monk took was self-inflicted, the result of the Overchannel feat.

The most important rule imposing a check on the Ultimate Monk's powers is the limit of one quickened power per round. When caught in an unplanned dust-up like this one, the monk has to decide between things he wants; claws, expansion, metamorphosis, Hustle, Psionic Lion's Charge. Once he disengages, as we saw here, he can reappear at a time of his choosing with all buffs in effect. At that point, it's all over.

Psionic Powers[edit]

The power and flexibility of the Psionic Fist's Psychic Warrior powers is phenomenal. Claws of the Beast, Metamorphosis, Hustle, Psionic Lion's Charge, and Burst have been extensively discussed above, but this only scratches the surface of what a clever player can accomplish. Take, for example, an Ultimate Monk who has been surprised (nobody's perfect) and taken 50-60 points of damage, leaving him in dire straits. Using Claws of the Vampire alongside your Claws of of the Beast and attacking four times per round, a Gargantuan Monk with an 11-point CoB could heal 6d6 or 8d6 of damage per successful hit. Or you could combine healing with offense and use Hostile Empathic Transfer to transfer 50 hp of damage to your foe (as if the Ultimate Monk needed one more way to buff his unarmed strike damage).

Bite of the Wolf provides the monk with yet another attack. Animal Affinity can buff any one stat by +4, and by manifesting Thicken Skin along with Inertial Armor, a 9th-level Psionic Fist with the Overchannel feat can buff their AC by 13 (+9 armor bonus, +4 enchantment bonus).

The possibilities go beyond combat and mobility buffs. Their are powers on the Psionic Fist's list which buff stealth (Chameleon, Conceal Thoughts, Ectoplasmic Form), buff protection against magical attacks, illusions, and scrying (Escape Detection, Steadfast Perception, Psionic Freedom of Movement) as well as powers which provide breath weapons or the capacity for astral travel. The hardest part of using the Ultimate Monk's psionic abilities is having to limit oneself to one power per level.

Colossal Size[edit]

Once the Ultimate Monk reaches Psionic Fist 9 and takes the Expanded Knowledge feat and the Metamorphosis power, he or she can combine it with the enhanced Expansion power to assume Colossal size. The range of size Huge creatures with 15HD or less is limited, but includes everything from giants to dinosaurs to treants.

Colossal Size brings with it reach of 30 feet with an unarmed strike or 60 feet with a reach weapon. Combined with Improved Combat Reflexes (and at later levels, Infinite and Exceptional Deflection) and the monk is quite capable of taking on armies and winning.

Colossal Size and Improvised Weapons[edit]

PHB pg. 113 has bare-bones rules for improvised weapons. Complete Warrior has more developed rules, not accessible via the web. MSRD:Improvised Weapons has rules for larger creatures. Insofar as they describe the same situations, their results agree exactly with those of the PHB. These give Colossal improvised ranged weapons a range increment of 120 feet, but the Complete Warrior rules (by rumor) keep the range increment at 10 feet with no size adjustment. An Ultimate Monk with two levels in Drunken Master does (1d4 + unarmed strike) damage per hit.

Even though the range increment for an improvised weapon tops out at 10 feet, the ability to combined range and reach attacks with unarmed strike damage adds great versatility to the monk's attacks: a Colossal Drunken Master using a borrowed merchant-ship anchor chain could strike for (16d8 + 1d4 + bonuses) with a reach of sixty feet.

Combat Example[edit]

The kingdom of Lord Balor is beset by a horde of ruthless orcs. From what can be gleaned from the ravaged countryside and burnt-out shells of towns left in their wake, the chief problem is an elite orc bodyguard composed of fierce barbarian warriors. On the advice of his friend, the Abbot, Lord Balor has come out to face the Horde in a pitched battle on open terrain.

4th Orc Barbarians (300)

BAB: +4 (+5 with longspear)

AC (Chain mail (+5) + heavy steel shield (+2) + Dex +2 + Rage (-2) + charging (-2)): 15

Hit Points: 30 (38)

Base speed: 40

Feats: Weapon Focus, Alertness

Orc bodyguard in combat: The orc form a tight formation (1 per 5 foot square) and (raging) charge the foe in lines sixteen deep.

21st level Epic Monk (Denying Stance, Treant form)

Str: 33 (39, +6 Belt of Giant Strength)

Con: 21

Dex: 4 (10, +6 Gloves of Dex )

Hp: 200

Psionic power points: 91 (71+20 (Wis bonus))

Notes: Took Improved Combat Reflexes [Epic] at 21st level.

Attack: +20 (+15BAB, +3 spiked chain, -8 size, -4 nonproficiency, +14 Str) Damage: 6d6 (Spiked chain (C) + 24 (21 (Str) +3 magic)

Before round one: The monk inserts himself unobtrusively into the center of the Lord's line, where the Lord's banner is and where the bodyguard can be expected to attack. In preparation, he has manifested Claws of the Beast (-11 PP), used Metamorphosis to change into a size Tiny Grig (-7 PP), used Expansion with +2 size and duration enhancements (-13 and 3d8 points of damage from use of the Overchannel feat, healed by a friendly cleric.) He is now a size M Grig, in no way remarkable-appearing under the cover of a heavy cloak, fingering a truly massive spiked chain. He makes sure neighboring soldiers know to stay well away from him, at his signal.

The barbarians prepare by buckling on their shields, getting into formation and invoking their rage.

Round One: The monk uses Danger Sense and wins the initiative check. He holds his action until the bodyguard, charging along a front about 100 feet wide, approach within sixty feet. He then manifests Metamorphosis (expending his psionic focus to manifest it as a swift action, and again taking 3d8 points of damage from the Overchannel feat, and spending -13 PP) and takes on the form of a treant. Since expansion (+2) is still active, the change from a size Tiny to a size Huge creature changes the monk from a size Medium to a size Colossal creature, with a 30-foot facing and a 30-foot (or 60-foot, with a spiked chain) reach.

As the bodyguard continues to advance, leaving squares the monk threatens with his 60-foot reach, he receives one attack of opportunity against each orc (per Improved Combat Reflexes [Epic]). Despite nonproficiency and size penalties, the monk will miss only on a natural 1 on the dice. Damage, at 6d6 +24, is slight by the monk's standards, but is easily enough to end of the vast majority of 38hp orcs.

The DM decides without rolling dice that about 90% of the bodyguard died as a result of these attacks. The rest flee, and the rank-and-file Horde soon follows.

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