Ultimate Monk (DnD Optimized Character Build)/Variants

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Introduction[edit]

The following are a few of the many variants of the Ultimate Monk possible with minor (or major) changes in emphasis.

Epic Progression: The Monks of the Fivefold Path[edit]

The Ultimate Monk progresses typically progresses in the the Way of the Fivefold Path as determined by his school: Earth (Stone), Water (Sea), Fire (Sun), Air(Wind), or Void (Heaven). Variant progression options for the Ultimate Monk are included below.

Variant #1: Abbot to Monster[edit]

Initial scores (28 point buy):

Human Str: 14 Int: 14 Wis: 14 Dex: 15 Con: 10 Cha: 8

Skills: Jump, Tumble, Escape Artist, Balance (ECL+1), Hide (ECL + 1), Move Silently, Spot, Concentration, Listen (Skill level = ECL +3 except as noted.).


ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused)
1st Monk 1 Improved Unarmed Strike, Danger Sense (best of 2 initiative rolls 1/day), Improved Initiative, Wild Talent, Danger Sense (best of 2 initiative rolls 1/day), Combat Style Feat (see below), Reckless Charge Monk abilities 1d6 (+1d12 Flying Kick) 40 (40)
2nd Monk 2 Combat Style Feat (see below) Evasion 1d6 (+1d12 Flying Kick) 40 (40)
3rd Monk 3 Overchannel Still Mind 1d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 50 (50)
4th Monk 4 Ki strike, slow fall 1d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 50 (50)
5th Monk 5 Purity of body 1d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 50 (50)
6th Monk 6 Improved Natural Attack, Combat Style Feat (see below) 2d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 60 (60)
7th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 1 Psionic abilities (Expansion available) 2d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 60 (60)
8th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 2 2d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 60 (60)
9th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 3 Combat Style Feat (see below) Still Mind 2d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 70 (70)
10th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 4 2d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 70 (70)
11th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 5 Quicken Power or Speed of Thought 2d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 70 (80)
12th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 6 Two-weapon Fighting 3d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 90 (100)
13th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 7 Enhanced expansion available: +2 size categories 3d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 90 (100)
14th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 8 Evasion 3d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 90 (100)
15th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 9 Expanded Knowledge Metamorphosis (via Expanded Knowledge) 3d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 100 (110)
16th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 10 Up the Walls 3d6 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 100 (110)
17th Monk 7/Psionic Fist 10 3d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 100 (110)
18th Monk 8/Psionic Fist 10 bonus feat 3d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 110 (120)
19th Monk 9/Psionic Fist 10 3d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 110 (120)
20th Monk 10/Psionic Fist 10 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 110 (120)
21st Monk 11/Psionic Fist 10 Epic Feat Greater Flurry, Diamond Body (immune to posions) 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 120 (130)
22th Monk 12/Psionic Fist 10 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 120 (130)
23th Monk 13/Psionic Fist 10 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 120 (130)
24th Monk 14/Psionic Fist 10 Epic Feat 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 130 (140)
25th Monk 15/Psionic Fist 10 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 130 (140)
26th Monk 15/Psionic Fist 11 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 140 (150)
27th Monk 15/Psionic Fist 11/Psychic Warrior 1 Epic Feat, Psionic or fighter bonus feat 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 140 (150)
28th Monk 15/Psionic Fist 11/Psychic Warrior 2 Psionic or fighter bonus feat 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 140 (150)
29th Monk 15/Psionic Fist 11/Psychic Warrior 2/Fighter 1 Fighter bonus feat 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 150 (160)
30th Monk 15/Psionic Fist 11/Psychic Warrior 2/Fighter 2 Epic Feat, Fighter bonus feat 4d8 (+ 1d8) (+1d12 Flying Kick) 150 (160)

Combat Styles[edit]

The monk should chose one of the following four combat style options:

Style ECL 1 Feat Suggestion ECL 9 Feat Suggestion ECL 18 feat suggestion ECL 24 Epic Feat Suggestion ECL 27 Epic Feat Suggestion ECL 30 Feat Suggestion
Cobra Strike Speed of Thought Psionic Charge Whirlwind Attack Superior Initiative Any Any
Denying Stance Scorpion's grasp Multigrip Greater Multigrip Improved Combat Reflexes (Epic) Legendary Wrestler Superior Initiative
Overwhelming Attack Powerful Charge Shock Trooper Expanded Knowledge (Telekinetic Maneuver) Superior Initiative any, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting
Standard monk bonus feats (Improved Grapple, Deflect Arrows, Combat Reflexes) Any Any Improved Natural Attack (claw) Infinite Deflection Improved Combat Reflexes (Epic), Reflect Arrows Exceptional Deflection, Any fighter bonus feat


Gameplay notes: The loss of OA means the loss of several monk-favorable rules: free multiclassing, open unarmed combat bonus proficiency choice, and BAB stacking from monk prestige classes for purposes of calculating multiple attacks and flurry penalties (not to mention three of the prestige classes themselves.) All are missed, but the open unarmed combat bonus proficiency choice (semi-)lives on in the fighting style rules of UA (pg. 52).

Metamorphosis Forms[edit]

The forms the monk can take using his Metamorphosis power are limited only by the usual Polymorph rules (15HD, no outsiders, constructs, or undead). (This makes the Bear Warrior levels previously incorporated in this build superfluous; see the talk page.) A for a few suggestions, see Ultimate Monk (DnD Optimized Character Build)/Metamorphosis Forms.

Variant #2: Drunken Master[edit]

Race: Human

Favored Class: Monk

Str: 14 Int: 14 Wis: 14 Dex: 14 Con: 12 Cha: 8

Skills: Jump, Tumble, Escape Artist, Balance (ECL+1), Hide (ECL + 1), Move Silently, Spot, Concentration, Listen (Skill level = ECL +3 except as noted.).

Monk fighting style note: trained in the Cobra Strike style (UA pg. 52).

ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused)
1st Fighter 1 Improved Initiative, Powerful Charge, Able Learner, Great Fortitude, Danger Sense By weapon (+1d8 Powerful Charge) 40 (40)
2nd Fighter 2 Combat Reflexes By weapon (+2d6 charge) 40 (40)
3rd Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1 Wild Talent, Overchannel Expansion power available By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (50)
4th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 1 Improved Unarmed Strike, Dodge Monk abilities By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (50)
5th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 2 Mobility Claws of the Beast available By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (60)
6th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 2/Drunken Master 1 Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike) Improvised Weapons do (1d4+unarmed strike) 50 (60)
7th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 2/Drunken Master 2 Need not travel in a straight line to charge By weapon (+3d6) 50 (60)
8th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 3/Drunken Master 2 Still Mind By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 2d6) (+3d6) 60 (70)
9th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 4/Drunken Master 2 Quicken Power Ki strike, slow fall By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 70 (80)
10th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 5/Drunken Master 2 Purity of body By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 70 (80)
11th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2 Spring Attack By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 70 (80)
12th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 1 Two-Weapon Fighting By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 80 (90)
13th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 2 By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d8) (+3d6) 80 (90)
14th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 3 Still Mind By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (2d6 + 3d8) 80 (90)
15th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 4 Deflect Arrows By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (2d6 + 3d8)
16th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 5 Up the Walls By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d6 + 3d8)
17th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 6 By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d6 + 6d6)
18th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 7 Expanded Knowledge Enhanced Expansion available: +2 size categories By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d8 + 6d6) 100 (110)
19th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 8 By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d8 + 6d6)
20th Fighter 2/Psychic Warrior 1/Monk 6/Drunken Master 2/Psionic Fist 9 Metamorphosis power available By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (6d6 + 6d6)

Gameplay notes: The Drunken Master has maximal mobility, skills and feats, at the cost of exchanging Able Learner for Reckless Charge, delaying the acquisition of monk abilities, and delaying his ability to assume Colossal alternate forms until ECL 20 (as in contrast to ECL 15, above.) The result is a slower-starting but very versatile Ultimate Monk who is still as Ultimate as one could wish by the end of 20 levels.

The primary benefit of the Drunken Master prestige class is the ability to move in any direction and in any pattern while charging, up to double base move.

A useful secondary power is the ability to use improvised weapons and do unarmed strike damage. While a character might (should) lose the benefit of stacked claw damage by so doing, this ability provides the monk with powerful reach and range attacks, especially while expanded (see Highlights, Colossal size, below.)

The trade-off of Int and Wis for Str or Con by taking a drink is irrelevant at higher levels, and not very useful even at the beginning.

The Drunken Master's broad base of combat feats ensures he will enjoy the broadest possible range of useful Epic feats.

Variant #3: Monster to Abbot[edit]

This variant has two stages: first, chose a 5-level Ultimate Monk monster class. After the completion of the first five levels, follow the progression given below.


ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused)
6th Monk 1 Improved Unarmed Strike, Combat style feat Monk abilities 40 (40) Jump 4, Tumble
7th Monk 2 Combat style feat Evasion 40 (40)
8th Monk 3 Quicken Power Still Mind 50 (50)
9th Monk 4 Ki strike, slow fall 50 (50)
10th Monk 5 Purity of body 50 (50)
11th Monk 6 Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike), Combat style feat 60 (60)
12th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 1 Psionic abilities (Expansion available) 60 (60)
13th Monk 6 /Psionic Fist 2 60 (60)
14th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 3 Improved Multiattack or Improved Multigrab 70 (70)
15th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 4 70 (70)
16th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 5 Psionic or fighter bonus feat 70 (80)
17th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 6 Up the Walls 80 (90)
18th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 7 Enhanced expansion available: +2 size categories 80 (90)
19th Monk 6/ Psionic Fist 8 80 (90)
20th Monk 6/Psionic Fist 9 Expanded Knowledge 80 (90)

Variant #4: Foundling Monk[edit]

Race: Mongrel Giant

Half-Giant, (LA +1), Half-Ogre (LA +1)

Natural armor progression: +1/level (+3 max)

Initial scores (28 point buy):

Str: 14 (16) Int: 14 (12) Wis: 14 Dex: 14 (12) Con: 12 Cha: 10 (8)


Str: 14 Int: 10 Wis: 14 Dex: 16 Con: 12 Cha: 6

Monk fighting style note: trained in the Overwhelming Attack style (UA pg. 52).

ECL Class/HD/LA Feats Special Dmg (charge) (other modifiers) Move (focused) Skills
1st Mongrel Giant 1 Improved Initiative, Powerful Charge, Reckless Charge By weapon (+1d8 Powerful Charge) 40 (40) Jump 4, Tumble 4,
2nd Mongrel Giant 2 LA level, Powerful Build, Stomp (1/day), +2 Con By weapon (+2d6 charge) 40 (40)
3rd Mongrel Giant 3 LA level, Large size, +2 Str, By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (50)
4th Mongrel Giant 3/Psychic Warrior 1 Combat Reflexes Expansion power available By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (50)
5th Mongrel Giant 3/Psychic Warrior 2 Speed of Thought, Expeditious Dodge Claws of the Beast available By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (60)
6th Monk 1 Power Attack Monk abilities By weapon (+ 3d6) 50 (60) Jump 4, Tumble
7th Monk 2 Improved Bull Rush Evasion By weapon (+3d6) 50 (60)
8th Monk 3 feat (ECL) Still Mind By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 2d6) (+3d6) 60 (70)
9th Monk 4 Ki strike, slow fall By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 70 (80)
10th Monk 5 Improved Natural Attack Purity of body By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 70 (80)
11th Monk 6 Improved Overrun By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 70 (80)
12th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 1 Psionic abilities (Expansion available) By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d6) (+3d6) 80 (90)
13th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 2 Shock Trooper By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (1d8 + 3d8) (+3d6) 80 (90)
14th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 3 Still Mind By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (2d6 + 3d8) 80 (90)
15th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 4 By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (2d6 + 3d8) 90 (100)
16th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 5 Speed of Thought By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d6 + 3d8) 90 (100)
17th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 6 Up the Walls By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d6 + 6d6) 90 (100)
18th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 7 Enhanced expansion available: +2 size categories By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d8 + 6d6) 100 (110)
19th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 8 Evasion By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (3d8 + 6d6) 90 (100)
20th Monk 6/Fist of Zukon 9 Quicken Power By weapon or unarmed + Claws of the beast (6d6 + 6d6) 100 (110)

Gameplay notes: This is the build for the player who can't bear to wait for ECL 5 to hit like a Gargantuan creature. The combination of the Powerful Build of the Half-Giant and the Large size brought by the Half-Ogre template is further enhanced by the ECL 4 level of Psychic Warrior, bringing with it the Expansion power. A few levels later, when the character picks up Improved Natural Attack, he deals the unarmed damage of a Colossal creature.

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