Like the monk but... (no it's not another alignment thread)

...couldn't they have put a more Western flavor on it rather than the Eastern flavor it currently has? Things like Step of the Wind and Ki just screams Orient and Eastern flavor and I would prefer to have something closer to the flavor of Monk in Diablo 3 (where the monk was trained in a monastic church and had some holy abilities rather than mysticism) with maybe an option to have an Eastern flair if I have that in my campaign world (which I personally do not). If I wanted to run an L5R game, that's what I'd run, not D&D with Eastern flavor.

And yes, I am sure some of you will throw the 'Well change the flavor if that's what you prefer etc etc'. That's not the point. The point is why does the Monk have to be Eastern flavored when there are plenty of examples of perfectly good Western flavored monks in the fantasy genre (even in D&D, look at the Cleric Quintet by Salvatore). Why give something an Eastern flavor in a game where every single other class is a Western design and flavor? I don't want to be forced to have an Eastern type region in my setting when I have no design space for it because my only other option at that point is to disallow the class entirely (which I did do in 3.X and I got a lot of flak over it).  

I dunno it's a little pet peeve I guess. All monks in fantasy (with a few very excellent exceptions) are Eastern in flavor. It's kind of like that annoying fetish that every fantasy game in existence seems to have with making gnomes in their games tinker gnomes (see WoW, EQ2, Kingdoms of Amalur, and even GW2 sort of). Anyway just wanted to ask and get soiem feedback on this.  

Oh and why does FoB HAVE to be unarmed? Where did the 'monk weapons' that could be used in place of unarmed attack go? 
For awesome monk style and variety the designers should be stealing liberally from Fist of the North Star. Seriously, that should be the template.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Maybe the monk is Eastern because the Western monk is already covered by the Cleric.
Maybe the monk is Eastern because the Western monk is already covered by the Cleric.



D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
...couldn't they have put a more Western flavor on it rather than the Eastern flavor it currently has?

What do you imagine for a Western monk that is distinct from what cleric, paladin and the possible priest cover?

Oh and why does FoB HAVE to be unarmed? Where did the 'monk weapons' that could be used in place of unarmed attack go? 

Balance and simplicity probably, but the option should be in there somewhere.


...couldn't they have put a more Western flavor on it rather than the Eastern flavor it currently has?

What do you imagine for a Western monk that is distinct from what cleric, paladin and the possible priest cover?


He wants the Diablo monk, as he said, but is neglecting the part where that concept was unique to Diablo, and hadn't been done before.  It's not exactly a "thing."
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
No I agree... I usually just don't allow monks in my campaigns because I find it just doesn't mesh with the Setting.

I think any eastern classes like Samurai, Ninja, Kensai etc. should be in an Oriental Handbook/Campaign Setting
Remember, you're free to completely ignore the flavor of the class; the only flavor that matters is the flavor the player gives his character.

I've only played one 'monk' who wasn't anything other than a basic fist-fighter/brawler.  Ignore the class name, ignore the default fluff, and play your character your way.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Maybe the monk is Eastern because the Western monk is already covered by the Cleric.






My two copper.
Remember, you're free to completely ignore the flavor of the class;



You could ignore the flavor of your food too, since it doesn't have an effect on nutritional value. That doesn't mean it isn't an important part of the eating experience though.

For the record, I almost categorically ban the monk because I don't feel like such a class belongs in my setting, for the same reason I wouldn't put Orange Chicken and Pork Fried Rice on a Cajun menu.
Remember, you're free to completely ignore the flavor of the class;



You could ignore the flavor of your food too, since it doesn't have an effect on nutritional value. That doesn't mean it isn't an important part of the eating experience though.

For the record, I almost categorically ban the monk because I don't feel like such a class belongs in my setting, for the same reason I wouldn't put Orange Chicken and Pork Fried Rice on a Cajun menu.



Congratulations, you missed the point, as you always do.

Such a character would not be, in concept, a monk.  He wouldn't call himself a monk.  Nobody else would call him a monk.  He's using the monk mechanics to represent a brawling street fighter, or professional pugilist, or other unarmed fighter without the so-called 'Eastern flavor'.  The class is just mechanics; the flavor is dependent on the player.

Are you trying to tell me nobody ever punches anybody in your game world?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
You could ignore the flavor of your food too, since it doesn't have an effect on nutritional value.

And if all you want out some-odd foodstuff is a particular mix of vitamins and proteins, there really shouldn't be anyone screaming "No!!  It must taste like asparagus or you can't have it!"
Remember, you're free to completely ignore the flavor of the class;



You could ignore the flavor of your food too, since it doesn't have an effect on nutritional value. That doesn't mean it isn't an important part of the eating experience though.

For the record, I almost categorically ban the monk because I don't feel like such a class belongs in my setting, for the same reason I wouldn't put Orange Chicken and Pork Fried Rice on a Cajun menu.



Congratulations, you missed the point, as you always do.

Such a character would not be, in concept, a monk.  He wouldn't call himself a monk.  Nobody else would call him a monk.  He's using the monk mechanics to represent a brawling street fighter, or professional pugilist, or other unarmed fighter without the so-called 'Eastern flavor'.  The class is just mechanics; the flavor is dependent on the player.

Are you trying to tell me nobody ever punches anybody in your game world?



it's a little disconcerting how hard it seems to get people to realize this on these boards.

i commend Salla for trying anyway though.

While I agree with Salla, it can be changed, and note that I mentioned that it would come up in my original post. That's fine, and if the monk ends up with it's current flavor, I will just do as suggested and reflavor it to fit my setting, Ki becoming a form of divine enlightenment with a renaming of the manuevers. It'll be easier than the players wanting to play a monk and me having to tell them no. But it would be nice if they provided an option otherwise for those of us without that sort of flavor in our settings so DMs don't have to do the extra work. 

I will say this can potentially still lead to problems. If a player decides to be obstinate and wants the flavor as dictated by the rules in the book (and I know people like this), while I'm trying the hard sell by telling them no, this is how a monk is in my setting, then it causes nothing but arguements. For people like this, having that other optional rule/flavor is nice because then I can point to it and say "That's the rule/flavor I am using" and if it's in the book, then they are usually fine with it.  

@Mand - Yes I posited the Diablo monk as an example. I also gave another example within the confines of the D&D setting of a western monk - Danica (if I remember her name correctly) from the Cleric Quintet series. There are a few other places where I have seen a more western flavored monk too, Everquest 2 for example.    

I would like to add (despite not wanting to drag this topic into this thread, but it helps my point) that I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?
 
I want kung fu action.  I don't care if it is called a monk or not.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.

Just like all the great Wire-fu from ancient Greece as shown to us in Hercules and Xena.  There was a lot going on back then.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Bingo.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
God forbid a PC be from "out of town"Wink

But seriously folks, I remember having a lot of fun back in my 3e game (my first experience with Monks) of integrating monastaries in to that world and showing how it wasn't just some tolkien world, but a world players hadn't seen and couldn't make assumptions about. If you are a DM its not hard to redefine monks. If nothing else, the PC is special. He's the only guy around who can do what he does. Thats how I handled Tieflings when I didn't like them.
Just make them unique in your world. NPCs are curious about it. make it a plot point.

If players don't like your flavor, they can run a game how they'd like as well. You're doing 90% of the work and doing the stuff most people hate. God forbid they let you make it into a cohesive story. I mean, you sort of have THEM in the bag, not the other way.

On the flip side, I never really design my campaign until I know what the characters are.

For example, in a recent playtest, no one made a human PC. So the quest was about snuffing an evil magic candle that drove humans mad (commoners, berzerkers, warriors, acolytes and such) and slowly turned them into the undead. Non-humans had to save the day. So from that stand-point DMs who are wringing their hands about PCs insisting on the "wrong" flavor might think twice before drawing a line in the sand.
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
I played a Halfling Monk who was a bare knuckle boxer. Sort of a mix between Brad Pitt from the movie “Snach” and an old time carnival wrestler. The class was just a cultural tradition with the Halfling travelers.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Why?  I'm disallowing the monk class; however, I will allow a new class called the Funk.  It has all the abilities and stuff of the monk class.  The only difference is that it has no alignment restrictions. 

The mention of Ki is my biggest disappointment, 3rd Ed started that, too culturally specific for me, I like the The Bloodguard (Bannor) vibe.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Whoa...wait...did you really just say that?

Alignment is the biggest bit of fluff in the game and always has been. 
For awesome monk style and variety the designers should be stealing liberally from Fist of the North Star. Seriously, that should be the template.



Shut up and take my money!
Whoa...wait...did you really just say that?

Alignment is the biggest bit of fluff in the game and always has been. 

Then Monk is saddled with mandatory fluff, which is even worse.

Maybe, maybe not. Ultimately my whole point was that the flavor as wirtten does not appeal to everyone (myself included) and that an alternative fluff could be written as a module since, you know, that's the big selling point of Next. I would think the same could be said of the alignment restriction. I think with the supposed (I say supposed because the only place we've seen it is in the healing rules) modularity of this edition we should all be able to get a monk with Eastern an Western flavors, as well as a monk with an alignment restriction and one without.   
This is what the Monk should have been:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Why?  I'm disallowing the monk class; however, I will allow a new class called the Funk.  It has all the abilities and stuff of the monk class.  The only difference is that it has no alignment restrictions. 



Or they could remove the alignment restrictions and save book space by not printing the same class twice.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Whoa...wait...did you really just say that?

Alignment is the biggest bit of fluff in the game and always has been. 



Sorry, no.  This is not fluff, this is mechanics.  If it affects the character's build, it ain't fluff.

And it's a huge, ridiculous step backwards.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The mention of Ki is my biggest disappointment, 3rd Ed started that, too culturally specific for me, I like the The Bloodguard (Bannor) vibe.



So don't call it Ki. Call it Chi...or Pee...or The Force. The name "Ki" may have first appeared in 3rd edition (which, btw, was 12 years ago...so 1/3 of the existance of D&D) but the abilities which it supports have been there since day 1. They just lumped them into a category and labeled it. Call it what you like.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

 
So don't call it Ki. Call it Chi...or Pee...or The Force. The name "Ki" may have first appeared in 3rd edition (which, btw, was 12 years ago...so 1/3 of the existance of D&D) but the abilities which it supports have been there since day 1. They just lumped them into a category and labeled it. Call it what you like.



Greek life force - Anima/Animus (fairly direct yin/yang parralells ... but meaning life force ) 
Personally I think CON could be the basis of it.

Wis gives you control Con gives you amount... hmmm 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 
So don't call it Ki. Call it Chi...or Pee...or The Force. The name "Ki" may have first appeared in 3rd edition (which, btw, was 12 years ago...so 1/3 of the existance of D&D) but the abilities which it supports have been there since day 1. They just lumped them into a category and labeled it. Call it what you like.



Greek life force - Anima/Animus (fairly direct yin/yang parralells ... but meaning life force ) 
Personally I think CON could be the basis of it.

Wis gives you control Con gives you amount... hmmm 



Seriously they should just call it "Focus" and be done with it.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

For awesome monk style and variety the designers should be stealing liberally from Fist of the North Star. Seriously, that should be the template.



Shut up and take my money!



I have that effect on people.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Whoa...wait...did you really just say that?

Alignment is the biggest bit of fluff in the game and always has been. 



Sorry, no.  This is not fluff, this is mechanics.  If it affects the character's build, it ain't fluff.

And it's a huge, ridiculous step backwards.



Salla, you're one of the few posters here that I highly respect, but I have to disagree with part of this statement. But first I will agree that yes, it is a step backwards and I hope they reverse course before the paladin, as I have never (ever) put an alignment restriction on them since I have paladins for each of my settings gods. But I had no problems removing it back then and I won't have a problem now. The part I disagree on is alignment being a mechanic. How? It dictates absolutely nothing in gameplay, it is, and always has been, a role-play tool/crutch/guideline/whatever. Thus, fluff. 
If you can't gain levels in Monk, then that's impacting your gameplay.  How is it not a mechanic?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
 
So don't call it Ki. Call it Chi...or Pee...or The Force. The name "Ki" may have first appeared in 3rd edition (which, btw, was 12 years ago...so 1/3 of the existance of D&D) but the abilities which it supports have been there since day 1. They just lumped them into a category and labeled it. Call it what you like.



Greek life force - Anima/Animus (fairly direct yin/yang parralells ... but meaning life force ) 
Personally I think CON could be the basis of it.

Wis gives you control Con gives you amount... hmmm 



Seriously they should just call it "Focus" and be done with it.



I like pointing out even when the highly eastern flavor is used the core meaning of it has been bouncing around the west even so.  Focus is a perfectly reasonable term for other pure martial flavored classes fighters or whatever..  to use too by the way

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

If you can't gain levels in Monk, then that's impacting your gameplay.  How is it not a mechanic?



The alignments themselves are not mechanics. The restriction is simply a mechanic tied to the fluff. Remove the fluff and then either remove and/or change the mechanic tied to it. It's the same as refluffing in 4e.

Edit - The point is to give the options so that DMs don't have to do the extra work of removing and/or changing fluff or mechanics. We have enough to do when we prepare a game.  
I don't care what it is called, I just want it to exist. A force of inner power that allows one to break "mortal" limits. Ki, Chi, Essence, Force, Spirit, Grit, Vita, anything really. Call it whatever you want, I just want some "martial" classes to use it (and not use expertise dice). I also think it should be a quickly recovering mechanic and not arbitrarily limited to daily uses.
I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Why?  I'm disallowing the monk class; however, I will allow a new class called the Funk.  It has all the abilities and stuff of the monk class.  The only difference is that it has no alignment restrictions. 





I don't know who you are, but if I start getting 70's music in my head during my next game, know that I will shake my fist to the sky in your direction.

(well, I'll be shaking it upwards, so unless you are on a space station or flying over head, not likely your exact direction) 
Congratulations, you missed the point, as you always do.



Take a moment and ask yourself why you felt the need to type this.

Such a character would not be, in concept, a monk.  He wouldn't call himself a monk.  Nobody else would call him a monk.  He's using the monk mechanics to represent a brawling street fighter, or professional pugilist, or other unarmed fighter without the so-called 'Eastern flavor'.  The class is just mechanics; the flavor is dependent on the player.



Like putting teriyaki sauce on mashed potatoes. A brawler without all that training should function significantly differently. Maybe this is jusy my personal experience talking, but there is a gigantic world of difference bewteen a street fighter and a martial artist. They don't think the same way, they don't move the same way, they don't have the same toolkit, they don't fight the same way.

Are you trying to tell me nobody ever punches anybody in your game world?



Honestly, it is kind of rare. People generally punch in my setting when no other option is available. Unless I'm running an Oriental game. Then fists will ****ing fly. Generally, people who focus on their fists in my settings are fighters with the right feats, and maybe a prestige class or two. Dwarven battleragers for example, are awesome.
You could ignore the flavor of your food too, since it doesn't have an effect on nutritional value.

And if all you want out some-odd foodstuff is a particular mix of vitamins and proteins, there really shouldn't be anyone screaming "No!!  It must taste like asparagus or you can't have it!"



Modules.

I see some people here saying that reflavoring is fine here while arguing against the alignment restriction in another thread. How are those two things any different from one another?

Because alignment restriction makes reflavoring impossbile.
Sentences like "You cannot enter or gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments" are most certainly not fluff.




Bingo.



Yank the restrictions? Use a module that doesn't have them? I'm not even going to bother trying to make my case for why those mechnacal restrictions should be part of the class because this thread isn't supposed to be about alignment. I think we should try and keep that discussion out of this thread, and at least for now, simply say that modules are good and useful for a variety of reasons.