My first 4e character: Lvl 1 Monk

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Hello. I have a first level Monk that i'm going to start playing with soon. I have a group set up and we're just doing the red box right now. Right now, our group consists of a Deva Wizard, a Drow Assassin, an Elf Ranger, a Dwarven Paladin, a possibly Human Rogue, and my Githzerai Monk. It would be nice if a 4e veteran or six would look over it's stats and see if it would even be effective.

I'siil, Githzerai Monk 1

Ability Scores:
STR: 16
CON: 11
DEX: 18
INT: 8
WIS: 15
CHA: 10

Monastic Tradition: Centered Breath

Trained Skills:
Acrobatics: 11
Athletics: 10
Insight: 7
Perception: 7

Feat: Dashkai's Body-Mind Union, but i'm thinking with going with my first choice of Miryanth's First Strike. Or even Improved Initiative.

 Powers:
At will: Dancing Cobra
At Will: Crane's Wings
Encounter: Open The Gate Of Battle
Daily: Masterful Spiral


Keep in mind this is only my second character ever made, and the first one to ever be used.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

If you're going Centered Breath, there's absolutely no reason not to go 16/16 DEX/WIS pre-racial TBQH. The gain from it far outstrips what STR would get out. It also makes Drunken Monkey a really, really good choice - Open The Gate of Battle is useful at level 1 and maybe two more levels, Drunken Monkey is worth keeping from 1 to 30.

Besides that, quick list of stuff to consider:

A) Get Five Storms or Steel Wind. You really, really want to attack multiple dudes.
B) I highly recommend opening with an Expertise or Implement Proficiency feat. Nobody likes missing, and if you miss, you ain't doin' nuthin', after all.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
If you're going Centered Breath, there's absolutely no reason not to go 16/16 DEX/WIS pre-racial TBQH. The gain from it far outstrips what STR would get out. It also makes Drunken Monkey a really, really good choice - Open The Gate of Battle is useful at level 1 and maybe two more levels, Drunken Monkey is worth keeping from 1 to 30.

Besides that, quick list of stuff to consider:

A) Get Five Storms or Steel Wind. You really, really want to attack multiple dudes.
B) I highly recommend opening with an Expertise or Implement Proficiency feat. Nobody likes missing, and if you miss, you ain't doin' nuthin', after all.



So instead of going with the Body-Mind Union, decrease my Strength, place those points in WIS, and get DEX Melee Training?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

If you're going Centered Breath, there's absolutely no reason not to go 16/16 DEX/WIS pre-racial TBQH.



Preracial 18/14 dex/wisdom is better, as it does the same damage, better defenses, and more accuracy.  Other than that, I don't disagree with Armisael.

So instead of going with the Body-Mind Union, decrease my Strength, place those points in WIS, and get DEX Melee Training?



Decrease Strength.  You don't need melee training, especially not at level 1. 
If you're going Centered Breath, there's absolutely no reason not to go 16/16 DEX/WIS pre-racial TBQH. The gain from it far outstrips what STR would get out. It also makes Drunken Monkey a really, really good choice - Open The Gate of Battle is useful at level 1 and maybe two more levels, Drunken Monkey is worth keeping from 1 to 30.

Besides that, quick list of stuff to consider:

A) Get Five Storms or Steel Wind. You really, really want to attack multiple dudes.
B) I highly recommend opening with an Expertise or Implement Proficiency feat. Nobody likes missing, and if you miss, you ain't doin' nuthin', after all.



So instead of going with the Body-Mind Union, decrease my Strength, place those points in WIS, and get DEX Melee Training?



I wouldn't get melee training this early unless you've got multiple lazy characters granting you bonuses and attacks. It's more important to secure your hit-chance on your big attacks than it is to get a decent MBA - that can wait until levels 6 to 10, once you have Implement Proficiency, Expertise, and either Weapon Focus, Silvery Glow, or Implement Focus (or Githzerai Blademaster if you're gonna channel attacks through a blade). Babau Gauntlets are a really good way of getting a decent MBA without spending a precious precious feat on it, down the line.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
So, as of now, my preracial ability scores are thus:

STR: 15
CON: 11
DEX: 16
INT: 8
WIS: 14
CHA:  10

I'm getting kinda confused with my Feat choice, though. I don't think i'll be able to hit as often with a lower STR, but i shouldn't take Melee Training?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Your scores are botched. They should be thus:

STR 13
CON 11
DEX 16
INT 8
WIS 16
CHA 10

(all of this pre-racials of course)

And dude, look at your powers. Do you see them using STR? Nope. So, you don't need STR to hit with them. You use STR ONLY for Melee Basic Attacks, which you should not be using anyway unless your Leader is granting you some. Thus, unless you KNOW you're gonna play with someone who grants MBAs like crazy, don't take Melee Training yet. Focus on making sure the powers you ARE going to use, AKA your Monk Powers, will actually, y'know, hit.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Your scores are botched. They should be thus:

STR 13
CON 11
DEX 16
INT 8
WIS 16
CHA 10

(all of this pre-racials of course)

And dude, look at your powers. Do you see them using STR? Nope. So, you don't need STR to hit with them. You use STR ONLY for Melee Basic Attacks, which you should not be using anyway unless your Leader is granting you some. Thus, unless you KNOW you're gonna play with someone who grants MBAs like crazy, don't take Melee Training yet. Focus on making sure the powers you ARE going to use, AKA your Monk Powers, will actually, y'know, hit.



OH, okay. I see what you're saying. I'll fix them. Sorry, i was getting kinda confused there for a second. Thanks for the help. So how would Miryanth's First Strike fare at lvl 1? I might save that for lvl 2, and get Improved Initiative right now at lvl 1. So i have a greater chance of going first, and hitting hard with Miryanth's AND Open The Gate Of Battle.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Your scores are botched. They should be thus:

STR 13
CON 11
DEX 16
INT 8
WIS 16
CHA 10

(all of this pre-racials of course)

And dude, look at your powers. Do you see them using STR? Nope. So, you don't need STR to hit with them. You use STR ONLY for Melee Basic Attacks, which you should not be using anyway unless your Leader is granting you some. Thus, unless you KNOW you're gonna play with someone who grants MBAs like crazy, don't take Melee Training yet. Focus on making sure the powers you ARE going to use, AKA your Monk Powers, will actually, y'know, hit.



OH, okay. I see what you're saying. I'll fix them. Sorry, i was getting kinda confused there for a second. Thanks for the help. So how would Miryanth's First Strike fare at lvl 1? I might save that for lvl 2, and get Improved Initiative right now at lvl 1. So i have a greater chance of going first, and hitting hard with Miryanth's AND Open The Gate Of Battle.



Miryanth's is kind of a trap feat - it's a nice damage bonus, but it only works once. Let's put this into perspective: Throughout Heroic, you will obtain a DEX mod of +5, so you'll deal +6 damage at the tail-end of the tier. If you hit three enemies twice, Weapon Focus will have rivaled Miryanth's bonus, and Githzerai Blademaster will have exceeded it. You also have no guarantees of winning initiative, not without dunking a noticeable amount of resources into it, which could be spent elsewhere - in the end, it's just not worth it as a feat to take when you could take Slashing Kama Style, Crashing Tempest Style, Melee Training, Resounding Flurry, or any of many other feats. I'd pass on it entirely.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Your scores are botched. They should be thus:

STR 13
CON 11
DEX 16
INT 8
WIS 16
CHA 10

(all of this pre-racials of course)

And dude, look at your powers. Do you see them using STR? Nope. So, you don't need STR to hit with them. You use STR ONLY for Melee Basic Attacks, which you should not be using anyway unless your Leader is granting you some. Thus, unless you KNOW you're gonna play with someone who grants MBAs like crazy, don't take Melee Training yet. Focus on making sure the powers you ARE going to use, AKA your Monk Powers, will actually, y'know, hit.



Con 11, dex 18, wis 14. 

This isn't 3rd or 2nd edition.  Monks attack using dexterity, not strength.   You don't need strength at all. 
Your scores are botched. They should be thus:

STR 13
CON 11
DEX 16
INT 8
WIS 16
CHA 10

(all of this pre-racials of course)

And dude, look at your powers. Do you see them using STR? Nope. So, you don't need STR to hit with them. You use STR ONLY for Melee Basic Attacks, which you should not be using anyway unless your Leader is granting you some. Thus, unless you KNOW you're gonna play with someone who grants MBAs like crazy, don't take Melee Training yet. Focus on making sure the powers you ARE going to use, AKA your Monk Powers, will actually, y'know, hit.



OH, okay. I see what you're saying. I'll fix them. Sorry, i was getting kinda confused there for a second. Thanks for the help. So how would Miryanth's First Strike fare at lvl 1? I might save that for lvl 2, and get Improved Initiative right now at lvl 1. So i have a greater chance of going first, and hitting hard with Miryanth's AND Open The Gate Of Battle.



Miryanth's is kind of a trap feat - it's a nice damage bonus, but it only works once. Let's put this into perspective: Throughout Heroic, you will obtain a DEX mod of +5, so you'll deal +6 damage at the tail-end of the tier. If you hit three enemies twice, Weapon Focus will have rivaled Miryanth's bonus, and Githzerai Blademaster will have exceeded it. You also have no guarantees of winning initiative, not without dunking a noticeable amount of resources into it, which could be spent elsewhere - in the end, it's just not worth it as a feat to take when you could take Slashing Kama Style, Crashing Tempest Style, Melee Training, Resounding Flurry, or any of many other feats. I'd pass on it entirely.



Oh, okay. From what i understand, Monks can't use weapons with great effeciency, can they? Does it have something to do with their Ki Focuses?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)


I wouldn't get melee training this early unless you've got multiple lazy characters granting you bonuses and attacks. It's more important to secure your hit-chance on your big attacks than it is to get a decent MBA - that can wait until levels 6 to 10, once you have Implement Proficiency, Expertise, and either Weapon Focus, Silvery Glow, or Implement Focus (or Githzerai Blademaster if you're gonna channel attacks through a blade). Babau Gauntlets are a really good way of getting a decent MBA without spending a precious precious feat on it, down the line.



Weapon focus is a complete trap on a monk Armisael. Monks don't have weapon attacks.  They have all implement attacks. 

Your scores are botched. They should be thus:

STR 13
CON 11
DEX 16
INT 8
WIS 16
CHA 10

(all of this pre-racials of course)

And dude, look at your powers. Do you see them using STR? Nope. So, you don't need STR to hit with them. You use STR ONLY for Melee Basic Attacks, which you should not be using anyway unless your Leader is granting you some. Thus, unless you KNOW you're gonna play with someone who grants MBAs like crazy, don't take Melee Training yet. Focus on making sure the powers you ARE going to use, AKA your Monk Powers, will actually, y'know, hit.



Con 11, dex 18, wis 14. 

This isn't 3rd or 2nd edition.  Monks attack using dexterity, not strength.   You don't need strength at all. 



Nah, too many things require good WIS - you sacrifice too much for it tbqh. It's not entirely dumb to lower WIS, but I feel like it ain't worth it overall.

---

@Sylla: Nah, not really - Monks just don't have many Weapon attacks is all. Some Monks can make amazing use of weaponry, though - Frost weapons are a good way to get a cheap and LARGE damage bonus, IIRC, and Desert Wind Monks can use a Firewind Blade and Blistering Flourish to really bring the pain. And of course, Slashing Kama Style, Starblade Flurry, and Crashing Tempest Style all make you want to use weapons.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Melee Training is worthless.  It is strictly inferior to Internalize the Basic Kata.  Now, whether you think having a good MBA is worth a feat or not is debatable, but what is not debatable is that pumping Str to get a good MBA is a bad decision.  Even for Stone Fist.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

I wouldn't get melee training this early unless you've got multiple lazy characters granting you bonuses and attacks. It's more important to secure your hit-chance on your big attacks than it is to get a decent MBA - that can wait until levels 6 to 10, once you have Implement Proficiency, Expertise, and either Weapon Focus, Silvery Glow, or Implement Focus (or Githzerai Blademaster if you're gonna channel attacks through a blade). Babau Gauntlets are a really good way of getting a decent MBA without spending a precious precious feat on it, down the line.



Weapon focus is a complete trap on a monk Armisael. Monks don't have weapon attacks.  They have all implement attacks. 




Yeah, sorry - I keep forgetting they errata'd Weapon Focus applying to channeled attacks in a moment of derpiness.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).

Nah, too many things require good WIS - you sacrifice too much for it tbqh. It's not entirely dumb to lower WIS, but I feel like it ain't worth it overall.



So it's smart to sacrifice accuracy and AC for......?


Don't forget initative, kender. Tongue Out

18/14/11 is the "superior" array on any Dex primary class, but as far as characters I actually play, I'd go 16/16/13/11. Why? DM's sometimes get touchy when they can't hit an AoE melee striker. Plus if you end up with 20/14/13 (after racials), and your FoB is hitting for 2 damage... Kinda sucks. Makes feats/MCing easier (moreso if you are using a PP that uses your secondary stat).

Unless you are playing in a high optimized group. In that case, go crazy.

18/14/11 is the "superior" array on any Dex primary class, but as far as characters I actually play, I'd go 16/16/13/11. Why? DM's sometimes get touchy when they can't hit an AoE melee striker. Plus if you end up with 20/14/13 (after racials), and your FoB is hitting for 2 damage... Kinda sucks. Makes feats/MCing easier (moreso if you are using a PP that uses your secondary stat).

Unless you are playing in a high optimized group. In that case, go crazy.



I'm not disagreeing with you, but after racials, it would be 20/16/11 with a githzerai, and Centered Breath FoB would hit for 5 at level 1. 

Nah, too many things require good WIS - you sacrifice too much for it tbqh. It's not entirely dumb to lower WIS, but I feel like it ain't worth it overall.



So it's smart to sacrifice accuracy and AC for......?





Drunken Monkey accuracy,  utility effects, Son of Mercy hilarity if your DM goes by the Player's Strategy Guide reading on roles...I could go on for a while. AC is kind of not an issue for the monk in the first place - accuracy is harder to give up, but hey, you have one of the easiest paths to auto-CA in the game, that'll tide you over until you can start stacking Coordinated Explosion 'n other stuff.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Not disagreeing with you either =p. I love and hate being able to buy an 18 in 4e, mostly because of Dex primary classes (and classes where the rider doesn't matter enough).

OP, whats the overall level of system mastery in your group? Bunch of new people? If so, don't worry about min/maxing the crap out of your character.
Not disagreeing with you either =p. I love and hate being able to buy an 18 in 4e, mostly because of Dex primary classes (and classes where the rider doesn't matter enough).

OP, whats the overall level of system mastery in your group? Bunch of new people? If so, don't worry about min/maxing the crap out of your character.



We're a bunch of noobs. None of us have ever played before.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Yeah, you probably don't have to take any of our suggestions then.  Much of our advice comes in the form of arcane, highly-specialized niche choices.  You've got a plenty good start, and you seem to be the type to figure out things as you go. 

That said, feel free to take our suggestions.  They will make your character do what you want your character to do better, even if you're not entirely clear on the why or the how.  At this stage, you don't need to be.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
We're a bunch of noobs. None of us have ever played before.

I won't lie - you did pick kind of a doozy of a class to play. The Monk is a very rewarding Striker and one of the most unique classes in the game, but with that uniqueness comes a lot of strategies and features that are alien to other classes (having Move Actions inserted into Standard Action attacks being the big one). You're askin' good questions, though, and from that we'll be able to help you make sure that you make a character you'll like without being confused about the miscellania attached to it.
We're a bunch of noobs. None of us have ever played before.

I won't lie - you did pick kind of a doozy of a class to play. The Monk is a very rewarding Striker and one of the most unique classes in the game, but with that uniqueness comes a lot of strategies and features that are alien to other classes (having Move Actions inserted into Standard Action attacks being the big one). You're askin' good questions, though, and from that we'll be able to help you make sure that you make a character you'll like without being confused about the miscellania attached to it.



Which reminds me, how are Monk Move Actions used? Are they optional, or manditory?
For example: Dancing Cobra
1d10 + Dexterity Modifier (+4) damage. If the target has made an opportunity attack against you during this turn, the target takes extra damage equal to your Wisdom Modifier (+4).
Move Action:
Effect: You move your speed +2.

Is the move action before or after I attack? Do i use Dancing Cobra, move my speed +2, THEN attack? Or do I need to attack, THEN move? Does all this count as a Standard Action? Or is the Move Action attached to the attack my Move Action?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

Optional.
You can use it during your turn any time.
The Move action is a Move Action. It is just part of the same power.
You can't use the Move part of one Full Discipline Power and the Standard part of another one on the same turn. So if you use the Move action from Falling Needle, you can't attack with Five Storms that turn. The only exception is Action Pointing.
Say you decide to use Dancing Cobra.  That is your standard action for the round.  You still have a move and a minor you can do.  For the Move action, you have a few choices. First, you can do any of the normal move actions, shift 1, move your speed, jump, etc.  But as a monk, you have another option, the move ability attached to the power.  In this case it is move your speed+2.  That move action, the Dancing Cobra move technique accompanies the Dancing Cobra attack technique. 


The example is going to be an at will with a specific move power that is different than what you can normally do.

Example:
-You decide to use Five Storms(at will, close burst 1, chance to hit every enemy you see in burst) which has a specific move attached, shift 2
-You have 3 actions you can take in a turn as you know, a standard, a move, and a minor(the order is up to you)
-In this case, you decide to take the move action before the standard action
-Your choices are: move your speed, shift1, or, use the move action that came with Five Storms and shift 2
-You then take your standard action, attacking everyone in burst1

---or---

You could choose to use Five Storms to attack then do one of the following options:
--move away with a shift2(move technique)
--shift 1(normal shift)
--move(normal move)

The powers are called Full Disciplines and usually are designed to work together.  You cannot use two full discipline powers together in the same round without using an action point.  While you cannot use two full discipline powers without using an action point, you can still mix and match other options.  For example, monk daily powers are not full discipline powers.  This allows you to use the move technique of your choice and still use a daily.

furious_kender put together a handbook to help explain a lot of this.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
One other point that's important, if you use either part of an encounter full discipline power, the whole thing is counted expended.  You can't use the attack portion in one turn and save the move portion for later - the whole thing has to be used in the same turn if you want to use both pieces.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Okay, i have another question about my monk, if anyone would be so kind as to answer.

Would it be beneficial to a Monk to take on the Warrior of the Wild feat? It's multiclassing into Ranger and i gain Hunter's Quarry. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

If you haven't already, check out the Monk's handbook:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

It should answer the above question and much, much more.
Okay, i have another question about my monk, if anyone would be so kind as to answer.

Would it be beneficial to a Monk to take on the Warrior of the Wild feat? It's multiclassing into Ranger and i gain Hunter's Quarry. 

Eeehhh...... not really. Monks just do not multiclass particularly well, and gaining things like Curses and Quarries and Oaths just doesn't quite fit into how Monks operate. They're a mobile blender of damage - and Curses and Quarries invite a completely different mindset.

If you're going to Multiclass into anything to add extra damage, you go Rogue. All it cares about is that you have combat advantage when you pop it; you don't have to have a particular guy tagged so that you can do inferior damage. Plus you still gain your choice of some awesome skills for a DEX-based class.