Monk SUS??

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Being that I'm not well versed in the dozens of books and hundreds of items/feats it's very annoying how a lot of people just use Abbrv. without ever typing the full name of the item/feat at least once (which is proper grammer use). Anyhow enough of the rant and on to actual questions.

I'm looking to increase my Monk's Unarmed damage so I was surfing the forms and found 3 commonly mentioned items. The first, which is the title of the thread, is SUS. I found dozens of post simply refering to it as giving +4 Monk levels but no mention in ANY of them what it is or what book it's from. I don't know if it's an item, feat, or etc. Can anyone help me with this?

Next up is Monk Belt and Monk Tatto. I know of the Belt and what book it's from but the Tatto I could not find where it's from. I tried google but it just refers me to lots of links on the Tattoed Monk class. Again it would be very helpful to know which book the Monk Tatto is from.


Also if there are any other items/feats/etc that boost Monk unarmed damage I'd like to know of them. And please post the full name and book their located in.

Thanks.
Being that I'm not well versed in the dozens of books and hundreds of items/feats it's very annoying how a lot of people just use Abbrv. without ever typing the full name of the item/feat at least once (which is proper grammer use). Anyhow enough of the rant and on to actual questions.

It's a legitimate point; we used to have a glossary here just for that purpose. However, it was eaten during a few forum upgrades.

I'm looking to increase my Monk's Unarmed damage so I was surfing the forms and found 3 commonly mentioned items. The first, which is the title of the thread, is SUS. I found dozens of post simply refering to it as giving +4 Monk levels but no mention in ANY of them what it is or what book it's from. I don't know if it's an item, feat, or etc. Can anyone help me with this?


SUS is Superior Unarmed Strike, in the Tome of Battle. It gives monk-like damage progression when taken by a non-monk, but gives +4 effective monk levels to your unarmed damage if taken by a monk. Between it and the Snap Kick feat (same book; Snap Kick is basically a much more mechanically-elegant Flurry that works on the move, but can't reach quite the same level of power), you can turn any character into a pseudo-monk using just three feats (Improved Unarmed Strike, Superior Unarmed Strike, and Snap Kick).

There are still advantages to the monk unarmed strike over this approach - most dramatically, monk unarmed strikes interact better with Power Attack and count as natural weapons (for the Improved Natural Attack feat and the Greater Magic Fang spell), plus Flurry eventually gets good if you're able to full attack - but the feats shouldn't be neglected. The way they're worded, they even work with monk martial arts, in their own way.

Next up is Monk Belt and Monk Tatto. I know of the Belt and what book it's from but the Tatto I could not find where it's from. I tried google but it just refers me to lots of links on the Tattoed Monk class. Again it would be very helpful to know which book the Monk Tatto is from.


The Monk's Tattoo is, I believe, in Magic of Faerun (a 3e book that wasn't directly updated). It gave another... +4 levels, I think, but was really, really expensive since it was an unslotted item (unlike the belt: although the belt gives more benefits than just the damage, it takes up a waist slot). I don't think it was ever updated to 3.5.

Be advised that it might be better to use Improved Natural Attack, if you can get access to it at some point, or simply change your size (you said in another thread that this is a Tashalatora character; I forget if Expansion is on any mantles, but it's available via Expanded Knowledge). Size also gives you reach, which is critical for any melee character, and also enhances your trip and grapple checks if you choose to go those routes.

Also if there are any other items/feats/etc that boost Monk unarmed damage I'd like to know of them. And please post the full name and book their located in.

Thanks.


As mentioned above, Improved Natural Attack comes to mind (as the monk Unarmed Strike class feature expressly changes its unarmed strike to a natural weapon). Snap Kick (Tome of Battle) gives you an extra attack even when you're on the move (unlike Flurry - although if you can Flurry, you can also Snap Kick), which allows you to deliver damage more frequently. If you're willing to give up Flurry, the Player's Handbook 2 has an amazing alternative class feature called Decisive Strike, which gives you a single attack as a full-round action, but all of your attacks until your next turn (including this one) deal double damage. This combines quite nicely with Snap Kick again, along with Combat Reflexes, although you might need reach (from a size increase) to get the most out of this. Other methods of dealing improved unarmed damage typically don't rely on actual monk levels (i.e. playing an unarmed Swordsage or Shadow Sun Ninja (both Tome of Battle) is quite a proficient way of making an unarmed fighter, using Kensai (Complete Warrior) to add special effects to your unarmed strikes, or using the chain of feats mentioned above on a Fighter along with the specialization feats (there are advanced ones for this in the Player's Handbook 2)).

Be advised that trying to view the monk as a damage dealer is a losing proposition, most of the time: The absolute cornerstone of melee damage dealing in 3.5 is Power Attack, which requires a two-handed weapon to use proficiently, and monk unarmed strikes aren't two-handed. Typically, monks work best as grapplers or secondary trippers, and they're outshone in these areas by other classes. (Interestingly, you're not actually a full monk either - the Tashalatora psychic warrior or ardent (with the right mantles) is what scoops the monk for grappling.)

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[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
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[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
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[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
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[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
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[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
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[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

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[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

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Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Thanks for all the referance locations.

On the topic of Damage though how is Power attack that much better then flurry? With Power attack sure you get the + Dmg * 2 for each - BAB when using it with two hands. But that really comes at a high accuracy loss, and attacks that don't hit don't do damage. Plus I thought the monks unarmed damage actually grew stronger than most weapons because normal weapons basic damage remains the same but they get + enchantment bonuses.



Thanks for all the referance locations.

On the topic of Damage though how is Power attack that much better then flurry? With Power attack sure you get the + Dmg * 2 for each - BAB when using it with two hands. But that really comes at a high accuracy loss, and attacks that don't hit don't do damage.

Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer) changes that multiplier to *3, and Shock Trooper (a tactical feat in Complete Warrior) lets you tank your AC instead of AB on a charge, and the bonus & penalty last until your next turn.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
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Thanks for all the referance locations.

On the topic of Damage though how is Power attack that much better then flurry?


RESOUNDING Yes.

Flurry comes attached to monk levels, which come with medium base attack (read: plenty of misses) even if you're able to compensate for the monk's multiple ability dependency (read: Need for four high ability scores = lower Strength than a classic warrior). While some classes (rogues, notably) can work with medium base attack, you'll note they have lower ability dependency (rogues just "need" Dexterity, which can be converted to accuracy with Weapon Finesse) and pack damage sources like Sneak Attack.

If your concern is accuracy loss, you're looking at the problem too narrowly. It's not absolute number of hits and absolute damage - it's expecteddamage which matters.

Let me give you a concrete example. An 8th level fighter with 18 Strength (14+2 level+2 item) and a +2 greatsword deals 2d6+8 damage, or 15 on average, and attacks at +14 (assuming no modifiers from feats). "Average" AC for CR 8 monsters is 20 (a nice round number, which is why I use this as the level example); use this page as a source for data. This means the fighter only needs to roll a 6 or higher on the d20 (75%) to hit the target - and for simplicity let's ignore critical hits, but the math isn't hard to do.

With this example, the fighter can "expect" to deal 75% of 15, or 11.25 damage, with each attack roll over time. However, Power Attack adds +2 damage to the damage roll for each -1 on the attack roll. If he takes a -1 penalty, he'll hit 70% of the time for 17 base damage - or 11.9 "expected damage", which is higher than the 11.25 he'd "expect" by default against AC 20. You can continue this pattern all the way out, and against AC 20, the "optimal" Power Attack is for -4, giving you 12.65 "expected" damage on each swing. This can be inflated quite a bit with attack roll bonuses (i.e. the +2 from flanking or charging, or Weapon Focus) or extra multipliers on Power Attack (i.e. Leap Attack). This can get kind of insane with attacks of opportunity as well, since that's a potentially large number of hits (especially with a reach weapon - monks cannot easily get reach), all at the highest attack bonus (and thus all at the optimal power attack), provided you get a rough guess of what the enemy's AC is. Enough experience on the attack front will give you this.

Meanwhile, Flurry gives you an extra attack - at -2, on top of an already low attack bonus. While you might be rolling huge dice, the average on those dice are low - an 8th level monk with the same Strength modifier as that fighter (read: Weaker Wisdom and Dexterity than a monk would otherwise like) would deal 1d10+4 damage, or 9.5, with an attack bonus of +10. Thus, this monk "expects" to deal 4.75 damage on each swing by default against AC 20 - less than half of what the fighter does before Power Attack, and that's without any Flurry penalties.

Simply put, attack bonus matters, and after you get it high enough that it stops mattering as much, Power Attack and a two-hander lets you put the excess to work as damage. Flurry costs you attack bonus, and doesn't have a source of bonus damage (double PA bonus, Sneak Attack, two-handed Strength, etc.) to put to work in the first place. (Plus, Flurry relies on a full attack, so you can't move while you do it, while Power Attack can work quite well while moving - especially when you look into charges, which have a host of other multiplication effects available to them.)

I hope that answers the "attacks that don't hit, don't deal damage" argument: if you can make the attacks that do hit hurt much more than the loss of accuracy would cost you, you come out ahead. (Rogues do the same thing: Lower base attack, but enormous bonus damage on each hit.)
 
Plus I thought the monks unarmed damage actually grew stronger than most weapons because normal weapons basic damage remains the same but they get + enchantment bonuses.


You can "estimate" the enhancement bonus by dividing a character's level by four. Compare this to the marginal increase in monk damage at each level (i.e. at level 8, a monk deals 1d10 damage, which is really just +2 damage over the 1d6 he would have dealt at level 1: 5.5 average over 3.5 average. An 8th-level fighter has one-quarter his level in weapon enhancements as a rough estimate, so that's the same +2 - but the greatsword he's probably using started out with a bigger damage value (2d6 over the monk 1d6), benefits from 1.5x Strength, and has the Power Attack interaction.) And this is before we get to accuracy discussions, as above, or any discussion on mobility - or reach, which matters more once monsters stop dying in one turn.

Basically, you cannot view the monk as a heavy hitter by default. It's possible, but difficult, to get the monk to deal respectable damage - while it's trivial to get a warrior to outperform even the best monks in this regard. Power Attack is absolutely the dominant factor in this discussion, with reach being secondary (more important overall, but secondary to absolute damage numbers) - and monks don't get either of them, and their substitutes are sub-par.



EDIT: If you want, WotC itself did example math for Flurry and Power Attack in their first 3e expansion book, Sword and Fist. (They used poor weapon choices and not a lot of detail, but they can be excused since the book was VERY early in the edition's life and the authors themselves might not be perfectly familiar with it - the book famously included references to 2e nonweapon proficiencies and related things in its first printing!) Basically, it shows how to figure out whether or not you should flurry based on your Strength, level, and estimate of opponent AC; likewise, they show how to factor in weapon enhancements and critical hit properties when deciding to Power Attack.

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.


EDIT: If you want, WotC itself did example math for Flurry and Power Attack in their first 3e expansion book, Sword and Fist. (They used poor weapon choices and not a lot of detail, but they can be excused since the book was VERY early in the edition's life and the authors themselves might not be perfectly familiar with it - the book famously included references to 2e nonweapon proficiencies and related things in its first printing!) Basically, it shows how to figure out whether or not you should flurry based on your Strength, level, and estimate of opponent AC; likewise, they show how to factor in weapon enhancements and critical hit properties when deciding to Power Attack.

Neat, learn something new every day. My groups monk has a math degree, and would love a formula on when to flurry. (If only I can convince him to stop being a monk...)

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Neat, learn something new every day. My groups monk has a math degree, and would love a formula on when to flurry. (If only I can convince him to stop being a monk...)


Simple spreadsheet. Not hard to do, once you have a good guess on the enemy AC. A full discussion needs to factor in critical hits, miss chances, and damage reduction, but this also isn't hard to code in. Power Attack is really much more sophisticated, and I was able to write a basic spreadsheet for it to handle my hexblade's PA choices for me (see the Dead for Nothing link in my sig: we play with numeric modifiers quite a lot. We're at the point where we can basically bring a double-digit swing in relative attack roll results if we want, so I find that I almost always PA for the full amount and it still hits just fine.)

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Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I don't barely know if this helps any of you, but I've used this PA calculator at random times for years: 

donjon.bin.sh/d20/power/

For all I know, mayhaps it's even open source code, you could reverse-engineer the formulae if you were good at that sort of thing. 
The monk's flurry penelty reduces as he levels up. By level 9 it is completely gone. Though the monk is still operating at 1/4 less BAB than a fighter which is a hit right there.

All this talk of the optimal ratios for when to use PA and also extending that to Flurry makes me wanna go crunch those numbers. Though in the case of the monk once you hit level 9 you want to always flurry because there is no penelty for not, other then using a full action.
The monk's flurry penelty reduces as he levels up. By level 9 it is completely gone. Though the monk is still operating at 1/4 less BAB than a fighter which is a hit right there.

All this talk of the optimal ratios for when to use PA and also extending that to Flurry makes me wanna go crunch those numbers. Though in the case of the monk once you hit level 9 you want to always flurry because there is no penelty for not, other then using a full action.


You're right that the penalty goes away - but there are still two drawbacks (besides reach).

First, the lower base attack means less accuracy to begin with (by level 8, the monk is two points behind the fighter anyway, which is as bad as a level 1 flurry penalty), and fewer attacks (a level 8 monk just hit his second iterative attack, while a fighter's had that since level 6). Add to this the difficulty of adding enhancement bonuses to unarmed strikes and you have a serious numerical drawback.

Second, the monk requires a full attack to flurry. You can't always count on being in position for that. If you are, there's no reason to not flurry. If you aren't, flurry's useless (while Power Attack - and indeed, Snap Kick - remain useful in these scenarios). This gives you a serious practical drawback, particularly for full monks.  The action cost is significant - the single most important resource in the game is available actions. (This is the main reason I love the Tome of Battle so much: it didn't add too much to the numbers of the game, but it dramatically opened up the floodgates in terms of how mobile you were while you were using those numbers. Combat instantly became more dynamic without making sub-par choices. But I digress.)

(Again, your case is better here: Tashalatora martial artists can employ teleportation, action-granting, or size-increase effects to be in a position to flurry more often, and can frequently employ buffs to make the unarmed strike suck less in the numbers.)

If you crunch the numbers, you'll come to the same conclusion we did - even without extra multipliers or reach or the ease of getting special effects added in, the monk will fall far behind the typical warrior using Power Attack in terms of damage output.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

 so I find that I almost always PA for the full amount and it still hits just fine.)

Thats my wifes barbarian in that same game. At low levels she would debate it, but once we hit its just been "I always power attack full" and still rarely misses.


Weirdly enough she (the person with little to no math skills) immediatley saw flurry and said it seemed like a bad idea, and instead went two handed barbarian. The math degree guy jumped on the monk and joked about how overpowered he would be. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

Apart from the general stacking, the thing I particularly remember from Wang Long (a human monk with Extended Reach that I ran in a short parody game) was using a skin of proteus to turn into a treant.  Apart from making one of many bad puns, it was a reliable way to get Huge size and a handy Strength boost at the cost of having a decent Dexterity.  If you stack enough things together, you can get a very solid damage value (16d8 base unarmed strike damage in this case), but it's something you need to work at.

If you really wanted to, you could combine Power Attack with flurrying, since the quarterstaff actually has a niche use as the one two-handed weapon typically available to a monk (the x1.5 multiplier from your Strength score is flattened to x1 while flurrying, but Power Attack is a separate deal).  You'd have to be making up for those points of BAB with the extra attacks from flurrying, so you'd automatically be behind the curve whenever you couldn't flurry, but with Power Attack in the mix, that's basically trading a damage edge per attack for an extra attack or two when you can use a full attack.

It would be interesting to see how that multiplies out for a full attack, at least, especially with full-strength Power Attack-ing.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
All this talk of the optimal ratios for when to use PA and also extending that to Flurry makes me wanna go crunch those numbers.

Makes me want to upchuck. I call it a resounding failure if players have to assemble spreadsheets and crunch numbers to have a proper understanding of when/how to use their characters basic abilities.

Old School: It ain't what you play - it's how you play it.

My 1E Project: http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/Building%20D&D/buildingdnd.htm

"Who says I can't?" "The man in the funny hat..."

All this talk of the optimal ratios for when to use PA and also extending that to Flurry makes me wanna go crunch those numbers.

Makes me want to upchuck. I call it a resounding failure if players have to assemble spreadsheets and crunch numbers to have a proper understanding of when/how to use their characters basic abilities.

We're talking about a theoretically optimal performance, not the basic use of those abilities.  In a typical game situation, you just adjust your behaviour to fit your opponent, performing mental calculations of what works in a manner similar to the spreadsheet (just with far fewer examples).  But in addition to that, "proper" understanding of how to use even very basic things is often founded on a lot of hard work previously conducted by other people.

The theoretical calculations help to refine the understanding of how well each thing works.  I imagine that the characters would have achieved that understanding through many hours of training, so it's like establishing that absent baseline if you prefer to think of it that way.  They tend to be the sort of lessons that are learnt through extensive practical use by masters, then refined into basic principles that they can teach to their students; those lessons may seem basic, but they're the product of long and careful consideration.

Would you call using the Internet a resounding failure because of all the technical details that go into making it work?  Understanding things is not bad or wrong, and can produce simple ideas that make using something easier for everyday users, even if they never touch on the details underpinning those ideas.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
We're talking about a theoretically optimal performance, not the basic use of those abilities.

Assume I've never played the game before.  I create a monk character.  I see that I have the flurry of blows ability.  I could, of course, simply GUESS at when to use it but to really know it requires additional calculation.  That is what I would consider failure.  If it were just granting an additional attack at a minus that would be simple - more attacks is better regardless of whether the additional attack has a significant chance to hit or not.  But when making the additional attack reduces the chance to hit for all your attacks you introduce a dynamic variable which can actually render use of the ability a BAD choice.
In a typical game situation, you just adjust your behaviour to fit your opponent, performing mental calculations of what works in a manner similar to the spreadsheet (just with far fewer examples).

And if you're a player who doesn't mentally construct spreadsheets?
Would you call using the Internet a resounding failure because of all the technical details that go into making it work?

That is the very point.  The internet does NOT require understanding of TCP/IP or DNS servers to use it.  You know that entering a URL will simply take you where you want to go; sending email is largely a matter of simply having an email server to use.  The analogy would be more along the lines of having to route your browser through every intervening internet node to get where you want to go.

Old School: It ain't what you play - it's how you play it.

My 1E Project: http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/Building%20D&D/buildingdnd.htm

"Who says I can't?" "The man in the funny hat..."

Makes me want to upchuck. I call it a resounding failure if players have to assemble spreadsheets and crunch numbers to have a proper understanding of when/how to use their characters basic abilities.


I'd call it a resounding success that the system is stable enough to actually allow you to "check" the math behind it and produce accurate results.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I could, of course, simply GUESS at when to use it but to really know it requires additional calculation.  That is what I would consider failure.

Even your guess will involve a basic mental estimate of the effect, even if you're not familiar with the details of the game.  You'll simply be making a much less informed and less precise calculation than you might by writing it up.  And over time, you'd end up gaining a better sense of the best times to use it based on your past performance, even if you never really look at the exact numbers.  We tend to do a lot of mental calculations without realizing it.
And if you're a player who doesn't mentally construct spreadsheets?

That's largely unavoidable, though I prefer to think of them as calculations, rather than explicitly spreadsheets.  When you consider whether or not you want to use the flurry, you're naturally weighing up the reduced chance to hit against the extra damage and you make your decision based on whether or not the result seems to be more favourable; it's an internal mental calculation, rather than an external one.
That is the very point.  The internet does NOT require understanding of TCP/IP or DNS servers to use it.  You know that entering a URL will simply take you where you want to go; sending email is largely a matter of simply having an email server to use.  The analogy would be more along the lines of having to route your browser through every intervening internet node to get where you want to go.

And flurrying doesn't require a good knowledge either; you can operate the ability simply by choosing whichever behaviour gives a preferred result.  However, having additional technical information may allow you to derive superior performance from it, even if it's not absolutely necessary.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
In terms of cognitive load (how much thinking one has to do to keep all the relevant information at hand), flurry is actually better than PA: Assuming you're in a position to use it (which is hardly a given, but...), it largely comes down to "are they easy to hit OR am I high enough level to ignore the penalty?". If it's yes, flurry is a no-brainer, while Power Attack still requires a bit of juggling. Even then, there's some intuition that can replace the hard math: if you hit "often enough" normally, just Power Attack for any extra bonuses you get on this roll. (i.e. if you're charging (and not using Shock Trooper), Power Attack for -2; attacking a prone target gets a PA of -4, and so on). If you've built to be accurate, then you can take the lazy approach and full PA all the time too. (I do this in our games because +4 Inspire Courage (which'll be +8 or +10 next level, equipment depending) and assorted debuffs (typically -4 to -6, on top of denial of dexterity) before you consider effects like prone tends to mean that any attack is going to hit.)

Even the much-vaunted earlier editions had math like this - but it wasn't as obvious, and thus the reasoning behind why the tables looked the way they did was hidden from the player. And when the math isn't hidden, sometimes the information is: to make a "spreadsheet" approach to Power Attack, for instance, you still need to know things like their exact AC, any miss chances, and damage reduction (and in some cases, how much of that AC comes from which bonus type - if your attacks can catch them flat-footed or are made as a touch attack, say). Largely, these things are unknown to the player, so even the spreadsheet relies on intuition to some extent.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Speed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.