[3.5] Help building Monk character

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Greetings, buddies.

I'm novice at D&D (I've played some few times before for short time) and I was invited to a level 15 game.

I like to play unarmed fighters, but unfortunately it seems that the monk class is really underpower. So I made some search to see if I could find some light and I've been reading lots and lots of forums and guides (and I'm still doing that!). Problem is: I found so much information that I'm completely lost!

So I'd appreciate to receive help to build a level 15 "Monk" (unarmed fighter) as powerful as possible. The main goal is to create a dedicated combatant that does the highest possible unarmed damage, using some combination with Monk and other classes/PrC.

So I'll need some advices to decide these very important steps: Race, Classes and Feats.

===> Step 1: Choosing the Race

* The first option is to take Half-Giant. The -2 to Dextery is bad, but they have Powerful Build, which increase the size category by one level. They also have other good stuff (psionic abilities and 2 extra  power points) and has Level Adjustment +1.

* The second option is Githzerai. They don't have Powerful Build, like Half-Giants and have Level Ajustment +2, but they have +2 to Wisdom and +6 to Dextery (!!!). With such high Dextery, Weapon Finess seems to be a must! Since Dice Size must to be somehow improved, Strenght seems to be not so important and, therefore, reducing the evil MAD. Like Half-Giants, they also have some extra psionic abilities and 2 extra power points. It has been said that this race was made for monks! Level Adjustment +2.

* Third option is Human for extra feat if (and only if) the build is feat-hunger. Mongrelfolk is ugly as hell, but +4 to Constitution is cool. Level Adjustment +0.

So to choose the right race, I'd like to know a few things:

1- Is Powerful Build mandatory to achieve maximum boost to unarmed damage?
2 - If not, which one seems better? Powerful Build or +6 to Dextery and +2 to Wisdom?
3 - One or two levels of Level Adjustment is too heavy to a build with multiple class/PrC or the benefits are worthy?

===> Step 2: Choosing the Classes


Ok, here we go to the hardest (or at least one of the hardest) parts of this build: To chose the optimal classes and Prestige Classes. Sohere comes some questions:



  • The Type of Monk: Monk Vs Chaotic Monk



Chaotic Monks allows multi-classing with Barbarians (and I saw some people suggesting few Barbarian levels - one level, if I recall correctly, although I don't remember why - to the build. Is that worthy? If not, I think normal Monks are fine.

Another question is: How much Monk levels? I saw several articles saying that 2 Monk levels are optimal. Others say it's ok to go up to 6. My DM says I should take 4 Monk levels for a better BAB. Which one is better?



  • The Psionic Class: Psionic Warrior Vs Ardent



Psionics seems to have a great synergy with Monks.

My first guide mentioned Psionic Fist/Fist of Zuoken as a good way to fix monks. But later I found many saying that Psionic Warrior makes a much better job. But then I found others saying that Ardent is much better than Psionic Warriors.

After all, which one is more powerful? Psionic Warriors or Ardents? And Why?

Just to remember: I'm looking for a dedicated melee/close range combatant. The goal is to punch and kick for good!



  • Other Prestige Classes...


The build will be basically a Monk x/Psionic Class y level, with maybe +1 or +2 Level Adjustment and other PrCs. Some ideas of PrC are...

Fist of the Forest: People say this class is great for monks. It increase Dice Size and has only 3 levels! Is it worhy to take all three levels or just one or two?
Swordsage, unarmed: Despite having "sword" on it's name, it seems to be a good option even unarmed. Some said 1 or 2 levels are good choices. Really?
Fighter: More feats! Yet, it's still another class level. Really worthy?
Warshaper:
It requires some shapeshift ability. I'm not so interest in this one, but people say this PrC rocks, despite they don't agree if level 2 or 4 is optimal. Is this a good idea to a Monk/Psionic build?
Argent Fist: I don't know why.  In a glance, it seems to be a Monk/Paladin combination, which is not the case here. Any clue?

Although the character will be level 15, I want a build up to level 20. If possible, I'd appreciate to know the reaons why you suggest each class/PrC and the best order/sequence to take each one.

And I don't expect to take all this PrC. I'm just listing options I've found on guides and forums.

===> Step 3: Choosing the Feats

I have no idea of how much feats I'll take, but I have some ideas:

Monastic Training and Tashalatora are mandatory here. So is Stunning Fist and Improved Natural Attack (although one guide said this feat isn't so great because you can buy an item that does the same and they don't stack, so I'm still wondering if I should take it).

Speaking about Stunning Fist, I saw somewhere saying that Pain Touch is awesome and that it's totally insane not to take it if you have Stunning Fist. Pharaoh's fist is good to stun multiple oponents. What do you think?

Snap kick. Extra Attack. Really great, right?

Martial Stance and Martial Study. After all, this character is supposed to be a martial artist. One guide said these feats are great for any monk. Is that true?

Extra Stunning: Extra Stunning is always great, but I wonder if there aren't other better feats to take.

Other feats suggested are: Flying kick, Combat acrobat, Powerful Charge, Decisive Strike and Knock-Down (requires Strenght 15 and Improved Trip, so I'm not so sure if it fits this build). Any coments?

Styles: They also affects the feat list, so it's a very important choice. I'm still unsure about Cobra Striker, Sleeping Tiger or Passive Way. I like Sleeping Tiger for Githzerai race (since it gives Weapon Finess), but it requires Power Attack, which makes me wonder what the hell were they thinking to ask a not-full BAB class to take Power Attack after all.

At last, I'd appreciate some advices about best itens to have. The character has 200.000 PO to spend.

I apologize for this huge post. I didn't mean to do that, but I had no choice. As I said, I read a lot of guides and they just made my head full of questions. I appreciate your time and attention to read and reply it.

Thanks in advance.







Three-word answer: Don't Play Monk.

Unarmed Swordsage is strictly better at being a monk than Monk at EVERY level, even if all you want is unarmed damage. The best way to use Monk is to use Tashalatora to stop using monk.

Be advised that "highest possible unarmed damage" is pittance - Power Attack is the true source of melee damage in 3.5, and it does not work well with the one-handed nature of monk unarmed strikes. You can make the damage dice do something nice for you if you use Vampiric Claw (say, as a monk 2 / psychic warrior 18 tashalatora build) or similar things that specifically reference the base damage, but that's really about it.

Also, don't forget that you can get something like +20 effective levels for monk damage pretty easily - Superior Unarmed Strike + Monk's Belt + Monk's Tattoo = unarmed damage from a 12th level monk right there. 

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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.

If you want to play a Monk you can, and that's cool. There is, in fact, a lot you can do to "soup it up". However, you have to be aware of its mechanical... "disadvantages".

Firstly, I would say go read something to do with Monks. There are other Monk guides I think, which may even be better, but that one was right there at the top of the threads list coincidentally.

I didn't read everything you wrote but I did notice the races. Half-Giant should not be giving you a size increase for unarmed strike. It's still useful for trip and stuff maybe, but look at Goliath too. Githzerai is cool and all but probably not worth the LA (though you should be able to have bought it off by now). Dex-based is generally harder to do than Str-based, and those relying more on a high base unarmed damage is going to lend itself more easily to that, I think you'll still find it an uphil struggle.

For the record, if you were able to stack +12 effective levels onto a L8 Monk and get 2d10 base unarmed strike, it's pretty easy to get it to at least 6d8 (one size increase plus INA). On average, you're doing 20 points more damage than a Greatsword. Your lower BAB equates to 4 lost from Power Attack (two-handed, but without multipliers... that could be increased with e.g. Leap Attack of course) and you're losing any further PA and half your Str bonus from not two-handing either (at L8, at most 6 from PA). Your overall damage is still pretty good though, actually (even if you are splashing 13k on a belt and so forth). Of course, at L15 this will no longer be the case as plain Monk damage caps out at 2d10.
Human Tashalatora Monk/PsyWar with Strength of My Enemy, Form of Doom, Vampiric Claw
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
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.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Tempest_Stormwind

I see you made 2 tashalora monks builds: One with Psywarrior and another with Ardent. Which one is better, combat-wise, in your view?
Do you think Unarmed Swordsage is more powerful than Tashalatora monks?
If so, would it be cross-classing (for instance, Fist of the Forest would be a good option?) or just pure Swordsage? What about races? If you can give me some details or show me some links, I'd appreciate.

The_Fred

As I said in the previous post, I read some guides (and I'm still reading others, like this one!)
. About Powerful Build, it seems to have some controversy among players, since some say "Yes" and others say "No". The DM said yes, it does improve size for unarmed damage purpose. However, I look at the D&D 3.5 FAQ and it says a big "No". So, if the DM answer is "Yes", do you think that Half-Giants are a good choice? What about Githzerai? Do you think the +2 LA would be too bad for an optimized Tashalatora Monk/Psionic? Which one is more powerful in your opinion? Ardents or Psionic Warriors?


Consider using and or abusing the Decisive Strike ability given in Players Handbook Two. You can probably even compete with Power Attack builds if you do this right, because of the nature of your Unarmed Damage if you do something like Monk 2/Unarmed Swordsage 18 (probably some other PRCs you could do like Shadow Sun Ninja and even Master of the Nine).

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

That link shows what I'm talking about. You'll get your Unarmed damage maxed out as per any ol' Monk build, then any chance you get you'll use Decive Strike to deal a double damage single strike, after which you can do something silly like Dancing Mongoose for another two attacks at your highest base attack bonus that do just as much damage. By level 16 you can even do Raging Mongoose for 4 attacks this way. Robilar's Gambit's also a must so you may want to see about working in something with full Base Attack Bonus (War Mind is cool cause you also get Sweeping Strike) and making up lost Monk levels with a Monks belt or Improved Unarmed Strike.

You'll be using Power Attack of course to basically do *2 Power Attacks just like a standard Two Handed Weapon would. If you're okay with using a Quarterstaff you can actually be doing basically *4 power attacks.
True. Unarmed swordsage is better than Monk 99.9% of the time. The only time monk is better is when using Tashalatora. A fun to use it is with the Goliath barbarian's Mountain Rage ACF, plus Wolf Totem Barbarian level 2 for free Improved Trip with no prereqs. Just being a Goliath with IT gives you +8 on all those Setting Sun throws - Mountain Rage lets you threaten a larger area. CJ calls it "ragdolling"; I just picture the Super Zangief Piledriver.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
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56788208 wrote:
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.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
About Powerful Build, it seems to have some controversy among players, since some say "Yes" and others say "No". The DM said yes, it does improve size for unarmed damage purpose.

The Half-Giant says you may wield larger weapons... however, your unarmed strike is inherant. I can see the case for it, as it's not unfair if your weapon dice would increase too, but the way it's written it says nothing about UAS or natural weapons. However, if your DM allows it, and it's applied after the Monk increases (which it naturally should) then it may be worth it as you can really crank up the damage (I'm not sure it can go beyond 12d8, mind, but that's 54 damage average which is not bad). Generally LA is not a good idea. However, if you're allowed to buy it off, you'll only be 3k XP behind everyone else and that's at L15.

True. Unarmed swordsage is better than Monk 99.9% of the time. The only time monk is better is when using Tashalatora.

Or when using Flurry (or Decisive Strike), or Stunning Fist. The Unarmed Swordsage is better, but it's not the same thing; it's not "strictly" better, if you will. If you just want the theme of a Monk, go for Unarmed Swordsage and be done with it. It's perfectly possible to be an actual Monk, if you really want to do that, though.
*sigh*
I forgot that some people on these boards don't seem to have the mental capacity to process stuff beyond "Monk bad, go play Swordsage!"
The SS may have better options than the Monk. It can't do all the same things, though. It might be able to do things which are better than Stunning Fist, but if - for whatever reason - you actually wanted to use Stunning Fist, only a Monk is going to do that pre-L8 and only a Monk is going to get any number of uses per day of it. Do you actually know what "strictly better" means? I'm guessing not.
Uh, no. 54 is, like, level 6 damage.

Firstly, that's 54 base damage. That doesn't include enhancements, Str, etc etc etc, and whilst those boosts will certainly be higher on a non-Monk, the Monk would get some of them still. Secondly, that's available to the Monk at what, ~L8? At L15 you run into the problem that his base damage caps out.
It's perfectly possible to be an actual Monk, if you really want to do that, though.

No it really isn't. Well, unless you're talking about copying my 9s fighter build onto a monk and calling it ascetic mojo, in which case go for it, but that's not the monk that's doing any of the heavy lifting. Or light lifting. Or doing anything but standing there drinking lemonade and being a prick while the rest of the build does the work to make it powerful.

Almost there.
This is how you to play a Monk:
Step 1: Write "Monk" on your sheet where it says "Class"
Step 2: Fill in the rest of the blanks
Step 3: Play
Nobody said you wouldn't suck. With some optimisation, you can actually make yourself suck a lot less. You may still suck (especially at L15) but all I said was it were possible to play a Monk, not that the Monk itself were actually doing any of the "lifting", necessarily. If someone's really wants to play a Monk, I'm not going to tell them not to. They ought to know what they're letting themselves in for before deciding that, but by all means, they should go ahead. Who knows? Maybe the rest of the party is Core-only naff Fighters and bad Wizards, in which case the Monk might even have a chance to "shine".
@CJ: A) Exalted's Piledriver? Never seen it - what game is it in? Besides, Street Fighter isn't an RPG; it's a fighting game.
B) In the words of Dalton, "Be nice."
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
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.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Draco? Exalted is a tabletop RPG, and a pretty well-known one at that. Wiki gives the skinny; note the huge scale at which the game operates. I've not seen the piledriver in question but it may very well involve landing on Mars or breaking through to Hell.

However, Exalted is second only to D&D in the amount of complaints you see directed towards it. D&D gets the hate for having such a stranglehold on the industry; Exalted gets it for, well... honestly, just play it and youll see.

(Exalted is not my personal style of non-WotC game, though it did inspire a favorite: Legends of the Wulin.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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.

Ok, much has been said here and I'm still a bit confused.

By "Monk", I mean "Martial Artist Combatant", not exactly D&D monk. That's why any combination works fine for me, as long he is punching and kicking.

So here comes some ideas:

1) Tashalatora Monk 2/Psychic Class 18 (Psychic Warrior or Ardent? I just don't know);
2) Unarmed Swordsage (Swordsage 20? Monk 2/Swordsage 18? Any other exotic combination?)
3) Monk 2/Warmind 10 + 8 left classes/PrC (Many said Warmind (10), Fist of the Forest (3)and Warshape (2 ~4) are good choices)

Ok, so here's my question: Which one is the most powerful? I'd appreciate to know the details, if possible.

Again, I don't care about classes names!! I don't care if it's a straight full-monk, if it's psionic with a black-belt in Karate or a guy that should use swords but one day decided to use his fists. What I want is to be a primary combatant that use martial arts to fight bare handed.

About races, the DM told me he will NOT allow me to buy off the LA, so I'll chose a race with LA +0 (maybe that ugly humans with +4 Constitution and huge penalty to Charisma).

Thanks in advance.
By some (admittedly abusive) readings, a tashalatora psionic fist could "double" stack the psionic fist levels for a monk.  I have yet to play at a table where that would fly, though - not because it's OMG powerful (it's not), but because it's stupid.  But if it's the sort of thing you're into, you can get twenty levels of monkish bonuses with Monk 2/XXX 9/Psionic Fist 9 and Tashalatora.

Anyhow, as far as psychic warrior versus ardent, ardent's higher level powers are without question stronger than what a psychic warrior gets.  If you're allowed Mind's Eye content, then it becomes even less of a contest.  However, I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for psychic warriors for whatever reason, and I've never really liked the ardent, so I'll recommend you to play a psychic warrior even if it's inferior.  If nothing else, seven bonus feats certainly won't hurt to have on a melee character, since many melee combos are fairly feat-intensive.  They don't make up for the ardent's access to high-level powers and metapower shenanigans, but if all you want to do is punch things, they help.

Regarding unarmed damage, as was mentioned, even with high base damage, you'll run into some issues.  That being said, if you do want a fun way of maximizing your monk's damage......



  • Get up to the 12d8 base damage referenced earlier.

  • Take some sort of dragonmark.  It doesn't really matter.  Making is probably the most versatile if you want to invest in it, but any of the human dragonmarks have their uses.  It doesn't matter, though - take an aberrant dragonmark if you want.  You don't need anything more than the least mark anyhow.

  • Take the Dragonmark Fist feat.  This allows you to spend an action point to maximize the damage on a single unarmed strike.

  • Take the Decisive Strike ACF.

  • Find a way to get access to the Unfettered Heroism spell.  This gives you an action point every round.

  • Combine Dragonmark Fist with Decisive Strike for 192 points of damage before other variables.  That's not bad, but it's not great, either - CR 20 enemies have an average of around 440 HP, IIRC, so you're not even 2HKOing them.  But wait a second - notice that Dragonmark Fist doesn't specify that it only maximizes your base damage.  It will actually maximize any variable damage from that attack you have, whether it's elemental damage or sneak attack damage or what have you.

  • Don't forget to follow up with a Snap Kick attack!  That follow-up attack won't be maximized, but damage will still be doubled from Decisive Strike.



This isn't game-breaking by any means, but it's pretty easy to use this to consistently get above the 440 HP benchmark each round if you stack on additional dice of damage.  Sure, chargers have been doing this since level 10 or so, but hey, sometimes you've got to take what you can get.  Note that this does NOT require any real investment in monk (the only actual monk feature required is Decisive Strike, which is available at level 1 and also easily replaceable), so you could do this as an unarmed swordsage or a tash ardent/monk or a barbarian/fist of the forest or whatever you decide to go with.
Besides, Street Fighter isn't an RPG; it's a fighting game.

Wait they made a video game?


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Fighter:_Th...

"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"

By "Monk", I mean "Martial Artist Combatant", not exactly D&D monk. That's why any combination works fine for me, as long he is punching and kicking.
...
Ok, so here's my question: Which one is the most powerful? I'd appreciate to know the details, if possible.

You could just go straight manifester with Claws of the Beast, or hell, Cleric. Buffs like Righteous Might and Divine Power are probably more useful to you, and you could DMM them. If you really want unarmed strikes you can even take Sup Unarmed Strike [ToB] and buff it through other means.
If you're creative, you can flavour a Wizard as a Monk, for crying out loud (those spells are just manifestations of spiritual ki energy, and by martial arts, he uses the ancient Turn-Into-A-Giant-And-Hit-People Style otherwise known as giantfist-jutsu).
Since you're looking for Fists and not Claws seriously consider something like the following.

Race: Human
Unarmed Swordsage 1      Shadow Blade, Adaptive Style, Weapon Focus (Shadow Hand) *Be sure to get Sudden Leap
Monk 1                               Improved Grapple (Also take Decisive Strike ACF)
Monk 2                               Weapon Finesse (I'd usually never reccomend this but you'll be Dex SAD), Combat Reflexes
Unarmed Swordsage 2+++

Feats at additional levels
6   Power Attack
9   Snap Kick
12 Roundabout Kick
15 Improved Critical (Unarmed Strike)
18 Robilar's Gambit


Maneuvers: You'll focus on Maneuvers that give you improved mobility (for Swift Action, preferably) and or additional attacks/multipliers. Look at stuff like  Ruby Nightmare Blade, Shadow Stride, Shadow Blink, Quicksilver Motion, Rapid Counter, Dancing Mongoose, Raging Mongoose, Diamond Nightmare Blade.

Rules stuff: A conservative Reading of how Decisive Strike will work if you say Belt of Battle to move, Decisive Strike and then Diamond Nightmare Blade is that you'll deal 2 times normal Unarmed Strike damage and then another 5 times it. That's not as good though as Decisive Strike and then Raging Mongoose when you can do that.

Gear: Again, be sure to get a Belt of Battle and a Fanged Ring. An item of persistant Enlarge Person is a good job to get as well. Polymorph of course is even more insane if you can turn into something big and bashy but I don't think that's your style from what I'm seeing.

If you don't want to do Weapon Finesse and I don't blame you, you'll lose some AOO's per round and you'll lose some AC but you can instead take Extra Readied Maneuver which is pretty nice. 
Personality I like to drip into

SACRED FIST. But if your dm doesn't limit Arcane Strike the Enlighten fist is better.  Or if you want just pure dps.  I see different is cleric are buffers and wizard/sorc at the dps side choice is yours.


monk
monk
monk  if 12 cha pick destruction devotion out of Complete Champion
monk Replace ki strike with holy strike Complete Champion
Cleric Lawful good. Drop one Domain for Law devotion, Select War domain.
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist Holy Warrior complete Complete Champion. Keep your 5th level or 4th level domain slot unused for +4 or +5 damage. Cast Divine power and rightoues might for increase str and size.
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist
The Sacred Fist


You will be able to cast Caster level 10 5th level spells and have the bab of 14 level fighter. Assumes that DM followers the rule the text overrides table. Text says it grants you spell casting

I like this build because it give you high pluses on your attack from the str bonus. Also you need a quick fix of ac or attack you can do law devotion. If you fighting something that most can't hit destruction devotion will lower for you and all over time making better for all to hit.

 You still have most of your feats. To do with has you wish. Power Attack can be nice if you fight alot of single big things.  

Also I like the lesser planettouched from www.brilliantgameologists.com/boards/ind...
topic=6992.0
 
               
Zenythri
Chaond


If for some reason your dm lets you be very very broken. Dragon spawn from Dragonlance, but that is a hard sell(being your white dragon would have to be law good for it to work) Helm of alignment reversal only thing I can think of.

    
 

Don't agree with CJ on everything but Ii do have to second his statement of "DON'T!" when it comes to Sacrid Fist. The PRC's ill concieved blend of Cleric and Monk just fails its way home. 
Well I like the two good saves, the full casting and full bab assuming dm allot text to over rull the table.
I've removed content from this thread. Trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct

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Well I like the two good saves, the full casting and full bab assuming dm allot text to over rull the table.


Your sample build does not have a BAB high enough to enter this class. You need +4, and thanks to stacking two medium BAB classes, you've got +3. 


You will be much better served with something like Cleric 4/Monk 2, but even still you probably should just not do that. 


Full BAB is granted to 99% of clerics thanks to divine power. Full casting is granted to 99% of clerics, provided they don't prestige out (like your build. The difference between two good saves for 10 levels and poor saves for 10 levels is +4 to some saves. Not worth it at all.

"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"

Ok, let me see if I got it...

A) Monk 2/Psionic Warrior 18
B) Monk 2/Ardent 18
C) Monk 2/Fist of Zuoken (Psionic Fist) 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshape 4/Swordsage 1
D) Monk 2/Warmind 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshape 4/Swordsage 1
E) Swordsage 20 (or Monk 2/Swordsage 18)
 
I've heard that while Fist of Zuoken/Psionic Fist makes a good job to fix the Monk class, it's still weaker than Psionic Warrior. And that Ardents are stronger than Psionic Warriors. Is that true?

What about the C and D builds? Are they still weaker than Ardents?

Is the option B stronger than E?

I don't know if I got it right, but Monks/Ardents looks like Jedi Knights without lightsaber. That's it?

Is 12d8 the maximum legal damage a unarmed fighter can do in D&D 3.5?

Can Psionic Warriors or Ardent somehow increase their Strenght or BAB? Or high Dextery and and Weapon Finess makes a better option to reduce MAD?

Thanks in advance.


If you can get the Shadow Blade feat from Tome of Battle then Weapon Finesse is worthwhile, especially with stuff like Snap Kick (which has reduced benefit from Str, but not Dex). Otherwise it's recommended to stay Str primary.
Psychic Warriors get a power called Strength of My Enemy. Not only does it give you a Str bonus (up to +8, and possibly higher), every hit reduces your opponents's Str. And THAT is unlimited, meaning that you can use it to beat on people until they're paralyzed, even if they still have HP. Form of Doom is also a PsyWar power, and it gives you tentacle attacks in addition to any other attacks. Ardent CAN get those, but they have to spend feats.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
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.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
B is probably your strongest option, however it will depend on your DM's style weather you get things such as rounds to buff prior to combat. As well you're going to have to do your research and know which powers are Hour Per Level and make sure you've got them up all the time if you need them to function as a "Monk".

The primary advantage of E or a build similar to it is that you function on no buff time. You can by level 15 do something like the following in a round.

Move: Travel up to your speed,
Swft: Belt of Battle (Full Round Action),
Full Round Action: Decisive Strike (Double normal unarmed strike damage)
Free Action: Snap Kick (Moderately less than double normal unarmed strike damage)
Standard Action: Ruby Nightmare Blade (Tripple your normal unarmed strike damage, conservatively)
Free Action: Snap Kick (as above)
* Roundabout Kick whenever you score a crit (even against crit immune targets) and deal double Unarmed Damage again
** AOO a lot, for double unarmed damage

at 18 you get AOO's whenever you're attacked in melee


Is this build anything compared to a Tashlatora Ardent? Not really, but it's a lot less work to play. Attack routines are simple and devistating, you also amplify incoming buffs well. Attacks like Decisive Strike and Ruby Nightmare Blade work really well against targets that have Flame Shield or Carapace (Tarrasque) or any similar damage aura on hit. Raging Mongoose opens up at 16 and if you start your turn adjacent to some poor bastard they eat up to 5 attacks before getting into AOO's.
 
For some interesting looks at what a monkish character can do, check out this link.  It's a challenge put out by Emperor Tippy on the GitP boards to create an ECL 20 character with at least 17 monk levels or levels in prestige classes that advance monk features, that can solo every encounter in the Elder Evils book.

At the beginning, most of the entries (myself included) focused on how to circumvent the challenge's limitations - using everything from psionics infinite recharge loops to PAO tricks to Candle of Invocation abuse to ignore the 17 levels of monk entirely.  But, as the contest progressed, people began trying more and more to make actual monk builds that could handle the challenge.

It's still a fairly high-op contest, with a lot of ordinarily frowned upon tactics totally fine (such as Dark Chaos Feat Shuffling, something Tippy explicitly said he doesn't think is cheesy as long as you're not shuffling away temporary feats), but it's fun to read through to see how all the different builds approached the challenge.  For example, here's Xervous' entry (sorry about the formatting snafus, this forum doesn't play nice with BBCode it seems):


"I'm back, and The Monk of Lawful Good WRATH is improved!


Reworked, now with around 130,000 gp unspent.
Melee monk


Flurry
+51/+51/+51/+51/+51/+51/+46/+46/+41
2d10 + 7d6 + 37 + 1d6/1d8(vs. evil, vs evil outsider/undead)
average damage, 72 vs. evil, 73 vs. outsider/undead


Can power attack for up to 13


Travel devotion can be swapped for knowledge devotion to get +5 to hit and +5 to damage against all elder evils, though I prefer travel here with his 130ft fly speed and 100ft land speed when his boots are active.


Complacent Human (Dragon 320)
11 monk, 2 saint, 4 shou disciple, 2 tattooed monk, 1 shiba protector

Show
  • AC 74, Touch 73. Elder evils can only hit on nat 20s
  • +38 Will save. Passes all save on 2’s or is flat out immune
  • +34 Reflex save. Passes all but two saves on 2’s. Of those two abilities, one does negligible damage and the other is a suicidal move on the Elder Evil’s part.
  • +31 fort save. Passes all but one save on 2’s, passes that last save on 3’s
  • Pride domain + tattooed monk: now 1/8000 chance of failing a single save. After that, you’ve got a 1/400 chance of failing saves.
  • Freedom of Movement: No grapples
  • Mind blank. Because yeah.
  • Belt of battle double full attack downs all but 2 elder evils in one round.
  • immunity to dispel magic through saint Su, and dispel magic, greater through spellblade.
  • 1/day use of ring of spell battle to redirect one spell that I identify. If the room is big enough, this is 1/day save my ass from disjunction (and screw over the caster).
  • Perfectly capable of fighting all the elder evils back to back without refreshing abilities


The crunch
Show

With 11 monk, 2 saint, 4 shou disciple, 2 tattooed monk, 1 shiba protector

Drugging up with Luhix for that delicious +2 alchemical bonus to ability scores. We pick up a method of ability score damage immunity to make this nothing but plus.


Wis of 40 (18 + 5 + 5 + 6 + 2 + 2 + 2): tomes, levelup, +6 item, saint, racial, alchemical
Dex of 33 (18 + 5 + 6 +2 +2) tomes, +6 item, +2 Arm of Nyr (Defenders of the Faith), alchemical
Con of 19 (8+2+2+2+5) +2 item, +2 saint, alchemical, tomes
Int of 15 (8+5+2) tomes, alchemical
Str of 17 (8+5+2) tomes, alchemical, arm of nyr
Cha of 17 (8+5+2+2) tomes, alchemical, saint


Prayerful meditation ACF from complete champion: lose still mind, get +2 to saves vs. spells and effects of chaotically aligned creatures and those with an alignment opposite yours on good/evil axis.


Holy strike ACF from CC, ki strike magic -> ki strike holy that deals +1d6 vs. evil targets.


Planar monk sub level 5: lose purity of body, gain energy resistance 5 sonic



AC:
10
+11 dex
+2 monk
+15 wisdom (monk)
+15 wisdom (saint)
+5 defending shuriken
+5 ring of deflection
+2 magic circle against evil Su
+3 shou disciple dodge bonus
+1 bracers of armor
+1 parrying
+1 robe of the vagabond
+3 fighting defensively with tumble synergy


= 74 AC , 73 Touch AC


(Atropus has +54 slams, pandorym +52 ranged touch, so this now prevents them from hitting on anything but 20s.



Fort save: +16 + 5 cloak +4 con + 2 acf + 1 robe of vagabond + 1 parrying +2 great fortitude = 31
Will save: +14 + 15 wis + 5 cloak +2 ACF + 1 robe of vagabond + 1 parrying= 38. Passes all saves.
Ref save: +14 + 11 dex + 5 cloak + 2 ACF + 1 robe of vagabond + 1 parrying= 34.


Domain Draught Pride = 1/400 chance to fail a save if you succeed on 2s.
Unicorn Tattoo = one reroll per day. So more like a 1/8000 chance of failing a save.


Luhix 2,000 per
Ring of Freedom of Movement: say no to grapples. 40,000
Third eye conceal: 120,000
Domain draught: pride. 3300 per.
Two +6 enhancement bonus items, 72,000
Cloak of resistance +5: 25,000
+5 warning shuriken with spellblade keyed to greater dispel magic: 8,560
potion of sheltered vitality: 3000 per (immunity to ability damage and drain)
+1 bracers of armor soulfire 25,000. +5 deflection bonus to AC added as per MIC for 50,000
belt of great fortitude (A&EG) 10,000
Arm of Nyr 12,800 (Defenders of the Faith)
Shadow Hands (a shadow hand stance) 3,000.
Trollbane 90 gp
Feathered wings 10,000
Iridescent Ioun Stone 18,000
Robe of the vagabond 6,000
Boots of speed 12,000
Hand of glory: 8,000
Ring of spell battle: 12,000


= under 450,000 (around 441,000 if one of each consumable is purchased)



elder evil ACs

Show

atropus, AC: 54, touch 15, flat-footed 42
father llymic, AC 31, touch 11, flat footed 28
female hulks AC 32, touch 8, flat footed 32
male hulk, AC 44, touch 20, flat footed 32
aspect of leviathan, AC 26, touch 2, flat footed 26
pandorym, AC 39, touch 25, flat footed 27, INCORPOREAL
Ragnorra first form, AC 36, touch 7, flat footed 35
True mother cord ACs: 47,42,32.
Aspect of Sertrous, AC 39, touch 9, flat footed 36
The worm that walks, AC 38, touch 30, flat footed 36
Zargon, AC 32, touch 10, flat footed 30

So we have a highest target AC of 54, and highest touch of 30.



2 flaw feats, 4 bonus feats of note*, 7 levels of feats


1. intuitive attack
2. weapon focus(unarmed strike),
3. item familiar,
4. two weapon fighting
5. dodge,
6. Shadow blade
7. improved two weapon fighting
8. snap kick
9. Travel devotion to avoid kiting and ensure he can always full attack
endurance* (shou disciple),
power attack* (shou disciple),
great fortitude* (from the A&EG belt)
improved grapple*, monk



Now for his attack routine



13 BAB
+15 intuitive attack
+15 shiba protector
+1 weapon focus
+ 1 ____ necklace of natural weapons, item familiar (+1, holy, martial discipline, magebane, Bane to outsiders, undead, and aberrations)
+2 bane
+3 martial discipline
+2 holy
+2 magebane
-2 snap kick
-2 two weapon fighting
+1 haste (boots of haste) as a side note, he has 100ft movespeed with this on and 130ft fly speed
= +51 base for this consideration
flurrying.
+0/+0/+0/+0/+0/+0/-5/-5/-10/ of the above


UAS damage
2d10 + 1d6/1d8 (saint) + 1d6 (ACF) + 2+2d6 holy +2+2d6 bane + 2+2d6 magebane + 1 +15 (wisdom, shiba protector) + 10 (shadow blade)
2d10 + 7d6 + 1d6/1d8 + 37
72 average vs. evil, 73 average vs. evil outsider/undead. Can add power attack for up to +13 to each.


I think the only elder evils capable of surviving two consecutive full attacks with decent odds are Atropus due to his hp, and Ragnorra due to her odd mechanics.



price of necklace of natural weapons. 600 base, +1 enh +2 holy +1 martial discipline +1 magebane + 3 assorted banes +1 ghost touch = +9, 162,600. WORTH IT



Total value of items ~ under 620,000. Shall we purchase a ring of three wishes and other assorted goodies?


"

Here's my own entry, although it's incomplete (I didn't finish kitting it out), which heavily relies on DCFS cheese:


Vecna-blooded Necropolitan Elf, Monk 8/Psionic Fist 10/Conjurer 1


Show
(Immediate Magic ACF, Invisible Fist ACF)

FEATS (post-DCFS):

  • Azure Talent
  • Wild Talent
  • Improved Essentia Capacity
  • Midnight Augmentation
  • Psycarnum Infusion
  • Open Lesser Chakra (Shoulders)
  • Expanded Knowledge (Schism)
  • Expanded Knowledge (Metamorphosis)
  • Expanded Knowledge (Bestow Power)
  • Metamorphic Transfer
  • Practiced Manifester
  • Overchannel
  • Metapower
  • Linked Power
  • Psicrystal Affinity
  • Psicrystal Containment
  • Psionic Meditation
  • Twin Power
  • Improved Psicrystal
  • Improved Psicrystal
  • Power Attack
  • Improved Bull Rush
  • Shock Trooper
  • Snap Kick
  • Martial Study (Steel Wind)
  • Martial Study (Iron Heart Surge)
  • Leap Attack

PSICRYSTAL FEATS:

  • Shape Soulmeld (Phase Cloak)
  • Martial Study (Douse the Flames)
  • Darkstalker
  • Knowledge Devotion
  • Martial Study (White Raven Tactics)

(Note: these feats are also picked up on the monk via Feat Leech)


Feat sources:

  • 5 feats for dedication to an elder evil (5)
  • 4 MWP feats for being an elf (9)
  • 2 feats from Psionic Fist (11)
  • 7 feats from level-ups (18)
  • 4 bonus feats from monk levels (22)
  • 1 bonus feat from Otyugh Hole (23)
  • 1 bonus feat from wizard (24)
  • Alertness (25)
  • 2 flaws (27)

POWERS KNOWN:

  • Expansion
  • Prescience, Offensive
  • Metaphysical Weapon
  • Psionic Lion’s Charge
  • Power Weapon
  • Feat Leech
  • Hustle
  • Bestow Power
  • Dimension Slide
  • Freedom of Movement, Psionic
  • Metamorphosis
  • Schism
  • Adapt Body

ITEMS OF NOTE:
Ring of Might (because you traded away IUS via DCFS)
+1 Valorous Collision Necklace of Natural Attacks
Wand of Wraithstrike
Eternal wand of Demoncall
Wand of Sacrifical Skill
Torc of Power Preservation
Wand of Silence
Dorje of Psionic Fly (usually unnecessary thanks to ethereal movement, but can come in handy)
Dorje of Chameleon
Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis
Dorje of Compression
Wand of Fireball
Cloak of Turn Resistance
Stat boosters for Intelligence and Wisdom
Monk's gi or bracers of armor with greater shadow/silent moves


For some important notes:

  • Unbeatable stealth thanks to the combination of Vecna-blooded, Darkstalker and Phase Cloak. Yes, even Touchsight is foiled. I'll post the actual numbers with items when I get home, but it's irrelevantly high - the only one to have even a chance of detecting him is Atropus with that +76 listen check, and that's pretty easy to circumvent. Etherealness at will via Phase Cloak allows him to bypass issues with Touchsight.
  • Thanks to Phase Cloak's ethereal movement, you don't even reveal yourself as you charge in at the end, since you remain ethereal until the very end of your charge.
  • Multiple move actions per round via twinned, linked Hustles.
  • Those move actions come in handy - Psycarnum Infusion, Midnight Augmentation and Azure Talent mean that I am constantly refilling myself with temp PP and augmenting powers for free. Fun stuff.
  • Oh, and just in case that's not enough, Bestow Power + Midnight Augmentation means I can completely refill my PP pool when necessary.
  • Access to most relevant magic items thanks to Magic domain.
  • Metamorphosis + Metamorphic Transfer. His main attack form is either sun giant or the simple twelve-headed hydra, cut down to a more stealthy size via Compression, for its easy twelve attacks. However, there's a ton of utility to be had with this one.
  • Pre-DCFS, functions as a pretty decent stealthy Darkstalker monk with PsyWar powers to boost damage. EK (Psychic Reformation), to be DCFS'd out for the final build, means that he can choose powers better suited to leveling up normally, then pick the optimal power layout just before he goes Elder Evil hunting.
  • Precocious Apprentice is a necessary pre-DCFS feat, to qualify for Vecna-blooded.
  • Dedicated to one of the OTHER Elder Evils, in Lords of Madness. Because they obviously want to see these Elder Evils slain, right?
  • Martial Study (White Raven Tactics) on the psicrystal, in case one attack round isn't enough. (NOTE: One attack round should be enough.)
  • Knowledge (religion) checks high enough to auto-succeed on using a sacrifice to summon an efreet for wishes, to be used to transport to each Elder Evil.
  • Against Ragnorra, +9 turn resistance and 19 HD means a decent chance of winning versus the auto-turn effect. But, if he loses, Iron Heart Surge to the rescue!
  • Metamorphosis into a Hoary Hunter, Metamorphic Transfer to pick up the Astral Projection ability, make an astral copy of yourself in case things, er, don't go over well. Just to be on the safe side.
  • Necropolitan and Vecna-blooded/high stealth means you're immune to most of the nasty environmental effects you'll come across, but just to be on the safe side, Adapt Body and Psionic Freedom of Movement.


ATTACK ROUTINE ON A CHARGE:
Metamorphosis into a Sun Giant, Expansion (augmented once) to colossal. (You can pre-cast Metamorphosis if you use Compression to drop down low enough to avoid major stealth penalties. Otherwise, get as close as you can while still avoiding things like Pandorym's 90' Psionic Draw aura before manifesting while hidden.)


Base damage on unarmed strikes is 6d8, with a Strength of 41. Power Weapon to turn your fists into force, having them deal force damage and bypass DR (thanks, Xervous - clever way to get around the DR that had been driving me crazy!).


Charge, flurry, leap attack, full PA (sent to AC), for...


+34/+34/+34/+29/+24 (high enough to hit every single elder evil on anything but a natural 1 alongside Wraithstrike)


6d8 +14 (Psionic Lion’s Charge) +15 Strength +26 PA/Leap Attack +5 enhancement +7 prescience +5 collision +3 knowledge devotion
=6d8+75 per hit, doubled for valorous, for an average of 204 points of force damage. If all five attacks hit (they should barring natural 1s, as you’re making them as touch attacks and surprising your enemy to boot), that’s 1,020 points of damage, well above the highest HP of any elder evil.


Have your psicrystal then use White Raven Tactics to give you an additional turn. Deliver the killing blow if necessary, and use one of your remaining efreet wishes to wish that elder evil dead and gone.


(Note that this assumes a roll of a 1 on the knowledge devotion check, giving the minimum +3 bonus.)


Against Father Llymic he will turn into a forest giant instead of a sun giant.


Against Pandorym, all buffing is done outside of the 90' range (easily done, since the round of the charge he doesn't need both moves from twinned Hustle and can move in and charge from 210' away).


Iron Heart Surge is mostly there for nasty positive energy effects, especially if he gets hit with Ragnorra's CL 20 turn effect (the CL 14 version doesn't worry him).


I'm sure I've forgotten something or there's something obvious that could be done to improve this, but that's a start. Just scanned over all the elder evils entries again, and I'm quite confident that this can take any of them on. I'm also well below WBL, and that could certainly be optimized a lot more than it is.   Like boots or a wand of haste, which I somehow forgot. Hey, an extra attack would do quite well, upping the average damage to 1,226 and making natural ones less of a big deal when fighting the super high HP elder evils like Atropus.

I'm in a hurry now, so I'll post again later, but... Isn't Intuitive Attack an exalted feat, therefore requiring Vow of Poverty?
Exalted Feats do not require anything other than that you are GOOD! with emphasis on the fact you never EVER do anything remotely evil this can be somewhat ambiguous and depends a lot on GM rule. Some feats of course list specific other prereqs but by default the above criteria must be met for any Exalted Feat. Some DMs relax specifically on Intuitive Attack and a few others just because they fit theme for things other than Exalted.
It is exalted, but exalted feats don't require VoP.  VoP grants you lots of bonus exalted feats, but you can take them on their own even without it (although you must adhere to a pretty strict code of conduct or risk losing them).
With 11 monk, 2 saint, 4 shou disciple, 2 tattooed monk, 1 shiba protector

Con of 19 (8+2+2+2+5) +2 item, +2 saint, alchemical, tomes



I was wondering: How this guy did survive so long as a primary melee class up to level 20 with Constitution 8? How he did in his first levels?


This might to be a great build, but it seems to be one of those "impracticable builds", just like the character was born level 20. Our DM hates this kind of build.


Sure, I really want a build that gives maximum unarmed damage possible, where "possible" means that while making munchkin combos, they should work in game from level 1 to level 20.


I'll take a look at that topic, page per page. Anyway, your approach...


Here's my own entry, although it's incomplete (I didn't finish kitting it out), which heavily relies on DCFS cheese:


Vecna-blooded Necropolitan Elf, Monk 8/Psionic Fist 10/Conjurer 1



Ok... What about this:


Monk 4/Psionic Fist 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshape 2/Swordsage 1


I consider that "Psionic Fist" and "Fist of the Forest" qualify as "Monkish PrC", right? In my case, without the requirement of 17 monkish levels, I could think about this:




Monk 2/Psionic Fist 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshape 4/Swordsage 1


Many people said that it's worthless to take more than 2 levels as monk. They also said that Psionic Fist is inferior if comparad with Psionic Warrior, but some builds are made using then. And many people recomend 3 levels in Fist of the Forest, 2~4 levels in Warshape and 1~2 levels in Swordsage.


Even yet, is this build still weaker than Tashalatora Psionic Warrior or Ardent or Unarmed Swordsage?


And I must to confess that I'm still surprised: So Monk 2/Ardent 18 (or Psionic Warrior) are really more powerfull than Monk 2/Unarmed Swordsage 18 (or Swordsage 20)? If so, I'll try this Monk/Psionic build.


I'm confused: Many players say that Ardents are more powerful than Psionic Warriors. But some players says that Monk/Psionic Warriors makes a much better fighter (in the real meaning of the word, not in D&D sense) than Ardents. As I said in my first post, I'd like to create a character that works as primary melee class! So, if Tashalatora Monk/Psionic is the best option, which one should I take? Monk 2/Psionic Warrior 18 or Monk 2/Ardent 18?



Thanks in advance.



I was wondering: How this guy did survive so long as a primary melee class up to level 20 with Constitution 8? How he did in his first levels?

This might to be a great build, but it seems to be one of those "impracticable builds", just like the character was born level 20. Our DM hates this kind of build.




Well, this was specifically a contest to make an ECL 20 build that could solo all the encounters in the Elder Evils book, so coming up through the levels was probably not the biggest concern for Xervous.  That being said, the Saint template gives several defensive bonuses and fast healing, and bumps his Con up to 10, so that probably helps a fair bit.
 

Ok... What about this:

Monk 4/Psionic Fist 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshape 2/Swordsage 1


I consider that "Psionic Fist" and "Fist of the Forest" qualify as "Monkish PrC", right? In my case, without the requirement of 17 monkish levels, I could think about this:




Monk 2/Psionic Fist 10/Fist of the Forest 3/Warshape 4/Swordsage 1


Many people said that it's worthless to take more than 2 levels as monk. They also said that Psionic Fist is inferior if comparad with Psionic Warrior, but some builds are made using then. And many people recomend 3 levels in Fist of the Forest, 2~4 levels in Warshape and 1~2 levels in Swordsage.


Even yet, is this build still weaker than Tashalatora Psionic Warrior or Ardent or Unarmed Swordsage?


And I must to confess that I'm still surprised: So Monk 2/Ardent 18 (or Psionic Warrior) are really more powerfull than Monk 2/Unarmed Swordsage 18 (or Swordsage 20)? If so, I'll try this Monk/Psionic build.


I'm confused: Many players say that Ardents are more powerful than Psionic Warriors. But some players says that Monk/Psionic Warriors makes a much better fighter (in the real meaning of the word, not in D&D sense) than Ardents. As I said in my first post, I'd like to create a character that works as primary melee class! So, if Tashalatora Monk/Psionic is the best option, which one should I take? Monk 2/Psionic Warrior 18 or Monk 2/Ardent 18?


Thanks in advance.





How exactly are you qualifying for Psionic Fist in all of these builds?  It requires BAB +4 and 9 ranks in Concentration, plus Still Mind.  The earliest you can qualify for it is ECL 6, with at least three of those levels being monk levels.

Also, Warshaper doesn't do much for you unless you have a reliable means of changing shape, preferably one that is more or less permanent.  It opens up some nice benefits, sure, but only when you're in a new form.

As for Psionic Fist versus psychic warrior, yeah, psywar is strictly better.   But Psionic Fist is a far cry better than straight monk.  Also, in the contest I linked to, it was required that you take either monk or a class that progresses monk features, and progressing via Tashalatora or the Ascetic feats was explicitly ruled to NOT count.  Under those rules, Psionic Fist became a lot better.

Anyhow, I'm not sure why you're surprised that a Monk 2/Ardent 18 is more powerful than, say, an unarmed swordsage, a psychic warrior, or whatever.  High level ardents can pick up powers like Bend Reality, Greater Teleport, Timeless Body, Hypercognition, Time Regression, Temporal Acceleration, Mass Time Hop, and a whole host of powers more.  Those are just a few things that an ardent can get that your typical psywar CAN'T pick up (typically because they're too high level for him to nab with EK), and of course leave out a ton of other excellent powers.  There's very little that, say, an unarmed swordsage can do to compare to much of this, despite the fact that unarmed swordsage is a pretty solid class choice.

Regarding which class does melee better, well, they both do it fairly well.  As I mentioned before, I like psychic warriors more than I like ardents, but that's more a question of personal preference - ardents are strictly the stronger class.  I guess it really depends on what you actually want to do.  I mean, OK, you want to be a good melee martial artist.  Great.  What do you actually envision your character doing?  If it's something that requires long feat chains, go psywar.  If it's something that involves bending and shaping the world around you, go ardent.

We can also help you better if you describe precisely what you want your character to be capable of.  You can make a halfway decent martial artist out of just about any class (even straight monk, although it's difficult :P).  But when you sit down and play this character, what kind of options do you envision?  What do you want him to be capable of?  How do you want to deal with various threats?  The more specific you are, the more we can help you.
If your dm hates builds that seem born at 20 why come to char op? The process of optimizing a character before use is very important if you want a strong character. Otherwise even a simple skillpoint could throw off presteige entry or a feat and bump it up levels higher then normal. If your dm doesn't like a build designed for 20, or one layed out already then you don't really need to optimize since he will just hate it more.
Really frost.fire? That's a really common GM and even player request, that a character be realistically playable 1-20. Dead levels (particularily large clusters, and early ones) mean dead characters. Most of the builds I share on here are playable (if not always strongly so) from 1-20, or I wouldn't bother. 
If your dm hates builds that seem born at 20 why come to char op? The process of optimizing a character before use is very important if you want a strong character. Otherwise even a simple skillpoint could throw off presteige entry or a feat and bump it up levels higher then normal. If your dm doesn't like a build designed for 20, or one layed out already then you don't really need to optimize since he will just hate it more.


I certainly hate builds that are "born at 20" even if that is the level many characters plan their builds out to.  I believe it is one thing to have an idea how something should look at 20th-level but it should be playable, and even adjustable, along the way.

Perhaps everyone thinks they need every single skill point, feat, class, and even spell and magic item throught out before they begin playing but that is just overkill.  Should you have an idea what those things could/should be?  Yes.  Should they be inevitable targets that must be hit regardless of what is actually happening in game? No.  While I believe in having a plan I also believe there should be room in that plan for other things that aren't entirely focused on one thing.
 
The "Born 20" issue is not of my complain. And it's not the main subject here.

Looking at Ardent, they seems to be the Wizards (maybe a little less versatile) among psionic classes. Yet, it seems that while they can reach higher levels of Psionic Power, they doesn't have access to powers like Expansion, Claw of the Vampire and Strenght of my enemy.

So how can Ardents use their psionic power to improve their melee combat ability? Is that really so different than Psionic Warriors?
Looking at Ardent, they seems to be the Wizards (maybe a little less versatile) among psionic classes..

The real psionic "wizard" would probably be the erudite, or the psion if you want a more basic equivalent.

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

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass 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.
The "Born 20" issue is not of my complain. And it's not the main subject here.

Looking at Ardent, they seems to be the Wizards (maybe a little less versatile) among psionic classes. Yet, it seems that while they can reach higher levels of Psionic Power, they doesn't have access to powers like Expansion, Claw of the Vampire and Strenght of my enemy.

So how can Ardents use their psionic power to improve their melee combat ability? Is that really so different than Psionic Warriors?



Expanded Knowledge is absolutely your friend here.  It's one of the nice things about psionics, and it really serves to make the system very modular.

Anyhow, looking at mantles for buffs and other useful melee options, we've got...

CONFLICT
Metaphysical Weapon, Offensive Prescience, Psionic Lion's Charge, Dimension Slide, Immovability, Graft Weapon, Spirit of War

DECEPTION
Concealing Amorpha, Bend Reality

DESTRUCTION
Dissipating touch, dissolving touch, dissolving weapon

ELEMENTS
Earth walk, adapt body, blackstone hammer

EVIL
Protection from good, planar apotheosis, planar embrace

FATE
Defensive precog, offensive precog, greater precog, fate of one

FORCE
Force screen, deflection field

FREEDOM
Dimension hop, hustle, fly, freedom of movement

GOOD
Protection from evil, planar apotheosis, planar embrace

GUARDIAN
Thicken skin, iron body

JUSTICE
Perfect riposte

LAW
Grip of iron, hammer, immovability, steadfast perception, iron body, timeless body

LIFE
Body purification, mend wounds, true metabolism

NATURAL WORLD
Metaphysical claw, animal affinity, metamorphosis

PHYSICAL POWER
Adrenaline boost, vigor, animal affinity, graft weapon, psychofeedback, true metabolism

TIME
Anticipatory strike, temporal acceleration, mass time hop, time regression

I didn't list every useful power, just what a quick scan of CPsi suggested might be useful for a monkish character.  Many of these would actually be pretty silly to take.  My point is more that you can actually build a pretty good monkish character with just these powers.  Nab EK for some particularly juicy others, such as expansion, strength of my enemy or share pain, and you're golden.

(And if your DM allows substitute powers as per this mind's eye ACF, you may not even need EK...)
I sent an e-mail the DM, asking if he will accept the Mind's Eyes upgrade. If so, that will be a better ideia to take Monk 2/Ardent 18. If not, I'll have to use Expanded Knowledge.

Am I wrong or Expansion is the greatest of Psionic Warrior's power? Claw of Vampire seems good too.
I sent an e-mail the DM, asking if he will accept the Mind's Eyes upgrade. If so, that will be a better ideia to take Monk 2/Ardent 18. If not, I'll have to use Expanded Knowledge.

Am I wrong or Expansion is the greatest of Psionic Warrior's power? Claw of Vampire seems good too.


The psychic warrior list has a lot of great powers on it - just about everything a warrior could ask for. (Some of my favorites: Expansion, Strength of My Enemy, Dimension Slide, Hustle (as a level 2 power), Power Weapon, Inconstant Location, Form of Doom, and so on.) DisposableHero's Psycarnum Warrior build in my signature shows just how amazing several of those are, by concentrating on buff effects and finding a way to get them all online all the time at full augment. Basically, that list is their greatest class feature.

However, the universal problem with the psychic warrior - the limiting factor you have to consider that keeps them from being the single best warrior class ever - is that their power points are kind of low, especially at low levels. Cunning (or cheesy) use of equipment can circumvent this - a quiver of manifester arrows is the usual example of something that busts that restriction, but is likely to be banned or patched - but otherwise you have to be extremely frugal with your power points, even moreso than other psionic characters. (New players to psionics tend to manifest nothing but fully-augmented powers all the time, which means they tend to run low on power points by the second or third encounter daily and are completely out by the fourth.)

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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.

... just about everything a warrior could ask for.



That's what I'm looking for.

As far as I can see, Ardent seems to be powerful and versatile, so that's why I compared them with Wizards.

What I expect is this: To be a very respectable melee combatant and to have some supernatural abilities (e.g.: to teleport in combat and blast enemies. Area of Effect damage would be nice too). If it's possible to do that, it's alright. I prefer to be a warrior with some spellcasting than to be a spellcaster with some melee ability.

I really want to play an Ardent because the seem to be powerful, but it feels like they lack the abilities to be primary melee characteres. Some players seems to think the same.

In any case, I'm still new to D&D and I have a lot of things to learn. That's why I'm looking for tips.

DisposableHero's Psycarnum Warrior build in my signature shows just how amazing several of those are, by concentrating on buff effects and finding a way to get them all online all the time at full augment. Basically, that list is their greatest class feature.



Can you please give me more details (or a link) about this build?
As far as I can see, Ardent seems to be powerful and versatile, so that's why I compared them with Wizards.


Ardents are usually more compared to clerics (relatively sturdy chassis, access to themed powers, comparatively unique access to healing, emphasis on buffs but not limited to buffs); psions are comparable to sorcerers and the erudite is the analogue of the wizard. Wilders and psychic warriors are unique among manifesters in that there isn't a clear core analogue. (Psywars are sometimes compared to duskblades, but they play totally differently - psywars are all about buffing and using powers as tactical support, while duskblades are about using melee to support their damage spells.)

The thing to note with psionics in general, but ardents in particular, is that they may have the raw power and versatility as a class, but an individual character will not have that same ability. Just as a sorcerer has access to every wizard spell but can only learn a few, really. Ardents in particular are limited because they don't have a "class power list" - meaning, for example, if an ardent found a dorje or a psicrown, he couldn't use it unless the power inside was on one of his mantles. (Normally, say, a sorcerer could pick up any staff with sorcerer/wizard spells and use it just fine. Psions and wilders can do something similar, provided the power is on the Psion/Wilder list (instead of one of the discipline-specific lists that the character in question can't access). Ardents don't have a general list - for instance, if they wanted to use the Psicrown of the Astral Legion (XPH), they'd need either the Creation mantle or Expanded Knowledge (Astral Construct).)

What I expect is this: To be a very respectable melee combatant and to have some supernatural abilities (e.g.: to teleport in combat and blast enemies. Area of Effect damage would be nice too). If it's possible to do that, it's alright. I prefer to be a warrior with some spellcasting than to be a spellcaster with some melee ability.


Be advised that blasting really, really, really sucks in 3.5. If you like numbers-based arguments, consider that most damage effects scale at 1d6 (average 3.5) per level, up to some particular cap, but only if the target fails their save. Meanwhile, targets continue to get better and better saving throws / resistances / immunities, tend to gain more than 3.5 hit points per CR, and can continue to act while damaged. In 3.5, the only hit point that matters is the last one.

I really want to play an Ardent because the seem to be powerful, but it feels like they lack the abilities to be primary melee characteres. Some players seems to think the same.


1) If you want to play it, then play an ardent! They're perfectly capable of carrying their own weight and then some, although they do take some finesse to build properly due to their primary/secondary mantle power concerns.
2) I would disagree with that sentiment. Right from the start, ardents were declared a "psi-gish in a can!" and that has stood the test of time. They lend themselves better to pure manifesting, sure, but they can still beat face with the best of them if you pick the right mantles.
3) That said, the psychic warrior will outshine the ardent in that area. (However, the psywar cannot outshine the ardent in pure manifesting, which can take many different forms.)

DisposableHero's Psycarnum Warrior build in my signature shows just how amazing several of those are, by concentrating on buff effects and finding a way to get them all online all the time at full augment. Basically, that list is their greatest class feature.

 

Can you please give me more details (or a link) about this build?


Did you disable forum signatures? If that's the case, all the builds "in my sig" are indexed here

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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.