I need some help with mechanic I'm trying to develop for a custom 10 level Prestige Class for the monk, which would deal damage based on momentum.
The class itself has features and abilities that allow the monk to traverse the environment around him quickly and easily, but it mostly involves running and jumping and sonic-the-hedgehog'ing around. Better whip out your physics degrees.
The mechanic I have in mind would involve the monk dealing additional damage from the momentum of his movements and increased land speed. You’re gonna see the word “momentum” a lot here.
The idea originally came from a high-level encounter I had a few years ago while running a monk who has a very high base speed. He charged an enemy who used a readied action to throw up a wall of force in his path. My monk hit the wall at around 76mph (I did the math). Since my monk is so ridiculously fast, the DM ruled that I took bludgeoning damage from it as if I was falling (since a Wall of Force is invisible, I had no way of bracing for impact). It was fair and makes sense.
Since then I’ve wondered about the mechanics of it. If a high level monk built the right way can run straight into a wall and be dealt more damage than his normal unarmed strike, then where does that kinetic energy go when the monk charges an enemy? I get the essence of a monk is about control. I'm pretty sure the reason the extra speed doesn't translate into additional damage is because the monk is trying to prevent injury to himself while dealing lethal damage to others.
But screw that for 2 seconds. If they can figure out how to use Quivering Palm, then I think a prestige class of Monks should believably be able to train themselves to avoid recoil damage.
Looking at pre-existing abilities, here's what I’ve got to work with:
- The Powerful Charge Feats (MH): 1d8 on a charge, 2d6 for the Greater version; damage depends on size. This isn't exactly what I'm looking for; I’d like for this damage to be scaled with the monk's momentum, not just a really savage charge.
- Flying kick feat (CW): deal 1d12 on a charge, lots of monk related prerequisites. Same deal here.
- Skirmish (Scout ability, CA): Deals 1d6 precision-based damage (like sneak attack) on all attacks after moving at least 10ft, which increases by 1d6 every 4 levels to a max of 5d6 at 19th level. Also gains bonus to AC. This mechanic is the one that best fits my criteria, but there are still some issues to address.
- Power Attack: -1 on attack rolls for +1 damage, max = BAB. It doesn’t necessarily involve charging, but it does involve swinging harder to deal more damage, which is technically along the same lines of what we’re trying to accomplish.
- Fall damage: Every 10ft = 1d6 damage.
- Falling objects: Based on weight, a 200lb object can deal 1d6 damage if it falls 10ft. These two were the original basis for the mechanic, just on a more horizontal level (as in the monk throwing himself at full speed at a target).
So, with all these in mind, what sounds the most balanced? Blanket rules would be that this additional damage is added to his unarmed strike / weapon damage (cause we’re hitting harder via moving faster) and would be multiplied on a critical hit. Assume the monk is not allowed move back and forth 5ft like a munchkin; it would be required he move in some kind of forward direction – as in a turning limit of 90 degrees max per 5ft of movement, possibly even restricting it to a charge.
- The monk deals 1d6 additional damage with his melee attack after moving at least 10ft since the start of his turn, to a max of 1d6 per 10ft of his base speed per level of the prestige class.
- The monk deals +1 damage per 5 ft traveled since the start of his turn to his attacks, to a maximum = to his Prestige Class Level (or base speed /10, or something). Doubled if charging.
- The monk deals an additional 1d6 for every 20ft of movement traveled before the attack. The rate increases to 1d6 per 10ft if the monk charges. Max bonus of +20d6, limited to 2d6 per hit die or something?)
Consider the following:
In addition to the limitations stated above, the monk will still have to be able to see his target. This means that charging from +100ft away requires the space to do so and the ability to reach his target. Things can and will get in the way. The class does have ways to avoid or circumvent some of these issues, but it’s reliant on the situation of the monks’ immediate environment)
Charging is hard! In most encounters, you’ll see someone charge no more than, say, 3 times before the wizard kills everything. Granted, it’s something everyone can do, but honestly, once you’ve charged, you ain’t doing it again on the same guy unless you spend a turn getting away, or charging to another valid target, both of which is not exactly safe unless feats are involved.
This prestige class doesn’t require or involve the spring attack/mobility tree, but it could be worked in tandem with the ability – each attack gaining momentum damage as he moves until he gets interrupted or his turn ends. Likewise, the charging feats could play into this as well.
The monk could be required to expend a stunning fist attempt to use the ability (stunning fist being a prerequisite for the class).
Speaking of prerequisites, the prestige class requires the following:
--Dex 13, Con 13, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Run.
--Alignment: Any Lawful (this **** takes discipline)
--Skills: Jump 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks
Baseline is that you’ll need to be at least lvl 5 to start taking this class.
That’s all I can think of. Find your opinions of this and tell them to me. +20 Thank You's in advanced!
tl/dr: What’s a good custom mechanic for dealing bonus damage that scales with the monk’s speed in a non-game-breaky way?