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The Hive Custodian
23rd of October, 2005, 03:52
Martial Artist (replaces monk)

Alignment: Any lawful (standard)/any (Theory of Alignment II).
Hit Die: d8.
Skill Base: 4.
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Base Attack Bonus: +3/4 per level (as cleric).
Good Saves (2 + 1/2 per level): All.
Armor and Weapon Proficiency: Club, crossbow (light, heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, sling.

Class Features:
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the martial artist adds their Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. This bonus improves by 1 at 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the martial artist is flat-footed. They lose these bonuses when they are immobilized or helpless, when they wear any armor, when they use a shield, or when they carry a medium or heavy load.

Unarmed Strike (Ex): At 1st level, the martial artist gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A martial artist's attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a martial may even make unarmed strikes with their hands full. This does not allow the martial artist to make more attacks than normal, even if they are wielding other weapons in their hands.
Usually a martial artist's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but they can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on the attack roll. They have the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A martial artist's unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

Open Fist (Ex): A martial artist gains a +2 bonus to damage with unarmed strikes when fighting bare-handed (not using gauntlets or weapons). This bonus improves by 2 at 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th). This bonus does not apply to off-hand attacks.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, the martial artist can select either Stunning Fist or Weapon Marital Style as a bonus feat.

Martial Style ability (Ex): At 1st level and every four martial artist levels thereafter (5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th), the martial artist gains two Martial Style abilities. The abilities must be from different trees. See Martial Style Abilities, below.
They may only use these abilties when not encumbered, not using armor or a shield, and striking only with natural weapons or special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). Martial style abilities cannot be applied to off-hand attacks.

Ki Adept ability: At 2nd level and every four martial artist levels thereafter (2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th), the martial artist gains a Ki Adept ability. See Ki Adept Abilities, below.

Ki Celerity ability (Ex): At 3rd level and every three martial artist levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th), the martial artist gains a Ki Celerity ability. See Ki Celerity Abilities, below.
They may only use these abilties when not encumbered and not using armor or a shield.

Ki Initiate ability: At 3rd level and every two martial artist levels thereafter (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th), the martial artist gains a Ki Initiate ability. See Ki Initiate Abilities, below.

Ki Master ability: At 4th level and every four martial artist levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th), the martial artist gains a Ki Master ability. See Ki Master Abilities, below.

Martial Style Abilities (Ex):
Note: Indented bullets denote prerequisites.

Flurry of Blows: The martial artist may make one extra melee attack in a round at their highest base attack bonus. However, all attacks made that round, including off-hand attacks, take a -2 penalty. This penalty lasts until the martial artist's next turn. The martial artist must make a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows and cannot apply style bonuses to the attacks.
Improved Flurry: When striking with a flurry of blows, the martial artist only suffers a -1 penalty to attacks.
Greater Flurry: When striking with a flurry of blows, the martial artist no longer suffers any penalty to attacks.
Flurry Storm: When striking with a flurry of blows, the martial artist makes two extra attacks instead of one.
Quicken Flurry: The martial artist may make two melee attacks instead of one with a standard action. Hail of Shots: The martial artist may make one extra ranged attack in a round at their highest base attack bonus. However, all attacks made that round, including off-hand attacks, take a -2 penalty. This penalty lasts until the martial artist's next turn. The martial artist must make a full attack action to fire a hail of shots and cannot apply style bonuses to the attacks. This ability cannot be combined with Rapid Shot, but the martial artist counts as having the Rapid Shot feat for purposes of prerequisites.
Improved Hail: When firing a hail of shots, the martial artist only suffers a -1 penalty to attacks.
Greater Hail: When firing a hail of shots, the martial artist no longer suffers any penalty to attacks.
Hail Storm: When firing a hail of shots, the martial artist makes two extra attacks instead of one.
Quicken Hail: The martial artist may make two ranged attacks instead of one with a standard action. Ki Celerity Abilities (Ex):
Fast Movement: The martial artist gains an enhancement bonus of 10 feet to their land speed. This ability can be selected multiple times. Its effects stack with itself, but not other enhancement bonuses to speed.

Ki Initiate Abilities:
Ki Body (Su): The martial artist chooses a self-affecting spell, which can then be used as a supernatural ability.
Restrictions: The spell must be able to affect the martial artist using the ability. The spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 2, rounding up. It cannot have a material component costing more than 1 gp, nor can it have an XP cost. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, it counts as taking up a slot of one level higher than normal.
Uses Per Day: Equal to the number of bonus spells based on Wisdom for the spell slot's level (minimum 1 use per day).
Caster Level: Equal to the martial artist's level.
Save DC (if applicable): Equal to 10 + 1/2 the martial artist's level + the martial artist's Wisdom modifier.
Activation Time: As the spell's casting time.
Target: The supernatural ability targets only the martial artist who uses it, regardless of its normal range of available targets. If the spell cannot target the martial artist who uses it, it cannot be selected for this ability.
Metamagic: The martial artist may apply any applicable metamagic feat to the spell selected (subject to spell slot restrictions). The martial artist need not have the feat in question.
Replacing abilities: At 7th level and every odd-numbered level thereafter, the martial artist may replace an existing Ki Body or Ki Touch ability with a new one. The spell duplicated by the new ability must take up a spell slot of equal or lesser level than that of the one being replaced, and the new spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 4, rounding up.

Ki Touch (Su): The martial artist chooses a touch spell, which can then be used as a supernatural ability.
Restrictions: The spell must have a range of touch and an instantaneous duration. The spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 2, rounding up. It cannot have a material component costing more than 1 gp, nor can it have an XP cost.
Uses Per Day: Equal to the number of bonus spells based on Wisdom for the spell slot's level (minimum 1 use per day). If the spell allows multiple touches per casting, the martial artist gets that many touches per use per day.
Caster Level: Equal to the martial artist's level.
Save DC (if applicable): Equal to 10 + 1/2 the martial artist's level + the martial artist's Wisdom modifier.
Activation Time: As the spell's casting time. When choosing a spell with a casting time of no longer than 1 standard action, the martial artist may choose to have the spell be delivered through unarmed strikes instead normal touches; the use such an ability does not take up any additional time beyond that needed to make an unarmed strike. To use such an ability, the martial artist must declare the use of the ability before making the attack roll. If the martial artist hits and deals damage, the ability is delivered to the target (saving throws apply as normal). Otherwise, the use of the ability fails (but still counts against the uses per day).
Metamagic: The martial artist may apply any applicable metamagic feat to the spell selected (subject to spell slot restrictions). The martial artist need not have the feat in question.
Replacing abilities: At 7th level and every odd-numbered level thereafter, the martial artist may replace an existing Ki Body or Ki Touch ability with a new one. The spell duplicated by the new ability must take up a spell slot of equal or lesser level than that of the one being replaced, and the new spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 4, rounding up.

School Resistance (Ex): The martial artist gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against one school of magic. This ability may be selected multiple times, selecting a different school of magic each time.

Ki Strike, Magic (Su): Any bare-handed unarmed attack the martial artist makes is counted as a magical weapon for purposes of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction.

Timeless Body (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 15th. The martial artist no longer takes penalties to their ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that they have already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the martial artist still dies of old age when their time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 7th. The martial artist can speak with and understand the speech of any living creature, provided the creature has an Intelligence of at least 3.
Tongue of Bone and Steel (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 11th. The martial artist can speak with and understand the speech of nonliving creatures as well as living creatures. Any other restrictions (such as minimum Intelligence) still apply.
Tongue of Leaf and Claw (Su): Minimum martial artist level 15th. The martial artist can speak with and understand the speech of creatures regardless of their Intelligence score (or lack therof).Slow Fall (Ex): If the martial artist is within arm's reach of a wall, they can use it to slow their descent. The martial artist reduces the distance fallen by 5 feet per martial artist level for purposes of determining falling damage.

Wholeness of Body (Su): The martial artist can heal themself each day for a number of hit points equal to their martial artist level x Wisdom modifier. The martial artist can spread this healing out among multiple uses.

Ki Adept Abilities:
Ki Strike, Adamantine (Su): Minimum martial artist level 10th. Any bare-handed unarmed attack the martial artist makes is counted as an adamantine weapon for purposes of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

Ki Strike, Aligned (Su): Minimum martial artist level 6th. Choose chaos, evil, good, or law; the martial artist be of the selected alignment. Any bare-handed unarmed attack the martial artist makes is counted as that alignment for purposes of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. This ability can be selected multiple times, choosing a new alignment each time.

Purity of Body (Ex): The martial artist is immune to all diseases except for supernatural and magical diseases.

Bonus Feat: The martial artist gains a bonus feat. This ability can be selected multiple times.

Ki Master Abilities:
Evasion (Ex): On a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the martial artist instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the martial artist is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless martial artist does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Improved Evasion (Ex): The martial artist still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but also only takes half damage on a failed save. A helpless martial artist does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.Diamond Body (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 8th. The martial artist gains immunity to poison of all kinds.

Diamond Soul (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 12th. The martial artist gains spell resistance equal to their martial artist level + 10.

Diamond Skin (Su): Minimum martial artist level 20th. The martial artist gains damage reduction 10/magic.

Exchange Notes
The martial artist's improved unarmed capability is considered a Medium ability.
The martial artist's Ki Celerity abilities, taken as a unit, are considered a 2 EP ability.
Ki Initiate abilities are considered Minor abilities.
Ki Adept abilities are considered Medium abilities.
Ki Master abilities are considered Major abilities.

With the DM's permission, an ability can be exchanged for an ability of equivalent type from another class.

The Hive Custodian
23rd of October, 2005, 03:53
Martial Style Abilities:
Pinpoint Blow: The martial artist gains a +1 style bonus to melee attack rolls. This style may be taken multiple times; its effects stack.
Needle Shot: The martial artist gains a +1 style bonus to ranged attack rolls. This style may be taken multiple times; its effects stack.

Ki Celerity Abilities:
Adept Climber: The martial artist retains their Dexterity bonus to AC when climbing and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened while climbing.
> Master Climber: Requires Adept Climber. The martial artist gains a climb speed equal to one-quarter their base land speed, rounding up.
>> Fast Climber: Requires Master Climber. The martial artist increases their climb speed by 5 feet and gains a +4 bonus to Climb checks. This ability can be selected multiple times. Its effects stack.
Adept Swimmer: The martial artist can always choose to take 10 on Swim checks, even when distracted or endangered when swimming, and can use the run action while swimming, provided that they swim in a straight line.
> Master Swimmer: Requires Adept Swimmer. The martial artist gains a swim speed equal to one-quarter their base land speed, rounding up.
>> Fast Swimmer: Requires Master Swimmer. The martial artist increases their swim speed by 5 feet and gains a +4 bonus to Swim checks. This ability can be selected multiple times. Its effects stack.

Ki Initiate Abilities:
Improvised Weapons (Ex): The martial artist can alter their bare-handed unarmed damage to deal piercing and/or slashing type damage in addition to bludgeoning. This can be accomplished by using improvised weapons or even biting and clawing. However, the unarmed strike damage does not take on any of the other aspects of the weapon, such as base damage, reach, nonproficiency penalties, and enhancement bonuses.
Meditative Rest (Ex): Instead of sleeping (or trancing) normally, the martial artist can meditate. While meditating, the martial artist is not helpless and suffers no penalty to Listen checks. The martial artist need only meditate for one-eighth the time they would normally need to spend sleeping or trancing.

Ki Adept Abilities:
Ki Strike, Silver (Su): Any bare-handed unarmed attack the martial artist makes is counted as a silver weapon for purposes of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction.
Ki Strike, Cold Iron (Su): Any bare-handed unarmed attack the martial artist makes is counted as a cold iron weapon for purposes of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): The martial artist can react to danger before their senses would normally allow them to do so. They retain their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if they are caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
> Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Requires Uncanny Dodge. The martial artist can no longer be flanked.
This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the martial artist by flanking them, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has martial artist levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.
If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Ki Master Abilities:

Feats:

ADDITIONAL MARTIAL STYLE [GENERAL, FIGHTER]
Benefit: You gain an additional martial style. You can only have one martial style in a given tree, plus one for every four levels you have after 1st.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times.

DOUBLE OPEN FIST [GENERAL, FIGHTER]
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: You may apply bonus damage from Open Fist to off-hand attacks.
Normal: You cannot apply bonus damage from Open Fist to off-hand attacks.

HEAVY UNARMED STRIKE [GENERAL, FIGHTER]
Prerequisite: Improved Unarmed Strike
Benefit: You may make unarmed strikes as two-handed attacks. When you do so, your unarmed strike damage die increases by two types. (For example, for a Medium creature, it increases from 1d3 to 1d6.)
Special: If you are a martial artist, when you make unarmed strikes as two-handed attacks, the damage bonus from Open Fist increases by 1, plus 1 for every 5 full martial artist levels you have.

TWO-WEAPON MARTIAL STYLE [GENERAL, FIGHTER]
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: You may apply your martial style abilities to off-hand attacks. In the case of Flurry of Blows or Hail of Shots, the extra attack(s) apply to the off-hand as well as the primary hand.
Normal: You cannot apply your martial style abilities to off-hand attacks.

WEAPON MARTIAL STYLE [GENERAL, FIGHTER]
Choose one type of weapon.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, one or more martial style abilities.
Benefit: You may use your martial style abilities with the selected weapon.
Normal: You can only use martial style abilities when striking only with unarmed strikes or special martial artist weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham).
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

nightinverse
23rd of October, 2005, 03:59
I'm not sure if I wish to replace the monk, but I am considering this, and it's looking more appealling as I go...

The Hive Custodian
23rd of October, 2005, 04:22
It's a work in progress. Any comments?

Standard Monk Layout:

Martial Style Abilities: Flurry and Hail. (all, at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th level.)
Bonus Feat (1st).
Ki Celerity Abilities: Fast Movement (all; at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th.)
Ki Initiate Abilities: School Resistance (Enchantment) (3rd), Ki Strike (Magic) (5th), Wholeness of Body (7th), Tongue of the Sun and Moon (9th), Slow Fall (11th), Supernatural Ability (Dimension Door) (13th), Supernatural Ability (Slay Living) (15th), Timeless Body (17th), Supernatural Ability (Ethereal Jaunt) (19th).
Ki Adept Abilities: Bonus Feat (2nd), Purity of Body (6th), Bonus Feat (10th), Ki Strike (aligned) (14th), Ki Strike (adamantine) (18th).
Ki Master Abilities: Evasion (4th), Improved Evasion (8th), Diamond Body (12th), Diamond Soul (16th), Diamond Skin (20th).

Lots of levels get moved, but the end result is about the same. The martial artist does get more uses of supernatural abilities at high level and a couple more martial styles.

Questions:

Do you consider Evasion to be more powerful than Uncannny Dodge?

Should Purity of Body be downgraded to Initiate level or extended to grant immunity to magical and supernatural diseases? Currently, it seems to be inferior to Supernatural Ability (Remove Disease) or some such.

nightinverse
23rd of October, 2005, 04:32
I like the varied trees of abilities, for one. Good point.

Doomsmile
23rd of October, 2005, 06:35
I'd think it'd be a better alternative to monk, not a replacment.
And the feats should probably have improved unarmed strike as prerequisites.

The Hive Custodian
27th of October, 2005, 07:52
Well, it can do everything the monk can, if you customize it that way. Or you could customize it an entirely different direction.

As for the feat prerequisites, I doubt anybody's who's not a martial artist will select those feats. Although I should probably modify the first a little to prevent insane attack bonuses.

nightinverse
27th of October, 2005, 07:56
Should Purity of Body be downgraded to Initiate level or extended to grant immunity to magical and supernatural diseases? Currently, it seems to be inferior to Supernatural Ability (Remove Disease) or some such.

I would like it to give a bonus to magical and supernatural desease saves, perhaps half monk level? Immunity is too powerful, as a DM, you never want to sanction immunity.

The Hive Custodian
27th of October, 2005, 10:55
Err... then how do you explain these:

Mind Shielding: This ring is usually of fine workmanship and wrought from heavy gold. The wearer is continually immune to detect thoughts, discern lies, and any attempt to magically discern her alignment.
Faint aburation; CL 3rd; Forge Ring, nondetection; Price 8,000 gp.
Necklace of Adaptation: This necklace is a heavy chain with a platinum medallion. The magic of the necklace wraps the wearer in a shell of fresh air, making him immune to all harmful vapors and gases (such as cloudkill and stinking cloud effects, as well as inhaled poisons) and allowing him to breathe, even underwater or in a vacuum.
Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, alter self; Price 9,000 gp.
Periapt of Health: The wearer of this blue gem on a silver chain is immune to disease, including supernatural diseases.
Faint conjuration; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, remove disease; Price 7,500 gp.
Periapt of Proof against Poison: This item is a brilliant-cut black gem on a delicate silver chain. The wearer is immune to poison, although poisons still active when the periapt is first donned still run their course.
Faint conjuration; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, neutralize poison; Price 27,000 gp.

And that's just the items.

Doomsmile
27th of October, 2005, 11:06
See? Since there's so many, it would be without a doubt a bad idea to add another. [/devil's advocate]

nightinverse
27th of October, 2005, 14:12
Items can be supressed or easily destroyed. With a strength check of 25 an individual can crush a ring, for example.

The Hive Custodian
27th of October, 2005, 14:28
If you can make a Strength check of 25, would you rather:

Get your hands around their ring, and crush it, or,

Get your hands around their neck, crush it, and take the ring for yourself?

Besides, the Paladin has complete disease immunity. I'm not saying that Purity of Body neccessarily should match that, but it seems that it is one of the weaker Adept abilities. Hmm... of course, if it was downgraded to Initiate, that would screw up the standard Monk emulation... but I don't want to disturb the current ability progression, since it seems to be a fairly close fit as well as having regular spacing. I suppose it's fine as is, then, partly since characters can get it earlier (at 5th level) than Supernatural Ability (Remove Disease) (at 9th level). Although Remove Disease has the advantage of being able to remove more types of diseases... but then Purity of Body is passive.

How would you rate Uncanny Dodge compared to Evasion?

Doomsmile
27th of October, 2005, 14:37
This is just me, but I'd take evasion, depending on what level of uncanny dodge we're talking about here.

The Hive Custodian
27th of October, 2005, 14:38
Basic Evasion versus basic Uncanny Dodge. I'm just trying to gauge whether it was fair to rate it an Adept ability.

Doomsmile
27th of October, 2005, 15:19
Question- Why would anyone take a monk instead of this class?

The Hive Custodian
27th of October, 2005, 23:43
Answer: They wouldn't. But before you lodge a more specific objection, there's an interesting article I read recently and that I agree with for the most part. Here it is:

http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=511490

Doomsmile
28th of October, 2005, 05:51
While flexibility (hash mark though that fish sign.... you know, the "is not directly proportional to" sign.) power, making a class that has more flexibility or options bu no drawcack from its base is obviously overpowered. To use an extreme example, a wizard that can lear spells off of both the wizard and cleric lists. This makes the character more flexible, but obviously also makes them more powerful. Or a fighter that has the rogue's set of class skills. That makes them more flexible, but no-one would approve it without some drawback. Otherwise it would make the regular fighter obsolete and could concievably put a cramp in the rogue's style as well.

The Hive Custodian
28th of October, 2005, 06:02
While flexibility (hash mark though that fish sign.... you know, the "is not directly proportional to" sign.) power, making a class that has more flexibility or options bu no drawcack from its base is obviously overpowered. To use an extreme example, a wizard that can lear spells off of both the wizard and cleric lists. This makes the character more flexible, but obviously also makes them more powerful. Or a fighter that has the rogue's set of class skills. That makes them more flexible, but no-one would approve it without some drawback. Otherwise it would make the regular fighter obsolete and could concievably put a cramp in the rogue's style as well.

There are fundamental differences here.

In the example of the wizard, the wizard can change their prepared spell selection every day, wheras if you pick a certain class ability, you're stuck with it. A sorcerer able to learn spells off both the wizard and cleric lists would gain far less benefit (if at all) than a cleric able to learn off both lists, because the sorcerer can only pick a limited number of spells from the lists and remains stuck with them, which the cleric can pick any spell any day of the week. Thus, every splatbook with cleric spells makes the cleric more powerful at zero cost, but splatbooks with sorcerer spells or fighter feats do not make the sorcerer or fighter more powerful (unless those spells or feats are more powerful in themselves).

In the example of the fighter, the fact is that not all skills are created equal. It's not so much that the rogue has access to more skills--it's that the rogue has access to better skills. I mean, come on... Bluff versus Jump? If all skills were created equal, then giving the fighter the rogue's skill list wouldn't make it more powerful; it doesn't matter how many class skills you have if you don't have skill points to invest in them.

Doomsmile
28th of October, 2005, 06:18
Let's take a look at this.
Ersi is a ranger. Flexibility isn't power, so let's say I were to let her cast off of the paladin, bard, ranger, or sorcerer list. Not a back-breaking advantage to be sure, but still a little up. Next I figure that flexibility never hurt anyone: I just take rogue skills with my ranger skills. Not to big a bonus, since to ranger has decent skills to begin with, right? Next I figure that, you know, that combat style thing is too restrictive, so I go halfway with two-weapon and halfway with archery (using a mighty bow, obviously). You'd have to agree this adapted ranger is obviously more powerful than the standard ranger, and no-one would take the ranger if they had access to this.
Does that mean that what I did was ballanced, since it's simply a more flexible ranger? I'd say that's a big yes. If there was a trade-off, then it would be. For istance, let's say I wanted to be able to cast wizard-type spells as a ranger (sort of an arcane ranger). Instead of just allowing the ranger to cast arcane spells, it would be a much better idea to give a trade-off, such as reducing the attack bonus to a 3/4 progressions and then (because that's a rather big disadvantage) give them bard spell progression. One could take this as a sort of rugged, wilderness mage, but people might still go for the standard ranger for several reasons.
I hate most arcane prestiege classes because they make the base class obsolete. For the same reason, I'm inclined against this, since it makes the monk obsolite.

nightinverse
28th of October, 2005, 08:32
I'll leave this debate to you two...

The Hive Custodian
28th of October, 2005, 11:07
Apparently, you have not read the article. If you had, you would either agree with me, or you would have argued against the article.

Let's take a look at this.
Ersi is a ranger. Flexibility isn't power, so let's say I were to let her cast off of the paladin, bard, ranger, or sorcerer list. Not a back-breaking advantage to be sure, but still a little up. Next I figure that flexibility never hurt anyone: I just take rogue skills with my ranger skills. Not to big a bonus, since to ranger has decent skills to begin with, right? Next I figure that, you know, that combat style thing is too restrictive, so I go halfway with two-weapon and halfway with archery (using a mighty bow, obviously). You'd have to agree this adapted ranger is obviously more powerful than the standard ranger, and no-one would take the ranger if they had access to this.

I agree that nobody would take the ranger if they had access to this. However, I do not agree that it is more powerful than the standard ranger, apart from the spellcasting.

The expanded spell list would indeed make the ranger more powerful because spells are something that can be altered on the fly at no cost. If the ranger knows that a certain spell would be beneficial in the future, with an expanded spell list she is more likely to have access to that spell. 8 hours later she has that spell.

However, the feats and skills do not necessarily make the ranger more powerful. Having the option to trade a feat for an equal feat, or a skill point in one skill for a skill point in an equal skill will not make the ranger more powerful, because the ranger is equal in power either way, and the ranger cannot suddenly adapt the choice to a situation at hand. If you're a divine spellcaster and you need find the path, but you prepared wind walk instead, eight hours later, you're going to have find the path. But if you need Track, but you took Weapon Focus instead, you're out of luck. If the ranger was given the option to take, say, Improved Trip instead of Endurance, then, yes, that would make the ranger more powerful because Improved Trip is a more powerful feat than Endurance. But that's not the argument you're putting forth.

Paraphrasing the article, there's two types of flexibility. I'm going to call them something different than the article:

First, there's static flexibility. These are the choices that you make for your character that cannot be changed afterwards, such as feats, ability increases, what class to take at each level, etc. Static flexibility does not increase the power of a character by itself, because no matter how many choices the character gets, they can only choose a limited number of them, and they can't change their mind later.

Second, there's dynamic flexibility. These are choices that you make for your character that can be changed afterwards, such as which spells to prepare for the day. This type of flexibility does make the character more powerful, since they can adapt to changing conditions. Everyone has some dynamic flexibility, from what tactics they use in combat, to what items they can buy. However, spellcasters have much, much more dynamic flexibility than most fighter-types, which is one of their greatest advantages. After all, fighters can't repick their feats every eight hours.

In the SRD, any class with lots of spells has lots of dynamic flexibility: the cleric, the wizard, the druid, the sorcerer, and the bard in rough descending order. (Spontaneous spellcasters have more dynamic flexibility in the short term, but considering the cleric's domains, the wizard's bonus feats, the druid's wild shape, and the massive spell lists of these three, I would say that they are at a disadvantage.) The fighter and the rogue don't have as much dynamic flexibility, but they have lots of static flexibility by virtue of bonus feats in the case of the former, and lots of skill points in the case of the latter. The ranger has spells and some options, but is definitely on the short end of flexibility. The paladin has no options besides its meager skill points and spells, while the monk has a few feat and skill options but no spells. Bringing up the rear in flexibility is the barbarian, with no spells, no optional class features, and only average skills.

I hate most arcane prestiege classes because they make the base class obsolete. For the same reason, I'm inclined against this, since it makes the monk obsolite.

They're not the same. The arcane prestige classes don't make the base classes obsolete because they're more flexible, they make the base classes obsolete because they gain benefits above what the base classes get at no cost. This martial artist class makes the monk obsolete (in fact, it replaces the monk) because it allows the player to customize their character more.

So, why do I consider this excusable? It all comes down to playing the character you want to play. I firmly believe that you shouldn't have to have abilities that do you not feel fit your character when you are unable to select all the abilities that do. Returning to Ersi, surely there's some abilities on the ranger list that, while useful, you do not feel quite fit the character. And at the same time, aren't there other abilities that you wish you could have that do fit with the character? Would it really be impossible to make a fair trade between the two? But then you wouldn't be playing a SRD ranger. Indeed, the SRD ranger would be obsolete, not because it is weaker, but because there's something that can fit the character concept better.

Doomsmile
28th of October, 2005, 11:26
.........You should join a debate team.
And, for the record, Ersi really shouldn't be a spellcaster or have an animal companion, but I've taken a liking to Big Green. Still, Ersi's not a tree-hugger, just rugged.

The Hive Custodian
28th of October, 2005, 11:57
You know, if I was to customizablize another of the base classes, the ranger or paladin would be next. I did the monk because a) it's one of the three least flexible base classes, b) I believe I'm going to be playing one, and c) there's probably a martial arts style for every damn animal or combination thereof out there. (All shall fall before my triple flying dire platypus/riverdancing greater emu style!) I can't really think of many ways to make the barbarian flexible, and the rest already have lots of flexibility.

The Hive Custodian
30th of October, 2005, 12:27
Oh, and I seem to recall Complete Warrior having a nonspellcasting ranger variant. I can't remember if I liked it, but it might be worth a look.

Doomsmile
30th of October, 2005, 15:51
Who has complete warrior? I want to look into that.

The Hive Custodian
30th of October, 2005, 16:21
After checking it up, it actually looks quite weak. You eventually end up with essentially 1/1/1 1 spellcasting, as opposed to the 3/3/3 3 (+ bonus spells) of the normal ranger. Even after the last ability is gained at 16th level, it still has to compete with 2/2/1 1 plus bonus spells. Sure, they don't carry the restrictions of normal spellcasting, but with so few spells, long-term buffs are best anyway (on the order of 1 hour/caster level), and honestly, who's going to burn an action and a dispel magic trying to dispel a ranger spell? Plus, you get less spells to choose from, and far less spells per day.

Doomsmile
30th of October, 2005, 16:29
Yah. It does look like a poor trade. I'm probably just going to keep the spells. Unless there's a prestiege class I qualify for...

nightinverse
31st of October, 2005, 04:35
Indeed.

nightinverse
16th of January, 2006, 18:07
Tenatively Approved. Change the thread title and include the [Approved] tag.

The Hive Custodian
17th of January, 2006, 05:32
I seem to be unable to change the thread title. However, I have updated its entry in the Index of Items.

nightinverse
17th of January, 2006, 15:14
I dealt with it.

The Hive Custodian
9th of February, 2006, 11:19
I've made some changes to the Supernatural Ability, Self/Touch abilities. The first was to allow metamagic feats to apply to the abilities. The second was a change in the uses per day for the abilities.

You may be wondering why I didn't require martial artists to have metamagic feats in order to apply them to their abilities. The reason is this: metamagic feats don't make spells more powerful. If they do, they are almost certainly too powerful as feats; if you look at the core metamagic feats, in most cases it is more effective to prepare a spell that is actually higher level. What they do do is give spellcasters more versatility. A spellcaster with a metamagic feat has the option to prepare a spell with the feat, or without the feat; this allows them to expand their spell list in a way by stretching the spells they already have. However, the martial artist does not have this choice. Once they decide to apply a metamagic feat to a special ability, they can't un-apply it when they need an extra cast per day or want to apply a different metamagic feat to it.

To expand on what I said at the top, the second change was to change the uses per day to Wisdom modifier - effective spell level from the old system where the martial artist would get an extra use every other level. There are a few reasons for this change:

This, along with the addition of the metamagic option, makes selecting a spell that is lower level than the maximum available an at least somewhat viable option.
This makes LA balancing better; LAed races with high Wisdom bonuses now get more uses per day to offset their loss of spell levels, much like LAed spellcasters get more spells per day due to ability bonuses but lower level spells.

Doomsmile
9th of February, 2006, 13:15
Wait- your martial artist is a mage, too?

The Hive Custodian
9th of February, 2006, 13:35
If you'll notice, the orginal monk had supernatural abilities that duplicated or nearly duplicated spells as well:
Abundant Step -> Dimension Door
Quivering Palm -> Slay Living
Empty Body -> Ethereal JauntI simply opened up the list of available options.

Doomsmile
9th of February, 2006, 15:44
I would hardly equivilate quivering palm to slay living, each has distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Still, abundant step is usable once per day, while quivering palm is usable once per week! Empty body allows a total of 2 minutes a day, but you only get that ability at 19th level.
As for metamagicing them, precedence states that supernatural and even spell-like ability can't be meta-magic'ed (and with good reason!).
Lastly, the abilities, as listed now, are only useable once per day. Opening it up to 4 or 5 times a day would just be wacky. Thats more of a given spell than most wizards could cast per day.
I feel I made a nice little rant. Now to see it mercilessly torn apart over the course of post 36.

The Hive Custodian
9th of February, 2006, 17:09
I would hardly equivilate quivering palm to slay living, each has distinct advantages and disadvantages.
I simply picked the closest spell I could think of.

Still, abundant step is usable once per day, while quivering palm is usable once per week! Empty body allows a total of 2 minutes a day, but you only get that ability at 19th level... Lastly, the abilities, as listed now, are only useable once per day. Opening it up to 4 or 5 times a day would just be wacky. Thats more of a given spell than most wizards could cast per day.
So your problem is more with the magnitude (number of times per day) rather than the concept (applying a ability modifier to number of times per day)? Or is it both? To tell you the truth, I'm not completely sure on the best way to balance this myself. Later I'll do an analysis of ability scores by level to determine exactly how many uses per day this ends up coming out to.

As for metamagicing them, precedence states that supernatural and even spell-like ability can't be meta-magic'ed (and with good reason!).
There is, actually, a precedent for spell-like abilities:

EMPOWER SPELL-LIKE ABILITY [GENERAL]
Prerequisite: Spell-like ability at caster level 6th or higher.
Benefit: Choose one of the creature’s spell-like abilities, subject to the restrictions below. The creature can use that ability as an empowered spell-like ability three times per day (or less, if the ability is normally usable only once or twice per day).
When a creature uses an empowered spell-like ability, all variable, numeric effects of the spell-like ability are increased by one half. Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected. Spell-like abilities without random variables are not affected.
The creature can only select a spell-like ability duplicating a spell with a level less than or equal to half its caster level (round down) –2. For a summary, see the table in the description of the Quicken Spell-Like Ability feat.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken, the creature can apply it to a different one of its spell-like abilities.

...

QUICKEN SPELL-LIKE ABILITY [GENERAL]
Prerequisite: Spell-like ability at caster level 10th or higher.
Benefit: Choose one of the creature’s spell-like abilities, subject to the restrictions described below. The creature can use that ability as a quickened spell-like ability three times per day (or less, if the ability is normally usable only once or twice per day).
Using a quickened spell-like ability is a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The creature can perform another action—including the use of another spell-like ability—in the same round that it uses a quickened spell-like ability. The creature may use only one quickened spell-like ability per round.
The creature can only select a spell-like ability duplicating a spell with a level less than or equal to half its caster level (round down) –4. For a summary, see the table below.
In addition, a spell-like ability that duplicates a spell with a casting time greater than 1 full round cannot be quickened.
Normal: Normally the use of a spell-like ability requires a standard action and provokes an attack of opportunity unless noted otherwise.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken, the creature can apply it to a different one of its spell-like abilities.

I've not had a chance to check supernatural abilities yet.

Doomsmile
9th of February, 2006, 19:52
Uhm, those are spell-like ability enhancers, not meta-magic. Belive me, there is a diferance. For instance, the only PC class with extencive use of spell-like abilities (the Warlock) would have a hard time of trying to get abilites that it would do any good to enchance with these spell-like ability buffing feats.
Supernatural abilities, meanwhile, are much more common and much harder to adjucate a balanced buffing feat to. There are no core equivilant feats for supernatural abilities for this reason. Also, they don't want dragons maximizing their breath weapons. That would be bad.

As for the power/magnitude/whatever-we're-calling-this-issue issue (with the times per day "it's a mage now!?" thingie), I'm going under the assumption this spell duplication thing is supposed to be roughly equivilant to the monk's spell-replicating supernatural abilities, what with this calls supposed to be rougly equivilant to the monk. If this is, indeed, the case, then having abilities of similar power (but much wider selection. In this case, flexibility is, indeed, power) to the monk's, but usable more times per day than the monk isn't really true to the spirit of the above assumption of equivilance. I don't think you'd argue that true strike 4 times per day is much more powerful than dimention door once per day.
If this wisdom/times per day thing is to compensate for level penalites, put yourself, for a moment, in my shoes (... or loafers, as the case may be at the moment): there is no compensation for level penalty in the ranger. While Ersi has racial bonus to two of the rangers important abilities, she also has a racial penalty to one of the ranger's important abilities as well. Even assuming that the other classes all had level penalty comps, this comp of having the times per day be equal to the character's wisdom bonus makes the class as a whole more powerful (with or without level penalty).

In conclusion, Josh is a silly name. Thank you, and good night!

The Hive Custodian
10th of February, 2006, 14:46
Uhm, those are spell-like ability enhancers, not meta-magic.

But they duplicate the effects of metamagic.

Supernatural abilities, meanwhile, are much more common and much harder to adjucate a balanced buffing feat to. There are no core equivilant feats for supernatural abilities for this reason.

But these supernatural abilities duplicate spells, which is what metamagic was balanced to in the first place. There are a good number of supernatural abilities in the core classes, but very few of them duplicate spells, and none of them check spell level. Without a spell level mechanism, there is no way to adjudicate metamagic for them. However, the martial artist does have a spell level mechanism.

Also, they don't want dragons maximizing their breath weapons. That would be bad.

A dragon's breath weapon doesn't duplicate any spell.

(but much wider selection. In this case, flexibility is, indeed, power)

Not in this case. Unlike a true spellcaster, the abilities cannot be swapped out every day. Once selected, you're stuck with option you choose.

I don't think you'd argue that true strike 4 times per day is much more powerful than dimention door once per day.

I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say here, but it's a lot closer than 1 true strike versus 1 dimension door. Besides, it takes an action to use true strike; you could probably do more damage by laying into them for another round instead.

If this wisdom/times per day thing is to compensate for level penalites, put yourself, for a moment, in my shoes (... or loafers, as the case may be at the moment): there is no compensation for level penalty in the ranger. While Ersi has racial bonus to two of the rangers important abilities, she also has a racial penalty to one of the ranger's important abilities as well.

Nobody told you to play a ranger using a LAed race with no Wisdom bonus and a Dexterity penalty. If you played a half-golem martial artist, you wouldn't get any compensation for an extra Wisdom modifier from race either, because you don't have one. If you played a ranger using a race with a Wisdom bonus, you'd get bonus spells.

On the other hand, after examining the way ability scores and level adjustments affect spellcasters, I am starting to see differences between that and the martial artist way of supernatural abilities. A more complete analysis will come later.

Doomsmile
10th of February, 2006, 17:14
But they duplicate the effects of metamagic. So you say that some supernatural abilities should be meta-spell-like-abilitied, but not others? That would be extremely wierd.



But these supernatural abilities duplicate spells, which is what metamagic was balanced to in the first place.. No, they were ballanced to modify spells, not spell-like abilities, much less supernatural abilities. There is no cost to metamagic one of these abilities, unlike actual spells, who "cost" you higher spell slots.
There are a good number of supernatural abilities in the core classes, but very few of them duplicate spells, and none of them check spell level. Without a spell level mechanism, there is no way to adjudicate metamagic for them. However, the martial artist does have a spell level mechanism. Have you ever considered that there might be a reason for that? Most of these abilities are powerful enough and not meant to be meta'ed.
However, if you want to look at basic classes that do allow meta-spell-like-ability feats, let's look at the warlock, with whom I've done quite a bit of research. While he is allowed to meta- his spell-like abilities, he runs into this problem: with the exception of quickening one or two of his mid-to-high level active-casting invocations (which isn't really worth the feat unles you quicken voracious dispelling against a mage), there isn't a lot of chance to meta- his abilities. This is because of the selection of invocations (abilities) available to him. If I could just pick spells out of a given range of levels to cast as invocations, the warlock would be terrifying; maximizing fireballs, mixing and matching buffs, etc. The list limits the abuses he could attempt.

Nobody told you to play a ranger using a LAed race with no Wisdom bonus and a Dexterity penalty. If you played a half-golem martial artist, you wouldn't get any compensation for an extra Wisdom modifier from race either, because you don't have one. If you played a ranger using a race with a Wisdom bonus, you'd get bonus spells. My point was that this makes the martial artist a more powerful class for LAed creatures. Keep in mind that a level penalty is a penalty to ballance for powerful creatures. The abilities of the creature are assumed to worth the level, otherwise it wouldn't cost it. That would be like giving wizards bonuses is they multi-classed into wizard from a fighter for lost abilities.

The Hive Custodian
11th of February, 2006, 06:01
I know approximately nothing about Warlocks, so this means I'll have to go down to the local gaming store and memorize sections out of Complete Arcane. After class that is. Grr.

A more complete response shall be forthcoming.

The Hive Custodian
11th of February, 2006, 11:04
Okay, here we go...

So you say that some supernatural abilities should be meta-spell-like-abilitied, but not others? That would be extremely wierd.

It's not so much of a matter of whether they should be metamagiced as whether they can be metamagiced in a way that makes sense. Metamagic was orginally designed for spells; concepts like caster level, spell level, and in some cases, other descriptions that spells have simply don't exist for supernatural abilities that don't duplicate spells (and most do not).

. No, they were ballanced to modify spells, not spell-like abilities, much less supernatural abilities. There is no cost to metamagic one of these abilities, unlike actual spells, who "cost" you higher spell slots.

In most cases, it's not that there's no cost--it's that there is no way to express a cost. Metamagic has the cost of increasing the level of a slot a spell takes up--the majority of supernatural and spell-like abilities don't operate using spell slots, or anything similar. The warlock does have something approaching a spell slot system, which can be easily modified to accomodate metamagic in a reasonably balanced manner: allow the invocations to be metamagiced, but increase the grade of the invocation according to the effective spell level.

Just as the warlock is limited to invocations of a certain grade, martial artist's supernatural abilities are limited to duplicating spells of a certain level.

If I could just pick spells out of a given range of levels to cast as invocations, the warlock would be terrifying; maximizing fireballs, mixing and matching buffs, etc. The list limits the abuses he could attempt.

The problem here is that the warlock is an at-will spellcaster, and so cannot be compared to the finite spells-per-day spellcasters which make up the core classes. The spell list was balanced to finite spellcasters--often you have a choice between a short- or instantaneous-duration spell (such as fireball) that does its effect over a short period, or a long-duration spell (such as detect scrying) that has its effect over a much longer period. However, the warlock can cast their invocations any number of times per day. This changes the landscape entirely. Long-duration spells, especially ones that only affect the caster, don't benefit much from being able to be cast at will: in most cases, their effects don't stack, and you only needed one cast per day. In contrast, short- and instantaneous-duration spells benefit massively. Even a low-level instantaneous-duration spell like cure light wounds becomes extremely powerful if available at will.

This is why the majority of invocations have durations of 24 hours, and why the standard spell list is not suitable to be applied to the warlock. However, the martial artist's abilities are finite times-per-day, which is what the standard spell lists were balanced to. Although this does remind me of something: supernatural abilities are not subject to dispelling, so this increases the power of durationed spells, which is something that needs to be accounted for.

My point was that this makes the martial artist a more powerful class for LAed creatures. Keep in mind that a level penalty is a penalty to ballance for powerful creatures. The abilities of the creature are assumed to worth the level, otherwise it wouldn't cost it.

What I'm attempting to do is balance the power of a LAed creature's supernatural abilities to one without LAs, in the same manner that spellcasters are balanced. Take a LAed spellcaster: on one hand, the LA costs the spellcaster levels, which means lower maximum spell levels and fewer spells per day. However, the spellcaster probably has an ability bonus to their casting stat, which provides increased spell DCs and more spells per day. I'm trying to do a similar thing here: a LAed martial artist gets less supernatural abilities due to the level adjustment, and those supernatural abilities can't duplicate as high level spells. However, the ability bonus provides more uses per day of the abilities that the LAed martial artist does have, and increases their save DCs.

Continued on next post...

The Hive Custodian
11th of February, 2006, 11:44
That would be like giving wizards bonuses is they multi-classed into wizard from a fighter for lost abilities.
Essentially what you mean here is that having, say, four levels in fighter and then multiclassing to wizard is rougly akin to having a template called Four Levels In Fighter that gives all the benefits of having four levels in fighter and carries a +4 LA.

I'm not sure this is going to end up being much related to the martial artist, but let me make three assertions:
Four Levels In Fighter would be a really crappy template for a wizard.
Yes, the wizard should be compensated for lost abilities.
In this case, WoTC agrees with me.At first glance, these are some pretty bold assertions, if I do say so myself. So why do I believe in them? Let's take a trip back to D&D 3.0...

In the Not-Quite-So-Old-Days, there weren't many prestige classes. In fact, there were more base classes than there were prestige classes. (Perhaps the boldest assertion yet is that yes, such a time did exist.) During this time, if you wanted something not covered by a single base class, you multiclassed.

But there's a problem. See, with the exception of taking one or two levels in a bunch of front-loaded classes, multiclassing really doesn't work. Here's why:

Power of spells grows exponentially with spell level. Depending on how you look at it, spells double in power every one to three levels; I consider doubling every two levels to be a good way of looking at it. So, barring equipment (since multiclassing doesn't reduce the power of your gear), a spellcaster doubles in casting power every four levels or so, since that's how long it takes them to gain two spell levels. (Equipment, theoretically, cuts this time in half, but this isn't relevant to the topic at hand.)

Similarly, the power of attack bonus and feats also grows exponentially. At 1st level, +1 attack bonus allows you to hit about 10% more of the time. At 20th level, it's still about 10% more of the time.

Now take the classic fighter-mage. At 2nd level, they've got one level in fighter and one level in wizard. They're not quite as good as fighter as a pureclass fighter, and not quite as good a wizard as a pureclass wizard; the pureclasses have one level's advantage on the multiclass in their class. But the multiclasser can do both fightery and wizardry, so it all roughly evens out.

Fast-forward to 20th level. The pureclasses now have an advantage of ten levels in their respective classes over the multiclass. Since the casting power of a wizard doubles every four levels or so, the multiclass now only has less than 20% of the casting power of the wizard. That's a really crappy wizard. Similarly, the multiclass makes a really crappy fighter as well.

Fast-forward again, this time to D&D 3.5. WoTC realized this problem, and tried to fix it by introducing a prestige class: the Eldritch Knight. By doing so, WoTC kept the gap between the multiclass and the pureclass from widening. The Eldritch Knight gives up a single caster level for the ability to function as a somewhat effective fighter, instead of having to give up a caster level every other level. At character level 6th, the Eldritch Knight has about 80% (extremely rough estimation) of the spellcasting ability of a pureclass wizard of the same level. Ten levels later, the Eldritch Knight still has about the same percentage of the spellcasting ability of a pureclass wizard of the same level. The Arcane Trickster and Mystic Theruge work on the same principle.

Thus, it is now possible to make a fighter-mage (or rogue-mage, or cleric-mage) that doesn't suck at high levels, because WoTC essentially compensated the wizard (or whatever spellcaster class) for lost abilities. Now, I think that perhaps they should have written the base classes so that they wouldn't have to write a prestige class for every base class combination for multiclassing not to suck, but there we go.

A more rigorous analysis of various ways of doing the times-per-day thing for the martial artist will have to come later... that's a lot of text for one day.

Doomsmile
11th of February, 2006, 16:54
Wow, this discussion has moved a lot. Just backing up to my original point, allowing the martial artist's supernatural, spell-emulating abilities to be used around 4 or 5 times each per day as opposed to the less flexible choice of abilities (ie none) usable once per day on a standard monk, which this is supposed to be the same power as. In this case, it's obvious that taking a spell of your choice usable 4 or 5 times per day- before aplying wisdom buffing items at mid-to-high levels- is more powerful than getting a pre-determined ability that emulated a spell once per day, reguardless of buffs and level.
Also, I'm very sure that the reason both of the classes spell emulating supernatural abilities emulate spells is because the spell did what they wanted to monk to be able to do so well, they just decided to say they worked the same to avoid explaination. There are only 3 such abilities, one of which is gained at 19th level, and all of them are fairly minor abilities as far as the class as a whole goes. Alowing its use possibly 6 times a day (assuming a 7th level character with maxed out wisdom, which monks tend to do, and has a pariapt of wisdom +2, which a lot of monks take) makes it much more powerful and a major part of the class.

The Hive Custodian
11th of February, 2006, 17:20
6 times per day? With a base Wisdom of 18 and a Periapt of Wisdom +2, that's still only a +5 Wisdom modifier--you could only get 5 times per day, and that's only if you duplicated a 0-level spell. Even if you had a Wisdom bonus from race (say, +4, since that's what Ryn has), that would only bring you up to a 2nd level spell 5 times per day... but a LA of 2 (again, what Ryn has) means only 5 martial artist class levels at ECL 7, in which case the maximum allowed spell level is 1st.

Although I am planning to lower the times per day somewhat (probably by 2) and/or the maximum spell level in any case. I'll come up with more to post tomorrow.

Doomsmile
11th of February, 2006, 19:41
Why not just leave it at once per day as a kinda' minor class feature like the standard monk has?

The Hive Custodian
12th of February, 2006, 03:34
Preliminary Anaylsis: Highest Ability Scores by Level

By the standard rolling system, a character can expect about a 16 for their highest ability score (more for more favorable systems), and they can be expected to add their bonus point to it every four levels. This much is simple.

Equipment is somewhat more complex. The optimal way is probably to increase the enchantment on ability-boosting items by one every four levels to keep the total ability score even. However, by level 16, this means only a Periapt +4; since such items go up to +6, it would be wise to add another +2 sometime. Before level 4, such a thing is not affordable. From level 4-7, the additional cost for another +2 bonus is 8K; not affordable at that time. From level 8-11, the additional cost is 12K. Near level 11, this becomes more desirable... however, at level 12, another bonus will have to be added to maintain an even total score, and at this point, the additional cost increases to 16K. I would then estimate the point at which an additional +2 bonus would be worth the cost as between 10th and 14th level; for simplicity, let's assume 12th. This makes the progression as follows:

1st-3rd::: 16 (+3)
4th-7th::: 18 (+4)
8th-11th:: 20 (+5)
12th-15th: 24 (+7)
16th-19th: 26 (+8)
20th:::::: 27 or 32? (+8 or +11)

20th level is an odd case. Before this time, tome +5 costs way too much, and then there is an extra ability boost at this level. The question is whether +5 to an ability score is worth the 137.5K it costs at this level. While it is definitely a nice bonus, the cost is more than that it takes to improve a weapon from +7 to +10 and armor from +6 to +8. On the other hand, it is likely that the character will already have these things at that point in time.

Of course, this all assumes universal item availability.

Doomsmile
12th of February, 2006, 07:11
Look, the point is that you're taking a minor, once per day ability and 1) allowing the player to take a, frankly, more powerful spell to emulate (making it a fairly major ability), and 2) making it usable several times per day. The number will always be higher than 3 on any martial artist worth their salt, which is a lot more than one.

The Hive Custodian
18th of February, 2006, 05:06
Sorry for taking so long on this, but here it is:

1) allowing the player to take a, frankly, more powerful spell to emulate (making it a fairly major ability)

No, it doesn't make it more powerful. How is swapping a spell for another of equivalent level not balanced when the spell lists were designed for finite use-per-day spellcasting which is essentially what is found here?

Although I am going to scratch adding metamagic to abilities in levels after the ability has been selected. See the end.

2) making it usable several times per day. The number will always be higher than 3 on any martial artist worth their salt, which is a lot more than one.

"Possibly more than one" is undisputably more powerful than "one", though I am going to reduce the number of uses per day.

I've constructed tables based on the expected highest ability score by level. These assume that the martial artist takes a supernatural ability every level they can, forgoing other Ki Initiate abilities; each column represents both a spell level and a single ability: 0 1/2/3 4/5/6 7/8/9

The original version went as follows:

1 use per day, plus 1 per two levels
3rd:: 1
5th:: 2 1
7th:: 3 2/1
9th:: 4 3/2/1
11th: 5 4/3/2 1
13th: 6 5/4/3 2/1
15th: 7 6/5/4 3/2/1
17th: 8 7/6/5 4/3/2 1
19th: 9 8/7/6 5/4/3 2/1

I think you can see why I changed it. The current one that you're complaining about looks like this:

Wisdom modifier - spell level (minimum 1)
3rd:: 3
5th:: 4 3
7th:: 4 3/2
9th:: 5 4/3/2
11th: 5 4/3/2 1
13th: 7 6/5/4 3/2
15th: 7 6/5/4 3/2/1
17th: 8 7/6/5 4/3/2 1
19th: 8 7/6/5 4/3/2 1/1

While weaker than the original for standard characters, after plotting the uses per day out explicitly I now see that it's still too many. Currently, I'm thinking:

Base 0 uses per day + Wisdom bonus spells (minimum 1)
3rd:: 1
5th:: 1 1
7th:: 1 1/1
9th:: 1 2/1/1
11th: 1 2/1/1 1
13th: 1 2/2/2 1/1
15th: 1 2/2/2 1/1/1
17th: 1 2/2/2 2/1/1 1
19th: 1 2/2/2 2/1/1 1/1

What you're proposing is:

1 use per day
3rd:: 1
5th:: 1 1
7th:: 1 1/1
9th:: 1 1/1/1
11th: 1 1/1/1 1
13th: 1 1/1/1 1/1
15th: 1 1/1/1 1/1/1
17th: 1 1/1/1 1/1/1 1
19th: 1 1/1/1 1/1/1 1/1

I see three main considerations in this debate:


Balance with the standard monk. This seems to be your primary concern.
Ability obsolesence. The ability to use a spell a certain number of times per day becomes less and less significant as levels increase. To illustrate this, consider a feat that allowed a character to cast two extra 5th level spells per day (even if they were not of sufficient level to do so normally). To a 1st-level wizard, this would be far more powerful than just about any feat in existence. On the other hand, to a 20th-level wizard, this would be an extremely weak feat. Now, I happen not to believe in ability obsolesence insofar as it can be avoided. First of all, (in this particular case), it is a disincentive for a character to take this type of ability at low levels, because they will become less and less significant over the next dozen levels or so. This isn't as much of a problem for higher-level abilities, but note above that those abilities won't get more uses per day due to Wisdom anyway since it's hard to get a Wisdom bonus that high. Second, it is possible for a player to get rather attached to certain abilities; increasing uses per day with level preserves those otherwise low-level abilities.
LA compensation. Having a LA means fewer supernatural abilities as well as lower maximum spell level, which is not balanced by the DC increase from any Wisdom bonus the character is likely to have. By allowing races with LA to gain more uses per day, those races now get more uses per day of each ability to compensate for their lower number of abilities.


In this case, I believe the benefits of the third outweigh the drawbacks of the first. Getting bonus spells applied as such does not increase the power of a non-LAed martial artist much at all, since the higher level abilities will not get more than one use per day, barring the DM giving them tomes, and the lower level abilities are not very significant by that point in time. On the other hand, balance between LAed and non-LAed martial artists is greatly improved by applyinh the bonus spell mechanism.

New version:

Ki Body (Su): The martial artist chooses a self-affecting spell, which can then be used as a supernatural ability.
Restrictions: The spell must be able to affect the martial artist using the ability. The spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 2, rounding up. It cannot have a material component costing more than 1 gp, nor can it have an XP cost. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, it counts as taking up a slot of one level higher than normal.
Uses Per Day: Equal to the number of bonus spells based on Wisdom for the spell slot's level (minimum 1 use per day).
Caster Level: Equal to the martial artist's level.
Save DC (if applicable): Equal to 10 + 1/2 the martial artist's level + the martial artist's Wisdom modifier.
Activation Time: As the spell's casting time.
Target: The supernatural ability targets only the martial artist who uses it, regardless of its normal range of available targets. If the spell cannot target the martial artist who uses it, it cannot be selected for this ability.
Metamagic: The martial artist may apply any applicable metamagic feat to the spell selected (subject to spell slot restrictions). The martial artist need not have the feat in question.
Replacing abilities: At 7th level and every odd-numbered level thereafter, the martial artist may replace an existing Ki Body or Ki Touch ability with a new one. The spell duplicated by the new ability must take up a spell slot of equal or lesser level than that of the one being replaced, and the new spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 4, rounding up.

Ki Touch (Su): The martial artist chooses a touch spell, which can then be used as a supernatural ability.
Restrictions: The spell must have a range of touch and an instantaneous duration. The spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 2, rounding up. It cannot have a material component costing more than 1 gp, nor can it have an XP cost.
Uses Per Day: Equal to the number of bonus spells based on Wisdom for the spell slot's level (minimum 1 use per day). If the spell allows multiple touches per casting, the martial artist gets that many touches per use per day.
Caster Level: Equal to the martial artist's level.
Save DC (if applicable): Equal to 10 + 1/2 the martial artist's level + the martial artist's Wisdom modifier.
Activation Time: As the spell's casting time. When choosing a spell with a casting time of no longer than 1 standard action, the martial artist may choose to have the spell be delivered through unarmed strikes instead normal touches; the use such an ability does not take up any additional time beyond that needed to make an unarmed strike. To use such an ability, the martial artist must declare the use of the ability before making the attack roll. If the martial artist hits and deals damage, the ability is delivered to the target (saving throws apply as normal). Otherwise, the use of the ability fails (but still counts against the uses per day).
Metamagic: The martial artist may apply any applicable metamagic feat to the spell selected (subject to spell slot restrictions). The martial artist need not have the feat in question.
Replacing abilities: At 7th level and every odd-numbered level thereafter, the martial artist may replace an existing Ki Body or Ki Touch ability with a new one. The spell duplicated by the new ability must take up a spell slot of equal or lesser level than that of the one being replaced, and the new spell cannot take up a spell slot whose level exceeds 1/2 the martial artist's level - 4, rounding up.

This may all look complicated, but most of the rules only apply when selecting the ability at character creation/level up. Once the ability is selected, its use is fairly simple.

Doomsmile
18th of February, 2006, 21:25
This class is supposed to be ballanced with the monk. If this isn't the case, then this shouldn't be approved... or should at least be reduced to 10 levels and given prerequisites.

Now, going under the above assumption, let's assume the monk is also available in addition to the martial artist: why would someone take the monk instead of the martial artist? What is the trade-off for this more-powerful spell-emulation component?

The Hive Custodian
21st of February, 2006, 15:03
Regretfully, it is at this point that I feel I must serve you with a formalish ultimatum. This is not a declaration of war; it is simply a statement of intent.

Ordinarily, I would have continued to argue in a conventional manner, as I have done in previous debates in this forum. Unfortunately, at this time I do not have the energy to continue what would probably be a very lengthy debate to little benefit to myself (or Ryn). However, Ryn does not have any of the abilities under question, cannot have those abilities for another two levels, and probably will not be assigned any of those abilities for at least four levels. As such, you cannot compel me to give you an answer until that time. In fact, you can consider these abilities withdrawn until I either wish to select them for Ryn or feel I am ready to continue this debate. It makes no difference to Ryn; it makes no difference to me.

However. There is another issue at stake that goes beyond the present debate, one that I have been reluctant to bring up, but that I feel that I must now bring out into the open. Allow me to explain:

There are two primary rights in this forum. One is the right to introduce new material or modify existing material. The other is the right to comment on and challenge such material. I realize I have been quite liberal in excercising the former, and again, I would like to apologize to nightinverse for any inconvenience arising from such. On the other hand, I daresay that you, Doomsmile, have been equally liberal in excercising the latter. When I make a proposal, I can be sure that you will post an objection to it within the next few days in approximately the same way the average kobold can be sure of being hit by the 20th-level fighter.

Now I am not disputing your right to comment on my proposals. However, beyond rights I hold myself to certain standards of courtesy. One of those standards is not to be too critical of others' proposals, barring major damage to the game structure. I do not expect others to have the same standards of courtesy; indeed, my views of what is "major" are biased to some degree. Neither do I expect that others be grateful for this courtesy.

However, my courtesy has limits. You have reached those limits.

According to the preceding post, you seem to claim as your standard of what is acceptable as nothing that exceeds the power of standard races and classes. I do not agree entirely with this standard, but, as mentioned earlier, that is not a debate I wish to pursue right now. However, I believe you have not been entirely consistent in following this standard. You have appropriated for Ersi advantages that are quite clearly above standard races and classes. I hope you realize what those advantages are, and moreover, what my ultimatum implies with regard to them:

If you continue to attempt to apply this standard upon me, I will apply that same standard upon you.

The choice is yours.

Doomsmile
21st of February, 2006, 16:25
I didn't expect it to be easy to find an image of a kobold waving a white flag, but it turned out to be the "waiving a white flag" part that was the big problem. At any rate, I'll back off, especially after running a count of how many monks I've ever seen played. The number is two, in case you're wondering.

The Hive Custodian
22nd of February, 2006, 05:21
Then it is settled, for now at least. Hopefully we can come to a more proper agreement in the future.

For now, though, I think I'd better let myself cool off a little.

The Hive Custodian
22nd of February, 2006, 05:46
On a more neutral note, I had copied the Tongue of the Sun and Moon ability from the monk:

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A monk of 17th level or higher can speak with any living creature.

As it stands now, the current minimum level for selecting this ability is 7th. I based this on the fact that a helm of comprehend languages and read magic (Why didn't they just call it a "helm of languages"? This is the Clan Extended-Range Particle Projection Cannon of D&D item names...) is a relatively low-level item. However, now I'm not sure that was a good way of pegging a minimum level on the ability.

Of course, first there is the problem that I'm not sure of what exactly Tongue of the Sun and Moon does.

Is it one-way or two-way? That is, if the monk/martial artist talks to a squirrel, can the squirrel talk back and be understood by the martial artist?
What language is this communication in, if any? Can this communication be understood by observers? What if the observer also has Tongue of the Sun and Moon?
By the same token, if the monk/martial artist is listening in on a conversation between two living creatures, does the monk/martial artist automatically understand what they are saying?

generaljimX
22nd of February, 2006, 08:53
Is it one-way or two-way? That is, if the monk/martial artist talks to a squirrel, can the squirrel talk back and be understood by the martial artist?
What language is this communication in, if any? Can this communication be understood by observers? What if the observer also has Tongue of the Sun and Moon?
By the same token, if the monk/martial artist is listening in on a conversation between two living creatures, does the monk/martial artist automatically understand what they are saying?

My views.

1. Two-way. The original ability says speak with. Which leads to
2. Whatever language the target can understand or whatever language the monk/martial artist choses. I'm fuzzy on this one, but I have a theory. Words that are spoken are automatically changed to the default language of the creature/person being talked to. Lastly
3. I think it was originally meant for the monk(in this case, martial artist) to understand and be able to speak every language in exsistence. Now, a problem arizes if it is a secret language that they are speaking. In this special case, I don't think the character(or NPC) would understand.

Doomsmile
22nd of February, 2006, 11:17
(This is the Clan Extended-Range Particle Projection Cannon of D&D item names...) Does that mean we can call it the HC LRM?

Of course, first there is the problem that I'm not sure of what exactly Tongue of the Sun and Moon does.

Is it one-way or two-way? That is, if the monk/martial artist talks to a squirrel, can the squirrel talk back and be understood by the martial artist?
What language is this communication in, if any? Can this communication be understood by observers? What if the observer also has Tongue of the Sun and Moon?
By the same token, if the monk/martial artist is listening in on a conversation between two living creatures, does the monk/martial artist automatically understand what they are saying?
1) I think it'd be two-way only if the target is intelegence to reply. A squirrel would not be able to, while, I don't know, a phase spider would. Probably a good rule of thumb would be if it has a language.
2) If the thing has a language, it would probably be in the language it cares to speak. If it doesn't, it would probably just be random chittering/barking/growling.
3) Yes, if the monk/martial artist would be able to understand them speaking. (If they're whispering, far away, or there's a lot of other noise, you'd probably need a listen check.)

Just

Doomsmile
22nd of February, 2006, 11:17
(This is the Clan Extended-Range Particle Projection Cannon of D&D item names...) Does that mean we can call it the HC LRM?

Of course, first there is the problem that I'm not sure of what exactly Tongue of the Sun and Moon does.

Is it one-way or two-way? That is, if the monk/martial artist talks to a squirrel, can the squirrel talk back and be understood by the martial artist?
What language is this communication in, if any? Can this communication be understood by observers? What if the observer also has Tongue of the Sun and Moon?
By the same token, if the monk/martial artist is listening in on a conversation between two living creatures, does the monk/martial artist automatically understand what they are saying?
1) I think it'd be two-way only if the target is intelegence to reply. A squirrel would not be able to, while, I don't know, a phase spider would. Probably a good rule of thumb would be if it has a language.
2) If the thing has a language, it would probably be in the language it cares to speak. If it doesn't, it would probably just be random chittering/barking/growling.
3) Yes, if the monk/martial artist would be able to understand them speaking. (If they're whispering, far away, or there's a lot of other noise, you'd probably need a listen check.)

Just my interpretation, anyway.

The Hive Custodian
22nd of February, 2006, 17:06
1) I think it'd be two-way only if the target is intelegence to reply. A squirrel would not be able to, while, I don't know, a phase spider would. Probably a good rule of thumb would be if it has a language.
If this were the only language-based ability in the game, I would definitely agree with you. Unfortunately, WoTC decided to complicate matters:

Speak with Animals
Divination
Level: Brd 3, Drd 1, Rgr 1
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 min./level
You can comprehend and communicate with animals. You are able to ask questions of and receive answers from animals, although the spell doesn’t make them any more friendly or cooperative than normal. Furthermore, wary and cunning animals are likely to be terse and evasive, while the more stupid ones make inane comments. If an animal is friendly toward you, it may do some favor or service for you.
And, as if that weren't bad enough:

Speak with Plants
Divination
Level: Brd 4, Drd 3, Rgr 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 min./level
You can comprehend and communicate with plants, including both normal plants and plant creatures. You are able to ask questions of and receive answers from plants. A regular plant’s sense of its surroundings is limited, so it won’t be able to give (or recognize) detailed descriptions of creatures or answer questions about events outside its immediate vicinity.
The spell doesn’t make plant creatures any more friendly or cooperative than normal. Furthermore, wary and cunning plant creatures are likely to be terse and evasive, while the more stupid ones may make inane comments. If a plant creature is friendly toward you, it may do some favor or service for you.
This precedent-of-sorts confuses the matter considerably. On one hand, the existence of these spells implies such creatures can speak under the proper conditions. On the other hand, as you pointed out, it's not exactly the most sensible thing in the world.

As for the comparison between the HeCLaRam and ToTSaM (yay nonsensical pronouncable acronyms (NoPrAcs)):

The HeCLarRam has the following characteristics:
+5 to Decipher Script, one of the most useless skills in the game, especially since this skill becomes largely redudant with the helm.
Understand all spoken langauages, provided the speaker knows a language.
Read all written languages and magical writing.
Is a magical item.
Cost: An item slot and 5.2K gp.Versus ToTSaM, roughly according to your interpetations:
Understand all speech, provided that the speaker is alive. Maybe.
Be understood by all living creatures.
Is an Extraordinary ability.
Cost: A Ki Initiate ability.So ToTSaM has the advantage of being two-way, and possibly of the ability to speak with animals and plants, while the HeCLaRam allows understanding of nonalive creatures (such as constructs and undead), written language, and magical writing.

There's also the matter of ToTSAM being Extraordinary, and therefore non-magical. Frankly, I'm not sure what this is supposed to imply (apart from being a slight advantage).

In any case, that leads us to the other question: Should I change the minimum level for ToTSAM, and why?

Doomsmile
22nd of February, 2006, 19:40
No idea. The powers of language abilities like these tend to depend on the game.

generaljimX
23rd of February, 2006, 02:16
Maybe, but it may not need to be changed. If you go with the following, I don't think it would need to be.

Suggestion: Make a higher level ,or ,just a another ability all together, that allows speach back and forth between the martial artist and plants and animals. And then, maybe, another to talk to undead and constructs.

Doomsmile
23rd of February, 2006, 05:29
I have come to this conculsion: animals, but not neccesarily undead or constructs, are good to go under ToSaM. It has occured to me that if Wizards intends to make an exclusion, they're generally prety good about including it. Pair that with the fact that ToSaM is a 17th-level ability, and I think you've got a good case for being able to talk to a squirrel. Don't expect an intelegent conversation, but you can is the important part.

The Hive Custodian
23rd of February, 2006, 11:47
Yes, there is the level of the ability to consider. There is a strong correlation between the power of an ability and its power, although this correlation is not absolute; for example, Evasion is a nice ability that is generally gained at low levels. Plus ToSaM is gained at the same level as another ability... but then that other ability doesn't matter for the majority of characters.

Maybe I'll put a minimum Intelligence for the target of the ability and make a short ability tree.

The Hive Custodian
24th of February, 2006, 03:06
Okay, here's the new version:

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 7th. The martial artist can speak with and understand the speech of any living creature, provided the creature has an Intelligence of at least 3.
Tongue of Bone and Steel (Ex): Minimum martial artist level 11th. The martial artist can speak with and understand the speech of nonliving creatures as well as living creatures. Any other restrictions (such as minimum Intelligence) still apply.
Tongue of Leaf and Claw (Su): Minimum martial artist level 15th. The martial artist can speak with and understand the speech of creatures regardless of their Intelligence score (or lack therof).Howzat?

generaljimX
24th of February, 2006, 03:34
I have one word for it, though it may still not be:

Perfect!!!

Doomsmile
24th of February, 2006, 10:02
I wish ranger could get thoses...

The Hive Custodian
24th of February, 2006, 12:29
I may fiddle around with the ranger class later. I'm thinking of writing a third Model of Alignment first, though. Also, the ranger class as written seems to represent a rather small selection of archetypes.

Doomsmile
24th of February, 2006, 16:02
I just wanted to be able to have a klutz dual-wield... and I couldn't find anything appropriate to munti-class into.

The Hive Custodian
24th of February, 2006, 16:07
That's actually one of the main complaints about dual-wielding: lots of people feel that the Dexterity requirement for the feats is prohibitively high. On a side note, the first ten levels or so of ranger look a lot more powerful than the first ten levels of fighter... I'm not exactly sure WoTC knew what they were doing.

Doomsmile
24th of February, 2006, 16:22
Yet level 7 Pally beat the ever-lovign tar out of level 6 Ersi.

The Hive Custodian
24th of February, 2006, 16:25
If Paladin was a dual-wielding fighter, I don't think he would have fared as well. Plus rangers have advantages that don't apply to fighter-type duels.

nightinverse
24th of February, 2006, 16:44
I love running into smart plants.

The Hive Custodian
25th of February, 2006, 05:27
Here's how I looked at it. Over the first ten levels, the fighter gets:
Six Four bonus feats.Versus the ranger:
3 Favored Enemies (total bonus +6/+2/+2).
Track.
Wild Empathy.
2 Combat Style feats.
Endurance.
Animal Companion.
Spells.
Woodland Stride.
Swift Tracker.
Evasion.Cancelling two bonus feats for the two Combat Style feats, we have four feats, versus... well, a bunch of stuff. Maybe it's not a lot more powerful, per se, but I would argue that it is. But then two-weapon fighting isn't a very good style.

In any case, I could modify the ranger in a similar way to how I modified the monk, allowing a large number of choices of abilities at each level. Would you like that?

Doomsmile
25th of February, 2006, 07:25
It would be moot, since Ersi is already assembled (though I did email NI about one small change I wanted to make after looking over the character sheet...). I was just a little miffed that a monastic face-beater is better at communing with nature than the face-beater who wanders around in nature all the time, but I'm getting over it.

The Hive Custodian
25th of February, 2006, 09:11
Eh, I'm probably going to end up writing it anyway.

The Hive Custodian
16th of May, 2006, 12:08
I've made some changes. Martial styles now no longer apply to off-hand attacks, but they can do so at the cost of a feat, including Flurry of Blows and Hail of Shots.

nightinverse
16th of May, 2006, 13:45
Interesting... that seems balanced.

Doomsmile
16th of May, 2006, 15:39
Flurry of blows on both hands? Have we learned NOTHING from Malignus Wingnut!? How the devil many off-hand attacks is that?

nightinverse
16th of May, 2006, 15:44
Feat cost... it is powerful. Plus off-hand penalties?

Doomsmile
16th of May, 2006, 15:48
But isn't the new martial artist able to dip into other classes for lovely, lovely bonus feats? Besides, the monk's extra hand isn't an off-hand attack. Monks have two on-hands while fighting unarmed. The book seems to say so.

nightinverse
16th of May, 2006, 15:55
The book is secondary to my definition.

Doomsmile
16th of May, 2006, 17:00
I didn't know about that definition.

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 02:55
Flurry of blows on both hands? Have we learned NOTHING from Malignus Wingnut!? How the devil many off-hand attacks is that?
Same as the primary hand, more or less. Allowing Rapid Shot with the off-hand was only a small part of Malignus Wingnut's power.

But isn't the new martial artist able to dip into other classes for lovely, lovely bonus feats?
The explicit multiclassing restriction does not exist here. However, it may not be a wise idea--remember that many class abilities depend on class levels.

Besides, the monk's extra hand isn't an off-hand attack. Monks have two on-hands while fighting unarmed. The book seems to say so.
I removed that line. It was needlessly confusing, to say the least.

Okay, so here's my reasoning on all this:
Originally, the martial style abilities that gave bonuses to attack rolls applied to off-hand attacks, while the ones that gave extra attacks did not. As such, the former was a much better choice for TWF. If you have many attacks (as with TWF), the value of an extra attack is less. To give an extreme example, if you had 100 attacks, an extra attack isn't all that hot. However, a bonus to attacks is always valuable, whether your attack bonus is +5 or +50. The way I decided to fix this was to have both of them not apply to off-hand attacks. So they're even there.

However, here we run into another issue: TWF versus THF. With a few feats, you can get a good two-handed weapon with a martial artist: take Martial/Exotic Weapon Proficiency, and then Weapon Martial Style with that weapon. Even without the latter feat, you can simply wield one of the standard martial artist weapons two-handed and spend the feats on something else. Since you're not using your off-hand for a shield, if you're not TWFing, you might as well strike two-handed.

So at this point, we have THF and TWF both getting 1d6ish damage, which does favor TWF vis-a-vis the "normal" 2d6 greatsword versus 1d6 shortsword damage. However, the difference here is that all the attacks from THF benefit from martial styles, but only the primary hand attacks from TWF do. The difference between 2d6 and 1d6 is roughly two feats, so I guess I'll change it to two feats.

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 03:37
You do realize that you're hosing two-weapon fighters even more with this, right? You're getting more attacks and better damage. Remember how monk fist damage increases with level? Your fists already do as much as a double-sword. If you're getting more attacks at, come two levels, higher damage, that's pretty much a better fighter.
Also, I object to turning a greatsword into a monkable weapon. Just no. Period. There are enough monkable weapons out there already.
That's my groggy, cranky, cent and a half. I'd probably be making better, more eloquent points, but I'm a heavy sleeper and only got three hours of sleep last night.

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 04:27
You do realize that you're hosing two-weapon fighters even more with this, right? You're getting more attacks and better damage. Remember how monk fist damage increases with level? Your fists already do as much as a double-sword. If you're getting more attacks at, come two levels, higher damage, that's pretty much a better fighter. As a full-BAB class, you will have a higher attack bonus if I go the flurry route. And you can't put enchantments on fists. Furthermore, it will cost me more feats to accomplish this: Two-Weapon Flurry and Double Open Fist versus just Exotic Weapon Proficiency (not the best feat in my opinion). Finally, my damage does not increase again until 10th level, which is three or five levels away, depending on whether I create a LA +0 version of arctic elves or not.

Also, I object to turning a greatsword into a monkable weapon. Just no. Period. There are enough monkable weapons out there already. The standard monk could get roughly the same effect with one less feat:
Can a monk take Improved Natural Attack (Monster Manual, page 304) to improve his unarmed strike?
Yes. As stated on page 41 of the Player’s Handbook, a monk’s unarmed strike "is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either" which includes feats such as Improved Natural Attack. Barring multiclassing, the earliest a monk could take this feat would be at 6th level (due to the base attack bonus prerequisite), at which point her unarmed strike damage would improve from 1d8 to 2d6 (which represents an average increase of +2.5 points of damage). The same monk at 20th level would deal 4d8 points of damage with her unarmed strike.
Frankly, I'm not sure it's worth it for me to argue this. If I decide to go the two-weapon route, it will cost me three feats (Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Open Fist, and Two-Weapon Flurry), not to mention the attack bonus penalty for fighting with two weapons. I'm rather short on feats as it is, especially as I would like to focus on ranged feats instead of melee feats. If my proposed changes to two-weapon fighting don't go through, there's no way I'm going through with this.

In fact, I think you've just talked me out of attempting this at all. It's completely incompatible with a ranged-focused character; I simply don't have the feats. Maybe I'll pick up Heavy Unarmed Strike sometime and be done with melee feats.

Or do you have an objection to that too?

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 04:56
I'm sorry. I'm kinda' tired, grouchy, and have been stewing for two weeks about a broken two-weapon-fighting-incarnum-using-raging-guy who at fifth level is a better fighter than the 7th-level swashbuckler/fighter, not to mention the warlock that the player constantly complains is broken.
So I've been making snap cheese calls before analyzing the situation. I apologise and will try to look over this more carfully tomarrow before shooting my mouth off again... assuming I don't have to stay up until 4 again.

Oh, and, by the way, monks can get amulets of mighty fists, which enchant all unarmed and natural attacks they make. I do recognise that it seems to cost three times the price of enhancing a weapon, but you are getting, in effect, two +X weapons that can't be disarmed and leave your hands free... unless you're a marlith monk, in which case you're getting 6 +X weapons for the price of 3. It's a two'fer'!

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 05:13
I was a bit harsher in tone than I should have been. Sorry for that.

I'm sorry. I'm kinda' tired, grouchy, and have been stewing for two weeks about a broken two-weapon-fighting-incarnum-using-raging-guy who at fifth level is a better fighter than the 7th-level swashbuckler/fighter, not to mention the warlock that the player constantly complains is broken.
So I've been making snap cheese calls before analyzing the situation. I apologise and will try to look over this more carfully tomarrow before shooting my mouth off again... assuming I don't have to stay up until 4 again.
'sallright. Being able to do full TWF and ranged with a monk is too much anyhow. Anyhow, the point here is kind of moot since I'm not planning to use it anymore.

One the other hand, the ranged feats that I will definitely be trying to introduce at an indefinite time in the future may lead to a more heated debate... eh, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Oh, and, by the way, monks can get amulets of mighty fists, which enchant all unarmed and natural attacks they make. I do recognise that it seems to cost three times the price of enhancing a weapon, but you are getting, in effect, two +X weapons that can't be disarmed and leave your hands free... unless you're a marlith monk, in which case you're getting 6 +X weapons for the price of 3. It's a two'fer'!
Too pricey; if I were playing a melee standard monk I'd rather use an enchantable weapon than shell out for an amulet of mighty fists. Plus that way I'd be able to wear a periapt of wisdom, which takes up the same item slot.

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 05:15
You gotta' admit, though, that a Xill monk would snatch up that amulet quicker than a wizard could grab a spellbook.

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 05:58
Under standard rules, yes.

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 06:31
Wait- I've gotta put that together now! A Xill monk!... nah.. what's something more interesting with multiple arms...?

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 06:35
A sahuagin mutant?

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 06:39
Ooh! That's an awexome idea. I was going to say a centitaur, but I don't think it's allowed to make unarmed attacks with its legs.
And the mutant has a lower level penalty! Cha-ching!

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 06:45
*mental image of a sahuagin mutant monk bursting out of the water in the Warcraft III blood elf campaign and busting out some crazy kung-fu moves on the undead*

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 06:49
Wait- you're right- naga mages do have four arms! Does that help them cast spells? Can they dual-wield finger of death?

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 06:54
I don't think so, unfortunately. After all, you don't let people cast more spells just because they're stilled.

Doomsmile
17th of May, 2006, 06:57
What about dual-wielding wands- especially a wand of magic uzi.

The Hive Custodian
17th of May, 2006, 07:05
I think the key here is that spellcasting and item activations are listed as action types, not as simply taking up X number of hands.

nightinverse
17th of May, 2006, 07:34
X Concentration + X Hands + X Components + X Verbal