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Hello, I was reading up topics on unarmed mechanics, namely, the interaction of Transcendent/Novice's Suffering and grazes. And I got an idea for a monk build that dumps Perception (like a certain blind monk...), but I just wanted to verify some of the interactions.

If I have low perception on a monk and my fists mostly graze:

1) The lashes on my fists (Turning Wheel, Lightning Strikes, Blood Testament) will apply to the total of my fists' base damage and that of Transcendent/Novice's Suffering? Which makes them worthwhile?

2) The 50% crush lash on Torment's Reach will apply to the total of my fists' base damage? Although it has been mentioned several times that the accuracy bonuses on Transcendent/Novice's Suffering will not apply to TR, if I can consistently graze an enemy with it, will it be worthwhile?

3) The elemental damage on my fists will still damage a crush immune enemy even if the initial hit does 0 damage? 

Just wondering if this is a possible build concept, because I'm imagining idea of a blindfolded guy swinging his arms wildly, completely missing his enemies, but a split second later they get all cut up... and it sounds hilarious. 

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You mustn't confuse base dmg and total dmg. Base dmg is the damage roll your fist will do. Total damage ist that rolled damage plus all damage bonuses. There are two kinds of dmg bonuses: additive ones (basically all those percentage based dmg bonuses like weapon quality like Fine/Exceptional/etc., Sneak Attack, Savage Attack, Two Handed Style etc. but also MIG bonus and crit bonus.) and multiplicative ones  (mostly lashes but also Confident Aim).

Like crits, grazes are an additive effect (-50%).

Additive means the following:

You have the base dmg roll of your weapon (e.g normal fists: 5 - 8 crush = average of 6.5). Every additive dmg bonus is calculated with that base and then added together. Example: MIG 18 (+24%) and Savage Attack (+20%). 24% of 6.5 is 1.56 and 20% of 6.5 is 1.3. So your base damage of 6.5 plus 1.56 bonus plus 1.3 bonus is your total damage of 9.36. 

If you have a lash this total dmg of 9.36 is taken and multiplied by the lash's percentage, usually 25%: 9.36 * 0.25 = 2.34. You can see how this is multiplicative: not only the base dmg but all of the additive damage bonuses we had added so far get multiplied with the lash.

So in general: lashes are more potent than the usual additive dmg bonus. BUT: they have to overcome 1/4th of the respective DR. A burning lash has to overcome 1/4th of the enemies burn DR (shocking lash 1/4th of shock DR, crushing lash 1/4th of crush DR and do on).

Now... Novices Suffering is a bit weird. Because it doesn't change the fists' base damage as Transcendent Suffering does. It only adds a very high flat dmg bonus to the fists' damage. Like a fixed additive number. Since fists' dmg is very whimpy but all additive dmg bonuses operate with that base damage... It means that dmg bonuses with Novice's Suffering don't work very well. Those dmg bonuses work best with high base dmg, not low ones. BUT that also means that additive dmg maluses (grazes but also stuff like Carnage which also has a dmg maluses) don't hurt fists' damage much. The flat dmg bonus from Novice's Suffering doesn't get influenced by it and the whimpy base dmg of fists don't care much if they get reduced by 50% or not - because compared to the big flat bonus the base damage is not important. Now here's the really weird thing: that flat bonus doesn't get influenced by dmg bonuses as I said. But there one exception: it scales with MIG!

So what you want to do with Novice's Suffering: pump your MIG as high as you can.. pump your DEX and generally your attack speed as high as you can (Two Weapon Style etc). You don't need much PER since crits or grazes don't influence dmg much in this case. Skip dmg bonuses like Savage Attack and Weapon Specialisation and do on: they will be a waste. Exception: Confident Aim since its dmg bonus actually raises your base minimal dmg! In case of fists it raises it from 5-8 to 6-8 which is great. Stack lashes since they will multiply the total damage (flat bonus included). Find the Sandals of the Forgotten Friar which add +2 to the flat bonus (also scale with MIG). 

Monk's fists DO NOT work with this logic. They get high base dmg and thus operate like any other weapon. No special treatment required. Treat them like every other weapon.

Usually a Barbarian is the best pick for a Novice's Suffering Build, but also Priest and Wizard work well, even Fighter. Worst pick would be a Rogue since Sneak Attack and Deathblows would be a total waste.

Your questions:

1.  Yes! Total dmg.

2. Yes! TR is always worthwhile even without ACC bonus. It's best with fast, accurate weapons though (Dagger, Rapier etc.) with a dual wielding setup.

3. Yes, if the lash dmg can overcome the corresponding DR (1/4th).

The most potent lash is wounding (see great sword Tidefall) : it scales with MIG and does raw damage (no DR involved).

Edited by Boeroer

"Man - I have the exact same sweater! But without sleeves... and it has another pattern."
- P. Walterman -
"Nothing is wrong with the truth of my comment."
- SonicMage117 -

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Thanks for the reply!

I didn't realize that Transcendent Suffering differed from Novice's Suffering, so I guess I'll just go for a standard non-perception-dumped monk build, since the multiplicative elemental damage sounds really attractive. 

Not that I think of it, it would've been hilarious if monk somehow could end up with Novice's suffering - from the wiki it looks like its bonuses are higher than Transcendent's but that's probably to offset the lower fist base damage of non-monks. 

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Exactly. Novice's flat bonus is higher, but usually the higher base dmg of Transcendent is the better deal.

Lashes work best if you can combine them with additive dmg bonuses and also an elemental talent (like Scion of Flame and Heart of the Storm). Additive bonuses like Apprentice's Sneak Attack and Savage Attack will get multiplied by the lash and Scion of Flame etc. boost elemental lashes directly and increase them by 20% (e.g. from a 25% lash  to a 30% lash which is an increase of 20%). The game will not tell you that though.

Edited by Boeroer
typo

"Man - I have the exact same sweater! But without sleeves... and it has another pattern."
- P. Walterman -
"Nothing is wrong with the truth of my comment."
- SonicMage117 -

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