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In POE there is really no point in playing as a Monk, since the class is broken. This is not a problem that is unique to POE, since the monk class in DnD has been broken for a long time and no one at TSR or WOTC has been able to figure out how to fix it (or simply didn't care).

 

I think the reason for this is simple, the developers of DnD were well-known for their dislike of the class, believing that it didn't fit in with the setting, to such an extent that it didn't even appear in the core books of Second Edition. As such they haven't had the impetus to fix the fundamental problems with the class.

The main problem with the class is that while they are perfectly capable of dealing with melee enemies with armor, they are easily picked off by archers and mages. The latter problem is a discussion for another time, but I think the former problem is due to a fundamental error in the makeup of the class.

Let me explain... Monks as they are now are built like any fighter derived class, it's assumed they will be like Rocky Balboa and take any damage meted out to them, and last long enough to wipe out their opponent. In DnD this is handled by having the AC of a monk based on their Wisdom score, making their skin into a natural kind of armor. The trouble is that this doesn't map onto reality at all. Martial artists aren't damage sponges, they are known for their reflexes, their ability to avoid taking damage at all. I think it would be realistic for a level 10 monk to have the same armor class as a mage, but it wouldn't matter since most hits don't connect, or at the best giving a glancing blow.

In NWN2 I fixed this problem by taking a couple of Thief levels so my monk had Uncanny Dodge, which should have been a Class Feat for the monk!

Now for how this would involve dealing with missile damage. It has been demonstrated that sufficiently skilled martial artists are capable of grabbing arrows out of the air. (There was even a Mythbusters episode where a student of Ninjitsu showed that this was a real ability).

I suggest this ability be built into the monk class, based on their dexterity. To avoid this being a game-breaker the cap for this ability's effectiveness would be 50% of the time, and that would take a very high dexterity and level to achieve.

This would work for arrows or crossbow bolts, but not for sling stones (which are too small) or musket balls (which are too fast, and would burn their hand anyway).

 

Any thoughts?

(Also, I think you should take a page from Wizardry and allow them to use shurikens, but that brings up the whole consumable ammunition problem)

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Your thread title is misleading. The term fixing implies there's something broken about the Monk, but the class is pretty well balanced and does the job it was designed to perfectly well. What you actually seem to want is not a fix, but rather a redesign to fit your view of Monks as Asian martial artists, but whilst Monks in Pillars certainly share many traits with Asian martial artists, they also draw upon themes from (amongst others) Christian monks e.g. mortification of the flesh. They aren't supposed to be purely based on Shaolin style warrior monks. Now you might not like this concept for the Monk (personally I think it wasn't that well pulled off, but it leads to fun game mechanics so I can forgive it somewhat) but it isn't a case of the class being broken.

 

As for catching arrows, in the real world it's a cool gimmick that wouldn't work in anything but ideal circumstances since it relies on seeing certain cues in the shooter and, hence, being completely focused on them, but it could fit perfectly well into the Pillars Monk class I think. That said, Monks already have an ability that reflects 50% of missile attacks which serves a very similar purpose (and is cooler) so I don't think it's needed.

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My brother finished the game as monk. He never complained about anything; he enjoyed it much. The mnk companion was also good in WM. I don't remember having any problem with him. The only problem I have with monks is that I find martial arts boring in games. Unless of course we're talking about a fighting or beat 'em up game.

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The multiclassing in PoE2 will certainly help bypass any percieved issues and even complement existing capabilities that the Monk has. One of the companions, Xlotl, is a Priest/Monk multiclass combo, or maybe that just means her first class can be either monk or priest.

 

Either way, multiclassing will add new opportunities and possibilities in builds.

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first o' all, monks are, by definition, monastic.  monks live in abbeys/monasteries and meditate, or chant, or make cheese or beer. the notion o' an adventuring monk is oxymoronic.  even if you thinks o' the extreme limited notion o' the eastern tradition martial artist monk, they is nevertheless monastic.

 

 

is some history o' western monks with martial training and they ain't gonna evoke largely mythical images shaolin butt-kickery, so any notion o' some kinda singular concept o' what a combat monk is will be elusive.

 

regardless, the poe monk is ridiculous flexible.  most o' our poe monks were actual designed as armoured tanks, but spend five minutes looking at monk builds in the poe section o' this board and you is gonna see implausible variety. 

 

poe monks could use fixes as a few builds is a bit over-the-top, but o' all the poe classes, the monk is the one which most pleasant surprised us.  not necessarily our favorite class, but am willing to admit the monk is likely the best class created by the obsidian developers.  the wounds mechanic is unique, intriguing and for the most part, balanced.  as already observed, poe monks can be played in a multitude o' ways. as bare-fisted pain merchants? as heavily armoured tanks wielding weapons? smarty monk? fast monk? ranged monk? go ahead as all is possible. don't like wounds and would rather build a monk with fantastic defenses is not only possible but effective.  

 

poe monks is, as is typical in crpgs, poor named.  in spite o' the fact the class is not actual monastic in any way, is a fantastic class. one o' the most pleasant surprises o' poe for Gromnir were the monk class.  congrats again to obsidian regarding the monk. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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Besides all that asian/monastic/martial arts stuff which is more a matter of taste:

 

The monk is the most powerful non-caster class in PoE. If something's broken, it's that they are superior. Best starting values of all classes, great single target damage, great AoE damage, great disables, sturdy as hell, great "natural" weapon which need zero resources, they can even reflect missiles and targeted spells like a boss (try a monk with Alia Braccia + Soul Mirror). If somebody has issues with the lore and stuff - fair enough. But if one says that monks don't work in terms of mechanics and power in PoE then this person simply hasn't got much savvy (when speaking about monks).

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PoE monks are really good, Fighter is the only class with better Accuracy/Deflection and Monks make up for that with a superior passive. Not to mention the monk gets a summon, +25% speed boost, ranged attacks, and a cool bag of other stuff that makes Fighters look like chumps and Rogues look like dead weight. Complaining that they don't fit your idea of a Shaolin monk is just a rehash of Chanters not being like D&D bards or Wizards being able to lift to increase magic damage.

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Monks start with the same ACC and -5 deflection compared to fighters while having more health. I'd say they are even in terms of starting values. But the monk has better abilities, I totally agree.

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Any thoughts?

(Also, I think you should take a page from Wizardry and allow them to use shurikens, but that brings up the whole consumable ammunition problem)

POE monks aren't the archetypal "completely unarmored, dodge everything, ki strikes" monk, and I'm find with that.  I like how POE monks work thematically and game play-wise.

 

Also, your complaint about them being broken is rooted in ignorance.  No offense.

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From a gameplay perspective, the monk is versatile, fun to play and a great addition to the game, but the lore is quite debatable, even if original.
 
Personally, I think the detachment between lore and gameplay doesn't work very well - the lore focuses on mortification of the flesh and is clearly inspired by christian monks, but the active abilities still focus on tropes that are tied to eastern martial artists, which doesn't feel fitting to me at all. Introducing the drug tropes on top made matters even worse, imho - the whole concept of serious self improvement that was inherent to the DnD monks goes right out of the window for me.
 
Imho, it would've been better if they just called the class 'Flagellant', made the abilities look less martial artist like and most importantly, made the unarmed fighting a talent chain open to every class, and everything would've been perfectly fine. It's kind of bad that the game makes a point of making every type of equipment available to everyone, but restrict the unarmed option to one class. The unarmed talent from WM would've already made the trick if it wasn't a watered down version of the actual ability. I understand the OP insofar as PoE really lacks the archetypes of a skilled fighter that is adept at dodging as his main defense.

 

Fortunately, there will be subclasses in PoE2, so I really hope they will have mercy on people that like martial artists and make a monk subclass that caters to them. Even if they don't, the multiclass will hopefully be robust enough to make a character that feels mechanically like a proper martial artist.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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From a gameplay perspective, the monk is versatile, fun to play and a great addition to the game, but the lore is quite debatable, even if original.

 

Personally, I think the detachment between lore and gameplay doesn't work very well - the lore focuses on mortification of the flesh and is clearly inspired by christian monks, but the active abilities still focus on tropes that are tied to eastern martial artists, which doesn't feel fitting to me at all. Introducing the drug tropes on top made matters even worse, imho - the whole concept of serious self improvement that was inherent to the DnD monks goes right out of the window for me.

 

Imho, it would've been better if they just called the class 'Flagellant', made the abilities look less martial artist like and most importantly, made the unarmed fighting a talent chain open to every class, and everything would've been perfectly fine. It's kind of bad that the game makes a point of making every type of equipment available to everyone, but restrict the unarmed option to one class. The unarmed talent from WM would've already made the trick if it wasn't a watered down version of the actual ability. I understand the OP insofar as PoE really lacks the archetypes of a skilled fighter that is adept at dodging as his main defense.

 

Fortunately, there will be subclasses in PoE2, so I really hope they will have mercy on people that like martial artists and make a monk subclass that caters to them. Even if they don't, the multiclass will hopefully be robust enough to make a character that feels mechanically like a proper martial artist.

 

Guess subclassing can go a length to rectifying this.

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I think the drug trope was just a Zahua/Nazpalca thing, since they have a shamanistic aspect, not neccesarily all monks.

 

Anyway, I've been making a rogueish monk with PoE2 in mind which is supposed to be like a monk with rogueish attributes. Supposed to be a close quarter fighter with dual wielding stilettos and having martial arts techniques being used. Although the animation is much more stabbity stabbity stabbity than any sort of fluid martial arts-like movements.

 

It's the Huana (with good relationship with the pirates I suppose) aligned pirate raider character I had been thinking about making for PoE2. Not sure whether I'll have it be Monk with multiclass Rogue or Rogue with multiclass Monk.

Edited by smjjames
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I've never been a fan of the monk class in d&d. Frankly it never seemed to fit in well, except when the Kara Tur book was released with a focus on an eastern location. Aside from that they didn't work well. Monks in POE are awesome, both in terms of power and concept. The wounds mechanic is fairly unique and fun. The main problem, I guess, is as Gromnir suggested, the name of the class is misleading. Would have been better if they were called Flagellants or something like that.

I really like what the devs did with the classes overall and hope that the changes for deadfire won't be radical and change the nature of the classes themselves.

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I feel like PoE does a decent job giving the monk more flavours than a wuxia martial artist. Zahua being a prime example. I'm not sure how viable it is for a monk not to fight unarmed... I never saw much of a point to it, given how powerful and quick the fists are. But maybe others have done that.

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The fists (or better: Transcendent or Novice's Suffering) have some issues. First of all their accuracy bonus doesn't translate to special attacks like Force of Anguish and the cone of Torment's Reach while weapons' accuracy bonuses do. You can't use single weapon style with fists to increase accuracy, too.

Secondly, they solely deal crush damage.

Lastly, you can't enchant them. Lashes and durgan steel are powerful things and your fists can't have them.

 

This means that your fists will be superior weapons at the start of the game but weapons catch up and overtake at a certain point in the game.

 

If you'd want a CC specialist monk who uses Force of Anguish to its full potential you would be way better off if you'd use a single dagger, spear or rapier than using fists for your FoA attack.

 

If you want your Torment's Reach to crit a lot you'd be better off with dual daggers, too. The damage of the cone of Torment's Reach doesn't have anything to do with your weapon damage. It has its own base damage. But it uses the accuracy of your weapons. Your fists' accuracy bonus doesn't get used.

Edited by Boeroer
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Using a monk for the first time now, actually, and have a *bunch* of questions 'cuz there's just a ton of stuff I don't know!

Like, if I put a dagger in my off-hand but have just fist in my main hand, does that count as duel-wielding? Do I get my weapon accuracy bonus to my special attacks with my off-hand but not my primary? Do I get the speed bonus for duel-wielding? What about a shield in my off-hand and nothing in main, is that weapon-and-shield with my fist counting as the weapon? If I have a bashing shield in my off hand and nothing in my main, is that still weapon and shield or is that suddenly duel-wielding? Is it even worthwhile for a monk to wield a bashing shield in his off-hand and nothing in his main? Etc.

Should've played a monk sooner!

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- yes

 

- yes

 

- yes

 

- it's weapon & shield, not dual wielding

 

- the monk (with Torment's Reach) is one of the few classes where it can make sense to pick a bashing shield (which has no special procs like Badgradr's Barricade). It doesn't matter if you are using your fist or a weapon.

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Question: How do you kill a vampire?

 

A. sunlight

B. stake to the heart

C. holy water

D. fire 

E. decapitation 

F. silver bullet

G. all of the above

H. the question is irrelevant, because vampires don't exist. 

 

Answer: the answer is H! Short of that- look to the relevant lore. Monks is PoE are "members of various fighting groups, mostly found in the Eastern Reach, and Ixamitl etc." etc. Booooooring. Right? ;) The reason they're not like this or like that is because they are like what they are like. We can try to reverse engineer the whole lot. To try and match elements of our fictional worlds with appropriate real world influences: but ultimately these are at best, just that, influences! Purely mercenary in application (at least for any good writer.)

 

One could say that in the pursuit of fiction, and fantasy in particular, it's a little regressive to constantly draw everything back and out of the internal world, and forcibly into the real one. One could say a radical element of fantasy is to try and take advantage of the internal world's irrelevancy: to bend the rules and the laws contained within it to push boundaries and break stereotypes of the real world. You know... as opposed to instead reinforcing those same stereotypes. You know... when there is absolutely no gravity to continue to do so.

 

Because you know... none of it is real: and at the same time all of it is subject to revision and remediation at any time, eternally, by its creators. 

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I'll pitch in too and say that mechanically the Monk is not only just *actual-real-good* fun to play, but it is powerful. Frantic for me, at least  in their unarmored capacity. You think to complain when Zahua almost drops in the first few seconds of an encounter: but with those same wounds generated he totally turns the fight around in ways no other companion/class can. Really great to see an internal narrative come out with a perfect balance of game mechanics, and that game's fluff.

 

As much as I would like to play through one as the Watcher, Zahua just gets a hell of a lot more opportunities- in all their relevant lore-- to play out "the Monk." More than I would as the Watcher, at least. I'm fine with that. Shine on you crazy diamond. <3

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The trouble is that this doesn't map onto reality at all. Martial artists aren't damage sponges, they are known for their reflexes, their ability to avoid taking damage at all.

 

True, but this is fantasy - Iron Shirt Qi Gong is allowed to work. During the Boxer Rebellion in China, some Boxers believed that their shamanistic rituals would make them immune not only to blades, but also to bullets. So any lore of invulnerable martial artists is actually based on historical beliefs.

Edited by Regggler

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