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Post by Angel of Death on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:08 pm

Okay, so I have been considering to use one of the relevel scales my monk, Bruce Li, carries around on in his inventory to get a bit of a better build and also because the concept I had in mind for him has changed since I created him. Smile

He has a very decent defense if I should say so myself, without any buffs (but with an ioun stone and +12 dex on gear), he can get up around 70+ AC; which aren't all bad all things considering...a high AC though, won't help anything if you cannot hit your opponent too. His AB isn't all that good, likely could be a lot better...any opponent he has come up against which has the epic dodge feat has been a bit of a cookie to chew on. >.>

An rough idea on his concept is that, after having developed his demonic powers to the fullest extend (through semi class: war hulk), the next to develop is his latent draconic heritage. Been looking at getting the Dragonsoul Prestige Class for this; mixing out some of his monk levels in exchange, but still will be the highest of his classes. Smile
--
Looked at either the copper[+6 dex, +4 str, +2 int, +2 con] or bronze[+6 wis, +4 str, +2 con, +2 cha] bloodline. Bronze in a bit higher on my mind since the +2 cha will be useful for the arcane class needed to take to unlock Dragonsoul levels. Initially thought sorcerer for this, but thinking bard levels would be better when factoring in that I won't be taking the class very high (probably only just enough to get the PrC +1 or 2 feats), and the bardic music feats really could provide a valuable aid.

Main weapon: His hands and feet, since he is supposed to be an expert in the martial art style: Dragon Paw.


I'll appreciate any and all advice given by anyone. sunny

Namely, could use tips as to what epic feats to take. Really considered aiming at getting at least epic dodge since it appears invaluable for dexterous melee combatants...
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Post by Elhanan on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:58 pm

Is he a pure Monk currently?

One way to increase AB of course is to increase BAB thru adding a primary class to the early 20 lvls. At least 4 lvls in pre-Epic will grant enough for an extra attack, too.

As Bruce is a DEX build as I recall, I am uncertain if the War Hulk will help much, but it should not hurt. And I still advise investing Reward Vouchers in a couple of kama.

But DEX and Monk are not my strengths in design; have struggled repeatedly in both here., so pls get more feedback from an experienced sensai.
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Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:58 pm

I would agree, Bard is the way to go.

Also, if you dont plan on investing feats in additional bard songs, you probably don't need to worry about charisma. With low bard levels you should be able to get perform to the proper plateau for the best Bard Song bonuses with skill points alone.... worst case you can get a +5 perform bonus on an item and you should be fine.

If your Dex is higher than your STR, which I am sure it is... then you kind of have to go copper dragonsoul. I assume you fight unarmed or with monk weapons and you have the weapon finesse feat. This means in order to jack up your attack bonus, you simply must increase dex as much as possible. Sadly you are taking a minor hit with Bard and Dragonsoul, but as long as you keep your pre-epic total class levels in multiples of 4, it will only be a 5 point difference from a fighter.

Shoot for pre-epic Bard 4, Dragonsoul 8, Monk 8, and you will be Ok with a pre-epic BAB of 15.

At level 40 it will be 25 which is solid. If you focus on DEX, you should be able to have more than 50 dex (especially with tomes, levelup ability points, epic Great DEX feats, and +12 enhancement), so that will get you another 20-25 AB.

Epic prowess, weapon focus, and epic weapon focus are also very important for a further +4 AB.

Ioun stone, +5 glove/weapon enhancement, +2 bard song, and +10 warhulk should get you a final AB of around 67 or so which is VERY good.

Get a custom item (I recommend a rod) with 'Cast Spell: Divine Power' a few times per day and you can even mitigate some of the 5 point BAB hit you took from class levels (and this should also restore the 4th attack per round).

Anyways, thats the gist of my experience, testing, and lessons learned with trying to optimize AB. My Monk, Blink can get his AB up over 70 due to all the stat buys he has done at Lady Shea's XP store.

And of course, having such a high dex-based AB also means you have a fantastic AC and reflex saves Smile
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Post by Angel of Death on Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:48 pm

Oh wow, lots of good tidbits of advice already. I'll be sure to take everything into account as I make my plans. Will start with answering a few things which came up... =)

Elhanan wrote:Is he a pure Monk currently?
As Bruce is a DEX build as I recall, I am uncertain if the War Hulk will help much, but it should not hurt. And I still advise investing Reward Vouchers in a couple of kama.

Yup, he is a dexterity build alright. More specific, his main attributes are dexterity and wisdom. I really wanted to use unarmed attacks though, not looking to go down the kama wielding road as it wouldn't fit the concept I had in mind for the character. Smile

His current levels are 40 Monk/5 War Hulk.


@Dave:

Thanks a lot, yeah bard it will be. Also, I didn't knew it was important for BAB/AB to level in a specific order. That will be something I'll pay attention too now. =)

A few points, again. Yup, he got weapon finesse and his dexterity is the highest (well, it's on par with wisdom score at the moment really). So Copper Bloodline would be the better of the two, I see. Good point. Smile

As far as custom items, yes, I have been looking into getting at least one for him. Considered some customized gloves/gauntlets actually, although a rod or other misc item would be nice as well. Either of them could contain Divine Power with a few Use/Day onto it. I agree that it's a good spell to have at hand... ^^

His current gloves are the diamond claws(?) bought from a shop in Macedone, with all the elemental crystals added onto it.

--
Haha, it looks like Bruce needs to practice his "Do Re Mi"! Woe the orc which gets within hearing range of him while he practices.. Razz
--
Current outline as it stands, with all advice taken into account looks like 26 Monk/4 Bard/10 Dragonsoul + 5 War Hulk, as final build.

On different note: Beside the normal bard song feat, I'm thinking of taking of the the Aenean specific bard songs. Haha, the traveller's chant would really boost his already fast paced feet... XD But serious, maybe the soothing refrain or a song which deals damage to enemies. (Is the Lullaby song any good?) Smile


Great Dexterity feats and Epic Dodge. Check!
I'll replace the Circle Kick feat he got now with something else (mainly because it quickly get annoying how it keep changing opponent after a successful hit; so frustrating. It's nice against weaker foes, but that's it..), and retake epic prowess and weapon focus: unarmed strike as well as the epic version of it too is a no brainer...

I would be satisfied if I could get his AB at 50-60, it would be a definite improvement from his current AB (which is around the ~40 ish I think Looks like I underestimated his current AB, it's actually 49 for first attack (with ioun stone) Shocked Still, it could be better. Will invest in the Great Dex feats to get it up...). Not sure I could hit 67-70 though, but even 60 would be an improvement.


Anything I have missed out on? Other things which would be worth taking into account before making anything final? Smile


Last edited by Angel of Death on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by daveyeisley on Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:07 pm

This is my monk's build.

You wont be able to hit Monk 31, but Monk 26 is pretty much the next best plateau.

I would definitely recommend focusing on DEX over WIS. Get +12 wisdom enhancement, for sure, with upgrades and what not, but dont sacrifice levelup points or feats for WIS.

As for bard songs, with only 4 bard levels, none of then will really pay off except the basic bard song. Not worth dumping feats there, honestly. You will have a cap on its bonuses at level 3, and to increase them you would need to reach bard 6 (which throws off Monk or Dragonsoul and isn't worth the miniscule boost).

Here is the website's low end of the Bard Song Chart:

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All the other bard songs are limited in similar fashion by Bard level. It is askin to Caster Level for a Wizard or Sorceror. If you dont invest in the class, that ability wont progress beyond a certain point (though the bard songs do scale better than spells if you do invest).

Don't waste feats on them, truly. Spend your feats on things that will help in melee, such as expertise and improved expertise. Toughness will also net you +40 hps which is excellent.

A monk's belt will also get you Weapon Specialization: Unarmed and Improved Critical: Unarmed which is priceless for such a concept. Put some upgrades on the belt and its just too sweet.

Epic feats should boost AB, and DEX in that order. Epic Dodge and Blinding Speed are also well worth it. Armor skin isnt really needed considering the already insane AC combined with epic dodge (Blink's AC is 91 unbuffed, he rarely gets hit unless flat-footed and the opponent rolls are extremely lucky). I only took Armor skin with Blink because another Great Dex would have just made his DEX an odd number and gained no bonus.
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Post by Angel of Death on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:46 am

Ah, okay. I can see how bardic feats wouldn't contribute much then..and yeah, I already has blinding speed in his current build; want to keep that one since the a couple haste per day/rest cycle are really useful! Smile

*Looks through Blink's build.*

I won't be able to get a similar build like that, but will take some of it and mold into something which works for Bruce.

Improved Expertise, huh...that one he do not have in his current form (for some reason I took the first expertise feat though--not sure why I didn't got the improved version while at it, Laughing...).
*Take more notes and goes to work on the layout for the final build*
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Post by Angel of Death on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:26 pm

One thing which I am curious about now that I thought of it...will Bruce end up with two set of wings sprouting from his back? Razz

(Demon wings from his race, and draconic wings from Dragonsoul PrC)

Also, took a look at the requirements for Epic Dodge, unsure how I would be able to qualify to it with the layout: Monk/Bard/Dragonsoul, given that it requires the Defensive Roll feat which is only available to rogue class and Shadowdancer*. Doubt there's any way around that, right? =/
*Oh man, why wasn't nwn1 made like nwn2, so you could take 4 different classes instead of only 3... >.>

Edit: Oh look, a post count halfway to One Thousand(1.000)! Surprised
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Post by Elhanan on Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:16 pm

Angel of Death wrote:One thing which I am curious about now that I thought of it...will Bruce end up with two set of wings sprouting from his back? Razz

(Demon wings from his race, and draconic wings from Dragonsoul PrC)

Also, took a look at the requirements for Epic Dodge, unsure how I would be able to qualify to it with the layout: Monk/Bard/Dragonsoul, given that it requires the Defensive Roll feat which is only available to rogue class and Shadowdancer*. Doubt there's any way around that, right? =/
*Oh man, why wasn't nwn1 made like nwn2, so you could take 4 different classes instead of only 3... >.>

Edit: Oh look, a post count halfway to One Thousand(1.000)! Surprised

Epic Dodge is the best defensive Feat in the game, IMO; well worth consideration. Being able to have the primary attack miss is huge.

And I am personally not a fan of the Bard, though it does have some solid perks. But one of the better ones is that Bard Songs work in anti-magical areas, which call for higher ranks of Perform, which require more lvls of Bard. In this case, it will not really come into play that much, I believe. Plus it will require an alignment shift.
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Post by daveyeisley on Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:55 pm

You will only have one set of wings. I am fairly certain the Dragon wings would end up overriding the demon wings when you reach dragonsoul level 10.

The alignment shift is a hassle, for sure, but manageable.

Epic Dodge would be quite off-the-table based on the chosen classes, yes. None of the three can obtain defensive roll.

Mind you, as good as epic dodge is, an AC so high that the opponent must roll a 20 to hit you is probably the closest substitute you can get, and it will affect *all* attacks, not just one per round.

Of course, Elhanan is quite correct that Epic Dodge is one of the best feats in the entire game, and especially when *combined* with an insane Armor Class.

So... the problem you face is that if you want Dragonsoul, you lose epic dodge. If you want Epic Dodge, you lose bard songs, spells, dragonsoul AC and stats, and possibly UMD (unless you opt for rogue over shadowdancer or acrobat).

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Post by Elhanan on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:42 pm

if Bruce took Sorcerer and DS in Epic lvs, there would be no alignment shift, added devices, and all the DS perks. But no Epic Dodge.

Personally, you may wish to consider Rogue for skill pts, and SA dmg. And/ or in pre-Epic lvls, 4 or 8 lvls of Ftr, and more in Epic for Feats.
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Post by Angel of Death on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:29 am

More good pointers, for sure. Smile

I actually decided to put epic dodge in the discard pile for now, since the concept (both background and story wise) I'm going for with Bruce does not fit with rogue or shadowdancer for that matter. Meanwhile, I put sorcerer levels back up on the table...mainly because I had totally sweat out the alignment restrictions for bard a few days ago >.> , such a hassle really. Suppose it could be doable though...but I don't know yet which way I want to go there.

Bard offers, beside bard song, also a couple spells (5 cantrips, 3 1st circle, and potentially 2 from the 2nd circle; I say potentially, because it would depend on charisma).
The Sorcerer class offers a familiar, wee bit useless at such a low level, except the pixie which is a good locksmith/trap dealer, but nonetheless can be an asset seen from an RP stand-point, as well as 6 cantrips, 3 1st circle spells, and 1 2nd circle spell.
--
I know that the spells wouldn't last long because of the minimal amount of levels in the class, but a few low level spells could help out in a pinch; such as true strike, tempest's shielding winds, etc. Of course these could easily be cast from scrolls too I guess. Which lead into the UMD field; when it comes to the Use Magic Device skill, bards are much better at it than rogues since they only have to invest enough skill points in the skill to bypass the class restrictions, as far as I know they do not roll a d20 + skill like rogues and assassins, but no roll at all after they pass the class restriction (unless The Amethyst Dragon fixed that on Aenea...).


On a totally different subject: What a let down about the dragon wings overriding the demonic wings; a small part of me had hoped he would end up with two sets of wings! How cool would that not be? Razz

Anyway, on a more serious note. I calculated that with 26 Monk/4 Arcane Caster/10 Dragonsoul, I'll be getting 15 feats. Not much, but I suppose it'll have to do...

Been thinking on the following feat combination so far...
Dodge, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike, Power Attack, Great Cleave, Blind-Fight, Improved Unarmed Strike. <Epic> Epic Prowess, Blinding Speed, Epic Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike, Great Dex I, Great Dex II, Great Dex III, Great Dex IV, Great Dex V.

--
Am I right in, that there's 9 ability points in total gained between level 1 and 40? Alright, so 10 ability points in all. That settles it with the Self Concealment I doubt, Great Dex V it is (to avoid ending with an uneven dex score)! ^^


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Post by Elhanan on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:13 am

RE: Both Sorcerer and Bard utilize CHA.

Taking all the Arcane and Dragonsoul lvls in Epic lvls may be helpful; might not need to take 4 lvls of caster in that case, seeing as Monk has better ST's, SR and hp. But Bardic skills are varied, so it is not all weak.

And Sorcerer does not require UMD; would gain all related class magics, but not Cleric or Druid.

Or Bruce could take 20 lvls of a warrior based class pre-Epic, and gain full BAB with the Monk in epic lvls.
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Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:27 pm

Angel of Death wrote:
I know that the spells wouldn't last long because of the minimal amount of levels in the class, but a few low level spells could help out in a pinch; such as true strike, tempest's shielding winds, etc. Of course these could easily be cast from scrolls too I guess. Which lead into the UMD field; when it comes to the Use Magic Device skill, bards are much better at it than rogues since they only have to invest enough skill points in the skill to bypass the class restrictions, as far as I know they do not roll a d20 + skill like rogues and assassins, but no roll at all after they pass the class restriction (unless The Amethyst Dragon fixed that on Aenea...).

--
Am I right in, that there's 9 ability points in total gained between level 1 and 40?

Ten ability points, first at L4 and last at L40. BTW, I really recommend the Character Build Calculator spreadsheet CBC2836 that you can get at the Vault, that makes all this build planning sooo much easier and fully visible in all its details and implications and interactions. (And I discovered that if you Unprotect the sheet, you can add in all ability upgrades from tomes and stat buys into the L1 attributes, and it will add them into its calculations for everything.)

For a Rogue, to use scrolls with absolute success you need 34 points in UMD, because it's hardcore rules. But I had no idea UMD rules might be any different for Bard.

And RPwise, Bruce doesn't seem like much of a charismatic musician type to me, or a purveyor of epic lore tales, but then I haven't been around him that much. Jewel would be the patron god of Bards here, I'd think, and that goddess doesn't seem much like Bruce's style either. But a reason could probably be found.





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Post by Angel of Death on Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:47 am

Ah gotcha, 10 points then, thank you. Smile

As far as the roleplay perspective of bard over sorcerer; the bard is just like the rogue a 'jack of all trades' sort. Information gatherers, scouts, performers, dancers, musicians, tale-tellers, smugglers, pirates, etc, etc.

The imagination sets the limit, or as good as anyway...neither bards or rogues would make very good druids/clerics. Razz

As far as deity. Bruce is a follower of Gort; the God of Travelers.

Anyway, I haven't yet set my mind on which arcane class to pick. Been thinking more on the feat selection right now.

Selecting sorcerer would lose out on 2 AB and the bard song, on the other hand...bards does got that alignment restriction. It is a bit of a hassle to get an alignment change...
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:14 am

If you take Bard or Sorcerer and all of DS in the Epic part of the build, you will still maintain +15 BAB from Monk, as every class gets the same AB in Epic. Remember to take some Monk late in the build, too; to maintain Tumble and any other Monk skills and abilities.
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