As I have been trying to update the Book of Syncletica guide, I stumbled on something that I hadn’t noticed before with the new enhancement trees.
I’ve heard of the Kensei fighters, sure. I was never sure what they were, except that they were more often dual-wielding, high DPS fighters.
I was doing some research to see where any class could increase their Dodge cap past 25% a day ago. I knew from experience that Ninja Spies could do this by 3% but then I learned that another class tree had this option.
I was sad to learn that their ability is identical to the Ninja Spy’s and thus, cannot stack. But as I read through this updated Kensei class tree, I could feel my eyes begin to bug out of my head.
The Kensei was familiar to me because I knew it under a different name in my Neverwinter Nights gaming days: “Weapon Master.” Effectively, the Kensei can choose a favored weapon and specialize in its use to much greater effectiveness than others. I didn’t pay attention to it back then because unarmed fighting wasn’t available to that class in the game.
What really caught my eye was that the Kensei class tree had integrated benefits for Monks who add points to this tree.
Without hesitation, I decided to break one of the Book of Syncletica’s rules, just this once. For those not in the know, the guide’s goal is to teach a player that’s new or inexperienced in the Monk to build and master a pure Monk, non-multiclassed, right to level 20 and beyond. I’ve not enough experience (or patience) to learn every multiclass option, and it’s advanced stuff, so I don’t cover it in any great detail in the guide (except note which classes may be more suitable or not in multiclassing).
But for the revised Kensei class tree, I decided to add it to the guide.
I’m a complete greenhorn on this build, so the chapter on it is quite incomplete until I can write about it with more authority. The history of the pre-Update 19 version showed a little Monk synergy as well. But with the versatility of the new class enhancement trees, a Kensei can make a more effective Ninja Spy into an non-Rogue assassin, give them greater effectiveness in fighting, and (while you needn’t take many Fighter levels to gain the benefits) greater durability.
I’m sure you can pair the Kensei with any Monk class trees, but I think that the Ninja Spy and perhaps the Henshin Mystics would gain the most. The Shintao Monk design is meant to work more as an unarmed fighter. While the Kensei abilities can augment them a little, the Shintao class tree is more aligned to accommodate tanking and endurance over power of attack.
I rolled up a new character, Theacletica, and plan to see how she takes to using shortswords, and eventually, kukris and throwing daggers, all while Centered. Perhaps a 14/6 Monk-Fighter, I don’t know. Given that I already have a Ninja, I’m leaning to the Kensei’s Tier 5 abilities, which I need to be Centered with kukris and daggers.
You learn something new every day with Update 19.