I’ve been quite successful in playing and developing my three Light Monks.
Syncletica was the first, a Wind Stancer. Lynncletica showed the power of Mountain Stance. Quintessica showed both of them off by becoming an Avatar, a master of all four heroic Grandmaster levels as well as epic Grandmaster of Flowers.
But, sitting in the shadows of gameplay, literally and figuratively, was Ryncletica, my only Dark Monk. Perhaps this has been because she is much harder to play. She cannot self-heal as readily as her sisters. She requires her shortswords and kamas for damage reduction bypassing. Her finishing moves are primarily attacks and require far greater coordination to use. But, as Quintessica showed me, Ryn isn’t a particularly great fighter. She just reached Level 18 after nearly 1.5 years of existence.
So, as with changes to Lynncletica and to Syncletica in their second lives, and adding the martial aspects of Quintessica’s incredible build design, I’m planning to Lesser (or, if she’s 28-pt, do a Greater) Reincarnate my little dark halfling to incorporate Cleave, Great Cleave, and even Whirlwind Attack to give her greater versatility. Further, Ryn’s WIS score was dreadfully low and requires greater numbers for more successes with Stunning Fist and many of her debuffs.
As far as ability scores, this was a tough decision. I built Ryn to follow Wind Stance (as Syn originally chose). I know now that a Dark Monk may be best played in Fire Stance (ki generation and heightened damage) Ocean Stance (greater WIS, passive ki regeneration and more effective DC checks) or even Mountain Stance (better defense but risk of greater Threat generation). So Ryn will go Fire Grandmaster and consider Ocean Stance as a second choice.
The final choice may be to change Ryn’s race once she’s eligible for True Reincarnation. A halfling has naturally improved abilities for throwing, luck, AC and DEX. But a human adds extra diversity and size, as well as an extra feat she’ll need to improve her martial arts.
Thanks to Update 14, I’ll have a greater opportunity to find DR-breaking metallic handwraps to help her fight unarmed more often. In all of this, I hope not to nerf Ryn’s excellent stealth ability, which matches my acrobat Rogue, Allysen (also a victim of being overshadowed by the Monks and in need of a similar refit).
More details as the retool is readied.