The Little Mountain Rises

Lynncletica, my Earth Stancer in her second life, continues her makeover.

Thanks to many new voices that help add/correct information in The Book of Syncletica, I’m working in or experimenting with more skills and feats for a stronger Monk.

Lynn and the Devil

Quintessica, my “Avatar,” has also helped flesh out the power of Monk stance diversity. Syncletica knows gear and speed. For Lynncletica, I’ve tasked her to improve her tanking ability.

First on the list was a retooling of skills. In the past I’d just dump points in Hide, Move Silently, Balance, Jump and (of course) Concentration. Lynn is now gravitating to two additional skills: Diplomacy and Intimidate.

Diplomacy seemed a no-brainer. It’s a class skill and I find myself surprised in various guildie runs how very, very few of us have a decent level of it. For some quests, like “The Prisoner” (a.k.a. VoN 2), it can save you the need of a nasty fight.

Intimidate is a cross-class skill. I’m not a fan of these (and my guide emphasizes my distaste in it). However, a little Intim is better than none. While it cannot reach the levels of sword-and-board melee characters, I should be able to reach a good level, combined with an item to add a few more points. It’s enough to attract many enemies before they charge past me and stomp on my friends. Lynn is sacrificing a few points in Hide/Move Silently to make this happen, and I’m sure she won’t miss it.

With Shintao Monk II and Level 13 under her belt, Lynn is back with action with her stunning handwraps, Green Steel goggles, Greater Mountain Stance and soloing guile. She’s plowed out all Explorer points in Atraxia’s Haven and the Sands in 48 hours, just to show she means business. Next: the one area where I’ve never completed Explorers or significant kills: Gianthold. Just in time for her to be wearing some White Dragonscale Armor to make her a happier tanker.

Did I mention that Cleave and Great Cleave in Fire Stance is a ki-generating monster? I’m looking to make Lynn a Grandmaster of Earth and Fire for more power to attacks, allowing rotation from one to the other as needed since Earth isn’t too keen on ki regeneration unless you’re struck. I’ll be doing something new: I won’t move Lynn beyond Adept-level Wind and Ocean Stances and put those action points into something else that I don’t venture through as often until now: Animal Paths. While I like the Way of the Patient Tortoise (More Concentration and HP with no downside), I think Lynn may seriously consider the Way of the Tenacious Badger to add more points to Intimidate  (up to +4) and add ki regeneration when she’s low on HP. The slow Meditation downside is less problematic since Fire regenerates ki all too well.

The last bit involves pumping more WIS into Lynn. She wants Vorpal Strikes when she is back in Epicland. I’m sure this works with natural ability points and tomes, but nothing else, so 23 is the magic number. Since she’s not pursuing Void Strike in any strong level, she could use another insta-kill move.

The Sturdiness of a Mountain

Under the tutelage of the abbot, I adopted the name of Lynncletica. Rather than cloistering myself for enlightenment, I have chosen the Harmonious path, as many have in my monastery, and began seeking truth and justice throughout the realms of Stormreach and beyond.

Unlike the abbot, Syncletica, who is a Grandmaster in the Way of the Wind, I chose a different path: The path of the Sturdy Mountain.

The abbot seemed skeptical but she did allow me to train in this school.

I chose this path for I saw a time (as the abbot has recounted in many an adventure) where destiny may be denied, where justice cannot be served where evil seems too strong. I believed in this: An adventuring party is not successful through through superior weaponry alone, or superior numbers, or superior spells. The successful party survives through durability.

And for that, one must endure long enough to ensure that all others can return to fight and succeed.

I see a time where all in my party are weakened or have fallen and I alone must endure, attracting the enemy, dispatching them not necessarily through swiftness but by turning the enemies attacking energy back into them. In the Mountain Path, the ability to hit an enemy critically greatly increases, especially using the Fists of Iron and mastery of the Void Strike. I seek items that improve my seeking mastery when striking here.

Further, should I be struck by an enemy, my ki only gets stronger. I can then use that ki to heal myself while further damaging my enemy. The only challenge involves healing faster than my opponents can deal damage. Again, the Way of Earth reduces the amount of damage I must endure, improving as I master it’s way.

I spoke with a neighboring acolyte at a dojo. They confirm my information. Aside from significant damage, they tell of acolytes and grandmasters who hit enemies so hard that they are phased out of existence, or hurt so badly that a lighter strike will finish them.

I am confident in my path. While I may never be as steadfast as a dwarf fighter, or as intimidating as a barbarian, as even as pious as a paladin, I am sure that I will become the Angry Mountain, whose shaking against those who push against it will yield only avalanches and large stones to crush and smite all that challenge it. The mountain shall endure.