Fu, You, and the Bablith They Rode In On


Compiling that greatly-revised Monk guide, with all the thoughts and contributions from DDO forum members, has compelled me to rethink a bit on the diversity of Monk attacks.

The “Book of Syncletica” is for beginners that guides a player interested in a Monk through building a pure character. No multiclassing. That’s not because multiclassing is bad or anything, of course–it’s just that you won’t learn all you need to know about a Monk by leeching in cross-class skills and feats that might dilute a Monk’s innate abilities.

The forum conversations I’ve had to-date have made me realize how little I know of the effect of certain granted attacks and their selected, advanced versions. While I’ve toyed with Cleave and Great Cleave on one Monk, Improved Sunder has never been on my list. My argument has been that it takes up a feat slot I will need for anything to boost attacks (such as the Two-Weapon Fighting line), critical hits (Improved Critical), or hit points (Toughness).

But a Monk is more than their handwraps. More than any one attack or feat. Certainly a Monk should be more capable of multiple attacks on multiple enemies, despite game mechanic limitations.

In short, a martial arts fighter should be able to really deal attacks from as many directions as they have limbs, and then some.


Part of this interest comes from Quintessica, the Grandmaster of all Elements (“Avatar”) Monk. She has Whirlwind Attack that adds to her normal and ki attacks, making her a whirling dervish of destruction.

The other interest appears anytime I’m reminded of “The Burly Brawl,” the fight between Neo and multiple spawning copies of Smith, rogue agent gone viral, in the film, The Matrix Reloaded. He knows kung-fu, indeed. (In the linked scene, Neo shows us how a quarterstaff should really be used.)

You can play this scenario yourself now in the recently modified “The Weapons Shipment,” where seemingly endless waves of devils come at you.

I just sent Lynncletica (the redhead, above), “The Little Mountain” that stood up alone against Garamol many times, into her second life. I am considering how much extra special attack types I can add to her build while still keeping her a Monk tanker, just to help better with removing mobs than punching each mob member one at a time.

So the attacks in consideration are:

  • Improved Sunder (requires Sunder, Power Attack): While Destruction/Improved Destruction do this on handwraps, why wait for the handwraps when you can crack armor at level 3?
  • Improved Trip (requires Combat Expertise): Start knocking down enemies yourself for a change.
  • Cleave (requires Power Attack): 90-degree arcing attack.
  • Great Cleave (requires Cleave): 180-degree arc attack and 2x damage than Cleave.
  • Whirlwind Attack (requires Spring Attack, which needs Dodge and Mobility, and Combat Expertise, which needs 13 INT): 360-degrees of badass and 4x weapon damage.

Of these, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Trip and Whirlwind Attack would have a Monk fighting in a far more useful mode, as their arms and legs virtually charge in 90, 180 and 360 arcs. They wouldn’t apply more damage per second to any one foe, but would apply more damage per second to many more foes per second. That would be more martial-artsy.

I’m still considering a name for this experiment. Chuck Norris (peace and roundhouse kicks be upon him) doesn’t just kick. Neither should a Monk have one single-mode attack.

I’m sure others have experimented on this idea, so if you have, let me know. Lynncletica will be wearing more dark robes and goggles as she fights off Agents–er, I mean, devils during her training. Stay tuned.