Talk:Spider-Monk (3.5e Class)

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RatedFavor.png Franken Kesey favors this article and rated it 4 of 4!
A very fun and independent class that does the character of lore justice, with a tract for those less inclined to good. The monk has been in sore need of an upgrade that can remain strong with the other characters in the party. The final two features are out of place however, especially shadow walk. With work Web of Life could be fixed – yet there remains to be something missing in this class. Bravo on the Savage. Perhaps another arachnid ability outside of spiders (i.e. scorpions) would fill the hole. Or more sense and trap making abilities.
RatedLike.png Wildmage likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
Like the idea and the overall feel of the class, what keeps this from being favores by me is:

A) Base attack bonus, go with full or 3/4 (preffered if you went with full, its needet for flurry and its still solid in the moderate ballace level)

B) with the fluff being drawing power from spider source eighter have the web shotters being organic or make it a class feature you can select (i don't see all who draw powers from spiders inventing the same thing) The last one is very minor on my scale but would like to share it any how ;)

Wildmage makes a very interesting point about the web shooters. If anyone else agrees, I'll gladly make that change.
--Nolanf (talk) 20:45, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
RatedNeutral.png Planterobloon is neutral on this article and rated it 2 of 4.
Meh, gotta go with Foxwarrior on this one.
RatedNeutral.png Foxwarrior is neutral on this article and rated it 2 of 4.
I would have preferred a nice set of web-based powers rather than "just make stuff up" for the most exotic trick of the class, and the Base Attack Bonus thing you have going on is an atrocity, but it's a good complexity for a Moderate-balance class.
On the subject of webbing, one great thing about this game is that it constantly encourages people to think of ways to use the tools they're given for unintended and often amazing purposes. Because of this, I think players deserve better than to be limited by a finite set of uses for this "exotic trick."
On the other hand, if you think there's just not enough description included, then you may be right. In a future edit, I'll write in some examples of uses along with what I think is a fair cost to webbing.
The Base Attack Bonus is a calculated balance between a Fighter's BAB and a Monk's BAB, especially since this class has Flurry of Blows, but lacks Greater Flurry. I stand by it.
--Nolanf (talk) 19:39, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
No other class in the game has that BAB progression. That doesn't make it wrong per se, but it does make it weird. I don't even see what purpose it's is. The class is supposed to go up and hit people, but flurry of blows is often decried as flurry of misses precisely because the BAB is insufficient at mid and higher levels (particularly when combined with the difficulty in boosting other attack bonuses). I don't think boosting to the full BAB of a fighter would be a bad call here, as it's an extremely common monk change on its own. - Tarkisflux Talk 19:55, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
You guys were right the first time. The BAB was weird, so I put it back down to 3/4. I figure the improved Str given to this class makes up for the relatively low attack. --Nolanf (talk) 19:18, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Ghostwheel dislikes this article and rated it 1 of 4.
This rating refers to a substantially different version of the article, or concerns mentioned in it have already been addressed.
Even if it's only usable 5/day when you get it, 1d4 rounds of paralysis doesn't really fit into the moderate balance range. At the very least, I'd make it last for one round, and be based off of the character's wisdom modifier.

No problem. 1 round it is. However, I don't see any justification for making it Wisdom-based. Think of the paralyzer as being an analogue for a spider's neurotoxin. If anything, it should either be based on Strength or Dexterity. I flipped a coin and picked Strength, and I'll stick by that. --Nolanf (talk) 08:24, 12 August 2013 (UTC)


Give him some slack, this is his first class here. Nolanf, let me know when you are finished with this class, and will help you with editing. Also, the four-armed feature is cute, odd that it takes so long to get it - reminds me of a manual we have here. --Franken Kesey (talk) 22:06, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Ghostwheel makes a good point. I didn't research any other class's paralyze ability before I wrote that. I'll change it to 1 round only. I stand by not having any recharge time, though, as the Fortitude save is only standard - not extremely high.
FrankenKesey, thanks for noticing the Four Arms ability. I wasn't sure where to put it in the progression... I just guessed that it would be slightly more powerful then the stuff that comes before, but slightly less powerful than the stuff that comes after. --Nolanf (talk) 22:42, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Side note: we generally tab comments (by putting a ":" a the start of a new comment, then add another colon for each writer after second). Also, make sure to sign by putting "- - ~ ~ ~ ~" at the end of a response.
Unsure exactly when gaining two more arms is good, however the Limb Manifesto has a listing of when most other classes, races, etc. get more arms. --Franken Kesey (talk) 22:39, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Keep the comments coming, Franken Kesey! I think this class is just about ready for prime time, but I would especially like some ideas for the ability gained at lvl 20 (if any). I looked at what the regular monk gets, and it doesn't seem like anything special. There are other classes that get even less than that, though, so I'm not sure what would be most apt. --Nolanf (talk) 08:29, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

General Editing Suggestions & Thoughts[edit]

Welcome to the wiki! Don't take the critiques personally, we're all here because we love doing this stuff, and we all want to see more awesome homebrew here. That having been said... there's some fun ideas here, but there's a lot of unnecessary information as well (for example, you don't need to parenthetically remind us that a +2 bonus to strength increases the Strength mod by +1 and then list all the Strength based skills).

Here are some things I'd like to see changed:

  • As the web seems to be the signature ability of this class, having it's usefulness depend completely on a single skill check seems lackluster. I would change it to a length that scales with class level, or add a level-dependent scaling bonus to the craft roll. Also, is the webbing Extraordinary, Spell-Like, or Supernatural?
  • Are web shooters natural or manufactured? Are they grafts? Does a Spider-Monk construct them as a rite of passage like a Jedi building his first lightsaber, or do they just grow, like the extra arms?
  • On a web-shooting crit, what ability score's modifier is used for damage?
  • Spider climb is a spell, not a feat. (It is a feat in 4E, but this isn't 4E.)
  • The paralysis is nice, but it would be nicer to have some melee options before 11th level aside from flurry. For example you could scale up to paralysis by getting attacks that daze and stun at lower levels. Though I agree with Ghostwheel, you might want to put a limit on how many times per day a Spider-Monk can make a paralyzing attack (such as a number equal to their [appropriate ability] modifier). If you want to give the Spider-Mage more than a few paralyzing attacks per day, I'd suggest reducing the length to at most 1d4, and maybe adding the ability to save against it every round.
  • The bonuses to jump should be greater, and gained earlier than 9th level. Characters can easily afford Boots of Striding and Springing around 6th level which provide almost the same bonus as well as a speed boost. A scaling jump bonus would make sense as well. Also, is the bonus to jump untyped, or is it an enhancement, inherent, etc. bonus?
  • Web of Life is a nice ability, but it is extremely underpowered for a class' capstone. Sensing the actions of allies needs more detail as to how the mechanics of the Concentration check works. Again, is it an Ex, Sp or Su ability? Can it be blocked by magic that prevents scrying, etc. The second part of the web of life should be obtained much earlier, when there are fewer save-or-dies flying around and stabilizing companions is a more viable option.
  • Also, I get that this is Spider-Man as a D&D monk, but unless you're only planning on there being one of these guys in the world, I'd like to see some descriptions of how more Spider-Monks are trained. Is there a spider-revering monastery where the first Spider-Monk trained some followers?

Overall, this is nowhere near a VH class, I'd rank it as Low to Moderate as currently written. That's not a bad thing, but if you ARE going for a VH level class, I'd suggest looking at some of the other VH classes here on the wiki to better get an idea of what constitutes that power level. Spanambula (talk) 22:32, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Also, remember to sign your comments! (use four ~ marks) Ninja'd. Spanambula (talk) 22:33, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I was asking my local DM to look at this and critique it, but you know how people get busy.
* I thought that stacking extra dice when Produce Webs improves was sufficient, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to add a level modifier too. I had to look up the definition in the PHB glossary, but the webs are definitely extraordinary.
* I wasn't sure whether to go with comic book version or Sam Raimi version, but I was naive to think no one would ask... Um, how about manufactured?
* Strength. I'll write that in too.
* True - it is a spell, but I wanted to modify its stipulations so that I could scale it for my purposes. I know I'm bending the rules, here, but I think it's appropriate.
* Interesting thought - adding a daze and stun effect, building up to the paralyzer. I'll try to make it work in a later edit. I'll limit the number of usages to 1/2 level/day. I already changed the duration to 1 round only.
* I'll see if I can move Spider Jump up a little bit. It should be considered an inherent bonus. I'll write that in later.
* I completely agree with you on Web of Life. I really wasn't sure where to go with a capstone. If you feel like rewriting it or suggesting something cooler, feel free.
* Good suggestion for the description. I'll make something up.
* I'll change the balance to Moderate. --Nolanf (talk) 23:21, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Franken Kesey Comments[edit]

1.Weapon and Armor Proficiency: you have simple weapons mentioned and mixed with martial and exotic weapons. Better if it said: “Spider-Monks are proficient with all simple weapons, plus handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken and siangham.

  • You have most of the simple weapons mentioned, better to give a monk class all of them.

2.Flurry of blows: better to simply link it to the Monk page then give a page number. Also, someone else on this wiki has suggested bulleting what happens at preceding levels (i.e., “<Bullet> At 7th level, the penalty is reduced by one… at 15th…”). And I have found this method to greatly clean up the page ordering.

3.Unarmed Strike: same as above, link instead of page number. You could instead link Flurry, Unarmed Strike, Evasion and Dodge into one ability. Example:

Monk Abilities: Spider-monks get the monk abilities Flurry of Blows and Unarmed Strike at 1st level.
  • At 2nd level, spider-monks get the monk abilities Evasion and Dodge.
  • At X level, gain uncanny dodge, and at Y level gain improved evasion.”

4.Lesser Spider Climb: The italics are to infer: like the spell, correct?

5.Produce Webs: the strength DC should improve with level, and it would be better if a) escape vs. craft, or b) escape had a DC instead of a opposed roll. Need to mention how it improves at 7th and 13th level.

6.Shoot Webs: such a beautiful ability, it has been disappointing to see the cinema not give the comic book ability. First line is wonderful. Looked at second, remove “rule of thumb”, instead, “Medium creature limbs require 3’ of webbing to immobilize, and 3’ to bind head. Double this for every size category above medium, and halve for every size under.” Second tab (“The Spider-Monk will list…”) is mostly erroneous. Only need to put: “cannot use Flurry of Blows when shooting webs.

7.Trap Sense: Also could be linked with the monk ability feature.

8.Intermediate Spider Climb: needs to be an advancement of Spider Climb. Greater Spider Climb, also needs to be linked to a larger “Spider Climb” ability.

9.Spider Jump: fine as is, may want to link with any other +x skill bonuses, but not necessary. Could link with Spider Abilities (see below).

10.Spider Strength and Spider Agility: would be better if linked into: Spider Abilities. Also would like to see +4 bonuses at later levels.

11.Paralyzing: this is a really fun ability, that is being crowed out by all the minor features that have not been linked. And will give a full discourse on it when some of the clutter is fixed. Have the following features: Monk Features, Spider Climb, Produce Webs, Shoot Webs, Spider Abilities, Paralyzing Strike and Web of Life. But this feature deserves a great deal of appreciation.

12.Tremorsense: can be linked with Spider Abilities.

13.Blind-Fight: could be linked with Spider Abilities, also better to link with the Blindsight and Blindsense page then put rules here.

14.True Spider Climb: put with the Spider Climb.

15.Four Arms: Another ability to discuss when there is less clutter.

16.Hide in Plain Sight: link to monk abilities.

17.Shadow Walk and Web of Life: Will discuss later.

18. Knowledge (Dungeoneering and Nature) need to be added as class skills. Skills mentioned below table are better if they only link. It already mentions that they are class skills – this does not need to be explained.

Here is a start. Will return shortly, to discuss your reply.--Franken Kesey (talk) 16:01, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

1. Will do.
2. Will do.
3. Will do.
4. I've been using italics for everything. If it's more common practice not to use them, then I'll get rid of them.
5. My DM usually does escape checks v. use rope. That's where I got the idea. In fact, I think I'll stick with that.
6. Will do.
7. So you mean I don't have to copy and paste its definition in my class features? Okay.
8. Not sure what you mean by this. I mean I'm not sure what you want that's any different from what I wrote.
9. okay.
10. So a Greater Spider Strength and Greater Spider Agility? I thought this class was stuffed with features already, but I guess I could pack some more in.
11. So.... you'll tell me what you mean by that later. Gotcha.
12. Will do.
13. Will do.
14. Will do.
15. Okay.
16. Will do.
17. Okay.
18. Will do, and I basically copied and pasted that from the Monk page in PHB 3.5. Yes, they do a little bit of over-explaining sometimes.
--Nolanf (talk) 19:57, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
4. Best to use italics for spells and fluff – and only when necessary elsewhere.
5. Understood.
7. Correct.
8. See Examples below.
9. You might want to add balance, hide, listen, spot and tumble bonuses to this (i.e., At 6th level, spider-monks gain a +2 class bonus to balance, hide, jump, listen, spot and tumble skills. At 10th level, this improves to +4, then to +6 at 16th.).
10. See number 8. Mergering abilities needs to be done, a +4 bonus to two ability scores is not overpowered.--Franken Kesey (talk) 20:51, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


Other examples of mergering abilities:

Monk Features: Spider-monks have many monkish abilities. At 1st level, spider monks get Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, an AC bonus, and unarmored speed bonus the same as a monk.

Spider Climb (Ex): As a standard action, spider-monks can climb on walls and ceilings. Treat like spider climb, but only can be done for one round, and grants a climb speed of 15’. This may be done once per day for every level in spider-monk.

  • At 4th level, this can be done as an immediate action; and lasts for one round per class level.
  • At 9th level, improve speed by 10, and lasts for one minute per class level.
  • At 16th level, can move the same speed as highest speed when climbing.

Spider Abilities: At 3rd level, spider-monks get a +2 class bonus to balance, climb, hide, jump, listen, spot and tumble skills.

  • At 6th level, spider-monks add their Intelligence modifier to Reflex saves (in addition to Dex modifier). (Such that total Reflex equals class+Dex+Int+other.)
  • At 9th level, gain a +2 bonus to Strength and Dexterity, and skill bonus improves to +4.
  • At 12th level, gain Tremorsense out to 60 feet, and a second pair of arms.
    • The second set of arms are the same strength as the normal arms, but cannot be used with a Flurry of Blows attack.
  • At 15th level, gain Blindsense out to 20 feet, and skill bonus improves to +6.
  • At 18th level, gain another +2 bonus to Strength and Dexterity (+4 total from this class), and another set of arms (+4 arms total).
    • However if the spider monk had more than four limbs to begin with, this feature cannot allow more than eight limbs total.

Rogue Features: Spider-monks have a few rogue abilities. At 4th level, spider monks get Trap Sense+1 (improving by +1 every 3 levels thereafter – to +6 at 19th).

  • At 6th level, gain Sneak Attack ability, dealing 1d6 damage per three class levels to creatures who have their Dexterity bonus denied to AC.
  • At 16th level, gain the Hide in Plain Sight ability.
Okay, this is a lot to take in. I just got done with the last checklist... I think I'll take a break from this until after class on Thursday.
Thanks for the help, though. The class looks a lot cleaner already!--Nolanf (talk) 00:55, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

New Comments[edit]

This class is so much better – Order is! As promised will comment now on some of the more unique features:

1)Produce Webs: to solve some of what other commenters are criticizing, replace “Craft(webs)+class…” with “ranks in Craft(webs)+class…”.

The following two sentences are troubling: ”Unused webbing may accumulate indefinitely. Any length of webbing used dissolves into nothing after one hour, but remains strong as rope until then.”
A. First sentence: Where do they accumulate? Can they be used for the following day? Second sentence: Dissolving into noting after only one hour is very weak. Better to have it rank with class, or improve base (i.e., Used web lasts for one hour for every four levels in this class or The web lasts for one hour (increasing by an hour at 5th, 9th, 13th and 18th level).
Spider-webs are significantly stronger than rope, and if the spider-monk produces larger strands than a normal spider, the DC should be significantly higher (also fix flavor “to stronger than rope” – or “steel” for that matter). Generally save DC is 10 + 1/2 class level + an ability score (Intelligence or Constitution are both fitting). Changing it to 16 + full class gives a lot in the early levels, but will not rank at the right speeds to compete later on. Thus suggest standard.

2)Paralyzing Strike: Looking at how changed it is, have not issue with this ability.

3) Spider Climb and True Spider Climb: Spider climb has been greatly increased in power, most players should be able to get their climb speed to exceed their land speed rather easily. So the question is: if exceeded in speed, does the spider-monk have a ceiling that reduces speed to base land speed.

Side note: climb rolls are not simply speed, but also ability to hang onto a wall and catch falling creatures. Thus climb is not obsolete when gaining True Spider Climb.
Another side note: The spider climb spell already mentions that one cannot run when using. It is fine to reiterate, but not necessary.

4)Four Arms: A wonderful feature, had been considering that spiders have 8 limbs instead of 6. However, 8 limbs can be a bit tricky to manage. Will leave it up to you as to following flavor or power-level. There are a great many ways to gain more than 8 limbs – but unsure if you want to do this. Also, will this stack with other limb granting methods (LOOK at the Limb Manifesto)?

5)Spider Shadow Walk: This feature should not be in this class.

6)Web of Life: Good capstone, will get back to you on if I can think of a better one. For now it fits function.

So much better, have added rating.--Franken Kesey (talk) 23:34, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Speaking of web strength, I just checked the PHB on breaking DC's again, and you're right. The webs get way too strong in the later levels. How about this: To keep it competitive with other materials, I'll change the breaking DC to 17 + 1/2 class level + INT. This way, it'll still get pretty strong by level 20, but not as strong as before. --Nolanf (talk) 21:39, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Speaking of spider climb, yes it does seem a little over-powered, in theory. If a player wants to sacrifice ranks in other skills, he could easily make his climb speed sky-rocket. I haven't tested this class in a game yet, but I'm hoping players will be encouraged to put more ranks into Craft, Jump, Tumble, etc, thus balancing out the spider climb. --Nolanf (talk) 22:03, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Some more Comments[edit]

I have a few things to say about this class as well.

  • I am no fan of the non-standard BAB-progression. I don't think it would unbalance the class to give it full BAB, but I suggest making it either average or full, and not something in between.
  • '+6 to their inherent Jump skill' is not really a thing. There are no inherent bonuses to anything but ability scores. Since the bonus is extraordinary in nature and the result of the spider monk's physical changes, I would make it a racial skill bonus that stacks with any racial bonuses it might already possess.
  • 'Because of this, the Climb skill is no longer valid.' - Do not this, ever. The rather forbidding wording aside, it isn't even true to begin with. Spider climb may allow you to scale any surface without making climb checks, but the Climb skill has plenty of uses left; catching yourself when falling, catching a falling creature while climbing, and taking damage while you are climbing all require you to make Climb checks. Just because a character doesn't have to make a skill check to perform certain types of action doesn't mean that skill is not valid.
  • Paralyzing Strike is nice, but if you want to make this class more powerful I suggest breaking more with the mold you started with. The monk is the weakest core class in the whole of 3.5e, and feats intended for use by it, like Stunning Fist, don't do much to change that. I would personally consider making the Paralyzing Strike a full-round or standard action single attack that is usable at will.
  • The Spider Shadow Walk ability doesn't really seem fitted to the class. In your place, I would probably decide to replace it with a more arachnid-themed ability.
  • Agree with Span that web length should not depend on a skill check. It's a pain in the butt if a bad roll cripples your arsenal on the day of a particularly big battle. That, and if you think about it, spiders are mindless and they can spin threads just fine.
  • Shoot Webs - I would do away with the 'number of feet of webbing' mechanic altogether. When you're designing a class and, more importantly, when you're playing a class, you want to be doing as little accountancy as possible. It would be like trying to keep track of all your mundane ammunition in a high level game. It's okay to give this class more practical access to its webslinging abilities.
  • Where's the 'spider sense'? That just seems like a missed opportunity to add something flavourwise.

I'll think of more later.

Oh, by the way. I like to show the people of the internet that this site is friendly and open to new content and to give the impression that it is worth investing time and effort into making this site better. More people, more points of view, more homebrew material. Somehow I don't think frantically downvoting any promising new articles made by new users that don't strictly conform to site regulations or standards of balance and writing is a good way to do that, Ghostwheel. Maybe one day the net will start taking this site a bit seriously. --Sulacu (talk) 10:07, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

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