View Full Version : First Life End Game Assassin - Splash Monk?

09-25-2013, 10:27 AM
I just took a first life rogue out of mothballs and got it to level 17...starting to question whether a 1 or 2 level splash in monk would make sense for an assassin.

Downsides of the splash are as follows:
1 level - lose the assassin capstone (+2 int +4 sa dice), lose a handful of skill points (though I'm int-based so that's no big loss) and 1 assassinate dc (2 total with the capstone loss)
2 levels - lose 1 rogue feat (either crippling strike or skill mastery), a few more skill points, 1 sa die, 1 more point of assassinate dc

The bonuses:
1 level splash
1 more feat. Given that this was a Drow I'm looking at only 7 heroic feats. I'd love to take at least 1 actual epic feat in epic levels (Improved Sneak Attack) so that's 8 total heroic feats I can conceivably fit in. TWF, iTWF, gTWF, Precision, and Improved Critical (piercing to 20, slashing at 20) are must-haves for 5 locked in feats. Weapon Finesse is probably needed...I could get by with just daggers/kukri's but the moment I switch to something else I'm hurting. Since I'm going int-based with just enough dex for Improved Sneak Attack I'll want Insightful Reflexes as well. Unless I'm mistaken on Finesse that's 7 feats I'll need. I'd be spending a level 21+ feat for anything else I take...I think Dodge is pretty important...as a drow it nets me at least 6% (more depending on if I splash). I'd love to take Toughness or Sap as well but those are likely not happening - a 1 level monk splash would make Toughness or Sap possible. Since eMG don't uncenter a monk I'd be able to be in stance as well - that would be additional hp's and a bit of PRR (more on that in the 2 level splash section).

More importantly than the feat though is the enhancement trees. At level 1 Ninja Spy gives us 1 sa die (replacing one of the 4 we lost from capstone), 3% more dodge, and access to the faster sneaking enhancement. We'd actually be able to sneak at full movement speed. To me that's the most compelling part of the splash - full movement speed while sneaking. And level 1 Shintao opens up 10% extra off-hand attacks (as well as 10 positive energy/5% healing amp).

Finally, this gives a very viable option for DPS versus enemies that require bludgeoning damage - handwraps. The increased attack speed coupled with some good Fort bypass could yield good damage against skeletons for example. There are plenty of good wraps against the undead...it's harder to get a nice set of light maces.

2 level splash
Having 2 extra feats actually makes me want to go a bit different route. Rather than using the 2 feats to make things easier to fit in I'd make it harder to fit them in - use the Monk feats for Dodge + Finesse and then take Adept of Forms/Master of Forms as the two replacement feats. That would mean picking up Toughness at level 28 if at all but 2 levels of Monk opens up Shintao T2's 15 extra PRR in earth stance for a total of 27PRR.

Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are...hadn't even considered a monk splash but now that I'm about to hit level 18 I figured I better make up my mind now so I don't have to burn a good heart to fix anything.

09-25-2013, 12:30 PM
If you splashed 1 level of monk, you'd give up a capstone 4d6 sneak and 2 intelligence, to afford a feat to give you 3d6 sneak attack only.
If you splashed a 2nd level of monk, you'd be trading 3 feats (to get grandmaster of forms) for 1 feat to gain 15 prr. But if you simply wore light armor you'd get a PRR of 10.

So in terms of PRR and Sneak die, your argument will not gain anything. The other benefits like faster sneaking and wearing robes instead of light armor, a bit of extra dodge and handwrap availability for rust monsters (versus an assassins option to take repeater proficiency) is your call.

09-25-2013, 01:00 PM
I'd take the Improved Sneak Attack either way. So my loss by not taking the capstone would be the full 4 sa die and 2 int.

I'd go with 27PRR on the 2 splash with +15 from Shintao T2 enhancements and +12 from Master of Forms (can't fit in GMoF). You're right on the armor though - I could pick up 10 PRR in Light Armor if I wanted.

Not that it's a big part of the decision but I'm more concerned about skeletons on the handwraps than rust monsters. I'll most likely spend the extra 2AP to get Light Repeater Proficiency either way.

The faster sneaking is a huge part of this for me though...definitely a compelling part of the decision-making.

I'd love to fit in GMoF and I'm thinking the right way to do that might be on an 18/2 human instead. I could keep this build pure and build a human version to fit in the entire line of stances. Definitely hard to pass up 100% sneak speed though. :)

09-25-2013, 01:18 PM
didn't they make faster sneaking not stack? I thought that was part of some release note cryptic garbage.

09-25-2013, 01:46 PM
didn't they make faster sneaking not stack? I thought that was part of some release note cryptic garbage.

Hrm...I don't know - we'd need someone with one of these builds to confirm. Here's the actual text:

Fixed some requirements between different trees to stop identically named non-ability score enhancements from stacking (Critical Damage and Critical Accuracy from the Fighter Kensei, Rogue Assassin, and Ranger Tempest Trees)

The only thing they specifically mention there is Crit Accuracy/Damage. Not sure if they did other enhancements as well or just that one. Given that they did that to Crit Damage/Accuracy though that's enough to scare me away from a build that gets its main benefit from a similar stacking of 'identically named non-ability score enhancements'. :)