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Keima87

Togashi Monk Discussion

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Hi everyone, first post here.

I´m trying to build a Togashi Monk and i´m a little confused about the approach i should take.

In my first sessions i noticed that it may not be a good idea to try to get many kiho since you can only use one at a time, and that they tend to focus on being kept active while attacking with regular strikes. Now, what happened to me is that by doing so, i had practically no defense and got almost killed twice, however, if i activate a more defensive kiho, my strikes have almost no power.
On the other hand, i wouldn´t want my monk to be just a striker, i want to have some usefull shuji and rituals as well.
 

So, i would like to read some ideas and suggestions.
Thank you.

Edited by Keima87

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One thing to consider is that the Tattooed Order's school ability gives one free Kiho per rank and you can reliably trigger those Kiho's Burst effects. These Kiho should be your go to Kiho while other Kiho you pick up can be more utilitarian.

When you can reliably trigger the burst effects of various Kiho dancing between Kiho rather than sitting in one Kiho becomes a viable strategy.

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(In before someone remarks that the Tattooed Monk school is the strongest in the core book)

16 hours ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

One thing to consider is that the Tattooed Order's school ability gives one free Kiho per rank and you can reliably trigger those Kiho's Burst effects. These Kiho should be your go to Kiho while other Kiho you pick up can be more utilitarian.

When you can reliably trigger the burst effects of various Kiho dancing between Kiho rather than sitting in one Kiho becomes a viable strategy.

To expand a bit on this, balance your kiho training and your ring advancements. Buying any kiho for a ring at rank 1 is more or less pointless. A rank 2 kiho for a rank 2 ring is a gamble you probably shouldn't take unless you have a significant relevant skill rank. And so on. In line with the comment above, preferably don't buy kiho you don't stand a good chance of succeeding with enough opportunities bonus successes to get the burst effect. Advancing your rings will round out your character as well.

So basically you're right: don't get too many kiho too soon. Get what works, and spend xp on making more of them work before you buy them. If you have a few basic ones, it's ok to pick up a shuji or ritual here and there too if you want. Just focus on getting those basics set up first and don't rush things. 

Edited by nameless ronin

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I’m actually preparing to play one ;)  Haven’t started yet so this will all be very theoretical, but what people said is quite true. The extra Kiho-tattoo per rank should be the backbone of the character. Note that bonus successes (not opportunities) trigger the burst effects so interestingly, Fire Kiho are easier in that respect. On the flip side, some can have a daunting base TN. Which leads me to an interesting rank 1 Fire Kiho: the body is an anvil. The TN 3 may be a challenge unless you start your Togashi with Fire 3, but what a passive-aggressive wonder! If you hesitate between offense and defense, this one can help. You will get hit, but if you manage the burst effect, it won’t be that hard and the attacker will regret it. Even with the basic enhancement, it’s a great debuff on enemies. Oh and it deals supernatural damage to boot!

Then, spinkle a few Fist kihos to adapt to various circumstances (Earth to wilt down large Endurance pools and increase your own durability, Water is great to go through tough armor...) and some utilitarian stuff on the side: Ki Protection and Cleansing Spirit are really cool to support your team. There are cool Air kihos but the Togashi might start at a disadvantage in that domain, so best kept for later. 

Finally, plan ahead for the tattoos you want to get at later ranks to give you an idea of the Rings and skills you will need to make the best of them. 

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I'll second some of the points made by others...

A kihō for a ring at 1 is a waste of XP. Why? "...additional bonus successes equal to your school rank." Key word - bonus successes. You MUST activate it first. You've a 50 to 75% chance of making TN1, but only a 25-50% of TN 2... You're not reliably triggering to get the bonus successes.

A Kihō for a ring at 2 is worthless for the burst effect, but the ongoing may be worth it. Unless it's your tatoo kiho, in which case, at Rank2+, you're going to be reliably triggering for burst as well.

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Alright. Thanks everyone.

My GM allowed me to re spend my Xp points and here´s what i´m thinking.

Before we start, i should tell you that my monk rings ended up all at 2 when i created it, so you guys think is better for me to get one of them to 3 and another one to 1, and then by that 2nd lvl with xp?

The school gives you one Kiho among a few options, and i´m gonna choose earthen fist, basically because it´s the only one that increases damage while still offering a little extra protection.
Now, i don´t see the point of having this as the tattoo kiho because with 2 or more bonus successes you only get earth ring damage and nothing more. For the tattoo i want something that really takes advantage of the extra successes. I´m thinking Breaking Blow (do i get this one correctly, you ONLY damage the object and make no damage to the target?), Earth Needs No Eyes or Ki Protection.

Now, when moving on i´m gonna go with things like cleansing spirit, way of the seaform, maybe water or air fist.

For my 2nd rank tattoo i´d choose Way of The Earthquake or Freezing the Lifeblood, probably the first because it links with earthen fist giving the prone condition.

What do you guys think?

I´m feeling like i´ll be shifting my combat focus to earth and then use the other rings for different circumstancial situations if i follow this path.

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22 minutes ago, Keima87 said:

Before we start, i should tell you that my monk rings ended up all at 2 when i created it

Found your problem right there. Every Ring at 2 is really bad regardless of your School or character concept. Your best bet is the 3/3/2/1/1 setup (two Rings at 3, one Ring at 2, two Rings at 1); the 3/2/2/2/1 is just slightly better than the All-2 and the 4/3/1/1/1 is good but very risky.

No wonder you couldn't accomplish anything, Ring 2 is very weak sans some serious gaming shenanigans. Ring 3 is where the game starts, but the level you should be aiming for is Ring 4. 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

4/3/1/1/1 is good but very risky

Note that you cannot create a character with Rings >3. If a Ring increase were to cause a Ring to go above that, you have to reallocate the increase to another Ring (same for skills).

Edit: this said, I do agree that you should at least get one Ring at 3; two is best especially if you already have some xp to spend (6xp to bump, say, your Water to 2)

Edited by Franwax

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12 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Found your problem right there. Every Ring at 2 is really bad regardless of your School or character concept. Your best bet is the 3/3/2/1/1 setup (two Rings at 3, one Ring at 2, two Rings at 1); the 3/2/2/2/1 is just slightly better than the All-2 and the 4/3/1/1/1 is good but very risky.

No wonder you couldn't accomplish anything, Ring 2 is very weak sans some serious gaming shenanigans. Ring 3 is where the game starts, but the level you should be aiming for is Ring 4. 

Yeah, i get your point.
I thought i could be well rounded even if i wasn´t great at anything, but i guess that doesn´t really work too well with this mechanics.

I´m gonna go with a 3/2/2/2/1 to start and then see if i get them higher.

With a 3 on earth, do you think those kiho could work better?

i´m not sure how good is 3 damage with those extra successes.

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4 minutes ago, Keima87 said:

With a 3 on earth, do you think those kiho could work better?

Earthen fist with 3 Earth is very good on a starting character. That's 5 damage on your fists attacks, which is equivalent to a freaking nodachi or ono!!! With your hands 😛 (not talking about deadliness here, just raw damage). You're right that a Tattoo would be wasted on this one. The burst effect is nice, but soon enough you won't need much help from extra successes fueled by the tattoo to trigger it.

Ki protection is also a bit in that vein: it's TN 1 and 2 bonus successes to get the burst.

Breaking blow is a pretty good choice because it will keep being useful at high ranks to get the extra burst effect at 4 bonus successes. Lots of utility potential too, if you use your imagination ;)

51 minutes ago, Keima87 said:

Breaking Blow (do i get this one correctly, you ONLY damage the object and make no damage to the target?)

The burst effect only damages (or destroys) an object. However, the enhancement effect applies when you perform unarmed attacks, so you DO damage the target normally, and in addition to that, damage one of their piece of gear unless they take 2 Fatigue. Note that it is Fatigue, not damage, so they don't get to reduce this with their armor. It's straight to the Fatigue track! Basically, you can even damage the target even if your regular attack did not go through their armor. For instance, a big Hida in plated armor, who has spent 2 opp on striking as Earth (resistance 7): you hit while under the effect of Breaking blow and do a measly 2 damage with your fist... so far, not much to tell home about. Then, the Hida choses whether he takes 2 fatigue or lets his armor get damaged (-2 resistance), and possibly destroyed the next turn.

59 minutes ago, Keima87 said:

For my 2nd rank tattoo i´d choose Way of The Earthquake or Freezing the Lifeblood

These are good choices. You're right to point out the synergy with the Prone condition from Earthen fist, but do note that if you put the guy down in round 1 with Earthen fist, they will have the opportunity to get back up before you trigger Way of the Earthquake (unless you play around with the Wait action, but that's a bit gamey). Freezing the Lifeblood is super nasty: much like breaking blow, it inflicts Fatigue directly - not reduced by armor - and what's more, it does it out of turn when you get hit! On the downside, it depends on the attacker's choice. Also like breaking blow, it has a two tier burst effect, so it's a great long term investment if you intend to reach rank 4+. It's also one of the few to deal supernatural damage.

1 hour ago, Keima87 said:

I´m feeling like i´ll be shifting my combat focus to earth and then use the other rings for different circumstancial situations if i follow this path. 

Yes, it's kind of what the Togashi are prompted to be (with the bonuses). Earth, then Fire. It's good to start, but you can also develop other Rings later. At the highest ranks, Void kihos are scary.

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4 minutes ago, Franwax said:

Note that you cannot create a character with Rings >3. If a Ring increase were to cause a Ring to go above that, you have to reallocate the increase to another Ring (same for skills).

Can't you increase your Ring to 4 via the free +1 Ring? I might remember this one wrong, it was some time ago when I last did the 20Q character creation.  

8 minutes ago, Keima87 said:

With a 3 on earth, do you think those kiho could work better?

Earthen Fist definitely does. 

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5 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

Can't you increase your Ring to 4 via the free +1 Ring? I might remember this one wrong, it was some time ago when I last did the 20Q character creation.  

Afraid not... the limitation on Ring increase is on page 41, before the 20 questions, and the wording implies that it applies throughout the creation process:

Quote

You cannot raise a ring or skill above rank 3 during character creation. If a choice would result in a ring rising above rank 3 during character creation, then you must choose a different ring to increase instead, as long as that ring would also not be increased above rank 3.

 

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Ok, so i´m thinking about going that way.

I got another question though, and it´s something that seems contradictory, unless i´m getting it wrong.

The school ability lets you get a kiho for free, and the idea is that you choose a kiho that benefits for potential multiple bonus successes, now, two of the kihos that better fit this are Way of The Earthquake and Death Touch. However, those two are specifically listed in your school curriculum. 

So, my question is: if i get those kihos linked to my tattoo (learningn them without paying the xp as the ability allows), do i lose the xp assigned to my curriculum for buying them? Seems like by putting them on the list makes it contradictory to get them with the tattoos because i won´t get that xp assigned to my next rank.

Did i get something wrong?

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2 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Found your problem right there. Every Ring at 2 is really bad regardless of your School or character concept. Your best bet is the 3/3/2/1/1 setup (two Rings at 3, one Ring at 2, two Rings at 1); the 3/2/2/2/1 is just slightly better than the All-2 and the 4/3/1/1/1 is good but very risky.

No wonder you couldn't accomplish anything, Ring 2 is very weak sans some serious gaming shenanigans. Ring 3 is where the game starts, but the level you should be aiming for is Ring 4. 

The only legal way to have a 4/3/1/1/1 ever is if void is the 3 or the 4. It's not possible at character generation(CG) before XP, as skills and rings cap at three in CG. (The extra points are not lost, but are assigned to a different ring/skill. And, at all times, rings are capped at the higher of 3 or (Lowest ring + Void); you cannot get a 4 unless void+Lowest Ring is ≥4.

A ring at 4 is much more valuable in 5E than it first seems, and so the limit is both reasonable and thematic.

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2 hours ago, Keima87 said:

So, my question is: if i get those kihos linked to my tattoo (learningn them without paying the xp as the ability allows), do i lose the xp assigned to my curriculum for buying them? Seems like by putting them on the list makes it contradictory to get them with the tattoos because i won´t get that xp assigned to my next rank.

I don't think that you advance on the curriculum here because there is no XP spent.

1 hour ago, AK_Aramis said:

A ring at 4 is much more valuable in 5E than it first seems, and so the limit is both reasonable and thematic.

I found Ring 4 "just" good but nothing spectacular unless it was paired with a high (4+) Skill too. 

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Then i seriously don´t understand why people consider monks so powerful.

- On each turn, you EITHER you activate a kiho or attack, you can´t do both.
- Most kihos have persistent effects that only make sense if you activate the kiho in your first turn and then don´t use any other kiho during the combat.
- If you try to circle through burst effects activating a different kiho on each turn, the damage you deal it´s neglectable and you´ll be terribly exposed to damage from enemies (monks wear no armor, defensive kihos deal almost no damage).
- And apart from all that, the school ability let´s you take advantage of just a couple of kihos, but if you chose them, they don´t count for your school progression.

It´s like the whole idea for the character (which seems powerfull at first sight) went out of the window when they took it down to the mechanics.

Either that, or i´m missing something.

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5 hours ago, Keima87 said:

And apart from all that, the school ability let´s you take advantage of just a couple of kihos, but if you chose them, they don´t count for your school progression.

This part is easy to answer: it's no big deal not to get 3xp on your school advancement; it's much better to get a free technique! And for early access Kihos, the fact that they are on your curriculum lets you take them for free as soon as you hit that Rank (i.e. you could get Way of the Earthquake as your first Tattoo). You can always get another support Kiho with the 3 xp you saved and advance just as fast towards the next rank.

6 hours ago, Keima87 said:

- On each turn, you EITHER you activate a kiho or attack, you can´t do both.
- Most kihos have persistent effects that only make sense if you activate the kiho in your first turn and then don´t use any other kiho during the combat.
- If you try to circle through burst effects activating a different kiho on each turn, the damage you deal it´s neglectable and you´ll be terribly exposed to damage from enemies (monks wear no armor, defensive kihos deal almost no damage).

This is more of a dilemma: to burst or not to burst 😛

Or in plainer terms, do you want to stick to one Kiho for most of the fight or do you aim at chaining burst effects every round? That is a choice, and luckily, the Togashi gets to make that choice. As I said in another thread, not all burst effects are equally useful in all situations. Many tend to deal low damage, and are mostly interesting for the conditions they can inflict and can be exploited by your team members. Others really shine thanks to their burst effects, while the enhancement effect is only situationally useful (e.g. Death Touch).

As for defensive Kihos that have teeth, I did mention The Body is an Anvil... the burst effect is hard to get on top of the TN 3, with with Tattoo help, it's doable. This really reduces incoming damage and the poor fool who hit you gets some supernatural damage (not much but it's supernatural, so likely less to no resistance), Dazed, Burning and a damaged weapon WITHOUT ANY CHECK TO RESIST! Freezing the Lifeblood assisted by a Tattoo at mid to high ranks can do substantial harm if you pump up your Medicine skill and Water Ring.

The long and short of it is: you will need an assortment of Kihos to face various situations and pick accordingly. Sometimes, you will just sit in Earthen First for the whole fight. Sometimes you will alternate with various effects as best benefits the rest of your group (e.g. your Hida friend with rushing avalanche style with thank you for putting the big bad villain prone)... And when you're Rank 5 with Void 5, you'll just go with Way of the Edgeless Sword and forget about all that 😛

I don't know that the Togashi is the most powerful school... not at first at least. A decked out Isawa will rain heavenfire on enemies in a much more spectacular way. But it's quite versatile and if you play long enough to reach the Mastery Ability, you can really make it shine with two active Kihos at once.

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This is a good discussion as I've been looking at Togashi monks.  Can the starting tattoo be Way of The Earthquake (its on the Rank 1 list)? Anyone have a level by level suggestion for the tattoos given a Earth/Water heavy or Earth/Fire monk?

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57 minutes ago, jayhad69 said:

Can the starting tattoo be Way of The Earthquake

I think it can: you can pick a Kiho for which you meet the prerequisites. It’s on your R1 curriculum, so you do meet the prerequisites. 

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Thanks. As I look at Monk creation, the starting Ring levels are either Earth or Void 3 (the other is 2), Fire 2, Air and Water 1 + 1 to any Ring. Is this correct? So the best builds seem to be Earth/Fire 3, Void 2, Air/Water 1 or Earth 3, Void/Fire/Water 2, Air 1. So is there no way to start with Water 3?

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Posted (edited)

I've re done the specs. I'm gonna go Earth water with more void at higher levels.

I started 3 earth, 2 water, fire, void and 1 air. Purchased a 2nd level air with XP.

I chose earthen fist as my first kiho and linked way of the earthquake to my first tattoo.

My second tattoo will be freezing the lifeblood and I'm gonna get water at 3 some time soon.

Plus, I got breaking blow, which is fire, but since you can get your strife as successes and it's only a TN1, that burst is doable.

I got MA unarmed and meditation at 2, gonna get them to 3 soon. 

Apart from that I got ki protection and honest assessment, because they suit my monk story wise.

I'll let you know how it worked out today.

Edited by Keima87

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4 hours ago, jayhad69 said:

Thanks. As I look at Monk creation, the starting Ring levels are either Earth or Void 3 (the other is 2), Fire 2, Air and Water 1 + 1 to any Ring. Is this correct? So the best builds seem to be Earth/Fire 3, Void 2, Air/Water 1 or Earth 3, Void/Fire/Water 2, Air 1. So is there no way to start with Water 3?

Yes, I think this is correct... going for Air or Water kihos requires some long term investment, it seems.

You could also start with Void 3, but I don't recommend that :s Derived stats will suffer too much in early game.

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Thanks. I did find that Water (or Air) is fact doable at Rank 3. The rules on page 56 say you can choose any school in your Clan [During this step, a player chooses a single school within their clan for their character.], so could choose Mirumoto (for Water +1) or Kitsuki (for Air +1) to get 3 Ranks to start, ! It makes sense that the character was born in another house of the Clan but joined the Togashi Order for whatever reason.  This makes starting Air or Water monks good. 

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Posted (edited)

youll never be as good as a starting togashi monk in water (and youll be even worst as an air monk) than a earth or fire monk.

don't know why they just didn't make togashi school and family choose "any 1 ring" and "any 1 fist kiho"...

but they did.

i saw a youtuber today speak about the fact that he loves the new l5r (really loves it), but that it is "sloppy" and "glitchy". and i totally agree with him.

Edited by Avatar111

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