I posted this in a thread that mentioned Monk and Bard debate and I'm starting a new thread so it can be continued properly. Necroticpus suggested it was about time for a new one and also mentioned Rangers as a class for discussion. So without further ado, let the happy conversation and bloodshed ensue. 'Well, Ive never contributed to either Bard or Monk battles on here. But a Monk cant really multiclass and in this game, not actual DnD, but this game, there seem to always be better options. Most who give Monk a shot regret it and try again with something more effective, especially in the later game. Where a Bard does get a lot of flack and may not be absolutely vital can take on all the diplomacy face character type skills and do very well, as well as all of the rogue aspects by taking a level or two there to give a class skill in things like disable device and open lock. you have one character meant to handle ALL of the non-combat type things without problem and have everyone else focused on death to the rest of the evil world. The important thing to note is a Bard *can* easily be made to be an amazing combatant as well. where he takes responsibility of essentially every chest needing unlocking, every skill choice in NPC conversation, every trap needing disabling, and does it all with absolute ease when built right. theres no reason you cant give him a reach weapon and specialize him in tripping, or an excrutiatingly valid option in focusing him in enchantment spells like sleep, charm person, etc. which he gets most if not all of such spells. or both. these arent the only options of course, but hes no less useful than any character in combat, especially with *entire* party buffs that other classes cant do, while being decidedly more effective to an exponential degree outside of combat. Admittedly, i hated Bards. With a passion even. Then i tried one. Ill never have a party without one from this point on. Monks, i didnt like. Tried a couple, actually. Still dont like them. If not dislike them more than before. Im unaware of these heated discussions but these are my opinions on both matters and id truly enjoy hearing points against Bard or for Monk. Maybe someone knows something i dont. Everyones opinions are more than welcome.' Rangers are a class that I don't understand the debate on. Full Ranger is iffy, but a level or to for some full BAB love, free combat feats, favored enemy, and even some useful class skills like Listen and Survival. The spells arent amazing but helpful and Id personally prefer to just MC Druid before taking a Ranger very far for those and the Animal Companion, which is less useful than a Druids as well. Not that they're necessarily amazing additions to the party, but better a Bear than a Wolf, right? Rangers easy to see the pros and cons for me, though. It's easy to see both sides if a debate is necessary, it just comes down to what you want out of a character, splashing a little for some benefits or going full can both produce a top character. Monks however, I'd still really like to hear the real positives for one that would offset it's crippling drawbacks in late-game. And Bards I suppose I understand some of why they're seen as less useful, when the mindset is 'why have this support character adding a +1 to everyones hit when I can have another whirlwind attacking glaive-user or a fireball throwing wizard making a bigger difference in combat?' but this isnt the correct focal point or even truth. Bards have a stigma, theyre "support", they sing and make everyone a little happier and suddenly they fight a tiny bit better. crappy support-ish spells. crappy attack bonus. Not true. They are the optimal 'out-of-combat' class, though i wont stress this point as its adding to the idea of 'in-combat' incompetence. The spells are amazing, a ton of them are what classes like wizards and sorcerers focus on a lot of the time actually, incapacitating and controlling considered a better option than a lot of evocation and damage spells by a lot of people. And with a medium BAB, he does just fine in combat as well, no worse than the full Rogues some people seem to swear by, at least. (which i still dont understand) And considering going a level or so in Rogue is a good idea anyway, you get a bit of Sneak Attack too. Consider he'll also be buffing everyone with huge durations all day, he'll hit more often than a Rogue, Druid, etc., as well as the rest of the party. Sorry, I know I just added a Wall of Text to a Wall of Text. tl;dr version of my current opinions: Bard- WOO! Roll it up, beat the game. Hell, solo it if you want. Ranger- Pretty, but not serious relationship material. Dip it and drop it. Monk- Bleh. Something smells like awful.