Ultimate Monk (3.5e Optimized Character Build)/Optimization Note: Getting More (and Better) Powers
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Optimization Note: Getting More (and Better) Powers
A friendly high-level psion (Telepathy), PC or NPC, is an enormous help to the Ultimate Monk. Such a relationship alleviates the need to spend feat slots on Expanded Knowledge, because the powers can be placed into your head via Psychic Chirurgery (including, once you can manifest 9th-level powers, Psychic Chirurgery itself; this facilitates acquiring powers forbidden to the Telepath.) This is an immense help in acquiring the psion powers used heavily in emulating legendary martial arts techniques. It also circumvents the limit of 10 powers in 10 levels of psionic fist. Incarnate and Psychic Reformation (which allows you to re-chose powers and feats from earlier levels) are also very helpful. All these powers have XP costs, so they are likely to be expensive (if they are available at all), but inasmuch as they free up feat slots, provide psuedo-class abilities (improved uncanny dodge via Danger Sense, immunity to flanking via Ubiquitous Vision) and permanently add new powers -- including psion powers -- to the monk's arsenal, they are cheap at any price.
Suggested Psion Powers (via Psychic Chirurgery, cost given assumes XP cost is divided evenly):
Total levels: 150 ( 500xp * 150 lvls * 5gp = 375,000gp)
Total powers: 33 (90 * 17 * 33 = 50,490gp)
Having It All
As useful as this is, the Epic-level Ultimate Monk can potentially go even farther. If the monk selects the Improved Heighten Power feat, adapted from Heighten Spell according to the SRD rules for such conversions, he or she can alter the level of one of his or her powers. Having done so, the monk need only find a way of paying the 17 power point cost of the heightened power (there are many ways to accomplish this without 17 levels in Psionic Fist: for example, the combination of Psionic Fist 10, Elocater 4, the Overchannel feat, and a Torc of Power Preservation would do the job.) At that point, the monk is capable of manifesting 9th-level powers (specifically, Heightened versions of his or her own Psychic Warrior powers.)
At this point, the Ultimate Monk can use Expanded Knowledge or Psychic Chirurgery to acquire any psionic power from any list (including Psychic Chirurgery itself.) This may seem a surprising leap in the monk's capabilities, but the rules are clear: Psychic Chirurgery, Expanded Knowledge, and Epic Expanded Knowledge all determine the maximum spell level imparted according to "the highest level of power you can manifest."
It gets better. The Ultimate Monk meets the main prerequisite for the Epic Manifestation feat; the ability to manifest 9th-level powers. Along with maximal ranks in Psicraft and Knowledge (psionics) (acquired normally from early levels or acquired via Psychic Reformation), the monk acquires the ability to manifest epic powers.
Once the Ultimate Monk has the ability to manifest epic powers, he is fully as capable in their use as if he had taken 20 levels in psion. Epic powers require no power points, so manifester level is not an issue. Only skill levels determine; and the monk (even if he never took a single level in Psicraft or Knowledge (psionics) prior to epic level, can even use Psychic Reformation to select Able Learner as a 1st-level feat, and take levels in the the required skills as if they had been class skills from the very first level.