@RaptorPirate requested an update on the #NoMonkChallenge that I'm working on right now with Final Fantasy Tactics.
Happy to oblige!
I'll say, it is so tempting to play towards monk at the stage I'm at right now. (I'm very early, lvl7 main character, and Delita hasn't left the party yet) The class is totally key for opening up a lot of the martial classes. In a normal game, I'd have 2 or 3 folks going into the thief/monk classes with a goal of ending up ninjas or dragoons.
Having this challenge has opened up a new part of the game for me though. I'm taking a stronger look at the magic classes for long term growth. I've been leaving my characters in the basic classes for longer(Squire, Thief, Archer, and Knight) while looking for ways around the Monk requirement for many classes. I'm also really looking at the purchases I'm making in a different light.
Currently the strongest melee guys I have are in the Knight class. The "Arts of War" skills(the Knight's special ability to break armor/weapons/speed/mp) are notoriously inefficient. I would exempt the rend weapon from that though.
What I'm looking at instead, is "equip heavy armor", which is not something I would have normally ever bought in a regular play through. I'd like to see how a White Mage or Chemist with this ability would add a super durable element to the normally exposed healing type classes. Also, if I can manage to get a Ninja developed - I imagine a heavy armor wearing Ninja would be an incredibly durable damage machine.
Again, normally that ability - and the Knight class really - wouldn't make my roster with the Monk available but I've got a special exemption to those rules here, which has exposed some other skill and class combinations as viable options.
Because Chakra - one of my favorite skills in FFT ever - won't be available, I've had to plan for healing classes much differently than before.
I used to set my party up in an "X" in a field and farm JP while the monk healed everybody ad-naseum and the party throws rocks at each other, lol. Now that precious JP must be payed for in potions from Clerics and MP from White Mages if I were to do that!
I'm making 2 solid magic users, both of which should be able to rotate in and out of the healer spot if needed. Macbeth(thanks @CorruptionPoints for the name) is the character that has shown the early magic aptitude, so maybe she will be working towards Summoner or Calculator eventually. Solidus(thanks to a FACEBOOK fan for that one) has been a dedicated Chemist up until this point. I've picked up "auto-potion" with both which has been surprisingly helpful this early in the game.
I'll follow-up with more info as the game develops, but feel free to hit me up here, on Facebook, or on the StrMod TUMBLR if you have a specific question!
Thanks, and Game On!