The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook is set to release on August 13th, 2009, and in anticipation, we are releasing a preview of the game each week until the game hits store shelves. This week, we are cracking some heads with Sajan, the iconic monk.
Male human monk 8
LN Medium humanoid (human) Init +3; Senses Perception +3 DEFENSE AC 23, touch 21, flat-footed 19 (+2 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 monk, +3 Wis) hp 63 (8d8+24) Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +9; +2 against enchantment Defensive Abilties evasion, slow fall 40 ft.; Immune disease OFFENSE Speed 50 ft. Melee flurry of blows +9/+9/+4/+4 (2d6+2 plus 1d6 fire) or mwk shortsword +9/+4 (1d6+2/19–20) Ranged shuriken +9/+4 (1d2+2) Special Attacks stunning fist (8/day, stun, fatigue, or sicken, DC 17) STATISTICS Str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 8 Base Atk +6; CMB +10; CMD 29 Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Extra Ki, Greater Disarm, Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike, Scorpion Style, Stand Still, Stunning Fist, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike) Skills Acrobatics +14 (+30 jump), Climb +13, Sense Motive +14, Stealth +14, Swim +13 Languages Common SQ fast movement, high jump, ki pool (9 points), maneuver training, purity of body, still mind, wholeness of body Combat Gearoil of greater magic fang (+3), potion of cure serious wounds (2); Other Gear mwk shortsword, shuriken (20), ring of protection +1, light fortification bracers of armor +2, flaming amulet of mighty fists, headband of inspiring wisdom +2, monk's robe
Everybody was kung fu fighting! Those cats were fast as lightning! Ahem. You will excuse my outburst of the Carl Douglas classic. This week we are taking a look at Sajan, the iconic monk. During the playtest there was a lot of debate on what to do with the monk, and everyone seemed to have their own idea on how to fix the class. From the beta to the final, we made a lot of tweaks to improve the class, from speeding up some progressions (such as the monk AC bonus) to adding more bonus feats (including the number granted and the selection available), but we also made a few large changes.
Let's start by taking a look at the monk's primary mode of attack: flurry of blows. This system is revised from the 3.5 version to work using mechanics similar to the Two-Weapon Fighting feats, but the new monk goes one step further and uses its monk level as its base attack bonus whenever it uses flurry of blows. At 8th level, this means that Sajan has one additional attack and all of those attacks are at a +1 over his 3.5 counterpart. If we look at 20th level, Sajan would have 2 extra attacks and those attacks are at a +3 over the 3.5 statistics. Of course, Sajan can still use special monk weapons for these attacks as well.
In addition, all monks now receive the Stunning Fist feat for free, allowing them to stun opponents for 1 round with a hit. As a monk gains levels, he can decide to apply different effects, some of which last considerably longer. At 8th level, Sajan can make his opponents fatigued (which lasts until they rest) or sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, Sajan could instead stagger his foes for 1d6+1 rounds (making it so they can only take a move or a standard action each turn). At 16th level he can permanently blind or deafen his enemies and at 20th level, he can paralyze them for 1d6+1 rounds. These abilities are separate from the monk's quivering palm attack, which functions much as before, except that now monks can use quivering palm once per day (as opposed to once per week).
Monks are also skilled at performing and defending against combat maneuvers (such as grapple, bull rush, and trip). They use their monk level as their base attack bonus when calculating their Combat Maneuver Bonus. They also add their Wisdom and monk AC bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense, making them truly skilled at resisting attempts made against them.
To add to the monk's offensive and defensive abilities, they now gain access to a pool of ki points that can be spent for temporary bonuses. At 4th level, Sajan gained the ability to spend 1 point as a swift action to make an additional attack as part of a flurry of blows (at his highest bonus), increase his speed by +20 ft. for 1 round, or to grant himself a +4 dodge bonus to his AC. At 5th level, he gained the high jump ability, which grants him a bonus equal to his class level on all Acrobatics checks made to jump, but it also allows him to spend a ki point for a +20 bonus to a single check. At 7th level, Sajan gained the ability to heal himself by spending 2 ki points. At higher levels, he can use this pool to dimension door or to become ethereal. The number of points in his pool goes up with his level as well, granting him 1 point per two levels, plus his Wisdom modifier (and 2 from the Extra Ki feat). As long as he has at least 1 ki point in his pool, all of his attacks are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 10th level, they are treated as lawful and at 16th level, they are treated as adamantine.
Finally, we made one additional change, although subtle, to boost the power of the monk. The amulet of mighty fists can now be used to grant melee special weapon qualities to the monk's unarmed strikes (flaming in this case). We also repriced the item to make it a bit more attractive for our kung fu masters (this one only costs 5,000 gp to add flaming to all his natural attacks, but the higher level version received a discount as well). A similar change was made to bracers of armor, allowing them to grant special armor qualities, such as light fortification.
Sajan also has a few feats to make him more versatile in combat. Improved Disarm and Greater Disarm give him a +14 bonus total on disarm combat maneuvers and any weapons he disarms are knocked up to 15 feet away from the wielder. Stand Still forces those that attempt to move past Sajan to stop if he strikes them with an attack of opportunity (of which he gets 4 per round due to Combat Reflexes). Combined with Scorpion Style, which allows Sajan to make a single attack that reduces the target's speed to 5 feet for 3 rounds, he can really stop a foe from moving past him and then prevent that foe from moving away later.
Eight classes down and three to go, which means that we are only five weeks from the release of the Core Rulebook! Next week I will rant and rage about the powers of Amiri, the iconic barbarian.
I tried looking at Sajan to help us figure this out. Below, it says Sajan's disarm check is +14.
Sajan's CMB is +10.
Monk Level 8 + 2 Strength.
He gets +4 from Improved Disarm and Greater Disarm.
Note that Sajan also has Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
I'm not sure if Jason was speaking abstractly in regards to the +14 (as in, not including WHICH weapon Sajan wanted to use for Disarm checks), but this makes it seem as if combat maneuvers aren't going to benefit from a hell of a lot. Unless, as I said, he's being abstract.