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Ultimate Equipment: What's Missing?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Now that we’re wrapping up the last of the Advanced Race Guide, the design team is starting to work on Ultimate Equipment. This hardcover will cover all kinds of mundane and magical items for the Pathfinder RPG. As we have a little time before the text goes over to the editors, we’d like to give you one last chance to provide feedback for the book. Is there a kind of magic item that you’d like to see in this book? Is there an item category that’s lacking? Is there a class or game mechanic that is underrepresented in the item lists? Leave your feedback to this blog entry and we’ll see what else we can cram into the book!

Edit: Just to clarify, this book is basically a "shopping catalogue" of items fantasy adventurers may want to own and have a reasonable chance of purchasing. It isn't introducing any new rule systems or subsystems (such as legacy weapons), rework character wealth by level or the problems with the "big six" magic items, or introduce new magic item slots, new classes or archetypes, clarifications or expansions of the crafting or magic item pricing rules, castles and furniture, shift existing items to different slots, include magical equivalents of technological items (cell phones, portable stoves), items that duplicate or invalidate class abilities or feats, or futuristic weapons. We are adding new magic items to every single magic item slot. In particular, we'd like to know if there are any mundane items, weapons, or armor that fill a niche which isn't already covered in the game.


Illustrations by Kieran Yanner
for GameMastery Item Cards: Skull & Shackles

Sean K Reynolds
Designer

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You folks are sending me mixed signals.

You are talking to multiple people :p its not like we made a committee before coming here.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
If you want an item that enhances multiple unarmed attacks, it's the amulet of mighty fists.

If you're fine with monks needing to pay 125k for +5 while the fighter pays 50k, then yes, AOMF is the way to go, and that idea ends. However, the way many players see it is that you have this powerful item (+x to all natural attacks) and monks really only need a less powerful effect (+x to UAS), which should cost less. This is pretty clearly a "less powerful effect" when you look at how Greater Magic Fang works: the same cast done by a 12 level druid can either give his pet +1 to all natural attacks or it could give the monk +3 to UAS.

For example: if I decided that my monk will enhance his attacks with +3 by having my L12 druid buddy cast GMF, or the cleric casting magic weapon on me, every day, it would cost me about 9k (level 3 pearl of power). If my L12 druid buddy decides to enhance all of his cat companions natural attacks to +3, it would cost him 27k (3 level 3 pearl of power for 1 cast each: claw/claw/bite). Enchanting my UAS is clearly cheaper using this method. However, when I decide to buy an AOMF, instead I am needing to pay the same amount as the cat to get an equivalent bonus, because while GMF has a mechanism for distinguishing between UAS and nat attacks, AOMF does not. This is why I think there should be a cheaper item that applies only to unarmed strikes, eg Amulet of Unarmed Strike. Yes it would be better for all monks without natural attacks, forever, but I blame that on AOMFs pricing plan to begin with. AOMF is still going to see use by other creatures/players with natural attacks.

Regardless, I still think the idea of wraps that only enhance, say, one of your 5 attacks in a flurry is a little wonky. Keeping track of that would be too much of a pain, and as you pointed out it would be hard to price fairly and not be way worse than AOMF.

I guess a different option would be to have an item that takes up a different, but valuable slot, so that there was still some choice? Maybe "Wrists of Unarmed Strike", since that would free up the neck for natural armor, so you pick which slot you want for defense, which for offense, both one way or the other, which pricing plan you want, etc... If the requirement is that the new item can't be explicitly better than AOMF, then that will be a hard item to design, since AOMF is so painful for monks to have to use.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
If that's how you choose to see it... but I really, honestly don't think what I and other people are asking for is unreasonable.
You're asking for a magic item that lets you deal unarmed strike damage instead of weapon damage. We have to balance that for the optimized character so it can't be abused. That means we have to balance the choice of having a +5 weapon vs. an item that lets a 20th-level monk deal 2d10 damage with each attack, even a said that normally deals 1d4 damage.

A monk can already deal 2d10 damage with each attack, and get it enhanced via spells or an amulet of mighty fists. I just think the latter is too expensive for the value it truly provides.

I am trying very hard to see how what I'm proposing (a weapon that deals damage equal to unarmed damage dice) unbalances the monk. I think it actually makes the monk effective and fun to play, when as it is, it's frustrating and forces choices that shouldn't have to be made ("Do I use unarmed strikes, or do I just do what the optimizers do and use a temple sword or become a Zen Archer?") If you have time to illustrate this problem you see with a clearer example, I would appreciate it. I realize you have limited time, but we are clearly viewing the situation from extremely different points of view, and something in the middle is getting seriously lost.

Quote:


Quote:
And otherwise, why might a fighter choose to wield a +5 short sword instead of a +5 warhammer? Or greatsword? Or bastard sword? All of the latter do more damage. Sure the short sword has a better crit range, but then... if you're going for crit range, you "should" wield a rapier or falchion or something.
Apples and oranges. Short swords and warhammers are in the game because they're actual, historical weapons, and if the game doesn't have a reasonable assortment of historical weapons, it fails the basic premise of "sword and sorcery" gaming. So yes, some historical weapons are worse than others... just like how it was in history. The game models that, and allows characters to choose sub-optimal weapons for flavor. That's material in the core rulebook for the game.

I'm sorry, but I still don't see your point. Historically and today, martial artists and brawlers can also use brass knuckles, wraps, and gloves to enhance their effectiveness as well.

The only thing non-historic is being able to enchant those items, but historically we couldn't enchant short swords and warhammers either.

And as Zark rightly pointed out, what's happening right now is optimized monk players aren't using unarmed strikes at all because they can't be enhanced easily. They use temple swords or play zen archers, or use builds like the tetori or maneuver monk which focus on control rather than damage. The people who want to play "the monk with the iron fist" tend to lose out because the game's rules does not have a way of making that as viable as the other options, and that's a big gap in character concepts people ought to play effectively in a combat game. Options in Ultimate Combat have helped, but not by much.

Quote:


You're talking about adding an option in a new book that is clearly better than an option in that core rulebook. It invalidates that part of the core rulebook, like a new version of the bard class that has d12 Hit Dice but only 4 skill points per level. "Some people would still play the old bard because it has more skill points" doesn't change that the new bard is better than the old bard. You're invalidating something in the baseline game. That's rules creep. That's bad.

Were this discussion on any number of other subjects, I'd most likely agree with you. Heck, I'm really the kind of gamer game publishers hate because I generally hate supplementary material in general and don't buy it--I hate power creep, I hate adding new rules; I approach all supplemental material with utmost paranoia and hesitation, always finding reasons NOT to add new stuff to my game because I don't want it to mess my game up.

The fact that I feel strongly about giving the monks a weapon that can allow them to take advantage of the kind of damage they can deal unarmed suggests to me that maybe I don't view it as power creep, but rather as something essential that was omitted from the core rules due to error/oversight/lack of foresight.

I am fine with something changing the core rules if the core rules are bad. That's not power creep, that's fixing what's broken.

Now, ultimately, you're the developer, and I know you're trying to make the call based on what's best for the player base as a whole. I recognize that I am one player/GM and maybe, I just am not be able to see the possibilities of how this could break the game/ruin it/cause power creep when you can. But I see a lot of people asking for this who are not the kind of people who want lots of power (or power creep) added to the game, myself included. I just hope you bear that in mind during your consideration process.

Quote:


I'm all about allowing players to make sup-optimal choices. I frequently quote Monte Cook's adage about the game letting you eat rocks if you want to. But there's a difference between "giving the option to make suboptimal choices" and "turning a standard choice in the core rules of the game into a suboptimal choice."

Currently, fighting with unarmed strikes IS the suboptimal choice for the monk. Given that the monk is ostensibly designed in part to be a specialist in unarmed and unarmored combat, something is seriously wrong here.

If you choose not to address this problem with an item in UE, I hope you bear it in mind for future products.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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oneplus999 wrote:
If you're fine with monks needing to pay 125k for +5 while the fighter pays 50k, then yes, AOMF is the way to go, and that idea ends.

This isn't true: A monk could buy a +5 kama for 50k and use that on every attack he makes in a flurry. Same cost as the two handed fighter, and less than the two-weapon fighter, who has to spend 100k (two weapons) to get the same attack progression. All he gives up is his unarmed damaged progression.

Enhancing a monk's unarmed strike is better than enhancing a weapon, because high-level monks deal more damage with unarmed strikes than with the light weapons two-weapon fighters need to get the same progression. (And if it wasn't better, we wouldn't be having this conversation because folks would just be using magic monk weapons.)

The amulet of mighty fists is costed correctly if you assume that enhancing a monk's unarmed strikes is a little better than a two-weapon fighter getting two weapons of that bonus. Which it is, because a monk doing 2d10 per hit on a flurry of blows is better than any weapon in the game in the hands of a two-weapon fighter.

Contributor

DeathQuaker wrote:
A monk can already deal 2d10 damage with each attack, and get it enhanced via spells or an amulet of mighty fists. I just think the latter is too expensive for the value it truly provides.

And that's a valid criticism. But I'm not going to "stealth errata" the Core Rulebook by introducing a new item in Ultimate Equipment that "fixes" what you're criticizing, whether that fix is an updated version of what's in the Core Rulebook or something that's clearly better than what's in the Core Rulebook.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You folks are sending me mixed signals.

Makes sense, we are different people with no prior coordination. Please try to be patient with us, I know that can be frustrating.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I'm trying to create something that is balanced and is still something you'd like, but if that doesn't satisfy you, our other option is to not publish anything like this at all, because I'd rather not waste my time creating something you're going to hate anyway. I really am trying to work with you on this, but you're not seeing the repercussions of what you're asking--or you're being unclear in what you're asking for.

I just want to say: thanks for looking into it. We do appreciate that. I'm sure even the people who are emotionally invested do.

I'd have more input on this if The Black Monk hadn't strangled the only monk PC in my campaign...


Ross Byers wrote:
oneplus999 wrote:
If you're fine with monks needing to pay 125k for +5 while the fighter pays 50k, then yes, AOMF is the way to go, and that idea ends.
The amulet of mighty fists is costed correctly if you assume that enhancing a monk's unarmed strikes is a little better than a two-weapon fighter getting two weapons of that bonus

This is ignoring the cost of not being able to use an amulet of natural armor, which is actually pretty huge. Also, if amulet of mighty fists is priced correctly, then why does GMF work the way that it does? Shouldn't it just give +1 to all UAS's?


I have no vested in the Monk fight, but I'm ecstatic to see that Sean & Ross are interacting with those that do.

I don't mind that you either have to get the armor or the AoMF, choices have to be made somewhere.

But, I hope you're paying equal attention to some of the other concerns raised in this thread. *whistle*


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
oneplus999 wrote:
This is ignoring the cost of not being able to use an amulet of natural armor, which is actually pretty huge. Also, if amulet of mighty fists is priced correctly, then why does GMF work the way that it does? Shouldn't it just give +1 to all UAS's?

This is why Sean's idea of having a 'chest slot' item that does the same thing as the amulet of mighty fists appeals to me. It still follows the 'affect the entire body' theme by being a generic slot, but allows other amulets.


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how about "charged" handwraps?
50 of them cost as much as a normal item, and they become nonmagical when used once.
1. you get something new
2. multiattacks shouldn't be a problem anymore
3. core items are still very valid, sometimes you just need that extra kick.

So perhaps you got a +5 around your foot, and a +2 shocking handwrap around a hand, you can still attack without the wrap, but if you need the extra power you give a hefty kick, or a shocking punch.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


You'd still have to cost it assuming the optimal user, so that wouldn't change.

For example, if I'm a good-aligned, male, blue-eyed, left-handed, elf wizard, and I craft a pearl of power that only works for good-aligned, male, blue-eyed, left-handed, elf wizards, should I really get a discount on the cost to create the item? It works just like a normal pearl of power for me, so should I really be able to make it cheaper than a standard magic item? Especially if these limitations mean most of my enemies can't use it against me if it's stolen from me? Answer: no. Putting those limitations on it would reduce its price on the open market if I were to sell it because it's much less useful than a normal pearl of power, but the cost to create it should be the same.

This argument just holds no water for me. If magic weapons made it so that a +1 longsword gave +1 enhancement to attack and damage, but could ALSO be used by a caster to blast everyone within a 200' radius for 1000 damage, yes you would have to price that astronomically. But would you use this argument when the fighters came to the boards and said, hey, can we just get the +1 enhancement to attack and damage, and lose the whole 1000 damage thing? We can't use it anyway, we aren't casters. My point here is that really we just need appropriate items that make sense, more specific items that are cheaper aren't inherently bad.

EDIT: If this example is confusing, the reason I use it is that I think its closer to the AOMF for monks example. Monks don't need and can't use the natural attack enhancement, just like the fighter doesn't need and can't use the 1000 damage. It's not making it more specific to monks, it's actually reducing the power of the item. Monks, at most, should be paying something comparable to the TWFer for enhancement, and really ought to be less than that considering how valuable the neck slot is for Amulet of Natural Armor. Enhancement^2*3k seems appropriate, maybe.


Matrixryu wrote:
This is why Sean's idea of having a 'chest slot' item that does the same thing as the amulet of mighty fists appeals to me. It still follows the 'affect the entire body' theme by being a generic slot, but allows other amulets.

Yeah that's not bad... I supported an idea like that above :) though I suggested maybe wrists. But, like I said, they seem to want to AOMF as a decent choice, it will be difficult to design a good item that monks DON'T all flock to, just because AOMF if so bad to being with.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


You folks are sending me mixed signals.

Not all of us. I just want more options. An item that enhances one unarmed attack is fine by me if it can bypass DR silver and cold iron and be enhanced the same way a weapon can (+10)

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


If you want an item that enhances multiple unarmed attacks,

I can only speak for myself, but I don't

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


If you want to make a new item that does the same thing as the amulet, but in the chest slot, that's fine.

If that's fine by you, can we have an amulet of channeling to the cleric?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
If you want an item that enhances one unarmed attack, it has to cost a little more than the enhancement on a weapon,

That sound just great if you can get the in sliver, mithral and cold iron.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
), that still means you have to figure out which of the monk's attacks are from that unarmed strike (and are enhanced by the item) so you know which ones aren't (and aren't enhanced).

Not a problem. What you said so far sounds just great and is rock sold,...if the item/items can be bought in sliver, mithral and cold iron.

1,5 sounds fair if the item could be enhanced the same way a weapon can, that is +10.
Should the enhanced weapon stack with an amulet of mighty fist or not? +5 wrap and +2 holy amulet = +5 holy? I'm not sure.
I really love all the feedback and effort you put in this.


Zark wrote:
I really love all the feedback and effort you put in this.

+1 :D


Matrixryu wrote:
oneplus999 wrote:
This is ignoring the cost of not being able to use an amulet of natural armor, which is actually pretty huge. Also, if amulet of mighty fists is priced correctly, then why does GMF work the way that it does? Shouldn't it just give +1 to all UAS's?
This is why Sean's idea of having a 'chest slot' item that does the same thing as the amulet of mighty fists appeals to me. It still follows the 'affect the entire body' theme by being a generic slot, but allows other amulets.

I really don't like the idea, but it could be an easy fix if the 'chest slot item stacks with amulet of mighty fists.

Holy amulet of mighty fists and +3 chest slot item = +3 holy attack. Perhaps the easiest and cleanest solution.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

oneplus999 wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
oneplus999 wrote:
If you're fine with monks needing to pay 125k for +5 while the fighter pays 50k, then yes, AOMF is the way to go, and that idea ends.
The amulet of mighty fists is costed correctly if you assume that enhancing a monk's unarmed strikes is a little better than a two-weapon fighter getting two weapons of that bonus
This is ignoring the cost of not being able to use an amulet of natural armor, which is actually pretty huge. Also, if amulet of mighty fists is priced correctly, then why does GMF work the way that it does? Shouldn't it just give +1 to all UAS's?

On the other hand, a two-weapon fighter can't hold other stuff in his hands while fighting. All slots are valuable.

As for greater magic fang and greater magic weapon, I have no idea why they work that way with unarmed strikes.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just thought of another 'nice to have' magic item variation. I think it would be cool if there could be Arm slot or Finger slot items that give an enhancement bonus to saving throws. Basically, it would be a Cloak of Resistance in a different slot.

Saving throws are so important that (in my experience) characters have to have the cloak of resistance at high levels. This means that most players aren't even going to consider other back slot items. Having other 'slot' options for the +to saves means that there will be a bit more variety.

It will also help summoners not have their eidolons get one shotted at high levels (because usually the summoner uses the cloak). Yea, this has been a bit of a sore point for me because at high levels my quad eidolon failed nearly every single will save he encountered. Having only a +7 will save (with Iron Will) at level 20 is not fun XD

If you want to do this in such a way that it doesn't make summoners too powerful, make the new item take an arm slot so that the summoner will have to choose between giving his eidolon Bracer of Armor or 'Bracers of Resistance'.


Did anyone mentioned some power components*? I lost track when the monk weapons/unarmed damage augmentations took place.

*Power components = optional components that augment spell being cast, apply metamagic feat or extra effects.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
As for greater magic fang and greater magic weapon, I have no idea why they work that way with unarmed strikes.

This reminds me...Right now, with the way Greater Magic Fang and Amulet of Mighty Fists stack, monks can actually get a +10 bonus total for cheaper than a Fighter can get his +10 sword. Edit: I admit that I made a mistake with this statement by not taking Greater Magic Weapon into account, but the point about uneven power progression still stands ;)

Because of this, we have a weird situation where Monks have to pay a lot of money to have 'magic fists' at low levels, but then can have them for cheap at high levels when they can have Permanency + Greater Magic Fang or even just one Extended Greater Magic fang every day. Just have the Amulet of Mighty Fists give weapon special abilities instead of enhancement bonues, and the two stack without issues.

Yea, our party's monk got a huge power boost when my summoner started casting Extended Greater Magic Fang +4 on him at the start of every day, lol. Sure, it doesn't let him get over certain types of DR, but it is still pretty good and relatively cheap.

Weird things like this are why some people want monks to have access to an item that gives them a more standard 'weapon enhancement' progression.


Ross Byers wrote:
On the other hand, a two-weapon fighter can't hold other stuff in his hands while fighting. All slots are valuable.

Given a choice I think most players would rather have the neck slot open... see: reactions to brass knuckles errata. But yes I see your point, and I don't think it should be as cheap as enhancement^2*2k, but even SKR said above that enhancement^2*5k is maybe a bit too much, he just doesn't want to invalidate it by doing a cheaper item that effectively replaces AOMF.

I said it before but I'll say it again: AOMF is so painful for monks right now, that designing a new UAS-only option that doesn't overshadow AOMF is going to be hard to do.

Shadow Lodge

I don't have the time to read nearly three hundred posts, but a certain kind of weapon is missing. An exotic piercing weapon that has an 18 to 20 crit range that uses a D8. That qualifies as a scimitar.

A one handed weapon that does bludgeoning weapon damage that is one handed as an exotic weapon that uses a D10, times three crit.


Matrixryu wrote:
This reminds me...Right now, with the way Greater Magic Fang and Amulet of Mighty Fists stack, monks can actually get a +10 bonus total for cheaper than a Fighter can get his +10 sword.

This isn't a fair comparison, since it's only true if your monk has access to AOMF+GMF, while the fighter has zero access to GMW. For a party with both, you aren't too bad off, while in a party with neither the monk suffers way more.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
oneplus999 wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:
This reminds me...Right now, with the way Greater Magic Fang and Amulet of Mighty Fists stack, monks can actually get a +10 bonus total for cheaper than a Fighter can get his +10 sword.
This isn't a fair comparison, since it's only true if your monk has access to AOMF+GMF, while the fighter has zero access to GMW. For a party with both, you aren't too bad off, while in a party with neither the monk suffers way more.

Yea, this is true. Sorry about that. Though, Greater Magic Weapon isn't on the permanency list, so you have to have the party member be around to cast it. So, this situation where only GMF is available can happen.

I guess my main point was just showing the major problem this causes with power progression. When GMF becomes available, monks get a huge power boost. Fighters not so much, because their swords would have had a higher enchantment than the monk's amulet and the minimum +1 bonus on the sword doesn't stack with GMW.

Shadow Lodge

Any item that significantly reduces the cost of the amulet would have to require the same +1 enhancement bonus normal weapons have to get it on the same page as weapons. In my experience characters frequently get the benefits of both amulet and spell, which puts it pretty close in effectiveness to a weapon already.

Contributor

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oneplus999 wrote:
This argument just holds no water for me.

That doesn't mean you're right.

oneplus999 wrote:
If magic weapons made it so that a +1 longsword gave +1 enhancement to attack and damage, but could ALSO be used by a caster to blast everyone within a 200' radius for 1000 damage, yes you would have to price that astronomically. But would you use this argument when the fighters came to the boards and said, hey, can we just get the +1 enhancement to attack and damage, and lose the whole 1000 damage thing? We can't use it anyway, we aren't casters.

If we're talking about a specific weapon, it would be fine for the warrior to tell the NPC sword-merchant, "I'm not going to pay more than 2300 gp for that sword because most of the powers are useless for me." And the NPC-merchant would say, "I'm not going to sell it to you for less than 100,000 gp, because there are mages out there who'll pay that much for it."

That still has no effect on whether or not a mage who is crafting that item should pay full cost for adding that explosive ability. He should, because he can use that ability.

Likewise, it has no effect on whether or not a fighter who is crafting that item (say, with Master Craftsman) should pay full cost for adding that explosive ability. He should, because someone can use that ability, even if it's not him. Otherwise, the fighter could craft a +1 longsword and give it the ability of "you add your smite evil damage to every single attack you make per round, without ever expending your smite evil," and only pay half of 2,300 to craft it because those other abilities are useless to him... and then hand it to his paladin buddy, who suddenly gets all of these awesome powers that the fighter-crafter didn't pay for.

That's why you have to cost the item for the optimal user, not for the suboptimal user.

oneplus999 wrote:
Monks, at most, should be paying something comparable to the TWFer for enhancement

Well, they are. AOMF costs 2.5x the cost of one weapon. Why 2.5x and not 2.0x? Because the AOMF doesn't have the "must start with a +1" limitation that weapons do. Mr. TWF has to pay 8,000 gp twice to get two flaming weapons... a monk with an AOMF pays 5,000 gp because he's only paying for flaming (at a +1 cost), and gets it on all his attacks. And he can't be disarmed. And he can bring his amulet into the throne room because it's not a weapon. And he doesn't spend an action to draw a weapon. And he applies these bonuses to most combat maneuver rolls. And so on.

Qadira

- Eyewear that enhance favored enemy bonuses
- More items for the body slot
- More items for the head slot
- More items for the wrists slot
- Sonic damage enhancements for weapons
- Magical items for alchemist that do the same as metamagic rods, pearls of power, etc.
- Smite evil bracelets for antipaladins


I would like to see:

1.) More poisons
2.) a vorpal weapon equivalent for piercing and bludgeoning weapons
3.) an extensive list of gems and jewelry
4.) since we have some historical/classical monsters, how about the same for alchemical items. Such as aqua vitae, aqua mortis, etc.

plus a well rounded out equipment section from all other Pathfinder sources.

Thanks.


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Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Well, they are. AOMF costs 2.5x the cost of one weapon. Why 2.5x and not 2.0x? Because the AOMF doesn't have the "must start with a +1" limitation that weapons do. Mr. TWF has to pay 8,000 gp twice to get two flaming weapons... a monk with an AOMF pays 5,000 gp because he's only paying for flaming (at a +1 cost), and gets it on all his attacks. And he can't be disarmed. And he can bring his amulet into the throne room because it's not a weapon. And he doesn't spend an action to draw a weapon. And he applies these bonuses to most combat maneuver rolls. And so on.

Just curious, if (and this is a big if) something was added that made TWF cheaper (like weapons sets or something), would that make it more likely that monks would get a cheaper AMF equivalent?

Shadow Lodge

Mÿcerranin wrote:
2.) a vorpal weapon equivalent for piercing and bludgeoning weapons

The skullcrusher enhancement? :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
0gre wrote:
Mÿcerranin wrote:
2.) a vorpal weapon equivalent for piercing and bludgeoning weapons
The skullcrusher enhancement? :D

I was thinking "Really Freaking Heavy", but that's cromulent as well!


I'd suggest kinetic, or even hyperkinetic for such a thing.


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On the "enchantable monk weapon that still lets the monk use his unarmed damage" front:

Re: "An item that enhances all of a monk's unarmed attacks needs to cost more than an item that only enhances one attack like a weapon, because it's enhancing more than one attack."
- Mechanically, there's very little difference between an item that's enhancing only a monk's left fist and an item that's enhancing all of a monk's unarmed strikes. There's nothing stopping a monk from hitting someone seven times with his left fist, just like there's nothing stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his +2 Flaming Kama. The only real difference between "this item enhances all your unarmed strikes" and "this item enhances unarmed strikes with your left fist" is that the former gives players additional freedom in describing what their character is doing, and helps in the niche case that the left hand is not free. This is a pretty marginal benefit. Additionally, helping out the monk mechanically doesn't require making an item that enhances every unarmed strike to begin with, because, as above, the difference between enhancing one and enhancing all of them is mechanically super minimal.

Re: "An item that gave monks the benefits of an AOMF would obsolete the AOMF."
- It would obsolete it -- for monks, and only for monks who don't want to take advantage of its ability to provide Flaming without having the +1 and who don't have any natural attacks they might want to use. It would still have a huge role in the game. Additionally, if an item in the core rules is actually overcosted, should we be that concerned about supplanting one of its uses?

Re: "A brass-knuckles/handwraps item that only improves certain unarmed attacks would require you to specify which of the attacks you were making benefit from it."
- This is exactly how things are now for monks using monk weapons. If a monk has a Sai in one hand and a Kama in the other and makes seven attacks, he already has to say which of which are being made with what weapon. In practice, it's overwhelmingly common to make every attack with the same attack form anyway.

Really, at the end of the day, all the mathcraft and desire to not reduce the allure of the AOMF for one class doesn't mean a thing if it leaves the game in a busted state. Principled math can suggest that enhancing a monk's unarmed strikes should cost 2.5 times what enhancing a fighter's weapon does - but if the most powerful monks are the ones swinging weapons two-handed or using bows, then all of the "no, look, see, the cost on the AOMF is appropriate" doesn't matter. If someone's vision for the monk class is that of just another weapon-using beater, with the unarmed damage progression as a novelty concept or a fun backup for when you get disarmed (or something for an archetype like Sohei to trade out for the ability to do more damage than you'd do unarmed by using a greatsword, earlier, without paying over double for the privilege), that's cool. If someone thinks that resistance to palace guard weapon confiscation is worth a huge chunk of your character wealth, that's certainly... a viewpoint. I'd just like to hope that there'd be just one unarmed damage dealer in the game who doesn't have to feel like they're playing a linearly weaker character by not picking up a bow or a big ol' sword.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
oneplus999 wrote:
This argument just holds no water for me.

That doesn't mean you're right.

Ouch... not sure what I did to deserve that >_> regardless, thanks for the response.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

If we're talking about a specific weapon, it would be fine for the warrior to tell the NPC sword-merchant, "I'm not going to pay more than 2300 gp for that sword because most of the powers are useless for me." And the NPC-merchant would say, "I'm not going to sell it...

That's why you have to cost the item for the optimal user, not for the suboptimal user.

My point wasn't that the +1 Blasting Longsword should be priced lower, my point was that the fighter should (and does) have a cheaper option: a plain +1 longsword. So a monks reaction to hearing "you can't have a cheaper Amulet of Unarmed Strike because it's just the same as a blueeyed-lefthanded-elf-only Amulet of Mighty Fists" is the same reaction the fighter would have to hearing "you can't have a cheaper +1 sans-blasting longsword, because that's the same as having a blueeyed-lefthanded-elf-only longsword".

Of course, if you think monks are already getting their money's worth out of an AOMF, then I'll trust you on that.

Contributor

22 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 6 people marked this as a favorite.
Joyd wrote:
- Mechanically, there's very little difference between an item that's enhancing only a monk's left fist and an item that's enhancing all of a monk's unarmed strikes. There's nothing stopping a monk from hitting someone seven times with his left fist, just like there's nothing stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his +2 Flaming Kama.

Actually, because the rules say a monk's flurry is as if he's using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he can't simply declare that he's using the same fist seven times. So there is something stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his left fist or a +2 flaming kama: the rules for how flurry works.

Joyd wrote:

Re: "An item that gave monks the benefits of an AOMF would obsolete the AOMF."

- It would obsolete it -- for monks, and only for monks who...

Because the AOMF is intended for monks and not other classes, making it obsolete for monks in effect makes it obsolete for everyone. Just as an item that made a robe of the archmagi obsolete for sorcerers and wizards in effect makes it obsolete for everyone.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Joyd wrote:

Re: "An item that gave monks the benefits of an AOMF would obsolete the AOMF."

- It would obsolete it -- for monks, and only for monks who...
Because the AOMF is intended for monks and not other classes, making it obsolete for monks in effect makes it obsolete for everyone. Just as an item that made a robe of the archmagi obsolete for sorcerers and wizards in effect makes it obsolete for everyone.

I don't think we're using the same definition of "obsolete for everyone". My definition is "there is no mechanical reason for anybody to use this instead of the other item" - emphasis on "anybody". Making something that the monk could use to enhance his unarmed strikes more efficiently would not make the AOMF "obsolete for everyone", because it would still have a mechanical function for characters that fight with natural attacks. Who the AOMF is "intended for" is immaterial; what matters is who actually uses it, and that's a set much larger than "just monks".


0gre wrote:
Mÿcerranin wrote:
2.) a vorpal weapon equivalent for piercing and bludgeoning weapons
The skullcrusher enhancement? :D

Interesting note (to me). Way back in 1e (Masters boxed set to be exact) I made up a "vorpal mace" for one of my PC's and named it Skullcrusher. *grin*

Contributor

Joyd wrote:
I don't think we're using the same definition of "obsolete for everyone". My definition is "there is no mechanical reason for anybody to use this instead of the other item" - emphasis on "anybody". Making something that the monk could use to enhance his unarmed strikes more efficiently would not make the AOMF "obsolete for everyone", because it would still have a mechanical function for characters that fight with natural attacks. Who the AOMF is "intended for" is immaterial; what matters is who actually uses it, and that's a set much larger than "just monks".

And like I said before, putting an item in UE that's clearly a better choice for monks than the AOMF in the Core Rulebook is power creep and is not an option.


Sean, I suggest maybe you take whatever intrigued you about the discussion and run with it. You can't please everyone, obviously, but if you release something that is new and different from the amulet of mighty fists — but balanced as you see fit — some people are bound to like it.

Further discussion of it here has a very small likelihood of improving.

Contributor

True, true.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Actually, because the rules say a monk's flurry is as if he's using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he can't simply declare that he's using the same fist seven times. So there is something stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his left fist or a +2 flaming kama: the rules for how flurry works.

That's interesting. I'd always assumed that was more about preventing the monk from _stacking_ flurry with two-weapon fighting. I'm pretty happy allowing the monks I've GMed for to mix and match as they see fit.

If they have six attacks with a flurry and want to alternate their +3 silver kama in one-hand, their feet and a headbutt for unarmed, and their +1 flaming nunchaku, I'm okay with that.

If they're fighting a lycanthrope and want to use the +3 silver kama for all 6 attacks, I'm cool with that too, and I really don't think it is game-breaking.

Contributor

Volaran wrote:
If they're fighting a lycanthrope and want to use the +3 silver kama for all 6 attacks, I'm cool with that too, and I really don't think it is game-breaking.

I wouldn't say it's game-breaking, but it's certainly unfair because no other character using TWF gets to do that. The TWF fighter with a +1 flaming short sword and a +1 frost light hammer who's fighting a fire-immune creature doesn't get to say, "oh, all of my attacks are with my hammer."


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Actually, because the rules say a monk's flurry is as if he's using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he can't simply declare that he's using the same fist seven times. So there is something stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his left fist or a +2 flaming kama: the rules for how flurry works.

Hmm that's interesting. So a level 1 monk with a temple sword can't flurry to attack with the same temple sword 2x? He would have to do one temple sword attack and one attack with a different weapon? I don't think the general understanding on the forums reflects this.

I believe the problem is the line "When [flurrying] he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon". "Any combination" makes it sound like just hitting with a temple sword over and over is a valid choice. If you're saying it's not, this does indeed make AOMF relatively more powerful... but it also means monks are even less powerful overall than people thought to begin with :'(

Again, thanks for listening and letting us go back and forth on this. I've certainly gotten everything off my chest. I already love the game, so something to tweak monk balance would just be icing on the cake for me :)


Yeah, the flurry text seems to make it fairly clear that hte monk can mix and match any combination of strikes and monk weapons. If that wasn't the intent then the wording is going to need a change because the current text fails to communicate the intended meaning.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Once again, because I do want to try and publish a PDF on vehicles and I don't want to end up doing something that UE makes obsolete, I ask:

Are there going to be vehicles?

Contributor

The book is going to have Mounts and Transport sections like the Core Rulebook, but it's not going to give vehicle stats like we did in Ultimate Combat. Its focus is more "how much does it cost to get a ride on a ship going 500 miles?" rather than "how much for your ship, how fast does it go, and how many hit points does it have?"


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Actually, because the rules say a monk's flurry is as if he's using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he can't simply declare that he's using the same fist seven times. So there is something stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his left fist or a +2 flaming kama: the rules for how flurry works.

I have been saying this for a while, but detractors enjoy peddling the "any combination" bit of the Flurry text to mean a combination of a single weapon repeated over and over again and no strikes from any other. Now that I think about it, that's not really a combination anymore...

This does bring up some interesting issues of how to assign attacks given that we've established that you can use any of the attacks at your disposal with iterative attacks. How does TWF add on to that?

This would be an excellent topic to bring up on FAQ'T Tuesday. IMO of course.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The book is going to have Mounts and Transport sections like the Core Rulebook, but it's not going to give vehicle stats like we did in Ultimate Combat. Its focus is more "how much does it cost to get a ride on a ship going 500 miles?" rather than "how much for your ship, how fast does it go, and how many hit points does it have?"

Thanks!

You guys are so awesome.

See you at PaizoCon!

Qadira

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Actually, because the rules say a monk's flurry is as if he's using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he can't simply declare that he's using the same fist seven times. So there is something stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his left fist or a +2 flaming kama: the rules for how flurry works.

Just some follow up questions on this.

How do Sohei monks flurry with two-handed weapons if this is the case?

Why are monks in the The Ruby Phoenix Tournament Module allowed to do this?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


I wouldn't say it's game-breaking, but it's certainly unfair because no other character using TWF gets to do that. The TWF fighter with a +1 flaming short sword and a +1 frost light hammer who's fighting a fire-immune creature doesn't get to say, "oh, all of my attacks are with my hammer."

Other TWF characters may not have this option, but other TWF characters aren't also limited to unarmed strikes and a tiny selection of other weapons. That balances out in my opinion.

As other people have pointed out, the issue would then come up as to how flurrying works with a two-handed weapon like a temple sword. Would the monk be forced to use all of his normal attacks with the sword, and then other body parts for unarmed attacks for any extra granted by the flurry (or the reverse)?

I think for my games, I'm okay keeping it with my original interpretation (Flurry does not stack with TWF, but also does not equal TWF). If you folks had wanted Flurry to be exactly like TWF when reinterpreting the monk for Pathfinder, you could have just given monks the TWF tree as bonus feats instead of keeping the flurry terminology. (As I think on this, my interpretation probably exists because that TWF comparison wasn't in the flurry description in 3.0/3.5).

That said, I do appreciate you clarifying that Sean, and for taking the time to follow up on this monk tangent. For my part, I'll echo what others have said: We don't expect something in this book to be a stealth fix for the entire monk class or the Amulet of Mighty Fists. If you pick out some things that interest you in this discussion and come up with some cool items that are useful to monks, I'll be more than happy. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Matrixryu wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
I hoped we could get something like that in Ultimate Combat. And since they technically aren't items, didn't seem like they'd have a chance here...
Yea, it is kind of unfortunate. The only way I can think of that we could get something like this in Ultimate Equipment is if the 'ritual' came in book form, kind of like the Manuals that give Inherent bonuses to stats.

That still keeps it in the monk's court as far as him doing the enhancing himself. Learning the wisdom of those that came before and mastering it yourself and such.

Maybe it could come with some sort of test/check the monk needs to overcome before he masters whatever is in the book? You could get some really flavorful tomes out of that...

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Personally, what I'd like out of it is not something that just enhances punches. What I was visualizing were wraps that go about the wrists and ankles, possibly part of the torso, that infuses the entire body and thus unarmed strike. None of that splitting-up-unarmed-strike stuff. If it has to eat up wrist, feet, and body slots, so be it.

And it would be priced at a friendly midrange between the current AoMF and standard enhanced equipment.

You folks are sending me mixed signals.

If you want an item that enhances multiple unarmed attacks, it's the amulet of mighty fists. We're not going to introduce a new item that enhances multiple attacks at a lower price than the amulet. If you want to make a new item that does the same thing as the amulet, but in the chest slot, that's fine, but something that does what the amulet does at a lower price is a better item than the amulet, and we're not going to introduce an item that's clearly better than a core item.

As said before, we're all different people.

I'd be fine with a chest-slot item as long as it fit a monk's flavor, though I'm not convinced pricing it cheaper than the AoMF while adding some other drawback is necessarily a bad thing. Like DeathQuaker said, power creep is less of a worry when there's something wrong with the core to begin with.

That's the frustrating thing about building around the top-optimal choices, especially with a class as MAD as the monk. Those of us that would like to play monks with non-negative INT and CHA tend to get shafted.

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