For monks I would do a few things (though I don't think monks are that terribly off, they are just hard to optimize so optimizers hate them). I would reverse their BAB functionality. Grant them a full BAB and d10 HP, but say that when not using monk weapons, they use a 3/4s BAB (making some feats unusable when they do, based on BAB prereqs). That would hopefully free them up to move and attack at full BAB and stand toe to toe with fighters at the front line.
I would change Maneuver Training to only make AoO from attempting maneuvers only happen when the maneuver fails. This would hopefully incentivize maneuvers even when you don't have improved/greater feats.
For handling their damage issues I would allow monks to choose to increase their unarmed crit chance every 4 levels in place of increasing their damage dice. Since monks get A LOT of attacks, that would hopefully allow them to push up their damage through flat bonuses such as power attack. I am not sure, though, if this would be too much of a boost. I think part of the appearance of their weak damage is that they have lots of attacks but often a not so great hit chance. So rolling to miss so much gives the perception that they are weak, when they might actually be doing ok over time. More crits would hopefully counter that image.
I think that you don't want to count out traps. I can't remember if haunts count as traps in terms of trapfinding-perception or trap sense, etc, but I have certainly seen some deadly haunts.
Traps, when used most effectively, don't kill the players (because that's kinda cold), but instead put them on poor footing for the next encounter. So they MIGHT actually TPK groups, just not directly.
For fighters I think I would take something from Evil Lincoln and adapt it more as a class feature. Some of you might remember the Battle Adaptation feat.
I might adapt it the following way:
At 7th level a fighter can choose two feats to use as a battle tactic. One of these feats may be used as a prerequisite for the other. At 15th level three feats may be used as a battle tactic.
Incidentally with rogues I have seen a lot of conversation revolve around them "not being any better at given skill than anyone else" and I think there is some "meat" to that critique. Rogues aren't "better" in the skill arena so much as they are "broad".
One fix that I have been thinking of is granting rogues a free skill focus feat every 3 levels or so (starting at 3rd, probably). That would mean they pick 6 skills over their careers to be "better" than the average person. Not sure how that would mesh with trapfinding, such as it is.
I am of the opinion that if more higher level spells that own the combat were full round castings, the martial classes would feel more on par. If you are a spellcaster you should have to eat a sword to the face (or at least the chance of one) more often that you currently do. That would make the tactical game more interesting IMHO.
You can find the bonuses to make up the difference if you look for them (flanking, spells, bard song, trip attacks), but really it's just nice to have in addition to power attack and dragon style feats to stack those flat bonuses. At 7th level (most likely when you have hammer, PA, and style feats) you have 3 attacks at highest bab. By 10th you might eek out 5 if you can land a medusa's wrath (a bit iffy), and a crap ton of iterative attacks. Oh and don't forget haste which stacks with ki attacks. +1-3 damage is worth a feat. Anything else is just awesome-sauce.
Furious focus, hammer the gap, weapon focus (unarmed). Get an amulet of mighty fists mighty quick, and only with enhancement bonus on it, no special effects. Attack bonus is to monks what icecream is to children. It spazzes them out and makes them highly annoying.
You can pick up greater grapple at some point. Some way to get Ki back would be good. That's why drunken master would have been awesome. You could just drink your ki points back. Honestly I would consider just taking catchall as a bonus feat instead of taking the empty fist archetype. You could still throw/swing improvised weapons in rounds where you have to move and can't use flurry.
Ki points are difficult to keep going and archetypes that can get them back do more damage over time. And while the Drunken master's abilities might seem expensive they are assuming that you are spending ki like you just don't care.
I am not seeing where improvised weapons catch people flatfooted. Where is that?
Ninja might grant a damage boost, but its short lived, situational, and pushes back monk abilities from when they are relavent. Staying monk lets your damage increase, movement increase, AC increase, keeps your flurry/CMB bonus relavent.
I think his stats are just right. I'd go drunken master/quingong monk, myself and not worry about ninja. Multiclassing can really hurt monks. Keep a high strength, pick up barkskin, buy a wand of mage armor and perhaps UMD though traits and go to town.
I'd throw in some style feats too. Perhaps boar style, or dragon style.
There isn't a written rule as far as I know for adjudicating multiple CLs on an item. In theory separate effects (which also usually double the cost) could have different CLs.
Item CLs are also kinda funky. They function as being part of DC of crafting an item as well as a measure of how hard the item is to dispel. For non-spell required items (not potions, wands, scrolls), the CL is not a hard requirement and can be bypassed with the +5 DC. Thus a pearl of power (1st level) could be crafted by a 3rd level wizard even though its CL is 17 (though at some considerable risk of it being cursed, DC 27 and all).
The FAQ and the CRB rules are somewhat contradictory, but that is likely because of unfortunate editing. There was at one point two different DCs for crafting items, for a small amount of time, IIRC (DC+5, and DC +10) so its possible that old language from 3.5 slipped in there or some other writer or editor missed something, but the FAQ is the final official ruling on the issue.
In any case, yes, your crafter friend can take +5 to DC and not need your spellcasting to make his items, and that might seem wrong to long time players. But it sounds like you guys were making minor magic items, which are not difficult. If he wants to make a holy avenger though, he might find that much more difficult/impossible, let alone expensive.
Sure, there is a balance to things, and a GM who ignores the fun of the players for their own ego-stroking loses those players.
But this is not one of those cases. This is an example of where the crafting rules have a possible exploit. That's why page 9 of the CRB has rule 0, literally spelled out as "the Most Important Rule".
Its not changing the rules of the game, its adjudicating them so they don't derail the campaign.
The DM doesn't have to justify anything. Its the DMs world, they rule 0 it. If fabricate is going to be abused and drastically mess with WBL the DM can just say "no". Simple as that.
Player: "I have 20 full plates I want to sell."
DM: "No one has any money for them, they have already bought all the parties other gear. Where is he keeping them?"
Player: "in my portable extra dimensional laboratory!"
DM: "Ok. You might want to reserve an unseen servant every day to keep them spit shined. They are gonna be there a while."
One thing that doesn't come immediately across for most people reading the crafting rules is this. You ALWAYS want to be taking 10. Not taking 10 gives you a chance to create a cursed item, and then become that cursed item's first victim.
So then when you go back to looking at those DCs, note that not having prereqs starts to push those DCs high for people who aren't hardcore crafters. Having the spell you need or whatever other prereq required removes this danger of creating a cursed item. So there is that.
Also as mentioned above, the real counter to overzealous crafting is gold pieces and time. Don't have'm? Can't craft.
Hey guys, how often do all your players die? Do you bring them back somehow? Do they lose and you start a new campaign? Is there a way to fix it without it seeming like charity? Don't want to get 7 months into RotRL and have all my players killed anti-climacticly (sp?) by a band of goblins. lol
You jest, but that is exactly what happened to my 1st level monk in Runelords. Damn you, Hurtwurst!
(although not 7 months in, thank god)
Hold on. I think that this conversation is taking things a bit far. Fabricate doesn't break the economy because the economy is in the GM's capable hands. There is no guarantee that a wizard using fabricate to make suits of armor is going to have buyers. This is a meta-game concept that we all usually take for granted when unloading all the spoils of the last adventure. But any GM worth their salt is not going to let a PC flout Wealth guidlelines because they have fabricate. That just assumes too much.
The craft rules have always been borked since 3E, and no one fixes them because the game is not called "Merchants and Moneylenders" (although there are some nice 3rd party products out there). Fabricate is also NOT an exploit to get rich. Its a spell you use when you need to craft a specific item right now. Its also a 5th level spell, like teleport or dominate person or baleful polymorph. A 9th level wizard is already breaking physical laws left and right in very dramatic ways.
Wizards and economics already don't mix. If a 9th level wizard sold the castings of all his spells, its would net him something in the thousands of gold pieces range, per day. But that doesn't automatically ruin the economy, in most people's games, now does it?
Incidentally If shadowrun and DnD had a steampunk love-child it would probably be the Eberron campaign setting. Lets see.
• Global network of guilds that are vital to the economy and have extra-territoriality? Check.
Now that is silicon in my peanut butter.
• character option for attaching mechanical augmentations to your body? Check.
Brian E. Harris wrote:
Perhaps you haven't seen THIS then.
One of the tricks with flanking and rogues is everyone knows you want to flank, so your enemies either do their best not to allow it or they do their best to kill the flanking rogue as fast as possible. Since rogues are not super armored or have super HP, that becomes the sort of tactical struggle as you level up. You are always asking yourself, "how can I make the most of my sneak attack without getting flattened by the fire-giant/dragon/golem/big-bad-whatever". If your party is good they will help you do these things.
I was looking around the interwebs for a good mini for my PFS ninja and I just came across this site Zenit Miniatures. If I hadn't already ordered the anima tactics model Kagemaru, I might have ordered from here (though the international shipping might have been a pain). Still worth checking out if you are running Jade Regent, I imagine.
All fair points. But then my question would be, if ciretose is crying foul because your build used an expendable item to out pace the fighter, isn't that a tad unfair? Perhaps the fighter might have invested in potions to do the same thing? Maybe it costs a little more (I am not assuming he matches your ranger, charge per charge), but over all the effect is about the same. Both characters would then be judged by equipment that might not be available because they have exhausted its uses.
is there any reason why a build using an expendable item (other than say ammunition) is a fair comparison when we are discussing class features and their effectiveness? A fighter could take a point in UMD, take the dangerous curiosity trait and also cast from a wand (maybe not quite as reliably) but all in all it should be a wash. Its not like wands are "ranger only".
Guide to Pathfinder Organized Play wrote:
So we know that a masterwork weapon can be upgraded to a +1. doesn't this refer to the act of enchanting it, rather than buying a new one, which would cost PP?
I think its a matter of perception. They do dart and leap. Not every fighter is built to be front line, though. Some people decide to make their fighters into skirmishers because that's what they want. Ideally monks and fighters should be able to take on the same rolls (even though monks face some issues doing so), because monks are fighters who study combat, just in a different fashion than your standard soldier. Perhaps archetypes step in here. I haven't played a Monk of the Sacred Mountain yet, but they seem like they were written to be stand-and-fight types.
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca6Ba1odirs)This guy is very flippy and agile, but he takes on any attackers without a flank buddy.
On this, you and I will have to disagree. They way I see it, they are defined by their combat style. Perhaps you might think of them as holistic fighters. Fighters fight with weapons, monks fight with their bodies and farm implements, but in both cases they are defined by how they fight. They are (as written) not even good skirmishers because they cannot normally flurry while taking move actions/spring attacking. Perhaps you meant good flank partner? If, so then Hell Yes, considering their movement rating and acrobatics.
TOZ covered the d8 thing. Actually TOZ mentions the barbarian breaking the BAB-Hp standard, and I think monks should have also done this when they were pathfinderized. Monks are on the path to becoming specimens of physical perfection (so much so that they ignore poison and disease, they don't suffer aging penalties, and eventually become outsiders). Seems like that might be justification for a better HD even if the whole Full BAB didn't come with it.
Indeed, that is the intent. I would probably include it in a flurry rewrite, or perhaps relabel it "martial arts" and flurry would be an action that martial arts provides. If the monk picks up a short sword and wants to fight with it, they get saddled with the lower BAB, and in your example, would not be able to PA at 1st level. Basically that short sword is not ideal for their martial arts style.
All that said, there are certainly feats that could be made to allow certain weapons to be Martial Arts weapons. I could see a hwandudaedo/longsword/rapier feat for swordfighting monks, or spear feat for jet-li inspired spear monks. Those would be special exceptions (thus the feats).
I would LOVE it in a new edition of PF if higher level spells had more full round actions attached to them. If you are summoning a meteor or are about the drastically change the field of battle for everyone, that should require you to be chanting and waving your hands for the full round, so that the party needs to defend you. It also would make the choice between casting and moving more dire.
If I was going to modify monks to address the problems discussed in the forums, I might do the following:
• d10 HD. No matter how you slice it, monks are meant to fight toe to toe with enemies. People who want to play frontline fighters need to have the HP to do it.
• Full BAB. Monks would fight at 3/4 BAB when using non-monk weapons. This includes feat prereqs. Feats with a high bab requirement cease functioning as long as the monk is using non monk weapons, if the 3/4 bab doesn't meet them. Forcing monks to stand in place to get the best chance of hitting makes no sense to me.
• Maneuver training (since the full BAB makes it redundant) would make it so monks only suffer AoO for attempting maneuvers if they fail the maneuver. The feats would thusly still be quite nice to have, but monks would be more encouraged to attempt maneuvers. (props to my gaming group for that idea :D)
• When a monk's improved unarmed damage increases, they may choose between going up to the higher damage, or increasing their unarmed attack's threat range by 1.
• Create a two feat chain that lets monks substitute their wisdom bonus for their strength bonus for unarmed attacks and maneuvers. This would be one for attacks, and one for damage. This would help PCs attempting to do stunning fist builds, and create a hard style/soft style divide. Crazy old man hermit style FTW!
Now this doesn't address a monk's attack bonus deficit (as other classes MAD fighter types get situational attack bonuses, such as favored enemy and smite), but a monk's many attacks technically increase their chance to hit. Maybe not a lot, and maybe it contributes to the whole "monk can't do damage" thing, as it seems like they miss all the time, but hopefully the extra attacks (with ki, and feats) even out.
Welcome to Pathfinder! We all hope its a good fit for your group as has been for us. Here is some starter advice.
• don't worry about learning everything. Learning the game is a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You start with the outline and then fill it in as you play and explore.
• look for examples. Often times what is explained in a rules can be misunderstood or difficultly worded. There are often written examples of how a rule works to help you digest it.
• Don't let the rules ruin the game. We all like Pathfinder, but slavishly following the rules gets in the way of having a good time. Sometimes GMs just wing it and skip rolling when the players are having fun roleplaying. Too much reliance on doing things by the book can stifle the fun, especially if you are looking stuff up every other minute. Keep the rolling for when the outcome isn't obvious, like in life or death situations, or when you are not sure how the NPCs will react to what is said.
• Be prepared. Good for boyscouts and GMs. Before running an adventure or a scene, just imagine what the players might do. What specific powers might they bring to bear? How should your NPCs react? Do they know what the PCs are capable of? Write down the DCs of skill checks that might come up, or what NPCs might say if they are asked about certain things. This gives you the ability to improvise more easily as you have already worked through the likely scenarios that could occur.
• Let the players play. Sometimes you have a story you want the PCs to be involved in but they get focused on something else. Maybe they just want to keep RPing their scene in the bar where they drink and make merry. Don't react by forcing them or shoe-horning them into situations. Let them come to their motivations on there own. Great GMs can get PCs to get involved in the story while making it seem like their idea. Perhaps the NPC the PC is chatting up knows something about the story or is involved somehow. Suddenly the relationship the PC was building for fun becomes the driving motivation for them to get involved.
Good luck, and hopefully you will enjoy many awesome sessions with your friends, and sometime in the future you can drop wisdom on the next person who is just starting out :D
Addressing the whole class description and its impenatrability, perhaps monks should have had orders like calaviers, each one helping describe the beliefs of the specific monk school. Something like that could have given them some direction as far as skills and fluff go. We have style feats and archetypes now, but had they started with some kind of monk orders their might have been less confusion about their purpose.
we are not talking archetypes as archetypes have already been ruled out as changing how effective the monk is (RE wraithstrike).
But we could talk feats, like Tiger style feats, which can allow a vanilla monk to move half his speed (which by that level is about equal to a normal character's speed) as a swift action. Thus both moving and keeping a full BAB and flurry.
Crap, I missed that. OK. But that is not a "crap" AC. Its still pretty nice.
If your claim then is that monks are weak because they are no better than TW fighters, well there is nothing I can say that will convince you otherwise. Except that they end up with better overall defenses. but hey, glass half empty, right?
A monks wis bonus and AC feature outpace that buckler +5, assuming wisdom bonus item. I guess that means the monk can be a TWF with a shield bonus. NIce.