1. Yes, sunder and trip are also valid options
2. Yes, though this is optional
3. No. Only 1 weapon may be drawn as a free action as part of a move action (or 2, if you have Two Weapon Fighting). Sheathing a weapon is still its own move action and can not be done as part of a move action.
Well maybe in the future, but I have it on good authority that the next big one will be Ultimate Cuddle, among other things with rules on how to befriend Cthulhu.
Now this is a good start - but really, shouldn't you be generous and give us not one, not two, no! THREE wallpapers?!? You know you want to show off some sexy art. You know you do. Go on! Do it! Live a little!
James Jacobs wrote:
YES!!! Excellent result.
I'd be happy to take both sides of the poster map as a key encounter location. The reasoning is as follows: a nice picture of the town or region that is in the module itself I can easily show and have the players appreciate it suitably - I don't need that in a larger format on a poster. If the town/region features so prominently that we want to use it and flag it - then a poster-size version is nice, but a once-off use only; so the likely course would be to print out just that town/region and work of that.
But key encounters in battlemap posters are just... great! They see definite intended use, increase atmosphere, and accelerate story-to-action time.
I freely admit that I am subscribed to the Pathfinder Comics line purely on the grounds that it has a little battle map included.
I think there's too much negative criticism on the archetype. Archetypes - especially Campaign Setting tied archetypes - are very much allowed to be very niche. There is nothing wrong with a boat-focused cavalier in the River Kingdoms; granted it makes the archetype more suitable for NPCs, but that is fine too.
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
My main design concern is that because this character is locked to a region, you're less likely to see this as a wandering adventurer type. The archetype reinforces the desire to just stay home and defend a small patch of land.
I would not be overly concerned with that - the archetype would work really well in certain Adventure Paths (Kingmaker specifically).
The rules for Round 2 required an archetype strongly tied to the River Kingdoms. An archetype that is tied strongly to the Campaign Setting is not required to be universally applicable (see for example the archetypes Winter Witch, Razmiran Priest, and Chelish Diva) - it is in fact the beauty of Campaign Setting archetypes, compared to universal archetypes, that they can tie themselves to an idea, a land, a person much stronger than a the universal archetypes.
I agree with Isaac Duplechain that the archetype is both thematically appropriate, as well as a little bit mundane - the list of class abilities essentially nudges the base paladin into something it isn't. Choosing ranger as base and exchanging favored enemy for a form of smite evil may have been a better approach.
"Honored Aram bin Kaleel," the voice of Slow Sure Fist has a pleasant deep timbre, even though his measured voice carries the distinct accent of those that call Tian Xia home. "If you allow, let me make the following suggestion for amendment to the Lamplighter's charter: provide a stringent set of requirements, as much or more than the original you cited, but then add that, for example, a character qualifies if he meets 6 out of the 8 criteria."
I think the notion of meeting all requirements is what is causing the trouble. Making the requirement being to meet a subset of qualities makes the group far more friendly to interesting character concepts.
These are the legal possibilities (assuming 1 attack in the full attack sequence):
1. Just a normal full-round attack
2. Just a spell
3. A full-round attack and a spell that doesn't require an attack roll (example shield); all attacks at -2
4. A full-round attack and a spell that does require a touch attack. All attacks at -2; the touch attack is done as part of casting the spell (no "extra" attack is granted to the full-round attack)
5. A full-round attack and a spell that requires a melee touch attack. All attacks at -2; the touch attack is done as part of casting the spell (no "extra" attack is granted to the full-round attack)
5. A full-round attack and a spell that requires a melee touch attack. The magus may use Spellstrike to deliver the spell as a normal attack (dealing normal attack damage) instead of the melee touch attack. No touch attack is given (as it has been changed to a normal attack instead), but the full-attack routine does gain one additional attack (the one representing the spellstrike attack)
Surely you don't expect *every* of the 20+ cleric builds to have 15 as starting Wisdom? I've just checked, some builds emphasize Wisdom, others don't. I like that the builds have ranges and concepts.
What rainzax means by the alternate flurry being balanced, is that it over the career of the monk produces roughly a 35% increase in effective damage per round for the same character build. This - without consideration of other changes that could be done to the monk - would put the core monk in-line to be a viable tank/combat class without resorting to exceptionally optimized builds. It still isn't as competent at combat as a dedicated fighter or other full-BAB class, but it doesn't have to feel embarrassed either.
The modification also means that, because the monk doesn't have to try as hard to be relevant in combat, he can also spend his stats in a more MAD-friendly way; thereby allowing him to take on specialist roles without sacrificing combat presence.
As a bonus, the change is more synergistic with the monk's fast movement class ability.
...all that said. Yes, it is essentially a meaningless exercise in terms of the current Pathfinder monk (other than what you may house-rule at home) - but at the same time, the Paizo staff are keeping a close eye on these kinds of discussions too. The various pro-and-contra that are being presented do not exist in isolation, but to some extent form part of the larger body of thoughts that the developers pursue when considering revisions and new developments.
Essentially he's asking for a complete build of both monk and fighter, coupled with a full disclosure of numbers used for attack and damage along with their source (7 str + 3 magic + etc).
Jerall neglected to mention the brilliant upcoming Pathfinders that play at Fanaticus: a dad brings along his two daughters (I'm guessing 8 and 10 years old respectively) and they do a brilliant job at the roleplaying.
One of the big problems - mechanically speaking - of monks is that they are given two-weapon-fighting for free; and then are left alone to fend for themselves with nothing else to differentiate themselves. Other combat classes get either conditional (sneak attack, favored enemy) or limited use (smite, rage) or just plain flat bonuses (weapon training, access to fighter-only feats).
By my reckoning, "something" interesting should happen to allow the monk to distinguish himself in a combat setting. I've previously put together a new flurry mechanic that is designed to create new options for a monk (refer to the blog post) - but in this post I want to suggest an alternative flurry mechanic that is more combat orientated and suitable for monks in their current form (rather than a complete monk rewrite).
Two-weapon fighting has been removed out of the flurry of blows class feature. However, they are still compatible: a monk that so chooses could take the two-weapon fighting feats the usual way and thus gain more attacks with which to trigger bonus attacks from the flurry of blows class feature.
The provision to use a flurry of blows as a standard action using ki additionally goes quite some way to allow the strengths of the monk class to merge: high mobility and many attacks.
There are also other situations where the Wholeness of Body is relevant in combat: when facing stealthed/invisible enemies, enemies that rely on feinting, or any other situation that attacks the monk's flat AC - the +4 dodge bonus to AC from ki is lost against such attacks.
James Jacobs wrote:
But increasing the product value also increases incentive for the consumers and goes a little way to justify the increase for the buyer.
I hope Paizo takes this opportunity to also re-examine the policy on printing playable maps for the Adventure Paths. I don't think that every encounter area in an AP should get the high-production dry/wet erase surface and all that - but take-out poster maps similar to (but bigger) as the ones in the Pathfinder Comic would be absolutely gold for me.
There is just something about playing on a graphically detailed map that is not readily translatable to a generic map covered in hastily drawn scrawls. And a significant portion of my playtime is dedicated to AP play.
It can work. Please make it so.
I thought I should mention that the "bestial leaper" rage power is essentially what you want. Take a move action, and get one standard action at any point during the move.
Plays well with Vital Strike, (Great) Cleave and maneuvers.
+5 to all stats at relatively little cost is a big deal. The tomes are priced the way they are because that is the expected balanced price.
Consider that your wish engine is enough to grant you more gold than you need to do the wish engine in the first place. Essentially, once you allow playing that way, it means that you are unburdened by any balance consideration - you can indefinitely fund your wish engine and end up with some 2 million gold to spare per character after funding a complete item make-over and a couple of palaces (and the obligatory +5 to all stats).
It is important to understand that the bestiary has the djinn and efreeti and the like that grant wishes not as a convenient aid to PCs, but to make allowance for classic adventure scenarios.
This is a fairly sprawled build description, my apologies. It roughly competes with Ashiel's master of many styles (no competition intended, it is simply a nearby build to compare against). I have two versions, a monk-only, and a secondary one geared for better DPR that takes some fighter levels. Both builds are PFS legal to my knowledge; neither build makes use of wish shenanigans. The monk-only build has great defenses and so-so offense with an expected DPR of 50 (or 66 with ki point). The monk/fighter build has fairly good DPR, especially considering that it has "pounce" and Snake Fang to supplement its basic DPR.
An important item for my build is the rod of balance (15000gp) that increases defensive fighting bonus by +2. Additionally the combination of Tiger Style and Crane Style (coupled with Combat Style Master) is not obvious, but works to my knowledge: start turn switching to Crane Style as a free action declare full-round defensive attack (sets penalty and benefit), then as a free action switch to Tiger Style and proceed to attack.
Tien qinggong monk 13
LG medium humanoid (human)
Str 24 = 15 base + 2 racial + 3 levels + 2 item
traits bullied, Quain martial artist
AC 36 touch 29 flat 28
fort 15 reflex 15 will 15
attack +18/+18/+13/+13 (2d8+17+1d6(acid) /x2)
skills acrobatics 29(13), perception 20(13), 26 skill points unallocated
equipment (127,750gp spent):
Ashiel's master of many styles expected DPR
By taking 8 levels monk and 5 levels fighter, the build loses Medusa's Wrath but can gain Snake Style, Snake Sidewind and Snake Fang instead. This also gives up 1 point of AC, touch, flat and CMD; but increases attack and damage by 3 (due to gaining duelist gloves).
This DPR alternative still doesn't compete with dedicated DPR builds, but it is respectable and comes with excellent defenses. The ability to "pounce" and to retaliate against opponents that miss you is potent. When chosing not to flurry (thereby reducing the Expected DPR to 0.80 * 30.5 + 0.55 * 30.5 + 0.3 * 30.5 = 50.325 it is possible to retain a higher attack for AOOs (AOO attack after flurry 19; AOO attack without flurry 21). This is useful when expecting a lot of attacks (such as when solo'ing a BBEG). I'd say this compares favorably against Ashiel's master of many styles - without relying on a wish engine, and retaining that "naked" monk-i-ness (i.e. no armor or shields).
I'd like to add to this haste discussion in this form: the core rules (and other rule books) do not exhaustively declare everything within their rules description at every point; and conversely some things get mentioned unnecessarily at some points. It's because of this that the rules take on a subjective context.
From my view: the basic observation is that unarmed strikes are listed along with other weapons (but not natural attacks) in the melee weapons table in the core rules. This implies that unarmed strikes in general function just as all other melee weapons unless where specifically stated otherwise (such as the average PC not being considered armed with his fist). As such the implication is that unarmed strikes (being in general like other melee weapons) benefit from the additional attack granted by haste.
Just imagine the bloat and reading pain if we had to add a "and unarmed strikes" to every relevant entry where an attack is mentioned.
This is an example of duck typing (if it walks, talks and looks like a duck...)
I think if the player took just a little bit of Ashiel's basic advice (that is to make use of consumables) then his monk would've fared somewhat better. A potion of see invisibility and a potion of fly, and a potion of invisibility for himself, should be standard gear on any level 10 monk build.
Sure, I've not seen his build - so I would not be surprised if he'd lose against his 3 challengers anyway - but he should at least have had a "fighting chance" (which I would translate into winning 1 fight out of 3 or 4).
As is... I think he optimized for PFS or similar challenges; which require less optimization. I enjoy PFS scenarios - as they tend to be varied enough for my monk characters to cope just fine and contribute frequently.
Story of monk win:
This happened around level 6 or 7 for my PFS monk, we played a scenario that featured a BBEG bard with summoning and (crowd) control as the finale. True to form for the BBEG, every single other PC was routed or disabled by the fear and sleep. Not my monk however, she saved and went in to disarm and trip the guy and buy the time the others needed to come back (more than 10 rounds later - even the BBEG summons had already expired).
Things went both ways really, my monk was suggested to return the weapon to the BBEG, which she did, after tripping him first. Then when he provoked on standing up, she disarmed him again. She tanked through his summons, even when temporarily falling prone from hideous laughter (recovered on the following round), and interrupted his follow-up summon with a successful attack that he failed to concentrate through.
She literally took everything the BBEG could throw at her. Granted, she wasn't killing him fast - but the trips and disarms (and occasional other maneuvers such as dirty trick) kept the BBEG so flustered and inconvenienced in his action economy that by the time the others came back he had nothing left; nor could he escape.
The other party members could come in and contribute for 1 round (dealing one good hit of damage from the fighter-type), then my monk finished the battle with the killing hit.
The bestial leaper(?or one of the others) rage power lets a barbarian move and do a standard action inside the move. I think Cleave is pretty sexy in that combination.
Also Cleave opens up some nice follow up feats.
If you go back into the blog posts about Stealth, you'll see the proposed way the devs suggest to clarify/enhance the stealth rules. With a bit of luck that will actually be included in the next reprinting of Core.
By those stealth guidelines, the ninja is able to do what you describe.
I think you should not go with the Ronin order, use the other samurai order instead. Samurai are essentially automatically optimized. When you have spare feats, pick up Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization in your favored samurai weapon (presumably the katana). Then liberally splash in your kitsune feats. Done.
If you want something exotic/special in the build, then you need to specify what you have in mind.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Also, if I can put out my tin cup for a moment, Knights of the Inner Sea is the second example of the refreshed philosophy driving the Player Companion line. Patrick, Sutter, and I have put a lot of thought, effort, and love into redesigning this line and have tons and tons of awesome in store. But we only get to do it if it seems like it's what readers want. We think the new design and player-friendly focus is awesome, but we really need to hear from you.
I really like the revised Companion line; but if there's one thing I would suggest: 64 pages. I would prefer to get a Companion half-as-often, but have that Companion be a thick deliciousness. I could picture the Campaign Setting and Companion line switch positions every other month:
January, March, May, ... Companion
You do realize that this isn't actually true? Otherwise... what is regeneration for? ;)
There's a fair amount of buzz due to Ultimate Equipment coming out; and on the whole it's not a major haul for monk lovers - but that's not to say that there's not some possibility for greatness.
I've not hyper-optimized, but present Fabio as a proof of concept monk. The maths below assumes an 11th level character and produces a respectable DPR that is team-orientated. The maths gets relatively convoluted, but details are given in the spoiler.
Level 11 monk, hasted DPR 92:
Monk of the empty hand 11
Str 22 = 16 + 2 racial + 2 levels + 2 enhancement
For the most part, your choice on items and feats; but the build thrives on having lots of ki points, so making a plan along that line will certainly help. The only absolutely essential item is a ring of ki mastery (10 000gp). I've used Weapon Focus (improvised weapon wielded), Weapon Focus (unarmed), and Improvised Weapon Mastery.
Required for the maths that I use, Fabio flurries using a +3 one-handed weapon (used as an improvised weapon) and his unarmed strikes:
attack fist during flurry 17 (11 bab - 2 flurry + 6 str + 1 feat + 1 magic)
Facing CR 11 opponent (assumes AC 25):
basic: fan, fist, fan, fist, fan (19/17/14/12/9)
3 ki points: fan becomes +3 greater designating fan
The basic work-horse is the "designating, greater" weapon enhancement. A monk of the empty hand can imbue his improvised weapons with any weapon enhancement, even ones that don't usually work on the weapon (greater designating is a ranged/ammunition enhancement normally). Ordinarily it would cost 4 ki points to imbue a +4 weapon property like greater designating - but thanks to a charged ring of ki mastery the cost is reduced to 3; which allows a monk of the empty hand to use it from level 11 onwards.
Once you hit an opponent with a greater designating weapon, allies (including yourself) receive a +4 moral bonus to attack and +6 moral bonus to damage for 1 round. This allows Fabio to be a tremendous team player to quickly take down a powerful enemy, while doing pretty respectable damage himself.
The build is >very< sensitive to any bonus to attacks, and haste (granting an additional attack with the greater designating weapon) gives a big boost to the damage output. Thus if you were to add a bard or some buff spells or other means to increase odds of connecting with your greater designating weapon (invisibility, feint, etc) then the build goes from strength to strength.
Basic odds of designating a foe in a round: 90.5%
I'd like it to be known that I found my personal favorite line from Ultimate Equipment:
"As with other mithral cookware, food rarely sticks to a mithral waffle iron."
Gods of Lust are a part of most polytheistic religions, But to say it is one of thier 'main gods' is a bit distasteful.
I respectfully disagree. Given a subjective puritan or conservative moral standard, then certainly yes. But given an objective measurement where gods are afforded prominence based on the prevalence of their portfolio in the world, then no. Calistria is a splendid goddess who caters for some of the most important activities that control (human) lives on a continuous basis.
Along the lines of this thread: I have a personal pet peeve with people that say "don't bring your reality into my fantasy" and "it is a game, the mechanics aren't logical". Both statements fail to see the basic premise that the rules are there to act as a mechanical interface between the real world and how it behaves and the fantasy world in our head.
For example, stealth, is supposed to allow the kinds of things that we can conceivably do in real life. Where the rules fail to live up to that expectation (or are interpreted in a way that makes them fail), the rules are wrong. Fortunately this particular example has been addressed somewhat by the devs a while back.
I would like to mention a few things:
1. There are tangible health benefits to having sex. As well as tangible health risks for not having sex. If you consider STDs and pregnancies "taken care of" then the bottomline is that sex-havers are healthier than sex-not-havers.
2. People can get pregnant and get STDs when successfully abstaining. This usually involves rape, and is more common than people let on.
3. There's a tangible benefit for couples that do have sex before marriage: their relationship deepens and becomes more intimate. (And should they find themselves sexually incompatible - everybody involved is glad that it got sorted out before wedlock.)
Like everybody else, the monk can walk around with a +1 weapon.
Or if he feels like it, a potion of ghostbane dirge, which will help everybody in the party to hit the ghost.
But seriously. Hitting a ghost is not an intrinsic class ability and it should not be. The monk (and any other class) has a variety of options to cope with ghosts. His naked fist (unmodified by items or spells) is not required to be able to hurt ghosts, and a normal class should not have the answer for every situation built-in. Having to spend money to solve a problem is perfectly acceptable.
Quantum physics confirms the existence of "real" magic - its just too difficult to do in any macroscopic sense at our current state of technology and understanding. A "real" magician would essentially just have found a way to do what we know can be done theoretically.
If your basic assumption is that "magic defies logic and reason", then yes - you are right. But something as "trivial" as those magic tricks mentioned in question 1. That is scientifically possible. (Yes, pulling a real rabbit out of a hat without using a simple trick is quantum mechanically possible.)
I have reservations about an NPC codex that focuses primarily on the core classes through levels 1 to 20.
To qualify that, I don't mind that its just the core classes - but I do mind that archetypes aren't thrown into the mix. As a GM I want to see a large variety of builds and concepts - things that give flesh to ideas. Rather than 20 levels worth of core barbarian, I'd prefer 20 levels of varying barbarians (drunken rager, urban rager, savage, etc).
What isn't clear from the excerpt and the discussion to this point, is to what extent the NPC codex goes into ideas. There'll obviously be a lot of stat blocks - but will each stat block be accompanied not just by tactics and moral; but also a "person". Creative, fun, dangerous personalities to give fresh ideas to GMs are just as important as regional guides.
Its perhaps not common knowledge, but South Africa celebrates National Cleavage Day today. It's tradition over at tenletter that I post a beautiful cleavage coupled with new gaming options. It's all in good fun, and this year I'm presenting a monk archetype! The mistress of cherry blossoms awaits.