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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Doesn't this vow impose an unfair burden on the other players?
After all, a monk with this vow is unable to own a wand of CLW, a potion of remove disease and .... well plenty of other things.
Considering Painlords suggestions, you pretty much have nothing in that list.
And this leaves the other players at the table 2 options, use their resources on the monk, or don't do so and risk a character death or worse a TPK.
Wands of Cure light Wounds are no party healers, they're backup items.If there's a healer in the party, that character has renewable resources with which to heal injured characters. If there isn't, then healing will consume non-renewable resources.
Also, owning a Wand of Cure light Wounds is not mandatory. Everybody who buys such a wand, however, should know that his wand may have to be used as backup healing.
Also, that monk will fulfill a role as well. Many will have a few Qigong Monk abilities to make use of all their Ki points. Also, monks can be good damage dealers and/or good tanks.
If that monk just does nothing productive which might lead to increased cost in resources or even a TPK, then yes, there's an unfair burden. But it's not the vow that causes the unfair burden, it's the way the monk is played.
Such a player should just be talked to. Maybe he/she simply doesn't know they're making bad tactical choices. But always remember to be polite in such a matter, in most cases there's some kind of concept idea behind that character and what appears to be bad tactics to one person in fact fits the character idea perfectly.
In short, I'm tired of the general assumption that everybody has to bring a Wand of CLW to create a "fair" game.
A Wand of CLW is only the very first object I decided to mention, that the monk can't have. It only gets worse from there. I won't list everything the monk can't readily provide for himself, and items that would allow him to deal with temporary/permanent conditions, but he also can't invest in some of the staple items (the big 6), so among other things dealing with DR might be a problem.
But ok, if the player has wants his character to shoot himself in the foot, first thing in the morning, so be it.
Your argument about healers doesn't really work IMO, sure if the party has a character with somewhat dedicated healing resources (eg. Channel Energy), great, but I think assuming anything else is might be stretching it.
A Warpriest will quite likely plan to use his fervor to buff/heal himself, the same is true for a paladin capable of converting his lay on hands into smites and of course cleric spells.
Of course we should always cooperate, but when a player decides to play a concept, that is extremely reliant on the cooperation and resources of other party members, things get muddy.
If a play someone capable of healing, and now have to heal the stupid barbarian, that charged enraged (-4 AC) into the ranks of the enemy without wearing armor, cause it didn't fit his concept.
I know that playing stupid, and playing a substandard concept aren't the same thing, but with the above example, the barbarian could have bought a better healing wand for the cleric, or a wand of mage armor to help with his AC.
A monk with vow of poverty, does not have this option. Pretty much all he can do is "beg" his fellow party members for buffs (mage armor) and healing, since he is not capable of providing it.
This concept can work in a home game with a permanent group, but since you PFS often consists of pretty random groups...
It may sound insulting, but if someone drops his sick dog on my doorstep, I will make sure it gets medical attention, but I won't thank him for it.
Obviously once you sit at the table with a new player, things aren't nearly as critical, but I still think that taking the vow is a bad trade, the quigong archetype helps just a bit.