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Druid / Monk?


General Discussion (Prerelease)

Cheliax

In anticipation of final PFRPG rules, my gaming group already started to create character concepts for our new campaign. In the meantime we played a little in Eberron and Midnight campaign settings. New campaign will probably be played in my own home-brewed world, and in addition to the Pathfinder RPG we will use Unearthed Arcana, Monte Cook's rules from various books and psionic books by Dreamscarred, modified for Pathfinder. All pcs will use gestalt rules form Unearthed Arcana. But, some things are bothering me. One of them is: when gestalt druid/monk changes shape, can he use monk's abilities, like flurry of blows, while in animal shape?

Cheliax

nightflier wrote:
One of them is: when gestalt druid/monk changes shape, can he use monk's abilities, like flurry of blows, while in animal shape?

They should be able to, but only with their unarmed strike, not with their natural weapons. Natural weapons might be used as natural attacks, though.

Cheliax

Jadeite wrote:
nightflier wrote:
One of them is: when gestalt druid/monk changes shape, can he use monk's abilities, like flurry of blows, while in animal shape?
They should be able to, but only with their unarmed strike, not with their natural weapons. Natural weapons might be used as natural attacks, though.

But what is the difference in unarmed strike compared to natural weapons when the subject is a brown bear? When bear attacks with claws, it fights unarmed. Isn't that so?

Cheliax

3.5 Core FAQ wrote:

Can a monk who has natural weapon attacks (such as a centaur monk) attack unarmed and still use his natural weapons? For example, let's say he's a 4th-level monk. Can he use a flurry of blows and attack at +5/+5/+0 unarmed (plus other bonuses) and then at +0/+0 for 2 hooves?

If the creature normally is allowed to make both weapon attacks and natural weapon attacks as part of the same full attack routine, the monk can do the same (making unarmed strikes in place of weapon attacks). Since a centaur can make two hoof attacks in addition to his longsword attack, a centaur monk can make two hoof attacks in addition to his unarmed strike attack (or attacks, depending on his base attack bonus). The monk can't use his natural weapon attacks as part of a
flurry of blows, but he can make natural weapon attacks in addition to his flurry. Such attacks suffer the same -2 penalty as the monk's flurry attacks in addition to the normal -5 penalty for secondary natural attacks.
An 4th-level centaur monk has a base attack bonus of +7 (+4 from his 4 monstrous humanoid Hit Dice, and +3 from his 8 monk levels). If he performs a flurry of blows, he makes three unarmed strikes, at +5/+5/+0. He can add two hoof attacks at -2/-2 (-5 as secondary weapons, and -2 from the flurry).

With a bear it should the same as with a humanoid who has claw attacks. There are two options. Either the monk gets his unarmed flurry and all of his natural weapons (arguing monks don't need hands to attack) or he gets one claw attack less than normal since he would need one claw to make his unarmed strikes.

The monk's unarmed strike is not a regular natural weapon. It benefits from spells like magic fang but at the same time it counts as a manufactured weapon when targeted by spells like magic weapon.

Shadow Lodge

nightflier wrote:
One of them is: when gestalt druid/monk changes shape, can he use monk's abilities, like flurry of blows, while in animal shape?
d20srd wrote:
Natural weapons are weapons that are physically a part of a creature. A creature making a melee attack with a natural weapon is considered armed and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Since it doesn't say the natural attacks are special monk weapons, I wouldn't believe so. But you could always house rule it or turn it into a feat. The other monk abilities though(AC bonus, unarmored speed bonus, Stunning Fist if they grabbed that at 1st level, etc) should still work.

Taldor

You cannot use the Monk's Flurry of Blows ability with Natural Attacks.

So while you could continue to make unarmed strikes and use flurry of blows as a bear, your doing it with your normal monk damage and not the bear's though you'd get the bears strength behind the attacks.

A bear's claws or bite is not equivalent to some guy punching you in a bar fight. As it's a game, that difference needs to be classified as something different then an Unarmed Strike.

The difference is important as it's what keeps shadows and vampires from being able to flurry with their natural slam attacks.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The monk's unarmed strike qualifies as a natural weapon for the purpose of the Imp. Natural Attack feat in 3.5 so I would allow a druid/monk to use their claws, teeth, etc. in conjunction with their unarmed strike damage. This would allow the druid/monk the option to do slashing and piercing damage instead of the normal bludgeon damage from its fists, etc. For flurry of blows, I agree with allowing the use of the animal form's natural weapons while using the unarmed strike damage for a monk of the appropriate size. The druid/monk really isn't losing anything because most creatures a druid can wildshape into aren't going to be doing that much more damage than a monk (especially a monk with Imp. Natural Attack.)

Something else you'll want to remember is that a druid monk in animal form shouldn't have a penalty with secondary attacks the way a lion, for example, has a primary claw and a secondary bite at a penalty to hit. You'd probably already thought of that, but just in case it comes up I thought I'd mention it.

Cheliax

I'm considering allowing flurry to work with claws, but not with fangs - in case of the bear, that is.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Is that simply because you have a hard time imagining a "flurry of bites" or is it the damage that bothers you? If it's the damage thing you can always fall back on only allowing the monk to do damage as a monk when using flurry of blows. Regardless, a medium-sized level 6 monk with Imp. Natural Attack is going to do 2d6 points of unarmed damage per hit no matter which part of his body he strikes with. That's equal to what a large bear does for bite damage. If it's the flurry of bites thing, what happens when the druid/monk wants to turn into a shark, a snake or a just some silly wolf? In the case of the snake, it's even more important to know what sort of damage he's doing (monk or normal snake damage) because snakes tend to have very low damage dice for their size.

I would allow the flurry of bites, and here's why: I know it's a long shot and would probably never occur in most games, but what if you've got a character that is like an awakened snake or guardian naga with levels of monk? Bites are the only natural attacks these creatures get. You could just say they flurry by whipping things with their tails, but it stands to reason a creature with a natural bite attack and the discipline to become a monk would find a way to develop a fighting style around their bite (especially if they're poisonous.) I figure since that's possible within the rules and world of Pathfinder/D&D, why shouldn't a druid/monk be able to incorporate bites into their own martial training. Essentially what you'd have is a martial artist who is practicing the animal styles of kung fu in the form of the actual animals.

Cheliax

You make a pretty good case. I think that my player will be very grateful to you.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You'll have to let me know how grateful he is when the party faces that naga monk.

Shadow Lodge

Flurry of tail b#+#$smacks. . .

Shadow Lodge

Velcro Zipper wrote:
The monk's unarmed strike qualifies as a natural weapon for the purpose of the Imp. Natural Attack feat in 3.5 so I would allow a druid/monk to use their claws, teeth, etc. in conjunction with their unarmed strike damage.

Add to that the fact the monk's unarmed damage grows as he gets bigger, and you have something people may call 'broke'.


Dragonborn3 wrote:


Add to that the fact the monk's unarmed damage grows as he gets bigger, and you have something people may call 'broke'.

Are melee characters not supposed to have damage that increases as they gain higher levels?


Morgen wrote:
So while you could continue to make unarmed strikes and use flurry of blows as a bear, your doing it with your normal monk damage and not the bear's though you'd get the bears strength behind the attacks.

Nope, you're thinking of 3.x druids.

Pathfinder druid's don't get the bear's strength behind anything - they use their own STR score with some modification from the Wildshape - heck, I don't even remember if the Wildshape touches their STR or not.

Either way, it's a druid in a bear costume, so if you want those bear attacks to have any muscle behind them, you better make your druid strong in the first place.


By the way, I just gotta say...

... This thread reeks of Kung-fu Panda...


New wild shape adds to strength, but not nearly as much as you used to be able to milk it for.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Let the bonuses stack. If you don't, the character will suck in a fight, trust me. Let him use the better of his natural weapon damage or unarmed strike damage, and let him use flurry of blows to get an extra unarmed strike in his full attack at the normal penalty.


I'd say that Flurry uses Unarmed Attacks which use the chart in the PHB and not the claw damage. This would need adjusted based on the size of the Wildshape form. Obviously a large creatuer would start at 1d8, effectively being one die level ahead of the normal medium size monk.

My reasoning would be this. You could argue that claw attacks assume two and only two attacks no matter how high a player or monsters BAB is. In most cases, they should be more powerful as they only get those two, and often a weak bite that never hits. All of their power goes into those two attacks. Unarmed attacks tend to assume that you're using any means (elbows, knees, headbutts etc) unless special monk weapons come into play (and that's mostly just a hack to allow you to use the special ability of your weapon(s) while using flurry).

On the other hand, you may need to allow it if he ends up being too weak for a melee gestault character. He'll have a lower BAB and will have to spread his attributes out so he might not be nearly as good as the others. He'll be as or more frail than most wizards as well.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just be glad the druid/monk wasn't sorceror/monk with the 3rd level spell "Greater Mighty Wallop".


I have another idea, what about a melee druid monk?

Average bab, average AC, almost all of the druid goodies.
Monk 1/druid 19
I might be wrong my friends, but as I’m aware of, Flurry of blows keeps on progressing with the BAB, not with monk levels.

Soooo, putting this idea to work, how about a druid with flurry of blows wielding a Quarter staff flurrying enemies with spikes and shillelagh, plus barkskin for AC bonuses.

Have in consideration that maybe this character doesn’t need that much Feats, we can have a good melee monk with Animal companion for whatever purposes you want, summoning elementals and whacking NPC with a super spikey super strong unbelievable Ironwood shillelaghed quarterstaff?

We can have dodge mobility spring attack for tactic spell casting shin

And ashbound spell focus (conj) augment summoning and stuff for the elementals, without forgetting the Rashemis Elemental summoning and stuff from UE.

Monk 1 Bonus feat, flurry of blows, stunning fist, unarmed strike
Druid 2
Druid 3 Bonus feat
Druid 4
Druid 5 Bonus feat
Druid 6
Druid 7 Bonus feat
Druid 8
Druid 9 Bonus feat
Druid 10
Druid 11 Bonus feat
Druid 12
Druid 13 Bonus feat
Druid 14
Druid 15 Bonus feat
Druid 16
Druid 17 Bonus feat
Druid 18
Druid 19 Bonus feat

Bab will be rescued by buffs and stuff, and elemental summons will help you escape and do other tactics while you move.

What do you think? Can you help me optimize this build

Mario Rocket
My life as a Lion.

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