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Revel's Guide to the Monk


Advice

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All right, I’ve been working on this for some time now and I think it’s ready for a critique but first a little background.

Some time back I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a guide and since I enjoy playing monks it seemed like the logical choice. While I have quite a bit of experience playing monks please keep in mind two things. First, the game I normally run has house rules so I my have forgotten something or be taking something for granted so if you see something that isn’t RAW please point it out to me. I think (or hope) I have made few, if any, mistakes of this kind but it’s hard for me to be 100% certain.

Second, while I’ve played a lot of monks I haven’t played them all so a few of my assumptions about a feat, ability or such may be off. If you think I’m wrong feel free to state your case and I’ll look it over and possibly change things if I feel the points made are sound. Of course being my guide I’ll ultimately go with what I believe to be the case but I’d like to think I’m open minded and will give other opinions fair consideration :)

Umm… one last thing, as anyone clicking the link will soon learn the guide kind of got away from me. I meant to do an up to date guide through Ultimate Magic and it was already getting a little longer then intended when Ultimate Combat came out and with all the nice feats and archetypes for monks I naturally had to read, evaluate, try out, and include that material as well. So ya, it grew well beyond what I had originally intended.

In any case I’ll be back to read comments etc and eventually update my guide but between work, school, and life it may take me a while to be able to update everything depending on just what needs done.

Anyway here’s the link, hopefully this works, as it’s the first time I’ve used google docs.

Revel's Guide to the Monk


Excellent Guide! I agree with almost every thing you said in it.


Obsidian wrote:
Excellent Guide! I agree with almost every thing you said in it.

oh one thing you forgot is that the Master of Many Styles loses FoB.


Sounds interesting. I'll just skim through it somewhat fast once over before I look a bit more indepth (just on a break from the lastest Supernatural), see what I find.

First of all, it would be kinda nice to have an additional subpart of the races section with non-core races from the bestiaries, some of them could be alright for a monk - the Oread, for example.

Jawbreaker is listed in Unarmed Combat Feats (which should be Style Feats?): supposed to be with the grappling feats. Although there are more non-style feats in that section, might want to split em all up to make it easier to find things. Also I couldn't seem to find that Nasty Stomp-feat or whatever it's called. I believe it's out of UC.

For the Panther style-feats, I'd make them multicolored to show they are very handy for a AoO-build.

That's all for now, might go through more later tonight.


More thoughts when going through it, but I suppose some things might be rather subjective:

Might want to color code the archetypes themselves, to let people know the relative power of the archetype all in all.

Concerning archetypes and bonus feats: you might want to change the coloring of the feats according to which archetype it's about; for a flowing monk, for example, improved trip is better than orange. Applies for the maneuver master also, the improved feats are much better than orange for it. I guess you see my point by now.

Drunken Monk: drunken strength should be orange at most (I'd make it red), it's rather awful compared to other uses of 1 ki.

There is some pink-rustish color among the Tetori bonus feats, and it's not listed among the color codes. Also found it in the Qinggong.

Tetori: paizo have released FAQ for UC where they listed replacement bonus feats, but it's a rather lackluster list tbh, so no need to have your own list of bonus feats.

Zen archer: flurry should be blue. Precise shot should be green. Improved precise shot should be blue. Way of the bow and zen archery should be blue. Reflexive shot should be atleast green. Trick shot orange. Point blank master might be blue if you're feeling generous. Zen Archer is a nice archetype. Blue if you're to color code archetypes.

Equipment: for boots I'd throw in boots of spider climbing there. Rather nice, especially for the ranged monk (throw shurikens or shoot a bow, for the zen archer, while being out of reach).

All the different builds-sections: don't forget Qinggong archetype, it's always a choice for cherry picking replacement abilities.

Might want to mention the Empyrial sorceror (or whatever it's called) for dipping - sorc with wis-based casting.


I don't know the monk well enough to assess the guide from a crunch perspective, but I did want to say that I'm very impressed with the thoroughness of the guide. It's great to see all the archetypes covered, and the section on possible builds at the end is nice. If anything, I'd like to see this latter section expanded, but I'm pretty sure that's just me being greedy talking. Very well done; thanks for the time and effort.


Obsidian wrote:
Excellent Guide! I agree with almost every thing you said in it.

Thank you I’m glad you liked it :)

Obsidian wrote:
oh one thing you forgot is that the Master of Many Styles loses FoB.

Thank you again, found and fixed I’ll repost it later in week or next weekend at the latest with any mistakes others find so I don’t have to do a bunch of times in a row.

Raje wrote:
First of all, it would be kinda nice to have an additional subpart of the races section with non-core races from the bestiaries, some of them could be alright for a monk - the Oread, for example.

While I might do this I’ll probably wait for the release of the pathfinder races book first and just update all the races then with what’s in that book. I’m guessing but I think they should have all the non-core races in it.

Raje wrote:
Jawbreaker is listed in Unarmed Combat Feats (which should be Style Feats?): supposed to be with the grappling feats.

Actually jaw breaker works fine without grappling, for example you can use it against stunned opponents that you just stunned using stunning fist. Though it does beg the question as to whether it should be in both places though I’d prefer not to repeat feats, the lists long enough without starting to repeat things :P

Raje wrote:
Although there are more non-style feats in that section, might want to split em all up to make it easier to find things.

Actually by my count their far more style feats then anything else in the unarmed combet feats. If I tried splitting them up I believe the non-combat style feats would be a very short list.

Raje wrote:
For the Panther style-feats, I'd make them multicolored to show they are very handy for a AoO-build.

While they seem fun and flavorful they don’t seem exceptionally effective. Keep in mind orange does not equal bad merely not as useful. Do you or anyone else for that matter have much experience with the panther styles feats that would indicate otherwise? If so please share, I’ve wanted to make someone that used them but haven’t yet so I may have misjudged. That said, in game experience that says otherwise has the best chance of selling me on it.

Raje wrote:
Might want to color code the archetypes themselves, to let people know the relative power of the archetype all in all.

I’ve considered this. Not currently sure where I stand on it, though I would like to paint the monk of the healing hand red ;P Actually I’ve been thinking maybe the place to color them would be toward the end when discussing different types of builds.

Raje wrote:
Concerning archetypes and bonus feats: you might want to change the coloring of the feats according to which archetype it's about; for a flowing monk, for example, improved trip is better than orange. Applies for the maneuver master also, the improved feats are much better than orange for it. I guess you see my point by now.

I’ll consider it though keep in mind that color-coding does not necessary mean it’s always better, often it’s a questions of usefulness. For example no matter how good you are at tripping, against snakes, oozes, and flying creatures the feat would be worthless. If I change them I’d be more likely to make them multi-colored and mention the builds/archetypes that find them more effective.

Raje wrote:
Drunken Monk: drunken strength should be orange at most (I'd make it red), it's rather awful compared to other uses of 1 ki.

Well, not always, DR can effect this, and not all other uses are better, 20 foot extra is likely less useful in most scenarios, but yes, and extra attack is probably better then the extra damage most of the time since it’ll usually result in more damage so I will probably downgrade that to orange.

Raje wrote:
There is some pink-rustish color among the Tetori bonus feats, and it's not listed among the color codes. Also found it in the Qinggong.

Yeah, I ran into a few spots that need errata and can’t be color-coded properly until they are hence the new color, I’ll add it to the color-coding section next time I update. Oh and it’s a shade of purple, or at least it’s supposed to be :P

Raje wrote:
Tetori: paizo have released FAQ for UC where they listed replacement bonus feats, but it's a rather lackluster list tbh, so no need to have your own list of bonus feats.

Oh, I will look that up and fix it. Though you make it sound like I’d rather conveniently forget and use my own choices (at least for my home game).

Raje wrote:
Zen archer: flurry should be blue.

I’ll consider it. It’s arguably weaker then the normal flurry of blows since it goes from all monk weapons to only bows. I tend to be stingy at making something blue so when an ability is reduced in strength I hesitate to make it blue. In this case it’s true that a Zen archer is unlikely to use any other weapon but still not having at least the ability to flurry with your hands in melee bothers me. And yes I now after a feat tax the bow can be used in melee, it still bugs me xP

Raje wrote:
Precise shot should be green.

It is. The first half is orange because it’s not one of the better choices for most monks, which are often melee oriented.

Raje wrote:
Improved precise shot should be blue. Way of the bow and zen archery should be blue. Reflexive shot should be atleast green. Trick shot orange. Point blank master might be blue if you're feeling generous. Zen Archer is a nice archetype. Blue if you're to color code archetypes.

Perhaps though the rest are mostly opinon, blue is for excellent choices that are often considered must haves. While I agree improved precise shot is quite good I’m not certain it should be blue and will have to think about it. The same goes for way of the bow and Zen archery, they are good but I’ll have to think about whether or not they should be blue.

Reflexive shot has spot uses but doesn’t get used a lot, or at least I haven’t seen that to be the case and thus is orange. Remember orange does not equal bad it merely means the abilities usage will be fairly circumstantial. That said you are probably right about trick shot for that very reason.

Incidentally, trick shot is partially (and only partially) why I don’t believe improved precise shot should be blue. By spending ki a Zen archer can ignore cover and concealment when needed. Including total cover and concealment.

Raje wrote:
Equipment: for boots I'd throw in boots of spider climbing there. Rather nice, especially for the ranged monk (throw shurikens or shoot a bow, for the zen archer, while being out of reach).

Climbing a tree is easy enough without spider climb, or possibly even jumping into the tree or onto a ledge, so let me ask this about the spell. By RAW can you climb up a wall and start attacking without first getting to a limb, ledge, or some other similar stable area? I’d be tempted to say no based on what I’ve read but then there is a little room for a GM to make a call unless I missed something.

Raje wrote:
All the different builds-sections: don't forget Qinggong archetype, it's always a choice for cherry picking replacement abilities.

Good point, will add a not and have it fixed on my next update.

Raje wrote:
Might want to mention the Empyrial sorceror (or whatever it's called) for dipping - sorc with wis-based casting.

Interesting idea, I’ll look up the sorcerer and think about whether a level dip would be worth it for any of the typical monk builds.

Qik wrote:
I don't know the monk well enough to assess the guide from a crunch perspective, but I did want to say that I'm very impressed with the thoroughness of the guide. It's great to see all the archetypes covered, and the section on possible builds at the end is nice. If anything, I'd like to see this latter section expanded, but I'm pretty sure that's just me being greedy talking. Very well done; thanks for the time and effort.

Your welcome, glad you liked it :)

*Looks up* yikes long post, I may have to restructure future replies to shorten the post length a bit or at least avoid quoting everything xP


Holy cow! I bet this guide took a while to write. Great job!


I feel you might have missed the primary benefit of Snapping Turtle Clutch:

Quote:
Benefit: While you are using the Snapping Turtle Style feat, the shield bonus the style grants to your AC applies to your CMD and touch AC. Whenever an opponent misses you with a melee attack while you are using the Snapping Turtle Style feat, you can use an immediate action to attempt a grapple combat maneuver against that opponent, but with a –2 penalty.

If you are a grappler that part is simply awesome -- you grapple the opponent on their turn which leaves you open to grapple for damage (or whatever else) on your own turn. Basically it speeds up the whole grapple process and if you are a master of many forms then it really stacks nicely with crane wing.

Sensei has greater synergy with the Qinggong monk since you can share wholeness of body with the entire party for the same cost of using it on yourself but more importantly at level 8 you can use restoration on the entire party for no cost other than 2 ki points. Other useful ki abilities that mix well include:

Barkskin (green), true strike (maybe orange), Cloak of Winds (orange~green), feather step (orange -- maybe), heroic recovery, dragon's breath, neutralize poison, Battlemind link (green), shadow step, shadow walk, and Ki shout.


Awesome guide. Thanks. Makes me want to play a monk.


I love the monk, glad there is an up to date guide for him.

Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red. It ends up turning your full attack from +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 to +15/+10/+5 for the ability to use many styles at once. Style feats help to remedy that a bit but they do take up your feat slots and the end result doesn't negate the nerf on your full attack.

Also I don't see any mention on a dex focused monk that uses the item that adds dexterity to your damage.


I think there was a FAQ entry for the Tetori bonus feats.

Ah: yep.


Revel wrote:
While they seem fun and flavorful they don’t seem exceptionally effective. Keep in mind orange does not equal bad merely not as useful. Do you or anyone else for that matter have much experience with the panther styles feats that would indicate otherwise? If so please share, I’ve wanted to make someone that used them but haven’t yet so I may have misjudged. That said, in game experience that says otherwise has the best chance of selling me on it.

The Drunken Monk/Master of Many Styles concept which was posted on the forums a while back is a nice example of an character who gets much out of panther style. You basicly use a ki point to up your ac and move through the enemies provoking AOO (and mostly missed due to high ac cos of the addition of mobility and the additional -2 ac from attacking before the AOO) and get a bunch of retaliations with a highish wis.

Revel wrote:
I’ve considered this. Not currently sure where I stand on it, though I would like to paint the monk of the healing hand red ;P Actually I’ve been thinking maybe the place to color them would be toward the end when discussing different types of builds.

It's a good pointer for the monk newbie who's looking for an archetype of a certain powerlevel (most often "strong", I suppose). Besides, most other guides I've seen has it.

Revel wrote:
I’ll consider it though keep in mind that color-coding does not necessary mean it’s always better, often it’s a questions of usefulness. For example no matter how good you are at tripping, against snakes, oozes, and flying creatures the feat would be worthless. If I change them I’d be more likely to make them multi-colored and mention the builds/archetypes that find them more effective.

Well, if you're listing feats inside a specific archetype, which isn't the standard monk, it's best to code the feats and abilities according to what archetype we're talking about. Multicolored stuff isn't always obvious what exactly they are good for, and it's most useful to avoid having specific "this is bad for a standard monk, but awesome for this archetype"-text everytime something changes. The maneuver feats are VERY handy for a maneuver master, which should be evident when you talk about the maneuver feats inside the maneuver master archetype. It's all about clarity and being informative. You can't always assume the reader knowns when a multi-colored feat applies.

Revel wrote:
I’ll consider it. It’s arguably weaker then the normal flurry of blows since it goes from all monk weapons to only bows. I tend to be stingy at making something blue so when an ability is reduced in strength I hesitate to make it blue. In this case it’s true that a Zen archer is unlikely to use any other weapon but still not having at least the ability to flurry with your hands in melee bothers me. And yes I now after a feat tax the bow can be used in melee, it still bugs me xP

This is somewhat of an continuation of the thing i talked about above, to make "grading" specific to the currently discussed item. A ranged monk is more likely to flurry as he don't have to move to reach his targets, like a melee monk has to. He can just stand still and flurry away, which is one of the reasons the zen archer is so good. Besides, a zen archer only needs to flurry with a bow. If he ends up in melee, it's more likely he'll run away than wanting to be able to stand still and flurry with a melee weapon (but as soon he gets point blank master and can attack in melee without getting AOO'd, that might change - but he still will only need a bow). This makes it a "must have", which the blue color implies in the guide.

And that brings me back to the issue of color-coding for the archetype. A must have for one archetype doesn't need to be a must have for another. Multi-colored feats are just fine in the general feat listings to show usefulness, but in a archetype you can classify them more accurately. A bit long-winded, but I felt I needed to clarify my thoughts on the subject. :)

Revel wrote:
It is. The first half is orange because it’s not one of the better choices for most monks, which are often melee oriented.

See above. Make it all green for the zen archer. He's not melee. ^^

Revel wrote:
Climbing a tree is easy enough without spider climb, or possibly even jumping into the tree or onto a ledge, so let me ask this about the spell.

"When worn, a pair of these slippers enables movement on vertical surfaces or even upside down along ceilings, leaving the wearer’s hands free. Her climb speed is 20 feet. Severely slippery surfaces—icy, oiled, or greased surfaces—make these slippers useless. The slippers can be used for 10 minutes per day, split up as the wearer chooses (minimum 1

minute per use)." - this means you can stand up-side-down on the ceiling chucking shurikens/arrows/what have you at people out of reach for a certain duration per day. Very handy before everyone has fly.
Revel wrote:


John John wrote:
Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red.

Master of Many Styles is Fuse Style. And that makes it very dippable. It's very blue. Many character concepts don't care about being able to flurry, so don't mind losing something they don't need. It's awesome for what it gives you.


Raje wrote:
John John wrote:
Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red.
Master of Many Styles is Fuse Style. And that makes it very dippable. It's very blue. Many character concepts don't care about being able to flurry, so don't mind losing something they don't need. It's awesome for what it gives you.

Exactly, MoMS is the most dipable version of the monk imo. I use a 2 level dip for several of my characters and have had alot of fun with it.


Obsidian wrote:
Raje wrote:
John John wrote:
Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red.
Master of Many Styles is Fuse Style. And that makes it very dippable. It's very blue. Many character concepts don't care about being able to flurry, so don't mind losing something they don't need. It's awesome for what it gives you.
Exactly, MoMS is the most dipable version of the monk imo. I use a 2 level dip for several of my characters and have had alot of fun with it.

I am not sure what the official ruling on FoBs is but the DMs ive worked with in the past have all ruled that FoB is a specific full-round action and that unless I level as a monk or a class that specifies it increases FoB that it is not increased by increasing BAB. So for me unless I am going Monk all the way, FoB is useless and I benefit more from an archetype like MoMS.


+1 to rating things specifically in archetypes.

Also +1 to Empyreal Sorcerer. A friend of mine played a standard Monk dipped in Sorcerer. He'd dress like a spellcaster and all that. He'd start combat by casting a Sorcerer spell and the enemies would yell "Go get their mage!!" Then someone would go attack him and probably miss. Then he'd Flurry on his turn. He ended up going about 1 to 3 ratio between Sorcerer and Monk. Lots of fun.

If I were to do that, I'd just go with 1 level and pick up Grease. I'd have a good enough Wis to make a decent DC with it and could use wands of Mage Armor and Shield as needed.


@ jtgn: thank you :)

Abraham Spalding wrote:
I feel you might have missed the primary benefit of Snapping Turtle Clutch…

You are correct I missed that and will fix it.

Abraham Spalding wrote:
Sensei has greater synergy with the Qinggong monk since you can share wholeness of body with the entire party for the same cost of using it on yourself but more importantly at level 8 you can use restoration on the entire party for no cost other than 2 ki points. Other useful ki abilities that mix well include:

Oh wow lol, a Drunken Qingong Sensei could be a crazy character to play. The party wouldn’t even need wands of curelight etc. The monk would just get blitzed during battle and enhance the party and then get even more blitzed after combat and heal everyone to full at the cost of a few beers… but how exactly is he supposed to be inspirational cause I’m not seeing it? xP

I’ll have to think about where I would put such information. An advice/synergy section on the archetypes perhaps? Idk, I’ll have to think about it but it’ll be a while if I try including that change, as it’s likely to take a while to do.

John John wrote:
Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red. It ends up turning your full attack from +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 to +15/+10/+5 for the ability to use many styles at once. Style feats help to remedy that a bit but they do take up your feat slots and the end result doesn't negate the nerf on your full attack.

When rating an ability I try to see how it can be used and try to reflect how powerful and versatile it is. While flurry is great that isn’t relevant for determining how good another ability is. As others have already mentioned it can be a good versatile ability for a number of builds hence I made it blue.

Gruuuu wrote:
I think there was a FAQ entry for the Tetori bonus feats.

Yep, that was mentioned to me up above but thank you for the link it saved me a search. The correction will be included when I update the file later this week.

Raje wrote:
The Drunken Monk/Master of Many Styles concept which was posted on the forums a while back is a nice example of an character who gets much out of panther style. You basicly use a ki point to up your ac and move through the enemies provoking AOO (and mostly missed due to high ac cos of the addition of mobility and the additional -2 ac from attacking before the AOO) and get a bunch of retaliations with a highish wis.

Interesting, have you, or again anyone else, seen how effective it is in actual play? I ask because after one or two rounds it seems like intelligent opponents would stop taking AoO against the character making them only briefly effective.

Raje wrote:
It's a good pointer for the monk newbie who's looking for an archetype of a certain powerlevel

Ideally, an archetype is supposed to be roughly equal to any other class in “power” otherwise you have power creep etc. and what you want is more options and interesting concepts not power creep. That said I’m well aware that’s not always the case. Still Paizo does a decent job and most fall about the same strength depending on how well they are used.

Also how do you color them? All I can think of is too weak (usually not by a lot but enough that people complain), well done (well balanced), and over powered (introducing power creep or simply being broken).

And even if I did color them mixing one archetype with another, level dipping, or perhaps even just playing a particular type of build can change things enough it’s hard to accurately gauge except in the obvious cases (and sometimes not even then).

I think I'd have to color them red (avoid), green (good), and blue (power creep). And most would be green. Anyway I could but I’m still hesitant. I’ll mull it over for a while and maybe see if I can find an example of a guide that color codes the archetypes and see what I think. Perhaps I'm not looking at it the right way idk.

Raje wrote:
Well, if you're listing feats inside a specific archetype, which isn't the standard monk, it's best to code the feats and abilities according to what archetype we're talking about…

Yes, I think I agree with that and it seems nategar05 agrees as well so I’ll go through and fix that through the document and see how it comes out.

Raje wrote:
Climbing a tree is easy enough without spider climb, or possibly even jumping into the tree or onto a ledge, so let me ask this about the spell.

Silly me, thinking the item would work like the spell xP Well that’s what I get for making an assumption. I’ll add it in the next update :)

nategar05 wrote:
+1 to rating things specifically in archetypes.

Yep, I will fix that on the next update.

nategar05 wrote:
Also +1 to Empyreal Sorcerer. A friend of mine played a standard Monk dipped in Sorcerer. He'd dress like a spellcaster and all that. He'd start combat by casting a Sorcerer spell and the enemies would yell "Go get their mage!!" Then someone would go attack him and probably miss. Then he'd Flurry on his turn. He ended up going about 1 to 3 ratio between Sorcerer and Monk. Lots of fun.

Lol, that sounds like an entertaining character to play. I’m pretty sure that would be a decent level dip for many monk builds. I’ll try to add it in to my next update.

----

Now I have a question on updating the pdf on google docs. Am I going to lose the link and have to repost a new link or can that be avoided? As I mentioned in the op I have never used it before so if anyone can help me avoid creating an unnecessary problem it’ be appreciated.

I’ll try to finish all of the current changes and update the file and if necessary the link by Friday if I can. Possibly sooner but I’d be surprised if I manage it any sooner then that.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and corrections thus far, keep them coming if you find/think of anything. I’ll be far less responsive during the week (actually I probably won't be able to respond again till the weekend) but I’ll still be reading and catching up when I can.


Quote:
Oh wow lol, a Drunken Qingong Sensei could be a crazy character to play. The party wouldn’t even need wands of curelight etc. The monk would just get blitzed during battle and enhance the party and then get even more blitzed after combat and heal everyone to full at the cost of a few beers… but how exactly is he supposed to be inspirational cause I’m not seeing it? xP

When the dude is staggering drunk stumbling around in combat and still healing and buffing you while hitting people with stunning fist and grappling those foolish enough to try and attack him how could you not be inspired? I mean the fight can't be that hard he's doing it drunk!


Abraham spalding wrote:
Quote:
Oh wow lol, a Drunken Qingong Sensei could be a crazy character to play. The party wouldn’t even need wands of curelight etc. The monk would just get blitzed during battle and enhance the party and then get even more blitzed after combat and heal everyone to full at the cost of a few beers… but how exactly is he supposed to be inspirational cause I’m not seeing it? xP
When the dude is staggering drunk stumbling around in combat and still healing and buffing you while hitting people with stunning fist and grappling those foolish enough to try and attack him how could you not be inspired? I mean the fight can't be that hard he's doing it drunk!

Which Qingong powers would be best for this build?


Obsidian wrote:
Raje wrote:
John John wrote:
Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red.
Master of Many Styles is Fuse Style. And that makes it very dippable. It's very blue. Many character concepts don't care about being able to flurry, so don't mind losing something they don't need. It's awesome for what it gives you.
Exactly, MoMS is the most dipable version of the monk imo. I use a 2 level dip for several of my characters and have had alot of fun with it.

Agree with the responses. And frankly, I think the trade off is potentially worth it even if you are going straight monk; there are some really interesting possibilities for combining styles. Actually, I would love to see a breakdown of various combinations - I still haven't seen any in-depth analysis of builds allowed by the MoMS.


Qik wrote:
Obsidian wrote:
Raje wrote:
John John wrote:
Fuse style shouldn't be blue but red.
Master of Many Styles is Fuse Style. And that makes it very dippable. It's very blue. Many character concepts don't care about being able to flurry, so don't mind losing something they don't need. It's awesome for what it gives you.
Exactly, MoMS is the most dipable version of the monk imo. I use a 2 level dip for several of my characters and have had alot of fun with it.
Agree with the responses. And frankly, I think the trade off is potentially worth it even if you are going straight monk; there are some really interesting possibilities for combining styles. Actually, I would love to see a breakdown of various combinations - I still haven't seen any in-depth analysis of builds allowed by the MoMS.

The above mentioned drunken master of many styles with panther/snake is a concept discussed and well-recieved before. Other than that I've mostly seen crane being used, as well as dragon for extra damage with higher strength and tiger for a few power attack-builds. Other than that I'm not too sure. I could see snapping turtle being taken by a MoMS focusing on grappling, as he won't be needing flurry if he's grappling anyway (which just occured to me now. I've always been interesting in that particular feat, but just tried to incorporate it with the already feat-starved Tetori...). Hmm, boar if you want to have fun with impaling critical perhaps? :P Or whatever that feat chain is called. Not that it's a style feat chain. I realize most of these musings are just single style-concepts though.

Combinations are harder than just finding uses for single styles. To be honest I mostly see crane and the damage-increasing dragon as "go-to combination styles", as they compliment most other styles well. I mostly dislike the elemental fist-styles, so I tend to avoid them - which means my input on them is a bit lackluster.

Mantis style I might see with a snapping turtle clutch(/crane) grappler who uses those stunning fist-use grappling feats like stunning pin, neckbreaker and the like. The heal prereqs goes hand-in-hand with the heal prereqs on the jawbreaker feat chain too, if you ignore the MoMS's ability to ignore prereqs on bonus feats.


I've only skimmed the guide but so far so good. I think I agree with you on most points although I can see some minor quibbles about you styles ranking. That said I really have to commend you for hashing through tons of feats and abilities to create one of the more comprehensive guides out there.

Great work.


Revel wrote:
Also how do you color them? All I can think of is too weak (usually not by a lot but enough that people complain), well done (well balanced), and over powered (introducing power creep or simply being broken).

Just go with how "good" they are seen from a relative powerlevel with the standard monk as your starting point.

If it's much worse and a waste for a party compared to other monk archetypes (like a healing hand) make it red.

If it's a little bit worse or really close to the standard monk (or just somewhat good at a thing but a bit lackluster generally, like losing important monk abilities or blooming late) make it orange (I believe most archetypes will end up here or perhaps green if they're lucky).

About the same or a little bit better or just a rather popular choice - as popularity usually has its reasons - (like a flowing monk, maneuver master, drunken master and the like) make it green.

If it's very effective at what it does and a great choice and/or widely considered "powerful" make it blue (like a zen archer, master of many styles, perhaps even qinggong for the versitality - but most likely green, as it's not that super by itself).

Look at a few other guides and how they've handeled it for some inspiration, if you want.


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No mention of a cleric(crusader) dip anywhere? None?

Shame. Cleric dip gets you proficiency in a diety's favored weapon and channel energy. Why is that important? Crusader's Flurry. You can get weapon focus with one level dip into crusader at the cost of a domain. Here's some thigns you cna do with it.

Sarenrae Crusader-Grab Scimitar for a high crit rate while flurrying combine wiht flowing monk for high dex shenanigans. Take the restoration domain so you cna cure some conditions(barbarians love a ready cure for fatigue.) And you're golden.

Erastil Crusader-Now you can flurry with a bow in any monk archetype. Grab the fur domain and you cna have a temporary boost to speed adn the Magic Fang spell for those early levels. Zen Archers are better for obvious reasons but still a valid tactic.

Shelyn Crusader- Shelyn's weapon has reach. That's a premium among monks who cna used unarmed strikes when the baddies inside glaive reach. Take the absolutely amazing luck domain and you can run up and support your close in melee fighters with your glaive and give them some good rerolls. You also get true strike.

Besmara- Like Sarenrae above but with the added hilarity of the Trickery domain.

Moloch- WHIP IT! WHIP IT GOOD! DUNNA DUNNA NUH! DUNA DUN DUN!

We could probably go on but it is a rather good dip.


TarkXT wrote:

No mention of a cleric(crusader) dip anywhere? None?

Shame. Cleric dip gets you proficiency in a diety's favored weapon and channel energy. Why is that important? Crusader's Flurry. You can get weapon focus with one level dip into crusader at the cost of a domain. Here's some thigns you cna do with it.

Sarenrae Crusader-Grab Scimitar for a high crit rate while flurrying combine wiht flowing monk for high dex shenanigans. Take the restoration domain so you cna cure some conditions(barbarians love a ready cure for fatigue.) And you're golden.

Erastil Crusader-Now you can flurry with a bow in any monk archetype. Grab the fur domain and you cna have a temporary boost to speed adn the Magic Fang spell for those early levels. Zen Archers are better for obvious reasons but still a valid tactic.

Shelyn Crusader- Shelyn's weapon has reach. That's a premium among monks who cna used unarmed strikes when the baddies inside glaive reach. Take the absolutely amazing luck domain and you can run up and support your close in melee fighters with your glaive and give them some good rerolls. You also get true strike.

Besmara- Like Sarenrae above but with the added hilarity of the Trickery domain.

Moloch- WHIP IT! WHIP IT GOOD! DUNNA DUNNA NUH! DUNA DUN DUN!

We could probably go on but it is a rather good dip.

Here is one for you:

Martial Artist Monk + Crusader Cleric of Gorum

This is one of my favorite Monk builds. Why? Because this Monk uses Flurry with a Greatsword, and that is all kinds of badass.

Why a Martial Artist Monk specifically? Aside from it being a pretty neat archetype (bypass DR and object hardness? yes please), the MAM has no alignment restrictions. This lets you easily match (or be close to) Gorum's alignment without problems.

BTW, you can't use Crusader Flurry with a bow. The feat specifically says melee weapon.


Obsidian wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Quote:
Oh wow lol, a Drunken Qingong Sensei could be a crazy character to play. The party wouldn’t even need wands of curelight etc. The monk would just get blitzed during battle and enhance the party and then get even more blitzed after combat and heal everyone to full at the cost of a few beers… but how exactly is he supposed to be inspirational cause I’m not seeing it? xP
When the dude is staggering drunk stumbling around in combat and still healing and buffing you while hitting people with stunning fist and grappling those foolish enough to try and attack him how could you not be inspired? I mean the fight can't be that hard he's doing it drunk!
Which Qingong powers would be best for this build?

Barkskin (green), true strike (maybe orange), Cloak of Winds (orange~green), feather step (orange -- maybe), heroic recovery, dragon's breath, neutralize poison, Battlemind link (green), shadow step, shadow walk, and Ki shout.

Personally I would probably go:
Barkskin, cloak of winds, Wholeness of body, restoration, dragon's breath, battlemind link, shadown walk and ki shout.

Liberty's Edge

No Dex-based monk love? Really?


Zonto wrote:
No Dex-based monk love? Really?

It's a sad fact that they are just so hard to love. I mean sure if you have an agile weapon... but at that point why not just get a guided weapon and call it a day?

Dex is the one stat that isn't a 'god stat' for the monk (well that intelligence and charisma) -- it is useful to have some... but focusing on it isn't going to make you a better monk.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Zonto wrote:
No Dex-based monk love? Really?

It's a sad fact that they are just so hard to love. I mean sure if you have an agile weapon... but at that point why not just get a guided weapon and call it a day?

Dex is the one stat that isn't a 'god stat' for the monk (well that intelligence and charisma) -- it is useful to have some... but focusing on it isn't going to make you a better monk.

This. Pretty much spot on.

Dex is usually a very good stat, but for a Monk: Wisdom does more. There's so many decent ways for a monk to use wisdom for his attack rolls that dex monks aren't as useful as they used to be.

That being said, Zonto, dex still isn't bad to invest in. Having dex and wis both high helps make a better AC score, help boost reflex and initiative, etc. But for most monks in general, you either want to make strength or wisdom your main stat and build from there.

Grand Lodge

Well Done!! Love the last bit on archetypes and combinations

Grand Lodge

What a great and in-depth guide! I'm glad to see a guide that has embraced all of the options from the Ultimate Series.

My only beef is with some parts of the Flowing Monk:
If the monk manages to get his hands on a reach (trip) weapon (not a waste of a feat if necessary), a flowing monk can get really NASTY. Unbalancing counter makes the oncoming enemy easier to hit(and allows your rogue to get in a nice Sneak), definitely a green IMHO, especially when combined with Combat Reflexes(a green for the flowing monk).

As for elusive target, I would put that soundly in yellow territory, if not red. Restricted to 1 immediate action per round, the flowing monk must decide between employing redirection and this ability. So I choose between spending 2 precious ki points for the chance to take 1/2 damage, or take a chance on avoiding all of the damage with a successful tripping redirect (-4 to attack when prone, and another -2 attack & -2 damage when sickened) plus having the bonus of my enemy lying prone before me. And don't forget Vicious Stomp Take THAT! MUAHAHA! (Another green for the Flowing Monk!)

Elusive target's only redeeming quality is the excellent hijinks that can be accomplished when the monk is flanked. Not really worth the loss of immunity to poisons and disease, methinks.


Itsgottabeodin wrote:

As for elusive target, I would put that soundly in yellow territory, if not red. Restricted to 1 immediate action per round, the flowing monk must decide between employing redirection and this ability. So I choose between spending 2 precious ki points for the chance to take 1/2 damage, or take a chance on avoiding all of the damage with a successful tripping redirect (-4 to attack when prone, and another -2 attack & -2 damage when sickened) plus having the bonus of my enemy lying prone before me. And don't forget Vicious Stomp Take THAT! MUAHAHA! (Another green for the Flowing Monk!)

Elusive target's only redeeming quality is the excellent hijinks that can be accomplished when the monk is flanked. Not really worth the loss of immunity to poisons and disease, methinks.

...Except against creatures that fly, don't use legs, are too much bigger than you, etc, etc... You know, all those things that basically can't be tripped? Yeah, those.


Ok, I have updated the file for all those that want to look at it some more. Most all of the changes I said I was going to make above have been made. I even color coded the archetypes and classes for level dipping in the section - Effective builds and level dipping.

Keep in mind that I am still not entirely comfortable with color coding them so have a look and tell me if you disagree and why. They may well get changed depending on people’s opinions and arguments for the change.

Well attempting to upload the file again simply made another more current file of the same name rather then updating the old one :/ As a result here is the link to the revised copy.

Revel’s Guide to the Monk

I’ll give it a day or two before I delete the old file removing the original link… Unless anyone knows how to upload it so that I can keep using the original link (which is what I would prefer to do).

----

Abraham Spalding wrote:
When the dude is staggering drunk stumbling around in combat and still healing and buffing you while hitting people with stunning fist and grappling those foolish enough to try and attack him how could you not be inspired? I mean the fight can't be that hard he's doing it drunk!

The idea makes me laugh, though I’m still not 100% convinced that’d be my reaction. I think I might be more prone to be thinking son of a b!&!@ he’s a tough bastard. Though I suppose having him on your side may be inspiring, at least it’d be better then having to fight him xP

TarkXT wrote:
No mention of a cleric(crusader) dip anywhere? None? …

Interesting, I’ve never been able to get into clerics, at least not since 3rd edition (I used to love the Faiths & Avatars Book and those like it) so I really haven’t read through their archetypes. I have now read the crusader and added a note under level dipping with melee builds.

Kazejin wrote:

Here is one for you:

Martial Artist Monk + Crusader Cleric of Gorum

BTW, you can't use Crusader Flurry with a bow. The feat specifically says melee weapon.

I would prefer to leave specific gods out of the guide. While the default setting is Golaron you never know what someone will be playing and it’s up to the player to find out what gods exist in their campaign and what favored weapons those gods use that they may be able to take advantage of.

BTW thanks for that last past I almost put it in for a potential level dip for both melee and ranged builds.

Zonto wrote:
No Dex-based monk love? Really?

If you mean for damage then no, sorry :( Dexterity just tends to be a bad focus for damage-focused monks. That said I wouldn’t say they got no love. Dexterity based scout oriented builds are mentioned, can be fun to play, and are still effective in combat. They just generally won’t deal out as much damage as other builds will.

Itsgottabeodin wrote:
What a great and in-depth guide! I'm glad to see a guide that has embraced all of the options from the Ultimate Series.

Thank you :)

Itsgottabeodin wrote:
My only beef is with some parts of the Flowing Monk…

After reading it and thinking it over I may make it multicolored green and note its usefulness with reach weapons and the snake style… in other words for those that make their build specifically to make use of the ability. I may do this the next time I update (probably a week or so from now after everyone has had time to continue picking the guide apart).

As for elusive target, I think you may be underestimating its usefulness. Particularly in rough battles, it’s not an ability you use all the time but having it always available when you need it is nice. Also, as mentioned above there are some foes for which redirection is impractical or even impossible.

Now since it tends to be used situationally perhaps it should be orange. The reason I didn’t do that is while it may not often be used it is still available for use when needed and can be used against most attacks whether or not its the best option is for the player to determine. I would almost call it half orange and half green but that implies there are particular builds for which it is better suited and that’s not accurate… so I went with green.

----

The Master of Many Styles

I wanted to make one of my existing monks a MoMS after UC came out but shied away from it since she was a damage dealer. My impression of them as a focus for a monk build is that they can be built with a nearly unparalleled defense but have difficulty dealing much damage.

The temptation then is to focus on combat maneuvers and grappling but of course this means fewer feats for styles making them a bit feat starved.

As mention above another option discussed is using a combination such as panther style and snake style together but their again unless opponent consider you a threat they can simply ignore you and focus on characters that don’t have as good of a defense.

So my question is, while I can see it being good for a level dip be another class does anyone know how to make them effective as the primary class?


Well... I'm playing on a PBP with this guy... and I'm just waiting to grapple the heck out of three opponents at once (at level 11 I'll grab rapid grappling to get four opponents at a time).

For me the master of many forms works best when mixed with some fighter levels for extra feats. 8 levels of MMF and 4 of fighter gives a mean creature with:

Stunning fist
Improved unarmed strike
6 bonus feats
6 normal feats
The ability to use three styles at once.

For me the styles that work best together are:
Snapping turtle clutch and crane wing -- you literally force people to let you grapple them. Snake folds well into this too.

Panther tiger and dragon all work well together.

Mantis and Dragon -- you're going to want more stunning fist and increasing the DC isn't a bad thing either.

Second level of the elemental styles and dragon style -- I would lead off with dragon.


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Time to comment on some ratings. These comments are all specific to Zen Archer, not to the others. This also does not apply if someone is looking to just take a level-dip of Zen Archer for another purpose. This is solely for the pure Zen Archer characters.

Rating Zen Archer's Flurry as green? Eh. Just because it's mechanically a step down in terms of weapon options doesn't actually make it inferior. It still deserves a blue rating. What else is the Zen Archer going to be doing with his time? Is there any full-round action that could possibly be better for him? I think not, barring extremely specific scenarios. Removing the ability to Flurry with other weapons is essentially the compensation for being the one build that almost never has to move, and therefore gets to Flurry just about all the time. While the standard monk spent his first round getting in position, the Zen Archer already started Flurrying. When the standard Monk has to move to his next target, the Zen Archer already started Flurrying.

Even if you disagree with the above statement, try to remember something. Whether or not you think the tradeoff is fair, its still the single best option the Zen Archer has on his turn, and it will continue to be his best option: all day, everyday. That alone already makes it worth a blue.

Secondly, Point Blank Shot is rated far too high. It's a trap feat, and needs to be red for the Zen Archer. It really is quite useless, as the bonus only applies to a range that a good archer need not bother being in. The only reason other archers want the feat is to qualify for Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and Improved Precise Shot. No one actually wants Point Blank Shot, they want the feats that come afterwards.

But guess what? He can get Precise Shot (which should be solid blue) for free as a Monk bonus feat without needing the prereqs at lv1. He can get Improved Precise Shot (also solid blue) without needing the prereqs at lv6. Flurry makes it so that he never needs Rapid Shot or Manyshot at all (both red, use Flurry instead). Thus, the Zen Archer has no real reason to ever need Point Blank Shot. Lower that rating.

Now, if you're wondering why I rated the other archer feats as blues or reds, lemme explain.

Without Precise Shot, you're looking at -4 to hit every time your target is engaged in melee combat with someone. Which is EXTREMELY often in practice, unless your entire party is ranged. Taking -4 every single attack hurts a lot, so if a single feat can completely negate that penalty... that feat is blue. Can you name any other single feat that gives you +4 to hit? I sure can't. Precise Shot is an absolute necessity archers. Needs blue for Zen Archer archetype.

Without Improved Precise Shot, every time an ally or another enemy stands in your line of fire, your target has cover from your shots. This hurts, a lot because they basically get +4 AC against you. You can negate that entirely with a single feat at lv6. I've played a lot of archers, believe me this feat makes a gigantic difference in combat. Needs to be blue for any archer build that can afford to get it... and Zen Archer can get it for free.

Rapid Shot? Zen Flurry does the same thing without burning a valuable feat slot. It's a trap. Rate it red.

Manyshot? Zen Flurry will accomplish just about the same thing without burning a valuable feat slot. It's a trap. Rate it red.

*Not to mention, Zen Flurry will eventually outperform RS and MS at higher levels anyway, making them even more useless to a Zen Archer.

Hope this giant text-wall helps.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For dipping, I would make special mention of the Unarmed Fighter archetype, which grants proficiency in all monk weapons, even the exotic ones. This grants a lot of versatility, especially at early levels when many of those weapons do better damage than unarmed.

Note the FAQ entry that says monks are not normally proficient with these weapons: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1g1#v5748eaic9okw

I'd also like to see ratings of the monk weapons, especially the ones in ultimate combat, but that would be a lot more work.


Kazejin wrote:
stuffs

Only thing I disagree with is the taking point blank shot to red. While it's a limit bonus at a limited range the one thing a monk still needs is bonuses to hit and damage -- which point blank shot provides. Far shot isn't going to be needed, and deflect arrows isn't likely either same for combat reflexes. Dodge is nice... in theory but not great in practice. Increasing your attack and damage rolls is going to be a primary point of what feats you do take and you have one at second level that simply begs to be point blank shot.

Now is it the world's best feat? No -- but it certainly isn't a trap -- it offers a solid bonus at a decent range.


Exocrat wrote:

For dipping, I would make special mention of the Unarmed Fighter archetype, which grants proficiency in all monk weapons, even the exotic ones. This grants a lot of versatility, especially at early levels when many of those weapons do better damage than unarmed.

Note the FAQ entry that says monks are not normally proficient with these weapons: Linked

I'd also like to see ratings of the monk weapons, especially the ones in ultimate combat, but that would be a lot more work.

Just to clarify they aren't proficient with any exotic monk weapon that doesn't specifically state they are proficient (like temple sword).


Abraham Spalding wrote:
Well... I'm playing on a PBP with this guy...

Looks interesting. It does seem like a few levels of fighter is a good idea to offset the need for more feats. Based on your charatcer it looks as if you’d agree that grappling and combat maneuvers are the way to go or am I mistaken?

The loss of flurry reduces not only the monks’ number of attacks but also their BAB significantly impairing their damage potential with unarmed strikes. While something like dragon style and mantis style or dragon style and an elemental style may help offset the damage from attacks their lower BAB still hurts them keeping their overall damage lower as well as reducing the chance that your stunning fist will actually connect. As to whether or not it offsets it enough to make them effective… I’ll have to try making one up to see but at first glance it seems that their damage potential will still be a bit low.

Kazejin wrote:
Rating Zen Archer's Flurry as green?

Actually, I’ve been thinking I’d change that after the discussion above. While it still seems wrong to rate a power as high as one that allows for significantly more versatility in weapon use I agree that it will be constiantly used by the Zen archer and that you aren’t likely to want to use anything else if you can avoid it anyway since they are so focued on the bow. It will be blue next time I update. Actually I had to check to see if it had already been changed on my last update but apparently I had still been convincing myself so it never got changed x.x

Kazejin wrote:

Secondly, Point Blank Shot is rated far too high. It's a trap feat, and needs to be red

the Zen Archer has no real reason to ever need Point Blank Shot

Well you got me to half agree with you. The Zen archer can get the other feats without needing point blank shot so it should not be a must have, I will downgrade it to either orange or green after I’ve thought about it some more.

So why not red? Not all combat take place in large open areas. Many are while dungeon delving or simply indoors where distance is limited and within 30 feet is common. The question then becomes how often does this happen and how much is the benefit worth.

Kazejin wrote:
Without Precise Shot, you're looking at -4 to hit every time your target is engaged in melee combat with someone. Which is EXTREMELY often

K, that is a good point and convinced me, it will be blue next time I update.

Kazejin wrote:

Rapid Shot? Zen Flurry does the same thing without burning a valuable feat slot. It's a trap. Rate it red.

Manyshot? Zen Flurry will accomplish just about the same thing without burning a valuable feat slot. It's a trap. Rate it red.

Wow, it specifically states they can’t use those in a flurry :( well alright then. Not sure how I missed that, I had been under the impression that they could. That’s disappointing I liked the idea of a hail of arrows xP Well, I may have to agree with you then. It’ll likely be red on the next update unless I can think of a reason not to change it.

Exocrat wrote:
For dipping, I would make special mention of the Unarmed Fighter archetype, which grants proficiency in all monk weapons, even the exotic ones…

Right so the Unarmed Fighter archetype grants proficiency in all monk weapons. Okay, well that’s weird but thank you for the information, I will read it over and make a note of it.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Exocrat wrote:

For dipping, I would make special mention of the Unarmed Fighter archetype, which grants proficiency in all monk weapons, even the exotic ones. This grants a lot of versatility, especially at early levels when many of those weapons do better damage than unarmed.

Note the FAQ entry that says monks are not normally proficient with these weapons: Linked

I'd also like to see ratings of the monk weapons, especially the ones in ultimate combat, but that would be a lot more work.

Just to clarify they aren't proficient with any exotic monk weapon that doesn't specifically state they are proficient (like temple sword).

Actually the line from UC reads...

Ultimate Combat wrote:
An unarmed fighter is proficient with all monk weapons, including exotic monk weapons.

So actually I think it does mean all of them. Though I do wish it'd end with all exotic monk weapons just for more a bit clarity. Still that certainly seems to be the implication.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Revel wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Exocrat wrote:

For dipping, I would make special mention of the Unarmed Fighter archetype, which grants proficiency in all monk weapons, even the exotic ones. This grants a lot of versatility, especially at early levels when many of those weapons do better damage than unarmed.

Note the FAQ entry that says monks are not normally proficient with these weapons: Linked

I'd also like to see ratings of the monk weapons, especially the ones in ultimate combat, but that would be a lot more work.

Just to clarify they aren't proficient with any exotic monk weapon that doesn't specifically state they are proficient (like temple sword).

Actually the line from UC reads...

Ultimate Combat wrote:
An unarmed fighter is proficient with all monk weapons, including exotic monk weapons.
So actually I think it does mean all of them. Though I do wish it'd end with all exotic monk weapons just for more a bit clarity. Still that certainly seems to be the implication.

Well this is getting confusing, but I think Abraham's clarification was in reference to monks, not unarmed fighters. So to recap:

Monks are proficient with the weapons spelled out in the monk class description, and weapons with text that say monks are proficient with them (such as temple sword). They are not proficient in many monk weapons such as sansetsukon, rope dart, etc.

Unarmed fighters are proficient with all monk weapons, including exotic ones.


Revel wrote:
Abraham Spalding wrote:
Well... I'm playing on a PBP with this guy...

Looks interesting. It does seem like a few levels of fighter is a good idea to offset the need for more feats. Based on your charatcer it looks as if you’d agree that grappling and combat maneuvers are the way to go or am I mistaken?

The loss of flurry reduces not only the monks’ number of attacks but also their BAB significantly impairing their damage potential with unarmed strikes. While something like dragon style and mantis style or dragon style and an elemental style may help offset the damage from attacks their lower BAB still hurts them keeping their overall damage lower as well as reducing the chance that your stunning fist will actually connect. As to whether or not it offsets it enough to make them effective… I’ll have to try making one up to see but at first glance it seems that their damage potential will still be a bit low.

Well... notice that he's a choker -- which means he has natural attacks... so if I don't flurry I'll still get a full attack plus two attacks.

For *him* grappling is a great choice -- by grappling he prevents casters from casting, no one is going to escape his CMD against grappling (48 at level 10!) and because he's a choker he gets an extra move action each round... combined with greater grapple he can grapple 3 different people and hurt them all with constriction... it maybe slow but they are dead (even if they have silent spell the DC to cast a spell while grappled by him is going to be 40+spell level).

So that monster character is a mage killer -- he gets his hands on you it's just a matter of time.

However this brings me to another point -- any time you have natural weapons will be a good time to drop flurry of blows -- you get the natural attacks that way with the full attack which *should* help make up for the loss of the flurry.

For situations where you want to flurry and use natural weapons there is the feral combat training though.

*****

@Exocrat yeah exactly.

********

Side note:

Sohei have a huge advantage over the Zen archer:

They can flurry of blows with rapid shot and many shot as well when using a bow after sixth level. While it would seem like the extra penalties to hit would hurt the fact they get weapon training completely overcomes this limitation as early as 8th level with gloves of the duelist (or dueling gloves... whatever they are called -- either way it's completely awesome).


Abraham spalding wrote:

Side note:

Sohei have a huge advantage over the Zen archer:

They can flurry of blows with rapid shot and many shot as well when using a bow after sixth level. While it would seem like the extra penalties to hit would hurt the fact they get weapon training completely overcomes this limitation as early as 8th level with gloves of the duelist (or dueling gloves... whatever they are called -- either way it's completely awesome).

Two issues I have with Bow-Sohei.

1) I'm not convinced that Sohei are actually intended to combine Flurry with Rapid Shot/Manyshot. Yeah, it doesn't say they can't. But look at all other instances of Flurry of Blows. Can't add natural attacks, can't add two weapon fighting, (and in the case of Zen Archer) can't add Rapid Shot/Manyshot... Every possible sign points to Flurry being intended to function outside the realm of other similar abilities, except where specifically stated otherwise. There's no reason to think Sohei would be different, aside from the line being omitted; and this could easily just be a typing oversight, not an actual intention. It needs clarification; and until it gets it, I wouldn't blame any DM for shooting down the idea and promptly burying it. (Pun not intended, but accepted nonetheless).

2) A Sohei has to burn how many feats (and wait until what level) to get Improved Precise Shot again? BAB +11 is a long time for a Monk; and the difference between having this feat and not having it is pretty substantial.

I'd still say Zen Archer is the superior archetype for archery... at least until the developers stop ignoring the numerous Sohei issues we keep posting about, and actually clarify the intentions.


Abraham Spalding wrote:
Well... notice that he's a choker…

Yes, I noticed. And if he weren’t would you do anything different? You can still be effective grappling and using your combat maneuvers as you can use your monk level but attacking normally you have to use a lowered BAB and can’t flurry. To me it looked like you took one of their strong points and enhanced it by choosing a race that would take advantage of this.

As far as natural attack go though I’m probably not going to get into a discussion of that kind in the guide since it doesn’t really apply to any of the core races. Now in the future if there are good candidates in the races guide that is being made I’ll probably include them at that time and will file this idea away until then.

Abraham Spalding wrote:
Just to clarify they aren't proficient with any exotic monk weapon that doesn't specifically state they are proficient (like temple sword).

It still reads to me like you were talking about the unarmed fighter, should’ve said monks instead of they. I assumed they referred to the quoted mention of the unarmed fighter archetype. You had me going back and rereading. After missing that mention of a Zen archers’ flurry not working on rapid shot and many shot I was a bit gun shy and wanted clarity xP

Kazejin wrote:
Two issues I have with Bow-Sohei…

I tend to agree that the Sohei were “probably” not intend to be able to flurry with rapid shot and manyshot but until there is an official word on it to the contrary my guide will focus on RAW and thus will treat it as being allowed.


Revel wrote:
Abraham Spalding wrote:
Well... notice that he's a choker…

Yes, I noticed. And if he weren’t would you do anything different? You can still be effective grappling and using your combat maneuvers as you can use your monk level but attacking normally you have to use a lowered BAB and can’t flurry. To me it looked like you took one of their strong points and enhanced it by choosing a race that would take advantage of this.

As far as natural attack go though I’m probably not going to get into a discussion of that kind in the guide since it doesn’t really apply to any of the core races. Now in the future if there are good candidates in the races guide that is being made I’ll probably include them at that time and will file this idea away until then.

Kazejin wrote:
Two issues I have with Bow-Sohei…

I tend to agree that the Sohei were “probably” not intend to be able to flurry with rapid shot and manyshot but until there is an official word on it to the contrary my guide will focus on RAW and thus will treat it as being allowed.

Well some class combinations can make some really nasty use out of a flurry-less monk (though it might be outside the scope of your guide):

Ranger -- two weapon fighting or the natural weapon combat style is going to take the place of flurry, a two level dip can be very nice.

Barbarians can get some really nice use out of beast totem and animal fury with monk, getting three natural attacks and unarmed strike too.

dragon disciple monks would again get three natural attacks on top of their unarmed strikes. For this one I would use cross blooded with ephermal sorcerer to get maximum wisdom synergy.

Basically put yeah -- either you need to focus on a different way to get your attacks, or some combat maneuvers.

Duelist can really work well with a master of many forms using crane style, snapping turtle, mantis, snake and dragon style.

The biggest thing going for natural attacks is the amulet will help all your attack forms and the unarmed strikes don't eliminate any of your natural attacks.


Hope you don't mind, but I added your guide to the Guide to the Guides.


harmor wrote:
Hope you don't mind, but I added your guide to the Guide to the Guides.

Not at all, though you grabbed the link to the earlier version. I had to place a link to the newer touched up guide in a later post here since I had no idea how to either keep the old link in google docs when uploading or change the link shown in the OP.

Since you seem to have added the link to your older post could you please tell me how to do the same here so people don't have to hunt for the most recent update?

Also so you don't have to look here is the link to the more current version of the Guide

edit: or did you perhaps have help from the great Paizo forum gods ;P

Dark Archive

Nice job on the guide!

I don't think you understand what Tiger Pounce does: the PENALTY that is usually applied to your attack is applied to your AC instead. It makes your AC worse, not better, but it does remove the attack penalty for your PA attacks.


Argus The Slayer wrote:

Nice job on the guide!

I don't think you understand what Tiger Pounce does: the PENALTY that is usually applied to your attack is applied to your AC instead. It makes your AC worse, not better, but it does remove the attack penalty for your PA attacks.

Gah, misread it x.x Well, it's still a good feat but I may have to downgrade it to green. Thank you for spotting it, I'll have it changed next time I update the guide.

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