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Sean K Reynolds clarifies Flurry of Blows


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I thought I should make the PFS community aware of this, since I know not everyone has the time to peruse all the rules threads:

LINK

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I just double-checked with Jason, and my statement is correct. Flurry works like TWF. You can't pick your best weapon and use it for all of your flurry attacks.

We're really talking about two different situations. Say we have a monk15 doing a flurry of blows. His attack sequence is +13/+13/+8/+8/+3/+3.

1) If all of his potential attacks are identical (for example, all he's doing are unarmed strikes and none of his unarmed strikes are enhanced by magic fang or any other effect that would give it a different attack bonus or damage value, it doesn't matter if you justify all six of those as punches, all six as headbutts, all six as kicks, or three as kicks and three as punches, or punch kick knee elbow elbow headbutt, because those attacks are identical in terms of attack and damage. That's what the "any combination" text in the flurry rule means--the difference between the attacks is just flavor and has no game effect, so you can use them in any combination because what you call it has no effect on the dice.
(Just like if you have a TWF fighter using two identical +1 short swords with identical attack and damage bonuses, it doesn't really matter for each individual attack if he's using the left shortsword or the right shortsword, declaring it doesn't affect the dice, he can roll all his attack dice at the same time and doesn't have to call them out separately.)

2) If even one of the monk's potential attack forms is not identical to the others, such as using a special monk weapon with an attack bonus or damage different than his unarmed strike, or having magic fang on one hand but not any other body part, now the order and identity of each attack matters, and you have to specify what you're attacking with and you have to abide by the TWF rules because your decisions affect the die rolls. In other words that monk15 is actually making attacks with two weapons, one with a main attack bonus of +13 and iteratives at +8/+3, and another with a main attack bonus of +13 and iteratives at +8/+3. So if you have a +5 sai in your left hand and a normal sai in your right hand, you can't say you're using the +5 sai for all six of your attacks, you're doing +13/+8/+3 with the left hand (adding the sai's +5 enhancement bonus, of course) and +13/+8/+3 with the right hand.
Jason says that in this situation, the "any combination" text means you can swap in a regular unarmed strike in place of any of those attacks (though that's not clear in the text). (Doing so affects the attack and damage rolls for that attack, of course.) So you could swap out your left-hand +8 attack for an unarmed strike such as a kick or elbow (losing the +5 enhancement bonus to that attack because you're not actually using the +5 sai to make that attack), swap out all of the right-hand sai attacks for unarmed strikes, and so on, but you're still abiding by the TWF setup in that you have a series of attacks with one weapon and a series of attacks with your other weapon.

TLDR: (1) Flurry is based on TWF. (2) If all your attacks are identical, declaring which weapon is which is pure flavor and doesn't affect the dice, so go ahead an call them whatever you want. (3) If even one of your attacks is different than the others, you have to follow the TWF rules when flurrying; you can't just declare all of your flurry of blows attacks to be your best weapon because you can't do that with TWF.

If you want to argue about it, please go to that thread instead of doing it here. Thanks.

Taldor ***

I just to make clear that this post is nonbinding in Pathfinder Society play. Unless it shows up in the Core Rulebook FAQ or the Core Rulebook Errata, nothing has changed. You may go about your weapon-flurry business.

-Matt

Silver Crusade **

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mattastrophic wrote:

I just to make clear that this post it nonbinding in Pathfinder Society play. Unless it shows up in the Core Rulebook FAQ or the Core Rulebook Errata, nothing has changed.

-Matt

Yes, it is. There was no rule change. They made a post to clarify something that most take as granted. If people would spend a few seconds before posting to ask "Is there a logical way for this rule to work?", the developers could spend more time doing useful things than repeating how rules work for 5% of the population.

*****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Expect table variation.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

A post shouldn't need to be "binding" for someone to whom it applies to apply it of his own free will. If you play a monk and you are aware of this rules clarification, it falls within the honor system Pathfinder Society Organized Play operates under not to specifically go against that knowing full-well you're using an unclear rule to your own advantage. Once you know the RAI, if it doesn't conflict with the RAW (as this specific example does not), then running it counter to the RAI is a conscious choice one would need to make to exploit a GM's lack of seeing this or another similar thread.

Andoran ***

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

Game design at its finest. It'll be interesting to see how SRM back-peddles to explain how Zen Archers work in light of his ruling. Do they need to have four arms?

I'll be sure to pass info about the nerf on.


Note that NPCs in published adventures seem to be able to ignore this rule as well. Eg: Ruby Phoenix Tournament module.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caedwyr wrote:
Note that NPCs in published adventures seem to be able to ignore this rule as well. Eg: Ruby Phoenix Tournament module.

If you're running that module, you now know how to adjust the attacks of the monks therein to abide by this clarification. Luckily, GMs are not robots.

Paizo Employee ** Developer

I've removed a post that directly attacked a Paizo staffer (and not one even involved in this debate). If you can't remain civil, don't participate in the discussion.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

I just love it when a designer/developer comments on a question of clarification. The players that agree with the "ruling" use it as justification for why their interpretation is "right." But, when it does not agree, suddenly the "forum rulings are not binding" clause gets used to attempt to ignore the post. Makes me laugh every time. Some of y'all are just silly :-)

Andoran ***

I apologize.

My mistake.

Taldor ***

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Makes me laugh every time. Some of y'all are just silly :-)

I apologize for pointing out how board-posts from developers work.

What totally sucks is that this ruling, clarification, errata, retcon, whatever you want to call it, actually does kill my character concept. I have managed to paint myself into a corner where my character concept actually does not work under this post. And now I've got Mark Moreland basically saying that if I continue to play her as she was, that I'd be cheating.

What's even worse is that since it's a clarification and not an actual rules change, the bit in the Guide about being able to rebuild your character to fix it doesn't kick in.

-Matt

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Backpeddle? I don't remember doing any front peddling. ;)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mattastrophic wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Makes me laugh every time. Some of y'all are just silly :-)

I apologize for pointing out how board-posts from developers work.

What totally sucks is that this ruling, clarification, errata, retcon, whatever you want to call it, actually does kill my character concept. I have managed to paint myself into a corner where my character concept actually does not work under this post. And now I've got Mark Moreland basically saying that if I continue to player as she was, that I'd be cheating.

What's even worse is that since it's a clarification and not an actual rules change, the bit in the Guide about being able to rebuild your character to fix it doesn't kick in.

-Matt

Would you mind sharing that concept? I'm curious about it. (Or you could PM if you prefer, so as not to de-rail the thread.)

Cheliax ****

One concept that's dead now is the flurrying temple sword monk. I can't say I'm pleased with this 'clarification'. I suppose it's to be enforced, but I can't say I'll be playing a monk from now on, unless he's a zen archer.

Taldor ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
Would you mind sharing that concept? I'm curious about it. (Or you could PM if you prefer, so as not to de-rail the thread.)

Sure thing.

Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher, lovely Taldan noblewoman, carries her courtier's fan with her constantly, as any well-to-do lady of Taldor would. She is often seen fluttering it about, fanning herself as relief from the heat of the day. However, when combat inevitably begins, little do others know that her feminine fan can quickly become a deadly weapon!

Under SKR's post, Lady Gabrielle would have to start punching people. How unbecoming of a lady of such stature! (I'll also note that she just added Agile to her fan on Monday. Unarmed damage: 1d6-2, fan damage: 1d4+5. Ugggh.)

-Matt


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Mark Moreland wrote:
A post shouldn't need to be "binding" for someone to whom it applies to apply it of his own free will.

Well it does beg the question:

How DOES it apply to a zen archer monk?

Does flurry simply mean that they get full BAB but -2 on attacks, or does it mean (which I believe it was intended to) that they also gain an extra attack (like rapid shot would give)?

It does seem that if we are to read the flurry of blows AS two-weapon fighting (rather than merely 'like' it as many did up until now) that it would not be of any use until the monk was 9th level unless they found a way to wield a second bow.

Also, I'm not sure about anyone else's neck of the woods, but I think that most people have NOT been reading the monk flurry of blows 'correctly' to the extent that no one knew the 'correct' way.

Mark, you might consider allowing the playerbase to treat this like there was a change in the rules and be able to adjust their characters to some degree or another.

-James

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Mergy wrote:
One concept that's dead now is the flurrying temple sword monk. I can't say I'm pleased with this 'clarification'. I suppose it's to be enforced, but I can't say I'll be playing a monk from now on, unless he's a zen archer.

So confused...

So, if my monk uses a single temple sword he can't flurry with it?

But, if he has a temple sword in each hand, he can (so long as they are identical swords)?

This seems very counter-intuitive...

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

james maissen wrote:

Mark, you might consider allowing the playerbase to treat this like there was a change in the rules and be able to adjust their characters to some degree or another.

-James

Interesting idea. Part of me likes it, but another part of me sees it setting a dangerous precedent.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Drogon wrote:
Mergy wrote:
One concept that's dead now is the flurrying temple sword monk. I can't say I'm pleased with this 'clarification'. I suppose it's to be enforced, but I can't say I'll be playing a monk from now on, unless he's a zen archer.

So confused...

So, if my monk uses a single temple sword he can't flurry with it?

But, if he has a temple sword in each hand, he can (so long as they are identical swords)?

This seems very counter-intuitive...

Like several others in the other thread, you've read this clarification as more restrictive than it is. You don't need a separate weapon for each attack (unless you only get two attacks total). Half your attacks need to be with one weapon, and half with another.

So if your flurry routine is something like +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5 then you can use your temple sword for three of your six attacks (one per "tier") and use something else (like an unarmed strike) for the other three.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
So if your flurry routine is something like +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5 then you can use your temple sword for three of your six attacks (one per "tier") and use something else (like an unarmed strike) for the other three.

Sounds about right. I guess you need to think of it more like +15/+10/+5 followed by +15/+10/+5 where no single weapon (or body part) can be used for more than three of the attacks. That seems to be the way it would work for TWF.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

GUYS GUYS GUYS

Shadow Lodge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I just want to say point out this an evolving situation, obviously it's a rule a lot of people misunderstood (including designers) and what the final outcome of this will be is quite possibly up in the air. Jason put up a post that clarifies the way he and Sean see it but the implication is some sort additional official errata or FAQ will be forthcoming. I suggest people just relax a bit until it is (but participate in the threads where this is being discussed).

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required. 6 people marked this as a favorite.

First, I suggest everyone read Jason's response HERE in the parallel thread.

Here's how we are going to handle this for PFS. I am going to let players, who this clarification affects, have an option because I understand that this clarification hinders quite a few character builds.

If you so choose, you may rebuild your character so that your character is no longer hindered. If in the process of us further clarifying this in FAQ or errata, we make further clarifications to the flurry of blow ability that would have made your original character concept viable, you will not be granted an additional rebuild back to your original concept.

Because the Zen Archer concept hinges on the ability to take a flurry of blows with a single weapon, Jason has assured me that the Zen Archer, specifically, will be made to work as it currently does (taking a full flurry action with a single weapon). There is no timeline when this official clarification will be made, however. So, for Zen Archers, I encourage patience rather than a knee jerk rebuild.

We understand that no one likes to feel as if their character concept is no longer a viable option, especially after devoting many hours into building that character. As you all know, for a rules set as robust as Pathfinder, sometimes clarifications such as this have cascading effects. We appreciate everyone's understanding in working with us to make such effects as minimal as possible on the play experience.

Thank you for your patience while we work out the kinks.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Michael Brock wrote:

Because the Zen Archer concept hinges on the ability to take a flurry of blows with a single weapon, Jason has assured me that the Zen Archer, specifically, will be made to work as it currently does (taking a full flurry action with a single weapon). There is no timeline when this official clarification will be made, however. So, for Zen Archers, I encourage patience rather than a knee jerk rebuild.

So the single most busted concept behind this mass misinterpretation will be allowed to continue forward unhindered, but all the temple sword guys who were intentionally nerfing themselves by getting behind a sword (and giving up bigger damage dice later in their career with their fists) because they thought the concept was cool will have to rebuild?

Again, very counter-intuitive.

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Drogon wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Because the Zen Archer concept hinges on the ability to take a flurry of blows with a single weapon, Jason has assured me that the Zen Archer, specifically, will be made to work as it currently does (taking a full flurry action with a single weapon). There is no timeline when this official clarification will be made, however. So, for Zen Archers, I encourage patience rather than a knee jerk rebuild.

So the single most busted concept behind this mass misinterpretation will be allowed to continue forward unhindered, but all the temple sword guys who were intentionally nerfing themselves by getting behind a sword (and giving up bigger damage dice later in their career with their fists) because they thought the concept was cool will have to rebuild?

Again, very counter-intuitive.

Your question should be directed to the design team on the linked post. It is not PFS' place to change or alter rules. It is our place to work within the rules we are given as best we can.

Cheliax ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Michael Brock wrote:
Drogon wrote:
Michael Brock wrote:

Because the Zen Archer concept hinges on the ability to take a flurry of blows with a single weapon, Jason has assured me that the Zen Archer, specifically, will be made to work as it currently does (taking a full flurry action with a single weapon). There is no timeline when this official clarification will be made, however. So, for Zen Archers, I encourage patience rather than a knee jerk rebuild.

So the single most busted concept behind this mass misinterpretation will be allowed to continue forward unhindered, but all the temple sword guys who were intentionally nerfing themselves by getting behind a sword (and giving up bigger damage dice later in their career with their fists) because they thought the concept was cool will have to rebuild?

Again, very counter-intuitive.

Your question should be directed, on the linked post, to the rules team. It is not PFS' place to change or alter rules. It is our place to work within the rules we are given as best we can.

Sorry. I shouldn't have cited examples. I guess I should say this, instead:

Don't do a knee-jerk rebuild, no matter what you are using to flurry. Considering what they're saying in that thread, all of this is under internal debate, no matter the monk style weapon you use (except the Zen Archer). If you're not a Zen Archer, just hit the pause button and don't play your character for a few days. It'll get sorted out and you'll know what to do.

Next time I promise to check my sarcasm at the door.

Taldor ***

Drogon wrote:
Don't do a knee-jerk rebuild, no matter what you are using to flurry. Considering what they're saying in that thread, all of this is under internal debate, no matter the monk style weapon you use (except the Zen Archer). If you're not a Zen Archer, just hit the pause button and don't play your character for a few days. It'll get sorted out and you'll know what to do.

Thanks for the advice, man. I'm freaking out over here!

-Matt

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

Mattastrophic wrote:


Thanks for the advice, man. I'm freaking out over here!

-Matt

You're welcome.

Andoran ***

Michael Brock wrote:

First, I suggest everyone read Jason's response HERE in the parallel thread.

Here's how we are going to handle this for PFS. I am going to let players, who this clarification affects, have an option because I understand that this clarification hinders quite a few character builds.

If you so choose, you may rebuild your character so that your character is no longer hindered. If in the process of us further clarifying this in FAQ or errata, we make further clarifications to the flurry of blow ability that would have made your original character concept viable, you will not be granted an additional rebuild back to your original concept.

Because the Zen Archer concept hinges on the ability to take a flurry of blows with a single weapon, Jason has assured me that the Zen Archer, specifically, will be made to work as it currently does (taking a full flurry action with a single weapon). There is no timeline when this official clarification will be made, however. So, for Zen Archers, I encourage patience rather than a knee jerk rebuild.

We understand that no one likes to feel as if their character concept is no longer a viable option, especially after devoting many hours into building that character. As you all know, for a rules set as robust as Pathfinder, sometimes clarifications such as this have cascading effects. We appreciate everyone's understanding in working with us to make such effects as minimal as possible on the play experience.

Thank you for your patience while we work out the kinks.

This ruling is pretty irksome. Some monk (or monk-esque characters) get partial rebuilds but characters without Handle Animal weren't allowed to trade a few skill points?

Are characters that were nerfed by this clarification allowed to sell any weapons they bought under the previous flurry rules for full value?

Paizo Employee ***** Global Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Irksome as it may be, I wasn't here when previous rulings were made. I'm here now and I can deal with what happens now. I'm sorry you are irked at me for not controlling rulings that happened more than a year before I arrived as Campaign Coordinator. I will try to do better in the future.

Sure, if you want to sell weapons for full price, knock yourself out.

You folks have a great weekend playing PFS. I will be back on Monday to catch up on the boards.

Andoran ***

Thanks, and my apologies Mike. That debacle wasn't your fault.

While I've got your attention, can characters that had to deal with the Animal Intelligence changes trade skill points into Handle Animal?

*****

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Brock wrote:
knock yourself out.

Flurry of blows. Knock yourself out. Very funny Brock, very funny.

*

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This post doesn't go to all of you, but I have seen some major complainers on this, and especially other threads about this subject.

A) It makes sense

B) I think a lot of you are operating under the misconception that Pathfinder is something to be *conquered,* rather than experienced.

C) If we are operating under the "a turn takes 6 seconds and we all take our turns in a round somewhat simultaneous" then the rule makes more sense.

"Here, hold still while I hit you with this hammer 5 more times in approximately 6 seconds with my dominant hand..." just doesn't work in my mind.

Flurry of blows is more like THIS in my mind (starts at approx :40 seconds). Each blow sets up the next blow. Like in boxing, you hit the ribs to open up the hands, etc.

D) Kind of like "B" above, don't get mad at the people that are creating an environment for you to have fun. You are the ones limiting yourselves to having fun, thinking that the "xp" at the end of a fight is the only good moment. I tell my players that the fun is just showing up, snacking, and hanging out with people that get you. If you do that, you are already winning, even if/when you "lose."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Mattastrophic wrote:
Under SKR's post, Lady Gabrielle would have to start punching people. How unbecoming of a lady of such stature! (I'll also note that she just added Agile to her fan on Monday. Unarmed damage: 1d6-2, fan damage: 1d4+5. Ugggh.)

Ummmm... couldn't you just give her TWO fans?

*

Brayden Green wrote:

B) I think a lot of you are operating under the misconception that Pathfinder is something to be *conquered,* rather than experienced.

C) "Here, hold still while I hit you with this hammer 5 more times in approximately 6 seconds with my dominant hand..." just doesn't work in my mind.

Flurry of blows is more like THIS in my mind (starts at approx :40 seconds). Each blow sets up the next blow. Like in boxing, you hit the ribs to open up the hands, etc.

an unequivocal +1 to point B, however, I would describe what happens in that video as just a series of iterative attacks (I count 6 in 9 seconds). When I imagine a flurry, it is more like what you see here. AT 1:47 he does it with just one hand, and at 1:52 he does it again with a single weapon. Later on in the video there are examples while using a two-handed sword and a spear. So while I agree with you wholeheartedly about the goal being having fun, the flavor of the monk includes all sorts of things that are now precluded by the new ruling.

Osirion **

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Now, we know that switching which hand you're using to hold something is a free action (see http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/archives/layOnHandsWithALightShield&page=1#24 ). Would it be possible for a monk with a single temple sword to pass that weapon from hand to hand inbetween attacks, thus using that sword to attack with both his left and right hands?

And you can't tell me that the concept of a monk juggling his weapons around while he attacks with them isn't cool.

Taldor ***

*clears through*

I happen to have a monk, level 6 at the moment. At one point I read a lot of posts about monks having +1 Brass Knuckles to get cheap magic attacks.

First I figured this is nice, but should I buy two to get both hands applied? Basically, I bumped into this same issue, and decided to go with what Jason and Sean had devised. Apparently I saved myself by choosing the more expensive option of buying an Amulet of Mighty Fists instead (which is still way too expensive).

This clarification is something I approve. It might indeed hinder some character concepts, and they should be able to revise the concept. When the clarification comes official (in the way of errata or FAQ), of course.

Qadira ****

Brayden Green wrote:
I think a lot of you are operating under the misconception that Pathfinder is something to be *conquered,* rather than experienced.

Thank you for this. I feel like this message gets lost in the mix of it all. If could have a signature on every post, this would be it.

Cheliax ****

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Joseph Caubo wrote:
Brayden Green wrote:
I think a lot of you are operating under the misconception that Pathfinder is something to be *conquered,* rather than experienced.
Thank you for this. I feel like this message gets lost in the mix of it all. If could have a signature on every post, this would be it.

People play this game for different reasons. I don't think any one of us should be telling other people which aspect of a game they are meant to enjoy.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Anoka

Mattastrophic wrote:

I just to make clear that this post is nonbinding in Pathfinder Society play. Unless it shows up in the Core Rulebook FAQ or the Core Rulebook Errata, nothing has changed. You may go about your weapon-flurry business.

-Matt

If a GM chooses to use this rule at their table, then all players at that table are bound by the GM's decision.

Players do not get to decide what non-binding rules do and do not get to be used at any particular table.


For anyone interested I posted a thread in the rules forum to help list any further issues or clarifications needed by this possible change to help the Devs get all their ducks into whatever row they choose.

Shadow Lodge **

@Andrew - While I agree with you, I think in this case Jason hinted that a more permanent change is in the works and I am going to wait until I see how that plays out. No sense in making a bunch of changes when there is a pretty solid indication something more tangible is coming down the pike in a week or so.

Cheliax ****

All I would suggest is that anyone with a monk character just put them on sabbatical for now. Let this stupid rules thing play out; when you have a definite answer, start playing your monk again.


Brayden Green wrote:
...Flurry of blows is more like THIS in my mind (starts at approx :40 seconds)...

Having not seen this movie yet, I can only say the following:

That was freaking awesome.

On the monk redo, I have no real opinion. Maybe I'm just out of it, but I don't really get what happened/changed...

Then again, I made a simple fix for the monk, and generally use that (because one of my common players thinks it's awesome). Would anyone be interested in seeing this in a separate thread, maybe pointing out some major flaws that likely exist?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
minneyar wrote:

Now, we know that switching which hand you're using to hold something is a free action. Would it be possible for a monk with a single temple sword to pass that weapon from hand to hand inbetween attacks, thus using that sword to attack with both his left and right hands?

And you can't tell me that the concept of a monk juggling his weapons around while he attacks with them isn't cool.

Fixed it for you!

That being said, I'm pretty sure James Jacobs once mentioned that anything he really makes a comment on, rules-wise, is moreso whether he would allow it or not and is technically not official. I have no idea if changing a weapon to another hand is an action addressed in the rules.

Shadow Lodge *

I always invisioned Flurry of Blows to be this.

***** Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Carbondale aka Disturbed1

I already asked this in the other thread, but:

Assuming the change goes into effect as I currently understand it (all versions of the Monk except the Zen Archer will be affected by the change), then why does a Monk with a single 2-handed weapon (with or without reach) get affected? What is the difference between that and the bow?


One is a archetype built around using the bow the other is a guy with TWF holding a reach weapon.

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