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Flurry of Changes to Flurry of Blows


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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I like that idea, Lord Twig. But I would suggest pricing it the same as a magic weapon: +1 = 2,000 gp; +2 = 8,000 gp; +3 = 18,000 gp; +4 = 32,000 gp; +5 = 50,000 gp; +6 = 72,000 gp; +7 = 98,000 gp; +8 = 128,000 gp; +9 = 162,000 gp; + 10 = 200,000 gp.

Standard weapon enhancement is bonus squared x 2,000 gp. You used the pricing for magic armor there, Lord Twig. :)

Master Arminas

Dark Archive

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

Actually a thought occured to me for a possible solution to the enchantment problem (Admitadly not something they could add now but perhaps when they redo the monk at somepoint) Why not just Give the monk Ki pool the same ability as the Magus's spell pool ability? (the one that lets them enchant a weapon as a +1 weapon then +2 +3 etc etc)


master arminas wrote:

I like that idea, Lord Twig. But I would suggest pricing it the same as a magic weapon: +1 = 2,000 gp; +2 = 8,000 gp; +3 = 18,000 gp; +4 = 32,000 gp; +5 = 50,000 gp; +6 = 72,000 gp; +7 = 98,000 gp; +8 = 128,000 gp; +9 = 162,000 gp; + 10 = 200,000 gp.

Standard weapon enhancement is bonus squared x 2,000 gp. You used the pricing for magic armor there, Lord Twig. :)

Master Arminas

I think you might be looking at the cost to enchant. The actual price is near the top. Honestly it is not the best format, but all magic items are that way.


My bad, and I stand corrected.

MA


So I just started thinking about he verisimilitude problem. That is to say: Why would the amulet I described above enchant all unarmed strikes, but not all natural attacks? This would also be an issue with Greater Magic Fang and Greater Magic Weapon.

My reasoning is this. When you enchant unarmed strike you are enchanting the person's (or creature's) entire body. Hand, elbow, foot, knee, head, whatever. In essence your body is one big bludgeoning weapon. But this would not effect natural weapons. A regular human can bite someone, or they can scratch with their fingernails, but they wouldn't get the bonus with those. You are not bludgeoning someone with your teeth or nails. You are not putting your body's weight and power behind those attacks. You are using them as weapons separate from your whole body.

So, in order to enchant your bite or claw (fingernails) attack you have to focus the enchantment on that particular weapon. The same logic can be used for the unfortunate Slam attack that some creatures have. A Slam is not an unarmed strike, it is using the unique power of their limbs to deliver a powerful blow. How do I know it is a unique power of their limbs? Because it it wasn't they would just be using unarmed strikes. ;-)


Lord Twig wrote:

So I just started thinking about he verisimilitude problem. That is to say: Why would the amulet I described above enchant all unarmed strikes, but not all natural attacks? This would also be an issue with Greater Magic Fang and Greater Magic Weapon.

My reasoning is this. When you enchant unarmed strike you are enchanting the person's (or creature's) entire body. Hand, elbow, foot, knee, head, whatever. In essence your body is one big bludgeoning weapon. But this would not effect natural weapons. A regular human can bite someone, or they can scratch with their fingernails, but they wouldn't get the bonus with those. You are not bludgeoning someone with your teeth or nails. You are not putting your body's weight and power behind those attacks. You are using them as weapons separate from your whole body.

So, in order to enchant your bite or claw (fingernails) attack you have to focus the enchantment on that particular weapon. The same logic can be used for the unfortunate Slam attack that some creatures have. A Slam is not an unarmed strike, it is using the unique power of their limbs to deliver a powerful blow. How do I know it is a unique power of their limbs? Because it it wasn't they would just be using unarmed strikes. ;-)

Well stated, Lord Twig. I am Master Arminas and I approve this message.

MA

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Fit the attack bonus on unarmed strikes by allowing them to be enhanced, and you fix most of the problems without creating new ones.

It's the biggest issue with the monk, but not by far the only onem fixing it would be only a start. Almost equally big is how MAD the class is, then there's flurry of blows and the issues of 3/4 or full BAB, TWF or not TWF, move or full attack, it's enough to drive you nuts. Then all the class features that are simply not fit-for-purpose.

I'm with RF and Ruggs, if you are going to overhaul the monk, by all means keep the spirit of the 3.5 monk alive as much as possible, but if it needs fixing, don;t leave it broken.

I think the MAD is a bit over-rated. You really only need two, Dex and Con you can take 12 and be fine, and Charisma and Int you don't "need".

One of the things I proposed in the past was to have physical ability score boosts every 4 levels in addition to what are already received, but I never thought that was a "must".

Monk AC is comparable or higher depending on level, and overall damage avoidance is higher thanks to saves, evasions and immunity. So Dex and Con are about the same value to a monk as any other combat class.


I would say that you need at least a 10 Int, and probably a 12 in order to get the skills that are almost required for a monk. Acrobatics, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth, plus Climb/Swim (you can alternate and easily keep these high), and either a Knowledge or Performance.

Str 14; Dex 14; Con 14; Int 12; Wis 14; Cha 8 is a 20 point buy. And it is a good balanced approach (as human, half-elf, or half-orc, you can have at 16 in Str or Wis at 1st level).

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

I think the MAD is a bit over-rated. You really only need two, Dex and Con you can take 12 and be fine, and Charisma and Int you don't "need".

One of the things I proposed in the past was to have physical ability score boosts every 4 levels in addition to what are already received, but I never thought that was a "must".

Monk AC is comparable or higher depending on level, and overall damage avoidance is higher thanks to saves, evasions and immunity. So Dex and Con are about the same value to a monk as any other combat class.

I know you can do it like that, but I don't like it. Your shaolin priest was a little guy who was skilled and agile, not a brick outhouse - yet that seems to be the way you have to play. Plus if you skip on Dex and Con and you are a glass cannon in any event if anything actually hits you back.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

I removed some posts that were not in the least constructive.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:

I think the MAD is a bit over-rated. You really only need two, Dex and Con you can take 12 and be fine, and Charisma and Int you don't "need".

One of the things I proposed in the past was to have physical ability score boosts every 4 levels in addition to what are already received, but I never thought that was a "must".

Monk AC is comparable or higher depending on level, and overall damage avoidance is higher thanks to saves, evasions and immunity. So Dex and Con are about the same value to a monk as any other combat class.

I know you can do it like that, but I don't like it. Your shaolin priest was a little guy who was skilled and agile, not a brick outhouse - yet that seems to be the way you have to play. Plus if you skip on Dex and Con and you are a glass cannon in any event if anything actually hits you back.

If you go that way, you are less damage oriented and more maneuver oriented. Which you can do if you focus more on wisdom and dex and take weapon finesse.

When you consider the ability to self heal, they aren't a glass cannon at all.

I don't want the pendulum to go in the other direction, or the fixes to become to complicated to be implemented. If the monk were able to hit effectively with unarmed combat, I think the classes competitive issues are largely resolved.

Anything else is icing.


A monk can perform maneuvers, but he is still second-rate at them, Ciretose. Yes, he gets to add his monk level instead of BAB. And agile maneuvers will let him add his Dex instead of Strength. But he lacks access to the Greater Maneuver feats, the Fighter gets to add his Weapon Training (and Gloves of Dueling) to his CMB for certain maneuvers, and possibly Greater Weapon Focus.

Manuevers are an option, but should not be the primary focus of a monk, even before you get into all the critters, who by virtue of size or multiple legs, aren't easily subjected to them. In a primarily humanoids campaign it can work, but it isn't something on which to depend.

For the Core monk class, at least.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
If you go that way, you are less damage oriented and more maneuver oriented. Which you can do if you focus more on wisdom and dex and take weapon finesse.

Which can work, but has a feat-tax, and you still end up 2nd rate at maneuvers and 3rd rate at anything else.

ciretose wrote:
When you consider the ability to self heal, they aren't a glass cannon at all.

Wholeness of body? Not fit for purpose. Sure, you can blow an inordinate amount of ki to do what a few potions can achieve faster. If it worked as a swift action it would be an acceptable option because then it offers something to the monk they cannot get elsewhere, but as it is I don't see what this power actually achieves within a party dynamic and with the WBL assumptions.

ciretose wrote:
I don't want the pendulum to go in the other direction, or the fixes to become to complicated to be implemented. If the monk were able to hit effectively with unarmed combat, I think the classes competitive issues are largely resolved.

Agreed. We do not want to make the monk too good, or it's just broken the other way. Mind you, when you look at what the paladin can do, and it's hard to understand how the monk could ever be considered broken...

ciretose wrote:
Anything else is icing.

There's icing and then there's icing. As I see it, the monk's issues in order of importance are:

1) Hitting the target. The monk needs some kind of enhancement bonus to hit beyond what the AoMF provides.
1a) Bypassing DR. Said enhancement has to be equivelant to a magic weapon or provide some other means of bypassing DR to some extent.
1b) Maneuvers should be effective, not semi-effective. Again, enhancement would help this.

2) MADness. The monk needs better stats to be effective than any other class. This strips the monk of a lot of versatility unless you are prepared to sacrifice functionality.

3) Flurry-of-blows. Needs a better mechanism than sometimes full BAB and sometimes not - it's just too complicated. Not just clarifying the current problems but seriously sorting out. Plus, it just doesn't work with fast movement, one of the monk's few working abilities. A mobile fighter gets to do the monk's role better than the monk.

4) Monk weapons. Some thought needs to be given to what the monk is doing with weapons. Some of the few effective archetypes of the monk (sohei, zen archer) replace his weapons with decent ones and pretty much ignore the unarmed strike. This is not a coincidence, it's showing us that monk weapons and unarmed strike in their current incarnations are ineffective.

5) Filler abilities. Seriously, some of the monk's abilities seem to be filler material, they look cool but just don't work for any practical purpose out of the box. Abundant step? ends your turn without a feat tax. Wholeness of body? Takes too long to be effective in combat, out of it a potion, wand, cure spell are all better options that conserve precious ki. Still mind? Why only enchantment spells, why not anything mind-effecting as in 3.5? or maybe more seriously, why at all if it's hardly going to come into play?

The monk has some great abilities, but they just don't connect together well enough for the class to not look and feel jury-rigged.

Fixing the hitting would be a good start, but the monk could do with a lot more.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
master arminas wrote:

A monk can perform maneuvers, but he is still second-rate at them, Ciretose. Yes, he gets to add his monk level instead of BAB. And agile maneuvers will let him add his Dex instead of Strength. But he lacks access to the Greater Maneuver feats, the Fighter gets to add his Weapon Training (and Gloves of Dueling) to his CMB for certain maneuvers, and possibly Greater Weapon Focus.

Manuevers are an option, but should not be the primary focus of a monk, even before you get into all the critters, who by virtue of size or multiple legs, aren't easily subjected to them. In a primarily humanoids campaign it can work, but it isn't something on which to depend.

For the Core monk class, at least.

Master Arminas

The monk is first rate at maneuvers. Yes a fighter can have a bigger + to his roll, and yes he's also a first rate maneuver guy. But the sheer number of times the monk can try to trip and disarm in a round make up for that. Trying 4+ times in a round to disarm a target eventually meets with success.

Star Voter 2013

A TWF can attempt to disarm and trip that many times as well with better bonuses on the attempts.


LoreKeeper wrote:
master arminas wrote:

A monk can perform maneuvers, but he is still second-rate at them, Ciretose. Yes, he gets to add his monk level instead of BAB. And agile maneuvers will let him add his Dex instead of Strength. But he lacks access to the Greater Maneuver feats, the Fighter gets to add his Weapon Training (and Gloves of Dueling) to his CMB for certain maneuvers, and possibly Greater Weapon Focus.

Manuevers are an option, but should not be the primary focus of a monk, even before you get into all the critters, who by virtue of size or multiple legs, aren't easily subjected to them. In a primarily humanoids campaign it can work, but it isn't something on which to depend.

For the Core monk class, at least.

Master Arminas

The monk is first rate at maneuvers. Yes a fighter can have a bigger + to his roll, and yes he's also a first rate maneuver guy. But the sheer number of times the monk can try to trip and disarm in a round make up for that. Trying 4+ times in a round to disarm a target eventually meets with success.

The thing is, if you are spending all of your attacks trying for a disarm or a trip or a sunder, you aren't inflicting damage or actually impeding your opponent until you succeed. And (forgive me here, because I could be mistaken), but I thought that if you performed multiple maneuvers in the same round, you took your iterative penalty on each of them. I could be wrong. But when a monk flurries, isn't his effective CMB the same +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 as his attacks (using a 20th level monk as the example, sans strength, enhancement, and feats)?

Now, if I am wrong, and regardless of which attack in the sequence you attempt the maneuver, your CMB is never reduced, that does make a difference. And it all depends on your opponent being humanoid, using weapons, and being the same size, if not smaller, than you. Maneuvers are useful options, but your mileage may well vary.

Master Arminas

Liberty's Edge

Master Arminas, you are, indeed, correct.

CMB takes all the same penalties to attacks, including the -5 per iterative attack, as regular attacks suffer from.

Essentially, ignoring extra attacks generated by spending Ki points and AoOs, a Monk flurrying combat maneuvers and a TWF making TW attacks to perform combat maneuvers, will both have the same number of combat maneuver attempts, at the same effective base attack bonuses, as they have regular attacks using Flurry or TWF.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

Yes, of course you take iterative penalties on your maneuvers. That doesn't mean that you can't use your maneuvers on your lower iterative attacks.

And yes, of course a TWF-maneuver specialist fighter is even betterer than that. But: a TWF-maneuver specialist fighter needs 17+ Dex, and at least 13 Int. His DPR will be affected significantly. And that is why almost all fighters don't go that route.

But! Every monk can splash one of his bonus feats for trip or disarm. No extra effort needed. They are auto-optimized for maneuvers in terms of doing minimum effort to be good at it. That is why they are first-rate maneuver specialists.

Getting +20 at level 10 for your big disarm attempt as a fighter is great. But a monk that only gets +15, but can do it 4 times (not counting ki attack) has the same odds.

Assume a target CMD of 25, then the fighter succeeds with:

1 - (0.2 * 0.45) = 91% of the time

And a monk:

1 - (0.45 * 0.45 * 0.7 * 0.7) = 91% of the time
1 - (0.45 * 0.45 * 0.45 * 0.7 * 0.7) = 95.5% of the time (with ki attack)

Both fighter and monk needed to use their full round to achieve that. The monk took Improved Disarm at level 2; the fighter got Combat Expertise at level 1 (cursing silently at the 13 Int requirement), followed by Improved Disarm (and maybe Greater Disarm) at levels 2 (and 6).

The investment for a fighter, even with all his feats, is quite steep. It is rare to >really< make a maneuver specialist fighter that actually masters 2 or 3 maneuvers. So many feats that eat into the Fighters "be good at DPR". The monk just splashes some of his other bonus feats for Improved Trip and the like and is first rate at them immediately. (Defining first rate as being able to land that maneuver consistently on their turn.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Why did the Fighter wait to get Improved Disarm? He gets two feats at 1st level.


LoreKeeper, how is the monk getting four attacks at +15? Using a 20th level monk, he can get (by spending ki) +18/+18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3. Is he hasted? Using Medusa's Wrath and not spending ki?

Just asking.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:
The monk is first rate at maneuvers. Yes a fighter can have a bigger + to his roll, and yes he's also a first rate maneuver guy. But the sheer number of times the monk can try to trip and disarm in a round make up for that. Trying 4+ times in a round to disarm a target eventually meets with success.

No, the monk is second rate at maneuvers. He is MAD enough without needing the intelligence for Combat Expertise, and without that he has no access to the Greater maneuver feats. A TWF fighter can use his weapons (and their enhancement bonus) and weapon training to enhance his CMB. So the monk does not get more attacks, does not have easy access to reach weapons that can perform the maneuver at range, does not gain as much enhancement bonus and lacks weapon training.

Basically the monk struggles to be as good as the second-tier of the other combat classes. That's not first rate, especially if it's your only truly effective option in combat.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Why did the Fighter wait to get Improved Disarm? He gets two feats at 1st level.

Yes of course, for the sake of the example he just needs the feat at level 10; I figured he's more interested in relevant feats for level 1. Whenever you want to take the feat (before level 10) will do for the purposes of the maths.

master arminas wrote:
LoreKeeper, how is the monk getting four attacks at +15? Using a 20th level monk, he can get (by spending ki) +18/+18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3. Is he hasted? Using Medusa's Wrath and not spending ki?

He's not. It is shorthand. The fighter has a +20/+15 disarm routine, compared to the monks +15/+15/+10/+10. Those values include bonuses from stats and items and feats. The maths reflects (and shows) the full attack sequence at all the points of iteration.

Dabbler wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:
The monk is first rate at maneuvers. Yes a fighter can have a bigger + to his roll, and yes he's also a first rate maneuver guy. But the sheer number of times the monk can try to trip and disarm in a round make up for that. Trying 4+ times in a round to disarm a target eventually meets with success.

No, the monk is second rate at maneuvers. He is MAD enough without needing the intelligence for Combat Expertise, and without that he has no access to the Greater maneuver feats. A TWF fighter can use his weapons (and their enhancement bonus) and weapon training to enhance his CMB. So the monk does not get more attacks, does not have easy access to reach weapons that can perform the maneuver at range, does not gain as much enhancement bonus and lacks weapon training.

Basically the monk struggles to be as good as the second-tier of the other combat classes. That's not first rate, especially if it's your only truly effective option in combat.

@Dabbler: as I've explained, the point is that the monk does not *need* Greater maneuver feats. He is a first rate maneuver specialist through two things: the monk only needs to splash a single bonus feat for "Improved Disarm". And then he can use it on all his flurry attacks. The sheer number of attacks gives him an edge in doing his maneuvers. NO need or Combat Expertise (and thus MAD increase).

The fighter on the other hand gets a bigger bonus to his roll, but he needs to spend far more feats and stats. And yes a fighter can also TWF, to do what a monk does (number of attacks) - but the typical fighter you meet in-game is not willing to give up too much DPR - and taking TWF and then still splash stats for Int and then additional feats for maneuver chains.

So YES - you can build a fighter that is absolutely amazing at disarming. And he's not just first-rate. He's the absolute pinnacle. The big cheese. The head honcho. The main event. Of disarming.

But it is exceedingly rare for somebody to build a character with the sole-purpose of being the best disarmer in the world. A typical fighter that specializes somewhat on disarming is already a first-rate disarmer. And a typical monk that splashes one bonus feat for Improved Disarm has the same net chance in a round to disarm an opponent. (See example maths in previous post.) Hence the monk is first-rate maneuvers man.


Let's do away with math for a while and use practical application. Let's look at Kingmaker book 6 and take a CR 16 monster. First one I come to is Horned Hunter:

AC 31
Fort +14, Ref +20, Will +15

Now let's take my level 15 monk, and level him up to 16. Let's take a look at his Flurry of Blows: 26/26/21/21/16. The monk needs a 5/5/10/10/15. My monk will probably hit 3x per round. Look at the fort Save, he'll fail on an 8 or less, 40% of the time, and when he does, he's blinded. Let's look at his attacks: Ranged: +23/+18/+13/+8, Melee +23 vs my monk's 37 AC.

What else does he have? Spells. Highest DC is 18, my monk's saves are 17/22/17

Encounter before that CR 13 AC 28, before that CR 11 Elder Water Elemental, AC 24. Next big monster a CR 16 Troll, AC 28, to hit: +26/+21/+16, still missing 55% of the time.

Those are real encounters for a published Adventure Path. Which one of those encounters to you see the monk not being able to hit?

So again, the theory is sound. If you compare the numbers, the monk's are lower, in practice, the monk does fine.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I do get your point, Lorekeeper, but the fact is that the monk dedicated to maneuvers isn't as good at it as the fighter that picks it up as an also-ran.

LoreKeeper wrote:
@Dabbler: as I've explained, the point is that the monk does not *need* Greater maneuver feats. He is a first rate maneuver specialist through two things: the monk only needs to splash a single bonus feat for "Improved Disarm". And then he can use it on all his flurry attacks. The sheer number of attacks gives him an edge in doing his maneuvers. NO need or Combat Expertise (and thus MAD increase).

The monk already has four stats that he needs to concentrate on. The TWF fighter in this situation needs three with a 13 in intelligence.

LoreKeeper wrote:
The fighter on the other hand gets a bigger bonus to his roll, but he needs to spend far more feats and stats. And yes a fighter can also TWF, to do what a monk does (number of attacks) - but the typical fighter you meet in-game is not willing to give up too much DPR - and taking TWF and then still splash stats for Int and then additional feats for maneuver chains.

He needs to spend more on stats than other builds, but still less than the monk does in general. He also has more feats to burn, so that's hardly an obstacle. You are correct, though, the fighter concentrating on manuevers will likely use a reach weapon rather than TWF - giving them a different kind of advantage over the monk.

LoreKeeper wrote:
So YES - you can build a fighter that is absolutely amazing at disarming. And he's not just first-rate. He's the absolute pinnacle. The big cheese. The head honcho. The main event. Of disarming.

Given the number of his bonus feats, and given that he has already invested in Combat Expertise, this fighter is not going to stop at disarming. He's going to take as many maneuvers as he can.

LoreKeeper wrote:
But it is exceedingly rare for somebody to build a character with the sole-purpose of being the best disarmer in the world. A typical fighter that specializes somewhat on disarming is already a first-rate disarmer. And a typical monk that splashes one bonus feat for Improved Disarm has the same net chance in a round to disarm an opponent. (See example maths in previous post.) Hence the monk is first-rate maneuvers man.

The fighter can do it with more reach, giving them attacks of opportunity on top of their normal attacks. Fact is the fighter can, and will, be better than the monk because they will get their better weapon enhancement and their weapon training on top. And they can get the Greater feats as well.

So looking at it, what does the monk and fighter get?
Monk: bonus feats, maneuver training making him have full BAB equivalence, multiple attempts through FoB, partial enhancement.
Fighter: Bonus feats, full BAB, weapon training, multiple attempts through TWF or reach, full enhancement.

So yes, the monk can make more attempts at disarming, tripping or whatever. That does not mean he will get more successes. Given the fighter's additional bonuses, he has every chance of clocking up more successes either because he can equal the monk's number of attempts or because he can use reach.

Now to me, the first-rate maneuver guy is the one at the top of the pinnacle, and that is not the monk. The monk is good, but he is not the best by a long shot.


And maneuvers are useful only against humanoids of Medium size and smaller. How many critters in the mid-to-high level game are those?

Master Arminas


Well there is no size limit on what you can trip or grapple :).


No. But there is a size MODIFIER. And a multiple leg MODIFIER. And some things can't be tripped. Natural weapons can't be disarmed. Or sundered.

And believe me, those modifiers add up FAST.

Master Arminas

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
Well there is no size limit on what you can trip or grapple :).

That's incorrect.

Quote:
You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jodokai wrote:

Let's do away with math for a while and use practical application. Let's look at Kingmaker book 6 and take a CR 16 monster. First one I come to is Horned Hunter:

AC 31
Fort +14, Ref +20, Will +15

Now let's take my level 15 monk, and level him up to 16. Let's take a look at his Flurry of Blows: 26/26/21/21/16. The monk needs a 5/5/10/10/15. My monk will probably hit 3x per round. Look at the fort Save, he'll fail on an 8 or less, 40% of the time, and when he does, he's blinded. Let's look at his attacks: Ranged: +23/+18/+13/+8, Melee +23 vs my monk's 37 AC.

What else does he have? Spells. Highest DC is 18, my monk's saves are 17/22/17

Encounter before that CR 13 AC 28, before that CR 11 Elder Water Elemental, AC 24. Next big monster a CR 16 Troll, AC 28, to hit: +26/+21/+16, still missing 55% of the time.

Those are real encounters for a published Adventure Path. Which one of those encounters to you see the monk not being able to hit?

So again, the theory is sound. If you compare the numbers, the monk's are lower, in practice, the monk does fine.

unique marilith from Serpent Skull CR 17

AC: 32
hp 264 (16d10+176)
Fort +25, Ref +18, Will +13
DR 10/cold iron and good
Immune electricity, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 28

Melee +1 flaming dagger +24/+19/+14/+9 (1d6+8/17–20 plus 1d6 fire), 3 +1 flaming daggers +24 (1d6+8/17–20 plus 1d6 fire), 2 +1 flaming unholy whips +23 (1d4+8 plus 1d6 fire), tail slap +17 (2d6+3 plus grab)

Base Atk +16; CMB +24 (+28 grapple); CMD 42 (can’t be tripped)

The final encounter in Serpent Skull is more amusing though, and I love to challenge it at some point.

On a side note, the only times when an encounter is truly difficult is if the PCs are surprised and loses initiative, or if the CR is way above them, like 4+. Otherwise I find most encounters in PF a cakewalk.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jodokai wrote:
So again, the theory is sound. If you compare the numbers, the monk's are lower, in practice, the monk does fine.

Actually that's not really true. Lower numbers means that iterative attacks miss more often even if you nail the target with your first attacks. A less than 95% to hit with your first attack reduces the effectiveness of any attack form that relies upon it - like stunning fist. Lower numbers also means a lower chance to confirm, critical hits.

A good rule of thumb is that every +1 to hit you lose, takes +2 to damage multiplied by your number of attacks with it. Your monk may be getting three hits a round, but a full BAB-class is probably hitting just as often with just one weapon and doing more damage with each hit.


Jodokai wrote:

Let's do away with math for a while and use practical application. Let's look at Kingmaker book 6 and take a CR 16 monster. First one I come to is Horned Hunter:

AC 31
Fort +14, Ref +20, Will +15

Now let's take my level 15 monk, and level him up to 16. Let's take a look at his Flurry of Blows: 26/26/21/21/16. The monk needs a 5/5/10/10/15. My monk will probably hit 3x per round. Look at the fort Save, he'll fail on an 8 or less, 40% of the time, and when he does, he's blinded. Let's look at his attacks: Ranged: +23/+18/+13/+8, Melee +23 vs my monk's 37 AC.

What else does he have? Spells. Highest DC is 18, my monk's saves are 17/22/17

Encounter before that CR 13 AC 28, before that CR 11 Elder Water Elemental, AC 24. Next big monster a CR 16 Troll, AC 28, to hit: +26/+21/+16, still missing 55% of the time.

Those are real encounters for a published Adventure Path. Which one of those encounters to you see the monk not being able to hit?

So again, the theory is sound. If you compare the numbers, the monk's are lower, in practice, the monk does fine.

The average CR 16 monster has a +26 to hit meaning that you get hit just under 50% of the time. The AC would be 31 so you would hit decently enough, but high level monsters also normally have DR so if you are hitting, and he is taking 10+ points off every attack that kills your damage.

The primary forced save is also a 24 on average. The monk has improved evasion so failing the reflex save won't hurt all that much. Failing the other 2 which are both close to 50% can be an issue.

The low save at that level is close to a 17 which the monk can deal with.

In short the monk is not doing fine unless facing lower CR enemies. Well I am sure monks can be built to deal with equal CR enemies, but that does not seem to be the norm which is a problem with the class. It takes a high level of system mastery to make it work.


I'd consider the system unbalanced if the monk could take on a monster of CR equal to the monk's level alone. Isn't CR tailored to a party of 4?

Furthermore Jodokai mentioned concrete real encounters where his monk had no problem to be effective.

Citing one specific monster which is problematic for the monk just shows that there is diversity - as it should!

I mean, what's the point of having different monsters with different abilities if the requirement was that the monk (or fighter or whatever) would be just as effective with any of them as with all others?? That would be just boring, right? No need to change your tactics, no need ever to make plans how to overcome some dangerous beast, just plow on and hit it until its dead.
Yawn...

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

Jodokai wrote:

Let's do away with math for a while and use practical application. Let's look at Kingmaker book 6 and take a CR 16 monster. First one I come to is Horned Hunter:

AC 31
Fort +14, Ref +20, Will +15

Now let's take my level 15 monk, and level him up to 16. Let's take a look at his Flurry of Blows: 26/26/21/21/16. The monk needs a 5/5/10/10/15. My monk will probably hit 3x per round. Look at the fort Save, he'll fail on an 8 or less, 40% of the time, and when he does, he's blinded. Let's look at his attacks: Ranged: +23/+18/+13/+8, Melee +23 vs my monk's 37 AC.

What else does he have? Spells. Highest DC is 18, my monk's saves are 17/22/17

Encounter before that CR 13 AC 28, before that CR 11 Elder Water Elemental, AC 24. Next big monster a CR 16 Troll, AC 28, to hit: +26/+21/+16, still missing 55% of the time.

Those are real encounters for a published Adventure Path. Which one of those encounters to you see the monk not being able to hit?

So again, the theory is sound. If you compare the numbers, the monk's are lower, in practice, the monk does fine.

And at 16th the monk should have spell resistance.

The to hit issue is a problem I have seen. It is legit, as at that level most classes have +3 or +4 weapons (sometimes even +5), giving you both additional to hit, damage, and overcoming most DR.

I agree the general monk complaints are way overblown, but the ability to hit is a problem.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

I see it the other way around: in actual play there are so many modifiers stacking additional bonuses (bard, haste, buffs, etc) that higher level fighters have TOO much bonus to hit, even with power attack they have a +20 where a +15 already hits 95% of the time.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
I agree the general monk complaints are way overblown, but the ability to hit is a problem.

This is the main problem as I see it. The others are still legitimate, but much smaller.

@Lorekeeper
How, exactly, do we fix that though? Nerf the fighter so he loses his main advantage? Then we have to nerf all the other combat classes too in order to keep the difference between them. That undoes most of what Pathfinder did to boost them up compared to the casters, by making them indispensably good at what they do. The only real solution there other than rewriting the whole system is boost the monk up.


Liam ap Thalwig wrote:

I'd consider the system unbalanced if the monk could take on a monster of CR equal to the monk's level alone. Isn't CR tailored to a party of 4?

Furthermore Jodokai mentioned concrete real encounters where his monk had no problem to be effective.

Citing one specific monster which is problematic for the monk just shows that there is diversity - as it should!

I mean, what's the point of having different monsters with different abilities if the requirement was that the monk (or fighter or whatever) would be just as effective with any of them as with all others?? That would be just boring, right? No need to change your tactics, no need ever to make plans how to overcome some dangerous beast, just plow on and hit it until its dead.
Yawn...

Not all CR equivalment monsters/encounters are the same so no that does not mean the system is broken. A CR=APL encounter is meant to be a minimal threat to a party of 4. That in no way implies that one person could not defeat it alone. I would expect for him to taking a beating of sorts in many cases however. It comes down to system mastery to a large extent though.


I think the fighter is supposed to be that good at hitting. That is basically all he does according to his chassis(class abilities).

You take that away, and there is no reason to pick a fighter since he will be the same as a paladin, ranger, or barbarian before their special abilities come into play, as far as damage is concerned.


Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
I agree the general monk complaints are way overblown, but the ability to hit is a problem.

This is the main problem as I see it. The others are still legitimate, but much smaller.

@Lorekeeper
How, exactly, do we fix that though?

Actually, could we limited the Die upgrade to d6 (d8 if INA is allowed again) but grant +1 hit/dam when it would otherwise increase in size (like at 4th level, it would be d8 but instead ghrants +1 hit/dam).

This even buffs the Monks chance to hit, helping it act like weapon training but only unarmed.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Starbuck_II wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
I agree the general monk complaints are way overblown, but the ability to hit is a problem.

This is the main problem as I see it. The others are still legitimate, but much smaller.

@Lorekeeper
How, exactly, do we fix that though?

Actually, could we limited the Die upgrade to d6 (d8 if INA is allowed again) but grant +1 hit/dam when it would otherwise increase in size (like at 4th level, it would be d8 but instead ghrants +1 hit/dam).

This even buffs the Monks chance to hit, helping it act like weapon training but only unarmed.

That's actually what I've incorporated in my own redesign of the monk - I fixed unarmed damage at 1d6, no upgrade with level, and then gave it automatic magic enhancement ranging from +1 at 3rd level up to +5 at 19th, and the weapon training feature applied only to monk weapons and the unarmed strike to add another +1 at 5th level peaking at +4 at 17th level.

Hence by level 20, instead of 2d10 and an AoMF to give you a nerfed weapon, you get 1d6+9 and a fully enhanced weapon with an AoMF to provide weapon properties. I used a different mechanic for flurry of blows and dropped the full BAB on a flurry confusion, so you ended up attacking at +19 instead of +18, but could do it on all attacks, not just full attacks.


I'd rather we keep the scaling unarmed damage, but maybe lessen it to reach a lower limit by 20. Like, say, 1d12 by level 20 or something. Not sure. I like the fact that the weapon scales as you level.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I figured, looking at what the monk needs, why not just make it a bit more like the fighter, add in the enhancement and have done? As an added bonus it makes monk weapons and maneuvers more effective.


I like the attack bonus idea, but I'd still want to keep some scaling on the unarmed attacks. Seems lame to just be stuck with the 1d6.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
I like the attack bonus idea, but I'd still want to keep some scaling on the unarmed attacks. Seems lame to just be stuck with the 1d6.

Look at it like this:

2d10 = 11 average.
1d6+9 = 12.5 average.

You are doing more damage, on average, than before. Now the TWF fighter people compare the monk to would do 1d6+13, so you are ahead of where the monk was, but behind the fighter.

What I would do is maybe use the monk's robe to stack on some extra there, but I do not see the need to add both weapon training, automatic enhancement, and rising damage dice.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:

@Lorekeeper

How, exactly, do we fix that though? Nerf the fighter so he loses his main advantage? Then we have to nerf all the other combat classes too in order to keep the difference between them. That undoes most of what Pathfinder did to boost them up compared to the casters, by making them indispensably good at what they do. The only real solution there other than rewriting the whole system is boost the monk up.

You've seen my take on re-making the monk. The one that grants additional actions rather than more to-hit; as well as a big range of insights to learn. I think the focus should not be to make the monk hit more, but make the monk more awesome.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Really? Make the player roll even more dice per round, for more frustration to continously fail your attack rolls?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

You've seen my take on re-making the monk. The one that grants additional actions rather than more to-hit; as well as a big range of insights to learn. I think the focus should not be to make the monk hit more, but make the monk more awesome.

I have seen it indeed - it does everything but actually address what I consider to be the monk's primary problem: lack of proper enhancement. That's fine if that's the monk you want to play, but to me all those attacks with no success is not a solution, it's just underlining the problem. I like some of your ideas, but I don't think it's a winning design overall.

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