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Monk Playtest


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Continuing from Here where it was kindof off-topic.

This is Really DeathQuaker's Idea, and I'm just gonna try to help get the ball rolling.

The Purpose of this thread, is to organize a Monk playtest. The Monk changed after the Beta, and the changes were not (open) playtested. Most of us have been playing the monk *wrong* according to the most recent clarification.

We need to test with a few different builds:

Core Monk with Clarification
Core Monk with the more common interpretation of flurry of blows
Perhaps a few Archetypes as well.
Comparing to a melee ranger build or a mobile twf fighter build might help, as they're he most similar in playstyle.

Either using the same stats, or an array of stats which can be swapped around.

Some Test Scenarios, and Numerical Analysis will be useful.

Once we have some analysis done, we can look at the effects of possible changes:

- Masterwork and Enchanted Unarmed Strike; Perhaps made as treatments, or training sessions, or tattoos, or whatever.
- Brass Knuckles, Original Version.
- Weapon and Armor enchants on regular clothes, and on gloves and shoes.
- Changing the Monk Base Class (Free "Improved Manoeuvre" feats, More AC, Full BAB, etc.)


I am interested in seeing what becomes of this.

Master Arminas

Dark Archive

I will add this here also.

I think that one of the questions that many people need to ask themselves is this:

What role do I want the monk to play in combat?

I have seen many different answers to this question.

Are they damage dealers?
Are they "battlefield control" (via CM's)?
etc...

I would also like to hear what the developers ideas are on what role they want the monk to fill. It may help people to better understand what the RAI for monks was, and help with suggestions to better fill that role.

When you post your results, make sure that you state what kind of role you expect the monk to play.

Dark Archive

Happler wrote:

I will add this here also.

I think that one of the questions that many people need to ask themselves is this:

What role do I want the monk to play in combat?

I have seen many different answers to this question.

Are they damage dealers?
Are they "battlefield control" (via CM's)?
etc...

I would also like to hear what the developers ideas are on what role they want the monk to fill. It may help people to better understand what the RAI for monks was, and help with suggestions to better fill that role.

When you post your results, make sure that you state what kind of role you expect the monk to play.

Just wanted to add this:

We have this form the Core, but what do you expect:

Quote:
Role: Monks excel at overcoming even the most daunting perils, striking where it's least expected, and taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities. Fleet of foot and skilled in combat, monks can navigate any battlefield with ease, aiding allies wherever they are needed most.

Star Voter 2013

First thing that we would need to nail down is what would be tested. This, truthfully, could be a very large test as there are a lot of variance. For instance, a Brass Knuckles as it originally was written, on both the flurry interpretations, and a Brass Knuckles as errata'd, on both flurry interpretations.

Which classes will the Monk be compared to? Which variants of those classes will the variant monks be compared to?

What stats to use? Should we base the stats around the iconics? Or maybe use the Heroic NPC Stats of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8?

Maybe create a standard list of items to include or items to exclude? What about feats? Should the feats be optimal choices, or should there be others that are for flavor?

I mean, personally, for most Monk builds, they are better off using Combat Maneuvers instead of attacks to better aid others in damaging them. Attacking with a monk is fine, for the first 7 levels or so, until DR starts coming into play, at which point the Monk starts becoming limited to Combat Maneuvers to negatively impact the enemy. There are few exceptions, such as the Zen Archer, that can dish out enough damage to be truly effective (although it might be interesting having to watch the Zen have to forgo half his Flurry attacks because of the clarification /sarcasm).

Dark Archive

Well, they're fleet of foot, but they're not skilled in combat.

1. They can't fight worth crap in any round they move more than 5ft.
2. If they don't move, they have a lower chance to hit due to either having no bonus to hit from magic weapons, or a far lower bonus due to the outrageous price of AomF.
3. Staying still is a pretty bad idea. The monk has low HP, and Crap for AC. He can't wear armor, He has to choose whether his neckslot gives him armor or attack bonus, and he can't get armor enchants on his clothes. He gets a scaling AC bonus that just doesn't scale fast enough.

The monk is awesome at running away. That's about it.

Star Voter 2013

Also, what monsters to use? Maybe use the iconics as the other members of the party in the various tests so we have a control. I mean, if everyone is using the same 7th level Valeros, then we know it's not the fighter build that is showing the differences in two tests with the only difference being a ruling or errata.

Star Voter 2013

Darkholme wrote:

Well, they're fleet of foot, but they're not skilled in combat.

1. They can't fight worth crap in any round they move more than 5ft.
2. If they don't move, they have a lower chance to hit due to either having no bonus to hit from magic weapons, or a far lower bonus due to the outrageous price of AomF.
3. Staying still is a pretty bad idea. The monk has low HP, and Crap for AC. He can't wear armor, He has to choose whether his neckslot gives him armor or attack bonus, and he can't get armor enchants on his clothes. He gets a scaling AC bonus that just doesn't scale fast enough.

The monk is awesome at running away. That's about it.

I disagree about the AC depending on the level. At low levels, sure, the fighter, paladin, cavalier, etc, can crush his AC. But at higher levels, I've built and seen others with ACs that are amongst or are the highest, and the remain high across all 3 ACs (regular, touch, flat footed).

Dark Archive

Tels wrote:
Also, what monsters to use? Maybe use the iconics as the other members of the party in the various tests so we have a control. I mean, if everyone is using the same 7th level Valeros, then we know it's not the fighter build that is showing the differences in two tests with the only difference being a ruling or errata.

I've heard it said that the iconics are some of the most poorly built characters people have seen.

Additionally, I figure you should be comparing the monk to what's similar; such as a mobile fighter with TWF, or perhaps a melee ranger with TWF.

Star Voter 2013

Yes, but one of the things we need is a lack of variables in a game the involves rolling dice. If everyone uses the same party members with the same build and the only variance being the monk used, we have a more accurate set of data to which we can make a conclusion. With accurate data and conclusive proof that it was the rulings/monk itself that is in error, not the party members or their choices, then our findings hold more credible weight.

Dark Archive

Tels wrote:
Yes, but one of the things we need is a lack of variables in a game the involves rolling dice. If everyone uses the same party members with the same build and the only variance being the monk used, we have a more accurate set of data to which we can make a conclusion. With accurate data and conclusive proof that it was the rulings/monk itself that is in error, not the party members or their choices, then our findings hold more credible weight.

Sure. But if youre doing a comparative analysis, the characters who can fill the monks niche most aptly are the fighter and ranger I mentioned. So we want to test with the Monk builds, and we want to test with this sort of fighter/ranger instead of a monk. This will give us an idea of how the monk types compare with eachother, as well as how the monk compares with a fighter built to act similarly to a monk, and a ranger build to act similar to a monk.

For the Scenario tests, we want to standardize as much as possible.

Use the same Scenarios.
Keep the rest of the party (and their decisions) as close to the same as possible.
Show the odds of success & failure, and the maximum (% of rolling) minimum (% of rolling) and Average (% of rolling) for each roll; as well as what was actually rolled.

Actually, we may get better results with a flowchart than with a playtest set up to emulate actual play. The flowchart lets us do a "what if" and see what happens in each case, as well as the general case. The general case being what really matters, but we can show the best case scenario (assuming everyone but the monk behaves as expected and doesn't roll super high or low) (and the odds of that happening), the worst case scenario (again, making the same assumptions about the other characters) (and the odds of that happening)

Or for the playtest, for non success/failure rolls, assume you rolled average (10.5 on a d20). For success/failure rolls, assume you rolled the minimum difference from average required for success/failure.

So first, we need to decide what the builds will be, and what levels we'll compare things at.

We need:

Default Monk
Recent Clarification Monk
an Agile TWF Fighter
A Ranger of similar build

Then we need to peg the level's we'll compare at (I'd suggest 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20), through together our scenario (should include the other party members as well - and assume that the enemies and allies always roll average).

Once we see how these things perform, we can swap our "monk" with variations to see how that effects things. We can allow the unerratta'ed brass knuckles, allow enchanting clothes, allow enchanting the monk's UAS (Masterwork Transformation *SHOULD* make it possible by RAW, but by RAI the devs say its not supposed to work like that), allow Improved Natural Attack, etc.

That would let us see where the monk is NOW, where it will be if they stick to the clarification, and roughly where it /should be/.

Star Voter 2013

Oh sure, switch out the comparative class, but the others, like the rogue, cleric and wizard, need to be the same. I don't think we want to test the monk vs the rogue in a skill monkey sense as the rogue simply gets more points, and there are some instances, like disabling magical traps, where the monk simply can't succeed. Case in point, my monk has a higher disable than the rogue in our party. I managed to roll well above the disable for a trap, only to fail because it's magical. The party rogue had to roll an 18 or higher to do what I could on a 14, if it were non-magical.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you Darkholme, your post was infinitely more concise and helpful than what I had in mind.

We definitely need a baseline of a lot of things -- party ran with, stats built with, monsters faced. And moreoever--we need to be sure we're agreeing upon the different flurry interpretations, since obviously the core is unclear.

I've made a best effort to write up the Sean/Jason Clarification Flurry (SJC) and the Oft-Interpreted Flurry (OI). Let me know if these sound right.

First, for reference, core, copy-pasted straight from the PRD, with APG and UC weapons added in:

Spoiler:

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham [from the APG: brass knuckles, cestus, and temple sword; from Ultimate Combat: butterfly sword, jutte, lungchuan tamo, tonfa, wushu dart, nine ring broadsword, double chicken saber, monk’s spade, sansetsukon, dan bong, emei piercer, fighting fan, nine-section whip, tiger fork, bo staff, double-chained kama, kusarigama, kyoketsu shoge, seven-branched sword, and rope dart]) as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat). For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus.

At 8th level, the monk can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

At 15th level, the monk can make three additional attacks using flurry of blows, as if using Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows. A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

SJC Flurry (greater adherence to TWF rules):

Spoiler:

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. Except where otherwise noted, flurry of blows works like two-weapon fighting; penalties apply as if the monk had the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. When making a flurry of blows, the monk's base attack bonus is considered equal to his monk class levels.

A flurry of blows may only be made with unarmed strikes or weapons with the monk property (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham [from the APG: brass knuckles, cestus, and temple sword; from Ultimate Combat: butterfly sword, jutte, lungchuan tamo, tonfa, wushu dart, nine ring broadsword, double chicken saber, monk’s spade, dan bong, emei piercer, fighting fan, nine-section whip, bo staff, double-chained kama, kusarigama, and rope dart]). (DQ’s note: two-handed weapons that were not double weapons were removed from this list). A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows, even with his off-hand attacks.

At 8th level, the monk gets a second off hand attack when he uses flurry of blows, as if using the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat. At 15th level, he gets a third off-hand attack, as Greater Two-Weapon Fighting.

Because a monk can use unarmed attacks even with his hands full, he can make unarmed attacks with his primary or his off-hand as he chooses, even if he is carrying two weapons. Furthermore, he can always make his extra off-hand attacks with either his off-hand weapon or his unarmed strikes in any combination.

A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows, applying the -2 two-weapon fighting penalty to his CMB. Since this is a substitution for unarmed attacks, he does not benefit from wielding trip, disarm, or sunder weapons. (DQ note: I am not sure if this last sentence is really true, or what the intent was here.)

This class ability does not actually give the monk the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, and the monk cannot use the flurry of blows class feature to qualify for other feats in the Two-Weapon Fighting feat chain. Since flurry of blows is effectively a modified version of two-weapon fighting, a monk cannot use a two weapon fighting attack at the same time as a flurry of blows in order to gain additional off-hand attacks.

OI Flurry (extra attacks at a penalty with any combo of weapons):

Spoiler:

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows. A flurry of blows allows the monk to make one additional attack as part of a full-attack action. All attacks during a flurry of blows are made at a -2 penalty, but the monk’s base attack bonus is considered equal to his monk class levels. This improved BAB applies to flurry of blows attacks only.

A flurry of blows may only be made with unarmed strikes or a special monk weapon (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham [from the APG: brass knuckles, cestus, and temple sword; from Ultimate Combat: butterfly sword, jutte, lungchuan tamo, tonfa, wushu dart, nine ring broadsword, double chicken saber, monk’s spade, sansetsukon, dan bong, emei piercer, fighting fan, nine-section whip, tiger fork, bo staff, double-chained kama, kusarigama, kyoketsu shoge, seven-branched sword, and rope dart]). However, the monk can make these attacks in any combination; for example, at 1st level, the monk could make two unarmed attacks, one unarmed attack and one weapon attack, two attacks with two different weapons, or two attacks with one weapon. The monk may also substitute one of his flurry of blows attacks with a trip, disarm, or sunder combat maneuver. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

A monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with either hand (or any body part) or with a weapon wielded in both hands.

At 8th level, the monk may add another attack to his flurry of blows, but at a -5 penalty. At 15th level, the monk gets one additional attack, but at a -10 penalty.

All bonus flurry attacks are in addition to any attacks granted by high BAB. The monk’s attack bonuses for flurry of blows, including boosted BAB and flurry attack penalties, are pre-calculated in Table: Monk.

Flurry of blows is considered an alternative method of attacking multiple times to two-weapon fighting. Therefore, the monk cannot gain extra attacks from two weapon fighting while making a flurry of blows, and the Two-Weapon Fighting feat tree does not allow the monk to reduce flurry of blows’ attack penalties.

Star Voter 2013

I think that's correct as far as interpretations. Anyone else have a different interpretation?

Dark Archive

SKR Flurry

DQ wrote:
Furthermore, he can always make his extra off-hand attacks with either his off-hand weapon or his unarmed strikes in any combination.

You sure about that, I dont think that was in the clarification.

Speaking of, can we get a link to or quote of the actual clarification as well?

DQ wrote:

applying the -2 two-weapon fighting penalty to his CMB.

Since this is a substitution for unarmed attacks, he does not benefit from wielding trip, disarm, or sunder weapons.

I dont think either of these is correct.

DQ wrote:
the monk cannot use the flurry of blows class feature to qualify for other feats in the Two-Weapon Fighting feat chain.

Under the SKR Flurry, is that still the case?

OI Flurry
.. No complaints here. that looks basically right.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As for builds, I'd suggest sticking to 15 point buy, since that is what is assumed as a baseline.

I think we should have builds at 1st level, 8th level, and 15th level. This gives us low, mid, and high level (when an AP ends)--and are the points where the monk gets extra flurry attacks.

Anyone up to writing up some monsters at CR 1, 8, and 15? I tend to design my encounters too easy, so I'm not the best candidate. (I do volunteer to help collate results.)

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder how many monk threads will have to be made before people finally understand that nothing about the monk has changed, except for a fix in how everyone but the devs thought it worked, and how it was originally intended to work (which the text backs up).

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darkholme wrote:

SKR Flurry

DQ wrote:
Furthermore, he can always make his extra off-hand attacks with either his off-hand weapon or his unarmed strikes in any combination.

You sure about that, I dont think that was in the clarification.

Speaking of, can we get a link to or quote of the actual clarification as well?

Here:

Sean K. Reynolds wrote:


Actually, because the rules say a monk's flurry is as if he's using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he can't simply declare that he's using the same fist seven times. So there is something stopping him from hitting someone seven times with his left fist or a +2 flaming kama: the rules for how flurry works.

Jason's elaboration (from this post here):

Jason Buhlman wrote:


The intent of this particular rule was to marry the flurry of blows ability to the Two-Weapon Fighting feat tree, so that we could easily control and correct any problems that came up, and to have those corrections universally apply to everything that interacted with it. That said, there was an exception built into the flurry rules to allow them to properly portray the monk ability to beat you to death with various body parts (hence unarmed strike). I will admit that the wording could certainly be better in this regard. Let me give it to you clearly as to what we intended...

Flurry allows you to make multiple attacks as if using Two Weapon Fighting. You can substitute any of these attacks with an unarmed strike if you choose, up to all of them. If a weapon or attack is different than the others, it was the intent to limit that to the maximum number of attacks you could normally take with said weapon while utilizing Two-Weapon Fighting (ie 2 at +6BAB, 3 at +11BAB and so on), with all of those attacks falling into the standard chain of reducing attack bonus (-5 cumulative for each additional attack). It was not the intent to allow you to make more than this using one specific weapon (not unarmed strikes), or to take all of the highest attack bonus attacks with that weapon. This makes the monks attacks, from a baseline perspective significantly better than that of a fighter, who must invest in twice the number of weapon to gain a similar benefit.

Quote:
DQ wrote:

applying the -2 two-weapon fighting penalty to his CMB.

Since this is a substitution for unarmed attacks, he does not benefit from wielding trip, disarm, or sunder weapons.

I dont think either of these is correct.

I definitely think you apply the -2 flurry/TWF penalty to CMB (as opposed to BAB). I wouldn't run that any other way. (Also, in 3.x and 3.0 flurry, -2 penalty was worded as applying to "all attack rolls made", if that offers another perspective.)

As for the weapon benefit... since the core text says "in place of an unarmed attack" so since that's called out explicitly, I don't know if they wanted, for example, for you to get the +2 bonus from wielding a sai. I am cool with taking out that clause though, but folks should be clear on whether they are including those bonuses or not.

Quote:
DQ wrote:
the monk cannot use the flurry of blows class feature to qualify for other feats in the Two-Weapon Fighting feat chain.
Under the SKR Flurry, is that still the case?

From discussions in the thread linked above, yes, it is still the case, to the best of my understanding. "As if you had TWF" does not mean you have TWF. Just like your improved flurry BAB does not let you qualify for feats that require a high BAB, your flurry feature does not let you qualify for TWF feats. (You do get, as part of flurry, a version of Double Slice, however.)

Quote:


OI Flurry
.. No complaints here. that looks basically right.

Thank you!

Dark Archive

Thats actually completely irrelevant to this thread Cheapy.

Vs. your argument.
1. There are archetypes that assume it worked the same way that pretty much everyone else thought it worked.

For this Thread specifically
2. The monk is still hugely underpowered. This thread will give an idea of how much its underpowered, and potential things that might bring it up to being competitive.

We could use one of these for the rogue as well, and to playtest possible fixes for the rogue; but we may as well start with the monk since its what's "new and pertinent" or whatever.


Cheapy wrote:
I wonder how many monk threads will have to be made before people finally understand that nothing about the monk has changed, except for a fix in how everyone but the devs thought it worked, and how it was originally intended to work (which the text backs up).

"To infinity . . . and BEYOND!"

Master Arminas

Star Voter 2013

I wonder how many times we have to make a Monk thread before the Devs realize something needs to be done about them? I mean, I lurk more than I post on a lot of threads, and I actually have three tabs on my computer dedicated to different sections of the forums. Monk threads pop up all over the place complaining about how this doesn't work, this is underpowered, what use is this, etc.

Rogues are in much the same boat. More often than not, when I see people posting any build online, Monks and Rogues are recommended as a level dip only and not a very deep one at that.

Dark Archive

Great. Monks and Rogues Suck. Its unfortunate, but its true.

*herds the speakers back to the topic of playtesting*

Can we get a copy of that clarification?

Also, the things I mentioned I thought were wrong about the DQ's FoB writeup: Can we get those clarified?

Star Voter 2013

Are you talking about this clarification?

Dark Archive

Yeah, that doesn't clarify things as much as I'd hoped. I was hoping for an errata entry on the core book.

I was hoping for something like this:

Okay: So can we clear up the things I pointed out here?
We need to be on the same page with these.

Dark Archive

Hmm.
So here are some thoughts on the recent developments of the FoB "Clarifications, Changes" whatever you want to call them.

Here's a Jason Bulmahn post that helps a bit

So Two-Weapon Fighting and its improvements + Double Slice.

You can swap out any of the attacks for an Improved Unarmed Strike.

You can swap out any of them for a combat manoeuvre. Unless someone can give me a quote, I'm pretty sure there's no -2 on the manoeuvre. If you have a trip weapon or another weapon that can do one of those manoeuvres, you can use it for that.

so for the +13, +8, +3, (iterative)|| +13, +8, +3 (FoB)

The iterative attacks can be made with any weapon.

The FoB attacks can be made with your off-hand weapon, or with a UAS.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, here's a question -- if you were a fighter two weapon fighting, and you made a combat maneuver in place of one of your attacks (some combat maneuvers can be made "in place of a melee attack), would you apply the TWF penalty to that?

And again, I can remove that clause, but if anyone posts builds or fights, they need to note how they are interpreting that rule.

Star Voter 2013

Here is the relevant text I think we need:

Combat Maneuver Bonus wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

CMD has a similar clause in it's calculation as any AC penalty also effects CMD.

Dark Archive

I'd say no. Unless it explicitly notes specific modifiers that apply to the attack also apply to the Combat Manoeuvre, I would take it to mean that none of them do.*

*An example of ones that DO apply, is that a +5 trip weapon gives you +5 to trip if you use it.

[Edit] Huh. Well look at that. I've been doing THAT wrong since Pathfinder came out. So you do in fact take the -2.

But you DO get to use your actual BAB in the CMB calculation right? You dont have to recalculate based on where you are in your attack routine?

Star Voter 2013

Well, since you gain an extra attack at 8th level, from Flurry, as if using Improve TWF, and Imp. TWF says to gain another attack at a -5 untyped penalty, then yes, you use your full BAB, and regular bonuses, then apply the -5 penalty.

However, if you use an attack granted from having a high BAB (like a 6th level), then this is different as the actual BAB is less than the BAB used for the Imo. TWF attack. Even though they have the same attack bonus, the Imp. TWF has a -5 penalty, while the extra attack from BAB is using a BAB 5 less than his normal BAB, but isn't a penalty.

Combat Maneuver Bonus wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus.

With this in mind, since you replace your normal attack bonus with your CMB, then apply bonuses from other things and any normal penalties, per RAW, you are better off using your iterative attacks granted by a high BAB to make a Maneuver as they come in at no penalty. While the attacks granted by Imp. TWF would have a -5 penalty, and therefor have a -5 CMB.

So, per RAW (as far as I can tell), an 8th level monk has a flurry of +6/+6/+1/+1. If he substituted all his attacks for sunder maneuvers, he would have a bonus of +6/+6/+6/+1 because only one of those attacks takes a penalty beyond the -2 for making a flurry.

Star Voter 2013

BTW, totally learning new stuff everyday. This is like the third bit of info I learned today because I've been doing so much reading into Monks lately.

Dark Archive

Tels wrote:

However, if you use an attack granted from having a high BAB (like a 6th level), then this is different as the actual BAB is less than the BAB used for the Imo. TWF attack. Even though they have the same attack bonus, the Imp. TWF has a -5 penalty, while the extra attack from BAB is using a BAB 5 less than his normal BAB, but isn't a penalty.

Combat Maneuver Bonus wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus.

With this in mind, since you replace your normal attack bonus with your CMB, then apply bonuses from other things and any normal penalties, per RAW, you are better off using your iterative attacks granted by a high BAB to make a Maneuver as they come in at no penalty. While the attacks granted by Imp. TWF would have a -5 penalty, and therefor have a -5 CMB.

So, per RAW (as far as I can tell), an 8th level monk has a flurry of +6/+6/+1/+1. If he substituted all his attacks for sunder maneuvers, he would have a bonus of +6/+6/+6/+1 because only one of those attacks takes a penalty beyond the -2 for making a flurry.

Thats really confusing and makes my head spin a little. Maybe I'm just overtired.

Some of the things the rules make you do have no sort of consistency or rationale to them at all.

Okie Dokie!


DeathQuaker wrote:

I think we should have builds at 1st level, 8th level, and 15th level. This gives us low, mid, and high level (when an AP ends)--and are the points where the monk gets extra flurry attacks.

Anyone up to writing up some monsters at CR 1, 8, and 15? I tend to design my encounters too easy, so I'm not the best candidate. (I do volunteer to help collate results.)

A lone 8th-level monk is considered the equivalent of a 4th-level party of four. Thus, CR 6 would be a tough encounter for an 8th-level monk. But characters do not work alone, so against CR 8 use either an 8th-level monk with an 8th-level companion or a 6th-level monk with three 6th-level companions.

I made up a CR 8 encounter. It is against a wizard, because a monk is rumored to be good against wizards and we want to see the monk when he can show his strengths. But the wizard is using terrain and minions to his advantage.

Plutarch and his Undead, CR 8:

The room in the interior of Castle Zombie is 25 feet by 50 feet, with the longer direction running north-south. Its windowless stone walls are hung with tattered tapestries more rotten than the occasional broken chair along the wall, but the torches on the wall are new and lit. The north 15 feet of the room is an elevated stone stage with its floor ten feet up. Stairs on the east and west provide access, but east stairway is under the effects of a Grease spell (DC 14) and the west has been greased with real grease (DC 15). The center of the south wall has a door through which the party will enter this room from a castle hallway. The center of the north wall has a door leading to smaller private rooms that serve as the residence of Plutarch the Necromancer.

The lower part of the room is occupied by six human zombies, three by each stairway. The upper part of the room is occupied by Plutarch and two wights. Plutarch stands in the center of the raised stage and each wight guards the top of a stair. Plutarch's owl familiar perches on a tapestry rod nearby.

Plutarch the Necromancer, CR 5
Lawful-evil male elf wizard (necromancer) 6
Init +5; Low-light vision Perception +5 (+8 in shadows due to owl familiar)

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 17, flat-footed 14 (+4 mage armor, +2 deflection, +5 Cat's Grace Dex)
hp 35 (6d6 + 6 Con + 6 favored class)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +7.

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee: +1 shocking rapier +9 (1d6+1/18-20x2 plus 1d6 electricity and maybe +2 from arcane strike)
Ranged: mwk dagger +9 (1d4/19-20x2 and maybe +2 from arcane strike)
Special Attacks: grave touch +8 (6/day, duration 3 rounds)

Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +9 (+13 defensively))

3rd (3+1)--haste, ray of exhaustion (DC 16, x2), stinking cloud (DC 26)
2nd (4+1)--blindness/deafness (DC 15), cat's grace (already cast), invisibility, mirror image, enlargened ray of enfeeblement (DC 15)
1st (4+1)--alarm (already used), chill touch (DC 14), grease (DC 14, one used, one available), mage armor (used)
0 (4)--acid splash, detect magic, read magic, touch of fatigue (DC 13)

Prohibited Schools enchantment, evocation

TACTICS
Before Combat: Plutarch casts alarm and mage armor every morning. Alerted by the alarm spell, he sent his unnamed owl to peek down the hallway and it reported the approaching adventurers. In response, Plutarch had time to cast cat's grace on himself and grease on the one stairway that was not permanently greased.
During Combat: Plutarch prefers to strike with ray of exhaustion and leave the victim for his zombies, but that spell has a range of only 40 feet. He uses the enlarged ray of enfeeblement if all targets are farther away. He also loves to cripple a group with stinking cloud just as the zombies close in on them. The zombies are immune to the poison effect of the cloud.
Due to his high Dexterity and his Arcane Strike feat, Plutarch feels himself an effective combatant. He prefers to stay out of arms reach of any able-bodied enemy, but he keeps three masterwork daggers on his belt for throwing. He will engage with his rapier if his opponent is already debuffed or if he is protected by mirror image.
Morale: If the adventurers clear the guardian undead away from any stair and advance to his level without being heavily damaged and debuffed, he will cast invisibility and seek out the largest remaining group of his undead. Then he will cast haste. This affects himself and his wights normally, but it temporarily converts his zombies to fast zombies instead of its normal effect. He uses the extra speed from haste to run out into the hallway and run away invisibly, trusting the undead to continue the battle without him.

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 17, Wis 9, Cha 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 18
Feats: Arcane Strike, Combat Casting, Enlarge Spell, Scribe Scroll, Weapon Finesse
Skills: Acrobatics +9, Craft (Alchemy) +12, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Perception +5, Spellcraft +12
Languages: Abyssal, Common, Elven, Infernal
SQ: speak with owl familiar
Gear: +1 shocking rapier, 3 masterwork daggers, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +2, 6 black onyxes worth 25 gp each, spellbook, fine clothes, 50 gold pieces.


I will make up a 6th-level four-person adventuring party that includes a monk and run it against Plutarch on Friday or Saturday.

Dark Archive

The Original Statement was inaccurate. We dont want a CR 1, 8, and 15 encounter.

We want an encounter for a party of four level (1, 8 and 15) characters.

Star Voter 2013

Ok, let me try to clarify. I'll only be using the BAB for attacks, no magical bonus, ability bonus, etc.

An 11th level fighter wielding a longsword has a full attack at 11/6/1 with no penalties. Because he has no penalties, and because of the wording of Combat Maneuver Bonus, when he uses that longsword to sunder, his full attack is (substituting all attacks for sunders) would, instead, be 11/11/11. This is because Combat Maneuvers replace the existing attack bonus, and then add bonuses from feats, spells etc, then you add in the penalties. Since he has no bonuses, or penalties, his sunder CMB in a full attack is 11/11/11.

Now, a fighter using Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Two Weapon Fighting, and a light weapon in the off-hand, takes a -2 penalty on all attacks, but gains two extra attacks at his highest BAB, with one made at a -5 penalty. That means an 11th level fighter with a BAB of 11/6/1 would have a full attack of 9/4/-1/9/4. Now, if he were to substitute all attacks for sunder attempts, this would change. His primary hand would change to 9/9/9 because those attacks have no penalty other than the -2 from dual wielding. His off-hand attacks would be 9/4. This is because the second attack made in his off-hand is made at a total penalty of -7, -2 from dual wielding and -5 from Imp. TWF. So his total full-attack sunder attempts would be 9/9/9/9/4.

Did that make things clearer?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting project. I think you guys are on the right track here, but I'd put a rogue comparison in as well as ranger and fighter. The reason for this is that some may argue the monk better fulfils the rogue's role.

I'd also like to add that I've linked to this thread from here where we are looking at potential solutions to the monk issues.

A third point: Can we make a 'beginner's monk' version at these levels that does not rely on system mastery to work? My point is, any fighter who picks damaging feats can be effective. We want a basic monk to at least be able to operate.

Dark Archive

Dabbler wrote:
Interesting project. I think you guys are on the right track here, but I'd put a rogue comparison in as well as ranger and fighter.

I want to explicitly leave the rogue out of this, because the roles aren't quite the same, and because the rogue has its own (massive) set of problems that really need their own playtest to be addressed.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fair enough, if that's what you want. I would say from personal experience that rogues don't have half the problems that monks do, but maybe that's just me!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:

Interesting project. I think you guys are on the right track here, but I'd put a rogue comparison in as well as ranger and fighter. The reason for this is that some may argue the monk better fulfils the rogue's role.

I'd also like to add that I've linked to this thread from here where we are looking at potential solutions to the monk issues.

A third point: Can we make a 'beginner's monk' version at these levels that does not rely on system mastery to work? My point is, any fighter who picks damaging feats can be effective. We want a basic monk to at least be able to operate.

Would Sajan work for this?

Mathmuse that's awesome. I think both solo and party encounters are fine, but we definitely do need party encounters as well, as solo encounters are not typically how you are going to see the monk in the game. Solo fights will show how the monk performs in certain circumstances however.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
I'd also like to add that I've linked to this thread from here where we are looking at potential solutions to the monk issues.

Also, thank you.

Quote:


A third point: Can we make a 'beginner's monk' version at these levels that does not rely on system mastery to work? My point is, any fighter who picks damaging feats can be effective. We want a basic monk to at least be able to operate.

I have ignored my own suggestion of Sajan and tried my hand, as I can do non-optimized but functional--doing my best to pick choices that would seem obvious or attractive for the cool factor to a beginner. I actually looked at the NPC initiate as a starting point. Uses Elite Array (15 point buy, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15). Core only. I did buy him some adventuring gear assuming we want a "typical" character kitted out for adventuring, not just arena style combat.

Spoiler:

Middling the Monk
LN Human monk 1
Init +2; Senses Perception +6

=DEFENSE=
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 Wis)

hp 10 (1d8+1+1 favored class)

Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4

=OFFENSE=
Speed 30 ft.

Melee
unarmed strike +2 (1d6+2)
unarmed strike flurry of blows +1/+1 (1d6+2)
nunchaku +2 (1d6+2)
kama +2 (1d6+2)
For SJC Flurry: use +1/+1 attack bonus. Combinations can be nunchaku+kama, nunchaku+unarmed strike, or kama+unarmed strike
For OI Flurry: In addition to above, can do 2 attacks with same weapon (e.g., kama/kama)

ranged
shuriken +2 (1d2+2/20x2) (range increment 10 ft.)
shuriken flurry of blows +1/+1 (1d2+2/20x2) (range increment 10 ft.)

Special Attacks flurry of blows, stunning fist (1/day, DC 13)

=STATISTICS=
Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
(15 point buy in Elite array spread, human bonus to Str)

Base Atk +0; CMB +2 (+4 to grapple); CMD 17 (19 vs grapple)

Feats
Improved Unarmed Strike (Monk bonus)
Stunning Fist (Monk bonus)
Improved Grapple (Monk Bonus)
Dodge (Human bonus)
Deflect Arrows (1st level)

Skills (4+Int+1 Human)
Acrobatics +6
Climb +6
Perception +6
Sense Motive +6
Stealth +6

Languages Common

Gear (Average starting gold 35 gp)
For Combat
Kama (2 gp, 2 lbs, 1d6/x2), Nunchaku (2 gp, 2 lbs, 1d6/x2), 20 shuriken (20 gp, 10 lbs, 1d2/x2 10 ft.)

Other Adventuring gear
Backpack (2 gp, 2 lbs), Bedroll (1 sp, 5 lbs), caltrops (1 gp, 2 lbs), grappling hook (1 gp, 4 lbs), 50 ft. hemp rope (1 gp, 10 lbs), waterskin (1 gp, 4 lbs), 10-foot pole (5 cp, 8 lbs), sunrod x2 (4 gp, 2 lbs), 8 sp, 5 cp

Carried: 51 lbs worth of gear
Light load 66 lbs or less

Sovereign Court

should we bother with the prospect of a dex based monk, who could in theory qualify for the TWF chain and see how that goes? i've heard its possible, but dex is more a tertiary stat behind str and wis i think. ties for Con in my book.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you wanna try it out, my opinion is go for it.

Star Voter 2013

I'm not so sure Nez, I've got a Dex based Monk that focuses on Maneuvers (Weapon Finesse/Agile Maneuvers) that is a pretty tough contender usefulness wise. Granted, the damage is low, but that isn't the focus of the build, so much as aiding my allies is. With WF and AM, Dex adds to the hit bonus, CMB, and CMD, though I made sure to have a slight bonus to STR so I get 3 ability scores on CMD.

Sovereign Court

he have the swift grapple chain for FoB while tangled up? he the manuver master arch? wouldn't mind seeing your build.

@Darkholme still looking a 1, 8, and 15 lvl monks yes?

Star Voter 2013

My Monk:
No, he has neither. His focus is to apply penalties to his enemies, so that they can do better things. I built him, keeping in mind that Monks are not damage kings, but other classes are. He hasn't reached his full strength yet (only level 4), but I know I've already annoyed the GM on several occasions by Grapple/Tripping his baddies. If you can get it right, Trip + Grapple imposes a -6 to -8 to AC and CMD (depending on if you Pin), which can really help out against the high AC encounters. Not only that, it forces the baddie to spend his actions doing something other than attacking. I'm basically making him really easy to hit, and skewing the action economy even more in favor of the party.

Yes, we are focusing on 1, 8 and 15, as those are the levels that Monks gain additional flurries. I'm working on my own version now that I'll be play testing in my own time.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nezthalak wrote:
should we bother with the prospect of a dex based monk, who could in theory qualify for the TWF chain and see how that goes? i've heard its possible, but dex is more a tertiary stat behind str and wis i think. ties for Con in my book.

Hell yes. Agile Maneuvers and Weapon Finesse add together to ensure that your dex-based monk isn't sacrificing AC, and is much less MAD, which makes his top stats higher. It's my default build, to be honest, and your traditional monk wasn't exactly a hulking mountain of muscle.

It's feat-intensive, but it works surprisingly well.

Sovereign Court

not to mention stunning fist w/ alternate debuffs too. I think a monk makes a solid disabler. really like the jawbreaker chain for working over enemy clerics/mages


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nezthalak wrote:
not to mention stunning fist w/ alternate debuffs too. I think a monk makes a solid disabler. really like the jawbreaker chain for working over enemy clerics/mages

I agree, if the monk could walk on air and see invisible creatures, it would be awesome.

Sovereign Court

Dabbler wrote:
Nezthalak wrote:
not to mention stunning fist w/ alternate debuffs too. I think a monk makes a solid disabler. really like the jawbreaker chain for working over enemy clerics/mages
I agree, if the monk could walk on air and see invisible creatures, it would be awesome.

aye. without a pocket mage though, we are limited to our awesomeness. we are the so-so sohei.

a level dip spellcaster for auto-success on wand use isn't a horrible option, and I've debated it for my char. I think arcane sight grants some detect invis doesn't it?

Star Voter 2013

Nezthalak wrote:
I think arcane sight grants some detect invis doesn't it?

Depends on the GM, mine tells me no every time I try to overcome invisibility in someway other than see through invisibility, invisibility purge, or true seeing.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well blind-fighting is a monk staple, it would be good if they could gain a blind sense at least...that said, it should be borne in mind that a bag of flour should highlight invisible creatures easily.

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