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Why do monks need to be as good at fighting as other melee classes?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Interestingly (well, for pretty generous definitions of "interesting"), Haste in 3.5 is even more restrictive - it limits the effect to weapons you're holding, which would seem to also rule out natural weapons by an extremely strict raw reading. (Unless there's some random forgotten rules somewhere that says you're holding your own natural weapons) This means that by 3.5 ultra-strict RAW, a Clay Golem's haste ability isn't really as impressive as it might otherwise be. In fact, most 3.5 enemies in the SRD that can cast haste are also creatures that fight without weapons. They can still benefit from the other effects or cast it on someone else, but they lose some of the spell's oomph.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
One quick note about dodge. A monk with a 12 dex can take it, another class with a 12 dex can not.

This is true, if the monk selects it as a bonus feat.

ciretose wrote:
Also, having 3 bonus feats by 6th level and getting the twf feat for free means taking dodge is much easier for a monk than a ranger.

Monks don't get TWF for free, they get flurry-of-blows. TWF can act as a pre-requisite for other feats, FoB cannot. When the ranger takes TWF, he can then get TWD to make up for not having a shield, the monk cannot. He can take Two Weapon Rend to do some extra damage, and the monk cannot...you get my point: the monk is not getting the extra mileage out of TWF that is available to the ranger, even though he gets more feats.

ciretose wrote:
When you look at the monk options at level 1, it isn't an unlikely selection. Although deflect arrows can be even more useful.

I do agree. The monk is likely to have a decent AC, but that's all he has to stand him up with the combat classes.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:


I do agree. The monk is likely to have a decent AC, but that's all he has to stand him up with the combat classes.

And this I don't disagree with, and said so up thread. When they nerfed brass knuckles it took us back to the bad old days where the monk couldn't use the advantage he got to unarmed damage unless he also couldn't hit anything.

If they simply added a way to make the unarmed attacks more accurate without taking up a slot or a feat chain, it would solve a most of the of problems, since unarmed damage already scales.

Just making a ritual of some sort that a monk could do to add an enhancement bonus to his attack bonus for unarmed strikes would be an easy fix.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
If they simply added a way to make the unarmed attacks more accurate without taking up a slot or a feat chain, it would solve a most of the of problems, since unarmed damage already scales.

I agree. I added a few ideas in like:

Enhanced Ki Strike
You can amplify the benefits of your ki strike.
Pre-requisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, ki strike class feature.
Benefit: Your unarmed strikes (or strikes with a ki focus weapon) gain an Enhancement bonus to hit. For every four monk levels that you have, your unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus to hit, to a maximum of +5. Your unarmed strikes can overcome DR as a magic weapon of the same enhancement.
Alternate Wording:
Benefit: Your unarmed strikes (or strikes with a ki focus weapon) gain an Enhancement bonus to hit. For every ki feat that you possess, your unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus to hit, to a maximum of +5. Your unarmed strikes can overcome DR as a magic weapon of the same enhancement. Ki feats are any feats that mention ki in their title (Extra ki, ki Throw, etc) or require ki to be expended to work.

This allows the bonus only to apply hitting, not damaging, keeping the unarmed strike damage unchanged and scaling as intended.

When I did my redesign I veered away from the original unarmed damage completely. Rather, I made the unarmed strike have a fixed damage, with a scaling enhancement to hit and damage, and a separate precision bonus to damage with monk weapons. This is closer to the original monk concept from AD&D, and allows them to use weapons without suffering for it, or use unarmed strike and not miss all the time.


Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If they simply added a way to make the unarmed attacks more accurate without taking up a slot or a feat chain, it would solve a most of the of problems, since unarmed damage already scales.

I agree. I added a few ideas in like:

Enhanced Ki Strike
You can amplify the benefits of your ki strike.
Pre-requisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, ki strike class feature.
Benefit: Your unarmed strikes (or strikes with a ki focus weapon) gain an Enhancement bonus to hit. For every four monk levels that you have, your unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus to hit, to a maximum of +5. Your unarmed strikes can overcome DR as a magic weapon of the same enhancement.
Alternate Wording:
Benefit: Your unarmed strikes (or strikes with a ki focus weapon) gain an Enhancement bonus to hit. For every ki feat that you possess, your unarmed strikes gain a +1 enhancement bonus to hit, to a maximum of +5. Your unarmed strikes can overcome DR as a magic weapon of the same enhancement. Ki feats are any feats that mention ki in their title (Extra ki, ki Throw, etc) or require ki to be expended to work.

This allows the bonus only to apply hitting, not damaging, keeping the unarmed strike damage unchanged and scaling as intended.

When I did my redesign I veered away from the original unarmed damage completely. Rather, I made the unarmed strike have a fixed damage, with a scaling enhancement to hit and damage, and a separate precision bonus to damage with monk weapons. This is closer to the original monk concept from AD&D, and allows them to use weapons without suffering for it, or use unarmed strike and not miss all the time.

So why not just make this scaling enhancement modifier an element of the Ki pool class feature and allow it to apply to damage as well? That way monks no longer HAVE to get an amulet of mighty fists to be competitive. This then also frees up a monk's amulet slot.

Give it the same progression as the monk's armor bonus, thus keeping it balanced (magic weapons and magic armor progress at about the same rate for other classes).

Ki Pool (Su): ... As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike grants his unarmed attacks a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls, and are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, this enhancement bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. At 10th level, ...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I did in my re-design of the monk, and that is where I would like to see it, replacing some of the ki strike DR bypass features into the bargain.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I removed a bunch of bickering, commentary on bickering, or replies to those.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

And that's why I never write long posts ^^


Ross Byers wrote:
I removed a bunch of bickering, commentary on bickering, or replies to those.

Thanks Ross.

Gorbacz wrote:
And that's why I never write long posts ^^

Heh, good idea. :P

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
I did in my re-design of the monk, and that is where I would like to see it, replacing some of the ki strike DR bypass features into the bargain.

We wouldn't need the DR bypass feature if we could just add enhancement bonus to unarmed strikes. You could have it cost twice as much as a standard enhancement and I don't see it being unbalanced, but I'm open to someone showing math otherwise.

I don't think the monk needs a major re-write, I think it was fine prior to the recent nerfs, which honestly make sense flavor wise, but should have been correct for flavor, not mechanics.

Andoran

Gorbacz wrote:
And that's why I never write long posts ^^

I read this in J. Walter Weatherman's voice and laughed out loud.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ciretose: I've played a lot of monks. And my DMs always gave me a homebrewed item to give me easy enhancement bonuses for my Unarmed Strike that cost the same as enhancing a normal weapon.

Based on my experiences, if you are playing a Monk that is not Qingong, Zen Archer, or Sohei (prior to FOB coming under review); then you are a liability to a party in any situation that does not have spellcasters or rogues to hunt UNLESS your Stunning Fist works. The issue of course, being that your wisdom will not be high enough for a Melee Oriented Enemy to fail their fortitude save on anything other than a natural 1.

Standard Monk needs a revamp. It doesn't even need more damage or flight, but it desperately needs an easy accuracy buff, and a way to synergize it's high mobility with it's ability to flurry. It was NOT fine, it had Critical MAD in a manner that wasn't particularly bad UNTIL Pathfinder switched to a standard Point Buy for it's stat generation...which meant that you couldn't get any lucky breaks on rolling.

Master Arminas did the best rewrite I've seen so far, but I think we all want this situation to be directly addressed by the highly skilled developers of this Paizo. They are awesome, and I want to see the awesome they could come up with if they really polished Monk, and ignored the Backwards Compatibility issues.

Andoran

ReconstructorFleet wrote:

Ciretose: I've played a lot of monks. And my DMs always gave me a homebrewed item to give me easy enhancement bonuses for my Unarmed Strike that cost the same as enhancing a normal weapon.

Based on my experiences, if you are playing a Monk that is not Qingong, Zen Archer, or Sohei (prior to FOB coming under review); then you are a liability to a party in any situation that does not have spellcasters or rogues to hunt UNLESS your Stunning Fist works. The issue of course, being that your wisdom will not be high enough for a Melee Oriented Enemy to fail their fortitude save on anything other than a natural 1.

Standard Monk needs a revamp. It doesn't even need more damage or flight, but it desperately needs an easy accuracy buff, and a way to synergize it's high mobility with it's ability to flurry. It was NOT fine, it had Critical MAD in a manner that wasn't particularly bad UNTIL Pathfinder switched to a standard Point Buy for it's stat generation...which meant that you couldn't get any lucky breaks on rolling.

Master Arminas did the best rewrite I've seen so far, but I think we all want this situation to be directly addressed by the highly skilled developers of this Paizo. They are awesome, and I want to see the awesome they could come up with if they really polished Monk, and ignored the Backwards Compatibility issues.

Qingong really isn't an archetype. It is a skill swap with lots of options.

Before brass knuckles were nerfed, the monk was able to do damage and stay alive fine. With the nerf it becomes more of an issue, but not one that increased accuracy wouldn't solve.

The MAD issue is way overblown. Treantmonks guide is dead on.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Archetypes can solve some of the monks problems, go in a specific direction. Feat choices for monks have always seemed so crucial, and lock players in heavily to roles.

Perhaps a better solution for the monk would have been to approach them a bit more like the barbarian. More choice in special abilities, improve the bab, or damage, or ac, or unlock the mythic abilities, but not give it all, because that doesn't seem balanced to me. Allow choice, allow cool creations but always want the player to push and level further, because they can't have it all, but by level 20, can have most of the abilities.

So the first level monk is a bit weak, young grasshopper ohhhh. Basic monk damage, poor bab at this stage, has not mastered his art, can defend, grant a small boost to speed. At levels 2,4,6,8,10 etc, the monk gets choices, and starts to specialise. Following the path of his masters, or creating his own style, or blending styles. I'm thinking quite a big list, but also with such things as damage die boost (which already rises normally anyway) or a bab boost. Remove the ki pool and have each monk have their abilities which don't run out. This is their way.

Thus creating a monk table that is far less cluttered, there are the basic monk parts which improve (speed, damage, ac, saves) and then it is mostly filled with... choice! You could even be quite tricky, make the monk really something, but the cost of going into their path of special abilities is to have no bonus feats, they are no longer needed and not needed for balance. The monk special abilities would then need a bit of boosting, and not to be over-powered. The monk breaks off and becomes a class to be respected, and less like others.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Archetypes can solve some of the monks problems, go in a specific direction. Feat choices for monks have always seemed so crucial, and lock players in heavily to roles.

Perhaps a better solution for the monk would have been to approach them a bit more like the barbarian. More choice in special abilities, improve the bab, or damage, or ac, or unlock the mythic abilities, but not give it all, because that doesn't seem balanced to me. Allow choice, allow cool creations but always want the player to push and level further, because they can't have it all, but by level 20, can have most of the abilities.

So the first level monk is a bit weak, young grasshopper ohhhh. Basic monk damage, poor bab at this stage, has not mastered his art, can defend, grant a small boost to speed. At levels 2,4,6,8,10 etc, the monk gets choices, and starts to specialise. Following the path of his masters, or creating his own style, or blending styles. I'm thinking quite a big list, but also with such things as damage die boost (which already rises normally anyway) or a bab boost. Remove the ki pool and have each monk have their abilities which don't run out. This is their way.

Thus creating a monk table that is far less cluttered, there are the basic monk parts which improve (speed, damage, ac, saves) and then it is mostly filled with... choice! You could even be quite tricky, make the monk really something, but the cost of going into their path of special abilities is to have no bonus feats, they are no longer needed and not needed for balance. The monk special abilities would then need a bit of boosting, and not to be over-powered. The monk breaks off and becomes a class to be respected, and less like others.

Now this? I LIKE this. In fact, why not include Crusader Style Orders (Dojos/Temples/Monasteries) that each grant specific abilities and powers? Now you've got Monk more ingrained in your world setting in an awesome manner.


@Dabbler
The only issue with your fix is that it's too slow to actually be worthwhile for overcoming DR.
A character can have a +1 Silver/Cold Iron Whatever by level 3 (4 at the latest). A monk would be waiting until level 12 for the same benefits. In fact, if DR/Evil is a big thing, most characters can/will have a Holy weapon before level 10. The Monk would be waiting until 20. (Or they could get their Holy from an AoMF, but then we get back to the issue that it's still severely overpriced for the poor monk.)

It's a decent solution to the "lack of attack bonus" problem, but it doesn't actually solve the "overcoming DR" problem.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
The MAD issue is way overblown. Treantmonks guide is dead on.

If you want to play a brick outhouse thug, yes. His advice is strength, strength, and then some strength. Thing is, that isn't a monk to me. If you want a safron clad little guy who knows the mystics of the orient, it's flavour-wise frankly just not there, and that's the kind of monk I want.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
The MAD issue is way overblown. Treantmonks guide is dead on.
If you want to play a brick outhouse thug, yes. His advice is strength, strength, and then some strength. Thing is, that isn't a monk to me. If you want a safron clad little guy who knows the mystics of the orient, it's flavour-wise frankly just not there, and that's the kind of monk I want.

Fair enough, although I would say that his advice is strength first, then wisdom. The main issue being that dex is over-rated. I don't think that is a huge departure from your safron clad little guy, but I can see why others might.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Archetypes can solve some of the monks problems, go in a specific direction. Feat choices for monks have always seemed so crucial, and lock players in heavily to roles.

Perhaps a better solution for the monk would have been to approach them a bit more like the barbarian. More choice in special abilities, improve the bab, or damage, or ac, or unlock the mythic abilities, but not give it all, because that doesn't seem balanced to me. Allow choice, allow cool creations but always want the player to push and level further, because they can't have it all, but by level 20, can have most of the abilities.

So the first level monk is a bit weak, young grasshopper ohhhh. Basic monk damage, poor bab at this stage, has not mastered his art, can defend, grant a small boost to speed. At levels 2,4,6,8,10 etc, the monk gets choices, and starts to specialise. Following the path of his masters, or creating his own style, or blending styles. I'm thinking quite a big list, but also with such things as damage die boost (which already rises normally anyway) or a bab boost. Remove the ki pool and have each monk have their abilities which don't run out. This is their way.

Thus creating a monk table that is far less cluttered, there are the basic monk parts which improve (speed, damage, ac, saves) and then it is mostly filled with... choice! You could even be quite tricky, make the monk really something, but the cost of going into their path of special abilities is to have no bonus feats, they are no longer needed and not needed for balance. The monk special abilities would then need a bit of boosting, and not to be over-powered. The monk breaks off and becomes a class to be respected, and less like others.

Not to be rude, but isn't this more or less exactly what the Qingong monk is? You swap out monk abilities for other alternate abilities.

Also, I would disagree that the first level monk is weak, relative to any other first level class.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ciretose wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Archetypes can solve some of the monks problems, go in a specific direction. Feat choices for monks have always seemed so crucial, and lock players in heavily to roles.

Perhaps a better solution for the monk would have been to approach them a bit more like the barbarian. More choice in special abilities, improve the bab, or damage, or ac, or unlock the mythic abilities, but not give it all, because that doesn't seem balanced to me. Allow choice, allow cool creations but always want the player to push and level further, because they can't have it all, but by level 20, can have most of the abilities.

So the first level monk is a bit weak, young grasshopper ohhhh. Basic monk damage, poor bab at this stage, has not mastered his art, can defend, grant a small boost to speed. At levels 2,4,6,8,10 etc, the monk gets choices, and starts to specialise. Following the path of his masters, or creating his own style, or blending styles. I'm thinking quite a big list, but also with such things as damage die boost (which already rises normally anyway) or a bab boost. Remove the ki pool and have each monk have their abilities which don't run out. This is their way.

Thus creating a monk table that is far less cluttered, there are the basic monk parts which improve (speed, damage, ac, saves) and then it is mostly filled with... choice! You could even be quite tricky, make the monk really something, but the cost of going into their path of special abilities is to have no bonus feats, they are no longer needed and not needed for balance. The monk special abilities would then need a bit of boosting, and not to be over-powered. The monk breaks off and becomes a class to be respected, and less like others.

Not to be rude, but isn't this more or less exactly what the Qingong monk is? You swap out monk abilities for other alternate abilities.

Also, I would disagree that the first level monk is weak, relative to any other first level class.

I don't think so. I too was advocating something along these lines. The issue with Qinggong is that Qinggong seems more like a wizard/caster archetype which loses a lot of the monk feel, to me. The main point is that all of the core classes have a "variable" feel to them. You can build them in multiple ways while still maintaining the feel of the class. Partly this is due to nothing more than labeling (calling the abilities of the barbarian "Rage Powers" and that of the rogue "Talents"), but partly because they're thematic, too. So, all they're after is to give abilities options to the monk that is thematic with the concept of the monk, but also gives them build flexibility. I think the best idea is to take Master Arminas' Ascetic Monk and apply Dabbler's ideas of Paths of Mastery. Now you get an awesome class build idea with heavy monkish flavor.

I personally have two beefs, so far, with the monk:

1) Unless archetype books are allowed, player's are forced into a single partly-effective build or have a class that feels useless to a party. Other classes have many builds that are effective (to varying degrees), but the monk seems like it struggles to achieve one build that has value.

2) Due to it's high-frequency-attack/low-attack-damage (compared to other low-frequency-hit/high-attack-damage) it really gets it's butt chewed up by DR/hardness. Yeah, you can do something to mitigate this (buying cold iron sais, silver kamas, adamantine nunchukas, and so forth), but that option is *required*. Without the right weaponry, a barbarian or fighter that hits once for 20 damage still does 10 damage to a DR10/adamantine monster, while a monk that hits twice (FOB) for 10 does nothing.


ReconstructorFleet wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Archetypes can solve some of the monks problems, go in a specific direction. Feat choices for monks have always seemed so crucial, and lock players in heavily to roles.

Perhaps a better solution for the monk would have been to approach them a bit more like the barbarian. More choice in special abilities, improve the bab, or damage, or ac, or unlock the mythic abilities, but not give it all, because that doesn't seem balanced to me. Allow choice, allow cool creations but always want the player to push and level further, because they can't have it all, but by level 20, can have most of the abilities.

So the first level monk is a bit weak, young grasshopper ohhhh. Basic monk damage, poor bab at this stage, has not mastered his art, can defend, grant a small boost to speed. At levels 2,4,6,8,10 etc, the monk gets choices, and starts to specialise. Following the path of his masters, or creating his own style, or blending styles. I'm thinking quite a big list, but also with such things as damage die boost (which already rises normally anyway) or a bab boost. Remove the ki pool and have each monk have their abilities which don't run out. This is their way.

Thus creating a monk table that is far less cluttered, there are the basic monk parts which improve (speed, damage, ac, saves) and then it is mostly filled with... choice! You could even be quite tricky, make the monk really something, but the cost of going into their path of special abilities is to have no bonus feats, they are no longer needed and not needed for balance. The monk special abilities would then need a bit of boosting, and not to be over-powered. The monk breaks off and becomes a class to be respected, and less like others.

Now this? I LIKE this. In fact, why not include Crusader Style Orders (Dojos/Temples/Monasteries) that each grant specific abilities and powers? Now you've got Monk more ingrained in your world setting in an awesome manner.

Exactly. I got this idea from dming many monk pcs and sometimes altering them on request. Also, taking a young monk pc and building his master along similar, but slightly different lines to what the pc had done. The pc monk started off in line with the master, but as they overcame obstacles they developed in their own direction. They were still of an inter-connected tradition: high ac (lot of dodge), same alignment, high diplomacy, ki ball shooting (feat) monk badasses. It was based off the crane style. The next development was for this monk to encounter other monks of other styles, fight them, and perhaps re-build his feat selection or hybridise as he fought more offensive monks, harder hitters, other abilities.

From questioning and altering the monk class to other changes. I've started to roll back DR. I don't like it. It is boring. At low numbers and for the barb sure, but at high numbers it just becomes so much crunch, and I hate hits doing nothing. Booooo I say!

There is no reason this couldn't be taken deeper down into the class. To jupistar, yeah, I have seen players a little annoyed by the base monk and what they can do. There are more than a few 3.5 feats to change the monk, but that is bandaiding the solution, not changing the class and its abilities.

Feel free to draw up a list if you want.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
The MAD issue is way overblown. Treantmonks guide is dead on.
If you want to play a brick outhouse thug, yes. His advice is strength, strength, and then some strength. Thing is, that isn't a monk to me. If you want a safron clad little guy who knows the mystics of the orient, it's flavour-wise frankly just not there, and that's the kind of monk I want.
Fair enough, although I would say that his advice is strength first, then wisdom. The main issue being that dex is over-rated. I don't think that is a huge departure from your safron clad little guy, but I can see why others might.

There's a huge over-emphasis on strength in D&D/Pathfinder for combat classes, I find. I can make a dex-build monk work, but the feat tax is frightening.

As for monasteries and training styles, I confess I like that idea! Kind of like paladin codes or cavelier orders. Brain now engaged...cogitating...

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
ciretose wrote:
The MAD issue is way overblown. Treantmonks guide is dead on.
If you want to play a brick outhouse thug, yes. His advice is strength, strength, and then some strength. Thing is, that isn't a monk to me. If you want a safron clad little guy who knows the mystics of the orient, it's flavour-wise frankly just not there, and that's the kind of monk I want.
Fair enough, although I would say that his advice is strength first, then wisdom. The main issue being that dex is over-rated. I don't think that is a huge departure from your safron clad little guy, but I can see why others might.

There's a huge over-emphasis on strength in D&D/Pathfinder for combat classes, I find. I can make a dex-build monk work, but the feat tax is frightening.

As for monasteries and training styles, I confess I like that idea! Kind of like paladin codes or cavelier orders. Brain now engaged...cogitating...

I would be all for the monastery and training styles, but I kind of feel like that is what the archetypes are and do.

The Qingong is specifically sacrificing one supernatural ability for another. Perhaps there can be some debate as to if some fit and if some don't, but the concept is "I studied this use of Ki instead of this use of Ki"

Strength is, for good or I'll, the basis of melee combat in the d20 system. If you shift it to Dex, you then have damage, ranged attack and defense under a single ability, which would lead to str dumping monks, which makes even less sense.

I have advocated in the past allowing for bonuses to physical ability scores at appropriate levels, but I don't know that it is needed if the ability to hit is resolved.


For a monk rebuild, I'd suggest taking a page from some of the class design used by Owen K. Stephens in the SGG classes, or something similar to the Barbarian. Give the monk a bit more flexibility/options in how they build the base class instead of having a much stricter limitation on what abilities they get each level. The Qingong archetype does this partially, but its more of a bandaid rather than a proper framework for a class.

Part of the problem with how the monk class is built, is that they are much more limited in types of viable builds compared to other classes. Allow the monk to have more options and less fixed abilities and the class will hold up better. Also, identify several main roles that the class should be able to fulfill and make sure you can build a competitive monk that fulfills those roles.


This is one area where 4e's "striker" and so forth definitions were helpful--the categories provided a new, base-level framework with which to approach the classes that was simple and easy to understand. It was direct, and straightforward.

We need some sort of clear framework with which to approach the monk, and other classes, one that would let us break away from some of these old perceptions. I like the class--it just needs:

o Its purpose clarified
o Tweaks and design reapproached by using the clarified purpose

My own take is that I dislike that the monk's best offense comes when standing still. I love the idea of them being Prince of Persia-style mobile.

I would not want to see the 4e categories used--they're a little too MMO for my taste. It would not hurt, however, to revisit the theme of the class, and firm up the design around that theme.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
I would be all for the monastery and training styles, but I kind of feel like that is what the archetypes are and do.

I agree, they cover this area, especially with the style feats on top.

ciretose wrote:
The Qingong is specifically sacrificing one supernatural ability for another. Perhaps there can be some debate as to if some fit and if some don't, but the concept is "I studied this use of Ki instead of this use of Ki"

Pretty much.

ciretose wrote:
Strength is, for good or I'll, the basis of melee combat in the d20 system. If you shift it to Dex, you then have damage, ranged attack and defense under a single ability, which would lead to str dumping monks, which makes even less sense.

I was not talking about damage, but about hitting. To me the system's adherence to strength adding to chances to hit always seemed slightly cock-eyed, but I can live with it. What I don't like is the feat-tax on low strength to get a bonus to hit. Again, in my redesign of the monk I made Weapon Finesse part of monk training - they could use all monk weapons and unarmed strike attacks as if they had the feat if they so chose. That takes a lot of the emphasis off strength without making it a dump-stat, especially as the redesign use static bonuses to scale unarmed strike rather than increasing dice.

ciretose wrote:
I have advocated in the past allowing for bonuses to physical ability scores at appropriate levels, but I don't know that it is needed if the ability to hit is resolved.

That's an interesting concept to think on, but I can see scope for abuse.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

If the intent is to try and allow a monk with good unarmed skills (which doesn't work today at higher levels because of DR), why not introduce some way for monk damage to bypass DR? That sort of fits with the CMB skills; perhaps an unarmed kick, or a Ki throw, or a trip, or something like that can dislocate your opponent's knee or elbow no matter what the AC/DR is.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JohnF wrote:


If the intent is to try and allow a monk with good unarmed skills (which doesn't work today at higher levels because of DR), why not introduce some way for monk damage to bypass DR? That sort of fits with the CMB skills; perhaps an unarmed kick, or a Ki throw, or a trip, or something like that can dislocate your opponent's knee or elbow no matter what the
AC/DR is.

This has been discussed: hitting is the first hurdle, bypassing DR the second.

Andoran

JohnF wrote:


If the intent is to try and allow a monk with good unarmed skills (which doesn't work today at higher levels because of DR), why not introduce some way for monk damage to bypass DR? That sort of fits with the CMB skills; perhaps an unarmed kick, or a Ki throw, or a trip, or something like that can dislocate your opponent's knee or elbow no matter what the AC/DR is.

With enchantment bonuses (and the magic/lawful/adamantine stuff) it would.

Remember that enhancement some bonuses can bypass damage reduction .

Shadow Lodge

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ciretose wrote:
Remember that enhancement some bonuses can bypass damage reduction .

I was thinking more of unarmed attacks, which pretty much rules out enchanted weapons. I note that one of the earlier proposals was to add a simple enhancement to a monk's unarmed attack rather than changing from a d6 to a d8/d10/d12. Mathematically this averages the same damage as d6+1/d6+2/d6+3; would this also overcome DR?

Andoran

JohnF wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Remember that enhancement some bonuses can bypass damage reduction .
I was thinking more of unarmed attacks, which pretty much rules out enchanted weapons. I note that one of the earlier proposals was to add a simple enhancement to a monk's unarmed attack rather than changing from a d6 to a d8/d10/d12. Mathematically this averages the same damage as d6+1/d6+2/d6+3; would this also overcome DR?

This is kind of what I'm advocating for, although rather than have it be automatic and reduce damage, I would simply have it be a purchasable thing you can get to give unarmed strikes and enhancement bonus in the same way you would enhance a weapon.


JohnF wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Remember that enhancement some bonuses can bypass damage reduction .
I was thinking more of unarmed attacks, which pretty much rules out enchanted weapons. I note that one of the earlier proposals was to add a simple enhancement to a monk's unarmed attack rather than changing from a d6 to a d8/d10/d12. Mathematically this averages the same damage as d6+1/d6+2/d6+3; would this also overcome DR?

Not unless it said it functioned like the enhancement bonuses on weapons, and you're also stealing the option of having spells like greater magic weapon cast on your hands for additional damage. Currently a monk can deal 2d10 damage base and have his wizard friend cast GMW on his hands to add another +5 to hit and damage. If you made it 1d6 plus an enhancement bonus between +0 and +5, you actually lower the monk's potential by 5 points per hit. In essence, you're actually lowering the monk's possible damage.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Not unless it said it functioned like the enhancement bonuses on weapons, and you're also stealing the option of having spells like greater magic weapon cast on your hands for additional damage. Currently a monk can deal 2d10 damage base and have his wizard friend cast GMW on his hands to add another +5 to hit and damage. If you made it 1d6 plus an enhancement bonus between +0 and +5, you actually lower the monk's potential by 5 points per hit. In essence, you're actually lowering the monk's possible damage.

This is why I made my feat option a bonus to hit only. My rebuild used to hit and damage, but also incorporated a damage bonus to unarmed strike and monk weapons that scaled from +1 at 2nd level to +5 at 18th. A level 20 monk then hit for 1d6+10 damage, could apply their +5 enhancement bonus through (but not stacking with) a ki focus weapon, and gained their +5 damage bonus through any monk weapon. Weapon properties from an amulet of mighty fists or weapons applied normally.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I've honestly never seen a locked gauntlet used in a game. But then, I rarely see disarm attempts either.

Locked gauntlets present major problems when you want to switch weapons in a hurry.


LazarX wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I've honestly never seen a locked gauntlet used in a game. But then, I rarely see disarm attempts either.
Locked gauntlets present major problems when you want to switch weapons in a hurry.

Odd. My characters often keep a locked gauntlet, even if they don't keep it locked all the time, just because it's another line of defense that they can use. Incidentally, the 2nd NPC writeup in my monk thread uses one. See?

Nimara the Phantom:
Nimara the Phantom Slayer CR 11
N Female Humanoid (Elf, Psionic) Monk 11
Init +4, Senses Perception +19
========================================================================
AC 36, touch 25, flat-footed 30 (+3 monk, +5 wisdom, +4 dex, +9 armor, +2 dodge, +1 insight, +1 deflection, +1 natural)
Hp 87 (11d8+34)
Fort +12, Ref +14, Will +15
Immune disease, poison
Defensive Abilities improved evasion, still mind, slow fall (50 ft.), purity of body (see immune), diamond body (see immune)
========================================================================
Speed 70 ft. (30 ft.)
Melee +3 nine ring broadsword +15 (1d8+9/x3) or unarmed +12 (2d6+4)
Flurry of Blows +3 nine ring broadsword +15/+15/+15/+10 (1d8+9)

Monk Powers Known (ML 11th)
4th (7PP) - (None learned)
3rd (5PP) - Dimension Slide, Escape Detection
2nd (3PP) - Hustle, Concealing Amorpha, Dimension Swap, Wall Walker, Body Equilibrium
1st (1PP) - Inertial Armor, Metaphysical Weapon, Chameleon, Offensive Precognition, Synesthete
PP: 63 (43 remaining)
========================================================================
Str 18 (16), Dex 18 (16), Con 14 (10), Int 10, Wis 20 (16), Cha 7
Base Atk +8; CMB +12, CMD 26 (28 vs Grapple, 38 vs Disarm)
Feats Psionic Body (1), Improved Grapple(b), Deflect Arrows (b), Psionic Weapon (3), Speed of Thought (5), Improved Disarm (b), Psionic Dodge (7), Greater Psionic Weapon (9), Expanded Knowledge (escape detection, 11)
Skills Acrobatics +18 (+34 Jumping), Perception +19, Sense Motive +19, Stealth +18
Equipment (108,000 gp) headband of wisdom +4, gloves of dexterity +2, belt of strength +2, vest of constitution +4, cloak of resistance +4, amulet of natural armor +1, ring of protection +1, monk's robes, ring of mind shielding, dust of tracelessness (10), elixer of tumbling (10), dusty rose ioun stone, handy haversack, deck of illusions, hat of disguise, elemental gem (2), adamantine nine ring broadsword, mithral nine ring broadsword, cold iron nine ring broadsword, deep crystal nine ring broadsword, locked gauntlet, 2,605 gp worth of additional treasures

Overview: Nimara is a mobile striker. She is part of the Lotheraine Mist Knights, and fights with their sacred saber that has a spiralling pattern of lunar crescents that run the length of the blade. Her special skills include espionage and eliminating single opponents in combat. Through intense training, Nimara has learned to slip between space; which is a technique she frequently employs for getting past guardians to take out an enemy, or to interfere with attempts on the life of anyone she has been tasked to protect. She has mastered the sacred art of dancing on water.

As with Koji, two critical powers here are Inertial Armor and Metaphysical weapon. At the beginning of the day, Nimara manifests Inertial Armor with 11 PP, granting herself a +9 armor bonus for 11 hours, and Metaphysical Weapon on one of her nine-ring broadswords, making it a +3 weapon for 11 hours. This makes her an impressive front-liner despite her frail appearance.

Her power selection is simple and centered around a theme. Stealth, mobility, and offense with her sword. Chameleon allows her to burn 1 PP to get a +10 enhancement bonus to Stealth for 110 minutes, granting her a total Stealth of +28 when under this effect. Wall Walker is effectively Spiderclimb, Body Equilibrium allows her to walk across nonsolid surfaces (water, quicksand, or spider’s web). Synesthete allows her to distort her perceptions of her surroundings, allowing her to do things such as seeing foes through sound (it doesn't foil invisibility and similar effects but can allow her to function normally if she cannot see).

Concealing Amorpha grants concealment (20%), which can add to her existing defenses and allow her to Stealth around like the Predator, since having Concealment allows you to use Stealth.

In the spirit of mobility, she has the powers Dimension Slide, which is a short range teleport (shorter than dimension door) but can be manifested as a move action if she spends 7 PP on it, which can allow her to slink past obstacles or defenders to get to her target. Dimension Swap allows her to trade locations with a willing ally, so if some bignasty jumps your party's wizard, she can swap places with them (placing her melee goodness in harms way instead). Hustle simply exists to give her an additional move action, which combos nicely with her 70 ft. speed, and allows her to move and then get her full-attack on. Finally, a monk who is an actual mobile striker.

She burnt a feat at 11th level to pickup Escape Detection which is more or less identical to the nondetection spell in what it does, which allows her to better avoid scrying or other magical detections that would interfere with a stealthy assassin trying to sneak up on a target at 11th+ level gameplay.

Her entire offense is dedicated to flurrying with her broadsword. She flurries with it, and if needed manifests offensive precognition for 10 power points to get a +3 insight bonus to hit with attacks for 11 minutes, but is hesitant to do so unless her foe is particularly deft at dodging her attacks (because that's a lot of juice to be burning on a single battle). She refers to this technique as "catching the wind". For the purposes of demonstration, I have included a general DPR calculation below:

Nimara vs CR 11 (AC 25 unbuffed)
+15 (55%)/+15(55%)/+15(55%)/+10(30%)
At 13.5 damage per hit, DPR = 26.325
Result: Could kill an unbuffed CR 11 in about 5 rounds of flurrying.

Nimara w/ Offensive Precognition vs CR 11 (AC 25 unbuffed)
+18(70%)/+18(70%)/+18(70%)/+13(45%)
At 13.5 damage per hit, DPR = 34.425
Result: Could kill an unbuffed CR 11 in about 4 rounds of flurrying.

Her AC, fully buffed, has a 80% avoidance rate vs an unbuffed CR 11 enemy, based on the Monster Creation chart. High end (unbuffed CR 14) avoidance is 60%.

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