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A Favor Asked of Monk Fans - For Science!


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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12 years I have played this game, and this is the first time I've ever started a monk thread. Good lord, the world is ending. What am I thinking, I am left to wonder. What horrors have I unleashed, knowing good and well horrors likely abound. Well, my sick curiosity must be sated. It is of course FOR SCIENCE!!
==========================================================================

Introduction: It's not doubt that monks are loved. There are many fans of them. There are also lots of problems with them (as seen by countless threads, including one where Paizo is on trial for murdering Flurry of Blows in a heat of passion, and another where people question if Monks should actually be good at anything). Monk fans rejoice with excessive glee each time that the devs throw them a few tablescraps to fill an extra page in a book, so they can come back and errata/nerf said tablescraps into cardboard. For a moment, someone got what looked like a cookie, just long enough to get excited that they may taste a sweet tasty treat before having it snatched away with their innocence.

But what if we could rebuild the monk? We have the technology. We could make him smarter, faster, stronger. We could make him everything that monks should have been. We can do science to it and we shall turn our cardboard cookie into a real cookie!

The Million Dollar Mystic: I propose a very simple thing that has worked for my group in the past, and I want to see if it works for yours as well. This isn't homebrew, this is glorious, wonderful, mad science! Forget all you know about the Pathfinder monk. All of it. Now walk into my lab, and let us look at what we're working with.

This is the monk. That is, it's the old one. Pre-Paizo. Look at it in all its helplessness. So frail, but so vivid. Like a butterfly in a hurricane. Paizo tried to grow it into something bigger, but I propose, my friends, that simple evolution is not the answer. I propose that cross-breeding is the key to creating a thriving species of Monk!

Let us look at the monk's flaws for a moment.


  • The Monk's Role The monk is the only class next to the Rogue who has a d8 HD and a poor base attack bonus that lacks spell-casting or psionic powers. Despite this, the monk is supposed to be some sort of mystic martial artist who attains superhuman capabilities through rigorous discipline and spiritual focus. However, it is basically given statistics that resemble that of a druid, except it doesn't get the cool animal companion or full-casting ability and the accompanied wrath of nature or its equivalent. It's like a bard without spellcasting. It is incomplete.
  • Multi Ability Dependency The monk requires virtually every ability score in large amounts to survive. It is primarily a melee warrior that has little to no ranged capability, so it needs Strength in droves. It cannot wear armor and must pump Dexterity and Wisdom. It has fewer hit points than a martial class, and thus cannot go light on Constitution. It has less skills than a Ranger on a non-casting class, and needs Intelligence to qualify for feats for combat maneuvers. Little is left. It lacks synergy.
  • Ability Disparity Monk capabilities lack synergy. They become faster in speed, but must remain still to attack with flurry of blows. They have lots of cute abilities, but few if any really work in sync with one another, and most are very specific (such as slow-fall). Their biggest problem is they must rely on buffs from other classes to even stand up next to their peers.
  • Style Problems Monks of course are supposed to be mystic martial artist warriors. They have supernatural powers, but all monks are more or less alike. All of their abilities come packaged in their core chassis, and there is little that sets them apart from their peers as monks. Archtypes may help with some of this, but I feel it's too little. There's not enough variety, not enough customization. So little balance within.

So what does it need? It needs mystical powers. Something innate, and not very flashy unless you want it to be. Like an inner reserve of energy that lets them do magical things. Paizo tried to do this, with the Ki Pool, but it was a failed breed. It ended up being a gimpy pup whose inbreeding was obvious in the way its tongue hung out of its swollen and ill-shaped mouth. We need to widen the gene pool for the monk. Let us look to the possibilities. For this, I have looked into a nearby source of power. Psionics. A power gained through inner focus. The perfect creature to splice with the monk to create a better life form.

I Seek Volunteers: I cannot do it alone dear colleagues. SCIENCE demands a battery of tests. I want to see what the scientific community can gleam from this grafting of mind and flesh. So let me get down to the details.

I ask that you take the monk I have linked here, the original 3.5 monk in all its horrendous shame, and without changing anything (that includes using new PF flurry of blows), give him the psionic progressions (Power Points, Powers Known, Power Levels) of the Psychic Warrior. In addition, allow him to choose Powers from the Psychic Warrior Power List.

Then build him. Break him down, and rebuild him again. Play to your hearts content. Theorycraft, roll him in one-shots, break him if you can, and share your results. Show us what you can dream of with him. So me what you are capable of doing with him. Share him with us. Offer thoughts and ideas.

FOR SCIENCE!

To Show I'm Willing: I'm going to put out a few simple builds and explain why these two things function so well together. Here are the basic of why I suggest this theory be put to the test by the community.

  • Synergy Psychic warriors and their powers rely on Wisdom. Monks rely on Wisdom. By allowing the Monk to base more of his capabilities off of Wisdom, we create a Paladin-effect where your MAD is reduced because so much is based off a single stat that has effects that boost your other capabilities indirectly.
  • Theme Psionics are very self-involved. Characters use their own energy to create effects within and without their bodies. The system is perfect for representing various mystical energies such as Chi, Ki, Qi, Prana, or Ghost/Spirit energy. It fits almost perfectly with the themes of monks, who acquire their supernatural abilities from a Mental statistic (Wisdom) and intense focus and training.
  • Balance The monk has long struggled due to being built like a spellcaster but not having the capabilities of a spellcaster (even a physically emphasized spellcaster). This essentially completes the monk to be the class it was always built to be. One who makes up combat inefficiency with spiritual focus to preform deeds normal warriors cannot.

    ========================================================================
    Without further ado, I give you the first prototypes of this hybridization; along with commentary and design ideals.

    Koji the Ki Warrior CR 5
    N Humanoid (human, psionic) Monk 5
    Init +1; Senses Perception +12
    =======================================================
    AC 24, touch 17, flat-footed 22 (+6 armor, +3 wisdom, +1 dexterity, +1 dodge, +1 monk, +1 deflection, +1 natural)
    Hp 39 (5d8+13)
    Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +9
    Defensive Abilities monk AC bonus, evasion, still mind
    ========================================================
    Speed 40 ft (30 ft.)
    Melee unarmed +8 (1d8+6)
    Melee Full Attack unarmed flurry +7/+7 (1d8+6)
    ========================================================
    Monk Powers Known (ML 5th)
    2nd (3PP) - Hustle, Painful Strike
    1st (1PP) - Inertial Armor, Catfall, Metaphysical Weapon
    PP: 18 (8 remaining)
    ========================================================
    Str 16, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 18 (16), Cha 7
    Base Atk +3, CMB +6, CMD 17
    Feats Psionic Body, Up the Walls, Stunning Fist (DC 16), Deflect Arrows, Psionic Fist, Psionic Dodge
    Skills - irrelevant at the moment -
    Equipment (10,500 gp) headband of wisdom +2, amulet of natural armor +1, ring of protection +1, cloak of resistance +1, tattoo of expansion (5), 1,250 gp worth of other goods

    Overview: Koji is a martial artist from the far east, who practices a strange form of martial art. He is traveling across the world to learn the wonders of the world. He has several tattoos of meditational mantras inscribed across his arms, which can be activated to increase his size (basically like potions of enlarge person).

  • When adventuring, Koji spends 5 of his 18 Power Points to manifest an augmented inertial armor to get a +6 armor bonus for 5 hours, raising his AC to 24 (included in statblock).
  • When adventuring, Koji spends 5 of his 18 Power Points to manifest an augmented metaphysical weapon on his unarmed strike, making his unarmed strikes hit as +2 weapons (included in statblock).
  • Catfall allows him to avoid being tripped (if you would fall, you land on your feet regardless of distance) as an immediate action and avoid up to 50 ft of falling damage (1 PP).
  • Painful Strike can be activated for 3 power points granting an additional +1d6 nonlethal damage on unarmed strikes for 5 rounds.
  • Hustle can be manifested as a swift action for 3 power points. It allows Koji to take an extra move action. He traditionally uses this to move into melee range and full-attack.
  • While psionically focused (you can gain psionic focus by spending a full-round action to do so, then you're focused until you expend it, see below) Koji's unarmed strikes deal +1 damage, and he can move across vertical surfaces with Up the Walls (Wall Running, basically).
  • Koji can expend his psionic focus for any of the following benefits: Deal +2d6 damage with an unarmed strike or gain +4 dodge to AC as an immediate action for 1 round. Afterwards Koji loses the ability to use Up the Walls, and loses his +1 unarmed damage bonus and +1 dodge bonus to AC until he spends a full-round action to refocus.

    Koji is quick, mobile, deals decent damage for a 5th level character, has a solid AC, good saves, various mystical abilities that fit with his theme, and is both active and magical without being overly flashy. He is also great as an aesthetic warrior, as most of his buffs and/or static modifiers come from his spiritual focus, and not his magic items.


  • 2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I will probably implement this for my houserules, as it is just too sexy. Probably take the PF monk and excise ki powers in favour of psionics.

    I CANNOT BELIEVE NOBODY ELSE HAS RESPONDED YET.

    The Exchange Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

    The games I am playing in don't allow 3rd party stuff or even non core books. Sucks we can't use Golarion specific resources....

    Anyway back in 3.5 when I was able to play a psion, this looks cool. Good job.


    There's a reason why so many people STILL joke about, "Want to play a Monk? Play an unarmed swordsage!"

    Cool powers with solid statistical impact DO make a lot of difference in our Pathfinder Monk.

    Wouldn't we get the same effect if they created a unique set of powers for Monk that wasn't tied to existing mechanics the way the Qigong Monk is, and didn't require sacrificing existing class features?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Nice, Ashiel. Monks and psionics do fit together hand-in-glove, thematically, and mechanically it does greatly expand the flexibility and playability of the class to something resembling other PC classes.

    Master Arminas


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    And here is the post that I came to the boards to read! I actually play with Ashiel and I have personally played this monk fix. Allow me to introduce you to not failing at life as a monk. These powers go so well with the Monk that I'm not entirely sure that the Psychic Warrior wasn't designed as a monk fix in the first place. Powers like Grip of Iron is amazing for grappling buffs. Want your monk to seemingly appear out of no where and take the enemy by surprise? Then Chameleon is for you. Do you want your Monk to be able to shrug of the punches of mere mortals? Then cast Biofeedback gives you just enough DR to make the enemy wonder whether they hit a person or a brick wall. You want to jump off a roof top that would break a normal persons legs? Catfall has an answer. Empty Mind and Fortify allow you to use your meditative abilities in battles to protect yourself from harm. I mean these powers are so fluid that all scream INNER POWER from the roof tops. Not only that but these powers allow for in depth customization of a particular brand of Monk that you want to be.

    I intend to use this for all intents and purposes as the essential Monk. I also intend to share this with whoever will listen. I've loved Monks even before this fix, I've probably played more monks than any other class, and I am happy to see a fix that drags them off of the bottom power rung.

    Silver Crusade

    To be honest, I thought about doing something similar to this back when I played D&D 3.5. I haven't had the chance of taking it very far, and thus never implemented anything. And since these days I get my gaming fix through PFS, I won't be able to do anything not allowed for PFS.

    All that being said, I could see this being implemented as an alternate class for the Monk in Pathfinder, similar to the Samurai and Ninja. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


    I'm glad to see such positive reactions! I'd like to take a moment to discuss a few related details. :D

    JrK wrote:

    I will probably implement this for my houserules, as it is just too sexy. Probably take the PF monk and excise ki powers in favour of psionics.

    I CANNOT BELIEVE NOBODY ELSE HAS RESPONDED YET.

    I guess you get to shout "first!". :D

    Incidentally, this is mostly an experiment I'm sharing with the boards, to see what they think of it. Replacing the PF Monk's ki powers would have mostly the same effect, but since the PF Monk was supposedly a monk-fix, I wanted to see how far we could go with the standard 3.5 monk before cleaning the base class itself up a bit. Hence why I presented the 3.5 monk instead of the PF Monk minus Ki Pool.

    Personally, if I was going to make small adjustments, I would probably add a few minor things (possibly some from the PF Monk, possibly some custom revisions). Personally, while I initially felt the PF Flurry of Blows was elegant, I've decided I prefer the 3.5 version. The 3.5 version does not mix it up with the TWF nonsense, and allowed monks to also take TWF. Having personally seen a "super-flurry" monk, there is a certain charm in dropping two handfuls of d20s on the table and counting the natural 20s (similar to dual wielding automatic firing rapid shooting soldiers from Star Wars D20). :P

    Master Arminas wrote:

    Nice, Ashiel. Monks and psionics do fit together hand-in-glove, thematically, and mechanically it does greatly expand the flexibility and playability of the class to something resembling other PC classes.

    Master Arminas

    Thank you, but there's not much I really want to take credit for. It was a simple idea that I tried before PF came out, and never really brought up outside of passing conversation (I mentioned it in a thread with TriOmegaZero recently, but didn't elaborate). I don't expect an official remix of the Monk like this anytime soon, given Paizo's hatred of non-Vancian magic (aka Psionics where stuff is closer to balanced than core magic).

    One of my favorite things concerning combining Monks + Psionics is the level of customization you can have. As I noted once before in another thread, it gives you room to create different styles of monks without having to worry about fits and archtypes. You could have a group of elven aesthetics who are said to be able to vanish from sight, walk across the morning mist, or slip through space; directly contrasting their bitter enemies the orcish Oni-Gro'gaak clan (orcish for "Way of the Ogre Magi") who grow twice as large as a man, crush things under the brutal power of their mighty fists, with bodies as tough as leather and hard as stone.

    Arcane Knowledge wrote:
    And here is the post that I came to the boards to read! I actually play with Ashiel and I have personally played this monk fix.

    Hey buddy, nice to see you here. ^-^

    ========================================================================
    I will be posting some flashier builds of the monk a bit later. One based on some sort of mystic ninja concept, and another that is based on Master Roshi from Dragonball (basically an old guy who kicks butt and can throw blasts of energy from his hands).


    Ashiel wrote:
    ... but since the PF Monk was supposedly a monk-fix, I wanted to see how far we could go with the standard 3.5 monk before cleaning the base class itself up a bit. Hence why I presented the 3.5 monk instead of the PF Monk minus Ki Pool.

    I should have been more clear on my position. I currently have a ki-power 10 level version (I'm making it E10) of the monk, but I have houseruled it to have more mobility and to be a true skirmisher. Think of an advanced version of Spring Attack. But it has the normal ki-powers.

    Your idea is inspiring, however, so I'm thinking of adding another class, based on the PF monk but approaching it differently; instead of focusing on the mobility/combat part, focusing on adding psionic-like powers like you have linked to.

    Also, I have adapted Trailblazer's full-attack tweak, so I cannot keep the standard FoB anyway. :)

    TL;DR: I tweak too many little things about everything.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Ashiel wrote:
    I ask that you take the monk... give him the psionic progressions (Power Points, Powers Known, Power Levels) of the Psychic Warrior. In addition, allow him to choose Powers from the Psychic Warrior Power List.

    My home group spent the last 2 years playesting that, more or less (again, see this monk).

    Ask TOZ how he likes it so far!


    JrK wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:
    ... but since the PF Monk was supposedly a monk-fix, I wanted to see how far we could go with the standard 3.5 monk before cleaning the base class itself up a bit. Hence why I presented the 3.5 monk instead of the PF Monk minus Ki Pool.

    I should have been more clear on my position. I currently have a ki-power 10 level version (I'm making it E10) of the monk, but I have houseruled it to have more mobility and to be a true skirmisher. Think of an advanced version of Spring Attack. But it has the normal ki-powers.

    Your idea is inspiring, however, so I'm thinking of adding another class, based on the PF monk but approaching it differently; instead of focusing on the mobility/combat part, focusing on adding psionic-like powers like you have linked to.

    Also, I have adapted Trailblazer's full-attack tweak, so I cannot keep the standard FoB anyway. :)

    TL;DR: I tweak too many little things about everything.

    Again, glad you like it. ^-^

    Tweaking stuff is good for the creative mind, I think. Helps to get an idea of how stuff ripples through the system. It was lots of minor tweaks that took the Fighter from a "just fine" class in 3.0 to a gibbering joke in 3.5. :P

    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    My home group spent the last 2 years playesting that, more or less (again, see this monk).

    Ask TOZ how he likes it so far!

    Maybe TOZ can come share his thoughts! That would be great. I like TOZ. ^-^

    Also, your monk looks nice (also I love your formatting; so I must strive to make my pdfs prettier >.>) and spellcasting in any form is kind of essential to the monk I feel. It's built like a gish caster without the caster part, so giving them the caster stuff seems to make total sense. I think I prefer them with psionics, though; which is purely because of personal preference rather than quality of your monk. I find the 3.5/DSP psionics system more intuitive and fitting for the monk, rather than a vancian monk. That being said, once again, your monk looks really good (I really dig your Sutra stuff ^-^).


    Ashiel wrote:
    I think I prefer them with psionics, though; which is purely because of personal preference rather than quality of your monk.

    What you call our monk's "spells," and what the text describes a "ki powers," are in fact psionics, just with a different name. The only thing Vancian is the fact that, for the sake of making multiclassing actually work, we use standardized tables for all spells/psionic powers/etc.


    I am a flailing engine of destruction!

    (I need an update to KF Final Mix rules however.)

    Silver Crusade

    Looks to me like a mixture of the 3.5 Monk, the 4th edition Monk, and the Psion.

    I didn't like how 4th edition stuck the Monk into the psionics department.

    I have always associated "Ki" with "Chi" which is life force, not necessarily "mental" energy which is what Psionics is.

    Monk is the only class that actually uses "Ki" and I would like to keep it that way.

    I had a guy in our group come up with the same thing as above and we just didn't like it. It was a cool unarmed Psion build but it wasn't what we pictured for the Monk.

    I could do the exact thing with the above except use Arcane or Divine spells. The "Q" Monk already has what the Monk needs minus a few things. That is the direction the Monk needs to go in.


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Check out Psionics Unleashed, DSP made one of the psychic warrior paths ideal for a multi-classed psychic warrior/monk.

    Another possibility is drop the monks powers bar AC bonus, flurry of blows and unarmed strike, and replace these with the psychic warrior power progression. It works wonderfully well...

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Kirth Gersen wrote:

    My home group spent the last 2 years playesting that, more or less (again, see this monk).

    Ask TOZ how he likes it so far!

    Early levels were rough for Auris, mostly thanks to going Dex/Wis instead of Str/Wis. Grappling was his focus rather than damage.

    That has changed thanks to the Weapon Form bonus becoming appreciable on his spiked chain, and reaching +6 BAB giving him Dex to damage on unarmed strikes. He's also managed to be a passable chain tripper, and his AC got a serious bump at +8 BAB.

    Grappling is still a big part of monk offense (I'm thinking of Jess Door's character, Trog, here), but other options do work as well.


    I'd envisioned the ki strikes seeing a LOT more use -- Mundane started to go that route with Jaak, but ultimately ended up multiclassing instead. Auris and Trog picked all utility ki powers instead of attack powers.


    shallowsoul wrote:
    I have always associated "Ki" with "Chi" which is life force, not necessarily "mental" energy which is what Psionics is. Monk is the only class that actually uses "Ki" and I would like to keep it that way.

    What's in a name? Mechanics and fluff are not inextricably wed to each other. Call them "snergs" instead of spells or ki powers or psionics, if you want. Claim the power is from ethereal dilithium crystals instead of life force, for all the difference it makes in the game mechanics.


    I really like this concept. It fills a lot of different concepts and idea while not being overpowering or game breaking.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Auris and Trog picked all utility ki powers instead of attack powers.

    That may change now that Auris has a bit more to work with thanks to the unified progression table, and the preselected bonus powers.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    As promised, here some additional examples of monks built using this experiment.

    ========================================================================

    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%.

    EDIT: (Added a portrait to her name)
    EDIT 2: Added the bonuses to Acrobatics from speed.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:
    I think I prefer them with psionics, though; which is purely because of personal preference rather than quality of your monk.
    What you call our monk's "spells," and what the text describes a "ki powers," are in fact psionics, just with a different name. The only thing Vancian is the fact that, for the sake of making multiclassing actually work, we use standardized tables for all spells/psionic powers/etc.

    Ah, my bad. That's what I get from skimming it I suppose. ^-^"

    The more you know, right? 彡ミ彡☆

    Quote:
    What's in a name? Mechanics and fluff are not inextricably wed to each other. Call them "snergs" instead of spells or ki powers or psionics, if you want. Claim the power is from ethereal dilithium crystals instead of life force, for all the difference it makes in the game mechanics.

    Agreed 100%. Especially since psionics and ki/chi are quite literally the same thing fluff wise. Seriously, look up some stuff about psionics and traditions that note the metaphysical powers of Ki/Chi/Qi/Prana/Kundalini, and it's pretty much all the same. :P

    Scarab Sages

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I could actually see something of a fusion between this concept and the current Quinggong archetype being used if paizo updates their classes.

    I think adding an entire psionic power list might be a bit too much, and wouldn't really mesh with a lot of the flavor people want (personal opinion alert!). Instead, I'd like to see the monk be able to allocate Ki points at the beginning of the day towards long-term ability enhancement, including things like weapon enhancement bonuses, dodge bonuses, etc.

    Essentially, a monk could spend ki points to provide a flat bonus to a specific boost, or save them to perform more mystical, spell-like abilities (Scorching Rays, Ki Shouts, etc.).

    If that were the case, though, I'd want to see the Ki pool drastically increased, available at level 1, and with certain benefits that make the monk less MAD (things like applying Wisdom to Attack/Damage rolls could be used this way).

    In fact, I think the Eidolon evolution point system could work well as a daily system for the monk, of course with more flavorful abilities. This way, you could apply points to special abilities if you wanted to specialize in that aspect of the monk, or apply them to inherent abilities and play more of a martial artist.


    Davor wrote:

    I could actually see something of a fusion between this concept and the current Quinggong archetype being used if paizo updates their classes.

    Essentially, a monk could spend ki points to provide a flat bonus to a specific boost, or save them to perform more mystical, spell-like abilities (Scorching Rays, Ki Shouts, etc.).

    If that were the case, though, I'd want to see the Ki pool drastically increased, available at level 1, and with certain benefits that make the monk less MAD (things like applying Wisdom to Attack/Damage rolls could be used this way).

    In fact, I think the Eidolon evolution point system could work well as a daily system for the monk, of course with more flavorful abilities. This way, you could apply points to special abilities if you wanted to specialize in that aspect of the monk, or apply them to inherent abilities and play more of a martial artist.

    All of those are good thoughts. I would like to comment on something you mentioned specifically, if you wouldn't mind.

    Quote:
    I think adding an entire psionic power list might be a bit too much, and wouldn't really mesh with a lot of the flavor people want (personal opinion alert!). Instead, I'd like to see the monk be able to allocate Ki points at the beginning of the day towards long-term ability enhancement, including things like weapon enhancement bonuses, dodge bonuses, etc.

    Personal flavor and opinions is actually the reason I recommend giving them the entire psychic warrior power list to choose from. Bare with me on this for a moment, while I explain.

    Basically, a big problem with the monk, IMHO, has always been its rigidity. Monk in 3.x/PF only has one flavor. "Shaolin/Wushu Monk". Basically, it's mystical kung fu or it's nothing. People have noted a severe rigidity throughout the years of monk being difficult to flavor for different campaigns (leading to an entire branch of monk hate), and being loaded with lots of different abilities that only fit one generalized concept. Archtypes don't really fix this very well IMHO, because I've noticed a severe flaw in archtypes is they are not created equal, and cannot be. If you replaced slow-fall with something that was different, more than likely you'd end up being better, for example (because slow fall is so niche); while replacing one of the more useful abilities might break something else.

    By giving the entire psychic warrior power list you get a core that is basically just the bare bones of a monk (unarmed strike, unarmored, etc). Nothing super fancy. In fact, there's a few abilities you could drop and they wouldn't likely be missed much (replacing slow-fall with bonus feats for example). Then you get to chose your mystical powers.

    Let us compare Koji (example Monk from the 1st post) and Nimara (example monk from my more recent post). Both are monks. Both have similar abilities. Both are drastically different both in their play style, flavor, and so forth, and yet both really scream monk to me. A lot of their differences are connected entirely to their Power selection. Koji has an emphasis on powers that are not flashy at all. During play, he would play like a more mundane martial artist.

    Nimara, however, focuses on fighting with a weapon, and has flashier more mystical powers. She does things like walk on water, walk across the ceiling, vanish and re-appear, and so forth. Very different theme, very different style, and yet very much feels like a mystical monk.

    Then you might want to go a step further and build a monk that has the ability to do really flashy things like call ancestral spirits, alter your body in a shapeshifting sort of way, throw balls of energy from your hands, or summon weapons out of thin air, then you even could do stuff like that (but it'd cost you some feats for Expanded Knowledge). For example, say at 5th level you take Expanded Knowledge (Energy Ray), now you have the ability to spend your "Ki" to unleash a burst of energy at a single target as a ranged touch attack. Congratulations, you may now shout "Hadouken!" with pride.

    Ergo, by taking a "generic monk" chassis and slapping the Psychic Warrior powers on them, we effectively have created a "perfect monk" in the sense that you don't need half a dozen archtypes to keep trying to "fix" the core monk to make it into something you want to play. Instead, you take the base monk and add seasonings as desired. It's like going for pizza. You get your basic cheese pizza, plus X toppings of your choosing. You might go with something simple like Pepperoni and Sausage, or you might do something really exotic like Anchovies and Pineapple. It's your choice! ^-^

    As a bonus, the psionics system is very elegant. You don't get a ton of powers (you only get 20 over 20 levels without feat expenditure), but your powers never stop being useful. For example, look at Koji and Nimara. They spend greater amounts of power for a greater effect. Koji and Nimara are both using their 1st level powers, scaled up (by putting more "Ki" into them). In fact, both of them would consider these 1st level powers staples for the way they fight. This creates a very smooth transition from low to high, and is both intuitive and easier to learn for newbies. You don't have to struggle with re-learning how to play every few levels as old powers fall by the wayside. Instead, you get to learn a new power slowly and get comfortable with it, while making use of your tried and true stuff from lower levels.

    Finally, it is wonderfully adaptive to the style of game that is being run. You can pace yourself pretty well, because you ultimately decide if you're going to rev up the engines on your powers, or go slow and steady. If your GM likes to run a dozen minor encounters during a given adventure, then you might decide to use your powers at their weakest to conserve energy (no +3 weapon when a +1 weapon will do, for example), which reduces drag on your party. Alternatively, if your GM likes to do one or two really huge encounters during an adventure, then you can start burning through your Ki like the world depended on it.

    Have a look at This List and see how many powers you could envision on some sort of monk.


    There is Science to do!

    Jotun the Constrictor:
    Jotun the Constrictor
    Mad Science Monk 8
    LE Medium humanoid(human)
    Init +0; Senses Perception +0
    Defense
    AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 17 (+1 Monk, +2 Wis, +2 Dex, +4 Armor)
    hp 48 (8d8+16)
    Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +8
    Defensive Abilities: evasion
    Offense
    Speed 60 ft.
    Melee Flurry +9/+9/+4 (1d10+4)
    Power Points: 20+bonus (1 used)
    3rd- Dimention Slide(5), Empathic Feedback(5)
    2nd- Hustle(3), Animal Affinity(3), Strength of My Enemy (3)
    1st- Expansion(1), Conceal Thoughts (1), Inertial Armor(1)
    Statistics
    Str 18, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
    Base Atk +7; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 22 (24 grapple)
    Feats: improved unarmed strike, Throw Anything, psionic fist, improved grapple, (combat reflexes or deflect arrows), speed of thought, chokehold, improved disarm, greater grapple
    SQ: Evasion, Still mind, Purity of Body, Wholeness of Body, Slow Fall 40 ft., Ki Strike (Magic)

    Jotun is an 8th level grappler i bolted together. He uses elite array for abilities and ive given him no gear or skills because i am lazy, and why not. I also have no idea how psionics work, as ive never used them, so i did the best i could. Lets see if monks are still gear dependent.

    Jotun's strategy works as so
    1) He is really fast and can grapple on a charge.
    2) Jotun can be really good at grappling by boosting his size with expansion, and strength with Animal Affinity.
    3) While grappling, you can take any action that does not require two hands.
    4) Unarmed strikes from a monk require no hands
    5) IIRC, neither do psionic powers
    6) Jotun renders the unfortunate sod into fine ground paste using the following options

    Jotun has greater grapple, so maintaining is only a move action. This frees up actions for manifesting. Besides buffing himself he can use Strength of My Enemy to steal even more strength. Chokehold can block verbal spells, and Dimentional shift and Empathic Feedback can keep him safe if the victim has friends.

    The clincher is using Hustle to free up a move action to maintain grapple, then using a Full round Action to Flurry the grappled Character.


    Personally, i think slow fall needs to stop being wall dependent at minimum


    Ashiel wrote:
    Basically, a big problem with the monk, IMHO, has always been its rigidity.

    That's the reason I made the monk's immunities (you know, "at 5th level you gain purity of bowels" or whatever) into a list of "sutras" (i.e., monk talents) that you can pick.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Brambleman wrote:
    Personally, i think slow fall needs to stop being wall dependent at minimum

    I just replaced it with the ability to choose feather fall as a 0-level ki power/psionic power/"spell".


    A+ monk work Ashiel. Makes me wonder why all my 3.5 playing friends always shot down psionics as being broken/wrongbadfun.

    Silver Crusade

    Kitsune Knight wrote:
    A+ monk work Ashiel. Makes me wonder why all my 3.5 playing friends always shot down psionics as being broken/wrongbadfun.

    Because there is a Psion build that is able to destroy ever god and goddess in the Faiths and Avatars and Powers and Pantheons books.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    shallowsoul wrote:
    Kitsune Knight wrote:
    A+ monk work Ashiel. Makes me wonder why all my 3.5 playing friends always shot down psionics as being broken/wrongbadfun.
    Because there is a Psion build that is able to destroy ever god and goddess in the Faiths and Avatars and Powers and Pantheons books.

    Which was later trumped by a wizard build that could do it at an earlier level without touching psionics, and then later again remastered to an even more refined version that is best preformed by a 1st level Paladin.

    The fact it was discovered first on a psion is rather irrelevant when a wizard was later proven to be able to do it better; especially since the build revolved around using metamorphosis/polymorph to turn into a particular creature from a certain WotC book.

    The more you know! 彡ミ彡☆


    Brambleman wrote:

    There is Science to do!

    ** spoiler omitted **

    Jotun is an 8th level grappler i bolted together. He uses elite array for abilities and ive given him no gear or skills because i am lazy, and why not. I also have no idea how psionics work, as ive never used them, so i did the best i could. Lets see if monks are still gear dependent.

    Jotun's strategy works as so
    1) He is really fast and can grapple on a charge.
    2) Jotun can be really good at grappling by boosting his size with expansion, and strength with Animal Affinity.
    3) While grappling, you can take any action that does not require two hands.
    4) Unarmed strikes from a monk require no hands
    5) IIRC, neither do psionic powers
    6) Jotun renders the unfortunate sod into fine ground paste using the following options

    Jotun has greater grapple, so maintaining is only a move action. This frees up actions for manifesting. Besides buffing himself he can use Strength of My Enemy to steal even more strength. Chokehold can block verbal spells, and Dimentional shift and Empathic Feedback can keep him safe if the victim has friends.

    The clincher is using Hustle to free up a move action to maintain grapple, then using a Full round Action to Flurry the grappled Character.

    Very nice Brambleman, and welcome to the thread. ^-^

    That monk looks quite playable, and I dig the synergy between movement, maneuvering, and flurrying. Some good ol' fashion ground-pounding right there. :D

    Do you plan to pick up Grip of Iron by any chance? It seems like it's pretty fitting with your current tactics. I wasn't sure if you were planning to pick it up at a later level (since BAB differences between your Monk and warrior types would become more noticeable as levels rose).

    Kitsune Knight wrote:
    A+ monk work Ashiel. Makes me wonder why all my 3.5 playing friends always shot down psionics as being broken/wrongbadfun.

    Thank you Kitsune Knight, I appreciate it.

    This might sound a bit blunt, and probably inflated, but it is my experiences that people that dislike psionics either don't have a valid reason (fluff, don't like the name, etc), or don't understand the mechanics and assume that it's super unbalanced. Also people, people that don't like it give it a bad reputation. See Shallowsoul above, who didn't like it because of entirely fluff concerns because he couldn't get his head past the word "psionics", and then his throwing a comment about psionics being somehow more unbalanced mechanically than other material out at the time (though I'll accept that this was probably innocent ignorance and not malicious intent).

    The folks on the CharOp boards back in the day generally considered the Expanded Psionics Handbook and Tome of Battle to both be two of the better written and designed books in terms of game balance. Virtually all the rules from both books were usable (with a handful of quirks), and generally were harder to break than core (Tome of Battle being heralded as the hardest book to break released for all of 3.5, IIRC).

    Dreamscarred Publishing, who has long been doing very wonderful 3.5 psionic sourcebooks as a 3PP picked up the torch with Pathfinder, and remastered 3.5 psionics, polishing, tweaking, and fixing a few bugs here and there, and bringing it into accordance with Pathfinder changes (such as adapting stuff for Combat Maneuvers, for example). They did a very good job on it, and the mechanics are very strong (strong as in well designed, not mechanically powerful).


    Brambleman wrote:
    Personally, i think slow fall needs to stop being wall dependent at minimum

    Personally, if the community tries this out and finds it in favor, I plan to rebuild the 3.5 monk and clean it up a bit, and replace some of its fluffy stuff with more flexible alternatives. I would probably remove slow fall entirely, since that would be covered by catfall most handily.


    Ashiel wrote:
    Very nice Brambleman, and welcome to the thread. ^-^

    Thanks Ashiel.

    Ashiel wrote:


    That monk looks quite playable, and I dig the synergy between movement, maneuvering, and flurrying. Some good ol' fashion ground-pounding right there. :D

    Do you plan to pick up Grip of Iron by any chance? It seems like it's pretty fitting with your current tactics. I wasn't sure if you were planning to pick it up at a later level (since BAB differences between your Monk and warrior types would become more noticeable as levels rose).

    I Actually missed Grip of Iron entirely, and I would probably drop Conceal Thoughts, as I picked that almost at random, figuring it might help him get into grapple range.

    I would plan on getting Psionic Meditation at 9th, I was considering grabbing it in place of Chokehold, save that I am not sure how it works. But I figure more focus equals more better.

    P.S.:
    any news on the NPC gallery you were planning? PM me if you get the chance.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Brambleman wrote:
    any news on the NPC gallery you were planning? PM me if you get the chance.

    Haven't gotten around to it yet, but it's coming. Mergy was working on an adventure involving some vampires and was bouncing ideas with me on it via e-mail for a while. You should PM him and check out some of what he's got. I was going to help him directly, but my schedule is so erratic that I didn't really do much to contribute other than discussing some plot related points and such.

    ==============================================
    And now, the martial artist who combines martial arts and supernatural techniques. This time I will be using the bonus feat list from the PF monk, but keeping everything

    Master Roshi CR 8
    NG Old Medium humanoid (human, psionic) Monk 8
    Init +3; Senses Perception +18
    ==========================================================================
    AC 30, touch 22, flat-footed 26 (+7 armor, +6 wisdom, +2 monk, +3 dex, +1 natural, +1 deflection)
    Hp 56 (8d8+16)
    Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +14; +2 vs Enchantments
    Immune disease
    Defensive Abilities evasion, still mind, purity of body
    ==========================================================================
    Speed 50 ft. (30 ft.)
    Melee +2 unarmed strike +11 (1d10-1)
    Flurry of Blows +2 unarmed strikes +10/+10/+5 (1d10-1)

    Monk Powers Known (ML 8th)
    3rd (5PP) - Dimension Slide
    2nd (3PP) - Painful Strikes, Strength of my Enemy, Hustle, Energy Missile
    1st (1PP) - Metaphysical Weapon, Inertial Armor, Hammer, Vigor, Dissipating Touch
    PP: 44 (32 remaining)
    ==========================================================================
    Str 7, Dex 16 (14), Con 12 (10), Int 10, Wis 22 (20), Cha 9
    Base Atk +6, CMB +4 (+9 w/unarmed), CMD 18
    Feats Psionic Body (1), Psionic Dodge (B), Stunning Fist (B), Dodge (B) Deflect Arrows (B), Weapon Finesse (3), Expanded Knowledge (Dissipating Touch) (5), Mobility (B), Expanded Knowledge (Energy Missile) (7)
    Equipment (33,000 gp) Turtle Shell of Resistance +2 (cloak of resistance), Chinese Robes of Constitution +2 (chest slot), belt of dexterity +2, ring of protection +1, amulet of natural armor +1, sunglasses of wisdom +2 (as headband of wisdom), walking stick (quarterstaff), 13,000 gp worth of gear

    Overview: Master Roshi is a skilled martial artist who lives on a small island out in the middle of the ocean, possibly because of his eccentric nature. Commonly called the Turtle Hermit, he practices a strange form of martial art that specializes in speed and the use of energy to overcome his opponents. Once per year, her participates in the World Tournament fighting (and owning) more mundane fighters with his mystical fighting arts. Commonly seen as a perverted old fart by his friends, his old age often makes foes underestimate him by appearance; which traditionally leads to their downfall after they taste the wrath of his ki-powered techniques, which are only improved by his aging wisdom.

    Summary of Tactics: Master Roshi has a whopping 22 Wisdom, due to his focus on Wisdom and the mystical side of martial arts, combined with his +2 age modifier. His style relies primarily on Dexterity and Wisdom, and even with his aging bones catching up to him (-3 to Dex from age) he is still more spry than most thanks to his daily TV Pilates.

    He typically manifests Inertial Armor (7 points) and Metaphysical Weapon (5 points) to get a +7 to AC and +2 to hit and damage for 8 hours. That's good enough to last him through a day of hunting down magical wish granting artifacts, or fighting armies of mooks. Against worthy opponents (those who aren't 1st level mooks) he may employ the following techniques to overcome his foes:

  • He manifests painful strikes for 3 PP to make his unarmed strikes deal an additional +1d6 nonlethal damage on each attack for 8 rounds, bringing his unarmed strike damage to 1d10-1+1d6.
  • He manifests strength of my enemy for 3 PP to deal 1 point of strength damage with each successful unarmed strike he lands for 8 rounds. This slowly enhances his own strength until he regains much of his youthful prowess.
  • He manifests hammer, augmented to 8 PP, to get 8 touch attacks that deal 4d8 damage. He delivers these touch attacks via his unarmed strikes, allowing him to flurry with them, making his next 8 unarmed strikes deal 1d10-1+4d8 damage.
  • He manifests dissipating touch, augmented to 8 PP, to gain a touch attack that deals 8d6 damage. He delivers it through an unarmed strike. This is flavored as him disrupting the matter in his target with his Chi.
  • He manifests energy missile, which he calls "Turtle Devastation Wave" or "Kame-ha-meha" with between 3 to 8 power points. This allows him to blast up to 5 enemies (no two of which can be more than 15 ft apart) for 3d6 to 8d6 energy damage (he typically uses electricity damage, but will use sonic damage when attacking objects). This is his ultimate secret technique, and a nasty ranged surprise, as he can fire it up to 180 feet away.
    ========================================================================

    I hope this has been entertaining. I'm curious about the participation of others, however.

    That makes 3 progressively more and more supernatural monks. Koji who is very mundane but effective, Nimara who was very mystical-ninja but effective, and Master Roshi who is "old wise mystical fart who uses ki blasts" but is also effective. I think the part I like the most is the word "effective" behind all three... :P

  • Grand Lodge

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

    The Monk doesn't have a poor attack bonus, it's at median and it's more than made up for by Flurry of Blows.

    As far as diversity, Most monks I've seen are more diverse than the endless legions of dervish magi, multi-armed alchemists and synthesist summoners that I've seen parading cookie-cutter fashion by the armchair theorycrafters of this board.


    LazarX wrote:

    The Monk doesn't have a poor attack bonus, it's at median and it's more than made up for by Flurry of Blows.

    As far as diversity, Most monks I've seen are more diverse than the endless legions of dervish magi, multi-armed alchemists and synthesist summoners that I've seen parading cookie-cutter fashion by the armchair theorycrafters of this board.

    Do you have anything to contribute to the nature of this thread, or are you just here to tell us about the monks you've seen without offering any sort of explanation for these monks? Monks so rare that countless people have found them lacking. It's interesting that there are entire threads concerned with class X or Y doing everything, but most monk threads always end up talking about how they suck at most everything.

    Feel free to demonstrate their awesomeness. Maybe just take a copy of any number of those monks you have seen that are more versatile than the endless legions of magi, alchemists, and synthesist summoners; and present them in all their glory. I'm sure it's possible that the rest of us just haven't seen the monk done correctly in the past 12 years.

    EDIT: Also...

    Quote:
    The Monk doesn't have a poor attack bonus, it's at median and it's more than made up for by Flurry of Blows.

    Lying isn't nice. I detect two lies in this sentence. The first is that their BAB isn't poor relative to their role (melee warrior, as no one has suggested they have the wizard BAB), and the second is that it's "more than ade up for by Flurry of Blows". Please do not lie.

    Scarab Sages

    Actually, Ashiel, I don't want to sound argumentative, but for a dual-wielding, multiple attack based melee character, his BAB is exactly on par with a fighters (Full BAB during Flurry), and he does have a medium BAB.

    What the monk is lacking is in to-hit and damage bonuses that almost every other class has access to, but there are plenty of medium BAB classes that make respectable melee warriors (oracles, clerics, druids, bards, inquisitors, magus...) that don't have access to even temporary increase to BAB.

    I'm not trying to say that monks are great, but they have the bare bones of what's necessary for their role. Tweaks may be needed, but past examples have shown that, with appropriate extra benefits, non-full BAB classes can perform well in combat. The main difference I see is that the monk (usually) doesn't have an way of temporarily boosting his own attack capabilities (outside of a few, rare exceptions).

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
    Ashiel wrote:
    Feel free to demonstrate their awesomeness. Maybe just take a copy of any number of those monks you have seen that are more versatile than the endless legions of magi, alchemists, and synthesist summoners; and present them in all their glory. I'm sure it's possible that the rest of us just haven't seen the monk done correctly in the past 12 years.

    Ashiel, like me you can only speak for yourself not "the rest of us". And I'm not going to compare the monk with the supremely breakable classes such as the Synth Summoner and the Alchemist that Paizo has brought us. Even Paizo has acknowledged the former problematic enough to ban it from PFS play. Are all classes equal? No, but maybe it's because some are more broken than others. Or are so easy to break because of the tons of different rules to keep track of.

    The Monk has always been an advanced character to play as opposed to a more straight up character class like the four standard. However it's harder to find a character that's a better mage stopper or all around disabler. The monk's strengths that I've seen were in the complete package, the evasion, the CMB utility, and the sheer mobility of a monk with the fast speeds and acrobatics to tumble. I've played a few in 3.5 using 3.5 core rules only, the Pathfinder monk is certainly not weaker than these monks as long as the latter wasn't using broken splatbook material.


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    LazarX wrote:
    The Monk doesn't have a poor attack bonus, it's at median and it's more than made up for by Flurry of Blows.

    Problem is the lack of effective enhancement for the unarmed strike, which is what makes it flurry of misses at high level. If you use a monk weapon, the lack of effective weapons makes it flurry of tickles.


    Full BAB doesn't mean very much.

    This isn't a shocking revelation to most. For a Monk, all it means is that they can attack more accurately with a flurry of blows, that they're -5 to hit when they're not flurrying, and that they have no means of getting a better attack bonus even if they DO get magical enhancements for their unarmed strike.

    Two-Weapon Fighting Rangers, the closest to Monk in terms of BAB and penalties, have the same problems as Monks in terms of hitting enemies. However, you will never hear a player complain about Ranger performance in combat; unlike Monk, a Ranger has Favored Enemy. When a Ranger is fighting a favored enemy, any class that has a damage bonus short of Cavalier or Paladin feels inadequate and meager in it's power by comparison.

    Monk however, fights like a Two Weapon Fighting Ranger with much bigger weapons (IF we go the unarmed route) and no potential to hit their targets at higher level, unlike the massive attack and damage bonuses a Ranger might get in situations against their favored enemies.

    Monk is supposed to make up for their frailties and low chance to hit with a massive number of attacks at a much higher damage dice than your average two weapon fighter: however, anyone who does the math will determine that average Monk damage is frighteningly small due to it's reliance on damage dice as opposed to static numbers, and that trying to deal with a situation that does not involve humanoids dealt with via combat maneuvers or spellcasters...is something of a difficult to impossible task.

    While some fixes are possible, they usually require a heavy feat investment on top of an already overburdened set of required feats to make Monk function in a manner that the player desires, and there are MANY builds which simple cannot work due to the many feats required to make even a basic monk build work.

    LazarX, Davor, THIS is the reason why these threads keep popping up. There IS a problem here.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
    Dabbler wrote:
    LazarX wrote:
    The Monk doesn't have a poor attack bonus, it's at median and it's more than made up for by Flurry of Blows.
    Problem is the lack of effective enhancement for the unarmed strike, which is what makes it flurry of misses at high level. If you use a monk weapon, the lack of effective weapons makes it flurry of tickles.

    Well there is the amulet of natural whatever that enhances all your unarmed attacks. The flurry of misses for a monk would be the same flurry of misses for a fighter given that flurry is just two points below fighter BAB. A +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 vs. a 20th level fighter being 20/15/10/5. The monk is MORE likely than the fighter to hit on his second/third and succeeding attacks. Enhancing attacks at the upper level is more a campaign function of what goodies the DM hands out to whom.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    "Pretend BAB" from Pathfinder flurry is so very far from "more than makes up for it". For one, monks do not have the proper BAB to qualify for feats, cannot make the same use of Power Attack and Combat Expertise, only have the enhanced BAB when they make a full-attack (leaving them with a much lower BAB if they are using Spring Attack, making an AoO, moving + attack, or any situation they can't say "I flurry of blows").

    I did a DPR/AC comparison between the Monk and Ranger at 8th level in the other monk thread. Ranger beats monk in every scenario. A lot of it comes down to their MAD ability requirements, but a monk needs a high Dex & Wisdom to keep up with the Ranger's non-shield AC, and then the Ranger's 1-handed damage (longsword with no special bonuses above the monk) outdamages the monk while the monk is flurrying.

    Ranger vs Monk DPR:
    But just for fun; here's the Ranger and Monk without haste.
    ================================
    Ranger vs CR 8 (21 AC)
    +11(50%)/+6(25%)
    At 16 damage per hit or DPR = 12

    Monk vs CR 8 (21 AC)
    +8(35%)/+8(35%)/+3(10%)/+3(10%)
    At 9.5 damage per hit or DPR = 8.55

    EDIT: Let's buff the monk some more. We'll give him a 16 Str, giving him 16 Str, 16 Dex, 18 Wisdom (not legal without tanking Con). That increases his damage per hit to 10.5 damage per hit. Resulting in...

    Monk vs CR 8 (21 AC)
    +9(40%)/+9(40%)/+4(15%)/+4(15%)
    At 10.5 damage per hit or DPR = 11.55

    Nice. He kind of catches up with the Ranger in this case, while also being almost as good in AC against the Ranger while not chugging Ki points like an addict.


    By "cheating" (going noticeably above the point buy on the Monk's side to get a greater strength, the monk almost catches the Ranger. And this is without the monk having an animal companion, or the amazingly useful wad of spells and/or other features Rangers have. For example, Rangers are awesome at Stealth, excellent Archers, deal more damage, have spells which allow them everything from +10 ft. speed for the whole day to crowd control to freedom of movement to turning any enemy they like into their favored enemy, to using happy sticks to heal their party; while also having more skill points, more HP, more proficiencies, and ranged attacking capabilities (bow > shuriken).

    My DPR calculations assumed the Monk had greater magic weapon cast on his unarmed strikes, and I didn't go with the Paizo ruling that he had to "dual wield" his unarmed strikes, so he got his full flurry and full power. Ranger was using a single longsword with GMW, using his regular iterative attacks. Incidentally, if they were both hasted (the most common melee buff in the game, which affects the entire party + ranger's Animal Companion) the Ranger crushes the monk's flurry damage with his 1 handed non-specialized damage.

    Incidentally, did I mention that Rangers also have Evasion, as well as ways of making themselves faster, more mobile, having near perfect saves (monk only has +6 Will over him at 20th level), but has more skills and spells to make him more versatile? They're more adaptable because you can go 2 handed for DPR, sword & board for AC, bow for ranged damage, and you can do it without changing your ability scores or feats. All on the same build, essentially.

    Incidentally, the best anti-casters are casters. Not much can argue with "maximized lightning bolt make a Concentration check".


    Davor wrote:
    What the monk is lacking is in to-hit and damage bonuses that almost every other class has access to, but there are plenty of medium BAB classes that make respectable melee warriors (oracles, clerics, druids, bards, inquisitors, magus...) that don't have access to even temporary increase to BAB.

    I agree with you that those other classes make good melee classes, but they also have something the monk doesn't. Magic. Look at every class you listed. Every one of them has secondary casting or better. Monks have a caster-chassis but without the casting.

    That's why the above monks look so nice and playable. They are the original monk (the one without ki pool or nerfed flurry) plus psychic warrior casting (psychic warriors have bard/inquisitor-like casting and powers appropriate to monks).

    Quote:
    I'm not trying to say that monks are great, but they have the bare bones of what's necessary for their role. Tweaks may be needed, but past examples have shown that, with appropriate extra benefits, non-full BAB classes can perform well in combat. The main difference I see is that the monk (usually) doesn't have an way of temporarily boosting his own attack capabilities (outside of a few, rare exceptions).

    Again, please note the most common difference between the monk and every class you cited that has a medium BAB while also being strong melee.

    Scarab Sages

    Ashiel wrote:


    Again, please note the most common difference between the monk and every class you cited that has a medium BAB while also being strong melee.

    I'm not quite sure why everyone felt the need to respond even though I used classes known for their self buffing abilities as examples of combat-relevant medium BAB classes, because I just said "with appropriate extra benefits, non-full BAB classes can perform well in combat". I stated that:

    1) Full BAB is not a requirement for making a competent combat character.

    2) Classes without Full BAB have extra benefits (read: buffs) that allow them to perform well.

    Never in my post did I say that monks didn't need buffs. All I said was that, for all the flak they get for being 3/4 BAB, there are plenty of 3/4 BAB classes that can perform well in combat, so BAB isn't an issue IF there is a means of artificially increasing attack/damage without increasing BAB (usually via buff spells, but various weapon enhancements can provide better boosts for their enhancement level under certain circumstances).

    @LazarX: The thing is, a fighter has weapon training and greater weapon focus, adding an extra +5-+7 to hit (with duelist gloves) that the monk will likely never have. Now, does it need to be that high for a monk? No, but I'd like to see at least a +3-+4 come from somewhere other than a dedicated party buff-bot.


    Davor wrote:

    2) Classes without Full BAB have extra benefits (read: buffs) that allow them to perform well.

    Bards alone are some fearsome combatants, and I've wondered just how a party of bards(called the Mariachi Band by a friend of mine) would work if the right archetypes were picked...


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Davor wrote:
    *stuff about 3/4 BAB classes*

    Then I believe we are in agreement. That's why I kept monks at 3/4 BAB and slapped psionics on them. I actually believe slapping the psionics on them but giving them a perfect BAB/HD would be too much. I believe this is the Goldilocks point ("Just right").

    I only proposed that the monk's major problem is he's effectively a second tier warrior (3/4 BAB) who lacks full-casting. He is roughly equivalent to a druid who has no spells. In fact, his BAB, saves, and skill points are similar. They both get a wide variety of situational features. Both have a few supernatural abilities that mimic some spells, without actually making them much better. Both get some spiffy resistances or immunities (both becoming immune to poison, in fact).

    Both have a special trick that makes them better at fighting. Monk has flurry of blows, druid has "Rawr I'm a bear/megoraptor/tiger/elemental", and so forth (which adds up to 3 full BAB attacks easily enough). Then they also have an animal companion (also pretty useful lil' critter). That's before adding in the fact the druid also has full spellcasting which includes party support, blasting, controlling, summoning, and buffing spells.

    Sorry if I misunderstood you. I think we both think the same thing about the monk. :P

    Azten wrote:
    Bards alone are some fearsome combatants, and I've wondered just how a party of bards(called the Mariachi Band by a friend of mine) would work if the right archetypes were picked...

    Bards are amazingly good combatants, actually. The bard can buff Strength and Dexterity, Charisma third (you only need a 16 for all your spells), wield a longspear or 2 hand some simple weapon, and you get tons of skills, spellcasting in light armor (which includes celestial chainmail, which can hit +11 AC with a huge maximum dexterity bonus, which is just only 4 away from +5 plate mail w/kilt), and you get Bardic Music and Arcane Strike.

    Bardic Music adds +5 to hit and damage. Arcane strike adds +5 to damage. Strength can add up to +12 or +15 (depending on focus), making them competent at both attack and damage with melee or ranged weapons, and you have lots of really nice self buffs like greater heroism and so forth. The fact Inspire Courage also adds to all your allies means you're pulling double duty.

    You can even tank pretty well, since moderate AC + Mirror Image or Displacement is good stuff. You also have a high Reflex and Will, which are two saves melee characters don't usually have in high values, which makes you particularly resistant to some nasty crowd control and/or mind screws. :P


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    Ashiel wrote:
    That's why I kept monks at 3/4 BAB and slapped psionics on them. I actually believe slapping the psionics on them but giving them a perfect BAB/HD would be too much. I believe this is the Goldilocks point ("Just right").

    I'd kind of like to see ALL classes get one of the following, no exceptions:

    (1) 1/2 BAB and full (9-level) casting; or
    (2) 3/4 BAB and 3/4 (bard) casting; or
    (3) 1/1 BAB and 1/2 (ranger/paladin) casting.

    And everyone would receive class features as well, of course.
    In case (3), the barbarian's rage powers and the monk's ki powers would be their 1/2 casting.

    To be really ambitious, we could assign 4 spell types: arcane, divine, druidic, psionic/ki, and assign each of the above combos to them:

  • Arcane: Wizard (full casting); magus (3/4 casting); TBA (1/2 casting).
  • Divine: Cleric (full); inquisitor (3/4 casting); paladin (1/2 casting).
  • Druidic: Caster druid (full); shifter druid (3/4); ranger, barbarian (1/2).
  • Psionic: Psion (full); monk (3/4, per Ashiel's); fighter (1/2).


  • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    LazarX wrote:
    Dabbler wrote:
    LazarX wrote:
    The Monk doesn't have a poor attack bonus, it's at median and it's more than made up for by Flurry of Blows.
    Problem is the lack of effective enhancement for the unarmed strike, which is what makes it flurry of misses at high level. If you use a monk weapon, the lack of effective weapons makes it flurry of tickles.
    Well there is the amulet of natural whatever that enhances all your unarmed attacks. The flurry of misses for a monk would be the same flurry of misses for a fighter given that flurry is just two points below fighter BAB. A +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+8/+3 vs. a 20th level fighter being 20/15/10/5. The monk is MORE likely than the fighter to hit on his second/third and succeeding attacks. Enhancing attacks at the upper level is more a campaign function of what goodies the DM hands out to whom.

    Three or four important factors here that you have failed to take into account:

    1) The amulet of mighty fists has cost the monk more than a pair of equivalent weapons by 20%.

    2) It's limited to a total +5 enhancement, meaning if you want to hit, special properties are out - and these are part of what overcomes DR.

    3) The fighter gets Improved Weapon Focus and Weapon Training which add another +5 to hit on top of their existing advantages. This makes the fighter's last attack more likely to hit than the monk's 5th attack.

    4) MAD. The monk's top ability score is likely to be below the fighter's, so widening the hitting discrepancy yet further. Not true in all cases, but cropping up more often than not.


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Davor wrote:

    1) Full BAB is not a requirement for making a competent combat character.

    2) Classes without Full BAB have extra benefits (read: buffs) that allow them to perform well.

    Never in my post did I say that monks didn't need buffs. All I said was that, for all the flak they get for being 3/4 BAB, there are plenty of 3/4 BAB classes that can perform well in combat, so BAB isn't an issue IF there is a means of artificially increasing attack/damage without increasing BAB (usually via buff spells, but various weapon enhancements can provide better boosts for their enhancement level under certain circumstances).

    Agreed, it's not the BAB that is the issue. The monk needs either some kind of self-buff or a magic item that does the full monty, not an overpriced under-performer like the AoMF. It doesn't need both, but one or the other would be welcome.

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