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RPG Superstar 2015

Yet another attempt to fix Monk *Please review*


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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So, I was looking over Monk, and I noticed that there were a good few things wrong with the class. After coming here, I discovered I wasn't the first person to notice this. As a result, I decided I'd put together my own ideas on how to 'fix' Monk and make it more competitive with the other melee classes.

This is my rough draft of the result, and is likely to undergo a few changes before I try playtesting it. I was hoping I could get some comments and criticism on this, because so far I've only talked to three people about this, and I need more opinions to get a good idea of whether this needs more work or not.


Double post I know, but I can't figure out how to edit my post and I just realized I forgot to say something kinda important: I freely admit that I borrowed ideas from other suggestions people had for Monk that I've seen, so if you see your idea here, let me know so I can credit you for the idea on the document.


1: there is no reason to have both Catfall and Slow Fall. Make it one mechanic, or axe it.

2: With all the different things you can spend Ki on, why include a power that lets your fists be enchanted for a round? Unless of course, this one can be used as a free action as opposed to a Swift action? Otherwise, it renders itself obsolete if the player manages to get their weapon/fists enchanted another way.

3: Chi Blast only becomes worthwhile at high levels if you can somehow use it during a Flurry.

4: Greater Wholeness of Body is an overkill instant restoration in a lot of cases that negates the vast majority of problems a Monk might run into. I think it needs to be nerfed down a little.

Otherwise? These are FANTASTIC ideas. I want to see more of this. Be wary however, that applying the Wisdom Stat instead of a fixed bonus of some kind can backfire hard once a character starts getting stat boosting items. +8 to all of the items you now apply your wisdom bonus to is a really nasty number.


Well, Reconstructor, taking your suggestions into mind, I took a look over everything, and made a few changes.

1: I decided to combine Catfall and Slow Fall, though you still only get the benefits from Catfall at 7th level.

2: I completely forgot to mention that Ki Strike is a Free Action. That's been fixed. Thanks for pointing that out. ^_^;

3: I added that a Monk can substitute however many attacks they make with a Flurry of Blows Full-Attack Action with Chi Blasts, provided they have charges available.

4: I'm afraid I'm not too certain what makes Greater Wholeness of Body OP. Is it the lifeline feature? The ability to make saves against effects you were never allowed a save in the first place? is the additional Ability Damage/Negative Level healing too much? Or is it a combination of those things, or even all of the above? I kinda need specifics before I start messing with it. As a note, I haven't exactly played Monk before myself, but I've heard and seen plenty of complaints about it, so if this is about something that you wouldn't really notice looking from the outside, I probably didn't realize it myself. Sorry if I seem like a noob. >_>;

Star Voter 2013

I am sensing a heavy amount of Naruto and Dragon Ball Z in this Monk, which is cool as the Monk needs several of the abilities you mentioned to stay relevant in Pathfinder.

I notice the Monk no longer adds his Wisdom bonus to AC, but I didn't notice that until I read Intuitive Maneuvering.

One thing I'm concerned about is the amount of Ki the Monk has. If the Monk has a 20 wisdom at level 20 (not unreasonable), he'll have 25 Ki points. He has a large number of Ki abilities that will quickly guzzle through what Ki Points he has to spend. It might be better to do something like 2 or 3 Ki Points per level + Wisdom Modifier, or he has a total number of Ki Points equal to his Monk level multiplied by his Wisdom Modifier. Assuming a 20 Wisdom, a 20th level Monk would have 45, 65, or 100 Ki Points available. All three seem like a lot, but, like I said, this Monk is a Ki Guzzler. Depending on what changes you make (See below on Ki Strike) one of the higher amounts of Ki might be best.

A monk of any level has to spend a Ki Point each round for his Ki Strike to overcome DR, or to make his unarmed strikes with an enhancement bonus. I will mention that several of the DR abilities are redundant. Why? Because if a weapon has a enhancement bonus of +3 they overcome Silver and Cold Iron DR, +4 overcomes Adamantine DR, and +5 overcomes alignment DR. Having to spend a Ki point would only be necessary t overcome alignment as his Ki Strike is already +4, so it overcomes Cold Iron, Silver, and Adamantine.

It might be better to change it so that the Ki Strike ability functions as it does for the normal Monk, but spending a Ki Point allows him to add the enhancement bonus of +1/4 levels and the enhancement lasts for a number of rounds equal to his monk level.

Great Wholeness of Body is overpowered because of it's numerous abilities, and the strength of each of those abilities. For example, a 15th level Monk will have, on average 67 HP (4.5 * 15) from simply the dice, and lets assume all 15 favored bonuses went into HP, a 14 con, and Toughness, for a total of 127 hp. He will be able to spend 4 Ki Points to heal 45 points of damage. A 15th level Cure Critical Wounds will heal an average of 32 points back. The only spell that I can remember off the top of my head that will heal more HP at 15th level, is Heal at 150 HP. In addition, he also gets to make a save against anything affecting him, even if he normally doesn't get a save. He could, instead, heal 2d4 points of ability damage, or remove 4 negative levels. Restoration can remove permanent levels, but it requires 1,000 gp of diamond dust per level regained, and a week of time in between each level removed. Great Restoration can remove all negative levels, but requires 5,000 gp of diamond dust. Greater Wholeness of Body doesn't require anything but 4 Ki Points, which renew each day. Then, to round it all up, he can use Breath of Life if he has 10 Ki Points remaining. This is unlikely as he will only have, roughly 15 Ki points, and he'll probably spend a lot of those Ki points on his abilities.

The only other thing that comes to mind is some of your Ki Powers need clarifications. For instance, Aura Bolt. I've read the Aura Bolt power chain several times and this is what I think, happens with the power.

Aura Bolt: A Monk uses a Standard Action, and 2 Ki Points, to make a ranged touch attack that deals force damage equal to their unarmed strike. However, if they also have the Chi Blast feat, when the Monk uses the Chi Blast feat, he can spend 2 Ki Points to increase his effective unarmed strike damage by one step.

Now, if one were to use Chi Blast and Flurry of Blows, does that mean he has to spend 2 Ki points per Chi Blast, or only spend the 2 Ki Points once in a round? I'm assuming 2 Ki per blast, as that would make sense.

Improved Aura Bolt: By using a Full Round Action, the Monk can spend 4 (2 to use Aura Bolt, and 2 to enhance it) Ki Points to make a ranged touch attack that deals damage equal to his unarmed strike, and he can roll that damage twice. If he has the Chi Blast feat, whenever he makes a Chi Blast, he can spend 2 Ki points to increase the damage by one step, spend 2 Ki points to roll the Chi Blast damage twice, or spend 4 Ki points to increase the damage by one step and roll the damage twice.

By the way, Vital Strike is a Standard Action, so it can't be applied to either Chi Blast or Aura Bolt.

Greater Aura Bolt: Anytime a Monk uses Aura Bolt (whether it's Improved Aura Bolt, or regular Aura Bolt), he can spend an additional 2 Ki Points (4 Ki Points total for Aura Bolt, 6 for Improved Aura Bolt) to add splash damage that deals 1d6+Wis Bonus force damage in a 5 ft radius burst centered on the target of the Aura Botl. If he uses Improved Aura Bolt, the splash damage can be rolled twice.

If the Monk has the Chi Blast Feat, he may spend 2 Ki Points to increase the damage by one step, 2 Ki Points to roll the damage twice, 2 Ki Points to deal splash damage, 4 Ki Points for any of the three abilities, or 6 Ki Points to deal all three abilities.

Aura Bolt is available at second level, Improved at 6th, and Greater at 10th. The Monk will have roughly 5 Ki at second, 9 at 6th, and 14 at 10th. Aura Bolt will cost 2 Ki Points, Improved will cost 4 Ki Points, and Greater will cost either 4 or 6 Ki Points. Aura Bolt will be a once, maybe twice a day ability as it will drain roughly half of all the available Ki Points the Monk has.

Some of your other abilities need cleaning up a little. For instance, as written, if you use Cannon Punch to hit someone, and you succeed on your Bull Rush, and they fly back into someone else, the other person also gets knocked back, with no save or check, takes 1d6 damage, and then needs to make a Reflex Save or be knocked prone. Bull Rush has you make an additional Bull Rush to knock the other person back at a -4 penalty, and the same should applied to Cannon Punch.

I liked that you limited Wind Blades to being affected only once every 2 hours, or it would be far to powerful of an ability.

Something that just occurred to me as I was writing this, your Monk is going to have a tough time hitting things. He's a 3/4 BAB class that uses Two Weapon Fighting, and doesn't get the BAB = to Monk level that Pathfinder Monks get when Flurrying. The only upside is 1000 Needles. It seems 1000 Needles is going to be a requirement for a Monk to be a good fighter.

Other than the concerns I outlined here, I liked a lot of your suggestions. I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on this thread for future changes.


Tels, this is why I decided to post my idea here. Between you and Reconstructor, I've been able to catch things I missed or forgot to add, and I had no idea about the limitations on Restoration. You are quite right about this class being a Ki Guzzler, and I am now starting to see that it might be necessary to fix this. I need to think on your suggestions and comments, but I will be making changes sometime soon when I think up ways of fixing this.

Points I'm addressing, in no particular order:

I completely forgot to put AC Bonus back in, and I'm starting to realize why the original Flurry of Blows gave a monk full BAB. I might just do what everyone else has been doing, it seems, and make Monk a full-BAB class.

As far as the redundancies on the Ki Strike, I was COMPLETELY unaware that that's how it worked. Your suggestion is probably going to be what I use.

The idea behind 1000 Needles isn't that it was supposed to be a 'necessary' ability. If it was, I would've just added it to the base Monk. I might nerf it a little, though if I make Monk a full BAB class that might not be necessary. Or perhaps it WILL be necessary. Again, I need to think on this.

I had forgotten that Vital Strike was a standard action. Funny, really, considering I absolutely adore it on my Gunslinger Sniper that I'm building up. >>;

If I greatly increase the number of Ki points a Monk gets, like you're suggesting, I'm going to have to address the Aura Bolt line, so that Chi Blast with the Aura Bolt line doesn't get abused. Then again, I might add a few things to make a Ranged Monk with that stuff a completely viable choice. Perhaps Greater Aura Bolt's enhancement can only be used a certain number of times per day? Once more, I need to think on this.

Cannon Punch was a mistake on my part. I'm definitely gonna fix that so it works like normal. Probably also going to make it so any bonuses from Bull-Rush enhancing feats apply to it, as well...

I need to think on Greater Wholeness of Body before I try making any changes to it. I know I want to make it an effective healing ability, but with your clarification on what makes it OP, I also need to address that. Perhaps I should take a look at the Cure line of spells, and maybe make it so that the Ability Damage can only be healed once a week, and the negative levels can only be healed once a month...

In any case, thank you for your observations. Goofs on my part will be fixed immediately (like putting AC bonus back in, and the problem with Cannon Punch), and everything else will likely undergo changes once I've had some time to think them over and decide how to fix the problems with them.

Star Voter 2013

Honestly, I don't foresee Aura Bolt being too powerful of an ability. Aura Bolt, as it stands, it is a standard or full round action, either way, it's only being used once per round. I would remove the text that says it functions like Chi Blast or someone would argue that one could use it as many times as he wishes in a Flurry of Blows. Use something like:

Quote wrote:

"By focusing his energy, a Monk may spend two Ki Points to make a ranged touch attack at against a target within 20 ft that deals force damage equal to his unarmed strike.

Alternatively, a Monk with the Chi Blast feat may spend two Ki Points to enhance his effective unarmed strike damage by one step. This enhanced damage is only used as part of a Chi Blast, and not a normal unarmed strike"

Chi Blast, has a limited number of times per day it can be used, based on the actual Monk level. So a 10th level Monk can only use it 10 times. If he misses, the use of the Chi Blast is still expended. Chi Blast is limited by the fact that he has very limited uses. The strength of Chi Blast is that it deals Force Damage, which overcomes DR. I would make it a Supernatural ability and possibly make SR apply with a caster level equal to the character level, maybe base it somewhat off Magic Missile?

If you re-add Wisdom to AC make sure to clarify that a Monk doesn't get his Wisdom bonus to CMD at first level. If the Monk gets his Wisdom bonus to CMD at first level, than the ability, Intuitive Defense, becomes slightly redundant.

I think, if you tone down some of the abilities, like Wholeness of Body, then you can safely increase his Ki Pool by 2 or 3 and not worry too much about abuse. Also, one thing to do is clarify that Aura Bolt can only be used once per round, even if used in conjunction with Chi Blast, so someone doesn't get, if the had enough Ki Points, nine 4d10+1d6+Wis Force Damage attacks in one round. If you limit to one enhanced Chi Blast a round, his first one will be really powerful, and the following ones will be kind of like mop up. I will say, with Chi Blast, and Aura Bolt, a Monk will be a force of utter destruction against ethereal creatures.

As an alternative to the Wholeness of Body you've proposed, you might use something like...

Wholeness of Body: A Monk may enter a healing trance as a full-round action and heal his wounds. By spending 2 Ki Points, a Monk heals a number of hit points equal to his Monk level plus his Wisdom bonus each round. The Monk may maintain this healing trance for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom bonus by spending 1 Ki Point and heal additional hit points each round.

A Monk may speed up his healing by gaining the benefits of additional rounds of healing in the initial round by spending an additional 2 Ki Points per round. A Monk may only speed up his healing once for every four Monk levels he possesses.

The Monk maintains his awareness in his trance and he does not provoke an attack of opportunity for entering or maintaining his trance.

Improved Wholeness of Body: A Monk may use a standard action to heal his wounds when using Wholeness of Body. Each round in the trance, a Monk may take a move action and not disrupt his trance.

Greater Wholeness of Body: A Monk may use a move action to heal his wounds when using Wholeness of Body. Each round in the trance, a Monk may take a standard action and not disrupt his trance.

[Edit]Wanted to clarify this...

DarkStar15 wrote:
As far as the redundancies on the Ki Strike, I was COMPLETELY unaware that that's how it worked. Your suggestion is probably going to be what I use.

The Ki Strike for Monks as it is, eventually, allows them to overcome Lawful, Adamantine, and Magic DR, but no others. The Enhancements I was talking about comes from the section on Damage Reduction in the Core Rule Book, see here for more info.

The Ki Strike, as it was proposed, would eventually allow them to overcome DR as a +5 weapon without ever spending a Ki Point. So for them to spend a Ki Point to overcome DR that they were already overcoming, is redundant. However, at lower levels, spending Ki Points to overcome DR is still a nice idea, so you might go that route.

Also, in thinking a little more, if you keep 1000 Needles, Monks should be perfectly fine with a 3/4 BAB as they'll be hitting touch AC anyway, and, for the most part, only Monk really get a good touch AC. So they'll be fine as long as they aren't attacking another Monk. If they are, then the other Monk can't hit him either, so it won't really matter :P

If you don't keep 1000 Needles, it may be necessary to make them a full BAB class.


Ok, list of changes, in no particular order:

Changed Ki Strike to be less redundant.

I rather liked your suggestion for Wholeness of Body, Tels, so I used that.

Added to the list of Ki Powers which powers were Supernatural and which were Extraordinary.

Made Chi Blast a Supernatural effect that uses one quarter of the character's total level or their Monk Level, whichever is better, as their Caster Level for bypassing SR.

Clarified that Aura Bolt, while it works pretty much the same as Chi Blast, can't be used in a Flurry of Blows (Though might add in another Ki Power later, like Quickened Aura Bolt, that allows the Monk to do so anyway).

With the change to Ki Strike, Boulder Cracker and Mountain Cracker had a slight change to wording, and are suddenly a lot more useful now that a Monk can no longer bypass Hardness as if their fists were made of Adamantine. Construct-killer Monks rejoice, if they ever want to use this set-up!

A Monk now gains twice their level plus their Wisdom Modifier in Ki Points starting at first level, which improves to twice their level and twice their Wisdom modifier in Ki Points at level 13.

Decided to keep Monk at 3/4 BAB, and made 1000 Needles last for a number of rounds equal to the Monk's level.

Added a new Magic Item, my approach to the apparently common solution to the "Amulet of Mighty Fists" problem, in just creating a brand new magic item that works like a magic weapon for Unarmed Strike. Considering if it should just cover the hand slot or the hand AND arm slots (or wherever Bracers of Armor sit), due to Monks basically being able to make an Unarmed Strike no matter the situation

Just realized it seems really weird that a Monk can't make an Unarmed Strike attack even when grappled, despite the fact that they should be close enough to at least headbutt the dude grappling them. Need to look into this and see if I should make a Ki Power to cover this, or if I'm just mis-interpreting something.

As always, comments and criticism welcome. I'm also going to try and test this out in a oneshot campaign at some point, so we'll see how that goes.


AC Bonus: Good.

Bonus Feats: Add all style feats? At 1st level? No list dividing into 1st, 6th, and 10th level tiers? Needs work.

Unarmed Strike: Good.

Flurry of Blows: I see that you are a student of Paizo, padawan. This is neither the time nor the place to get into the argument that flurry is not two-weapon fighting, but it could work. Messily, but it could work.

Stunning Fist: Good

Intuitive Combat: Wisdom to attack and damage? With unarmed strike and monk weapons? At 1st level? Without spending a single feat? Might be a bit much.

Ki Pool: Why did you move ki pool from 4th to 1st? You really increased the available ki[i] points as well. Admittedly, my own monks go from 1/2 level + Wis (canon) to level + Wis. But you have increased them again to TWO TIMES level + Wis! They already start with TWF, gain ITWF and GTWF later; that is 6 attacks with their flurry. They can go with 9 by spending 3 ki points; 10 with [i]Haste; 11 with Medusa's Wrath; 12 with Medusa's Wrath and Haste. Might be a bit much, especially as you can add 1, 2, or 3 additional attacks on a standard action (although I like getting a bonus attack for spending a ki point on an attack action, 2 or 3 bonus attacks might be a little much). And any attack action? Including charges, spring attacks, cleaves, whirlwind attacks, etc., etc., etc.

Ki Strike: Once again, why first level? Most characters can't afford a magic weapon until 3rd or 4th level; if you are going by the wealth-by-level guidelines. Yes, your progression of bonuses slows down, by at 1st, 4th, and 8th level ki strike exceeds what the rest of your party should have.

Ki Power: We'll come back to this.

Fast Movement: Interesting. I like how it breaks down, but I am leery of the 1, 2, 3 ki points thing; especially that +10 insight bonus to AC against Attacks of Opportunity. THAT is extremely powerful. Perhaps if it scaled? Starting at +2 and increased at a rate of an additional +1 for every two levels gained?

Maneuver Training: Nothing wrong here.

Still Mind: As per the book, but still a weak power.

Focused Effort: Nice, I like the idea; good execution.

Slow Fall: Still wonky in that it requires being in arm's reach of a wall. What about a tree? A cliff? Otherwise it is okay; not good, but okay.

High Jump: Good.

Purity of Body: Good.

Soothing Aura: What? Monks are bards now?

Wholeness of Body: Ugh. I hate these healing trance things. Have them spend a ki point to activate the healing, but don't require a freaking trance, man. Just my thoughts.

Improved Evasion: Good.

Intuitive Maneuver: No. Monks already add their Wisdom bonus to CMD--are they now adding it twice? Make it CMB only, and maybe; otherwise no.

Diamond Body: Good.

Improved Wholeness of Body: See wholeness of body. Nice try, but I don't like it.

Abundant Step: Exactly like canon, which is underwhelming.

Diamond Soul: SR=monk level +7? Plus SEVEN]? You do realize that the standard monk is Monk level +10, right? And most people consider that sub-par for spell resistance against level appropriate threats.

Improved Ki Pool: Still more ki points. A bit too much here.

Quivering Palm : Okay; it is the same as canon, but okay.

Greater Wholeness of Body: See wholeness of body. Nice try, but I don't like it.

Timeless Body: Good.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon: Good, but still underwhelming at the level you get it.

Empty Body: Good.

Battle Meditation: Way too much, even at 19th level. +5 insight bonus to attacks, damage, and AC? Too much.

Perfect Self: Needs to be rewritten: can a monk still be affected by non-hostile spells like enlarge person? Does he gain any sort of outsider vision? Does he need to eat or drink or sleep? This one has been messed up since 3.0, so don't feel bad.

And okay, here we go with the ki powers:

Cannon Punch: Not bad.

Ki Clone: What? Are me anime now? No.

Blur: Good.

Aura Bolt/Improved Aura Bolt/Greater Aura Bolt: Is this Pathfinder, D&D, or Naruto?

Still Statue Strike: Good for getting a +4 bump in DC; ki point is inline, so okay; good.

1000 Needles: Lasts WAY too long. Make it one (1) round per use and we are good.

Leaping Dragon Kick: Okay.

Four Winds Strike: someone's been watching The Last Airbender again, haven't they?

Earth Rage: No. Monks shouldn't be about changing their environment; they are about acheiving perfection in themselves.

Boulder Cracker/Mountain Cracker: Hate this. Just restore adamantine to ki strike, ignoring all hardness of less than 20 and be done.

Asura Strike: WAY TOO MUCH. By 20th level, a monk could get TEN (10) bonus attacks with this power. Even at 1st level, a monk could grab FIVE (5) bonus attacks. Far too much.

Wind Blades: When did the monk become an area of effect caster? Oh, right, after watching Japanese anime.

Ki Shove: AoE, again. No.

Rushing Wind Step: This I like. Well done.

Mantra: Ah, NO. Monks are NOT bards.

Hammer Blows: No minimum level requirement? I would rather you spend 2 ki points to automatically confirm a threat, at the cost of immediately ending your round. And put a minimum level requirement in there.

I cheer you for putting this out for criticism and critique; please don't take anything I said personally. Good effort on your part, and please continue posting.

Master Arminas


Thanks for your critique Arminas, now for my response:

Bonus Feats: I could've sworn I had written that a monk had to meet the pre-requisites for any Bonus Feats they took...*Checks* Nope, I didn't. Thanks for pointing this out for me, I'll fix that right away.

Flurry of Blows: I must be missing something here. From what I understand, Flurry of Blows is Two-Weapon Fighting with full BAB, but the improved and greater versions gained at the 3/4 BAB rate. I just removed the Full BAB thing, though I might just make Monk Full BAB depending on what I do with 1000 Needles. More on this later.

Intuitive Combat: My first big change, and it seems pretty much everyone has misread it. It's supposed to REPLACE STR in attack rolls, not ADD to it. It works basically like Weapon Finesse, in that you use the greater of your STR or WIS mod, but it applies to Damage as well. I'm starting to wonder, however, if I should remove the bonus to damage and just make that a feat instead.

Ki Pool: I moved it to first level because of this version of Monk's dependence on Ki Points, even before fourth level. I suppose, looking back, up to 3 extra attacks might be a bit much. And yes, it applies to all attacks. Considering that a Monk only gets 3/4 BAB, I figured the extra attacks would balance out with the lower chance to hit. And, again, considering the Monk's greater dependence on Ki Points, I figure having more Ki Points wouldn't hurt.

Ki Strike: This bonus only applies for ONE ROUND. If this isn't obvious, then I'll go back and fix that. I figure having to spend a Ki Point every round to get this benefit is what offsets it. And I guess I'm just used to slightly richer campaigns or players putting more emphasis on improving their weapons, because the improvements seemed in-line to me. >>

Fast Movement: I was considering having it scale myself, or possibly even have it only be usable a few times per day. I need to think on this some.

Still Mind: I might give it a ki-point use to further improve the benefit.

Slow Fall: I figured the idea of being in arm's reach of a wall was just an example, and didn't realize it was the literal interpretation of the rules. I'll be changing this to reflect that this can be used when within arm's reach of ANYTHING you could conceivably slow your fall with via friction; A wall, a tree, a cliff, anything.

Soothing Aura: As I understand it, Monks spend years learning how to basically 'keep their cool'. As a result, shouldn't it be possibly for a monk to be able to make a good first impression on anyone, if only by virtue of staying calm even as their companions are running amok? In any case, I might change this to only apply to humanoids, and only once every 24 hours PERIOD, so the group's Bard doesn't feel left out.

Wholeness of Body: I get the feeling this is completely and utterly your personal opinion, and that I'm not the first person to suggest a "Healing Trance" for a class. In any case, I might make a feat to address this.

Intuitive Maneuver(ing): Monks DON'T add their WIS modifier to CMD until they get this. Read AC Bonus again, and don't just skim over it this time.

Improved Wholeness of Body: See Wholeness of Body.

Abundant Step: It didn't strike me as underwhelming. Do you mean the Ki Cost is a bit much? In that case, see Ki Pool. If not, please elaborate, and I'll see how I can fix the problem.

Diamond Soul: I was unaware that level+10 SR was underwhelming, considering my only experiences with SR was a wizard in this one group of mine having trouble hitting anything with anything with an SR of Level+10. I don't think he had the Spell Penetration feats though, so if that was the problem and spellcasters with Spell Penetration feats are nigh-unto useless against SR, then it sounds like Monks aren't the only ones with problems.

Improved Ki Pool: See Ki Pool.

Quivering Palm: I get the feeling you don't like Quivering Palm much. Care to elaborate? I'm always open to ideas, even if I don't decide to use them.

Greater Wholeness of Body: See Wholeness of Body.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon: I think it's more useful gained earlier as well, and I'm trying to decide what level would be a better spot to learn it at, or even if it should be a scaling thing.

Battle Meditation: I'm thinking on this. It may see some changes later.

Perfect Self: I was unaware that Outsiders did not need to eat, drink, or sleep, and I also didn't know that just being an Outsider gave you special vision. I'll have to look up info on Outsiders and clarify this.

Ki Clone: I figured this'd be useful for more things than Naruto apparently uses this for. If you immediately think "Swarm Tactics" when you see this ability, you're doing it wrong. In any case, I don't see why this shouldn't be available regardless, though I MIGHT limit the number of clones at any one time. Possibly even per day, now that I'm looking at it again with that "Swarm Tactic" in mind...

Normal/Improved/Greater Aura Bolt: Actually, I got this idea from FF, and since when did Naruto characters fire bolts of energy? I thought their stuff was primarily elemental? Anyway, this gives a Monk a ranged attack and a means of taking out Incorporeal Undead without risking Energy Drain. It stays.

1000 Needles: Ah, 1000 Needles...I now partially regret ever thinking up this ability, but I'm loathe to drop it now. If I make it only last 1 turn, or even drop it altogether, I'm making Monk a Full BAB class, in which case there's no reason to keep Flurry of Blows in it's Paizo version. If I keep it as it is, I need to keep Monk a 3/4 BAB class, or else it's just way too good. However, I don't like the idea of an OPTIONAL ability being ESSENTIAL for a class to be competitive. Any ideas you, or anyone else who might be reading this, can think of to help fix this dilemma will be appreciated.

Four Winds Strike: I haven't watched a single episode of The Last Airbender, and I heard the movie was crap. As such, the name is purely coincidental.

Earth Rage: I honestly don't really see what the problem with this is, other than your personal opinion. This can be an outward manifestation of a Monk's inner perfection. You're gonna need to make a better argument before I remove this.

Boulder Cracker/Mountain Cracker: So, near as I understand it, the reason you hate this is just because it was me splitting Adamantine Ki Strike into the actual Ki Strike ability and this power. If I do change it back so a Monk gets Adamantine Ki Strike, then this will likely turn into a one-shot improvement on Unarmed Strike damage, as that's the only other effect I can think of with a name like "Boulder/Mountain Cracker".

Asura Strike: I'm already trying to think of a way to tone it down without losing the flavor of the power. Suggestions are appreciated, even if they aren't used.

Wind Blades: Another idea I got out of FF, and another thing I don't see any reason I should take out because of one opinion. No offense.

Ki Shove: See Wind Blade, except I actually got this idea from Star Wars (Ki Shove=Force Push). I'm a little surprised you didn't actually get it, considering you apparently have a degree of knowledge in pop culture. >>

Mantra: A Mantra is a prayer consisting of a handful of words spoken over and over again. This is not a Bard singing a song to inspire competence. Though I might change this to take 1 Ki Point per round, possibly taking a Swift Action to maintain.

Hammer Blows: Your concerns will be taken into consideration. No, seriously; looking at it again I'm starting to realize just how badly abusable this power is.

I'm fully aware that you mean no offense by any of your suggestions, and so I take no offense. Keep the comments and criticisms coming; Even if I don't use every idea I'm given, I still appreciate them.


Flurry of Blows: As per the latest SKR clarification, Flurry is TWF. That make for a lot of problems with the class. If your monk weapon isn't light, do you still get the -2 with Flurry? How do you Flurry with a two-handed weapon (Sohei archetype)? Unarmed strikes for a monk don't have off-hand attacks, so how does that work? There are several threads that discussing the change to flurry and how it invalidates a number of builds and archetypes.

Intuitive Combat: Nope, we read it correctly. Yes, it replaces Strength on attacks, just like Weapon Finesse does for Dexterity with certain one-hand weapons and light weapons. But it also adds Wis (instead of Str) on damage. The closest thing we have in canon to this is the Agile property on magic weapons, a +1 special weapon bonus. Make it a feat, and require Weapon Finesse. That way you have Dex adding to hit and Wis to damage. IF you want to spend the feats. And you keep Dex important as well as Wis.

Slow Fall: No, it doesn't have to literally be a wall. But it must be a reasonably flat vertical surface. But you need to ask, does it apply to tree trunks? What about vines? Hanging banners (ala the Rush Hour movies)?

Wholeness of Body: Totally, my opinion, man. That's we do here: discuss opinions. The thing is, you are overthinking and complicating this. How about this: make wholeness of body heal 2d8+your level as a monk + your Wisdom modifier. As a standard action for 2 ki. Instead, the monk can spend 3 ki to heal as a swift action. No charting how many rounds of this I've used, and what I can do or can't do while healing. Just an idea.

Abundant Step: On first read, the canon Abundant Step seems great: dimension door as a move action. But then you realize you can't act afer you use it. Your turn ends. You can't bring anyone with you. That is why most of us find it underwhelming. Make it a true move action and the monk keeps the rest of his turn; make if so he can bring through objects or creatures up to his weight allowance--and it's good!

Diamond Soul: Level appropriate threats will get through SR 10+character level roughly 55% of the time. They will get through SR 7+character level roughly 30% of the time. WITHOUT Spell Penetration or Greater Spell Penetration. Let's say you are a 15th level monk, so your SR is 25. Your wizard (or cleric or druid or sorcerer or bard or witch or . . . you get the idea) has a caster level of 15. If they roll a 10+ on a d20, they bypass your spell resistance. Without any of those feats. Now, you are liable to be fighting foes HIGHER than your effective level, especially in an epic fight. Against a 17th level caster, they get through your spell resistance on an 8+. Like I said, 10+character level is underwhelming. 7+character level is almost as bad as a familiars Spell Resistance.

Quivering Palm: I love quivering palm. I don't like the once per day thing. I don't like no effect on a successful save. If it had a partial effect on a save, and you could use it (perhaps spending ki) more than once a day; it would be a great ability.

Perfect Self: That part was more a joke going back to the monk outsider debates in 3.5 on the Wizards site.

On the Ki powers, I don't watch anime. Some just seem over the top to me.

Master Arminas


Ok, Notes on changes and just me wanting to point things out, as well as possible future changes, in no particular order:

My version of Flurry of Blows was already stated as treating Monk Weapons as Light Weapons for purpose of Two-Weapon Fighting. I'm guessing you skimmed over that bit.

Intuitive Combat has been split into it's class ability, which only benefits Attack Rolls, and a Feat that requires Weapon Finesse, which uses WIS for damage rolls instead of STR on weapons that qualify for Weapon Finesse. Monks treat their Monk Weapons as Light Weapons for purposes of this feat.

I'm considering just making it so Monks treat Monk Weapons as Light Weapons period, none of this "For the purpose of" shenanigans.

Monks are now a Full BAB class.

1000 Needles now only lasts a single round. May up the Ki Point cost to make it less abusable.

I'm considering making Wholeness of Body give the Monk Fast Healing. Improved and Greater would improve the Fast Healing as appropriate.

Abundant Step now has Dimensional Agility built into it, but still can't take anyone with him. Might change this later, possibly with a Ki Power. However, if you have Dimensional Agility, you can spend 2 Ki Points to give yourself a (small) Circumstance Bonus on Attack Rolls that round. Might reduce it to just the next attack roll.

Thinking about adding Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, and any feats that require Improved Unarmed Strike or Combat Expertise to the list of Bonus Feats. Anyone know how that compares to a Fighter getting every Combat Feat on their Bonus Feat list? I'm trying to give Monk a similar level of versatility without upstaging Fighter.

Slow Fall can now be used if within arm's reach of anything that could logically be used to slow your descent. Walls and Cliffs are still usable, of course, but now the Monk can also slide down ropes, banners, vines, etc. Let's just say the Monk uses Ki to keep his hands from getting Rope Burn and leave it at that. :P

Talked it over with a few friends who've been playing this longer than I have, and it seems that Level+10 SR from Diamond Soul is about appropriate. Keep in mind that even though that Lich might be able to just yawn his way past your SR, your saves and better-than-pretty-much-everyone-else Touch AC will give him definite pause for thought before he tries tossing a spell your way. Not to mention Improved Evasion lessens the penalty for failing your save on most spells that might require a save.

I'm seriously considering just moving Tongue of Sun and Moon down to 7th or 8th level. Maybe 10th, possibly.

Quivering Palm now has a number of uses per day equal to 1 plus half your WIS modifier, and a successful save still subjects the foe to 5d6 damage, though they aren't in anymore danger of an insta-death from that particular attempt. I figure that's about in-line with most other "Save-Or-Die" effects. If I'm wrong, I'd appreciate knowing what'd be more in-line.

Battle Meditation has had it's bonuses reduced to +3 each.

I don't see what the problem with over-the-top powers is.

Hammer Blows now gives a bonus to the Critical Hit confirmation roll, rather than auto-confirming. As it stands now, the bonus DOES stack with Critical Focus. As for a level limit on it, I made it so it's only available at level 10 or later, since that's around the time you can get Critical Focus.

Something I realized you never noticed: Asura Strike can only be gotten at 14th level, and your first Ki Power comes in at 2nd level. Where are you getting those 5 bonus attacks? Also, said bonus attacks from Asura Strike are at a STACKING -5 after the first one. As such, it's not really that cost effective to take much more that 2 or 3 bonus attacks, maybe 4 if you're really certain about your chances of hitting.


What if a Monks unarmed strike was a flat dice that never improves like say a d8 and they instead get a bonus to damage with any monk weapon. (Including Their now flat rated fists.) Something like precision based damage a duelist gets with any one handed piercing weapons? I was thinking 1/3 levels would be reasonable.

Seems weird that their deadlyness only grows with their fists even though they are trained in other martial styles. (those styles being other "monk" Weapons)I think this would fix problems with monks and Having a hard time with getting "magic fists"


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
clff rice wrote:

What if a Monks unarmed strike was a flat dice that never improves like say a d8 and they instead get a bonus to damage with any monk weapon. (Including Their now flat rated fists.) Something like precision based damage a duelist gets with any one handed piercing weapons? I was thinking 1/3 levels would be reasonable.

Seems weird that their deadlyness only grows with their fists even though they are trained in other martial styles. (those styles being other "monk" Weapons)I think this would fix problems with monks and Having a hard time with getting "magic fists"

This is exactly what I used here and in the builds presented a few posts back.

Basically, you get a flat 1d6 damage with unarmed strike. Starting at 2nd level, you get a +1 competence bonus to damage with monk weapons and unarmed strike, increasing by +1 ever four levels after 2nd (ie +2 at 6th level, +3 at 10th level etc.).

At 4th level, ki strike then gives you a +1 enhancement bonus, as a magic weapon, on your unarmed strike. This also increases by +1 per four levels. Hence at 20th level you are doing 1d6+10 damage with unarmed strike, at +5 enhancement bonus to hit.

However the nature of these bonuses is such that they will not stack with many common bonuses like buffs, which helps stop the monk getting too powerful offensively. I want him to be adequate, like the paladin or ranger without their smite/favoured enemy, not overpowering like the fighter. The amulet of mighty fists then becomes a bonus to such a monk, providing weapon properties rather than being essential just for the enhancement.


Ok, first of all, giving Monk a flat damage dice that doesn't grow with level and instead gains an enhancement bonus to his unarmed strike and monk weapons is an interesting idea. I can definitely see the merits to it. However, this came after I had added a new magic item to the document. Since it seems nobody is actually READING the document anymore, and is just skimming it to find stuff they don't like, I'll talk about it here.

Name: Prayer Beads of Battle
Aura: Mild/Moderate/Strong Transmutation (+1/+5/+10)
CL: equal to the total bonus granted+5
Slot: Hands (may also have it take up the arms slot)
Price: Equivalent to the price of the total equivalent bonus
Weight: 1 pound
Description: A string of somewhat ordinary looking prayer beads that nevertheless glow faintly. This item can be infused with an enhancement bonus and a number of special abilities that bludgeoning melee weapons can use up to a total equivalent bonus of +10. When worn, the beads provide the wearer's Unarmed Strike with the total enhancement bonus and properties granted by the Prayer Beads. The effects of Prayer Beads of Battle and Amulet of Mighty Fists do not stack.
Construction Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, Magic Fang, any required spells for the desired enchantments, and the total GP required for crafting a weapon with the same total equivalent bonus.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind the idea of only needing to use the Amulet of Mighty Fists for the desired special abilities, but I was wondering what people thought of this item before I started putting some serious thought towards it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is the cost per hand or for the set?

If for the set, I think it's a little too cheap. While it can be argues that the monk's unarmed strike is only one weapon, and the enhancement provided by the item is identical for both fists, it is true that a monk can get more out of a 'single weapon' than another TWFing class can, especially if it's their unarmed strike.

If it's per item, the price is about right, maybe a little expensive even.


Ok, I think I must be missing something here. Could you please explain what you mean about Monks getting "More out of a 'single weapon' than another TWFing class can"? Near as I can tell, they follow all the same rules as everyone else, it's just that their unarmed strikes are always considered primary attacks, and the damage grows with their level.

Star Voter 2013

Previous to SKR's "clarification" (which has been semi-retracted), Monks were allowed to make all their flurry attacks with a single weapon. If you look at the Pathfinder Society Modules (which only allows RAW, no GM fiat, house rules, etc. everything works exactly as written or you're playing it wrong), every Monk published under PFS makes all of their flurry attacks with a single weapon. NPCs published in the Game Mastery Guide also make all their flurry attacks with a single weapon. Archetypes for Monks, like a Zen Archer, make all of their flurry attacks with a single weapon.

The clarification that SKR announced, says that a Monk must make his flurry attacks with two different weapons, exactly as a someone using two-weapon fighting, which flies in the face of all previously published material. Monks in 3.5 were clarified to be able to flurry with one weapon, Paizo stated that any rule that isn't specifically changed or printed, works exactly like it did in 3.5 for backwards compatibility.

So because so many of the PFS writers said the Monks flurry with one weapon, the editors all approved of Monks flurrying with one weapon, and 3.5 allowed Monks to flurry with one weapon (and Pathfinder never changed that ruling), then Monks are supposed to be able to flurry with one weapon.

Previous to SKR's "clarification" a Monk could get more use out of one enchanted weapon, than any other class because he could make all of his attacks with that one weapon.


Point of Fact: The bonus to attack and damage CANNOT be an enhancement bonus.

If it's an enhancement bonus, then it doesn't stack with any other enhancement bonuses you can pick up. An Amulet of Mighty Fist may be a terrible item, but if you lose the increasing unarmed damage dice and DON'T give static damage to match, then you've dramatically reduced Monk Damage to nonexistence. After all, NOW it cannot get more damage by any available means, and it does not get to pay for enhancement bonuses to do the job.

That's why I advocate a Weapon Training style bonus. IF you take away rising Unarmed Damage, you MUST include damage that stacks with whatever else you get to compensate.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ReconstructorFleet wrote:

Point of Fact: The bonus to attack and damage CANNOT be an enhancement bonus.

If it's an enhancement bonus, then it doesn't stack with any other enhancement bonuses you can pick up. An Amulet of Mighty Fist may be a terrible item, but if you lose the increasing unarmed damage dice and DON'T give static damage to match, then you've dramatically reduced Monk Damage to nonexistence. After all, NOW it cannot get more damage by any available means, and it does not get to pay for enhancement bonuses to do the job.

I beg to differ. The way I structured the unarmed enhancement bonus, you peaked at 1d6+10 damage at 20th level, including the enhancement bonus. However, you can stack this with the Amulet of Mighty Fists providing weapon properties on top (I added a clause specifically to do this).

Now consider the monk as-is: You can get +5 worth of bonuses from the AoMF, and your biggest problem is lack of hitting. So if you rack up the AoMF to simple enhancement bonuses, you get a peak at 2d10+5.

Now that might look like the old monk is better off, but the difference is only from 13.5 average damage to 16 average damage, and the lower score still has +5 worth of weapon properties to add on top - easily worth another 4d6 damage, for a new average of +27.5. Looking better?

Now for added gravy, if you are wielding a ki focus weapon, you can apply the flat enhancement bonus of your ki strike instead of the weapon's ordinary bonus. If it's a monk weapon, you can also add the competence bonus for using monk weapons, so your armed monk with his +1 ki focus keen holy ghost touch flaming temple sword could treat it as a +5 weapon with a +5 competence bonus to damage on top.

Anyhow, that's how I structured my monk rebuild, and I put some builds in Deathquaker's thread of monk tests, and they work out frighteningly effective.

ReconstructorFleet wrote:
That's why I advocate a Weapon Training style bonus. IF you take away rising Unarmed Damage, you MUST include damage that stacks with whatever else you get to compensate.

I don't, because weapon training is the fighter's thing, and the REAL problem is the +5 limitation that the AoMF puts on enhancement. We don't want to be better than the fighter at the end of the day, we just want to be close enough that we are in the same ball-park. With +5 from weapon training and then +5 on top from the AoMF we are matching the fighter to hit, and probably for damage as well.

The point here is, we want the monk to be more effective offensively, we do not want him to be so good offensively he puts any other class out of business. Monks have very good defences, it would be easy to upgrade the offensive output and get a brokenly good class. Placing bonuses like enhancement bonuses improves the monk while limiting what they can stack their bonuses with, limiting the top level of gain while raising the lower bar.


I didn't read all of the above but in my opinion the only real problem the monk has is that he is dependent on too many attributes. And because of this that's exactly what I'd fix. And I'd do it by changing just enough tomake it work.

So my monk change would be to make him less strenght dependent.

How?
For what do monks need strength? Melee attack and damage for melee and thrown weapons.

How about giving the monk an ability that works like weapon finesse for unarmed strikes and monk weapons regardless of weapon size and another that lets him use his wis bonus for damage with unarmed strikes and monk weapons?

It's a small, simple change and you made weak monks viable.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I absolutely agree there is WAY too much emphasis on monks having high strength. Martial arts is meant to be about NOT using strength, or of it being a bonus, not the meat and drink. You may wish to look at my monk rebuild (which is here)- I gave them Weapon Finesse with monk weapons and Agile Maneuvers with Maneuver Mastery. With the Agile weapon property available on an AoMF, I don't think they need any more than that.


Dabbler wrote:
ReconstructorFleet wrote:

Point of Fact: The bonus to attack and damage CANNOT be an enhancement bonus.

If it's an enhancement bonus, then it doesn't stack with any other enhancement bonuses you can pick up. An Amulet of Mighty Fist may be a terrible item, but if you lose the increasing unarmed damage dice and DON'T give static damage to match, then you've dramatically reduced Monk Damage to nonexistence. After all, NOW it cannot get more damage by any available means, and it does not get to pay for enhancement bonuses to do the job.

I beg to differ. The way I structured the unarmed enhancement bonus, you peaked at 1d6+10 damage at 20th level, including the enhancement bonus. However, you can stack this with the Amulet of Mighty Fists providing weapon properties on top (I added a clause specifically to do this).

Now consider the monk as-is: You can get +5 worth of bonuses from the AoMF, and your biggest problem is lack of hitting. So if you rack up the AoMF to simple enhancement bonuses, you get a peak at 2d10+5.

Now that might look like the old monk is better off, but the difference is only from 13.5 average damage to 16 average damage, and the lower score still has +5 worth of weapon properties to add on top - easily worth another 4d6 damage, for a new average of +27.5. Looking better?

Now for added gravy, if you are wielding a ki focus weapon, you can apply the flat enhancement bonus of your ki strike instead of the weapon's ordinary bonus. If it's a monk weapon, you can also add the competence bonus for using monk weapons, so your armed monk with his +1 ki focus keen holy ghost touch flaming temple sword could treat it as a +5 weapon with a +5 competence bonus to damage on top.

Anyhow, that's how I structured my monk rebuild, and I put some builds in Deathquaker's thread of monk tests, and they work out frighteningly effective.

ReconstructorFleet wrote:
That's why I advocate a Weapon Training style bonus. IF you take away rising Unarmed Damage, you MUST include damage that
...

You missed the caveat. I said "if you lower unarmed damage". Because if you do and give a static bonus to attack and damage, it evens out to being even to what monk currently has, if slightly better. However, it's still not even close to fighter.

If you lower monk Unarmed damage, and do not give Monk anything to compensate for that lost damage...then mathematically, you've made monk's ability to hit and do damage no better than it was before. It in fact, becomes much worse.

VikingIrishman did the math for me: here. As you can see, the static bonus doesn't really give the Monk much more average damage...but GREATLY increases accuracy, which is Monk's real problem.

Static bonus attack/damage may be fighter's shtick, but monk's scaling unarmed damage is a TERRIBLE shtick. If you take that shtick away, you ALSO take away the only way a monk has to do damage in a pinch, UNLESS you add non enhancement bonus damage. A monk can currently get an enhancement bonus to damage. It's terribly expensive, but doable. Because they have rising Damage Dice for unarmed strike, they have reasonable damage output. But if you take away rising unarmed strike damage dice and don't include non-enhancement-bonus static damage then monk becomes a bit of a damage joke.

Don't think about whether something is a class's "thing" or not. Think about balance. Monk NEEDS some damage.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I understand where you are coming from there, and for my monk rebuilt I added an additional bonus to damage on top of the enhancement. However, you have to be very careful with the monk - he's defensively very good in terms of saves and AC. Hit points are not so hot, but he has lots of special abilities. So if we up the damage and hitting potential too much with all those attacks he has, we can leave him with better AC than the fighter, better damage output than the fighter, and the fighter only better on hit points.

I absolutely agree the monk needs some damage. He HAS some damage, though. What he doesn't have is the same kind of enhancement available to make that damage count by getting the hits.

When making unarmed damage static, you can factor in (which does not mean rely entirely on) enhancement to damage for two reasons: one is that with increased enhancement to hit, you are going to up your average damage anyway from getting more hits. The other is that the monk already gets a sliding scale of damage intended to work with less enhancement.

Think of it like this: we want to raise the minimum damage out put of the monk considerably, but not raise the maximum output available by too much - raising the bar, without raising the ceiling. Using existing bonus types - like enhancement - allows us to 'cap' the maximum available advantage while boosting the minimum.


For the time being, until I've had a chance to test out this build and decide if making Ki Strike's enhancement bonus a passive thing is a better choice or not, Monks have to spend a Ki Point to gain the enhancement bonus for one round. Their damage still grows with their level and still caps at 2d10.

Next, Wholeness of Body now provides Fast Healing, or may provide a "Healing Burst" for 2 Ki Points. A Monk may not gain both benefits unless they spend two rounds to get them both.

A few additions have been placed on the list of feats that a Monk may choose for his Bonus Feat. Like before, a Monk must still meet all the pre-requisites for the chosen bonus feats.

Forgot to add this, but there's another new feat, "Extra Ki Power". As it's name implies, taking it lets you choose another Ki Power from the list. Stay tuned, as I plan on adding some more Ki Powers later.

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