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My Groups Monk Revisions


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Monk Revisions
The description of the monk does not match the current abilities of the class. Below are some suggested changes and additions. The below revisions will be play tested in my group for Rise of the Runelords re-release. What is your take on them?

1. (Change)Gain Ki Pool at first level equal to Wis Modifier +1 per level. (This puts them on par with the bard and barbarian.) This does make me worry that the +4 to AC would make a 1 level dip very desirable.

2. (Change)When using Stunning Fist, a miss just causes the ‘charge’ to be held until landed. The monk can still only deliver 1 Stunning Fist per round. (Unless other feats or abilities allow the monk to do so). (Possibility: Have the Monk choose at first level if this will target Will or Fort, thus giving a stylish point on how they fight )

3. (Addition)Monastic Weapons Training: At Level 2 while wielding monk weapons, they gain a competence bonus of +1 to damage. This bonus increases by +1 at levels 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 20.

4. (Addition)Combat Agility: At Level 3 the monk can expend Ki as a free action (once per round) to be able to take additional 5’ Steps up to their Dex Modifier per round. (This allows combat maneuverability and land attacks with flurry of blows) Any steps not taken are lost by the end of the Monk’s turn.

5. (Change)KI Strike: At 4th level the monk’s unarmed strikes are treated as Magic as long as the monk has 1 point in reserve. The monk and augment these strikes be expending additional ki as a swift action as follows: Cold Iron and Silver 1 point, Alignment 2 points, Adamantine 3 points (hard to karate chop and Iron Golem). Additionally, the Monk can expend ki to give an enhancement bonus to hit and damage of +1. They can increase this amount by 1 (by expending an additional amount of ki) every 4th level (8, 12, 16, and 20) to a maximum of +5. This augmentation last for I minute. The monk may also add the above to any weapon they have that has the Ki Focus ability. The monk can also alter his unarmed strikes to bypass B, S, or P once per round as a swift action as well at no cost and for as long as they wish. If I am missing any other type of DR, or we come across a unique DR for some reason than we can use an equivalent.

6. (Change)Wholeness of Body: This changes to a move action to use and heals as lay on hands (but still only heals the monk). The cost remains the same, but by expending an additional point the monk can use this as a swift action.

7. (Change)Abundant Step: Here’s the one that will cause eyebrows to jump of faces. For the normal amount of ki, this is unchanged. By spending an additional 4 Points, this becomes a swift action allowing the monk to play whack a mole on the poor spellcaster her just popped next too, or beat the snot out of something REALLY BIG, not kill it, and then bamph(!) away. Abundant Step may only be used once per round. Also for an additional 2 points above the normal 2 the monk may bring an ally, but then both the monk and the fellow traveler may only use any remaining move actions after transportation. The monk may expend an additional 2 points per additional allies up to the monk’s equivalent CL for Dimension Door. (So, the monk can blow 6 ki to beam next to someone and beat the snot out of them OR spend ki to save himself and the rest of the party…or at least those he likes…)

Thus on the average Pathfinder AP end, a 16th level average monk will have a 22 Wis (still kinda MAD with ability scores and without taking the Extra Ki feat) and 22 points in their ki pool. Builds are still tough, but Treantmonk has really cool suggestions, making Strength the prime stat to come away from a fight beaten and bruised, but the other guy is on the floor.

With everything the monk can use ki for; making ki build from first level seems to be right. Abundant Step upgrade means that the Dimensional Agility feat is almost somewhat duplicated, BUT the cost to the ki pool will eat up over 25% of their reserves, so I can see the feat being taken for when reserves are low. Being able to bypass terrain and/or bodyguards could be a game ender for somewhat squishy BBEG’s, but I think that can be planned for, and dang it, sometimes the monk needs to shine.

A lot of their ki is gonna be expended to bypass DR, increasing AC, or getting the extra attack, and maybe 5’ stepping everywhere, leaving the monk to be somewhat conservative in the BIG stuff: self-healing and bamphing to the BBEG or to safety)

I can see Ki pool going back to 1 per 2 levels, starting with 1 point + Wis at Level One (thus 1,3,5,etc) to tone this down and paring this with the Magus Arcane Pool instead of the Bard/Barbarian Performance/Rage pool. This would mean 14 ki points instead and the Monk will have to be very circumspect in expending ki.

So quick recap:
Monks can now do cool things at 1st level (expend ki to get +4 to AC , +20 to speed, or 1 extra attack for one round). This helps alleviate the MAD. (Helps, not gets rid of). This is the best time to take Extra Ki in my opinion, as both Power Attack and Weapon Focus are not available at this level. Going from an average 4 Ki to 6 Ki at first level is pretty nice!

Stunning fist now acts like a touch spell in regards to hit or lose it…so an improvement. I would think the feat Ability Focus would apply, so there is an extra +2 to DC (average of 13 to 15), and another good feat to take at first level.

The unimpressive monk weapons can now do a bit more damage.

By 3rd level, monks can truly be skirmishers, or be able to bypass front lines to get to choice targets.

By 4th level, monks can still use their attacks to hurt the real monsters PC’s face at this level and beyond…at the cost of ki. This can be expensive for some critters (Silver AND Good = 3 points!) and ignores the bludgeoning only issues.

By 7th level, the monk can survive being the skirmisher. While far away from the healer they can keep themselves going until back up gets there.
And finally, at level 12, they are truly able to ignore battlefield terrain/obstacles, and strike from unexpected directions (as the class description states).

I still don’t see this class being a real melee monster, but a guy that can go after targets of his choosing and hit a lot for moderate damage and do other cool things as well.

Depending upon feat choices and point buy, you can have a 1st level monk with a 16 AC (14 Dex, 16 Wis, Dodge as the bonus feat) and do 1d6+3 with a 16 Str. Combat Expertise (13 Int) is actually a great investment if paired up with the Threatening Defender Trait (+1 to AC with NO penalty to hit until you reach a +4 BAB, then it’s -1/+2) With the Favored class being Hit Point (don’t need ¼ Ki anymore), the Monk can have 10 HP, AC 17, +3 Attack (flurry +2/+2) with 1d6+3 damage with 4 Ki Points.

This is still a tough road for this guy.

Weapon Finesse looks desirable, as this would allow the monk to save a ton of points and shift Str points to Dex, but this can be a trap of hitting a lot but doing icky damage. AC, Init, Reflex, and Dex skills will love it, but Damage output drops.


1. Like the increase, but I am leery about moving it to 1st. It would make the Monk an incredible dip class, even more so than now. Improved Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows, a bonus feat, AC bonus, all good saves, and Ki Pool, all at 1st level? A little much.

2. I like it.

3. +7? +7? Gah. Fighters will drool with envy, especially if a monk can use dueling gloves. Damage isn't really the problem with a monk--it is hitting.

4. I like.

5. Eats ki like candy. Really needs some work, but there is a good nugget of an idea here, but the ki point cost is EXTREME.

6. I could live with this. Literally.

7. Ki point cost is WAY high, once again. Something needs to be done with abundant step, but I dont' think this is it.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It highly worries me that so many people do not understand one bit of the design decisions behind the monk. The ki pool is not as large as the barbarian or bard because the ki pool is fundamentally different and often times better than either of those. Rage doesn't grant an extra attack, one of the best, if not the best, buff in the entire game. Bardic performance doesn't grant +20 to move speed.

They are fundamentally different things and treating them as similar is Bad Design.

2) Great, so it basically becomes "lol, I'm gonna stun you and completely ignore the resource management aspects of the class".

3) Eh, helps the weapon users out.

4) Oh dear god no.

5) Good news! This is already done. It's called "increasing unarmed damage die"

6) See number 4.

7) I can see this being fine for the normal monk, with reduced extra ki cost. Maybe +1 or +2. Not sure how it'd interact with dimension agility tree.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Interesting how the first 2 responders have almost opposite views. :)

For moving Ki to 1st level, I have been debating spacing out the abilities as:

1st: +5 speed or +1 to AC
2nd: +10 speed or +2 to AC
3rd: +15 Speed or +3 to AC
4th: the full boat.

Cheapy, I'm raising an eyebrow at that I do not understand one bit of the design decisions...cause game developers NEVER make errors in class design.

The class is underwhelming, and many here on the boards agree.

I did suggest keeping a 1 per 2 levels progression for Ki.

And I really disagree that the increasing dice alone will keep up with DR. Yes they can use special material weapons, but then why bother with increasing damage with unarmed strike?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting ideas.

1. ki-pool at 4th level is fine, the problem with ki-pool is the cost of some of the abilities is too high, not the number of points is too low.

2. No. There is a reason the attempts have to miss or hit, stunning fist is very strong when it works. The problem is not that you lose the charge, it's the unlikelihood of hitting.

3. Monk's do not need extra damage, they need to hit in the first place. Extra damage is a bonus if they do, but it is secondary - especially with weapons. I understand the concept (links to the original AD&D monk), but I would limit it to +3 tops and make it like the the fighter's weapon training. Remember, +1 to hit = +2 to damage, so +3 to hit AND damage = +9 damage.

4. I like.

5. Wow. What a complicated system. Why not just give them a +1 magic enhancement to hit at 4th level, +1 per four levels after, and let these bypass DR as magic weapons of the same bonus? This kills the major problem you didn't address, actually hitting, as well as the DR problem in one fell swoop.

6. Like.

7. Just let the monk act normally after the effect as if they had the Dimensional Agility feat thingy.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

How about:

1. (Change)Gain Ki Pool at first level equal to Wis Modifier +1 and gains another Ki point at every odd level. (This puts them on par with the magus.) When expending ki, the monk can choose to gain for 1 round (depending upon level):
a. 1st Level: +5 Speed or +1 Dodge bonus to AC
b. 2nd Level: +10 Speed or +2 Dodge Bonus to AC
c. 3rd Level: +15 Speed or +3 Dodge Bonus to AC
d. 4th Level: +20 Speed, +4 Dodge Bonus to AC, or 1 extra attack

2. (Addition) Add Combat Expertise to the list of bonus feats.

3. (Change)When using Stunning Fist, a miss just causes the ‘charge’ to be held until the Monk’s next turn. If the monk does not land a hit by then, the charge is lost. The monk can still only deliver 1 Stunning Fist per round. (Unless other feats or abilities allow the monk to do so). (Possibility: Have the Monk choose at first level if this will target Will or Fort, thus giving a stylish point on how they fight )

4. (Addition)Combat Agility: At Level 3 the monk can expend Ki as a free action (once per round) to be able to take additional 5’ Steps up to their Dex Modifier per round. (This allows combat maneuverability and land attacks with flurry of blows) Any steps not taken are lost by the end of the Monk’s turn.

5. (Change)KI Strike: At 4th level the monk’s unarmed strikes are
treated as Magic as long as the monk has 1 point in reserve. Additionally, the Monk can expend ki to give an enhancement bonus to hit and damage of +1. They can increase this amount by 1 (by expending an additional amount of ki) every 3rd level (7, 10, 13, and 16) to a maximum of +5. This augmentation last for 1 minute. The monk can use these pluses to bypass certain DR. The monk still gains the Lawful alignment for his unarmed at the same level. The monk may also add the above to any weapon they have that has the Ki Focus ability. The monk can also alter his unarmed strikes to bypass B, S, or P once per round as a swift action as well at no cost and for as long as they wish. If I am missing any other type of DR, or we come across a unique DR for some reason than we can use an equivalent.

6. (Change)Wholeness of Body: This changes to a move action to use and heals as lay on hands. The cost is 1 ki point, but by expending an additional point the monk can use this as a swift action.

7. (Change)Abundant Step: For the normal amount of ki, this is unchanged. By spending an additional 2 Points, this becomes a swift action allowing the monk to use any remaining actions. Abundant Step may only be used once per round. Or, for an additional 2 points above the normal 2 the monk may bring an ally, but then both the monk and the fellow traveler may only use any remaining move actions after transportation. The monk may expend an additional 2 points per additional allies up to the monk’s equivalent CL for Dimension Door. (So, the monk can expend 4 ki to appear next to someone and unleash a flurry of blows OR spend ki to save himself and the rest of the party.)

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