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The Martial Artist Monk Archetype, and why its awesome.

Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

I'm currently playing one, and enjoying the heck out of it. I'm going to do a rundown of their abilities and why I like them.

Pain Points- This is a nifty ability, but not spectacular. The bonus on critical confirmation is handy. The boost stunning fist DCs is certainly a good thing. The boost to quivering palm DCs is downright amazing when combined with later abilities.

Martial Arts Master- This is a big deal. This lets the monk take fighter only feats. Greater weapon focus and both weapon specialization feats do a lot to help a monk's accuracy amd damage output.

Exploit Weakness- Oh boy, this one here is a hot button. Some people think its terrible, because it requires a roll and swift action to use. Others think its too good because its an at will ability.
Personally I fall somewhere in the middle, but that opinion may change after more playtesting.

What it does: It allows you to do one of two things as a swift action.
1) Make a wisdom + monk level check against a creature or object to get a bonus to hit and ignore DR or hardness of the target.
2) Get a bonus equal to half your monk level as bonus on sense motive and a dodge bonus to armor.
It only works on a single target at a time.
Note: Technically this second ability does not ask for a wisdom check. For those who think the check makes the first ability useless, this could be a decent fix.

Extreme Endurance- Thia eventually makes the Martial Artist immune to: fatigue, exhaustion, stunning, energy drain, and death affects.
This ability is very cool, and for those who've wanted to use monk and barbarian together its a godsend. Immunity to fatigue means you can rage-cycle at will with no ill effects.

Physical Resistance- This gives a scaling reduction to all ability drain and damage. Very cool for avoiding debuffs.

Improved Pain Points- This is not in the book, but the writer said that abundant step should be replaced with an ability that doubles the affect of pain points. Spiffy.

Defensive Roll- As the rogue talent of the same name. Gives you a chance to not die from physical attacks when you otherwise would. Very useful for a front liner.

Quivering Palm- A martial artist gets additional uses of this ability starting at 15th level. Remember how pain points and improved the DCs on quivering palm? Yeah, now you get to do it more than a standard monk. Good times.

Greater Defensive Roll- As the rogue ability. Better odds at not dieing in melee. Its a good thing.

All in all these abilities add up to make martial artists hit harder, more accurately, and take hits better.
Does this make then equal to an optimized fighter or brbarian with a greatsword? Probably not. But does it make them a viable front liner? If they can get a guided weapon, I think so.

Wait, whats a guided weapon you ask?
Its a +1 weapon property from a paizo splat book that allows you to use wisdom instead of strength for hitting and damage. And I think its absolutely necessary for monks to compete in a front-line role.

Its up on the PFSRD. Ask your dm if you can use it.

This concludes why I think the martil artist archtype is amazing.

Thank You

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

It's a monk that doesn't have to be lawful. That right there makes it awesome.

Note: my apologies for the typos. I'm on my phone. Ill fix them when I can get to a computer.

@TriOmegaZero: You're absolutely correct. Can't believe I left that out. I chose mine for a thieves guild game for that exact reason. Ill add it in when I fix my typos.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's a monk that doesn't have to be lawful. That right there makes it awesome.

That's exactly why I'm taking it. I've been waiting years for this archetype. I don't really understand how the creators of the game would think that all martial arts styles=shaolin.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's a monk that doesn't have to be lawful. That right there makes it awesome.

It'd be more awesome if it fit with maneuver master and master of many styles since those are the archetypes that multiclass best.

I would like to run one very badly. I have a sheet of all the abilities printed out. on my desk. can you provide a link to the improved Pain points?

In this thread the Author of the Archetype says he intended to take out abundant step but forgot.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love the general idea of a martial artist character who doesn't have to be a mystical lawful Monk, but I am disappointed that all of them have been squeezed into on archetype, furthermore one which doesn't have access to most other archetypes, either.

And that one of its abilities is wholly dependent on RNG, Exploit Weakness, which has to be rolled *every round* and gets more unlikely to be on the more difficult the fight is... I don't think that was the best design decision.

Technically the second use of exploit weakness doesn't ask for a check. So you can have the dodge bonus on tough fights with no check.

cooperton wrote:
Technically the second use of exploit weakness doesn't ask for a check. So you can have the dodge bonus on tough fights with no check.

Have you seen any official ruling on this? I agree that this is how it's read RAW, but it could also be interpreted that the same lvl+wis as above, if it succeeds, could be used for the defensive stuff instead of the offensive??

TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's a monk that doesn't have to be lawful. That right there makes it awesome.

That's why I played one for a bit. But, they can get even more awesome, as this thread is pointing out!

Yeah, Martial Artist/Barbarian Multiclass with Dragon Style and a Furious AmoMF.

Do you happen to be using Mantis Style for your play through? I've been wanting to use a Martial Artist with Mantis Style feat tree, with a focus on the stunning fist and what not. It sounds awesome on paper but I've yet to have a chance to run through with it.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's a monk that doesn't have to be lawful. That right there makes it awesome.

Side note in this slightly necro'd thread:

Blood of Angels wrote:


The following are race traits for idyllkin.
Enlightened Warrior: You have always found it easy to
maintain inner peace and enlightenment that translate
well to the battlefield. You may take levels in monk even
while maintaining a neutral or neutral good alignment.

Not the greatest Monk race out there, but you can use a trait to accomplish the same thing as the archetype if this is your exclusive goal. This means you can mix Barbarian and Monk while utilizing a different archetype, which can be really cool.

Scarab Sages

I was talking to another poster on this board about monk/barbarian builds, and I had a lot of fun building a Martial Artist/Urban Barbarian dropping str to 10 and pumping DEX and WIS. The Martial Artist's already enhanced Stunning Fist gets even more viable, and with a couple Agile Brass Knuckles you get the same damage, more versatility, and better AC than most TWF builds, and you're not shoe-horned into any particular alignment.

Plus, the Martial Artist makes me think of Ryu from Street Fighter without a Hadouken, which I'm more or less okay with.

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