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Unarmed Fighter(Brawler) / Monk Build Advice


Advice

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Andoran

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi All,

I am planning a unarmed fighter for PFS and would like some advice on my build. I see him as a cagey former pit-fighter who uses his scarred visage to intimidate others (out of combat) and wades into combat swinging. The build is designed to build up both his unarmed attack damage and also build off of intimidation (i.e. Dazzling Display and the Boar Style feats). I chose Human since it is pretty feat intensive, though the bonus to intimidate from half-orc could be helpful instead of the 1st level feat Intimidating Prowess.

His stats would be:
Str: 16 (+2 Human or Half-orc) = 18
Dex 16 (for TWF)
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 12
Chr 7

Traits: Reactionary and Freed Slave (Andoran = +1 Will Saves)

Fighter (Brawler) 1: Power Attack (Human), Two-Weapon Fighting (Fighter), Intimidating Prowess.
Monk (Master of Many Styles/Monk of the Sacred Mountain) 1 : Dragon style (Monk), Improved Unarmed Strike, Fuse Style, Stunning Fist
Monk 2: Dragon Ferocity (Monk), Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike), Iron Monk (Toughness and +1 Natural Armor).
Fighter2: Dazzling Display (Fighter), Bravery, Close Combat
Fighter3: Boar Style, Close Combat
Fighter4: Weapon Specialization (Unarmed)
Fighter5: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Fighter6: Boar Ferocity
Fighter7: Boar Shred
Fighter8:??
Fighter9:??
Fighter10: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting

First level will 2-hand using a greatsword, after which I will rely mostly on two-weapon fighting unarmed. This build doesn’t have Improved Grapple, which may hurt (looking for advice on that as well). Any advice would be great. Thanks.


Why are you greatswording at level one when you've already taken TWF? At level one, those -2s aren't a big deal, you'll still hit something if you're strength is high enough which it is. Besides getting the stly feats and slightly improved damage why take the levels of monk? Your BAB will be lower, you won't get FoB, your Stunning fist DC won't be worth it.

You'd be better going off straight fighter brawler for damage.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for the comments. I should clarify some of the selections I have made.
The reason for the greatsword is I don't get improved unarmed until the 1st monk level (when it is free).
I took the monk levels to get earlier entry into the Dragon Style Feats (and to avoid the skill prereqs) in addition to the saves and increases in unarmed strike damage.
The Master of Many Styles trades out FoBs so not having that is not a problem.


you could go monk level 3 than taker monastic training if it is allowed in PFS

EDIT: just saw you are going MOMS never mid


Honestly, you could put off PA until 4th level. You don't need it until then, most of the time stuff will go down in one hit from a solid fighter. The monk levels, in the long run will hurt you. Instead, I'd do this, unless you're deadset on the style feats.

Fighter Brawler
Human
1 TWF, Intimidating prowess, IUS
2 WF IUS
3 PA or Dazzling Display
4 whichever one you didn't pick above.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi Borthos,

Thanks again for the input.

The pros and cons I see of the monk levels are:

Pros:
higher damage dice on unarmed strike (1d6 vs 1d3).
higher reflex and will saves (+3), which saves me taking Iron Will.
free Natural Armor and Toughness from MOSM.
Access to the 2 free style feats.
Free Improved Unarmed Strike feat.
Can use both Boar and Dragon feats at the same time (Fuse Styles).

Cons:
-1 BAB
Later entry (2 levels) to Weapon Specialization (won't get Greater in PFS at 12th, but Dragon's Ferocity is better anyhow).
Finally, one less to Attack and damage at top end from Close Combatant.

Overall losing 2 levels of Fighter means 1 less Combat feat at the even level, but I get 4 feats (Dragon Style, Dragon Ferocity, Toughness, and IUS) that I want as bonuses for the 2 monk levels and 1 that is nice but not key (Stunning Fist).

I might be missing something though, what do I get through strait Fighter that I missed?


why you do not take the unarmed fighter archetype? it would give you IUS for free AND a style feat (with no prerequisites)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi Nicos,

Good suggestion. I looked at Unarmed fighter and thought it was inferior to Brawler for pure damage output since most of the bonuses split between grappling and unarmed strike. It also loses medium and heavy armor proficiency.


Honeslty, damage dice aren't important. A straight fighter outdamages a monk any day of the week. Dragon styles are nice, but the boar feats are just kinda meh. Why not just use the dragon all the time?

Although you are right, the saves would be nice. You could go dwarf fighter and get essentially those same benefits. You really only need that bonus against spells. Traps aren't much in PF

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Borthos Brewhammer wrote:

Honeslty, damage dice aren't important. A straight fighter outdamages a monk any day of the week. Dragon styles are nice, but the boar feats are just kinda meh. Why not just use the dragon all the time?

Although you are right, the saves would be nice. You could go dwarf fighter and get essentially those same benefits. You really only need that bonus against spells. Traps aren't much in PF

I like the Boar feats for flavor, plus with the Monk of Many Styles archetype I can do Boar and Dragon at the same time.


Brwaler is a good option, it is weird but it seems like it gains both armor traning and some kind of improved weapon traning at level 3.

But, if you have or pland to buy Ultiment equipment you would want the brawling ARMOR property. It give +2 to unarmed attacks and damage and grapple and it can be only put in light armor.


And if you would do a lot of power attacks and maximize intimidate maybe you want the cornugon smash feat.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nicos wrote:

Brwaler is a good option, it is weird but it seems like it gains both armor traning and some kind of improved weapon traning at level 3.

But, if you have or pland to buy Ultiment equipment you would want the brawling ARMOR property. It give +2 to unarmed attacks and damage and grapple and it can be only put in light armor.

I am waiting for Ultimate Equipment to arrive. That armor property is pretty sweet. I wonder if mitral breastplate would qualify as light armor in the case of enchanting it?


Mischief Mondragon wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Brwaler is a good option, it is weird but it seems like it gains both armor traning and some kind of improved weapon traning at level 3.

But, if you have or pland to buy Ultiment equipment you would want the brawling ARMOR property. It give +2 to unarmed attacks and damage and grapple and it can be only put in light armor.

I am waiting for Ultimate Equipment to arrive. That armor property is pretty sweet. I wonder if mitral breastplate would qualify as light armor in the case of enchanting it?

you will need to ask some dev for and asnwer.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was also thinking of taking Enforcer at level 1 instead of Intimidating prowess and then taking Intimidating Prowess at 4th and delaying Boar style.


Honestly, those checks are pretty easy to make. You probably don't even need it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I have pondered the idea of a Monk/Fighter build a while for our crazy no-holds-barred annual Pathfinder weekend (usually 8th level PCs).

I found that trying to go for straight damage is a trap!

The reason is that you will usually have a meh AC unless you concentrate all your wealth on it and beg your groupmates for buffs and also have meh straight up damage for not a lot of utility.

So I would advice a Fighter(Brawler) / Monk (Drunken Master of Many Styles Quiggon) going Crane and Snake.

This gives you good to godly armor class and the ability to do quite some attacks per round that individually won't be much weaker than a Dragon/Boar Monk could bring on because, especially in organised play, it will be a very long time until your iterative attack does anything.

Also:

Mischief Mondragon wrote:
...I wonder if mitral breastplate would qualify as light armor in the case of enchanting it?

Given the fact that you still need medium armor proficiency to wear it I'd say no.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Unarmed Fighter/Maneuver Master?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for all the feedback. I will take another look at the snake and crane styles.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mischief Mondragon wrote:
Thanks for all the feedback. I will take another look at the snake and crane styles.

Here is my updated build incorporating Crane style. Level 1 will still rely on using a Greatsword until I get my first monk level at 2.

His stats would be:
Str: 16 (+2 Human or Half-orc) = 18
Dex 16 (for TWF)
Con 14
Int 7
Wis 12
Chr 7

Traits: Reactionary and Freed Slave (Andoran = +1 Will Saves)

Fighter (Brawler) 1: Dodge (Human), Two-Weapon Fighting (Fighter), Weapon Focus (unarmed).
Monk (Master of Many Styles/Monk of the Sacred Mountain) 1 : Dragon style (Monk), Improved Unarmed Strike, Fuse Style, Stunning Fist
Monk 2: Crane Style, Crane Wing (Monk Bonus), Iron Monk (Toughness and +1 Natural Armor).
Fighter2: Improved Grapple (Fighter), Bravery, Close Combat
Fighter3: Dragon Ferocity, Close Combat
Fighter4: Weapon Specialization (Unarmed)
Fighter5: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Fighter6: Greater Grapple
Fighter7: Crane Riposte
Fighter8:G. Weapon Focus
Fighter9:??
Fighter10: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting

With this character I get good offense and decent defense (Crane Style, Toughness, and Natural Armor). My main concern is with the cost of increasing the to hit and damage of unarmed with Amulet of Mighty Fists. This increases the problems with DR that any TWF gets. I could also use punching daggers of different materials to beat DR from material and piercing. Any other suggestions?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any advice?


Mischief Mondragon wrote:
Any advice?

It looks very similar to my Brawler/Monk.

With Crane Style your AC is not as important (until you start encountering more foes with multiple attacks), so you could afford to drop Dodge for something else.

Or you could drop Dodge and take Toughness while swapping your Con and Wisdom around.

You'd end up with the same HP and AC but with a slightly better Will save rather than a slightly better Fort save.

Taking a third level of Monk at some stage, so when you use a Monks' Robe you would bump your unarmed damage up two categories, would be handy.

But with Dragon style bumping your Str as high as possible is a better outcome than increasing the size of your damage dice.


I would reconsider greater two weapon fighting and delay improved two-weapon fighting. Consider dropping wisdom to 12 or 10. You're not getting much use out of Stunning Fist anyway and that's about the only thing you need wisdom for. Both of those changes will allow you to focus more on strength, which is very useful with dragon style.

Ways to help increase to-hit and damage beyond the amulet are gloves of dueling and brawling armor, though the latter requires you to wear light instead of heavier armor. But given crane style, your defense should still be fine. Consider investing the first +1 your get via amulet in either elemental damage or keen (to help trigger the dragon ferocity bonus effect)

Keep in mind, that you can only get into a single style stance during the first round, so you need to delay either dragon or crane until round two, when you get a second swift action. This will be a tactical decision during every combat. Generally: If you opponent has only a single big attack, begin with crane. If charging is called for, go dragon.

Also carrying around weapons from the close group is a good idea. punching daggers are fine, but if you can swallow the -1 to hit, the scizore is a 1d10 base damage weapon. You could TWF with one of those and a punching dagger or unarmed strike.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do Gloves of Dueling work with the Brawler Archetype? The class feature Close Combat replaces Weapon Training (does a similar thing though). This is for PFS so that might not work.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was also thinking of flipping the Monk levels to the beginning to qualify earlier for Crane Riposte:

Monk1: Dodge, Crane Style, Crane Wing (Monk Bonus)
Monk2: Crane Riposte (Monk Bonus)
Fighter1: TWF (Fighter Bonus), Dragon Style
Fighter2: Weapon Focus (unarmed)
Figher3: Dragon Ferocity

This would mean a two level delay before two-weapon fighting, but the defense would be really good out the gate, with the ability to counter attack once per round with Crane Riposte at 2nd level rather than 8th since with MoMS you don't need the prerequisites other than the style feats.

Prerequisites: Crane Style, Crane Wing, Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +8 or monk level 7th.

Benefit: You take only a –1 penalty on attack rolls for fighting defensively. Whenever you use Crane Wing to deflect an opponent’s attack, you can make an attack of opportunity against that opponent after the attack is deflected.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gallo suggested that I take a third monk level to bump up the base attack of unarmed strike with Monk's Robe, it would also allow me to take Monastic Legacy to increase it further. Now this would result in my feats being out of order at level 12 (no bonus fighter feat) so I couldn't take Greater TWF. Now an option would be to take one level in monk and another in a different full BAB class to have my 8th level Fighter feat at 12th to get Greater TWF. The only class that would be reasonable would be barbarian. What do you think of the following build?

Monk1: Dodge, Crane Style, Crane Wing (Monk Bonus)
Monk2: Crane Riposte (Monk Bonus)
Fighter1: TWF (Fighter Bonus), Dragon Style
Fighter2: Weapon Focus (unarmed)
Fighter3: Dragon Ferocity
Fighter4: Weapon Spec (unarmed)
Fighter5: Improved TWF
Fighter6: ??
Monk3: Monastic Legacy
Fighter7:
Barb1: Extra Rage
Fighter8: Greater TWF

What I would lose from not having 10 levels of fighter would be 1 Bonus Feat and the Brawler ability No Escape (see description below). I would gain fast movement X2 (once for monk at 3 and once for barbarian at first), more base damage with unarmed, and some rage (12 rounds with extra rage feat). With monk's robe and monastic legacy I would be doing 2d6 unarmed versus 1d8 with just monk's robe). Do you think the positives outweigh the negatives?

No Escape:
At 9th level, taking a 5-foot step out of the area of a brawler’s menacing stance or moving out of the area of a brawler’s menacing stance with a withdraw action provokes an attack of opportunity from the brawler.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Two questions:

1. What are the consequences in PFS of changing my alignment from Lawful Neutral to true neutral to take the level in Barbarian? Since I won't be taking any more Monk levels it shouldn't be a big deal should it?

2. What abilities would I be unable to perform while raging? Could I still fight defensively and use style feats?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is the loss of two more fighter levels going to be a problem?


I say go dex not Str, take Piranha Strike (Power attack for finesse) Boar Style and Snake style, that gives you only 3 stats to be decent at not 4.
MoMS and Brawler still tho... and look at adding Hungry Ghost Monk for punishing Kick instead of Stunning Fist, they are knocked prone, can do it and MoMS together.
Str 10, Dex 17, con 14, int 7 Wis 16 cha 7. dex at all

1 Monk1: Wpn Finesse, Snake Style(MoMS), Piranha Strike, US(d6)
2 Monk2: Snake Fang (Monk Bonus)
3 Fighter1: TWF (Fighter Bonus), Boar Style
4 Fighter2: Weapon Focus (unarmed)
5 Monk3: Monastic Legacy (US d8)
6 Fighter3: (Close combat +1/+3)
7 Fighter4: Improved TWF, Weapon Spec (US)(+5 unarmed damage total)
8 Monk:(Ki Pool)
9 Fighter5: feat(boar ferocity)
10 Fighter6: feat (Combat Reflexes)
11 Fighter7: feat,(boar Shred) Close Combat(+2/+4)
12 Fighter8: Greater TWF, US (d10)

damage at 1, +2 hit d6+2 Base AC is 16, or Sense motive check, roll +9 whichever is better and SM done as an immediate action whenever someone targets you with melee or range or TOUCH.
at level 2, if they miss you get to AoO, if that hits you get 2nd as immediate actions on their turn after rolling SM to boost AC.
at 3, you get 2wf and rend on your turn if you hit with both, now when you hit with both AoOs you get to rend too.
at 5, you get to count up the damage to d8 +4. at 6. d8 +7, and WF/close combat negate the piranha strike penalties.
at 7, attacks now 10/10/5/5 doing d8+7 and 2d6 bonus if 2 hit, AC average 15 +roll Grab an item of sense motive +5, and average AC will be 30.
at 12, GTWF attacks are 16/16/11/11/6/6 doing d10+12 with 2d6 rend, 1d6 bleed, and a free demoralize, stunning attacks... AC is average of 27+roll (+10 sense motive item)
hit some gloves of dueling, monks robes, belt of str/dex, and an amulet of mighty fists on top of that.


wow... not one comment on my build.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi TG,
Sorry didn't have a chance before to really look into it. I really like the build, and think I might steal some of it. However, I see my character as more of a big strong (dumb) beast of fighter rather than a dexterous bob and weaver. Once I hit 4 I will be buying Brawling (+2 damage and to hit for unarmed) armor so will lose the wisdom bonus to AC, so a high wisdom won't be a huge help.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

20 point buy Human.
str 18 (10 points plus racial +2)
Dex 14
Con 14
INT 10
Wis 10
Cha 10 (I hate dumping stats but you could get a little more by dumping stats and raising either dex to 15 for 2 weapon fighting or str to 19)

1) MoMS Dodge (Human Bonus), Crane style (Level 1), Crane Wing(Monk bonus)
2) MoMS Crane Riposte
3) MoMS Dragon Style
4) MoMS (you now have a magic attack doing 1d8 +6)
5) Brawler Weapon Focus Unarmed, Deflect Arrow
6) Brawler Dragon Ferocity
7) Brawler Two Weapon Fighting
8) Brawler Weapon Specialization
9) Brawler Improved Critical
10) Brawler Double Slice
11) Brawler Power attack or Improved two weapon Fighting
12) Brawler Greater Weapon FOcus (unarmed)

To follow the two weapon fighting you will need to get an item that boosts dex. Strength is your most important stat. You would do more damage using a Kukri (but unarmed can be more flavorful).

Assuming 22 str at level 12 (I would expect it to be higher) your base hit will be 1d8 + 15 without power attack 1d8 +21 with power attack. before adding anything in other then strength from an item to get you to 22.


The high wisdom was also to get the sense motive bonuses which act as your ac as an immediate action following the enemies attack, and to increase the DC of your stunning attack(or whatever) and get more Ki. It does not say you have to USE the SM check as AC to get the free attack, it just says you have to have Snake Style Active, so it still works if you just kick AC up by regular methods, and if you happen to roll a 20 check, with max skillranks (why not just in case), you have a spike to ac for a round. d20 + level +5 at max ranks, could be better than your AC sometimes, and an item of skill +10 is 10kg, effectively for this ability a +10 armor, MUCH cheaper than armor enchants, and applies to TOUCH, which crane wing does not.

I can see the Str route, which would be better dragon style, but getting to double tap as -one- AoO on every missed attack means you do damage on their turn as well as yours, for every enemy that swings at you.

If you only get 2 styles from MoMS, go dragon snake, with the pointbuy above dropping Cha to 8 for the 15 dex for TWF, taking snake style at 1 bonus and snake fang at 2, leaving you with a bonus feat available at 1... TWF or PA, which lets you get imp/gr two weapon fighting in the build. at the top end, gr wpn focus isn't really necessary +1 to hit vs another attack. Monks don't need Double Slice, which gives you another feat there as well.

I'd also throw in Monastic Legacy instead of Imp crit, 2d6 instead of 1d8 unarmed damage vs. 19-20 instead of 20 crit,(since i'm assuming you will buy monks robes).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm... TG - remember that you only get one immedeate action per round. So that AC spike is only against one attack. And if you use SM for AC, then there's no possibility of a second AoO.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also MoMS looses out on still mind so can not take Monastic Legacy.


MoMS only loses the bonus feat selection, flurry, and perfect self. so you do get still mind as normal, and can take monastic legacy.

The feats in the Snake chain specifically state that when using snake style, if an opponent misses, not only do you get the one AoO you get a second attack as an immeditate action.


this might be more of a rules question for unarmed fighting, but i'm also interested in this moms to brawler build, so i figured this would be a decent spot after Mischief Mon pointed me in this direction.

so is this build stuck with having to use AoMF like all unarmed monks, or since he won't be using flurry can you enchant a gauntlet and use that for your unarmed strikes since it's in the 'unarmed weapon' section. do unarmed feats and whatnot apply to that given the weapon is an 'unarmed weapon?' I'm not sure how all that would match up.

thanks in advance for any insight

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
elgabalawi wrote:

this might be more of a rules question for unarmed fighting, but i'm also interested in this moms to brawler build, so i figured this would be a decent spot after Mischief Mon pointed me in this direction.

so is this build stuck with having to use AoMF like all unarmed monks, or since he won't be using flurry can you enchant a gauntlet and use that for your unarmed strikes since it's in the 'unarmed weapon' section. do unarmed feats and whatnot apply to that given the weapon is an 'unarmed weapon?' I'm not sure how all that would match up.

thanks in advance for any insight

This build will be able to use the Brawler enchantment from the Ultimate Equipment on the light armor (5100 gold total cost for mithral shirt with +1 enchantment and Brawler). This gives an untyped +2 to hit, damage, and CMB on grapples. This also counts as making your unarmed strikes magical. It also stacks with the enhancement bonus from AOMF if you choose to get that. You could also use the enchantment on your AOMF to get flaming or some other enchantment. You can also get the acid gloves from the Ultimate Equipment (I think they are 8000 gold) which add 1d6 acid damage to unarmed strikes. Remember with Unarmed Fighter or Brawler Fighter you lose weapon training so you can't benefit from Gloves of Dueling (at least in PFS, you might be able to convince your GM in a home game).

Here is a DPR calculation I did for the build at 10th level:

DPR Calculation:

Ability Scores
STR: 22 (15 base, +2 racial, +1 level, +4 belt)
DEX: 17 (14 base, +1 level,+2 Ioun Stone )
CON: 13
INT: 10
WIS: 12
CHA: 8
HP: 69
Saving Throws
Fort: 12 Ref: 7 Will: 7
AC: 22/ 26 when fighting defensively Crane Style (-1 to hit) – Touch 14/18, Flatfooted 19 (+6 - +2 mithral shirt , +3 dex, +1 natural armor, +1 dodge, +1 Ring of Protection; when fighting defensively - +4 (+3 due to acrobatics, +1 extra dodge)
Attacks: unarmed (no crane style) +19/+19/+14/+14, 1d10+21 (first hit) or 1d10+18 for remainder (x2)
unarmed (crane style) +18/+18/+13/+13, 1d10+21 (first hit) or 1d10+18 for remainder (x2)
Class Abilities
Stunning Fist
Unarmed Strike
Iron Monk (Toughness and +1 natural armor)
Fuse Styles
Fast Movement (can’t use due to armor)
Maneuver Training
Still Mind
Close Control +2
Close Combat (+2 to hit and +4 to damage)
Menacing Stance
BAB: +9 CMB: 15 (17 with bull rush, drag, reposition) CMD: 28 (30 with bull rush, drag, reposition)
Feats:
Dodge
Crane Style
Crane Wing
Crane Riposte
Two-Weapon Fighting
Weapon Focus (unarmed)
Dragon Style
Dragon Ferocity
Weapon Specialization (unarmed)
Improved TWF
Monastic Legacy
Skills:
High Acrobatics (adds bonus to fighting defensively at 3 ranks) and Perception
Gear:
+2 Brawling Mithral Shirt
Amulet of Mighty Fists +1
Belt of Strength +4
Cloak of Resistance +2
Monk’s Robe
His average DPR in Dragon Style when not in Crane Style is 69.14, when in Crane Style it is 64.05


You're wasting the bonus moms feats on low-prereq style feats. I would go two levels of fighter, then moms, so you can get snake style as your normal 3rd level feat, and snake fang as the moms bonus. Then back to fighter for 4, do the same trick at 5 with Moms2. That gets you brawler 3 much earlier, which is far better than d8 damage...


thanks for the extra info. i don't have access to the uc stuff atm, but that brawler enchant sounds pretty awesome.

the idea of spreading out the Moms levels is interesting too; i'll have to look closer at that.

I'm still unclear about the rules with using things like gauntlets during unarmed attacks and enchanting them. is that allowed but just not optimal compared to what you're doing, or is it not allowed (in which case i'm not sure how unarmed fighters who aren't monks do any damage without the brawler enchant).

thanks again.


ooh, and Vestrial, are you suggesting that the way Mom style feat bonuses work, you can not only take the next feat in a style chain without having all the prereqs, but you can skip the second feat in the chain as well and go straight to the third with the bonus feat if you already have the initial style feat? that would be interesting.


elgabalawi wrote:
ooh, and Vestrial, are you suggesting that the way Mom style feat bonuses work, you can not only take the next feat in a style chain without having all the prereqs, but you can skip the second feat in the chain as well and go straight to the third with the bonus feat if you already have the initial style feat? that would be interesting.
Quote:
At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a master of many styles may select a bonus style feat or the Elemental Fist feat. He does not have to meet the prerequisites of that feat, except the Elemental Fist feat. Alternatively, a master of many styles may choose a feat in that style’s feat path (such as Earth Child Topple) as one of these bonus feats if he already has the appropriate style feat (such as Earth Child Style). The master of many styles does not need to meet any other prerequisite of the feat in the style’s feat path.

Seems pretty clear that's how it works. And yeah, it makes spreading out those levels much more beneficial than tanking them early.


Honestly, I'm a personal fan of the 'Lore Warden' myself over any other fighter archetype (mainly because fighters don't really have the best skill set, but a Lore Warden really does have some amazing benefits).

At the cost of advancing your armor, you really do gain a great set of skills, along with many cool benefits.

If you're wanting to go with unarmed strikes, here's a few neat tricks to remember:

Monk Robes - for 13,000gp you can knock up your damage for unarmed strikes to 1d8.

Brawling Armor - for roughly 4,150 gp + whatever light armor you want, you get +2 to hit and damage for unarmed strikes.

Dueling Gloves - they increase your weapon training by 2 (which will eventually max out to +6 to hit and damage for your unarmed strikes)

Ring of Rat Fangs - basically, natural attacks will also grant you MORE attacks (and since natural attacks and unarmed strikes fall under the same weapon's training category, you can still stack up a lot of damage).

If you're wanting more coolness, just pick a race with claws and add them on top of your unarmed strikes as well.

OR, if you wanna invest in a lot of feats, you can also go for the whole Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp combo (and with a Lore Warden's CMB and high dex, it should prove to be a very effective combo). Personally, I'm not a huge fan of multiclassing, but I figure your damage output for just staying a pure Lore Warden will still be impressive all the same.


Duskblade wrote:
Honestly, I'm a personal fan of the 'Lore Warden' myself over any other fighter archetype (mainly because fighters don't really have the best skill set, but a Lore Warden really does have some amazing benefits).

If there were more int based skills the LW would be more useful. A couple levels of MoMs gives the brawler more effective skill levels, much better defenses, and the warden can't compete on damage.

Out of curiosity, why are you not a huge fan of multiclassing?


thanks for the continued feedback. i've looked around the rules forum as well, but i still can't find clarification on the unarmed with a gauntlet or somesuch issue.

so if someone wouldn't mind, I'm still unclear about the rules with using things like gauntlets during unarmed attacks and enchanting them (which seems as though it would be the best way to deal with enchanting ones unarmed strikes to get past DR and do more damage when not a full monk since the AoMF is so expensive). is that allowed but just not optimal compared to the other options, or is it not allowed?

thanks in advance for any clarification


Vestrial wrote:
Duskblade wrote:
Honestly, I'm a personal fan of the 'Lore Warden' myself over any other fighter archetype (mainly because fighters don't really have the best skill set, but a Lore Warden really does have some amazing benefits).

If there were more int based skills the LW would be more useful. A couple levels of MoMs gives the brawler more effective skill levels, much better defenses, and the warden can't compete on damage.

Out of curiosity, why are you not a huge fan of multiclassing?

Meh, multiclassing always did seem a little inefficient to me, but in this particular scenario with multiclassing with a fighter and monk, I kinda oppose it for a couple reasons:

1) Favored class benefits - 1 extra hit point or 1 extra skill point (among other things) is a really nice benefit that I don't like giving up.

2) In terms of defense, dropping down from d10 HD to d8 HD isn't really what I call a step in the right direction. Granted, the extra feats can be cool, but as a fighter, you got feats to spare.

3) Multiclassing causes you to miss out on the class capstone, and can also delay key abilities gained from your 'primary' class.

4) In terms of benefits, the only thing you seem to be wanting from multiclassing in this particular instance is the extra feats granted from Master of many styles. To me, that's not really worth dipping into another class given your status as a fighter. Your damage per round should be more than sufficient without the need to multiclass. I understand that things like dragon style and crane style are very appealing and all, but I imagine other feats such as deflect arrows, lunge, step up, or even combat reflexes can pretty much give you the versatility you require.

Keep in mind, between weapon training, weapon specialization, dueling gloves, brawling armor, quain martial artist, power attack, hammer the gap, and desperate battler, you can easily achieve an enormous amount of damage just with a straight up fighter.

Currently (just from a few of the above mentioned feats) you can obtain +14 to damage on each unarmed strike (before adding Strength modifier, or factoring in hammer the gap and power attack benefits). When you add in the fact that you can eventually make 8 unarmed strikes in a round (7 + 1 from haste), that really is A LOT of damage.


Duskblade wrote:

1) Favored class benefits - 1 extra hit point or 1 extra skill point (among other things) is a really nice benefit that I don't like giving up.

2) In terms of defense, dropping down from d10 HD to d8 HD isn't really what I call a step in the right direction. Granted, the extra feats can be cool, but as a fighter, you got feats to spare.

3) Multiclassing causes you to miss out on the class capstone, and can also delay key abilities gained from your 'primary' class.

4) In terms of benefits, the only thing you seem to be wanting from multiclassing in this particular instance is the extra feats granted from Master of many styles. To me, that's not really worth dipping into another class given your status as a fighter. Your damage per round should be more than sufficient without the need to multiclass. I understand that things like dragon style and crane style are very appealing and all, but I imagine other feats such as deflect arrows, lunge, step up, or even combat reflexes can pretty much give you the versatility you require.

Keep in mind, between weapon training, weapon specialization, dueling gloves, brawling armor, quain martial artist, power attack, hammer the gap, and desperate battler, you can easily achieve an enormous amount of damage just with a straight up fighter....

1) Benefit, singular. You lose 4 hp by taking two levels of monk (if you're using both favored class on hp. If using it on a skill, you actually gain two skill points by taking the 2 levels of monk, as well as vastly expanding your class skill list.

2) Defense includes more than HP. You lose 2 hp, but net +6 in saves and gain evasion. It's no contest. (Not to mention the defensive style feats...)

3) Most people don't play the game til 20. if you do that might be a consideration. In this case, the fighter capstone isn't terribly exciting. And even if you do play til 20, and even if the capstone is amazing, how long are you going to play AT 20? I'll take a cool ability I get to use for a year or two over the one I'll get to use for a few sessions...

4) It's 4 bonus feats for 2 level dip. but it's not just that you get feats (which combined with the saves/evasion is more than enough reason for the dip), it's the fact that you get to ignore prerequisites on two style feats, picking up those feats WAY sooner than the fighter can, AND you get to use two styles at once.

You're right, if all you're looking at is DPR, straight fighter is probably enough to make you happy. It's also a snooze-fest. Fighter/moms will do similar or greater damage, and have fun/effective combos like Snake fang + Crane riposte for defense (which he can have at 3rd level, a fighter can't do even one of them until 8th), and/or dragon/boar for offense.


here's a question about these build options. snake style seems kind of nice, but with the build being proposed, wis would be a 10 (going to be wearing armor anyways), so i don't see snake style being that helpful. are you thinking that i'm missing something and it is helpful? or that snake fang is good enough on its own to still go that route? or that this build should go for more of a multiple attribute style and pump up wis some?

just curious.


elgabalawi wrote:

here's a question about these build options. snake style seems kind of nice, but with the build being proposed, wis would be a 10 (going to be wearing armor anyways), so i don't see snake style being that helpful. are you thinking that i'm missing something and it is helpful? or that snake fang is good enough on its own to still go that route? or that this build should go for more of a multiple attribute style and pump up wis some?

just curious.

If the classes levels/feats aren't set in stone, why would the stats be? Personally, I wouldn't start with an 18 str. I'd start with a 17, and at least a 12 in wis, but maybe a 13 or 14. (wis is good for a lot besides snake style).

But even with a 10, snake style will still be useful. You don't gain 1 ac per level, so if you keep up on the ranks, sense motive will be quickly close on your ac with little investment. Fighters also get a boatload of feats, so it's not too hard to fit in skill focus if you really want. + skill items are also dirt cheap relative to AC items...

That said, even if you never plan on using snake style, fang is worth it. it's pretty much guaranteed free attacks at your highest bonus. Paired with combat reflexes and mobility, you can provoke and get a lot of counterattacks... It also pairs well with crane wing (better than snake style, unfortunately), since crane doesn't require an immediate action to deflect the attack... On your turn, dragon + boar. On their turn, Crane + snake (potentially 3 free attacks for one attack aimed at you)


yeah, i didn't mean the stats were set in stone, just that obviously the more stats you want to push up, the lower the ceiling on you favored stats, but that sounds like some pretty cool synergy there. i'm only just getting into all this (was a WoW person for a chunk of time but had to give that up due to the time commitment), so i hadn't even thought of grabbing mobility and then intentionally provoking AoOs. very cool. i honestly hadn't thought about grabbing skill focus either, which makes a lot of sense (although i constantly seem to be finding more feats that i want in general).
thanks for all the thoughts.

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