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If Monks have trouble hitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Valiant wrote:
FiddlersGreen wrote:

Tengu drinking flask gives 1 gallon of drinks per day. 1 gallon = 8 pints, so that's about 8 drinks per day?

Alternatively, the drinking horn of bottomless valor gives unlimited alcohol (and other things) for 24000 gp.

Both have always struck me as excellent items for a drunken master.

My monk uses a bag of holding stuffed with absinth :)

Oh, and 2 springloaded wristsheeths of course, holding a drink of absinth in a vial each for really fast consumption if really needed.

It's not what I would do with a monk, but kudos to you, sir, for class and style!

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashiel wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Don't forget that summoner's are full-casters in disguise. They stuff so many high level spells into low level spell slots it's silly. :P

IMHO The summoner is a great idea that just doesn't quite work. I love what Jason was trying to do, and I don't criticize the effort as I can't think of how to execute it better without having it basically be two aquamen or not make sense, but as it is it just doesn't work unless the player is really, really helpful.

Agreed actually. It's currently off limits from my online group's campaign, pending some serious reworking of its spell list. It might even just be easier to just exclude it entirely, but people have asked about it, so it'll probably just get modified. :P

The spell list really needs to die in a fire though. It bugs me all the high level spells they shoved into 3/4 spellcasting, and I find it very annoying that it makes tons of item prices incorrect, opens up stuff like wands of summon monster V (instead of staffs), etc, etc, etc. 2nd level wands of haste? O.o

No sir. (0.o)

If Jason is reading this, Ashiel and Ciretose just agreed that a class needs a major overhaul.

Dogs and Cats, living together. Mass Hysteria.

One big twinkie.

:)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think a major overhaul is unlikely for a long time. But some tweaks that could tune-up the existing monk would go a long way to rescuing the class.


I'm just glad people are seeing the problem, that a fix has been promised, and that we can have healthy discussion about it without flamewars. :D


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice to see you back, RF.


Glad to be back, Dab.


I've thought a fair bit about the monk, and what I think they need are debilitating attacks. Wrist locks, breaks, nerve strikes, these should be turned into ability score damage, as an extension from stunning fist. Make them debilitators, entirely step away from the "they need to do more damage" debate. Make them better, make them cooler, make their martial arts mean something, but not mean the same thing as two weapon fighting with swords or adopt greatsword damage.

Keep the defensive focus, make them attack ability scores, able to move the save around from fort to reflex (are you quick enough, or does the monk hit you in the right spot and drain an ability score) as they need for opponents. Of course, these debilitating strikes would only need to hit touch (but perhaps have shield ac also help, c'mon shield, save my ar**).

Allow them to attack any of the three physical abilities by default at a certain low level, but through feats, they can attack int, wis or cha.

Tie this to a change in weapon proficiencies with more polearms, that adds in more like the Japanese halberd: the naginata, and longspear from the Korean, Japanese and Chinese martial art traditions.

Cheers.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

I've thought a fair bit about the monk, and what I think they need are debilitating attacks. Wrist locks, breaks, nerve strikes, these should be turned into ability score damage, as an extension from stunning fist. Make them debilitators, entirely step away from the "they need to do more damage" debate. Make them better, make them cooler, make their martial arts mean something, but not mean the same thing as two weapon fighting with swords or adopt greatsword damage.

Keep the defensive focus, make them attack ability scores, able to move the save around from fort to reflex (are you quick enough, or does the monk hit you in the right spot and drain an ability score) as they need for opponents. Of course, these debilitating strikes would only need to hit touch (but perhaps have shield ac also help, c'mon shield, save my ar**).

Allow them to attack any of the three physical abilities by default at a certain low level, but through feats, they can attack int, wis or cha.

Tie this to a change in weapon proficiencies with more polearms, that adds in more like the Japanese halberd: the naginata, and longspear from the Korean, Japanese and Chinese martial art traditions.

Cheers.

if you want to play that character play a ninja, they do everything you just suggested. not to say monks cant do it also, but monks dont need to increase damage so the idea of making do non hp damage strikes is besides the point. monks need bonuses to hit and there "awesome" supernatural abilities to actually work and work together.

this has been pointd out, over and over and over over ten pages of posts, and yet people still dont get what the entire issue is about.

MONK PLAYERS DONT WANT DAMAGE!!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I've thought a fair bit about the monk, and what I think they need are debilitating attacks. Wrist locks, breaks, nerve strikes, these should be turned into ability score damage, as an extension from stunning fist. Make them debilitators, entirely step away from the "they need to do more damage" debate. Make them better, make them cooler, make their martial arts mean something, but not mean the same thing as two weapon fighting with swords or adopt greatsword damage.

The issue is not about doing damage, at least not for me, it is about actually hitting. While debilitating attacks is a nice idea, you have the same problem you have with stunning fist: to get it to work you need to HIT and then INFLICT DAMAGE, after which there is a saving throw on top. So against high AC foes, and/or those with DR, any additional abilities are basically utterly useless.

If they can hit more accurately and have the capacity to bypass DR, this concept works. Without it, as currently stands, it is dead in the water as a fix because - as has been demonstrated many times - stunning fist as currently is works far too infrequently to rely upon.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Keep the defensive focus, make them attack ability scores, able to move the save around from fort to reflex (are you quick enough, or does the monk hit you in the right spot and drain an ability score) as they need for opponents. Of course, these debilitating strikes would only need to hit touch (but perhaps have shield ac also help, c'mon shield, save my ar**).

Hitting touch AC would help enormously, but rather than Reflex how about 'nerve strikes' that target Will saves instead of Fortitude?

Problem is, if putting shield in the way helps, I can't see how wearing steel plate cannot help, after which you are on normal AC not touch AC. Maybe a separate 'ghost strike' ability that works on touch AC? Still gets shut down by DR, though.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Allow them to attack any of the three physical abilities by default at a certain low level, but through feats, they can attack int, wis or cha.

I like this idea.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Tie this to a change in weapon proficiencies with more polearms, that adds in more like the Japanese halberd: the naginata, and longspear from the Korean, Japanese and Chinese martial art traditions.

I think the facility to add any weapon they have proficiency in as a monk weapon would be a good thing. Let's face it, there is already Crusader's Flurry that makes cleric/monks more desirable than straight monks. A feat that allows the monk to add any weapon they are skilled in would hardly be broken - maybe make Weapon Focus in the weapon in question a prerequisite, and it'd work fine.


Another option is to weaken the attack or damage of monks, but for paizo to actually make them even better at defence. Make them the go to blockers and spell soakers. Make them even stronger light defensive infantry, but strong because of their ability to block blows and spells, with their mind! (and ki)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ciretose wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Don't forget that summoner's are full-casters in disguise. They stuff so many high level spells into low level spell slots it's silly. :P

IMHO The summoner is a great idea that just doesn't quite work. I love what Jason was trying to do, and I don't criticize the effort as I can't think of how to execute it better without having it basically be two aquamen or not make sense, but as it is it just doesn't work unless the player is really, really helpful.

Agreed actually. It's currently off limits from my online group's campaign, pending some serious reworking of its spell list. It might even just be easier to just exclude it entirely, but people have asked about it, so it'll probably just get modified. :P

The spell list really needs to die in a fire though. It bugs me all the high level spells they shoved into 3/4 spellcasting, and I find it very annoying that it makes tons of item prices incorrect, opens up stuff like wands of summon monster V (instead of staffs), etc, etc, etc. 2nd level wands of haste? O.o

No sir. (0.o)

If Jason is reading this, Ashiel and Ciretose just agreed that a class needs a major overhaul.

Dogs and Cats, living together. Mass Hysteria.

One big twinkie.

:)

Now we just need an eidolon that looks like this. :P


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Another option is to weaken the attack or damage of monks, but for paizo to actually make them even better at defence. Make them the go to blockers and spell soakers. Make them even stronger light defensive infantry, but strong because of their ability to block blows and spells, with their mind! (and ki)

Monks already have a grandly difficult time being meaningful as offense and defense, as opposed to strictly one or the other. The fact they don't excel at either of those is a backburner issue at the moment. Removing one in favor of the other will not fix a monk; only rebalance their already unbalanced problems.

If your glass is only half full, then no matter which direction you tip it, you still have less water than the other guy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Another option is to weaken the attack or damage of monks, but for paizo to actually make them even better at defence. Make them the go to blockers and spell soakers. Make them even stronger light defensive infantry, but strong because of their ability to block blows and spells, with their mind! (and ki)

If that happened, there would be even less reason to play a Monk. You'd never "hold agro," to borrow an MMO term. Nothing would ever treat the Monk as a threat, because it wouldn't be one.

Besides, there are Ioun Stones that can protect you from spells. You'd relegate an entire class down into something that anyone can have with a little rock floating around their head?


Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

Ash, wrong on the defence call. Their saves can be great, and they are always on good progression for all three. Defence isn't just about ac or hp. Spells uselessly bouncing off the monk is also a sign of good defence. Evasion leading to an area effect spell doing nothing is a great power (what's that Jimmy? Monks get it at level 2 and their reflex is already +3 by default before we factor in dex).

To the ki pool, that +4 dodge ac for one round is pretty good. You can truly draw aggro if your build also has defensive feats to work with it, or just increase your ki pool and initiative and keep that ki ability on whenever you need it.

Neo, the monk is a threat though, ignore them and let them get in, and they will do rear or flanking flurries. Their attack is weak? For one ki point, they can add another attack at their highest bonus on the top. At level 8 that is five attacks. If spellcasters don't treat the monk as a threat, rush them! You've got the movement another overlooked strength of the monk, and if they want to then deal with you when you are up close, you've got the saves to soak those spells (the luck of the die permitting). Necromancers don't like flurries. Blasters can waste a lot of spells on defensive monks (and high reflex rogues of course).

Neo, what if you don't have the Ioun stones hmm? Early days and levels, that evasion can save your from a trip to negatives, and those saves keep your from being taken out by a spell that forces a fort, ref or will save. There are plenty of things that can increase your saves here and there, but the monks get good saves right from the start, and then setting and wealth permitting, they can stack defensive items on top.

I actually think they are giving the monk too much. There needs to be a simplification, and breaking them into an offensive or defensive path in the core would be an interesting choice. Maybe you would never play a defensive monk, but I like enemies attacks being deflected harmlessly and saves not killing me.


I didn't notice till you (acidently) pointed it out, but Monks suck against undead because they can't bypass regeneration (which undead keep now, being under HP and not any category that gets lost when made into a skeleton or zombie) and undead are immune to non-lethal damage.

Ogre Mage Skeletons are VERY fun pets, keeping their magical flight, darkness, gaseous form and invisiblity SLAs (they keep the others, but have crappy DCs). I'd imagine they are more potent than a Monk as an ally...


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

No other valid solution has been presented. Just to be clear the solution should be thematic as will. If I cast a spell at person A how is person B going to intercept it?

Quote:


Ash, wrong on the defence call. Their saves can be great, and they are always on good progression for all three. Defence isn't just about ac or hp. Spells uselessly bouncing off the monk is also a sign of good defence. Evasion leading to an area effect spell doing nothing is a great power (what's that Jimmy? Monks get it at level 2 and their reflex is already +3 by default before we factor in dex).

Evasion is nice, but it is better for someone who might fail the save. Since the monk admittedly is not failing too many save the ability will not come into play all that often

Quote:


To the ki pool, that +4 dodge ac for one round is pretty good. You can truly draw aggro if your build also has defensive feats to work with it, or just increase your ki pool and initiative and keep that ki ability on whenever you need it.

We have gone over this before. The monk that hits really hard normally has a low AC, and the monk that has a high AC can't hit do enough damage to be keep the enemy's attention.

Quote:


Neo, the monk is a threat though, ignore them and let them get in, and they will do rear or flanking flurries. Their attack is weak? For one ki point, they can add another attack at their highest bonus on the top. At level 8 that is five attacks. If spellcasters don't treat the monk as a threat, rush them!

Being able to attack is not a threat. How much damage you can do is the treat. It does not matter if the monk has 100 attacks if the rest of the party is consider to be a bigger issue. What caster is just going to leave himself in a position to simply be rushed? If that happens he he will die from another melee combatant on the party's side. Well maybe a druid or cleric might, but that probably just means you are getting setup.

Quote:
You've got the movement another overlooked strength of the monk, and if they want to then deal with you when you are up close, you've got the saves to soak those spells (the luck of the die permitting). Necromancers don't like flurries. Blasters can waste a lot of spells on defensive monks (and high reflex rogues of course).

The movement is not impressive, and any caster who sticks to one type of spells to the exclusion of all others deserves to die. I have never seen one ran like that in an AP or a home-brew game.

Quote:


Neo, what if you don't have the Ioun stones hmm? Early days and levels, that evasion can save your from a trip to negatives, and those saves keep your from being taken out by a spell that forces a fort, ref or will save. There are plenty of things that can increase your saves here and there, but the monks get good saves right from the start, and then setting and wealth permitting, they can stack defensive items on top.

Circumstantial evidence with regard to evasion which is another monk problem. He needs to useful outside of corner cases. As far as the saves, other classes can get decent saves, even for their weak saves.

Quote:


I actually think they are giving the monk too much. There needs to be a simplification, and breaking them into an offensive or defensive path in the core would be an interesting choice. Maybe you would never play a defensive monk, but I like enemies attacks being deflected harmlessly and saves not killing me.

Too much? Do you remember the thread, not to long ago when I had the barbarian build? Unless the monk is fighting mooks he is not that impressive. The monk would not be deflecting attacks in my games if the monk could not prove he was worthy of holding anyone's attention. In order for the monk to do that he need to be able to be an offensive threat. If you build the monk for offense his AC drops though, and he is getting hit in the face. Now a GM can be nice and attack the monk so the player feels useful, but many of us don't want to depend on the GM to make a class look good. We want the NPC's to be legitimately worried about our character in that situation.


Oh? No enemies have weak attacks in your games, everything is +50 PROVING that the monk cannot deflect attacks?

Deus, why would a monk make a non-lethal attack against undead? You know they can make lethal unarmed strikes right? Aaaand, wizard necromancers don't have great hp. Monks are good at countering wizards and sorcerers, it is one of their strengths. As an aside, the pally is also great against spellcasters what with those lovely saves; but if they want the ac, they have to go heavy armour, which gives them a lot worse movement than the monk.

On the rushed caster, well if the caster ignores the monk, and other opponents ignore the monk because they aren't really a threat (they don't want to waste their attacks on that good ac), then the monk is free. If melee opponents leave the monk till last, then they set themselves up for flank flurries.


I didn't realize Regeneration was changed from 3.5. In 3.5 if you didn't bypass regeneration, the damage was non-lethal.

Star Voter 2013

wraithstrike wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

No other valid solution has been presented. Just to be clear the solution should be thematic as will. If I cast a spell at person A how is person B going to intercept it?

Quote:


Ash, wrong on the defence call. Their saves can be great, and they are always on good progression for all three. Defence isn't just about ac or hp. Spells uselessly bouncing off the monk is also a sign of good defence. Evasion leading to an area effect spell doing nothing is a great power (what's that Jimmy? Monks get it at level 2 and their reflex is already +3 by default before we factor in dex).

Evasion is nice, but it is better for someone who might fail the save. Since the monk admittedly is not failing too many save the ability will not come into play all that often

You surely mean Improved evasion. evasion only is good if you make the save.

Star Voter 2013

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am agreeing with ashiel and ciretose at the same time and i am also voting positive to both thier post, weird.


Of course, the oddities of PF undead (SLAs, flight, zombie constructs, fast healing) are still not in the Monk's favor even without regeneration. Graven Guardian Zombie is fun to have around.


Maybe you should lobby for the 'Monks of the Inner Sea' Players Companion


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Oh? No enemies have weak attacks in your games, everything is +50 PROVING that the monk cannot deflect attacks?

What?

Quote:


Deus, why would a monk make a non-lethal attack against undead? You know they can make lethal unarmed strikes right? Aaaand, wizard necromancers don't have great hp. Monks are good at countering wizards and sorcerers, it is one of their strengths. As an aside, the pally is also great against spellcasters what with those lovely saves; but if they want the ac, they have to go heavy armour, which gives them a lot worse movement than the monk.

I agree with you about the non-lethal attack, but the 20 movement is not really a factor in most fights...

Quote:


On the rushed caster, well if the caster ignores the monk, and other opponents ignore the monk because they aren't really a threat (they don't want to waste their attacks on that good ac), then the monk is free. If melee opponents leave the monk till last, then they set themselves up for flank flurries.

When casters use spells to defend themselves the same spells that everyone else has to bypass the monk has to bypass. He is not getting a free shot at the caster just because the caster targets someone else in the party.

Just to be clear "ignoring the monk" means take out the other party members first. It does not mean allow someone to walk up to you and punch you in the face. If a caster was that dumb then even a summon creature would take him down. As to melee opponents they can be flanked even if they do go after the monk, especially if he has a high AC, since he won't be killed quickly, so all they are doing is wasting time by attacking the monk. At least taking out another martial opponent, most likely with lower AC than a high AC monk, means they don't take as much damage as they would have otherwise.


Nicos wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

No other valid solution has been presented. Just to be clear the solution should be thematic as will. If I cast a spell at person A how is person B going to intercept it?

Quote:


Ash, wrong on the defence call. Their saves can be great, and they are always on good progression for all three. Defence isn't just about ac or hp. Spells uselessly bouncing off the monk is also a sign of good defence. Evasion leading to an area effect spell doing nothing is a great power (what's that Jimmy? Monks get it at level 2 and their reflex is already +3 by default before we factor in dex).

Evasion is nice, but it is better for someone who might fail the save. Since the monk admittedly is not failing too many save the ability will not come into play all that often

You surely mean Improved evasion. evasion only is good if you make the save.

Correct.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
DM Wellard wrote:
Maybe you should lobby for the 'Monks of the Inner Sea' Players Companion

I'd buy that book.

New martial arts traditions. New paths ot enlightenment in different directions. Flavorful options to finetune the monk one wants. More art to inspire monk characters.


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I think it's a little bit meta for monsters to ignore monk because he isn't a threat. I know some of you will say the opposite is true, but this is how I honestly feel.


Grimmy wrote:

I think it's a little bit meta for monsters to ignore monk because he isn't a threat. I know some of you will say the opposite is true, but this is how I honestly feel.

We are not saying ignore the monk because it is a monk. That would be meta. We are saying that once certain characters establish themselves as threats that it makes sense to make them the top priority. That is not just game logic, but real life logic. If the one character pounds you in the face for 100 points of damage or turns your buddy to stone, and another class only hits you for 45 points of damage who are you going to want to remove first?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

Ash, wrong on the defence call. Their saves can be great, and they are always on good progression for all three. Defence isn't just about ac or hp. Spells uselessly bouncing off the monk is also a sign of good defence. Evasion leading to an area effect spell doing nothing is a great power (what's that Jimmy? Monks get it at level 2 and their reflex is already +3 by default before we factor in dex).

And I'm telling you that their defenses are fair but nothing to write home about. They have nice saves, but they have statistically only a 30% bonus on a poor save to most classes (most classes in core have 2 good saves, including rangers, bards, clerics, druids, and paladins), and when it comes to defenses, most other martials have strong defensive options while also not having to devote their entirety to it.

Example. Rangers have excellent Fortitude, Reflex, and Armor Class, as well as some defensive features, and the ability to negate poisons and other bad effects via ranger spells. Rangers can even -- eventually -- activate their own freedom of movement effects, making them difficult to crowd-control.

Meanwhile, Barbarians and Paladins rule defenses and still do well offensively. Barbarians are almost total offense, but with their rage powers turn into defensive powerhouses when they rage. Paladins have the best defenses in the entire game, and still can be offensively strong without smite and grossly strong with smite.

Hence the half-full cup comment. Every other martial - barring Fighter - has meaningful defenses to go along with their offense. It is for this reason (among a few) Fighter still remains a dipping class (weaponmaster fighter pretty much welcome fighter dips for every martial), and it is for this reason that monks are half-full. They have neither exceptional offense or exceptional defense, and speccing one or the other results in average offense or defense.

Quote:
To the ki pool, that +4 dodge ac for one round is pretty good. You can truly draw aggro if your build also has defensive feats to work with it, or just increase your ki pool and initiative and keep that ki ability on whenever you need it.

Being defensive does not draw aggro. You have to be a threat to draw aggro. That's the problem. I've seen many, many defensive monks who do nothing. At best, they are the last to die. To draw aggro properly, you need to be able to press your presence on your opponent and then be able to endure the retaliation. Monks cannot do this. Most martials however can.

For example. An 8th level Ranger with a sword and board can comfortably be dealing 10.5 damage per hit with 3 attacks per round with a +2 longsword without power attack. While doing so, he has a nice comfortable AC 28 (+2 breastplate, +2 shield, +3 dex, +1 ring, +1 amulet, +1 haste). His to hit bonuses are good (+8 base, +4 strength, +2 weapon, +1 haste = +15/+15/+10).

If he was fighting a young copper dragon (CR 8) he would hit the copper dragon at 70%/70%/45% for 19.425 (not counting critical hits) per round. In about 4 rounds the dragon will die if the dragon allows the Ranger to stand and beat on him with nothing but a normal physical attack (this is not counting Power Attack, Favored Enemy, or even nice buffs like enlarge person or lead blades). The dragon only has a 35% chance to hit the ranger's AC with his attacks; ergo the Ranger can tank him very effectively. The ranger can also have cast his own resist energy spell making the dragon's breath negligible.

So now the dragon has two options. Either fight a loosing battle with the Ranger or try to evade the ranger. Of course, if the fool dragon tries to evade the ranger he drops his shield and charges at the dragon in full DPS-mode engaged and begins power attacking the dragon while two-handing his longsword each round. If the dragon tries to engage the casters in the party, he is giving the Ranger free reign to tear his tail off. With Power Attack and 2 handing his greatsword, the Ranger's DPR skyrockets to 32.25 damage per round (or 38.7 if flanking). The Dragon will die if he lets the Ranger continue assaulting him in this way. So the Ranger cannot be ignored. So at this point, either the dragon continues to try and melee with the casters but doing so will kill him, so he has to flee.

Alternatively, the dragon takes wing to avoid the ranger. At this point the Ranger just draws a bow and brings the rain. He is effectively immune to the dragon's breath weapon (good Reflex saves combined with resist energy means a success is effectively no damage and a failure is still paltry damage), while he hits the dragon for damage each round that the dragon stays in the air with his bow.

So in all cases, the ranger is drawing aggro. He is not once in a position where the dragon can ignore the ranger. At best, the dragon can try to crowd control the ranger with his own minions (which would be a higher CR encounter) or via summons, but doing so forces the dragon to waste rounds casting from scrolls or retreating and giving the party time to buff more (because get some heroism, lead blades, and enlarge person on the ranger is only going to make him even meaner).

Meanwhile, the monk is far less of an issue. The monk cannot sustain the damage that the Ranger does while keeping an AC that is reasonable without being an unnecessary drain on party resources. The dragon's AC and fortitude saves are near immunity to Stunning Fist. The monk cannot benefit from haste, which means that if he wants to make use of the normal buffing opportunities he has to use an inferior weapon. He is forced to accept two-weaon-fighting penalties, and lacks anything that makes him a ranged combatant (the dragon would laugh at shurikens as he can't even throw them at the dragon's breath weapon distance). Meanwhile, the only hope he has at a distance is to ignore the dragon's breath weapon with evasion (on a poor save he has no resistances like the ranger can provide).

If you build the monk to deal damage, then the dragon turns and murders him on his action with an annoyed full-attack. Assuming your damage emphasized monk began with a 14 Dex and 14 Wisdom and a 12 Con, your AC is around 10 base, +2 monk, +3 wis, +3 dex, +1 natural, +1 deflection, +1 haste = 21. That means the dragon's DPR is about 20.175. Your base HP at this level is about 40. The catch is you're still not doing as much damage as the ranger (you'll only at best break even).

Quote:
Neo, the monk is a threat though, ignore them and let them get in, and they will do rear or flanking flurries. Their attack is weak? For one ki point, they can add another attack at their highest bonus on the top. At level 8 that is five attacks. If spellcasters don't treat the monk as a threat, rush them! You've got the movement another overlooked strength of the monk, and if they want to then deal with you when you are up close, you've got the saves to soak those spells (the luck of the die permitting). Necromancers don't like flurries. Blasters can waste a lot of spells on defensive monks (and high reflex rogues of course).

If you like blowing your load just to make an additional attack, good for you. Monks suck with their ki powers. They are limited and meh. You have to make up for the lack of haste, which incidentally monks get almost no benefit from (seriously, haste for monks is +1 to hit and AC, nothing else). Other martials are just as fast as monks when hasted until 12th level. Monk movement relies on ground conditions, and is as easily obstructed as any other form of ground based movement (monks are not the only dudes who can jump by the way). To deal with a necromancer you have to get past their minions, or at higher levels deal with the fact they can auto-fatigue you with no saving throw (meaning no running, no charging, and penalties to Str/Dex). Blasters shooting at a monk deserve what they get as much as they deserve what they get for a shapechanger to melee with a barbarian.

All of your explanations rely on either the enemy being stupid or being alone. A monk vs an opposing party is in for big trouble, because he has to get past any martials (even if they are low CR NPC warriors or brutes) and lacks adaptability. If the encounter goes arial or some other odd dynamic, then they have issues. Even defensive monks aren't good at tanking damage (Paladins win the tank of the year award, with Antipaladins being 2nd place).


Grimmy wrote:
I think it's a little bit meta for monsters to ignore monk because he isn't a threat. I know some of you will say the opposite is true, but this is how I honestly feel.

Imagine for a moment that you are being rushed by a lot of enemy soldiers.

One of them is wearing boxing gloves. The one next to him is wielding a sword. The one next to him an AK-47. And the guy behind them is wielding a bazooka.

Threat management 101. Begin.


I'm sure the way you run it is realistic and fair but I don't know if it's a big enough factor to dismiss the monks defensive features in a rules discussion. That seems to happen a lot. I don't play monks but I would be bummed out if I had awesome defense and no one ever targets me with anything.

Edit: Holy ninja'd! How did all that show up while I typed three sentences? I swear you are a bot Ashiel.


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Ashiel wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
I think it's a little bit meta for monsters to ignore monk because he isn't a threat. I know some of you will say the opposite is true, but this is how I honestly feel.

Imagine for a moment that you are being rushed by a lot of enemy soldiers.

One of them is wearing boxing gloves. The one next to him is wielding a sword. The one next to him an AK-47. And the guy behind them is wielding a bazooka.

Threat management 101. Begin.

I have a couple problems with the comparison. First of all, if I'm running an owl bear or a gelatinous cube or something I have no business asking myself "what would I do?". So unless I've ported myself into the game word as the BBEG this exercise has problems to begin with.

If if I was running a bad guy that thinks like me, the adventuring party is not really that much like a bunch of soldiers. A bunch of soldiers probably have about the same training and capabilities, so the one with silly boxing gloves likely poses much less of a threat then the one with the bazooka. Adventuring parties aren't so easy to profile.

But I know what you mean.


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Grimmy wrote:

I'm sure the way you run it is realistic and fair but I don't know if it's a big enough factor to dismiss the monks defensive features in a rules discussion. That seems to happen a lot. I don't play monks but I would be bummed out if I had awesome defense and no one ever targets me with anything.

Edit: Holy ninja'd! How did all that show up while I typed three sentences? I swear you are a bot Ashiel.

Ashiel is a machine. While we type sentences Ashiel gets to crank out novels.

If a player depends on a GM to help that monk that is GM fiat. In order for a class to be viable it needs to be able to get by without a GM covering for it. That is a large part of our argument. As an example in games where I had a high offense powered monk he would die because he did get attention. My NPC's are not just stat blocks. They want to live also, so making bad decisions just so the monk can live is not something they would do.* Sometimes they try to run away, since fighting to the death is a bad idea. Sometimes they plead for their lives. If they are winning they might ask the PC's to surrender since more fighting just causes more casualties.

*There are always exceptions...


wraithstrike wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

I'm sure the way you run it is realistic and fair but I don't know if it's a big enough factor to dismiss the monks defensive features in a rules discussion. That seems to happen a lot. I don't play monks but I would be bummed out if I had awesome defense and no one ever targets me with anything.

Edit: Holy ninja'd! How did all that show up while I typed three sentences? I swear you are a bot Ashiel.

Ashiel is a machine. While we type sentences Ashiel gets to crank out novels.

If a player depends on a GM to help that monk that is GM fiat. In order for a class to be viable it needs to be able to get by without a GM covering for it. That is a large part of our argument. As an example in games where I had a high offense powered monk he would die because he did get attention. My NPC's are not just stat blocks. They want to live also, so making bad decisions just so the monk can live is not something they would do.* Sometimes they try to run away, since fighting to the death is a bad idea. Sometimes they plead for their lives. If they are winning they might ask the PC's to surrender since more fighting just causes more casualties.

*There are always exceptions...

So many exceptions that it's not a solid argument to use in a rules discussion, IMO. Just my opinion.


Grimmy wrote:

I'm sure the way you run it is realistic and fair but I don't know if it's a big enough factor to dismiss the monks defensive features in a rules discussion. That seems to happen a lot. I don't play monks but I would be bummed out if I had awesome defense and no one ever targets me with anything.

Edit: Holy ninja'd! How did all that show up while I typed three sentences? I swear you are a bot Ashiel.

Heh, thanks, I try. (^.^)"

Quote:

I have a couple problems with the comparison. First of all, if I'm running an owl bear or a gelatinous cube or something I have no business asking myself "what would I do?". So unless I've ported myself into the game word as the BBEG this exercise has problems to begin with.

If if I was running a bad guy that thinks like me, the adventuring party is not really that much like a bunch of soldiers. A bunch of soldiers probably have about the same training and capabilities, so the one with silly boxing gloves likely poses much less of a threat then the one with the bazooka. Adventuring parties aren't so easy to profile.

That being said, I agree. Certain things aren't horribly obvious. Druids having poison immunity doesn't mean I'm going to ignore them with my poison tipped arrows; nor does having a Paladin in the party mean I'm not going to use evil mummies (even though Paladins are like anti-mummies with their fear and disease immunities plus smite); nor will my players playing undead PCs never be the targets of things like charm person from unwitting enemies.

In the same vein, I don't pick fire resistant enemies because my party's caster like scorching ray; or fear immune enemies because my party's Antipaladin likes using fear; or flying enemies because my PCs have a melee bent. Perhaps I am a product of the 3.x Dungeon Master's Guide, but things like that are big no-nos to me. It's to say I don't use such enemies, but they are not chosen as counter-PCs, and I like variety.

As to owlbears and gelatinous cubes, well it varies. Even animals are capable of understanding and assessing some level of threats. Anyone who has ever seen an animal recoil when you pick up a club will realize that even things of animal intelligence are perfectly capable of accessing certain levels of risk vs reward (I watched an interesting documentary concerning man-eating tigers living in the Sunderbans that similarly notes that tigers go for folks who look "easy").

In some cases, it might actually make the monk more suitable as a target. If you have an armed man in armor walking next to a mostly naked guy who is bare handed, a tiger (or creature of similar intelligence) is likely going to try and ambush the monk and then run off with his limp prey (once the monk is dead he's just part of the tiger's light load). The problem is that is not the sort of "bait" that you want to be (especially since the monk being flat-footed is effectively a dead man in that sort of situation). Martial characters have better flat-footed ACs due to armor and shield bonuses, and it is exactly this sort of reason that you place the squishier members of your group towards the middle (making it way riskier for a predator to ambush your wizard and eviscerate him during the surprise round).

A gelatinous cube on the other hand eats everything indiscriminately. :P

More Intelligent foes are even more likely to assess threats. If you can see someone then it is assumed that you have rudimentary view of their easily accessible equipment, which means you might see things like weapons, wands, spell-pouches, etc. You might even be able to use this sort of thing to your advantage. A monk could carry a spell pouch, a staff, and a trained shoulder bird or something and pretend to be a wizard with a familiar. Maybe he can draw some fire that way before anyone gets wise to his ruse. I once had a psion who dressed in full plate and clanked around pretending to be a warrior so that more "tactical" people would ignore her before realizing they biffed (she carried a shield, a weapon, and full plate, but couldn't have hit her way out of a wet paper bag with all the check penalties to hit, and her CMD was super sucktastic :P).

The catch is, with most enemies (such as with the aforementioned dragon), the monk neither appears to be a threat (he is unarmed, unarmored, and theoretically is no more likely to cast spells than anyone else in the group) nor can he actually do anything to seriously gain the attention or punish said beasty for ignoring him from the start.


Grimmy wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

I'm sure the way you run it is realistic and fair but I don't know if it's a big enough factor to dismiss the monks defensive features in a rules discussion. That seems to happen a lot. I don't play monks but I would be bummed out if I had awesome defense and no one ever targets me with anything.

Edit: Holy ninja'd! How did all that show up while I typed three sentences? I swear you are a bot Ashiel.

Ashiel is a machine. While we type sentences Ashiel gets to crank out novels.

If a player depends on a GM to help that monk that is GM fiat. In order for a class to be viable it needs to be able to get by without a GM covering for it. That is a large part of our argument. As an example in games where I had a high offense powered monk he would die because he did get attention. My NPC's are not just stat blocks. They want to live also, so making bad decisions just so the monk can live is not something they would do.* Sometimes they try to run away, since fighting to the death is a bad idea. Sometimes they plead for their lives. If they are winning they might ask the PC's to surrender since more fighting just causes more casualties.

*There are always exceptions...

So many exceptions that it's not a solid argument to use in a rules discussion, IMO. Just my opinion.

The exception was when I play an NPC as an idiot just to do something different, or if he is so dedicated to the BBEG that he is willing to die. That is what I was referring to.

The idea of constantly dealing with the biggest threat means that the monk does not work unless the GM is being nice. It is not so much a rules issue, as an issue of keeping things even. By not being a nice GM or a GM that goes out of his way to kill players and metagame you end up with a neutral GM, which is the closest we can get to testing things in a vacumn. From there YMMV, but we can't account for mileage. That is the same idea used for the DPR formulas when they assume average rolls. You might roll crits all day or you might get 2's and 3's, but that is not something that can be predicted. The only way to judge a class fairly is to do so without bias. From there the GM or group has to adjust. That way it is fair to everyone, and it gets rid of the "well my GM....", which only muddies the waters.


I've never played a monk and barely even GM'd for monk players. The monk threads have convinced me beyond a shadow of the doubt that the monk needs help. I'm just not sold on the idea that good defenses are irrelevant on the monk just because he's not enough of a threat to draw agro. So many different fights with different circumstances and different enemies. If the monk is getting ignored all the time I think that GM is being a little meta. Some actions should be getting wasted by targeting the monk.


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Grimmy wrote:
If the monk is getting ignored all the time I think that GM is being a little meta. Some actions should be getting wasted by targeting the monk.

Some actions are being wasted on the Monk. You can't treat something as if it's not a threat before you know it's not a threat.

But combat is fast, and when the Monk misses with most attacks and the few he lands with don't hurt much, maybe it was a fluke of the dice.
And when the Ranger attacks and hits with most attacks, and those attacks actually hurt, that might have been a fluke of the dice too.
But the only thing that the monster knows is that the Ranger hurt it and the Monk didn't. And when the Monk usually misses and usually has trouble with DR, then the Monk is usually the one that's going to get moved to the bottom of the "threat list."


Grimmy wrote:
I've never played a monk and barely even GM'd for monk players. The monk threads have convinced me beyond a shadow of the doubt that the monk needs help. I'm just not sold on the idea that good defenses are irrelevant on the monk just because he's not enough of a threat to draw agro. So many different fights with different circumstances and different enemies. If the monk is getting ignored all the time I think that GM is being a little meta. Some actions should be getting wasted by targeting the monk.

You are misunderstanding. We are not saying the monk is ignored 100% of the time. We are saying that in most fights someone else will clearly establish themselves as being more dangerous, and an intelligent(not animal intelligence) opponent will know who to kill first, or at least who not to attack. It is only meta if OOC knowledge is used. If the decision is made using IC(in character) knowledge then it can't be meta.

We are also not saying the monk is never targeted. We are saying that most of the time the monk can't hold the bad guy's attention for more than a round or 2, assuming he even gets the bad guy's attention.


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Hopefully you guys will forgive me for airing out sordid details from my checkered past, but I have a situation that ties in to what I'm trying to say beautifully.

At one time I was attacked by three guys. One had a gun, one had a knife and one had a can of mace. The guy with the gun was the biggest threat if we "run the numbers", right? But I didn't hit him. In retrospect, maybe that was a good tactical choice, if a bit of a gamble, because there was a pretty good chance he was bluffing and wasn't willing to use it. But in the heat of the moment, I wasn't thinking all of that. My mind was in chaos. I hit the guy with the knife. I didn't get stabbed or shot, I got maced and robbed and left in the desert. The truth is in a fight you don't automatically successfully appraise the greatest threat and ignore the guy that is statistically harming you less with each blow. There's a million factors. Sometimes you hit the guy that's in front of you just because he's in front of you. Sometimes you go for the guy that taunted you. Sometimes you're embarrassed that you missed so you try to hit the guy that's hard to hit again. Sometimes you go for the scrawny guy because you're afraid and at least you think you can take him.

Now I don't expect anyone to take all of this into account perfectly when playing a role-playing game. It's just a game. But you can't tell me you are running every monster and npc as living breathing entities if they all adhere to the model "assess and single out greatest threat, ignore other combatants."


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wraithstrike wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
I've never played a monk and barely even GM'd for monk players. The monk threads have convinced me beyond a shadow of the doubt that the monk needs help. I'm just not sold on the idea that good defenses are irrelevant on the monk just because he's not enough of a threat to draw agro. So many different fights with different circumstances and different enemies. If the monk is getting ignored all the time I think that GM is being a little meta. Some actions should be getting wasted by targeting the monk.

You are misunderstanding. We are not saying the monk is ignored 100% of the time. We are saying that in most fights someone else will clearly establish themselves as being more dangerous, and an intelligent(not animal intelligence) opponent will know who to kill first, or at least who not to attack. It is only meta if OOC knowledge is used. If the decision is made using IC(in character) knowledge then it can't be meta.

We are also not saying the monk is never targeted. We are saying that most of the time the monk can't hold the bad guy's attention for more than a round or 2, assuming he even gets the bad guy's attention.

I do understand where you're coming from I think, and recognize that it's a factor and it will come up, I just don't think it's solid enough to be dismissive of monks defensive capabilities. I think you guys overstate the extent to which they are invalidated in a game. I think this argument you make kind of breaks the rule you have of keeping considerations of play style out of your rules discussions.

The problem you are talking about only exists if you assume the GM is running things a certain way.


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Grimmy wrote:

But you can't tell me you are running every monster and npc as living breathing entities if they all adhere to the model "assess and single out greatest threat, ignore other combatants."

Yes we can. I do it as a player running a PC. I do it as a GM. I am sure those NPC's are better fighters than I am, and if I know who to take out first I am sure they do. Even if there is the occasion where they might mess up the chances are that the biggest threat still gets the attention the majority of the time. That means the monk is ignored the majority of the time, if it is a defensive build. That would also mean the monk is lacking the majority of the time.

If the guy with the gun had any common sense he would not have been that close to you. The point of having a gun is to attack from safety. If anything you got lucky because you were attacked by commoners with no tactics, instead of warriors(NPC class) who would have known how to better handle that situation. So yeah, if I use commoners to attack or experts they will be less tactical than a warrior would.


Grimmy wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
I've never played a monk and barely even GM'd for monk players. The monk threads have convinced me beyond a shadow of the doubt that the monk needs help. I'm just not sold on the idea that good defenses are irrelevant on the monk just because he's not enough of a threat to draw agro. So many different fights with different circumstances and different enemies. If the monk is getting ignored all the time I think that GM is being a little meta. Some actions should be getting wasted by targeting the monk.

You are misunderstanding. We are not saying the monk is ignored 100% of the time. We are saying that in most fights someone else will clearly establish themselves as being more dangerous, and an intelligent(not animal intelligence) opponent will know who to kill first, or at least who not to attack. It is only meta if OOC knowledge is used. If the decision is made using IC(in character) knowledge then it can't be meta.

We are also not saying the monk is never targeted. We are saying that most of the time the monk can't hold the bad guy's attention for more than a round or 2, assuming he even gets the bad guy's attention.

I do understand where you're coming from I think, and recognize that it's a factor and it will come up, I just don't think it's solid enough to be dismissive of monks defensive capabilities. I think you guys overstate the extent to which they are invalidated in a game. I think this argument you make kind of breaks the rule you have of keeping considerations of play style out of your rules discussions.

The problem you are talking about only exists if you assume the GM is running things a certain way.

My point is that there is no way to account for every style of play so we must have a playstyle neutral discussion. That is a GM running a fight realistically without regard for what a player wants or does not want. In that context the monk fails. You can't say well GM X would do _____ so the monk is ok, because by that logic nothing in the game can ever be badly made since a GM can fix it.

Let's say Paizo puts out a class with a +25 to hit at level 1. Now I can say well a GM could do _____ to stop the class from being too good, but that does not mean the class is ok. It just means the GM is modifying the game for that class.


As a real life counter to this if you fight trained infantry men in combat you will more than likely deal with the same tactics from each group of men. Only when coming across the soldiers or a commander who does not know what he is doing, or is a tactical genius will you get substantially different tactics.

edit:I will say this even if they enemy does not concentrate on the most dangerous party member it is highly unlikely that they focus on the least dangerous party member. All things being equal the monk has a 25% chance to draw attention in a four man party, but since things are not equal......


But is it really a 100% play style neutral discussion if we are assuming the GM will have every enemy assess the greatest threat and single it out to the exclusion of other combatants? That might be a common approach, but it's not absolute enough to hang a rules argument on it.

I respect the point you make, I think it's insightful. I just don't think it's rock solid. It relies on an assumption about how the GM will run his encounters, which is something your rules arguments typically don't do. For that reason I don't think it's as strong as other points I've seen you make and other points I've seen made about the monk.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

You know if you were reading this thread you would have seen that the defences are discussed in depth, and the monk's issue is an inability to connect with attacks and inflict significant damage while still having meaningful defences.

Reducing their offensive capacity yet further is not a solution, unless you have a special power in mind that automatically makes the monk the target for every attack an enemy can make. Without that "drawing aggro" is at best problematic and at worst impossible.

DM Wellard wrote:
Maybe you should lobby for the 'Monks of the Inner Sea' Players Companion

We can live in hope, but the monk has some fundamental issues and unfortunately they are not going to be resolved without addressing the fundamentals.

Grimmy wrote:
I think it's a little bit meta for monsters to ignore monk because he isn't a threat. I know some of you will say the opposite is true, but this is how I honestly feel.

It's just as meta for an intelligent foe not to. That's the issue, the monk is not an obvious threat, and unless he really lucks out, he's not a hidden threat.


This is not a rules discussion. A rule is a mechanical statement that gives you instructions on how to play the game. When you are developing or evaluating a class you should be play style neutral. That removes bias, and make the class as even accessible to every group no matter how they play.

I use that interpretation because it is neutral. It means I am not playing tigers was if they have an intelligence of 11, nor am I playing dragons with an intelligence of 4 to hurt or help the player's chances at success.

I am not saying every GM plays like that, but I am saying for evaluation purposes the monk has to be able to stand on its own. If it can't then you can't really say the class is well made.


Relax, he was just disagreeing with you, but also seeing some of your points.


Dabbler wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Ha ha ha! You guys keep wanting the same thing, that you don't look at the problem from a different angle, and identify new solutions.

You know if you were reading this thread you would have seen that the defences are discussed in depth, and the monk's issue is an inability to connect with attacks and inflict significant damage while still having meaningful defences.

Reducing their offensive capacity yet further is not a solution, unless you have a special power in mind that automatically makes the monk the target for every attack an enemy can make. Without that "drawing aggro" is at best problematic and at worst impossible.

DM Wellard wrote:
Maybe you should lobby for the 'Monks of the Inner Sea' Players Companion

We can live in hope, but the monk has some fundamental issues and unfortunately they are not going to be resolved without addressing the fundamentals.

Grimmy wrote:
I think it's a little bit meta for monsters to ignore monk because he isn't a threat. I know some of you will say the opposite is true, but this is how I honestly feel.
It's just as meta for an intelligent foe not to. That's the issue, the monk is not an obvious threat, and unless he really lucks out, he's not a hidden threat.

Well, if the monk gets in the way, the enemies have to deal with him/her, or ignore them. I am meaning physically actually gets in their way. Rushes up, tries to turtle, is waiting to unleash flurries, that sort of thing. I don't think they will get ignored. To enter a discussion of appearance, the monk could also not look like a monk, which may also attract attention. Good old illusions/glamors/disguises.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Relax, he was just disagreeing with you, but also seeing some of your points.

I am not upset. I just bolded it so I would not have to keep repeating it.


It's worth noting that it's not that I'm sweeping the monk's defensive qualities under a rug. Quite the contrary. Monks are not bad on defense. Their basic defenses are generally speaking pretty good (at least as far as saving throws and evasion goes, but I seriously think they need Uncanny Dodge as well), but their problem is they are like a see-saw.

One one end of this see-saw, you have "decent offense". On the other end of this see-saw, you have "decent defense". The problem is they can't do both effectively. If you try to split your efforts you fall flat and suck at both.

Other martials aren't like this. In fact, most classes aren't like this. In most cases, virtually all classes either have the capability to have strong defenses while being viable offensively, vice versa, or are so heavily slanted in offense that they are glass cannons.

For example, when I was comparing monk vs Ranger. I was using a base ranger who was not initially using Power Attack, had no specializations in his weapon, was not using favored enemy, and was just using a standard longsword and heavy shield and a breastplate. His equipment was modest and very much in the realm of an 8th level character, and his stats were reasonable with standard 15 point buy. Even being neither defensively specialized (seriously he's not speccing, as if he was specializing in defense his AC could have been 30+) nor specializing offensively and he could match an offensive monk while having survivability. The alternative is true as well (he could match a defensive monk while having offense).

That's basically where I'm having the problem. Either monks have good defense and no offense, or good offense and no defense. Meanwhile, other classes who have that sort of specialization option go right past GOOD and up to GREAT. For example, Fighters are one of the worst classes in the game defensively speaking (they have no defensive abilities -- I don't consider armor training a defensive ability), poor saves, and really only get good AC (possible) and good Fortitude (a given). However, when it comes to physical punishment they are great. Someone pressed the offense button and pressed it hard (though in recent expansions to the core, other martials can keep up to their offense and damage well with a bit of effort).

Monks however, pushing down in either direction as hard as they can? Well they still don't match the big contenders for each side (they cannot match core martials in offense, and they can't compare to the Paladin in defense). About the only thing they do get defensively that is at all impressive is a good touch-AC (which really only applies if spellcasters don't have anything better to neuter you with, alchemical spamming notwithstanding :P).

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