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If Monks have trouble hitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

1,101 to 1,150 of 1,235 << first < prev | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | next > last >>

@Dabbler: Aye, it works for debuffs as well. Although keep in mind it is a balancing act. The simple fact is, a fully buffed Monk will casually match or exceed an optimized fighter against an opponent without DR. If they have the kind of potential, then they also need a weakness. The issue currently is that their weakness shows up a whole lot more often then their strength.

...Actually. Why not rip off the Gunslinger's Dead Shot Deed, letting Monks add their STR like a Mysterious Stranger adds their CHA? Make sure its worded so that the Monk can trade their attacks for Maneuvers, applying all effects at the end.

This makes the Monk's turn run much more smoothly, drastically increases the chance for Stunning Fist landing (any attack succeeding would trigger it), fixes the DR problem, and prevents buffs from making SuperMonk(tm). It's also an easier point to tweak from, from a design perspective.


SoulGambit0 wrote:

@Dabbler: Aye, it works for debuffs as well. Although keep in mind it is a balancing act. The simple fact is, a fully buffed Monk will casually match or exceed an optimized fighter against an opponent without DR. If they have the kind of potential, then they also need a weakness. The issue currently is that their weakness shows up a whole lot more often then their strength.

Actually they don't I have ran DPR model scenarios that included flanking, Inspire Courage + Good Hope and Haste. (At level 11 and the elite array, expected WBL.)

Even getting all those bonuses, an optimized DPR monk will only close the gap a bit with the THF fighter but will still not come close to his DPR. (Unbuffed Monk DPR is about 33, the fighter is 90, after buffs Monk DPR gets to 132, the fighter is almost 195)

Yes the buffs doesn't impact the fighter as much as the monk but their base is so far above the monk that only the percent gap is closed and not much of the DPR gap itself.

Unless you mean a fully buffed monk can meet or exceed a non buffed fighter than yes you are correct.


Hrm? Can you spoiler tag the two builds? Both of those fully-buffed numbers are a tad high for what I usually considered a standard THF / Monk build with no shennanigans.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have to agree with Gignere, fully buffed a monk has problems equalling an unbuffed fighter. Buff the fighter and the monk is as far behind as ever.


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GrenMeera wrote:

While I appreciate the intent of what you're saying here, and very much appreciate the tables you made, I tend to look at this a little differently.

A monk does get more attacks at the cost of hit chance.

However, this is not exclusive. Any melee taking TWF feats is getting more attacks at the cost of hit chance as well.

I would rather say that they all are instead of none of them do. The monk simply gets these feats intrinsically as part of their class design within special limitations, while the other classes have them as feat choices.

And on the subject of data, I have lots of data that shows:

1) Monks don't get more attacks than normal martial characters except that they are forced into a limited imitation of those feats as a class ability.
2) Martial not only get the option of choosing that very combat style, but they also get the full package and more than monks do.
3) Many martial classes also get this combat option as a class feature (both Fighters and Rangers get this as a matter o' fact option through bonus feats from their class, and the Ranger doesn't even have to qualify for the feats).
4) Other martial characters that can get this opportunity are not forced to take this opportunity, but get equal or perhaps better opportunities as well.

For example. A ranger can happily get Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice, and has the opportunity for Two-Weapon Rend, Two-Weapon Defense (even if this feat sucks), Break Guard, and lots of other options. The monk is getting a pseudo-version of Two-Weapon Fighting and Double Slice, but cannot take any other feats beyond this kind.

Additionally, the monk cannot decide "Hey, I don't want to two-weapon fight" and do something different. I had to deal with that with a monk archtype that gives up flurry and returns you to 3/4 BAB class that has no way to improve their to-hit rolls (had to solve it with multiclassing into full BAB classes and a big of optimizing). Even a monk who has flurry is stuck in 1 fighting style, has a crappy BAB (so things like attacks of opportunities or anything not a flurry is made of fail), and unlike other martial classes has no boosts to hit and damage.

For example, I have hard data that says...

Fighters have a +20/+15/+10/+5 BAB automatically.
Fighters then have up to a +8 to hit and +10 to damage on each attack by virtue of being Fighters.
Fighters may then have full-proficiency in Two-Weapon Fighting.
This before weapon enhancements.

Rangers have a +20/+15/+10/+5 BAB automatically.
Rangers then have up to a +10 to hit and +10 to damage on each attack by virtue of being Rangers.
Rangers may then have full-proficiency in Two-Weapon Fighting.
This is before weapon enhancements.

Barbarians have a +20/+15/+10/+5 BAB automatically.
Barbarians then have up to a +4 bonus to hit and +6 bonus to damage on each attack by virtue of being Barbarians with options for additional +hit and +damage from Rage powers.
Barbarians may then have full-proficiency in Two-Weapon Fighting.
This is before weapon enhancements.

Paladins have a +20/+15/+10/+5 BAB automatically.
Paladins then have up to a +6 to hit and +6 to damage on each attack and an additional attack per round by virtue of being Paladins and then up to +10 to hit and +20 to damage from smite against a single foe.
Paladins may have full-proficiency in Two-Weapon Fighting.
This is before weapon enhancements.

Bards have a +15/+10/+5 BAB automatically.
Bards then have up to a +8 to hit and +10 to damage on each attack and an additional attack per round by virtue of being Bards while providing a +5 bonus to hit and +5 bonus to damage and an additional attack per round to every other member of the party.
Bards may have full proficiency in Two-Weapon Fighting.
This is before weapon enhancements

Drones on..


Oh, level 11. I'm used to people doing level 10. Aight, lets see where that gets us.

The trial:
Lesse.... Strength is 15 +2 (Race) +1 (Level) = 18.

Assume Inspire Courage, Good Hope, Haste, and GMW cast as appropriate on both characters (twice in the case of Monk, because of that one ruling). We will also assume flanking.

For the fighter, we will assume a +1 2 Element Falchion and Dueling Gloves for offense, and a +4 STR item (49k spent total). For feats we will assume (Greater) Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, and Power Attack. This gives us, with buffs, a routine of +29/+29/+24/+19. Damage with the Falchion is 2d4+9+2+4+2+9+3+2 (+2d6 Elemental) or 36 (7 Elemental) average.

So vs an AC of 25 we have (0.95*3+0.75)*36*1.3+(0.95*3+0.75)*7 = 193.68

The monk, we will assume an Amulet of Mighty Fists [Some Element], a +4 STR item, a Pale Green Ioun Stone, Monk's Robes, and a pair of Deliquesint Gloves (46k spent total). For feats we will assume Weapon Focus, Power Attack, Dragon Style, and Dragon Ferocity. We'll leave Medusa's Wrath out of the equation. We will also assume that either Haste doesn't stack with Ki or that Haste does not impact unarmed strike at all. We wind up with a routine of +24/+24/+24/+19/+19/+14, with a damage of 2d8+6+3+2+6+3+2, +2d6 elemental; or 31 (7 elemental) damage per attack, with an extra 3 damage on the first attack.

So vs an AC of 25 we have (0.95*3+0.75*2+0.5)*31*1.05+(0.95*3+0.75*2+0.5)*7+0.95*3*1.05 = 194.81

So the Monk just barely comes out ahead, and that's before factoring in things like Stunning Fist and Medusa's Wrath, or anything fancy from Archetypes, etc. If both had started with 16 STR instead of 15 (say, 20pt buy), then it'd be 201 vs 206. Also, the discrepency caused by DR isn't as big as commonly believed at this level of buffs, either. The Fighter, at least, has an equivalent enemy: those immune to crits.

Results:
Base is 194 (Fighter) vs 195 (Monk)
Vs Immune to Crit its 155 vs 187
Vs DR 10/-- its 157 vs 146
DR 10/-- and immune to Crit is 119 vs 139
If the fighter has to swap to a +3 weapon to bypass DR its 176 vs 146
Fighter has to swap -and- its immune to Crits is 135 vs 139

Results, same build, with no Buffs except Flanking*
Base is 97 (Fighter) vs 87 (Monk)
vs Immune to Crit its 74 vs 82
vs DR 10/-- its 73 vs 55**
vs DR 10/-- and immune to Crits its 51 vs 51
*Fighter uses a +3 Falchion, while the Monk uses a +1 AoMF and trades in his glove for a +1 Menacing Cestus. The Monk still spends Ki.
**To simulate the Fighter bypassing DR and the monk not, compare the base fighter to the DR 10/-- Monk.

The issue, of course, being that you can't really expect all of those buffs to be available. The stuff without buffs was given because I had everything set up, and why not?


SoulGambit0 wrote:

Oh, level 11. I'm used to people doing level 10. Aight, lets see where that gets us.

** spoiler omitted **

Results:
Base is 194 (Fighter) vs 195 (Monk)
Vs Immune to Crit its 155 vs 187
Vs DR 10/--...

Actually your builds are almost identical to mine except my model at 11 targets AC of 28 not 24. Because AC 24 is mooks, 28 is the big bad. I think everyone posted has shown monks are fine against mooks.

Also this is the maximum DPR a monk can hope to get.

Also not sure what Deliquesint Gloves do.

You can see why against big bads the monk's DPR drops like a brick though because the Fighter against AC 28 is still hitting on 2's for his first 2 hits whereas the monk stop hitting on 2's against AC 28 even fully buffed.


I also think the element is probably not the best thing to put on the AoMF because resistance, and the extra +1 to hit is probably better for the monk, especially against the BBEG.


Buffs work both ways as well. These guys are buffed to hell and back. NPCs have buffs too. Buffs that include things like mage armor (seriously a meager 50 gp potion of mage armor will utterly destroy a monk vs many types of enemies). Heck, minions practically exist for buffing.

I mean, what else do you expect that CR 1 kobold caster to be doing in the battle alongside the CR 8 master? Casting blur, mage armor, protection from good, and heroism of course! :P


I targeted an AC of 25, not 24, which is CR-Appropriate. Also, the rules for making "Big Bads" at that level change. A single enemy, even at CR+3, simply doesn't work anymore. 2/3 enemies? Maybe. Action economy becomes too big of a deal, and PCs have too many ways to debuff/take away actions. There are a few notable exceptions, but they really require a lot of thought on the part of the GM.

The rules also change in a few more ways. (Greater) Dispel Magic is a -huge- part of gameplay at higher levels. Dispel a Fighter's Sword or Haste and he loses everything. Dispel a Monk's Amulet and he loses... 1d6 damage? Haste and he loses... +1 to-hit? Woo. This is coincidentally why the Monk actually wants the SR at level 13, even if it makes healing/buffing a pain.

The truth is, at this level, anything that recieves a full attack from a dedicated meleer probably doesn't have long for this world. Delequisint Gloves give +1d6 acid damage to unarmed strike for 8k and let you touch oozes without bad things happening.

But since it was requested:

Same Trial vs AC 28:
I happen to still have the info open. Vs AC 28. The Monk swaps out his glove for a +1 Menacing Cestus. Also, since at this point we're moving the goalpost and stacking things against the Monk, lets actually include the damage from Stunning Fist and Medusa's Wrath (omitted from the previous example). Since we're setting the AC at 28 I assume you mean a CR 13, which in turn means that it has a +16 Fortitude save. I will assume a Dex bonus of +0 (any more helps the Monk), and a DC of 19 (14 base Wis, +4 Wis item).

Results
Base; 180 (Fighter) vs 180 (Monk)
Vs Crit Immune: 144 vs 165
Vs DR 10/--: 147 vs 136*
Vs DR 10/-- and Crit Immune: 111 vs 118
Fighter Must Swap to +3 weapon to Ignore DR: 166 vs 136
...and vs Crit Immune: 93 vs 118

So at the base, the Monk and the Fighter are even! Beyond that, the Fighter is better against demons while the Monk is better against Undead or Constructs. Also, honestly, the Monk probably wants to sacrifice something to get that item that lets him bypass DR/good if he goes Demon Hunting at this level.

*As before. If you want to compare the Fighter punching through DR while the Monk does not, use the Fighter's Base vs the Monk's vs DR 10/--.
**Starting with a STR of 16 instead of 15 like most Monks/Fighters would in most point buys favors the Monk.

@Ashiel: Oh. Oh no. That's not even close to the max DPR a THW Fighter or a Monk can achieve. I'm not sure there's actually much of a point in going further, but you can. These builds were done taking the Core, unarchetyped Fighter/Monk, going through the combat feats, and asking "what adds To-Hit or Damage without shennanigans?" And doing that.

That said, the point of this is merely to state that because of the Monk's medium of dealing damage (lots of attacks) lends itself to multiplying the effectiveness of buffs, any redesign regarding that needs to take the possibility of being fully buffed into consideration.

Pushing AC to 32 or 34 via Mage Armor / Protection from Law wrecks both of the presented characters' DPR fairly reliably. Blur has an equal impact to both. Mirror Image actually favors the Monk. Given that the Fighter will have an ACP, low Athletics, et cetera, the Monk also comes out ahead in most unique situations not normally encountered.

That said, in general enemy buffs are what dispel magic is for. Enemy Level 1 casters are what familiars with a wand of dispel magic is for. That's the Wizard's job, and honestly, that Job existing is why glass cannons also stop working at these levels unless they have a damn good stealth skill and a whole lot of patience.


Of course dispel magic ignores spell resistance, so it's not like either of them are particularly resistant to having their buffs removed. Though we know which is better without buffs. And you're only looking at to-hit and damage. How nekkid is your monk AC-wise exactly?

Which guy is easier to have in the party when action economy comes into play? Which guy can swap to a bow and shoot a flying creature? How many buffs do you have to waste to get one of them to levels of competency?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:

And on the subject of data, I have lots of data that shows:

1) Monks don't get more attacks than normal martial characters except that they are forced into a limited imitation of those feats as a class ability.
2) Martial not only get the option of choosing that very combat style, but they also get the full package and more than monks do.
3) Many martial classes also get this combat option as a class feature (both Fighters and Rangers get this as a matter o' fact option through bonus feats from their class, and the Ranger doesn't even have to qualify for the feats).
4) Other martial characters that can get this opportunity are not forced to take this opportunity, but get equal or perhaps better opportunities as well.

Hey, I said they were similar in that they sacrifice hit chance for attacks, I never said the monk was particularly GOOD at it. =^.^=

That's what this thread is essentially for after all.

SoulGambit0 >> You're throwing out the number crunches that I was hoping to see but haven't had the time to do myself. Too many of the tests have been isolated to only one subset of criteria. Granted, we NEED that criteria and I'm glad it was done as well, but it's nice to see some expansion.


GrenMeera wrote:

Hey, I said they were similar in that they sacrifice hit chance for attacks, I never said the monk was particularly GOOD at it. =^.^=

Heh, fair enough. :P


@Ashiel: You're moving the goalposts again. The purpose of the presentation is pointing out the higher end of what needs to be considered. It is not demonstrating a monk over a wide range of situations.

I only did the parts of the build that directly contributed to damage because that was what was being measured. Honestly, using the Elite Array handicaps the Monk here, because the Monk is very much not built for it. That said, the Monk actually manages to come out ahead of the presented Fighter.

The Fighter is probably working out of +3 Fullplate with a Ring of Deflection +1, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone in a Pathfinder, with a +2 Dex Mod. Also probably has a Cloak of Resistance +3 or so (feel free to supply a different buy list, it's late). THF aren't known for their AC. The Fighter has tons of Feats left, so lets say he gets Toughness, Dodge and Iron Will. We'll round a d10 HD to 6 per level (maxed at first). We're looking at...

STR 22 / DEX 14 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 12 / CHA 8
HP: 110
AC: 28, 15 Touch, 25 Flat-Footed
CMD: 33 (+4 vs Sunder/Disarming his weapon).
Saves: +12/+8/+9

The Monk will take a Mage Armor buff (the Fighter can't benefit), giving the caster a Rod of Extend as compensation. He'll also keep Barkskin on himself through a SLA. The Monk will also take Dodge and Toughness at Level 1, because why not? For items the Monk will but that Rod of Extend, a Headband of wisdom +4, Ring of Deflection +1, a Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone in a Pathfinder, and a Cloak of Resistance +2. HD will be maxed at level 1, 5 thereafter. So we're looking at...

STR 22 / DEX 12 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 18 / CHA 8
HP: 98
AC: 31, 22 Touch, 29 Flat-Footed, +4 with Ki
CMD: 36
Saves: +11/+10/+13 (+2 vs Enchantment; Improved Evasion, Immunity to Poison, Immunity to Disease)

If you don't let the Monk use Barkskin, or give the Fighter a friendly buff, then it puts the Fighter just slightly ahead in terms of AC. The Fighter's Weaknesses are, as always, CMD and Will Saves. In truth, unless someone eats AoO's for the Fighter, he'll probably never even make a successful charge against some of the Huge or Huger enemies, especially at CR 13--much less make a Full Attack. Meanwhile, the Monk can pop a Ki and just walk in.

Against flying enemies? The Monk has a +38 Acrobatics Check (another +20 with a Ki Point) for purposes of Jumping, meaning he can often just leap up and grab someone, for better or worse. He is also capable of carrying Shuriken. If you want a Shuriken vs Bow DPS calculation that's going to have to wait for another day.

I also demonstrated how the Monk compares against a fighter against an equal CR monster in my previous trial, DPR wise. The Fighter is slightly ahead, except when the enemy is immune to criticals. And honestly, the Monk is down about ~4 DPR by not calculating Stunning Fist / Medusa's strike. Another 2.5-4 DPR could be gotten by taking Belier's Bite at level 1 with your Human Bonus Feat (I still haven't ran out of feats, by the way--level 11 still unspent IIRC). That's still without getting tricksy. You could also take Point Blank Shot and either Rapid Shot or Deadly Aim if you really want to be better with Shuriken for the ranged aspect.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Action Economy" in this sense.

The Monk is resistant to Dispel Magic because his bonuses are spread over multiple items and no one buff matters overmuch. Dispel Haste on the Fighter and compare the DPR. Dispel any one buff from the Monk and compare DPR. Do the same thing with items.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
@Ashiel: You're moving the goalposts again. The purpose of the presentation is pointing out the higher end of what needs to be considered. It is not demonstrating a monk over a wide range of situations.

My apologies. I wasn't aware that there was a goalpost. The monk you've presented doesn't look to me like it would survive low levels. Then you mention we're looking at maximum potential so insert gratuitous amounts of buffing, which seems to be fairly bizarre to me. As for what I meant about action economy is that I can't help but to wonder.

I mean, here we have two individuals who are over standard point buy (including one who wouldn't survive through low levels with a 15 AC on a front liner at 1st level). Then to match them up together we throw as many buffs on them as possible. We determine that per-gratuitous buffs Fighter clearly has it. Post gratuitous buffs, Monk has it by only the slighters. To acquire said gratuitous buffs we have to have a Monk, a Bard, a Druid, a Cleric, and a Wizard in the party (which covers monk, plus mage armor, plus haste, plus heroism, plus barkskin, plus inspire courage, plus good hope, plus greater magic weapon, and so forth). From this point, a truly goofy amount of party power has gone into turning this dude into an engine of destruction, and strangely, many obvious buffs were not included for the Fighter.

Like enlarge person instead of mage armor.

And crappy weapon enhancements were used. Like x2 elements, and money was wasted (wtf is the fighter carrying around x2 +3 weapons at 10th level?).

And then to bring up my concerns over action economy, it would take quite a lot to buff that character up so much. No less 4 other PC classes in the party (well I guess the monk IS considered a 5th wheel), all of which must be casters and buffing him. So then someone tosses a greater dispel magic. Bam. Even with only a 50% chance to successfully dispel something, half your buffs go down and you're back to being made of fail. Time to re-buff...

Perhaps I'm just trying to make sense of it all. I mean, if this more about what are the highest numbers we can reach, with tons of buffs, rather than about something that would actually be practical, why not throw on some cursed blades of berserking on them for some rage (we don't actually need to worry about them slaughtering their allies for this test, afterall)?

EDIT: Also, you say the monk is more resistant to dispels because his buffs are over multiple items. The only reason he has a multi-item buff is because you noted it was REQUIRED that he have additional castings of GMW to function. All the main buffs you describe (heroism, haste, barkskin, mage armor, etc) are all on him. Greater dispel magic, target: monk, GG.

EDIT 2: But don't worry about it. I was confused as to what your goal and/or purpose was with your trial. I won't bother you further. :P

Sczarni

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When have monks had a hard time with lvl 1?


While I didn't read that much into the build, how do you figure all those classes for buffs? Bard can cast all but GMW, Mage Armor and Barkskin. Cleric can take care of GMW and potentially barkskin. Druid can cast GMF instead (which works as well for the monk) and can take care of barkskin. Wizard can take care of GMW and Mage Armor, and Sorcerer can as well plus potentially barkskin (verdant is IMO one of the better bloodlines). Mage Armor is cheaply available on a wand (which the bard can easily use). All the buffs except haste are decently long duration so in a prepared fight they might be expected to be up if you have a party to support it, so the action economy isn't that bad.

Of course it only applies in combats where you're prepared first - personally I think the monk should be the strongest in the opposite scenario, outperforming the others when they're jumped.

But yes. Very vulnerable to Greater Dispel.

I'd say this: In a party with a buffer bard, the issues the monk has drops significantly. They're still big, but not AS big.


SoulGambit0 wrote:

@Ashiel: You're moving the goalposts again. The purpose of the presentation is pointing out the higher end of what needs to be considered. It is not demonstrating a monk over a wide range of situations.

I only did the parts of the build that directly contributed to damage because that was what was being measured. Honestly, using the Elite Array handicaps the Monk here, because the Monk is very much not built for it. That said, the Monk actually manages to come out ahead of the presented Fighter.

The Fighter is probably working out of +3 Fullplate with a Ring of Deflection +1, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone in a Pathfinder, with a +2 Dex Mod. Also probably has a Cloak of Resistance +3 or so (feel free to supply a different buy list, it's late). THF aren't known for their AC. The Fighter has tons of Feats left, so lets say he gets Toughness, Dodge and Iron Will. We'll round a d10 HD to 6 per level (maxed at first). We're looking at...

STR 22 / DEX 14 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 12 / CHA 8
HP: 110
AC: 28, 15 Touch, 25 Flat-Footed
CMD: 33 (+4 vs Sunder/Disarming his weapon).
Saves: +12/+8/+9

The Monk will take a Mage Armor buff (the Fighter can't benefit), giving the caster a Rod of Extend as compensation. He'll also keep Barkskin on himself through a SLA. The Monk will also take Dodge and Toughness at Level 1, because why not? For items the Monk will but that Rod of Extend, a Headband of wisdom +4, Ring of Deflection +1, a Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone in a Pathfinder, and a Cloak of Resistance +2. HD will be maxed at level 1, 5 thereafter. So we're looking at...

STR 22 / DEX 12 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 18 / CHA 8
HP: 98
AC: 31, 22 Touch, 29 Flat-Footed, +4 with Ki
CMD: 36
Saves: +11/+10/+13 (+2 vs Enchantment; Improved Evasion, Immunity to Poison, Immunity to Disease)

If you don't let the Monk use Barkskin, or give the Fighter a friendly buff, then it puts the Fighter just slightly ahead in terms of AC. The Fighter's Weaknesses are, as always, CMD and Will Saves. In...

I am trying to reconcile the differences between your build and my build, the main difference is your equipment is fairly specialized for the monk, my assumptions were just pretty much stuff you can get out of core.

The difference is really just menacing and the gloves (I never even heard of these gloves, where do they come from?) because they are granting the free hit and damage that the 2 hand fighter is not getting access to nor will additional hit really help the fighter.

The problem with menacing is that this means the monk has to have flanking or his DPR drops like crazy. Once I made those changes our numbers matches up quite nicely. This is good it means I didn't make a mistake in my model. Well maybe we both made the same mistakes, I don't think that is likely though.

However, is this really the monk being fine or is this just you gaming the equipment out there? I mean other TWF melee will get access to the same exact stuff hell unarmed fighters specializing in TWF can even benefit from the same gloves and menacing immensely, as well as getting brawling armor.

From this exercise, I realized that there was only one viable DPR build for the monk and it requires getting buffs too, and that is dragon style + ferocity. There is no other way to do it, and still maintain respectable DPR, along with reasonable AC. If you try to do a dex monk, you will hit like a wet noodle, but AC will be good though, a wis monk is actually a trap, can't hit for crap but your AC is good. My conclusion was that if you play a monk, bard becomes a class feature requirement.

Also on the barkskin thing, yeah I don't ever see a monk build after qinggong was release that does not ever trade out slowfall for barkskin. They should just make that change right in the core. Abusing mage armor is just ridiculous too, if the monks need mage armor to be on par than either it needs to be a class ability or they need ready access to UMD and the skill points to use it on their own.

Hey if you check out my suggestions for buffing the monk all I suggest is a type of weapon training, that will pretty much fix them and open up alot more types of builds for the monk. A fighter not taking anything but PA can actually do respectable DPR, all I want for the monk is to not require Dragon Style to be good. However, if you want to argue that they need to have dragon style to be good than it needs to be built right into the core monk as bonus feats or they automatically gets it as class features.

TLDR: Buff monks by changing slowfall to barkskin, let them spend ki to cast mage armor, and some sort of weapon training for unarmed and monk weapons, or (not both weapon trainging and this) grant them the ability to get +4 when flanking to themselves and flanking allies. Actually that last idea would be an interesting way to up their DPR while upping their group utility as well. You adding menacing actually inspire that last one.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK let's look at your figures...

SoulGambit0 wrote:

Oh, level 11. I'm used to people doing level 10. Aight, lets see where that gets us.

Lesse.... Strength is 15 +2 (Race) +1 (Level) = 18.

First off, you are assuming identical scores, but that's just not that likely. The monk has to spread his stats around much more then the fighter. That or the monk will have nerfed his defence to get even with the fighter.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Assume Inspire Courage, Good Hope, Haste, and GMW cast as appropriate on both characters (twice in the case of Monk, because of that one ruling). We will also assume flanking.

How likely are you to get all these buffs cast before the start of a combat? That's four rounds of casting before you start. GMW in particular seems just engineered to buff the monk up more than the fighter. I would say the most likely buffs to reasonably expect are Inspire Courage (bard in the party) and haste as the single most useful buff ever invented.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
For the fighter, we will assume a +1 2 Element Falchion

OK, well it's pretty clear your fighter expects GMW to be cast on him. Personally I think a sane fighter will go for a straight +3 falchion; at this level creatures with DR become more common, and +3 gets you past cold iron and silver DR. The only properties I would consider instead of the bonus would be holy, because it bypasses DR/good.

SoulGambit0 wrote:

and Dueling Gloves for offense, and a +4 STR item (49k spent total). For feats we will assume (Greater) Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, and Power Attack. This gives us, with buffs, a routine of +29/+29/+24/+19. Damage with the Falchion is 2d4+9+2+4+2+9+3+2 (+2d6 Elemental) or 36 (7 Elemental) average.

So vs an AC of 25 we have (0.95*3+0.75)*36*1.3+(0.95*3+0.75)*7 = 193.68

AC25 is a mook AC if you are allowing this many buffs. It basically neutralises the fighter's main advantage which is their awesome to-hit chances. Also you haven't factored in the possibility that the target may not, you know, stand still.

Therefore using your figures, a single hit is .95*36*1.3 = 44.46DPR

SoulGambit0 wrote:
The monk, we will assume an Amulet of Mighty Fists [Some Element]

Er, no. The monk is going to have as big a bonus as he can on that AoMF just to get his attack bonus up. He cannot rely on those GMW spells every time there is a fight. On a standard adventuring day, that's eight GMWs required, and who is going to spend that many 3rd level spells on buffs for just one character? If a wand, who's paying for it? What if the party get surprise-attacked?

SoulGambit0 wrote:

, a +4 STR item, a Pale Green Ioun Stone, Monk's Robes, and a pair of Deliquesint Gloves (46k spent total). For feats we will assume Weapon Focus, Power Attack, Dragon Style, and Dragon Ferocity. We'll leave Medusa's Wrath out of the equation. We will also assume that either Haste doesn't stack with Ki or that Haste does not impact unarmed strike at all. We wind up with a routine of +24/+24/+24/+19/+19/+14, with a damage of 2d8+6+3+2+6+3+2, +2d6 elemental; or 31 (7 elemental) damage per attack, with an extra 3 damage on the first attack.

So vs an AC of 25 we have (0.95*3+0.75*2+0.5)*31*1.05+(0.95*3+0.75*2+0.5)*7+0.95*3*1.05 = 194.81

Against a single target .95*31*1.05 = 30.9225

Monk is well behind here, especially as the fight is likely to open with single strikes.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
So the Monk just barely comes out ahead, and that's before factoring in things like Stunning Fist and Medusa's Wrath, or anything fancy from Archetypes, etc. If both had started with 16 STR instead of 15 (say, 20pt buy), then it'd be 201 vs 206. Also, the discrepency caused by DR isn't as big as commonly believed at this level of buffs, either. The Fighter, at least, has an equivalent enemy: those immune to crits.

But this level of buffs is frankly unrealistic in any game I've played in. It's a corner case, and you have built the monk tricked out to take maximum advantage of it, and not the fighter. A TWFing fighter with this many buffs would on a full-attack deal more damage, I think. The fighter could take deliquescent gloves rather than gloves of dueling himself (they effect weapons you hold) and up his damage without changing his odds to hit whatsoever vs this kind of AC. Vs DR, the fighter is ahead because one way or the other he'd have a weapon that bypasses at least one type of DR (see above).

If you want to compare, BUILD two complete characters, a monk and a fighter, 20 point buy, standard WBL. Face them off against low CR foes and high CR foes. That's the way we're factoring things, because that's how adventures go.


Gignere wrote:

I am trying to reconcile the differences between your build and my build, the main difference is your equipment is fairly specialized for the monk, my assumptions were just pretty much stuff you can get out of core.

The difference is really just menacing and the gloves (I never even heard of these gloves, where do they come from?) because they are granting the free hit and damage that the 2 hand fighter is not getting access to nor will additional hit really help the fighter.

The problem with menacing is that this means the monk has to have flanking or his DPR drops like crazy. Once I made those changes our numbers matches up quite nicely. This is good it means I didn't make a mistake in my model. Well maybe we both made the same mistakes, I don't think that is likely though.

However, is this really the monk being fine or is this just you gaming the equipment out there? I mean other TWF melee will get access to the same exact stuff hell unarmed fighters specializing in TWF can even benefit from the same gloves and menacing immensely, as well as getting brawling armor.

From this exercise, I realized that there was only one viable DPR build for the monk and it requires getting buffs too, and that is dragon style + ferocity. There is no other way to do it, and still maintain respectable DPR, along with reasonable AC. If you try to do a dex monk, you will hit like a wet noodle, but AC will be good though, a wis monk is actually a trap, can't hit for crap but your AC is good. My conclusion was that if you play a monk, bard becomes a class feature requirement.

Also on the barkskin thing, yeah I don't ever see a monk build after qinggong was release that does not ever trade out slowfall for barkskin. They should just make that change right in the core. Abusing mage armor is just ridiculous too, if the monks need mage armor to be on par than either it needs to be a class ability or they need ready access to UMD and the skill points to use it on their own.

Hey if you check out my suggestions for buffing the monk all I suggest is a type of weapon training, that will pretty much fix them and open up alot more types of builds for the monk. A fighter not taking anything but PA can actually do respectable DPR, all I want for the monk is to not require Dragon Style to be good. However, if you want to argue that they need to have dragon style to be good than it needs to be built right into the core monk as bonus feats or they automatically gets it as class features.

TLDR: Buff monks by changing slowfall to barkskin, let them spend ki to cast mage armor, and some sort of weapon training for unarmed and monk weapons, or (not both weapon trainging and this) grant them the ability to get +4 when flanking to themselves and flanking allies. Actually that last idea would be an interesting way to up their DPR while upping their group utility as well. You adding menacing actually inspire that last one.

You know, a lot of what you say the monk needs sounds oddly familiar. :P


@Ashiel: I made a statement that the fully buffed Monk can surpass the Fighter in terms of DPR. Gignere called foul, and set up conditions for a trial. I used his rules and proved my point, that the buffed monk can surpass the buffed fighter. This Monk starts with Dodge and Toughness, and survives as good as any STR-Based Monk using the Elite Array.

@Gignere: Yes, as a Monk you have to spend your money wisely. When Fighters are grabbing +3 weapons, you want a AoMF +1, Menacing Weapons, Pale Green Ioun Stone, Dusty Rose Ioun Stones in Wayfinders, Gloves of the Skillful Maneuver (What I'd get in an actual game, but its not a DPR item).

Also, this isn't the only way to build a DPR Monk, or even the most efficient way. It's just the most obvious.

Giant, Detailed Response to Dabbler:
Dabbler wrote:
First off, you are assuming identical scores, but that's just not that likely. The monk has to spread his stats around much more then the fighter. That or the monk will have nerfed his defence to get even with the fighter.

I used the Elite Array. The Monk loses 2 AC to being a STR Monk instead of a Dex Monk. Using Point Buy favors the Monk.

Dabbler wrote:
How likely are you to get all these buffs cast before the start of a combat? That's four rounds of casting before you start. GMW in particular seems just engineered to buff the monk up more than the fighter. I would say the most likely buffs to reasonably expect are Inspire Courage (bard in the party) and haste as the single most useful buff ever invented.

It's one round of Casting and some Hour/level and 10 min/level buffs. And yes, my trial to demonstrate that the Monk benefits more from more buffs does, in fact, show that the Monk benefits more from buffs like GMW. If you want to trade, get rid of GMW and Haste (which MASSIVELY favors the Fighter), and compare DPR.

But consider this: Your proposed Solution negates the need for GMW, meaning the Monk will get close to these numbers, and much above the Fighter, naturally.

Dabbler wrote:
OK, well it's pretty clear your fighter expects GMW to be cast on him. Personally I think a sane fighter will go for a straight +3 falchion; at this level creatures with DR become more common, and +3 gets you past cold iron and silver DR. The only properties I would consider instead of the bonus would be holy, because it bypasses DR/good.

I didn't want to overfavor the Monk by not having the Fighter also take full advantage of GMW. I included the DPR for a +3 weapon and Holy in my chart (for Holy, compare Base vs DR 10). So yes, I agree, normally the Fighter would't bother with GMW and would just rely on Haste. I included both possibilities.

Dabbler wrote:
AC25 is a mook AC if you are allowing this many buffs. It basically neutralises the fighter's main advantage which is their awesome to-hit chances. Also you haven't factored in the possibility that the target may not, you know, stand still.

I assumed CR-Appropriate AC. After Greg clarified, I ran the trial again at 28 AC. Tanglefoot Bags on the approach are great for making people stay still. If the Fighter Charges, he dies, because his CMD is meh.

That said, I ignored all of that because the purpose of the trial was demonstrating DPR vs DPR on a full attack.

Dabbler wrote:
Er, no. The monk is going to have as big a bonus as he can on that AoMF just to get his attack bonus up. He cannot rely on those GMW spells every time there is a fight. On a standard adventuring day, that's eight GMWs required, and who is going to spend that many 3rd level spells on buffs for just one character? If a wand, who's paying for it? What if the party get surprise-attacked?

The unbuffed DPR is close enough with and without that +1 to hit that I'd make the trade if I had access to those buffs on a regular basis.

Dabbler wrote:

Against a single target .95*31*1.05 = 30.9225

Monk is well behind here, especially as the fight is likely to open with single strikes.

Now we're changing the parameters of the conflict again. That said, at this level of DPR the enemy is dead after the full attack anyways. If you throw in Stunning Fist + Medusa's Wrath it covers the 13 damage margin.

Dabbler wrote:
But this level of buffs is frankly unrealistic in any game I've played in. It's a corner case, and you have built the monk tricked out to take maximum advantage of it, and not the fighter. A TWFing fighter with this many buffs would on a full-attack deal more damage, I think. The fighter could take deliquescent gloves rather than gloves of dueling himself (they effect weapons you hold) and up his damage without changing his odds to hit whatsoever vs this kind of AC. Vs DR, the fighter is ahead because one way or the other he'd have a weapon that bypasses at least one type of DR (see above).

In your games. What if Random Player Steve's games include friendly casters and a Bard? What if Random Player Steve wises up and plays a Wanderer, then he doesn't even need the Bard? What if something later designed down the road supplies easier access to buffs? When you are tackling a design issue, you must include all possibilities.

Also, the Monk buys a Lesser Rod of Extend for the Wizard to Extend the GMW buff, so one lasts all day at this level.

Dabbler wrote:
If you want to compare, BUILD two complete characters, a monk and a fighter, 20 point buy, standard WBL. Face them off against low CR foes and high CR foes. That's the way we're factoring things, because that's how adventures go.

I was responding to a specific post, which did not require that level of investment. That's also a large amount of time investment. That said, on the off chance I get such an influx of time in the future: What levels and what enemies would satisfy you?

Why this Trial Matters: Or Picking on Dabbler

I want to start by saying that Dabbler is actually probably my favorite person to talk to about this stuff. While passionate, he speaks in concrete terms and produces measurable results. Unfortunately, that also makes him a very good for purposes of giving examples, so I hope you (as in Dabbler) take this in kind spirits.

The point of this, beyond proving that the fully buffed Monk currently outclasses a Fighter, is showing that just throwing buffs onto the Monk is dangerous. Lets use Dabbler's +Enhancement Bonus plan as an example, and nothing else (it's +3 at level 11). This doesn't actually impact the fully buffed numbers all that much. It'll give ~+4 DPR (an estimation) and make GMW much less important (so it has a huge impact on party resources). Although the Monk is already ahead of the Fighter, so it adds another grain of sand to the problem.

But lets look at them unbuffed. This is what it is without Dabbler's Change:

Results, same build, with no Buffs except Flanking*
Base is 97 (Fighter) vs 87 (Monk)
vs Immune to Crit its 74 vs 82
vs DR 10/-- its 73 vs 55**
vs DR 10/-- and immune to Crits its 51 vs 51
*Fighter uses a +3 Falchion, while the Monk uses a +1 AoMF and trades in his glove for a +1 Menacing Cestus. The Monk still spends Ki and uses Stunning Fist.
**To simulate the Fighter bypassing DR and the monk not, compare the base fighter to the DR 10/-- Monk.

Here are the same parameters with Dabbler's change:

Results, same build, with no Buffs except Flanking and Dabbler's Change
Base is 97 (Fighter) vs 122 (Monk)
vs Immune to Crit its 74 vs 107
vs DR 10/-- its 73 vs 80**
vs DR 10/-- and immune to Crits its 51 vs 69
*Fighter uses a +3 Falchion, while the Monk uses an [Element] AoMF and trades in his glove for a +1 Menacing Cestus. The Monk still spends Ki and uses Stunning Fist.
**To simulate the Fighter bypassing DR and the monk not, compare the base fighter to the DR 10/-- Monk.

This means that Dabbler's change will mean the Monk will always outdamage the Fighter, and not just vs Crit-Immune enemies. All calcs are vs AC 25.

That... is not good.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
A bunch of awesome stuff

Not really it is only a Dragon Style Monk will out damage a TH Fighter, even with the change. It won't out damage a TW Fighter with the same buffs. Against low AC stuff TWF will generally be better than TH Fighting.

Against higher AC stuff like most bosses. Even at level 11 I think the party fighting a Glabrezu and his minions is very appropriate.

That is why I picked AC 28, if you are king of the mooks I don't think anyone cares. It is truly the fights that pushes you to the limits, that shows your class value.

If you lower AC a couple more points the monk will be farther ahead but who cares if CR 8 stuff dies after one round from both level 11s.

I mean your fighter can easily hit stuff with AC in the mid 30's. Whereas your tricked out monk will have a ton of issues. That said miss chances does screw the fighter over more.

As for stunning fist your monk with 18 wisdom, will only have a save DC of 19, remember the baseline of fort save for CR 13 is 16, that means 90 percent save against stunning fist. So medusa's wrath and stunning fist's contribution to DPR is going to be low.

What do you think of the suggestion to give monks a class ability to get +4 to flanking for himself and to allies?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SoulGambit0 wrote:
I used the Elite Array. The Monk loses 2 AC to being a STR Monk instead of a Dex Monk. Using Point Buy favors the Monk.

Who uses the elite array? I do see your point in doing so, but by doing so you basically remove one of the monk's primary disadvantages, MAD.

Using the point buy system actually favours the fighter. He can max out on strength, the monk has to spread points around. With PB, if the monk is not prepared to nerf his AC he loses several points of damage per hit compared to the fighter.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
It's one round of Casting and some Hour/level and 10 min/level buffs. And yes, my trial to demonstrate that the Monk benefits more from more buffs does, in fact, show that the Monk benefits more from buffs like GMW. If you want to trade, get rid of GMW and Haste (which MASSIVELY favors the Fighter), and compare DPR.

No, get rid of GMW and Good Hope as they are uncommon buffs, no-one is going to carry around 8 GMW spells a day to buff the monk. Use the most common buffs, Haste and Bardic Song. These are the two that you are most likely to get in any combat, and they are quick to snap off in an emergency, like an ambush situation.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
But consider this: Your proposed Solution negates the need for GMW, meaning the Monk will get close to these numbers, and much above the Fighter, naturally.

No, it wouldn't. My solutions were Wis-to-hit (so the monk would be wis focussed, not strength focussed) and an enhancement bonus to hit only. That means less damage per hit, but as many hits as you propose. Crunching the numbers a monk at 10th level with my fixes came out with a DPR of only 27, 34 with the extra attack, on AC24.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I didn't want to overfavor the Monk by not having the Fighter also take full advantage of GMW. I included the DPR for a +3 weapon and Holy in my chart (for Holy, compare Base vs DR 10). So yes, I agree, normally the Fighter would't bother with GMW and would just rely on Haste. I included both possibilities.

Don't want to over-favour the monk? Seriously? You massively favoured the monk so that the spell effects covered areas where the monk was very weak, but that didn't enhance the fighter that much. Flanking likewise makes a big difference to the monk, but none to the fighter. Against that AC, any buff to the fighter's to hit would be almost wasted. But for the monk's lower starting point, it means a lot.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I assumed CR-Appropriate AC. After Greg clarified, I ran the trial again at 28 AC. Tanglefoot Bags on the approach are great for making people stay still. If the Fighter Charges, he dies, because his CMD is meh.

Why? What's that got to do with it? I never said about charging, I said what if the target moves. If the fight is a moving one where the enemy do not do you the favour of standing still and trading blows, the fighter rules.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
That said, I ignored all of that because the purpose of the trial was demonstrating DPR vs DPR on a full attack.

Which is fine as far as it goes, but your builds, buffs and circumstances were really designed to make the monk shine. A TWfing fighter with all these buffs would out-damage a two-hander.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
The unbuffed DPR is close enough with and without that +1 to hit that I'd make the trade if I had access to those buffs on a regular basis.

On this AC, yes. Again, the circumstances and design were designed to favour the monk's DPR but not the fighter's. If the fighter were optimised to the same level the monk is to take on this foe they would leave the monk standing. You could use a TWF rogue in these circumstances and they would leave the fighter standing.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Now we're changing the parameters of the conflict again. That said, at this level of DPR the enemy is dead after the full attack anyways. If you throw in Stunning Fist + Medusa's Wrath it covers the 13 damage margin.

If the purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate a real corner case of uber-buffing, then that's fine. But corner cases do not make the monk shine.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
In your games. What if Random Player Steve's games include friendly casters and a Bard? What if Random Player Steve wises up and plays a Wanderer, then he doesn't even need the Bard? What if something later designed down the road supplies easier access to buffs? When you are tackling a design issue, you must include all possibilities.

What if fighter's get insta-kill options in the next supplement that leave every other class standing? You can't design for circumstances that you have never seen. Future designs take into account current designs, not the other way around.

So you postulate a party that contains several buffing casters, including a bard, who do nothing but prepare buffing spells...and in those very specific circumstances the monk can actually match the fighter for DPR vs a CR-equivelant monster. What happens as CR+2 or CR+4. What if the DM buffs the opposition (not unreasonable). Then the fighter excels compared to the monk again.

Bottom line, this is a corner case. And as a corner case that massively favours the monk over the fighter, we can see...the monk matches the fighter. If he was beating the fighter by 20 or 30 DPR, I might take notice, but this situation you have created is very contrived, and the monk isn't overwhelming the fighter even then.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Also, the Monk buys a Lesser Rod of Extend for the Wizard to Extend the GMW buff, so one lasts all day at this level.

But you didn't include this in the equipment the monk had to buy, and what happens if he gets debuffed with a greater dispel magic?

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I was responding to a specific post, which did not require that level of investment. That's also a large amount of time investment. That said, on the off chance I get such an influx of time in the future: What levels and what enemies would satisfy you?

A realistic comparison would satisfy me, not a corner case of a monk specifically designed to take advantage of the buffs and a fighter much less so, combined with a reasonable level of buffs that you are likely to get, with complete builds.


@Gig: Write up a TWF that matches / exceeds the monk then. I compared against AC 28, where the Monk equals the Fighter. Feel free to ignore the AC 25 results if it pleases you. If you fight AC 30 things, then someone needs to be dispelling those buffs.

The formula for Stunning Fist -> Medus's Wrath is adding X*Y*(0.1*Z+(X+0.1)*2) to the to-hit section of the DPR formula, where X is the chance for the first strike to hit, Y is the chance for the enemy to fail their saves, Z is the number of further attacks at less than 0.95 in the routine. This resulted ~+7 DPR with a 0.1 chance of making the save.

Dabbler wrote:

Who uses the elite array? I do see your point in doing so, but by doing so you basically remove one of the monk's primary disadvantages, MAD.

Using the point buy system actually favours the fighter. He can max out on strength, the monk has to spread points around. With PB, if the monk is not prepared to nerf his AC he loses several points of damage per hit compared to the fighter.

I used Elite Array because I was specifically replying to Gig, who specified its use. I also took the liberaty of doing the calcs vs the AC 25 (not the 28) with a 20-pt buy. The math shows that the Monk actually benefits more. Now, if a Fighter pumps up to 18 STR before racial mods, then he can pull ahead just barely, but the Fighter is going to suffer for that choice more than the Monk's MAD.

The Monk will most likely go STR 16 / DEX 12 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 14 / CHA 8, and could dump INT and/or CHA more for more Dex or Wis.

The Fighter will likely go STR 16 / DEX 14 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 12 / CHA 8.

This results in +1 To-Hit and Damage at level 11 for both. Run the calcs with that if you want, it benefits the Monk more.

Dabbler wrote:
No, get rid of GMW and Good Hope as they are uncommon buffs, no-one is going to carry around 8 GMW spells a day to buff the monk. Use the most common buffs, Haste and Bardic Song. These are the two that you are most likely to get in any combat, and they are quick to snap off in an emergency, like an ambush situation.

I used the buffs specified by Gig and GMW, an additional hour/level buff. It's actually two slots, not "eight." The MOnk bought a Rod of Extend, so those two castings last 22 hours, more than enough for an adventuring day.

Dabbler wrote:
No, it wouldn't. My solutions were Wis-to-hit (so the monk would be wis focussed, not strength focussed) and an enhancement bonus to hit only. That means less damage per hit, but as many hits as you propose. Crunching the numbers a monk at 10th level with my fixes came out with a DPR of only 27, 34 with the extra attack, on AC24.

I punched the numbers with your changes in the nice little section that mentions you. The DPR was much, much higher against a higher AC. I don't know how you built that Monk, but it wasn't for damage.

Dabbler wrote:
Don't want to over-favour the monk? Seriously? You massively favoured the monk so that the spell effects covered areas where the monk was very weak, but that didn't enhance the fighter that much. Flanking likewise makes a big difference to the monk, but none to the fighter. Against that AC, any buff to the fighter's to hit would be almost wasted. But for the monk's lower starting point, it means a lot.

Haste barely benefits the Monk, but is the source of almost a fourth of the Fighter's DPR. The thing is, there are no buffs that give similar benefits to the Fighter, without granting even greater benefits to the Monk. I didn't include them because they don't exist.

Dabbler wrote:
Why? What's that got to do with it? I never said about charging, I said what if the target moves. If the fight is a moving one where the enemy do not do you the favour of standing still and trading blows, the fighter rules.

How, exactly, do you expect the Fighter to survive approaching an enemy? The Monk can actually get into melee. A smart opponent can make sure the Fighter is never there in the first place. The enemy moves back, casts a ranged save or suck (or Dispel Magic). When the Fighter comes close, the enemy trips. A moving fight doesn't benefit the Fighter as much as people think in actual play.

For every situation you can come up where the Monk doesn't excel but the Fighter does, there is a situation where the Fighter does not excel but the Monk does. What about against the humble Grease spell?

Dabbler wrote:
Which is fine as far as it goes, but your builds, buffs and circumstances were really designed to make the monk shine. A TWfing fighter with all these buffs would out-damage a two-hander.

A TWF Fighter? Build it then. Regardless, it is to demonstrate how adding these types of buffs to the actual class (which people are trying to do) with boost its DPR much higher than intended.

Dabbler wrote:
What if fighter's get insta-kill options in the next supplement that leave every other class standing? You can't design for circumstances that you have never seen. Future designs take into account current designs, not the other way around.

I'm sorry, but you're incorrect. When you design something, you have to contemplate potential expansions in the future. That's how you design. No, it isn't intuitive, it isn't easy. But it's what has to be done. That's why not everyone is a game designer.

Dabbler wrote:

So you postulate a party that contains several buffing casters, including a bard, who do nothing but prepare buffing spells...and in those very specific circumstances the monk can actually match the fighter for DPR vs a CR-equivelant monster. What happens as CR+2 or CR+4. What if the DM buffs the opposition (not unreasonable). Then the fighter excels compared to the monk again.

Bottom line, this is a corner case. And as a corner case that massively favours the monk over the fighter, we can see...the monk matches the fighter. If he was beating the fighter by 20 or 30 DPR, I might take notice, but this situation you have created is very contrived, and the monk isn't overwhelming the fighter even then.

So... having a Bard in your party is a corner case, but facing enemies specifically designed to counter the Monk isn't...?

It's a corner case, but by buffing the Monk you're turning that corner case into a constant reality. The Monk should be below the Fighter. It not being below the Fighter, that's a problem.

Oh, and another point is that the Monk is not a 5th member. He replaces the Fighter when the 5th member is support.

Dabbler wrote:
But you didn't include this in the equipment the monk had to buy, and what happens if he gets debuffed with a greater dispel magic?

I included it in the second post, where I detailed the fringe and defensive stuff. What if the Fighter gets debuffed with a Greater Dispel Magic? No Haste. DPR goes away. The Monk still goes strong.

Dabbler wrote:
A realistic comparison would satisfy me, not a corner case of a monk specifically designed to take advantage of the buffs and a fighter much less so, combined with a reasonable level of buffs that you are likely to get, with complete builds.

Specific challenges, please. I have no idea what you mean by "reasonable."


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

SoulGambit0 >> Good work! You've hit the nail on the head for many thoughts I've been having for awhile. You took the reins and brought it all numerically to this page and I commend and thank you.

SoulDambit0 wrote:
When you design something, you have to contemplate potential expansions in the future. That's how you design. No, it isn't intuitive, it isn't easy. But it's what has to be done. That's why not everyone is a game designer.

Eloquently put. This also makes me wonder if you are currently in the game design field?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
A realistic comparison would satisfy me, not a corner case of a monk specifically designed to take advantage of the buffs and a fighter much less so, combined with a reasonable level of buffs that you are likely to get, with complete builds.

Also, I forgot to mention, corner cases deserve just as much scrutiny as the "average" usage. You cannot ignore any impact by mitigating it as minutia.


Hmm. For as long as I've been following the monk threads, I'd think someone would have commented on the use of a Cestus to provide enhancable attacks. Even if you purchased two of them they'd have a better return than an AoMF, unless you don't get to apply your higher monk damage to the attack?


@Gren: Thanks for the encouragement. I'm not professionally in the design field. I've been a hobbyist at designing rule stuff for almost a decade, an I've had a lot of failures. So I know more about pitfalls than most, but not as much as some. It's something I do primarily for friends and to pass the time. Working on rules and systems makes my brain feel good in a way that normal puzzles just can't.

@EVERYONE (Especially Ashiel):

Proposal: The Playtest Tower:
Honestly, my biggest... annoyance with this thread is the lack of measurable results and the moving goalposts. I really, really want to have concrete scenarios an parameters in which the Monk will be tested. To that end, I have a proposal: The Playtest Tower.

Hidden away in a far off kingdom is a tower said to stretch from the deepest crevice of the Negative Energy Plane to the highest of the heavens (which afterlife changes with each telling). What is known is that twenty stories exist in the material world, at least partially.

Each floor consists of roughly five rooms connected by hallways--even a cursory awareness of one's surroundings makes it obvious that each floor is an extra-dimensional space. As one moves through the threshold from one floor to the next they are revitalized (full 8hr rest instantly), empowered (+1 Level), and rewarded for their efforts (access to WBL-appropriate equipment). Once a year this faraway kingdom brings in bands of four people (Traditionally each team is an Arcanist, a Divine Caster, a Thief, and a Soldier) to try their hand at making it to the top of the tower and defeating the Pit Fiend rumored to reside there. The fact that every inch of the tower is covered in Arcane Eyes and that the entire show is broadcasted to crowds of enduring fans via illusions is not lost on the King's coffers, nor the local merchants--or betting pools. The chance for Godlike powered rumored to be possessed by those that make it to the top of the tower is not lost on the contestents; but nor is the threat of their souls rotting eternally in its foundation. Will you brave the Playtest Tower, and will you survive?

Lets design this tower. The twenty floors correspond to the twenty normal character levels. Each floor represents a singular adventuring day with each of the five "rooms" representing one encounter. The total CR of all the rooms should roughly equal (CR)*5+2. Because the magic tower is magic, a "room" may be an entire plane of existance, if necessary (although I recommend the stranger stuff by in the higher levels, as a matter of thematic consistency). Likewise, unique / interesting encounters and situations should be encouraged.

After designing this tower (at least the first 10 levels), we can craft and send in parties through it, seeing how long they take. Resting outside of the period in between floors is forbidden, as is escaping--it's a fight to the death.

I would recommend splitting up the workload by having one person do one level. I specifically called out Ashiel because s/he has demonstrated a certain inginuity and zest for developing encounters as a GM I feel will keep the tower from being bland. I legitimately would like to see Ashiel's take on a few floors, particularly the lower level ones.

Mixing in traps or non-smashy aspects to encounters are fine, but please remember that we are ultimately comparing the Fighter vs the Monk.

While I am willing to help organize this, I feel I should not be the princible designer for the floors because I know it'll be accused of being bias (although I will help/critique/edit with the community). However, in the interest of spreading work as fairly as , if this tower is done at least for levels 1-10, I will create a 1-20 build (including WBL equipment) for a Stock Wizard, Stock Cleric, Stock Rogue, Stock Figher, and Stock Monk for review by the community.

The Stock characters just being baseline, the idea is to swap out the "Soldier" slot with different things and see how that impacts how high up the party can go.

Each floor should take, at most, one session to play through. It should also, in general, conclude with a BBEG-like scenario.

No custom enemies, although templates and class levels are allowed.

Floors should contain a mix of challenges.

After coming up with a baseline, we can start tweaking things (how does a 5-man party fair? Etc). We can also then create a "Speed Run" version.

If people like this idea it should probably get its own thread.

@Curious People

My Pet Changes:

The oft quoted "Role" section of the Monk: "Monks excel at overcoming even the most daunting perils, striking where it's least expected, and taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities. Fleet of foot and skilled in combat, monks can navigate any battlefield with ease, aiding allies wherever they are needed most."

That means that any changes must allow the Monk to
- Overcome Daunting Perils
Answer: Monk AC
- Strike where its least expected
Answer: Movement Speed and High Jump changes.
- Take Advantage of Enemy vulnerabilities.
Answer: Maneuver Training, Bonus Feat, and Stunning Fist Changes
- Be Fleet of Foot
Answer: Movement Speed and High Jump changes.
- Navigate to battlefield with ease.
Answer: Movement Speed and High Jump changes.
- Aid allies wherever they are needed most.
Answer: All changes except Monk AC.

It also must touch nothing other than that, including DPR.

Monk AC: Base of Wis Score instead of 10 for AC and CMD. A Monk adds a maximum of +0 Dex Mod, +1 maximum Dex Mod per four levels. This bonus does not stack with Armor or Natural Armor bonuses from any source. Have a Feat that converts this to being based on Dex Score and Wis Mod instead, and also function as Weapon Finesse for only Monk Weapons (that could otherwise benefit from weapon finesse).

Maneuver Training: Add the Monk's Wisdom Modifier to the Monk's CMB. At level 3, 8, and every 5 levels thereafter the Monk is considered 1 Size Category larger for purposes of performing maneuvers, including for purposes of calculating his CMB. The Monk never provokes an Attack of Opportunity when performing a Combat Maneuver and qualifies for feats as though he had the correct Improved [Combat Maneuver] Feat.
Note: I'm still fine-tuning these numbers.

Monk Speed: Change the bonus to typeless. Make it +5ft for every 2 levels above 3 instead of +10 for every 3 levels.

High Jump: The bonuses to Acrobatics apply in general, not just for jumping. Yes, this divorces the effects from the name slightly. But... -waves hands-.

Stunning Fist: The first time in an encounter a Monk uses the Stunning Fist feat against a creature it does not expend a use of Stunning Fist. This benefit extends to all other Feats that can normally only be used a number of times per day equal to the character's levels in monk, plus one more for every four levels the character has in a class other than monk. All Archetypes that replace this ability gain an identical benefit.
Note: This is written to be applied as a hotfix. Where I writing the ability from the ground up it'd just flat-out work like witches Hexes and the Monk would declare after they damage someone. But, it has to be compatible with current material, so... here.

Bonus Feats: All Stunning Fist Variants available as bonus feats (Touch of Serenity, Elemental Fist, Punishing Kick, etc). Greater [Combat Maneuver] Feats are available at level 6.

None of this should improve the Monk's DPR terribly much. Meanwhile, it all lets the Monk do what it is described to do. The Monk AC was changed to eliminate MAD and improve their unbuffed defenses (their key problem imo). The change to Monk Movement Speed allows them a smaller, more gradual bonus that stacks with Haste while the High Jump change allows the Monk to actually tumble past things with a high CMD.

The change to Stunning Fist trains new Monk players to focus on status effects. The change to Maneuver Training allows them to not only keep a toolkit of "just the right maneuver for the job," but lets them try out for stuff they'll later commit to at level 6. Allowing things like Touch of Serenity to be taken as bonus feats means that the Monk can target different saves and deal different types of elemental damage, allowing them to target weaknesses straight from level 1.

The AC bonus eliminates fringe cases while boosting the average Monk's AC to where it should be, even at early levels. Assuming a starting Wisdom of 16 or 18 and Dex of 12 (easy enough), the Monk should have a comparable to better AC than most fighters.

This should create a better play experience that is separate from the Fighter's, so they feel like different classes completely, rather then encouraging raw survival/DPR comparisons.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
@EVERYONE (Especially Ashiel):

You know, I think that sounds pretty awesome. I'd be willing to give that a go. What level ranges would you like me to design for? You said you wanted me to do some of the low-level ones, so perhaps you mean 1st-5th?


SoulGambit: Here is my TW Fighter build

I always use Elite array because I find that is the most consistent way to test DPR. I mean point buys might change things a bit but not all that much.

Any way the TWF, he will use unarmed attacks just like the monk.

Str 14 (+2 level ups here)
Dex 15+2
Con 13
The rest doesn't matter.

Feats: IUS, Weapon Focus and Gtr, Weapon Specialization, Power Attack, Double Slice, TWF, ITWF, GTWF, Dragon Style, Dragon Ferocity, Stunning Fist

Items: +2/+2 belt str and dex (10k), gloves of dueling (15K), mithral breastplate +1 brawling (12k), gloves of dueling (15k), AoMF-Element (5K), Monk's Robe (13k), than whatever.

Buffs: GMF +2/+2, Inspire Courage +3/+3, Good Hope +2/+2, Brawling +2/+2, Flank +2, Haste +1

Attack Form: BAB + Str + Weap Foc + Weap Train + Brawling + GMF + IC+ GH+Flank+haste
Attack: 11+4+2+4+2+2+3+2+2+1-3-2 = +28/+28/+28/+23/+23/+18/+18

Damage Form: 1d8+Str+Weap Spec+Weap Train + Brawling + GMF + IC + GH + PA + Element
Damage: 4.5+8+2+4+2+2+3+2+6+3.5 = 37
Damage after first attack: 37 – 2 = 35
Offhand Damage: 37 – 2 - 3 (PA sucks for offhand) = 32

VS. AC 28 DPR 198

I am sure you can do better than I did because you know equipment that I never even heard of.

If I grab a +1 menacing armor spikes I can get DPR to 212.

Edit: left out stunning fist feat.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Hmm. For as long as I've been following the monk threads, I'd think someone would have commented on the use of a Cestus to provide enhancable attacks. Even if you purchased two of them they'd have a better return than an AoMF, unless you don't get to apply your higher monk damage to the attack?

The cestus doesn't get a monk's unarmed strike damage because it is a light weapon, not an unarmed strike. Also, the enhancements on the cestus do not apply to unarmed strike attacks; per the description of the cestus, your unarmed strike attacks deal their normal damage. The only changes a cestus makes to unarmed strike attacks are that you count as armed and can choose to deal piercing damage while making unarmed strike attacks.


@Gig: The Fighter does not benefit from an Extra Attack from Haste. You also spent 25k more gold than me and have no defensive items. Armor spikes would put you at 33k more gold than me. As a general rule, you don't want to spend more than ~60% of your gold on offense.

If you want to continue that comparison at that level of Gold blown on offense I'll upgrade my Monk's AoMF to Holy and then rant about how DR makes the unarmed Fighter suck but the Monk can so easily bypass DR.

That said, I'd recommend removing at least 20k worth of items from your build and do the DPR at that level.

(Menacing makes it 209 DPR, btw).


Epic Meepo wrote:
Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Hmm. For as long as I've been following the monk threads, I'd think someone would have commented on the use of a Cestus to provide enhancable attacks. Even if you purchased two of them they'd have a better return than an AoMF, unless you don't get to apply your higher monk damage to the attack?
The cestus doesn't get a monk's unarmed strike damage because it is a light weapon, not an unarmed strike. Also, the enhancements on the cestus do not apply to unarmed strike attacks; per the description of the cestus, your unarmed strike attacks deal their normal damage. The only changes a cestus makes to unarmed strike attacks are that you count as armed and can choose to deal piercing damage while making unarmed strike attacks.

I assume that would affect the posted DPR numbers given when soulgambit swapped the deliq...de...ooze gloves for the cesti?


Zilar: That was already factored in. Cestus just gives the monk Menacing.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
Zilar: That was already factored in. Cestus just gives the monk Menacing.

How's that work, and why bother? If you're not attacking with the weapon you shouldn't get to claim the benefit...or did you slip in a cestus attack down at the bottom of the attack sequence for the extra +2, or did you take the 1d4 damage for (1+) attacks, or what? Does the bonus apply to the person using the menacing weapon, also? The wording is a little confusing. Generally when something talks about allies, it's talking about everyone other than the user isn't it? In this case the wording is confusing because 'allies' could be the wielder's allies, or it could be the flankers allies.

Not trying to nit, even though I suppose I am, but some of what you posted seems to rely on oddball items that I've not only never seen, but I can't imagine falling on the table under normal (non-cherry-picked-crafting) circumstances.

One further aside..using GMW to shore up a monk's inability to punch things in the face in a meaningful fashion has been brought up in previous threads. I suspect that at least part of people's disregard in subsequent threads is the apparent regularity with which BBEG, little-bad-evil-guys, and medium-bad-evil-guys are willing to purchase, hold, and use higher level scrolls of greater dispel in some campaigns. Personally, I can't remember the last time I was dispelled, but apparently nary a fight goes by at many tables without someone dropping some form of 'make the players pull out the backup butt-naked character sheet'.

ymmv.


Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Personally, I can't remember the last time I was dispelled, but apparently nary a fight goes by at many tables without someone dropping some form of 'make the players pull out the backup butt-naked character sheet'.

People get dispelled in my games all the time (not necessarily by scrolls either as it's a very good spell to prepare, to know, and shows up on a number of outsiders, especially at high levels). I don't know what you mean about this "backup naked character sheet". Do people actually have those?


SoulGambit0 wrote:

@Gig: The Fighter does not benefit from an Extra Attack from Haste. You also spent 25k more gold than me and have no defensive items. Armor spikes would put you at 33k more gold than me. As a general rule, you don't want to spend more than ~60% of your gold on offense.

If you want to continue that comparison at that level of Gold blown on offense I'll upgrade my Monk's AoMF to Holy and then rant about how DR makes the unarmed Fighter suck but the Monk can so easily bypass DR.

That said, I'd recommend removing at least 20k worth of items from your build and do the DPR at that level.

(Menacing makes it 209 DPR, btw).

I am sure you can game the items better than me. Also how do you classify an item offensive or defensive is the 2/2 belt O or D? What about the armor O or D?

What we are doing is just a pissing match on who can game items and buffs better than another. If I switch to a normal TWF with kukris, instead just so we can avoid the controversy of haste working with unarmed.

I can save 3 feats (It is 4 feats but I would pick up Imp Crit) and up the DPR to 240, by having a +1 courageous (this is cheese because I know I can get a morale bonus) and a +1 menacing kukri. Also at the same time up my AC significantly and save a bunch of gold without having to buy Monk's Robes.

With the money save I can get the +1 comp attack from the ioun stone. The TW Fighter DPR goes up to 250.

PS: I tripled checked my math on the menacing change unless I misunderstand how it works +2 attack, I am still getting 212.


Ashiel wrote:
Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Personally, I can't remember the last time I was dispelled, but apparently nary a fight goes by at many tables without someone dropping some form of 'make the players pull out the backup butt-naked character sheet'.
People get dispelled in my games all the time (not necessarily by scrolls either as it's a very good spell to prepare, to know, and shows up on a number of outsiders, especially at high levels). I don't know what you mean about this "backup naked character sheet". Do people actually have those?

Depending on which character I play I have a cheat sheet of all the important stats, to hit, damage, etc for various scenarios. At high levels it can include one for when fighting in an antimagic field. I almost never have to do math during my turn and I go superfast.


Ashiel wrote:
Zilvar2k11 wrote:
Personally, I can't remember the last time I was dispelled, but apparently nary a fight goes by at many tables without someone dropping some form of 'make the players pull out the backup butt-naked character sheet'.
People get dispelled in my games all the time (not necessarily by scrolls either as it's a very good spell to prepare, to know, and shows up on a number of outsiders, especially at high levels). I don't know what you mean about this "backup naked character sheet". Do people actually have those?

In the thread in question, I asked the same question and got at least one heck-ya-always sort of response. In that thread I'd asked if any DMs would really use Disjunction against a party since it would bring the game to a screeching halt while everyone recalculated everything.

I am still not convinced, but thats what I've got


Hey that's cool. Seems pretty reasonable to me. My group usually just uses some note paper to know what our temporary buffs are, and most character sheets have a base ability scores list and a temporary ability scores list (for magic items and such).

For example, I might write the following on a piece of scratch paper (or just memorize it, but that's not for everyone)

Heroism, CL 7
Haste, CL 7
Enlarge Person, CL 15 (permanent)

Having an extra character sheet sounds like a fair way to do it too.
PS: Yes, I would cast disjunction on the PCs.
PPS: I'd probably prefer dispel magic and its line to just be more potent.


I'm sure a lot would and it would be a smart move for some or many enemies. At the tables I've been at it would bring the game to a halt for a minimum of 30 minutes while everyone figured out butt naked stats.

Sometimes a good idea isn't a good idea when you lose a lot of your game time :)


Zilvar2k11 wrote:

I'm sure a lot would and it would be a smart move for some or many enemies. At the tables I've been at it would bring the game to a halt for a minimum of 30 minutes while everyone figured out butt naked stats.

Sometimes a good idea isn't a good idea when you lose a lot of your game time :)

In truth, I don't see why it would take 30 minutes. All your buffs and such stack on to your baseline. Does someone just forget how attack rolls and such work?

For example, if I'm playing a Fighter (arguably the guy with the most numerical buffs in the game) I've got two sections on my sheet. Ability Scores and Modified Ability Scores (so that takes care of that).

Normally I might have a +5 sword, +1 ioun stone, +10 from Strength (including magic items), +2 from heroism, +1 from haste, etc, etc, etc.

I get mass-dispelled.

1d20 + BAB + strength (left column) + weapon training/feats. Why does this take so long?

Same with saving throws. I just don't add the +5 from my cloak of resistance.

Hit points? Lose 1 HP / level for the difference in Con modifier (I'm wearing a +6 Con item at 20th level and it shuts off? -60 hit points, done).

Seems like most of this would be pretty automatic to me. O.o


Ashiel wrote:
Zilvar2k11 wrote:

I'm sure a lot would and it would be a smart move for some or many enemies. At the tables I've been at it would bring the game to a halt for a minimum of 30 minutes while everyone figured out butt naked stats.

Sometimes a good idea isn't a good idea when you lose a lot of your game time :)

In truth, I don't see why it would take 30 minutes. All your buffs and such stack on to your baseline. Does someone just forget how attack rolls and such work?

Seems like most of this would be pretty automatic to me. O.o

I could be exaggerating, but I don't think by much. The people at my tables aren't the most system savvy.


That is why I always include the stats for being in null-magic area (i.e., an Anti-Magic Shell) on my character sheet . . . I have my full modifiers with all magic, and then my modifiers with no magic. If something gets suppressed or dispelled, I just add in to the non-magic what bonuses remain and I am done. Takes less than a minute.

Of course, I come from games where beholders were common and permanent Anti-Magic Fields were part and parcel of the game. So your own mileage may vary.

MA


I support the idea of a Playtest Tower, but I do not support the idea of having "custom-made encounters worth CR X" because that really says nothing about the difficulty since the CR system is so very very vague. For example see this: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2mvwf?Balors-fall-you-die-Or-how-to-break-the-C R

Other people, not in the least Ashiel, are also good at optimizing enemies far beyond what the standard game assumes. Ashiels encounters sounds like great fun for an experienced party of well-optimized characters and tactic-savvy players - but are nowhere close to the standard CR assumptions in difficulty (Ashiel, take that as a compliment).

A better idea might be to take CR X encounters from published AP's. That way we get a measuring tool that reflects what the game designers think on difficulty.


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Zilar: Menacing specifically states it need not be used.

Response to Gig:
Courageous just makes the math annoying. :/

A reasonable counter would be stating out the defenses of your chara and comparing them to the fighter and monk presented. Assuming you also swap to Weapon Finesse + Pirahna Strike you wind up with a routine of +31/+31/+30/+26/+25/+21/+20 half of which have an average damage of 25.5, while the other half has 26.5. So you wind up with... ((0.95*3+0.7)*26.5+(0.95+0.9+0.65)*25.5)*1.3 or 205.

Results
Base: 205 vs 180
Vs Crit Immune: 158 vs 165
Vs DR 10/--: 145 vs 136
Vs DR 10/-- and Crit Immune: 97 vs 118

EDIT: Wait. How is your Fighter qualifying for Greater Two-Weapon Fighting with a 17 DEX? Without that your DPR drops to 183, about the Monk's, and lower in every other instance. I suppose you can put those level-ups in DEX instead of STR, giving +1 To-Hit and -1 Damage to everything. It should only cost you a little bit of DPR. Vs DR 10/-- you wind up with 140, only very barely above the Monk's. This has an even -greater- impact on your Monk build, which winds up (in the best case scenario) with +1 To-Hit and -2 Damage.

Unlike the THF, the TWF-Based Fighter can't easily bypass DR, so its usually competing with the monk on equal footing in terms of which row you're comparing. If the enemy is Crit-Immune, the Kukri Fighter's DPR absolutely tanks. If you're fighting against something with DR (which most things are) then the dedicated Fighter beats the monk by... 9. Woo~. Considering it'll take the same number of full attacks anyways, I'll take the 8.5% chance to Stun over that.

So the Monk is about on par-ish with the TWF Fighter at this level of buffing, and even exceeds him against Crit-Immune enemies. Given that the Fighter is meant to be the topmost frontliner, that's still quite a statement.

More importantly, this again, shows how even small changes can cause huge impacts on classes that rely on lots of little attacks. A lot of the changes presented don't take this into consideration. The Monk with free +To-Hit will once again outstrip the Two-Weapon Fighter, and the Fighter should be dealing significantly more damage than the Monk.

Oh, since this is the Boss (presumably), the Monk could hypothetically just chug a potion of Enlarge Person while approaching and pump his DPR above the TWF's in all cases again--even if the TWF does the same. Not part of the original challenge, but just to drive home again, that the more buffs we pile on, the more things exponentially favor the monk.

RE: The Tower
Levels 1-5 would be a great start, Ashiel! That said, Ilja brings up a really good point. Anyone have any thoughts regarding that? Are APs made similarly enough to crop out encounter optimization? Can we do the tower without spoiling those APs?

I haven't played very many APs, so I wouldn't know.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SoulGambit0 wrote:
The formula for Stunning Fist -> Medus's Wrath is adding X*Y*(0.1*Z+(X+0.1)*2) to the to-hit section of the DPR formula, where X is the chance for the first strike to hit, Y is the chance for the enemy to fail their saves, Z is the number of further attacks at less than 0.95 in the routine. This resulted ~+7 DPR with a 0.1 chance of making the save.

As an aside, your Elite array monk, with a headband of wisdom, would have a 15 wisdom and hence a DC17 stunning fist. With +14 as the good save at this level, if it's in Fortitude that's a 90% chance of failure. One reason stunning fist could be factored out of that equation.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I used Elite Array because I was specifically replying to Gig, who specified its use.

Fair enough.

SoulGambit0 wrote:

I also took the liberaty of doing the calcs vs the AC 25 (not the 28) with a 20-pt buy. The math shows that the Monk actually benefits more. Now, if a Fighter pumps up to 18 STR before racial mods, then he can pull ahead just barely, but the Fighter is going to suffer for that choice more than the Monk's MAD.

The Monk will most likely go STR 16 / DEX 12 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 14 / CHA 8, and could dump INT and/or CHA more for more Dex or Wis.

The Fighter will likely go STR 16 / DEX 14 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 12 / CHA 8.

I disagree with your fighter stats. A fighter can easily go STR 18 / DEX 10 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 12 / CHA 7 and lose nothing compared to the monk. He doesn't need that dexterity half so much as the monk does, he can wear armour. He can then take a dex-booster later to take advantage of the armour training.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
This results in +1 To-Hit and Damage at level 11 for both. Run the calcs with that if you want, it benefits the Monk more.

Only if you assume the fighter is going easy on the monk. It's +1 for the monk and +2 for the fighter, who doesn't have to worry about MAD and is going to be laughing with a better AC than the monk in his plate armour as well.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I used the buffs specified by Gig and GMW, an additional hour/level buff. It's actually two slots, not "eight." The MOnk bought a Rod of Extend, so those two castings last 22 hours, more than enough for an adventuring day.

Unless somebody de-buffed him with a dispel magic. You still needed more spells to buff the monk than the fighter, in fact the fighter could have done without GMW and it barely would have effected his DPR - he could have improved his DPR against this target by using deliquescent gloves as well.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I punched the numbers with your changes in the nice little section that mentions you. The DPR was much, much higher against a higher AC. I don't know how you built that Monk, but it wasn't for damage.

I fail to see how that can have happened. Wis to hit replaces strength or dex, so the to-hit numbers from that can have been no higher (and damage less if you didn't use a strength-build to take advantage of this). Enhancement bonus to hit (and not to damage, remember) is masked completely by GMW if you were working with buffs (and if you are not assuming buffs, you are looking at the fighter doing the sensible thing and using a +3 falchion). The only thing that could have had any other effect is the DR-bypass, which you apparently ignored anyway.

Without showing your working, I can't see where this massive damage is coming from at all, so can you demonstrate it please? I have a feeling that you may have included strength to hit and enhancement to damage to get these numbers out. All I can think of is that the +3 to hit (and bear in mind, NOT to damage) pushed up accuracy a lot more than I expected it would.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Haste barely benefits the Monk, but is the source of almost a fourth of the Fighter's DPR. The thing is, there are no buffs that give similar benefits to the Fighter, without granting even greater benefits to the Monk. I didn't include them because they don't exist.

This is true, but you did rack up a lot of buffs that are hardly common in there, and then you want to take out haste when it's about the most common buff that gets used to run a less-buffed comparison? I won;t deny the monk gets more out of the buffs than the fighter, but that's because the monk starts at a much lower pedestal than the fighter.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
How, exactly, do you expect the Fighter to survive approaching an enemy? The Monk can actually get into melee. A smart opponent can make sure the Fighter is never there in the first place. The enemy moves back, casts a ranged save or suck (or Dispel Magic). When the Fighter comes close, the enemy trips. A moving fight doesn't benefit the Fighter as much as people think in actual play.

Well the last time I checked, the fighter and the monk approach the enemy the same way. Of course if there is an obstacle course in between them, the monk will get there faster and easier but I do not recall that ever being mentioned and I haven't run into that many in games either. What if the enemy is coming for the party? What if one side manages an ambush on the other?

SoulGambit0 wrote:
For every situation you can come up where the Monk doesn't excel but the Fighter does, there is a situation where the Fighter does not excel but the Monk does. What about against the humble Grease spell?

I can see where you are coming from with that, but I find it strange that you want to factor this in and not the enemy buffing their AC. Besides, at range the fighter can just pull out his mighty bow if he prefers not to charge.

If you want to include the 'whole package' then by all means show the complete builds of fighter and monk. See if anyone can build the fighter better, too, so that you avoid any accusations of favouring the numbers.

Yes, there are situations in which monks excel. I am happy to concede that being buffed to hell and back by the rest of the party is one of them, and brings them up to a similar level as the fighter in such circumstances.

But it is still a corner case, and games are not made of corner cases.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
A TWF Fighter? Build it then.

Show me your builds and I'll show you mine...

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Regardless, it is to demonstrate how adding these types of buffs to the actual class (which people are trying to do) with boost its DPR much higher than intended.

Which is all fair and reasonable, that's what buffs are meant to do. That's also why de-buffs exist.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
So... having a Bard in your party is a corner case, but facing enemies specifically designed to counter the Monk isn't...?

Firstly, I never said having a bard in the party was a corner case, I said that having casters willing to waste that many spells buffing just one character was a corner case. In fact when considering 'realistic' buffing situations I specifically included the bardic performance. Please do not try and put words into my mouth that careful reading would reveal are definitely not there.

Secondly, having enemies specifically to counter the monk isn't necessary. Monks as are have difficulties compared to the other martial classes against four factors that are relatively common: High ACs (even your monk was, whatever the numbers and buffs, a good +5 to hit behind the fighter), high CMDs (as monsters scale in level, their CMDs on the whole scale up faster), DR (monks have more problems getting through it), and high Fort saves (stunning fist has to hit the AC, get through the DR and then the target has to fail the save to work).

SoulGambit0 wrote:
It's a corner case, but by buffing the Monk you're turning that corner case into a constant reality.

Having casters willing to buff another character that much is a corner case in and of itself.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
The Monk should be below the Fighter. It not being below the Fighter, that's a problem.

...so in every single case the fighter must be better than the monk? No, I don't buy it. You said yourself there are some situations in which the monk will be better. You just found one corner-case of uber-buffing in which the monk can equal the fighter but not significantly exceed him in DPR. Every other martial class has corner cases where they exceed the fighter, and they don't need another party member to cast spell after spell on them in order to do so.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Oh, and another point is that the Monk is not a 5th member. He replaces the Fighter when the 5th member is support.

Congratulations, you managed to make a single case where the monk + buffer = fighter + buffer. Two characters managed to equal two characters.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
I included it in the second post, where I detailed the fringe and defensive stuff.

That's the problem with presenting your builds across several posts - I suppose it makes it hard to dissect them, but it also means we miss stuff.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
What if the Fighter gets debuffed with a Greater Dispel Magic? No Haste. DPR goes away. The Monk still goes strong.

If either gets debuffed they drop in performance, but the monk drops more by your stats. He also takes more spells to re-buff.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Specific challenges, please. I have no idea what you mean by "reasonable."

Bardic song and one buff of each character's choice vs CR-2, CR=level and CR+2 with DR. Both characters built to not rely on buffs at all. That's pretty much what you would generally get in a party, I think.

Now, looking at your ideas:

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Monk AC: Base of Wis Score instead of 10 for AC and CMD. A Monk adds a maximum of +0 Dex Mod, +1 maximum Dex Mod per four levels. This bonus does not stack with Armor or Natural Armor bonuses from any source. Have a Feat that converts this to being based on Dex Score and Wis Mod instead, and also function as Weapon Finesse for only Monk Weapons (that could otherwise benefit from weapon finesse).

Ouch. That's effectively doubling the AC bonus from wisdom. You're effectively nerfing dexterity in return...mechanically, it doesn't change the AC hugely EXCEPT for the HULKSMASH-monk that never bothered much with dex anyway.

I guess it does reduce MAD by discouraging and nerfing the advantages of dex-built monks even more than they already are, but that then makes one theme of monk pretty much non-viable, and I really do not like that as a concept. I can't stand HULKSMASH-monks anyway, and every other melee class is relying on strength, strength and more strength. I'd like at least one class to be different, not yet more mountains of muscle (hardly the traditional idea of the saffron-robed little martial artist, is it?).

SoulGambit0 wrote:

Maneuver Training: Add the Monk's Wisdom Modifier to the Monk's CMB. At level 3, 8, and every 5 levels thereafter the Monk is considered 1 Size Category larger for purposes of performing maneuvers, including for purposes of calculating his CMB. The Monk never provokes an Attack of Opportunity when performing a Combat Maneuver and qualifies for feats as though he had the correct Improved [Combat Maneuver] Feat.

Note: I'm still fine-tuning these numbers.

Looks better. I'd go wisdom-to-hit instead of strength as well myself to help deal with MAD, but that's just me. Is this replacing strength, though, or adding to it? If it's adding to it, that's a big boost. Are you keeping the monk level = BAB for maneuvers as well?

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Monk Speed: Change the bonus to typeless. Make it +5ft for every 2 levels above 3 instead of +10 for every 3 levels.

I'm all on board for this one. Doesn't address the monk's basic problems though.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
High Jump: The bonuses to Acrobatics apply in general, not just for jumping. Yes, this divorces the effects from the name slightly. But... -waves hands-.

Well it means the monk can tumble past some huge CMDs, I guess.

SoulGambit0 wrote:

Stunning Fist: The first time in an encounter a Monk uses the Stunning Fist feat against a creature it does not expend a use of Stunning Fist. This benefit extends to all other Feats that can normally only be used a number of times per day equal to the character's levels in monk, plus one more for every four levels the character has in a class other than monk. All Archetypes that replace this ability gain an identical benefit.

Note: This is written to be applied as a hotfix. Where I writing the ability from the ground up it'd just flat-out work like witches Hexes and the Monk would declare after they damage someone. But, it has to be compatible with current material, so... here.

Biggest problem with this: Stunning fist is only usable once per round. So you may have effectively infinite uses, but you still only get one attempt per turn. If the odds to succeed are low (and they usually are) then you are looking at very few successes all the same.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Bonus Feats: All Stunning Fist Variants available as bonus feats (Touch of Serenity, Elemental Fist, Punishing Kick, etc). Greater [Combat Maneuver] Feats are available at level 6.

I like.

Overall, some nice ideas and some bad ones. Reducing dependency on Dexterity may push up AC for HULKSMASH-monk, and reduce MAD, but it nerfs speedy monk into oblivion and that's one design of monk I love. You basically made a lot of existing monk builds redundant with that idea.

However, the monk's biggest problems as I see them, hitting high AC and bypassing DR, are not addressed at all. Your super-buffed monk may not see them, but not every monk can be super-buffed monk.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
Zilar: Menacing specifically states it need not be used.

Is that text in the hardcover, because that text does not appear in the d20pfsrd entry for menacing. All it specifically points out is that you need not be one of the flankers in order to provide the benefit to your allies. In fact, I'm still not clear on whether the bonus applies to the wielder of the menacing weapon (and can think of at least one fluff-tastic reason it wouldn't)

In the interest of avoiding argument, how would the lack affect the posted DPR values?

Sczarni

I think the people at your table need to just get better organized or bring a calculator if they have problem doing math quickly.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SoulGambit0 wrote:
More importantly, this again, shows how even small changes can cause huge impacts on classes that rely on lots of little attacks. A lot of the changes presented don't take this into consideration. The Monk with free +To-Hit will once again outstrip the Two-Weapon Fighter, and the Fighter should be dealing significantly more damage than the Monk.

This is not true if the free +To-Hit is a typed bonus (probably enhancement), as it would not stack with the many buffs placed on the examples. Unless, of course, the +To-Hit typed bonus exceeds the bonus granted by similarly typed buffs.

On the other hand, the examples do not indicate the possibility of increased caster level. Many casters would want a orange prism ioun stone (+1 caster level) - which would be viable at level 11; or have other means by which they have increased their effective CL in general or for specific spells. Greater magic weapon at CL 12 is already sexier than the one at CL 11.

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