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If Monks have trouble hitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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SoulGambit0 wrote:
You can call it a corner case all you want, but again. This works almost like a science. All it takes is one, singular case, no matter how obscure, to break your proposal to mark it "needs improvement."

I deleted a previous post because it had too much snark, but I should have just edited it.

There's a couple places where I differ from what I perceive to be your baseline here, though I can't speak for anyone else. I, personally, think that a monk should be capable of competing with a fighter's damage output when the fighter is trying to do the monk's schtick (barefisted TWF). If Dabbler's proposal makes that possible when you've got the Bard In My Back Pocket class ability, cool.

Second, and more importantly, creating a combat-viable core monk takes a great deal of system mastery right now. Just based off the crazy stuff you've pulled out to equip monks with that I'd never heard of, I've got to tip my hat to you (even if I do disagree with pretty much everything you've said about the menacing property). Dabbler's proposal makes it possible to create a monk that can remain useful to people who don't have that level of mastery. It also allows people to make monks that aren't all about strength and have them still be useful at the table. I think this is a good thing.

SoulGambit0 wrote:

RE: Feriah.

I'll look at this chara in detail when I'm less tired and more sober. I'm having a hard time picturing what she's actually supposed to be doing or good at. That said, it looks like an Agile AoMF should solve most of your DPR problems.

He already mentioned why that wasn't possible, and I think everyone is on board with the previous dev statement that an item-based fix to the class isn't desirable.

If it takes a specific item to make a monk approach viable, there's something wrong with the class, the approach, or the item. And I'd like to think we can all agree that not every monk should have to look like Hulk Hogan or Hanma Yujiro.


If you don't like menacing affecting allies, hand the Cestus over to the Rogue, or make the Rogue buy a menacing Cestus/Armor-Spikes. It's not like you don't both equally benefit.

A change that makes the Monk more accessible to people with low system mastery at the cost of allowing it to be broken by people with high system mastery is in desperate need of reworking. The issue isn't some hatred against Dex-Monks, it's that you can't give them a bonus that STR Monks also benefit from too much. A +3 Enhancement at level 11 stacks to unweildly numbers.

Man, you people are really stuck on this "corner case" dismissive thing thing. I've been telling you the issue isn't what it does to the fully buffed monk. The issue is what the changes do to the unbuffed monks. The buffed monk is just a picture of what can happen.

But hey. Corner cases, so the data has no value, right? Lets take a nice, comfortable piece of data. No buffs. No flanking. Nothing, except Dabbler's change. Lets see what happens, data supplied so people can check my math.

Monk Data:
To-Hit:
+11 (Base) -2 (Flurry) +6 (Strength) +1 (Feat) +3 (Enhancement) +1 (Ioun) = +20

Damage:
2d8 (Base) +6 (Strength) +3 (Dragon Ferocity) = 18

Formula:
(0.65*3+0.4*2+0.15+0.65*0.35*0.2*5+0.65*0.15*(0.1*5+0.75*2+0.35*0.2*2))*18* 1.05+(0.65*3+0.4*2+0.15+0.65*0.35*0.2*5+0.65*0.15*(0.1*5+0.75*2+0.35*0.2*2) )*3.5

Hammer the Gap is worth 5~8 DPR tacked on the end. That's actually lowballing it, but meh.

Fighter Data:
To-Hit:
+11 +7 (STR) +2 (Feats) +3 (Enh) +4 (Weapon Train) -3 (Power Attack) = +24

Damage:
2d4+10+2+3+4+9 = 33

Formula:
(0.85+0.6+0.35)*33*1.3

Results: 77 (Fighter) vs 80+ (Monk)

It gets worse from there. The Monk bypasses DR easier than the Fighter, and, as always, crit-immune enemies tank the Fighter's DPR. It isn't just about the Damage. The Monks gain the damage... and the speed... and the AC... and the CMD... and... you get the picture.

Is this a corner case too?

RE: Feriah

Yeah. Looking at her with a fresh mind isn't helping. What is she supposed to be doing? She feels a bit all over the place, mechanically. It looks like you start down about three paths but never finish... Also, I'm doing this because I'm interested in actually helping you, in your specific game.

What houserules are in play, if any?
What material is available?
How pliable to changing the character is your DM?
How is your Magic Item Access?

The very, very first thing you need to do is talk to your DM about what you want to be doing and the frustration you've been having. It could be an issue of having geared yourself towards humanoid opponents in a monster hunting game. If you want to come loaded with a list of "things I'd like to change/do" I can help.

@LoreKeeper: Ew... I'm not sure I like doubling or trippling the worth of a Monk's standard action. The monk's standard action is behind that of other characters, but not by that much. You can't trust Ki to balance you either, because the Drunken Master and Hungry Ghost archetypes exist. Your Flurry also needs to be compatible with the Martial Artist, unless you want to make tons of work for yourself down the road.

I like the combination of negating the penalty of the flurry and making the extra attacks contingent on the prior one hitting in terms of what that does for DPR... even if it means that DPR calcs for the Monk will get even longer. >_<

The issue is that this is a direct action economy multiplier. It needs restrictions and penalties of some sort...

Hrm... Maybe instead of adding on Free Attacks it could be a Swift-Action attack? Possibly at a penalty. I think that might be mutually exclusive with the "contingent on hitting" aspect, which I liked. This also strips away the extra attack for Ki aspect, preventing the DPR from shooting too high on a full attack...

Heh, here's one for you. Swift action attack to make an attack against everyone damaged by you via a monk weapon since the end of your last turn.

-is just brainstorming at this point-

Here's a question: Can Flurry of Blows be mutually exclusive with Maneuvers, or should they be linked? I feel like mutually exclusive encourages Hulk Smash too much.

EDIT: Oh, another ranom idea before bed: The issue is what happens at level 8. Before that it isn't too bad. Why not allow the Monk to spend a swift action to repeat every attack that hit that turn at the same BAB, noting that the Monk may replace Combat Maneuvers with attacks, and visa verse. This means the Monk will never get more than 2 attacks on a Standard Action. The Full-Action attack -should- be countered by not being compatible with the Ki -> Extra Attack option, but I'm not sure.

EDIT 2: If you go this rout, then the swift action has to be preemptive. You would have to pay the swift action before making any attacks. This is for several reasons, but primarily because its easier to roll the dice that way (prevents you from having to remember your modifiers for too long).

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@SoulGambit:

The Alternative flurry works with maneuvers - and if you consider that typical humanoid enemies have relatively low CMD, and its possible to really stack on the CMB for a particular maneuver (particularly trip, disarm and sunder which can be used instead of attacks). So a smart monk could typically use (facing appropriate foes) a high-likelihood maneuver to trigger the extra attacks granted by flurry of blows. This does obviously reduce the potential DPR, but on the other hand it is almost like tacking on a "free" maneuver to your full attack.

It does *not* work with standard action maneuvers (like the maneuver master's flurry).

Regarding "unlimited" ki monk archetypes: I think they still work fine with the standard-action-flurry. After all, all they get is the ability to move before or after their flurry - and the standard-action-flurry is still lower DPR than the full-round flurry. It does however cement the monk's role as a mobile/versatile combatant. I'm in favor of keeping it as is.


SoulGambit0 wrote:


Results: 77 (Fighter) vs 80+ (Monk)

It gets worse from there. The Monk bypasses DR easier than the Fighter, and, as always, crit-immune enemies tank the Fighter's DPR. It isn't just about the Damage. The Monks gain the damage... and the speed... and the AC... and the CMD... and... you get the picture.

Is this a corner case too?...

Can you explain the statement that the monk bypasses dr easier? My experience is that flat bonuses or actually having the required material matter most. Both characters show +3, but the fighter is going to be punching through dr with more damage when he connects. More hits connecting to offset?

Personally, I suspect I am too caught up in anecdote to discuss this dispassionately. My own level 11 monk rocks a +19 to hit and has never managed 70 DPR. Most days I am lucky with 7.


Prayer Wheel of Ethical Strength + Cestus means the Monk is bypassing DR/Law, DR/Good, DR/Bludgeoning, DR/Piercing. The Fighter is bypassing DR/Slashing and DR/Material (Except Adamantium). In one level the Fighter will be able to bypass DR/Good as well. The Fighter could swap to a Holy Falchion, but then his Damage would tank against basically anything that isn't a demon.

@LoreKeeper: What do you feel making it cost Ki adds to the concept?

Aye, the Maneuver Strategy is actually the one that I consider the most likely. Particularly Trip Builds. That's why I was careful to look at Action Economy and not direct DPR. The Monk's medium BAB actually acts as a hinderence to bloating the single-action DPR. But that makes this change mutually exclusive with changes designed to make Maneuvers more viable.

A potential issue from a DPR perspective is probably a Dex-Based Trip + Vicious Stomp + Greater Trip Combination. That makes it tremendously likely to get off all the attacks, and results in 4 attacks in a single standard action.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
Prayer Wheel of Ethical Strength + Cestus means the Monk is bypassing DR/Law, DR/Good, DR/Bludgeoning, DR/Piercing. The Fighter is bypassing DR/Slashing and DR/Material (Except Adamantium). In one level the Fighter will be able to bypass DR/Good as well. The Fighter could swap to a Holy Falchion, but then his Damage would tank against basically anything that isn't a demon.

Ah. That prayer wheel thing I couldn't find.

funky.


It's in Ultimate Equipment. A great buy, btw. The gloves are there too. There are a few other DR-piercing items. I'm not a fan of the material-based ones, however. Too expensive, IMO.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SoulGambit0 wrote:
The issue isn't some hatred against Dex-Monks, it's that you can't give them a bonus that STR Monks also benefit from too much.

I actually feel that Dabbler's suggestion gets rid of Dex monks altogether. I see no point in boosting Dex when Wisdom becomes that much more powerful. They both increase AC, which is why I think reducing MAD in this way has additional consequences. The only build to use is HULK-SMASH now and all you need is Wisdom and Strength and can toss the change at Constitution.

Before anybody says reflex saves, a feat can tidy it up a bit and isn't as expensive a feat tax as Dex monks need. You could even do the same for Skill Focus: Acrobatics if you're truly feel like it's worth it and still using the same feat tax as Dex monks.

Making Wisdom this versatile takes away from all other stats, but the ones I worry about the most is how it mitigates both Strength AND Dexterity simultaneously at the balancing cost of just Wisdom.


SoulGambit0 wrote:
Prayer Wheel of Ethical Strength + Cestus means the Monk is bypassing DR/Law, DR/Good, DR/Bludgeoning, DR/Piercing. The Fighter is bypassing DR/Slashing and DR/Material (Except Adamantium). In one level the Fighter will be able to bypass DR/Good as well. The Fighter could swap to a Holy Falchion, but then his Damage would tank against basically anything that isn't a demon.

Sorry, two more questions. I shouldn't try posting right before work.

What level of DR makes it worthwhile to go from 2d8 to 1d4 base damage? Is it anything above DR 8 (the difference in the average damage of the weapon)?

Also, holy does extra damage to anything with an evil alignment. That's about 1/3 of the creatures in the 3 beastiaries, and (one assumes) a fair number of classed enemies in a standard 'save the world' style campaign. Holy really seems like a good investment to me...is it really that much of a trap?


Holy isn't a trap in most AP's. It's actually pretty good, but it depends on the campaign. For a full-BAB class that does good regardless I'd say go for the Holy, but if you have issues hitting, like a rogue and most monks, I'd say go for straight plusses.

The math is possible to make, but personally, I think it's enough to state that if you go holy you probably won't be disappointed. Neither will you be if you go straight plusses or elemental, assuming you're a full melee.


Holy really, really depends on the campaign. In a lot of campaigns you can do well by it. That said, having to use 2 Elements or Holy on your Falchion drops the Fighter's DPR to 71, even if it applies.

Zilvar: Assuming equal To-Hit chances and equal misc bonuses to damage, yes.

Gren: Huh, I hadn't even thought of that. Good call. There is no more "Dex Monk" because Dex can never, even with Weapon Finesse, receive a comparable benefit (unless Agile is involved).

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SoulGambit0 wrote:

@LoreKeeper: What do you feel making it cost Ki adds to the concept?

Aye, the Maneuver Strategy is actually the one that I consider the most likely. Particularly Trip Builds. That's why I was careful to look at Action Economy and not direct DPR. The Monk's medium BAB actually acts as a hinderence to bloating the single-action DPR. But that makes this change mutually exclusive with changes designed to make Maneuvers more viable.

A potential issue from a DPR perspective is probably a Dex-Based Trip + Vicious Stomp + Greater Trip Combination. That makes it tremendously likely to get off all the attacks, and results in 4 attacks in a single standard action.

The standard action ki flurry is at monk-level as BAB, I think that is worth the ki price in tandem with the flurry itself.

A trip-AOO build is perfectly fine. It is already be dangerous without the flurry as a standard action - granting additional attacks by spending ki is fine. In both cases the benefit is greatest when full-round attacking. Do you imagine that the problem will be that the monk will suddenly want to move from foe to foe and 1-round standard attacking instead of focusing on one enemy?

Even with ki-renewing archetypes like drunken master I don't think of it as a problem - such builds can potentially achieve continues standard-action flurries. Is that a big deal when they could be full-rounding and using that ki for extra attacks instead?

The most interesting application is finding a use for the spare move action - you could use Greater Feint and Standard Action Flurry in a round.


Throwing some numbers down. You make a good enough point to start moving away from the theoretical and collecting data.

Monk Data: Or why your thing makes calcing DPR a pain in the ass:
(0.65+0.65*(0.65+0.35*0.2+0.15*0.1)+0.65*(0.65+0.35*0.2+0.15*0.1)*(0.65+0.3 5*0.2+0.15*0.1))*19*1.05
= 29.5 (37.9 when Flanking)

Base Sum To-Hit (including Medusa's Wrath):
(0.65*2+0.4+0.15+0.65*0.35*0.2*3+0.65*0.15*(0.1*3+0.75*2+0.35*0.2*2))
= 2.17565 (2.640375 when Flanking)

One Extra Attack To-Hit:
(1-(0.35-0.35*0.2-0.15*0.1)^2*(0.6-0.35*0.2-0.15*0.1)*(0.85-0.35*0.2-0.15*0 .1))*(0.65+0.65*0.35*0.2+0.65*0.15*0.1)
= 0.68573792274 (0.80724068955 when Flanking)

Second Extra Attack To-Hit*:
(1-(0.35-0.35*0.2-0.15*0.1)^2*(0.6-0.35*0.2-0.15*0.1)*(0.85-0.35*0.2-0.15*0 .1))^2*(0.65+0.65*0.35*0.2+0.65*0.15*0.1)
= 0.66676568406 (0.80078344807 when Flanking)

Subtotal:
(2.17565+0.68573792274+0.66676568406)*19*1.05
= 70.4 (84.8 when Flanking)

Grand Total:
29.5+70.4
= 100 (123 when Flanking)

An average of ~4 attacks will hit, meaning Hammer the Gap adds a flat (0+1+2+3) = +6 to the end of DPR. I'll make it +5 to be safe.

Fighter Data:

(0.85*2+0.6+0.35)*33*1.3 = 113.7
Addin flanking... (0.85*2+0.6+0.35+0.1*4)*33*1.3 = 130.8

The approach's damage is 36 or 40, depending on Flanking, by the way.

Results
Base: 114 (Fighter) vs 105 +1d4 Bleed (Monk)
Flanking: 131 vs 128 +1d4 Bleed

This is a bit deceptive. The Monk's DPR is a conservative approximation, and the actual number should be a few points higher. Possibly enough to tip the scales in the case of flanking. Otherwise, the fighter stays mildly ahead at all points, and while the Monk can do a little better, build-wise, the Fighter can do a lot better.

For lulz. Lets see what happens with your change at extreme levels of twink and optimization.

Chucky, the master of Cheese-Fu:

Human Wanderer

STR 10 / DEX 16 / CON 12 / INT 13 / WIS 14 / CHA 14
Traits: Oppertunistic Gambler, That +1 CMB One
1. Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, Dodge
2. EWP: 7-Branched Sword
3. Pirahna Strike
4. +1 Dexterity
5. Eldritch Heritage [Orc Bloodline]
6. Improved Trip
7. Ki Throw
8. +1 Dexterity
9. Greater Trip
10. Medusa's Wrath
11. Hammer the Gap

Note: Take Vows. Human Alternate Racial Feature used for +Ki.

Equipment: Amulet of Mighty Fists [Agile] (5k), Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone + Wayfinder (5k), +1 Menacing 7-Branched Sword (8k), Prayer Wheel of Ethical Might (10k), Belt of Dex +4 (16k), Monk's Robes (13k), Headband of Mighty Wisdom +4 (16k), Other Stuff

CMB: +11 (BAB) +6 (DEX) +4 (Feat) +3 (IC) +2 (Insight) +4 (Orc) +4 (Flanking) -3 (Pirahna Strike) +1 Trait = +32

To-Hit: +11 (BAB) +6 (Dex) +3 (IC) +4 (Orc) +4 (Flanking) -3 (Pirahna Strike) = +25

Damage: 2d8+6+3+4+6 = 22 Average

Approach is spent activating Inspire Courage and the Orc Bloodline Power.

DPR vs CMD 32 and AC 28

(0.95*0.95*(0.95*9+0.85+0.6))*28*1.05 = 265

This DPR is actually low, since I'm not even bothering the contingencies for the first two trip attempts failing. There will be an average of ~10 hits, so Hammer the Gap adds (0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9)*1.05 = 47.25

So a total of 312.

Compared to the normal (0.95*0.85*(0.95*8+0.85+0.6))*28*1.05 = 215 with Hammer the Gap adding 15, for 230

Result: 312 DPR, compared to the normal 230.

^ This is what I consider a hedge or corner case, by the way. That's the type of build you don't plan around. I just wanted to see the upper eschelons of how this impacts DPR.

So, over-all the results aren't as bad as I thought they'd be. Hammer the Gap and Trip Builds get the most benefit, and the primary DPR booster is the fact that the Monk gains +2 To-Hit over the current Monk. I would say that this can absolutely not be combined with anything else that boosts Monk To-Hit, however.


Made the Playtest Tower thread here. I'm serious about this project, and would love your guy's help.

Also, the more I think about it, the more LoreKeeper's flurry idea works... It's definitely worth implementing and further testing, at the very least. I'm still not sure about it costing Ki or allowing Full BAB on a standard action, but those are details. The premise works.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Regarding the standard-action flurry: I would definitely vote against making it "free". Consider that at higher levels with heavy buffs the flurries (even at 3/4BAB) only miss on a 1. Meaning that essentially every standard-action escalates into a 4 attack flurry. I'm okay with certain builds/archetypes exploiting their options to keep on doing a standard-action flurry all day long - even such builds have difficulty doing so every round.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

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Devil is in the details...

SoulGambit0 there is not nearly enough info to check your build or work.


I've been working off the same Monk/Fighter build for some time. I've rather deliberately simplified some portions in a way that's anti-monk, particularly with more complicated things like LoreKeeper's change. the Monk DPR should be accurate to within 5%, while the Fighter DPR should be completely accurate.

What other info would you like?

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Essentially he's asking for a complete build of both monk and fighter, coupled with a full disclosure of numbers used for attack and damage along with their source (7 str + 3 magic + etc).


I thought I did that? Here it is, reposted. Removed the bonus from outside buffs as well. Fighter goes +3 Falchion instead of +1 Holy without buffs as well.

Human Monk, Level 11:

STR 18 / DEX 12 / CON 14 / INT 9 / WIS 16 / CHA 7
Traits:
1. Toughness, Dodge, Belier's Bite
2. Improved Grapple
3. Dragon Style
4. +1 Strength
5. Dragon Ferocity.
6. Improved Trip
7. Weapon Focus
8. +1 Strength
9. Hammer the Gap
10. Medusa's Wrath
11. Punishing Kick

Items Belt of Physical Perfection (16k), Monk's Robe (13k), Headband of Inspired Wisdom +4 (16k), Amulet of Mighty Fists +1 (5k), Prayer Wheel of Ethical Strength (10k), Ring of Deflection +1 (2k), Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone (5k), Pale Green Ioun Stone (4k), Cloak of Resistance +2 (4k), Wayfinder (0.5k), Lesser Rod of Extend + Pearl of Power (4k, used to receive Mage Armor)

HP: 103
AC: 28, 24 Touch, 25 Flat-Footed (+5 if Barkskin, +4 if Ki)
CMD: 39
CMB: +21 (+2 for Trip/Grapple)
Saves: +12/+11/+14 (+2 vs Enchantment)

Flurry To-Hit: 11 -2 +6 (STR) +1 (WF) +1 (Enh) +1 (Ioun) = +18
Damage: 2d8+6+3+1 = 19

Notes: Dabbler's Change adds +2 to-hit and the AoMF is swapped to an elemental bonus. LoreKeeper's change removes the -2.

Falchion Fighter:
STR 20 / DEX 10 / CON 14 / INT 10 / WIS 12 / CHA 7
1. Toughness, Weapon Focus (Falchion), Point Blank Shot
2. Power Attack
3. Iron Will
4. Weapon Specialization (Falchion), +1 Strength
5. Weapon Group: Heavy Blade, Weapon Focus (Longbow)
6. Rapid Shot
7. Multi-Shot
8. Improved Critical, Retrain -> Greater Weapon Focus (Falchion), +1 Strength
9. Greater Weapon Focus (Longbow)
10. Weapon Group: Bows
11. Cluster Shots
*I flaffed about giving it archery as a secndary combat style. I'm willing to change it if people think other things are more fitting.

Item: +3 Falchion (18k), Gloves of Dueling (15k), Belt of Physical Perfection +2 (16k), Fullplate +3 (10.5k), Cloak of Resistance +3 (9k), Ring of Deflection +1 (2k), Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (2k), Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone (5k), Wayfinder (0.5k), +1 Composite Longbow,

HP: 125
AC: 27, 13 Touch, 25 Flat-Footed
CMD: 32 (+4 if Disarm/Sunder)
CMB: +20
Saves: +13/+7/+7 (+2 vs Enchantment)
Buffs from Bard: Inspire Courage, Haste

To-Hit: +11 +7 (STR) +2 (Feats) +3 (Enh) +4 (Weapon Train) -3 (Power Attack) = 24
Damage: 2d4+10+2+3+4+9 = 33


monk:

has about five pieces (that contribute to DPR) that can be tweaked in such a way as to put him within the specifications of where he 'ought' to be.

Pieces:
1) BAB
2) Ability Score dependence
3) Unarmed Damage progression
4) Flurry of Blows ability
5) Ki abilities (Extra ki attack, Ki Strike)

Specs:
6) a little behind Fighter on full-round DPR
7) able to sacrifice DPR for mobility
8) a little behind WBL (wealth by level) on enhancement bonuses
9) advanced ability to bypass damage resistance
0) viable maneuver CMB

are there any major disagreements so far?

if not, then the question is "what arrangement of the five pieces give us the best arrangement of the five specs?"

my opinions:

1) leave as 3/4
2) leave WIS-to-hit out
3) dial back if it will keep DPR in line
4) Lorekeeper's alternate looks like a winner - willing to prioritize this greatly and balance everything else around it
5) dial back (remove) extra ki attack if it will keep DPR in line. as Dabbler correctly insists, Ki Strike needs a full (+5) enhancement bonus progression - willing to prioritize this greatly and balance everything else around it

my working table:

1… Open Hand Combat (1d4), Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist
2… Ki Pool, Monk Secret, Martial Arts Style Feat
3… Ki Strike +1, Fast Movement
4… Monk Secret, Evasion
5… Open Hand Combat (1d6)
6… Monk Secret, Martial Arts Style Feat
7… Ki Strike +2
8… Monk Secret, Improved Evasion
9… Open Hand Combat (1d8)
10.. Advanced Secrets, Monk Secret, Martial Arts Style Feat
11.. Ki Strike +3
12.. Monk Secret
13.. Open Hand Combat (1d10)
14.. Monk Secret, Martial Arts Style Feat
15.. Ki Strike +4
16.. Monk Secret
17.. Open Hand Combat (1d12)
18.. Monk Secret, Martial Arts Style Feat
19.. Ki Strike +5
20.. Monk Secret, Ki Enlightenment

i am (slowly) running the math on what happens if i remove the extra ki attack and dial back the unarmed damage to make room for the powerful intersection between Lorekeeper's Alternate Flurry and Dabbler's insistence upon full (+5) enhancement bonus. i believe that if these two can exist side by side on the same monk table without breaking the monk, they should, because they seem to fix some of the key problems of the class.

notice the bolded sections. the average damage starts at 2.5, and grows by +1 every two levels. this is at first glance very modest. the challenge is when this interacts with the alternate flurry (as currently written) and the full enhancement proposal, suddenly despite the apparent modesty the DPR has the potential to grow very fastly.

if this happens to detrimental effect, i can think of another tweak to the alternate flurry that could be implemented to dial it back without killing the flavor. this is to grant the second and third additional flurry attacks at -5 and -10 respectively. hopefully this won't have to be done!

again, the math is slowly forthcoming. cheers.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

rainzax >> Actually that is very similar to what I proposed much earlier in this thread, though you were much more detail oriented in your approach an implementation.

In short, I approve.

It's a simple fix that can be added without tearing apart the pre-requisites for archetypes while still maintaining that all goals are within reach. It also agrees with all tentative assertions made by the developers in both design and avoidance of items.

Your fix (though I am biased because it's essentially mine too) and LoreKeeper's I see as having the most potential.


I'm not a big fan of the pseudo BAB thing at all. I think that you could have the LoreKeeper fix function off 3/4 BAB and add weapon training to prop up your attack and damage a little. Pseudo BAB is honestly more of a headache than anything else.

Enhancement bonus on ki strike makes sense.


Gee...if monks have trouble hitting...kinda makes me wonder how all those other average BAB progression classes even land a blow at all. :( *ponders over the mystery*


Duskblade wrote:
Gee...if monks have trouble hitting...kinda makes me wonder how all those other average BAB progression classes even land a blow at all. :( *ponders over the mystery*

- Rogues also have this issue

- Alchemists have mutagens and exctracts and touch attack bombs
- Bards have buff spells and bardic songs
- Magus has buff spells and arcane pool

And so on and so on.


In regards to the rouge (and even the alchemist as well), I've found that going for natural attacks is usually a lot better than trying to wield a manufactured weapon.

If you consider for a moment, certain races such as tiefling, catfolk, or tengu can all easily gain a lot of natural attacks at level 1. When you consider how the rogue can only make a max of 3 attacks per their BAB progression (assuming they are not TWF of course), the fact that you already have 2 claw attacks already puts you ahead of the game (especially when both attacks are made at the rogue's full BAB).

We also can't forget that certain archetypes (such as the scout) is specifically designed to help make your opponents flat-footed (and thus easier to hit). In addition, part of the rogue theme is to set up for the flank attacks as well, which again add to their ability to land a strike.

Anyway, as far as the monk is concern, while I grant you that some of the abilities don't exactly work well together, that doesn't mean the class needs some sort of power boost.

I think the problem that most people are having is that they want the monk to be good at everything: they want him to have high strength, high Con, high Dex, and high Wisdom. Well, the thing is, you can't exactly get all that. The best solution is to figure out which 3 stats you want of focus on, and just go ahead and 'bite the bullet' on the rest. Its a harsh thing to say of course, but that's just the way it goes.

Until we get some sort of official 'revision' for the monk, its probably best to continue to play them in order to fulfill certain 'gaps' in the party. For example, if you want the monk to be like the stealth/assassin, then build him as such to help take out or incapacitate priority targets. If you want would rather have the monk as the primary damage dealer, you are of course more than welcome to build him as such (keep in mind that he will probably never equal the strength of a Full BAB class, but such a limitation usually applies to any class that utilizes and average BAB progression).

Personally, I tend to think that classes with an average BAB progression typically need to specialize in very specific things in order to help benefit the party. For instance, you can build your monk to basically act as a 'defender' for your caster and archer. Or, if you like, you can also have the monk act as the 'party face' as well. The decision is really up to you, and while I will admit that I don't consider the monk as one of the 'stronger' classes to choose from, a creative player should be able to come up with some worthy uses for it.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Duskblade wrote:

In regards to the rouge (and even the alchemist as well), I've found that going for natural attacks is usually a lot better than trying to wield a manufactured weapon.

If you consider for a moment, certain races such as tiefling, catfolk, or tengu can all easily gain a lot of natural attacks at level 1. When you consider how the rogue can only make a max of 3 attacks per their BAB progression (assuming they are not TWF of course), the fact that you already have 2 claw attacks already puts you ahead of the game (especially when both attacks are made at the rogue's full BAB).

We also can't forget that certain archetypes (such as the scout) is specifically designed to help make your opponents flat-footed (and thus easier to hit). In addition, part of the rogue theme is to set up for the flank attacks as well, which again add to their ability to land a strike.

Anyway, as far as the monk is concern, while I grant you that some of the abilities don't exactly work well together, that doesn't mean the class needs some sort of power boost.

I think the problem that most people are having is that they want the monk to be good at everything: they want him to have high strength, high Con, high Dex, and high Wisdom. Well, the thing is, you can't exactly get all that. The best solution is to figure out which 3 stats you want of focus on, and just go ahead and 'bite the bullet' on the rest. Its a harsh thing to say of course, but that's just the way it goes.

Until we get some sort of official 'revision' for the monk, its probably best to continue to play them in order to fulfill certain 'gaps' in the party. For example, if you want the monk to be like the stealth/assassin, then build him as such to help take out or incapacitate priority targets. If you want would rather have the monk as the primary damage dealer, you are of course more than welcome to build him as such (keep in mind that he will probably never equal the strength of a Full BAB class, but such a limitation usually applies to any class...

OK...

Please correct me if I am wrong, however it seems to me your assertion is as follows.

1.) Monks are ok as is, not strong but ok.

2.) You believe that monks need to "Specialize" to be ok.

You have further listed that a monk can specialize in the following.

a.) Stealth/Assassin

b.) Damage Dealer, at slightly less effectiveness than a full BaB class but roughly equal to another 3/4 BaB class. (I assume Melee, as monks have very limited ranged options.)

c.) Defender for your archers or casters.

d.) Party Face.

I would respond with the following, all of this is of course only about the CRB monk, with no archetypes. As it has been discussed and decided ad nauseum that some monk archetypes are very good, all discussion concerning a power boost is aimed, I believe, at the core CRB monk.

The assertion that all of the above can be done by another class in a more effective way, along with bringing more in other fields than the core CRB monk can.

I will gladly debate this point with you cordially, however please let us decide some acceptable goalposts first.

If you would like I will allow you to set them first, or if you prefer I will set them your choice.

After setting these goalposts, or allowing me to set them, please present a build you find acceptable in the preferred field.

I will then try to respond within the criteria we agree too so as to prove my point.

Please excuse any delay as I am in Japan and I work crazy hours right now.


Ahem, perhaps I should just go ahead and clarify a couple of things: for one, when building a party, its important for each member to try and fill a role that another character can't achieve. Such a method usually allows the party to be more adequately prepared to face any challenge, whether they be casters, traps, an overwhelming amount of enemies, or a single boss fight. In addition, the party should also try to fulfill other criteria, such as being able to communicate effectively with other NPCs, or properly scout dungeons without getting caught. In a nutshell, a good party should normally consist of the following...

1) Some sort of arcane caster (typically used for buffs, crowd control, area of effect, or just being able to make knowledge checks about certain enemies) [Good examples of this are wizards, the magus, the bard, the witch, etc]

2) Some sort of healer (whether they are using divine magic, wands, or potions, having someone in the group who can eliminate status effects or restore HP is very important) [Examples include clerics, alchemists, druids, paladins, etc]

3) Some sort of meat shield (typically a martial class that can perform well in melee combat. Their basic goal is to normally protect the caster or archer, and to act as support for the 'specialist' of the group) [Examples include the fighter, barbarian, ranger, etc]

4) Some sort of party face (basically the person who 'does the talking' and is very gifted at convincing, intimidating, or bluffing others) [Good examples include the bard, summoner, paladin, and sorcerer]

5) Some sort of archer (while casters are capable of doing this to a degree, it's always nice to have an archer in the party who can take down priority targets at range) [Good examples include paladins, rangers, fighters, etc]

6) Some sort of 'specialist' (essentially someone who is good at scouting and can also disable traps) [Good examples include ninja, rogue, alchemist, and monk]

Please keep in mind that the 'examples' I listed do not necessarily mean that another class 'cannot' perform the same function in the group. I'm simply just going over the broad outline.

Anyway, I would quickly like to mention that I am already well aware of all the monk archetypes, and after having looked at each one individually, I will admit that some of them are actually rather good. However, when it comes to 'filling the roll' in the party, I will also say that the monk is somewhat lacking when compared to other classes that could probably 'do the job better.'

Now, before we begin, lets go ahead and figure out what a monk CANNOT be:

1) A monk CANNOT be the arcane caster (Yes, the monk can use some arcane-like tricks, but none of them offer battlefield control, AOE, or arcane buffs to the party)

2) A monk CANNOT be the healer (I imagine someone could argue this, but in all honesty, a monk simply cannot contribute an adequate amount of healing in order to fulfill this roll)

So, this essentially means that a monk should typically aim to be one of the following:

1) The meat shield (usually focusing in high damage and HP)

2) The party face (which basically means investment in diplomacy and perhaps charisma)

3) The archer (zen archer is almost required for this)

4) The specialist (stealth, dex, and disable device investment, along with the basic goal of disabling priority targets).

To start things off, I wanna just go ahead and mention that a monk will never be able to be as good of a 'meat shield' as another martial class. This isn't to say that the monk CANNOT become a good meat shield, but when compared to classes like Paladin, alchemist, ranger, barbarian, etc, it just won't be able to dish out the same level of damage (or have as much hp).

In addition, the 'party face' is generally suited to classes who can actually make use of their charisma modifier (such as sorcerers, bards, paladins, ninjas, etc). Therefore, because the monk gains no real benefit from having a high charisma modifier (aside form improving his skills of course), there are clearly much better choices when considering a class to act as the party face.

As far as the 'specialist' is concerned, a monk can do this 'somewhat' well, since they have the ability to stun casters, and are also rather good at being sneaky as well. If you also invest in disable device, they can pretty much take on the roll of a rogue as well.

Archery (or Zen archer) is another fine choice for the monk. However, the inability to combine flurry with things like many shot or rapid shot does hurt a little, but a monk can actually be a VERY fine archer.

Therefore, we are left understanding that a monk can generally focus on being either the 'specialist' or the 'archer' (and again, while it can perform 'adequately' as a meat shield or party face, it simply does not perform as well when compared to other classes who excel in those rolls even more).

Now, in all fairness, I do think the monk can be a very powerful archer, but beyond that, I can't really say that I'm impressed with almost anything else it can do. However, even with archery, I would almost say that a Paladin and a Ranger could probably do that even better as well (especially since the paladin and ranger also offer the option of being 'switch-hitters' and 'healers' as well).

Of course, if anyone reading this has no regard for proper team-comp, then imagine most of these points will probably fall flat. However, if team comp is important to you, then I imagine making a 'zen archer' specialist is probably the best way to go.

Putting a lot of ranks in stealth, and taking a trait that gives you disable device as a class skill would probably allow the monk to contribute a lot more to the party. Basically he would act as both the archer, the scout, and the specialist, which seems to fit his profile rather nicely. As for using the monk in another sort of role...well...like I said...I just think other classes fill those roles better.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just want to say this real quick.

People in real games, not internet forum discussions, actually pick classes for the class. Sure a certain class may have better number out put but some people aren't always about the numbers.

This is why we find lots of classes instead of only a few. Technically the only arcane spellcaster you really need is the Wizard but not everyone likes to play a Wizard and wants to instead play a Sorcerer.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

shallowsoul >> This is all fine and good, but irrelevant to the point.

The point is that you can have your cake and eat it too. We are not discussing the RP potential because that's already there. That part is done.

Improving the numbers doesn't mean we LOSE the ability to RP, it just adds into the entire experience.

I worry that people look at this in a skewed perspective and think that just because this thread is about balancing the numbers, that the numbers are all we care about. If you approach it this way, there's a chance that a predisposition sour taste is left in the mouth before even bothering to read the posts. Approach this like everything in life, with an open mind to the intent.

Silver Crusade

GrenMeera wrote:

shallowsoul >> This is all fine and good, but irrelevant to the point.

The point is that you can have your cake and eat it too. We are not discussing the RP potential because that's already there. That part is done.

Improving the numbers doesn't mean we LOSE the ability to RP, it just adds into the entire experience.

I worry that people look at this in a skewed perspective and think that just because this thread is about balancing the numbers, that the numbers are all we care about. If you approach it this way, there's a chance that a predisposition sour taste is left in the mouth before even bothering to read the posts. Approach this like everything in life, with an open mind to the intent.

Not talking about RP at all.

I am talking about the actual abilities of the class and the actual class itself. People play classes because they also like the abilities that a class has.

This is hugely relevant.


I agree that it's relevant in that abilities should be _fun_, not only mathematically sound. While what is fun differs from group to group, one can still analyze general trends in what people find fun and find that it brings flavor to the class.

As long as we're not removing abilities, the class won't lose fun (unless we pidgeonhole it away from the flavorful abilities). There's been suggestions on replacing Slow Fall with something that is better in combat - this is such a moment where it's relevant to remember that for some people, Slow Fall brings flavor and not having it hurts their view of the class.

When inventing new abilities, we can look at making them flavorful - but generally, the more flavor, the more words, which can be bad.

But for example, I find it far more fitting with an enhancement bonus to unarmed strike than with a weapon that deals unarmed strike damage but can be enchanted (such as pre-errata cestus). It enhances fun.


@GrenMeera >
thanks. most of the content i have for the monk is original more in it's recombination than in it's authorship. i have borrow/stolen the ideas i like best on the various monk threads and collected them to make 'my' monk. besides lol all content typed up on this forum is becomes paizo's intellectual property - so quetions of 'whose is?' are moot. where we have common ground is in wanting to improve the playability of the monk. but you knew all that already! cheers!

@Duskblade >
viz rogues - rogues, who as Ilja points out need help too, have the benefit of not having a primary class ability (sneak attack) issue them a -2 to strike (as flurry of blows, as written, does). further, their primary 'specialty' stat (DX) can double as a to-hit stat (albeit at a 'feat tax' if melee) meaning this stat can be heavily invested in compared to the monk whose primary 'specialty' stat (WIS) cannot double as a to-hit stat and thus must invest in multiple stats (this is called MAD or multiple ability dependence) - this puts him behind another 1 or 2 points to-hit. thirdly, and arguably of greatest impact, is the monk's inability to cheaply gain an enhancement bonus. other classes often find or purchase various sorts of tricked out magic weapons to gain anywhere from a +1 to a +5 to strike/damage, and a monk must basically rely on a single expensive amulet to garner the same +1 to +5 - because picking up a weapon mitigates his class feature of unarmed strike damage. fourthly, sometimes DR shuts down the monk's many hits and limited DR bypass (magic/law/adamantine), whereas a rogue could pull through with a single sneak attack strike (however this is tricky too, but possible especially with teamwork).

and besides all that, the rogue has excellent class skills and skill points, and access to cool rogue talents which he can choose to customize his concept. the monk has half the class skills and skill points of a rogue, and his class features are assigned. boo.

plus, and i will add, his class table is a confusing mess.

i for one would like to see the monk have more viable options than just 'archer'. monk's are supposed to be mobile warriors with extraordinary and mystical powers.

@shallowsoul >
i agree with you. tis why i like the rogue, the monk. the conceptual space they occupy. still it'd be nice if they had their own mechanical niche that some other wacky class/archtype couldn't replicate in exactly the same way. of course, the quick way to alleviate this is to limit which non-core books are used in a game...

also, what i like about Lorekeeper's Alternate Flurry of Blows mechanic is that um i like it! it's cool! it's different! it allows the monk to be a viable 'mobile warrior'! (it even cleans up the monk's class table, as i mentioned)! and it's balanced! (ok, we are working on that last part...)

@Ilja >
i agree that "fun is #1"


rainzax: it should be noted to the monk's benefit compared to the rogue, that it gets +1/4 BAB/level when flurrying, so those -2 you mentioned are gone by level 8. And rogues generally need to either focus heavily on strength or dualwield to be even remotely effective in combat, so either the MAD or the -2 are also kept (and dualwielding is kinda feat intensive)

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@shallowsoul:

What rainzax means by the alternate flurry being balanced, is that it over the career of the monk produces roughly a 35% increase in effective damage per round for the same character build. This - without consideration of other changes that could be done to the monk - would put the core monk in-line to be a viable tank/combat class without resorting to exceptionally optimized builds. It still isn't as competent at combat as a dedicated fighter or other full-BAB class, but it doesn't have to feel embarrassed either.

The modification also means that, because the monk doesn't have to try as hard to be relevant in combat, he can also spend his stats in a more MAD-friendly way; thereby allowing him to take on specialist roles without sacrificing combat presence.

As a bonus, the change is more synergistic with the monk's fast movement class ability.

...all that said. Yes, it is essentially a meaningless exercise in terms of the current Pathfinder monk (other than what you may house-rule at home) - but at the same time, the Paizo staff are keeping a close eye on these kinds of discussions too. The various pro-and-contra that are being presented do not exist in isolation, but to some extent form part of the larger body of thoughts that the developers pursue when considering revisions and new developments.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:

Not talking about RP at all.

I am talking about the actual abilities of the class and the actual class itself. People play classes because they also like the abilities that a class has.

This is hugely relevant.

I misunderstood your intent and concede to your point. Yes you are correct. Flavor preservation is, and should be, a goal to consider.

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