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If Monks have trouble hitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I can't speak for other GM's but I never ignore fort saves. That means my NPC casters will not be needing a roll above 10 to fail that save unless you used ability focus and put a lot of effort into boosting your wisdom score.

(emphasis mine)

Shouldn't the saves of NPCs depend on their character/role instead?
I.e. the stereotypical bookish wizard, probably with a sickly health for spending all of his time indoors poring over books, would not have a good fort save, would he?
There are lots of other wizard types, of course, which indeed may have good or even great fort saves.

I agree, but you just made me realize my NPC's may be too similar. They are all adventures or ex-adventurers, who believed in being touch. I guess since they are not dumb, they will try hard to play keep away though. People that know they can't take a hit normally try not to get hit. Displacement + mirror image. :)


Monks take a -2 penalty for FoB. They might end up doing less damage with power attack because they might hit less.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:

Ssalarn wrote:

We had this happen once. We were fighting an ancient red dragon that the monk could not hit, but who also could not hit the monk with any of its attacks, so the monk spent his turns searching the dragon's horde for items that might help in the fight while using Improved Evasion to evade its breath weapon. As I recall, the monk eventually stumbled across a Holy Avenger he delivered to the paladin who finally managed to smite the dragon to death.
Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
Hmm, if for some reason your monk would have known that such a thing existed in the devil's lair, then, yes, that would have been an appropriate (and important) job for a monk. Not every contribution to a fight is dealing damage.
The problem with this strategy is how does the monk recognise the item when he finds it? He doesn't have detect magic after all...so to him it's just a lantern, or a pretty sword...

This is a problem. Just because a monk has the mobility to search the battlefield for magic items or devices capable of turning the tide of battle, how does he even know what he's got?

I can just picture the party locked in a titanic battle with a rampaging tarrasque while the monk keeps running up to the wizard going "What about this? Will this help?" and the wizard says "No Kato, that's not a Staff of the Archmagi, that's a branch. Good try though but next time mayb.. METEOR SWARM!!.... Anyways, next time look for a stick with runes on it"...


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just had a mental vision of Kato having ranks in Use Magic Device and trying every item he finds on the BBEG...

"No Kato! That's a Staff of Healing!"

Andoran

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Dabbler wrote:

I just had a mental vision of Kato having ranks in Use Magic Device and trying every item he finds on the BBEG...

"No Kato! That's a Staff of Healing!"

LOL!!!!! That's perfect! He's like a living Rod of Wonder who moves really fast and knows Martial Arts. Sure it's cool, but eventually you're going to get a cloud of butterflies when you really need a fireball.


Yeah, monks can do better (and other melee can excel as well) if they are backed up by a bard or marshal if you are doing 3.5. This also has social skills covered.

Kung fu commander!


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Yeah, monks can do better (and other melee can excel as well) if they are backed up by a bard or marshal if you are doing 3.5. This also has social skills covered.

Kung fu commander!

Not exactly a merit of the monk. We're not yet at the point of saying that parties without inspire courage aren't viable parties.

Sczarni

Isn't there a monk archetype that gets Inspire Courage as the bard? The Sensei I believe?

Of course, that brings up the question of whether a class is really viable if it needs an archetype to be viable.


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Sensei loses all bonus feats, can't arcane strike, isn't a caster, and has half as many rounds/level of inspire as the bard. If a bard with one of his most potent features removed and the other halved is an improvement on the base monk the base monk is pretty pathetic.


That said, I wonder how much the sensei monk fixes the monk's issues.

Atarlost: I actually think the sensei's second-level ability to use WIS instead of str AND dex for monk weapons, is the main selling feature. You essentially use WIS for attack rolls with ranged and melee weapons, provided you stick to monk weapons.

From level 2, AC, ability DCs, will saves and to-hit all being keyed off wisdom does go a long way to making the monk single-attribute dependant. Maybe put some points in CON for good measure. Also, you get a pseudo bard song to further enhance your to-hit and damage. Sure you lose flurry, but your fewer attacks are more likely to hit.

Just thinking aloud here, 'cos I'm wondering whether to make my monk a Sensei or a MOMS for PFS. Just hit second level, so if I want to rebuild him, I gotta do it very soon.


You also lose the BAB bump that comes with Flurry when you lose Flurry.
So whatever you gained from losing MAD, you lost again with the BAB hit.

It's really a terrible Archetype for PCs, better suited to incredibly situational NPCs.


wraithstrike wrote:
Monks take a -2 penalty for FoB. They might end up doing less damage with power attack because they might hit less.

THAT is what Tiger Style is for. Though I'd still like to know whether FoB ups the monk's effective BAB for the sake of the Power Attack bonus. Anyone? While we're at it, still confused on the boni provided by power attack with FoB anyway. FoB references TWF so...a monk would still have a primary and secondary "hand" while using FoB, aye? Despite adding their full strength bonus to both attacks?

EDIT: Oooh, looks like description states no "offhand" attacks. So full Power Attack bonus for extra flurry attacks.


Dabbler wrote:
Also known as 'suckage' once you get to mid-high levels. Past level 8 they start getting harder to work, past 10 they get really hard, unless your foe is a medium or smaller humanoid, and of course those get rarer.

Can't really argue with this one. Kind of a pity, but... maneuvers are STILL kinda viable for DM use (by NPC monks or otherwise) against PCs at least :)

Dabbler wrote:
Yes, and all of those work off stunning fist - one attempt per round, if it hits (point of this thread), if it scores damage (poor DR penetration), and if the target fails the save.

THIS however...several different types stack actually. A monk for instance, can use Scorpion Style AND Elemental Fist AND Stunning Fist AND Punishing Kick at the same time...

Although the feats do not become available until higher levels. Regardless, these are all certainly better than "only having flank" available for maledictive purposes. And are considerably better than not having said options available at all.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Silent Saturn wrote:

Isn't there a monk archetype that gets Inspire Courage as the bard? The Sensei I believe?

Of course, that brings up the question of whether a class is really viable if it needs an archetype to be viable.

This has been remarked on several times. Some monk archetypes are pretty good...some, as well as a the core monk, are dire.

Shadowdweller wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Monks take a -2 penalty for FoB. They might end up doing less damage with power attack because they might hit less.
THAT is what Tiger Style is for. Though I'd still like to know whether FoB ups the monk's effective BAB for the sake of the Power Attack bonus. Anyone? While we're at it, still confused on the boni provided by power attack with FoB anyway. FoB references TWF so...a monk would still have a primary and secondary "hand" while using FoB, aye? Despite adding their full strength bonus to both attacks?

They use the FOB full BAB when using FOB. Tiger Style is nice for upping your damage, but at the expense of your AC. If you have gone for a strength-based monk to get serious damage, you will have a seriously bad AC. So if they don't go down before your flurry of tiger claw attacks (which are just as likely to miss as any monk's attack), then you are going to hurt lotsies when they hit you back.

Shadowdweller wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Yes, and all of those work off stunning fist - one attempt per round, if it hits (point of this thread), if it scores damage (poor DR penetration), and if the target fails the save.

THIS however...several different types stack actually. A monk for instance, can use Scorpion Style AND Elemental Fist AND Stunning Fist AND Punishing Kick at the same time...

Although the feats do not become available until higher levels. Regardless, these are all certainly better than "only having flank" available for maledictive purposes.

If you took all the feats, sure they stack. I mean, you might even get one of them to work...if the attack hits.

Shadowdweller wrote:
And are considerably better than not having said options available at all.

I agree, if they were free abilities it would be great! But a lot of them cost feat choices, and as somebody stated, when you have to blow what should be choices on just becoming effective...it sucks.


If a game doesn't have such high ac monsters, or if they aren't common, then the lowish to hit of the monk comes up a lot less often. What I was getting at above, is that if the ac is high, rely a bit more on support chars, or magic oil, or cleric buffs. Once your flurry starts to get into nice damage though, 2d6, 2d8, mmm mmm mmm. Tasty times.

As I've said elsewhere, if the low monk damage really griefs you, take a proficiency in great axe, longspear (aoos) or something meaty. Then swap it out later or get it heavily enchanted as a back up. If you get disarmed or sundered you always have your fists.


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Dabbler wrote:
I agree, if they were free abilities it would be great! But a lot of them cost feat choices, and as somebody stated, when you have to blow what should be choices on just becoming effective...it sucks.

That's kind of like saying Alchemist discoveries, Rogue talents, or Oracle revelations are worthless because they cost members of the class in question "choices". Guess what - monks get bonus feats instead. More than any other class other than fighters. (Not perhaps directly good for the majority of these options in most cases, but monk bonus feats offset the opportunity cost of such options)


Neo2151 wrote:

You also lose the BAB bump that comes with Flurry when you lose Flurry.

So whatever you gained from losing MAD, you lost again with the BAB hit.

It's really a terrible Archetype for PCs, better suited to incredibly situational NPCs.

Hmm...does this make a sensei good for a dip then?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shadowdweller wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
I agree, if they were free abilities it would be great! But a lot of them cost feat choices, and as somebody stated, when you have to blow what should be choices on just becoming effective...it sucks.
That's kind of like saying Alchemist discoveries, Rogue talents, or Oracle revelations are worthless because they cost members of the class in question "choices". Guess what - monks get bonus feats instead. More than any other class other than fighters. (Not perhaps directly good for the majority of these options in most cases, but monk bonus feats offset the opportunity cost of such options)

Last time I checked Alchemist discoveries, Rogue talents, or Oracle revelations were free abilities the classes got for free; apart from Stunning Fist none of the listed abilities for the monk above were free - some of them could be taken as bonus feats, true, but not all. A fighter gets weapon training free, which racks up to +4 to hit and +4 damage over any other combat class. He doesn't need to take any particular feat to function as a fighter, hit and do decent (if not outstanding) damage; his feat choices are then just that: choices. If the monk needs a specific feat selection just to be able to function as a monk, then it's removing choices because those feats are not truly available as choices.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If a game doesn't have such high ac monsters, or if they aren't common, then the lowish to hit of the monk comes up a lot less often. What I was getting at above, is that if the ac is high, rely a bit more on support chars, or magic oil, or cleric buffs. Once your flurry starts to get into nice damage though, 2d6, 2d8, mmm mmm mmm. Tasty times.

Yes, it's true, if the DM didn't go and make the game challenging for everyone else, it would be easy for the monk. If the monk is constantly having to rely on buffs he is basically getting the rest of the party to carry him.

High damage dice don't count for as much as high static bonuses, and those dice don't get much fun if you never get to roll them.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
As I've said elsewhere, if the low monk damage really griefs you, take a proficiency in great axe, longspear (aoos) or something meaty. Then swap it out later or get it heavily enchanted as a back up. If you get disarmed or sundered you always have your fists.

...what you are basically saying is, "be a fighter". Really helpful. Besides, as usual, you are mistaking 'low chance to hit' with damage output. It's not the damage that is at fault, it's the MAD and low enhancement reducing the monk's to-hit chances.


Being supported to do better, isn't being carried.

If you can't crack the +14 natural with your feet, yeah, maybe you need a song to help you along. If it isn't +14, but lower, you might be just fine.

Urgh, wanting monks to be just like fighters, urgh. They get too much to get the same bab.

No, I am not saying be a fighter. If you want to do the damage of a giant sword, then take a giant sword. Later you will be on 2d6 while naked and flapping in the wind, but until then...


I think his point was that if you "need" the others to buff you just so you can be decent at what you do......

Cheliax

3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Being supported to do better, isn't being carried.

If you can't crack the +14 natural with your feet, yeah, maybe you need a song to help you along. If it isn't +14, but lower, you might be just fine.

Urgh, wanting monks to be just like fighters, urgh. They get too much to get the same bab.

No, I am not saying be a fighter. If you want to do the damage of a giant sword, then take a giant sword. Later you will be on 2d6 while naked and flapping in the wind, but until then...

I don't care for this argument.

The Ranger, the Cavalier, the Paladin, the Barbarian all have full-BAB, martial weapon proficiencies and can outclass the fighter DPR-wise in certain situations. This does not make them replace fighters.

While it's true you can do 2d6 damage EVENTUALLY as a monk, fighters can do it from first level, and even when you reach that point Weapons Training, Greater Weapon Specialization, Two-Handed Power Attack, and so on means the fighter will do more damage at Level 6 than a monk does at Level 10!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Being supported to do better, isn't being carried.

Needing to be supported by others in order to DO YOUR JOB when everyone else can do their job unsupported is most definitely being carried, and this is basically what you are saying.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If you can't crack the +14 natural with your feet, yeah, maybe you need a song to help you along. If it isn't +14, but lower, you might be just fine.

So basically monks should only fight very low CR threats. Well, that's half the adventure out of the question...

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Urgh, wanting monks to be just like fighters, urgh. They get too much to get the same bab.

No-one wants monks to be like fighters; it would just be nice if they could function as monks is all.

Oh, and 'get too much'? Clearly you and I aren't talking about the same class. What monks get are a grab-bag of spell-like abilities that don't work as well as spells and are acquired far later in the day. Even the good ones are either a double-edged sword or else require a feat-tax to work properly.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
No, I am not saying be a fighter. If you want to do the damage of a giant sword, then take a giant sword. Later you will be on 2d6 while naked and flapping in the wind...

...with your unarmed strike, because you sure as heck won't hit much, while the fighter will probably be dishing out 2d6+shedloads, nailing every other target with a critical hit, and missing only on a natural '1'.


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3.5 Loyalist wrote:
As I've said elsewhere, if the low monk damage really griefs you, take a proficiency in great axe, longspear (aoos) or something meaty.

GET A BOW!

Oh, wait, wrong thread.

Osirion

Zen archer makes that very viable.


Artanthos wrote:
Zen archer makes that very viable.

Hasn't that whole archtype been gimped by a ruling on FoB or am I mistaken?

However back on topic, do Bards actually have enough boosts to make themselves more effective in solo combat than a monk? Cause I've honestly never played with one for more than a session. Like monks, I just find that they are "fifth" party members that are often overlooked or seen as a joke. I mean, look at the guide for them. So with their bonuses, that they actually apply to themselves, does a vanilla bard come ahead of a monk?


The zen archer is actually not a bad version of the monk. I don't think they are going to nerf it. The issue is that it does not work by the rules as written so they will have to rewrite so it does work by the rules. I hope they don't nerf it anyway.


Darth Grall wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Zen archer makes that very viable.

Hasn't that whole archtype been gimped by a ruling on FoB or am I mistaken?

However back on topic, do Bards actually have enough boosts to make themselves more effective in solo combat than a monk? Cause I've honestly never played with one for more than a session. Like monks, I just find that they are "fifth" party members that are often overlooked or seen as a joke. I mean, look at the guide for them. So with their bonuses, that they actually apply to themselves, does a vanilla bard come ahead of a monk?

The vanilla bard with Arcane Strike and Power Attack comes out pretty near a fallen Paladin even when nobody else in the party can benefit from his inspiration.

Inspire Courage brings the accuracy up most of the way and the slightly faster Power Attack progression of the ex-pally brings him down the rest of the way. The damage bonus from Inspire Courage and Arcane Strike together compensate for lower Power Attack except at level 4. At a few points the ex-pally is up an iterative, but at higher levels Inspire Courage and Arcane Strike far outstrip the lost damage from lower BAB on Power Attack.

That puts a solo bard in the martial pack. At the back with the situationals on a bad day, but in the pack. Give him two friends making attack and weapon damage rolls and he's potentially up there with the fighter.

Cheliax

Darth Grall wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Zen archer makes that very viable.

Hasn't that whole archtype been gimped by a ruling on FoB or am I mistaken?

However back on topic, do Bards actually have enough boosts to make themselves more effective in solo combat than a monk? Cause I've honestly never played with one for more than a session. Like monks, I just find that they are "fifth" party members that are often overlooked or seen as a joke. I mean, look at the guide for them. So with their bonuses, that they actually apply to themselves, does a vanilla bard come ahead of a monk?

Bards, however, are bar-none the best skill monkeys in the game. (While it's true the Rogue gets 2 more skill points per level, the Bard gets Versatile Performance AND the oh-so juicy Bardic knowledge meaning you can pretty much ignore half of the skills, anyway.) In addition to that they're the best party faces and have a decent spell list.

A Bard can be made a fairly effective combatant by sacrificing some of those other goodies (dropping INT and CHA for STR or DEX), but even if the bard isn't specced for combat, s/he will still have a chance to shine. A monk? Well, er . . .


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Darth Grall wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Zen archer makes that very viable.

Hasn't that whole archtype been gimped by a ruling on FoB or am I mistaken?

However back on topic, do Bards actually have enough boosts to make themselves more effective in solo combat than a monk? Cause I've honestly never played with one for more than a session. Like monks, I just find that they are "fifth" party members that are often overlooked or seen as a joke. I mean, look at the guide for them. So with their bonuses, that they actually apply to themselves, does a vanilla bard come ahead of a monk?

Bards, however, are bar-none the best skill monkeys in the game. (While it's true the Rogue gets 2 more skill points per level, the Bard gets Versatile Performance AND the oh-so juicy Bardic knowledge meaning you can pretty much ignore half of the skills, anyway.) In addition to that they're the best party faces and have a decent spell list to back up their 3/4 BAB. Even if a Bard isn't specced for combat, out of combat s/he's going to shine.

Not to mention that as long as the bard has Inspire Courage and some decent buff spells they can make a valuable contribution to any party without using a single attack action. I actually ran a bard once that went through several combat-heavy sessions doing nothing but making the rest of the party awesome.


I'm trying to figure out how the "Monks can never hit" idea works. Let's say our Monk is level 8, started with a 16 Str (20 pts. with a 14 in Str, Dex, Con, and Wis, for the sake of simplicity, with the +2 from Human in Str). He put his +2 from levels into Str, with a +1 Amulet and a +2 Strength belt (about 9,000 of his possible 33,000, so fairly reasonable). That means against an average CR 8 opponent (AC 21), an 8th level monk needs a 21(AC)-6(Flurry BAB)-5(Starting Str+3, Level Str+1, Belt Str+1)-1(AoMF)=9 to hit. Not super amazing (a Fighter with similar wealth and the same stat arrangement would need only about a 6), but a far cry from "can never hit." I'm not denying that Monks are less accurate than other classes, especially the full BABs, but I don't see how they're completely unable to hit anything ever.


"Never hit" is not to be taken literally. It is basically saying they don't hit often enough for them to do enough damage per round to be a real threat. Even when they do hit they have trouble bypassing DR, and the other 3/4 BAB classes can out damage them for the most part.......<stuff already said in the thread>

edit:I don't even know if the word "never" was used, but if so the above paragraph explains it.


Johnico wrote:
I'm trying to figure out how the "Monks can never hit" idea works. Let's say our Monk is level 8, started with a 16 Str (20 pts. with a 14 in Str, Dex, Con, and Wis, for the sake of simplicity, with the +2 from Human in Str). He put his +2 from levels into Str, with a +1 Amulet and a +2 Strength belt (about 9,000 of his possible 33,000, so fairly reasonable). That means against an average CR 8 opponent (AC 21), an 8th level monk needs a 21(AC)-6(Flurry BAB)-5(Starting Str+3, Level Str+1, Belt Str+1)-1(AoMF)=9 to hit. Not super amazing (a Fighter with similar wealth and the same stat arrangement would need only about a 6), but a far cry from "can never hit." I'm not denying that Monks are less accurate than other classes, especially the full BABs, but I don't see how they're completely unable to hit anything ever.

But it's actually more than that. Let's keep spending money on this monk you've offered us:


  • Can't upgrade the belt to +2 Str/Dex because we don't have the WBL to afford it yet, so no increasing his Dex.
  • Amulet slot is taken, so no chance of getting an Amulet of Natural Armor.
  • Headband of Wisdom will cost 4k, so easily affordable.
  • Bracers of Armor +3 are just slightly too expensive to afford, but let's assume the GM is nice and lets you have them anyway.
  • Top it off with a Ring of Protection +2.

Our Monk only has 3000gp left to his name, and he can hit halfway decently (not as good as others can, but he's not missing a lot either.) But with a 14 Dex, and 16 Wis, his AC is only 22, at level 8.
Another combat class can get this kind of AC at level 1, with nowhere near the steep investment. (+2 Breastplate offers a +8 to AC for 4200g. Those +3 Bracers offer less than half the protection for more than double the price. And it only gets more embarrassing if you consider Full Plate instead of Breastplate.)

So the Monk can hit the monster. But the monster is hitting the monk a lot too. And his HD is only a d8.


No feats to raising AC?
Having an AC of the average CR 8 opponent at level 8, before feats and buffs from the party, isn't good enough?

Wanting the monk to have brilliant ac, to hit and damage, the monk isn't like that. Two handed barbs also have an ac problem, especially if they want to stay light, as do two weapon rogues and rangers who aren't using shields. Their ac can be good, but it doesn't stop everything.

If you want your monk to be like a shield fighter, and hit like a greatsword barb, you are wanting too much and looking past what they already get, and why the class is made how it is: it is a fast, flurrying defensive save class. Perhaps if you want a stronger brawler, there are years of feats to look over, or talk to the dm and sell off abilities for greater benefits. Maybe they will think just like you and come around.

With no hate inside,
only contemplation of,
the way evermore.

Andoran

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If a game doesn't have such high ac monsters, or if they aren't common, then the lowish to hit of the monk comes up a lot less often. What I was getting at above, is that if the ac is high, rely a bit more on support chars, or magic oil, or cleric buffs.

Everyone gets access to those things. The monk starts off with a lower attack as a baseline.

That is the issue.


Of course their attack is weaker, they have more defensive abilities than offensive. They aren't raging, they aren't using weapon spec or favoured enemy to hit harder.

To make them offensive requires customisation. Archetypes, feats, etc.

Andoran

Johnico wrote:
I'm trying to figure out how the "Monks can never hit" idea works. Let's say our Monk is level 8, started with a 16 Str (20 pts. with a 14 in Str, Dex, Con, and Wis, for the sake of simplicity, with the +2 from Human in Str). He put his +2 from levels into Str, with a +1 Amulet and a +2 Strength belt (about 9,000 of his possible 33,000, so fairly reasonable). That means against an average CR 8 opponent (AC 21), an 8th level monk needs a 21(AC)-6(Flurry BAB)-5(Starting Str+3, Level Str+1, Belt Str+1)-1(AoMF)=9 to hit. Not super amazing (a Fighter with similar wealth and the same stat arrangement would need only about a 6), but a far cry from "can never hit." I'm not denying that Monks are less accurate than other classes, especially the full BABs, but I don't see how they're completely unable to hit anything ever.

Let's actually build this out, I will assume human who put the +2 in Str

Spoiler:

Str 20 (16+2+2)
Dex 14
Con 14
Wis 14
Int 10
Cha 10

HP= 55
Ref 8, Fort 8, Will 8
AC (+2 Dex,+2 Wis, +2 Monk)

Attack +12 (6+5+1) 1d10+6
Flurry 12,12,7,7

Equip (AOMF 5,000, Belt of Giant Strength 4,000)

Your monk has a 14 in both wisdom and dex, meaning a +4 to AC from those. Add another +2 from being a monk and you have a 16 AC. There are some things you can do to improve that, but that isn't keeping pace.

And if my math is right, you have an average of 55 hit points.

Your +12 sounds great until you realize every martial class with an 18 strength starts with a +12 and if you have a 20 Str as a rogue, the rogue probably has a 22 dex, weapon finesse and 2 +1 weapons that cost less total than your AOMF. Weapons they have had for several levels that you are only now able to afford.

But you have 22k to spend, keep it going. If someone would like to do some comparative builds of other classes, that would be great.

Andoran

3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Of course their attack is weaker, they have more defensive abilities than offensive. They aren't raging, they aren't using weapon spec or favoured enemy to hit harder.

To make them offensive requires customisation. Archetypes, feats, etc.

Not in the same build, which is the point. If you invest to be able to hit, your AC suffers. If you invest in AC, your attack suffers.

This is being demonstrated by the posted build which focused on strength to get to 20 at 8th level but can't keep up defensively.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Johnico wrote:
I'm trying to figure out how the "Monks can never hit" idea works. Let's say our Monk is level 8, started with a 16 Str (20 pts. with a 14 in Str, Dex, Con, and Wis, for the sake of simplicity, with the +2 from Human in Str). He put his +2 from levels into Str, with a +1 Amulet and a +2 Strength belt (about 9,000 of his possible 33,000, so fairly reasonable). That means against an average CR 8 opponent (AC 21), an 8th level monk needs a 21(AC)-6(Flurry BAB)-5(Starting Str+3, Level Str+1, Belt Str+1)-1(AoMF)=9 to hit. Not super amazing (a Fighter with similar wealth and the same stat arrangement would need only about a 6), but a far cry from "can never hit." I'm not denying that Monks are less accurate than other classes, especially the full BABs, but I don't see how they're completely unable to hit anything ever.

Let's take a full BAB class for comparison:

He's going to be able to start with 18 strength (16+2human), 12 dex, 14 Con, 13 in another attribute of your choice, or boost the dex. +2 from his levels into strength, if he has WBL 33,000gp he can afford a +2 weapon and a +2 belt of strength. So he's got 22 strength, higher BAB, higher weapon enhancement. So he's hitting at +8+6+2 = +16 without feats. He's hitting that AC21 at 5+ to hit on his dice. He hasn't as many attacks, but he's probably got (or will shortly) Improved Critical and an 18-20 base threat range on his weapon.

He's also got more hit points, and without a shield he can afford at least +2 armour which can bag him an AC22 without any other items (ring and amulet take this to AC24 easily, easily beating this monk). That's not really the point though; the point is a full BAB class is +4 to hit ahead of the monk and that makes a lot of difference.

If these two get into a boss-fight, say a CR11 target with 145hp and AC25, the monk hits on a 13+, the full BAB class on a 9+. The monk is hitting for 1d10+6 (25% of WBL puts a monk's robe out of his price-range). The full BAB class is hitting for, say, 2d4+11. Now let's say our boss-fight has DR 5/something - what the something is doesn't actually matter as magic is the only DR either can bypass (we'll assume the full-BAB class doesn't have a weapon made of mithral or cold iron or adamant). That cuts the monk to an average 7.5 damage per hit, the baseline combat class to 11 per hit.

Hit's from the monk will be 110% per round, from the fighter 95%.

Now the monk's stunning fist is important, so let's factor it in: he can hit once per turn, with a 40% hit chance, and assuming he boosted his wisdom by +2, the save DC is 17. Assuming the best case scenario, the target has a +10 weak save, so only beats the save DC on a 7+. 40% to hit x 30% to fail means stunning fist will work 12% of the time, or once in eight rounds.

The monk has some tricks he can pull, but basically he's way behind the curve - and that's assuming something like a fallen paladin as the combat class baseline. In this fight the monk is an also-ran compared to a warrior, and he's meant to be a PC combat class.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
To make them offensive requires customisation. Archetypes, feats, etc.

I've always hated this arguement, which for monks basically boils down to, "If you want monks to be good, take Archtype 'X' and take feats 'Y' and 'Z'. Then they don't suck as much."

All the other classes are effective at their base form, they all get something good that makes them kick butt and their archtypes enhance or change what that thing is. Monks though are almost forced to take archtypes to be effective, paying feat taxes for the combat style feats or other niche feats which they can't get with their own bonus feats. Sure they get defensive abilities, but frankly not all of them are useful with their saves and more often then not are troublesome.

Enough beating up on the monk though, you guys showed me how effective the bard is too. Is there any 3/4 BAB that doesn't kick the Monk's teeth in? Beyond even the core rule book, how about things like the vanilla Inquisitor? The vanilla Summoner?

Andoran

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The Inquisitor kills the monk. They get some of the cleric buffs, and on top of that Judgement and bane.

The 8th level inquisitor can use a judgement 3 times a day that gives a +2 attack with a +3 damage, both Sacred so they stack.

And on top of that, 8 rounds a day they can add bane.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darth Grall wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
To make them offensive requires customisation. Archetypes, feats, etc.

I've always hated this arguement, which for monks basically boils down to, "If you want monks to be good, take Archtype 'X' and take feats 'Y' and 'Z'. Then they don't suck as much."

All the other classes are effective at their base form, they all get something good that makes them kick butt and their archtypes enhance or change what that thing is. Monks though are almost forced to take archtypes to be effective, paying feat taxes for the combat style feats or other niche feats which they can't get with their own bonus feats. Sure they get defensive abilities, but frankly not all of them are useful with their saves and more often then not are troublesome.

+1

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Enough beating up on the monk though, you guys showed me how effective the bard is too. Is there any 3/4 BAB that doesn't kick the Monk's teeth in? Beyond even the core rule book, how about things like the vanilla Inquisitor? The vanilla Summoner?

Possibly the rogue, but that's about it. All the other 3/4 BAB classes are also spell-casters, and can self-buff.


Dabbler wrote:
Darth Grall wrote:


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Enough beating up on the monk though, you guys showed me how effective the bard is too. Is there any 3/4 BAB that doesn't kick the Monk's teeth in? Beyond even the core rule book, how about things like the vanilla Inquisitor? The vanilla Summoner?
Possibly the rogue, but that's about it. All the other 3/4 BAB classes are also spell-casters, and can self-buff.

What about the NPC 3/4th class Aristocrat?

It seems weaker than a Monk.


Dabbler wrote:
Darth Grall wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
To make them offensive requires customisation. Archetypes, feats, etc.

I've always hated this arguement, which for monks basically boils down to, "If you want monks to be good, take Archtype 'X' and take feats 'Y' and 'Z'. Then they don't suck as much."

All the other classes are effective at their base form, they all get something good that makes them kick butt and their archtypes enhance or change what that thing is. Monks though are almost forced to take archtypes to be effective, paying feat taxes for the combat style feats or other niche feats which they can't get with their own bonus feats. Sure they get defensive abilities, but frankly not all of them are useful with their saves and more often then not are troublesome.

+1

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Enough beating up on the monk though, you guys showed me how effective the bard is too. Is there any 3/4 BAB that doesn't kick the Monk's teeth in? Beyond even the core rule book, how about things like the vanilla Inquisitor? The vanilla Summoner?
Possibly the rogue, but that's about it. All the other 3/4 BAB classes are also spell-casters, and can self-buff.

I am being incorrectly quoted here, please correct that.


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Darth Grall wrote:
All the other classes are effective at their base form, they all get something good that makes them kick butt and their archtypes enhance or change what that thing is. Monks though are almost forced to take archtypes to be effective, paying feat taxes for the combat style feats or other niche feats which they can't get with their own bonus feats. Sure they get defensive abilities, but frankly not all of them are useful with their saves and more often then not are troublesome.

Yeah, because it's COMPLETELY reasonable to compare the monk to classes which only appear in splatbooks while restricting the monk from any options that appear in those same splatbooks. What COULD those writers have been thinking? I guess the fact that the nature bond: domain ability sucks in comparison to animal companions just means the druid is a terrible class.


Shadowdweller wrote:
Darth Grall wrote:
All the other classes are effective at their base form, they all get something good that makes them kick butt and their archtypes enhance or change what that thing is. Monks though are almost forced to take archtypes to be effective, paying feat taxes for the combat style feats or other niche feats which they can't get with their own bonus feats. Sure they get defensive abilities, but frankly not all of them are useful with their saves and more often then not are troublesome.
Yeah, because it's COMPLETELY reasonable to compare the monk to classes which only appear in splatbooks while restricting the monk from any options that appear in those same splatbooks. What COULD those writers have been thinking? I guess the fact that the nature bond: domain ability sucks in comparison to animal companions just means the druid is a terrible class.

It is not unfair if those classes are restricted to the CRB for feats and other options.


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In my opinion, comparing a mid-level vanilla unarmed monk to a fighter or even a bard is being overly optimistic. Here's a 9th level build that provides a comparable combat contribution:

PFS legal 9th level small cat animal companion (equipped with AoMF:Agile (5k gp).
Full Attack: bite +15 (1d4+13+trip), 2 claws +15 (1d2+13)
Full attack DPR vs average AC CR 9 opponent (AC 23) : 30.4
AC 27, touch 20, flat-footed 18 (+9 Dex, +7 natural, +1 size)
hp 52 (8d8 +16)
Speed 50, low-light vision, scent

Build:

Per PFS guidelines, no Bestiary feats and items limited to neck slot and barding

Decline standard 4th lvl advancement in size and stats in lieu of alternate RAW advancement: keep size small, +2 Dex, +2 Con
4th and 9th lvl ability score increases to Dex

Stats:
Str 15
Dex 28
Con 15
Int 2
Wis 12
Cha 6

Feats: Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Bite), Weapon Focus (Claws), Power Attack
Evasion granted as bonus feat

Equipment: AoMF: Agile (5k gp)

Size Small
Speed 50, low-light vision, scent
AC 27, touch 20, flat-footed 18 (+9 Dex, +7 natural, +1 size)
Full Attack, without Power Attacking: bite +17 (1d4+9+trip), 2 claws +17 (1d2+9)
Full Attack, with Power Attack: bite +15 (1d4+13+trip), 2 claws +15 (1d2+13)
(+6 Bab, +9 Dex, +1 Size, +1 Weapon Focus (bite, claws), -2 Power Attack)
hp 52 (8d8 +16)
Saves: Fort 8, Ref 15, Will 3 (7 vs Enchantment)
CMB 15 for trip (+6 BAB, +9 Dex, +1 Weapon Focus, -1 size)
CMD 26 (30 vs trip)


Monk is superior to cat:

Does not require Handle Animal checks
Has Slow Fall
Improved Evasion rather than Evasion
Much better Will Save
Faster (speed 60 rather than 50)
Probably has higher hp
For a few rds per day (eg 7 rds at lvl 9, Wis 16), can burn ki to achieve either higher full round dpr or higher AC
Stunning Fist
Wider array of combat maneuvers
More Skills
Overcomes DR/Magic

Cat is superior to monk:

Higher single attack dpr
Higher or comparable full rd dpr unless monk is burning ki or is strength-intensive build
Higher or comparable AC if monk is not pumping Dex/Wis and defensive gear
Automatic trip attempt with successful bite
Only equipped with 5k gp worth of grear
If killed, can be replaced in 24hrs in suitable terrain
If killed, backed up by a class that remains potent (druid, ranger, animal-domain cleric or inquisitor)

The vanilla unarmed monk continues being able to make a contribution to the rest of the party, but at mid-levels this is unfortunately similar to that provided by an animal companion - flanking for the more capable combatants and chasing down lower CR or low CMD minions at the periphery of battle.

I freely admit that after 10th lvl, animal companions rapidly drop in relative power to all PCs, but find it interesting that at one point, vanilla unarmed monks and animal companions make a similar combat contribution. I am not asking for monks to consistently outshine any other player character class. I would, however, like them to consistently outshine animal companions without needing to burn ki or rely on a specific archetype(s).


Slow Fall? Can you show how it is useful
Cat can take Stunning Fist.


Starbuck_II wrote:

Slow Fall? Can you show how it is useful

Cat can take Stunning Fist.

Slow Fall? The monk's remedial feather fall is hardly useful at all, but I just put it on the monk's side of the balance sheet because the cat lacks it. I forgot to add the monk's 'standard action ki-drain for only a few hp heal' (Wholeness of Body) but it belongs on the list as well.

Cat lacks prereqs (Wis of 13 and BAB of 8+) to qualify for Stunning Fist and would get very little benefit from it.

I might have been too understated with those lists of Monk/Cat comparisons. I was just trying to illustrate that a 9th lvl vanilla unarmed monk was not dramatically outshining some other class's animal companion.


Those who think slow fall is hardly useful at all, do your chars only play on flat ground, and have never fallen to your deaths via pit trap or falling off a ledge/cliff?

Curious dm here.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Those who think slow fall is hardly useful at all, do your chars only play on flat ground, and have never fallen to your deaths via pit trap or falling off a ledge/cliff?

Curious dm here.

Pit traps usually aren't lethal unless there's something nasty at the bottom. If the something nasty is anything but spikes slow fall isn't helping.

Cliffs and ledges are generally things you should know about. Wizard prepares feather fall. Or doesn't because he thinks familiars are for cheese mongers and took a bonded item. If it's that kind of campaign (or that kind of GM) sorcerers and bards may know feather fall as well.

Failing that feather fall rings are pretty cheap. If it's that kind of campaign or that kind of GM they're better than slow fall. Slow fall isn't unlimited distance until level 20. Feather fall is unlimited distance at level 1.

There are other class features that can be replaced by a ring, but no other class feature that is the only thing but BAB coming on some levels that is more than replaced by an insultingly cheap ring.

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