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If Monks have trouble hitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Neo2151 wrote:

Then how does a Magus or Rogue hit? Legitimate question, btw.

This question has been bugging me for a while, what with all the "Monks are bad" threads we see popping up all the time.
Everyone knows the Rogue is bad, but most of it's problems are Special-Abilities-related, since they're not a class meant primarily for combat.

We've had this problem for some time in my campaign, the rogue hits fairly often, but even the cleric is more likely to hit than the monk on any single attack. The reason is simple enough, both rogue and cleric have a weapon with a better plus to hit than the monk.

The cost for an amulet of mighty fists is extremely prohibitive compared to that for a single magic weapon. Also rogues often shine outside of combat, which a monk seldom does unless something needs jumping over, most of their skill areas are already covered by a rogue, and generally better covered.

A magus will pretty much never miss if he really needs to hit. With Spell Combat and a few cheap L1 Pearls of Power the magus can almost always have that True Strike available when he needs it, and he can use the +20 on his attack in the same round thanks to spell combat.

A monk Ki power that allowed them to add their Wisdom bonus to hit for a round would be a good addition I think.


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Sangalor wrote:
Finally, you do not need to flurry to be relevant ...

You do not need to exceed the combat output of an animal companion to be relevant. I just expect more from a PC class.

The vanilla unarmed monk's combat output is much closer to an animal companion than to the other 3/4 BAB classes. It's closest to the rogue, but the rogue has much higher out of combat utility and a much easier time overcoming DR.

Andoran

Sangalor wrote:


Maybe. But monks SURVIVE.
THAT is their feature, and their package to do that is greatly underestimated here IMO.

The ones posted here so far don't actually. They attempt (and fail) to hit on part with a rogue and end up with low AC to go with d8 hit points.

And with that neck slot not holding an amulet of natural armor...

The issues isn't defense. The monk is very good defensively. Below the Paladin, on par with most of the d10 classes, with good saves out pacing d8 hit points and Multi Ability Dependence lower con.

But in order to hit at all, you need to buff strength, meaning you give up wisdom or dex (generally both).

Not to mention Con.

If you dump strength and go dex and weapon finesse, you do basically no damage.

So...

Post a build and prove me wrong. The rogue, inquisitor, hell even the bard will be way ahead.

Andoran

Ezekiel W wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Finally, you do not need to flurry to be relevant ...

You do not need to exceed the combat output of an animal companion to be relevant. I just expect more from a PC class.

The vanilla unarmed monk's combat output is much closer to an animal companion than to the other 3/4 BAB classes. It's closest to the rogue, but the rogue has much higher out of combat utility and a much easier time overcoming DR.

It is actually significantly behind the rogue when you consider you can pour all your points into Dex for a rogue and grab weapon finesse without any real issues since your damage comes primarily from sneak attack.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
It is like not casting spells against the paladin or the supertitous barbarian because the DM know they have hihg Saves.

Well just as certain features of monsters become common knowledge to adventurers, certain features of classes will likewise become common knowledge to the things that encounter them. I do take your point, though, and I don't advocate unreasonable knowledge on the part of the foe.

Sangalor wrote:

Maybe. But monks SURVIVE.

THAT is their feature, and their package to do that is greatly underestimated here IMO.

Yes, they are nearly as good at it as paladins. That said, paladins also have an offensive option, something monks rather lack. Without an offensive option, you cannot win the battle. You see, the situation can end up with the monk vs the party-TPKer that can only kill the monk on a 20, but that the monk can't kill at all. That only ends one way...

Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, having good defences could be considered the monk's 'special feature', and it's a good one. The problem is that all other combat classes have a special feature and a baseline in combat. The monk doesn't meet the baseline, that's what's bad for the monk.

Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

Sangalor wrote:

To me, the monk is a package that

1) is survivable

No question, monks are good at staying alive if you build them that way.

Sangalor wrote:
2) can function in most situations and environments

Well...can function equally well in most situations and environments. Problem is, if you read their role, most monks don't actually function at all at some of the things they are meant to do. They are a combat class that struggles to fight.

Sangalor wrote:
3) does not rely on casting

True.

Sangalor wrote:
4) is a great support character

Yet they do not have support features, do they (except the sensei)? They support more because it is all that they can do, rather than because it is what they are good at. Other than their mobility (boots of speed, boots of striding and leaping, haste spell can all match this), could not any other class do it as well if not better?

Sangalor wrote:
5) is not as strongly tied to a background as many other classes (deities, academy, mindset etc.)

Depends who you ask, I think.


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Sangalor wrote:
Well, outliving other party member is one potential consequence. It has happened to my groups a few times. Once my monk was able to pick up a dying character and just run away with him (yes, that increased speed can be really useful).

Um... How? Cause unless you were picking up a small, naked character or you have crazy STR, you should have been at a medium load at the least if they were at full gear. And as the rules state: at a medium load or higher you lose your speed. Cause I, having played monks a bunch of times, once thought the same thing but when you realize you can't even carry the fighter out of the fray at your super speed... It really sorta makes you wonder what the hell it's good for.

And for the record, a medium load at 16 STR(average among monks imo) is 77 lbs. Heavy is 154(most male humans at least without anything else)... Which means you reduce your base to 20 and your run is x3, so 60 feet a turn. Good luck getting away there.

Andoran

@Sangalor

Lots of people have great "personal experiences" with the monk. I'm among them. The problem is that the unarmed combat monk, in a normal 20 point buy campaign with average rolls, is mathematically inferior to nearly every other class when it comes to just connecting with a hit. It's great that you're the party trap spotter in your campaign. However, lacking Trapfinding you're not going to be as good as a Rogue would be at it, and you're incredibly limited in what you can actually do once you've actually spotted the trap. You can't disarm it (especially if it's magical) and just because you can survive it with your saves and abilities doesn't help the rest of your party in navigating it. The most you can do is an admirable Admiral Akbar impression and yell "It's a trap!"

Most people want one thing from the monk that he's not currently providing. They want him to be the best at unarmed combat. To clarify that, they want him to be able to hit, reliably, with his punches, and for those punches to mean something when they connect. Give the monk some way to accurately land a hit, and an ability to bypass DR types at a level where everyone else isn't already doing it better, and most people will be happy.
Every other 3/4 class has the capability of performing their role (skill monkey, healer, buffer etc.) and still be personally effective in combat. The monk is a poor man's substitution in any role other than combat, and can't even effectively do that well.
"But the monk survives! He draws hits (until the enemy realizes they're wasting their time and turns their attention to more immediate threats) "
Congratulations, your player character is now as useful in combat as a wizards defensive construct, a druid's defensively focused animal companion, or a summoner's eidolon (one not optimized for combat, but just survival). You're doing what other classes pets do, while those other classes still have a whole array of abilities and actions they're taking at the same time.


Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, but when that is your main thing, it is bad for the party.

Monk:My saves and AC are super awesome plus I get immunities.

Monster:Well I will go fight someone else then.

New Victim: Crap :(

Andoran

wraithstrike wrote:
Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, but when that is your main thing, it is bad for the party.

Monk:My saves and AC are super awesome plus I get immunities.

Monster:Well I will go fight someone else then.

New Victim: Crap :(

Monk: Don't worry, there's no way he'll ever touch me! I'll run your shredded remains back to town for a Resurrection.... Which by the way, I'm totally not paying for.

New Victim: Gee, thaAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:

@Sangalor

Lots of people have great "personal experiences" with the monk. I'm among them. The problem is that the unarmed combat monk, in a normal 20 point buy campaign with average rolls, is mathematically inferior to nearly every other class when it comes to just connecting with a hit. It's great that you're the party trap spotter in your campaign. However, lacking Trapfinding you're not going to be as good as a Rogue would be at it, and you're incredibly limited in what you can actually do once you've actually spotted the trap. You can't disarm it (especially if it's magical) and just because you can survive it with your saves and abilities doesn't help the rest of your party in navigating it. The most you can do is an admirable Admiral Akbar impression and yell "It's a trap!"

If I may, I would add that there are traits that can give you Disable Device as a class skill, and the monk's wisdom is a good substitute for the trapfinding bonus to Perception. Sure, there are magical traps, but most casters can throw as many detect magic cantrips as you like, so that's not an issue.

The issue of using a monk to scout is you need a decent intelligence and that means being MADer.


Sangalor wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
Nicos wrote:
2) The fights do not long much. If the enemy wast even a single spell or attak in the monk that can give the party a crucial advantage.

And if the enemy waste even a single attack on a commoner hireling dressed up as a wizard, that can give the party the same advantage advantage.

Being a target for enemy fire is not a feature of the monk class. Anyone can attempt to draw enemy fire, regardless of class and level.

Maybe. But monks SURVIVE.

THAT is their feature, and their package to do that is greatly underestimated here IMO.

Being able to outlive your party members is not a talent that will make you many friends, and who wants to play the guy who did cartwheels around the battlefield while his buddies were actually connecting and influencing the course of the fight? Granted, there is some value in having a guy who can collect everyone's pinky fingers after a TPK and run them back to a temple for Resurrection.

Well, outliving other party member is one potential consequence. It has happened to my groups a few times. Once my monk was able to pick up a dying character and just run away with him (yes, that increased speed can be really useful).

Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one: Gathering the group's remains and have them resurrected, or providing the GM with a story hook to get the newly rolled characters back into it (that monk shows up and hires them for revenge, for example) are perfectly viable options.

Also, when a monk draws the enemy's fire and thus prevents the fireball dropped on the bad-ass-greatsword-dpr-optimizied-barbarian-who-has-crappy-reflex-saves or the targeted dispel goes to the monk instead of his greatly buffed eldritch knight buddy, then that's worth it.
And a monk is able to do THAT and survive. Most others cannot without a substantial investments of feats or gear.

And yes, I am personally satisfied if I helped out like that. I do not need to be the one who is the king of damage or mistress of lightning bolts!

I build my characters for survival and to have a few strengths where they shine and look as to how I can contribute to the group. It has worked perfectly for me so far :-)

I don't think anyone is saying the monk has to be the king of anything. They just don't want him to feel like dead weight. The bard as an example is not the best caster, may be out knowledged by a wizard, will not be the damage king and so on, but he will contribute on a consistent basis.

I don't know how your GM runs games, but in my games the monk survives on mostly because he is hard to kill, but also because he does not do as much to get the bad guys attention. See my giant turtle vs wolf post for a reference.

I do have to ask when is your monk shining and conttributing by design?

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

@Sangalor

Lots of people have great "personal experiences" with the monk. I'm among them. The problem is that the unarmed combat monk, in a normal 20 point buy campaign with average rolls, is mathematically inferior to nearly every other class when it comes to just connecting with a hit. It's great that you're the party trap spotter in your campaign. However, lacking Trapfinding you're not going to be as good as a Rogue would be at it, and you're incredibly limited in what you can actually do once you've actually spotted the trap. You can't disarm it (especially if it's magical) and just because you can survive it with your saves and abilities doesn't help the rest of your party in navigating it. The most you can do is an admirable Admiral Akbar impression and yell "It's a trap!"

If I may, I would add that there are traits that can give you Disable Device as a class skill, and the monk's wisdom is a good substitute for the trapfinding bonus to Perception. Sure, there are magical traps, but most casters can throw as many detect magic cantrips as you like, so that's not an issue.

The issue of using a monk to scout is you need a decent intelligence and that means being MADer.

My note on magical traps was more that (as I understand it) they cannot be disarmed without the Trapfinding ability, bringing you back to a monk whose biggest contribution is "You guys better look out for that death rune there. I have no idea how you're getting through, but wasn't that tuck and roll I did over it awesome?"

The monk's high Wisdom (assuming you built a monk that actually has a high Wisdom) can be nice for bumping those perception checks though.
However, if you're adding points into INT for skills and spending character resources to add class skills, you're essentially creating a character who has an even greater issue with Multi Ability Dependency, meaning you've probably designed a rogue who's a little harder to kill but exchanged his high skill points and Rogue talents for abilities other Rogues would be emulating with UMD, and your Sneak Attack for a Flurry of Misses (which they will be in a standard 20 point buy if you put points into INT for skills).


Dabbler wrote:


Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, having good defences could be considered the monk's 'special feature', and it's a good one. The problem is that all other combat classes have a special feature and a baseline in combat. The monk doesn't meet the baseline, that's what's bad for the monk.

Well, I do think monk need a litte extra in the "to hit" aspect, an several class featueres are awful (tongues of the sun and moon of example) But taht do not justify metagaming against the monk.

To be clear, I was not arguing against "monks could benefit form a improvement" i was was arguing against " monsk sucks therefore monster should ignore monks in battle"

Andoran

Nicos wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, having good defences could be considered the monk's 'special feature', and it's a good one. The problem is that all other combat classes have a special feature and a baseline in combat. The monk doesn't meet the baseline, that's what's bad for the monk.

Well, I do think monk need a litte extra in the "to hit" aspect, an several class featueres are awful (tongues of the sun and moon of example) But taht do not justify metagaming against the monk.

To be clear, I was not arguing against "monks could benefit form a improvement" i was was arguing against " monsk sucks therefore monster should ignore monks in battle"

People aren't leaping into combat already ignoring the monk, however, it only takes a round or two for enemies to prioritze threats. If the wizard is blasting a critter with magic, the fighter is hewing bloody rents in him with a greatsword, and the monk is slapping ineffectually against his scaly hide, most critters just aren't going to waste their time with him and will instead focus on the players who are actually real and present threats. If the monk isn't actually proving himself to be high on the danger threshold for a given enemy, there's no reason for them to waste their time swinging at them while bigger threats are present. That's what people are trying to say. GM's aren't saying "All monsters everywhere know that monks should be saved for last", they're saying that if the monk isn't giving the bad guy a reason to swing at them, there's no reason to waste the bad guys actions going after a lesser threat.

For example, if I'm walking through the forest and I'm attacked by a blind tiger and an elephant, I might spend a few seconds focused on the tiger, because "OMG, it's a tiger!"
However, after I notice that the tiger is blind and the angry elephant has come really close to squishing me, I'm going to pop that elephant to the top of my list of to-do's and trust in the tiger's lack of sight to buy me the time I need on that front.

In that example, the monk was the blind tiger.


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Honestly, you'd kind of expect that opposite; if you're walking down the street in your average medieval-style world and you're attacked by a knight in full armor and a giant sword trying to chop his head off, and a guy with no armor trying to punch him, you're probably going to worry more about the guy with the sword. In a lot of martial arts movies, it's just assumed that the enemies just don't take Jackie Chan that seriously until he beats them all up.


Yosarian wrote:
Honestly, you'd kind of expect that opposite; if you're walking down the street in your average medieval-style world and you're attacked by a knight in full armor and a giant sword trying to chop his head off, and a guy with no armor trying to punch him, you're probably going to worry more about the guy with the sword. In a lot of martial arts movies, it's just assumed that the enemies just don't take Jackie Chan that seriously until he beats them all up.

This is an important point. An unarmed enemy that isn't a caster usually isn't a threat. Casters usually open with a spell. At best the monk will attract attention until the first time his initiative comes around and fails to cast a spell.


Ezekiel W wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Finally, you do not need to flurry to be relevant ...

You do not need to exceed the combat output of an animal companion to be relevant. I just expect more from a PC class.

The vanilla unarmed monk's combat output is much closer to an animal companion than to the other 3/4 BAB classes. It's closest to the rogue, but the rogue has much higher out of combat utility and a much easier time overcoming DR.

I don't agree here, and I want to see an animal companion with javelins or shuriken :-P


ciretose wrote:
Sangalor wrote:


Maybe. But monks SURVIVE.
THAT is their feature, and their package to do that is greatly underestimated here IMO.

The ones posted here so far don't actually. They attempt (and fail) to hit on part with a rogue and end up with low AC to go with d8 hit points.

Rogue relies on flanking or a similar mechanic to deliver real damage. He also requires shadow strike and similar feats to not be negated too easily. To hit can easily be attained with a monk as well - you just need to focus on other parts than the rogue.

I want to see a rogue that competes with the monk in the defensive department, though.

ciretose wrote:


And with that neck slot not holding an amulet of natural armor...

Well, if you want just take weapons. Does not matter then.

Otherwise there are few items that you cannot get in other slots that I would want for a neck slot.

ciretose wrote:


The issues isn't defense.

Yes, it is. When I read this and other threads, the defenses are always belittled. Defenses are questioned and there are statements like "inquisitor/bard/barbarian/... are all better at it" - with buffs which can be dispelled or are not up in time, magic abilities that can run out etc. I have not seen an evaluation of the whole package.

These discussions only focus on two things:
- hit unarmed
- not overcoming DR (unarmed)
I don't only focus on this, and I tire of these threads that only seem to repeat the same statements and refute all opinions that differ.

ciretose wrote:


The monk is very good defensively. Below the Paladin, on par with most of the d10 classes, with good saves out pacing d8 hit points and Multi Ability Dependence lower con.

But in order to hit at all, you need to buff strength, meaning you give up wisdom or dex (generally both).

Not to mention Con.

If you dump strength and go dex and weapon finesse, you do basically no damage.

So...

"in order to hit at all"... I have not had those issues in the past, and we play with the bestiary. You do not have to be super-optimized and hit with that 5% higher score at the expense of your other abilities.

ciretose wrote:


Post a build and prove me wrong. The rogue, inquisitor, hell even the bard will be way ahead.

I will consider it if you clearly define what is the objective and when is it reached. I will not accept a pure "to-hit+damage" target, though. Defenses etc. have to be taken into account.


Dabbler wrote:


Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

...

Your idea of "contributing" seems to focused on to-hit and damage. Drawing enemy fire and spells, scouting, being self-reliant, providing flanking bonuses (particularly for the rogue), being mobile enough so you can quickly change to harassing the enemy spellcaster... That is contributing in my book. But maybe that's just me. :-P


Nicos wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, having good defences could be considered the monk's 'special feature', and it's a good one. The problem is that all other combat classes have a special feature and a baseline in combat. The monk doesn't meet the baseline, that's what's bad for the monk.

Well, I do think monk need a litte extra in the "to hit" aspect, an several class featueres are awful (tongues of the sun and moon of example) But taht do not justify metagaming against the monk.

To be clear, I was not arguing against "monks could benefit form a improvement" i was was arguing against " monsk sucks therefore monster should ignore monks in battle"

Seconded, "to-hit" only partly, though. For example, "tongue of the sun and the moon" is cool and quite useful and maybe the only option in some settings, but it is more of a gimmick than something I really look forward to.


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Sangalor wrote:
Ezekiel W wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Finally, you do not need to flurry to be relevant ...

You do not need to exceed the combat output of an animal companion to be relevant. I just expect more from a PC class.

The vanilla unarmed monk's combat output is much closer to an animal companion than to the other 3/4 BAB classes. It's closest to the rogue, but the rogue has much higher out of combat utility and a much easier time overcoming DR.

I don't agree here, and I want to see an animal companion with javelins or shuriken :-P

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/druid/animal-companions#cat-bi g-lion-tiger

No, it's not javelins or shuriken. But Pounce/Rake/Grab with 3 primary natural attacks (that don't suffer iterative attack penalties) are much better than javelins or shuriken.


Dabbler wrote:
Nicos wrote:
It is like not casting spells against the paladin or the supertitous barbarian because the DM know they have hihg Saves.

Well just as certain features of monsters become common knowledge to adventurers, certain features of classes will likewise become common knowledge to the things that encounter them. I do take your point, though, and I don't advocate unreasonable knowledge on the part of the foe.

Sangalor wrote:

Maybe. But monks SURVIVE.

THAT is their feature, and their package to do that is greatly underestimated here IMO.

Yes, they are nearly as good at it as paladins. That said, paladins also have an offensive option, something monks rather lack. Without an offensive option, you cannot win the battle. You see, the situation can end up with the monk vs the party-TPKer that can only kill the monk on a 20, but that the monk can't kill at all. That only ends one way...

Nicos wrote:
So, having good defences is bad for the monk?

No, having good defences could be considered the monk's 'special feature', and it's a good one. The problem is that all other combat classes have a special feature and a baseline in combat. The monk doesn't meet the baseline, that's what's bad for the monk.

Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

Sangalor wrote:

To me, the monk is a package that

1) is survivable

No question, monks are good at staying alive if you build them that way.

Sangalor wrote:
2) can function in most situations and environments
Well...can function equally well in most situations and environments. Problem is, if you read their role, most monks don't actually function at all at some of the things they are meant to do. They are a combat class that struggles to fight....

Er ano... that doesn't work for me. I've seen more monks than I've played, and they don't have to have a great str. I'll explain. I have seen some pure defence monks, high dex, high wis, these were on awful damage, 13 a round maybe at level 8. Pure defensive focus though, dodge, expertise, they can take it. Like an old kung fu film, they drag the fight out, only getting a few hits every few rounds. They pair up well with heavy hitters, that stick near them, or they dive off into mobs. If they are alone, if their ac has skyrocketed (some levels it is better than others of course) and is no longer just good, it becomes a long game of attrition. I like long fights, four round battles are a bit boring for me; and a low damage monk with a fantastic AC and great saves can stand their ground and fight villains, hordes of choppers, and come out victorious. I don't buy the tpker will just finish off the defensive monk as well by default, as if the rest of the party went down without doing anything to this opponent. If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling. If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20? Matches can still be won. You won't get crits, but that is the pay off. Also keep that ki to beef the ac, an interesting pathfinder option (see, I don't hate everything pf, ha ha).

To the claim that they are a combat class that struggles to fight, fighting isn't all about hitting hard or often, or just about damage. As a defensive kickboxer/fencer, there is a lot more to fighting than hitting hard. There is defence, keeping yourself up. There is strategy, wearing people down and causing fear, by not being taken out the best punch they can throw. No, they must swing a lot more of those power attack to get the win, and that will take a lot of time, effort, and involve many hits. Seen the prospect of that terrify people.

Back to the game, yeah, I get it though, defensive combat classes can be hard to work. Their focus is on survival, and stretching out combats, when so many classes--melee and spellcaster, want to take it in the other direction. High ac chars also have an unacknowledged cool factor, the ability to take that swing, and turn it into a wasted action. What a shock, and what fun for the defender, no one likes to look stupid. If the enemies ignore you after a while, great! Then flurry them from behind. I think it is actually more heroic to defend and then prevail, rather than rush to win the damage game, but that will come down to player and dm interests.

I have been really impressed by defensive low damage monks, it is a side of the game you don't see much. Give it a go I say! You may find other party members are jealous of your defensive capabilities. That I have also seen, yep, jealousy of the monk. Arrgh, I am taking serious damage, walking into those hits, but the monk just sits there and can fight all day, damn that guy. Urgh, he healed himself again, what a turtling chump.


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Ssalarn wrote:

@Sangalor

Lots of people have great "personal experiences" with the monk. I'm among them. The problem is that the unarmed combat monk, in a normal 20 point buy campaign with average rolls, is mathematically inferior to nearly every other class when it comes to just connecting with a hit. It's great that you're the party trap spotter in your campaign. However, lacking Trapfinding you're not going to be as good as a Rogue would be at it, and you're incredibly limited in what you can actually do once you've actually spotted the trap. You can't disarm it (especially if it's magical) and just because you can survive it with your saves and abilities doesn't help the rest of your party in navigating it. The most you can do is an admirable Admiral Akbar impression and yell "It's a trap!"

Disable device can be learned by everyone. Magical traps are not a problem to spot, just to disarm. That's when

a) the magic user takes over, or
b) I just trigger them and trust in my built-in defenses, or
c) we just ignore the trap and search a way to avoid it.
Also, I do not need to be as good as the rogue at trapspotting or as good as class x in y. That would make that class superfluous in that regard. I just have to be good enough to cover that job.

Ssalarn wrote:


Most people want one thing from the monk that he's not currently providing. They want him to be the best at unarmed combat.

That is a claim that is made by a vocal group on these boards. There were other posters (other thread) stating that usually they had monks using weapons.

Personally I like the unarmed combat part of the monk, but it's sufficiently well implemented for me to work. And in the corner cases where it doesn't, well, I just use weapons.
Ssalarn wrote:


To clarify that, they want him to be able to hit, reliably, with his punches, and for those punches to mean something when they connect. Give the monk some way to accurately land a hit, and an ability to bypass DR types at a level where everyone else isn't already doing it better, and most people will be happy.
Every other 3/4 class has the capability are of performing their role (skill monkey, healer, buffer etc.) and still be personally effective in combat. The monk is a poor man's substitution in any role other than combat, and can't even effectively do that well.
"But the monk survives! He draws hits (until the enemy realizes they're wasting their time and turns their attention to more immediate threats) "
Congratulations, your player character is now as useful in combat as a wizards defensive construct, a druid's defensively focused animal companion, or a summoner's eidolon (one not optimized for combat, but just survival). You're doing what other classes pets do, while those other classes still have a whole array of abilities and actions they're taking at the same time.

Pets don't talk, or save characters out of social situations, or scout ahead and seize opportunities, or become (for the most part) immune to diseases, or are able to disarm traps, or - to use the example from before - save the remains of a party member, or can use UMD, or ...

That is not a real comparison and - in my opinion - inadequate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok. So you're saying that what a monk is really good at is defense. That seems a little narrow of a focus to me, but ok, let's look at that hypothesis. Do you think a defensively build monk is better at defense then, say, a defensively build sword and board paladin?


wraithstrike wrote:


I don't know how your GM runs games, but in my games the monk survives on mostly because he is hard to kill, but also because he does not do as much to get the bad guys attention. See my giant turtle vs wolf post for a reference.

Hard to kill is the reason in our games.

wraithstrike wrote:
I do have to ask when is your monk shining and conttributing by design?

I listed the reasons above. Again the most important point: It is hard to bring a monk down, harassing the enemy (e.g. the spellcaster) and being self-reliant to a large extent is the design.

The rest is flavor :-P


Minesweeper monk!


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling.

Except most GMs are of the opinion that spending a bunch of time statting up a spellcaster, just so they can be beaten in a 5-10 minute fight isn't worth the time (at least that's the majority opinion on these forums). So most of the time, that "caster" is some sort of outsider/dragon/etc that would just love for you to try and grapple with it, so it can show you exactly how bad of an idea it was to try and pit your "player-level" stats against it's "monster-level" stats.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20?

And when it's down to just the Monk, the crazy two-hander giant can stop power attacking and use the same strategy, except with much better chances of hitting and still generally superior damage.


Yosarian wrote:
Ok. So you're saying that what a monk is really good at is defense. That seems a little narrow of a focus to me, but ok, let's look at that hypothesis. Do you think a defensively build monk is better at defense then, say, a defensively build sword and board paladin?

A sword and board paladin is dependent on the board to defend. Their saves are good, yataa! They are also trading mobility and taking a penalty to dex based skills, for armour ac if they go heavy. Monk fills their defensive role, WHILE naked!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sangalor wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

...
Your idea of "contributing" seems to focused on to-hit and damage. Drawing enemy fire and spells, scouting, being self-reliant, providing flanking bonuses (particularly for the rogue), being mobile enough so you can quickly change to harassing the enemy spellcaster... That is contributing in my book. But maybe that's just me. :-P

Drawing enemy fire is trading an entire character to negate one or two actions per combat. That's a terrible deal.

Scouting is a job better done by rogues, bards, inquisitors, anyone with improved familiar... Actually, monks are among the worst scouts. All they have is an enhancement bonus to their land speed. Bards can buff for stealth with invisibility and silence. Clerics can scout via summons. Druids can scout via summons or in wildshape. Inquisitors can buff stealth with silence. Oracles can scout via summons. Ninja can turn invisible and can stealth at full speed with a talent. Rangers can scout in favored terrain and buff perception with magic. Rogues can stealth at full speed with a rogue talent and can learn to turn invisible if they invest in a ki pool. Sorcerers can scout via summons. Summoners can scout via summons or eidolon. Witches can scout via summons or scry. Wizards can scout via summons or scry.

Being self-reliant isn't what monks are doing anyways. Monks need greater magic weapon/fang or some form of accuracy boosting magic more than any other class because of AMF fail and want mage armor because their AC sucks if they're built for nontrivial damage. They need healing because their self healing is completely useless and they're flimsy with less than stellar AC and no miss chance bonuses. Just because they aren't hurting for Protection from Evil specifically doesn't mean they don't need help.


Yosarian wrote:
Ok. So you're saying that what a monk is really good at is defense. That seems a little narrow of a focus to me, but ok, let's look at that hypothesis. Do you think a defensively build monk is better at defense then, say, a defensively build sword and board paladin?

It's not easy to answer and depends on the situation. All situations together I would say the monk is better.

A paladin is really good, actually one of my favourite classes, but lacks things like evasion/improved evasion. He does approach the monk in the saves and AC department, though. On the other hand, options like crane wing providing blanket protection from one attack - which could kill you otherwise - are likely not available. If a paladin is surprised, he likely won't have his shield up, and generally a bad touch AC.
Slow fall, high jump etc. provide options for maneuverability which I factor also into defensive abilities...
Smite evil is fantastic, but the paladin will look mightily stupid when encountering anything not of evil alignment, or once his smites have run out.
Also, the paladin has his code as the major drawback. Another would be the link to divinity and the spellcasting stuff - I sometimes just do not like that.

But the paladin, also the inquisitor, are strong contenders.


Neo2151 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling.

Except most GMs are of the opinion that spending a bunch of time statting up a spellcaster, just so they can be beaten in a 5-10 minute fight isn't worth the time (at least that's the majority opinion on these forums). So most of the time, that "caster" is some sort of outsider/dragon/etc that would just love for you to try and grapple with it, so it can show you exactly how bad of an idea it was to try and pit your "player-level" stats against it's "monster-level" stats.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20?
And when it's down to just the Monk, the crazy two-hander giant can stop power attacking and use the same strategy, except with much better chances of hitting and still generally superior damage.

So your argument is, "its now a dragon!". One which has killed off the party easily, and the monk left alive (for now) can't take it, because you will make it whatever it needs to be to crush the monk, as high a CR as necessary. Errr, that is some poor dming to throw such an op foe at the party (they are all dead except the pure defence monk at this stage) and I think such a dm got the CR wrong. Monks can certainly fight dragons though, avoid taking the full attack, evade the breath weapon, keep punching. Dragons around their strength and capabilities. A dragon far above their effective CR range, nope. Just like first level adventurers will be cleaned up by mind flayers. It doesn't make those first level chars weak. What a strange example Neo.


Neo2151 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling.

Except most GMs are of the opinion that spending a bunch of time statting up a spellcaster, just so they can be beaten in a 5-10 minute fight isn't worth the time (at least that's the majority opinion on these forums). So most of the time, that "caster" is some sort of outsider/dragon/etc that would just love for you to try and grapple with it, so it can show you exactly how bad of an idea it was to try and pit your "player-level" stats against it's "monster-level" stats.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20?
And when it's down to just the Monk, the crazy two-hander giant can stop power attacking and use the same strategy, except with much better chances of hitting and still generally superior damage.

So evade the heavy inf giant, and shoot it to death. They've got the speed.


Atarlost wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

...
Your idea of "contributing" seems to focused on to-hit and damage. Drawing enemy fire and spells, scouting, being self-reliant, providing flanking bonuses (particularly for the rogue), being mobile enough so you can quickly change to harassing the enemy spellcaster... That is contributing in my book. But maybe that's just me. :-P

Drawing enemy fire is trading an entire character to negate one or two actions per combat. That's a terrible deal.

Scouting is a job better done by rogues, bards, inquisitors, anyone with improved familiar... Actually, monks are among the worst scouts. All they have is an enhancement bonus to their land speed. Bards can buff for stealth with invisibility and silence. Clerics can scout via summons. Druids can scout via summons or in wildshape. Inquisitors can buff stealth with silence. Oracles can scout via summons. Ninja can turn invisible and can stealth at full speed with a talent. Rangers can scout in favored terrain and buff perception with magic. Rogues can stealth at full speed with a rogue talent and can learn to turn invisible if they invest in a ki pool. Sorcerers can scout via summons. Summoners can scout via summons or eidolon. Witches can scout via summons or scry. Wizards can scout via summons or scry.

Being self-reliant isn't what monks are doing anyways. Monks need greater magic weapon/fang or some form of accuracy boosting magic more than any other class because of AMF fail and want mage armor because their AC sucks if they're built for nontrivial damage. They need healing because their self healing is completely useless and they're flimsy with less than stellar AC and no miss chance bonuses. Just because they...

Actually, scouting is better done by something like the 3.5 scout, which have an improved speed, like the monk. The monks speed rises a lot faster though. Playing a scouting type char for multiple games, if you are going to risk your char like a hero, get in there and get the info, and not take the magic option, you need the speed, you need to be like light cavalry.

They don't need greater magic weapon/fang, you can't see beyond the damage. Ommmmm. Also again, saying another feature is completely useless. That healing is good stuff, can keep them on their feat, makes them less reliant on clerics, which are not in every party.

Urgh, another monk hater that thinks their ac can't be made excellent.


Atarlost wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

...
Your idea of "contributing" seems to focused on to-hit and damage. Drawing enemy fire and spells, scouting, being self-reliant, providing flanking bonuses (particularly for the rogue), being mobile enough so you can quickly change to harassing the enemy spellcaster... That is contributing in my book. But maybe that's just me. :-P

Drawing enemy fire is trading an entire character to negate one or two actions per combat. That's a terrible deal.

Scouting is a job better done by rogues, bards, inquisitors, anyone with improved familiar... Actually, monks are among the worst scouts. All they have is an enhancement bonus to their land speed. Bards can buff for stealth with invisibility and silence. Clerics can scout via summons. Druids can scout via summons or in wildshape. Inquisitors can buff stealth with silence. Oracles can scout via summons. Ninja can turn invisible and can stealth at full speed with a talent. Rangers can scout in favored terrain and buff perception with magic. Rogues can stealth at full speed with a rogue talent and can learn to turn invisible if they invest in a ki pool. Sorcerers can scout via summons. Summoners can scout via summons or eidolon. Witches can scout via summons or scry. Wizards can scout via summons or scry.

Being self-reliant isn't what monks are doing anyways. Monks need greater magic weapon/fang or some form of accuracy boosting magic more than any other class because of AMF fail and want mage armor because their AC sucks if they're built for nontrivial damage. They need healing because their self healing is completely useless and they're flimsy with less than stellar AC and no miss chance bonuses. Just because they...

There is not a single statement that I can agree with.

Particularly the summons I do not agree with. I am talking about several minutes of scouting, not a few rounds. Being able to make a decision on your own, not trusting some summoned creature.
Wisdom helps with perception and survival, stealth will not be difficult to keep high enough.
The comparison with a rogue is, as I mentioned above, inadequate. The rogue will be better with his skills, and he SHOULD be. That's what he is good at. However, once he is alone and encounters resistance, sneak attacking isn't really going to help him without a flanking buddy or some really lucky situation - whereas the monk can just as well hit and hurt as usual.
If you consider their self-healing useless, that's your opinion as well. It does not make any noise and heals you reliably for a set amount. It works in pretty much every environment and even when the monk is bound.

And, again, my monks have survived, even as the primary combatant, well enough without magic fang and the like. Self-reliant for me means to be able to move in pretty much every terrain, survive surprises, deal with injuries, defend and attack, have enough skills to support a not too narrow number of abilities, and deal with natural or artifical dangers such as poisons and diseases.


Trusting a temporarily summoned creature, that used a spell slot.

Okay creature I can communicate with, what did you see?

Well, there was a big *poof*

DM: your spell has ended.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling.

Except most GMs are of the opinion that spending a bunch of time statting up a spellcaster, just so they can be beaten in a 5-10 minute fight isn't worth the time (at least that's the majority opinion on these forums). So most of the time, that "caster" is some sort of outsider/dragon/etc that would just love for you to try and grapple with it, so it can show you exactly how bad of an idea it was to try and pit your "player-level" stats against it's "monster-level" stats.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20?
And when it's down to just the Monk, the crazy two-hander giant can stop power attacking and use the same strategy, except with much better chances of hitting and still generally superior damage.
So your argument is, "its now a dragon!". One which has killed off the party easily, and the monk left alive (for now) can't take it, because you will make it whatever it needs to be to crush the monk, as high a CR as necessary. Errr, that is some poor dming to throw such an op foe at the party (they are all dead except the pure defence monk at this stage) and I think such a dm got the CR wrong. Monks can certainly fight dragons though, avoid taking the full attack, evade the breath weapon, keep punching. Dragons around their strength and capabilities. A dragon far above their effective CR range, nope. Just like first level adventurers will be cleaned up by mind flayers. It doesn't make those first level chars weak. What a strange example Neo.

I said Dragon. You're the one assuming every dragon is an Ancient Wyrm. There are Dragons of varying CRs ya know. ;)

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
So evade the heavy inf giant, and shoot it to death. They've got the speed.

Congratulations, you've just lost your full BAB and are downgraded to "Expert" as far as your chances of hitting and killing are concerned.


Sangalor wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


I don't know how your GM runs games, but in my games the monk survives on mostly because he is hard to kill, but also because he does not do as much to get the bad guys attention. See my giant turtle vs wolf post for a reference.

Hard to kill is the reason in our games.

wraithstrike wrote:
I do have to ask when is your monk shining and conttributing by design?

I listed the reasons above. Again the most important point: It is hard to bring a monk down, harassing the enemy (e.g. the spellcaster) and being self-reliant to a large extent is the design.

The rest is flavor :-P

Flavor does not help you live. :)

I did not see those reasons. I understand not wanting to retype a post but could I get a link?

Just to be clear I mean things like I can use X skills. I can am made to be a threat through DPR. I can buff the party. Monks are no better at killing/harrasing casters than any other noncaster. The fact that the monk has high saves only means the caster kills him last, or if his resources are depleted he runs away. In either case the party is dead, and they may not have been had they had someone else in place of the monk.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling.

Except most GMs are of the opinion that spending a bunch of time statting up a spellcaster, just so they can be beaten in a 5-10 minute fight isn't worth the time (at least that's the majority opinion on these forums). So most of the time, that "caster" is some sort of outsider/dragon/etc that would just love for you to try and grapple with it, so it can show you exactly how bad of an idea it was to try and pit your "player-level" stats against it's "monster-level" stats.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20?
And when it's down to just the Monk, the crazy two-hander giant can stop power attacking and use the same strategy, except with much better chances of hitting and still generally superior damage.
So your argument is, "its now a dragon!". One which has killed off the party easily, and the monk left alive (for now) can't take it, because you will make it whatever it needs to be to crush the monk, as high a CR as necessary. Errr, that is some poor dming to throw such an op foe at the party (they are all dead except the pure defence monk at this stage) and I think such a dm got the CR wrong. Monks can certainly fight dragons though, avoid taking the full attack, evade the breath weapon, keep punching. Dragons around their strength and capabilities. A dragon far above their effective CR range, nope. Just like first level adventurers will be cleaned up by mind flayers. It doesn't make those first level chars weak. What a strange example Neo.

I don't like the dragon idea. I will say that most poor BAB casters are easily to kill once anyone gets to them so they make sure they are hard to find, hard to get to, and hard to hit. The monk has no special way to overcome that. If the caster is a druid or cleric he might just kick the monk's butt.


Just to be clear. We all know the monk can survive. That should never even come up as a disagreement in my opinion. The issue is that the monk does not consistently help the party do what it needs to do. Even its circumstantial abilities can be covered by another class. In short I have never seen anyone say "I wish we had a monk instead of ____." There have been times other classes have been wished for.


Neo2151 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the tpker is a spellcaster that has used their best spells to take out the rest of the party, get in there and get grappling.

Except most GMs are of the opinion that spending a bunch of time statting up a spellcaster, just so they can be beaten in a 5-10 minute fight isn't worth the time (at least that's the majority opinion on these forums). So most of the time, that "caster" is some sort of outsider/dragon/etc that would just love for you to try and grapple with it, so it can show you exactly how bad of an idea it was to try and pit your "player-level" stats against it's "monster-level" stats.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If it is a melee, ride a high ac and wear them down. "Work the jab" as many a boxing coach has said. If its a crazy two hander giant, that takes out the rest of the party in two rounds like the dm is all over the dpr olympics threads, well, there is no shield to worry about. Keep the ac up, work the flurry, so what if you hit on a 19-20?
And when it's down to just the Monk, the crazy two-hander giant can stop power attacking and use the same strategy, except with much better chances of hitting and still generally superior damage.
So your argument is, "its now a dragon!". One which has killed off the party easily, and the monk left alive (for now) can't take it, because you will make it whatever it needs to be to crush the monk, as high a CR as necessary. Errr, that is some poor dming to throw such an op foe at the party (they are all dead except the pure defence monk at this stage) and I think such a dm got the CR wrong. Monks can certainly fight dragons though, avoid taking the full attack, evade the breath weapon, keep punching. Dragons around their strength and capabilities. A dragon far above their effective CR range, nope. Just like first level adventurers will be cleaned up by mind flayers. It doesn't make those first level chars weak. What a strange example Neo.
I said Dragon....

Ah but no, it is not just you are an expert. Monks have speeds an expert will never reach. If something can't be beaten in hand to hand, then take your ranged weapons and take your time. If it is the last boss and it is a melee meat grinder, exploit that. A returning javelin or spear is a good investment for a monk, as is a magic light crossbow. With such speeds, finding a move to load won't be a problem. High movement is very powerful.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
Ok. So you're saying that what a monk is really good at is defense. That seems a little narrow of a focus to me, but ok, let's look at that hypothesis. Do you think a defensively build monk is better at defense then, say, a defensively build sword and board paladin?
A sword and board paladin is dependent on the board to defend. Their saves are good, yataa! They are also trading mobility and taking a penalty to dex based skills, for armour ac if they go heavy. Monk fills their defensive role, WHILE naked!

They both have good saving throws. Paladin has more hitpoints then the monk, and even better can heal himself in the middle of combat without losing a round (the monk's healing action is far less useful during combat). Paladin gets immune to disease and fear, monk gets immune to disease and poison, but Paladin can also cure most status ailments as part of laying hands on himself. AC is probably similar, but Paladin has more options for good gear since he has more slots to fill.

It really seems like the Paladin is just better as a defensive character then the monk is; he's just harder to kill. If that's the one thing the monk is supposed to be good at, why is a full BAB class that also gets spells, does more damage, and has smite evil better at it?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nicos wrote:
Well, I do think monk need a litte extra in the "to hit" aspect, an several class featueres are awful (tongues of the sun and moon of example) But taht do not justify metagaming against the monk.

I agree, but I do not think it takes metagaming, just intelligently playing the adversaries.

Nicos wrote:
To be clear, I was not arguing against "monks could benefit form a improvement" i was was arguing against " monsk sucks therefore monster should ignore monks in battle"

Well, certain monsters pretty much can, others cannot, and you will find out the difference pretty quickly.

Sangalor wrote:
I don't agree here, and I want to see an animal companion with javelins or shuriken :-P

Sadly, most animal companions have more effective weapons.

Sangalor wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Sangalor wrote:


Maybe. But monks SURVIVE.
THAT is their feature, and their package to do that is greatly underestimated here IMO.

The ones posted here so far don't actually. They attempt (and fail) to hit on part with a rogue and end up with low AC to go with d8 hit points.

Rogue relies on flanking or a similar mechanic to deliver real damage. He also requires shadow strike and similar feats to not be negated too easily. To hit can easily be attained with a monk as well - you just need to focus on other parts than the rogue.

I want to see a rogue that competes with the monk in the defensive department, though.

Well if you built the monk to match the rogue for skills it'd probably be doable, actually. The monk would have to go MADer to boost intelligence, while the rogue can just max out dex. Then it's a question of matching the monk's reduced dex + wis + monk AC bonus vs the rogues greater dex + light armour + amulet of natural armour (because the monk has an AoMF most likely).

The thing with sneak attack is, you don't have to hit often to have an effect. In fact against some enemies with DR having sneak attack is probably better than having mutliples attacks from FoB, because vs DR one powerful strike is more effective than many light ones.

Sangalor wrote:
ciretose wrote:

And with that neck slot not holding an amulet of natural armor...

Well, if you want just take weapons. Does not matter then.

Otherwise there are few items that you cannot get in other slots that I would want for a neck slot.

Two problems with this - one, the monk is meant to be about unarmed combat; two, monk weapons suck. I mean, you could use the non-monk weapons they are proficient with, but the rogues still has better ones and you just lost multiple attacks and better BAB.

Sangalor wrote:
ciretose wrote:

The issues isn't defense.

Yes, it is. When I read this and other threads, the defenses are always belittled. Defenses are questioned and there are statements like "inquisitor/bard/barbarian/... are all better at it" - with buffs which can be dispelled or are not up in time, magic abilities that can run out etc. I have not seen an evaluation of the whole package.

I think that depends on the monk build. Monk defences are belittled when somebody builds a hard-hitting monk who will die young with an AC12.

Sangalor wrote:

These discussions only focus on two things:

- hit unarmed
- not overcoming DR (unarmed)
I don't only focus on this, and I tire of these threads that only seem to repeat the same statements and refute all opinions that differ.

Successfully refute them, too, because what are the other options?

Monk weapons? They suck.
Maneuvers? Only useful in certain situations.
If you have to fight, you have to hit the other guy and hurt him more than he hurts you or else neutralise him in some other way.

Sangalor wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


Sangalor wrote:
Surviving is not bad, even if you are the only one:

Perhaps, but personally I prefer that all party members are able to contribute to the fight so that the TPK has less chance of happening, and all of them survive. But maybe that's just me.

...
Your idea of "contributing" seems to focused on to-hit and damage. Drawing enemy fire and spells, scouting, being self-reliant, providing flanking bonuses (particularly for the rogue), being mobile enough so you can quickly change to harassing the enemy spellcaster... That is contributing in my book. But maybe that's just me. :-P

Let's see how well the monk performs at these, shall we?

Drawing enemy fire and spells Other than shouting insults or putting on a pointed hat with 'Wizzard' written in big neon letters on it, how is this done? How does the monk present themselves as a greater threat than any other member of the party, and do so consistently? What special abilities do they have that help them achieve this? Well, none, basically. You can achieve the same result with a commoner or an illusion spell. Actually, probably better with the illusion spell.

scouting Monks can scout, but as pointed out many times they are not brilliant at it, there are some things that they cannot do, and they have to pump intelligence making them worse in other areas.

being self-reliant Looks nice in theory, but less so in practice. I agree that the monk can often function and survive on their own - if nothing else they can outrun many threats - but self-reliance doesn't do much in a party dynamic.

providing flanking bonuses (particularly for the rogue) Again, an animal companion or a commoner hireling could do this.

being mobile enough so you can quickly change to harassing the enemy spellcaster The monk's mobility is easily duplicated by haste, so a single common buff or a pair of boots of speed will enable any combat class to do this. In fact, as inmost circumstances another combat class can dish more damage than the monk, you can argue they do it better. Ultimately, the best counter to the enemy caster is another caster.

I'm not saying that these are not important things, or good tactics under certain circumstances, but they are not the meat and drink of a class that is supposed to be trained for battle, are they?

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
To the claim that they are a combat class that struggles to fight, fighting isn't all about hitting hard or often, or just about damage. As a defensive kickboxer/fencer, there is a lot more to fighting than hitting hard. There is defence, keeping yourself up. There is strategy, wearing people down and causing fear, by not being taken out the best punch they can throw. No, they must swing a lot more of those power attack to get the win, and that will take a lot of time, effort, and involve many hits. Seen the prospect of that terrify people.

Problem is D&D combat doesn't work that way very often. In fact, only competition fights ever go like that. Real life, you want the other guy on the deck as fast as possible, and you want him to stay there long enough for you to get out of the situation.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Back to the game, yeah, I get it though, defensive combat classes can be hard to work. Their focus is on survival, and stretching out combats, when so many classes--melee and spellcaster, want to take it in the other direction.

Because that is the sensible way to fight. The longer you string it out, the greater the chances the other guy will get lucky. Plus, if the rest of the party are going the other direction, what are you then contributing?

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
High ac chars also have an unacknowledged cool factor, the ability to take that swing, and turn it into a wasted action. What a shock, and what fun for the defender, no one likes to look stupid. If the enemies ignore you after a while, great! Then flurry them from behind. I think it is actually more heroic to defend and then prevail, rather than rush to win the damage game, but that will come down to player and dm interests.

Thing is, with this tactic you take the other guy down after he beat up your friends, when they would prefer you to do it before.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
I have been really impressed by defensive low damage monks, it is a side of the game you don't see much. Give it a go I say! You may find other party members are jealous of your defensive capabilities. That I have also seen, yep, jealousy of the monk. Arrgh, I am taking serious damage, walking into those hits, but the monk just sits there and can fight all day, damn that guy. Urgh, he healed himself again, what a turtling chump.

I often play the defensive, low Str high Dex monk. It works some of the time, but not others.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
Ok. So you're saying that what a monk is really good at is defense. That seems a little narrow of a focus to me, but ok, let's look at that hypothesis. Do you think a defensively build monk is better at defense then, say, a defensively build sword and board paladin?
A sword and board paladin is dependent on the board to defend. Their saves are good, yataa! They are also trading mobility and taking a penalty to dex based skills, for armour ac if they go heavy. Monk fills their defensive role, WHILE naked!

How does that help him? Flash the enemy and they will be shocked. Paladin smites enemy, they are now dead AND shocked. The point here is that while the monk may be mobile, necessitating the paladin to get a pair of magic boots if he wants to be, the paladin can hit back far more effectively. Sure, he is depending on the board, but the board does not have to be indestructible, it just has to last longer against the guy attacking it than that guy can last against the paladin.

Andoran

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Defenses are great, but the combat system in the game is geared towards offense. As the curve rises, only the most defensively minded characters can maintain an AC that even comes close to scaling effectively to the challenges, so few bother. Most enemies certainly don't. They gain things like DR and spell-like abilities instead.

Here's my challenge. Let's pick 10th level, the exact middle of the 20 level gaming experience. Over the course of this level, our party could easily run into: a bebilith; a clay golem; an adult white dragon; and an elder water elemental. They'll also bump into traps, so let's throw in 3 Energy Drain traps and a Chamber of Blades. Compare the performance of a vanilla monk against these challenges compared to a bard, a rogue, and a magus. Give them a supporting cast of Joe the Generic Fighter and Jorge the Average Cleric.

My prediction:
Monk will evade the traps easily, but will have little recourse to make them navigable by anyone else.
Rogue disables traps, no problem Joe and Jorge walk right through.
Bard expends a small amount of magical resource to circumvent traps Joe eats an Energy Drain.
Magus may have a rough time with traps, but if he notices them, he can spend a relatively small amount of his resources to bypass them, Joe eats an Energy Drain and Jorge burns a few spells to patch everyone up after the Chamber of Blades.

In combat, Monk is near useless against all threats except the dragon, being almost completely shut down by monster DR. Joe dies fighting dragon, Monk and Jorge don't have resources left to beat Elemental. Monk brings back party parts for Rez.

Rogue has reasonable performance, though the Golem and Elemental are a tough run. Fortunately, his performance with the traps leaves Joe and Jorge with full resources to deal with threats.

Bard buffs Jorge and Joe and all 3 slam away through most threats. Party finishes challenge with a few left over resources.

Magus enters battle with largest prior expenditure of resources. Superior damage capabilities let him chew through first couple challenges, but last fight with elemental is down to an attritionary war. Joe's negative levels tell the tale and party dies a watery death. Magus lives if he played the long game and kept a Vanish and Expeditious Retreat in reserve.

My best case prediction is that the monk has a chance of reaching the same results as the magus, but the magus probably at least dealt 3-4 times as much damage along the way.


I'm just saying, even if you really want super defensive fighters in your party for some reason (say, your party already has two witches and you want some good tanks so you can draw combats out long enough for the hexes to incapacitate all the hostiles), I'm still not sure monks are the best option for that. A paladin just seems better, and even a defensive fighter build is probably better at being a defensive wall, without completely sacrificing other options.

Andoran

Yosarian wrote:
I'm just saying, even if you really want super defensive fighters in your party for some reason (say, your party already has two witches and you want some good tanks so you can draw combats out long enough for the hexes to incapacitate all the hostiles), I'm still not sure monks are the best option for that. A paladin just seems better, and even a defensive fighter build is probably better at being a defensive wall, without completely sacrificing other options.

The Paladin and a defensively built fighter also have the ability to help directly improve the rest of the party's survivability, something the core monk cannot do.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
I'm just saying, even if you really want super defensive fighters in your party for some reason (say, your party already has two witches and you want some good tanks so you can draw combats out long enough for the hexes to incapacitate all the hostiles), I'm still not sure monks are the best option for that. A paladin just seems better, and even a defensive fighter build is probably better at being a defensive wall, without completely sacrificing other options.
The Paladin and a defensively built fighter also have the ability to help directly improve the rest of the party's survivability, something the core monk cannot do.

This both.

Survivability is nice, but frankly it doesn't help others survive. The game has a party dynamic, where the team fails or succeeds. Being self-reliant to me means that the class in question should pull it's own weight without drawing resources from the party and contributing to the party adequately such that the party's survival is enhanced along with the individual's.

So the question is, what does the monk bring to the party? And what do they bring that another class does not do better?

For all of me, I can't think of much - maybe run fast at very high level being slightly better than a hasted barbarian.


Sangalor, I see you're vehemently defending the monk's ability to contribute to the party. Admirable. But as I pointed out with your "running away with a fallen ally" was illegal, I'm getting the feeling your monk doesn't add up in some way or was the result of a high rolled stat block rather than a point buy.

If I am incorrect, please take the time to post your build with equipment and prove me wrong. I'm not looking for an optimized build, you yourself said you weren't optimized, I just want to see where you're comming from and to see what it is about your monk that seperates it from a lot of the problems others are having. If things don't add up, that explains a lot for me. If everything does, well, I'll have to give that some thought.


Sangalor wrote:
Ezekiel W wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Finally, you do not need to flurry to be relevant ...

You do not need to exceed the combat output of an animal companion to be relevant. I just expect more from a PC class.

I don't agree here, and I want to see an animal companion with javelins or shuriken :-P

Well, if assembling a party, I'd want to see an animal companion accompanied by its druid/ranger/cleric/inquisitor rather than a monk accompanied by its javelins and shuriken. Preferences vary...

I like monks. I just wish that mechanically they had more to offer a party.


Darth Grall wrote:
Sangalor wrote:
Well, outliving other party member is one potential consequence. It has happened to my groups a few times. Once my monk was able to pick up a dying character and just run away with him (yes, that increased speed can be really useful).

Um... How? Cause unless you were picking up a small, naked character or you have crazy STR, you should have been at a medium load at the least if they were at full gear. And as the rules state: at a medium load or higher you lose your speed. Cause I, having played monks a bunch of times, once thought the same thing but when you realize you can't even carry the fighter out of the fray at your super speed... It really sorta makes you wonder what the hell it's good for.

And for the record, a medium load at 16 STR(average among monks imo) is 77 lbs. Heavy is 154(most male humans at least without anything else)... Which means you reduce your base to 20 and your run is x3, so 60 feet a turn. Good luck getting away there.

Muleback cord would help with that.


Nicos wrote:
Muleback cord would help with that.

Very true, but it wasn't mentioned so I doubt it was used. Besides, even with a 24 STR a medium load would be 234 lbs, which is around where I would put a human fighter in full plate with a sheild, weapons, and gear.

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