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If Monks have trouble hitting...


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lord Pendragon wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
There is debate over whether the AoMF allows the monk to bypass DR as a magic weapon (I think any DM that does not allow this is a douche, myself, but that's by-the-by), but there is NO doubt that GMF does not bypass DR save DR/magic.
Wait, so there's a reasonable precedent that AoMF does bypass DR?

It's a grey area. Some say the AoMF provides the magic, so the 'weapon' is not enhanced. Some say the AoMF makes your unarmed strike enhanced, so it DOES count. I favour the latter, and most agree your DM would be a douche not to allow it.

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Quote:

It has two bearings:

#1 is that it makes the ability a lot less unique.
This is irrelevant to a discussion of balance, though. Now if you want to discuss flavor, sure. But balance does not depend on abilities being special snowflakes.

This is true, but flavour is important. Balance is also a factor in this, though, because unique abilities have more 'weight' in determining balance - if every class has the ability to smite evil, how much weight does it have for the paladin?

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Quote:
#2 is that they become a measure of how useful the ability actually is. If everyone is carrying a periapt against poison, you know immunity to poison is really useful. If no-one is, you know it isn't. If every fighter has spell-resistant armour as a must-have on their shopping list, you know it's valuable. If none do, you know it's not.
I'm not sure that an ability not being "must-have" equates to it being worthless.

I use the example of 'must have' but the principal is that depending on how valuable an ability is, the more likely it is a given character will take the item that confers it.

For example, a ring of feather falling is cheap, but how many people use one regularly? Very few, in my experience, because falling - while dangerous - rarely happens save in special circumstances. Hence how useful is slow fall? MY monk just hit 12th level and used it voluntarily twice (it was a little quicker than using a rope) and out of need just once.

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Quote:
#3 if the item is really cheap, then is the ability worth the resources expended rather than using the item? I'm looking at wholeness of body, worth as much as a cure potion and costing a lot of ki instead.

This I can agree with, and some of the criticisms up above have included cost. But others just simply say "meh, you can duplicate it with a magic item" and that item turns out to not be cheap, going back to #1.

...and yeah, I was re-reading the monk class before posting in this thread, and Wholeness of Body... :(

Yes, bad isn't it? As abilities go, it's a whole lot of nothing. If it could heal other conditions like ability damage, that would be worth something.

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Quote:
No, it's 2.5x the cost of a normal weapon, because it can be used by animals and monsters to enhance their multiple natural attacks. However that is only half the story.
You know, I feel like a big part of the monk's troubles isn't with the class as written, but with the AoMF. Simply disallowing its use on natural weapons and creating a separate item for companions/monsters so you can properly price/stat it for PCs seems like a simple fix.

Seems, but Paizo aren't going down that road. One reason this whole thing has blown up in recent months is the long list of "Here's a good item for monks...no it isn't!" events that have occurred that have offered a fix and then been snatched back as 'unbalancing' - like brass knuckles. Then there's the body-wraps in UE, which follow the pattern of being 'for monks' but actually benefit non-monks more.

What Paizo have said is that they do not want to 'fix' the monk's weaknesses with items. I agree that you can fix the monk without them, too, although I am not sure my ideas of how to fix the monk and Paizo's are the same.

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Quote:
problem is, it's not really the job of one party member to commit time and resources to another party member so that they can perform adequately
I disagree with this strongly. It's not necessary (or I believe designed) that each class be a one-man army. The wizard needs the fighter to keep stuff off him. The fighter needs the rogue to sneak past the sleeping guards and snag the key. The cleric needs the ranger to take out the snipers pelting her with arrows. A party depends on each other to shore up their respective weaknesses and amplify their respective strengths.

Exactly - everyone in the party needs to be able to perform at their chosen role. No-one is trying to be a one-man army, but they should be competent at what they do with buffs as gravy. If they cannot do their job without the buffs, rather than the buffs making things easier, then there is a problem.

This is the case we are talking here: If the cleric is having to save spells especially for the monk, then something is wrong. For example, it's one thing for the rogue to have invisibility cast on him for a hard scouting mission, it's another if he simply cannot be stealthy without it.

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Arguing that a monk is going to flounder outside of a party is meaningless because he's hardly ever going to be outside of a party. Sure, being self-sufficient is nice. Eventually the fighter might consider grabbing boots of flying to handle flying foes. But until then, he'll depend on the wizard to cast fly on him if needed, just as the monk will depend on the cleric to buff his to-hit versus high-AC foes.

Actually the problem is the reverse - monks do not necessarily flounder outside of parties because in many ways they are self-sufficient, at least defensively. The problem is what do they contribute to the party?

Fighting ability? Fighters, rangers, barbarians, paladins all do it better.
Scouting ability? Rangers and rogues do it better.
Mystic abilities? The list of classes better at this includes every caster, even the 1/3 casters.

About all that the monk can do better than any other class is run away. They have no speciality, no place to shine.


Lord Pendragon wrote:
Wait, so there's a reasonable precedent that AoMF does bypass DR?

No, there is not a precedent that it passes DR, however but it's generally considered a jerk move by dms to not allow it. That said, for PFS play it's pretty clear. The difference between RAW and RAI are startling.

Quote:
This is irrelevant to a discussion of balance, though. Now if you want to discuss flavor, sure. But balance does not depend on abilities being special snowflakes.

Yes and no, because when the 2H fighter can get most of my class features for the same it costs for me to get my only unarmed enhancement option, THAT is poorly balanced. As you touched on in your response to #3, you see that.

Quote:
I'm not sure that an ability not being "must-have" equates to it being worthless.

This however I agree with. But the problem I have with said abilities(disease immunity for example) is that they diminish the value of their other abilities. If I have a really high fort save, a benefit of the the save anyways, but being actually immune diminshes the value monks other abilitis. Why do I care about being immune to disease? Chances were I was going to make the save so being immune measn I don't actually need the high fort. It's wasted. Same with SR, same with improved evasion, etc. The abilities are all good, but they have so many defensive abilites that they sorta make each other less valueable.

Quote:
You know, I feel like a big part of the monk's troubles isn't with the class as written, but with the AoMF. Simply disallowing its use on natural weapons and creating a separate item for companions/monsters so you can properly price/stat it for PCs seems like a simple fix....

Agreed, it would fix things a great deal. But the dev's have said they don't wanna make AoMF "obsolete" for some reason, even when it's just a relic from 3rd edition. So that means no AoMF rewrites or "new" AoMF-like items to fix the monk. Hence why we've come up with so many self-enhancement homebrew rules.


To answer the OP:

Ways for medium-BAB classes to hit:
- Flanking
- Cracked Pale Green Ioun Stone
- Menacing Weapon (i.e. Cestus or Armor Spikes, 8k, this should be a group purchase)
- Applying status effects, i.e. tanglefoot bags, trip, whatever.
- Buffs from allies (GMW, Haste, Heroism, Inspire Courage, et cetera)
- Aid Another (not proffered, but it's there).

Alchemist-Specific
- Personal Buffs, targeting Touch AC.

Bard-Specific
- Inspire Courage
- Party-wide Buffs.

Inquisitor-Specific
- Judgement
- Bane

Magus-Specific
- Arcane Pool, particularly for the free weapon-enhancements.

Monk-Specific
- Flurry (It's effectively +1+(Level-1)/4 to you to-hit)
- Maneuvers have full BAB, as above.
- Actually use weapons for the beginning of their career. In particular, the Quarterstaff is awesome. And remember, Oils of Shillelagh are 50gp, and a better alternative to Magic Weapon. Remember to THF your AoO's.

Full casting classes, of course, are fine via there full casting. I actually can't think of anything special for the Rogue, but I've never been good at making them.

Flurry of Blows / using Maneuvers actually keeps up with most other 3/4 BAB classes. It doesn't add much in the way of damage, but extra attacks make up for it. The system of extra attacks multiplies the effects of decreasing and increasing damage. This makes DR more of a hindrance, but makes buffs more of a blessing.

Meanwhile, most other 3/4 BAB classes have means of adding damage rather than extra attacks, making them much more straightforward.


Dabbler said wrote:
It's one thing when every fighting class needs align weapon cast on them, another when only one does.

Just a minor note for Dabbler and Lord Pendragon: align weapon does not work for unarmed strikes.

align weapon:
Align weapon makes a weapon chaotic, evil, good, or lawful, as you choose. A weapon that is aligned can bypass the damage reduction of certain creatures. This spell has no effect on a weapon that already has an alignment.

You can't cast this spell on a natural weapon, such as an unarmed strike. When you make a weapon chaotic, evil, good, or lawful, align weapon is a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful spell, respectively.


@Ezekiel: Monks are special. They count their Unarmed Strikes as manufactured equipment when it's convenient for them.


Neo2151 wrote:

The logic here is that the AoMF doesn't bypass DR types for the same reason that the spell required to craft one (Greater Magic Fang) doesn't bypass DR types.

Your unarmed attacks are never what's magical. It's the amulet that's magical, and granting you it's bonus.

I understand the line of reasoning. The argument has no merit because:

1) Crafting pre-requisites do not dictate the function of the magic item they are used to craft - a lens of detection does not provide the benefit of True Seeing for example. Except for cases where the item description explicitly references that it mimics a particular spell.

2) The Amulet of Mighty fists makes no such reference. If it did, the description would state something like "...enhances unarmed strikes and natural attacks like Greater Magic Fang".

Neo2151 wrote:
Your unarmed attacks are never what's magical. It's the amulet that's magical, and granting you it's bonus.

The amulet MAKES your unarmed strikes magical.


Shadowdweller wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

The logic here is that the AoMF doesn't bypass DR types for the same reason that the spell required to craft one (Greater Magic Fang) doesn't bypass DR types.

Your unarmed attacks are never what's magical. It's the amulet that's magical, and granting you it's bonus.

I understand the line of reasoning. The argument has no merit because:

1) Crafting pre-requisites do not dictate the function of the magic item they are used to craft - a lens of detection does not provide the benefit of True Seeing for example. Except for cases where the item description explicitly references that it mimics a particular spell.

2) The Amulet of Mighty fists makes no such reference. If it did, the description would state something like "...enhances unarmed strikes and natural attacks like Greater Magic Fang".

Neo2151 wrote:
Your unarmed attacks are never what's magical. It's the amulet that's magical, and granting you it's bonus.
The amulet MAKES your unarmed strikes magical.

It is also NOT A WEAPON. It is a wondrous item. Only weapons provide for bypassing DR based on enhancement bonus. Sorry, but the AoMF does not do so.

MA


master arminas wrote:
The AoMF is not a weapon, it is a wondrous item. Now, I wish this were not the case, but by a strict reading of the rules, it is. The amulet is not a weapon, even though it bestows an enhancement bonus on natural weapons and unarmed strikes, and therefore it does not bypass DR based on enhancement bonus, anymore than a weapon enchanted by greater magic fang or greater magic weapon.

The amulet is not being used to attack things. The characters' unarmed strikes and natural weapons are. Unarmed strikes and natural attacks are weapons. When a character using them is also wearing an Amulet of Mighty Fists, these weapons have enhancement bonuses. Therefore they bypass Damage Reduction.


Shadowdweller wrote:
master arminas wrote:
The AoMF is not a weapon, it is a wondrous item. Now, I wish this were not the case, but by a strict reading of the rules, it is. The amulet is not a weapon, even though it bestows an enhancement bonus on natural weapons and unarmed strikes, and therefore it does not bypass DR based on enhancement bonus, anymore than a weapon enchanted by greater magic fang or greater magic weapon.
The amulet is not being used to attack things. The characters' unarmed strikes and natural weapons are. Unarmed strikes and natural attacks are weapons. When a character using them is also wearing an Amulet of Mighty Fists, these weapons have enhancement bonuses. Therefore they bypass Damage Reduction.

The weapon (unarmed strike) itself does not have that bonus. Unarmed strikes are not enhanced like an actual magic weapon. The amulet (to use the language in the CRB) grants an enhancement bonus . . . just a spell grants it. It does magic unarmed strikes magical weapons in and of themselves. Sorry, dude, but James Jacobs answered this question ages ago. Go look in the Ask James Jacobs thread and you will find it.

MA


master arminas wrote:
The weapon (unarmed strike) itself does not have that bonus. Unarmed strikes are not enhanced like an actual magic weapon. The amulet (to use the language in the CRB) grants an enhancement bonus . . . just a spell grants it.

You seem to be ignorant of what the word "grants" means.

Quote:

2

: to bestow or transfer formally <grant a scholarship to a student>; specifically : to give the possession or title of by a deed

Meaning that the unarmed strikes thereafter HAVE the enhancement bonus. And once again, the item does NOT reference the function of Greater Magic Weapon nor Fang.

master arminas wrote:

It does magic unarmed strikes magical weapons in and of themselves. Sorry, dude, but James Jacobs answered this question ages ago. Go look in the Ask James Jacobs thread and you will find it.

MA

Sorry, dude, but I'll believe you're not talking out of your backside, nor misremembering, nor failing to understand yet further passages in English when I see proof of it.


Dabbler wrote:
most agree your DM would be a douche not to allow it.

Thanks for the clarification. When I bring up possible rules quibbles to my dm, I like to be on solid ground. He assumes it (I'm a benign rules-lawyer :P) and I don't like to abuse that assumption. That said, he's hardly a douche, and the more I think about it, the more I am guessing it won't even occur to him that DR bypassing wouldn't apply to a monk with an AoMF.

Quote:
This is true, but flavour is important. Balance is also a factor in this, though, because unique abilities have more 'weight' in determining balance - if every class has the ability to smite evil, how much weight does it have for the paladin?

I think I have to concede this point in general, though I'm not sure I am prepared to do so with as many of the monk's abilities as some posters believe fall into this category. :p

Quote:
a ring of feather falling is cheap, but how many people use one regularly? Very few, in my experience, because falling - while dangerous - rarely happens save in special circumstances. Hence how useful is slow fall? MY monk just hit 12th level and used it voluntarily twice (it was a little quicker than using a rope) and out of need just once.

It's funny you should use the Ring of featherfalling as your example, as it illustrates my point about some of these abilities being so campaign dependent. In the new campaign our group is just starting, every PC (except possibly the monk) has the ring as one of their top priorities, due to the fact that the game will be based around an airship. :p

That said, I do think that abilities which require very specific campaigns to be useful must be considered of much lower value based on that. So yeah, Slow Fall, while possibly very useful in some games, can't exactly be considered a cornerstone of the monk's kit.

Quote:
What Paizo have said is that they do not want to 'fix' the monk's weaknesses with items.

How bizarre. From my new-to-Pathfinder perspective it's so...backwards. The problem seems obviously with the item. Sure, some gamers might feel the monk needs a few additional tweaks, but one item errata would make things so much closer to balanced for the majority... I would love a dev to explain the reasoning behind the desire to want to rewrite the class rather than errata one item...

Quote:

The problem is what do they contribute to the party?

Fighting ability? Fighters, rangers, barbarians, paladins all do it better.
Scouting ability? Rangers and rogues do it better.
Mystic abilities? The list of classes better at this includes every caster, even the 1/3 casters.

About all that the monk can do better than any other class is run away. They have no speciality, no place to shine.

I'd say the monk can do all three reasonably well, even if they aren't the best. They're the fifth guy on the line with the fighter, ranger, barbarian, and paladin. They're the third guy scouting with the ranger and rogue. They're throwing out mystical juju with your casters. Indeed, they feel like an excellent fifth party member. Obviously, some folks would rather be Michael Jordan than Scottie Pippin, but Pippin will be in the Hall of Fame too. ^.~

I guess this leads to a philosophical question. Does the monk need to be the best at something to be viable? If so, wouldn't the bard be in similar straights?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SoulGambit0 wrote:
Flurry of Blows / using Maneuvers actually keeps up with most other 3/4 BAB classes. It doesn't add much in the way of damage, but extra attacks make up for it. The system of extra attacks multiplies the effects of decreasing and increasing damage. This makes DR more of a hindrance, but makes buffs more of a blessing.

Except that they don't. In both cases the monk is still points behind thanks to MAD and the enhancement cost discrepancy, so they are not in fact keeping up. Many maneuvers being performed with weapons means that this effects them also - and in any event, maneuvers tend to fall off in usefulness above 10th level.

SoulGambit0 wrote:
Meanwhile, most other 3/4 BAB classes have means of adding damage rather than extra attacks, making them much more straightforward.

This statement is inaccurate. The magus' arcane points can add to his weapons attack and damage. The bard's inspire courage add to chances to hit and damage. The same is true of the majority of buffs, they increase both attacks and damage.

Lord Pendragon wrote:

I'd say the monk can do all three reasonably well, even if they aren't the best. They're the fifth guy on the line with the fighter, ranger, barbarian, and paladin. They're the third guy scouting with the ranger and rogue. They're throwing out mystical juju with your casters. Indeed, they feel like an excellent fifth party member. Obviously, some folks would rather be Michael Jordan than Scottie Pippin, but Pippin will be in the Hall of Fame too. ^.~

I guess this leads to a philosophical question. Does the monk need to be the best at something to be viable? If so, wouldn't the bard be in similar straights?

Best? All classes have a 'thing' that they do. Something that makes them unique; though not necessarily the best at something - like a magus is not the best fighter or caster, but blends the two very well. It would be nice if they could be the best at unarmed combat (they aren't, a dedicated fighter or barbarian can beat the socks off them), and if they could meet the combat baseline then their defences would be their 'thing' combined with their blend of other abilities.

As for the rest, I will point out that in all three categories - combat, special abilities and skills - the ranger beats the monk hands down; and the bard while not better in combat can hold his own and is way better in the other two categories. So if you want a generalist 5th party member, the ranger or bard are better choices.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darth Grall wrote:
But the problem I have with said abilities(disease immunity for example) is that they diminish the value of their other abilities. If I have a really high fort save, a benefit of the the save anyways, but being actually immune diminshes the value monks other abilitis. Why do I care about being immune to disease? Chances were I was going to make the save so being immune measn I don't actually need the high fort. It's wasted. Same with SR, same with improved evasion, etc. The abilities are all good, but they have so many defensive abilites that they sorta make each other less valueable.

I hadn't considered the synergy (or lack thereof) between the monk's defensive abilities. You're right, you have to devalue those that overlap each other. Not that they are entirely worthless but yeah, becoming immune to something you already had a strong defense against can't be given full weight for the sake of balancing.

Btw, just wanted to thank you, Dabbler, and others for taking the time to respond to my questions, most of which I'm sure you guys have heard many times before. 3.5 rules lawyer trying to build up my Pathfinder mastery. :) This thread has been extremely informative, especially since we have a monk in our new game.


Ezekiel W wrote:
Dabbler said wrote:
It's one thing when every fighting class needs align weapon cast on them, another when only one does.

Just a minor note for Dabbler and Lord Pendragon: align weapon does not work for unarmed strikes.

** spoiler omitted **

Oh jeez. What's the sense of that?

Hrm. Doesn't a monk's unarmed strike sometimes count as manufactured, though? Maybe that would allow...


Dabbler wrote:
Except that they don't. In both cases the monk is still points behind thanks to MAD and the enhancement cost discrepancy, so they are not in fact keeping up. Many maneuvers being performed with weapons means that this effects them also - and in any event, maneuvers tend to fall off in usefulness above 10th level.

MAD gives them -1 To-hit and -1 Damage. As for enhancement, either use double weapons or get GMW cast on you. It's that simple. Maneuvers actually hit their slump around level 5-8, then pick up again at level 9 or 10.

Dabbler wrote:
SoulGambit0 wrote:
Meanwhile, most other 3/4 BAB classes have means of adding damage rather than extra attacks, making them much more straightforward.
This statement is inaccurate. The magus' arcane points can add to his weapons attack and damage. The bard's inspire courage add to chances to hit and damage. The same is true of the majority of buffs, they increase both attacks and damage.

Er... isn't that what I said? Other classes gain +to-hit and +damage, making them easier?


Shadowdweller wrote:
master arminas wrote:
The weapon (unarmed strike) itself does not have that bonus. Unarmed strikes are not enhanced like an actual magic weapon. The amulet (to use the language in the CRB) grants an enhancement bonus . . . just a spell grants it.

You seem to be ignorant of what the word "grants" means.

Quote:

2

: to bestow or transfer formally <grant a scholarship to a student>; specifically : to give the possession or title of by a deed

Meaning that the unarmed strikes thereafter HAVE the enhancement bonus. And once again, the item does NOT reference the function of Greater Magic Weapon nor Fang.

master arminas wrote:

It does magic unarmed strikes magical weapons in and of themselves. Sorry, dude, but James Jacobs answered this question ages ago. Go look in the Ask James Jacobs thread and you will find it.

MA

Sorry, dude, but I'll believe you're not talking out of your backside, nor misremembering, nor failing to understand yet further passages in English when I see proof of it.

Does AoMF bypass DR

Showing here.

James Jacobs wrote:
master arminas wrote:

Mr. Jacobs,

Does an Amulet of Mighty Fists that provides an enhancement bonus (not special weapon properties) bypass damage reduction or not? Magic weapons of specific enhancement bonus ignore certain types of DR based upon their enchantment (i.e., +3 weapons ignore DR based on cold iron or silver, +4 weapons bypass adamantine (but do not get to ignore hardness of less than 20), and +5 weapons cut right through alignment-based DR).

So, does an AoMF function like a magic weapon, or is it more limited, ala the Greater Magic Fang and Greater Magic Weapon spells?

Thank you,

Master Arminas

I hate the rule that enhancement bonuses eventually bypass DR. Hate it.

So I'm gonna say that the amulet of mighty fists does NOT help you. Monks have other ways of getting through DR in any case.

And I would kindly thank you to lay off the ad hominem attacks you have made against me.

That is the ONLY official statement I have been able to find made by one of the Paizo staff on the subject; until it is refuted, then the AoMF does not bypass DR.

MA


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lord Pendragon wrote:
I hadn't considered the synergy (or lack thereof) between the monk's defensive abilities. You're right, you have to devalue those that overlap each other. Not that they are entirely worthless but yeah, becoming immune to something you already had a strong defense against can't be given full weight for the sake of balancing.

There are those that would argue that incremental abilities carry more weight, not less - that Still Mind is more useful, for example, because the monk has a high Will save, but I don't buy it myself.

Lord Pendragon wrote:
Btw, just wanted to thank you, Dabbler, and others for taking the time to respond to my questions, most of which I'm sure you guys have heard many times before. 3.5 rules lawyer trying to build up my Pathfinder mastery. :) This thread has been extremely informative, especially since we have a monk in our new game.

You are welcome. A lot of people look at the monk and are bowled over by a mass of special abilities. Then they play the monk and find that the abilities don't work together, and the monk becomes ineffective in many circumstances. The Pathfinder monk IS an improvement on the 3.5 monk, but the fundamental issues were never addressed.


master arminas wrote:
<Stuff about AoMF>

MA, is what James Jacobs said in any way represented in the FAQ, or part of Society play?

If not, he can say whatever he wants. It's not part of the rules. It's only his personal opinion.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got to agree, and it's a silly reason anyway.


I don't play Society, so I have no idea how it is handled there. James Jacobs is a senior member of the Paizo staff and he answers questions all the time: suddenly now that isn't good enough?

Other than JJ, NO ONE HAS EVER ANSWERED THIS QUESTION. Perhaps we should start a new thread and FAQ it to the heavens. Again.

MA

EDIT: Here is the thread.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Or maybe just wait and see what they want to do to fix the monk? If they apply an ability that gets the monk past DR effectively on their own, the question is moot.


master arminas wrote:

I don't play Society, so I have no idea how it is handled there. James Jacobs is a senior member of the Paizo staff and he answers questions all the time: suddenly now that isn't good enough?

Other than JJ, NO ONE HAS EVER ANSWERED THIS QUESTION. Perhaps we should start a new thread and FAQ it to the heavens. Again.

MA

I know it's to late, but no, we don't need a new thread. For feck's sake, enough of them already!

I don't care if no one else answered that question. It's not an official ruling. Until it is, it's the GM's decision. And if I might add: That is totally fine.

Marathon Voter 2013

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

You guys use CR equivalent monster's average AC for all the calculations, right?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
You guys use CR equivalent monster's average AC for all the calculations, right?

Yes, and above and below CR, and of specific creatures as examples.

Marathon Voter 2013

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

Hmm.


On monks having trouble hitting, I've heard of the flurry of misses meme, but I haven't seen it happen that much. Ran a lot of games with a lot of monks. We would look forward to it you know, so we can say, yeah we get to use gaming memes! Even on high acs, its likely one of a flurry will hit at least. Lower to average acs, you can get them all, and that is plenty of hits.

Lately I've seen more archer fighters miss all their shots in a round actually. The dice can be cruel.

Oh yeah, and I ran a fighter/barb in early pathfinder (runelords), and sometimes even he would miss all his attacks. Damn high ac opponents. This isn't a meme though that people use to say fighter/barbs are awful.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, Loyalist, all I can say is I have seen it first hand - and with optimised monks too.


I have seen it happen as well, very rarely. Everyone misses attacks. Against high natural ac, a rogue can move into position and easily waste their sneak. One round wasted there, darn, I don't have the melee bonus of other classes.


Barb rolls a 2 and 3, misses. Fighter rolls a 4 and 2, juuuuust hits with the first. Whew, hard round.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Monk rolls 15 and 18, damn, missed them both.

My point being, the lower your bonus to hit the more likely you are to manage a stack of misses. The monk is demonstrated many times to on average have a lower chance to hit.


I haven't seen many misses on an 18, or the first attack being a 15. If we are talking a mid range monk on say +10, a 15 becomes 25, which is straight through full plate, shield, dex and some defensive feats.

Sometimes a dm has to consider if an ac is too damn high for a party to deal with.

Love the high ac opponents, in moderation. Don't want to use them all the time, because a miss is usually a little less fun.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Barb rolls a 2 and 3, misses. Fighter rolls a 4 and 2, juuuuust hits with the first. Whew, hard round.

Wow, so your counter for "flurry of misses" is, "Oh man, sometimes a Fighter or Barb get really bad rolls when they only need a 4 or higher to hit"?


Not exactly what I am saying. The monk can hit, and others can miss. Flurry of misses is rare in games I have played in and run with monks. Others also can waste rounds missing.

For most levels I run at, 25 ac is serious ac. Not all pathfinder monsters have a 30 or 35.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Not exactly what I am saying. The monk can hit, and others can miss. Flurry of misses is rare in games I have played in and run with monks. Others also can waste rounds missing.

For most levels I run at, 25 ac is serious ac. Not all pathfinder monsters have a 30 or 35.

It is easy to clear up expectations. Look at the guidelines in the bestiary.

Or even just the bestiary monsters at equal CR.


Flurry of Misses is appropriate imo, cause back in 3.5 you had 3 hits at 11 at your highest BAB... But you were still 3/4s, still MAD, and a +5 AoMF cost 150K back then.

In Pathfinder I find it's worse because now flurry works like TWF, you get so many attacks at a completely negligible to hit. Sure being full BAB helps but only for the first 2 attacks, maybe 4 depending on the target AC. Enhancment is still hard to come by and the monk now has more attacks... to miss with.

And don't give me the nat 20 thing, cause 1's are just as prevelant; except with those most Dms do something nasty. I mean heck, they have a crit fail deck on the paizo store :/


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I don't understand all of this monks are bad stuff one of my player's makes a ton of frontline fighting monk tanks that are just unhitable. He is not the most rules savvy player either so how can everyone else in the pathfinder community be so bad at making a fighting monk. Flurry of Blows is full Bab AoMF I can't see anything wrong with the price. When he's plowing things over with his monks I can't understand how no one here can figure out how to make an awesome monk.


8 Red Wizards wrote:
I don't understand all of this monks are bad stuff one of my player's makes a ton of frontline fighting monk tanks that are just unhitable. He is not the most rules savvy player either so how can everyone else in the pathfinder community be so bad at making a fighting monk. Flurry of Blows is full Bab AoMF I can't see anything wrong with the price. When he's plowing things over with his monks I can't understand how no one here can figure out how to make an awesome monk.

What point buy do you use? Or do you roll stats? We are talking about monks with 15 or 20 PB where the game is balanced.

I seriously doubt if you have a 15 or 20 pb your friend will be an unhittable tank and plowing through everything.


Gignere wrote:

What point buy do you use? Or do you roll stats? We are talking about monks with 15 or 20 PB where the game is balanced.

I seriously doubt if you have a 15 or 20 pb your friend will be an unhittable tank and plowing through everything.

Probably rolled stats, the monk benefits greatly from higher stats, since then he doesn't care about MAD so much.

Also it's signifigantly easier to be a good defensive monk then a good offensive one that can live long enough to get AoMF. With the crane feats, high dex & wis, you can make a seriously tanky monk... But the problem comes in with damage and to hit. It's really easy for the monk for be ignored in combat cause he isn't hitting anything and in the rare instance he does hit he doesn't do a lot.


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8 Red Wizards wrote:
I don't understand all of this monks are bad stuff one of my player's makes a ton of frontline fighting monk tanks that are just unhitable. He is not the most rules savvy player either so how can everyone else in the pathfinder community be so bad at making a fighting monk. Flurry of Blows is full Bab AoMF I can't see anything wrong with the price. When he's plowing things over with his monks I can't understand how no one here can figure out how to make an awesome monk.

In 15 and 20 PB Adventure Paths/Homebrews I have to STRUGGLE as a DM to give monks something to do. Often I find myself fudging DR just so the monk can feel useful. Monsters/Enemies that have faced the PC's before should know that the monk is no real threat and simply bypass him to attack the more useful members of the party, but they don't because it would expose how useless the monk is.

There is nothing worse than cautioning a player about a Monk, but they are so excited to make an awesome Kung-Fu master only to watch as the Monk rushes up to pitifully lightly slap at bad guys, either with a flurry of misses or failing to penetrate DR to any great degree. I see flurry of misses in almost every game I DM with a monk and make it policy to caution players of Monks about the weaknesses of the class. I really hate having them in the party because it means I have to push the challenge so low for them to be able to feel awesome it is a literal cakewalk for the rest of the party.

The real problem is that it has no niche. Anything it does can often be done with another class, easier, with less MAD or with cheap magical items. It's a Frankenstein of conflicting ideas and rules that often devalue one another in practice.


Hoplophobia wrote:


There is nothing worse than cautioning a player about a Monk, but they are so excited to make an awesome Kung-Fu master only to watch as the Monk rushes up to pitifully lightly slap at bad guys, either with a flurry of misses or failing to penetrate DR to any great degree. I see flurry of misses in almost every game I DM with a monk and make it policy to caution players of Monks about the weaknesses of the class. I really hate having them in the party because it means I have to push the challenge so low for them to be able to feel awesome it is a literal cakewalk for the rest of the party.

The real problem is that it has no niche. Anything it does can often be done with another class, easier, with less MAD or with cheap magical items. It's a Frankenstein of conflicting ideas and rules that often devalue one another in practice.

You could include a few mooks with low AC, but tons of Hps.

Like in 3.5 MM 4 there was the undead creature Blood Hulk (they get Max hp per hit die) but low (- Dex mods, not that high NA).
They are what a monk wants, multiple low AC hiting attacks are just fine.

They have good hitting hit bonus so they are level appropriate, but have obscene hps.


Darth Grall wrote:
Gignere wrote:

What point buy do you use? Or do you roll stats? We are talking about monks with 15 or 20 PB where the game is balanced.

I seriously doubt if you have a 15 or 20 pb your friend will be an unhittable tank and plowing through everything.

Probably rolled stats, the monk benefits greatly from higher stats, since then he doesn't care about MAD so much.

Also it's signifigantly easier to be a good defensive monk then a good offensive one that can live long enough to get AoMF. With the crane feats, high dex & wis, you can make a seriously tanky monk... But the problem comes in with damage and to hit. It's really easy for the monk for be ignored in combat cause he isn't hitting anything and in the rare instance he does hit he doesn't do a lot.

Either that or archetypes. Monk archetypes are not problem free but some of them work, which cannot be said of the core monk.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Not exactly what I am saying. The monk can hit, and others can miss. Flurry of misses is rare in games I have played in and run with monks. Others also can waste rounds missing.

For most levels I run at, 25 ac is serious ac. Not all pathfinder monsters have a 30 or 35.

If one guy has his highest attack modifier hit 50% of the time and the other hits 30% of the time you will see far more misses off the second than the first, in my experience. Hell, I can even crunch the math and prove it mathematically.

8 Red Wizards wrote:
I don't understand all of this monks are bad stuff one of my player's makes a ton of frontline fighting monk tanks that are just unhitable. He is not the most rules savvy player either so how can everyone else in the pathfinder community be so bad at making a fighting monk. Flurry of Blows is full Bab AoMF I can't see anything wrong with the price. When he's plowing things over with his monks I can't understand how no one here can figure out how to make an awesome monk.

I would dearly love to see the builds for these characters, then, because some of us ARE optimizing experts and we can't make a monk that can do this. You can make a monk with a super-AC and great defences, you can even have them hit reasonably well, but their damage output is pitiful. Or you can have a monk that has a fantastic damage output, but who gets killed if you sneeze on them because they have very little AC.

True, if you roll for stats and get three 18's, you can make a pretty good monk out of that, but that's the exception, not the rule.


Given monk abilities are mostly defensive, shouldn't you chill out about their damage output? They are far easier to make as defensive characters, as weak as some find that to be, it is a really strong build to get enemies to waste attacks, spells and movement chasing you. Despite their defensive leanings, they can be offensive, some of the new archetypes take them this way, some of the older variants and feats took them in this direction (yes I am talking about 3.5, which so many purists avoid to answer the problems of the monk). Editing their to hit or damage with a dm by removing other unwanted abilities or bonuses in trade is no big thing. If they like the idea of vicious unarmed warriors they will probably get behind it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Given monk abilities are mostly defensive, shouldn't you chill out about their damage output? They are far easier to make as defensive characters, as weak as some find that to be, it is a really strong build to get enemies to waste attacks, spells and movement chasing you.

And how do you "get" enemies to waste attacks on you? It's actually quite hard to do, and there is no mechanic for it. In my experience enemies concentrate on the foes that can hurt them, and it doesn't take long to find out that this is not the monk.

Damage output, though, is not the actual issue here. I have no problem with damage being low, it's the inability to hit that bothers me and the inability to get through DR that shuts me down.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Despite their defensive leanings, they can be offensive, some of the new archetypes take them this way, some of the older variants and feats took them in this direction (yes I am talking about 3.5, which so many purists avoid to answer the problems of the monk). Editing their to hit or damage with a dm by removing other unwanted abilities or bonuses in trade is no big thing. If they like the idea of vicious unarmed warriors they will probably get behind it.

Yes, some archetypes of the monk are effective, no argument. But it's the core monk we are interested in, and it's the fact that any monk has problems hitting with unarmed strike. Houserules are nice but do not change things like PFS, and if you move to a new group how do you get your new DM to accept these changes?

That's why we would like an official errata for the monk that fixes the problem.


You keep repeating yourself.

"it's the inability to hit that bothers me".

Inability to hit? What? Ever? I've never seen or heard of a game where the monk could not hit something. You are getting into exaggeration here.

"the inability to get through DR that shuts me down."

As for DR, its presence and importance will depend on whether the monsters have it and how heavy and frequent it is. Not all campaigns will have it in abundance, and if it is there, I haven't seen monks have a great problem getting through it.

Example, friday, party fought a glass golem, p. 138 bestiary 2. It has some decent DR of 5/adamantine. The monk could do more than five damage with a hit and took it apart. Its ac is 21, which isn't hard for a monk to get over. The monk hit it and damaged the DR creature. The golem's defences only slowed the monk down a little.

If the DR is troubling you, if you feel you need adamantine, +1, +2 or whatever. Get the appropriate enchantment for a weapon of your monk proficiencies. Get stuck in with that adamantine spear or +2 flaming nunchaku.

They can hit, their bab isn't so bad, DR can be dealt with.


So you're saying a Monk can get through the DR of glass? Huzzah?


Monk wants to play unarmed. Doing so is a very expensive tactic (thank you AoMF/Bracers of Armor).
So how exactly can your Monk afford a back-up enchanted Silver weapon, AND a backup enchanted Cold Iron weapon? And it's important to remember that these expenses aren't part of your optimization: They're strictly "just-in-case" weapons." Also worth noting that if you don't want to waste half your attacks on your near-useless UaS against that DR during a Flurry, you technically need TWO of each backup weapon.
Considering the only weapon worth a damn on the Monk's proficiency list is a Temple Sword, let's assume you're using this. But hang on! Since FoB is treated as TWF in all regards, apparently, then does your penalty to attack increase for using this One-Handed Weapon in your offhand? We don't know yet! So it's probably a safer bet to use one of your other Monk weapons (ie: Congrats, you'll be doing the equivalent of 1d6/20/x2 or worse. And if you want better? You have to blow a prof feat and give up FoB for a 2h weapon. Yay Monk weapons!)
So now your Amulet slot is wasted. You probably took Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike to help you hit, and that's wasted. Your money is stretched so thin on backup weapons that you can't afford you're already-more-expensive-than-everyone-else gear... Yes, this definitely ends well for the poor Monk.

A +3 Holy Adamantine weapon is basically all you'll ever need in regards to overcoming DR (technically +5 is a little cheaper and covers a few more bases, but Holy is more fun). Anyone that primarily wields a manufactured weapon is set with such a weapon. Anyone that relies heavily on Unarmed Strikes and/or Natural Attacks has a much harder time. And the Monk has the hardest time of all, because you sacrifice your increased damage to use any of the "gauntlet" options.


3.5 Loyalist, can we get the build and stats for the monk in your campaign? That might help us all start talking on the same level.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

You keep repeating yourself.

"it's the inability to hit that bothers me".

Inability to hit? What? Ever? I've never seen or heard of a game where the monk could not hit something. You are getting into exaggeration here.

"the inability to get through DR that shuts me down."

As for DR, its presence and importance will depend on whether the monsters have it and how heavy and frequent it is. Not all campaigns will have it in abundance, and if it is there, I haven't seen monks have a great problem getting through it.

You are right, I do keep repeating myself. I also keep repeating the same explanations, so why do you just not see them?

Inability to hit:
* MAD reduces hitting stats on average by +1 to +2 compared to other combat classes.
* Enhancement from the AoMF lags behind by another +1 to +2
* Locked into TWF leaves BAB +2 behind, or you can attack at 3/4 BAB

Even discounting the last factor the monk is across most levels +2 to +4 behind other combat classes on total bonus to hit.

Inability to bypass DR:
* Unarmed strike cannot be made of special materials (except using some new magic items that also cost the Earth).
* Enhancement which can bypass DR lags behind other martial classes.
* Damage output is not good unless the monk is willing to nerf their own defences.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Example, friday, party fought a glass golem, p. 138 bestiary 2. It has some decent DR of 5/adamantine. The monk could do more than five damage with a hit and took it apart. Its ac is 21, which isn't hard for a monk to get over. The monk hit it and damaged the DR creature. The golem's defences only slowed the monk down a little.

So you faced a monk against a low-AC, low-DR target. Gosh. Here's an example from three weeks back: 10th level monk and the rest of the party fighting a devil. It has a natural weapon, can fly, has high AC (around high 20's), high CMD (at least 35+), and DR10/good & cold iron.

For the record, my monk was carrying cold iron and silver weapons.

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
If the DR is troubling you, if you feel you need adamantine, +1, +2 or whatever. Get the appropriate enchantment for a weapon of your monk proficiencies. Get stuck in with that adamantine spear or +2 flaming nunchaku.

Well for one thing, if I wanted to play a weapon wielding combat class, I wouldn't have picked a monk in the first place. For another, how do you afford this AND the AoMF you need to improve your unarmed strikes? And have you seen monk weapons? Most of them are bad with 1d6 damage and 20/x2 threat range.

For a third point, the other combat classes all get boosts - situational though they may be on occasion - to either bypass or overcome DR through bonus damage. The monk is, again, an exception to this.

T

3.5 Loyalist wrote:
They can hit, their bab isn't so bad, DR can be dealt with.

They are well down on attack bonus compared to any full BAB class with WBL, their damage output is to erratic to reliably overwhelm DR and buying extra weapons is prohibitively expensive if you are also shelling out for the AoMF.

@Neo - +3 holy admantine is good, but +5 is slightly cheaper and gets through the same DRs while hitting more frequently.

@Ebon - I agree. I have the stats for Feriah here somewhere if you want them.


Dabbler wrote:
@Ebon - I agree. I have the stats for Feriah here somewhere if you want them.

I think i've seen oen or two builds from you. Both of them dex builds, if I'm remembering correctly.

I tend to agree with your opinions regarding this discussion.

I'm more interested in seeing the build(s) that 3.5 Loyalist is talking about who so effortlessly sidesteps the issues that you and I belive exist with the class. I think if we could see the build(s), we could begin talking objectively about the issues.

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