|Ross Byers Assistant Software Developer|
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.
But a Magus is a Combat Caster that mixes spells with swords.
But all of this is from a 3/4 BAB class with nothing special to help them actually land a melee hit. Aside from the standard +4 Buff spells (congrats, you've offset your Spell Combat penalty - you're back to an un-buffed 3/4 BAB) and late-access to Greater Weapon Focus, it seems like it would be hard as hell to keep up with other classes.
You can just cast and attack when you're out of spells, but then why aren't you playing a full caster?
Or am I reading this class all wrong and the idea is to use a weapon to get a better crit range for spells via Spell Combat and who cares about iterative attacks?
But do rogues get anything to offset their poor to-hit chance that monks don't? As I understand, most rogue methods for fixing your to-hit chance are based on feats and tactics available to almost every character. The exception might be using touch attach spells to deliver sneak attacks, but I rarely hear anyone about that.
Main reason? MAD.
Monks typically are thought to need Str, Dex, and Wis to function at top potential.
Magus just needs Str or Dex (depending on whether or not he's finesse) for his combat skill and can typically ditch the other (since he will eventually receive heavy armor proficiency, if he doesn't go Dex), and Int for their spells.
Rogues really only need Dex and either Int or Cha depending on how you choose to play them.
Then of course they all need at least some Con.
Rogues and Magi can ditch the stats they don't need to improve the ones they do. Monks don't have as much wiggle room there. If they dump Str, they do piddly damage - which the Rogue gets around with Sneak Attack and the Magus gets around with spells, and both can enhance their weapons much better than a Monk can with yet more damage-dealing potential. If they dump Dex, their AC drops. If they dump Wis, their class abilities suffer.
I'll take up this challenge.
The rogue has the advantage that he can throw everything into dexterity, take Weapon Finesse and have high hitting stat (he relies on sneak attack for his damage in any event). The monk is more MAD, it's tougher for him to do this.
Second point, the rogue can focus on one weapon and buy the enhancement for it. If you allow a rough 1/3 of WBL to be spent on a weapon, then the costs comparing a single weapon to the AoMF go something like this:
Masterwork weapon (+1 to hit): 2nd level
So the rogue gets ahead by around +1 to hit from enhancement and probably +1-2 on ability scores in most cases. The monk has FoB to bump up their attack bonus a little, but it doesn't make that much difference until very high levels. Now the rogue is not TWFing, but then the monk doesn't have sneak attack, and delivering a lot of damage in a few strikes is better than delivering over many, thanks to DR.
And as shown above, cheaper means earlier means more at any given level.
But don't forget they get their arcane pool to counteract this by adding weapon properties - and that expenditure lasts the combat, not a single round.
But all of this is from a 3/4 BAB class with nothing special to help them actually land a melee hit.
Except blowing their arcane pool for added enhancement, remember.
Aside from the standard +4 Buff spells (congrats, you've offset your Spell Combat penalty - you're back to an un-buffed 3/4 BAB) and late-access to Greater Weapon Focus, it seems like it would be hard as hell to keep up with other classes.
I have a monk playing alongside a bladebound magus and a paladin. Without dipping into hie arcane pool or buffing, the magus is at +17 attack bonus with his black blade, while my monk is at +14 max when he flurries unarmed. His spell combat takes that down to +15, but his arcane pool bumps it back up to +17, and he can always buff for +19 or more (as a comparison, the party paladin is at +16 when he isn't smiting). Sure he's getting less attacks, but he also has SPELLS.
However, this party is pretty short on equipment, which would even things up with the magus a lot. With an appropriate weapon the paladin would be at +18, and the monk flurrying at +16. All the same, I think the magus is doing pretty well.
Or am I reading this class all wrong and the idea is to use a weapon to get a better crit range for spells via Spell Combat and who cares about iterative attacks?
You aren't reading it wrong, you just aren't looking at the bigger picture. The magus has several forms of buffs they can apply and should apply, and a normal weapon (a free weapon for the bladebound archetype) which is a lot cheaper than the AoMF. They can add up to a lot if he chooses to use them, enough to match or even exceed that of full BAB classes.
Additionally, monks have to pay more for magical enhancements, since monk weapons are almost always a bad idea compared to unarmed, and Amulets of Mighty Fists are expensive. Rogues are often behind in attack bonus because TWF is pretty rewarding for them, but they often flank more than other melee specialists due to sneak attack.
Magi have it relatively easy. They get good buffs, and their magical weapon stuff stacks with the bonus the weapon already has, so they're ahead of the curve there. They're also locked in to fighting with a single weapon and no shield, mostly, so they can spend a lot on it.
I thought this game is about combat, and Rogue problems come from the fact that it's a situational class in combat (sneak attack = OK, no sneak attack = bad; contrast with Paladin/Ranger where fav enemy/smote = GREAT!, no fav/smite = OK).
As for non-combat stuff, anything that Rogue can do somebody else can do as well (some of them are even better at that).
Magi: The arcana pool really helps with this, and if nothing else, they can spell combat True Strike for one hit. They generally don't need a super high Int though, as they're just going to be Shocking Grasp anyways. There's also the fact that every single magus is a dervish dancer, allowing them to dump strength almost completely and use their Dex for Init, AC, Reflex, To-Hit, Damage, and many skills.
Rogues: They don't, really. I've been told that the difference between a monk flurrying and a rogue TWFing is "only 3 points, which is nothing", and the gains from not having to put points into Wisdom will definitely be less than +3 to hit, so I guess the rogues aren't much better off.
My only concern with the "Arcane Pool" answer is that it isn't really an answer.
You're getting the illusion of a better attack bonus, but really you're getting the same attack bonus everyone else can get, just earlier.
This is true, but that +5 weapon doesn't arrive until 14th level, and most campaigns are in the end-game phase by then. The monk doesn't get the +5 AoMF until 16th level, at which point most AP's are just about over.
Well I guess if you are going to play epic levels it makes a difference, but for most adventure paths you were ahead of the curve for most of the campaign, and that's not bad! And having those properties, and having them flexible, is not a bad thing.
Well, two weapon rogues do in fact need help, but the fact that they are always trying to flank or catch enemies flatfooted helps alot. Still, rogues do thave trouble hitting. But at least they can enhance their weapons fairly easily. Rogue useful weapons turn up often in adventures, and they need at most 2 of them. Some rogue concepts only need one, way less then what monk options cost.
The magus has a bunch of bits of help. First obvious answer arcana pool. The ability to add stacking enhancements to your weapon is a big deal. Also ofcourse they can more easily enchant their weapon. They have talents that allow them to spend arcane pool points for bonuses to hit. They also are less MAD then a monk and can focus their stats accordingly, using spells to cover any gaps in defenses.
MAgus is a amartial class, a really good martial class. In my experience Magus do not have problem to hit.
Now, rogues are more dificult but theorycraft do not say much. I porpose somebody makes a monk build and i would make a TWF rogue and a STR based rogue to see the diferences.
Additionally, monks have to pay more for magical enhancements, since monk weapons are almost always a bad idea compared to unarmed, and Amulets of Mighty Fists are expensive.
This. It's less "monks can't hit" and more, "monks can't hit as well unarmed" -- and yet monks are ostensibly, fluff-wise, supposed to be the experts at unarmed fighting. And the key issue here is by-design Big Six item reliance and lack of reliable unarmed strike enhancement that is affordable at low levels.
There's some allowance for this when it's mostly the same book with a new cover and an extra appendix :p
It is generally accepted to go for high-crit range for magus, so you have that right. Although do note that you only automatically hit on a natural 20, period. You can get a critical threat and still miss. (I wonder if that's a factor in the various "Magi OP" threads we see? Hmm.)
You also have it right that all 3/4ths BAB martial classes have difficulty hitting. They generally have a number of abilities to help them shine in other areas, so not always hitting in combat is offset a bit. Most of them require using up daily resources to hit as often as full BAB classes.
They all have a way to boost their to-hit too.
Magi get Arcane Pool to help boost their weapons cheaply and effectively.
The magus in particular is saddled with 3/4ths BAB because of the strength of their other abilities. Their main class abilities are the complete and utter sundering of the action economy and the ability to deliver a spell *and* an extra attack. They are another class that is based on the idea that if they hit, the effects will be grand.
Definitely - and if you go armed, you have a really poor choice of weapons.
Monks get flurry of blows, which sets their BAB from monk levels to be their level.
Level -2, since monks are the only class that must use a set style of fighting (flurry, i.e. TWF). They cannot chose to not flurry and get a single attack at full BAB; so when they move and attack, or charge, or spring attack, or make an attack of opportunity, their BAB is always medium (i.e. 3/4).
master arminas wrote:
Which is very unfortunate because those are things monks are generally seen as doing, but at least they still have a way to boost their to-hit for a lot of their attacks. Doesn't cost any daily resources too :)
Also, Rogue isn't the best choice to compare to monk for combat effectiveness, as rogue's aren't necessarily combat characters. They have a huge amount skill utility to fall back on and can successfully fill numerous non-combat roles. The monk can step into some non-combat roles, but not particularly well.
The only situational bonuses a monk or rogue can really add is flank.
Not quite - if you hadn't noticed, monks kind of specialize in combat maledictions: Prone, stunning, disarm, reducing movement to the point where the enemy cannot take a 5 foot step and therefore hopefully cannot make full melee attacks....
master arminas wrote:
They cannot chose to not flurry and get a single attack at full BAB; so when they move and attack, or charge, or spring attack, or make an attack of opportunity, their BAB is always medium (i.e. 3/4).
Except for maneuvers....
9 Magus's can also deal touch attacks with his weapon.http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus/magus-arcana/paizo---mag us-arcana/accurate-strike-ex
It lasts full rd so you can full attack with Touch Attacks. Expensive at 2 points though.
Magus' (Magi? Magii?) also gain Fighter Training, allowing them to take feats like Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization to further widen the gap in attack and damage.
At the end of the day, the Magus has numerous ways to improve his to hit in a variety of situations, the monk has 1 that only functions during a full attack action.
Not to derail this in too major a way, but anyone who wants to see amazing mechanics for a mobility based combat class should check out the Cerulean Seas 3pp .pdf and look at the Mariner class. The monk could take a few cues from this class in mobile combat, and the entire product is amazing.
Yes, and all of those work off stunning fist - one attempt per round, if it hits (point of this thread), if it scores damage (poor DR penetration), and if the target fails the save.
Also known as 'suckage' once you get to mid-high levels. Past level 8 they start getting harder to work, past 10 they get really hard, unless your foe is a medium or smaller humanoid, and of course those get rarer.
Magus also can count on selected arcane buffs because he can cast them himself. If a Magus needs Bull's Strength or Cat's Grace to get over the hump he can have it without bugging the wizard. He can also, if strength based, get productive use out of the self-only polymorphs and their size bonuses to strength. Even a dex magus can get polymorph bonuses from Elemental Body.
After he hits the +5 wall with arcane pool enhancement he can also divert resources from enhancing his weapon, leaving more to get belts and inherent bonuses earlier.
Rogue does have a hitting problem. Nobody cares anymore because there are two reasons to want to play rogue and rogues are obsolete for either of them individually. If you want sneak attack you play a vivisectionist and prop up your accuracy with mutagen and polymorph extracts and maybe heroism. If you want the skills and talents you play an Archaeologist and prop up your accuracy with archaeologist's luck and good hope and possibly heroism and at higher levels dance of 100 cuts. Or a Cryptbreaker and do what the vivisectionist is doing but without the sneak attack.
There just aren't as many rogue boosters because many realize the class as a whole is moribund. Also because the monk problem isn't just a monk problem. The big problem is with the apparently sacrosanct AMF, which is also hurting the potential monk replacements. Fix that and the unarmed fighter and barbarian archetypes might kill the monk the way the Vivisectionist, Archaeologist, and Cryptbreaker have killed the rogue, but then again fixing it would put the monk in band with the other martial classes. Superstitious barbarians would be better at everything but AC when raging, but the monk's always there defenses can't be handed out the way rogue's goodies have been because archetypes aren't allowed to change save progressions.
Magus are just ridiculously good, archetype or not.
They may be also be TwFers, since that's what spell combat is, but they get loads of bonuses the monk does not. They get also, some serious spell casting that the Monk does not, while getting some really cool combat spells. For example, they have access to spells like Bladed Dash, a spell that allow them to full attack, get full movement, and get a bonus to hit atop of that. And they can use spell recall to get those spells back.
One of the nastiest things a Magus can do is enhance their weapon. This is really powerful simply because, it says their enhancements stack on the weapon, up to +5, or +10 counting abilities. The thing is, with a magical weapon, they're staying ahead until everyone has a +10 weapon. Atop of other bonus granting arcana, like Arcane Accuracy, or the simple +3 from Shocking Grasp, they're often hit harder and more often than a fighter. Especially when they get fighter feats.
Also, as mentioned, they can wear armor and cast, allowing them to keep a decent AC throughout. This is even more so true if they do build the infamous Dancing Dervish Magus, who's solely reliant on DEX and INT. And if they go Kensai, yes they loose armor, but the INT to AC too is sorta OP. It means a headband of intellect is a boost to AC, attack, spells, and arcane pool. And with defensive arcana...
Need I go on? They are an awesomely designed class. Nuff said.
There is a rogue build to comparision. Indeed, the TWF seems to have problems hitting things. Does somebody calculate his DPR against a ACR equivalent monster?
Rogue (Scout ) 10
Initiative: +11; perception: +15 ( Darkvision)
+14/+14/+9/+9 (1d4+8 18-20/x2)
1. TWf, SA +1d6
Amulet of NAt armor +1 (2K), Ring of protection +1 (2K), Wand of cure light wounds (0,75 K), Boots of
elvenkind (2,5 K), handy havershack (2K).
Magi can certainly get a lot of mileage out of true strike and the wand wielder arcana. A wand of true strike comes with 50 charges for 750gp and is available basically anywhere (wrt towns)... And true strike powered disarms and trips are brutal.
Monks have trouble hitting? They would against opponents whose AC is through the roof. But what is the AC they are trying to hit, regardless of whether its the monk or magus? Level 10 monk sitting on a +24 to hit, averaging 29 damage per hit, 33 vs a creature with DR. Rogue is sitting on +25, averaging 25 damage a hit. Unless the party is constantly running into creatures with an AC of 40 and saves of at least +20. In such games, have seen players just laugh, told the DM to go f*+@ themselves and quietly leave the game.
If the module doesn't stat them out, I'm loath to do it myself.
Have to agree there. The higher the levels get, the more of a pain it becomes to create leveled-up humanoids for the party to fight. Even if you're willing to do a lot of cut-and-pasting or use shortcuts, statting up a bunch of mid-high level NPCs takes a lot more effort than creating an appropriate CR encounter out of the bestiaries.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
News flash: in 3.5, Monk flurry was worse, and monster ACs were pretty much the same.
More updates on what actually was in 3.5 and what is rose-tinted vision at eleven, courtesy of your favourite Snarky Bag With Teeth. Stay tuned!
The equalizer wrote:
Monks have trouble hitting? They would against opponents whose AC is through the roof. But what is the AC they are trying to hit, regardless of whether its the monk or magus? Level 10 monk sitting on a +24 to hit, averaging 29 damage per hit, 33 vs a creature with DR. Rogue is sitting on +25, averaging 25 damage a hit. Unless the party is constantly running into creatures with an AC of 40 and saves of at least +20. In such games, have seen players just laugh, told the DM to go f@#~ themselves and quietly leave the game.
How are you getting a +24 to hit at level 10 with an unarmed monk? That's something like 8 points ahead of the level 11 monk I've been playing for the last few months.
Let's see.. at level 10 I had a +14 to hit with my highest flurry attacks.
I can't see more than another +2 from stat boosters and a more expensive aomf, so yeah. Where'd that other +8 to hit come from?
I know at 4th level my magus self buffs to +11 to hit, +9 when using spell combat. That will jump to +15 / +13 at 5th level.
Random numbers do not work. Without a full build few can be said about the monk chances to hit.
At 4th level, that same monk would have been at ... +6 to hit on a flurry, I think, or +7 with single attacks. The difference between that an the magus is pretty staggering.
You aren't a full strength based Monk (low Wis/dex)?You could buy up to 20 Str, +4 Str item, potion Magic fang (cheaper till you buy Aomf +2), +1 WF -2 flurry +1 boots of Speed+10 BAB =18 hit, that leaves +6 that I'm not sure where he has.