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Ashiel's Revised Monk


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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A while back I posted this thread discussing the merger of the monk and psychic warrior for the purposes of creating a singular monk class that was less crippled, could fill more archtypal roles, and could be built in a variety of ways while also being a functional party member and having just the right blend of mysticism and martial combat.

Recently, I took it a step further and revised the monk and instead of doing a simple patch job (and the patch job worked pretty well as my group had been using it for a long time), I introduced it to my online gaming community in a singular whole form, and modified it into something new, yet familiar. I wanted to share it here for others.

=========================================================================
The Heroes of Alvena Monk
=========================================================================
A Summary of Changes vs Pathfinder Monk

  • BAB and Flurry:In this version of the monk, the class is a 3/4 BAB in its entirety. There are no strange mechanics at work here that give you a pseudo-BAB in certain situations. The monk returns with its original flurry which was not some mangled version of two-weapon fighting (and thus can also use two-weapon fighting alongside flurry if desired). The monk's flurry can now be used with any weapon the monk is proficient with.
  • Monk Training: Monks no longer progress their unarmed strike damage die (it got goofy when dealing with exceptionally large monks, and only added an average of +1 damage per increase anyway), though they do begin dealing more damage as usual (1d4 small, 1d6 medium, 1d8 large). Instead, monks now receive a bonus to hit and damage rolls with all unarmed strikes and monk weapons (such as sais, quarterstaffs, nunchaku, etc) ranging from +0 to +5.
  • Monk Secrets: Monks now gain secrets (divided into student secrets for those from 1st-9th, and master's secrets from 11th+). Most of the monk's traditional abilities are available as monk secrets, and using this format it is easy to add in new archtypes and/or expanded options as selectable secrets. This also gives more diversity to the type of monk that you wish to create (and solves the issue of all monks being the same), similar to selecting rage powers. By default, the monk has several new options including the option to gain a psionic bonus feat, to treat all melee weapons a monk is traditionally proficient with (such as club, spears, short sword, etc) as monk weapons for the purposes of their Monk Training feature, and so forth.
  • Psionic Powers: Monks now gain power points and powers known based on their level. Their powers are based on their Wisdom, which means more Wisdom equates to more energy to use. This fills the role that the Ki pool tried (and failed) to fill, and does so beautifully. Monks are able to select from a variety of useful powers for martial characters, and with the aid of the Expanded Knowledge feat can learn some low level psion powers (for those monks who wish to throw balls of ki, or even form spirit creatures out of their ki).
  • Catfall vs Slowfall: Slow fall has traditionally been seen as lame and useless in most cases. It is too. It is a more limited version of a 1st level spell that is continuous on a cheap ring. Catfall is the psionic equivalent of slow-fall and reduces falling damage by a certain distance and ensures you always land on your feet. Unlike slow-fall, a monk does not have next to a wall for this ability to function; so a monk who falls off a flying carpet can land more safely as well.
  • Transcendence: The monk has had its perfect self feature removed and replaced with transcendence. The perfect self feature made the monk immune to a lot of positive buffs such as enlarge person in addition to any immunities it got, and made the monk more vulnerable to a lot of anti-outsider type attacks. In essence, it was often more of a punishment than a beneficial capstone; and theoretically the only reason it turned you into an outsider was because of your spiritual perfection. Transcendence fills a similar role. You become immortal as far as aging is concerned, remove any aging penalties, and gain the ability to travel the planes and even make your body immune to harm in 1 round bursts.
  • Other Minor Things: Monk movement speed boosts were replaced with the option to gain Speed of Thought as a class feature, with a scaling bonus to speed. Unlike the original speed bonus, this option grants an Insight bonus, meaning that it finally stacks with enhancement bonuses (so now the barbarians don't laugh at you for being slow when someone casts haste). Quiverin Palm can also now be selected multiple times, granting up to (at best) 5 uses per day at 19th level if you wish to go that route.

If there are any questions or concerns, please let me know.


Very nice, Ashiel. I am digesting and will comment more fully later.

MA


.


Still looks like it is a terrible melee class and not too good at anything else either from a quick skim.


deuxhero wrote:
Still looks like it is a terrible melee class and not too good at anything else either from a quick skim.

I've had pretty large amount of success with the prototype of this class in my own games, and I am firmly in the "monks suck" camp.

Could you elaborate on which aspects made it look like a terrible melee class? If you have not taken a look at their power options, nevermind, as I understand already. ^~^"


Can the monk change his powers known?
As he has "Powers known per day"

Edit: Ah, nevermind. Looks like either I misread, or it was changed.

Otherwise, I'm really excited about this! I'm going to start making some enemies to throw against my players. Maybe I can convince one to try it... >:)


Ashiel wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
Still looks like it is a terrible melee class and not too good at anything else either from a quick skim.

I've had pretty large amount of success with the prototype of this class in my own games, and I am firmly in the "monks suck" camp.

Could you elaborate on which aspects made it look like a terrible melee class? If you have not taken a look at their power options, nevermind, as I understand already. ^~^"

Unless I missed while skiming, it has medium BAB and the only augments it has to it are worse than a Fighter's (alreddy an iffy class), stuck with a poor weapon type (No 2 handed bonuses, reach or other special properties, low damage die even with the old die increase, hard/impossible to enchant). The other medium BAB classes that are expected to preform in melee have Sneak Attack, buff spells, Wildshape or Arcane Strike to make them hit and actually do damage.

Edit: Missed that they are manifestors now (Yay new, wider, monitor!). Now you have an entirely different problem: you are a Psychic Warrior variant (You literally have the exact manifesting bolted on), stuck with crappy weapons (and path for the DSP PW) in exchange for good saves not a Monk, and any merits are due to the manifesting and how well WotC/DSP designed it. In fact, the 3.5 Tolshatora (or however it is spelled) feat did this exactly.


mjb235 wrote:

Can the monk change his powers known?

As he has "Powers known per day"

Otherwise, I'm really excited about this! I'm going to start making some enemies to throw against my players. Maybe I can convince one to try it... >:)

Oops! Thanks, that was a typo on the chart. The rule text lacked said typo. Glad you pointed it out!

And no, they can't change their powers known, but since the psionics rules allow you to power up your low level powers, you end up being more versatile than you might initially suspect. ;)

Deux Hero wrote:

Unless I missed while skiming, it has medium BAB and the only augments it has to it are worse than a Fighter's (alreddy an iffy class), stuck with a poor weapon type (No 2 handed bonuses, reach or other special properties, low damage die even with the old die increase, hard/impossible to enchant). The other medium BAB classes that are expected to preform in melee have Sneak Attack, buff spells, Wildshape or Arcane Strike to make them hit and actually do damage.

Edit: Missed that they are manifestors now. Now you have an entirely different problem: you are basically just a Psychic Warrior with some bad abilities rather than a unique class.

Thank you for filling me in. The way I saw the monk could probably be broke down like this: It was a hybrid caster posing as a full martial while not having its hybrid casting abilities. In other words, if you took a bard and stripped them of their spells, you have a pseudo-monk as it was.

The idea here was not to make the monk into a Fighter (and by Fighter, assume I also mean Ranger, Paladin, Cavalier, etc). The idea is a guy who focuses on mysticism to enhance his decent fighting capabilities. In my experiences with this class thus far, the idea is fairly simple. Their psionic powers have good synergy with their 3/4 BAB chassis and monk features, and allow them to push themselves above and beyond when using their powers.

Given that you can channel touch spells and powers through unarmed strikes without losing the charge on a miss, a monk can also use powers like dissipating touch or hammer to add fairly significant burst damage onto attacks as needed. They also have access to things like Dimension Slide or Lion's Charge (which allow them to remain mobile on the battlefield and remain offensive).

Multi-ability dependency has dropped because prime stat is now more firmly located in Wisdom, with Dexterity and Strength secondary, though there is room for tipping stuff around. My particular monk has Wis / Str / Dex in that order of importance, and uses powers like Inertial Armor to keep her AC strong (she actually has one of the stronger party ACs when her buff is active).

I see the Monk's Training feature akin to a Fighter's Weapon Training in terms overall usefulness (honestly a +5 to hit and damage with a wide assortment of weapons is not bad by any means, and it stacks with enhancement bonuses which can either be gained through weapons or their own abilities).

As for how they are akin to psychic warriors, the only thing they share with psychic warriors directly is their power list (mainly because their needs for abilities are almost identical). The class plays very differently in my experiences, in much the same way that a bard plays differently from an inquisitor despite both being 3/4 BAB 3/4 caster classes; but if you want to give them a shot and toss some feedback then that'd be spiffy. To my knowledge there is nothing that the old monk can do that they cannot, and I do believe that they have a lot more options as far as to how they fight, what abilities they have, and their overall styles and themes.

In the original thread I posted the prototype, I created different builds of monks, including an old age monk and an elven ninja, which used the standard 15 point buy. They compared pretty nicely in terms of capability, and the new version patched some remaining holes I think.


You were talking about how you added in the Monk Secrets and might be able to add in some archetypes. Have you had any plans for these?

I'd be really interested in seeing how you could add in the Style Feats from the MoMS. How powerful would it be to just allow them with the same restrictions as the archetype?

Also, with the Speed of thought Bonus Feat, does that +10 every 4 levels stack with the 30ft speed you get if you expend your focus?


^^ And Power points.

Remember that aside from some bonus feats in 3.5 (which this ALSO gets, though limited), that was ALL the Psychic warrior got (but it was still a very good class), and even with DSP's update, it's still the main focus of the class by far.

It's like "fixing" the fighter by giving him the Wizard's spell casting (and not even giving it good flavor).


mjb235 wrote:
You were talking about how you added in the Monk Secrets and might be able to add in some archetypes. Have you had any plans for these?

It has come up and I will be exploring it shortly. Archtypes were honestly not my concern at the time of creating it because honestly my home group uses archtypes very little. However, I did give a nod towards them when I was creating the class, and that was in the consideration that most archtypes can now simply be made into monk secrets (if you notice, most monk powers that archtypes trade out are now also monk secrets).

Quote:
I'd be really interested in seeing how you could add in the Style Feats from the MoMS. How powerful would it be to just allow them with the same restrictions as the archetype?

Most of them are pretty easy to apply. For example, Master of Many Styles can still replace Flurry of Blows (and now can still hit somewhat well since their bonuses to hit and damage are not tied to flurry), still replace their bonus feats with style feats, and just have their capstone replace Transcendence instead of Perfect self. Meanwhile the Zen Archer could be applied pretty easily by converting their features into monk secrets (such as a secret that grants them proficiency with bows and treats them as monk weapons).

Quote:
Also, with the Speed of thought Bonus Feat, does that +10 every 4 levels stack with the 30ft speed you get if you expend your focus?

Yes. I'll make a note of it in the ability description to clarify.


deuxhero wrote:

^^ And Power points.

Remember that aside from some bonus feats in 3.5 (which this ALSO gets, though limited), that was ALL the Psychic warrior got (but it was still a very good class), and even with DSP's update, it's still the main focus of the class by far.

It's like "fixing" the fighter by giving him the Wizard's spell casting (and not even giving it good flavor).

The power point progression was used as a standard, in much the same way that there are standard casting progressions amongst core classes. Noting the amount of PP they receive seems odd. Meanwhile, psychic warriors have a lot more in the way of actual honest to goodness class features these days (which I think is a good thing).

I'm not sure what you mean by good flavor though. The psionic rules pretty much scream monk as it is described in the core rules, except the difference being that it actually mechanically represents what the core rules claim instead of just talking about it.

Requiring it to not be similar to other classes does not concern me however. I am more concerned that the class do what it says it does and does that while being playable. The fact that the psionics rules pretty much perfectly express Ki for a monk is icing on the cake. :P


It looks great. I'll probably give it a whirl as soon as kingmaker dies down my only ideas are
1. more variety on the bonus feats. I know this monk can load up on psionic feats with the secrets, but a few more options ie dimensional dervish line, the style feats(although I know this invalidates an archetype), elemental fist, or the greater version of the maneuver feats.

2. a student and then a master level secret that bumps up the damage die so that eventually a med master is using a d10. You're giving up a secret for a +1 to damage, but its one I might take depending on the monk I was playing.

3. as it stands technically the class could have more feats than the fighter if you took a psionic feat with every secret. Not that I have an issue with more feats I think more feats as the great fighter power kinda blows. IMO this secret should either be limited to a certain number of times or removed entirely and placed in the bonus feat section.


I'll take a look at this tomorrow, but it's really nice to see you back on the boards after your month long hiatus.


Ashiel wrote:


I'm not sure what you mean by good flavor though.

"Lighting Warrior".


Tels wrote:
I'll take a look at this tomorrow, but it's really nice to see you back on the boards after your month long hiatus.

Thank you Tels. It's nice to see you again too. ^.^


This is close to what I really want my monk to be. I was looking for more psionic based powers. My want is a monk who is an Improvised Weapon master who takes anything at hand and can can burst it into a whirling cloud of fragments around him, while not moving anyways. Then he could punch or kick fragments at enemies. That's almost doable I think with this build. Thanks Ashiel!


proftobe wrote:

It looks great. I'll probably give it a whirl as soon as kingmaker dies down my only ideas are

1. more variety on the bonus feats. I know this monk can load up on psionic feats with the secrets, but a few more options ie dimensional dervish line, the style feats(although I know this invalidates an archetype), elemental fist, or the greater version of the maneuver feats.

Well I was not including a lot of supplemental material in it. If a feat is a monk bonus feat from a splatbook then it's a monk bonus feat here as well. If it isn't, well it isn't, and a group can house-rule them onto the bonus feat list as they feel appropriate (as with the normal monk).

Quote:
2. a student and then a master level secret that bumps up the damage die so that eventually a med master is using a d10. You're giving up a secret for a +1 to damage, but its one I might take depending on the monk I was playing.

I'll consider adding it. Part of the reason I removed the damage die increases however was due to the near silliness that occurs when you begin adding monk levels to creatures of huge size or better, and I'm not really a fan of a class feature adding a +1 average damage to a medium monk but +12 to something bigger (they already got an advantage). :P

Quote:
3. as it stands technically the class could have more feats than the fighter if you took a psionic feat with every secret. Not that I have an issue with more feats I think more feats as the great fighter power kinda blows. IMO this secret should either be limited to a certain number of times or removed entirely and placed in the bonus feat section.

I probably won't be limiting the secret. I feel that if you want to give up all other class feature options and instead take stuff like Psionic Fist, Greater Psionic Fist, Up the Walls, Unavoidable Strike, Expanded Knowledge, Psionic Body, Psicrystal Affinity, Improved Psicrystal Affinity, Psionic Talent, Talented, Overchannel, Body Fuel, and so forth, then that should be your prerogative.

I'm not particularly concerned about having more potential feats than the fighter. Only how it plays out in the game. Also, Fighters have fighter-only feats which are theoretically supposed to be like class-features in feat format, whereas this is more like feats in class feature format. :P

deuxhero wrote:
"Lighting Warrior".

Um, lightning warrior? You must be joking or trolling. XD


Btw, did you hear about the Mythic Rules?


Pendin Fust wrote:
This is close to what I really want my monk to be. I was looking for more psionic based powers. My want is a monk who is an Improvised Weapon master who takes anything at hand and can can burst it into a whirling cloud of fragments around him, while not moving anyways. Then he could punch or kick fragments at enemies. That's almost doable I think with this build. Thanks Ashiel!

You're very welcome Pendin Fust.

While the powers on the psychic warrior list have very obvious uses, the Expanded Knowledge feat can net you powers off other lists as well, which can be useful for various Ki-techniques. For example, I am making a monk loosely based off of Ryu/Ken from Street Fighter, and I'm dropping pretty much every "mystical shaolin" aspect of the monk in favor of hard hitting gritty fighting with a mixture of ki blasts.

So at some point (probably 4th level when it becomes available) I'm thinking of taking Expanded Knowledge (Energy Ray) to throw fire/electric/sonic blasts at people. If it becomes something I use frequently, I might invest more of my monk secrets into Psionic Talent for some extra juice to fuel the blasts.

My power list is expected to have Inertial Armor for taking hits, Hammer (which I will deliver through unarmed strikes), Grip of Iron, Hustle, Painful Strike, and self-buffy things.


Tels wrote:
Btw, did you hear about the Mythic Rules?

Mythic Rules? O.o

Is that anything like mythic rares? :P


Ashiel wrote:
Tels wrote:
Btw, did you hear about the Mythic Rules?

Mythic Rules? O.o

Is that anything like mythic rares? :P

Mythic Rules are sort of Paizo's answer to Epic Rule, but they're different. Here's a quote from another thread:

Tels wrote:

No, Paizo won't be releasing 'Epic' rules. Next year, they will be releasing a book called Mythic Adventures.

Mythic is NOT Epic though, it's different. You can have up to 10 Mythic Tiers that are not tied to Experience points, but are, instead, only given at the GM's discretion. Typically, you earn a Mythic Tier by completing great Deeds, things that add to your Myth or Legend.

However, Mythic Tiers can be gained as early as level one. As a guideline, a character should have no more than 1 Mythic Tier for every 2 Character Levels.

There was a Podcast of the Paizo Announcement of Mythic Adventures at GenCon. I listened to the Podcast and recorded everything they revealed at the announcement. You can read that record here.

[Edit] Whew! At least I was only Ninja'd by Lord Wraithstrike and A Ninja!

Here's a link to some of the abilities revealed about Mythic Rules.

Podcast that revealed the Mythic Rules.

Mythic Minotaur.


It just seems logical that any class that doesn't have full BAB should, at least get a half-caster progression.

I've used Psychic Warrior/Monk Gestalt with no unarmed strike progression beyond first, no Ki points (power points are now used to power ki abilities), and the Psychic Warrior's first two bonus feats removed for a while.

Also an alternative version of flurry where instead of extra attacks/BAB=level a monk gets a Perfect Strike type ability to roll 2d20 for any attack with an unarmed strike or monk weapon and take the better result.

So something fairly similar. The powers work very well as "ki" abilities.

Catfall as a free power known in place of Slowfall (if I'm reading correctly this is what you're proposing) is a good idea that I'm going to steal, and the Secrets seem interesting.

Transcendence seems like a good idea, but I've never run or played in a game that reached level 20, so I've never really worried about the capstones too much.

I do something similar with Rogue/Alchemist and (optionally) Fighter/Soulknife.


Ever since I saw your previous thread, it inspired me to work on the monk in my home game, resulting in something similar to this. I'm definitely going to take a close look at this one, and likely modify my own as a result. At a glance, I can say the following:

  • The psionics are something I've integrated myself, and I have to say that you were absolutely right. They fit beautifully with the monk's chassis.
  • Monk training is an elegant way to solve a complex, if minor, issue. Consider it stolen.
  • Originally, I stole the concept of "Sutras" from Kirth Gersen, but they never quite felt right. The concept of Student/Master Secrets is packed with juicy flavor, and I can't get enough of it. Again, consider it stolen.
  • Catfall's a winner. End of story.
  • While I do agree that the current iteration of the PFRPG Monk's flurry of blows is an ugly mess, I think reverting to the 3.5 flurry is, forgive the pun, a step backwards. I know that in my home game, I've used the following simplification for quite a while, and have had no problems.
    Quote:

    Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 1st level, the monk can make a flurry of blows any time he makes an attack. When making a standard attack or full-attack with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, he can make one extra attack at his highest base attack bonus. All attack rolls take a -2 penalty when using a flurry of blows.

    At 11th level, the monk gains an additional attack at his highest base attack bonus -5 when making a full attack with a flurry of blows.

    A flurry of blows cannot be used in conjunction with a charge, an attack of opportunity or the Vital Strike feat chain unless another ability specifically allows it.

    Definitely loving this, and definitely stealing some of it for my homebrew monk. I'll give a more comprehensive review after I delve more deeply into the class.

    ...Catch Phrase,
    -Chris


  • Christopher Delvo wrote:

    Ever since I saw your previous thread, it inspired me to work on the monk in my home game, resulting in something similar to this. I'm definitely going to take a close look at this one, and likely modify my own as a result. At a glance, I can say the following:

  • The psionics are something I've integrated myself, and I have to say that you were absolutely right. They fit beautifully with the monk's chassis.
  • Monk training is an elegant way to solve a complex, if minor, issue. Consider it stolen.
  • Originally, I stole the concept of "Sutras" from Kirth Gersen, but they never quite felt right. The concept of Student/Master Secrets is packed with juicy flavor, and I can't get enough of it. Again, consider it stolen.
  • Catfall's a winner. End of story.
  • While I do agree that the current iteration of the PFRPG Monk's flurry of blows is an ugly mess, I think reverting to the 3.5 flurry is, forgive the pun, a step backwards. I know that in my home game, I've used the following simplification for quite a while, and have had no problems.
    Quote:

    Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 1st level, the monk can make a flurry of blows any time he makes an attack. When making a standard attack or full-attack with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, he can make one extra attack at his highest base attack bonus. All attack rolls take a -2 penalty when using a flurry of blows.

    At 11th level, the monk gains an additional attack at his highest base attack bonus -5 when making a full attack with a flurry of blows.

    A flurry of blows cannot be used in conjunction with a charge, an attack of opportunity or the Vital Strike feat chain unless another ability specifically allows it.

    Definitely loving this, and definitely stealing some of it for my homebrew monk. I'll give a more comprehensive review after I delve more deeply into the class.

    ...Catch Phrase,
    -Chris

  • I'm glad to hear you like it, and enjoy the fruits of your thievery. ^-^

    The reason I used the 3.5 flurry was simple. I actually liked the 3.5 flurry, and the only thing that I felt was a problem with it is that monks couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. However, the addition of Monk Training and/or Psionic Powers really alleviate that issue quite nicely.

    I like your version of flurry, which seems to be two-weapon fighting that's allowable on a standard action. Very nice. I probably won't adopt a similar thing with this version of the monk however, since I see the full-attack think being one of the primary purposes for powers like hustle and lion's charge, which allow the monk to get his flurry on. :P

    I could see adopting your version of flurry for two-weapon fighting in general though. It would definitely be nice. ^-^

    Anyway, thanks for dropping by. I look forward to your next post. ^.^


    All right, I've read it through. Didn't realize it would go so quickly.

    HD/BAB/Saves/Skills/psionics: Just right. I am of the opinion that the monk should be a 3/4 attacker, and the use of psionics reinforces that opinion. It all melds together quite well.

    Proficiencies: I would have just written "weapons with the monk special quality" instead of adding them in individually.

    AC Bonus: This is fine, and gives the monk a good jumping off point since it lacks armor, and not all monks are going to choose inertial armor as a power.

    Flurry/Greater Flurry: I've given my opinion here.

    Bonus Feat: It feels odd to me that the monk should gain both bonus feats and monk secrets. I feel like it could be argued that the two should be combined, making "Bonus Feat" a monk secret. However, with the current format, I see no real problems.

    Monk Training: I don't think you should list the special monk weapons here, since there are further monk weapons located in additional books (temple sword, brass knuckles, etc.) Also, it might just be my traditionalist tendencies, but adding the bonus at level 4 feels a bit awkward, though I can see that in practice it is quite effective.

    Student/Master Secrets: I had the same problem with your placement of deeds in your gunslinger. Putting these on odd levels feels wrong to me. I believe that a class should have some element of customization every level. And while this class does gain a psionic power every level, it feels awkward to gain a psionic power, a feat, AND a secret, all of which are customized, on odd levels, while only gaining a power on even levels. Again, it might be my traditionalist/grognard tendencies, but classes like the rogue and the fighter gain their talents/bonus feats on even levels precisely because they already gain a feat on odd levels.

    Other than that, I'd add a "ki blast" secret that gives you the "Elemental Ray" power, but otherwise I think you've done a terrific job here.

    Catfall: While I love the power catfall, this ability feels a bit under-explained. As I understand it, the monk gains the catfall power at 2nd level, and can, at 4th level, manifest it for free, but only to reduce damage by 10 feet. Every 2 levels after, the monk adds 10 feet to the distance he can fall with catfall without taking at damage (regardless of whether he spends power points or not), and at 20th level, he can manifest it for free to fall any distance.

    If this is accurate, I feel that the ability needs a few more words, particularly regarding the "any distance" qualifier, since the nature of the power and psionics in general would normally limit the power to 1000 feet at 20th level.

    Transcendence: I like it, and understand the reason for its inclusion, though I don't know that Timeless Body is necessarily an appropriate replacement for the DR normally gained.

    Conclusion: The class is solid, and definitely feels more appropriate when compared to what Paizo put out, and how they've slowly denigrated it through errata and FAQ clarifications. I do have a few issues, but they're mostly cosmetic and speak to my own class-design sensibilities. As always, Ashiel, good work.

    ...Catch Phrase,
    -Chris


    Christopher Delvo wrote:
    Proficiencies: I would have just written "weapons with the monk special quality" instead of adding them in individually.

    I did it as it has been done in both 3.5 and PF (a bit of a traditionalist, I suppose ^.^"), and I wanted it to be easy for newbies to know which weapons they should be looking at for their class (which I think is the reason they're listed like that in 3.x/PF).

    Quote:
    AC Bonus: This is fine, and gives the monk a good jumping off point since it lacks armor, and not all monks are going to choose inertial armor as a power.

    Indeed. I think all of them should, but that's the powergamer in me. :P

    But yes, wisdom to AC is a monk thing, and I like it well enough (and this way you don't have to remake the monk's belt/robe item).

    Quote:
    Flurry/Greater Flurry: I've given my opinion here.

    And it is appreciated. ^-^

    Quote:
    Bonus Feat: It feels odd to me that the monk should gain both bonus feats and monk secrets. I feel like it could be argued that the two should be combined, making "Bonus Feat" a monk secret. However, with the current format, I see no real problems.

    Well monk bonus feats are pretty much that. Just the bonus combat feats that monks get. Monk secrets are effectively class features that you pick, similar to barbarian rage powers. You probably noticed all the usual suspects like diamond soul and the like are included there, as well as some new options. It also makes it easy to convert or apply monk archtypes as monk secrets. ^-^

    Quote:
    Monk Training: I don't think you should list the special monk weapons here, since there are further monk weapons located in additional books (temple sword, brass knuckles, etc.) Also, it might just be my traditionalist tendencies, but adding the bonus at level 4 feels a bit awkward, though I can see that in practice it is quite effective.

    Well if you notice, the bonus begins at 4th level because that's when monks traditionally increase their unarmed strike damage. At 4th level their damage goes from 1d6 to 1d8, then at 8th to a d10, then at 12th 2d6, 16th 2d8, and 20th 2d10, I believe.

    Quote:
    Student/Master Secrets: I had the same problem with your placement of deeds in your gunslinger. Putting these on odd levels feels wrong to me. I believe that a class should have some element of customization every level. And while this class does gain a psionic power every level, it feels awkward to gain a psionic power, a feat, AND a secret, all of which are customized, on odd levels, while only gaining a power on even levels. Again, it might be my traditionalist/grognard tendencies, but classes like the rogue and the fighter gain their talents/bonus feats on even levels precisely because they already gain a feat on odd levels.

    Well again the modifications were meant to be as mildly invasive as possible. Monks received all their class features other than slow-fall on these levels, and the bonus feats have no changed their levels that they are acquired.

    Quote:
    Other than that, I'd add a "ki blast" secret that gives you the "Elemental Ray" power, but otherwise I think you've done a terrific job here.

    You basically get the same benefit by using a secret to get Expanded Knowledge (Elemental Ray); so I felt doing so would be a bit redundant (incidentally you could also take other powers in the same way if you were going more for an mystical ninja, since powers like astral construct could create phantoms made of ki, or minor metamorphosis could allow you to alter your body in strange ways, etc).

    Quote:

    Catfall: While I love the power catfall, this ability feels a bit under-explained. As I understand it, the monk gains the catfall power at 2nd level, and can, at 4th level, manifest it for free, but only to reduce damage by 10 feet. Every 2 levels after, the monk adds 10 feet to the distance he can fall with catfall without taking at damage (regardless of whether he spends power points or not), and at 20th level, he can manifest it for free to fall any distance.

    If this is accurate, I feel that the ability needs a few more words, particularly regarding the "any distance" qualifier, since the nature of the power and psionics in general would normally limit the power to 1000 feet at 20th level.

    Thanks, I'll look into that. And yes, that is effectively how it works.

    Quote:
    Transcendence: I like it, and understand the reason for its inclusion, though I don't know that Timeless Body is necessarily an appropriate replacement for the DR normally gained.

    Timeless body was something I felt thematically appropriate for someone who has transcended the limitations of a mortal body (effectively using your Ki to be unkillable while you are focusing on it). The DR was tied to alignment (which I found annoying) and this type of monk already has ways of getting damage reduction anyway. :)

    Quote:

    Conclusion: The class is solid, and definitely feels more appropriate when compared to what Paizo put out, and how they've slowly denigrated it through errata and FAQ clarifications. I do have a few issues, but they're mostly cosmetic and speak to my own class-design sensibilities. As always, Ashiel, good work.

    ...Catch Phrase,
    -Chris

    Much thanks. I appreciate the feedback, and it's fun discussing the thought process behind different abilities. ^-^


    Ashiel wrote:
    Um, lightning warrior? You must be joking or trolling. XD

    The "flavor" comment is a reference to the line from the original Lighting Warrior (which was the fighter with Wizard casting bolted on) joke about how it "sacrifices power for flavor".


    So, woke up at 7 AM and had to drive a cousin around all day. I just got back home (it's now 10:42 PM) so I haven't really had a chance to look it over. I guess I'll be doing it tomorrow. This Alaskan is pooped.


    deuxhero wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:
    Um, lightning warrior? You must be joking or trolling. XD
    The "flavor" comment is a reference to the line from the original Lighting Warrior (which was the fighter with Wizard casting bolted on) joke about how it "sacrifices power for flavor".

    Ohhh. So joking? :P

    What I meant by flavor was that it seems like the "flavor" of a monk is supposed to be a mystical sort of warrior who has special abilities that can be activated through the use of an inner energy they learn to harness and control; which kind of more or less fits perfectly with the psionics mechanics. I also felt they were a better fit than the PF Ki system which I felt was a bit limited and felt a bit more tacked on that even splashing them with psionics. The first time I merged psionics and monks way back when, I just was like "Y'know...let's try this." somewhat randomly while my friends and I were discussing the monk. At first glance there was some odd looks, but we did and then it felt like the prodigal monk. Like the monk it was always supposed to be, returned home to us. :P

    Also when I use the term flavor, I mean in ways you can literally flavor your monk. An issue I brought up during my last thread concerning this subject was one that people have lamented (at least to me, I do tend to be the venting-post for a lot of my D&D friends) was that all monks were the same. Monks gained lots of abilities (many of them rather meh), but all monks got those. So an order of elven monks had the same features as an order of orcish monks, as an order of dwarf monks, and so forth. Now a possible method of archtypes and alternate class features existed, but honestly those types of things always bug the crap out of me, because then you have to keep up with all these different things you're trading out (which is part of the reason I prefer mechanics that function like Rage powers).

    Whereas with this monk, you could use the same monk class and flavor it a hundred different ways. You could for example do stuff like separate your monks into different styles based on the needs of your campaign. For example, you might have NPCs from different groups who share certain philosophies on what feats, secrets, and powers to select. For example...

    The Order of the Leafstriders might be an elven tradition that emphasizes finesse, using ki to deal damage, and fey-like stealth and trickery. This order focuses on Dexterity and Avoidance, selects feats like Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers, and chooses powers like Hammer, Painful Strike, Conscealing Amorpha, and Chameleon.

    The Blackblood Warclan might be an orcish tradition who use their inner hatred and bloodlust to enhance their brute strength. They are entirely strength focused, focus on grappling, beating the snot out of people with their unarmed strikes, and emphasize powers that are brutish. They might select feats like improved grapple, improved drag, and powers like Grip of Iron, Expansion, Thicken Skin, and Biofeedback.

    Meanwhile you might have the Order of the Black Lotus that is a terrible assassin clan. They learn the art of stealth, poisons, and killing. Their feats emphasize mobility, and their powers are things like Concealing Amorpha, Chameleon, and Prevenom Weapon.

    Yet further over to the south, stands the Dojo of the Soul Fist, where humans and anyone else who wishes to learn the ways of spiritual arts can come and learn how to better combine mind, body, and spirit to produce incredible effects through the use of their Ki. These individuals focus on psionic feats like psionic body, speed of thought, up the walls, psionic talent, talented, overchannel, body fuel, psionic fist, and expanded knowledge. Their powers that they choose tend to be things like Hammer, Vigor, Dimension Swap, and expanded knowledge to access powers like Energy Ray, Energy Missile, Energy Cone, Swarm of Crystals, or Concussion Blast.

    All of these "styles" will play very differently, yet all can be done from the same class. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (@-@)


    Tels wrote:
    So, woke up at 7 AM and had to drive a cousin around all day. I just got back home (it's now 10:42 PM) so I haven't really had a chance to look it over. I guess I'll be doing it tomorrow. This Alaskan is pooped.

    Heya Tels. I missed ya. I can't wait to see what you got for me. ^_^

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

    Taggin'/Dottin' again. :)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I like this, I'll be running it by my group and see if we can't use this instead of the Monk class as is.

    A couple things though, the Ki Strike Student Secret allows for a Monk to select an Alignment to overcome, you might want to make a little note that the Monk must actually possess the alignment selected. I know there are similar options in the game already, I can't recall them at the moment, but they are all restricted to the player actually possessing the alignment selected. That way, you don't have Chaotic Good Monks (I notice your Monks aren't restricted to Lawful alignment) having Unarmed Strikes that are treated as Evil for the purposes of overcoming DR.

    Based off your and Christopher's explanation above, I'd re-word Catfall to read something like this:

    Catfall wrote:
    At 2nd level, the monk adds the catfall power to his list of powers known. At 4th level, the monk can manifest catfall without paying its power point cost but it cannot be augmented and only reduces falling damage by 10 ft. At 6th level and every two levels thereafter, whenever the monk manifests catfall for free, he reduces falling damage by another 10 ft. At 20th level, the monk can manifest catfall for free to fall any distance without suffering damage.

    I think I may add a Student Secret called Flurry of Energy.

    Flurry of Energy wrote:
    A Monk adds the Energy Ray Power to the list of Powers known. Additionally, whenever a Monk expends his psionic focus to manifest Energy Ray for free, he may make a Flurry of Blows but can manifest Energy Ray interchangeably with his melee attacks. Each manifestation of Energy Ray is treated as if the Monk expended his psionic focus (thereby costing 0 power points and dealing only 1d3 points of damage) and provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

    The idea being, the Monk could make a large amount of 1d3 energy attacks at range. Since he can mix attacks with his melee attacks, he could use a Bow or Longspear (Zen Archery or Expanded Training) to make weapon and ray attacks at range.


    Tels wrote:

    I think I may add a Student Secret called Flurry of Energy.

    Flurry of Energy wrote:
    A Monk adds the Energy Ray Power to the list of Powers known. Additionally, whenever a Monk expends his psionic focus to manifest Energy Ray for free, he may make a Flurry of Blows but can manifest Energy Ray interchangeably with his melee attacks. Each manifestation of Energy Ray is treated as if the Monk expended his psionic focus (thereby costing 0 power points and dealing only 1d3 points of damage) and provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.
    The idea being, the Monk could make a large amount of 1d3 energy attacks at range. Since he can mix attacks with his melee attacks, he could use a Bow or Longspear (Zen Archery or Expanded Training) to make weapon and ray...

    It occurs to me that I should tack on somewhere that making an Energy Flurry is a full-attack action.


    First of all, wonderfull revision...
    The table states at level 12 a "Dimension Step". Is that a left-over of a previous version or some mistake?
    I'm not sure how I fell with monk getting a better full-attack routine than the fighter at 12+ (flurry + monk training) (well, not so much with unarmed attacks, but with monk weapons). While normal BAB + Monk Training is really nice, the flurry bit make maybe a little too good? Can you elaborate about this choice of yours?
    Finally, just a clarification on Catfall: While I get the option of free manifesting at level 4th, I still can manifest it paying PP for a higher fall until level 20th, when I can fall freely for free, right?


    Hmm, hello again, Ashiel.

    I havn't looked at the full class just yet, but the change notes sound promising. I'll let you know once ive given it a proper once over.


    I do like the way this fix is going, but in the spirit of improvement, I am opligated to point out flaws if I find them

    Okay: You left out the text of unarmed strike that lets monks use unarmed strike with thins other than fists, negating your paragraph on letting them use unarmed mixed with double weapons during a flurry.

    Do you really think anyone will select tongue of sun and moon? I don't know what exactly is wrong with this, but it sticks out as being the weakest of the Master's secrets

    looks like you can flurry with all weapons but only gain bonus to monk weapons: is this the intent?

    Do you wan't sample builds like the last thread?


    Tongue of Sun and Moon should be made Student's Secret, maybe with a level requirement (5th?).


    Dotting for awesomeness.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

    I like it. Also, it's nice to see a monk thread that isn't full of bickering and trolling.


    So having a look at it again, I think I agree with Christopher Delvo that suggests they get Monk Secrets every even level. It shouldn't effect it too badly, and I don't think it'll be terribly worse. Especially considering they're getting Monk Abilities, Psionics, and Bonus Feats.

    I do think that Bonus feats should be folded into Monk Secrets (Possibly allowing the Fighter bonus feat progression, 1,2,4,6,8...) but I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. Something to think about.

    Finally I'd like to see if anyone has started work on folding in the archetypes as class features. MoMS could easily be added in by attaching Elemental Fist and the Style feats to the Bonus Feat Selection (Assuming you need the previous "style" to get the subsequent feats) and adding in "Fuse Style", "Improved Fuse Style", and "Greater Fuse Style" at levels 1, 8, and 16, respectively.

    Otherwise, I'm loving this fix! It's my favorite so far. Granted, I love Gishes and My Vanaran Monkey Style Revised Monk is a bit too much like Goku than I'd care to admit...

    Great Job Ashiel!


    I disagree with moving the Secrets to even levels. Classes are supposed to gain something other than just HP, an increase in BAB or saves every level, removing the Secrets from the odd levels would create a lot of 'empty' levels for the Monk.

    Converting Archetypes wouldn't really be all that difficult. You would simply say things like, "X ability replaces the Student Secret gained at 5th level." However, I should mention, to make converting Archetypes easier, Stunning Fist should be made a Secret, not a bonus feat. Many Archetypes alter the Bonus Feats and/or replace Stunning Fist.

    For instance, if Stunning Fist were a Secret, it would be rather simple to alter the Zen Archer Archetype.

    Zen Archer:
    Weapon and armor Proficiency

    Zen archers gain the Zen Archery Student Secret in addition to their normal weapon proficiencies.

    Flurry of Blows (Ex)

    Starting at 1st level, a zen archer can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action, but only when using a bow (even though it is a ranged weapon). He may not make a flurry of blows with his unarmed attacks or any other weapons. A zen archer does not apply his Strength bonus on damage rolls made with flurry of blows unless he is using a composite bow with a Strength rating.

    A zen archer’s flurry of blows otherwise functions as normal for a monk of his level.

    A zen archer cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot when making a flurry of blows with his bow.

    Bonus Feats

    A zen archer’s bonus feats must be taken from the following list:

    Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot.

    At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list:

    Focused Shot*, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Mobility, and Parting Shot*.

    At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list:

    Improved Critical, Pinpoint Targeting, Shot on the Run, and Snatch Arrows.

    A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

    These feats replace the monk’s normal bonus feats.

    Perfect Strike (Ex)

    At 1st level, a zen archer gains Perfect Strike as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. A zen archer can use Perfect Strike with any bow. At 10th level, the monk can roll his attack roll three times and take the highest result. If one of these rolls is a critical threat, the monk must choose one of his other two rolls to use as his confirmation roll.

    This ability replaces the Student Secret gained at 1st level.

    Way of the Bow (Ex)

    At 2nd level, a zen archer gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat with one type of bow.

    At 6th level, the monk gains Weapon Specialization with the same weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

    This ability replaces evasion.

    Zen Archery (Ex)

    At 3rd level, a zen archer sacrifices some of his ability to know psionic powers to further enhance his proficiency with bows. A zen archer may use his Wisdom modifier instead of his Dexterity modifier on ranged attack rolls when using a bow.

    A zen archer does not gain an additional power known at 3rd level.

    Point Blank Master (Ex)

    At 3rd level, a zen archer gains Point Blank Master* as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

    This ability replaces the student secret gained at 3rd level.

    Enhanced Range (Su)

    At 4th level, a zen archer may spend 1 power point to increase the range increment for his bow by 50 feet for 1 round.

    Reflexive Shot (Ex)

    At 9th level, a zen archer can make attacks of opportunity with arrows from his bow. The monk still threatens squares he could reach with unarmed strikes, and can still only make one attack of opportunity per round (unless he has Combat Reflexes).

    This ability replaces improved evasion.

    Trick Shot (Su)

    At 11th level, a zen archer may hit targets that he might otherwise miss. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, the zen archer can ignore concealment. By spending 2 points, he can ignore total concealment or cover. By spending 3 points, he can ignore total cover, even firing arrows around corners. The arrow must still be able to reach the target; a target inside a closed building with no open doors or windows cannot be attacked. These effects last for 1 round.

    This ability replaces the master's secret gained at 11th level.

    Ki Focus Bow (Su)

    At 17th level, as long as he has at least 1 power point in his power pool, a zen archer may treat arrows fired from his bow as if they were ki focus weapons, allowing him to use his special ki attacks as if his arrows were unarmed attacks.

    This ability replaces the master's secret gained at 17th level.

    The Zen Archer loses the Ki Arrow ability because Monks no longer have scaling damage die, but since they treat bows as special Monk weapons, they do qualify for the Monk Training feature. Also, I might say that the bow would qualify for the Ki Strike Student Secret when the Zen Archer gains Ki Focus Bow at 17th level.


    Tels wrote:
    I disagree with moving the Secrets to even levels. Classes are supposed to gain something other than just HP, an increase in BAB or saves every level, removing the Secrets from the odd levels would create a lot of 'empty' levels for the Monk.

    Remember that on odd levels you're already getting feats and Psionic Powers. However you could also repurpose the Catfall to increase on odd levels instead of even levels. As it is you're already getting "empty" levels every other even level.


    mjb235 wrote:
    Tels wrote:
    I disagree with moving the Secrets to even levels. Classes are supposed to gain something other than just HP, an increase in BAB or saves every level, removing the Secrets from the odd levels would create a lot of 'empty' levels for the Monk.
    Remember that on odd levels you're already getting feats and Psionic Powers. However you could also repurpose the Catfall to increase on odd levels instead of even levels. As it is you're already getting "empty" levels every other even level.

    True enough I guess, but on the even levels you're getting Catfall increases, Powers Known, sometimes you get Increased Power Levels and every 4 levels you get Monk Training bonus, and if you took the secret, ever 4 levels your Monk overcome another DR type. I guess I just don't consider gaining a feat every odd level as part of a classes empty levels, because every character gets those.

    Catfall may not seem like a great ability, but consider this, unlike feather fall, which reduces your falling speed, Catfall reduces the damage you receive by 50 ft. That doesn't stop you from dealing damage to others if you intentionally fall on them though. They would still receive the full damage, while you would receive the reduced damage (possibly none).


    By the way, Ashiel, your table is missing the Improved Evasion at 9th level ability.


    Personally I think the Bonus feats should be expanded to include Greater Trip, Grapple, and Disarm. Also, I'm of the opinion that the various Stunning Fist style feats should be available to the monk as bonus feats, a monk having to wait until level 11 to pick up Touch of Serenity or Punishing Kick is far too long.


    Did you mean to give the Monk Dimension step at level 12 or is that a typo? You do have the Unseen Step Secret which suggests it's a typo.

    Also Tels, sorry I didn't comment earlier but I like your revision for the archetype. However, should the updates be focused more on slapping the fixes to the archetypes, or just revising the archetype abilities into Monk Secrets? If the latter, it might just allow more options for the monk. But at the same time might get a bit silly, so I don't know.


    I think, it'd be better to try convert the Archetypes to work with the fix, as I did with the Zen Archer above. Simply making all the Archetype abilities Secrets would just allow for too much munchkinism to happen.

    Take the Martial Artist ability Exploit Weakness, if that were simply a Secret, even a Master Secret, nearly every class, regardless of choices, would take that Secret as it's a really, really good one. Especially if you mix it with the Sensei's Insightful Strike ability.

    Imagine a if all the Archetype abilities were merely Secrets to choose from as you wish. You could pick the Sohei's Weapon Training, the Zen Archer and Martial Artist's Exploit Weakness. If you mixed this in as much as you can, you'll be able to Bump Wisdom as high as possible, while having an awesome attack bonus (thanks to Zen Archery), overcome DR (thanks to Exploit Weakness) and have Weapon Training, (thanks to Sohei) to put nearly any other archer out there to shame.

    That's why I think simply replacing Secrets gained, or other class abilities with Archetype abilities is best. So you can't munchkin your way to power.


    What!? Madness!

    No you're right, that would be ridiculous. In a perfect world it would be nice to see balanced options like that. But this is as good as it will probably get. Either way, I have a player in my campaign who's going to try your Zen Archer Archetype with this and attach it to an Empyreal Sorceror for Arcane Archer... So we'll see how that works out.

    I'll probably be making builds and throwing them at my players to see how they handle it. At least until they get sick of psionic monks flying around the world all the time.


    Thanks for the feedback. I've been AFK for a few days, so I'm going to process everything here and then get back to everyone. Just wanted to let you guys know why I haven't responded yet. ^-^"

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