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Why do Pathfinder classes, or any other build choice, need to live up to a specific number?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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

A monk could contribute as a skirmisher, a scout, an infiltrator, or any number of other things.

Once you get past the idea that combat damage is the end all be all of party contribution, then things really open up for all the heroic classes.


Someone should post "scout" builds for monk, rogue, and ranger so we can begin arguing over whether they "contribute".


Ravingdork wrote:
Once you get past the idea that combat damage is the end all be all of party contribution, then things really open up for all the heroic classes.

Not one person has claimed Monks don't do enough combat damage.

Actually, the most common complaint is about their low survivability.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wouldn't say that, MP. They have the perceived problems in another thread, but I don't recall one being Damage. I recall one being actually to hit.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
RipfangOmen wrote:
I wouldn't say that, MP. They have the perceived problems in another thread, but I don't recall one being Damage. I recall one being actually to hit.

Which leads to low DPR, and thus arguments like the past 400+ posts.


Monks have several issues in relation to combat effectiveness.

Monks are generally a melee build yet their accuracy tends to lag behind other melee classes for several reasons.

a) 3/4 BAB except in flurries- While 3/4 BAB isn't a complete dealbreaker (although I think full BAB is consistently overrated as a class feature) it means that the monk lags most other melee classes.

b) Monk is MAD- generally that means that in terms of accuracy the Monk is going to lag behind pure strength characters or high dex finesse character. Because some classes can focus almost all ability score development (level based and enhancements) on 1 or 2 ability scores they tend to have higher accuracy numbers than the monk.

c)Amulets are expensive- The cost model for Amulets (and double weapons) tends to be too high. This means the fighter or ranger almost always have a better magic weapon than the monk has an amulet.

3/4 BAB + lower primary ability score + lower enhancement bonuses generally lead to a significantly reduced accuracy rate even in comparison to the rogue. While PC accuracy generally leaves the AC of CR appropriate monsters in the dust this can have significant impact on the combat effectiveness of the Monk as lower accuracy has a significant impact on DPR.

There are other issues that hurt the monk. Among them is the damage per hit.

d)Monk weapons tend to suck- With the exception of the temple sword most monk weapons are generally light simple weapons that you can flurry with. That means the base damage dice is low and the ability to get big critical rates is generally compromised.

e) Being MAD also reduces average damage as there is generally no way to keep pace with the melee fighter with high strength and a twohanded weapon. In fact it's often difficult to keep pace with the two weapon fighter in terms of bonus damage.

f) Monks are generally very stationary fighters- due to the need to stay within 5' of the opponent in order to get the flurry monks often have to stay very stationary which means their mobility is for naught.

g) Monk ranged damage generally is mediocre- Except for the zen archer build the monk doesn't have a ton of good ranged damage options unless they abuse poisoned shurikens. This tends to make the monk of limited use in the opening round of most combats.

Because their accuracy and damage are low they tend to produce mediocre DPR. Unless the monk focuses almost exclusively on AC this tends to mean that the Monk is going to be outhit by many CR appropriate foes.

This leads to increased support costs (more healing required) and more risk to the adventurers as more damage is being done to the party before the monster drops.

This is why people point to the Monk and say that in terms of combat effectiveness the Monk isn't worth being a PC class.


shallowsoul wrote:
All classes bring something to a fight no matter what. This idea of being useless and contributing is B.S.

I know I have said this before, but I will say it again.

We are not saying a class is always useless. The general idea is that it struggles to contribute.


The Saltmarsh 6 wrote:

Why are some people unable or unwilling to except that there are other players who are quite happy with the monk as is ,can anyone answer me ?

Just because they don't like it they assume that everyone should think the same and demand proof that the players are happy with it .
Well here's my proof when ever I've been in a game with a monk they have always contributed to the party's actions just as much as the next character and have allowed there player to enjoy the game and feel like a useful party member
I don't mind if you disagree that's your choice but please respect my opinion
Thank you and happy gaming

We already said we have no issues with how people play. It was actually the OP of this thread that jumped into a monk thread about mechanics and said the monk was fine as it was.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mplindustries wrote:
Actually, the most common complaint is about their low survivability.

What? I've NEVER encountered a monk that wasn't hideously hard to kill.

In fact, the ONLY problems I see with monks is their low DPR and lack of synergy between class abilities (much of which leads to problems like Vuron described above).


Ravingdork wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
The problem is some people around here don't seem to understand the meaning of the words useless and contribution. Apparently, in their reality, these words mean that unless you hit a target number, then you are considered useless and you don't contribute. Sorry but it's hard to take those people seriously.
I wholeheartedly agree. Said people often like to distort and confuse the argument and discredit us by altering the context of the discussion with silly statements like "well then you should be quite happy playing a commoner then" when they know full well that we are talking about PC classes, not NPC classes.

Actually if the only "standard" is fun, and no other standard was given then that is on Shallowsoul. He has been asked to provide a standard and refused to do so. Well he did say fun was the standard, and that anything the monk did was contributing.

When ask for a defined position then a person should explain theirs or accept that any general statement will be taken in whatever direction anyone wants to take it.

If you know his standard then I would like to know it, because the last I heard "fun" was all that matted to which I gave a real game example of someone using an expert. <--Shows that nothing was distorted.


Gignere wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
The problem is some people around here don't seem to understand the meaning of the words useless and contribution. Apparently, in their reality, these words mean that unless you hit a target number, then you are considered useless and you don't contribute. Sorry but it's hard to take those people seriously.
I wholeheartedly agree. Said people often like to distort and confuse the argument and discredit us by altering the context of the discussion with silly statements like "well then you should be quite happy playing a commoner then" when they know full well that we are talking about PC classes, not NPC classes.

On the other hand he has defined contributing as having "fun", how does that add to the discussion of mechanical enhancements (or argue against such) concerning the monk.

Darn I see someone addressed that. I will stop posting until I get to the end of the thread. :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Unlike many posters, I try not to get crazy involved in someone else's argument.
Ah, you're right. I've asked shallowsoul the same thing and gotten no answer either.

Jodokai said something along the lines of we want robots as GM's. I wonder if RD was talking about him?


Ravingdork wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Actually, the most common complaint is about their low survivability.

What? I've NEVER encountered a monk that wasn't hideously hard to kill.

In fact, the ONLY problems I see with monks is their low DPR and lack of synergy between class abilities (much of which leads to problems like Vuron described above).

Many of the theory-crafted builds I've seen on the board sacrifice defense for DPR numbers. I'm not certain I'd like to play such a build, though.


shallowsoul wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

I've seen your monk. I wasn't impressed, and other posters have gone into great detail as to why it fails to meaningfully contribute (being melee focused with no ability to survive in melee being a major problem).

The problem here is that you claim that it can meaningfully contribute anyway, but don't define what contribution is to you (it certainly isn't hitting ACs more often than not or not dying). Perhaps the discussion can move on when you answer that question, and explain why you feel the monk is doing his job. Until then, we're stuck in this loop.

I wasn't trying to impress you or anyone else for that matter. The purpose of the build wasn't to impress but to show that the class does and can contribute to a party.

The word "impress" was not the main subject.

The point he was making was that he did not see how you monk was meaningful contributor, and he was asking you to dispel/counter the criticism made against your build.

SS, I am sure you are not stupid, and therefore understood the intent. That is why when you argue semantics people accuse you of dodging the question.


Ravingdork wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Actually, the most common complaint is about their low survivability.

What? I've NEVER encountered a monk that wasn't hideously hard to kill.

In fact, the ONLY problems I see with monks is their low DPR and lack of synergy between class abilities (much of which leads to problems like Vuron described above).

As I understand the situation, it's possible to get a monk with less horrible DPR by focusing on maxing out Strength, taking the right set of feats (Like Dragon Style), and neglecting their defenses. Leaves the monk in a position where they have to choose between dealing piddly damage but having solid defense, or dealing still-not-as-good-as-other-classes damage, but losing a lot of their defensive power.


Ravingdork wrote:

A monk could contribute as a skirmisher, a scout, an infiltrator, or any number of other things.

Once you get past the idea that combat damage is the end all be all of party contribution, then things really open up for all the heroic classes.

If you had read post you would know that statement is not true at all. Nobody is suggesting the monk focus on damage. The only stipulation is that barring corner cases we be able to expect for the monk to succeed, and that the monk be able to do well outside of corner cases. The builder gets to determine how he builds the monk to make that happen. We will then test the monk to see how it works out, or the OP builder can do the his own research. At the end of the day the monk can stand on his own or it can not.

As of now I am still waiting for advice* on how to get monks to survive in my games, without going into easy mode.

*that I can pass onto players.


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

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.


Ravingdork wrote:

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.

I tend to see much the opposite. Monks who have some of the lowest AC in the game barring excessive point buys and loads of magic items (or having a buff-b@%*& following them around to cast defensive spells on them). My biggest complaint with monks that people declare as "good monks" is they look like they'd keel over in a stiff breeze.

That's actually what my problem with Shallowsoul's monk was. At 10th level he had less than 60 HP and a 25 AC as a front-liner (no ranged capability at all). His contribution to a party in any 10th level game I've been involved in would be making sure the monsters weren't hungry enough to eat the rest of the party.

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.

I tend to see much the opposite. Monks who have some of the lowest AC in the game barring excessive point buys and loads of magic items (or having a buff-b%*!~ following them around to cast defensive spells on them). My biggest complaint with monks that people declare as "good monks" is they look like they'd keel over in a stiff breeze.

That's actually what my problem with Shallowsoul's monk was. At 10th level he had less than 60 HP and a 25 AC as a front-liner (no ranged capability at all). His contribution to a party in any 10th level game I've been involved in would be making sure the monsters weren't hungry enough to eat the rest of the party.

Actually my monk wasn't a front liner, I made him to be a skirmisher. Remember that I took dodge, mobility and spring attack. That's not to say he would do a flurry here or there but I didn't design him to just stand there and trade blows.

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:

A monk could contribute as a skirmisher, a scout, an infiltrator, or any number of other things.

Once you get past the idea that combat damage is the end all be all of party contribution, then things really open up for all the heroic classes.

I don't believe anyone was hung-up on the idea that combat damage is the end-all and be-all of party contribution. I'm really tried of those that believe the monk is useful continuing to belittle those who don't, instead of making their arguments. Instead of giving us the "could contribute as any number of things" line, show us how it could contribute.

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel wrote:
His contribution to a party in any 10th level game I've been involved in would be making sure the monsters weren't hungry enough to eat the rest of the party.

Skill focus: profession chef. The monster will still be hungry in half an hour though.


Ravingdork wrote:

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.

I won initiative against a BBEG monk once with my paladin and I one rounded him with smite up. The GM was pissed since he spent hours building the monk. Monks only have good defense if you win initiative.


shallowsoul wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.

I tend to see much the opposite. Monks who have some of the lowest AC in the game barring excessive point buys and loads of magic items (or having a buff-b%*!~ following them around to cast defensive spells on them). My biggest complaint with monks that people declare as "good monks" is they look like they'd keel over in a stiff breeze.

That's actually what my problem with Shallowsoul's monk was. At 10th level he had less than 60 HP and a 25 AC as a front-liner (no ranged capability at all). His contribution to a party in any 10th level game I've been involved in would be making sure the monsters weren't hungry enough to eat the rest of the party.

Actually my monk wasn't a front liner, I made him to be a skirmisher. Remember that I took dodge, mobility and spring attack. That's not to say he would do a flurry here or there but I didn't design him to just stand there and trade blows.

That's rather incredible. So you built a Monk who didn't even fully utilize one of his main class abilities?

Why didn't you just make an Unarmed Fighter and make it your skirmisher? It would have probably done a better job, too.

Also, why do I have the feeling that the DM took extra care not to get you killed and put your Monk against foes normally too weak for other classes?

Andoran

We have shown in many, many thread that monk defense isn't the issue. Those of us not allergic to posting builds have shown monks can keep pace and exceed the guidelines for generic AC, and while doing so blow the doors off touch AC, along with the good saves and immunities. It has been shown so many times in so many threads with so many builds I always shake my head when it comes back.

A monk adds Wisdom off the bat as a generic bonus that stacks with everything. A 16 wisdom is industry standard, so we start there at +3. If we only put a 12 in dex, we are at +4 and dodge is a monk bonus feat, we are at +5 with no ACP which meet bestiary criteria through 4th level with no magic items and a 12 in dex.

At 4th level, monks get another +1 that stacks with everything, bracers have the same cost as any armor enhancement, you can swap out slow fall for barkskin...

The whole thing is ridiculous, and feel free to make a thread to discuss it, name a level and a reasonable challenge and I'm meet it.

Defense is not the issue.

Offense is the issue. Specificially attack bonus unarmed and overcoming DR.

Only someone who has never played a monk regularly would argue defense is a problem.


Icyshadow wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.

I tend to see much the opposite. Monks who have some of the lowest AC in the game barring excessive point buys and loads of magic items (or having a buff-b%*!~ following them around to cast defensive spells on them). My biggest complaint with monks that people declare as "good monks" is they look like they'd keel over in a stiff breeze.

That's actually what my problem with Shallowsoul's monk was. At 10th level he had less than 60 HP and a 25 AC as a front-liner (no ranged capability at all). His contribution to a party in any 10th level game I've been involved in would be making sure the monsters weren't hungry enough to eat the rest of the party.

Actually my monk wasn't a front liner, I made him to be a skirmisher. Remember that I took dodge, mobility and spring attack. That's not to say he would do a flurry here or there but I didn't design him to just stand there and trade blows.

That's rather incredible. So you built a Monk who didn't even fully utilize one of his main class abilities?

Why didn't you just make an Unarmed Fighter and make it your skirmisher? It would have probably done a better job, too.

Because fighters don't get the extra movement?

I'm not saying it's a good reason.

Silver Crusade

Icyshadow wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Monks (that I've seen) have some of the highest AC and saves in the game, along with multiple defensive abilities, immunities, and escape options.

What exactly is making them so supposedly fragile? I'm just not seeing it.

I tend to see much the opposite. Monks who have some of the lowest AC in the game barring excessive point buys and loads of magic items (or having a buff-b%*!~ following them around to cast defensive spells on them). My biggest complaint with monks that people declare as "good monks" is they look like they'd keel over in a stiff breeze.

That's actually what my problem with Shallowsoul's monk was. At 10th level he had less than 60 HP and a 25 AC as a front-liner (no ranged capability at all). His contribution to a party in any 10th level game I've been involved in would be making sure the monsters weren't hungry enough to eat the rest of the party.

Actually my monk wasn't a front liner, I made him to be a skirmisher. Remember that I took dodge, mobility and spring attack. That's not to say he would do a flurry here or there but I didn't design him to just stand there and trade blows.

That's rather incredible. So you built a Monk who didn't even fully utilize one of his main class abilities?

Why didn't you just make an Unarmed Fighter and make it your skirmisher? It would have probably done a better job, too.

Also, why do I have the feeling that the DM took extra care not to get you killed and put your Monk against foes normally too weak for other classes?

My monk was built to do multiple things. A monk can be a skirmisher and then throw flurries when need be. Mobility and Spring Attack are bonus feats for monks so I don't see the problem.


shallowsoul wrote:
My monk was built to do multiple things. A monk can be a skirmisher and then throw flurries when need be. Mobility and Spring Attack are bonus feats for monks so I don't see the problem.

No you built your monk to attempt to do multiple things. However, nothing is guaranteed or even a high probability of success, in fact you built him to require above average rolls to do anything.

Unless it is metagaming I see no reason why an adventuring party will want your monk on the team. An adventuring party is going out to dangerous places you don't bring people who are little more than baggage.


Gignere wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
My monk was built to do multiple things. A monk can be a skirmisher and then throw flurries when need be. Mobility and Spring Attack are bonus feats for monks so I don't see the problem.

No you built your monk to attempt to do multiple things. However, nothing is guaranteed or even a high probability of success, in fact you built him to require above average rolls to do anything.

Unless it is metagaming I see no reason why an adventuring party will want your monk on the team. An adventuring party is going out to dangerous places you don't bring people who are little more than baggage.

In the name of being fair, I'm pretty sure I could find a place for him in a 5th level party.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Removed a post and the replies. Again, be civil to other posters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gignere wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
My monk was built to do multiple things. A monk can be a skirmisher and then throw flurries when need be. Mobility and Spring Attack are bonus feats for monks so I don't see the problem.

No you built your monk to attempt to do multiple things. However, nothing is guaranteed or even a high probability of success, in fact you built him to require above average rolls to do anything.

Unless it is metagaming I see no reason why an adventuring party will want your monk on the team. An adventuring party is going out to dangerous places you don't bring people who are little more than baggage.

I disagree. Said monk could be a valuable out of combat ally, and even in combat he can continually harass the enemy in useful ways such as springing in, tripping them up in front of the barbarian or disarming them of their super weapon, and springing out again; grappling spellcasters; etc.

Doing good damage helps, but technically you don't need to do ANY to remain useful in other ways.

I think it takes even more metagame thinking to assume an adventurer always has a choice. Does nobody play the Luke Skywalker or the Richard Cypher hero concept anymore? Such characters are practically dragged into adventure, whether they like it or not, whether they are ready for it or not.

Silver Crusade

Gignere wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
My monk was built to do multiple things. A monk can be a skirmisher and then throw flurries when need be. Mobility and Spring Attack are bonus feats for monks so I don't see the problem.

No you built your monk to attempt to do multiple things. However, nothing is guaranteed or even a high probability of success, in fact you built him to require above average rolls to do anything.

Unless it is metagaming I see no reason why an adventuring party will want your monk on the team. An adventuring party is going out to dangerous places you don't bring people who are little more than baggage.

First off, you are metagaming by assuming the party is going to know my stats and second, you are assuming that I am going to fail in any rolls I need to make.

My Monk was hitting typical A.C. monsters of that CR around 50% which is really where you should normally be while buffs tip your percentage over that mark. Now if I wanted to, I could have improved that percentage a bit more by lowering my Intelligence a little and give up on Combat Expertise.

Shadow Lodge

Missing half the time, on a melee class, is not acceptable IMHO.


Ravingdork wrote:
I disagree. Said monk could be a valuable out of combat ally, and even in combat he can continually harass the enemy in useful ways such as springing in, tripping them up in front of the barbarian or disarming them of their super weapon, and springing out again; grappling spellcasters; etc.

See, that is the theory, but in practice it is much more difficult. Monks can't use bonus feats for the Greater versions of maneuvers, have to deal with the fact that CMD rises faster than CMB (especially against monstrous opponents), and their MADness will further reduce their bonus. "Harassing" the enemy is a nice idea, but as Pathfinder has no inherent "agro" mechanic, it makes more sense for an intelligent enemy to concentrate on the opponents who are actual threats, rather than the guy who is popping in and trying to poke it (and likely failing) every round.

Ravingdork wrote:
I think it takes even more metagame thinking to assume an adventurer always has a choice. Does nobody play the Luke Skywalker or the Richard Cypher hero concept anymore? Such characters are practically dragged into adventure, whether they like it or not, whether they are ready for it or not.

I think this is an entirely unrelated issue. If someone wants to go into the adventure as such a character, that is totally fine. Start with a level of Commoner and beat people over the head with a frying pan? Cool, but be sure you know what you are getting into. Likewise, if nobody else in the party minded, it would be fine for someone to play an overpowered Hill Giant while everyone else was Commoners.

This isn't really relevant to the Monk. It is listed along with all the other PC classes, with no indication that it should be treated differently, as a "forced into adventure" character or really anyone who would be a less successful adventurer than a member of any other class. The source material for the Monk likewise does not fit this. While many Kung-Fu movies feature unlikely heroes, they are extremely adept at dealing with their situation. Being a sidekick who, at best, can set things up for the real hero to beat them down does not match the flavor many people want from the class, what iconic "Monk" type characters can do, and what one would expect from a Core player class.

Being an underdog hero is fine. Being someone forced into adventure is fine. But that is not all the Monk is, and it should not be forced (uniquely among PC classes) to bear the burden of these ideas by being inherently worse than everyone else. Likewise, skirmishing and maneuvers are fine, but without something to make consistently good at these, they really aren't a part of the conversation.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ciretose wrote:

Defense is not the issue.

Offense is the issue. Specificially attack bonus unarmed and overcoming DR.

Only someone who has never played a monk regularly would argue defense is a problem.

Whenever Shallowsoul's monk came up, it was agreed it did fine damage, but that it was ridiculously fragile.

Perhaps, the real problem is that a monk can have either good offense or good defense, but struggles mightily to have respectable levels of both?


shallowsoul wrote:

Actually my monk wasn't a front liner, I made him to be a skirmisher. Remember that I took dodge, mobility and spring attack. That's not to say he would do a flurry here or there but I didn't design him to just stand there and trade blows.

......
My Monk was hitting typical A.C. monsters of that CR around 50% which is really where you should normally be while buffs tip your percentage over that mark. Now if I wanted to, I could have improved that percentage a bit more by lowering my Intelligence a little and give up on Combat Expertise.

I'll preface this by saying I never saw the original build in question. But let me see if I got this straight. You built a skirmisher monk build focused on spring-attacking, and are only hitting 50% of the time? And in spring attack you don't get to take advantage of the monks main damage advantages of flurry?

Don't get me wrong, if you like your build, great, but if I was essentially useless every other round of combat I would be looking into different build.


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

Most classes are essentially useless every other round of combat. A rogue double moves to get into flanking position, a spellcaster's target beats the DC of a "save negates" spell, a fighter misses his attacks, etc.

This is par for the course.


Ravingdork wrote:
Most classes are essentially useless every other round of combat. A rogue double moves to get into flanking position, a spellcaster's target beats the DC of a "save negates" spell, a fighter misses his attacks, etc.

Wow, that list took a dramatic turn after the second entry. I mean, it doesn't really have much to do with anything to begin with, but the Rogue is the only one that is evenly vaguely related to your point.

The Rogue does indeed have to burn an extra turn getting into Flanking position (or using some other ability to set up Sneak Attack). Of course, they will be able to full attack the round after that, and continue doing so until the creature is dead/escapes, but it is at least close to being a point.

But comparing that to beating a Spell DC or missing an attack is... bizarre. I mean, the Fighter has a much higher attack bonus for several reasons, so he is going to be hitting much more than the Monk. He also is going to be taking full attacks instead of jumping in and out with Spring Attack, meaning he gets more attacks overall and each hit is going to deal more damage. A spellcaster's target might beat a DC, but if it fails that creature may be so hampered as to be basically defeated, or it might be only one of several targets of an AoE. It really isn't comparable to a character who only gets to attack once a round, has a 50% chance of that attack connecting, and then if that attack connects can inflict a status effect (if the enemy fails a save, which is not necessarily particularly likely).

This really isn't par for the course. This is starting in the sand trap while everyone else gets to begin on the green.

Silver Crusade

Dr Grecko wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Actually my monk wasn't a front liner, I made him to be a skirmisher. Remember that I took dodge, mobility and spring attack. That's not to say he would do a flurry here or there but I didn't design him to just stand there and trade blows.

......
My Monk was hitting typical A.C. monsters of that CR around 50% which is really where you should normally be while buffs tip your percentage over that mark. Now if I wanted to, I could have improved that percentage a bit more by lowering my Intelligence a little and give up on Combat Expertise.

I'll preface this by saying I never saw the original build in question. But let me see if I got this straight. You built a skirmisher monk build focused on spring-attacking, and are only hitting 50% of the time? And in spring attack you don't get to take advantage of the monks main damage advantages of flurry?

Don't get me wrong, if you like your build, great, but if I was essentially useless every other round of combat I would be looking into different build.

Few things:

1: Usually when I go for a skirmisher build, I play them with teamwork in mind. While the fighter, or other tank, has the creature occupied, I will jump gaining my flanking bonus to hit and end up attempting to stun the creature. His Stun DC is at 20 so it's not bad by any means.

2: You can't know until after the battle happens what his hit ratio is. He could hit for the next three encounters so saying he is going to miss every other round is not accurate unless you can see into the future.

3: That build was missing three feats that I hadn't chosen yet.

Grand Lodge

mplindustries wrote:
ciretose wrote:

Defense is not the issue.

Offense is the issue. Specificially attack bonus unarmed and overcoming DR.

Only someone who has never played a monk regularly would argue defense is a problem.

Whenever Shallowsoul's monk came up, it was agreed it did fine damage, but that it was ridiculously fragile.

Perhaps, the real problem is that a monk can have either good offense or good defense, but struggles mightily to have respectable levels of both?

Actually...the issue was BOTH. He tried to do it all and kinda miffed up both.

Grand Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:

Most classes are essentially useless every other round of combat. A rogue double moves to get into flanking position, a spellcaster's target beats the DC of a "save negates" spell, a fighter misses his attacks, etc.

This is par for the course.

Maybe for YOUR characters...but see I kinda like to stack the deck in my favor and I tend to do things that are BETTER then 50/50 for most of the game. Now I will admit that I will on occasion to something totally off the wall with little chance of success just because...but my characters are built to succeed more then half the time (power matched to the games I am in of course).

Grand Lodge

shallowsoul wrote:


Few things:

1: Usually when I go for a skirmisher build, I play them with teamwork in mind. While the fighter, or other tank, has the creature occupied, I will jump gaining my flanking bonus to hit and end up attempting to stun the creature. His Stun DC is at 20 so it's not bad by any means.

2: You can't know until after the battle happens what his hit ratio is. He could hit for the next three encounters so saying he is going to miss every other round is not accurate unless you can see into the future.

3: That build was missing three feats that I hadn't chosen yet.

1) DC 20 is HORRIBLE at level 10. With your ability to hit, you were looking at ~67% failure rate againt bad fort saves If they had GOOD fort saves, your looking at ~90% failure rate. That means unless you are fighting in easy mode, your boned.

2) Yes YOU CAN. That is what statistics is. If you need to use a set of loaded dice or somehow have lady luck as your personal servant to play a monk...well that kinda proves the they are not viable argument now doesn't it.

3) Well then do so...not that 3 feats will do much for this anyways.


Well, to be fair, 3 more feats might do something to improve the build.

It's probably less than useful to leave them unchosen, and suggest that the build would be ok if they were chosen...

Silver Crusade

Cold Napalm wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Few things:

1: Usually when I go for a skirmisher build, I play them with teamwork in mind. While the fighter, or other tank, has the creature occupied, I will jump gaining my flanking bonus to hit and end up attempting to stun the creature. His Stun DC is at 20 so it's not bad by any means.

2: You can't know until after the battle happens what his hit ratio is. He could hit for the next three encounters so saying he is going to miss every other round is not accurate unless you can see into the future.

3: That build was missing three feats that I hadn't chosen yet.

1) DC 20 is HORRIBLE at level 10. With your ability to hit, you were looking at ~67% failure rate againt bad fort saves If they had GOOD fort saves, your looking at ~90% failure rate. That means unless you are fighting in easy mode, your boned.

2) Yes YOU CAN. That is what statistics is. If you need to use a set of loaded dice or somehow have lady luck as your personal servant to play a monk...well that kinda proves the they are not viable argument now doesn't it.

3) Well then do so...not that 3 feats will do much for this anyways.

Emmmm no. CR 10 creatures are packing from 21 to 24 AC and with a +14 to hit that leaves a 50% chance to hit AC of 24. Creatures around CR 10 have various levels of Fortitude saves anywhere from +7 to +11 so it varies.

No you can't know the outcome of a battle until it's over. You can guess but you aren't going to know. I could 7 times during a battle and hit each and every time or I could miss each and every time.

Silver Crusade

"Dugan Stoneknuckles" 10th level Dwarven Monk (20 point buy)
Str:16
Dex:14
Con:14
Int:12
Wis:22
Cha:5
AC: 28 (34 if Ki is spent)
32 ( vs Giants)(36 if Ki is spent)
HP: 10d8 + 10
Spd: 50
CMD: 22 (24 when being Grappled)
CMB: +13 (+15 when Grappling)
Traits: Quain Martial Artist (+1 damage when using Unarmed Strikes),
Fort: +11 (+2 vs spells, spell like and Poison)
Ref: +11 (+2 vs spells, spell like and Posion)
Will: +15 (+2 vs spells, spell like and Posion)(+2 vs Enchantment spells and effects)
Attack: Flurry: +14/+14/+9/+9 Spend a Ki Point for another +14: 2d6 + 6
Kamas: +12/+12 Spend Ki Point +12: 1d6 +3
Feats: Mobility, Dodge, Extra Ki, Stunning Fist DC: 21 10/day (Fatigued & Sickened), Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike), Spring Attack, Iron Hide, Improved Natural Armor, Disorienting Maneuver, Improved Grapple
Ki Pool: 10
Abilities: Darkvision 60ft, Evasion, Improved Evasion, Fast Movement, Still Mind, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, Maneuver Training, Ki Pool (Magic & Lawful), Slow Fall 50ft, Purity of Body, High Jump, Defensive Training, Greed, Hatred, Hardy, Stability, Stonecutting, Weapon Familiarity, Wholeness of Body,
Skills: Acrobatics: +15, Climb: +3, Escape Artist: +15, Perception: +19, Sense Motive: +19, Stealth: +15, Swim: +3.
Items: Belt of Giant Str +2, Headband of Inspired Wisdom +2, Bracers of Armor +4, Cloak of Resistance +2, Masterwork Cold Iron Kama, Masterwork Silver Kama, Monk’s Robes, Amulet of Mighty Fists +2,

I decided to drop the +1 from Int and put it in Wisdom which increased the DC on Stunning Fist, Will save, Skills, Ki Pool and AC. He also dropped Combat Expertise since he doesn't qualify anymore. Picked up more feats and decided to go with Disorienting Maneuver to pick up that extra +2 to attack when I successfully tumble through an enemy's space followed by an extra bonus when I flank.

I changed the skills around a bit and the other two feats I took helped his AC to go up by two.

I'm still playing with this build a bit so I may post more changes later.


shallowsoul wrote:
Emmmm no. CR 10 creatures are packing from 21 to 24 AC and with a +14 to hit that leaves a 50% chance to hit AC of 24. Creatures around CR 10 have various levels of Fortitude saves anywhere from +7 to +11 so it varies.

50% to hit and a Fortitude save of +7 means you have a 30% chance of Stunning Fist working. Which is pretty much what Cold Napalm said.

shallowsoul wrote:
No you can't know the outcome of a battle until it's over. You can guess but you aren't going to know. I could 7 times during a battle and hit each and every time or I could miss each and every time.

We can know how likely a given outcome is. In the same way a Monk could hit every single time a Fighter could get a critical every time or a Wizard could have everyone roll natural 1's on their saving throws. It is extraordinarily unlikely, but it could happen. If chances of success simply do not matter, might I recommend investing heavily in lottery tickets and roulette?

shallowsoul wrote:
Picked up more feats and decided to go with Disorienting Maneuver to pick up that extra +2 to attack when I successfully tumble through an enemy's space followed by an extra bonus when I flank.

Have fun with that. CR10 enemies have a CMD around 30, often much higher (and rarely more than 1-3 points lower). +5 from moving through their space, and you looking at a DC35 check. Given your +15 to Acrobatics... I don't think you will be seeing that bonus terribly much. But hey, who am I to say. You could roll a 20 every time!

Silver Crusade

What's the name of that trait that allows you to extend an ability for longer than 1 round?


Quote:

Emmmm no. CR 10 creatures are packing from 21 to 24 AC and with a +14 to hit that leaves a 50% chance to hit AC of 24. Creatures around CR 10 have various levels of Fortitude saves anywhere from +7 to +11 so it varies.

You can guess but you aren't going to know. I could 7 times during a battle and hit each and every time or I could miss each and every time.

While you can't know the outcome of a single battle until it's over, you can determine what is likely to happen in a future combat. Yes you could hit every single time one battle, and then miss every single time the next battle, but with math and/or statistical analysis you can predict (far, far different than guessing) what is most likely to happen. There are always outliers but those things tend to even out over a long enough time. If your concept requires consistently beating the odds chances are it won't pan out long term.

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