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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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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.

Fragile? I think everyone agrees the a monk has every good defenses, if built to survive. RD every post you have made is the opposite of what we are saying. I am about to go the route of ToZ and start asking for quotes. I think you are misreading what is being said.


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.

Thanks for posting a specific answer, and no I am not being sarcastic.

<goes back into lurking mode for now>


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.

I am sure that every other round(50%) is a big exaggeration.

Were you not just complaining about the commoner example use earlier by another poster<--Rhetorical question.


wraithstrike wrote:
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.

Now that I have explained the intent of Aratrok's post-->bump


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wraithstrike 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.

Fragile? I think everyone agrees the a monk has every good defenses, if built to survive. RD every post you have made is the opposite of what we are saying. I am about to go the route of ToZ and start asking for quotes. I think you are misreading what is being said.

I've been mistaken from time to time, but I don't make stuff up, Wraith. You should pay more attention as, clearly, some people think monks have such a "low survivability" as to "keel over in a stiff breeze," even going so far as to say that it is "the most common complaint [about monks]."

mplindustries wrote:
Actually, the most common complaint is about their low survivability.
Bearded Ben wrote:
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.
Ashiel wrote:
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.


Ravingdork wrote:
wraithstrike 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.

Fragile? I think everyone agrees the a monk has every good defenses, if built to survive. RD every post you have made is the opposite of what we are saying. I am about to go the route of ToZ and start asking for quotes. I think you are misreading what is being said.

I've been mistaken from time to time, but I don't make stuff up, Wraith. You should pay more attention as, clearly, some people think monks have such a "low survivability" as to "keel over in a stiff breeze," even going so far as to say that it is "the most common complaint [about monks]."

mplindustries wrote:
Actually, the most common complaint is about their low survivability.
Bearded Ben wrote:
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.
Ashiel wrote:
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.

Fair enough. Ashiel knows monks have good defenses. He is referring to the AC of a monk built for offense. I know that because of his other post. That is basically what the Bearded Ben is also saying. The monk can be built to attack well, or be very hard to kill, but it seems to be hard to build one that does both barring an extremely high point buy like my first monk had.

I don't agree with mplindustries, and I doubt Dabbler would either if he were here and posting.

PS:I am glad you provided quotes. :)

Silver Crusade

shallowsoul wrote:

"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...

AC with Ki should be 32 not 34.

Edit: Ki Pool should be at 13.


wraithstrike wrote:
I don't agree with mplindustries

For the record, I don't have a horse in this race or my own opinion on the monk's survivability or damage output. I was referring to the fact that any time Shallowsoul's monk build was brought up, people talked about how fragile he was--too few HP, too little HP, etc.


shallowsoul wrote:

"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,

This build is slightly better than the other one but you still have the same issues you are too spread out and do nothing with a high probability of success. The CMDs from CR 10 - CR 13 the likely stuff you are fighting at level 11, are in the low to mid 30's. You only have a +15 to acrobatics, going through an occupy square is 5 + CMD, chances are your acrobatics check will never work. So Disorienting Maneuvers is basically a dead feat for you.

Essentially you are building your monk like other classes but a monk can't do that. It is truly the class that needs to hyper specialize to achieve what other classes can do with just a couple of feat investments.

Look at your other class skill you invested in stealth: most creatures at CR 10 - 13 have +20 to perception, in fact a Glabrezu have +26 perception. Chances are you are not sneaking up on anything either.

So let's look at your damage, even against AC 25 assuming you get haste you'll be whiffing 45% of the time on your highest bonus attack. If you fight a CR 13, AC 28, you are missing 65% of the time. Your save DC of 21 takes only a roll of a 7 or lower for most of these creatures to save against (the Glab only needs a 3 to save).

Even if you hit there is still a significant chance you won't do any damage because most creatures at this CR band have DR 10/either material or alignment that you have no easy way of going through. So even if you hit if you roll 4 or lower on damage you actually do no damage, so no stunning fist either. If you swap to your kamas you will miss even more.

As for AC you are basically just above par for the level. Fighter +3 full plate and 14 dex, +2 Amulet and +1 Ring, will be at 27 AC already. This is a THF fighter not using a shield.

Your monk is basically not reliable at most facets of the game. Everything your monk tries to do will basically require above average or spectacular rolls.

You spend a whole bunch of feats to get Spring Attack but instead of building on that further you try to diversify into Disorienting Maneuvers instead. Why? This just assures that both tricks up your sleeve will be ineffective.

Why don't you take Dragon Style over Disorienting Manuevers? If you are only hitting every other round the only decent thing to do is to make sure it counts when you do hit.

Why improve grapple if you aren't going to invest in it any further? 15 CMB means you would need to roll a 20 to succeed in grappling any CR 13 creatures. Even CR 10 creatures you'll need to roll 15 or above.

Do you notice a pattern? Nothing you attempt in game has higher than a 45% chance of succeeding even against = CR stuff. That is the definition of unreliable.


mplindustries wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I don't agree with mplindustries
For the record, I don't have a horse in this race or my own opinion on the monk's survivability or damage output. I was referring to the fact that any time Shallowsoul's monk build was brought up, people talked about how fragile he was--too few HP, too little HP, etc.

I was not saying I never agree with you. I was saying that I think monks can be hard to kill.

PS:It also seemed RD took your post as a shot against all monks. Now we can remove your name from the list RD created. :)


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wraithstrike wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I don't agree with mplindustries
For the record, I don't have a horse in this race or my own opinion on the monk's survivability or damage output. I was referring to the fact that any time Shallowsoul's monk build was brought up, people talked about how fragile he was--too few HP, too little HP, etc.

I was not saying I never agree with you. I was saying that I think monks can be hard to kill.

PS:It also seemed RD took your post as a shot against all monks. Now we can remove your name from the list RD created. :)

Thank you for defending me with truth Wraithstrike. I appreciate that greatly. And I maintain my position as well. Monks that people declare can actually contribute (such as actually being able to hit and/or damage meaningfully with their martial arts) always seem to have absolutely horrible defenses. Defenses that may at very high levels begin to look decent, but looking at their build you realize they had a truly horrible survival chance at low levels (perhaps the biggest flaw of trying to show a build at only a high level, which is why I usually try to provide a few snapshots of a build at key levels when I'm presenting something).

If at 1st level you have a 15 AC or less as a class who is expected to engage in melee combat then you are a dead man from where I'm sitting. If at 10th level your AC is 25 then you're a dead man from where I'm sitting. If you can only reliably deal 3-5 damage at 10th level every other round as someone who relies on attack you're not only a dead man from where I'm standing but you're a waste of space as well, and the only reason you're on this adventure and getting a share of loot that could be better invested in making those who contribute better is because it's a game and your group is metagaming.

It would be like in Fellowship of the Rings when Frodo volunteers to take the ring to Mordor, only let's twist this little adventuring party.
1) You have my sword.
2) You have my bow.
3) You have my axe.
4) You have my wooden spoon.

"Wait, what?" Everyone remarks, turning to see Milly the cook arrive on the scene. "Er, wait, you want to come and defend Frodo and take on the Dark Lord?" Elron asks. "Absolutely! I packed everything that I would need for our adventure. My wooden spoon, teddy bear, and lucky whistle" she responds. "Er, wait...Milly, I think..." Aragon begins lightly. "Oh, and I don't know how to use a bow, but I demand an equal share of any arrows we find so I can throw them at enemies or poke them with them", at which point Frodo jumps up and says "Oh come off it woman, I'm a little hobbit who regularly falls on my duff with an addiction to talking rings but even I'm not this useless".


shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.

Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.


johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.

I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.
I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.

Because everyone knows that animal companions and minions just can't buy GMs chicken wings.


Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.
I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.
Because everyone knows that animal companions and minions just can't buy GMs chicken wings.

There should be a 3PP feat that allows for it.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.
I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.
Because everyone knows that animal companions and minions just can't buy GMs chicken wings.
There should be a 3PP feat that allows for it.

Is it a feat or the Chosen of Colonel Sanders trait?


Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.
I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.
Because everyone knows that animal companions and minions just can't buy GMs chicken wings.
There should be a 3PP feat that allows for it.
Is it a feat or the Chosen of Colonel Sanders trait?

That depends. Does the companion need to take it or the PC? If the companion, that's an Additional Traits feat anyway.


Serisan wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.
I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.
Because everyone knows that animal companions and minions just can't buy GMs chicken wings.
There should be a 3PP feat that allows for it.
Is it a feat or the Chosen of Colonel Sanders trait?
That depends. Does the companion need to take it or the PC? If the companion, that's an Additional Traits feat anyway.

Not like I wouldn't take Additional Traits on my animal companion anyway. Some traits are sexy, and +1 to two different saving throws is pretty decent for a feat. I suppose having a companion that could pop out of the game and make the GM some Chicken for your good GM Jenkins, I could spare one of those +1s. :P


Ashiel wrote:
Serisan wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Seranov wrote:

If it bothers you, just skip past it.

Being mechanically capable of reaching this number you don't like is a valid requirement for some people. They are very much allowed to talk about things like that, and nothing stops you from ignoring it.

Actually it becomes a problem when you are told that your build sucks because it didn't have DPR in mind when it was built and that does go on in the boards.
Its only an issue if you are playing with other people who are doing significantly more damage than you.
I would think that if they are doing significantly more damage than you, then you can focus on other things instead of damage. If the monk in question focused on helping the rest of the party increase their DPR (flanking, maneuvers, buying the GM chicken wings, whatever), then he's still contributing to the combat and everyone should be happy. I see it only as a problem when the players think the game is a competition rather than a cooperation. To me it would be like the quarterback getting upset that he isn't getting as many interceptions as some of the other players. Find your role and fill it as well as you can.
Because everyone knows that animal companions and minions just can't buy GMs chicken wings.
There should be a 3PP feat that allows for it.
Is it a feat or the Chosen of Colonel Sanders trait?
That depends. Does the companion need to take it or the PC? If the companion, that's an Additional Traits feat anyway.
Not like I wouldn't take Additional Traits on my animal companion anyway. Some traits are sexy, and +1 to two different saving throws is pretty decent for a feat. I suppose having a companion that could pop out of the game and make the GM some Chicken for your good GM Jenkins, I could spare one of those +1s. :P

+2 initiative, +1 will, -1 reduced armor check penalty from barding, and a bonus to perception, diplomacy or intimidate are all sweet things for an animal companion to possess.

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