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Break THIS fix! (warning: Monk content)


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There have been a few of these threads to see if the optimizers can see exploits we cannot in some of the 'monk fix' suggestions.

Here's my set of suggestions, I would appreciate if anyone can see a way of making these fix ideas 'broken' in combination or in isolation:

Fix #1: Enhancement:
Ki-strike: At 4th level the monk gains a +1 enhancement bonus to hit (but not damage) with their unarmed strike. This bonus increases at another +1 for every three level the monk has, to a maximum of +5 at 16th level and is treated as a magical enhancement bonus for all effects. It cannot stack with other enhancement bonuses to hit from other sources, but can be stacked with other effects that apply to the unarmed strike. It also applies to CMB when used with maneuvers unarmed.

This means, you can wear an amulet of mighty fists but only the enhancement damage bonus will apply, and any properties it has, to the monk's unaremd strike. Thus the AoMF is still relevant and useful, but not essential and the monk is able to 'keep up' with the martial classes in terms of hitting their targets.

Fix #2: MAD:
Zen Combat: At 1st level, the monk may substitute their wisdom bonus for their strength or dexterity bonus when making attack rolls with special monk weapons or unarmed strikes, or for CMB calculations.

This I can't see as any more broken than Weapon Finesse or Guided Hand (but then that's the reason for this thread), but reduces the monk's dependence on maxing out several stats to just one.

Fix #3: DR-bypass:
Ki-Pool addition: The monk may expend 1 ki-point as a swift action to ignore 1 point of damage resistance or hardness per monk level on a single target creature for one round per monk level.

DR shuts down monks if they are not HULKSMASH-monk, if the damage output is to be kept low. This allows the many-small-attacks concept to actually function as intended, and gives monk a nice little extra trick to help them stay useful in a fight.

Existing ki-strike damage bypass is removed with these fixes. We crunched numbers in another thread, and found a monk built with these fixes has similar to-hit numbers to a non-smiting paladin, but only between 60%-70% of the DPR. Odds of getting a stunning fist were good but far from automatic - it just about made up for the lack of damage.

However, I'm more concerned about how this could be exploited by dipping levels of monk and then using the effects for other classes. I don't think anything exists that can't already be exploited by Guided Hand or several other feats, but I'm not the world's greatest optimizer.

Andoran

See, isn't this a much better way to keep things focused. I'll work on breaking it tonight. I have some multiclass ideas, particularly with inquisitors and the wisdom based Sorcerer variant.

Silver Crusade

Great idea, Dabbler.

On the surface, this looks like a good idea for the Monk. When I get the time, I'll see what I can come up with.

Until then, dotting for future reference.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you.

I don't know the inquisitor class that well, but the Emyral sorcerer, well, what would wis-to-hit effect that the sorcerer would use? Unarmed melee touch attacks is all I can think of, in order to deliver touch spells. A one-level dip would also get them a good AC they could buff up with mage armour, then wade in to deliver touch spells.

While this would be effective, I'm having problems thinking of it as broken. You lose a level of spell-casting, meaning you are now 2 levels behind the wizard on gaining the next level of spells, which hurts. You have a very good AC (but you could get that from a monk dip anyway) and have a good chance of delivering melee touch attacks (although the odds of that were also fairly good anyway). You could deliver some nasty attacks maybe, but no worse than you could deliver with rays or other spells. By all means, though, pull up a build and we'll see how they work!


dotting to follow.

Silver Crusade

I haven't had the chance to look into this yet, but off the top of my head, I was thinking about a Druid/Monk, with Feral Combat Training, Dragon Style/Dragon Ferocity, and possibly Shaping Focus if more than 1 level of Monk.

WIS to attack/CMB, WIS to AC/CMD, flurry and natural weapons...

Only tricky part (that I haven't looked into too much detail) is if Feral Combat Training's wording, and whether it can interact with your Zen Combat feature.

Granted, a Druid/Monk currently can do a lot of this already, but this might make it even better *shrug*. Still need to spend more time looking if this will work...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OK, so looking at this, how much better is the druid's to-hit score using a monk level compared to using just their strength and pure druid?

They must have a lot of strength to use Dragon Style, basically, it's going to be the second highest score this druid has. It will be boosted further by wild-shaping. To hit from wisdom instead will be at -1 BAB to pure druid thanks to the monk dip.


A thought came to my mind. Zen Combat does not specify that it doesn't work if you wear armor. This would make it the only really useful Monk class feature that can be used even if you wear armor. Was this a typo, or intentional? Because if it was intentional, I can already think of one or two ways of exploiting it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Show me. If it is seriously exploitable this way, we can close the loophole easily enough - I just wanted to keep the wording to a minimum. That said, yes, wording this would exclude most potential abuses because you would be have to be primarily a monk rather than a monk dip to make good use of it.

Andoran

Have not forgotten, just trying to dig out time when my daughter is sleeping.

Looking at Wisdom Based sorcerer dragon disciple as one idea, druid, inquisitor, Cleric or Oracle with a dip as others.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oracle is charisma-based, not wisdom; Cleric can use Channel Smite and the Guided Hand and get the wis-to-hit with their favoured weapon without the dip, or else they need a one-level dip and Crusader's Flurry if the weapon is not a monk weapon, so I don't see them doing so.

Emyral sorcerer, druid or inquisitor are the ones I'd be interested in seeing. Another outside possibility is ranger, as they wisdom-cast, if their combat style focused on (a) monk weapon(s) it might be worthwhile in a low point buy campaign.

Andoran

You are correct on all counts. I thought there was a wisdom oracle variant, but I don't see one. I will try the Emyral sorcerer, Druid and Inquisitor.

I may also try the natural weapon ranger, particularly the shapeshifter. I don't suspect this will add much.

Monks get a lot at first level as is.


Empyreal.

Sorry, was driving me nuts!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tels wrote:

Empyreal.

Sorry, was driving me nuts!

Never change, Tels, never change. LOL

MA

Silver Crusade

Haven't forgotten about this thread, just haven't had much time to do anything. So far, haven't seen anything close to broken.

Andoran

I just lost my sorcerer, so I'm walking away in frustration for a bit....

Went Dwarven 1 level monk/9 Sorcerer. Before equipment 17 AC, +10 to hit unarmed almost 70 hit points, pretty good saves.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's frustrating indeed. The bonus to hit looks poor for a combat class but good for a sorcerer using melee touch attacks. I'm guessing he'd be dangerous for that reason, with a decent AC, but poorer HP than a melee class. At 10th level, one powerful attack per round isn't OP.


None of this looks close to broken Dabbler.

I'd personally delay Zen Combat to level 3 or 4. Just to be certain.


what about a sohei variant into empyreal sorcerer into eldritch knight?


Trogdar wrote:
what about a sohei variant into empyreal sorcerer into eldritch knight?

=awesome class idea


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
zagnabbit wrote:

None of this looks close to broken Dabbler.

I'd personally delay Zen Combat to level 3 or 4. Just to be certain.

Problem with this is that it leaves the non-strength based monk struggling for those first levels, which I would like to avoid. 2nd level is as late as I would like to take it, and I'd need to be convinced that 1st level was broken - but then that's the point of this thread.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
That's frustrating indeed. The bonus to hit looks poor for a combat class but good for a sorcerer using melee touch attacks. I'm guessing he'd be dangerous for that reason, with a decent AC, but poorer HP than a melee class. At 10th level, one powerful attack per round isn't OP.

Again, all of that was before equipment.

I may do a 1st through 10th, as I think that is a more honest way of doing it and for me easier. I'll see how much time I can scrape out.

Grand Lodge

My simple fix that just helps (not corrects) the issue is starting each monk with +1 AC when unarmoured instead of +0 and ramping as normal from there (normally the +1 kicks in at 4th). Yes it makes a single level dip nice for casters but as I run E6-E7 its a potentially significant hit to casting power later in the characters life.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh I got that it was pre-equipment, but I'm pointing out that the only use getting his attack bonus up that high for a sorcerer is melee touch attacks. It could be an interesting build, I look forward to seeing it.

Andoran

Level 1, start with monk

Spoiler:

Dwarf Monk

Str 10 (0)
Dex 12 (2)
Con 13 (1)
Int 10 (0)
Wis 20 (17)
Cha 8 (0)

AC: 17
HP: 12
Fort:2 Ref:2 Will: 2 (+2 spells)

Attack: Unarmed +5 1d6
Flurry +4/+4 1d6
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Monk: Dodge

4 Skill points

Stun DC: 16

So at first level, a bit low on damage but good AC, hit points, and attack bonus.

Sorcerer the rest of the way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

These modified rules look quite nice.

Are these rules meant to be with the standard monk damage progression, or with a flat d6 damage through all levels (from another thread)?

Andoran

Level 2

Spoiler:

Dwarf Monk/ Empyreal Sorcerer 1
Str 10 (0)
Dex 12 (2)
Con 13 (1)
Int 10 (0)
Wis 20 (17)
Cha 8 (0)

AC: 17 (21 mage armor)
HP: 17.5 (Favored Sorcerer)
Attack: Unarmed +5 1d6
Flurry +4/+4 1d6

Fort:2 Ref:2 Will: 4 (+2 spells)
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Monk: Dodge

6 Skill points

Stun DC: 16
Heavenly Fire (Sp):30 feet as a ranged touch attack. 1d4 + 1 vs evil
Spells:
0: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Ghost Sound, Acid Splash
1st (5): Mage Armor, Shocking Grasp

1000 gold Misc

Starting to get more interesting. I have mage armor, so I'm up to 21 for an hour a day, and took shocking grasp, as why wouldn't I be in melee with that kind of AC at this level.

Level 3 later.

Andoran

Level 3

Spoiler:

Monk/ Empyreal Sorcerer 2
Str 10 (0)
Dex 12 (2)
Con 13 (1)
Int 10 (0)
Wis 20 (17)
Cha 8 (0)

AC: 17 (21 mage armor)
HP: 23 (Favored Sorcerer)
Attack: Unarmed +7 1d6
Flurry +6/+6 1d6

Fort:3 Ref:3 Will: 6 (+2 spells)
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Monk: Dodge
3rd: Weapon Focus (unarmed)

8 Skill points

Stun DC: 16
Heavenly Fire (Sp):30 feet as a ranged touch attack. 1d4 + 1 vs evil
Spells:
0: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Ghost Sound, Acid Splash, Prestidigitation
1st (6): Mage Armor, Shocking Grasp, Shield

Cloak of Resistance +1
2000 gold Misc

Starting to get interesting. We have a 21 AC 2 hours a day. Shocking Grasp is doing 2d6 on top of the 1d6 damage. Attack is +7 (5 Wis, 1 BaB, 1 weapon focus) with is decent for this level, and more than ok for touch attacks.

Picked up a cloak of resistance, because why not. Could get bracers of armor, but I can cast mage armor so why? Save the rest for wands and potions.

4th later.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DocWatson wrote:

These modified rules look quite nice.

Are these rules meant to be with the standard monk damage progression, or with a flat d6 damage through all levels (from another thread)?

These are 'tweak' fixes for the core monk, anything not mentioned stays the same, although we have other ideas for fixes that include changes to abilities like wholeness of body, these are not part of the current calculations as they are peripheral issues.

Looking interesting so far, Ciretose. The main difference this sorcerer is getting from a standard monk dip so far is around +3 to hit (-1 because he dipped a level of monk, so BAB is equal to half (sorc level -1). He's nasty in melee with that AC, but his damage output - shocking grasp aside - is not anything to write home about. You might consider giving him Greater Magic Weapon when he can qualify for it.

Andoran

I'm definately going for Greater Magic later, I held off at this level because of the cap.

He's also getting +2 to all saves. Mage armor is one of the 6 spells, he probably doesn't use shield since his AC is pretty high, so that means 2d6 touch attack on top of damage 4 to 5 times a day.

We'll see how it plays out, but this is looking pretty high to me so far.

Andoran

Level 4

Spoiler:

Monk/ Empyreal Sorcerer 2
Str 10 (0)
Dex 12 (2)
Con 13 (1)
Int 10 (0)
Wis 21 (17) (+1 4th)
Cha 8 (0)

AC: 17 (21 mage armor, 25 with shield added)
HP: 29.5 (Favored Sorcerer)
Attack: Unarmed +7 1d6
Flurry +6/+6 1d6

Fort:4 Ref:4 Will: 6 (+2 spells)
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Monk: Dodge
3rd: Weapon Focus (unarmed)

8 Skill points

Stun DC: 16
Heavenly Fire (Sp):30 feet as a ranged touch attack. 1d4 + 1 vs evil \
Celestial Resistances: resist acid 5 and resist cold 5

Spells:
0: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Ghost Sound, Acid Splash, Prestidigitation
1st (7): Mage Armor, Shocking Grasp, Shield, Bless

Cloak of Resistance +1
2000 gold Misc

Messed up last level and gave shield to soon...so I'll take it now. Bless gives another +1 to attack for minutes per level. I am a caster level behind at this point, so this level is at best a push, although the 3d6 shocking grasp is nice.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yep, he's dangerous, but would a touch attack be likely to miss anyway is my point - like I said, compared to a normal monk dip, he's only +3 to hit better off. Compared to a normal monk with the fix he is at -2 to hit.

I don't think hitting with his shocking grasp is therefore a huge problem (standard action casting time, remember). He's probably more effective against a high AC target by just touching them and forgoing the unarmed damage to deliver the shocking grasp.

His defences are pretty good, I'll grant you, but he needs that AC as hit points aren't amazing. You've created a kind of monkish magus or Eldritch Knight here.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
Yep, he's dangerous, but would a touch attack be likely to miss anyway is my point

At this level a touch attack would miss fairly often.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So more effective at touch attacks by around +3 then, less effective (around -2) compared to a full on melee class, and of course better AC (though the same as any Empyral sorcerer dipping monk). On the flip side, less spells and lower spell-levels than otherwise available. Seems a reasonable trade-off so far.

Andoran

Level 5

Spoiler:

Monk/ Empyreal Sorcerer 4
Str 10 (0)
Dex 12 (2)
Con 13 (1)
Int 10 (0)
Wis 23 (17) (+1 4th +2 headband)
Cha 8 (0)

AC: 18 (22 mage armor, 26 with shield added)
HP: 36 (Favored Sorcerer)
Attack: Unarmed +10 1d6+1
Flurry +9/+9 1d6+1

Fort:4 Ref:4 Will: 7 (+2 spells)
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Monk: Dodge
3rd: Weapon Focus (unarmed)
5th: Combat Casting

8 Skill points

Stun DC: 16
Heavenly Fire (Sp):30 feet as a ranged touch attack. 1d4 + 1 vs evil \
Celestial Resistances: resist acid 5 and resist cold 5

Spells:
0: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Ghost Sound, Acid Splash, Prestidigitation, Mending
1st (8): Mage Armor, Shocking Grasp, Shield, Bless
2nd (5): Vampiric Touch

Cloak of Resistance +1 (1000)
Headband of Wisdom (4000)
AoMF (5000)

500 Misc

The AoMF is kind of silly, but I had the gold. I'll lose it in a few levels when I have greate magic weapon. The key is the Headband of course. I'm being a bit lazy, so anyone can feel free to get better items.

Touch of idiocy is a great touch spell, and my AC is good enough to wade in even if my Hit Points aren't that great.

Edit: Nevermind, I'm going with Vampiric Touch


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That is nice. However, leaving until now to get Combat Casting means that pretty much until this point you were either risking AoO's or casting, then wading in to attack. Even with it, to cast vampiric touch you have a DC19 check to make with only +8 to cast defensively. Mind you, your AC is quite good.

One thing, I would suggest that if you want to max out that attack, go Eldritch Knight. You will lose another casting level but will get full BAB from that point onward.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:

That is nice. However, leaving until now to get Combat Casting means that pretty much until this point you were either risking AoO's or casting, then wading in to attack. Even with it, to cast vampiric touch you have a DC19 check to make with only +8 to cast defensively. Mind you, your AC is quite good.

One thing, I would suggest that if you want to max out that attack, go Eldritch Knight. You will lose another casting level but will get full BAB from that point onward.

I thought about an EK build, but I would actually have to lose two caster levels, as since you have to have proficiency in all martial weapons I would need a martial class dip somewhere.

I could have taken Combat casting at 3rd instead, but I was thinking I was more likely to cast and hold it until I waded in.

Greater Magic weapon will make it interesting I think, but that is still a few levels away. I pretty much wasted 1/2 my WBL for the AoMF at this level that I really don't need. Could have got my AC 2 higher instead getting a amulet and a ring for 1k less. Probably would do that actually, as the +1 to hit and damage aren't that meaningful at this point.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would do the same.

So far this build is looking interesting, unusual, and viable - but not broken as such so far as I can see.

What it can do: deliver a powerful attack you can't ignore with very good odds to hit, buff a high AC. What it can't do: deliver sustained damage round-on-round.


Why not go with chill touch delivered via unarmed strikes? Cast it once and get caster level attacks with it for an extra d6 and the possibility of strength damage.

Edit: ignore me, I'm thinking of a monk with a sorcerer levels where you're making a sorcer with monk levels.


A bit of a one-trick pony, IMHO. Shield is redundant and you would be better off with a wand of Mage Armour rather than soaking your limited spells/day. I'd have taken Charm Person instead of Shield just to have something else to do. With that phat Wisdom you want to take advantage of the meaty DC. Not impressed by Bless at low levels either.

The cloak is OK, but you've got decent saves anyway. I'd prefer to make him more useful & versatile; buy a few toys.

Andoran

Remember this isn't "best build" it is "does this fix allow for exploit."


sohei 1/ crossblooded empyreal-draconic 5/dragon disciple 4/Eldritch knight 10

20 point buy

str 14+4 dragon disciple+4 wish+6 item= 28
dex 14+4 wish+6 item= 24
con 14+4 wish+6 item= 24
int 9+1 wish+6 item= 16
wis 16+2 race+5 levels+5 wish+6 item= 34
cha 7+3 wish+6 item= 16

caster level 17 Base attack 15 saves 10,7,11(base)

attack 27,22,17 no gear
damage +9 no gear
armour class 31 no gear
skills crappy
hit points (averaged) 243 with above stats

form of dragon 3(for flavour) again with no gear
attack 27,22,17
damage +14
armour class 37
hit points 323

without polymorph your gaining +3 to your hit chance. With polymorph in effect you actually loose out on to hit. The to hit doesnt seem to be an issue in this case. Armour class is pretty awesome, but that is totally possible with the current monk.

I would say that with regards to arcane casters, there is no issue with wisdom to hit.

Andoran

Except you put a ton into strength you wouldn't need if you just focused on wisdom.


The above build is focused entirely on wisdom. The strength comes from a cheap stat enhancement and a wish spell. I don't think any full caster would eschew that kind of ability enhancement.

Its also an eldritch knight build. I allocated ability scores with that in mind. I don't think its inappropriate.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not sure I agree that 'wishing' stats is quite legitimate, but if the monk ain't broke with them, I doubt he'd be broke without them.

Andoran

Dabbler wrote:
Not sure I agree that 'wishing' stats is quite legitimate, but if the monk ain't broke with them, I doubt he'd be broke without them.

We really need to set guidelines to define broken.


So, I guess you guys don't get your stats improved through wishing by level twenty? Alright, just pull out the +2 modifiers in the relevant stat block, not that hard...

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