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[Unchained Monk Guide] YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD


Advice

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15 people marked this as a favorite.

Introducing...

YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD
A Guide to the Unchained Monk

Discuss.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Awesome! A guide about how to beat up countless, overgrown, muscled thugs wielding axes and crossbows with just my bare fists while surviving a post apocalyptic wasteland.

Oh wait it's just an unchained monk guide...which I have been wanting to try out for a while! Much thanks for writing this guide.


Much appreciated!

Quote:
Awesome! A guide about how to beat up countless, overgrown, muscled thugs wielding axes and crossbows with just my bare fists while surviving a post apocalyptic wasteland.

(For that one, I'd recommend using the Deathstrike Mantis sample build with a nunchaku, a bit adapted for the job)


Will definitely give that build some extra attention. Time to break out the extra large eyebrows and auto repair shirts or just a really high rank in craft(tailor).


I think I found a link error while looking through the guide. The skills link takes you to the brawler skills link page.


Fixed! Thanks.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

First of all, thanks for the work, I think it's a really good guide! Things I noticed:

Class Analysis: Stunning Fist is missing.
Races: I doubt that Elf racial FC improves Flying Kick. Is there any ruling on this?
Feats: For a two-handed weapon, Power Attack is normaly stronger than Improved Critical. For onehanded weapon/UAS, it really depends on the target's AC.
Traits: I like Deathtouched - I think +2 trait bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects is better than +1 Will. Also, as usual, Fate's Favored for Half-Orcs.

Edit: Also, because I've seen it mentioned in the coments of other guides, you might wanna think about a version for people with color blindness (using things like "(****)" to note your ratings).
On a different note, I love the "Considerations and Alternatives" part.


Interesting stuff.

One thing I never quite got about Medusa's Wrath. To get its bonus attacks, do the conditions have to be in place at the moment you declare the attack? Let's say you decided to just blow through Stunning Fist attempts on every attack in a turn, and didn't get one to stick until you were down to like, your second iterative at -10. Do you then get to take the two-extra-at-your-highest MW attacks while still in that turn, or not?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool! Been looking for something about the new monk for a while. Still reading through it, but one minor note regarding the ki leech power:

It appears there are conflicts regarding how to handle alignment based spells. James Jacobs has stated this is how he runs it: link to thread.

James Jacobs wrote:
Spells with the Evil descriptor are evil; that's why they have that descriptor. Same goes for Good or Lawful or Chaotic. That means that certain classes can't really cast them at all (divine classes of different alignments), but that other classes (arcane spellcasters, for the most part) can cast them as much as they like. But casting alignment spells a lot will and should turn the caster toward that alignment, unless the GM doesn't care about alignment and doesn't enforce such changes, in which case the GM should let EVERY player at the table know that alignment doesn't impact the game so that players who do play as if it does have a chance to adjust their play styles as appropriate. Removing the alignment types of certain spells has implications, though, and before you do so make sure that no one in your group is planning on building a character who uses the alignemnt descriptors in their character build!

However, he does state later on in the thread that it really is up to GM interpretation. So you might want to make a note asking GM about alignment consequences if you want to use that power and maintain a non-evil alignment.

Thanks for your hard work!

Liberty's Edge

For the record, the 'Evil spells are Evil' thing is also in print in Champions of Purity. So it's official for Golarion.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Looking through the style ratings, it looks like you missed the boar style errata. The initial feat from boar style no longer does bleed damage, it's an untyped rend. This makes it more useful against bleed immune enemies, although it's still not quite as good as jabbing style. However, it does let you change the damage types of strikes which can be useful, and it does have intimidate synergy.

I'd also mention Hamatulatsu and Belier's Bite in the feat sections. Hamatulatsu gives you a non-style locked way of changing damage types, and Belier's Bite is great for unarmed builds and a better choice than Boar Shred.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

On equipment, I'd add Deliquescent Gloves to the hands section. It has both the ability to add 1d6 acid to every weapon you use, and safely punch oozes as a bonus. I'd take it over any other hand slot item except Gloves of Dueling, and unmonks don't have that option. It also makes Shuriken much better as a backup ranged weapon.

I'd also make mention of the Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents. It's a useful backup weapon for unarmed builds for hitting things that can't be safely punched, and it gives a auto-hit long range attack if you find yourself unable to engage in melee.

Sovereign Court

I can't read the guide right now - but did you make mention of the Allying cestus combo for unarmed monks? It's not useful until mid levels, but eventually you can use the AoMF for special enhancements (Agile/Flaming/Holy etc.) and get straight enhancement on an Allying cestus. (you are your own ally)

Depending upon the table and how they rule 'wield' you may have to use an iterative attack with the cestus, but by level 11 at the latest, making an iterative which will likely miss anyway somewhat worse is well worth the enhancement bonus on all other attacks.


I like the writing style on this; I feel that I can give this to someone of comparatively limited system mastery and they'd be able to follow it and create a fun character.

Is there a way to add a version that is everything in one document with the pictures? I personally would like a "printable version" with your pictures, but I understand that this may be a niche request.


Guys, I have read and noted all your comments.

Won't answer them all due to laziness, but I'll make sure that I add/change everything that merits it.

Regarding the Elf FCB, a RAW reading of the FCB says it applies whenever the fast movement applies.

shintsurugi wrote:

Cool! Been looking for something about the new monk for a while. Still reading through it, but one minor note regarding the ki leech power:

It appears there are conflicts regarding how to handle alignment based spells. James Jacobs has stated this is how he runs it: link to thread.

James Jacobs wrote:
Spells with the Evil descriptor are evil; that's why they have that descriptor. Same goes for Good or Lawful or Chaotic. That means that certain classes can't really cast them at all (divine classes of different alignments), but that other classes (arcane spellcasters, for the most part) can cast them as much as they like. But casting alignment spells a lot will and should turn the caster toward that alignment, unless the GM doesn't care about alignment and doesn't enforce such changes, in which case the GM should let EVERY player at the table know that alignment doesn't impact the game so that players who do play as if it does have a chance to adjust their play styles as appropriate. Removing the alignment types of certain spells has implications, though, and before you do so make sure that no one in your group is planning on building a character who uses the alignemnt descriptors in their character build!

However, he does state later on in the thread that it really is up to GM interpretation. So you might want to make a note asking GM about alignment consequences if you want to use that power and maintain a non-evil alignment.

Thanks for your hard work!

Here's a question:

Can spell-like abilities have alignment components?


it applies, but isn't counted as. For flying kick you're not applying your fast movement to your speed, you're moving that amount.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The elf FCB adds +1 your base speed, not your monk fast movement speed. Since flying kick only moves the fast movement speed, it doesn't apply.


Alright will change


Secret Wizard wrote:
Regarding the Elf FCB, a RAW reading of the FCB says it applies whenever the fast movement applies.

I really don't see that.

Elf Racial FC: "Add +1 to the monk's base speed. (...) This bonus stacks with the monk's fast movement class feature and applies under the same conditions as that feature."
Flying Kick: "Before the attack, the monk can move a distance equal to his fast movement bonus."
The FC stacks with the fast movement bonus - it does not increase it. You add it to the base speed, not the fast movement bonus.

Regarding evil spells: James Jacobs' post is not an official ruling (he says so himself). If your GMs rules it as "slowly changes your alignment", demand to hear a reason. I have yet to hear a single valid argument.
"Characters using spells with the evil descriptor should consider themselves to be committing minor acts of evil" (quoted from Champions of Purity) neither gives a reason nor does it say how minor this act is.


Oh thank god. I was working on a guide but I'm so burned out on doing them especially with the way I like to do them.

A shame about Aescetic style.

However if you're like me and go for Sansetsukons and Nine Ring Broadswords you don't need Strike until much later.

Also no talk of feral combat training and natural attacks?

The way that flurry of blows is worded you can make a full series of full bab attacks + full bab flurry attacks if you stick to your natural attacks.

The disadvantage on this is that you get no use out of style strikes. Which is a shame from a utility standpoint but it does do a lot of damage and doesn't require too much in the way of big investment.

Tengu can get on the train early enough at 3rd level chucking a 4 attack Bite/claw/claw/claw sequence. Get down for some dragon ferocity later on and you're a very choppy bird indeed.


You could only do that at level 7, cause you need a weapon focus and a FCT for each natural attack type.

Honestly, I think you give up too much power by ignoring style strikes, and when you use them, taking the 0.5x STR is a bit too disastrous.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Although, .5 Str doesn't matter much if you also have jabbing master adding 4d6 per hit on them. It needs a lot of feats, but that's a lot of attacks.


I suppose that's an option, but you do lose the unarmed damage progression and several feats that have no right moment to take.

Plus I've never been too sure of whether you get to add your extra natural attacks to a flurry.

"He takes no penalty for using multiple weapons when making a flurry of blows, but he does not gain any additional attacks beyond what's already granted by the flurry for doing so. (He can still gain additional attacks from a high base attack bonus, from this ability, and from haste and similar effects)."

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

It's outside the scope of this guide, but feral combat training: tentacle combined with jabbing style makes monktopus viable again.


Remember the no extra attacks rule I quoted!

Totally works for a non flurry attacker though like a Kraken Druid.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Yeah, that's what I meant. 8 natural attacks, all primary.


Marking for interest.

Shadow Lodge

Overall I like it! Particularly liked the suggestions for alternate class ideas at the end. There's so many archetypes now that it's very useful for a guide to point out how different classes might actually be a better fit for certain concepts.

A few suggestions:

I think you're rating a few of the basic abilities rather high. Purity of Body for example I would rate yellow - it's handy, but only occasionally comes up, and as you say the monk should already have a solid Fort save. I don't see it as significantly more useful than Stunning Fist, which you do rate as yellow. Likewise, I'd probably also rate Timeless Body and Tongue of the Sun and Moon as yellow since they don't help you much on a typical adventuring day. You also rate Bonus Feats as blue overall despite the fact that only two of the actual feats are rated blue (neither of which can be taken at level 1 or 2). Seems to me that green would be more fair.

You also exaggerate the extent to which the AC bonus and Evasion make Dex and Con, respectively, less important for the UnMonk. The rest of the guide does make it clear that these stats are useful for things like Initiative, Reflex saves (to benefit from Evasion) and having the HP to deal with conventional attacks, but I would still dial down "you don't care about Dexterity" to "this makes Wis more valuable to the UnMonk than Dex" or similar.

Finally, I'd mention the possibility of borrowing someone else's pet for a mount under Ki mount. My druid rarely rode her triceratops companion - would have been easy for a party member to do so.


So turns out that natural attacks are basically worthless to a monk.

So scratch that off the list of neat stuff.


You might want to mention the Kusarigama as a weapon choice, especially on an Ascetic Style/Form build. It nets you slashing and bludgeoning damage, reach, trip, grapple, useable in flurries... and it is two handed. It is kind of a Rules as Intended mess, likely not meant to have 1.5 str bonus or do slashing at range but yeah, an oddly functional choice for an Unchained Monk.


Olay, got to finish reading the guide. Thanks for this guide -- it has been much needed for a LONG time.

Not sure why you say insufficient base attack bonus is a problem for certain feat chains (in Styles, Feats, and Traits), since you have Full BAB, unless you mean that what you really need for them is to somehow get your hands on something like the Fighter's Weapon Training.


Among other things? I think Vicious Stomp at the very least deserves commentary. Considering the dirty fighting feat, the leg sweep style strike, greater trip and the fact that monks can gain improved trip as a bonus feat, its not at all unreasonable to receive two extra attacks a flurry while receiving significant accuracy bonuses from the prone status. I've posted my own build if you're interested. Adjust for AC to match your preferences.

Yes, its feat intensive, but you can quickly find yourself adding a new attack at highest BAB every couple of levels. Plus, the added versatility of Dirty Fighting allows your high-strength character to pull out whatever maneuver is necessary at little risk.


Fun high level shenanigan: Dimensional Savant (and Maneuvers) + Dirty Fighting. Bruh.

Edit: Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru!!! Needed to be done.


Just wanna bring up that if you Allow combat stamina as a feat, the UCmonk could gets some mileage out of that.


Updated with Dirty Fighting and Vicious Stomp and some extra text.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gotta ask, where´s those pictures from?
-Build Types and Examples first one
-Race selection first one
-class analysis last one

You might want to add "martial manuscript" in the traits section.
+2 trait bonus on crit confirms with monk weapons and IUS is awesome once you have improved crits.


Hahaha all the pictures you enquired about (didn't even had to see them, I'm such a dork that I remember them by heart) come from the same place.

Magic:The Gathering card art. Specifically, from the Khans set. These represent the Ojutai faction, much mixes red, blue and white mana. They are basically warrior monks.

The specific cards are in order:

- Flying Crane Technique

- Ojutai Ascension

- Wandering Champion? Not sure.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

You might want to add Feinting Flurry and Improved Feinting Flurry to the feat list. It's a decent boost to accuracy, especially for Mantis Monks with SA.


Not entirely worth the feat investment, but I'll add.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I agree. It's mostly for niche cases like the mantis or a monk/rogue multiclass that want to enable sneak attack on all attacks instead of just the one offered by spin kick.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:

Hahaha all the pictures you enquired about (didn't even had to see them, I'm such a dork that I remember them by heart) come from the same place.

Magic:The Gathering card art. Specifically, from the Khans set. These represent the Ojutai faction, much mixes red, blue and white mana. They are basically warrior monks.

The specific cards are in order:

- Flying Crane Technique

- Ojutai Ascension

- Wandering Champion? Not sure.

Thought it must be the same source. Kind of a shame, on a lot of cardgame cards is very fine art, but it´s hardly accesible somehow.

I like your guide, it´s very accesible and has a good layout.
Somehow i a different opinion on a lot of options though^^
Especially maneuvers and ranged combat. UC monks can be quite good at that.


Anyone have any insight on the Medusa's Wrath question I asked above?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Redblade8 wrote:
Anyone have any insight on the Medusa's Wrath question I asked above?

I'll quote the text of the feat to explain the answer:

Medusa's Wrath (Combat) wrote:


You can take advantage of your opponent's confusion, delivering multiple blows.

Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Gorgon's Fist, Scorpion Style, base attack bonus +11.
Benefit: Whenever you use the full-attack action and make at least one unarmed strike, you can make two additional unarmed strikes at your highest base attack bonus. These bonus attacks must be made against a dazed, flat-footed, paralyzed, staggered, stunned, or unconscious foe.

So there are two parts of the feat. 1: Whenever you use the full-attack action and make at least one unarmed strike, you can make two additional unarmed strikes at your highest base attack bonus. This means every time you make a full attack with an unarmed strike, you get two bonus attacks.

The second part of the feat limits the targets of those attacks. If you make a stunning fist against the target, hit and it fails it's save, it is now an eligible target for the bonus attacks, and you can take them as part of the full attack action that included the stunning fist.


So then, those bonus attacks can "pop up" in the course of the full attack if one of conditions gets met in the middle of the action? OK, thanks for the clarification.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

SLAs can have alignment descriptors. Alignment descriptors aren't handled differently than others, and if descriptors were removed, then you could use mind-affecting SLAs on immune creatures.


Any thoughts about the Kusarigama with Ascetic Style?

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They can also be met before the attack already.
I think all of those conditions can be dealt by monk attacks with some feats though. Seems best to focus on 1 or 2.

-Dazing Fist
-Spin Kick
-Paralyzing Strike
-Gorgons Fist (Scorpions Style required)
-Staggering Fist
-Stunning Fist
-any knock out or sleep effect.

Most of those have a Fort save.
There´s other ways to get there though.
-demoralizing with intimidate - dazzling display - shatter defenses.
-Demoralize with Dragon Roar and use shatter defenses.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Hayato Ken wrote:

They can also be met before the attack already.

I think all of those conditions can be dealt by monk attacks with some feats though. Seems best to focus on 1 or 2.

-Spin Kick

Spin kick doesn't work, as the target is only flat-footed for the duration of that single attack. After the spin-kick resolves they aren't flat-footed, so they aren't valid targets for Medusa's Wrath bonus attacks.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You do your normal flurry and then use spin kick on the bonus attack.
Untill level 15 you can get one attack in that way, from level 15 on 2.
Compared with all other methods, this is probably the most reliable actually i think.
Most other options have a fort save.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

It doesn't work that way either. Spin Kick makes the target flat-footed as part of making the attack. It's only flatfooted for the duration of the spin kick.

If it's not flat-footed before the attack is made, you can't make the attack, because it's not a valid target for medusa's wrath.

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