Monk Class Preview

Monday, June 18, 2018

Some players love to play monks so they can strive toward enlightenment. Others just like to punch stuff!

Monk Features

Monks choose whether their key ability is Strength or Dexterity, which will determine the DC of some of their abilities. Their selection of initial proficiencies looks pretty different from most classes! First off, they have expert proficiency in all their saving throws. Monks aren't trained in any weapons, but they are trained in all unarmed attacks. They also get powerful fist, which increases the damage die of their fists and lets them make lethal strikes without penalty when using normally nonlethal unarmed attacks. Further, they're untrained in armor, but get graceful expertise at 1st level, which gives them expert proficiency in unarmored defense (everybody else is only trained).

They get one last class feature at 1st level, of course: Flurry of Blows! This is a single action that can be used once per round to make two strikes using an unarmed attack. If both hit, their damage is combined. Both these attacks take the multiple attack penalty normally, so usually the monk will be making the second attack at a -4 penalty (since a fist is agile). Flurry of Blows is a huge advantage, letting the monk attack up to four times in a round, or letting the monk have plenty of actions to move and attack in a single turn. Speaking of moving, at 3rd level, a monk gains incredible movement, increasing his speed as long as he's not wearing armor. This starts at a 10-foot increase, and it goes up by 5 feet every 3 levels.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Because monks can defend themselves in so many different ways, we wanted to let the monk pick how his saving throws improve. His saves increase at 7th level through the path to perfection class feature, which lets him increase a save's proficiency rank to master. The second path to perfection, at 11th level, lets a monk treat any successful save as a critical success instead, as long as he has master proficiency in that save. The monk gets his third path to perfection at 15th level, which he can use to either increase his proficiency rank in another save to master proficiency or progress his proficiency at a save in which he's already a master to legendary.

The monk's unarmored defense proficiency also goes up as he levels, first to master at 13th level and then to legendary at 17th. You'll notice that monks no longer add their Wisdom modifiers to AC, which is due to a few factors. First, depending on the monk's Dexterity modifier, the gulf between a heavily armored character and a monk without armor is extremely low, so adding even more bonuses would put the monk really far ahead. Second, adding more than a single ability modifier to a check or DC now really distorts the game. Third, we have another role for Wisdom to play in the class, and wanted it to be optional so monks aren't dependent on many different ability scores, giving you more flexibility with how you can build a monk character.

Of course, it goes without saying that the monk's unarmed attacks get better as he levels up. Magic strikes, at 3rd level, makes the monk's unarmed attacks magical, and increases his proficiency rank to expert. At 5th level, metal strikes causes them to be treated as cold iron and silver; at 17th level, adamantine strikes makes them act as adamantine. Fierce flurry, at 9th level, increases the damage dice of a Flurry of Blows by one step whenever both strikes hit. At 19th level, the monk has developed perfected form, meaning that when he makes an unarmed attack, he can treat any die roll lower than 10 as if he had rolled a 10! This lets the monk plow through weaker enemies who can't handle his immaculate fighting style, and against bosses, he can even turn a good number of misses into hits.

Monk Feats

A monk's feats let him expand how he can attack, teach him special martial arts techniques, let him develop an entire fighting style, or use magic called ki (which we explain in the Ki section).

Your monk could take Monastic Weaponry at 1st level, letting him use his unarmed attack proficiencies, as well as any monk abilities that normally work with unarmed attacks, with simple and martial monk weapons. This is how Sajan gets to use that sweet temple sword! If you'd rather stick with punches, kicks, knees, and headbutts, take a look at Brawling Focus at 4th level, which gives you the critical specialization effect for anything in the brawling weapon group. This means if you critically hit with your unarmed attacks, the target might be slowed 1 on its next turn, losing 1 action.

Some of the special attacks you can learn include Stunning Fist, a great option if you're looking to recreate your Pathfinder First Edition monk. A Stunning Fist strike takes 2 actions and you make an unarmed strike; if the strike deals damage, the target has to succeed at a Fortitude save against your class DC (based on your Strength or Dex, remember?) or be flat-footed for 1 round, or stupefied 2 if it critically fails. So how do you stun the target? If your strike is a critical hit, the target's saving throw result is treated as one category worse, and if it critically fails its save it's stunned for 1 round! At 4th level, you can pick up Deflect Arrow, a reaction that gives you a +4 bonus to AC against a ranged weapon attack, or Flying Kick, which lets you use 2 actions to jump and make a strike at the end of your jump. You can even Long Jump—normally 2 actions—as part of your Flying Kick, potentially moving very far before your strike. Other attacks include Ghost Strike, which lets you use 2 actions to target TAC, or Wall Run, which lets you run up vertical surfaces at your full Speed.

Now what about fighting styles? Let's look at one that starts with the Crane Stance feat at 1st level! A stance takes one action to enter, and can be used only in an encounter. You typically stay in a stance until you enter another stance or get knocked out. In Crane Stance, you gain a +1 bonus to AC and get better at jumping, but the only Strikes you can make are crane wing attacks. What the heck are those? Well, many stances give special unarmed attacks that have statistics much like weapons. Crane wing attacks deal 1d6 bludgeoning damage, and have the agile, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed traits. They're not too different from normal fist strikes, but others differ more; for instance, heavy dragon tail attacks deal 1d10 bludgeoning damage and have the backswing trait instead of agile or finesse. What if Crane Stance isn't enough? Well, you can pick up Crane Flutter, a reaction that increases your AC against a melee attack and lets you immediately riposte with a crane wing strike at a -4 penalty if the triggering attack misses. Each of the stances in the Playtest Rulebook has one special attack tied to it, but I could see us expanding on them in the future, couldn't you? If you really get into stances, you can pick up Master of Many Styles at 16th level, which lets you enter a stance as a free action at the start of each of your turns.

Ki

Oh, geez, I'm running long, huh? Let's make this quick. You know how I said there's a role for Wisdom? Well, that's where ki powers come into play. And when I say powers, I mean powers—they're spells just like other powers (such as the wizard's school powers or the cleric's domain powers). You gain access to ki by picking up the first ki power feat, Ki Strike, which gives you a pool of Spell Points equal to your Wisdom modifier, which you can spend to cast ki strike. This power is a Verbal Casting free action you can use when making an unarmed strike to get a +1 bonus to your attack roll. So you let out a shout and hit better!

Now that you have Spell Points, you can expand your repertoire of powers to teleport with Abundant Step, fire a cone of force with a Ki Blast, or kill someone with Quivering Palm. Quivering Palm costs 2 Spell Points, and as with the monk's other Spell Point abilities, taking the 16th-level feat to get this spell increases your Spell Point pool by 2. Let's take a look, and then I'm outta here (probably flying away using the wind jump power)!

Quivering Palm Power 8

Attack, Necromancy
Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting
Duration 1 month

Make a melee unarmed Strike, dealing damage normally. If you succeed and the target is alive, anytime during the duration you can spend a Verbal action to speak a word of death that could instantly slay it, depending on its Fortitude save.

Success The target survives, the spell ends, and the target is bolstered against it.
Failure The target is stunned for 1 round but survives. The spell's duration continues, but the target is bolstered against being killed by quivering palm for 24 hours.
Critical Failure The target dies.

If you cast quivering palm again, any previous quivering palm you had cast ends.

Logan Bonner
Designer

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I'm a bit confused by Quivering Palm apparently being a *spell* ... or is that a copy-paste error? Even though it's used via spell points and a supernatural ability, I wouldn't categorize it as such. Also, it says "Power 8" in the headline, which contradicts the numerous references to "spell" in the actual stat block.


Subutai1 wrote:
Elleth wrote:
Unless I've missed something, I'm a little curious as to why an entry feat is needed for ki, rather than simply giving the pool for the first ki power you take (most of the others feat gated higher than ki strike).
They wanted to allow monks without any kind of magic/ki power to exist. So you could build a basic brawler without any kind of sparkles. And from the sounds on how the new archetypes will work, this could not be realized that way.

Also considering that Paizo want the Classes of PF2E be less reliable on archtypes for minor changes such as "Ki / No Ki" or similar effects, Archtypes might be something similar to rogue/ninja as "alternative" classes from the looks of things.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
I'm a bit confused by Quivering Palm apparently being a *spell* ... or is that a copy-paste error? Even though it's used via spell points and a supernatural ability, I wouldn't categorize it as such. Also, it says "Power 8" in the headline, which contradicts the numerous references to "spell" in the actual stat block.

It is a "Spell" because all the various "Powers" different classes (like Cleric, Paladin, and presumably Druid, Ranger and Bard) are getting are all "Spells", in that they behave like actual spells, but don't use your spell-slots (which Paladins and Monks, and presumably Rangers and maybe Bards don't have).

"Powers" are essentially "Spell-like Abilities"


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Tholomyes wrote:
At least personally, I bristle at hard caps. I don't know why, but for me, that does more to hurt my suspension of disbelief more than anything. With the post 18 +1s a la starfinder, I feel like that makes sense. Diminishing returns and such. But a hard cap just reminds me that I'm in a game, and there are artificial limits. It's kind of like how in video games, not being able to climb a mountain because the cliff face becomes too sheer doesn't bother me, but hitting an invisible wall does.

I am the opposite, love caps for ability scores; seriously hurts my suspension of disbelief for a halfling character to become stronger than an ogre, that is simply silly.


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Subutai1 wrote:
Elleth wrote:
Unless I've missed something, I'm a little curious as to why an entry feat is needed for ki, rather than simply giving the pool for the first ki power you take (most of the others feat gated higher than ki strike).
They wanted to allow monks without any kind of magic/ki power to exist. So you could build a basic brawler without any kind of sparkles. And from the sounds on how the new archetypes will work, this could not be realized that way.

Ah sorry, I might have been unclear.

I meant being given the pool by the first ki power you take, but not mandating specific entry points. I understand why Ki is optional in general. I can see some cases for gating it by a feat (such as stopping people suddenly taking ki only for quivering palm) but it's a bit harder to see why that should be how it works below high levels, unless there's a balance point I'm unaware of. Maybe it's like pseudo spell progression? So level 1, level 2, level 3... but that would probably burn through your class feats too fast.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I had a huge success with Strength 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10. If I was a dwarf, I could have had Cha 8 and 18 in either Con or Wis, which would have been even better.
Mark, what would this monk's stats look like at first level and at what level did he achieve what you listed here out of curiosity?

Not Mark but I want to guess. Based on the low Con and Int 12 I am going to guess this is a Str Based Elven Monk.

Start with 10 in all stats
Ancestry: +2 Dex +2 Int -2 Con put the floating in +2 Str
Background: Something hardly like lumberjack +2 Str and +2 Con
Class: Str Monk gets +2 Str
Floating Bonuses +2 to Str, Dex, Con, and Wis
So at lvl 1:
Str 18 Dex 14 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 12 Cha 10
Lvl 5: +1 Str +2 Dex +2 Con +2 Wis
Lvl 10: +1 Str +2 Dex +2 Con +2 Wis

EDIT: Ninjaed by people who could figure this stuff out faster than me and the man himself. Still Elven Lumberjack Monk is a good option.

Now I kind of want to make an elven lumberjack monk.

Ha, dwarven monks will always be superior to scrawny elves! And Asmodean monks are superior to everyone else! ;P

But while I kind of like the whole "diminishing returns" thing with raising your ability scores, I also like "odd" ability scores and had hoped it would have been possible to start with odd scores in at least one or two stats (of course if rolling your ability scores is still an option it's fine).

I'd personally prefer a mix or blend of 4E and 5E in this matter, i.e. that at levels 4 and 12 you'd choose between assigning +2 to a single stat or +1 to 2 (or even 3?) stats. Then, at levels 8 and 16 you'd get +1 to *all* stats, to represent generic learning and improvement, because even the dimmest barbarian will learn from his experiences and friends about magic, history, culture and gods, for example. :)

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Franz Lunzer wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
I'm a bit confused by Quivering Palm apparently being a *spell* ... or is that a copy-paste error? Even though it's used via spell points and a supernatural ability, I wouldn't categorize it as such. Also, it says "Power 8" in the headline, which contradicts the numerous references to "spell" in the actual stat block.

It is a "Spell" because all the various "Powers" different classes (like Cleric, Paladin, and presumably Druid, Ranger and Bard) are getting are all "Spells", in that they behave like actual spells, but don't use your spell-slots (which Paladins and Monks, and presumably Rangers and maybe Bards don't have).

"Powers" are essentially "Spell-like Abilities"

Ah, thanks for the clarification! I'd prefer personally "power" to "spell" in this case, but it's not a big issue for me. :)


Franz Lunzer wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
...at least, I read Power 8 as requiring 8 levels, not 8 monk levels...

Power 8 actually means character level 16, just as with spell-levels.

And again, if they are powers, (Ki-Powers, wizard's school powers, [etc]), than the points that you use for those powers aren't spell points.
There's a logical/semantic disconnect. Either those powers aren't powers, but spells, or those spell points for powers aren't spell points.

Agreed... I don't have the hang-up some seem to have about the move to all-magic-is-spells,

but when they toss back in this distinct Power terminology that is just undermining the whole concept IMHO.
Since this *IS* otherwise broadly considered a spell, why present it as something different in this part of stat-block?
If there isn't supposed to be any rules distinction, it uses casting based on VSM actions etc, don't invent superfluous rules terms.


On the Monk's weapon proficiency; even heroes of "realistic" wuxia stories preferred swords first, staves and other "monk-ish weapons seconded, and unarmed fighting only as a functional last resort. It's quite contrary to its portrayal in the 3.X derivatives for a long time.

At least 5E acknowledged this and gave them all simple weapons and shortswords from the get go... ...and made a foolish mistake in making their own FoB's extra attack only work with unarmed strikes RAW. What a bummer.

As others pointed out, it would be best to give at least the "trained" proficiency to said weapons, then keep that Monastic Training feat help with further scaling on proficiency and magical/material benefits, etc.


Lucas Yew wrote:

On the Monk's weapon proficiency; even heroes of "realistic" wuxia stories preferred swords first, staves and other "monk-ish weapons seconded, and unarmed fighting only as a functional last resort. It's quite contrary to its portrayal in the 3.X derivatives for a long time.

At least 5E acknowledged this and gave them all simple weapons and shortswords from the get go... ...and made a foolish mistake in making their own FoB's extra attack only work with unarmed strikes RAW. What a bummer.

I kind of like that, because it means you'll be mixing up armed and unarmed attacks. Armed for your regular one or two attacks, and then one or two unarmed attacks as a bonus action.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
Insight wrote:
I admit that I don't really understand this perspective on 4e. It seems to me that the power structure was very similar to the way it will be in PF2. 4e fighters had stances, combat manoeuvres, and reliable attacks. Rogues emphasized skill powers and mobility attacks. The barbarian used large weapons enhanced by rage. Wizards had all the control powers. Warlord powers enabled teamwork and tactics.

This is not really how it is, especially pre-Essentials, there are no stances, and by combat manoeuvres, skill powers, control, and mobility attacks, etc, that would just be powers (spells), which are all rather similar (X damage, move a piece/or pieces of plastic X squares, and maybe a rider), and every class gets them.

In standard, non-Essentials 4th Ed, every single 1st-level character starts with at least 2 cantrips, a power they can manifest every 5 minutes, and a Vancian Spell.

There absolutely are stances pre-Essentials. As one example, the fighter maneuver Rain of Steel has the stance keyword in the very first PHB (pg 79). As a minor action, the fighter enters the stance and from then on any enemy that starts adjacent takes 1[W] as long as the fighter is able to make opportunity attacks.

And 4e at-will attacks were no more cantrips than Power Attack and Sudden Charge or Dual Strike and Whirlwind Strike will be for a PF2 fighter.

And some of the powers from the PHB1 are similar, in the fact that they are identical but with different names. PF2 fixes this by giving these powers the same name (for example, the fighter and barbarian both have access to the level 1 at-will power Sudden Charge and Attack of opportunity is named the same for both the fighter and the ranger).

4e’s problem isn’t that classes get access to abilities that let them deal damage plus some other effect, it’s the presentation. So it’s not an issue that the paladin gets an atwill that lets them make a sword strike and then gain CHA temporary hit points (a power from the PHB1 by the way that is not replicated elsewhere) or that a warlock can deal fire damage to an enemy AND set them on fire or a fighter can deal weapon damage and knock them back or trip them (which we know the PF2 fighter will also be able to do) or that a monk can use a power to jump his speed and make an attack at the end of it (sounds like flying kick) or attack Reflex defense (sounds like Ghost touch) or deal damage and stun (stunning strike) or use a simple atwill attack for flurry of blows.

The problem is that the powers are presented in such a way that it looks like board game rules and the hundreds of blocks of colored, keyworded powers all start to blend together, something that was ameliorated by Essentials and will obviously be avoided by PF2.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Elleth wrote:
Subutai1 wrote:
Elleth wrote:
Unless I've missed something, I'm a little curious as to why an entry feat is needed for ki, rather than simply giving the pool for the first ki power you take (most of the others feat gated higher than ki strike).
They wanted to allow monks without any kind of magic/ki power to exist. So you could build a basic brawler without any kind of sparkles. And from the sounds on how the new archetypes will work, this could not be realized that way.

Ah sorry, I might have been unclear.

I meant being given the pool by the first ki power you take, but not mandating specific entry points.

I believe that is the intended goal beyond the playtest, having multiple ki power feats you can take starting out rather than having to take a specific one to open them up.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
Insight wrote:
The problem is that the powers are presented in such a way that it looks like board game rules and the hundreds of blocks of colored, keyworded powers all start to blend together, something that was ameliorated by Essentials and will obviously be avoided by PF2.
Definitely presentation and homogenisation was part of 4th Ed's failure (please no financial arguments...). My favourite class is the cleric, in 4th Ed, because after getting through about a page and a half of eye-watering, similar power, I gave up. Not the game, I managed to DM it, extensively.

I hope PF2 fails as spectacularly as 4e. Paizo won’t know what to do with all the money (please no legacy arguments...) It also wouldn’t hurt PF2 to get a little bit more attention from the internet outside of these boards (Penny Arcade, Critical Role.... something).

If you couldn’t make it through the first class of the first PHB.... based upon the columns of keyworded power boxes in the Druid pages previewed at the Paizo banquet, get ready for your eyes to start watering while reading the Playtest.

I know some might make the arguments that not all the feats are powers, they are just class features gated behind class feats. As you know, 4e classes had very few features (if any) beyond those that established the class identity at first level... except for the many defining class features that were available for selection via class-specific feats (as one example, a rogue might spend their first feat on increasing their sneak attack die or on improving their ability to use stealth, both rogue feats).

It’s not like you have to squint to see the similarities between 4e and PF2. PF2 is practically steeped in it (which isn’t a surprise since 4e and PF2 both share some designers).


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Insight wrote:
It’s not like you have to squint to see the similarities between 4e and PF2. PF2 is practically steeped in it (which isn’t a surprise since 4e and PF2 both share some designers).

As I said in another thread a while back: 4e and PF2 will of course have some similarities. Pathfinder is basically a house-ruled 3.5e, and that engine has some problems that have showed up in the almost 20 years since the release of 3.0. Most of those problems are as present in Pathfinder as they were in 3.5e, so of course some of the solutions will be similar.

However, one can hope that the PF2 designers look at what didn't work in 4e and make a game that works better than that did.

Liberty's Edge

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Insight wrote:
The problem is that the powers are presented in such a way that it looks like board game rules and the hundreds of blocks of colored, keyworded powers all start to blend together, something that was ameliorated by Essentials and will obviously be avoided by PF2.

That's one problem. The other, bigger, problem was that all Classes in the corebook, and at least most for some time thereafter used the same structure for what kind of abilities you had even when that didn't make sense, making them feel overly homogeneous.

Daily Powers for a Fighter or other martial character never made any sense at all, for example, and definitely made the Classes feel overly similar (since everyone necessarily had them). Especially since all Classes tended to both deal damage with all powers and have riders on their attacks, the specific riders and how common they were differed, but the superficial similarity was problematic if comparing, say, a Wizard and a Fighter, two Classes that should feel different in play.

I mean, nobody cares much if Fighter and Barbarian have some stuff in common in terms of abilities, but it starts feeling weird when Wizard and Fighter do so quite as overtly as 4E.

There were also serious issues with the non-combat part of the system and the removal of utility powers and effects, with almost all actual powers entirely combat focused. Again, at least early on.

They may well have fixed all this eventually. I have no idea as I gave up even keeping up with the 4E rules around a year into that edition to focus on Pathfinder and other games that did not have similar issues. I am not alone in doing so.

Insight wrote:
I hope PF2 fails as spectacularly as 4e. Paizo won’t know what to do with all the money (please no legacy arguments...)

This is not true. Pathfinder actually did better than 4E for a significant portion of 4E's lifespan, so Paizo knows what to do with that amount of money.

Which is not to say 4E didn't make money. It did. But Pathfinder has definitely made equivalent money at some times.

Rysky wrote:
I believe that is the intended goal beyond the playtest, having multiple ki power feats you can take starting out rather than having to take a specific one to open them up.

This is slightly misleading: It sounds like there will eventually be multiple 'get a Ki Pool' Feats, but you still need to take one of those before any other Ki Feats.


As a martial artist, monks use weapons and are quite deadly with them especially with double hook swords and other weapons. Paizo should adjust weapon damage to be one to 3 die above the current level unarmed strike depending on the light, medium, and two handed weapon or adjusted to make weapons more deadlier than natural but not so OP. Also, there are different types of Monks like Shaolin Monks and Bushido Monks who would probably use a Katana and/or Wakizashi.


Anderlorn wrote:
As a martial artist, monks use weapons and are quite deadly with them especially with double hook swords and other weapons.

You don't pour my cereal!

But seriously, that's your way of playing a monk, and for you there is the Monastic Weaponry class feat that allows you to use monk weapons with all the improvements to unarmed strikes that being a monk gives you.

This feat represents your monks dedication to training with a weapon.

The lack of proficiency with Simple weapons from the get-go is a matter very different to what you propose, and I do think monks should have some manner of ability with them

Anderlorn wrote:
Paizo should adjust weapon damage to be one to 3 die above the current level unarmed strike depending on the light, medium, and two handed weapon or adjusted to make weapons more deadlier than natural but not so OP.

Are you advocating for a monk to be more deadly with a weapon than a Fighter? That does not feel, in any way whatsoever, like a good idea.


So I guess my question is- What is the Opportunity cost of taking Monastic Weapons at level 1? Like are level 1 monk feats pretty much just "establish what you do" so if I wanted to play a stick-fighter, then spending one feat on replicating most of ascetic style doesn't make me vastly worse at things I'm going to want to do eventually, it just defines what I do.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
So I guess my question is- What is the Opportunity cost of taking Monastic Weapons at level 1?

My question is "What is the Opportunity cost of [not] taking Monastic Weapons at level 1?"

'look a creature flying 15' in the air... maybe I can spend 2 actions to high jump and HOPE I roll high enough to hit it with a punch [and not crit fail and look silly damaging myself]. Or I can just meditate until people with ACTUAL ranged attacks finish it off...'

'Oh look, a diseased/poisonous/ect creature... Well I either punch it, since master never trained me up to wizard weapon standards, or I go back to meditating...'

ect...


PossibleCabbage wrote:
So I guess my question is- What is the Opportunity cost of taking Monastic Weapons at level 1? Like are level 1 monk feats pretty much just "establish what you do" so if I wanted to play a stick-fighter, then spending one feat on replicating most of ascetic style doesn't make me vastly worse at things I'm going to want to do eventually, it just defines what I do.

At a glance, Crane Style is the only feat we know is first level. So they are going to be losing out on being able to take an action that gives them +1 AC and jumping buffs.


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graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So I guess my question is- What is the Opportunity cost of taking Monastic Weapons at level 1?

My question is "What is the Opportunity cost of [not] taking Monastic Weapons at level 1?"

'look a creature flying 15' in the air... maybe I can spend 2 actions to high jump and HOPE I roll high enough to hit it with a punch [and not crit fail and look silly damaging myself]. Or I can just meditate until people with ACTUAL ranged attacks finish it off...'

'Oh look, a diseased/poisonous/ect creature... Well I either punch it, since master never trained me up to wizard weapon standards, or I go back to meditating...'

ect...

OK, seriously guys, I think monks should get weapon profiency by default too, but this "even wizards can use simple weapons" meme needs to stop. We have not been told that, and its omission from the wizard blog plus cantrips replacing the need to shoot a crossbow makes me think they probably don't get them.

Given the untrained penalty is only -2 and everyone is adding their full level to attack rolls anyway, there's very little reason to give weapon proficiency to classes or beings that don't actually use weapons. The monk should maybe not fall into that category, but let's stop assuming the wizard is better until we have an indication that they actually are.


Captain Morgan wrote:

At a glance, Crane Style is the only feat we know is first level. So they are going to be losing out on being able to take an action that gives them +1 AC and jumping buffs.

So I don't know if it has been confirmed or stablished, but up to now I always asumed, like on Unchained Monk, that you could use your Lv3 Class Feat to grab a Lv1 Class Feat (even if they are supposed to be "weaker").

So I asume you could get Monastic Weapon at Lv1 and Crane Style at Lv3 (or the other way around) if you really wanted to have both.


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Felinus wrote:

If you're feat gating Ki powers, shouldn't the speed enhancement also be feat based as that is thematically a Ki derived enhancement. You could then scale it of the size of your Ki pool which could scale comparatively with level based progression.

+1 this. Especially so if PF2's Monk has consumed Brawler's non-mystical marital artist role.

I like most of the PF2 Monk blog, but I'm not sold on Monk becoming the martial arts/unarmed fighting base package. If the mystic side is going to be gated off, wouldn't a PF2 brawler make more sense as the starting point?


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Captain Morgan wrote:
OK, seriously guys, I think monks should get weapon profiency by default too, but this "even wizards can use simple weapons" meme needs to stop. We have not been told that, and its omission from the wizard blog plus cantrips replacing the need to shoot a crossbow makes me think they probably don't get them.

I can't imagine that wizards don't get ANY weapon proficiencies so... yeah. The monk gets LESS training than a wizard in weapons by default. SO, no, it NEEDS to continue until monks get some basic weapons they can use.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Given the untrained penalty is only -2 and everyone is adding their full level to attack rolls anyway, there's very little reason to give weapon proficiency to classes or beings that don't actually use weapons. The monk should maybe not fall into that category, but let's stop assuming the wizard is better until we have an indication that they actually are.

I keep hearing that +1's are powerful and worth MORE than in pathfinder classic, so NO a -2 isn't something minor. Please stop assuming that the wizard ISN'T better than the monk at weapons because we have NO proof that it's wrong... You are assuming as much as we are but you want us to only use YOUR assumption? If we are wrong, a dev can EASILY come in and let us know. I don't think wizard weapon proficiencies would be a huge and off limits secret... :P

EDIT: And to be clear, I wasn't repeating something I heard: I just associates a class that doesn't need weapons, like the wizard, with the monk. Simple as that.


Kaemy wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


At a glance, Crane Style is the only feat we know is first level. So they are going to be losing out on being able to take an action that gives them +1 AC and jumping buffs.

So I don't know if it has been confirmed or stablished, but up to now I always asumed, like on Unchained Monk, that you could use your Lv3 Class Feat to grab a Lv1 Class Feat (even if they are supposed to be "weaker").

So I asume you could get Monastic Weapon at Lv1 and Crane Style at Lv3 (or the other way around) if you really wanted to have both.

I'm sure you are correct about that. But what Cabbage was saying was that the cost to be a weapon user at 1st level should really be "what 1st level feats am I not taking instead?"

To use your example, taking crane at 3rd means not taking ki strike at 3rd. Taking ki strike at 4th means not taking flying kick, etc.

I guess a reasonable question might be if having proficiency with weapons while not being able to use unarmed features with them would make weapons stronger than unarmed strikes are out the box with those features. Which is possible.

A strength monk wielding a big two handed weapon hits harder than a single punch does, for example. In the old system, flurry was a full round action, so using a non-monk weapon wasn't losing the extra attacks. In the new system flurry is a single action. Which means other strike actions can be with anything.

So that means a full attack with flurry is always going to be 0/-4/-8/-8. That means you can wait to flurry with the last action, and use a more powerful weapon for your first 2 strikes.

... Which is definitely an advantage before magic gear or other feats enter the picture. Maybe that's why it costs a feat to use weapons at all, but said feat lets you get other benefits too. Probably just easier to balance.

Logan, Mark, how am I doing? Am I off base here?


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graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
OK, seriously guys, I think monks should get weapon profiency by default too, but this "even wizards can use simple weapons" meme needs to stop. We have not been told that, and its omission from the wizard blog plus cantrips replacing the need to shoot a crossbow makes me think they probably don't get them.

I can't imagine that wizards don't get ANY weapon proficiencies so... yeah. The monk gets LESS training than a wizard in weapons by default. SO, no, it NEEDS to continue until monks get some basic weapons they can use.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Given the untrained penalty is only -2 and everyone is adding their full level to attack rolls anyway, there's very little reason to give weapon proficiency to classes or beings that don't actually use weapons. The monk should maybe not fall into that category, but let's stop assuming the wizard is better until we have an indication that they actually are.

I keep hearing that +1's are powerful and worth MORE than in pathfinder classic, so NO a -2 isn't something minor. Please stop assuming that the wizard ISN'T better than the monk at weapons because we have NO proof that it's wrong... You are assuming as much as we are but you want us to only use YOUR assumption? If we are wrong, a dev can EASILY come in and let us know. I don't think wizard weapon proficiencies would be a huge and off limits secret... :P

EDIT: And to be clear, I wasn't repeating something I heard: I just associates a class that doesn't need weapons, like the wizard, with the monk. Simple as that.

If the monk is losing weapon profiency and it is actually expected to hit things, then why wouldn't the wizard (who doesn't need to hit things) not also use it?

There's nothing conclusive either way, so trying to use a PF2 wizard as an example is asinine. As for why people should use my assumption... They shouldn't. But I'm not the one screaming what wizards are in relation to monks. I'm merely pointing out that we don't know and it would be reasonable for wizards to have lost some weapon proficiencies as well. I'm not asserting this is a fact. I'm saying we shouldn't perpetuate information that has no basis in what we actually know about the game.


Captain Morgan wrote:

In the old system, flurry was a full round action, so using a non-monk weapon wasn't losing the extra attacks. In the new system flurry is a single action. Which means other strike actions can be with anything.

So that means a full attack with flurry is always going to be 0/-4/-8/-8. That means you can wait to flurry with the last action, and use a more powerful weapon for your first 2 strikes.

Well, you can, but if you relegate your flurry to your sucky attacks you'll tend to lose out on its special qualities like combining damage (any level) or increasing the damage dice (9th level) on a joint hit. I think I'd pretty much always flurry first.


Weather Report wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
So that means a full attack with flurry is always going to be 0/-4/-8/-8.
And those first 2 attacks must be against the same target, hence the waiting until after the first attack roll to roll the second, and combining the damage if both hit?

In my specific example, no, the first two attacks don't need to be against the same target.

The FLURRY needs to be against the same target, but flurry is its own action and doesn't need to be done as your first or second attack. If can be your second action (2nd and 3rd attack) or your third action (3rd and 4th attacks.)

This assumes you are correct and flurry needs to hit the same target with both attacks, but I'm thinking that you are. I also think that Double Slice needs to hit the same target with both attacks.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If you are taking Monastic Weaponry to get weapon proficiency, wouldn't you flurry with your monk weapon instead of unarmed strikes?


nohar wrote:
the problem with 4e for me wasn't that classes were mechanically streamlined so they all used the same basic framework...it was that the classes basically had identical powers that only changed the stat they ran off...every class basically had a power that did the same attack and damage that was based on their primary stat...so every class felt exactly the same...i'm not getting that vibe from these previews at all...sure a lot of classes are getting abilities that work the same as casting spells...but they aren't all getting the exact same spells at the exact same level...

That was my problem with 4th edition when our warrior when we first started playing said I cast my burning hands. We were all confused but his warrior power was basically the same as burning hands just using his sword instead. It all felt so cut and paste that all the classes initially just felt like different flavor text ontop of the exact same powers.


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graystone wrote:
I can't imagine that wizards don't get ANY weapon proficiencies so... yeah. The monk gets LESS training than a wizard in weapons by default. SO, no, it NEEDS to continue until monks get some basic weapons they can use.

Why can't you imagine it? Not having Proficiency in PF2 only is -2 (as opposed to the old -4), and Wizards (like everyone else) are now "Full BAB".

A Lv1 Wizard can easily attack at +2 (16 STR/DEX for +3, Lv1 for +1, and -2 from Untrained at Weapons).
A Lv1 Fighter caps (as far as we know) at +6 (18 STR/DEX for +4, Lv1 for +1, and +1 from Expert at Weapons).

I see it as perfectly acceptable. And then, the Wizard that feels like he wants to hit stuff with his sword because it's always a nice option to have, or wants to emulate Gandalf, or even just want to build a Magus (we still need to know a little more about Archetypes and Multiclassing) can just decide to spend 1 skill point in Weapon Proficiency and get a +4 at Lv1 without maxing STR/DEX (or even a +5 if he for some reason maxes STR or DEX).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I had a huge success with Strength 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10. If I was a dwarf, I could have had Cha 8 and 18 in either Con or Wis, which would have been even better.
Mark, what would this monk's stats look like at first level and at what level did he achieve what you listed here out of curiosity?

Not Mark but I want to guess. Based on the low Con and Int 12 I am going to guess this is a Str Based Elven Monk.

Start with 10 in all stats
Ancestry: +2 Dex +2 Int -2 Con put the floating in +2 Str
Background: Something hardly like lumberjack +2 Str and +2 Con
Class: Str Monk gets +2 Str
Floating Bonuses +2 to Str, Dex, Con, and Wis
So at lvl 1:
Str 18 Dex 14 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 12 Cha 10
Lvl 5: +1 Str +2 Dex +2 Con +2 Wis
Lvl 10: +1 Str +2 Dex +2 Con +2 Wis

EDIT: Ninjaed by people who could figure this stuff out faster than me and the man himself. Still Elven Lumberjack Monk is a good option.

Now I kind of want to make an elven lumberjack monk.

Now I have a picture of an elf punching trees down and karate chopping them up like some crazy old spice commercial.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

In the old system, flurry was a full round action, so using a non-monk weapon wasn't losing the extra attacks. In the new system flurry is a single action. Which means other strike actions can be with anything.

So that means a full attack with flurry is always going to be 0/-4/-8/-8. That means you can wait to flurry with the last action, and use a more powerful weapon for your first 2 strikes.

Well, you can, but if you relegate your flurry to your sucky attacks you'll tend to lose out on its special qualities like combining damage (any level) or increasing the damage dice (9th level) on a joint hit. I think I'd pretty much always flurry first.

True, but those aren't universal benefits. Combining the damage only matters if you are dealing with DR, and is infact a detriment if you can instead exploit a weakness. And the combined damage isn't until 9th level and is for an unspecified amount. Even if is more than you can just do with a weapon (I doubt it, it will probably just make flurry competitive with what weapons do at 9th level) one could argue that finding room for a single fest by 9th level isn't a huge burden.

It is worth keeping in mind that weapons are pretty dope now, and offer a lot of versatility. Even a bo staff offers reach, block, and trip, and does a 1d8 over 1d6.

Anyway, I'm thinking a solution might be:

Don't give monks, wizards, commoners, etc proficiency in any blanket category like simple weapons.

Instead, give them specific appropriate weapon profiency. So monks and wizards might both get quarterstaffs, since both can swing a stick. But monks also get shurikens, because they need to have a ranged option and wizards don't.

Meanwhile, at most a commoner gets proficiency in a tool turned weapon they'd actually be used to holding. A farmer might have a scythe and a blacksmith might have a hammer. Even that might be too generous-- weapon profiency doesn't just mean you know which end of the weapon to hold and how to get a good swing with it. It means you know how to use it in combat against something that is actively trying to kill you.


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Pathfinder Design Team: "Hey guys, with the new action system making that last attack with a big penalty often isn't worth it, so we're giving classes lots of FEATS and class abilities that let them trade that last attack that probably won't hit anyway for something more useful!"

Monks: "Oh, cool. So what ability do we get in place of making that third attack?"

PDT: "You get Flurry of Blows, which lets you make two attacks at the highest penalty instead of just one!"

Monks: ...


KingOfAnything wrote:
If you are taking Monastic Weaponry to get weapon proficiency, wouldn't you flurry with your monk weapon instead of unarmed strikes?

Absolutely. I'm speculating on what it would look like if we had weapon proficiency without monastic weaponry, though. It does indeed seem to create some balance problems.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm saying we shouldn't perpetuate information that has no basis in what we actually know about the game.

But I wasn't... I was my OWN conclusion, not repeating someone else's conclusion: As I said, I can't imagine that wizards don't get ANY weapon proficiencies. I'd ask you this: if needing to hit is the factor, then WHY retain simple/martial weapon classifications? Anyone that NEEDS to hit would either have a custom list OR just martial [that'd include simple]... Simple is well... simple and it's for people that do not have to hit often.

EDIT: We shouldn't continue to debate wizard weapons in the monk thread. Feel free to open a new thread about it if you wish but I don't think anything posted would alter my mind unless a dev came in and said wizards get no weapon prof.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
...at least, I read Power 8 as requiring 8 levels, not 8 monk levels...

Power 8 actually means character level 16, just as with spell-levels.

And again, if they are powers, (Ki-Powers, wizard's school powers, [etc]), than the points that you use for those powers aren't spell points.
There's a logical/semantic disconnect. Either those powers aren't powers, but spells, or those spell points for powers aren't spell points.

Agreed... I don't have the hang-up some seem to have about the move to all-magic-is-spells,

but when they toss back in this distinct Power terminology that is just undermining the whole concept IMHO.
Since this *IS* otherwise broadly considered a spell, why present it as something different in this part of stat-block?
If there isn't supposed to be any rules distinction, it uses casting based on VSM actions etc, don't invent superfluous rules terms.

Powers are spells you cast using spell points. In PF1, we have “spells” that don’t work like spells, and cantrips don’t seem to cause all that much confusion.

Also, we can call spell-points mama, although I’ve admittedly grown more comfortable with spell points as time has passed.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Pathfinder Design Team: "Hey guys, with the new action system making that last attack with a big penalty often isn't worth it, so we're giving classes lots of FEATS and class abilities that let them trade that last attack that probably won't hit anyway for something more useful!"

Monks: "Oh, cool. So what ability do we get in place of making that third attack?"

PDT: "You get Flurry of Blows, which lets you make two attacks at the highest penalty instead of just one!"

Monks: ...

I mean, flurry is still strictly better in many contexts than whatever else. This is literally the only thing we have seen that can make two attacks with one action so far, and it doesn't penalize your previous attacks. The monk can make a +0/-4/-8 attack like any other class, but then still has an action left over to do something else. Getting a free attack at a -8 is still better than just having two attacks.


Weather Report wrote:
It would be kind of weird if the Wizard turns up with proficiency in the quarterstaff, since the Monk is not, or maybe I am missing something.

I agree, I was just saying I could dig both the wizard and the monk getting quarter staffs-- assuming the quarterstaff isn't better than monk punches at level 1.

The reason I used it as an example is because it is literally the only weapon I recall being mentioned in relation to the wizard. Not that wizards get proficiency with it, but that it's at least now more thematically and mechanically appropriate for them.

I can't name a single weapon the wizard should be BETTER than a monk with, and I still think the monk should have some kind of ranged weapon by default.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

This is not true. Pathfinder actually did better than 4E for a significant portion of 4E's lifespan, so Paizo knows what to do with that amount of money.

Which is not to say 4E didn't make money. It did. But...

Well, neither of us know exact revenue figures, here is what we do know:

4e products from the first few years were listed on the best seller lists far higher for far longer than any Pathfinder product then or since. 4e topped the ICV2 industry charts for every year since 2008, except from the time that the D&D next Playtest was first previewed to the release of the 5e PHB (and that one product was enough to retake the number one spot that PF had held for a couple of years while WotC wasn’t releasing any new products). Peak DDI subscriptions dwarfed any of Paizo’s subscriptions and even the sustained annual subscription numbers were higher than Paizo could expect to have for their own products until the very end of 4e’s lifespan (where even the meager 12,000 annual DDI subscriptions still on the books at the end is probably competitive with most of Paizo’s subscriptions).

If Pathfinder eventually caught up with 4e’s lifetime revenues it was only with the benefit of 4 more years of sales. And it’s undeniable that Paizo’s rpg sales are a fraction of WotC’s over the total time frame since 2008 (4e and 5e combined). So I say again, if Paizo “fails” as spectacularly as WotC , they won’t know what to do with all the money.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
graystone wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So I guess my question is- What is the Opportunity cost of taking Monastic Weapons at level 1?

My question is "What is the Opportunity cost of [not] taking Monastic Weapons at level 1?"

'look a creature flying 15' in the air... maybe I can spend 2 actions to high jump and HOPE I roll high enough to hit it with a punch [and not crit fail and look silly damaging myself]. Or I can just meditate until people with ACTUAL ranged attacks finish it off...'

'Oh look, a diseased/poisonous/ect creature... Well I either punch it, since master never trained me up to wizard weapon standards, or I go back to meditating...'

ect...

OK, seriously guys, I think monks should get weapon profiency by default too, but this "even wizards can use simple weapons" meme needs to stop. We have not been told that, and its omission from the wizard blog plus cantrips replacing the need to shoot a crossbow makes me think they probably don't get them.

Given the untrained penalty is only -2 and everyone is adding their full level to attack rolls anyway, there's very little reason to give weapon proficiency to classes or beings that don't actually use weapons. The monk should maybe not fall into that category, but let's stop assuming the wizard is better until we have an indication that they actually are.

Ok, I’m going to comment here. I playtested Ezren at Origins and he was proficient with a staff, dagger, and crossbow. Whether or not he was proficient with other simple weapons, that remains to be seen.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Weather Report wrote:
Crikey, flashbacks to 2012.

Yeah, sorry for the derailment. Revisionist history puts my favorite edition into even more of a negative light than it is already amongst enthusiasts. I feel an irrational need to defend it (as you’ll see is common in many hobbies, i.e. PCs versus consoles).

That said, no further sidetracks from me in this thread.

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