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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Kaemy wrote:

For everyone complaining that Monks aren't by default trained in Martial Weapons, think of it this way:

They probably get around the same number of Trained Skills (total) than the other classes... If you want to go the weapon route, you can get one of your Lv1 extra Skill Ranks (Class+INT at Lv1) into Weapon Proficiency if you want to use weapons.

But if you don't want to use weapons, for those other monks, it's kinda like getting an extra skill somewhere else (because that "default Lv0 skill" that wasn't placed in Weapon Proficiency was probably placed somewhere else).

Me, personally, I would keep them like they were presented here (untrained), but I would also make Wizards to be untrained by default (the -2 is very fitting for a Wizard that doesn't want to specialize/train with weapons). But who knows? Maybe that's already the case, maybe Wizards are also Untrained with Weapons by default and the Iconic Wizard that people have been playing in the Playtests just happened to have invested one of his Lv1 Skill Ranks in Weapon Proficiency.

Um, citation needed...? Where are you getting that you can convert skill ranks into weapon proficiency?


Don't know Tholomyes, may also deppend on what kind of enemy, and overall I get the feeling you get way better accuracy on your first hit on PF2 than you do on PF1.

A Lv1 Monk with 18 STR has +6 to Hit (4 from STR, 1 from Level, 1 from Expert Unarmed)... Let's assume for this example he is flanking with a budy, or he made the target flat-footed with his previous Stunning Fist, so that's a +8...

If he is fighting something with a very sucky armor (10 AC, like a Zombie or Naked Man) he Crits from 12 to 20 (45% of the time).
If its something with your average CR1 armor (around 15C?), he woud Crit from 15 to 20 (30% of the time).

Then he needs to Critically Fail the Fortitude Save. I'm not sure how you calculate it, but in the post it says it's based on your STR or DEX... Let's assume its 10+Level+STR, that would be DC 15 (is this right? I'm missing something? Maybe a Proficiency?)

A Lv1 enemy usually has +0/2 Fort Save, right? Let's be generous and go with 3. So he Critically Fails when rolling 1 or 2, so 10% of the time...

In these two scenarios (assuming your DC is actually 15, and the 10AC and 15AC enemies have a +3 Fort Save) you are Stunning them 4.5% and 3% of the time). Granted, is not amazing, but is looking okay-ish.

If the enemies had a +0 Fort the Crit Failure would increase from 10% to 25%, and the total stun chance would grow to 11,25% and 7,5%.

Granted, this is eyeballig and assuming somethings, but looks accurate. In these examples the Monk has a +2 from Flat-Footed enemies, but it doesn't have a +1/+2 from possible friendly buffs from a Bard, ot stuff like "Aid Another" (if it still exists).


Tholomyes wrote:
Um, citation needed...? Where are you getting that you can convert skill ranks into weapon proficiency?

Well... I assume Weapon Proficiency is just a Skill, like "Athletics", "Unarmed Attacks", "Unarmored Defense" and "Armored Defense" and all that stuff? Why would it be something different?

As in: Untrained (-2), Trained (0), Expert (+1), Master (+2), Legendary (+3) with Martial Weapons?

I just assumed. But granted I may be wrong here. Maybe we only get "Unarmed Attacks" and "Armed Attacks" as Skills, and proficiencies are something separated still, but I asumed they would be put together with everything else in this new system.

EDIT: Just went to re-read the post and the exact text is:

BLAG wrote:
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

Thats a Feat (I asume) to use your "Unarmed Attack" (that's a proficiency/skill) with simple martial monk weapons...

Do we even know if there are "weapon proficencies" as we know them still? Or everyone knows how to handle them and is about how many skill points you place in "Armed Attacks"?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kaemy wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Um, citation needed...? Where are you getting that you can convert skill ranks into weapon proficiency?

Well... I assume Weapon Proficiency is just a Skill, like "Athletics", "Unarmed Attacks", "Unarmored Defense" and "Armored Defense" and all that stuff? Why would it be something different?

As in: Untrained (-2), Trained (0), Expert (+1), Master (+2), Legendary (+3) with Martial Weapons?

I just assumed. But granted I may be wrong here.

It is different. The reasoning being that if you let combat proficiency be in the same pool of choices as non combat stuff, the non combat stuff doesn't get picked.

Having "combat stuff" just be skills works in games were combat isn't necessarily the focus (say WoD) but not so much in DnD/Pathfinder where the expected solution to a disagreement is some sort of sharp object.


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Kaemy wrote:
For everyone complaining that Monks aren't by default trained in Martial Weapons

I don't think ANYONE is complaining about Martial weapons: they are complaining that they get NO weapon at all...

Kaemy wrote:
If you want to go the weapon route, you can get one of your Lv1 extra Skill Ranks (Class+INT at Lv1) into Weapon Proficiency if you want to use weapons.

I don't see how this is an option and even if it were, why it would be a GOOD option. As far as I know, there is NO such thing as skill points for weapons: for instance, the people that played a wizard got a list of weapons that they could use and not a certain number of weapons they could pick.


graystone, frist quote was a typo on my part (meant Simple Weapons)... and I can't edit it anymore :(

And for your second answer... The playtest is played with pre-made characters... I asume they got a list of what that Iconic Wizard was carrying?
They are like: Your Fighter Valeros has a Longsword, a Shortsword and a Shield. Not like: Here is a list of the 40 weapons you could use, pick the ones you like.

There is "Unarmed Attack Proficiency", so I asume there is "Armed Attack Proficiency" (or maybe Simple/Martial proficiencies?). I think we are still missing some key pieces to know for sure what we are talking about.


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Dwarves, at least, can use an ancestry feat to get training with dwarfy weapons.


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I don't think we have an option for "weapon skills". There's been noted to be 17 skills or so from the visible character sheet, and given people have figured out what all of them are, it's unlikely other proficiencies would fall under that bailiwick.


Wait...so weapon training is just another skill training? I thought that needed feats?

Sovereign Court

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Seisho wrote:
Wait...so weapon training is just another skill training? I thought that needed feats?

Weapon proficiency and skill proficiency both use the untrained->legendary scale, but they are not the same thing. You will probably have to spend General Feats to increase your weapon and armor proficiency. You gain skill ranks to increase your skill proficiencies automatically as you level.

Kaemy is getting everyone confused. They should probably review the proficiency blog.


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I think attack at a -2 with weapons is fine in the corner cases when your legs, fists, and ki powers won't do the job.

Ancestry feats for traditional weapon training also works good.

It ain't a big deal to me one way or another but if the class is balanced around being limited to brawling w/o resource investment then I don't think they should be given weapons w/o also taking something away.


Kaemy wrote:
graystone, frist quote was a typo on my part (meant Simple Weapons)... and I can't edit it anymore :(

Cool, but I know for myself, I want them to have at least some weapons so I'm not debating all simple weapons, for instance: just something simple like staff, club and sling would make me happy.

Kaemy wrote:
And for your second answer... The playtest is played with pre-made characters... I asume they got a list of what that Iconic Wizard was carrying?

As I recall, wizards got dagger, staff and crossbow and they weren't carrying all of those weapons so...

Kaemy wrote:
They are like: Your Fighter Valeros has a Longsword, a Shortsword and a Shield. Not like: Here is a list of the 40 weapons you could use, pick the ones you like.

Maybe, but we have had no indication of skill point like proficiency buys of weapon proficiencies.

Kaemy wrote:
There is "Unarmed Attack Proficiency", so I asume there is "Armed Attack Proficiency" (or maybe Simple/Martial proficiencies?). I think we are still missing some key pieces to know for sure what we are talking about.

Unarmed covers pretty much the same thing as Natural Weapon Group [unarmed and natural weapons]. I don't see anything to suggest that proficiencies fall under skill feats so IMO that leaves you with spending a class/general feat and doing that you might as well use the presented feat. IMO, learning basic/simple weapons isn't something I should have to spend a feat on as a monk.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah if armor and weapon proficiency (and mastery) could be bought simply by investing a skill point, a LOT of the drama over paladins could have been avoided. I'm pretty sure your base proficiency is feat locked, and how fast you improve on that is determined by your class.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
I think attack at a -2 with weapons is fine in the corner cases when your legs, fists, and ki powers won't do the job.

I disagree that having flying foes is a corner case. Recall that ki powers are optional too, as optional as the feat to get weapon proficiencies.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Ancestry feats for traditional weapon training also works good.

Cool... So every race get a weapon proficiency option?

Excaliburproxy wrote:
It ain't a big deal to me one way or another but if the class is balanced around being limited to brawling w/o resource investment then I don't think they should be given weapons w/o also taking something away.

If monks getting staff, club and sling proficiency makes the game go off the rails, something is very, very wrong with the game as a whole. :P

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I see how stunning fist is not super strong in your difficult fights but it's going to own lower cr creatures. Who are crit easy and will crit fail the dc often.


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Tholomyes wrote:
Except you have to Crit and they have to critically fail to get stunned. Even if you're good enough that you crit, say, 20% of the time, and they crit fail also 20% of the time, that's still only 4% that you stun with it. And I'm guessing that the chances won't be that high, unless you're fighting something that's way lower level than you, based on what little we know about monster stats from the stat blog, which makes it look like you're seeing only about a 1% or less chance to stun, barring things we don't know about yet, which might put it closer to 2%, but that's still not a lot.
Kaemy wrote:

Then he needs to Critically Fail the Fortitude Save. I'm not sure how you calculate it, but in the post it says it's based on your STR or DEX... Let's assume its 10+Level+STR, that would be DC 15 (is this right? I'm missing something? Maybe a Proficiency?)

A Lv1 enemy usually has +0/2 Fort Save, right? Let's be generous and go with 3. So he Critically Fails when rolling 1 or 2, so 10% of the time...

In these two scenarios (assuming your DC is actually 15, and the 10AC and 15AC enemies have a +3 Fort Save) you are Stunning them 4.5% and 3% of the time). Granted, is not amazing, but is looking okay-ish.

If the enemies had a +0 Fort the Crit Failure would increase from 10% to 25%, and the total stun chance would grow to 11,25% and 7,5%.

You're both missing something important. If you Critically Hit someone with an ability that requires a saving throw, their result is one degree worse.

Meaning, if they normally would have saved from that roll, your Critical reduces their result to a Failure, and if they regularly fail, that would be reduced to a Critical Failure. Even a Critical Success would be dropped to a regular Success from your Critical Hit.

In the scenario you crit them, that DC 15 stays a DC 15 for Critical Failure vs Regular Failure, and would require you to beat a DC 25 for a regular Success.


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graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I think attack at a -2 with weapons is fine in the corner cases when your legs, fists, and ki powers won't do the job.

I disagree that having flying foes is a corner case. Recall that ki powers are optional too, as optional as the feat to get weapon proficiencies.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Ancestry feats for traditional weapon training also works good.

Cool... So every race get a weapon proficiency option?

I am merely noting that there are other options for you to pursue if it is really a problem for you. And again: I don't think shooting a bow at -2 is the end of the world.

graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
It ain't a big deal to me one way or another but if the class is balanced around being limited to brawling w/o resource investment then I don't think they should be given weapons w/o also taking something away.
If monks getting staff, club and sling proficiency makes the game go off the rails, something is very, very wrong with the game as a whole. :P

I am a little confused about your position here. If it is so important to have a competitive ranged option then doesn't it follow that a class could be balanced around giving up that ability for other benefits?

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GeneticDrift wrote:
I see how stunning fist is not super strong in your difficult fights but it's going to own lower cr creatures. Who are crit easy and will crit fail the dc often.

Again, it's not a question of how easy or hard it is to stun with stunning fist. It's a question of the name no longer being very accurate for something which is likely to happen less than 5% of the time.


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Mewzard wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Except you have to Crit and they have to critically fail to get stunned. Even if you're good enough that you crit, say, 20% of the time, and they crit fail also 20% of the time, that's still only 4% that you stun with it. And I'm guessing that the chances won't be that high, unless you're fighting something that's way lower level than you, based on what little we know about monster stats from the stat blog, which makes it look like you're seeing only about a 1% or less chance to stun, barring things we don't know about yet, which might put it closer to 2%, but that's still not a lot.
Kaemy wrote:

Then he needs to Critically Fail the Fortitude Save. I'm not sure how you calculate it, but in the post it says it's based on your STR or DEX... Let's assume its 10+Level+STR, that would be DC 15 (is this right? I'm missing something? Maybe a Proficiency?)

A Lv1 enemy usually has +0/2 Fort Save, right? Let's be generous and go with 3. So he Critically Fails when rolling 1 or 2, so 10% of the time...

In these two scenarios (assuming your DC is actually 15, and the 10AC and 15AC enemies have a +3 Fort Save) you are Stunning them 4.5% and 3% of the time). Granted, is not amazing, but is looking okay-ish.

If the enemies had a +0 Fort the Crit Failure would increase from 10% to 25%, and the total stun chance would grow to 11,25% and 7,5%.

You're both missing something important. If you Critically Hit someone with an ability that requires a saving throw, their result is one degree worse.

Meaning, if they normally would have saved from that roll, your Critical reduces their result to a Failure, and if they regularly fail, that would be reduced to a Critical Failure. Even a Critical Success would be dropped to a regular Success from your Critical Hit.

In the scenario you crit them, that DC 15 stays a DC 15 for Critical Failure vs Regular Failure, and would require you to beat a DC 25 for a regular Success.

The blog implies that they're not missing anything, and that Stunning Fist has a particular (possibly unique) clause that basically gives it a worse-than-critical-failure rank, that is explicitly triggered by both your attack critically hitting and then them explicitly critically failing the save. If you crit and then they normal fail, it gets bumped to the normal crit fail result, which is the Stupefied. Stun specifically only matters if they hit the crit-fail DC off of a Crit attack... as many of us are parsing it.


It sounds like to me that a regular fail will be treated as a critical failure on a critical hit on the triggering attack.


GeneticDrift wrote:
I see how stunning fist is not super strong in your difficult fights but it's going to own lower cr creatures. Who are crit easy and will crit fail the dc often.

If it's easy to crit, it's then also easy to hit with your second, third and fourth attacks: how often is giving a condition to a low cr creature better than trying to kill such a creature?

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I am merely noting that there are other options for you to pursue if it is really a problem for you. And again: I don't think shooting a bow at -2 is the end of the world.

Not the end of the world, but a hurdle that is unneeded IMO.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I am a little confused about your position here. If it is so important to have a competitive ranged option then doesn't it follow that a class could be balanced around giving up that ability for other benefits?

Who asked for competitive? I'm NOT asking that they get top of the line attack bonuses or damage: I don't think giving them wizard levels of weapon combat is a balance breaker. If you do, then again I wonder if the system has other problems. There is a middle ground between 'never picked up a weapon' and 'can use all my class abilities with weapons' and I don't see why the monk can't have a few weapons in that middle ground.


Mewzard wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Except you have to Crit and they have to critically fail to get stunned. Even if you're good enough that you crit, say, 20% of the time, and they crit fail also 20% of the time, that's still only 4% that you stun with it. And I'm guessing that the chances won't be that high, unless you're fighting something that's way lower level than you, based on what little we know about monster stats from the stat blog, which makes it look like you're seeing only about a 1% or less chance to stun, barring things we don't know about yet, which might put it closer to 2%, but that's still not a lot.
Kaemy wrote:

Then he needs to Critically Fail the Fortitude Save. I'm not sure how you calculate it, but in the post it says it's based on your STR or DEX... Let's assume its 10+Level+STR, that would be DC 15 (is this right? I'm missing something? Maybe a Proficiency?)

A Lv1 enemy usually has +0/2 Fort Save, right? Let's be generous and go with 3. So he Critically Fails when rolling 1 or 2, so 10% of the time...

In these two scenarios (assuming your DC is actually 15, and the 10AC and 15AC enemies have a +3 Fort Save) you are Stunning them 4.5% and 3% of the time). Granted, is not amazing, but is looking okay-ish.

If the enemies had a +0 Fort the Crit Failure would increase from 10% to 25%, and the total stun chance would grow to 11,25% and 7,5%.

You're both missing something important. If you Critically Hit someone with an ability that requires a saving throw, their result is one degree worse.

Meaning, if they normally would have saved from that roll, your Critical reduces their result to a Failure, and if they regularly fail, that would be reduced to a Critical Failure. Even a Critical Success would be dropped to a regular Success from your Critical Hit.

In the scenario you crit them, that DC 15 stays a DC 15 for Critical Failure vs Regular Failure, and would require you to beat a DC 25 for a regular Success.

Yes, but it's not entirely clear if, when the blog says this about Stunning Fist:

"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!"

They mean any Critical Failure, or a real Critical Failure. IE: do you stun an opponent if they Fail, because it gets downgraded to a Crit Fail, or do they have to actually have a Critical Failure, not just a downgraded Failure.

If I crit and the DC is 15, do they get Stunned on a 1-14, or on a 1-5, is the question. Given the 4 degrees of success I'm inclined to go with the latter: Critting your Stunning Fist turns a Pass into a Fail, a Fail into a Critical Fail, and since you can't go below a Crit Fail, if you Critically Fail you get Stunned. But it could go either way, certainly.


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JoelF847 wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
I see how stunning fist is not super strong in your difficult fights but it's going to own lower cr creatures. Who are crit easy and will crit fail the dc often.
Again, it's not a question of how easy or hard it is to stun with stunning fist. It's a question of the name no longer being very accurate for something which is likely to happen less than 5% of the time.

Well, it may be a little missleading, but not that much, and I think its a good nomenclature.

If a Basilisk or a Medusa in PF2 only turns you to Stone on a Critical Fail, and those happen (if you are the adecuate level and have the correct gear) 5% or 10% of the Time (so, not really often), you wouldn't call the ability "Slowing Gaze", would you?

TheFinish: You are right... Its open to interpretation. That's why we need proof-reading during the Playtest. Personally I did read it like if it had a "Super-Critical-Fail" condition that only got activated on a Critical Strike... But I forgot entirely about the Crits making the save result one category worse...
Using my same scenario as before (10 AC and 15 AC, normal Monk with just Flat Footed Bonus, generous 3 Fort Save on both targets) the stunning chance (if the enemy only has to Fail the Save) would go up from 4.5% and 3% to 27% and 18% PER ATTACK... (or 33,75% and 22,5% if they have +0 Fort). That's is a whole new level of stunning.
(So, against a 15AC enemy with +0 Fort a Lv1 Monk with 18 to STR and Flanking the Target, would have a 22,5% chance of stunning it everytime he uses Stunning Fist as his first no-penalties attack).

BTW, sorry everyone for the confusion I may have caused. I really assumed that Weapon Proficiency (that uses the same 5 degrees) was leveled up the same way with the same points than the normal proficiencies like "Athletics" or "Craft".


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graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I am a little confused about your position here. If it is so important to have a competitive ranged option then doesn't it follow that a class could be balanced around giving up that ability for other benefits?
Who asked for competitive? I'm NOT asking that they get top of the line attack bonuses or damage: I don't think giving them wizard levels of weapon combat is a balance breaker. If you do, then again I wonder if the system has other problems. There is a middle ground between 'never picked up a weapon' and 'can use all my class abilities with weapons' and I don't see why the monk can't have a few weapons in that middle ground.

Why do they need to be at the middle ground? Why can't they get other things rather than being at the middle ground? Monks don't have to be regular adventurers like the other classes that learn to use crossbows or whatever.

Let me explain my position again:
If having accurate ranged options really matters then the class might have some other benefits in other situations that makes up for it. If that is the case, then you should not give them those accurate ranged options without taking that extra edge away.

If having accurate ranged options doesn't matter then I don't know what we are talking about, my guy, cuz then it doesn't matter.


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I'm assuming that by the time flying enemies become common, monks will be able to leap sufficiently high in the air to kick or tackle them.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm assuming that by the time flying enemies become common, monks will be able to leap sufficiently high in the air to kick or tackle them.

That or they might have magical equipment that allows them to fly as well.

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JoelF847 wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
I see how stunning fist is not super strong in your difficult fights but it's going to own lower cr creatures. Who are crit easy and will crit fail the dc often.
Again, it's not a question of how easy or hard it is to stun with stunning fist. It's a question of the name no longer being very accurate for something which is likely to happen less than 5% of the time.

Its a low percent for strong opponents. Just like other save or suck abilities they rarely effect appropriatly leveled opponents.

For another person's reply about why use the ability when other attacks might kill the target. You don't always want to kill the people you hit or it can set up other allies when one more punch won't kill it.

Flat-footed, stupifed, and stunned are all good conditions to apply.

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Removed a post. Please do not use profanity, even when its filtered with symbols.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
So, to summarize: I'm not concerned about people clamoring about legacy issues. I'm worried about, in this edition, how will the Monk be differentiated from the Fighter....

This has been my main issue, i don't see Monk standing out.

I also don't believe he's that much more mobile than a fighter, people keep talking about how great it is to flurry+Attack at 0/-4/-8 for the cost of two actions and then disengage but from what we have heard the Monk is no less vulnerable to AoO than Fighter is. Unless Monk gets an ability to be immune to AoO in some way, the only real mobility that a Monk has is the Jump Kick, which means nothing because unlike the Monk the Fighter has Sudden Charge to close the distance as well.


-Poison- wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
So, to summarize: I'm not concerned about people clamoring about legacy issues. I'm worried about, in this edition, how will the Monk be differentiated from the Fighter....

This has been my main issue, i don't see Monk standing out.

I also don't believe he's that much more mobile than a fighter, people keep talking about how great it is to flurry+Attack at 0/-4/-8 for the cost of two actions and then disengage but from what we have heard the Monk is no less vulnerable to AoO than Fighter is. Unless Monk gets an ability to be immune to AoO in some way, the only real mobility that a Monk has is the Jump Kick, which means nothing because unlike the Monk the Fighter has Sudden Charge to close the distance as well.

Well, I will note that AoO is no longer a universal rule. For PCs, only fighters start with AoO automatically and it is unclear what percentage of monsters will have that mechanic.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Why do they need to be at the middle ground?

Because it makes sense that they be at least as good at weapons as a wizard? It's not really that hard to grasp that IMO.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Why can't they get other things rather than being at the middle ground?

Why reinvent the wheel for basic functionality? It's all fine and good to gain other things but we're talking taking up options. Is it worth a feat/ability for a basic ranged attack that even a wizard can do without expending resources? IMO, no. For instance, the weapon feat in the blog gives MUCH more functionality for weapons that a few simple weapons give so it's in no way overshadowed by their inclusion. I think it's a false narrative that that something would have to be taken away because of a few simple proficient weapons

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Let me explain my position again

No need. I understand it, I just don't agree. At all. What edge did the wizard give away to be able to use a crossbow for instance? Did they lose a spell to be able to use a dagger? Lost a skill to get to use a staff? See the wizard makes your argument on this seem silly IMO. Anything you could say about why a monk doesn't need weapons can be said for wizards but for some reason they have them.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm assuming that by the time flying enemies become common, monks will be able to leap sufficiently high in the air to kick or tackle them.

I don't know what games you guys have been playing but I haven't found flying creatures to be uncommon from 1st level up. I don't go 'you don't see that!' when a bat flies out of the darkness and bites a party member when in a low level game. Or ranged attacks from a distance and/or cover. I'm not seeing them as corner cases avoided at low levels.

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
-Poison- wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
So, to summarize: I'm not concerned about people clamoring about legacy issues. I'm worried about, in this edition, how will the Monk be differentiated from the Fighter....

This has been my main issue, i don't see Monk standing out.

I also don't believe he's that much more mobile than a fighter, people keep talking about how great it is to flurry+Attack at 0/-4/-8 for the cost of two actions and then disengage but from what we have heard the Monk is no less vulnerable to AoO than Fighter is. Unless Monk gets an ability to be immune to AoO in some way, the only real mobility that a Monk has is the Jump Kick, which means nothing because unlike the Monk the Fighter has Sudden Charge to close the distance as well.
Well, I will note that AoO is no longer a universal rule. For PCs, only fighters start with AoO automatically and it is unclear what percentage of monsters will have that mechanic.

And for enemies that do have the AoO reaction, the monk's Dexterity and speed give him an advantage when Tumbling to avoid reactions.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:


Well, I will note that AoO is no longer a universal rule. For PCs, only fighters start with AoO automatically and it is unclear what percentage of monsters will have that mechanic.

Sure, it's not free in the way that everybody gets AoO now; that doesn't mean i can just FoB an enemy and runaway like everybody in this thread is assuming.

Everybody is so wild about the idea of attacking 3 times and still being able to be a "mobile" tank by running behind your fighter.

1. Monk is a frontlining martial, who shouldn't have to run behind another frontlining martial every engagement.

2. AoO still exist and if this is how the Monk is intended to be played, it'd be similar to a spellcaster having a 33% Arcane Spell Failure chance at all times. I shouldn't need to play the guessing game like that.
Unless we get confirmation that AoO are so rare that we'd never see it in any enemy that's less than very rare, you shouldn't be relying on hoping that the enemy doesn't have AoO as a playstyle.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
And for enemies that do have the AoO reaction, the monk's Dexterity and speed give him an advantage when Tumbling to avoid reactions.

None of that makes him any less vulnerable to AoO as any other martial, what are you talking about.

You mean having an AC so high that i can comfortably never be hit by AoO?
Monk would have to be the most tanky of classes with low effort to have this type of playstyle so enforced.
You mean investing in Dexterity as a player to get my AC so high where AoO are less of a worry?
You are stuck using only one kind of viable build for this enforced playstyle and STR/WIS Monks will always be clearly inferior.

I don't know anything about speed taking part in the equation, unless AoO have changed, your speed doesn't take away an enemy's reaction.


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-Poison- wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


Well, I will note that AoO is no longer a universal rule. For PCs, only fighters start with AoO automatically and it is unclear what percentage of monsters will have that mechanic.

Sure, it's not free in the way that everybody gets AoO now; that doesn't mean i can just FoB an enemy and runaway like everybody in this thread is assuming.

Everybody is so wild about the idea of attacking 3 times and still being able to be a "mobile" tank by running behind your fighter.

1. Monk is a frontlining martial, who shouldn't have to run behind another frontlining martial every engagement.

2. AoO still exist and if this is how the Monk is intended to be played, it'd be similar to a spellcaster having a 33% Arcane Spell Failure chance at all times. I shouldn't need to play the guessing game like that.
Unless we get confirmation that AoO are so rare that we'd never see it in any enemy that's less than very rare, you shouldn't be relying on hoping that the enemy doesn't have AoO as a playstyle.

To speak to your two points:

1. The article and others have indicated that monks are going to be reasonably hard to hit and I don't think the monk is going to be a total slouch when it comes to "3 action full attacks". They can flurry attack into a ghost strike or stunning fist into a flurry attack to attempt to maximize the accuracy of their later iterative attacks. I myself was worried about the Monk being too MAD to have a good AC and HP, but Mark has pretty effectively assuaged my fears in this matter. I suggest you search this thread for his posts.

2. I think it would be more similar to a spellcaster occasionally facing foes that have spell resistance: it requires the mage to instead focus on buffing the party or summoning. Foes with different reactions and abilities require different tactics.


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You don't need to build around avoiding AOOs anymore because people get a max of 1 per turn so strength monk will be fine. Aoo uses your 1 reaction for the turn so at worse you get hit once add you retreat


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Excaliburproxy wrote:


To speak to your two points:
1. The article and others have indicated that monks are going to be reasonably hard to hit and I don't think the monk is going to be a total slouch when it comes to "3 action full attacks". They can flurry attack into a ghost strike or stunning fist into a flurry attack to attempt to maximize the accuracy of their later iterative attacks. I myself was worried about the Monk being too MAD to have a good AC and HP, but Mark has pretty effectively assuaged my fears in this matter. I suggest you search this thread for his posts.

2. I think it would be more similar to a spellcaster occasionally facing foes that have spell resistance: it requires the mage to instead focus on buffing the party or summoning. Foes with different reactions and abilities require different tactics.

1. We're talking very high AC, not just reasonably hard to hit; if Monk is expected to take an AoO every turn or take his chances with one, there's no room for "reasonable" AC.

But Monk shouldn't have unreasonable AC, that's the point.
No see, my first point is directly talking about those making the case that Monk in 2E should play as mobile as possible by disengaging after the Flurry and a 3rd attack in order to avoid being targeted. That's what my first point was replying to.
I've read Mark's post, i'm sure Monk will have good enough AC to where he won't fall behind, but that's not what i was talking about with mobility and AoO.

2. Monk doesn't have buffing or summoning abilities. What's more is that Monk is a frontliner, which is why he doesn't have these support abilities you would find on a Wizard who would not be in front of an enemy.


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Arcarial wrote:
You don't need to build around avoiding AOOs anymore because people get a max of 1 per turn so strength monk will be fine. Aoo uses your 1 reaction for the turn so at worse you get hit once add you retreat

1 per turn, every turn, getting a free hit on you almost every turn.

People are talking about disengaging (hiding behind your fighter) just to jump back in, that's what was being "recommended" earlier.


graystone wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Why do they need to be at the middle ground?

Because it makes sense that they be at least as good at weapons as a wizard? It's not really that hard to grasp that IMO.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Why can't they get other things rather than being at the middle ground?

Why reinvent the wheel for basic functionality? It's all fine and good to gain other things but we're talking taking up options. Is it worth a feat/ability for a basic ranged attack that even a wizard can do without expending resources? IMO, no. For instance, the weapon feat in the blog gives MUCH more functionality for weapons that a few simple weapons give so it's in no way overshadowed by their inclusion. I think it's a false narrative that that something would have to be taken away because of a few simple proficient weapons

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Let me explain my position again
No need. I understand it, I just don't agree. At all. What edge did the wizard give away to be able to use a crossbow for instance? Did they lose a spell to be able to use a dagger? Lost a skill to get to use a staff? See the wizard makes your argument on this seem silly IMO. Anything you could say about why a monk doesn't need weapons can be said for wizards but for some reason they have them.

For part 1: That's just, like, your opinion, man. (on both it making more sense for the monk to have more proficiency than the wizard and in that it should be obvious). That said, I think this is sort of your best argument in a lot of ways. I think it is fair of you to imagine that monks would have at least some kind of martial prowess outside of their kung fu training, and it is reasonable to want the rules to reflect that. I am saying that I disagree with that, though. I like that I can build a monk that is a silly punch lad who never learned how to use a sling or poke fools with a stick. I like that I can explore that game space with this version of the monk.

For part 2: I was confused because you kept harping on the phrase "balance breaking" in your earlier posts and it threw me off. I never actually asserted that giving the class getting those additional proficiency would actually be balance breaking since my arguments were constructed to be agnostic towards that point. How get that the exact strength right is a related topic.

For part 3: Yep. Wizards totally had to "lose" some kind of mechanical benefit to have its weapon proficiencies. If 3.0 wizards didn't have crossbow proficiencies in that game, someone sure as hell would have given them other mechanics to make up for the fact that they were just standing around after they ran out of spells in the first fight or two. If the 2E pathfinder wizards didn't have those proficiencies then it would probably have some other token power too, but gandolf hit fools with a staff sometimes and even used a sword so wizards get some weapons in the popular imagination of--at least--these designers.

Here is a related point, though:
Monks actually benefit from simple weapon proficiency MORE than wizards do in 2E pathfinder. Dex and strength are the main stats for a monk and those are complimentary with weapon proficiency. It is going to be pretty rare for a wizard to want to load a sling and take an attack when they can just use acid splash or whatever; the cantrip will be more accurate anyways and doesn't require the wizard to buy a masterwork ensorrcelled sling or whatever. That same proficiency buys the monk a lot more so maybe they should get a lot more for forgoing the option.


-Poison- wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


To speak to your two points:
1. The article and others have indicated that monks are going to be reasonably hard to hit and I don't think the monk is going to be a total slouch when it comes to "3 action full attacks". They can flurry attack into a ghost strike or stunning fist into a flurry attack to attempt to maximize the accuracy of their later iterative attacks. I myself was worried about the Monk being too MAD to have a good AC and HP, but Mark has pretty effectively assuaged my fears in this matter. I suggest you search this thread for his posts.

2. I think it would be more similar to a spellcaster occasionally facing foes that have spell resistance: it requires the mage to instead focus on buffing the party or summoning. Foes with different reactions and abilities require different tactics.

1. We're talking very high AC, not just reasonably hard to hit; if Monk is expected to take an AoO every turn or take his chances with one, there's no room for "reasonable" AC.

But Monk shouldn't have unreasonable AC, that's the point.
No see, my first point is directly talking about those making the case that Monk in 2E should play as mobile as possible by disengaging after the Flurry and a 3rd attack in order to avoid being targeted. That's what my first point was replying to.
I've read Mark's post, i'm sure Monk will have good enough AC to where he won't fall behind, but that's not what i was talking about with mobility and AoO.

2. Monk doesn't have buffing or summoning abilities. What's more is that Monk is a frontliner, which is why he doesn't have these support abilities you would find on a Wizard who would not be in front of an enemy.

If the monk is fighting a foe with AoO then they can just stand in front of that dude and brawl is what I am telling you. They don't need to be darting in and out of fights every time. Maybe they don't have the durability of a shield fighter, paladin, or barbarian but that doesn't mean they will never want to stay and fight.

It is fine for different classes to do better in different situations.

From the article:
" First, depending on the monk's Dexterity modifier, the gulf between a heavily armored character and a monk without armor is extremely low"


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm assuming that by the time flying enemies become common, monks will be able to leap sufficiently high in the air to kick or tackle them.

It's going to be something like this. The game designers are smart and good at there jobs. There is no way the question of what does a monk do against a flying monster never came up.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:


If the monk is fighting a foe with AoO then they can just stand in front of that dude and brawl is what I am telling you. They don't need to be darting in and out of fights every time. Maybe they don't have the durability of a shield fighter, paladin, or barbarian but that doesn't mean they will...

I think you need to read back on the posts hahaha

I agree that you should stand in front of an enemy to brawl them because of AoO, but you're missing the point of what i'm replying to.
I'm not the one making these claims.

Also, it is fine for different classes to be better at different things but there's no reason for the Monk to be inferior to every martial in the game by NEEDING to adopt a playstyle of hit-and-run, especially when the core game mechanics punish that type of playstyle without an ability on the player's side that would make them immune to the penalty of such mechanics.


-Poison- wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


If the monk is fighting a foe with AoO then they can just stand in front of that dude and brawl is what I am telling you. They don't need to be darting in and out of fights every time. Maybe they don't have the durability of a shield fighter, paladin, or barbarian but that doesn't mean they will...

I think you need to read back on the posts hahaha

I agree that you should stand in front of an enemy to brawl them because of AoO, but you're missing the point of what i'm replying to.
I'm not the one making these claims.

Ahhh. So you are just talking about differentiation? Well, the monk is more mobile, of course. Their movement speed helps them get to melee fights easily. A fighter with sudden charge can move two increments and attack twice and so can the monk. However, the monk gets that ability for free, he isn't being weighed down by armor, and he gets movement bonuses later on.

When they aren't fighting a foe with AoO (which will probably be the majority of foes) then they can dart in and out of combat when you get lower on health and force foes to waste actions following you if they want to finish the job. On top of that, the monk can get ki abilities that let them teleport and run on air and similar shenanigans.

Aside from mobility, fighting styles and ki abilities are both totally different frameworks for power progression. Fighters probably won't have any abilities quite like quivering palm (a status effect/inta kill hybrid thing) or crane flutter (which has utility that is quite different from riposte or block).

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-Poison- wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
And for enemies that do have the AoO reaction, the monk's Dexterity and speed give him an advantage when Tumbling to avoid reactions.

None of that makes him any less vulnerable to AoO as any other martial, what are you talking about.

You mean having an AC so high that i can comfortably never be hit by AoO?
Monk would have to be the most tanky of classes with low effort to have this type of playstyle so enforced.
You mean investing in Dexterity as a player to get my AC so high where AoO are less of a worry?
You are stuck using only one kind of viable build for this enforced playstyle and STR/WIS Monks will always be clearly inferior.

I don't know anything about speed taking part in the equation, unless AoO have changed, your speed doesn't take away an enemy's reaction.

...you don’t know what tumbling is? If you don’t provoke the attack, it doesn’t matter what your AC is.

Higher speed gets you further away. Cost the enemy two actions to catch you for the one action you spend to escape. You get three attacks enemy gets only one.


KingOfAnything wrote:


...you don’t know what tumbling is? If you don’t provoke the attack, it doesn’t matter what your AC is.

Higher speed gets you further away. Cost the enemy two actions to catch you for the one action you spend to escape. You get three attacks enemy gets only one.

Tumbling is something every martial can do and Monk's dexterity isn't going to help unless you're a DEX Monk (even more incentive to go DEX Monk over STR) this is more suited to a Rogue, the Monk isn't the class to adopt this playstyle with as the default which is what we're talking about. This is especially so early on when your speed is minimal and you'll be getting hit twice up until around 15th level (3 hits if you're a STR Monk, being much more likely). Remember that your speed is halved and it's a 5-ft increase every 3 levels after the initial 10-ft increase.

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If Monks get access to the same Mobility feat they mentioned in the Rogue preview (not too much of a stretch, because Mobility was on the Monk bonus feat list in PF1), then a Monk who wants to dart in and out of battle can take that to just flat out ignore AoOs by moving half speed.

Which, now that I mention it, sounds like it would combo nicely with the Monk’s incredible movement.


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Kaemy wrote:


And for your second answer... The playtest is played with pre-made characters... I asume they got a list of what that Iconic Wizard was carrying?

Just wanted to comment that unless you were referring to the sample games at conventions and such so far that this is absoluely incorrect. During the playtest period and for the playtest adventure the devs have stated wanting to test character creation extensively and will not be using pre-made characters.

As to the other point the int modifier + x is for raising untrained skills to trained and only skills as are the skill increaes gained every other level, Mark has stated that increasing saves, weapon and armor proficiencies outside of your class features will be much rarer if you will be able to at all in certain cases. I would assume you could still take a general feat to become trained with all simple weapons but thats quite a cost seeing as we ony get 5 general feats as far as I remember.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
-Poison- wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
So, to summarize: I'm not concerned about people clamoring about legacy issues. I'm worried about, in this edition, how will the Monk be differentiated from the Fighter....

This has been my main issue, i don't see Monk standing out.

I also don't believe he's that much more mobile than a fighter, people keep talking about how great it is to flurry+Attack at 0/-4/-8 for the cost of two actions and then disengage but from what we have heard the Monk is no less vulnerable to AoO than Fighter is. Unless Monk gets an ability to be immune to AoO in some way, the only real mobility that a Monk has is the Jump Kick, which means nothing because unlike the Monk the Fighter has Sudden Charge to close the distance as well.
Well, I will note that AoO is no longer a universal rule. For PCs, only fighters start with AoO automatically and it is unclear what percentage of monsters will have that mechanic.

Flying kick has a longer engage range than sudden charge. As the devs said flying kick can be used with long jump which is essentially a charge but a jump and the monks move speed increased passively whereas the fighter doesn't so the monk flying kick will be a much larger engage with the advantage of ignoring terrain as well


Secret Wizard wrote:

@CheBurn: A lot of your arguments are based on legacy concerns, not good class design.

Legacy concerns will be forgotten. They will be ignored. If the game functions well, they will fade away.

The "Flurry of Misses" comments in this thread are an example of that. People don't know how enemies are blocked, don't know how attack boosts will be handled, etc. They just see numbers and assume things.

Same thing with the "low Will saves of the UnMonk". Yeah, right. Like CRB Monks had extra points to put into WIS, or extra feats to go for Iron Will. UnMonks have as-high Will saves as CRB Monks, but people get hung up on the class table rather than what actually matters – praxis.

Again, it's tantamount to saying Wizards had few skill ranks per level because they had 2 + INT.

There is, however, a case to be made with the Fighter comparison. If the Monk is "Fighter but unarmored", then it's an arms race against the Fighter, as they attempt to achieve the same goal – "hit hard, don't get hit too hard, have some out-of-combat utility."

I believe there are some acceptable combat differences between Fighter/Monk:

- Fighter should have better sticking power than Monk.
- Monk should be better at disengagement than Fighter.
- Fighter should have more on-demand AC (see: Raise Shields and such).
- Monk should have more TAC.
- Fighter should have better Fortitude saves.
- Monk should have better Will saves.

See the problem here? Everything I mentioned is in-combat tuning. It's a all measure of outputs, rather than different standalone concepts.

That's why I argue that adding the mystic element baseline to the Monk is better for the overall identity of the Monk – like a Fighter, but has an expendable pool of supernatural powers.

I personally would make unarmed something Fighters can be good at too, and focus more on how Mysticism allows the Monk to excel in combat to separate their identities further.

So, to summarize: I'm not concerned about people clamoring about...

The solution to make monk want to be mobile: +1 AC when moving more than 5 feet each round. Since each AC is supposed to matter now.

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