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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To do what I rarely do and agree with Graystone. from a historical prospective it is fairly common for warrior monks to be trained with some weapons even if it is just staffs etc. I could definitely see giving them simple weapon proficiency at least.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

If DEX to damage works only for low-damage melee weapons then STR gets monopoly on high-damage weapons and ranged weapons. That combined with needing a feat for DEX to damage sounds enough for balance IMO

I do not think DEX to damage should be taboo, nor exclusive to a Class

What's the point in DEX-to-damage in a system with 4 skill ups, other than opening the doors to rampant optimization?

Other than saying "you'll be worse at mental skills because you must go STR"?

I am sorry I did not understand what you mean with a system with 4 skill ups

I want DEX to damage to play agile characters that do not rely on muscles but rather on finesse to hurt their opponents

And this kind of characters should not need to be skillful Rogues IMO

I have complete faith in the ability of the devs to build this into the system in a way that prevents rampant optimization


The Raven Black wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

If DEX to damage works only for low-damage melee weapons then STR gets monopoly on high-damage weapons and ranged weapons. That combined with needing a feat for DEX to damage sounds enough for balance IMO

I do not think DEX to damage should be taboo, nor exclusive to a Class

What's the point in DEX-to-damage in a system with 4 skill ups, other than opening the doors to rampant optimization?

Other than saying "you'll be worse at mental skills because you must go STR"?

I am sorry I did not understand what you mean with a system with 4 skill ups

I want DEX to damage to play agile characters that do not rely on muscles but rather on finesse to hurt their opponents

And this kind of characters should not need to be skillful Rogues IMO

I have complete faith in the ability of the devs to build this into the system in a way that prevents rampant optimization

4 attribute boosts per 4 levels is what I mean.

And if you want that, play a class that has high base damage that doesn't rely on total damage rolls, so you are able to have high DEX and modest STR (like 12 or 14, like every typical Rogue), and you'll deal damage because you are agile, not as much because you are strong.


I thought it was every 5 levels.


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Alright, serious question here. What kind of monks have y'all been playing? I keep seeing people saying "well, monks have always had bad AC" and I'm like... no? Monks have bad damage, sure, but bad AC? I've never had a monk with less than 17 AC at 1st level.

From what we've seen of this iteration of monk, I can say that there's no way I'm going to get PF2. Even 5e D&D didn't get rid of Wis AC and ki. And the whole "the more times you hit, the bigger your dice" sounds good in theory, but actually doing it looks like a pain, especially if you play online like I do. Hell, even playing IRL means you've gotta have a bunch of different dice and be like "okay, I hit twice, where's my d8... wait, not I forget to add the +1, does that third attack hit? S~~&, okay, need the d10." It's a hassle. Just make the dice bigger or give more as you level, none of this conditional stuff.

I know it's, like, Paizo's unofficial mission statement to nerf monks into the ground, but this is ridiculous.


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Kristal Moonhand wrote:

Alright, serious question here. What kind of monks have y'all been playing? I keep seeing people saying "well, monks have always had bad AC" and I'm like... no? Monks have bad damage, sure, but bad AC? I've never had a monk with less than 17 AC at 1st level.

From what we've seen of this iteration of monk, I can say that there's no way I'm going to get PF2. Even 5e D&D didn't get rid of Wis AC and ki. And the whole "the more times you hit, the bigger your dice" sounds good in theory, but actually doing it looks like a pain, especially if you play online like I do. Hell, even playing IRL means you've gotta have a bunch of different dice and be like "okay, I hit twice, where's my d8... wait, not I forget to add the +1, does that third attack hit? S~$$, okay, need the d10." It's a hassle. Just make the dice bigger or give more as you level, none of this conditional stuff.

I know it's, like, Paizo's unofficial mission statement to nerf monks into the ground, but this is ridiculous.

Wow you live in like a whole other world. But no the monks having igthr bad AC or bad damage is a thing it depends on if you do a str or dex build you tend to suffer on the other. I always did a mid build myself.

Also if you think this monk is somehow weaker then the PF1 monk you are not following the articles very well or not reading them closely enough. After seeing all the previous article right now im pretty convinced the monk is going to be one of the strongest classes in the game.

Liberty's Edge

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I thought it was every 5 levels.

It is.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
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.

Against same level or higher level opponents. Against lower level opponents it will stun way more often, and that was the sense of the post.

If it stun something like 1/4 of the time against weaker foes, how would call it? Distracting fist?


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They could call it pressure point strike or something like that.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
They could call it pressure point strike or something like that.

That's actually an awesome name and suits it's effects very well. Because then in an ultra crit you've hit a very important pressure point and that's why they have so many debuffs

Liberty's Edge

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-Poison- wrote:
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.

We don't know how it will work in PF2, but in PF1 tumbling require "that your speed isn't reduced by wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load", so it isn't automatic that "any martial can do it".

Liberty's Edge

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I haven't read all the posts, so maybe someone has already asked this,but:

Blog wrote:
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.

"To be treated as" trigger the target weaknesses? "Treated as" seem to mean that they are iron/silver for anything, so they will trigger the target weaknesses, and those are way more common now.

If that is true, it is a very nice power up, as he will always have the right weapon against several common foes. If not, it is a noticeable power dom as they will almost always lack the benefit of hitting an enemy weakness.

An idea for the discussion about "hitting foes like fire elementals that damage you back when you hit them". The monk can get a limited resistance against damage received when hitting that kind of opponent.
Something like: "At level 3, when hitting a foe with unarmed attacks, a monk benefits from Resistance 3 against the damage received by hitting that foe. This resistance increase to 6 at level 11."
That wouldn't nullify completely the damage (if it is some kind of rolled dice), but it will reduce it considerably.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
After seeing all the previous article right now im pretty convinced the monk is going to be one of the strongest classes in the game.

You're going to have to explain this incredible bit of comedy. We don't know enough about the numbers to know if the Monk or anyone else is going to do good damage, and there has been zero indication that the Monk is any better at problem solving than the other classes - only the Rogue can be said to have improved relative to the rest of the field in that area with any confidence.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
After seeing all the previous article right now im pretty convinced the monk is going to be one of the strongest classes in the game.
You're going to have to explain this incredible bit of comedy. We don't know enough about the numbers to know if the Monk or anyone else is going to do good damage, and there has been zero indication that the Monk is any better at problem solving than the other classes - only the Rogue can be said to have improved relative to the rest of the field in that area with any confidence.

Wait so are you saying no one is going to do good damage? then that would by averages mean everyone does unless I guess monsters maybe are doing good damage and in comparison players aren't Kind of weird but i'm open to hear that explanation.

The reasons monk is looking good is all great saving throws which seems super important especially with the new saving system. they look like they have good HP they are ofcouse full BAB just like every other class now plus they get the proficencys with there unarmed and quickly it seems. Since they can get the hand wraps. So there accuracy seems to be right on par with the fighter but they have that nifty 2 attack thing. plus the move and attack assuming there unarmed base damage Is decent compared to normal weapons (which I see nothing that really says it won't) then without knowing more of the fighters special abilities they are beating the tar out of the fighter. Oh and they seem to still be very mobile.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
After seeing all the previous article right now im pretty convinced the monk is going to be one of the strongest classes in the game.
You're going to have to explain this incredible bit of comedy. We don't know enough about the numbers to know if the Monk or anyone else is going to do good damage, and there has been zero indication that the Monk is any better at problem solving than the other classes - only the Rogue can be said to have improved relative to the rest of the field in that area with any confidence.

Why you assume that "so far nothing say that a monk is better at problem solving" (beside having apparently several athletic abilities built into the class) is the same as "the monk is bad at problem solving"?


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
After seeing all the previous article right now im pretty convinced the monk is going to be one of the strongest classes in the game.
You're going to have to explain this incredible bit of comedy. We don't know enough about the numbers to know if the Monk or anyone else is going to do good damage, and there has been zero indication that the Monk is any better at problem solving than the other classes - only the Rogue can be said to have improved relative to the rest of the field in that area with any confidence.

Let me add on to that I don't appreciate the way you come at me immediately trying to establish that what I'm saying is a joke to some how make your point. That is rude.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I see that one of the problems is "how should be read: 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!"

After reading most of the post, I read it as:

When you make a Stunning fist attack, if you hit you deal normal damage, and if the target fail a save he become Flat footed 1, if he critically fail he become Stupefied 2.

If you critically hit the target save become worse by a level.
His saves go:
- if he save the save become a fail and he is Flat footed 1
- if he fail the save become a critical fail and he is Flat footed 1, Stupefied 2 and Stunned 1
- if he fail critically he is Stupefied 2 and Stunned 1

A critical fail is a critical fail, AFAIK there isn't a "quadratic" critical fail where you need to have a penalty that worsen your fail by 1 level and then you need to fail critically without the penalty.

And if that is really a requirement, I call dibs on the term "quadratic critical fail". ;-)

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, something about the way the blog describes the save against stunning fist is fishy...

Stunning Fist either has the following:

Success: flatfooted 1
Critical Success: nothing
Failure: flatfooted 1 and stupefied 2
Critical Failure: Stunned 1

or:

Success: nothing
Failure: Flatfooted 1
Critical Failure: Failure and Stupefied 2
SuperCritical Failure: Stunned 1

I'm leaning towards the first escalation above. But that means that if the monk critically hits with the Stunning fist, even if the opponent Critically Succeeds his save, he's flatfooted 1.
Which would make the monk awesome!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

De difference is getting the Stun result depend on 1 favorable roll (for the monk), or two:

I.e., the difference between:
critical hit -> failure that become a critical failure -> Stunned
and
critical hit -> unmodified critical failure that become a quadratic failure -> stun

If about half of your critical hits stuns the target and critical hits on weaker opponents are as common as it seem it is really a stunning fist. If only a 5-10% of your critical hits stun the opponent it is a so-so feature.


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Diego Rossi wrote:

De difference is getting the Stun result depend on 1 favorable roll (for the monk), or two:

I.e., the difference between:
critical hit -> failure that become a critical failure -> Stunned
and
critical hit -> unmodified critical failure that become a quadratic failure -> stun

Clearly the issue here is coming from the unclear representation of the states of failure against Stunning Fist the blog made.

The Blog wrote:
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

So, pretty straightforward: Critical Hit means a Failed Save becomes a Critically Failed Save, and we can presume the target is Flat-Footed and Stupefied without any contention.

Quote:
and if it critically fails its save it's stunned for 1 round!

How does the target critically fail its save?

  • By rolling a normal Critically Failed Save; a natural 1, or failure by 10 or more.
  • By rolling a Failed Save, and being struck by a Critical Hit - as intuited clearly by nearly all readers.

So by logical deduction, I see the Stun effect as happening on either a Failed Save or a Critically Failed Save, only when struck with a Critical Hit.

So I'd expect to see Stuns being a lot more common than feared by some.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I read it the other way. A crit hit worsens everything by one step. A question arises naturally: what if they would have crit-failed? I read the blog as providing that answer, and they’re being very careful about avoiding stun-lock. But, I can easily read it the other way.


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Quote:
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!

So this only happens when you critically hit and they critically fail by base.

The stun is essentially critical critical failure, essentially its effects chart looks like this:

Success (they crit succeed and you crit attack, or they just succeed and you normal attacked): nothing happens.

Failure (critical attack and a successful save, normal attack and failed save, failed save with save prof boosting to success and crit attack): they're flat-footed 1

Critical failure (crit fail save and normal attack, crit attack and failed save): stupefied 2

Critical critical failure (crit fail save and crit attack): stunned 1

Grand Lodge

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I realize that blogs are partial, and we as a community end up chewing them to death trying to understand the missing information. But on the weapons training subject, I am wondering if the general view is perhaps a bit sideways on the info... is it possible that Monks will have trained weapon proficiency in some weapons (I would guess 'monk' tagged items) and just never advance THAT proficiency by class leveling the way they do unarmed... and that the wording of the weapons feat is so that you link your weapon use to your unarmed proficiency, and so giving you advancement in weapons past the 'basics' as well as letting you buy unarmed feats that then stack on your weapons due to that linkage?

I will fully agree that a dev type should at least comment on the 'trained or no' on at least some weapons, just to clear up the angst (or justify it) on the weapons front.


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Farrindor wrote:

I realize that blogs are partial, and we as a community end up chewing them to death trying to understand the missing information. But on the weapons training subject, I am wondering if the general view is perhaps a bit sideways on the info... is it possible that Monks will have trained weapon proficiency in some weapons (I would guess 'monk' tagged items) and just never advance THAT proficiency by class leveling the way they do unarmed... and that the wording of the weapons feat is so that you link your weapon use to your unarmed proficiency, and so giving you advancement in weapons past the 'basics' as well as letting you buy unarmed feats that then stack on your weapons due to that linkage?

I will fully agree that a dev type should at least comment on the 'trained or no' on at least some weapons, just to clear up the angst (or justify it) on the weapons front.

If monks are trained in weapons, one has to wonder why the blog says:

“Monks aren't trained in any weapons, but they are trained in all unarmed attacks.”

Thats why people are kinda mad, not the feat.


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willuwontu wrote:
Quote:
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!
So this only happens when you critically hit and they critically fail by base.

I don't think that the distinction of requiring the base save to be a Critical Fail is implied by the blog post at all.

Consider the order of events;

  • The monk Criticall Hits some mook with Stunning Fist. We know at this point that the mook's saving throw will be one stage worse than rolled.
  • The mook now rolls his save: he can only Succeed, Fail, or Critically Fail.

If he Critically Fails, the monk has already Critically Succeeded, so the mook is stunned.


mrianmerry wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Quote:
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!
So this only happens when you critically hit and they critically fail by base.

I don't think that the distinction of requiring the base save to be a Critical Fail is implied by the blog post at all.

Consider the order of events;

  • The monk Criticall Hits some mook with Stunning Fist. We know at this point that the mook's saving throw will be one stage worse than rolled.
  • The mook now rolls his save: he can only Succeed, Fail, or Critically Fail.

If he Critically Fails, the monk has already Critically Succeeded, so the mook is stunned.

At this point we need a dev to clear this up, because I can easily see either interpretation being the valid one.


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Shame we can't get a FAQ on the Playtest Blogs. I'm actually somewhat surprised not a single dev has explained what that line actually means yet. It's clearly open to misinterpretation, since obviously we can't both be correct.

mrianmerry wrote:
as intuited clearly by nearly all readers.

Given the split seems if not even at least pretty close to it, I'm not sure "nearly all" is quite accurate.


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Shinigami02 wrote:

Shame we can't get a FAQ on the Playtest Blogs. I'm actually somewhat surprised not a single dev has explained what that line actually means yet. It's clearly open to misinterpretation, since obviously we can't both be correct.

mrianmerry wrote:
as intuited clearly by nearly all readers.
Given the split seems if not even at least pretty close to it, I'm not sure "nearly all" is quite accurate.

Yeah, I can see it going either way. Of course, it'd be best for the monk if mrianmerry is correct, but my gut says that's not how it goes, and the phrasing doesn't help.

Hopefully Mr. Seifter or someone else can chime in, else we shall have to wait for the full wording in the Playtest.


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TheFinish: the problem is if we don't get an answer/clarification here and now, and then it turns out it's also open to interpretation in the Playtest.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TheFinish wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:

Shame we can't get a FAQ on the Playtest Blogs. I'm actually somewhat surprised not a single dev has explained what that line actually means yet. It's clearly open to misinterpretation, since obviously we can't both be correct.

mrianmerry wrote:
as intuited clearly by nearly all readers.
Given the split seems if not even at least pretty close to it, I'm not sure "nearly all" is quite accurate.

Yeah, I can see it going either way. Of course, it'd be best for the monk if mrianmerry is correct, but my gut says that's not how it goes, and the phrasing doesn't help.

Hopefully Mr. Seifter or someone else can chime in, else we shall have to wait for the full wording in the Playtest.

I think that mrianmerry is right. So far we have seen nothing that requires a "quadratic" failure.

I am not a native English speaker, but even defining the concept in a clear way is difficult:
"If you benefit from an effect that worsens the target save by one level and the target would have critically failed the save without that effect, instead of the normal effect of a critical save, you 'enhanced effect stun'"
More than 3 row to say that. I doubt that is what the blog means.


The written text makes sense when you consider one part of it is talking about whether you succeed or crit succeed on your attack roll, and the other is about whether the enemies succeed, fail or crit fail on the save against stunning fist.

I still think it sounds like it's going to be pretty rarely occurring, but we'll have to wait and see when it comes to the PC and enemy math.


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Too bad hitting FAQ on playtest-forum posts isn't likely to accomplish anything.


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Just adding my +1 to enemies being stunned on a failed save after a critical hit from the monk.

Monk crits, saves degrade one step, failure becomes a critical failure, enemy is stunned.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Too bad hitting FAQ on playtest-forum posts isn't likely to accomplish anything.

The FAQ button on the playtest forums appears to not even exist.


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Kaemy wrote:
TheFinish: the problem is if we don't get an answer/clarification here and now, and then it turns out it's also open to interpretation in the Playtest.

I agree, but I can't summon Mr. Seifter, so in the words of the preacher from Blazing Saddles:

Son, you're on your own!

Diego Rossi wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:

Shame we can't get a FAQ on the Playtest Blogs. I'm actually somewhat surprised not a single dev has explained what that line actually means yet. It's clearly open to misinterpretation, since obviously we can't both be correct.

mrianmerry wrote:
as intuited clearly by nearly all readers.
Given the split seems if not even at least pretty close to it, I'm not sure "nearly all" is quite accurate.

Yeah, I can see it going either way. Of course, it'd be best for the monk if mrianmerry is correct, but my gut says that's not how it goes, and the phrasing doesn't help.

Hopefully Mr. Seifter or someone else can chime in, else we shall have to wait for the full wording in the Playtest.

I think that mrianmerry is right. So far we have seen nothing that requires a "quadratic" failure.

I am not a native English speaker, but even defining the concept in a clear way is difficult:
"If you benefit from an effect that worsens the target save by one level and the target would have critically failed the save without that effect, instead of the normal effect of a critical save, you 'enhanced effect stun'"
More than 3 row to say that. I doubt that is what the blog means.

I'm not a Native English speaker either, but you don't need to be that verbose:

"This effect only triggers when the target fails it's save by 10 or more after the Monk critically hits."

Boom, done. Clear, and concise.

I'd still like it to be the other way though.


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Or something like
"If your strike is a critical hit, the target's saving throw result is treated as one category worse and if this results in the target's saving throw being a critical failure it gains stunned 1 in addition to the normal effects of the strike."

Edit: this would be if it triggers on a critical hit, and a fail or crit fail.


willuwontu wrote:

Or something like

"If your strike is a critical hit, the target's saving throw result is treated as one category worse and if this results in the target's saving throw being a critical failure it gains stunned 1 in addition to the normal effects of the strike."

Edit: this would be if it triggers on a critical hit, and a fail or crit fail.

I guess, but they seem to like using the special list format thingy they use for save results. Wonder if it can be incorporated more elegantly.

Liberty's Edge

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Kristal Moonhand wrote:
Alright, serious question here. What kind of monks have y'all been playing? I keep seeing people saying "well, monks have always had bad AC" and I'm like... no? Monks have bad damage, sure, but bad AC? I've never had a monk with less than 17 AC at 1st level.

In PF1, AC maxed out at 18 at 1st level (without a shield). In PF2 it seems to max at 17 (again, sans shield). A 16 in PF2 is thus pretty much equivalent of a 17 in PF1. Just to be clear here.

I was admittedly worried about their long-term AC, but the revelation that Bracers of Armor actually add to that as a baseline even discounting their 'magic armor' bonus has made it clear that Dex Monks (which seem to be your cup of tea based on the 'minimum of 17 AC' thing) do fine on AC, and with the right Style (say, Crane Style) and a parry weapon can, it seems, very possibly reach the highest AC in the game (or at least on par).

Kristal Moonhand wrote:
From what we've seen of this iteration of monk, I can say that there's no way I'm going to get PF2. Even 5e D&D didn't get rid of Wis AC and ki. And the whole "the more times you hit, the bigger your dice" sounds good in theory, but actually doing it looks like a pain, especially if you play online like I do. Hell, even playing IRL means you've gotta have a bunch of different dice and be like "okay, I hit twice, where's my d8... wait, not I forget to add the +1, does that third attack hit? S~$$, okay, need the d10." It's a hassle. Just make the dice bigger or give more as you level, none of this conditional stuff.

Uh...the dice up isn't cumulative with each attack. It's on the two attacks of the flurry if both hit. Roll both and see. It's a little inconvenient online, I admit, but no more than other stuff.

If you're looking for higher damage dice, that seems to be what they're using Styles for, which is cool, and can get you pretty high damage dice by PF2 damage standards.

Kristal Moonhand wrote:
I know it's, like, Paizo's unofficial mission statement to nerf monks into the ground, but this is ridiculous.

I'm really not sure how this is a nerf. Compared to other PF2 Classes, Monk seems fine. Heck, they're the only one with a straight-up action economy enhancer right out of the box. And those are amazing.


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How about...
"If the monks strike is a critical success, then the result of the targets save is one step worse. Replace the effect of a critical failure with the stunned condition."

That is, if the interpretation I agree with is correct.

Do we know the actual effect of the stunned condition in PF2?

Liberty's Edge

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Add my voice to the chorus of people irritated that Stunning Fist and Flurry of Blows are STILL needlessly complicated. You guys have had 20 years to play with Monk, and we still end up with Word-Salad for their Class abilities.

My feedback, let Monks spend 1 Ki/Spell Point after any Successful attack to trigger the Save for Stunning fist and get rid of the extra required action, it is an unneeded restriction on an ability that is already weak.

If this is the path it's going to take to commonly apply Conditions to opponents, you need to succeed an attack AND they need to fail a Save, then all Save or Suck Spells need to have an Attack Roll and an extra Action associated with them now.

If it's going to stay as two actions, it needs to be more powerful IMO.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:

Add my voice to the chorus of people irritated that Stunning Fist and Flurry of Blows are STILL needlessly complicated. You guys have had 20 years to play with Monk, and we still end up with Word-Salad for their Class abilities.

My feedback, let Monks spend 1 Ki/Spell Point after any Successful attack to trigger the Save for Stunning fist and get rid of the extra required action, it is an unneeded restriction on an ability that is already weak.

If this is the path it's going to take to commonly apply Conditions to opponents, you need to succeed an attack AND they need to fail a Save, then all Save or Suck Spells need to have an Attack Roll and an extra Action associated with them now.

If it's going to stay as two actions, it needs to be more powerful IMO.

For what we know, almost all spells cost 2 actions, so yes, almost all spell cost an extra action.

And it all depends on the condition you are applying. From the few examples we have seen "in print" most SoS spells have reduced effects when compared to PF1 unless the target critically fails, but often they have some effect even if the target saves.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

Add my voice to the chorus of people irritated that Stunning Fist and Flurry of Blows are STILL needlessly complicated. You guys have had 20 years to play with Monk, and we still end up with Word-Salad for their Class abilities.

My feedback, let Monks spend 1 Ki/Spell Point after any Successful attack to trigger the Save for Stunning fist and get rid of the extra required action, it is an unneeded restriction on an ability that is already weak.

If this is the path it's going to take to commonly apply Conditions to opponents, you need to succeed an attack AND they need to fail a Save, then all Save or Suck Spells need to have an Attack Roll and an extra Action associated with them now.

If it's going to stay as two actions, it needs to be more powerful IMO.

For what we know, almost all spells cost 2 actions, so yes, almost all spell cost an extra action.

And it all depends on the condition you are applying. From the few examples we have seen "in print" most SoS spells have reduced effects when compared to PF1 unless the target critically fails, but often they have some effect even if the target saves.

People also seem to be judging the effectiveness of things that have effects on crits based on how frequent PF1 crits are. (1 in 20).

Remember that you just have to beat the dc by 10 now (or have them fail by 10).

Now, we don't even know how DCs are calculated yet afaik. I have a feeling player spell/effect DCs will probably be a bit higher as a lot of things add level or proficiency bonuses that didn't before.

We could be seeing enemies crit fail against stunning fist like 50% of the time for all we know, in which case it would be amazing.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
In PF1, AC maxed out at 18 at 1st level (without a shield).

Well, you can push it higher than that. Improvised Defense/Snapping Turtle Style + a natural AC race [like Skinwalkers, tieflings with Scaled Skin, merfolk] or small size [Gripplis] gets you a 20 to start. You could add dodge as your first monk feat for an extra AC, raising that number to 21. If you REALLY want to splurge, be a Kasatha to bump it to 22.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
Well, you can push it higher than that. Improvised Defense/Snapping Turtle Style + a natural AC race [like Skinwalkers, tieflings with Scaled Skin, merfolk] or small size [Gripplis] gets you a 20 to start. You could add dodge as your first monk feat for an extra AC, raising that number to 21. If you REALLY want to splurge, be a Kasatha to bump it to 22.

Sure, but I'm talking without any really specific tricks. Which there may well be some of in PF2, but we lack the systems knowledge to put together yet (though I suspect a Parrying Weapon and Crane Style on a Dex Monk can get you an 18-19 and among the highest 1st level ACs in PF2)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Tender Tendrils wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

Add my voice to the chorus of people irritated that Stunning Fist and Flurry of Blows are STILL needlessly complicated. You guys have had 20 years to play with Monk, and we still end up with Word-Salad for their Class abilities.

My feedback, let Monks spend 1 Ki/Spell Point after any Successful attack to trigger the Save for Stunning fist and get rid of the extra required action, it is an unneeded restriction on an ability that is already weak.

If this is the path it's going to take to commonly apply Conditions to opponents, you need to succeed an attack AND they need to fail a Save, then all Save or Suck Spells need to have an Attack Roll and an extra Action associated with them now.

If it's going to stay as two actions, it needs to be more powerful IMO.

For what we know, almost all spells cost 2 actions, so yes, almost all spell cost an extra action.

And it all depends on the condition you are applying. From the few examples we have seen "in print" most SoS spells have reduced effects when compared to PF1 unless the target critically fails, but often they have some effect even if the target saves.

People also seem to be judging the effectiveness of things that have effects on crits based on how frequent PF1 crits are. (1 in 20).

Remember that you just have to beat the dc by 10 now (or have them fail by 10).

Now, we don't even know how DCs are calculated yet afaik. I have a feeling player spell/effect DCs will probably be a bit higher as a lot of things add level or proficiency bonuses that didn't before.

We could be seeing enemies crit fail against stunning fist like 50% of the time for all we know, in which case it would be amazing.

DCs of spells (and I think all other abilities) is Character level + relevant stat modifier. There will not be items increasing save DC for spells while there will be items increasing the to hit bonus of spells.

Saves is a bit more unclear, but, from what I have read so far it seems that most same level opponents will critically fail only 5-10% of the time (unless they are already suffering from debilitating conditions) and critically save about 5-10% of the time.
Those chance seem to rapidly increase/decrease as the level of the opponent go down or up compared to yours.
Stunning fist will relatively easily stun lower level opponents, while it will be less effective against same level/higher level opponents.
His efficiency will be affected by two values that change with changing the opponent level: AC and saves.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

Add my voice to the chorus of people irritated that Stunning Fist and Flurry of Blows are STILL needlessly complicated. You guys have had 20 years to play with Monk, and we still end up with Word-Salad for their Class abilities.

My feedback, let Monks spend 1 Ki/Spell Point after any Successful attack to trigger the Save for Stunning fist and get rid of the extra required action, it is an unneeded restriction on an ability that is already weak.

If this is the path it's going to take to commonly apply Conditions to opponents, you need to succeed an attack AND they need to fail a Save, then all Save or Suck Spells need to have an Attack Roll and an extra Action associated with them now.

If it's going to stay as two actions, it needs to be more powerful IMO.

For what we know, almost all spells cost 2 actions, so yes, almost all spell cost an extra action.

And it all depends on the condition you are applying. From the few examples we have seen "in print" most SoS spells have reduced effects when compared to PF1 unless the target critically fails, but often they have some effect even if the target saves.

People also seem to be judging the effectiveness of things that have effects on crits based on how frequent PF1 crits are. (1 in 20).

Remember that you just have to beat the dc by 10 now (or have them fail by 10).

Now, we don't even know how DCs are calculated yet afaik. I have a feeling player spell/effect DCs will probably be a bit higher as a lot of things add level or proficiency bonuses that didn't before.

We could be seeing enemies crit fail against stunning fist like 50% of the time for all we know, in which case it would be amazing.

DCs of spells (and I think all other abilities) is Character level + relevant stat modifier. There will not be items increasing save DC for spells while there will be items increasing the to hit bonus of spells.

Saves is a bit more unclear,...

character level + ability mod seems to be missing something- I can't picture a spell being a DC5 save at level 1.... is it maybe 10+level+modifier or something?

Dark Archive

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.

This made think of 'power points' replacing the term 'spell points', since that is what it is about for most classes, apart from arcane and divine casters, that is. And even then it could be justified to refer to points enhancing your school powers and domain powers as 'power points', right? Besides, that term works for occult classes as well! :)

But as I already said, this is a minor issue for me.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:
DCs of spells (and I think all other abilities) is Character level + relevant stat modifier. There will not be items increasing save DC for spells while there will be items increasing the to hit bonus of spells.

They also add Proficiency (well, and the base 10), but this is pretty much correct.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Saves is a bit more unclear, but, from what I have read so far it seems that most same level opponents will critically fail only 5-10% of the time (unless they are already suffering from debilitating conditions) and critically save about 5-10% of the time.

Saves are actually about as clear as Save DCs. They are Level + Ability Mod + Proficiency + Magic (Magic Armor adds to them).

At 5th level, this makes Save DC's 19 (5 Level + 4 Ability...Proficiency doesn't seem to kick in until much later) and Saves probably range between +5 (5 Level - 1 Ability + 1 Magic) to +11 (5 Level +4 Ability +1 Proficiency +1 Magic). Most people won't have as low as a +5, but a +7 or +8 as a low Save is quite likely. The Redcap, which at level 5 has between +8 and +11 in its Saves indicates this as consistent with NPC/Creature Saves as well.

So, while you could theoretically force a Save with a Crit Fail chance of as high as 20% even sans conditions, a 5% or 10% is indeed by far the most likely.


Shinigami02 wrote:
mrianmerry wrote:
By rolling a Failed Save, and being struck by a Critical Hit - as intuited clearly by nearly all readers.
Given the split seems if not even at least pretty close to it, I'm not sure "nearly all" is quite accurate.

I was referring here to the manner in which the Critical Hit degrades the save result, so that a rolled Fail becomes a Critical Fail, and not the implications for when Stunning Fist activates.

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