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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"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!"

I think this is the order:

1. If your stunning fist deals damage, the target must take a fortitude save. On a failure they are flat-footed for 1 round, and on a critical failure they are stupefied 2 (I'd guess for 1 round, it doesn't say).

2. If your stunning fist is a critical hit, the target's save becomes 1 category worse, e.g. they'd need to critical succeed to normal succeed.

3. If the target's adjusted save is a critical failure (they rolled a normal failure or a critical failure) they are stunned for 1 round (as well as stupefied 2, which may be redundant after the stun is applied).

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Artificial 20 wrote:

"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!"

I think this is the order:

1. If your stunning fist deals damage, the target must take a fortitude save. On a failure they are flat-footed for 1 round, and on a critical failure they are stupefied 2 (I'd guess for 1 round, it doesn't say).

2. If your stunning fist is a critical hit, the target's save becomes 1 category worse, e.g. they'd need to critical succeed to normal succeed.

3. If the target's adjusted save is a critical failure (they rolled a normal failure or a critical failure) they are stunned for 1 round (as well as stupefied 2, which may be redundant after the stun is applied).

After re-reading the quoted part, I think the stun only comes after the target critically fails while the Monk critically hits.

Because the blog post already tells us what happens if the target critically fails while the Monk normally hits : Stupefied 2


Do we know how bracers of armor work with resonance vs armor? I could see one downside to the monk being that they get resonance taxed for their armor, although it's not a major one.


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A developer mentioned that on a normal hit/critical failure combo, the target should be flat-footed AND stupified.


Jinjifra wrote:
Do we know how bracers of armor work with resonance vs armor? I could see one downside to the monk being that they get resonance taxed for their armor, although it's not a major one.

As far as we know both armor and bracers of armor will take Resonance to use. It's only 'wielded' stuff like weapons that provide an effect without using Resonance.. and even then they may have stuff that activates with Resonance (like shooting sword beams).


Shinigami02 wrote:
Jinjifra wrote:
Do we know how bracers of armor work with resonance vs armor? I could see one downside to the monk being that they get resonance taxed for their armor, although it's not a major one.
As far as we know both armor and bracers of armor will take Resonance to use. It's only 'wielded' stuff like weapons that provide an effect without using Resonance.. and even then they may have stuff that activates with Resonance (like shooting sword beams).

Thanks! So from what I see here it looks like the monk is a balanced and interesting class. It seems like there one weakness right is a situation where either can't or don't want to touch your opponent, but we haven't seen the whole class yet.


Diego Rossi wrote:
-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".

Fine, Any Dwarves can.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
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.

How do I get higher damage thanks to higher DEX with this formula ?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think a good way to deal with the lack of ranged options for weaponless monks, is to give them a ranged attack similar to the 5e sun soul monk. maybe a ki power that acts like a cantrip fire bolt attack or something similar that takes one action to cast with a focus component, with additional bolts available with additional components, verbal and somatic.


The Raven Black wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:

"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!"

I think this is the order:

1. If your stunning fist deals damage, the target must take a fortitude save. On a failure they are flat-footed for 1 round, and on a critical failure they are stupefied 2 (I'd guess for 1 round, it doesn't say).

2. If your stunning fist is a critical hit, the target's save becomes 1 category worse, e.g. they'd need to critical succeed to normal succeed.

3. If the target's adjusted save is a critical failure (they rolled a normal failure or a critical failure) they are stunned for 1 round (as well as stupefied 2, which may be redundant after the stun is applied).

After re-reading the quoted part, I think the stun only comes after the target critically fails while the Monk critically hits.

Because the blog post already tells us what happens if the target critically fails while the Monk normally hits : Stupefied 2

I agree with you on that.

The monk's critical hit also reduces their save by one step though. So they have to normal fail on the dice to be stunned.

Or so it seems to me.

I will draw up a list.

Monk normal hits:
>Target critical succeeds on their save: No bonus effect
>Target normal succeeds on their save: No bonus effect
>Target normal fails on their save: Flat-footed 1 round
>Target critical fails on their save: Flat-footed 1 round + stupefied 2

Monk critical hits:
>Target critical succeeds on their save: Reduced 1 step to normal save (no bonus effect)
>Target normal succeeds on their save: Reduced 1 step to normal fail (flat-footed 1 round)
>Target normal fails on their save: Reduced 1 step to critical fail (flat-footed 1 round + stupefied 2 + also stunned)
>Target critical fails on their save: As previous line (cannot reduce further)


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The Raven Black wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
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.

How do I get higher damage thanks to higher DEX with this formula ?

By not splitting your stats so much between Dex and Strength, meaning you can have more accuracy, and therefor more crits. Hitting a critical spot seems like a more accurate portrayal of dealing more damage because of finesse anyways.


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What Shinigami said.

A class with a Sneak Attack feature gets more damage out of hitting, than more damage out of an added bonus that gains in value through a series of hits.

Therefore, giving DEX to accuracy, and not to damage, to classes with burst is an accurate portrayal.

And you are always free to spend a few points into STR – after all, which Dexterous Rogue in fantasy isn't packing some muscle? Even your archetypical Ratfolk Thief should have some sinew for climbing, swimming, pushing and pulling crates, and so on.

The one example I could think of is the Maddened Chirurgeon – the lanky slasher. In those cases, it's always more typical of those type of STR-neutral-or-worse characters to overexploit Stealth, hit-and-run, poisons, distractions, etc.

I see no point of DEX-to-damage.


Secret Wizard wrote:

What Shinigami said.

The one example I could think of is the Maddened Chirurgeon – the lanky slasher. In those cases, it's always more typical of those type of STR-neutral-or-worse characters to overexploit Stealth, hit-and-run, poisons, distractions, etc.

...crits (anatomist) and bleeding damage!


Felinus wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

What Shinigami said.

The one example I could think of is the Maddened Chirurgeon – the lanky slasher. In those cases, it's always more typical of those type of STR-neutral-or-worse characters to overexploit Stealth, hit-and-run, poisons, distractions, etc.
...crits (anatomist) and bleeding damage!

Also good and not related to DEX-to-damage! All DCs could be DEX-based.

So while the DEX character uses their class feats to pick up base damage with bleeds and such, the STR character uses them for defences.

The question is what balance is there to be struck, in which picking up defences as DEX and offenses as STR does not create overspecialized beasts.

Putting a lot of class budget into Styles, in the case of the Monk, sounds like a good deal, as they are mutually exclusive.


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I feel like "Dex-to-Damage" being relevant may have sailed when PF2 decided to refocus the damage math from "lots of static modifers" towards "lots of dice".

Like the difference between 6d6+6 and 6d6+2 is not enormous, so whether the 14 str 22 dex monk with crane style gets dex to damage isn't that earth-shattering. Meanwhile the 22 Str 14 Dex monk with dragon style will be doing 6d10+6.

My real question is how is dex based offense going to keep up with anybody in any class since all finesse weapons seem to have small damage dice.


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Yeah, I'm curious how that will work. Not every Dex class is going to have Sneak Attack. Even classes that DO get sneak attack may still be hard pressed to keep up with the extra damage dice at higher levels - if their sneak attack damage goes off in a round, does that just bring them up to par for that one round?


zergtitan wrote:
I think a good way to deal with the lack of ranged options for weaponless monks, is to give them a ranged attack similar to the 5e sun soul monk. maybe a ki power that acts like a cantrip fire bolt attack or something similar that takes one action to cast with a focus component, with additional bolts available with additional components, verbal and somatic.

IMO, that's a super poor option for the 'average' monk. First, it requires you to pick up the base ki feat JUST to get ki and THEN pick up a different feat to get a ranged ki power that can only be used a limited number of times per day at the expense of other ki abilities. At that rate, Monastic Weaponry seems vastly more viable in both resources used, availability when needed and overall simplicity.

This isn't to say a ranged option for ki is a bad idea, I just disagree that it, in any way, solves the general ranged attack need the monk has. If we're adding new things, a hand full of simple basic weapons seems the easiest thing to add.

Liberty's Edge

Damage dice of d10 and higher seem reserved for two-handed weapons (Monk aside). So a rapier, with 1d6 damage and extra damage on a crit, actually compares pretty well with other one-handed weapons. The damage is slightly lower, but certainly not as much lower as Sneak Attack is higher, and you still have your other hand free, which looks like a pretty big advantage (it enable shields, maneuver, TWF, lots of options).


As for Dex to damage, that is only a Rogue option at this point, right?

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
As for Dex to damage, that is only a Rogue option at this point, right?

Possibly. It seems to be a Rogue Class Feat, but as other Feats have shown some of those are shared by multiple Classes (Barbarians and Fighters both having Whirlwind Attack, Fighters and Rangers both having Double Slice, etc.), and there may also be ways to get a Feat or two from other Classes.

It's definitely a Feat, but how readily available it may be is speculative.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
As for Dex to damage, that is only a Rogue option at this point, right?

Possibly. It seems to be a Rogue Class Feat, but as other Feats have shown some of those are shared by multiple Classes (Barbarians and Fighters both having Whirlwind Attack, Fighters and Rangers both having Double Slice, etc.), and there may also be ways to get a Feat or two from other Classes.

It's definitely a Feat, but how readily available it may be is speculative.

Right on, it would be very handy for monks, maybe too handy.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Yeah, I'm curious how that will work. Not every Dex class is going to have Sneak Attack. Even classes that DO get sneak attack may still be hard pressed to keep up with the extra damage dice at higher levels - if their sneak attack damage goes off in a round, does that just bring them up to par for that one round?

I don't feel like they necessarily SHOULD keep up if they dump strength.

1) Strength needs a reason not to dump it,where dex gets AC, saves, and more skills.
2) It isn't that hard to boost strength as you level up.
3) Strength will pull ahead the furthest when it uses two handed weapons, and having a free hand for interact or manipulate actions, casting spells, or drawing items looks like a substantial advantage. Or using a shield or a second weapon.
4) Every finesse weapon we have seen so far has also been agile, so on average they seem to be more accurate on iteratives.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
4) Every finesse weapon we have seen so far has also been agile, so on average they seem to be more accurate on iteratives.

This doesn't appear to be true, actually. Formerly Light weapons seem to get both, but the Rapier seems to have Finesse but not Agile.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I don't feel like they necessarily SHOULD keep up if they dump strength.

No one can dump a stat anymore: their only option is to not invest in a stat which is a different thing.


graystone wrote:
No one can dump a stat anymore: their only option is to not invest in a stat which is a different thing.

I suppose there will be an Ancestry released at some point that has a Strength Flaw.

Perhaps when they release PF2's Kobold Ancestry.

Otherwise, with the stat-up options, I suppose a 10 is to be considered a dump stat in PF2?
RIP the days of Point-Buying myself into a 5 wisdom score....


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
4) Every finesse weapon we have seen so far has also been agile, so on average they seem to be more accurate on iteratives.
This doesn't appear to be true, actually. Formerly Light weapons seem to get both, but the Rapier seems to have Finesse but not Agile.

Which seems a bit odd, the separation of agile and finesse.


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Chest Rockwell wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
4) Every finesse weapon we have seen so far has also been agile, so on average they seem to be more accurate on iteratives.
This doesn't appear to be true, actually. Formerly Light weapons seem to get both, but the Rapier seems to have Finesse but not Agile.
Which seems a bit odd, the separation of agile and finesse.

A whip should be Finesse, but it should not be Agile, as it swings in broad arcs.

Similarly, a rapier requires a stretched back pull to be used again, so it's not Agile either.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
4) Every finesse weapon we have seen so far has also been agile, so on average they seem to be more accurate on iteratives.
This doesn't appear to be true, actually. Formerly Light weapons seem to get both, but the Rapier seems to have Finesse but not Agile.
Which seems a bit odd, the separation of agile and finesse.

A whip should be Finesse, but it should not be Agile, as it swings in broad arcs.

Similarly, a rapier requires a stretched back pull to be used again, so it's not Agile either.

So Agile is kinda like Speed Factor?

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
So Agile is kinda like Speed Factor?

Pretty much, yeah.

It'd be very possible to have an Agile Weapon that is not a finesse weapon, too, though we lack examples at the moment. Double-weapons or those designed to be wielded in pairs (like Sawtooth Sabres) seem likely to fall into that category, for example (since one weapon needs to be agile for TWF to work properly).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
So Agile is kinda like Speed Factor?

Pretty much, yeah.

It'd be very possible to have an Agile Weapon that is not a finesse weapon, too, though we lack examples at the moment. Double-weapons or those designed to be wielded in pairs (like Sawtooth Sabres) seem likely to fall into that category, for example (since one weapon needs to be agile for TWF to work properly).

Longswords seem like a good fit for Agile without Finesse.


While it would be nice for Mark or Logan to confirm, I suspect this is how the save table for Stunning Fist will look:

Note - save rating is after any modifier for critical hit applies.

Note 2 - The attack needs to have done damage before this Fortitude save crops up - I guess in case of really high Resistance?

Success: No effect
Failure: The target is Flat-footed for 1 round
Critical Failure: The target is Flat-footed for 1 round, and is Stupefied 2. If the attack was a critical hit, the target is Stunned for 1 round.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mrianmerry wrote:
graystone wrote:
No one can dump a stat anymore: their only option is to not invest in a stat which is a different thing.

I suppose there will be an Ancestry released at some point that has a Strength Flaw.

Perhaps when they release PF2's Kobold Ancestry.

Don't gnomes and halflings already have Strength Flaws?

Liberty's Edge

David knott 242 wrote:
mrianmerry wrote:
graystone wrote:
No one can dump a stat anymore: their only option is to not invest in a stat which is a different thing.

I suppose there will be an Ancestry released at some point that has a Strength Flaw.

Perhaps when they release PF2's Kobold Ancestry.

Don't gnomes and halflings already have Strength Flaws?

They do indeed.


@discussion of how dex builds will do DPS:
For fighters and rangers, the answer seems to be double slice. If you keep up two weapons enchanted for damage, you can catch up to or even usurp the damage a heavy weapon fighter can do with power attack.

Using double slice, both weapons do their full dice damage whereas power attack less-than-doubles the amount of damage your great sword/great axe does.

There was a big dang discussion/argument/conjecture session I was in regarding this some time ago. Mark eventually stepped in to do some clarifying on the matter. It seems like the damage math is gonna check out.

Meanwhile, it seems that dex monks do indeed do their DPS by making a bunch of iterative attacks at lower penalties than their str monk cousins.


Excaliburproxy wrote:


There was a big dang discussion/argument/conjecture session I was in regarding this some time ago. Mark eventually stepped in to do some clarifying on the matter. It seems like the damage math is gonna check out.

Lest this turns into a DEX-to-damage discussion, I just wanted to say, damage was never the problem in these concerns.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


There was a big dang discussion/argument/conjecture session I was in regarding this some time ago. Mark eventually stepped in to do some clarifying on the matter. It seems like the damage math is gonna check out.
Lest this turns into a DEX-to-damage discussion, I just wanted to say, damage was never the problem in these concerns.

I am more than willing to avoid that conversation with you. Still, I think it is a valid concern that Dex-mains will struggle with DPS since the larger die of STR weapons makes it seem like an uphill battle.

That said, I don’t Dex-main DPS is gonna be that far behind strength-main DPS for any characters that take the appropriate feat support as compaired to their competitors (I.e. a Dex build can—with two actions—do damage comparable to a STR character can do with a great sword and power attack—with two actions).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
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.

How do I get higher damage thanks to higher DEX with this formula ?
By not splitting your stats so much between Dex and Strength, meaning you can have more accuracy, and therefor more crits. Hitting a critical spot seems like a more accurate portrayal of dealing more damage because of finesse anyways.

How does this fit with STR being the default modifier for melee attacks ? STR-based gets both higher damage and more frequent critical hits. By your reasoning the latter should belong to DEX I think


If you could get dex to hit (which I guess is a thing right?) then str would be just higher damage but the frequency of crit chance would be the same yeah? so the dex build advantage would be better AC (mostly TAC I imagine) and reflex saves versus more damage.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
If you could get dex to hit (which I guess is a thing right?) then str would be just higher damage but the frequency of crit chance would be the same yeah? so the dex build advantage would be better AC (mostly TAC I imagine) and reflex saves versus more damage.

I was under the impression that finesse weapons give the option for using Dexterity for accuracy - is this not the case?


David knott 242 wrote:
mrianmerry wrote:
graystone wrote:
No one can dump a stat anymore: their only option is to not invest in a stat which is a different thing.

I suppose there will be an Ancestry released at some point that has a Strength Flaw.

Perhaps when they release PF2's Kobold Ancestry.

Don't gnomes and halflings already have Strength Flaws?

Excellent! So we can indeed dump Strength (and even prioritise Wisdom) very effectively straight outta the CRB.

I've never played a Halfling or Gnome - largely being put off by the reduce damage die and not being a fan of finger-wavers - so this gives me some hope for making a fun Monk from these guys.

Liberty's Edge

mrianmerry wrote:
Excellent! So we can indeed dump Strength (and even prioritise Wisdom) very effectively straight outta the CRB.

You can if you wish, yes (though the Wisdom boost is technically speculative).

mrianmerry wrote:
I've never played a Halfling or Gnome - largely being put off by the reduce damage die and not being a fan of finger-wavers - so this gives me some hope for making a fun Monk from these guys.

Halfling Monk does actually sound super fun.


mrianmerry wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
If you could get dex to hit (which I guess is a thing right?) then str would be just higher damage but the frequency of crit chance would be the same yeah? so the dex build advantage would be better AC (mostly TAC I imagine) and reflex saves versus more damage.
I was under the impression that finesse weapons give the option for using Dexterity for accuracy - is this not the case?

I'm imagining unarmed will be finesse at least with a martial arts style that will make it that way.


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Something that re-reading the blog post just brought to my attention:

Logan Bonner wrote:
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!

Does this include a Natural 1 roll? Because if it does... that's one hell of a great ability!

Liberty's Edge

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mrianmerry wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
If you could get dex to hit (which I guess is a thing right?) then str would be just higher damage but the frequency of crit chance would be the same yeah? so the dex build advantage would be better AC (mostly TAC I imagine) and reflex saves versus more damage.
I was under the impression that finesse weapons give the option for using Dexterity for accuracy - is this not the case?

For the record this is correct, and unarmed strikes seem to have this property (at the very least, Crane Style does).

mrianmerry wrote:

Something that re-reading the blog post just brought to my attention:

Logan Bonner wrote:
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!
Does this include a Natural 1 roll? Because if it does... that's one hell of a great ability!

It certainly seems to, yes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mrianmerry wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
If you could get dex to hit (which I guess is a thing right?) then str would be just higher damage but the frequency of crit chance would be the same yeah? so the dex build advantage would be better AC (mostly TAC I imagine) and reflex saves versus more damage.
I was under the impression that finesse weapons give the option for using Dexterity for accuracy - is this not the case?

I did miss that it apparently not requires à feat or class feature anymore. Good to know

I see the STR vs DEX thing as 2 different ways of inflicting damage : STR would hit less often but inflict powerful blows with huge damage and maybe debilitating conditions due to the shock while DEX would hit more often but with lower damage and inflicting debilitating conditions over time as blood loss and fatigue wear down the opponent

Not sure that this is even possible in PF2 (not sure it was even a thing in PF1 either)

STR would have the big advantage of usually ending the fight faster


I'm looking at it like hard martial arts versus soft martial arts. I think stunning fist is going to be a lot more tempting to soft (dex based) monks then hard (str based) martial arts monks. Which is cool cause soft martial arts would be more likely to emphasize the pressure point strike. (granted when we start talking about grappling its get odd but never mind that for now)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

Yes, I forgot the base 10, and there is a level of proficiency in magic too, but when it is received and by what classes is mostly unknow. It is unknow what it will do exactly.

Wizard blog wrote:
As a wizard goes up in level, they gain more spells that they can cast (either one extra spell of their highest level, or two of a new level) and their proficiency at spellcasting also increases. They start as trained, but rise to the rank of legendary at 19th level.

It can be a bonus to hit for direct attack spells, an increase in DC, or both (I think that the third is the most probable option).

Deadmanwalking wrote:
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.

The uncertain part is about the saves proficiency of the targets and the effects of save feats, especially for monsters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:

"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!"

I think this is the order:

1. If your stunning fist deals damage, the target must take a fortitude save. On a failure they are flat-footed for 1 round, and on a critical failure they are stupefied 2 (I'd guess for 1 round, it doesn't say).

2. If your stunning fist is a critical hit, the target's save becomes 1 category worse, e.g. they'd need to critical succeed to normal succeed.

3. If the target's adjusted save is a critical failure (they rolled a normal failure or a critical failure) they are stunned for 1 round (as well as stupefied 2, which may be redundant after the stun is applied).

After re-reading the quoted part, I think the stun only comes after the target critically fails while the Monk critically hits.

Because the blog post already tells us what happens if the target critically fails while the Monk normally hits : Stupefied 2

That is how most people read it. The doubt is about the worsening of the save by a level.

Some people thing that you should critically fail without the worsening, other (I included) that the target is stunned when he fail as that failure is worsened by one degree and become a critical failure.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
mrianmerry wrote:
Excellent! So we can indeed dump Strength (and even prioritise Wisdom) very effectively straight outta the CRB.
You can if you wish, yes (though the Wisdom boost is technically speculative).

It isn't speculative -- remember that every ancestry gets to choose one floating bonus, so gnomes and halflings could choose wisdom for the floating bonus even if neither of them gets a bonus to that stat by default, and since they don't have a penalty to it that is being offset, they get the normal benefit for doing so.


David knott 242 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
mrianmerry wrote:
Excellent! So we can indeed dump Strength (and even prioritise Wisdom) very effectively straight outta the CRB.
You can if you wish, yes (though the Wisdom boost is technically speculative).

It isn't speculative -- remember that every ancestry gets to choose one floating bonus, so gnomes and halflings could choose wisdom for the floating bonus even if neither of them gets a bonus to that stat by default, and since they don't have a penalty to it that is being offset, they get the normal benefit for doing so.

DMW was more referring to the theory that Halflings are getting their CHA bonus replaced with a WIS bonus. That makes them better for monks than before, even with the floating bonus, because they can get +2 to DEX/WIS and then stick the floater in CON or something. We just don't quite know for sure if Halflings got Wis in the playtest, even though there have been some pretty strong hints dropped.

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