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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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Cyouni wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

I really, really like this implementation. I have some questions though:

1. Is there any incentive to focus on STR? I imagine styles without Finesse-type attacks are one of them, but not having armor early on pushes the class towards DEX pretty hard.

I'd figure strength is so their punches don't hit like a pile of wet noodles. Dex can be your primary attribute all you want, it doesn't change the damage formula of being base+str mod.
I thought we already saw (in the glass cannon podcast, I think), that agile attacks are automatically dex-to-damage.
Agile lets you take less penalty on iteratives, while finesse attacks are dex-to-hit. We haven't seen any dex-to-damage yet, but Rogue might have one in their class feats somewhere.

Yeah, I realized my mistake and tried to edit right away, but I guess you're all to quick for me :p.

Grand Lodge

Logan Bonner wrote:
My suspicion is that such a monk will still have Dex second, so 18 Str/16 Dex at 1st level, 19/18 at 5th level, 20/19 at 10th level, and so on, meaning they're behind by 1 or 0 in AC at most levels. A monk like this will probably want Con third for sure. We'll see how it fares in playtest!

This sounds like ability improvements are like Starfinder! Neat!

Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.

So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.


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edduardco wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Interesting, though I wonder whether Str based Monks aren't just going to be subpar. True, they seem to do a little more damage than Dex monks, if Crane Wing and Dragon Tail are to be considered as representative, but a Dex monk might not need to care about Dex, while a Str based monk still needs Dex a whole lot for AC, not to mention reflex. Maybe it won't be as bad as prior editions, since Wis is somewhat optional, but still, I'm unsure.
My suspicion is that such a monk will still have Dex second, so 18 Str/16 Dex at 1st level, 19/18 at 5th level, 20/19 at 10th level, and so on, meaning they're behind by 1 or 0 in AC at most levels. A monk like this will probably want Con third for sure. We'll see how it fares in playtest!
How ability increases works in this edition?

They work like starfinder stat increases, ever 5 levels (1,5,10,15,20) pick 4 stats, if they're under 18 increase by 2, if 18 or higher, increase by 1


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Monastic Weaponry: Can you use your unarmed Damage Die for the weapon if they are highter? Because in first edition the unarmed weapon damage was HUGE and using a weapon seemed in the long run rather nonsensical to me


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This is a fantastic look into monk, and what's more important for me is making Monk's less MAD and instead being able to focus more on one play style. I'll be very intrigued to see if Strength monks have additional abilities which play more on their strength stat; perhaps monk feats that are far better with a strength bonus, or perhaps can be only taken with strength feat, such as the 6-inch punch or something of the like.

Overall I continue to be excited.


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ruemere wrote:

"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."

This is really awkward method of expressing the dependencies. It also does not state whether the target must be able to hear the word of death or be within a range of hearing, or...

Moreover: this casting deals no damage. So why would the target become NOT alive at the end of the casting, huh?

Also this section (below) is not clear whether it relates to QUIVERING PALM casting or target's 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."

Verdict: Really bad. As in back to the drawing board.

----
Upon successful casting, the target is affected by a spell effect. The effect is dormant until activated by a caster with a Verbal action (the target must be within a range of hearing and alive, though not necessarily able to hear the caster).
----

*sigh*

That seems pretty clear to me?

You hit and deal damage. If they're alive after that, they have Quivering Palm attached.

You spend a Verbal action at any time to activate it, and no matter where they are they then have to make their save. Doesn't matter if they're deaf, on a different plane, or on the other side of the world.

On a Success, they lose the Quivering Palm effect (meaning you can't try to kill them through it again) and you can't try and reapply it for 24 hours.
On a Failure, they just can't die from it for 24 hours, but you can keep trying to stun them.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Varun Creed wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.
So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.

The same AC as chain shirt, but 1 higher Touch AC, no skill check penalty, and 0 Bulk.


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Looks like a lot of lessons were taken from the Unchained monk, which is good. This is a class where the modularity of PF2 really works in its favor. I know probably a lot of people will love ki being optional, while I'm very happy that I never have to care about Stunning Fist again. I'm also thrilled that Pummeling Style is a baseline part of Flurry of Blows!

I'm very curious about alignment - it's not called out that the restriction is gone, as it was in the barbarian article, but it's also not mentioned that it's present, as in the paladin one - and I notice the monk's unarmed strikes doesn't bypass DR/lawful anymore.

My one concern is why on Golarion the adamantine strike got pushed BACK a level? At 16th level in PF1 it was already far too late to be of much use. Especially if the alignment strike is gone entirely, wouldn't it make more sense to bring it up to 10-11, or even earlier? Otherwise, unless DR/adamantine is going to be much less common in PF2, pretty much every monk is going end up dropping a feat on Monastic Weaponry to deal with constructs...


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Varun Creed wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.
So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.

And also anyone who gets good proficiency scaling in armor like the Paladin is getting the same proficiency bonus as the Monk, but also getting the superior armor bonus on top of that.

The impression I'm getting from this blog is that the Monk is always going to be behind on AC and there's not much of anything you can do about it, especially if you want to go STR. And god forbid you want a well-rounded character who can participate outside of combat and therefore need a mental stat.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm mostly quite pleased. Mobility options seem very baked in, which is great. I particularly like Ki being a thing, but an optional one. Additionally, I, like others, am also very curious about Alignment restrictions.

I am, however, somewhat concerned about AC. We know that light armor maxes out at +2 AC, so Monks aren't too far behind if they go Dex-based...but they're behind even there (if only by a point...but a point matters quite a bit in PF2) and Str Monks are at least two points behind, say, a Rogue in Studded Leather. That hurts quite a lot actually. Especially if heavy armor users have higher AC than those in light armor.

I'd suspect that's gonna be the biggest mechanical issue with the Monk, actually: Sub-par AC. And that's a very unfortunate and counter-thematic downside for them to have.

A Style could potentially help with this, but then that style becomes almost mandatory, and that's its own issue.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Is there an Amulet of Mighty Fists or analogous to add damage dice to an unarmed strike?

There is. Handwraps of Mighty Fists are explicitly a thing and work just like weapons (and cost the same).

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Also, if I just want to be Punchy McPunchperson who does not fly or teleport or do anything that involves spells, do I use Wisdom for anything? Like if I want the power of my enlightenment to be internal, rather than external.

Well, it definitely adds to Will Saves and Perception checks, so that's handy.


I'm starting to be really curious as to what armour proficiency even does.


Sounds awesome. Looking forward to new game math dynamic.
I can see Flurry of Blocks as parallel to Flurry of Blows, adding parries etc.
Or set up as a Reaction to block attacks etc.


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willuwontu wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
Interesting, though I wonder whether Str based Monks aren't just going to be subpar. True, they seem to do a little more damage than Dex monks, if Crane Wing and Dragon Tail are to be considered as representative, but a Dex monk might not need to care about Dex, while a Str based monk still needs Dex a whole lot for AC, not to mention reflex. Maybe it won't be as bad as prior editions, since Wis is somewhat optional, but still, I'm unsure.
My suspicion is that such a monk will still have Dex second, so 18 Str/16 Dex at 1st level, 19/18 at 5th level, 20/19 at 10th level, and so on, meaning they're behind by 1 or 0 in AC at most levels. A monk like this will probably want Con third for sure. We'll see how it fares in playtest!
How ability increases works in this edition?
They work like starfinder stat increases, ever 5 levels (1,5,10,15,20) pick 4 stats, if they're under 18 increase by 2, if 18 or higher, increase by 1

That's what I fear, I though it wasn't confirmed yet, the distinction at 18 is awful

Liberty's Edge

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Logan Bonner wrote:
Varun Creed wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.
So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.
The same AC as chain shirt, but 1 higher Touch AC, no skill check penalty, and 0 Bulk.

Wait, isn't a Chain Shirt +2 AC as per the equipment Blog? Wouldn't that make Dex 18 + Chain Shirt AC 17 at 1st level (4+2+1)? And the Dex 18 Monk's AC only 16 (4+1+1)?

Have we gotten the math wrong?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
worldhopper wrote:
My one concern is why on Golarion the adamantine strike got pushed BACK a level? At 16th level in PF1 it was already far too late to be of much use. Especially if the alignment strike is gone entirely, wouldn't it make more sense to bring it up to 10-11, or even earlier? Otherwise, unless DR/adamantine is going to be much less common in PF2, pretty much every monk is going end up dropping a feat on Monastic Weaponry to deal with constructs...

Flurry of Blows does have a built-in Pummeling Style-like damage combination to help against resistances. I appreciate that a lot.

Dark Archive

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So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?


Holy crap that looks awesome!


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Renwald wrote:
So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?

It was listed in the conditions blog. Penalty to mental checks and spell failure risk. But still that feels low for a critical fail on a non-crit attack. Still, as something that appears to be doable any number of times per day, it's not terrible, but I'm not sure that it measures up even to flurry of blows.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Varun Creed wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.
So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.
The same AC as chain shirt, but 1 higher Touch AC, no skill check penalty, and 0 Bulk.

Wait, isn't a Chain Shirt +2 AC as per the equipment Blog? Wouldn't that make Dex 18 + Chain Shirt AC 17 at 1st level (4+2+1)? And the Dex 18 Monk's AC only 16 (4+1+1)?

Have we gotten the math wrong?

monks start at expert in unarmored so that's a +2 there not +1.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Renwald wrote:
So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?

From Friday's Blog

Quote:
The stupefied condition covers mental effects, imposing a conditional penalty on spell DCs as well as on Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks. It also requires you to attempt a special roll each time you cast a spell or else your spell is disrupted (meaning you lose the spell!). Because the penalty from stupefied also applies to this roll, the worse the stupefied condition's value, the harder it gets to cast spells!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ruemere wrote:

"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."

This is really awkward method of expressing the dependencies. It also does not state whether the target must be able to hear the word of death or be within a range of hearing, or...

Moreover: this casting deals no damage. So why would the target become NOT alive at the end of the casting, huh?

Also this section (below) is not clear whether it relates to QUIVERING PALM casting or target's 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."

Verdict: Really bad. As in back to the drawing board.

----
Upon successful casting, the target is affected by a spell effect. The effect is dormant until activated by a caster with a Verbal action (the target must be within a range of hearing and alive, though not necessarily able to hear the caster).
----

*sigh*

I think you just read it wrong. You punch someone as part of the casting. If the punch connects and doesn't kill them, you get a once per day attempt to kill them with a word, and they get a fortitude save to resist. It doesn't list a range because there isn't one, just like the PF1 version.


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Conditions Blog wrote:
The stupefied condition covers mental effects, imposing a conditional penalty on spell DCs as well as on Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks. It also requires you to attempt a special roll each time you cast a spell or else your spell is disrupted (meaning you lose the spell!).

I hope the failure results for Stunning Fist are cumulative, otherwise we could get into a situation where the monk uses Stunning Fist on a fighter to set up sneak attack for his rogue buddy, but the fighter critically fails. Then instead of being flat footed, he takes a penalty to spell casting that doesn't impede him at all?

Liberty's Edge

Emeric Tusan wrote:
monks start at expert in unarmored so that's a +2 there not +1.

My Monk math includes that: 10 + 4 Dex + 1 Level + 1 Expert = 16 AC. Which is one less than the 17 it looks like a Rogue (or someone in heavier armor) can have. Unless things are not as they appear in some way, which is what my question was about.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Varun Creed wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.
So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.
The same AC as chain shirt, but 1 higher Touch AC, no skill check penalty, and 0 Bulk.

Wait, isn't a Chain Shirt +2 AC as per the equipment Blog? Wouldn't that make Dex 18 + Chain Shirt AC 17 at 1st level (4+2+1)? And the Dex 18 Monk's AC only 16 (4+1+1)?

Have we gotten the math wrong?

Nope, I told you the wrong thing! A chain shirt for a 1st-level character who's proficient and has 18 Dex (and has the money for it) would be AC 17, TAC 16. An unarmored monk with 18 Dex would have an AC 16, TAC 16.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Emeric Tusan wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
Varun Creed wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
They're experts in unarmored defense, so it will be 10 + 2 (expert proficiency = level+1) + Dex.
So the same as a Common Chainshirt. Except you can craft an Expert Chainshirt which has an AC of 3 I believe.
The same AC as chain shirt, but 1 higher Touch AC, no skill check penalty, and 0 Bulk.

Wait, isn't a Chain Shirt +2 AC as per the equipment Blog? Wouldn't that make Dex 18 + Chain Shirt AC 17 at 1st level (4+2+1)? And the Dex 18 Monk's AC only 16 (4+1+1)?

Have we gotten the math wrong?

monks start at expert in unarmored so that's a +2 there not +1.

Expert is a +1, Master is a +2


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This preview isn't....very good. At all.

First of all, absolutely no weapon proficiencies without spending a feat is just horrible. It's just a Feat Tax for people not wanting to play a punchy monk.

Secondly, how does Flurry of Blows work? The blog text is kind of confusing. If I use my first action for it, it's two attacks at, I assume, +0/-4. Then, if I use it again, it's what, -8/-8? And -8/-8 again if I use it a third time? Flurry of misses just got revived hard if that's the case. Until 19th level, of course.

Also, a starting Monk will have an AC of 11+Dex. No armor penalty, true, but then, even someone trained in just Light Armor can start with 12+Dex. I really don't see how a Monk can keep up when they'll be limited to 13+Dex at maximum (assuming Legendary in unarmored) while everyone else will be 13+Armor Bonus+Dex (keeping in mind my earlier comment in the Gearing Up! thread about maximising AC). Unless Heavy Armor is seriously underwhelming, that is.

I don't mind Stunning Fist being a feat now (I mean, par for the course at this point), but it's been horribly changed for the worse. Flat-footed on a fail, Stupefied on a Crit, and I need to Crit with my strike and have the target Critically Fail for it to actually stun?! With a feat called Stunning Fist, you'd think it'd actually Stun people regularly, not just when the stars align. Oh and it takes two actions, because of course it does.

The rest of the post is just underwhelming. Really strange scaling on the monk's fists (3-5-17, really?), the styles look alright though.

I also don't like making Ki Powers into feats, but again, par for the course with how this edition is going.


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Renwald wrote:
So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?

The Critical Hit means they treat their save as one category worse, i.e. normal Fail -> Critical Fail = Stun.

There isn't anything beyond Critical Fail AFAIK, so in this case (if you Crit on attack) normal & Critical Failure both have same result.
(well, I guess if the target has ability letting them treat Save as one step better, an ACTUAL Critical Failure counters that here)

There is no mention of limited usages per day, so I don't see why this would be 'rarer' than P1E.

Dark Archive

Deadmanwalking wrote:


There is. Handwraps of Mighty Fists are explicitly a thing and work just like weapons (and cost the same).

Do we know if those are worn or wielded?

Liberty's Edge

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Logan Bonner wrote:
Nope, I told you the wrong thing! A chain shirt for a 1st-level character who's proficient and has 18 Dex (and has the money for it) would be AC 17, TAC 16. An unarmored monk with 18 Dex would have an AC 16, TAC 16.

Thank you very much for the clarification. :)

This does however somewhat confirm my worry about Monk AC, though we'll need to wait and see how that compares to other Classes, I suppose.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TheFinish wrote:

This preview isn't....very good. At all.

First of all, absolutely no weapon proficiencies without spending a feat is just horrible. It's just a Feat Tax for people not wanting to play a punchy monk.

Secondly, how does Flurry of Blows work? The blog text is kind of confusing. If I use my first action for it, it's two attacks at, I assume, +0/-4. Then, if I use it again, it's what, -8/-8? And -8/-8 again if I use it a third time? Flurry of misses just got revived hard if that's the case. Until 19th level, of course.

Also, a starting Monk will have an AC of 11+Dex. No armor penalty, true, but then, even someone trained in just Light Armor can start with 12+Dex. I really don't see how a Monk can keep up when they'll be limited to 13+Dex at maximum (assuming Legendary in unarmored) while everyone else will be 13+Armor Bonus+Dex (keeping in mind my earlier comment in the Gearing Up! thread about maximising AC). Unless Heavy Armor is seriously underwhelming, that is.

I don't mind Stunning Fist being a feat now (I mean, par for the course at this point), but it's been horribly changed for the worse. Flat-footed on a fail, Stupefied on a Crit, and I need to Crit with my strike and have the target Critically Fail for it to actually stun?! With a feat called Stunning Fist, you'd think it'd actually Stun people regularly, not just when the stars align. Oh and it takes two actions, because of course it does.

The rest of the post is just underwhelming. Really strange scaling on the monk's fists (3-5-17, really?), the styles look alright though.

I also don't like making Ki Powers into feats, but again, par for the course with how this edition is going.

Flurry of Blows is once per round. So Flurry on the first attack and then up to 2 more attacks at -8


I think str based monks will be doing a lot more damage than dex based monks. The blog only mentioned one unarmed strike damage increase and with the way styles were worded implied a one to one replacement. Combined with how we know magic items work I think it will go something like this:

Dex based monk damage will always stay at d6 base so with a +3 amulet of mighty fists they are doing 4d6 per blow (14) vs the Dragon tail's 4d10 per blow (22).

Also at 9th level with fierce flurry the damage die increases so the based can't go higher than d10.

Just imagine a beautiful Str monk (lets call him Bruno) with a +3 amulet of mighty fists dealing 8d12 damage on a flurry of blows with a single action.

Also no mention of alignment restriction?


As with the Barbarian, this seems to borrow heavily from the Unchained rules. :(

Liberty's Edge

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Logan Bonner wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I think "bolstered" is a new term. Anyone know what it means?
I thought we had mentioned this in a previous blog, but perhaps not. "Bolstered" means you're immune for 24 hours.

So... why not just say the target is immune for 24 hours? Why invent a new term?


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Waves the banner of pick a better name for stunning fist

Some more suggestions including the one from earlier.

Staggering blow
Upsetting fist
Offsetting strike
Controlling fist
Disrupting strike
Lurching touch
Disordering blow
Teetering touch


brad2411 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


There is. Handwraps of Mighty Fists are explicitly a thing and work just like weapons (and cost the same).
Do we know if those are worn or wielded?

I'm not sure it would matter under the new rules for magic items...

Liberty's Edge

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TheFinish wrote:
Also, a starting Monk will have an AC of 11+Dex. No armor penalty, true, but then, even someone trained in just Light Armor can start with 12+Dex. I really don't see how a Monk can keep up when they'll be limited to 13+Dex at maximum (assuming Legendary in unarmored) while everyone else will be 13+Armor Bonus+Dex (keeping in mind my earlier comment in the Gearing Up! thread about maximising AC). Unless Heavy Armor is seriously underwhelming, that is.

It's not quite this bad. Almost nobody can get to Legendary in armor (Paladins and Fighters seem to be it in the corebook), and it's very possible few others will get above Expert, which balances out with the Monk's Legendary but no armor fairly well.

It remains a serious problem at low levels, and they could definitely stand at least at point or two more AC even at high levels, but an Optimal Monk might well be on par with Optimal Rogues and Rangers in AC at high levels.

I'm significantly more worried about low level, and especially about the Str Monk.

brad2411 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


There is. Handwraps of Mighty Fists are explicitly a thing and work just like weapons (and cost the same).
Do we know if those are worn or wielded?

We do not.

Liberty's Edge

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Jester David wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I think "bolstered" is a new term. Anyone know what it means?
I thought we had mentioned this in a previous blog, but perhaps not. "Bolstered" means you're immune for 24 hours.
So... why not just say the target is immune for 24 hours? Why invent a new term?

Word count. It's vitally important in a lot of books, and reducing it like this is thus super useful.


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Always wanted to make a character that punched people so Monk has always interested me.

And then I was shown Brawler.

So going on my more limited knowledge of monk, this looks good to me. I wonder if Styles are going to be only a Monk thing as their class feats through. I know a lot of people didn't play Monk unless it Unchained(Or Qinggong, I've been flat out told I can't play Monk unless it's one of them.) but PF2 monk looks a bit better out of the box. Or at least more manageable.

Besides the Stance question, few other points;

-Master of Styles if a feat? Possible missing Archetype support(Though we still don't have hard facts on how that works) or just renamed to something different?

-How much Monk stuff will be given instead of a choice? Monk had kinda a weird bag of effects, so seeing what is going to be expected in the class will be interesting.

-Touches on my above point, we have to BUILD for Ki now? It's not part of the basic kit? Wat? I mean that makes it maybe easier to build non Monk/Ki/Energy/Martial Artist/something and just go with bar room brawlers, underground boxers, and other more... Mundane(?) hand to hand combatants but this feels weird.

- Speaking of weird, Spell Points to use Ki Powers. Really? This is probably the weakest complaint but really? That just feels weird to say/read.


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Crayon wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


There is. Handwraps of Mighty Fists are explicitly a thing and work just like weapons (and cost the same).
Do we know if those are worn or wielded?
I'm not sure it would matter under the new rules for magic items...

IIRC (I think from the glass cannon podcast), worn magic items use resonance when you put them on, and you don't get that resonance back when you take it off, but wielded you get it back when you're not wielding it. So you can't just take off your armor when out of combat to use your gloves of lockpicking, and then take off the gloves and put the armor back on again with no penalty.

This would make me think it's wielded, but like others have said, we just don't know yet.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Logan Bonner wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I think "bolstered" is a new term. Anyone know what it means?
I thought we had mentioned this in a previous blog, but perhaps not. "Bolstered" means you're immune for 24 hours.
So... why not just say the target is immune for 24 hours? Why invent a new term?
Word count. It's vitally important in a lot of books, and reducing it like this is thus super useful.

This shows my past, but an excellent example of this Keywording is in Magic the Gathering. Small limited space, it's easier to print cards if you teach people what 3 words mean then printing out a detailed explanation of what the card does.

Pick up a Magic card and then Yugioh Card, and you'll see a big difference in how the text is. I would assume printing books, especially ones where you have to cross reference effects/abilities/etc, it's easy to use a Key Term than reprinting the longer "This is what it does" line.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Renwald wrote:
So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?

If they crit fail, they're stunned. If you crit on your attacj, their save is treated as one step worse. So if you crit on your attack and they regular fail their save, it counts as a critical fail. If you crit on the attack and they succeed on the save, then it counts as a regular fail.

That's how I'm reading it.

Sovereign Court

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Also, a starting Monk will have an AC of 11+Dex. No armor penalty, true, but then, even someone trained in just Light Armor can start with 12+Dex. I really don't see how a Monk can keep up when they'll be limited to 13+Dex at maximum (assuming Legendary in unarmored) while everyone else will be 13+Armor Bonus+Dex (keeping in mind my earlier comment in the Gearing Up! thread about maximising AC). Unless Heavy Armor is seriously underwhelming, that is.

It's not quite this bad. Almost nobody can get to Legendary in armor (Paladins and Fighters seem to be it in the corebook), and it's very possible few others will get above Expert, which balances out with the Monk's Legendary but no armor fairly well.

It remains a serious problem at low levels, and they could definitely stand at least at point or two more AC even at high levels, but an Optimal Monk might well be on par with Optimal Rogues and Rangers in AC at high levels.

I'm significantly more worried about low level, and especially about the Str Monk.

I think Flurry of Blows might lead to more mobile monks. The favored tactic at low levels might come to be to move in, flurry for two attacks, then back off to let more heavily armored or shielded allies take the hits.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Justin Franklin wrote:
Flurry of Blows is once per round. So Flurry on the first attack and then up to 2 more attacks at -8

Wouldn't it be 0/-4, -8, -12?


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Mechalibur wrote:
Renwald wrote:
So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?

If they crit fail, they're stunned. If you crit on your attacj, their save is treated as one step worse. So if you crit on your attack and they regular fail their save, it counts as a critical fail. If you crit on the attack and they succeed on the save, then it counts as a regular fail.

That's how I'm reading it.

That isn't how it reads. If you crit fail, they're stupified. You'd have to crit, and have them crit fail for them to be stunned.

Quote:
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!

All in all, as an attack no longer limited in rounds per day, I don't mind if it gets nerfed accordingly, but this seems a little much.


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STR Monk having less AC than a DEX Rogue is worrying. DEX Rogues will surely have damage in spades.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Fumarole wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
Flurry of Blows is once per round. So Flurry on the first attack and then up to 2 more attacks at -8
Wouldn't it be 0/-4, -8, -12?

There is a maximum penalty. Third attacks and onward are all at -10 (-8 for agile weapons).

Liberty's Edge

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KingOfAnything wrote:
I think Flurry of Blows might lead to more mobile monks. The favored tactic at low levels might come to be to move in, flurry for two attacks, then back off to let more heavily armored or shielded allies take the hits.

I'm all for more mobile monks, but I think their AC at the moment is looking a bit anemic even using this strategy.

Fumarole wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
Flurry of Blows is once per round. So Flurry on the first attack and then up to 2 more attacks at -8
Wouldn't it be 0/-4, -8, -12?

No, the penalty to get on the third attack (-10, -8 on Agile weapons) is as high as it ever gets.


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There's something I find odd, re-reading this.

Should Fighter (And since I think it's a feat, I suppose that Monk, Paladin, and Ranger too) want to use Power Attack in order to increase damage, they have to spent their actions.

BUT rogues can add sneak damage, without extra action expenditure? And they can even dual-wield, and add sneak attack MANY TIMES?


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Tholomyes wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Renwald wrote:
So stunning fist...not very stunning. If i read that correctly in order to stun i needcrit and then they need to critically fail. Seems like stunning with stunning fist will rarely happen. I guess it could it could be different if stupefied is an ok condition. Any idea what it does?

If they crit fail, they're stunned. If you crit on your attacj, their save is treated as one step worse. So if you crit on your attack and they regular fail their save, it counts as a critical fail. If you crit on the attack and they succeed on the save, then it counts as a regular fail.

That's how I'm reading it.

That isn't how it reads. If you crit fail, they're stupified. You'd have to crit, and have them crit fail for them to be stunned.

Quote:
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!
All in all, as an attack no longer limited in rounds per day, I don't mind if it gets nerfed accordingly, but this seems a little much.

Stupefied also seems like an odd choice since it doesn't fit a progression from flat footed->stupefied->stunned. Unless the second step is flat footed AND stupefied.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crayon wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


There is. Handwraps of Mighty Fists are explicitly a thing and work just like weapons (and cost the same).
Do we know if those are worn or wielded?
I'm not sure it would matter under the new rules for magic items...

It matters because of the new rules for magic items: worn items cost resonance, wielded items do not.

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