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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Secret Wizard wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
When you make a fourth attack then with agile, is the fourth attack also capped at -8 or is it -10?
It's pretty clearly -8. The point is that attacks after the third use the same penalty as the third, not that they cap at a specific penalty.
So a character with four attacks using both an agile and non agile weapon can exploit the system to do first attack with the heavy weapon at full bonus, second attack with agile at -4, third attack with agile at -8, and fourth attack with heavy weapon at -8?

Sounds to me like Agile affects subsequent attacks, not the main attack you make.

So attack with a non-agile weapon > next attack gets -5, cumulative, up to -10.

Attack with an agile weapon > next attack gets -4, cumulative, up to -8.

This has been confirmed false. We know that you can do non-agile, agile, agile for the same -0/-4/-8 as agile, agile, agile.

Liberty's Edge

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Secret Wizard wrote:

Sounds to me like Agile affects subsequent attacks, not the main attack you make.

So attack with a non-agile weapon > next attack gets -5, cumulative, up to -10.

Attack with an agile weapon > next attack gets -4, cumulative, up to -8.

Actually, no. They've noted that if you attack with a longsword, then a short sword, the second attack is at -4 (because the short sword is Agile). They then said that the third attack would be -8 if you used the short sword, -10 if you did the long sword again.

EDIT: Semi ninja'd. Ah, well.


Fallen_Mage wrote:
Wultram wrote:
Verbal component on Ki powers? Yeah no bad idea, sure if it is some sonic effect or something go ahead.

I have to agree with this.

While I can see a Verbal Component making sense with some powers, Somantic Components make much more sense in my mind as you are making specific moves or striking specific points on your opponent for the desired effect. Does that make sense?

A somatic component would have two downsides: requiring a free hand and (per a Mark comment I'm pretty sure I remember) triggering an attack of opportunity from opponents that have that reaction. Somatic, but not verbal, components count as an object manipulation for AoO trigger purposes.


I do worry about his class’s AC. I wonder what their hit points are going to look like.

With flurry of blows and their high movement speed, I suppose they can close distance attack and then run away. Is that how this class is meant to be survivable?

I also don’t know how this class is going get its accuracy bonuses. Is Ki shout the way or will there really be arm wraps or whatever?

Liberty's Edge

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I do worry about his class’s AC. I wonder what their hit points are going to look like.

Mark Seifter clarified earlier that Bracers of Armor basically fix this beyond the very earliest levels (1st and maybe 2nd), at least for Dex Monks, since it starts off being the equivalent of leather armor and then becomes magic thereafter.

That makes their AC very much on par with other lightly armored characters. Higher with the right Style.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
With flurry of blows and their high movement speed, I suppose they can close distance attack and then run away. Is that how this class is meant to be survivable?

It helps, but isn't necessary.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I also don’t know how this class is going get its accuracy bonuses. Is Ki shout the way or will there really be arm wraps or whatever?

Handwraps of Mighty Fists do indeed exist, and work just like magic weapons, so yeah, those will help.


Excaliburproxy wrote:

I do worry about his class’s AC. I wonder what their hit points are going to look like.

With flurry of blows and their high movement speed, I suppose they can close distance attack and then run away. Is that how this class is meant to be survivable?

I also don’t know how this class is going get its accuracy bonuses. Is Ki shout the way or will there really be arm wraps or whatever?

Handwraps of Mighty Fists are a thing, yeah.

And yeah, also worried about initial AC. Nothing that can be fixed with some tuning though.

For example, giving +1 AC to those who pick their class-based +2 to go to STR and pick STR for DCs – while giving +1 damage to those who go with DEX for these.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:

I do worry about his class’s AC. I wonder what their hit points are going to look like.

With flurry of blows and their high movement speed, I suppose they can close distance attack and then run away. Is that how this class is meant to be survivable?

I also don’t know how this class is going get its accuracy bonuses. Is Ki shout the way or will there really be arm wraps or whatever?

Per Mark, Monk does all right on AC, without armor’s downsides. (The important thing is that bracers of armor don’t work like the old ones.) Hopefully 10/level on hitpoints so you can leave Con for later level boosts, but we don’t know.

Magical fist wraps have been confirmed with a bit of text from the banquet previews. Mark also confirmed they don’t have a markup vs. regular weapon enhancements.


Monks could be really annoying if they wanted to be to non monk melee enemies. If they're right next to each other the monk can flurry for one action/two attacks and then move away with their remaining actions. If the other person chases then they'll only get one attack in and the monk can rinse and repeat.

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Azih wrote:
Monks could be really annoying if they wanted to be to non monk melee enemies. If they're right next to each other the monk can flurry for one action/two attacks and then move away with their remaining actions. If the other person chases then they'll only get one attack in and the monk can rinse and repeat.

Once they get their speed boost, they can spend one action to move and cost the enemy two actions to catch up!


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Temperans wrote:
What? So is the new AC higher or lower in the end? (compared to rogue in both editions)

Comparing to previous editions is misleading.

Seems like the Monk is below the Rogue in total AC if they go DEX by 1 KAC, and by more if they go STR.

Although, they qualify for all Expert feats regarding armor.

Assuming, they have good ones printed, the monk will be fine.

Because that is what Mastery system depends on: what does it grant you access.
Just like having Expert on a skill is a small bonus, but access to amazing feats make skills want to be Expert.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Temperans wrote:
What? So is the new AC higher or lower in the end? (compared to rogue in both editions)

Comparing to previous editions is misleading.

Seems like the Monk is below the Rogue in total AC if they go DEX by 1 KAC, and by more if they go STR.

Although, they qualify for all Expert feats regarding armor.

Assuming, they have good ones printed, the monk will be fine.

Because that is what Mastery system depends on: what does it grant you access.
Just like having Expert on a skill is a small bonus, but access to amazing feats make skills want to be Expert.

Point taken.

Paizo Employee Designer

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It's also fair to say that given equal access to bracers of armor and +X armor, a rogue in light armor with the same Dex as the monk will always be lower or equal to the monk's AC.


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A question-

Access to expert unarmored defense presumably opens access to "expert unarmored defense" feats. Are these skill feats? Class feats? What currency do I use to buy them?


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I know this is a touchy subject, but...is there some alignment restriction on monk? Can some dev confirm?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:

Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

Aww yeah!

Liberty's Edge

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Logan Bonner wrote:
Monks have no alignment restriction.

Yay! Happiness.

I'd already figured the HP, but that's good to hear as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:

Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

Are you trying to start a fight?


Logan Bonner wrote:

Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

You made my day. ^^


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Mark Seifter wrote:
It's also fair to say that given equal access to bracers of armor and +X armor, a rogue in light armor with the same Dex as the monk will always be lower or equal to the monk's AC.

Yep, that's been established! Really happy about how Bracers of Armor work now.

My concerns are:

1. Pre-magic armor AC. I suppose d10 vs d8 on Rogues makes it a little more even, I assume Monks will have access to "Raise Shield" alternatives in Bo Staves too?

2. STR-based Monk AC. Haven't heard how STR-based Monks will survive. To clarify, I assume STR-based will have 12 or 14 DEX on creation, and would remain lower on the DEX department as they level up. As mentioned before, an Expert Unarmored Proficiency feat that grants high STR characters a small boost to AC will suffice.

Logan Bonner wrote:

Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

All great to hear! Thank you for the alignment latitude!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I do worry about his class’s AC. I wonder what their hit points are going to look like.

Mark Seifter clarified earlier that Bracers of Armor basically fix this beyond the very earliest levels (1st and maybe 2nd), at least for Dex Monks, since it starts off being the equivalent of leather armor and then becomes magic thereafter.

That makes their AC very much on par with other lightly armored characters. Higher with the right Style.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
With flurry of blows and their high movement speed, I suppose they can close distance attack and then run away. Is that how this class is meant to be survivable?

It helps, but isn't necessary.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I also don’t know how this class is going get its accuracy bonuses. Is Ki shout the way or will there really be arm wraps or whatever?
Handwraps of Mighty Fists do indeed exist, and work just like magic weapons, so yeah, those will help.

I still feel like the naked monk with bracers of armor is always going to be behind the rogue with their similarly enchanted padded armor (and well behind a Dex fighter). I suppose I would need to know the exact armor values for each kind of armor and each class’s available armor proficiency in order to really make an informed decision. edit before posting: I see the specific clarification from the devs that the rogue will come out at about equal or ahead.

For some reason, I was assuming that unarmed damage increases are going to come from the class itself given that different fighting styles seem to grant specific attack die; it made more sense to me that the class itself would just multiply the damage dice from the various fighting styles rather than relying on a magical enhancement.

Then again, I suppose that arm wraps could give accuracy bonuses and damage bonuses for non-monk unarmed fighters.

On a related note: I want to try and get dragon tail style on a barbarian somehow.


Logan Bonner wrote:

Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

This pleases me even if I never minded the lawful restriction. Yay for Hp!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Any Anathema for monks?


Secret Wizard wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's also fair to say that given equal access to bracers of armor and +X armor, a rogue in light armor with the same Dex as the monk will always be lower or equal to the monk's AC.

Yep, that's been established! Really happy about how Bracers of Armor work now.

My concerns are:

1. Pre-magic armor AC. I suppose d10 vs d8 on Rogues makes it a little more even, I assume Monks will have access to "Raise Shield" alternatives in Bo Staves too?

2. STR-based Monk AC. Haven't heard how STR-based Monks will survive. To clarify, I assume STR-based will have 12 or 14 DEX on creation, and would remain lower on the DEX department as they level up. As mentioned before, an Expert Unarmored Proficiency feat that grants high STR characters a small boost to AC will suffice.

Logan Bonner wrote:

Happy Tuesday! Here are a couple tidbits that weren't in the blog.

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

All great to hear! Thank you for the alignment latitude!

Earlier, I believe Logan commented that even strength monks would probably need to invest heavily in dex as their second stat. He also recommended that con be their third priority given that they are going to end up eating a lot of punishment.

So it seems to me like we are looking at three main builds:
Dex/wis/con: dodge wuxia monk. Hard to hit, deal okay damage, have some neat little tricksy tricks. All their saves are gonna be hella impressive too.
Str/dex/con: DPS monk that is a little easier to hit but hits hard in return. I worry that this build has little support but maybe the damage will truly be sick when we know all the mechanics at play here.
Dex/con/wis: dodge tank monk. This is pretty much the first kind of monk but with more health and fewer tricks.

Shadow Lodge

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Stunning Fist should be renamed because its titular effect occurs only on a critical hit/crit save fail combo. I understand the legacy aspect of keeping the name, but imagine new monk players discovering how rarely it actually lives up to its name.


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I really hope Ki strike scales somehow, since "1 spell point for +1 to one attack" is a thing almost no one will want to do once they get a second thing to spend spell points on.

"Spend your one feat this level to be able to do a cool thing later on at a different level with an entirely different feat" is a design idea I had hoped we had left behind in the previous edition.


Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Any Anathema for monks?

Possessions?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Jinjifra wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Any Anathema for monks?
Possessions?

Better boost that will save then, since Protection from Evil probably needs to be up-cast to be effective now.

Liberty's Edge

Secret Wizard wrote:

Yep, that's been established! Really happy about how Bracers of Armor work now.

My concerns are:

1. Pre-magic armor AC. I suppose d10 vs d8 on Rogues makes it a little more even, I assume Monks will have access to "Raise Shield" alternatives in Bo Staves too?

If they take the Feat for weapons they can do that, yeah. I'm not super worried about this, as the Bracers that just count as Leather Armor sound like you can probably afford them by 2nd level, making this a very transitory issue.

Secret Wizard wrote:
2. STR-based Monk AC. Haven't heard how STR-based Monks will survive. To clarify, I assume STR-based will have 12 or 14 DEX on creation, and would remain lower on the DEX department as they level up. As mentioned before, an Expert Unarmored Proficiency feat that grants high STR characters a small boost to AC will suffice.

It sticks at one or two points lower, yes. A Str-based AC enhancer Feat thus seems very possible.


Logan Bonner wrote:

Monks have 10 + Con mod HP per level.

Monks have no alignment restriction.

I take back everything i said.

wtf, i love Monk now.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Yep, that's been established! Really happy about how Bracers of Armor work now.

My concerns are:

1. Pre-magic armor AC. I suppose d10 vs d8 on Rogues makes it a little more even, I assume Monks will have access to "Raise Shield" alternatives in Bo Staves too?

If they take the Feat for weapons they can do that, yeah. I'm not super worried about this, as the Bracers that just count as Leather Armor sound like you can probably afford them by 2nd level, making this a very transitory issue.

It is akin to, but actually not as big as the whole "I built my armored character's Dex to work well with full plate's max Dex but I am 1st level and can't afford full plate yet, just chain mail."


Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Any Anathema for monks?

I'm guessing Vows could be a thing later on, but they mentioned that there was only one anathema that was a huge mechanical impact, but one which carries high mechanical benefits as well. This leads me to believe that Vows will be a future thing, if the exist.


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Sammy T wrote:
Stunning Fist should be renamed because its titular effect occurs only on a critical hit/crit save fail combo. I understand the legacy aspect of keeping the name, but imagine new monk players discovering how rarely it actually lives up to its name.

Does stunning fist look like it has some weird potential now? It looks like you can use it all day, but costs 2 AP and probably wont' stun. I was not impressed on the first glance then I realized that with flurry of blows being two attacks for 1 AP and can be used any point in your turn means if you want to just stand there and slug it out you can get three attacks at 0/ -2/ -6 somewhat reliably, make any rogue in your party very happy, and possibly set up a much nastier debuff.

Liberty's Edge

Excaliburproxy wrote:
I still feel like the naked monk with bracers of armor is always going to be behind the rogue with their similarly enchanted padded armor (and well behind a Dex fighter). I suppose I would need to know the exact armor values for each kind of armor and each class’s available armor proficiency in order to really make an informed decision. edit before posting: I see the specific clarification from the devs that the rogue will come out at about equal or ahead.

No, he said the Monk always came out equal or ahead. Not the Rogue. Big difference.

The math on light armor is actually pretty simple. Light Armor maxes at +2 AC, and the Bracers at +1 (both plus magic bonuses). Both add Dex. Both add Proficiency.

However, the Monk gets better AC Proficiency than anyone else (except Paladin). Since that seems to stay a full +1 higher than anyone else's at least, which makes up for the armor difference compared to the Fighter, and probably more than makes up as compared to the Rogue. Yeah, the Fighter can get to Legendary Armor somehow, but the Monk can then go Crane Style and still be on par.

What they don't get is the equivalent of anything beyond light armor, which encourages high Dex quite a bit.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
For some reason, I was assuming that unarmed damage increases are going to come from the class itself given that different fighting styles seem to grant specific attack die; it made more sense to me that the class itself would just multiply the damage dice from the various fighting styles rather than relying on a magical enhancement.

Nah, that would have huge economic issues. Making things symmetric on this level is much better from a balance standpoint.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Then again, I suppose that arm wraps could give accuracy bonuses and damage bonuses for non-monk unarmed fighters.

They can indeed.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
On a related note: I want to try and get dragon tail style on a barbarian somehow.

That does seem super fun, I'll grant you. :)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
It is akin to, but actually not as big as the whole "I built my armored character's Dex to work well with full plate's max Dex but I am 1st level and can't afford full plate yet, just chain mail."

Let's not get into Zen Archer "Wow I have this great WIS-to-attack ability, I should really build around that, but it comes online at 3rd level..."

Don't really get the hysteria myself, a STR build will always be a few points behind DEX build in AC... Shocker? Nothing to fix there.
It sounds like the fiddly numbers will be easily tweaked from playtest data simply by moving proficiencies around by level.
If anything it sounded like Monks were a bit too tough in AC department, shrugging off 'should kill them' CR encounters...
EDIT:Since the goal is for systemic math to consistently hold, 'should kill them' CR encounters should, in fact, kill them.
Although that can as much be a factor of calibrating monster abilities & action economy, as simple numeric stats.

Paizo Employee

Quandary wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It is akin to, but actually not as big as the whole "I built my armored character's Dex to work well with full plate's max Dex but I am 1st level and can't afford full plate yet, just chain mail."

Let's not get into Zen Archer "Wow I have this great WIS-to-attack ability, I should really build around that, but it comes online at 3rd level..."

Don't really get the hysteria myself, a STR build will always be a few points behind DEX build in AC... Shocker?
It sounds like the fiddly numbers will be easily tweaked from playtest data simply by moving proficiencies around by level.
(if anything it sounded like Monks were a bit too tough in AC department, shrugging off 'should kill them' CR encounters)

Don't make the zen archers cry, Quandary. My first adventure was First Steps: Part 1, and I didn't own a bow. I used unarmed strikes with my 14 Strength. It got worse when the group sent me into the <redacted> to scout and I wound up having to fight all the <redacted> alone with my fists.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Excaliburproxy wrote:


So it seems to me like we are looking at three main builds:
Dex/wis/con: dodge wuxia monk. Hard to hit, deal okay damage, have some neat little tricksy tricks. All their saves are gonna be hella impressive too.
Str/dex/con: DPS monk that is a little easier to hit but hits hard in return. I worry that this build has little support but maybe the damage will truly be sick when we know all the mechanics at play here.
Dex/con/wis: dodge tank monk. This is pretty much the first kind of monk but with more health and fewer tricks.

I had a huge success with Strength 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10. If I was a dwarf, I could have had Cha 8 and 18 in either Con or Wis, which would have been even better.

Quote:
On a related note: I want to try and get dragon tail style on a barbarian somehow.

Hmm, that would be awesome on a dragon totem barbarian for maximum dragonation! Animal totem barbarians can already do things of similar magnitude based on their animal.


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Sammy T wrote:
Stunning Fist should be renamed because its titular effect occurs only on a critical hit/crit save fail combo. I understand the legacy aspect of keeping the name, but imagine new monk players discovering how rarely it actually lives up to its name.

But that's exactly true to the legacy of 1e monk players discovering how rarely the 1e stunning fist lives up to its name!

But yeah it should be called Disabling strike or something.


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Hi, I'm a monk. My special abilities are called Ki Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a cleric. My special abilities are called Domain Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a wizard. My special abilities are called school powers and allow me to cast spells.

Anyone else see the resemblance to 4th edition and the way they made every class homogenized, boring and the same?


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Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

Hi, I'm a monk. My special abilities are called Ki Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a cleric. My special abilities are called Domain Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a wizard. My special abilities are called school powers and allow me to cast spells.

Anyone else see the resemblance to 4th edition and the way they made every class homogenized, boring and the same?

This is so general that it resembles any TTRPG, not just 4e DND.

You can make the same assertations with martials.

"Hi, i'm a Fighter. My special abilities include Training and allow me to hit things hard.

Hi, i'm a Rogue. My special abilities include Sneak Attack and allow me to hit things hard.

Hi, i'm a Monk. My special abilities include Flurry of Blows and allow me to hit things hard."


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Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

Hi, I'm a monk. My special abilities are called Ki Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a cleric. My special abilities are called Domain Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a wizard. My special abilities are called school powers and allow me to cast spells.

Anyone else see the resemblance to 4th edition and the way they made every class homogenized, boring and the same?

Hi, I'm a Fighter. My special abilities are called combos and don't even remotely resemble spells.

Hi, I'm a Rogue. I don't really have any special abilities unique to me, but I can do twice as many of the special abilities that everyone has access to.

Hi, I'm a Barbarian. My special abilities might be magic, but they might not be, and either way they operate on a boom/bust system rather than any point expenditure.

In the future it might be wise to pay attention to all of the class blogs so you don't make a fool of yourself.

Paizo Employee Designer

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I mean, it also is equivalent to how you'd summarize PF1 if you just replace "and allow me to cast spells" with "allow me to use spell-like abilities," assuming you are using the unchained monk.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

Hi, I'm a monk. My special abilities are called Ki Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a cleric. My special abilities are called Domain Powers and allow me to cast spells.

Hi, I'm a wizard. My special abilities are called school powers and allow me to cast spells.

Anyone else see the resemblance to 4th edition and the way they made every class homogenized, boring and the same?

Those used to all be spell-like abilities. Did you find Wizard getting uses per day that compelling?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I still feel like the naked monk with bracers of armor is always going to be behind the rogue with their similarly enchanted padded armor (and well behind a Dex fighter). I suppose I would need to know the exact armor values for each kind of armor and each class’s available armor proficiency in order to really make an informed decision. edit before posting: I see the specific clarification from the devs that the rogue will come out at about equal or ahead.

No, he said the Monk always came out equal or ahead. Not the Rogue. Big difference.

The math on light armor is actually pretty simple. Light Armor maxes at +2 AC, and the Bracers at +1 (both plus magic bonuses). Both add Dex. Both add Proficiency.

However, the Monk gets better AC Proficiency than anyone else (except Paladin). Since that seems to stay a full +1 higher than anyone else's at least, which makes up for the armor difference compared to the Fighter, and probably more than makes up as compared to the Rogue. Yeah, the Fighter can get to Legendary Armor somehow, but the Monk can then go Crane Style and still be on par.

What they don't get is the equivalent of anything beyond light armor, which encourages high Dex quite a bit.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
For some reason, I was assuming that unarmed damage increases are going to come from the class itself given that different fighting styles seem to grant specific attack die; it made more sense to me that the class itself would just multiply the damage dice from the various fighting styles rather than relying on a magical enhancement.

Nah, that would have huge economic issues. Making things symmetric on this level is much better from a balance standpoint.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Then again, I suppose that arm wraps could give accuracy bonuses and damage bonuses for non-monk unarmed fighters.

They can indeed.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
On a related note: I want to try and get dragon tail style on a barbarian somehow.
...

That bolder text actually said the opposite of what I meant x3

I am typing on my phone and I changed the sentence once or twice so it came out weird. I have since edited my original post.

Also, rereading the article, I see that all references to increasing damage due were actually either at level 1 or conditional on landing flurry of blows. I wond how that damage die increase will interact with the “weapons” you get from different fighting styles.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also, rereading the article, I see that all references to increasing damage due were actually either at level 1 or conditional on landing flurry of blows. I wond how that damage die increase will interact with the “weapons” you get from different fighting styles.

Same as with fist or any other unarmed attack. If you get polymorphed into a dragon, it will work with those unarmed attacks too.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


So it seems to me like we are looking at three main builds:
Dex/wis/con: dodge wuxia monk. Hard to hit, deal okay damage, have some neat little tricksy tricks. All their saves are gonna be hella impressive too.
Str/dex/con: DPS monk that is a little easier to hit but hits hard in return. I worry that this build has little support but maybe the damage will truly be sick when we know all the mechanics at play here.
Dex/con/wis: dodge tank monk. This is pretty much the first kind of monk but with more health and fewer tricks.

I had a huge success with Strength 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10. If I was a dwarf, I could have had Cha 8 and 18 in either Con or Wis, which would have been even better.

Quote:
On a related note: I want to try and get dragon tail style on a barbarian somehow.
Hmm, that would be awesome on a dragon totem barbarian for maximum dragonation! Animal totem barbarians can already do things of similar magnitude based on their animal.

That seems like a very respectable strength-first stat spread. For some reason, I was expecting the “4th best stat” to end up in a somewhat more dire position. Perhaps I should withhold my exact judgement on the state of MAD for the monk until I know all of the rules for attribute progression.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Perhaps I should withhold my exact judgement on the state of MAD for the monk until I know all of the rules for attribute progression.

Flagged for wrong forum...


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


So it seems to me like we are looking at three main builds:
Dex/wis/con: dodge wuxia monk. Hard to hit, deal okay damage, have some neat little tricksy tricks. All their saves are gonna be hella impressive too.
Str/dex/con: DPS monk that is a little easier to hit but hits hard in return. I worry that this build has little support but maybe the damage will truly be sick when we know all the mechanics at play here.
Dex/con/wis: dodge tank monk. This is pretty much the first kind of monk but with more health and fewer tricks.

I had a huge success with Strength 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10. If I was a dwarf, I could have had Cha 8 and 18 in either Con or Wis, which would have been even better.

My concern is early on, when the STR Monk has 12 or 14 DEX and no Bracers of Armor.

Quandary wrote:
Don't really get the hysteria myself, a STR build will always be a few points behind DEX build in AC... Shocker? Nothing to fix there.

My concern is being 3 points behind a Rogue until you can afford Bracers of Armor (which I assume are a flat +2 base). Thematically, that sounds like a disconnect. Mechanically, it's asking to get destroyed.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


So it seems to me like we are looking at three main builds:
Dex/wis/con: dodge wuxia monk. Hard to hit, deal okay damage, have some neat little tricksy tricks. All their saves are gonna be hella impressive too.
Str/dex/con: DPS monk that is a little easier to hit but hits hard in return. I worry that this build has little support but maybe the damage will truly be sick when we know all the mechanics at play here.
Dex/con/wis: dodge tank monk. This is pretty much the first kind of monk but with more health and fewer tricks.

I had a huge success with Strength 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10. If I was a dwarf, I could have had Cha 8 and 18 in either Con or Wis, which would have been even better.

Quote:
On a related note: I want to try and get dragon tail style on a barbarian somehow.
Hmm, that would be awesome on a dragon totem barbarian for maximum dragonation! Animal totem barbarians can already do things of similar magnitude based on their animal.
That seems like a very respectable strength-first stat spread. For some reason, I was expecting the “4th best stat” to end up in a somewhat more dire position. Perhaps I should withhold my exact judgement on the state of MAD for the monk until I know all of the rules for attribute progression.

We're generally pretty sure that attribute progression is +2 to four stats every 5 levels, +1 if it's already 18 or higher. So that looks like a level 10 setup, starting with 18/16/12/10/12/10 or the like, and going to 19/18/14/10/14/10 (Str, Dex, Con, Wis) at 5, and then to 20/18/16/12/16/10 (Str, Con, Int, Wis) at 10.


Logan Bonner wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also, rereading the article, I see that all references to increasing damage due were actually either at level 1 or conditional on landing flurry of blows. I wond how that damage die increase will interact with the “weapons” you get from different fighting styles.
Same as with fist or any other unarmed attack. If you get polymorphed into a dragon, it will work with those unarmed attacks too.

I figured. However, I was more wondering if the level 9 mechanic was more along the lines of “you do an extra die of damage if both hit” or “you do an extra d8 if both hit”. The latter version of the rule would tend to favor “agile” fighting styles while the former would maybe be a little but better balanced between “agile” and “heavy” attacks (since the lower accuracy of the second iterative attack will be made up for by the higher die of added damage).

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