Lord-Mayor Grobaras

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PF2E has done great at streamlining some things.

But other things have turned the game into a page-turning search for rule references. Not a fan of that.

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The change isn't "needed" in the sense that not fixing it will break the game. The DCs are based on the bonuses, so it all works mechanically.

The issue that I have (can't speak for others) is that this blurs the line between exceptional characters and average ones, leaving us with this middle of the road situation that leaves me feeling meh since everyone can do everything. A Legend in an ability is only +5 better than someone who has no training at all.

Han Solo would be high level in a SW game, but he always blows those Bluff checks. He's just not very good at it. Being high level didn't improve his ability to lie to people.

This is the case with the Attributes too. All the extreme highs and lows have been filtered out so you're left with a lot of 16's and 18's. Meh.

MHO, anyway.

Class Powers need to have their own listing apart from Spells.


I have read through the rules but not played this yet. My group is busy with other campaigns at the moment but is looking into this for our October game nights.

That said, I have to say I'm unhappy with the way they seem to be blurring everything so that everyone is good at everything. I think that really takes away from characters who look to excel in certain areas.

Why is a Legend in an ability only +5 better than the guy who isn't even proficient in that ability?

Paizo could have blunted this some by changing the Untrained bonus to 1/2 level instead of only -2 and making the Expert/Master/Legendary bonuses stack with each other in order to get a +1/+3/+6 progression. But that's IMHO.

My group will dedicate to playtesting this by the book. But if we go forward with this system afterwards, it's going to get heavily house ruled; proficiency progression being one area.

For Untrained and Trained levels, I wish they just used the Poor and Good saves progression from PF1E; +0 to +6 and +2 to +12.

But since they are trying to preserve the +23ish bonus by 20th level for a trained skill, they could simply make:

Untrained = 1/2 level
Trained = Level
Expert = Level +2 (or +1)
Master = Level +4 (or +2 more for a total of +3)
Legendary = Level +6

A simple fix would be to mimic the Good and Poor save scales of PF1E to reflect the Trained and Untrained issue here.

That way something you are trained in nets you a +2 to +12 bonus while untrained leaves you with +0 to +6 max.

Or if that's too burdensome, just say Trained is equal to your Level and Untrained is 1/2 Level (rounded down).

The Expert/Master/Legend ranks could then either stick with their +1 each or provide a +2 each. Or they could just offer a bonus die of some type (+1d4, +1d6, +1d8 comes to mind).

Nylanfs wrote:
That $40 is a one time fee, but all your players also need a $40 license, you can get a $140 license that leys players only use the demo install.

I went with the basic license many years back, but have since upgraded to the Ultimate license so that those with only the Demo can join in my games. Since I GM quite a bit, it just made things easier in helping new people give it a try.

(harmless) is part of the description of some spells found in the Saving Throw and Spell Resistance sections.

Both Magic Fang/Weapon are listed as (harmless).

I was wondering if Personal spells were considered to be also; that maybe the Devs didn't bother to list them as such since doing so would be redundant and a waste of ink and space.

I ask because of the Rogue Talent "Spell Storing".

Spell Storing (Su):
Prerequisite(s): Use Magic Device 1 rank

Benefit(s): The rogue can store within himself a single targeted harmless spell of up to 2nd level. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action. Anytime a spell that meets these conditions is cast on the rogue, and he does not already have a spell stored, he can choose to store it rather than have it take effect immediately. Anytime afterward, as a standard action, the rogue can have the spell take effect (acting in all ways as if it had just been cast on him).

I was curious if something like Shield or Mirror Image would work (assuming the Rogue either had the proper class, wand, or scroll to cast the spell). Although they are not technically listed as (harmless), it could easily be assumed that any spell with a target of "you" is automatically (harmless).

Thanks for the input. Please hit FAQ if you haven't yet so we can see about getting a definitive response.

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Several threads have addressed the Brawler hybrid class and how it is meant to interact with the Monk's Robe. Multiple positions have been discussed, but I haven't seen a consensus with regards to specific questions before those threads either come to an end or wander off onto sidetracks.

What benefit does a Brawler gain when wearing a Monk's Robe? How does this change if the Brawler takes an Archetype that gives up his Unarmed Damage and/or AC Bonus progression (yet retains his Close Weapon Mastery class feature)?

We can certainly discuss it here with new or old points of arguments, but I'd also like to attempt getting a FAQ generated for this. Past threads have shown evidence for table variance and it'd be nice to get a definitive answer. If I'm remembering correctly, several of the past positions have been:

#1 Replace "Monk" in the text with "Brawler". Advance accordingly. Any class features traded away through Archetypes cannot be advanced.

#2 Unarmed Damage progression advances as normal, but a Monk's AC Bonus is added to the existing Brawler's AC Bonus since one is untyped and the other is a Dodge bonus. Any WIS bonus may or may not apply and the Monk bonus may be calculated at 5th level or at 'appropriate class level +5' (depending on the argument).

#3 Monk's Robe text of "as a monk" is similar to the Close Weapon Mastery text "of a Brawler". Consensus seems to be that an Archetype like Strangler who trades away his Unarmed Damage progression still retains it through Close Weapon Mastery (albeit at 4 levels lower). Translated to Monk's Robe, this means the wearer's abilities aren't treated as 5 levels higher (like some magic items are written), but he is granted specific abilities equal to a monk 5 levels higher than his level.

Relevant details:

Monk's Robe:
When worn, this simple brown robe confers great ability in unarmed combat. If the wearer has levels in monk, her AC and unarmed damage is treated as a monk of five levels higher. If donned by a character with the Stunning Fist feat, the robe lets her make one additional stunning attack per day. If the character is not a monk, she gains the AC and unarmed damage of a 5th-Level monk (although she does not add her Wisdom bonus to her AC). This AC bonus functions just like the monk's AC bonus.

AC Bonus:
Brawler: At 4th level, when a brawler wears light or no armor, she gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and CMD. This bonus increases by 1 at 9th, 13th, and 18th levels. These bonuses to AC apply against touch attacks. She loses these bonuses while immobilized or helpless, wearing medium or heavy armor, or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Monk: When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Close Weapon Mastery:
At 5th level, a brawler's damage with close weapons increases. When wielding a close weapon, she uses the unarmed strike damage of a brawler 4 levels lower instead of the base damage for that weapon (for example, a 5th-level Medium brawler wielding a punching dagger deals 1d6 points of damage instead of the weapon's normal 1d4). If the weapon normally deals more damage than this, its damage is unchanged. This ability does not affect any other aspect of the weapon. The brawler can decide to use the weapon's base damage instead of her adjusted unarmed strike damage—this must be declared before the attack roll is made.

As far as I'm aware, to date no Errata or FAQ has been published to change or clarify a Brawler's interaction with this magic item.

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I am wondering as to how this Barbarian power actually works. There has been little discussion on it here. So i figured I'd ask. Namely;

1). Is the Fort DC calculated WITH or WITHOUT any DR being considered?

2). Can this power be used to reduce ANY type of Hpt damage or only that from physical attacks (not spells)?

For #1 it seems that "damage dealt" is just that, since any damage stopped by DR isn't actually dealt. So 30 pts of rolled damage would mean a Fort DC of 20 to a Barbarian with DR 10/-. Then on success the actual damage would be 15 of nonlethal which is then reduced to 5 by the DR.

For #2 the ability does not appear to have any limiting text like a Rogue's Defensive Roll talent does. So it would appear to work against anything that causes Hpt damage.

Is this correct? Or am I missing something?

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I'm FAQ number 42.

I win!

Interesting piece of equipment. I agree it appears not to be written the way it was intended to work. Just like typos that exist in PFS Pregen characters. They have to be run the way they are published even though "everyone knows" doing so runs against established rules.

I believe most people would agree that 'loosing and readying to throw' is the proper interpretation of RAI, although it is pretty clear that the text includes throwing. Still, who enforces Jay Walking restrictions on an average day?

What I'm more curious about is the listed damage. Must it be thrown to get this damage? Can it be wielded in melee? Is doing so equivalent to a Shield Bash? And does the Bashing property translate over?

Even if you rule that fighting melee with it (performing a bash) counts as an improvised weapon, combining the Bashing property with Catch Off-Guard and Improvised Weapon Mastery would be quite a thing. Your d6 (20/x2) would become a 3d6 (19-20/x2)...all at no penalty on attacks.

Then for kicks, make it a Large shield that requires both hands to wield in melee at a -2 penalty that ups the base damage to 4d6 + 1.5 STR.

FAQed so we can get this clarified.

Not quite a full REZ here, but I'm interested in this as well.

I've always interpreted it to mean an extra 1d6 in piercing damage just for succeeding on the Grapple check.

So initiating would include 1d6 of piercing damage and any following checks to maintain would include that 1d6 plus whatever other damage you are doing with the Damage option.

So in a way I saw it sort of working like Constrict.

No one else has any thoughts on this or hasn't run into this issue?

I believe the rules are silent for a reason. Anything that is language dependent or that specifically requires audible or visual components generally makes sure to mention so. Otherwise it is left vague. Does this mean there are some holes? Sure. But it would seem to me that a Druid proficient in changing his shape, can still manage through grunts or gestures to at least Handle if not Push his animal companion. If he couldn't, then we have a class who has a key ability which then disallows another key ability.

This would be the equivalence of saying a Barbarian can't use his Trap Sense or Uncanny Dodge abilities while Raging....which would just be very poor class design if that were the case.

And I failed to mention that these specific VTT groups are running Pathfinder Society CORE games. So no Eloquence ring. :(

I've seen this asked in a few much earlier posts that didn't get a lot of responses, but I'd like to nip this before it becomes a point of argument in my VTT groups.

Can a druid who is wildshaped (therefore unable to speak) still perform Handle Animal in order to Handle and/or Push his companion?

My thought is Yes, because the skill does not say it is language dependent. Plus creating the Druid class in such a way that makes one ability shut down another ability would seem to be a poor design. But I was hoping to get others' thoughts and reasons in order to have something concrete to point to when this comes up in my VTT groups.

Imbicatus wrote:

It's perfectly clear that under the current FAQ, a spiked bashing shield does 1d8 piercing damage, because shield spikes still use "as if one size larger" and you cannot make a spiked shield without shield spikes.

I still reject that shield spikes are actually a virtual size increase, but by the RAW as defined by the FAQ they are.

I'm right there with you. What I think it SHOULD be and what the FAQ says to me are two different things.

But it would be nice to have enough clarification in order to shut down debate one way or the other.

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
brawling armor from a +1 to a +3. Wow.

This is going to be a much larger hit to my wallet than I would have liked. A +2 I could absorb. But at +3, I'm going to have to refigure future purchases to account for this.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Elbedor wrote:
JJ mentioned not liking the idea of a spiked heavy shield in the off-hand doing 2d6 damage. But a flaming longsword does even more, so I don't see the problem there.

The d6 from flaming doesn't multiply on a crit, isn't increased by vital strike, doesn't increase when enlarged, cots ~twice as much (remember armor enhancements are cheaper) Its not being the best offhand weapon thats weird, it makes a shield a contender for the best one or even two handed weapon.

I was equating 1-handed weapons in the off-hand, although neither is the best option for anyone going the TWF route.

Also keep in mind that the crit range of many weapons is a lot better than a shield's, so this helps to compensate for the lack of multiplying the flaming (or whatever extra dmg you put on there).

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The RAW on this seems pretty clear. Entries concerning Spike Shields refer back to the Spikes...which clearly indicate they are "as if".

Do I agree that this should be how it is? Not at all. JJ mentioned not liking the idea of a spiked heavy shield in the off-hand doing 2d6 damage. But a flaming longsword does even more, so I don't see the problem there.

But back to RAW, those of you arguing that Spiked Shields don't actually fall into the FAQ are splitting hairs. You're combing through minutia and ignoring the bits you don't like.

As Menacing has pointed out, the Shields tell us to refer back to the Spikes entry. If you don't like it and want to house-rule it, go for it. But like it or not (and I don't), we are stuck with the official ruling that Paizo has given us.

N N 959, I am right there with you with wanting a spiked shield and a bashing shield to stack (I had a great CORE character concept that I shelved once the FAQ came out). I'm certainly not one to try and gang up on anyone, but I just happen to read the FAQ differently than you. But then let me ask you this just so I understand.

You've pointed out that there is no "as if" language in the Spiked Shield entry. I can agree with that. I read it and the "as if" isn't there. However, we know it is in the Shield Spikes entry. I'm sure we can both agree on that. So I'm just curious how you see a difference between the two. Aren't Shield Spikes things that you put on a Shield to make it become a Spiked Shield? Because Shield Spikes aren't anything really on their own as far as I can tell.

So if A + B = C, and if A carries the "as if" condition with it, how does that disappear when you get to C? My understanding is that the "as if" is already understood to be a component of A. And when you are adding A to B, we can assume that component carries over. Therefore it becomes unnecessary to include repeating "as if" text when giving a quick description of C....because we know it came into the equation with A, was added to B, and is now part of C.

Does this make sense?

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In the other thread, I mentioned early on how I believed the idea of a Brawler archetype (who gave up his AC and Unarmed Damage) dipping into Monk and wearing Robes in order to get access to certain bonuses seemed overpowered to me. But as a PFS GM, I wasn't aware of any precedent in the rules that would disallow this. This generated a number of questions for me, the key one being the stacking of levels through the text of "counts as" in the Martial Training ability.

Hence my question here. I was asking more than just what Mark thinks it should be, but also asking for a pointer in how to interpret it...meaning if there was anything in the rules that would lend itself to supporting a specific way of reading it over another.

Thanks to you, Chess Pwn, your citing of Mark's original answer to a similar question helps to show what his opinion on the matter is.

And thanks to Kazaan's mention of the Magus rule that explicitly points out stacking (where the Brawler rule does not), this seemed to be the precedent I was looking for....which also happens to agree with a Developer's viewpoint.

So unless Mark has any further comments for this, I can withdraw my question as it has been satisfactorily answered since its posting.

Chess Pwn and the others are correct. They do not stack with regards to damage progression, but the damage type would change from bludgeoning to piercing.

Many feel it was unfortunately scooped up in the language clarification of a FAQ concerning various size changes. Myself included.

If it's worth it to you, you could always go with a Large heavy shield and bash with it two-handed. An actual size change would stack with the virtual size of Bashing. Although I've never run the numbers on that to see if the -2 on the attack and both hands being occupied is worth the increase in dice and the 1.5x in STR.

I bring this up because the wording for Monk's Robe differs from the wording for other items such as Robe of Arcane Heritage or Bane Baldric which both specify HER levels are being increased.

Gilfalas wrote:

There is an FAQ that says it is impossible to advance a class ability you do not possess. Such as if your a pure fighter and take a PrC that advances spell casting you do not suddenly GET spell casting.

You Brawler archetype gave up the HTH and AC bonus. Because of that the robe cannot advance them. It CAN advance the HTH and AC bonus of your 1 level of monk since that class DOES have those features.

That poses an interesting question regarding the Robes then. Are they advancing an already existing ability? Or are they granting an ability?

I've noticed that the text doesn't say that the wearer is treated "as if HER monk abilities were 5 levels higher." It says she is now being treated "as A monk of five levels higher."

Not sure how important that is.

Squiggit wrote:

As a note, technically stunning fist doesn't stack. It works like channel energy. You have two separate pools, how often you can stunning fist as a monk and how often you can stunning fist as a brawler.

It just so happens that since none of Stunning Fist's effects care about your class level it doesn't actually matter which one you're using at any given time.

Also I'd say a Monk 4/Brawler 4 could Stunning Fist either 9 or 10 times a day, depending on your reading, not 8.

Good point.

Kazaan, excellent point regarding #2. This is exactly the precedent I was looking for in a counterargument on this issue and it makes sense. All the apples and oranges aside, I will be able to cite this to my PFS players now.

Thank you for a direct reference. :)

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Mark, I was wondering if you could give a pointer as to how best to interpret a rule concerning the Brawler's Martial Training ability.

For reference:

Martial Training wrote:
At 1st level, a brawler counts her total brawler levels as both fighter levels and monk levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats. She also counts as both a fighter and a monk for feats and magic items that have different effects based on whether the character has levels in those classes (such as Stunning Fist and a monk's robe). This ability does not automatically grant feats normally granted to fighters and monks based on class level, namely Stunning Fist.

I embolded the key issue that I and others are having with this. The debate stems from how to interpret "counts as". Does this mean that Brawler levels in these conditions are to be "in the place of" Fighter and Monk levels? Or are they "in addition to"?

For example, does a Brawler-2/Fighter-2 qualify for Weapon Specialization? Or how many times per day can a Brawler-4/Monk-4 perform a Stunning Fist?

James Risner wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Nope, you'd have 4 levels of monk twice. So if you were Brawler4/Monk4 then the robes would make you Brawler9/Monk9 The brawler is being factored in because those brawler levels are increasing for US and AC.


If a player came to a table with the position that it was Monk 8, I'd reject that interpretation and unless he had something directly from a developer specifically addressing the question, the question would be settled.

Having 4 levels of monk twice renders Martial Training useless. There is no reason why a class ability should be rendered useless if it's not facing a similar ability in another class.

If it TRULY WAS just 4 levels of Monk twice, then you could never say a Brawler4/Monk4 gets 8 Stunning Fists per day. Getting 4 from "counts as Monk" and 4 from "actual Monk" means you are faced with two similar abilities from two different classes, which won't stack per the FAQ.

And yet everyone here so far has agreed that B4/M4 would get 8 uses per day.

So on some level you are acknowledging that the levels DO stack....before turning around and saying they don't really for the Robes.

The FAQ you keep referencing has to do with similar abilities such as Sneak Attack or Channeling or Spellcasting. This discussion does not have anything to do with similar abilities.

Martial Training and Monk Unarmed Damage are not similar abilities. So I don't understand why you keep referencing the FAQ. This discussion is not, nor ever was, about similar abilities stacking. So your argument is moot here.

The discussion is about HOW Brawler levels "count as" Monk levels. You are ok with them stacking with regards to Stunning Fist, but then you change your position and don't allow them to stack for the Robes. I'm not sure why you do this.

Also, when I create a 1st level Fighter and then reach 2nd level, if I take another level in Fighter, I am not a Fighter1/Fighter1. I am a Fighter2. This is how it works. You add together levels of the same class. This is why a Brawler2/Fighter2 qualifies for Weapon Specialization. Because in this case the 2 levels in Brawler count as Fighter levels. So you have 4 fighter levels....which is exactly what you need to qualify for Wpn Spec.

Martial Training, Unarmed Damage Progression, and AC bonus are separate and distinct abilities; like Sneak Attack and Weapon Training. I do not see a reason why they shouldn't interact under the conditions given to us in the rules.

"...her AC and unarmed damage is treated as a monk of five levels higher."

What level Monk are you basing this off of? In the case of a Brawler4/Monk4 you have 8 Monk levels here. Then you are adding 5 to that from the Robe and seeing what the AC Bonus and Unarmed Damage are.

If Brawler isn't being factored in, then why does the Martial Training ability specifically reference the Robes? There's be no reason to.

Chess Pwn wrote:
how do you see the OFFICIAL FAQ and a dev comment and still feel that you're correct?

You keep bringing up the FAQ, but it doesn't apply to the topic we're discussing. No one is trying to say that the Brawler's Unarmed Damage Progression should stack with the Monk's Unarmed Damage Progression. That is a non-issue, because we're not talking about the Brawler's Unarmed Damage Progression at all. You need to divorce this concept from your mind, because this is not what we're talking about here.

The crux of the issue is what does Martial Training's "count as" mean? You are insisting that it means to "take the place of". But where is the precedent that says you must treat it that way? If they wanted it to "take the place of", then it would say "take the place of". But it doesn't. It says "counts as"...which I can only interpret as meaning it is "treated as". If your 4 levels in Brawler are treated as Monk levels and you have 4 more Monk levels, then you have an effective 8 levels in Monk.

Assume for a moment that the Brawler never had any Unarmed Damage Progression. He still has this thing called Martial Training that is treating his levels in Brawler as if they were Monk levels for certain conditions. So if a Monk4/Brawler4 is under one of those conditions, then he is effectively a Monk4/Monk4, which is really just another way of saying he is a Monk8.

This has absolutely nothing to do with Unarmed Damage Progression. So I'm not sure why you keep pointing to a FAQ that has nothing to do with stacking (or not stacking) similar abilities. Martial Training is not a similar ability to a Monk's Unarmed Damage or AC progression.

Stunning Fist wrote:
A monk may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to his monk level...

How many times per day can a Monk4/Brawler4 perform a Stunning Fist?



Because he is considered to have 8 levels of Monk.

You understand this concept here. So why are you not understanding it for a Monk's Robe? What is the AC and Unarmed Damage that the Robe grants?

Robe, Monk's wrote:
...her AC and unarmed damage is treated as a monk of five levels higher.

A Monk4/Brawler4 has 8 levels in Monk, just like he did a moment ago when we talked about Stunning Fist. So the Robe will treat him equal to a Monk13 regarding his AC bonus and Unarmed damage.

This is all Martial Training is saying. Nobody is talking about the Brawler's separate, non-stacking Unarmed Damage Progression.

Not meaning to berate this, but another thought that occurred to me outside of the edit window:

If the text for Martial Training said something akin to "The brawler uses her Brawler levels in place of a Fighter's or Monk's when qualifying for Feats or calculating the effects of Feats and Magic Items...",

then I'd be inclined to agree with the interpretation of swapping out "Fighter" or "Monk" with "Brawler".

But this isn't what it says. It says those levels "count as"...which I can only take to mean "are treated as", which is just another way of saying "are in addition to" (existing levels).

Chess Pwn wrote:

your guesswork is incorrect.

you don't suddenly combine stuff for no reason.

The writers had two options.
option one was to rewrite every feat and item that a brawler could use and specifically say that a brawler can also use those feats or items.

Or they could say that anywhere you see the work monk you sub in brawler. This requires just a few lines to write and doesn't change anything in old book or require you to reprint those feats saying a brawler can take them.

They chose option 2.

This is the crux of the issue; how to interpret what they mean by "counts as".

You are saying it means replacing anywhere you find "Fighter" or "Monk" and substituting in "Brawler".

I am saying it means that the existing Brawler levels you have are in addition to whatever Fighter or Monk levels you have.

We have precedent of my interpretation with regards to various class features such as "Spells per Day" that many Prestige Classes have. There may even be others that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Are there any precedent cases that support your interpretation?

Because this would also affect how Stunning Fist works too. Does a Monk4/Brawler4 get to use it 4 times per day (your interpretation) or 8 times (my interpretation)?

Del_Taco_Eater wrote:

My opinion is based off guesswork, so take it for what you will.

The FAQ chess posted isn't a similar case to what we are talking about here (monk robe). It's more applicable for feats that say "fighter 4" like weapon spec. For a monk's robe you would pool brawler and monk levels and add 5.

I think the effective wording taking the brawler ability into account should be, "if the wearer has levels in (brawler) her ac and unarmed damage are treated as a monk of 5 levels higher (than her brawler level)" because the first instance of the word "monk" is the part where the magic item has a different effect based on whether or not you have levels in monk, whereas the second instance is the benefit the item provides.

Actually your "guessword" is exactly right! This is the very point that I think Chess Pwn and others are missing. We are not talking about trying to stack two separate-but-similar class abilities.

We are talking about a separate ability altogether; namely Martial Training. It specifically says that a Brawler gets to count their levels as if they were a Fighter and/or Monk for the purposes of:

#1 Qualifying for the prereq's of Feats, and
#2 Calculating the effects of Feats and Magic Items (specifically Stunning Fist and a Monk's Robe).

So this isn't a case at all about trying to stack two things that aren't stackable.

This is about how the Brawler's ability works. His levels "count as" that of a Monk when he puts the Robe on. So a Monk1/Brawler6 has his AC and Unarmed Damage calculated as if he counted as a 7th level Monk.

Maybe what is confusing is that the Brawler already has an Unarmed Damage progression and so people think we are trying to combine them. But if another class without such a progression had Martial Training, their classes would "count as" as well. This is why I gave my example of "Class A".

"Class A" doesn't have the channel ability. They are not trying to stack it with a Cleric's channel ability or a Paladin's. But in this example we'll say they DO have this ability called "Heightened Conduit" which says that "Class A" levels count as Cleric levels for the purposes of Channeling. So if you have 4 levels in "Class A", and nothing else, then this ability does nothing as your Channel ability isn't "0", but "-". The same is if you have levels in any other class but Cleric. But once you take a level in Cleric and attain the Channel class feature, now your "Class A" levels are counting as Cleric for this purpose. Now your 4 levels are adding to your levels in Cleric to calculate just how many d6's you roll.

This is exactly how the Loremaster works with his Spells per Day feature. His levels count as an existing class's Spell progression.

And this is how I'm reading Martial Training working for the Brawler. I thought maybe I was seeing it wrong because it seemed overpowered to me. But thus far in what I've seen posted here or elsewhere, I haven't been convinced that I am. Stunning Fist and others treat it this way. Magic Items must also.

I'm not sure I agree here, because you're not taking Martial Training into account.

According to that class ability, whenever you calculate the effects of Monk Robes, you have to include Brawler levels. So a Monk1/BrawlerX would have the AC and Unarmed Damage calculated as if they were 5 levels higher than 1+X. 1 level of "actual Monk" plus X levels of "counts as Monk" is the baseline level we're working from. Then we shift it 5 levels higher because of the Robes. Yes, I understand that normally we don't stack the different abilities, but this is a special case where Brawler = Monk for the purposes of the Robes. So for the calculation, you treat it as Monk1+X and then add 5.

If you don't think it works this way, then why does Martial Training specifically mention a Monk's Robe as an example? There would be no reason to mention that magic item here.

Granted this isn't how other classes treat Monk's Robes, but then those other classes don't have the Martial Training ability. So it makes sense that the Brawler gets a boost here.

I know it was mentioned by Chess Pwn and others that the purpose of Martial Training is to simply take certain Feats or magic items and remove "Fighter" or "Monk" and replace it with "Brawler". But I don't know of any precedent in the rules that would suggest this is what you are supposed to do. We know that Monk1/Brawler6 gets 7 Stunning Fists per day. I'm also pretty sure that a Fighter2/Brawler2 qualifies for Weapon Specialization or that a Monk2/Brawler7 can pick up a Feat requiring 9 levels of Monk.

So we know that "count as" doesn't mean "replace". It means "add to". Just like if "Class A" had an ability that says its levels "count as" cleric levels with regards to channeling. "A" doesn't have the channel ability itself, but levels in it count as Cleric levels, so you add them to your Cleric levels when calculating how many d6's you roll. Any number of Prestige classes work this way too, building off a caster's spell progression.

For the purposes of qualifying for Feats OR for calculating the effects of Feats/Magic items (that are based off of levels in Fighter or Monk), the Brawler includes his levels in that calculation. That is what Martial Training is telling me to do.

Saying it is Monk6/Strangler6 is not accounting for Martial Training that says the Strangler counts its levels as Monk levels with regards to certain things such as the Robes or feats like Stunning Fist.

The more general question has to do with "counts as". A Monk1/Brawler6 would be able to perform 7 Stunning Fists per day because the Brawler levels are being treated as 6 additional Monk levels atop the existing Monk1.

So why wouldn't this be the case with the Robes?

Plus no matter what I might consider overpowered or underpowered, it doesn't affect RAW. Personally I think having no size limit to what you can pin is overpowered. But that's just my opinion. I understand that by RAW if you can roll high enough you can pin it. Whatever I think needs to be nerfed or buffed can be done in a home game. But then that's another forum. :)

Ok, I read up a little more and gave it some more thought and I might see what the difference in our interpretations are. It seems to revolve around what "counts as" means.

If "Class A" can count its levels as if it were "Class B" with regards to a specific feature, what happens when a character has levels in both A and B? Do they stack in this case?

If my 4 levels in "A" can be treated as levels in Cleric with regards to channeling and I have 5 levels in Cleric, does this mean I now can channel as a 9th level cleric?

That is how I'm reading the Martial Training ability of Brawlers anyway. That is why I see a Fighter 4, Brawler 4, or any combination of Fighter and Brawler that equals 4 levels all meeting the prereq for Weapon Specialization.

So am I understanding this incorrectly? And if so, could anyone point out where a rule says it needs to be interpreted otherwise? Or is this just a grey area that's going to differ from person to person?

I understand that the class features do not stack under normal circumstances. That is not the issue I'm seeing.

Under Martial Training, it specifically says that the Brawler can treat her Brawler levels as if they were Fighter and Monk levels for the purposes of qualifying for Feats as well as for Feats and Magic Items whose effects are based on level.

So a Fighter 2 / Brawler 2 would qualify for the Weapon Specialization feat since the 2 Brawler levels are counting as Fighter levels. As far as the Feat is concerned, if you have 2 Fighter levels and then gain 2 more "Fighter" levels, that's 4 Fighter levels. So they DO stack.

Similarly a Monk 1 / Brawler 6 would be able to perform a Stunning Fist 7 times a day because as far as Stunning Fist is concerned, it is recognizing 7 levels of Monk; 1 from the Monk and 6 from the Brawler that is counting as Monk in this case.

Monk's Robe is doing the same thing here. Normally a Monk 1 / Brawler 6 would have similar unarmed class abilities that don't stack, so we just take the higher (Brawler 6 in this case). But for this specific magic item (and others like it), the 6 levels in Brawler are treated as if they were actually Monk levels....meaning the item is acting as if the wearer had 7 levels in Monk; 1 from your actual Monk level and 6 more from the Brawler levels being treated as if they were additional Monk levels.

If a class ability is saying the class counts as another class, then I can only assume that if you have levels in that other class then they add together. For example if "Class X" counted as a cleric for the purposes of channeling, then having 4 levels in "Class X" while you also have 5 levels in Cleric would mean your channeling ability would behave as if you were a 9th level Cleric.

From what you're saying, "Class X" would offer 4 levels of channeling and taking 5 levels in Cleric would offer a separate, non-stacking channel ability at 5th level. Normally this would be true. But because "Class X" is specifically saying that its levels are to be treated as Cleric levels, then we have 4 effective Cleric levels and 5 actual Cleric levels. Anyway I slice that, a Cleric 4 / Cleric 5 is just another way of saying Cleric 9.

If I'm wrong, then I'm just having a hard time seeing it any other way than this. <shrug> Maybe if other wish to chime in and point out what I'm missing here?

I was of the understanding that if you were a Monk 1 / Brawler 6, that your level counted as 7 for things such as Stunning Fist or the IUS feat and class ability of progressing unarmed damage (such that a M1/B3 would do 1d8).

Strangler removes any Unarmed progression, but his Martial Training still leaves his levels counting as Monk for certain things.

So it seems that a Monk 1 / Strangler 6 running around would only do the damage of a 1st level monk, but would be able to perform Stunning fist as a 7th level Monk. Then when something specific such as a Monk's robe is put on, the 6 levels of Strangler count as Monk here too, meaning his unarmed progression jumps to 1(Monk) + 6(effective Monk from Strangler's Martial Training) + 5(effective Monk from robe) = 12th level Monk.

But this sounded overpowered to me, hence why I wondered if I was reading it wrong. I'm not sure how else to interpret the text of Martial Training though.

So what am I missing?

Although the Strangler Archetype gives up the Brawler's Unarmed Strike and AC bonus, he retains Martial Training.

Martial Training wrote:
At 1st level, a brawler counts her total brawler levels as both fighter levels and monk levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats. She also counts as both a fighter and a monk for feats and magic items that have different effects based on whether the character has levels in those classes (such as Stunning Fist and a monk's robe). This ability does not automatically grant feats normally granted to fighters and monks based on class level, namely Stunning Fist.

So what happens when a Monk 1 / Strangler 6 puts on a Monk's Robe?

Does he gain the Unarmed Strike damage and AC bonus of a 6th level Monk?

Or does Martial Training mean he gets those features as if he was a 12th level Monk?

Chess Pwn wrote:

Mr. Pitt, anything you can make of this?

"This ability is similar in all respects to bardic performance as used by a bard of the storyteller's medium level (including interactions with feats, spells, and other abilities), and uses Perform (act), Perform (comedy), or Perform (oratory) as the storyteller's performance skill. However, a storyteller gains only the following types of bardic performance: inspire courage (2nd level), inspire competence (3rd level), inspire greatness (9th level), and inspire heroics (15th level)."

This is from an RPG line book, and says it's limited to certain perform skills, yet none of the types of performances it can do require a skill check. So why say it can only use certain skills as the performance skill if none of them need a performance skill?

This would seem to indicate that you are using the skill for bardic performance, just that the result of the check doesn't effect the mechanical strength of the performance.

Just inserting my off-the-cuff take on this.

I'd agree that this muddies things since per the CRB you can't be considered using a skill if you're not making a skill check. And to make a skill check, you must be rolling or Taking 10 or 20 and comparing the result to a DC.

So this is flying in the face of the core system on skill use that was established 6 years prior. Unless the developers wish to change how things work, it sounds like this bit of supplemental rule slipped past the editors and is in need of errata. Otherwise I don't see why the core system should be reinvented to accommodate it.

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Keep in mind that regardless of whether Bardic performance is tied to a skill, you are not actually using that skill. The rule of Skill Use in the CRB is that if you are using a skill, then you must make a skill check. As Inspire Courage doesn't require a skill check, then you are not 'using' a skill.

What you ARE doing is using a Supernatural ability that is tied to a Charisma-based skill, but that ability doesn't actually involve using that skill in the case of Inspire Courage. It can't, because to say you are using a skill and not making a check for it is breaking RAW.

Rage only restricts certain skill uses and any Abilities that require patience and concentration...none of which Inspire Courage demands. If Inspire Courage required a skill check to activate or was described as needing patience or concentration, then and only then would Rage restrict it from being activated/maintained.

But we know this is not the case.

I believe Inspire Courage falls into the same category as Channel Energy.
They are both Supernatural Abilities.
They are both Charisma-based.
Neither are described as needing patience or concentration.
Neither require skill use to activate.

This makes them ok to activate/maintain while Raging.

That sounds like a conflict between the various developers, because that text violates the CRB rule that if you are using a Skill, you must make a skill check.

As Chess Pwn points out, even though it gives various Perform skills that are used "...as the storyteller's performance skill", there aren't actually any skills being used.

This would seem to indicate that the Storyteller as a supplemental class is in conflict with the established core rules. The editors might want to clean that up sometime. Because what is the purpose of having any ranks in Act, Comedy, or Oratory if they are never actually used?

Or as dragonhunterq shows, the class may be drawing an association of some type between a skill and an ability. The key point though is that the skill is not actually being used to trigger the ability. So the Rage restriction is not being violated.

Java Man wrote:
Inspire courage stacks w rage, inspired rage does not.

And Skald is not an option for any home game or PFS game focused on CORE.

Collectively, the issue seems to be resolving here.

JJ is clear to say that he's worked on the Bard and so knows how it is designed and that the key text important to the "No Inspire while Raging" camp's argument is only fluff and not rule.

We know according to the CRB that if you want to use a skill you must make a skill check. So if you're not making a check, then you aren't using a skill.

We know Raging does not limit the use of charisma-based abilities such as negative channeling at your enemies, unless those abilities are described as requiring patience or concentration or a forbidden skill to activate.

We know that Rage's limit on skill use doesn't apply to Inspire Courage, because no skill is being used.

That said, if you haven't hit the FAQ button for this, please consider doing so. It would be nice to have a finalized answer one way or the other instead of some shade of grey.

Interesting. Brf just conceded his point to you, Darksol. But you appear to be arguing against the quote that is agreeing with you.

Although to JJ's benefit, he mentions in his following post that he was involved in the Bard's design. So I'd probably give weight to his word on this matter.

That said, if we give weight to where the Bardic Performance description says "A bard is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects...",

then we must ask ourselves, can we be considered to be using a skill if we're not rolling or Taking 10 or 20?

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