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I intend to put something up on this in the next week or so but there are some interesting subtleties to Druid AC advancement.

Firstly, its easy to write off the single attack ACs (such as those with Bite or Tail attacks). Actually these get much more effective at 9th level when they get a second attack through Multiattack. Also, in general these attacks are more effective when the creature can only make a single attack in a round as they tend to deal more damage. This comes into play more often than you'd think and is further enhanced by buffs such as Greater Magic Fang and Haste which favour attacks with more damage from the primary attack.

Tyrannosaurs are king of the DPR tables past 8th and that’s even before adding in Animal Growth which makes them true beasts....

The dinosaur ACs are in general pretty interesting actually and, although in general a little more fragile than their mammal counterparts, tend to have much better natural armour.


Senevri wrote:
Lokai wrote:

good policy but do know what problem is? putting a CR 11 monster on a random encounter chart for level 4 characters... most you guys should be facing is maybe a CR 8 at the most. a CR 11? thats over the top and silly, your not winning that fight regardless of what you do.

No, no, no, no.

Some of the encounters need, nay, MUST be way beyond the party's capability to handle.

However, the DM shouldn't force them to be straight combats, either. Diplomacy, hirelings and whatnot should be perfectly valid options.

NO, NO, NO, NO.... NO.

Clearly you don't understand. The party should ALWAYS have a way of handling the situation even if that means running away, surrendering etc. Otherwise there is no point to the two-way interaction that make Roleplaying games what they are. If you, as a GM, want to 'win' you just have to say "The meteor strikes close by and all life is extinguished in an isntant". The problem is, that isn't very fun....

Majuba wrote:

A cleric can use his domain slots for metamagicked versions of his domain spells. An extended Heat Metal would use up the Cleric's 3rd level domain slot.

A cleric can also simply use a higher level slot for a lower level domain spell if desired.

Ok, that makes sense I guess.


Am I correct in assuming that you can't apply a meta magic feat to a domain slot if it's a spell that's not on your spell list normally?

e.g. A cleric with the Fire domain can't extend his domain slot for Heat Metal?


My experience from playing many different systems over the years with varied players and DMs is this;

There are no such things as tiers with a good DM. End of story. Good players help of course, but it all depends on the guy/gal in charge.

I won't say its easy, especially with strong willed players (and even more so if they're selfish) but the DM holds ALL the cards.

Wizards are Tier 1 and no one gets close to them? But how can that be when they don't have any spells? or they're taken down in the first round of the fight? or the spells they do have are often being stolen? or much more simply, when the types of things the party has to do actually have some things that only other classes can do, like disable traps, climb walls, heal people, grapple things....

If you do dungeon crawls with groups of monsters in rooms there to be killed or your Dm can't deal with the players or scenario then I can see it being a problem. Personally I wouldn't play in those games....


Dragonchess Player wrote:
tejón wrote:

My formula for rend chance is different... you need both the main hand and the off-hand to hit, so you need to calculate the total hit chance for each hand separately, then compound them for the chance that both hands hit. (You got it right that for each individual hand you get the total chance of a single hit by compounding misses instead.) The formula used by my spreadsheet would come out as follows:

(1 - (0.45 * 0.7 * 1 * 1)) * (1 - (0.45 * 0.7 * 1))
(The redundant *1's are for higher iteratives)

= (1 - .315) * (1 - .315)
= .685 * .685
= .469225, or 46.9225%.

I thought I was missing something. That does make Power Attack marginally less effective, especially since Two-Weapon Rend "[deals] an additional 1d10 points of damage plus 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier." As far as swapping Two-Weapon Rend for Critical Focus, it's the 10th level Combat Style bonus feat; taking Greater Two-Weapon Fighting for a third iterative off-hand attack at -10 is even less effective (8.8725 vs. 12.8122 even with +6 on attack and damage rolls from Favored Enemy). The 9th level feat choice is between Improved Critical and Critical Focus, which is no choice (increase kukri criticals by +100% or all criticals by +20%).

Revised results, plus Favored Enemy stats:

Two-Weapon Fighting: +17/+12 (1d4+8, 15-20/x2) and +14/+9 (1d4+8, 15-20/x2) and rend (1d10+9, 69.7225%)
DPR vs. AC 24 = (.7 * (10.5 + (.3 * 10.5))) + (.45 * (10.5 + (.3 * 10.5))) + (.7 * (10.5 + (.3 * 10.5))) + (.45 * (10.5 + (.3 * 10.5))) + (.697225 * 14.5) = 9.555 + 6.1425 + 9.555 + 6.1425 + 10.109762 = 41.504762

Cheetah (using PA): +9 (1d6+9) and +9/+9 (1d3+9)
DPR vs. AC 24 = (.3 * (12.5 + (.05 * 12.5))) + (.3 * (11 + (.05 * 11))) + (.3 * (11 + (.05 * 11))) = 3.9375 + 3.465 + 3.465 = 10.8675

Total DPR = 41.504762 + 10.8675 = 52.372262

Against a +2 Favored Enemy: +19/+14 (1d4+10, 15-20/x2) and +19/+14 (1d4+10,...

So basically the build/DPR that I put up a couple of weeks ago? ;)

Oh well, I guess you did do the Cheetah.....


Roger, Human Ranger 10


Ability Scores:

STR: 22 (+6) (14 base, +2 racial, +2 level +4 belt)
DEX: 15 (+2) (15 base)
CON: 12 (+1)
INT: 10 (+0)
WIS: 13 (+1)
CHA: 8 (-1)

HP: 79 HP (10d10+20)

Saving Throws
Fort: +10 Ref: +11 Will: +8

AC: 23 - Touch 13, Flatfooted 22 (+10 +1 full plate, +1 dex, +1 Amulet of Natural Armor, +1 Ring of Protection)

Attacks: Kukri +17/+17/+12/+12, d4+8 dmg (15-20/x2)

Class Abilities:
Two Weapon Fighting
Improved Two Weapon Fighting
Two Weapon Rend
+some other class abilities

BAB: +10 CMB: +16 CMD: 28

Power Attack
Weapon Focus (kukri)
Double Slice
Improved Critical (kukri)
Heavy Armour Proficiency
Iron Will

Some stuff

Two +2 kukris
Belt of +4 str
+1 Mithral full plate
Cloak of Resistance +2
Handy Haversack
Amulet of Natural Armor +1
Ring of Protection +1

Ok, so here we are. Christmas, colds and over-indulgence have done their best to stop me posting this but I finally got there...

My manual calculations seemed to be about right although I was forgetting the extra DPR from improved critical.

Normal DPR is 41.5 rising to a pretty impressive 92 against 1st favoured enemy (72.8 versus 2nd and 55.88 versus 3rd).

41.5 DPR gives +1 to hit: +2.73 DPR, +1 to damage: 2.99 DPR
92 DPR gives +1 to hit: +5.46 DPR, +1 to damage: 3.77 DPR

Power Attack is switched off for favoured enemy higher than 3rd as it supplies higher DPR.

I've probably forgotten a couple of details here and there but the DPR should be correct.


I don't have time to detail the math at the moment (and therefore take this as merely a very rough guide) but I'm getting DPR of about 38 for a Ranger (Roger) with Kukris two weapon fighting and a huge 90(ish) when applied to highest favoured enemy.

NOT using Power Attack is actually better as far as I can tell if not going up against a favoured enemy as the boost from Two Weapon Rend is better than the PA bonus.

This is before adding in Animal Companion which might bring the basic, non-favoured enemy, DPR up to something semi reasonable.

Feel free to disagree/ignore (as its unproven) - I'll try and post a build later.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Hap Hazard wrote:
This tier system says only one thing to me: Your DM isn't trying hard enough.
Or that we've become so accustomed to it being the DM's job to fix everything, all the time, that it never even occurs to people that the system itself can be improved. We excuse any rules deficiencies, no matter how egregious, by saying "well, my DM's good enough to fix them!" But we don't intentionally buy leaky plumbing as an excuse to brag about our plumber. I often wonder why this is different.

Apologies as this is off topic but I really can't help myself...

It is a game system not some exact representation of real life (which might be a little difficult!). It has to deal with magic which is, by its very defintion, outside the normal bounds of what is possible. If the rules limited magic to only effectively doing what melee characters do (damage) then you might get closer to a balanced system but that would be oh so very dull. Consequently the DM is there to add balance and manage things otherwise you may as well just write your own list of what monsters you've killed, what phat loot you've collected and pat yourself on the back for being so very heroic.

In D&D casters are the sine wave of the character classes. As the DM you have to manage their troughs as well as their peaks (not to mention the angular frequency :) You wouldn't think about creating one big encounter a day where the monsters were all bunched together within a 20 foot radius and had vulnerabilty to fire....

I'm not saying its easy but it is necessary to make a good game that all the players enjoy....


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A Man In Black wrote:

No. I made a build with no defense whatsoever, in return for a 10% DPR increase over pure melee for about 1/2 of a business day. Level-appropriate foes drop him in one full attack and he doesn't return the favor. I don't think it's a viable build, just as str rogue isn't viable. I could make a falchion fighter who wears a cloth shirt and has a +4 weapon and +4 str belt, but what's the point? I dun messed up and made an unplayable monk and skewed things out...

You really do have it in for monks don't you? ;) I don't really see what the issue here is. As usual, the monk lags behind on AC (that's one of the things I would have changed in PF but balancing is difficult) and thats easily (and usually) sorted by bracers or Mage Armour.

The HP are similar to many of the builds here, the saves are better and the Monk has much more in the way of extra powers/utilities.

I think it's funny that you set the thread up to be a DPR comparison and then disqualify the Monk for being "too squishy" when you're not really looking at the overall picture.


A Man In Black wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
(maybe the weakest right now, but Alchemists are coming soon).



However, is the offensive output that can be achieved with a Monk more than you thought? I was surprised how much damage per round could be achieved.

(Sorry for threadjack)

I dunno. I'm doing the math now.

2nd level Monk, about to go 3rd, and I own the glory for killing the bad guys and that's with at least two tanks in the group. Glass canon, but with some judicious positioning I'm not too much of a drain on the cleric (although I do get healed the most).


This tier system says only one thing to me: Your DM isn't trying hard enough.

It essentially says "Spellcasters are better than anyone else". In general terms, taken out of context there is some truth that spells are very potent, but in a game where the DM is there to help balance these things there's really no excuse to have characters being wildly different in effectiveness.

Many people have put Monk at the bottom but I have seen, time and time again, Monks be incredibly effective - partly because the DM wrote good encounters. Equally I've seen wizards destroy the party by being too trigger happy and being reduced to limited capability as they'd run out of spells.

If every encounter you run is the only one for the day, spellcasters tend to be pretty powerful! What happens when their rest is broken, what happens when they can't get their spell components, what happens when, fighting the big tribe of Orcs the word goes round to "Kill da Wizard furst"?

Everything looks so simple on paper.....


Quijenoth wrote:

Like in my previous post It doesnt matter where the shield is it is still an off-hand attack...

PRD wrote:
Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a light shield, using it as an off-hand weapon.

Good catch - I'd missed that.

You might well be right Ftr 20 would be as good although I still like the idea you can hold something in your hand (a weapon). Could you interchange attacks with that weapon and unarmed?


Quijenoth wrote:

TWF will allow him to only attack with his shield as an offhand attack because his unarmed strike is not allowable as an offhand weapon per the monk unarmed strike entry.

I think this is at the nub of it. Does the entry mean a Monk cannot use an unarmed attack as an offhand weapon or that it doesn't matter whether he does or not as they are all considered the same (thus the concept that he always deals full str damage with all unarmed attacks?). If that is the case (and I'm not sure that it is) then merely swap the unarmed attack to the main hand and the shied to the off-hand.

The primary reason for having the shield in the main hand was for the extra damage with the shield (large) and the fact I wouldn't need to take Double Slice as all monk unarmed attacks are at full str bonus.

What I like about the build is the decent to hit bonus and damage output because of weapon training (unarmed and spiked shield are in the same group) and the ability to mix and match in other limbs for flexibility and combat maneuvers.

If you retain the monk ability to keep something in your hands you could also have a weapon in your 'unarmed' hand as well.


concerro wrote:

You can only use FoB with unarmed attacks. I dont know if its legal or not to combine TWF with FoB, but I do know FoB is a full round attack meaning you are doing it for the entire round.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham) as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat). For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus is equal to his monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus.


If the FoB itself is a full round attack you have no room left to TWF seperately since TWF'ing is only used during full round attacks itself. If you try to use the sword and shield during the FoB you are violating the rules of FoB.

In short you can't use the anything other than a monk weapon while using FoB.

Concerro, once again, I'm NOT using FOB. In any way. At all. No FOB is being used here. I'm using TWF.

kikai13 wrote:
So are you wanting to attack with the shield and then use FOB with your other hand and feet, head, etc. all in the same round? Or do you just want to have the shield there for defense?

No, the point is you're NOT using FOB, you're TWF (and hence able to use the Shield feats to keep defence nd still attack with it.

You're TWF with your other hand, feet etc....


Iczer wrote:

As I see it.....

Phlmore, the Gnomish Marauder (Monk 5, Illusionist 2) has...
1) A BAB of 4
2) Uses a BAB of 6 for flurry of blows
3) has a dagger in each hand
4) The two weapon fighting feat. In ADDITION to the FoB.

In a given melee round he could:
a) attack with two daggers. This gives him +2/+2
b) Attack with a foot and a dagger at +2/+2
c) Attack with just his feet (unarmed strike) and as he only has monk weapons in play he uses +4/+4/+1 and can spend Ki for an extra one.

In short, unles he gains some sort of very special weapon, he has next to no use for regular 2WF.


Er....more like...

Monk 1/Ftr 19

has BAB of 19, lots of feats to spend on weapon focus, weapon specialisation and combat maneuvers.

Gets +4 to attack, damage AND combat maneuvers with his unarmed strikes AND the shield as they're both in the close weapon group. Is in Spiked armoured plate (also in the Close weapon group for grapple attacks) so has a high AC, moves at full speed in armour and retains his his armour mastery feature that gives DR 5/-



Draeke Raefel wrote:
I think you are missing the spirit of the rule... It didn't allow you an attack with your other hand probably due to the amount of concentration needed to hit the exact spot you are aiming for... Trying to do it while adding a foot doesn't seem like it follows the way the rules are meant to be played. However, RAW it is probably legal. As always, if you can get your dm to go with it, *shrug*

Yes, quite possibly you're correct although the old swashbuckling movies were full of swordsmen kicking away/tripping/punching their enemies whilst fighting with a rapier.

As I said it's cheeky..... :)


kikai13 wrote:
It is still somewhat unclear to me what exactly you are wanting to do. Why does it matter to you if you can use the two together--what is the end result you want for your character? Letting us know that might aid in getting a proper response to your question.

OK, that would probably help although there are some sub-questions that are relevant in their own right, secondary to the specific build I have in mind...

Monk 1/Ftr 19

Take the TWF chain of feats all the way to get 7 attacks. For Weapon Training take "Close Weapons" as your primary choice.

Use a spiked heavy shield in your main hand and keep your off-hand empty for unarmed strikes.

Wear a monk robe to get d8 unarmed damage for your unarmed attacks

As you're a monk you can not only use your off-hand for unarmed strikes you can also use your feet to make trip attacks or other strikes.

You can disarm/trip/ even sunder etc with your 'off-hand' with all the bonuses from Weapon training to your CMB and damage.


What do you think about this...

Elven Monk 16/Duelist 4

Very easy to get the pre-reqs into Duelist.
Serious combat maneuver monks have a 13 int anyway so a high int shouldn't be an issue.

Duelist abilities are highly synergistic with monk requirements.
Canny Defence (+4 AC)
Improved Reaction (+2 Init)
Improved Mobility (+4 AC v's AoO)
Parry (Nice in certain situations and you have lots of attacks anyway when you flurry)
Combat Reflexes
Grace (+2 Reflex saves)

and here's the really interesting bit. You can use a Siagham, flurry and precise strike as it's a piercing weapon light weapon and, given you're a monk, you won't be attacking with your other hand but a foot, elbow etc.

Cheeky as hell but I think it would work.... :)


Draeke Raefel wrote:
I think I would rule that you can use an off hand unarmed attack even with something in your off hand( by using knees, elbows, feet ). However, if a shield is in your off hand you would lose the shield bonus to AC for that round as you would be contorting your body into positions that make the shield ineffective for defensive purposes. ( i.e. you can't really keep the shield up and try to kick someone in the head at the same time. )

What happens if the shield is in your main hand? ;)


The Grandfather wrote:
Hap Hazard wrote:

I can see that its one interpretation that, given FOB effectively gives the TWF chain, a monk cannot take TWF feats but its doesn't say that anywhere and I'd say its far from clear from other rules elsewhere.

After all a non-monk can take TWF and choose to use an unarmed or an armed strike for his off-hand attack.


Monks can take the TWF feat, they are just not able to combine it with FoB.

If you chose to attack with weapons other than the special monk weapons, you could use the TWF feat (meeting ALL rules that apply to TWF)

Actually I don't understand why you can't use monk weapons with TWF. You just wouldn't get the advantages that come with flurry of blows (being able to mix in unarmed and monk-weapon strikes as you're not FOB).

In any case, this is my interpretation, but the next point is that if you can use TWF can you use any limb to make the off-hand attack (lets assume for the moment that the off-hand is empty and therefore effectively an unarmed strike)

The Grandfather wrote:

... the answer is: only if your off-hand is empty.

Two weapon fighting allows you to make an attack with the off-hand weapon. If you are holding a weapon in your off hand you must use that weapon. If your off-hand is empty you can make an unarmed strike. Since all limbs can be used for unarmed strikes you can kick or headbutt as an off-hand attack, only if your off-hand would otherwise be able to do it.

If you are holding a double weapon, or a one-handed, or a light weapon in your off-hand you can still combine it with unarmed strikes. The unarmed strike must however be the primary attack and can be a punch (if the primary hand is free), a kick or headbutt while the off-hand attack is made with the off-hand weapon.

[EDIT: Personally I might be inclined to allow off-hand kicks even if the character does not have the off-hand free. But it would depend on the situation and I would never allow it in combination with two-handed attacks]

Well you might begin to see where I'm going with this with your edit...

Hmmm. The issue is partly in the wording of the unarmed strike text -"There is no such thing as an off-hand strike for a monk". Does that mean a monk can make an off-hand attack with any limb (what it seems to suggest to me) OR that as there is no such thing as an off-hand attack taking the TWF feat is incompatible for a monk? (or both!).


riatin wrote:
It's my understanding that FoB is TWF built into the monk class using the monk's HD as BAB. Using that assumption, TWF will always be inferior to FoB as it falls behind using the monk's BAB (it's stated right there in the description of FoB). Due to this fact I would say no, a monk cant apply TWF to unarmed attacks, but can when using non monk weapons, just as others have stated.

It's not a question of whether it's inferior or not, it's whether its possible.

I can see that its one interpretation that, given FOB effectively gives the TWF chain, a monk cannot take TWF feats but its doesn't say that anywhere and I'd say its far from clear from other rules elsewhere.

After all a non-monk can take TWF and choose to use an unarmed or an armed strike for his off-hand attack.


Paul Watson wrote:
If you're a monk, you use flurry for unarmed attacks. Therefore, the answer to your question is, no.

Sorry, that's not correct. A monk does not HAVE to flurry to use an unarmed attack otherwise how could they attack unarmed as a standard action (or, for that matter, even a full-attack usng their BAB)?


Paul Watson wrote:
Hap Hazard wrote:
Draeke Raefel wrote:
Umm... flurry of blows basically gives the monk the two-weapon fighting feats...

Yes of course, so therefore does FOB mean a character with monk levels can't take TWF separately as a feat?


He can, but he can't combine the two. With a monk weapon or unarmed, he's better off going with the flurry as he gets a BAB bonus. But if he wants to wield two short swords (not a monk weapon) he'd need the feat.

It's not the combining of the TWF and Flurry I'm interested in its the abiliy for the monk to make unarmed attacks with different parts of the body.


"Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved
Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be
with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk
may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is
no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking
unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus
on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes."

So, using the TWF feats, not FOB, can I strike with a leg for my off-hand attack?


Draeke Raefel wrote:
Umm... flurry of blows basically gives the monk the two-weapon fighting feats...

Yes of course, so therefore does FOB mean a character with monk levels can't take TWF separately as a feat?


I'm playing around with a Ftr/Monk build (to be posted shortly).

If a character has monk levels AND the TWF feats can they make their off-hand atacks with legs, head, elbows etc (as they're a monk) or does TWF specifically tie a character to the use of the off-hand weapon slot (i.e. the hand or what's in it) for the off-hand attack?


hogarth wrote:
Hap Hazard wrote:

Yeah, it is tempting but for the moment I'm going to stick pure monk as I ant to keep my Monk Special Attack DCs as high as possible throughout the build.

What attack DCs are you talking about? Note that Stunning Fist's DC is based on character level, not monk class level, and likewise for Gorgon/Scorpion Fist. The only DC that's based on monk level is Quivering Palm (which is a bit of a dud anyways, IMO).

Yeah, I suppose I meant QP and then the affect the lost Monk levels has on other abilities.

DM_Blake wrote:

Besides, INT 7 characters are easy to roleplay. Heck, you can just sit there and play with a Game Boy, ignoring the game around you (adds to the plausible deniability if you have to make a decision - it's easy to make bad intellectual decisions if you don't know what's going on). Just occasionally grunt or drool and you're golden...

I don't even think a 7 stat is that bad. If you take 3d6 as a guide to what average people are like you're in the bottom 15% of the population. Not that bad really, one in seven people are about this stupid/weak/clumsy etc.

And there are lots of way to roleplay low int - A lack of imagination, slow to learn, reckless etc. All good fun to muck around with IMHO.


OK, this is where I've got to;

1 Toughness
1 Guisarm
1 Dodge
2 Combat Reflexes
3 Weapon Focus: Unarmed
5 Mobility
6 Improved Disarm
7 Spring Attack
9 Lunge
10 Improved Trip
11 Power Attack
13 Improved Sunder
14 Medusa's Wrath
15 Vital Strike
17 Improved Vital Strike
18 Improved Critical
19 Critical Focus

I took your advice and changed out Improved Grapple for Dodge. I think grapple is situational enough that I'd be willing to take the AoO rather than spend a feat.

With that done it seems a shame to be spending my 10th lvl bonus feat on Spring Attack when, with the purchase of Mobility, I can take it anyway at 7th. I'd probably rather do without mobility but I think its worth it to be able to get Improved Trip at 10th.

I've refactored Weapon Focus back in, delayed Power Attack and changed out a couple of the higher level feat choices.

I could take Vital Strike at 9th in place of Lunge and with Imroved Trip in there I'm not sure how useful Lunge will be. It does offer some potentially interesting options with threat zones however.

I'm also not convinced about Improved Crit but I was struggling with better choices at 18th and 19th.

What do you think?


addy grete wrote:
Hap Hazard wrote:

Great feedback Addy, thanks.

I did consider the vital strike chain but I thought the eventual reach of 15ft would mitigate the circumstance issues around cleave/great cleave.

Now you make me wonder if you can use two different weapons with cleave. As in, one opponent is 5' away so you use an unarmed attack, and the next one is 10' away (but adjacent to the first) so you use the guisarme (to trip or whatever). The feat description seems to allow it. Nice idea if it works, I hadn't thought of that; I assumed that you had to keep the same weapon.

That was my assumption which gives it a little more flexibility I think.

Having said that I'm not convinced either the cleave route or vital strike are worth the investment as Spring attack won't work with either and I think that will be the preferred method when I'm not flurrying. Perhaps Vital Strike at higher level once the damage dice are better?

grasshopper_ea wrote:

You have another option to get some nice feats and the weapon. You could take 5Ftr/15 Monk, weapon training, monk weapons, wear a monk belt/robe/whatever it is now to get the...

Yeah, it is tempting but for the moment I'm going to stick pure monk as I ant to keep my Monk Special Attack DCs as high as possible throughout the build.

Yeah on the critical maths, you're right - error in my excel sheet - Doh! :)

I'll have a look and repost tonight...

addy grete wrote:

Strength is the way to go for monks. You'll outkill the other melee types, as they will either stand frozen after failing a will save (or worse) or won't be able to match your damage output, or the enemies will surrender, weaponless.

I'd strongly suggest the vital strike chain instead of cleave and great cleave, especially if your DM will try to make opponents flank you or makes enemies spread out to avoid the fireball formation; it's uncommon that cleave kicks in and is a better choice than flurry, great cleave is an event like an eclipse so pretty much a waste of a feat. You'll have so many attacks anyway while flurrying that you won't feel the need for them. Cleave/great cleave is for single weapon fighters mostly. Doubling or tripling the dice on a monk attack with vital strike is a considerable benefit. Weapon focus unarmed and spring attack are good ideas. I don't care for the critical feats for a monk; 20x2 seems to not make them worth it. With stunning fist having all kinds of effects as you level up I don't see the need for staggering critical. See if you can get improved natural attack (BAB 4), most DMs allow it and it stacks nicely with vital strike. Improved disarm is a winner for a monk and highly frustrating for DMs as you can capture the weapons in your hands; I don't care much for grapple and bull rush. I'd delay power attack and take spring attack sooner (10th). Medusa's sounds good but in practice rarely kicks in so you can wait until 14th -- either you'll kill it quickly anyway or it will have a fort save so high that you won't stun them. However as you level up the DC on stunning fist increases so maybe at 14 you'll see a good return for it. Consider dodge and toughness.

Great feedback Addy, thanks.

I did consider the vital strike chain but I thought the eventual reach of 15ft would mitigate the circumstance issues around cleave/great cleave.

So I understand correct does Vital Strike only kick in when you're making a single attack? The feat wording seems a little ambiguous to me...

I really wanted to get weapon focus in earlier but was short on slots – I should probably reconsider this.

What you say makes sense for Spring Attack/Medusa’s Touch. I had wondered whether the latter would be as useful as it sounded. It’s that temptation of extra attacks, I’m a sucker for them!

Improved critical. Hmm. I think if my calculations are correct the %age increase in average damage going from a 20/x2 to a 19-20/x2 is about 18-20% (depending on strength bonus, ac your trying to hit etc) whilst the boost from 19-20/x2 to 17-20/x2 is about 30-33% so yes, significantly more. Still a 20% boost in damage output isn’t to be sniffed at and its only one feat…

Staggering critical. Well certainly not Worthing if you don’t take Improved Crit. Possibly not worth it anyway. I’ll see if I can swap it out for something more useful.

I can see that grapple is very situational but it’s a 1st level choice so there’s not that much else to choose from (although the character does have a low Ac so Dodge might not be a bad choice and I quite fancy Nimble moves) and it does have its uses.

I'll definitely take Improved Natural Attack if I can...

Anyway, lots for me to be going on with!


Fake Healer wrote:

I like it but for one thing. Improved Sunder.

Dms love when a player takes Imp Sunder. Basically it's a good way for a player to reduce the party's wealth before they get it and by taking it at 15th level you are basically guaranteeing that everything you sunder is magical (except for Spell foci, component pouches, and holy symbols which is still a viable option).
I would ditch improved sunder and just go with something else or move up the following feats and adding a final one to the list.

Yes, that's a good point although it seems to me there should always be non-magical stuff around even if its just leather armour, shields etc... It helps that our GM isn't the most generous in the world.... :)

Chris Parker wrote:
Given how their damage ramps up, I'd still say that finesse based is probably the way to go - particularly given that they get fewer hp than fighters. While the concept is certainly interesting, after not many levels your character will be far better unarmed than with his weapon of choice. Frankly, I reckon a fighter is generally a better choice for armed combat.

Oh I agree that in general A fighter is better at armed combat. However its the extra advantages that having a weapon gives in addiiton to the unarmed approach that I like.

Remember I can still fight unarmed with the Guisarm in my hands (and I intend to) it just increases my options. Oh, and I intend to use a net, bolas and possibly whip as well at times, all unproficient of course, but then some sort of attack is often better than none...

I've played a finesse monk before and I want to see how str-based monks compare. I think they'll stand up quite well to fighters who will pip them on attack rolls and be about the same for unarmed damage. The monk just ha all that oher syuff they can do as well :)

Ardenup wrote:

If you want to free up a feat (and you're allowed) dump cleave, great cleave and take 'snap kick' from TOB. General feat that requires improved umarmed strike. You get to make 1 extra unarmed attack at your highest BAB at the end of any standard attack action or full attack. -2 to your BAB when you use it.


I'll ask about that but I think I'll probably be restricted to core for the moment. Great Cleave does have some nice possibilties as well.

Sprith wrote:

Also note, Weapon finesse would allow you to use your dex instead of str on attack rolls when unarmed. In addition this thread over here:

Weapon Finesse on Special Kinds of Attacks
Has James saying that weapon finesse combined with a combat manoeuvre that works with weapons allows you to use dex instead of str on the cmb check. That’s essentially two feats in one! All the goodness of weapon finesse and you essentially also get partial usage of the acrobatic manoeuvre feat.

Hmm, interesting. However This particular build uses the Guisarme for reach to avoid AoOs and so Weapon Finesse isn’t applicable. Also, it wouldn’t allow me to be as good a grappler.

I was a big proponent of dex-based monks in 3.5 but in Pathfinder the focus seems to be even more on Monks as damage-dealers through their number of attacks and FOB bab. Consequently whilst I still really like the idea of a dex-based build (and I’m not 100% sure of this yet) I believe the Strength-based route is the one to go if you want to be effective as a melee combatant.

hogarth wrote:
If you can use something out of the Legacy of Fire player's guide, you might consider taking Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Meteor Hammer instead of MWP: Guisarme. It's a reach weapon that's a trip and disarming weapon, too, and it even gives you a +1 shield bonus to AC when you're wielding it.

That sounds great although I'm not sure our DM would allow it as he's sticking to core pretty much at the moment I think.

I looked closely at taking levels of another melee class but I just couldn't square the loss of high level monk abiltities and inherent -1 to class DCs (not to mention the issue of having to wear a monks rob to get 2d10 damage or the loss of 10ft speed).

The Grandfather wrote:

Looks interesting.

I am not sure I would go for either the Cleave feats or Guisarme proficiency.

I would focus more on flurry and maybe even some Greater xxx feats.

I would take improved initiative as well.

Yeah, the cleave feats I'm not 100% sure about but the reason I chose them was to give some extra attack power for when I'm moving and attacking. Reach (especially with Lunge) means I have a good chance of getting two or more foes whee I would otherwise only get one. Those extra attcaks can also be combat maneuvers for added fun...

I'm starting a monk in Pathfinder and, as always, am looking for a slightly different approach. I like the idea of having the character have flexibility without using lots of feats whilst maximizing the potential of the basics (damage, lots of hits, mobility).

The rest of the party includes a fighter, rogue, wizard, bard and druid. Not all are present every time we play.

It's a 15 point buy...

Human Monk
Str 18
Dex 14
Con 13
Int 7
Wis 14
Chr 7

Feat Progression

1 Toughness
1 Weapon Proficiency: Guisarm
1 Improved Grapple
2 Combat Reflexes
3 Power Attack
5 Cleave
6 Improved Disarm
7 Great Cleave
9 Lunge
10 Medusa's Wrath
11 Improved Critical
13 Weapon Focus: Unarmed
14 Spring Attack
15 Improved Sunder
17 Critical Focus
18 Improved Bull Rush
19 Staggering Critical

I want to be able to trip, disarm, grapple and sunder (in particular) but I didn't want to compromise on Strength, nor spend too many feats on improved xxx so i could add some other interesting feats to the character.

The basic principle here is using the Guisarm to attack from range to avoid AoO until Lung kicks in and I can use Flurry with a 10ft reach. Eventually the character takes Improved Sunder as unarmed damage and adamantine fists is very nice for sundering.

The biggest issue here is AC (I can just about live with the puny skill allocation), especially when cleaving or lunging but I intend to use the fighter and later the druid as protection wherever possible :)
His damage output should be pretty impressive and even without the Improved feats he should have a good chance of most combat manoeuvres working. Great Cleave is going to make me a target at times but the combination of a reach weapon and unarmed attacks should give me some protection with AoO as enemies move in.

T O wrote:

"An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you." (emphasis added)

So, if somebody tries to trip from outside the target's threatened area, the target can't take their AoO.

Ok good. That's what I thought.



Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere (in which case simply direct me to the thread please) but is there clarification anywhere on whether using lunge to make combat maneuvers means your target doesn't get an AoO if they don't have reach?

E.g. I have lunge but not improved trip and attempt a trip against an enemy 10 ft away....



Doesn't this preclude the unarmed natural attack idea?;

"A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks."


I've spent a fair amount of time comparing the fighter and monk as I'm looking at playing a monk in our new pathfinder campaign. My conclusion was that Paizo have done a good job balancing the classes - the differences are as much about flavour and style as anything else.

The damage output of the classes is remarkably similar. A fighter can match the monk for number of attacks (but has to commit to some dex spend) and weapon training keeps up nicely with the monk’s unarmed damage.

The biggest difference is in AC. The fighter is ahead all the way on this a monk has to commit a lot of gold to keep his ac in any decent state.

Something else I found interesting was where the advantage in combat manoeuvres lay. Monk’s get access to some cool feats without the prerequisites but unless you make the investment in Intelligence you’ll never get the greater versions and even then the cost is feat heavy.

A fighter on the other hand can actually rely on reach weapons to get to make some nice trips and sunder attempts without fear of an AoO although lunge evens this out a little later on anyway.

I want to see how the reliance on FOB plays out in-game as I suspect it will hurt a monk at higher level to stand toe-to-toe with some of the higher damage-output monsters and being sneaky and or mobile on the battlefield seriously impairs a monk’s ability to lay down damage. Having a tank in the party to soak up some attention I think will make a big difference.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
It's a tradeoff, like all things. There will be times when you miss the maneuver by two points. There will be times when you can't use your reach on the opponent. And times where the opponent has reach as well. In those times, having the feat would be handy. Other times, you'll be fine.

True but I think the times when having those feats is worthwhile isn't worth the expenditure.

I can disarm, sunder and trip (4 feats including expertise assuming you'll have Power Attack) at a mere -2... and some situational inconveniences.

Perhaps the +4 from 3.5e would have been better...


I've been looking at creating a monk like melee combatant using more traditional melee class lvls such as Fighter and Ranger.

One of the things I've noticed is that, really, unless you want to pursue the Greater version of the feats there's not a lot of point taking the improved feats if you use a reach weapon (and quick draw).

At reach your opponent can't strike you with an AoO and you can drop the weapon to avoiding screwing up.

An added benefit to this in a points buy campaign is that you don't have to 'waste' points on Int.


Eric Mason 37 wrote:

I'd suggest not bothering with disarm.

"Attempting to disarm a foe while unarmed imposes a –4 penalty on the attack."

Tripping is generally considered to be the most useful thing to take. Getting grapple too wouldn't be a bad idea either IMO, nice for grabbing wizards you've managed to catch.

I think Sunder will outdo Disarm, especially at higher levels.

Trip is pretty good, it really is, and even makes a 13 Int tempting...


I'm starting a monk and am looking at the pros/cons of the combat meneveurs and their respective feat trees. For the moment lets forget stats (I was considering a low int which would preclude the top tier of the combat-expertise sub feats).

Bull Rush

I like the idea of this CM but it's pretty situational and there seem better choices.


Pretty powerful for a monk as you have a decent chance of taking your opponents weapon and at the very least they'll provoke an AoO if/when they pick it up.


A great way of taking one creature (like a spellcaster) out of the combat but potentially not the fastest way to take down an opponent and you're more vulnerable to other attacks made against you.


More or less redundent with Acrobatics?


I actually really like this. At low levels it's going to be tricky to make it work against heavy armour or metal weapons but it will still be effective against wooden shields, leather/hide armour and wooden-hafted weapons. At higher levels it seems peretly feasible to be able to destroy/break even metal armour and, with Greater Sunder, carry over some damage to your oppponent too.


Good for keeping your opponent to one attack a round and for that AoO when they get up (if they get up). Greater Trip adds that little bit more with an AoO as they go down. Do you really need the Greater version of the feat however?


Going to be hard to make this work effetively with a Monk I think. Better options elsewhere.


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