Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)
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Get ready to shake up your game! Within these pages, the designers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game unleash their wildest ideas, and nothing is safe. From totally revised fundamentals like core classes and monster design to brand-new systems for expanding the way you play, this book offers fresh ideas while still blending with the existing system. With Pathfinder Unchained, you become the game designer!

Pathfinder Unchained is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder Unchained includes:

  • New versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes, all revised to make them more balanced and easier to play.
  • New skill options for both those who want more skills to fill out their characters' backgrounds and those seeking streamlined systems for speed and simplicity.
  • Changes to how combat works, from a revised action system to an exhaustive list of combat tricks that draw upon your character's stamina.
  • Magic items that power up with you throughout your career—and ways to maintain variety while still letting players choose the "best" magic items.
  • Simplified monster creation rules for making new creatures on the fly.
  • Exotic material components ready to supercharge your spellcasting.
  • New takes on alignment, multiclassing, iterative attacks, wounds, diseases and poisons, and item creation.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-715-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Some of the suggested mechanics are worth the entire price

5/5

Automatic Bonus Progression is enough to justify the entire price of the book. Better versions of the Rogue and Monk, as well as fixes to the summoner and streamlining the barabarian seal the deal. There is a lot of other good stuff in here as well. Well worth it!


Upgraded Mechanics!

5/5

I love the idea of this book, I wish this happened more often. They took what they saw wrong with their game and spent proper time and effort to come up with proper solutions. It's pretty rare for a company to spend this much effort on tweaking things. The new proposed mechanics for combat and skills are unique and great ideas to help customize your groups' gaming experience.
I hope they release more books like this in the future. I've love for more variations for multiclassing, and I'm still waiting for a summoner archetype that removes the class summon monster ability and focuses more on the eidolon.
Highly recommend it, especially for anyone interested in how someone goes about making a gaming system. It provides awesome insights.


Fantastic product

5/5

It's been a while since it took me so long to digest a Pathfinder book, and boy, did Unchained ever keep me digesting. More optional rules than you can shake a stick at, to be implemented in modular or wholesale fashion, to tweak your game to your heart's content, and with top-notch art throughout, to boot. Excellent work by Paizo and one of their finest offerings in a while.

As for the negatives, the only thing I can really point out is that the writing can be somewhat scattershot and unfocused in a couple of reasonably complex sections, which would have benefited greatly from examples or bolded formulae.


Love The Options

5/5

This book is a great addition. Options are optional, and it's great that this book has so many. It really makes customizing a campaign easy. Of you'll like you never use every option, or likely even half of them in a single you play or run, but having them really gives you a great toolbox to use. Some people are finicky about house rules, so having an official batch of "house rules" to choose from is nice for people who prefer to stick to official products. No book is perfect, but being this book isn't really being forced on anyone (of course I suppose none of the supplements are), and that is a giant bag of options that you can pick and choose from to enhance the game, for those who'd like it enhanced, I give this product 5 stars, especially if I am comparing it to the usefulness of the average Pathfinder product.


Great Options for Pathfinder

5/5

I'm a huge fan of the rules options in Pathfinder Unchained. They do a great job of creating fixes to some of the potential issues with the Pathfinder system without upsetting the entire rule system.

I'm one of those weird people who loved playing my TWF core rogue through all 11 levels of PFS, but I have to admit that the unchained rogue is an improvement. I also actually prefer the unchained summoner to the base summoner; even though the new one may seem less powerful, it's more thematically appropriate. I'm considering playing a summoner for the first time.

I've been using some of the alternate rules systems in my Hell's Rebels campaign, and I like how they are working out. I'm using automatic bonus progression at least in part because I know some of my players like to ignore the Big 6, or spend all their gold on +6 stat items as soon as possible to the exclusion of other items. This way I know their AC is still going up, and they'll end up more balanced. I can now also let them craft---using the much more engaging dynamic item creation rules---without worrying too much about wealth by level.

Some of the rules I wouldn't personally implement. I feel like alignment affirmations will just lead to alignment arguments at the table, and in my experience, multiclassers don't need the boost from partial base attack bonus increases. But I am glad that these options exist for tables that want them.


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Rhedyn wrote:
Protoman wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I find the idea that changing one save from good to poor renders the entire class concept moot to be fascinating.
Such a phenomenon is usually accompanied by cheese and the world's smallest violin.

eh. Saves are ridiculously important as core central mechanics of a class.

It would be like the fighter going from full BAB to 3/4ths BAB.

If that's your equivalent, then you shouldn't have a problem of a monk going from 3/4 BAB to full BAB and only losing one good save out of the original three.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I also wonder how anyone would view full BAB, all good saves, the usual array of bonus feats, and an improved flurry as anything other than complete dip-bait? It's not like two levels of monk weren't damn appealing before, and this would be... well, a lot better.


I think someone somewhere asked about the simplified casting at some point?

Okay. This is basically only for prepared casters with lots of spell levels. Your three highest spell levels? You still prepare them, as shown on the simplified casting table. Besides Cantrips/Orisons, all of your other spell slots and spell levels are now covered in your Pool. Your Pool is actually a tiny little amount of spells per day, but you can use your Pool to spontaneously cast ANY spell of the appropriate spell level range you know, or for prepared casters without spells known, spells on your spell list.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I guess it could be neat and simpler, but I feel it's way too weak an option. A little flexibility in exchange for far less spells per day. I guess the main draw would be "Wow look at that. I don't have to prepare 40 spells, just 16." I definitely believe that everyone who already reigned supreme with prepared spells will likely wish to play as usual.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Jinete wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Jinete wrote:

The weapon finesse stamina entry seems a bit strange... it reduces your to hit penalty for using a shield :o

It almost looks like it should belong to another combat feat.

Nope! Weapon Finesse does not play well with shields. An often forgotten part of it is that you subtract the ACP of your shield from your to-hit rolls. A Mithril Shield usually fixes that, though.
I know about the ACP but I'm trying to think of ways for this trick to be actually useful. So far all I can think of is using a tower shield and still be able to attack. I was hoping for something less situational than this.

It's situational, but the trick does help the finesse fighter in the 'prisoner escaping situation'.

He gets out of the cell/chains and finds that this isn't Dragon Age legends where the gear is kept right next to the cell. He drops a guard, wearing 'Roman standard issue' gear (leather armor, small steel shield, gladius) He can finesse the blade just fine, but really wants the AC. So he grabs the shield too. Stamina will help if he wants the bonus to hit. (plus he can use stamina to Weapon Focus/Specialization the gladius) It works as a nice backup.

Like I said, situational, but nice.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
It's not like two levels of monk weren't damn appealing before, and this would be... well, a lot better.

And even then, sacking two levels is often too great of an opportunity cost for it to be worth it.


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Quote:

*Reads Dabbler's review"

*Cries*
The Unchained Monk was basically the only reason I was considering purchasing this book. From what I can see, none of the core problems were fixed, and in some ways the class was actually WEAKENED.
WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Rhedyn wrote:
Protoman wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I find the idea that changing one save from good to poor renders the entire class concept moot to be fascinating.
Such a phenomenon is usually accompanied by cheese and the world's smallest violin.

eh. Saves are ridiculously important as core central mechanics of a class.

It would be like the fighter going from full BAB to 3/4ths BAB.

The core concept of the Monk is a warrior trained in martial arts.

There are a couple more common tropes in there: he's also trained to live in harmony of mind and body; he can break a bunch of planks of wood with his bare hands; he can spend days without eating; he can use mystical powers to walk on walls --- but all of these are secondary in contrast to the primary one: he's a guy trained in martial arts.

Usually, they will require high Wisdom to make the most of their training. They also have several features to improve their mental resilience. But it is not absolutely necessary to the core concept of a dude who knows martial arts.

Contrast with the old Rogue:
- Has poor Fort and Will saves
- But wait, the concept of the scoundrel (the core concept) involves her being cunning and vigilant! How can she have such low Will saves?
- There's some tools to help you out on that if you think it's so important: Slippery Mind, Hard to Fool...
- But wait! The concept of the scoundrel usually involves her being good with poisons, being able to drink a lot of booze... why does she have such low Fort saves?!
- There's Iron Guts to help you out fulfill that fantasy.

HOWEVER, the Rogue was always so hard pressed for Rogue Talents to fulfill basic functions of their class (such as a viable non-suicidal way to deal sneak attack or boosting their AC) that they were never able to pick up those talents to let the concept be fleshed out. Additionally, the Rogue was pressed to put points in INT rather than WIS so they also had naturally low Will saves.

In my view, if the new Monk is so hard pressed for resources/stats that they cannot put enough points into Wisdom, AND if they are so pressed for class resources that they cannot ever take the Ki Powers to boost their Wisdom, then the fantasy will likely play them out as a low Wisdom class. If, to the contrary, the Monk receives enough stat leeway to put more points into Wisdom (for example, full-BAB and d10 HD reduces their dependency on STR/CON) and they have enough Ki Powers that they are able to place resources on Will-boosting features, then in practice they will have a good Will save and this whole point is moot.

NOW SOMEONE TELL ME WHATS THE STAMINA POWER OF MONKEY STYLE DODGE MOBILITY COMBAT EXPERTISE AND HORSE MASTER


Protoman wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Protoman wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
I find the idea that changing one save from good to poor renders the entire class concept moot to be fascinating.
Such a phenomenon is usually accompanied by cheese and the world's smallest violin.

eh. Saves are ridiculously important as core central mechanics of a class.

It would be like the fighter going from full BAB to 3/4ths BAB.

If that's your equivalent, then you shouldn't have a problem of a monk going from 3/4 BAB to full BAB and only losing one good save out of the original three.

Eh, monks were basically full BAB anyways. I'm not ok with a low will save monk, if it doesn't have an alternate means to handle those effects. I'm not Dabbler though. The Unchained monk is not the deciding factor for me.

I care far more about the rogue rewrite and how much the caster vs martial issue was addressed. If the unchained rogue falls flat on its face then that would kill the book for me.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Usually, they will require high Wisdom to make the most of their training. They also have several features to improve their mental resilience. But it is not absolutely necessary to the core concept of a dude who knows martial arts.

That is what you wanted out of a monk, not what I wanted. The monk I want has either a good will save or a means to negate the conditions that come from failed will saves.


Don't think I've seen it addressed yet, but are the Unchained Barbarian and Monk still restricted by alignment?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Kage_no_Oukami wrote:
Don't think I've seen it addressed yet, but are the Unchained Barbarian and Monk still restricted by alignment?

Yes. Or at least the Monk is.


Secret Wizard wrote:


There are a couple more common tropes in there: he's also trained to live in harmony of mind and body; he can break a bunch of planks of wood with his bare hands; he can spend days without eating; he can use mystical powers to walk on walls --- but all of these are secondary in contrast to the primary one: he's a guy trained in martial arts.

Usually, they will require high Wisdom to make the most of their training. They also have several features to improve their mental resilience. But it is not absolutely necessary to the core concept of a dude who knows martial arts.

That is the brawler, or any other unarmed full BAB. The monk is the more monastic counterpart and IMHO high Will was a must.

But you can't please everyone I Guess.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kage_no_Oukami wrote:
Don't think I've seen it addressed yet, but are the Unchained Barbarian and Monk still restricted by alignment?

They both are.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

heh didn't matter whichever save, they put low, people would have complained either way.
"Low reflex saves? Monk are martial artists, they are agile!"
"Low fort saves? Monk have trained their body to perfection!"

d10, full Bab, 2 good saves and 1 poor save is frankly not that bad.


Eltacolibre wrote:
d10, full Bab, 2 good saves and 1 poor save is frankly not that bad.

So? It doesn't fit the concept*

*Monks do not have to have a high will save, but a high will save is a way to handle the effects will saves normally generate, which is what a monk really needs.
*Also, concept as in, concept of the monk I wanted. The monk you wanted could be different and thus unchained may deliver for you.


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Nicos wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:


There are a couple more common tropes in there: he's also trained to live in harmony of mind and body; he can break a bunch of planks of wood with his bare hands; he can spend days without eating; he can use mystical powers to walk on walls --- but all of these are secondary in contrast to the primary one: he's a guy trained in martial arts.

Usually, they will require high Wisdom to make the most of their training. They also have several features to improve their mental resilience. But it is not absolutely necessary to the core concept of a dude who knows martial arts.

That is the brawler, or any other unarmed full BAB. The monk is the more monastic counterpart and IMHO high Will was a must.

But you can't please everyone I Guess.

The Brawler is your barroom brawler, your thug, your cage wrestler, etc. They are not disciplined, and have no method to boost Will saves beyond high Wisdom and Iron Will.

Furthermore: the Brawler requires high Dexterity to compensate for lower AC and good Constitution to make up for the fact it does NOT have Evasion, so it always takes damage from Fireballs and such. So he doesn't have much in way of extra stat points to assign to Wisdom.

The Monk has Evasion from early on and now d10 HD, so CON is less of a necessity for them in comparison. They are rewarded by high Wisdom so their Will saves will be affected -- so you NATURALLY get Monks with higher Will saves than other classes.

You need to appreciate the subtlety. The same applied to Rangers since day one -- notice they also have Evasion and benefits for high Wisdom, plus an incentive not to put points into Dexterity (Combat Styles and Medium Armor), freeing their stat allocation.

Rhedyn wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Usually, they will require high Wisdom to make the most of their training. They also have several features to improve their mental resilience. But it is not absolutely necessary to the core concept of a dude who knows martial arts.
That is what you wanted out of a monk, not what I wanted. The monk I want has either a good will save or a means to negate the conditions that come from failed will saves.

I don't know where you are getting that's what I want from a Monk or what.

For one, when I think of a Monk, I don't think "OH GOOD WILL SAVES"! I think "PUNCH PUNCH KICK ELBOW -- you are already dead..."

Now, a good, strong Will is part of the concept that many people have. THANKFULLY, Paizo gives you the tool to achieve that easily -- read above.

It's done subtly (Evasion + d10 HD means CON isn't that important; several benefits from high Wisdom; full BAB means you don't need 18 STR to be a good Monk; FREE TWF means you don't need 19 DEX either), but it's there.

My one concern though is Stunning Fist DCs and AC, but I'd have to see the full Monk mock up to be sure it's what I want.


Eltacolibre wrote:
d10, full Bab, 2 good saves and 1 poor save is frankly not that bad.

I think it's more the principle of the change.

On to some other things.

As to alignment and caster vs martial, there's a few different subsystems for both, but nothing in the classes section.

The alignment changes are sort of all around, but the one you're probably looking for is where alignment is basically gone, and you have loyalties. A monk for example can't have any loyalties to chaos or imbalance or anything similar. A barbarian can't have loyalties to law, order, or anything similar. You would typically start with anywhere from 1-3 loyalties, and they're sort of all around. You can basically just make up your loyalties. "Oh my loyalties are equality, justice, and above all else, the kids who live in the orphanage I grew up in." And then your decisions are supposed to be based on your loyalties rather than your alignment.

Bridging the gap between Martial and Caster? Martials get a few boosts from Stamina and whatnot. Other small things already mentioned somewhere in here. Some of the new action economy might prove interesting, but I haven't gotten to look too well at that stuff yet.

The Wounds system is interesting, and probably affects casters just a little more.

The main thing to lessen the gap between the two is the new Limited Magic system. All spells are cast at the minimum required caster level, and with the minimum required ability score. It's interesting, and they suggest using it with the esoteric spell casting stuff, but I dunno if I'd ever use this system in my main campaigns. It's in strong consideration though.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The major complaints I always saw in regards to the monk, now to be fair I didn't haunt those forums too often since I never had issues in any of my games, was that it had issues hitting and lacked maneuverability.
The Unchained Monk helps both of those issues. Wisdom will still be a decent stat since it helps your AC and as has been pointed out a higher BaB and HD help reduce the dependency on two other stats.
In regards to things that Will saves help against the two most common things that arise are Fear effects and Enchantment effects. Unchained Monk still gets Still Mind they just get it 1 level later (4 instead of 3).
One of the new Ki Powers is Diamond Mind it lets you spend 1 Ki point as a swift action to suppress a Fear effect as per Remove Fear using your Monk level as the CL, you can spend 2 points and do it even when Frightened or Panicked. Gotta be a 6th level Monk to pick it.
At level 19 Unchained gets Flawless Mind where you get to roll twice on every Will save and take the better of the two, in addition if the effect lasts longer than 1 hour then every hour you get to attempt the save again. I think that those do a pretty solid job of conveying the mental fortitude of monastic training.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Rynjin wrote:

*Reads Dabbler's review"

*Cries*

The Unchained Monk was basically the only reason I was considering purchasing this book. From what I can see, none of the core problems were fixed, and in some ways the class was actually WEAKENED.

WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

From what I can see of the review, the only thing he rated as negative was the Will save progression, which I think you had already seen earlier in the thread (not positive). So it depends on whether your conclusion would be that the class is weaker than before if it has low Will save, even if gained lots of options for ki, significant accuracy boosts (in addition to the full BAB, one thing I think no one mentioned yet explicitly is that flurry doesn't give a -2 on attack rolls, which is pretty huge), and freebie powers like flying kick.

Based on your posts, I can't be sure, but I seem to remember that you were generally of the opinion that monks had more than enough defenses, and what they were really missing was a combination of offense (particularly mobile offense) and utility. If that's the case, you may reach a different conclusion than Dabbler did. If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games. If Dabbler did that, based on his point-by-point, I don't see what he would even dislike about the monk; everything seemed to come down to the Will save.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Shisumo wrote:
Both the AC and to-hit penalties apply universally at the -2 level; it's only the increases that are rogue-specific. (Total of -4 at 4th, -6 at 8th, -8 at 16th.)

Huh.

First thing that came to my mind is a houserule that says whatever the penalty the target gets against the rogue, it gets half that against any allies of the rogue.

..but sweet sassy molassy am I stoked for this book!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's also worth noting that Dabbler's analysis of some of the monk elements is questionable at best. For example, calling the new flurry "better against high AC opponents and worse against low AC" is just flat-out wrong from level 1-7 and 11-14. It's arguable the rest of the time (an extra attack at -7 doesn't impress me much), but the math doesn't support his statement even slightly over literally 11 out of a character's total 20 levels.


Please someone kindly relate to me the Stamina Powers of:
Monkey Style
Dodge
Mobility
Spring Attack
Combat Expertise
Horse Master
Stunning Fist

Because curiosity.

Paizo Employee Designer

Shisumo wrote:
It's also worth noting that Dabbler's analysis of some of the monk elements is questionable at best. For example, calling the new flurry "better against high AC opponents and worse against low AC" is just flat-out wrong from level 1-7 and 11-14. It's arguable the rest of the time (an extra attack at -7 doesn't impress me much), but the math doesn't support his statement even slightly over literally 11 out of a character's total 20 levels.

And with just using elbow smash every time (gained at level 5, so before the differences in # of attacks arise), the Unchained Monk is actually strictly better against all ACs at all levels (personally I prefer flying kick, but elbow strike's extra attack at -5 gives the 7th attack you need in order to have an equal number of attacks, all at equal or higher accuracy). I think that mistake you mention must have been due to haste. I have chatted with Dabbler in quite a few threads even before working at Paizo, and we agreed many times, disagreed a few times, but pretty much every time he had solid and insightful analysis, backed by good math.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Rhedyn wrote:
Eltacolibre wrote:
d10, full Bab, 2 good saves and 1 poor save is frankly not that bad.

So? It doesn't fit the concept*

*Monks do not have to have a high will save, but a high will save is a way to handle the effects will saves normally generate, which is what a monk really needs.
*Also, concept as in, concept of the monk I wanted. The monk you wanted could be different and thus unchained may deliver for you.

It sounds like what you want is a defensive focused monk, which the core monk is (and archetypes can enhance). So you've already got that, and it's not going anywhere.

The Unchained Monk appears to be a take on the monk with a more martial focus that is not bound to having to full attack to be combat effective (because of full BAB and other new combat options with ki pool, etc.). You could probably even use both unchained monk and core monk in one game for people who wanted to use different focuses.

The devs aren't going to make a class that is going to have full BAB AND all good saves. They just aren't. And the monk isn't gimped all that much... give it will still have high Wisdom, still mind, and other mental defensive options. One could playtest it out, but I'd wager that the difference would be negligible.

And as it is, the point of Unchained is to encourage people to tinker and incorporate whatever rules they like or not. This isn't going to be a hard-coded book that Paizo is going to hold you down by the throat and force you to use (they don't do that anyway, but it goes double for this book). Heck, why don't you play the Unchained Monk with and without the boost/loss to Will saves and tell us how both builds work out? That would be useful.

There's a lot of fretting here about what might or might not work in theory. But what happens in practice is, in my personal experience, far more valuable...

(And on another note, from another POV, Paizo of course doesn't have to make any class anyone wants or not but the one they themselves want to use. If you don't like them making the things they want to make, then don't buy the product.)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games.

Things like this are surprisingly difficult. I know when I run games, I am extremely hesitant to change the rules. If the poor will save was not critical to the new monk, most of us would just assume that the devs would not have given monks a poor will save. Thus, there must be some secret reason the devs did it that is not immediately apparent to those of us who do not professionally develop rules.


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Our group was up for hours last night discussing the book's various options. Barbarian didn't come up much admittedly, but some of the rage powers are solid and it does simplify the math involved quite a bit (though inadvertently weakens two hand users a bit and is actually better for dualwielders).

Summoner was approved of and personally for myself it was made in a way I would probably allow it where I hadn't been. The changes to the spell list and packages for the eidolons themselves felt like a step in the right direction.

Rogue and monk stole the show for us. Not only were they thematically cool but it really felt like they both had their own niche. The rogue's debuffs are huge and some of the rogue talents were eye openers (favourite being one that lets you get a free ranged attack when initiative is rolled for a free sneak attack since no one has acted yet). Monk's changes weren't as impressive at first glance, but the flurry is undoubtedly a bit better and will have an easier time landing blows. My favourite part for monk was the ability to move during a flurry so if you drop someone you can dart over and keep hitting. Some of the abilities like headbutt and whatnot were not only thematic but extremely cool and lends itself to descriptive roleplay very well.


This talk about saves sounds really familiar.

@Rhedyn
There's been a lot of discussion about this issue in this thread, I'm curious to know what you've thought of the responses and reasons given thus far?


Shisumo wrote:
It's also worth noting that Dabbler's analysis of some of the monk elements is questionable at best. For example, calling the new flurry "better against high AC opponents and worse against low AC" is just flat-out wrong from level 1-7 and 11-14. It's arguable the rest of the time (an extra attack at -7 doesn't impress me much), but the math doesn't support his statement even slightly over literally 11 out of a character's total 20 levels.

The Core Monk's flurry generated more attack rolls than the Unchained Monk, so that means, against a low-AC opponent, the Core Monk would deal more damage, assuming the damage of the Monk was the same between the two.

--------------------------------------------------------------

@Mark, you forget that Dabbler was not overly impressed with some of the changes to the Ki Pool/powers. Namely that many of the 'constant' powers are use activated now and require ki points, but the ki pool itself is exactly the same.

Out of all of the 'pool' abilities in the game, the Monk's was the most starved. Ki Pool was already being used to power most everything the Monk had, and, more often than not, the Monk found himself quickly depleting that pool.

Imagine, for example, if the Paladin's Smite, Divine Bond and Channel all functioned off his Lay on Hands pool, without increasing the number of uses of Lay on Hands per day.

Or the Magus requiring him to spend points from his Arcane Pool every time he uses Spellstrike or Spell Combat (and double cost for using both) in addition to activating his Arcana.

Because that's how the Monk currently functions, and then the Monk went and got some more of his abilities that required the expenditure of Ki with no increase to the pool.

So now the Paladin has to use his Lay on Hands pool to power his Smite, Divine Bond, Channel, Auras, and it consumes one use per spell he casts.

The Magus now has to spend points every time he uses Spellstrike, Spell Combat, Arcana, cast a spell, cast in medium/heavy armor, and his bonus feats need to spend Arcane Pool points to be activated for a duration.

Again, neither Arcane Pool or Lay on Hands has any increase to the size of their pool, they just stay the same.

Then, just to top it all off, the changes to the Monk completely destroys the last 5 years of archetype support Paizo has released over the years, which is another huge blow.

I generally go along with what Dabble says when it comes to Monks, he and I tend to see very eye-to-eye,, so Dabbler's impression of the Monk is likely to closely mimic my own. I don't have the book yet, so I can't render my own final judgement, but as things currently stand, it's very unlikely the Unchained Monk will see much use at all with me.

I understand that Unchained is all about modifying the game and you're going to keep supporting the idea of taking Unchained and 'making it your own'... But in this day and age, I've noticed many people are very uncomfortable with the idea of changing what's printed. There's a stigma against changing printed rules, or even using 3rd party, because of so many horror stories from the past; especially when playing with older gamers.

I just don't know if the theme of 'modifying the game to make it yours' will win out with people who are unwilling or uncomfortable doing so.


DeathQuaker wrote:
The devs aren't going to make a class that is going to have full BAB AND all good saves. They just aren't.

Why not? Why would this be a more important sacred cow than the cow of monks having all good saves?

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games.
Things like this are surprisingly difficult. I know when I run games, I am extremely hesitant to change the rules. If the poor will save was not critical to the new monk, most of us would just assume that the devs would not have given monks a poor will save. Thus, there must be some secret reason the devs did it that is not immediately apparent to those of us who do not professionally develop rules.

There are good reasons for it, but those reasons express themselves in a macrocosm across many games; they don't necessarily apply in the microcosm of your game in particular, since everyone's game is different. We try to make choices that are right for the macrocosm, and with Unchained, we're putting a lot of power in your group's hands: we're explicitly emphasizing the fact that we trust you to have the unique and specific perspective to make changes that are perfect for your own group, and we're giving you as many tools and as much advice as possible to help you become better at it, and to feel confident that you can (sort of teach someone to fish in this book, rather than giving them a fish in previous ones).

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Monks are to classes what katanas are to weapons.

-Skeld

Paizo Employee Designer

Tels wrote:
@Mark, you forget that Dabbler was not overly impressed with some of the changes to the Ki Pool/powers. Namely that many of the 'constant' powers are use activated now and require ki points, but the ki pool itself is exactly the same.

Given, though, that a lot of what were previously forced class features are now on a list of possible choices, my guess is that this is less relevant than you might expect. And sometimes, I think it's actually better to have something you can turn on when desired (I'm thinking of SR).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games.
Things like this are surprisingly difficult. I know when I run games, I am extremely hesitant to change the rules. If the poor will save was not critical to the new monk, most of us would just assume that the devs would not have given monks a poor will save. Thus, there must be some secret reason the devs did it that is not immediately apparent to those of us who do not professionally develop rules.
There are good reasons for it, but those reasons express themselves in a macrocosm across many games; they don't necessarily apply in the microcosm of your game in particular, since everyone's game is different. We try to make choices that are right for the macrocosm, and with Unchained, we're putting a lot of power in your group's hands: we're explicitly emphasizing the fact that we trust you to have the unique and specific perspective to make changes that are perfect for your own group, and we're giving you as many tools and as much advice as possible to help you become better at it, and to feel confident that you can (sort of teach someone to fish in this book, rather than giving them a fish in previous ones).

Yes but I never learned to fish because I can buy fish. Many will take this book as either new variant fish or new ways to season previous fish. Some might use this book as a fishing pole or net, but not all will view it that way.


Skeld wrote:
Monks are to classes what katanas are to weapons.

Nippon Steel!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

In addition to the options presented in regards to effects that normally target will saves, for instance Diamond Mind gives the monk something new that they couldn't do before, you can still take Iron Will and Imp Iron Will if will saves are that important to you.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games.
Things like this are surprisingly difficult. I know when I run games, I am extremely hesitant to change the rules. If the poor will save was not critical to the new monk, most of us would just assume that the devs would not have given monks a poor will save. Thus, there must be some secret reason the devs did it that is not immediately apparent to those of us who do not professionally develop rules.
There are good reasons for it, but those reasons express themselves in a macrocosm across many games; they don't necessarily apply in the microcosm of your game in particular, since everyone's game is different. We try to make choices that are right for the macrocosm, and with Unchained, we're putting a lot of power in your group's hands: we're explicitly emphasizing the fact that we trust you to have the unique and specific perspective to make changes that are perfect for your own group, and we're giving you as many tools and as much advice as possible to help you become better at it, and to feel confident that you can (sort of teach someone to fish in this book, rather than giving them a fish in previous ones).
Yes but I never learned to fish because I can buy fish. Many will take this book as either new variant fish or new ways to season previous fish. Some might use this book as a fishing pole or net, but not all will view it that way.

What people do with fish in the privacy of their games tables, is their fishy business. All developers can do is provide the fish.


I TOLD YOU ALL


Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:
@Mark, you forget that Dabbler was not overly impressed with some of the changes to the Ki Pool/powers. Namely that many of the 'constant' powers are use activated now and require ki points, but the ki pool itself is exactly the same.
Given, though, that a lot of what were previously forced class features are now on a list of possible choices, my guess is that this is less relevant than you might expect. And sometimes, I think it's actually better to have something you can turn on when desired (I'm thinking of SR).

Like I said, I don't have the book, so I can't really make any final judgement. It may be I find myself pleasantly surprised.

Paizo Employee Designer

Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games.
Things like this are surprisingly difficult. I know when I run games, I am extremely hesitant to change the rules. If the poor will save was not critical to the new monk, most of us would just assume that the devs would not have given monks a poor will save. Thus, there must be some secret reason the devs did it that is not immediately apparent to those of us who do not professionally develop rules.
There are good reasons for it, but those reasons express themselves in a macrocosm across many games; they don't necessarily apply in the microcosm of your game in particular, since everyone's game is different. We try to make choices that are right for the macrocosm, and with Unchained, we're putting a lot of power in your group's hands: we're explicitly emphasizing the fact that we trust you to have the unique and specific perspective to make changes that are perfect for your own group, and we're giving you as many tools and as much advice as possible to help you become better at it, and to feel confident that you can (sort of teach someone to fish in this book, rather than giving them a fish in previous ones).
Yes but I never learned to fish because I can buy fish. Many will take this book as either new variant fish or new ways to season previous fish. Some might use this book as a fishing pole or net, but not all will view it that way.

Indeed. And I think that's a strength of the book: You can use it both ways you describe, and I'm thinking and hoping that it will be highly effective for you either way.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I TOLD YOU ALL

I kept clicking the link thinking the page wasn't loading all the way. I feel stupid.


Protoman wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If not? Just add back in the strong Will saves in your games.
Things like this are surprisingly difficult. I know when I run games, I am extremely hesitant to change the rules. If the poor will save was not critical to the new monk, most of us would just assume that the devs would not have given monks a poor will save. Thus, there must be some secret reason the devs did it that is not immediately apparent to those of us who do not professionally develop rules.
There are good reasons for it, but those reasons express themselves in a macrocosm across many games; they don't necessarily apply in the microcosm of your game in particular, since everyone's game is different. We try to make choices that are right for the macrocosm, and with Unchained, we're putting a lot of power in your group's hands: we're explicitly emphasizing the fact that we trust you to have the unique and specific perspective to make changes that are perfect for your own group, and we're giving you as many tools and as much advice as possible to help you become better at it, and to feel confident that you can (sort of teach someone to fish in this book, rather than giving them a fish in previous ones).
Yes but I never learned to fish because I can buy fish. Many will take this book as either new variant fish or new ways to season previous fish. Some might use this book as a fishing pole or net, but not all will view it that way.
What people do with fish in the privacy of their games tables, is their fishy business. All developers can do is provide the fish.

What is the bait in this analogy.

Paizo Employee Designer

Tels wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:
@Mark, you forget that Dabbler was not overly impressed with some of the changes to the Ki Pool/powers. Namely that many of the 'constant' powers are use activated now and require ki points, but the ki pool itself is exactly the same.
Given, though, that a lot of what were previously forced class features are now on a list of possible choices, my guess is that this is less relevant than you might expect. And sometimes, I think it's actually better to have something you can turn on when desired (I'm thinking of SR).
Like I said, I don't have the book, so I can't really make any final judgement. It may be I find myself pleasantly surprised.

Indeed. I hope you check it out on release date and let us know what you think!

The best I can say for now is that if you weren't likely to take purity of body or diamond body off a large menu of options that include fun things like early abundant step and qinggong powers, then you won't be affected by that part.


To the talk about the Monk, I don't have the book yet but in a scenario where we have a book that is nothing but house rules to the point where some of them don't necessarily need to work along side each other I don't see the difficulty in just adding a good Will save. I won't likely because it sounds like there are enough save related powers that can be picked up but its easy to do. Or better yet, why not just make ki scale by level rather than 1/2 level. We have a new pool of points that apparently can be fighter only, fighter gets it for free, free for everyone or everyone can access it via feat, if that pool is so modular whats to stop the GM from just giving Monks Ki at first level and frontloading a lot more ki? We have an entire book that says 'change the game, or don't, whatever you want' but we're too scared to change something in said book that is as simple as moving a number?

Also if a book full of house rules are on the table, why not third party? Legendary Games Way of Ki solved a lot of core monk problems and even then I allowed Ki to for monks to go up by level than 1/2 level because I have three other classes that get ki early and I wanted Ki to be Monk's schtick.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Malwing wrote:

To the talk about the Monk, I don't have the book yet but in a scenario where we have a book that is nothing but house rules to the point where some of them don't necessarily need to work along side each other I don't see the difficulty in just adding a good Will save. I won't likely because it sounds like there are enough save related powers that can be picked up but its easy to do. Or better yet, why not just make ki scale by level rather than 1/2 level. We have a new pool of points that apparently can be fighter only, fighter gets it for free, free for everyone or everyone can access it via feat, if that pool is so modular whats to stop the GM from just giving Monks Ki at first level and frontloading a lot more ki? We have an entire book that says 'change the game, or don't, whatever you want' but we're too scared to change something in said book that is as simple as moving a number?

Also if a book full of house rules are on the table, why not third party? Legendary Games Way of Ki solved a lot of core monk problems and even then I allowed Ki to for monks to go up by level than 1/2 level because I have three other classes that get ki early and I wanted Ki to be Monk's schtick.

Making ki scale by full level and start at level 1 sounds like a cool option! Though it might attract too many dips...Hey, maybe we can create an ad-hoc super-ki Unchained archetype. Maybe in exchange for the extra ki, it gains flurry at the level where you would normally gain ki. However, it gains ki powers every single level (!) and loses style strikes and maybe one more thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Malwing wrote:

To the talk about the Monk, I don't have the book yet but in a scenario where we have a book that is nothing but house rules to the point where some of them don't necessarily need to work along side each other I don't see the difficulty in just adding a good Will save. I won't likely because it sounds like there are enough save related powers that can be picked up but its easy to do. Or better yet, why not just make ki scale by level rather than 1/2 level. We have a new pool of points that apparently can be fighter only, fighter gets it for free, free for everyone or everyone can access it via feat, if that pool is so modular whats to stop the GM from just giving Monks Ki at first level and frontloading a lot more ki? We have an entire book that says 'change the game, or don't, whatever you want' but we're too scared to change something in said book that is as simple as moving a number?

Also if a book full of house rules are on the table, why not third party? Legendary Games Way of Ki solved a lot of core monk problems and even then I allowed Ki to for monks to go up by level than 1/2 level because I have three other classes that get ki early and I wanted Ki to be Monk's schtick.

Nah man. It's a book full of optional rules. Not house rules. Completely different.

You can only change the RAW through means the RAW allows. Less you entertain the demon of wrongbadfun. /s


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Malwing wrote:

To the talk about the Monk, I don't have the book yet but in a scenario where we have a book that is nothing but house rules to the point where some of them don't necessarily need to work along side each other I don't see the difficulty in just adding a good Will save. I won't likely because it sounds like there are enough save related powers that can be picked up but its easy to do. Or better yet, why not just make ki scale by level rather than 1/2 level. We have a new pool of points that apparently can be fighter only, fighter gets it for free, free for everyone or everyone can access it via feat, if that pool is so modular whats to stop the GM from just giving Monks Ki at first level and frontloading a lot more ki? We have an entire book that says 'change the game, or don't, whatever you want' but we're too scared to change something in said book that is as simple as moving a number?

Also if a book full of house rules are on the table, why not third party? Legendary Games Way of Ki solved a lot of core monk problems and even then I allowed Ki to for monks to go up by level than 1/2 level because I have three other classes that get ki early and I wanted Ki to be Monk's schtick.

Why not houserule or 3rd party? Because there have been many gamers in the past who have been horribly burned by houserules or 3rd party products. Then they tell stories of those kinds of games and why home-made content (like classes, spells, feats etc) are bad to new gamers. These new gamers are then brainwashed into thinking that 3rd party and homemade stuff is bad and they don't want to alter anything published outside of a few house rules here and there.

Especially when Pathfinder Society and it's "NO HOUSE RULES!" policy is such a predominant force in the gaming community, it only further reinforces the idea that house rules are bad and that if you use them, you are bad too.

Hell, one of the huge design decisions behind the whole 3rd edition rule set is to codify as much as is reasonably possible so that it removes table variation from games. This, unfortunately, also reinforced the idea that houserules/home made content is bad.

So there is 15 years of reinforcement of the new system(s) itself implying that house rules are bad, and then 20 years of gaming experience before the new system(s) with bad house rules, bad 3rd party content, and bad home made content.

Remember, humans, by nature, speak out about bad experiences, and very rarely discuss good experiences.

I have no qualm in modifying my own games, but there are many people who aren't as comfortable. I've got older gamers I play with (well, sort of) who shy away from non-1st party content because of previous experiences. So modifying the games that I play in as a PC is unlikely, but modifying the games I run is no problem.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Skeld wrote:

Based solely on the discussion, you'd guess this book was 80% Monk, 10% variant multicalssing, and 10% who cares because Monk.

There is a lot of stuff in here. A lot of really good stuff.

-Skeld

I think more words have been written about variant multiclassing in this thread than are in the book by a pretty good margin. :)


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Tels wrote:
Especially when Pathfinder Society and it's "NO HOUSE RULES!" policy is such a predominant force in the gaming community, it only further reinforces the idea that house rules are bad and that if you use them, you are bad too.

>implying that PFS isn't just organized house-rules.

Most of what PFS does wouldn't fly at a lot of tables.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Based solely on the discussion, you'd guess this book was 80% Monk, 10% variant multicalssing, and 10% who cares because Monk.

There is a lot of stuff in here. A lot of really good stuff.

-Skeld

I think more words have been written about variant multiclassing in this thread than are in the book by a pretty good margin. :)

It's funny you say that, because I downloaded my PDF yesterday expecting to see a sizable section on VMC only to find that it's 4 pages. Granted, it's 4 good pages, but still.

-Skeld


Rhedyn wrote:
Tels wrote:
Especially when Pathfinder Society and it's "NO HOUSE RULES!" policy is such a predominant force in the gaming community, it only further reinforces the idea that house rules are bad and that if you use them, you are bad too.

>implying that PFS isn't just organized house-rules.

Most of what PFS does wouldn't fly at a lot of tables.

Every game houserules whether they know it or not. There aren't any rules for standing on one leg so it's something you have to make up as you go along, even though by RAW there's no way to do it.

Though perhaps it's just the perception that the table in question "isn't playing with house rules". Were the table more aware of what constitutes "house ruling", you might see games be more lenient towards house ruling and 3pp in general.
Though maybe there should be a crash-course for judging how well a 3pp would gel with your game.

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