Flurry of Blows and Special Monk Weapons


3.5/d20/OGL


Since my two favorite sites for rules clarifications are either blocked by my firewall at work, or had serious database crashes, I'll ask the question here.

A monk can flurry of blws with a special monk weapon.

Lets say, a quarterstaff.

Say the monk does not have TWF. Without the Flurry, the monk would be at -4/-8 to hit when using the quarterstaff. If the monk flurries with the staff, she would be at -6/-6/-8. Correct? And if she had TWF she would be at -4/-4/-4? Correct?

Thanks


Chris Manos wrote:

Lets say, a quarterstaff.

Say the monk does not have TWF. Without the Flurry, the monk would be at -4/-8 to hit when using the quarterstaff. If the monk flurries with the staff, she would be at -6/-6/-8. Correct? And if she had TWF she would be at -4/-4/-4? Correct?

Thanks

The monk without TWF could choose to use the Quarterstaff as a simple two-handed weapon, flurrying at -2/-2 (at 1st level)

OR

The same monk could flurry with the staff and use it as a double weapon, then using the modifiers you indicate.


Thanks Bocklin. That's how I understood it, just wante dto clarify.


Chris Manos wrote:
Thanks Bocklin. That's how I understood it, just wante dto clarify.

The 2 abilities/feats are incompatible. The 2 weapon fighting entry says "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand...". Monks using unarmed strike and/or flurry of blows do not have an "off hand". The same is true when using special monk weapons. If it helps, think of flurry as a special monk-only version of 2 weapon fighting.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mathematix wrote:
Chris Manos wrote:
Thanks Bocklin. That's how I understood it, just wante dto clarify.
The 2 abilities/feats are incompatible. The 2 weapon fighting entry says "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand...". Monks using unarmed strike and/or flurry of blows do not have an "off hand". The same is true when using special monk weapons. If it helps, think of flurry as a special monk-only version of 2 weapon fighting.

while this is the ruling I use in my own home campaign, the Official FAQ has stated that TWF and flurry do indeed stack, IIRC.


No mixing flurry with two weapon fighting, at least in my games. It's too damn confusing. Likewise, nothing with more than two arms!

If a player really wanted to, I guess it's simply "one extra attack at the highest base attack the flurry normally allows, but -2 to all attacks", and half Strength modifier rather than the usual full Strength modifier.


Mathematix wrote:
The 2 abilities/feats are incompatible. The 2 weapon fighting entry says "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand...". Monks using unarmed strike and/or flurry of blows do not have an "off hand". The same is true when using special monk weapons. If it helps, think of flurry as a special monk-only version of 2 weapon fighting.

I don't think they are. There is just such an example in the "Flurry of blows" entry in the PHB, IIRC. I'll check it tonight.

Bocklin


The quarterstaff/flurry of blows example in the PHB uses ONLY the flurry ability (8th lvl +5/+5/+0) and completely ignores the 2 weapon/double weapon aspects of the staff. The only choice available to the monk is which of the 3 strikes is with staff versus unarmed.

Sovereign Court

I was wondering about this last night as I created a new Monk Character.

The quarterstaff is a 2 handed weapon. The damage is listed as 1d6/1d6 so that's 2 hits. Does that mean I roll my d20 twice and do 2 "to hits" per round? If I understand the monk weapon proficiency rule then I don't get a -2 for using the quarterstaff twice per attack (both ends)

Then, flurry of blows at 1st level is -2/-2. So are my 2 attacks at -2 each? Or does a flurry of blows give me two attacks with each end of the staff? (essentially giving me -2/-2/-2/-2 )?

I'm just kind of lost here.

So the question is: As a first level Monk, how many hits do I get with a quarter staff and is there a penalty on the d20 to hit roll? Then, when I add in flurry of blows how many hits do I get at what penalties?

I really like the Monk character, but the quarterstaff + flurry thing has me baffled.

Thanks for your advice and clarification.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

you know what would help clarify this issue for everyone?

a final comprehensive list of, including to hit bonus numbers, all the attack options available to a monk at level 1 with monk/non-monk special weapons and TWF and flurry

it would instantly make it clear to everyone reading just exactly what is going on and how to calculate the bonuses

so, who's gonna take the first crack at this?


I think the differnce is that flurry assumes that you are only using one end of the staff or if you have two say kamas that you are using the one in your primary hand. TWF assmues you are using both ends of the staff or a weapon in each hand. So at first level a flurry would be -2/-2 with the primary end of the staff or TWF -4/-4 with each end of the staff. I know the description for flurry talks about when unarmed using punching and kicks (at least I think it did) but game mechanics wise I don't think that anyone fighting unarmed with say flaming fists don't apply the fire damge to all attacks in a flurry. If the monk had a quarter staff that was say +1 frost/+1 flaming I would say that with flurry you are either going to do cold on all your flurry attacks or fire on them but not both where as with TWF you would do one fire and one cold.


Chris P wrote:
I think the differnce is that flurry assumes that you are only using one end of the staff or if you have two say kamas that you are using the one in your primary hand. TWF assmues you are using both ends of the staff or a weapon in each hand. So at first level a flurry would be -2/-2 with the primary end of the staff or TWF -4/-4 with each end of the staff. I know the description for flurry talks about when unarmed using punching and kicks (at least I think it did) but game mechanics wise I don't think that anyone fighting unarmed with say flaming fists don't apply the fire damge to all attacks in a flurry. If the monk had a quarter staff that was say +1 frost/+1 flaming I would say that with flurry you are either going to do cold on all your flurry attacks or fire on them but not both where as with TWF you would do one fire and one cold.

OK, the part I missed was that the quarterstaff is counted as if it's 2 weapons. If I hit once with it it's a single weapon with no to-hit penalty and 1d6 of damage. As a Monk I can use it as if I have 2 weapons with the 2nd weapon being considered light. That would (according to table 9-7) give me two attacks at -4,-8 with 1d6 damage for each attack. Essentially a quarterstaff is like having a 1d6 club in my primary hand and a light 1d6 club in my secondary hand.

Now what happens if I apply flurry of blows to this? If I had a single weapon like a Sai I would (without FOB) have one attack for 1d4 of damage. With FOB I would get 2 attacks at -2 with each giving 1d4 of damage and I'd use a full round action to do so. So FOB applied to a single weapon gives me 2 attacks without the 2 weapon fighting penalty.

But what if I'm using two weapons or a double weapon? It sounds like I would get 4 attacks at -6,-10,-6,-10 (which is the original -4,-8 doubled and with -2 applied to each attack) However, I must use a full round action to do so.

Now, what happens when I hit 8th level and my FOB becomes +5/+5/+0 (3 attacks) and I'm using a double weapon? Using the logic above I would get 6 attacks at (primary hand) +1/+1/-4 and secondary hand at -3/-3/-8.

Does that sound like a reasonable interpretation?


Greg Brouelette wrote:


OK, the part I missed was that the quarterstaff is counted as if it's 2 weapons. If I hit once with it it's a single weapon with no to-hit penalty and 1d6 of damage. As a Monk I can use it as if I have 2 weapons with the 2nd weapon being considered light. That would (according to table 9-7) give me two attacks at -4,-8 with 1d6 damage for each attack. Essentially a quarterstaff is like having a 1d6 club in my primary hand and a light 1d6 club in my secondary hand.

Now what happens if I apply flurry of blows to this? If I had a single weapon like a Sai I would (without FOB) have one attack for 1d4 of damage. With FOB I would get 2 attacks at -2 with each giving 1d4 of damage and I'd use a full round action to do so. So FOB applied to a single weapon gives me 2 attacks without the 2 weapon fighting penalty.

But what if I'm using two weapons or a double weapon? It sounds like I would get 4 attacks at -6,-10,-6,-10 (which is the original -4,-8 doubled and with -2 applied to each attack) However, I must use a full round action to do so.

Now, what happens when I hit 8th level and my FOB becomes +5/+5/+0 (3 attacks) and I'm using a...

I don't believe that's right. I think that FOB is a full round action and TWF (either with two weapons or a double weapon) is it's own full round action. You can't stack the two because you can't do two full round actions in one round. You either FOB or fight in a TWF style.


Chris P wrote:


I don't believe that's right. I think that FOB is a full round action and TWF (either with two weapons or a double weapon) is it's own full round action. You can't stack the two because you can't do two full round actions in one round. You either FOB or fight in a TWF style.

Then we come back to the base question of "how does flurry of blows effect a double weapon like a quarterstaff (or two Sais)".

I think it must effect a double weapon because of the sentence on page 28 which says : "When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether he wields a weapon in one or both hands."

It then goes on to say :" In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability." So what does that mean? Does it mean we apply FOB to each weapon to give me 4 attacks?

The real question keeps coming back to "How does FOB effect a double weapon attack?"

An example in the playtest beta would be really helpful.

Liberty's Edge

"Greg Brouelette wrote:

Then we come back to the base question of "how does flurry of blows effect a double weapon like a quarterstaff (or two Sais)".

I think it must effect a double weapon because of the sentence on page 28 which says : "When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether he wields a weapon in one or both hands."

It then goes on to say :" In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability." So what does that mean? Does it mean we apply FOB to each weapon to give me 4 attacks?

The real question keeps coming back to "How does FOB effect a double weapon attack?"

An example in the playtest beta would be really helpful.

It does not. You left out a whole section of the rule regarding using monk weapons with flurry of blows, and using a quarterstaff.

From the top:

"When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). He may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired."

Simplifying:
"You may use unarmed strikes or monk weapons to make the attacks allowed by the flurry of blows special ability.
You may switch between unarmed strikes and monk weapons as you desire for each attack in a flurry of blows sequence."

"When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a monk applies his full Strength bonus to his damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether he wields a weapon in one or both hands."

Simplifying:
"Always do 1x Str Bonus, even if you use a light weapon, a two-handed weapon, or a weapon in your off hand."

"The monk can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part
of a flurry of blows."

Simplifying:
"Only special monk weapons may be used, not any weapon the monk is proficient with."
(This sentence is actually redundant.)

"In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability."

Simplifying:
"Treat a quarterstaff as two separate weapons when using the flurry of blows ability."

Unstated as part of that:
"This is important if the separate ends of the weapon have different levels of weapon enhancement."

"Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a monk may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that he has enough attacks in his flurry of blows routine to do so."

Simplifying:
"Remember that a monk may strike with any part of his body when making unarmed strikes. Even when using a two-handed weapon he can still make unarmed attacks, including when using the flurry of blows of ability."

Unstated as part of that:
"Or when using a weapon in each hand."
(Since technically a monk could use a sai and a kama, or any other combination of two, one-hand, special monk weapons, and alternate between them and unarmed striked when using the flurry of blows special ability. This is actually covered in the final FAQ, page 18-19.

Now, how does this work with TWF, and natural attacks?
This is also covered in the final FAQ, pages 19-20.
However, because of very similar wording in regards to natural attacks, there is a bit of confusion in regards to natural weapons.

For TWF, it is easy. The answer is "yes you can".
You stack the penalty for TWF with whatever penalty you get for flurry of blows. Whatever weapon you designate as your off-hand weapon, which can be an unarmed strike, cannot be used to make any of the flurry of blows attacks. In effect, treat yourself as having two distinct sets of attacks: the flurry of blows set and the off-hand weapon set. You cannot mix and match attacks between those sets, although you can mix and match attacks within a flurry of blows.

Example:
Sam Weiss, monk-at-XXX-large, has a sai in one hand, a kama in the other hand, and a size 12EEE foot stepping out in a white leather sneaker. Feeling the need to truly unleash on a particularly egregious critic, he decides to use a flurry of blows. He can:
Make three attacks with the sai, one with the kama, and one with his foot. (Yes, I am 20th level.) Or,
Make one attack with the kama, one with the sai, one with his foot, another with the sai, and the last with the kama. Or,
Any additional combination thereof.
However, this fails to stop the critic, who continues to make disparaging comments. Sam therefore decides to use his greater two-weapon fighting feat, and unleash an old-fashioned beat down. He must first select one weapon to be his off-hand weapon. In this case, it will be the sai. He can:
Make three attacks with the kama, two attacks with his foot, and finally make three off-hand attacks with the sai. The sai attacks will do 1/2 Str damage, and all of the attacks will take the -2 attack penalty for two-weapon fighting with a light weapon in the off-hand.

Now we turn to natural weapons.
What must be remembered here are three separate rules:
1. You can only use special monk weapons to make flurry of blows attacks.
2. Some natural weapons can be used to make secondary attacks when you attack with a manufactured weapon.
3. Attacks with a monks unarmed strike count as attacks with a manufactured weapon.
Taken all together, this means that when you make a flurry of blows attack, you can make secondary natural weapon attacks. This is similar to using TWF with flurry of blows in that you cannot use those natural weapons to make the flurry of blows attacks, and those attacks suffer a penalty. (Which for secondary natural attacks is -5 unless you have the Multiattack or Improved Multiattack feats.)
Example:
Sam Weiss, our nice monk buddy, acquires the half-dragon template. (How? He paid off the DM of course.) He also somehow managed to gain an extra pair of normal arms. (How? Not a clue. I am sure there is a spell somewhere. This is for demonstration anyway.) He also has a non-OGL feat giving him a tail attack, and a non-OGL magic item giving him a horn attack. That miserable critic shows up again, and now Sam unleashes:
Five flurry attacks, say three with the sai, and two kicks.
Three off-hand weapon attacks, with the kama.
Two claw attacks as secondary natural attacks. (Remember, he has an extra pair of arms because he is cheating and so can make the claw attacks and the weapon attacks.)
A bit attack as a secondary natural attack.
A horn attack as a secondary natural attack.
A tail attack as a secondary natural attack.
Thirty minutes later, he finishes rolling all of the attacks, calculating the modifiers, and checking the damage. He notes that the critic has fallen asleep waiting for him to do this, and so claims the bonus for attacking a prone, helpless target. The critic suffers severe injuries, and decides to make snide comments about someone else's work.

Does that all make sense?


Thank you Sam:

The other thing that really cleared it up was when I went back to the 3.5 PHB to see what they said about FOB. FOB does not add attacks to the two weapon fighting. They gave an example that exactly answered my 8th level monk scenario where FOB gives the monk +5/+5/+0.

The monk at 8th level can do a hit with one end of the staff at +5, then another hit with the other end of the staff at +5 and then an unarmed strike at +0. Or, he can do staff +5, unarmed +5, staff +0. He can mix up the hits as he wishes.

FOB replaces two weapon fighting in that instance instead of stacking on top of two weapon fighting. So my original thought that it doubled the number of attacks was completly wrong.

Thank you for all the good discussion. And Sam, thank you for your in depth explanation. I appreciate the sense of community here.

By the way, it sounds like I want to keep Sam Weiss, monk-at-XXX-large on my good side. If we ever run into each other in a tavern I'm buying the beer. That is, unless the 20th level 4 armed dragon monk is a mean drunk. In that case RUN !

Liberty's Edge

Greg Brouelette wrote:

By the way, it sounds like I want to keep Sam Weiss, monk-at-XXX-large on my good side. If we ever run into each other in a tavern I'm buying the beer. That is, unless the 20th level 4 armed dragon monk is a mean drunk. In that case RUN !

No, just a talkative one.

Which some people find even scarier. ;)
And his steak tab is much worse than his bar tab. :P

Liberty's Edge

The only thing worse than the talkative drunks are the talkative and forgetful drunks. They keep telling you the same two or three things over and over...

Liberty's Edge

Cato Novus wrote:
The only thing worse than the talkative drunks are the talkative and forgetful drunks. They keep telling you the same two or three things over and over...

Like "Buy me another steak!"

:D

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