Suggestion: Monks should be better at grappling than fighters


Classes: Bard, Monk, and Rogue


Personally, I think monks should be the best grapplers, trippers, etc. At least in 3.5, they could combine a flurry of blows with grappling attempts, effectively giving them an extra grapple attempt over the fighter at level 1-5. But now you only get one grapple per round, tops.

My suggestion: make the monk's Maneuver Training ability give a +1 bonus to CMB for every 3 levels of monk. Then the monk will get (slightly) better than the fighter over time. It's also much simpler to word than the rather clunky description of Maneuver Training that's currently used.


First I'd un-cripple the monk by giving him a full BAB, but Jason has said that absolutely is not going to happen. Barring that, I'd make the flurry of blows a standard action, so they could move and flurry instead of being forced to do one or the other. Barring both of those, then jacking up their CMB as you recommend would seem like the very least we can do.


How about make it a Ki mechanic? Like, spending one Ki-point to get a +2 or even +4 bonus to cmb? And/or make one additional maneuver per round? This would make the monk more "maneuverable" and wouldn't take too much place in the monk description.
But this wouldn't be good for low level monks. So... don't know.


Well in home games I have used HD+3 as there CMB for such things, seems to work ok .

I would say no for making FOB a 1 action ability.


Maybe change it to: The monk gains a bonus to CMB rolls equal to 1/2 his monk level. At 3rd level when the ability is gained, it is equal to what is in the beta, then at 6th level he exceeds the fighter, and he is superb at it come 20th level?

Dark Archive

I'm okay with a Monks unarmed attacks being worse than the Longsword or Morningstar that a Human or Elven character of pretty much any class could be using. I'm even tolerant of the Flurry of Swish being no better or worse than using Two-Weapon Fighting or Rapid Shot.

But, as compensation for that, the Monk should be strictly better at CMB maneuvers, more able to Trip, Disarm, Sunder, etc. If they can't hit as hard as the Cleric with a Morningstar or the Elven Sorcerer with a Longsword, at least they should be able to bust out the cool moves, knocking people on their ass or smacking their weapons out of their hands.

It's been stated that full BAB is not an option. Fine. I'll accept that. But the Monk, IMO, desperately needs to have a better chance of using various combat maneuvers.

1) Perhaps a blanket +Wisdom bonus to CMB.
2) Perhaps double value for the various Improved X feats in the hands of a Monk.
3) Perhaps full BAB, only for CMB purposes.

*Two* of these would probably not be overpowered, but I'm more partial to a combination of two and three, full BAB for CMB (something every Monk would get) *and* double value for Improved X feats (something they'd have to pay to improve by getting the relevant feat).

The +Wis bonus right out of the gate, IMO, might lend itself to 'dipping,' although it would have the benefit of allowing even a 1st level Monk to have a decent chance of actually pulling off a combat maneuver.

In the Monk playtest on these boards, my Half-Orc Monk with Improved Grapple and a 16 Strength found grappling to be a huge waste of time, because she just couldn't make the DC.


I'm gonna head out there and say that Maneuvers are the best way to portray martial arts.

That said, but Fighters and Monks are martial artists in their own right.

You could make a case that different maneuvers suit the different classes better (bull rush = fighter, trip = monk), so perhaps a maneuver specific bonus is the way to keep everyone happy?


Can we please start from where the Monk fits in the game instead of redesigning resource assignments?
Stating "add this, remove that" without focusing on a goal is unlikely to produce a result worth addint to the rules.

For example:

1. Monk's concept: lightly armored combatant with class abilities allowing for quasimagical effects of physical type.

2. Key class traits:
- mobility
- highly effective unarmed combat
- highly effective with light weapons
- great resistances
- ability to produce effects which hinder opponents

3. Class disposition against canonical four:
- hard to tell since the class focus is a unique one (and highly specialized)
- monk characters in anime/Hong Kong action movies are superior combatants who often can move around with gravity defying skills
- they fulfil roles of fighters, rogues and jack of all trades, they also can heal, remove poisons, perform exorcism and go toe to toe with big bosses
- their capabilities are determined by known martial styles and specializations - so while one monk is capable of purifying area through prayer, another one owns the battlefield with their fists
- monkish weapons are idiotic relic from the past - monks simply know how to use any weapon with devastating skill, inclusing improvised weapons and mundane weapons
- monk characters are often appreciated for mystical insight into nature of things

4. Suggested changes to 3.5 Monk:
- more skills
- add Mystic Arts schools: Martial, Spiritual
- split existing abilities between schools, add advanced abilities
- Martial schools - all those funky martial art styles
- Spiritual - spirit world dealings - purification, exorcism, spirit (outsider) binding and banishing, meditation, healing, prayers, funky talismans and so on
- Monk chars are free to choose abilities from both schools, however most powerful abilities are chained and only specialized builds can become masters early

5. Balance of power.
- stronger obviously
- abilites from Martial should rely only on Str and Dex, while Spiritual Wisdom and Charisma
- no more monkish weapons

Regards,
Rumere


Good stuff rumere.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I'd say that the combat manoeuvers should grant an additional +1 per 3 monk levels, so that a monk is flat out better than a fighter at CMB.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

hogarth wrote:
Personally, I think monks should be the best grapplers, trippers, etc.

I agree. We have a simpler mechanic now for combat maneuvers so it should be easy to design a mechanic that makes the monk simply better at it. We have some things in the 'New Feat Ideas' thread but I simply like monks, at some point, being able to apply their wisdom bonus to combat maneuvers. It doesn't scale well but it is a start.


Maybe because I am partial to fighters, but I cant help that think that fighters should be better fighters than monks.
Maybe its because I don't feel that Monks are underpowered by any stretch Sure they have on average 2 fewer hit points abut they more than make up for that with their saves.
Yeah, they don't have a fighters BAB progression but they do begin the game with flurry of blows without the need to use a feat. (Odds are they will hit at least once, which is about the same as a fighter hitting with his single attack.)
Remember at 3rd level they do get to use their level instead of their BAB for CMB, which makes them already = to a fighter in that instance, I suppose I could go on but I am sure everyone has already thought of all this stuff.

The Exchange

ruemere wrote:

1. Monk's concept: lightly armored combatant with class abilities allowing for quasimagical effects of physical type.

2. Key class traits:
- mobility
- highly effective unarmed combat
- highly effective with light weapons
- great resistances
- ability to produce effects which hinder opponents

These all scream mage hunter to me. The monk is the person you want ducking around the mooks to disrupt the commander/caster. Since the damage output isn't going to do this, I throw my vote for the CMB options mentioned above. I understand CMB appears to be a contentious issue atm, but this isn't the place to discuss it. No matter what happens there, if the monk is better at CMB, they're also better at their role of disruptor.

I like the simlpicity of the + wisdom modifier but I agree with the problem stated earlier of dipping for this bonus. That could be somewhat mitigated by ensuring that the bonus only applies if not wearing armour I guess but probably not the most elegant of solutions. (prevents clerics from dipping but not mages who could probably get away with a higher wisdom and then become unbeatable in CMB situations)

I also think that at some stage a monk should be able to complete CMD maneuvers and still cause damage in the process. A simple trip maneuvre doesn't hurt too much but a full powered sweeping leg kick breaks legs (I've seen it happen in gradings). A simple push won't cause too much damage but a properly focused double palm heal strike can launch people a long distance and hurts (seen that one done as well). I would like to see a mechanism in place where the monk progressively gets the ability to cause damage while completing CMB's. To prevent overpowering it may have to be considered a full round action to do so though.

While my group doesn't currently have a monk in it (so I haven't got pathfinder playtest experience on this class) the reasons they aren't being played is because my group feel they don't do the job of either fighter or controller well enough. Their only plus is the saves as far as my group were concerned at that wasn't a big enough draw card.

A change to improve their CMB might address this.

Cheers

Liberty's Edge

hogarth wrote:
Personally, I think monks should be the best grapplers, trippers, etc. At least in 3.5, they could combine a flurry of blows with grappling attempts, effectively giving them an extra grapple attempt over the fighter at level 1-5. But now you only get one grapple per round, tops.

For a 1st level monk with STR 16 and Improved Grapple going against a 1st level fighter with the same strength in a grapple it comes out 1d20+5 vs DC 19 and on an average roll (10) the monk would always lose and the fighter has a 20% bonus on the monk. Against a 1st level wizard with a strength of 12 the DC is 16 and on an average roll the monk would always lose and the wizard has a %5 bonus on the monk.

That doesn't seem to fit the concept of a monk very well, IMHO. Even if Improved Grapple granted a +4 bonus to CMB as it does in 3.5, the monk is still going to lose against the fighter on an average roll.

When the new rules are compared against the 3.5 grapple checks using the first scenario presented above, the monk has a 15% bonus against a fighter of the same level & strength and a 30% bonus against a wizard.

I don't mind the idea of a grapple check against a DC, but it seems like the DC should be lower. Maybe a DC of 10 and boosting Improved grapple back to granting a +4 bonus to grapple checks/CMB? This would retain the simplicity of a single roll, and still maintain the monks superior grappling abilities as seen in 3.5.

I do, however, really love the PF grappled condition.


Wrath wrote:
[...]These all scream mage hunter to me. [...]

Personally, I want to break away from mage hunter niche. The monk, as written in 3.5, lacks tools to be a credible threat to anyone, including fighters, much less wizards. And so, as usual, the best mage hunter is still another mage.

Also, I would like the fighter to become master of manoeuvers and battlefield. Monk should become a part of major class redesign.

Regards,
Ruemere

Liberty's Edge

I think the monk needs a "Martial Style" or "Path" that gives them some sort of focus, with feats/supernatural abilities accumulating over time -- like Sorcerer bloodlines, like Wizard schools, like Cleric domains.

A grappling mastery style that allows a monk to add conditions to opponents instead of damaging them -- add a crippled condition that hinders movement, to simulate joint locks -- would be highly appropriate.

Other ideas could include an improvised weapon master who baffles and confuses his opponents with surprising moves ala Jackie Chan, a more mystical monk that battles undead, an elemental master, etc.


ruemere wrote:
- Spiritual - spirit world dealings - purification, exorcism, spirit (outsider) binding and banishing, meditation, healing, prayers, funky talismans and so on

Like it or not, in D&D terms this is all cleric stuff. An "Oriental Adventures" flavour of cleric, maybe, but a cleric nonethless.

ruemere wrote:
Also, I would like the fighter to become master of manoeuvers and battlefield. Monk should become a part of major class redesign.

I do not think that the monk will get a major redesign (unless "major" means "cosmetic"). So that means that monks will still be getting Improved Grapple and Improved Trip as bonus feats, which implies that they should have a halfway decent shot at grappling/tripping.

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