Monk Weapons


Classes: Bard, Monk, and Rogue


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Monks should have access to both the short sword and long sword without having to take a feat or being an elf. Swords were a common weapon to train in except during those time periods where weapons were prohibited by law. Hard justify using a kama when the fighter beside you is using a great sword.

Doug

I am not my sword nor my armor. I am a paladin and if I need to pick up a rock and fight evil, so be it.


I'd take your ideas a step further.

1. Let's eliminate the category of "exotic monk weapons." Monks get free proficiency with them, and no one else takes them at all, because a kama costs an exotic slot, but a sickle is a simple weapon -- and they're the exact same weapon. So, step one: no more "monk weapons." Monks become proficient with all simple weapons. Kama is subsumed by sickle, nunchaku by light flail, etc. Elf monks can use longswords and short swords. Dwarf monks can use heavy picks and battleaxes.

2. Monks can flurry with any weapon with which they are proficient. At a base line, this puts us exactly where we were before, but we save about three paragraphs of text and several lines of tables in the final rulebook.

3. If a monk uses a feat to become proficient with a martial weapon, he or she can flurry with that weapon. This way, it's theoretically possible to have an order of monks who are glaive specialists, for example -- it just costs them an extra feat. (Bear in mind that Jason has alluded that humans will probably be losing the free martial weapon, so this item is better balanced than it might first appear.)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Kirth Gersen wrote:

I'd take your ideas a step further.

1. Let's eliminate the category of "exotic monk weapons." Monks get free proficiency with them, and no one else takes them at all, because a kama costs an exotic slot, but a sickle is a simple weapon -- and they're the exact same weapon. So, step one: no more "monk weapons." Monks become proficient with all simple weapons. Kama is subsumed by sickle, nunchaku by light flail, etc.

2. Monks can flurry with any weapon with which they are proficient. At a base line, this puts us exactly where we were before, but we save about six lines' of text and tables in the final rulebook.

3. If a monk uses a feat to become proficient with a martial weapon, he or she can flurry with that weapon. This way, it's theoretically possible to have an order of monks who are glaive specialists, for example -- it just costs them an extra feat. (Bear in mind that Jason has alluded that humans will probably be losing the free martial weapon, so this item is better balanced than it might first appear.)

To clarify the above point, you mean specifically taking a feat, not taking multiclass in, oh, fighter, or any other class that gives prof in all martial weapons.

(BTW, the one iconic monk exotic would be shuriken, which don't have any precise analog on the simple weapons list, unless you wanna call em tiny daggers or something.)

Really, I don't mind your idea about the ability at all. I actually rather like it. Hey, if a fighter wants to punt a point of BAB to get the ability to flurry, go for it, as long as you're a no-armor-type swashbuckler with a lawful alignment (or your DM is easygoing about alignment change). I think that option is to the good, not a problem.


Jason Nelson wrote:

1. To clarify the above point, you mean specifically taking a feat, not taking multiclass in, oh, fighter, or any other class that gives prof in all martial weapons.

2. (BTW, the one iconic monk exotic would be shuriken, which don't have any precise analog on the simple weapons list, unless you wanna call em tiny daggers or something.)

3. Hey, if a fighter wants to punt a point of BAB to get the ability to flurry, go for it, as long as you're a no-armor-type swashbuckler with a lawful alignment (or your DM is easygoing about alignment change).

1. Yes, exactly. That's a great point. Although I might make an exception for racial weapons (remember, humans are supposedly losing theirs).

2. Yes, or make the dart exactly like the current shuriken and merge them into one entry (they're just shaped differently).
3. Exactly; that loss of +1 BAB and a feat is a pretty big hit just to get the flurry (which would be perpetually stuck at the -2 penalty), not to mention being stuck with all the monk limitations.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
If a monk uses a feat to become proficient with a martial weapon, he or she can flurry with that weapon. This way, it's theoretically possible to have an order of monks who are glaive specialists, for example -- it just costs them an extra feat. (Bear in mind that Jason has alluded that humans will probably be losing the free martial weapon, so this item is better balanced than it might first appear.)

It's a neat idea, and I generally like the vast simplification of monk weapons suggested here. Kama and Kukris have never featured prominently in our games, as they've always been overshadowed by otehr weapons.

The problem is this train leads to the Fighter-Monk Monkey Gripping a Greatsword in one hand and a Bastard Sword in another, swinging for the fences. It also means Monks would be the best dual-wielders in the game.

I would limit it to any LIGHT or DOUBLE weapon the Monk is proficient in. This allows them to use a wide variety of interesting weapons, including Staves or Two-Bladed Swords, but keeps them from being super-charged dual-wielders. I know Long-Swords aren't in the mix, but there have to be some limitations.


Kirth Gersen wrote:


<snip>
2. Yes, or make the dart exactly like the current shuriken and merge them into one entry (they're just shaped differently).

Not so cool with merging the shuriken with anything else. It's a pretty unique weapon, mechanically, in that it is drawn, enchanted and used as ammo, but uses thrown attack rules to resolve. Merging it with anything else nerfs the shuriken substantially, particularly if you build around using the shuriken as your weapon of choice, with Power Throw, etc.

Sovereign Court

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:

1. To clarify the above point, you mean specifically taking a feat, not taking multiclass in, oh, fighter, or any other class that gives prof in all martial weapons.

2. (BTW, the one iconic monk exotic would be shuriken, which don't have any precise analog on the simple weapons list, unless you wanna call em tiny daggers or something.)

3. Hey, if a fighter wants to punt a point of BAB to get the ability to flurry, go for it, as long as you're a no-armor-type swashbuckler with a lawful alignment (or your DM is easygoing about alignment change).

1. Yes, exactly. That's a great point. Although I might make an exception for racial weapons (remember, humans are supposedly losing theirs).

2. Yes, or make the dart exactly like the current shuriken and merge them into one entry (they're just shaped differently).
3. Exactly; that loss of +1 BAB and a feat is a pretty big hit just to get the flurry (which would be perpetually stuck at the -2 penalty), not to mention being stuck with all the monk limitations.

1- Lets take a more real Live approach where Monks will proficient with all Simple weapons and let them select a small number of Martial/Exotic Weapons (from limited List) that will define his school. Let us say, they gain one Martial/Exotic Weapons per 5 levels or something like that.

2- It would be better making them all Darts (which is more generic, also 1d2 damage is not worth the weight to carry it) and every one, pick their flavor as they like.


Brother Willi wrote:
The problem is this train leads to the Fighter-Monk Monkey Gripping a Greatsword in one hand and a Bastard Sword in another, swinging for the fences.

Your hypothetical fighter is burning five (5) feats for the privilege: Two-Weapon Fighting, Oversize Two-Weapon Fighting, Monkey Grip, Martial Weapon Flurry (greatsword), and the bonus feat from the fighter level he's giving up to dip into monk. He's also taking a -5 effective penalty (-2 from TWF, -2 from flurry, -1 from the loss of +1 BAB). Also, Monkey Grip is a non-OGL feat that Pathfinder really can't reference, and one that is so silly that it should be barred by any sane players anyway -- it exists only to make D&D more like BESM. It should also be mentioned that monks are already good dual wielders (except that every attack is a miss).

With all that in mind, I don't see as big a problem as you do.


I always thought that monk weapons were fairly silly anyway. Other than the always-cool shuriken, they don't get many useful weapons and several of them are duplicates of other weapons, as already noted.

I second the idea of swapping monk weapons for simple weapons and then allowing them one or two extra weapons for their individual styles.


Brother Willi wrote:
I would limit it to any LIGHT or DOUBLE weapon the Monk is proficient in. This allows them to use a wide variety of interesting weapons, including Staves or Two-Bladed Swords, but keeps them from being super-charged dual-wielders. I know Long-Swords aren't in the mix, but there have to be some limitations.

I would change that to any light weapon or any single weapon the monk is proficient with. Two nunchucks, in. One longsword, in. One double weapon like a staff, in. One polearm, like a nagatina (halabard), in. Two katanas (bastard swords), out.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

I'd take your ideas a step further.

1. Let's eliminate the category of "exotic monk weapons." Monks get free proficiency with them, and no one else takes them at all, because a kama costs an exotic slot, but a sickle is a simple weapon -- and they're the exact same weapon. So, step one: no more "monk weapons." Monks become proficient with all simple weapons. Kama is subsumed by sickle, nunchaku by light flail, etc. Elf monks can use longswords and short swords. Dwarf monks can use heavy picks and battleaxes.

2. Monks can flurry with any weapon with which they are proficient. At a base line, this puts us exactly where we were before, but we save about three paragraphs of text and several lines of tables in the final rulebook.

3. If a monk uses a feat to become proficient with a martial weapon, he or she can flurry with that weapon. This way, it's theoretically possible to have an order of monks who are glaive specialists, for example -- it just costs them an extra feat. (Bear in mind that Jason has alluded that humans will probably be losing the free martial weapon, so this item is better balanced than it might first appear.)

I just want to say I really like this idea, since it has always annoyed me that a monk could only use certain weapons to flurry. The only problem is that it might be too radical to change all the weapons around from a perspective of backwards compatibility.


Skeral wrote:
I just want to say I really like this idea, since it has always annoyed me that a monk could only use certain weapons to flurry. The only problem is that it might be too radical to change all the weapons around from a perspective of backwards compatibility.

How about, "The monk is proficient with all simple weapons, and the shuriken." Then shuriken remain exotic for everyone else. Amend the "sickle" weapon description to state "this category of weapons includes the eastern kama," and the light flail to say, "nunchaku are a type of light flails." The siangham exists solely to give monks a piercing weapon, but since monks would now be able to flurry with a shortspear, that need is gone. So we can then simply delete three rows from the weapons table (and three extraneous weapons descriptions) with no loss of backward compatibility, and without actually losing anything at all.

Dark Archive

Fendin Foxfast wrote:
I would change that to any light weapon or any single weapon the monk is proficient with. Two nunchucks, in. One longsword, in. One double weapon like a staff, in. One polearm, like a nagatina (halabard), in. Two katanas (bastard swords), out.

I like this iteration from a flavor standpoint as it shows that the monk has focused his study in a single weapon or very small group of weapons. At that point the monk becomes known for his skill with his favored weapon, perhaps even going so far to become known for his skill with a single weapon (think Li Mu Bai and the Green Destiny).


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Brother Willi wrote:
The problem is this train leads to the Fighter-Monk Monkey Gripping a Greatsword in one hand and a Bastard Sword in another, swinging for the fences.

Your hypothetical fighter is burning five (5) feats for the privilege: Two-Weapon Fighting, Oversize Two-Weapon Fighting, Monkey Grip, Martial Weapon Flurry (greatsword), and the bonus feat from the fighter level he's giving up to dip into monk. He's also taking a -5 effective penalty (-2 from TWF, -2 from flurry, -1 from the loss of +1 BAB). Also, Monkey Grip is a non-OGL feat that Pathfinder really can't reference, and one that is so silly that it should be barred by any sane players anyway -- it exists only to make D&D more like BESM. It should also be mentioned that monks are already good dual wielders (except that every attack is a miss).

With all that in mind, I don't see as big a problem as you do.

That's fair. I guess I'm not entirely sure on how TWF and FoB interact with each other, since it seems unclear as to whether the Monk would get an enormous number of attacks or whether the monk simply gets the extra attacks of FoB but uses the weapons to determine damage.

There's also the flavor element of the Monk wielding a big sword rather than their entire body as a weapon.

And you are correct, Monkey Grip is a silly feat. But it is out there and people want to use it.


I hate how they saddle all monks with Easter Martial Arts type weapons. What about the unarmed fighters from tribal societies that would use things like spears and the like. I wish they would expand upon what is considered a "special monk weapon" to include more diverse cultural choices.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Point.

Using the current Pathfinder monk rules, can you build one of the Shoanti-flavoured unarmed combatants hinted at in the player's guide to Rise of the Runelords?


Brother Willi wrote:
I would limit it to any LIGHT or DOUBLE weapon the Monk is proficient in. This allows them to use a wide variety of interesting weapons, including Staves or Two-Bladed Swords, but keeps them from being super-charged dual-wielders. I know Long-Swords aren't in the mix, but there have to be some limitations.

I agree. The idea that a monk is just as fast when swinging a scythe or a greatsword around as he is with a pair of numchucks is just unpalatable to me.


hogarth wrote:
Brother Willi wrote:
I would limit it to any LIGHT or DOUBLE weapon the Monk is proficient in. This allows them to use a wide variety of interesting weapons, including Staves or Two-Bladed Swords, but keeps them from being super-charged dual-wielders. I know Long-Swords aren't in the mix, but there have to be some limitations.
I agree. The idea that a monk is just as fast when swinging a scythe or a greatsword around as he is with a pair of numchucks is just unpalatable to me.

Agreed fully. Rapiers stay in the mix, and frankly, the Chinese jian is more likely to be considered a rapier rather than a longsword, seeing as how the jian has a ricasso in many designs, and was more or less a shortsword before those points.

This also opens up a whole host of other weapons, which make a lot of sense when you make analouges between western and eastern weapons.

This does mean that we might see Orc Double Axe using Half-Orc monks, but that seems more flavorful than broken.


I think it would be best to give the monk a option of a couple of "style" or weapon schools. for instance

1:club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, quarterstaff shortspear, shortsword,sling, and spear

2:kama,javelin, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear

3:punching dagger, spiked Gauntlet,sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken,quarterstaff ,sling, and spear,Kukri,flail

4: Longsword, spiked shield, short spear, spear, shortsword, trident,net,Guisarme,Halberd ,Ranseur,quarterstaff

something along that line. Such a list could be changed for each campaign as knew schools or teaching would be different by area.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Skeral wrote:
I just want to say I really like this idea, since it has always annoyed me that a monk could only use certain weapons to flurry. The only problem is that it might be too radical to change all the weapons around from a perspective of backwards compatibility.
How about, "The monk is proficient with all simple weapons, and the shuriken." Then shuriken remain exotic for everyone else. Amend the "sickle" weapon description to state "this category of weapons includes the eastern kama," and the light flail to say, "nunchaku are a type of light flails." The siangham exists solely to give monks a piercing weapon, but since monks would now be able to flurry with a shortspear, that need is gone. So we can then simply delete three rows from the weapons table (and three extraneous weapons descriptions) with no loss of backward compatibility, and without actually losing anything at all.

Works for me, I was just trying to think of reasons others might disagree to the idea.


I agree with the general sentiment of this thread, & some of the specifics, but I don't have time to respond to all the pertinent posts, so here're my thoughts on the matter:

  • Weapon proficiencies: change to all simple weapons & three martial melee or thrown weapons of choice.
  • Flurry of blows: change to allow use with all simple melee & thrown weapons, & the three proficient/selected martial weapons.
  • Create a Martial Flurry feat:
    Prerequisites: Flurry of blows ability, proficient in weapon.
    Benefit: Select one martial melee or thrown weapon that you are proficient in. You can now use that weapon in a flurry of blows.
    Special: This can be taken multiple times. Each time, a different weapon must be selected.
  • Create an Exotic Flurry feat:
    You can flurry with an exotic weapon.
    Prerequisites: BAB +3, flurry of blows ability, proficient in weapon.
    Benefit: Select one exotic melee or thrown weapon that you are proficient in. You can now use that weapon in a flurry of blows.
    Special: This can be taken multiple times. Each time, a different weapon must be selected.
  • Weapons:
    Kama: remove; it’s just another name for a sickle.
    Siangham: remove it. In reality it’s a very short shortspear.
    Shuriken: change it to a martial ranged (thrown) weapon.
    Sai: change it to a simple light melee weapon but keep its stats. Consider it a small metal club that has a bonus to disarm attempts.
    People have referenced a light flail, but I can't find one in the PHB or PFBeta. So how about create it as a simple light melee weapon: 5gp, 1d4/1d6 damage (sm/med), x2 crit, 3 lb, bludgeoning. It has a bonus to disarm attempts, but cannot be used for trip attempts.
    Nunchaku: remove; it’s just another name for a light flail.
So, yeah... :shrugs:


I would like to see short sword and dagger added to the list of weapons that a monk can flurry with, perhaps a few others like hand axe, club, etc. Considering that most D&D settings have very little far east influence I think access to these types of weapons would allow the creation of monks with a differnt sort of style (like the picture in beta that has a middle-eastern flair). Players frequently play monk/rogues with assassin styling (not the prestige class) and the use of a sai or nunchuku just seems out of place more often than not.

If the weapon damage isn't higher than 1d6 then you aren't going to make the monk more powerful than other classes (only advantage of short sword is a slightly better crit range) and this way you give players more options in character design. Right now the monk is a little pigeon holed.


My thought on this mirrors what someone else has said already.

1) Drop the current list of monk-specific weapons (kama, nunchaku, siangham (sp?)), since several of them overlap with simple weapons.

2) Give monks proficiency in all simple weapons plus the shuriken.

3) Give monks the ability to flurry with all simple, non-reach melee weapons plus the shuriken. (I'll explain why I'm specifying non-reach momentarily.)

4) Create a feat or class feature for the monk called Monastic Weapon. This would allow for a monk two add an unusual weapon to their repetoir, reflecting personal focus or the specific weapon of a particular order:

Requirements: Base Attack +4, Improved Unarmed Strike, the Flurry of Blows class feature

Choose a non-reach martial or exotic melee weapon. You become proficient in this weapon (if you aren't already) and can perform a Flurry of Blows with it. (Note: I could also see long or short bows being viable for this feat/feature.)

(This keeps people from attempting to just take a level of fighter to diversify their weapons, thus becoming uber-broken.)

Just a thought.

Shadow Lodge

Leave the monk weapons alone. They add flavor and have no equal when it come to being cool(excet for the glaive, scimitar,and spiked chain).


Personally, the only use for weapons my monk has found is using the ones that grant bonuses to disarm (sai +4) and trip (kama +0). At low levels, you can simply make them masterwork and gain the additional +1 to attack, since these two abilities do not do actual damage.

Furthermore, boosting your damage class up by one size by making copious (ab)use of the enlarge spell means that you're even less likely to want to use a weapon otherwise. (You tend to find interesting uses of the monk's unique ability to jump high while having his normal weight multiplied by 8.)

If monk weapons are to be a viable alternative to fighting empty-handed, then they need to be able to do more damage in the hands of the monk, or the monk needs optional feats that allow them to use their weapons in interesting ways.

Monk ability: Quarterstaff expertise

Example 1: A monk with at least 5 ranks in acrobatics can use a quarterstaff to gain a circumstance bonus of 5 moving through a threatened square by using it as a springboard device.

Example 2: A monk may perform an acrobatics check and a single attack at a minus penalty to trip two enemies in two adjacent squares. The monk must move 5 feet in order to do so, as this is represented by the fact that the monk essentially cartwheels to strike. The monk must threaten at least one in the first square and must threaten at least the second one in the second square. This draws attacks of opportunity. Failure to avoid

Monk ability: Kama expertise

When using a kama (or sickle), a monk may make a ranged touch attack at a -2 penalty to attempt to undo fasteners on armor. A monk must make a number of successful attacks equal to that of the base armor enhancement of the target. Certain types of armor are immune. Failing an attack in this manner disarms the monk.

Monk ability: Shuriken expertise

Example 1: A monk can throw as many as six shurikens at one time, at a -1 to attack per 2 shurikens thrown at a time. You may target only two opponents at a time, and if targetting two, the maximum you can throw at one enemy at a time is 3 shurikens. At level 12 you can throw up to 9 at a time at a minus 4 to attack, and at level 16, you can throw 12 at a minus 6 to attack.

Another mistake I think for monks is that they can't use longbow without taking a feat to do so. How infamous are Asian archers? I'm sure every monk out there relishes the idea of removing his bracers of (nat) armor so he can wear his bracers of archery, lesser.


Well, there were/are certainly "Asian Archers", (that just sounds like a ridiculous sports team name to me),
but why does that have to be part of the "Monk" repertoire? You might be thinking of "Zen Archery", but Zen was really a sect favored by the samurai. A monk might be really proficient in Archery, but it would be reasonable for that monk to have at least 1 level of Fighter or "Samurai" to gain proficiency. Buddhist Monks were mostly vegetarian, so would not otherwise have a reason to hunt game with bows.

Not all asians are Monks, kids. (some are Ninjas too)

I agree "weapon fighting styles" make sense for Monks. I don't know if there's room for that in Core Pathfinder though. :-/
In Golarion so far, the only monk fighting style given any specific treatment, IS NOT asiatic, but just spiked-chain-wielding, torture-loving Zon-Kuthon worshippers... (Nidal regional focus)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I like the idea of making Darts and Shuriken the same weapon, as well as consolidating the monk weapons and their simple weapon equivalents. Just add some flavor text in either weapons or the monk section about kamas being sickles and so on.

As far as actually speciailizing the monk with those weapons, how about something that actually makes the Sai better at disarming than a quarterstaff?

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