Question about monk's Flurry of Blows (Att Bonus)


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I'm not quite understanding the Attack Bonus for Flurry of Blows. It says the monk attacks as if using TWF (so for unarmed attacks, -2/-2), and that BAB is monk level.

So for a first level monk (assuming no strength, etc, bonuses in my example):

First:
Standard Action, single attack: Att Bonus = 0 (BAB = 0, nothing else)

Then
Option 1:
Full Attack, FoB: Att Bonus = -1/-1 (as given in Monk Table), which comes from BAB = monk level = +1 with TWF = -2/-2, (so this is where the monk table listing comes from and the math is already done for you)

OR
Option 2
Full Attack, FoB: Att Bonus = -2/-2, which comes from BAB = monk level = +1 with TWF = -2/-2 and another -1/-1 for the listing on the monk table.

Which is the correct way to calculate it?

Thanks,
mln84


Option 1.


Yes, option 1.


mln84 wrote:

Option 1:

Full Attack, FoB: Att Bonus = -1/-1 (as given in Monk Table), which comes from BAB = monk level = +1 with TWF = -2/-2, (so this is where the monk table listing comes from and the math is already done for you)

Just to make it unanimous.

Option 1 is correct.

Dark Archive

And to add: Option 2 is incorrect.

Sovereign Court

If you are GM'ing a home campaign or participate in one, you could just use a house rule. Replace all that flurry nonsense with the monk having a full BAB. In addition the monk would have two-weapon fighting and the improved and greater versions of it when she gains iterative attacks. Oh, and the penalty drops for reach 5 bab beyond the first (at +6 BAB and +11 BAB).

This way you'll be rid of all your problems (such as "Why the heck is monk worse at hitting when charging?"). Also Maneuver Training becomes obsolete, but that's not really a problem.


Deussu wrote:

If you are GM'ing a home campaign or participate in one, you could just use a house rule. Replace all that flurry nonsense with the monk having a full BAB. In addition the monk would have two-weapon fighting and the improved and greater versions of it when she gains iterative attacks. Oh, and the penalty drops for reach 5 bab beyond the first (at +6 BAB and +11 BAB).

This way you'll be rid of all your problems (such as "Why the heck is monk worse at hitting when charging?"). Also Maneuver Training becomes obsolete, but that's not really a problem.

I think the rules are just fine!

The monk table has all the math done and it is actually pretty simple to understand. Flurry of Blows works with the special monk weapons (incl. unarmed attacks) and does not allow additional use of TWF.

However, you can decide to take TWF separately to fight with non-monk weapons and at 3/4 BAB progression.

My impression is that the original poster is quite able to handle the monk, but just needed to confirm the interpretation.

Dark Archive

If you don't mind I'll add a few questions on Furry of Blows.

OK so FoB works as TWF as stated in PH.

Now can you make TWF while moving ?

Can the Monk use FoB as a standard action ?
Can the rogue/fighter attack with both his weapons and move ?

Thanks !

I also have a question on AoO.

Provided you can make more than one AoO per round (combat reflexes feat if i am not mistaken), can you do more than one AoO on that pesky rogue running around you on a lot of squares threatened by you ?

From the AoO rule it looks like you can't but I'm ... not so sure.

Thanks again for the hints !


Chewbacca wrote:

If you don't mind I'll add a few questions on Furry of Blows.

OK so FoB works as TWF as stated in PH.

Now can you make TWF while moving ?

Can the Monk use FoB as a standard action ?
Can the rogue/fighter attack with both his weapons and move ?

Thanks !

I also have a question on AoO.

Provided you can make more than one AoO per round (combat reflexes feat if i am not mistaken), can you do more than one AoO on that pesky rogue running around you on a lot of squares threatened by you ?

From the AoO rule it looks like you can't but I'm ... not so sure.

Thanks again for the hints !

-Attacking with TWF is a full-round action.

-Any instance that provokes an attack of opportunity only provokes one AoO, no matter what.

Sovereign Court

Heh, for some reason monks fight better when stationary. So what's this talk about their increased movement? Well, it's all for naught, really. :)

A monk moves 50 ft with her move action and his attack bonus is *smaller* than when being stationary? Don't tell me that makes sense.

Dark Archive

Diego Winterborg wrote:
Chewbacca wrote:

If you don't mind I'll add a few questions on Furry of Blows.

OK so FoB works as TWF as stated in PH.

Now can you make TWF while moving ?

-Attacking with TWF is a full-round action.

-Any instance that provokes an attack of opportunity only provokes one AoO, no matter what.

Thanks Diego for the help !

A Character standing up from prone and casting a spell would provoke 2 attacks of opportunity though ? Right ?


Deussu wrote:

Heh, for some reason monks fight better when stationary. So what's this talk about their increased movement? Well, it's all for naught, really. :)

A monk moves 50 ft with her move action and his attack bonus is *smaller* than when being stationary? Don't tell me that makes sense.

If you cannot like it you could also let your monks use the monk level for BAB whenever they use special monk weapons.

I however chose to translate their move and flurry as aspects of speed. One being a dynamic and the other a static example of speed.


Chewbacca wrote:

A Character standing up from prone and casting a spell would provoke 2 attacks of opportunity though ? Right ?

Yup. I tend to houserule that if the character spends the extra time standing up there's no AoO: Make it a move or Full round, depending on what you want for your game.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Thanks all.


Deussu wrote:

Heh, for some reason monks fight better when stationary. So what's this talk about their increased movement? Well, it's all for naught, really. :)

A monk moves 50 ft with her move action and his attack bonus is *smaller* than when being stationary? Don't tell me that makes sense.

See the absurdity that happens when you get pounce to your monk.

Stand still and full attack: Hit well.
Charge and full attack: Hit even better.
Move and attack. Hit worse.

Funny thing about charging. It allows you to move more than a single move would.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Something which isn't stated in the flurry of blows text, but is needed to make the numbers in the table work out, is that the flurry BAB being equal to the Monk's level also applies to determination of the NUMBER of attacks. That is, a 6th level Monk effectively has +6/+1 BAB... -2 and an additional attack at highest bonus for TWF makes that the +4/+4/-1 shown on the table.


Lehmuska wrote:

See the absurdity that happens when you get pounce to your monk.

How did your monk get the Pounce ability?

Sovereign Court

Diego Winterborg wrote:
Lehmuska wrote:

See the absurdity that happens when you get pounce to your monk.

How did your monk get the Pounce ability?

Some non-core book might hold some way of getting it. That was probably just to demonstrate how stupid the dual-BAB system is.


Diego Winterborg wrote:
Lehmuska wrote:

See the absurdity that happens when you get pounce to your monk.

How did your monk get the Pounce ability?

Let's see. Multiclass into druid and wildshape, get a wizard to cast polymorph, multiclass into wizard and cast beast shape II, use beast shape II from a scroll with UMD. Those were only using the core rulebook.


Lehmuska wrote:
Diego Winterborg wrote:
Lehmuska wrote:

See the absurdity that happens when you get pounce to your monk.

How did your monk get the Pounce ability?
Let's see. Multiclass into druid and wildshape, get a wizard to cast polymorph, multiclass into wizard and cast beast shape II, use beast shape II from a scroll with UMD. Those were only using the core rulebook.

Flurry of Blows does not apply to natural attacks. Therefore none of the suggestions you provide permit a monk the use of pounce in combination with Flurry of Blows.


Diego Winterborg wrote:


Flurry of Blows does not apply to natural attacks. Therefore none of the suggestions you provide permit a monk the use of pounce in combination with Flurry of Blows.

The description of the pounce ability (at least in the Bestiary Preview) doesn't say it's limited to natural attacks.

"Pounce (Ex)
When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability)."


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Multiclass into... STOP. You're done. If your solution is to multiclass, you've failed.

Next.

The whole point is Full BAB attacking has always been a horrible, horrible mechanic. Having to stand there and just swing your fists, God knows why, needs get gone.

Thankfully in 4e, they did get rid of that issue. Sadly, in 4e they didn't listen to anyone nor follow their own advise so the system is a loss.

The easiest way to get pounce? Multiclass into Barbarian 1, trade out for the Alternative Class Feature from Complete Champion giving yourself pounce from a lion totem.

Doesn't mean it's right.


neceros wrote:
Multiclass into... STOP. You're done. If your solution is to multiclass, you've failed.

So you say. However, it's a very viable option in order to create a build or develop a character concept that may not be covered by any one base class alone. What's more, the Core Rules support such choices durig character advancement.

That said, as an extraordinary ability flurry of blows is limited in the instances when it would carry over to a polymorphed form. From the rules concerning polymorph spells:

PFGRD wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

Generally speaking, forms capable of granting a monk pounce are unable to use special monk weapons. This means that a monk polymorphed into such a form would have to rely on unarmed attacks to execute a flurry of blows. However, as described a monk's unarmed strike relies on the monk's original form:

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

If a polymorphed monk's new form would grant him pounce as well as maintain the use of special monk weapons, pounce and flurry of blows could be combined as written. However, a flurry of blows that relies on unarmed attacks becomes an extraordinary ability that relies on the monk's original form; such abilities can not be used in a polymorphed form.

However, the rules concerning polymorph that apply in this instance are specifically written to allow for GM interpretation. Whatever any given GM decides is correct for his game is correct, according to the RAW, regardless of what other GMs or players may think.


neceros wrote:

Multiclass into... STOP. You're done. If your solution is to multiclass, you've failed.

Next.

Read the whole thing before jumping to knee-jerk conclusions. Two of the ways mentioned have nothing to do with multiclass. Besides, multiclassing gets you pounce and that's what was asked. This being the case, bringing up multiclassing does not mean I've failed.

Besides, what exactly is wrong with multiclassing? It's a viable game mechanic to make unique characters.

Edit: Also, 3.5 splatbooks are filled with ways to gain pounce without polymorphing.


I did read the whole thing. I still came to that conclusion, as I always have. And yes, I've read Pathfinder fully through. I know the differences. :)

Oppositely, I have nothing against multiclassing at all. In fact, I love it in all ways. I don't think a class should be defined by it's name.

What I was talking about was the fact that The flow of BAB requiring a full round action to make full attacks is a horrible mechanic that shouldn't have been invented. That way pounce never needed to exist.


Well, yes. Pounce was an example of how ridiculous it is when your full attack is more accurate than a single attack.


hogarth wrote:
Diego Winterborg wrote:


Flurry of Blows does not apply to natural attacks. Therefore none of the suggestions you provide permit a monk the use of pounce in combination with Flurry of Blows.

The description of the pounce ability (at least in the Bestiary Preview) doesn't say it's limited to natural attacks.

"Pounce (Ex)
When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability)."

You misunderstand, the point is not about pounce.

The point is that the mentioned examples to get the pounce ability all require the character to change form. The forms suggested all fight with natural weapons, and FoB does not apply to natural weapons since natural weapons are not the same as unarmed strikes.

Additionally, before aquireing the pounce ability the character in question has to get Beast Shape II or its equivalent. Such a multiclass choice would effectively increase the BAB well above the FoB attack bonuses and therefore make the point about the monks BAB a mute one.

You could probably find an obscure 3.5 source of getting pounce, but tha is a whole other discussion that frankly has nothing to do with Pathfinder.


mln84 wrote:

Option 1:

Full Attack, FoB: Att Bonus = -1/-1 (as given in Monk Table), which comes from BAB = monk level = +1 with TWF = -2/-2, (so this is where the monk table listing comes from and the math is already done for you)

I have a follow-up. I'm operating on the assumption that the monk table listing is correct as written.

In the writeup for FoB, it says that a monk can substitute one of a number of combat manoeuvres for unarmed attacks in a FoB. However, it's not clear how the CMB should get calculated here:

(a) Does the monk get to use his normal CMB?

(b) Does the monk recalculate the CMB for this use, using what would be the BAB for the particular attack slot used here?

Either option seems to have unfortunate implications: if (a), then it's simple to calculate, but the monk's combat manoeuvres during a FoB seem to suffer greatly in comparison to his attacks, and that seems a bit off-of-genre; if (b), then there's more that monks need to write on their sheet to pre-calc the CMB for each FoB slot, and that raises two other questions:

(b1) Does the monk use his level, purely, as his BAB for all CMB bonuses during a FoB?

(b2) Does the monk adjust the attack bonus used for the CMB calc based on the actual slot used for the FoB?

i.e. is the CMB calc for a Monk-6 based on +4 (the normal BAB) everywhere, +6 (the special FoB BAB) everywhere, or +4/+4/+1, depending upon which slot the Monk uses for the manoeuvre?

I realize that this is a fine point, but I have a new campaign starting and one of the PCs is a monk, so I anticipate lots of FoB use... 8P


I've gotten a bit confused as it were on the Monk BAB pattern and think there's an easier way to express it. My version below is not an action at all, but a bonus variant.

Andy's Monk version wrote:


Flurry of Blows:
A monk has a Full BAB progression when using a special monk weapon.

At 1st level, she gains Two-Weapon Fighting which may only be used for special monk weapons.

At 8th level, she gains Improved Two-Weapon Fighting which may only be used for special monk weapons.

At 15th level, she gains Greater Two-Weapon Fighting which may only be used for special monk weapons.

Except when making a single attack with a two handed weapon, all attacks apply full strength bonus to her damage rolls. (A single strike with a two-handed weapon deals strength and a half.) This effectively means there is no such thing as an "Off-hand" attack. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

This also prevents the move-and-attack attack bonus from being worse than standing still.

IMarv

Scarab Sages

As it stands, there are multiple non-Core 3.5 ways to acquire Pounce on a monk. The example shown of using just core PRPG is a bit off. While this will allow access to Pounce, a monk cannot always use Flurry of Blows in a Beast Shape. Pathfinder does not provide an exclusive ruling on this, so I would recommend looking back towards the 3.5 FAQ.

3.5 FAQ wrote:

Can a monk who has natural weapon attacks (such as a centaur monk) attack unarmed and still use his natural weapons? For example, let’s say he’s a 4th-level monk. Can he use a flurry of blows and attack at +5/+5/+0 unarmed (plus other bonuses) and then at +0/+0 for 2 hooves?

If the creature normally is allowed to make both weapon attacks and natural weapon attacks as part of the same full attack routine, the monk can do the same (making unarmed strikes in place of weapon attacks). Since a centaur can make two hoof attacks in addition to his longsword attack, a centaur monk can make two hoof attacks in addition to his unarmed strike attack (or attacks, depending on his base attack bonus). The monk can’t use his natural weapon attacks as part of a flurry of blows, but he can make natural weapon attacks in addition to his flurry. Such attacks suffer the same –2 penalty as the monk’s flurry attacks in addition to the normal –5 penalty for secondary natural attacks.
An 4th-level centaur monk has a base attack bonus of +7 (+4 from his 4 monstrous humanoid Hit Dice, and +3 from his 8 monk levels). If he performs a flurry of blows, he makes three unarmed strikes, at +5/+5/+0. He can add two hoof attacks at –2/–2 (–5 as secondary weapons, and –2 from the flurry).

Ultimately though, it is the GM's call whether or not the new form has the capability to perform unarmed strikes, as listed here from the Pathfinder RPG under Polymorph.

PRPG wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

I would like to stress not to worry about this argument too much, as the new Bestiary may change the rules regarding Pounce entirely.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

Scarab Sages

viktor_haag wrote:
mln84 wrote:

Option 1:

Full Attack, FoB: Att Bonus = -1/-1 (as given in Monk Table), which comes from BAB = monk level = +1 with TWF = -2/-2, (so this is where the monk table listing comes from and the math is already done for you)

I have a follow-up. I'm operating on the assumption that the monk table listing is correct as written.

In the writeup for FoB, it says that a monk can substitute one of a number of combat manoeuvres for unarmed attacks in a FoB. However, it's not clear how the CMB should get calculated here:

(a) Does the monk get to use his normal CMB?

(b) Does the monk recalculate the CMB for this use, using what would be the BAB for the particular attack slot used here?

Either option seems to have unfortunate implications: if (a), then it's simple to calculate, but the monk's combat manoeuvres during a FoB seem to suffer greatly in comparison to his attacks, and that seems a bit off-of-genre; if (b), then there's more that monks need to write on their sheet to pre-calc the CMB for each FoB slot, and that raises two other questions:

(b1) Does the monk use his level, purely, as his BAB for all CMB bonuses during a FoB?

(b2) Does the monk adjust the attack bonus used for the CMB calc based on the actual slot used for the FoB?

i.e. is the CMB calc for a Monk-6 based on +4 (the normal BAB) everywhere, +6 (the special FoB BAB) everywhere, or +4/+4/+1, depending upon which slot the Monk uses for the manoeuvre?

I realize that this is a fine point, but I have a new campaign starting and one of the PCs is a monk, so I anticipate lots of FoB use... 8P

This is actually very simple to calculate. CMB is calculated, always, using the below formula:

CMB = Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier

If you have a level 4 monk using a flurry of blows, his base attack bonus is +4, and he has a penalty of -2 to all his attacks (as per the Two Weapon Fighting style that Flurry emulates). If you use a Combat Maneuver in place of one of those attacks, his current base attack bonus is at a +4, and he still applies the penalty of -2 on all his attacks (Combat Maneuvers use all the same bonuses as a normal attack and all the same penalties).

For ease, just reference the table for the Monk's flurry and use the appropriate modifier based on which attack he is replacing. If he is using his third attack in the +4/+4/+1 series as a Flurry, then use the +1 and add his Strength, special size modifier, and other applicable bonuses to determine his CMB for that attack.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

The PFRPG rule on monk's BAB is very confusing and not compatible with the idea of a monk utilizing mobility in combat. It probably should have been done completely differently, such as giving the monk a +1 attack bonus for every 4 monk levels when using unarmed attacks, attacking with a monk's special weapon, or when performing a combat manuever. (Or even simpler, just giving monk's full BAB)

I know this doesn't contribute to the question being asked here, but Nethys already answered it and being that this is the 3rd or 4th post I've seen asking this same question it's obvious the monk BAB rules could have been made clearer.


As Nethys points out, per 3.5 FAQ you cannot use natural attacks as unarmed strikes.

You also cannot use natural attacks with a flurry of blows, as specifically prohibited in the Monk flurry of blows entry.

As for combat manuevers during a flurry (or any full attack), you use the BAB associated with that attack. Fortunately, for Monks this is identical as of 3rd level with Manuever Training - adjusted for which attack you use (if not one of your first two primary attacks).

Medium-sized Monk, Str 14:
1st level: CMB +2, Flurry +1 (+1 BAB, +2 Str, -2 flurry)
3rd level: CMB +5, Flurry +3 (regular CMB -2 flurry)
8th level: CMB +10, Flurry +8 or +3 (regular CMB, -2 flurry, -5 if secondary attack).

This is not that hard - it's just different for those used to the old system. If you're flurrying, use the flurry BAB listed. Done.


Nethys wrote:
For ease, just reference the table for the Monk's flurry and use the appropriate modifier based on which attack he is replacing. If he is using his third attack in the +4/+4/+1 series as a Flurry, then use the +1 and add his Strength, special size modifier, and other applicable bonuses to determine his CMB for that attack.

Thanks, Nethys! Much appreciated.

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