Ultimate Magic: Monk's Vow of Poverty


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Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I know this is exactly what the internet is for but this is really a tempest in a teacup. The real "problem" here is that different people play differently. To a powergamer VoP is a horrible player trap. To a roleplayer is it an opportunity to try something difficult. It is kind of like playing your favorite video game on difficulty level "absurd". Some gamers will never do it because they know the computer "cheats" at that level and breaks rules in order to make things as difficult as possible. Some people just see it as a challenge and try over and over despite getting killed most times.

The reason this issue glares at many is because weak PC classes "break the rules" set forth originally in 3x. All PC classes are supposed to be equal. A fighter does the same damage as a wizard and so forth. But built into the game is also a lot of stuff left over from previous editions of the game. So we have a game where everything is supposed to be equal but player choices make it unequal in some situations.

I say to that ... so what. I will never take dodge or toughness but they have their place in the game and some people always include them in their builds. The rules as designed also have to work for npcs as well. I would never build a PC like an NPC designed to exist for one encounter, but the rules need to support those guys too.

So the poor monk might not be the best. But there is a place for him, even if most players will never play one. I don't like bards, I have never seen anyone play a loremaster, and don't ever expect to see a PC bloatmage but they all have a place even if suboptimal. (I'm looking at you bard.)

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Ravingdork wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
1. Not every option will be the best option ever. If it was, we'd have power bloat with every book.
That's a straw man if I've ever seen one. I don't believe ANYONE has said every option HAS to be the best ever, only balanced enough so as to be usable in the standard games and adventure paths you yourself just described.

Calm it down a bit. This is not a debate.

To explain a bit further, we have benchmark power curves that we shoot for most of the time, but we generally do not want to exceed them, because if we do, we move the curve and power bloat the whole system. So, in most cases we shoot for "close, but maybe a little less". No two options are ever going to be identical in power, since much of this depends on variables outside our control, many of which are campaign specific.

To this end, we shot low on this one. There are a lot of reasons why. What I was saying was an attempt to lay out some general assumptions about how we work.. not to imply broad consensus.

Lets just all ratchet it down a bit here. This thread is far too volatile for a rules piece that takes up one paragraph in a 256 page book.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Wander Weir wrote:
Braden wrote:
That's very nice, mind if I sunder it?
LoreKeeper wrote:

Not at all. Monk CMD is of the toughest around. And it's hard to sunder an item you don't see under the simple monk robes.

Braden wrote:


One hit is pretty much all it will take to ruin the monk's day(and the rest of the parties if they pool resources to repair the item).

Same thing could be said of any super powerful item that any PC carries. And you totally ignored Lorekeeper's points about just how hard that one hit will be to make.

Granted, such an item does sort of side step some of the point of a vow of poverty, but Lorekeeper answered that as well.

Edit: Forgot to add BAB to CMD odds were much than I calculated. It is tough to hit, but any mook has 5% chance of doing it and that would ruin the entire character. A single item being sundered sucks, but this would make the character worthless.

I don't see anything in the rules about hiding an amulet under clothes, if I am missing something let me know. I would assume that simple clothes (all the monk is allowed) are not enough to protect an incredibley powerful amulet from being sundered. If that is the case, a wizard should always pick an amultet as a bonded item over a ring.


I think everybody can read Jason´s last post twice if necessary.

My only question is whether it´s intended that a Monk throw all the WBL into a multi-function/off-slot item, which seems to be fine by the rules...?

From Jason´s previous post, it sounds more like Paizo was expecting an adventuring party to take-over the Monk´s wealth share, thus enhancing other PC´s wealth (making them more powerful, thus the group, and making the Monk a valued member of the party since he´s not impacting group strength). Obviously that´s not that PFS-compatable, but we don´t even know if this Variant will be PFS-blessed at this point. IS that the intent?, or should VoP Monks be expected to have an ´uber item´ (less efficient at converting WBL to buffs, but balancing with what they gain as a Class). That seems MORE than reasonable on a power-scale to me, but it seems like it grates against the theme of the Variant in the first place.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Braden wrote:

Sundering your best item sucks, but you will probably be ok. Sundering all your items makes you pretty worthless. One good hit will destroy the amulet. Which either will require a lot of time or a 40th level wizard to repaid. Take the 12th level monk from above and give him 18 str, 18 dex and 18 wisdom, and +2 deflection bonus his CMD is 28. A level 12 warrior with 18 strength hits it almost half the time. (Please let me know if I am missing something).

Under most circumstances, I would assume a DM sundering a monk's amulet is probably metagaming the hell out of the situation. Count me as considering the situation unlikely for any DM trying to role play the NPCs fairly.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Pyrrhic Victory wrote:

I know this is exactly what the internet is for but this is really a tempest in a teacup. The real "problem" here is that different people play differently. To a powergamer VoP is a horrible player trap. To a roleplayer is it an opportunity to try something difficult. It is kind of like playing your favorite video game on difficulty level "absurd". Some gamers will never do it because they know the computer "cheats" at that level and breaks rules in order to make things as difficult as possible. Some people just see it as a challenge and try over and over despite getting killed most times.

The reason this issue glares at many is because weak PC classes "break the rules" set forth originally in 3x. All PC classes are supposed to be equal. A fighter does the same damage as a wizard and so forth. But built into the game is also a lot of stuff left over from previous editions of the game. So we have a game where everything is supposed to be equal but player choices make it unequal in some situations.

I say to that ... so what. I will never take dodge or toughness but they have their place in the game and some people always include them in their builds. The rules as designed also have to work for npcs as well. I would never build a PC like an NPC designed to exist for one encounter, but the rules need to support those guys too.

So the poor monk might not be the best. But there is a place for him, even if most players will never play one. I don't like bards, I have never seen anyone play a loremaster, and don't ever expect to see a PC bloatmage but they all have a place even if suboptimal. (I'm looking at you bard.)

+1


ProfessorCirno wrote:


I don't need rules to roleplay.

Oh, okay! So your monk will just take a Vow of Poverty and not take any bonus to go with it.

Cool!


@Braden:

Well, on what grounds would the fighter go attack the simple-clad monk; moreover why would he target an amulet that he doesn't necessarily know that the monk is carrying under his simple robe? You're right, there is nothing in the rules that says an amulet needs to be worn displayed to the world to function. Under the robe is as good a spot for it as over the robe.

Yes, of course, having your uber-item sundered sucks. But that isn't much of a problem unless your GM is totally without soul. 95% of GMs out there will ensure that the monk regains an item of some value at his monastry or wherever is appropriate.

@Everybody else:

Other than having one (expensive) item - I think by the VoP it is also perfectly acceptable for the monk to have permanent enchantments on him. Braden will of course be correct when he points out that it sucks when you get dispelled.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:
Braden wrote:

Sundering your best item sucks, but you will probably be ok. Sundering all your items makes you pretty worthless. One good hit will destroy the amulet. Which either will require a lot of time or a 40th level wizard to repaid. Take the 12th level monk from above and give him 18 str, 18 dex and 18 wisdom, and +2 deflection bonus his CMD is 28. A level 12 warrior with 18 strength hits it almost half the time. (Please let me know if I am missing something).

Under most circumstances, I would assume a DM sundering a monk's amulet is probably metagaming the hell out of the situation. Count me as considering the situation unlikely for any DM trying to role play the NPCs fairly.

I'm sorry, I call BS on this. It pops up in every thread, where someone says 'HEY! A****** GM FOR SUNDERING! YOU STINK!"

If an enemy has Arcane Sight up, and see's a giant glow the size of a mack truck on the monks' chest and tells the fighter to sunder his breast bone, that's no more metagamey than having a monk who has a vow of poverty walking around with 80,000 freaking gold pieces hanging around his neck.


LoreKeeper wrote:

@Braden:

Well, on what grounds would the fighter go attack the simple-clad monk; moreover why would he target an amulet that he doesn't necessarily know that the monk is carrying under his simple robe? You're right, there is nothing in the rules that says an amulet needs to be worn displayed to the world to function. Under the robe is as good a spot for it as over the robe.

Yes, of course, having your uber-item sundered sucks. But that isn't much of a problem unless your GM is totally without soul. 95% of GMs out there will ensure that the monk regains an item of some value at his monastry or wherever is appropriate.

@Everybody else:

Other than having one (expensive) item - I think by the VoP it is also perfectly acceptable for the monk to have permanent enchantments on him. Braden will of course be correct when he points out that it sucks when you get dispelled.

It should be noted, I would be defending this if it provided some out of combat benefits. Even if they were circumstantial or just a few skill points. As it is, you are worse at combat and no better anywhere else. Even if your GM allows you to get the one massive item, the Ki points aren't worth it and you have to give up still mind.


Is this a vow of poverty or a vow of massive bling?


Not to join into any of the back-and-forth, but I will not be allowing this new VoP for anyone playing in my group. They simply aren't system savvy enough to realize how badly they'd be crippling themselves and would be disappointed with how using it in play would turn out.


mdt wrote:
If an enemy has Arcane Sight up, and see's a giant glow the size of a mack truck on the monks' chest and tells the fighter to sunder his breast bone, that's no more metagamey than having a monk who has a vow of poverty walking around with 80,000 freaking gold pieces hanging around his neck.

AFAIK Arcane Sight doesn´t let you see auras of objects you can´t see,

so clothing covering up the amulet and blocking line of sight should work just dandy.

¨G!+ d$@mit, why does that guy flying around all over the place have such a tight collar on his shirt???¨ ;-)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Is this a vow of poverty or a vow of massive bling?

It's a vow of putting your faberge egg in one basket. :)


Interesting mechanic. It won't be applicable to many games. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater by saying, "this mechanic is a complete waste, thus ultimate magic is a complete waste". More like, this is a disappointing option?

But in terms of optimization, you're given a puzzle. What can we do with all those extra ki points? Is there some new ability that lets us blow a big honking chunk of points to do something awesome? If not, there should be.

Let's see. . .with a 20 point buy that's

20 (13) (+2 human) (+1 level)
14 (5)
12 (2)
9 (-1)
14 (5)
7 (-4)

11 points = 6 monk level (regular half level + VoP half level) + 2 wisdom + 2 feat + 1 human favored class

That's a lot of points. Are there new options to blow those points on? Maybe spend double points on an ability to allow you to use another point of ki for another ability (as a non-action, maybe?)

I haven't read the actual text, but I'm assuming from what I'm reading you get one item exempted from the vow. That seems easy enough to break -- simply pile on added magic to a single item. Of course that's inefficient compared to regular gear. But how much of a character is really based on gear?

For instance, the monk above could get a +4 stat booster to Str in one item. That's a pretty good single item. . . A typical monk wouldn't have that. Is that too far of a departure from what a regular monk can do? Yes, it's weaker -- but it's not that far off.

Overall a meh ability -- definitely for someone who likes making the most out of weaker options. . .

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

unforgivn wrote:
Not to join into any of the back-and-forth, but I will not be allowing this new VoP for anyone playing in my group. They simply aren't system savvy enough to realize how badly they'd be crippling themselves and would be disappointed with how using it in play would turn out.

I am glad that you take a proactive approach to what content works for your group.

But lets all do a quick reality check here. The monk class only appeals to a limited subset of players, let alone monks that don't have any magic items as a concept, regardless of what they might get in return. I know that the concept has had various levels of traction over the years, primarily having to do with it being a bit unbalanced in some iterations, but considering the number of options available to players, and monk players as a subset, I am not sure that removing one concept out of many is a huge deal by any means.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
mdt wrote:
If an enemy has Arcane Sight up, and see's a giant glow the size of a mack truck on the monks' chest and tells the fighter to sunder his breast bone, that's no more metagamey than having a monk who has a vow of poverty walking around with 80,000 freaking gold pieces hanging around his neck.

AFAIK Arcane Sight doesn´t let you see auras of objects you can´t see,

so clothing covering up the amulet and blocking line of sight should work just dandy.

¨G#% d~&mit, why does that guy flying around all over the place have such a tight collar on his shirt???¨ ;-)

You should read the spell then. Here's a snip.

prd wrote:


This spell makes your eyes glow blue and allows you to see magical auras within 120 feet of you. The effect is similar to that of a detect magic spell, but arcane sight does not require concentration and discerns aura location and power more quickly.

You know the location and power of all magical auras within your sight. An aura's power depends on a spell's functioning level or an item's caster level, as noted in the description of the detect magic spell. If the items or creatures bearing the auras are in line of sight, you can make Spellcraft skill checks to determine the school of magic involved in each. (Make one check per aura; DC 15 + spell level, or 15 + half caster level for a nonspell effect.)

Arcane sight see's the aura, not the item. Since it requires more than a piece of simple homespun cloth to stop a magical aura (especially a powerful one)...


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So, in most cases we shoot for "close, but maybe a little less". No two options are ever going to be identical in power, since much of this depends on variables outside our control, many of which are campaign specific.

To this end, we shot low on this one.

Read my post from earlier in the thread. I don't think people have a problem that it's not shot higher than your benchmark, or that it was shot a little lower, it's that it was shot very, very, very low.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
mdt wrote:


I'm sorry, I call BS on this. It pops up in every thread, where someone says 'HEY! A****** GM FOR SUNDERING! YOU STINK!"

It's a good thing I didn't say that, isn't it?

mdt wrote:
If an enemy has Arcane Sight up, and see's a giant glow the size of a mack truck on the monks' chest and tells the fighter to sunder his breast bone, that's no more metagamey than having a monk who has a vow of poverty walking around with 80,000 freaking gold pieces hanging around his neck.

IF an enemy has arcane sight up and can either sunder worth a damn or has an ally who can do so. Hardly a very common encounter or what you'd face "under most circumstances". I wouldn't assume that most encounters with sunder-capable enemies would have an ally with arcane sight or would put a high priority on reducing the monk's jewelry-derived abilities rather than simply killing him and taking the amulet as valuable loot.

Plus, you'd be surprised at what kind of assets someone living in poverty might have... they'd have to be non-liquid assets. Even some medieval lords with valuable property could be quite cash poor. For a monk with an item of considerable personal value, I'd assume he wouldn't consider it a liquid asset at all.


mdt wrote:
It's a vow of putting your faberge egg in one basket. :)

Still, where's the poverty?

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Uninvited Ghost wrote:
Read my post from earlier in the thread. I don't think people have a problem that it's not shot higher than your benchmark, or that it was shot a little lower, it's that it was shot very, very, very low.

I get that, but most of us here have little time to argue about how many "very"s to put in front of low.

Jason


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Uninvited Ghost wrote:
Read my post from earlier in the thread. I don't think people have a problem that it's not shot higher than your benchmark, or that it was shot a little lower, it's that it was shot very, very, very low.

I get that, but most of us here have little time to argue about how many "very"s to put in front of low.

Jason

lol i <3 u jason.

This feat would be perfect for my world of Dorado, but for most of the people on these boards, you guys "dropped the ball." I love what the combined effects of the Vows can do for you, it's great, but most people will see it and vastly overreact. Vastly. I don't believe any ball was dropped anywhere (except in the editing of some stuff being taken out and whatnot, but that's understandable, as this is a large book)and I will probably play a VoP Qingong monk in my friend's game next semester when he runs it.

There is a simple solution to everyone on this thread: if you don't like it, don't play it. Don't b%$#& about it, discuss it like normal people, and just don't play it if doesn't fit your style.

EDIT: read "dropped the ball" while doing Dr. Evil hand-quotes.


Pyrrhic Victory wrote:
To a powergamer VoP is a horrible player trap. To a roleplayer is it an opportunity to try something difficult. It is kind of like playing your favorite video game on difficulty level "absurd".

Except this isn't called "absurd mode," it's given as a perfect applicable character choice (oh that also utterly cripples you btw forgot to mention that).

It has nothing to do with "power gamers" so don't even try to play that card.

To use your own example, it's kinda like playing your favorite video game except the "Martial Artist" class alters the game to completely obliterate your stats, and it's not mentioned anywhere, you just have to "figure it out" on your own, and if you want to make a martial artist wohops guess you have to be horrible at it.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
1. Not every option will be the best option ever. If it was, we'd have power bloat with every book.
That's a straw man if I've ever seen one. I don't believe ANYONE has said every option HAS to be the best ever, only balanced enough so as to be usable in the standard games and adventure paths you yourself just described.

Calm it down a bit. This is not a debate.

To explain a bit further, we have benchmark power curves that we shoot for most of the time, but we generally do not want to exceed them, because if we do, we move the curve and power bloat the whole system. So, in most cases we shoot for "close, but maybe a little less". No two options are ever going to be identical in power, since much of this depends on variables outside our control, many of which are campaign specific.

To this end, we shot low on this one. There are a lot of reasons why. What I was saying was an attempt to lay out some general assumptions about how we work.. not to imply broad consensus.

Lets just all ratchet it down a bit here. This thread is far too volatile for a rules piece that takes up one paragraph in a 256 page book.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

A real testament to the product that people are picking this one tiny item as the thing get upset about. It is easy to be a complainer (which is probably why I do it) but great job overall.


I am by no means saying Vow of Poverty is strong, but Pete (spoilered below) is fairly playable, I think. He only has 1 simple (non-blinged) wonderous item and two permanent enchantments. He relies on ki to be effective and defensive in combat.

Pete normally has 33 AC in combat (using 1 ki to apply barkskin on himself (ki power)) - then depending on the situation he may use ki offensively or defensively. On the defense he can add +4 dodge AC (total 37) spending 1 ki point, and he can use his quarterstaff and Shield of Swings for an additional +4 shield AC (total 41); if fighting defensively another +3 dodge AC (total 44) applies.

He's got decent saves, considering that he's got little in the way items to boost him. Fortunately he's immune to poison and disease; which eliminates a fair amount of Fortitude saves. His offensive output is quite good, considering; especially if Medusa's Wrath applies.

Pete the Pauper:

Male human vow of poverty monk 12
LG medium humanoid
Init +3; Senses Perception +18

-=DEFENSE=-
AC 33, touch 20, flat 26 (armor +8; dexterity +3; dodge +1; natural +5; wisdom +3; monk +3)
HP ??
Fort 12; Ref 14; Will 14

-=OFFENSE=-
Speed 70ft
Melee unarmed flurry +18/+18/+13/+13/+8 (2d6+7) Type: Slashing; Size: Medium;

-=OTHER=-
Str 18, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 7 (20pt buy, racial bonus on Strength)
BAB +9; CMB +16; CMD 24
Feats iron will, great fortitude, dodge, deflect arrows, lightning reflexes, weapon focus (unarmed), mobility, spring attack, power attack, medusa's wrath, shield of swings
Traits ??
Languages Common, ??
Favored class monk
Favored bonus +12/4 ki
Ki 18/day
Skills Skills per level: 5 (4 class + 1 human)
Trained Acrobatics 18(12), Perception 18(12), ??
Untrained ??

Wealth WBL: 108000; wealth spent: 76500
Equipment and Permanent enchantments
Bracers of Armor +8 (64000) only valuable item allowed
Resistance (+1 to saves), permanent (2500)
Greater magic fang +3, permanent (10000)
mundane quarterstaff

Obviously he could be made considerably more potent without the vow, but that is not the point of this exercise :)

Edit: fixed favored class


I'd again like to point out that so far the "viable" way to play a venerable monk who owns naught but an heirloom and the clothing on his back who gives his money away to charity...is to horde all your money and stack as many bizarre permanent magical spells on yourself as possible.

Which costs more.

Which means you need more.

Which means Vow of Poverty makes you greedier


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

I am by no means saying Vow of Poverty is strong, but Pete (spoilered below) is fairly playable, I think. He only has 1 simple (non-blinged) wonderous item and two permanent enchantments. He relies on ki to be effective and defensive in combat.

** spoiler omitted **...

Except that he can't get the permanent enchantments, since he can't save up the 12500 gold to get them. That would be a posession, not poverty.

The only way this could happen is if his friends all took out of their WBL to chip in and buy them for him.

Not exactly fair for his friends.


@mdt: you don't need to hoard money to get things. If the monk provides all his loot share to his monastery, there is little trouble in his master calling him over once a year and saying: "Here, hold still, this will tingle a bit."


@ProfessorCirno: it's not what you do, but how you do it. That is what I like about roleplaying.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

@mdt: you don't need to hoard money to get things. If the monk provides all his loot share to his monastery, there is little trouble in his master calling him over once a year and saying: "Here, hold still, this will tingle a bit."

So, he puts his share of wealth into a bag of holding, and then when he accumulates enough, he get's a goody.

How is this any different from hoarding the gold? It's not a vow of poverty, it's a vow of putting money in the bank (bag of holding/monestary/kingdom treasurey) and then getting the benefits of the gold later.

I'm not sure how you can advocate for something that either (A) Requires DM Fiat to work, (B) has to be rules lawyered six ways from sunday to work, and (C) completely ignores the flavor of the text in order to cheat to make it work.


LoreKeeper wrote:
@ProfessorCirno: it's not what you do, but how you do it. That is what I like about roleplaying.

You're literally making up rules to break pre-existing rules then stating that it's by the book.


mdt wrote:
Not exactly fair for his friends.

Wait, wouldn't the party get the monk's extra share of wealth? Assuming they're not "holding it for him," wouldn't the monk's party ultimately benefit by having his share of goods?


@mdt: How do you advocate he would get his one special item? And how does that item change from level 1 through to level 20?

You are speaking from a pragmatist approach that the PCs need to get loot from encounters which gets converted to items at shops. A vow of poverty character could never get anything in such a system, other than keep a loot item - which would be a form of greed on his part and contrary to the vow.

If the monk gives to his community, it is not unreasonable to expect him to accept an item or a favor from them in return. It makes for a wonderful story and that is something I think can be encouraged.

However, if you take Pete (above) you can reduce his wealth spent to 12500 if he just keeps the permanent enchantments, and another 16000 for a bracers +4 that he might have reasonable found along the way by that level saving the town from a manic dragon. That's 25% of his WBL and leaves him with 29 AC in combat, 33 with ki dodge, 37 with Shield of Swings, and 40 when fighting defensively. Still enough to compete in combat (since his offensive parameters haven't changed) but now suitably impoverished.

I think that is reasonable true to the vow and still playable enough?


meabolex wrote:
mdt wrote:
Not exactly fair for his friends.
Wait, wouldn't the party get the monk's extra share of wealth? Assuming they're not "holding it for him," wouldn't the monk's party ultimately benefit by having his share of goods?

Depends, as a GM (and a player) I would have the monk's share be allocated to a charity of his choice. And the other PCs do not qualify as a charity :)


LoreKeeper wrote:
Depends, as a GM (and a player) I would have the monk's share be allocated to a charity of his choice. And the other PCs do not qualify as a charity :)

Is that actually a requirement of the feat? Or just your own self-induced expected wealth per level versus CR headache? (:


LoreKeeper wrote:
meabolex wrote:
mdt wrote:
Not exactly fair for his friends.
Wait, wouldn't the party get the monk's extra share of wealth? Assuming they're not "holding it for him," wouldn't the monk's party ultimately benefit by having his share of goods?

Depends, as a GM (and a player) I would have the monk's share be allocated to a charity of his choice. And the other PCs do not qualify as a charity :)

I think that's how they did it with Vow of Poverty 3.5 that way there was no issues with it. He still got a share, and there was no issue with treasure. The monk got a share, he just donated it. That's how we do it. We have a half-orc monk in our 3.5 party with the Book of Exalted deeds with Vow of Poverty and he works just fine. This other one sounds sub par. You can't play the archetype like that...


If I were playing a VoP monk (which, admittedly, isn't likely) or if I were DMing a game with a player who wanted one for his PC, I'd take money completely out of it.

The monk would be rewarded by his monastery or order or whatever it is that he serves for his actions. He never takes money in any of his adventures, he doesn't pass it on to the monastery/ order and get a handy dandy amulet in return. He simply stays true to his vow, does what circumstances require and are rewarded consequently with enhancements to his heirloom/ token of faith/ whatever the case may be.

In a metagame sense, yeah that'd have a monetary value. To the monk in character it'd have a personal value and an effective value. No one's going to be running around casting arcane sight and getting a "That amulet is worth 88,000 gp." It may be glowing like the sun but so does the rest of the party.


LoreKeeper wrote:
meabolex wrote:
mdt wrote:
Not exactly fair for his friends.
Wait, wouldn't the party get the monk's extra share of wealth? Assuming they're not "holding it for him," wouldn't the monk's party ultimately benefit by having his share of goods?

Depends, as a GM (and a player) I would have the monk's share be allocated to a charity of his choice. And the other PCs do not qualify as a charity :)

How is that money getting out of the dungeon? He isn't allowed to carry it, some pretty nice folks to carry out his share of the loot and not keep any of it. Of course they are also nice enough to wait to go adventuring while items are upgraded and to pay for him to get some spells permanency cast on him (and if they didn't have it prepared I would rule that donating to charity option would require at least as much gold as hiring a spellcaster which adds another 1K or so to the costs)


LoreKeeper wrote:


However, if you take Pete (above) you can reduce his wealth spent to 12500 if he just keeps the permanent enchantments, and another 16000 for a bracers +4 that he might have reasonable found along the way by that level saving the town from a manic dragon. That's 25% of his WBL and leaves him with 29 AC in combat, 33 with ki dodge, 37 with Shield of Swings, and 40 when fighting defensively. Still enough to compete in combat (since his offensive parameters haven't changed) but now suitably impoverished.

I fail to see how he is using shield of swings, as he is not wielding a 2-handed weapon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
3. In the case of Vow of Poverty (VoP), we were left with a real quandary. Refusing to take magic items does not mean that your group (and you by default) would not still gain a benefit from that portion of the reward for an encounter. This means that either the GM has to reduce the treasure for everyone to balance out with whatever cool ability we give you (which screws with NPC loot values, published adventures, and a number of other variables, like bad guy challenge ratings), or we could not give you a very good ability in return.

The 3.5 version actually already solved the WBL and published treasure values issue. To summarise, the money was still split between all party members, only that the share of the VoP recipient was given to charity.


@Wander Weir: I think that works fine, but it is the GM's job then to make sure that the loot is appropriate for the rest of the party since they are effectively getting a bigger share each. This would not be a problem if the vow'ed monk didn't also get compensatory items/heirloom.

I guess since the GM can control it all, it'll balance out fine in the end :)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

@mdt: How do you advocate he would get his one special item? And how does that item change from level 1 through to level 20?

I would expect him to give his current item away, and then be allowed to pick up a new item. Not to save up for a new item by giving stuff to a NPC bank account.

For example, he starts with an heirloom weapon trait. He takes a temple sword that his master gave to him, for his journeyman travels. Later, he comes across bracers of armor +2 that have his traditions symbols on them. He wears the bracers, and stops using the sword (due to his vow), and seeks an apprentice. He teaches a new apprentice on the road, and gives that apprentice the temple sword when he reaches level 1 as a monk and leaves on his own journey.

Later, he is rewarded by a grateful king with a monk's robe, again with his order's symbols on it (either commisioned or in the king's treasury). He thanks the king, and puts away the bracers to give them away to the next monk he meets, or to charity, and stops using them.

Your method is the same as hoarding gold. This way, he always has the option to change out his one item. It could be he keeps the original temple sword his entire career. But it shouldn't be that he puts his share of the gold into an account and then draws it out every other level and enchants his special item with it. All the treasure he get's should be given away to the poor, or items sold and the money given to the poor, not stored away in a bank for his later use to get the same level of magic boosts that the rest of the team have.


Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:


However, if you take Pete (above) you can reduce his wealth spent to 12500 if he just keeps the permanent enchantments, and another 16000 for a bracers +4 that he might have reasonable found along the way by that level saving the town from a manic dragon. That's 25% of his WBL and leaves him with 29 AC in combat, 33 with ki dodge, 37 with Shield of Swings, and 40 when fighting defensively. Still enough to compete in combat (since his offensive parameters haven't changed) but now suitably impoverished.
I fail to see how he is using shield of swings, as he is not wielding a 2-handed weapon.

That comes from the mundane quarterstaff. I didn't explicitly rewrite it in that post.


LoreKeeper wrote:
Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:


However, if you take Pete (above) you can reduce his wealth spent to 12500 if he just keeps the permanent enchantments, and another 16000 for a bracers +4 that he might have reasonable found along the way by that level saving the town from a manic dragon. That's 25% of his WBL and leaves him with 29 AC in combat, 33 with ki dodge, 37 with Shield of Swings, and 40 when fighting defensively. Still enough to compete in combat (since his offensive parameters haven't changed) but now suitably impoverished.
I fail to see how he is using shield of swings, as he is not wielding a 2-handed weapon.
That comes from the mundane quarterstaff. I didn't explicitly rewrite it in that post.

Ah.Completely missed that quarterstaff


mdt wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

@mdt: How do you advocate he would get his one special item? And how does that item change from level 1 through to level 20?

I would expect him to give his current item away, and then be allowed to pick up a new item. Not to save up for a new item by giving stuff to a NPC bank account.

For example, he starts with an heirloom weapon trait. He takes a temple sword that his master gave to him, for his journeyman travels. Later, he comes across bracers of armor +2 that have his traditions symbols on them. He wears the bracers, and stops using the sword (due to his vow), and seeks an apprentice. He teaches a new apprentice on the road, and gives that apprentice the temple sword when he reaches level 1 as a monk and leaves on his own journey.

Later, he is rewarded by a grateful king with a monk's robe, again with his order's symbols on it (either commisioned or in the king's treasury). He thanks the king, and puts away the bracers to give them away to the next monk he meets, or to charity, and stops using them.

Your method is the same as hoarding gold. This way, he always has the option to change out his one item. It could be he keeps the original temple sword his entire career. But it shouldn't be that he puts his share of the gold into an account and then draws it out every other level and enchants his special item with it. All the treasure he get's should be given away to the poor, or items sold and the money given to the poor, not stored away in a bank for his later use to get the same level of magic boosts that the rest of the team have.

I'm perfectly happy with the approach you described here; and is in fact similar to how I would GM the situation. Given such a system, and that is fair to assume the monk has picked up a +4 bracers by level 12, my rendition of Pete the Pauper still works. Not super effective (but what do you expect) but I'd still call him playable.

He could scrap wealth entirely if he has a friendly wizard or something in the party that is willing to cast mage armor and greater magic weapon for him every day. Not an entirely unreasonable possibility.

Edit: the point of Pete the Pauper is a proof of concept that its not unreasonable to have a playable monk with nearly no wealth spent.


LoreKeeper wrote:
Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:


However, if you take Pete (above) you can reduce his wealth spent to 12500 if he just keeps the permanent enchantments, and another 16000 for a bracers +4 that he might have reasonable found along the way by that level saving the town from a manic dragon. That's 25% of his WBL and leaves him with 29 AC in combat, 33 with ki dodge, 37 with Shield of Swings, and 40 when fighting defensively. Still enough to compete in combat (since his offensive parameters haven't changed) but now suitably impoverished.
I fail to see how he is using shield of swings, as he is not wielding a 2-handed weapon.
That comes from the mundane quarterstaff. I didn't explicitly rewrite it in that post.

He can't have a quarterstaff and the bracers. "The monk taking a vow of poverty must never own more than six possessions—a simple set of clothing, a pair of sandals or shoes, a bowl, a sack, a blanket, and any one other item. Five of these items must be of plain and simple make, though one can be of some value (often an heirloom of great personal significance to the monk). "


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Braden wrote:


He can't have a quarterstaff and the bracers. "The monk taking a vow of poverty must never own more than six possessions—a simple set of clothing, a pair of sandals or shoes, a bowl, a sack, a blanket, and any one other item. Five of these items must be of plain and simple make, though one can be of some value (often an heirloom of great personal significance to the monk). "

This one I'd give him, a quarterstaff is 0gp. It's just a stick. :) So it's worthless. :)


mdt wrote:
Braden wrote:


He can't have a quarterstaff and the bracers. "The monk taking a vow of poverty must never own more than six possessions—a simple set of clothing, a pair of sandals or shoes, a bowl, a sack, a blanket, and any one other item. Five of these items must be of plain and simple make, though one can be of some value (often an heirloom of great personal significance to the monk). "
This one I'd give him, a quarterstaff is 0gp. It's just a stick. :) So it's worthless. :)

Yeah I'd comp him a stick too ;)


Borthos Brewhammer wrote:
mdt wrote:
Braden wrote:


He can't have a quarterstaff and the bracers. "The monk taking a vow of poverty must never own more than six possessions—a simple set of clothing, a pair of sandals or shoes, a bowl, a sack, a blanket, and any one other item. Five of these items must be of plain and simple make, though one can be of some value (often an heirloom of great personal significance to the monk). "
This one I'd give him, a quarterstaff is 0gp. It's just a stick. :) So it's worthless. :)
Yeah I'd comp him a stick too ;)

Fine but he has to give up the bowl.


You wouldn't deprive an old man of his walking stick, would you? ;p

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