Monks: What is their "role?"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Malignor wrote:

Strategic selective combatant.

Monks' mobility allows them to quickly reach weak enemies, or to get advantageous positioning.
Monks' offense allows them to deliver okay damage and deliver status effects via special attack options.
Monks' defenses allow them to resist status effects or unusual attack forms (such as touch attacks).

This all tells me that a Monk's build is designed primarily for taking out everyone except brutes and other melee focused foes, in a fast blitzkrieg style offense.

It's not necessary to take down brutes, either - just tie them down while the party tank grinds through the mooks unopposed.


Zark wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
[...] but I'm still having trouble grasping just *what* it is the monk is supposed to be doing in the grand scheme of things. In a way, this feeling extends to the other hybrid classes, but for me the monk is the most elusive.

+1

To sum it up: It doesn't really have a purpose.

It's the class that suffers mostly from MAD.
It doesn't have any social skills, (low on charisma).
It doesn't have as many skills or class skills as a rogue, ranger or bard.
It's not a great scout since it can't boost dex the same way a rogue, bard or a ranger can. Even a druid might be a better scout.
It can't find or disarm traps as well as a rogue
It can't hurt anything well except critters.
It doesn't have sneak attack damage as the rogue so it can't rely on weapon damage
It doesn't have buffs, spells and skills as the bard.
It doesn't have spells as a bard, druid or a cleric.
It has a problem dealing damage and a problem hitting foes.
It has a really great problem dealing with DR and the solution is expensive (an amulet of Mighty Fists +3 costs 45,000 gp and the amulet takes up a slot. A +3 weapon costs 18,000 gp and no slot.)
It's far from the best Support class.
It's speed is highly overrated

As for Combat Maneuvers. from Treantmonk's Guide to Monks:

Improved Grapple: If you are going to use Combat Maneuvers - this is the one you want. Grapple is one of the only CM where you can take the "Greater" version without Combat Expertise (which you don't want, and wouldn't qualify for even if you did), so this is a primary option.

So he can grapple, but he is no disarm or trip master. And at higher levels most if not all Combat Maneuvers are pretty useless in boss fights. Sure you can grapple a spell caster but they can always use dimension door or still spell or buff them self with freedom of movement (or whatever).

As for the monk's weakness, BigNorseWolf sums it up pretty good in another thread:
The hate for the monk comes from the fact that its two...

I think that Ultimate Combat helped with a lot of these problems. The Maneuver Master will be able to get the greater feats with ease, thus opening up otherwise subpar maneuver options; with Greater Trip, the monk can dominate his opponent. And then there are the style feats, which I am still contemplating. They have massive potential.


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TarkXT wrote:
Zark wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
stuff

Thanks for the info :-)

The part: " I would not take a core monk over anything else, though." still adress a problem. Paizo won't fix the core version of some of the more problematic classes.

And they won't. That's something I think we're all going to have to just get over. The developer's have moved on. They're giving powerful archetypes to the classes that really need it and decnt/ok/equivalent archetypes to the rest.

We won't see any major changes like what would be required unless they make a Pathfinder 2.0

Agreed. The whole point of maintaining some semblence of backward compatibility was that truly major changes to the core were largely avoided. They have shown through the APG, UM, and UC that they are aware of certain deficiencies in the core classes, but they aren't going to be completely rewrite the core classes themselves until PF 2.0, at which point, whenever that might come, I would expect to see a lot of the lessons learned from the archetypes incorporated into the core class writeups.


Zark wrote:
Jon Otaguro 428 wrote:
I had my alchemist cohort use a 2nd level spell to reuse a 20th level barkskin potion over and over), and other buffs (I had an alchemist cohort, so I could get shield).

By RAW this can't be done.

If I'm wrong, tell me how it was done. I may have missed some new Feat or archetype.

Not sure which part you are asking about.

1) Infusion discovery allows other characters to use alchemist elixirs. This is one of the few ways you can get shield on someone who is not a spellcaster (the other is using UMD on a wand of shield).

2) Alchemical allocation allows you to drink a potion, get the effects of the potion and then spit it back into the potion bottle.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Sovereign Court

Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Not everyone can be superman. Some people play the game as a team.


In some combats, such as against brutish or powerful fighting types, the Monk ends up playing sidekick, likely by being the flanker who does somewhat less damage than the warrior.

In other combats, such as the "many less-powerful", or the special-attackers like outsiders or archer types or spellcasters, the Monk becomes very useful as they zip in to harass, negate, and likely kick the snot out of, said combatants.

FYI, in the army, a support gunner gets the big machinegun.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:


What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

sup·port (s-pôrt, -prt)

tr.v. sup·port·ed, sup·port·ing, sup·ports
1. To bear the weight of, especially from below.
2. To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
3. To be capable of bearing; withstand: "His flaw'd heart . . . too weak the conflict to support" (Shakespeare).
4. To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen: The letter supported him in his grief.
5. To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.
6. To furnish corroborating evidence for: New facts supported her story.
7.
a. To aid the cause, policy, or interests of: supported her in her election campaign.
b. To argue in favor of; advocate: supported lower taxes.
8. To endure; tolerate: "At supper there was such a conflux of company that I could scarcely support the tumult" (Samuel Johnson).
9. To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer).
n.
1.
a. The act of supporting.
b. The state of being supported.
2. One that supports.
3. Maintenance, as of a family, with the necessities of life.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:


What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

sup·port (s-pôrt, -prt)

tr.v. sup·port·ed, sup·port·ing, sup·ports
1. To bear the weight of, especially from below.
2. To hold in position so as to keep from falling, sinking, or slipping.
3. To be capable of bearing; withstand: "His flaw'd heart . . . too weak the conflict to support" (Shakespeare).
4. To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen: The letter supported him in his grief.
5. To provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities.
6. To furnish corroborating evidence for: New facts supported her story.
7.
a. To aid the cause, policy, or interests of: supported her in her election campaign.
b. To argue in favor of; advocate: supported lower taxes.
8. To endure; tolerate: "At supper there was such a conflux of company that I could scarcely support the tumult" (Samuel Johnson).
9. To act in a secondary or subordinate role to (a leading performer).
n.
1.
a. The act of supporting.
b. The state of being supported.
2. One that supports.
3. Maintenance, as of a family, with the necessities of life.

Lol, a bit literal, aren't we? Good. I know what "support" means, I should have clarified. What does support mean in the context of a group of adventures? In combat situations? In theory, doesn't every member of the party "support" the other? How does a monk's "support" differ from other classes?

Dark Archive

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Listen Grasshopper... Move like the wind to those who would do harm, and hold them still so they may not escape. But stay your hand from the killing blow. Let the metal mountains walk up and strike their mighty blows, so that their ego is not bruised. Thus peace will reign.


Pan wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Not everyone can be superman. Some people play the game as a team.

Team play is important. Even Superman joined a team, the Justice League. And in that team, the other members are considered his equals. I don't recall seeing any side-kicks with full memberships.


Sayer_of_Nay wrote:


Team play is important. Even Superman joined a team, the Justice League. And in that team, the other members are considered his equals. I don't recall seeing any side-kicks with full memberships.

+1

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
Team play is important. Even Superman joined a team, the Justice League. And in that team, the other members are considered his equals. I don't recall seeing any side-kicks with full memberships.

Superman is on a team because crossovers sell comics, not because it makes any sense.


Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Leadership for the win. ^.^


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Nbarg the Wise wrote:
Listen Grasshopper... Move like the wind to those who would do harm, and hold them still so they may not escape. But stay your hand from the killing blow. Let the metal mountains walk up and strike their mighty blows, so that their ego is not bruised. Thus peace will reign.

"Listen worm...behold the mighty power of freedom of movement and your inability to effectively pierce mirror image and displacement. Run like the wind as I fly upon it, and bring you ruin with the fiendish t-rexes I drop on your face. Carefully, walk softly, that you see no men of metal, for they have sharp swords that will kill you. Flee and run if you find me, for I will not be stunned, and cower before the might of my minions. Thus, I will reign." - Generic NPC Lich or other spellcaster worth his salt.


Jon Otaguro 428 wrote:

.

1) Infusion discovery allows other characters to use alchemist elixirs. This is one of the few ways you can get shield on someone who is not a spellcaster (the other is using UMD on a wand of shield).

2) Alchemical allocation allows you to drink a potion, get the effects of the potion and then spit it back into the potion bottle.

OK. Thanks for the info.


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sunshadow21 wrote:

[

Agreed. The whole point of maintaining some semblence of backward compatibility was that truly major changes to the core were largely avoided.

I'm not talking about major changes. The APG fixed the core barbarian so why can't they fix they core Monk ...or Rogue and fighter for that matter?

Most classes have a plan B. They can still be useful even when fighting foes that aren't suited for their abilities.

Spellcasters fighting monsters immune to magic can buff allies or summon monsters. Paladins can heal, and buff them self and/or her friends when facing neutral foes. Bards can do all of that and more when facing undeads and other creatures with immunities to mind affecting abilities.

I'm not sure what Monk should to when facing a dragon, some huge undead or evil outsider or a flying wizard or whatever. Not sure what a rogue should do when facing anything immune to sneak attack.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Zark wrote:

I'm not sure what Monk should to when facing a dragon, some huge undead or evil outsider or a flying wizard or whatever. Not sure what a rogue should do when facing anything immune to sneak attack.

Well, a monk should waste the dragon with some sort of competent melee plan, of which it has many (although many of them are buried). Likewise the evil outsider. Hopefully, flight is something which is solved with magic items or party support by the time it's regularly needed. Monks aren't great, by any means, but APG and UC give them some competent combat plans.

The monk now can sit in the same chair as the fighter/barbarian/paladin, rather than no chairs as before. It's a very weak chair, mind, but it's better than nothing.


Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Didn't the Hero Support characters in Sky High end up defeating the bad guys and saving the day? Sounds like fun to me!


Dabbler wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Didn't the Hero Support characters in Sky High end up defeating the bad guys and saving the day? Sounds like fun to me!

But that was only because

A. the guy decided he wanted to be hero support: super strength/flight is not support
B. The plant girl used her abilities in a plant area (her powers are situationally useful). So she shouldn't be hero support (Aqua Man wasn't before his powerup grade to control Cthulhu, yeah any thing that lives in water is his domain including that guy)
C. Polymorph even into a tiny animal has the uses when you need to get through a cramped environment.
D. Okay the slime man... I think he is hero support


Dabbler wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Didn't the Hero Support characters in Sky High end up defeating the bad guys and saving the day? Sounds like fun to me!

Not really. They just gave the main character, who was technically a Hero, some assistance.


So when is a hero 'support', and when is support a 'hero'?

What you've both highlighted there is that the line is actually quite blurry: there are times when the right power at the right time in the right place is more important than a lot of power a lot of the time. The monk has breadth rather than depth of power, a generalist to the usual specialists, but that doesn't mean they are not useful or fun it just means you have several bit-parts all the time rather than one starring role on one time.


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How to make a Wizard unhappy:

0) "Hey, Bill, can you cast silence on me?" "Sure thing, Silent Bob."
1) Ranks in Stealth. How much Perception do you have, oh Wizard with a 24 INT, 10 WIS and All The Knowledges Of The World? Oh? You're rolling at d20+8 with the help of your familiar and a Magic Item? Let's see. I'm rolling 1d20+18. Good luck with that.
2) Abundant Step. dimension door as a move action. I'm now right behind you.
3) Greater Grapple. How many spells do you have that require A) no verbal component and b) no somatic components? No, sorry, your metamagic rod of Silent Spell won't help you with where I put it. Gotta be carrying it with your hand, not your sinus (or other...) cavities.
4) Diamond Soul: Beat a caster level check of 23+ please.


AdAstraGames wrote:

How to make a Wizard unhappy:

0) "Hey, Bill, can you cast silence on me?" "Sure thing, Silent Bob."
1) Ranks in Stealth. How much Perception do you have, oh Wizard with a 24 INT, 10 WIS and All The Knowledges Of The World? Oh? You're rolling at d20+8 with the help of your familiar and a Magic Item? Let's see. I'm rolling 1d20+18. Good luck with that.
2) Abundant Step. dimension door as a move action. I'm now right behind you.
3) Greater Grapple. How many spells do you have that require A) no verbal component and b) no somatic components? No, sorry, your metamagic rod of Silent Spell won't help you with where I put it. Gotta be carrying it with your hand, not your sinus (or other...) cavities.
4) Diamond Soul: Beat a caster level check of 23+ please.

By time you have Diamomd Soul of 23, the caster can be Caster 13 (or higher if BBEG). So he needs a 10 (assuming he doesn't have the trait that adds +2 caster, spells, Spell penetration, etc).

Have to hope it wasn't a True name Wizard as he cast Planar Binding (as standard action) without verbal/somantic components (spell-like).


AdAstraGames wrote:

How to make a Wizard unhappy:

I find that kicking the wizard repeatedly in the groin, regardless of gender, causes much unhappiness. And if they try any of their mirror image/displacement shenanigans, I like to use the Blind Fight feat to get past all of that; sight-based illusions don't work if you can see in the first place.


The difference between "Hero" and "Hero Support" depends on shine.
The Bard is very much "Hero Support". The reason is that the Bard doesn't really do anything on a regular basis which causes all the other players sitting around the table to stop what they are doing, look at the Bard player, and say "wow, that was cool!"

The Monk (at least the Monk in the hands of a player who knows what he's doing) -does- regularly get the rest of the players to stop what they are doing, turn to face the Monk's player, and say "wow, that was cool!"


And, incidentally, the only thing the Monk class needs that it doesn't already have is the ability to go without magic items. Of all the classes, the Christmas Tree effect is most disruptive to Monks.

I was working on a solution awhile back which had the monk replace magic items with training in secret techniques.


Ashiel wrote:
Nbarg the Wise wrote:
Listen Grasshopper... Move like the wind to those who would do harm, and hold them still so they may not escape. But stay your hand from the killing blow. Let the metal mountains walk up and strike their mighty blows, so that their ego is not bruised. Thus peace will reign.
"Listen worm...behold the mighty power of freedom of movement and your inability to effectively pierce mirror image and displacement. Run like the wind as I fly upon it, and bring you ruin with the fiendish t-rexes I drop on your face. Carefully, walk softly, that you see no men of metal, for they have sharp swords that will kill you. Flee and run if you find me, for I will not be stunned, and cower before the might of my minions. Thus, I will reign." - Generic NPC Lich or other spellcaster worth his salt.

The monk is someone who can take down that mirror image faster than anyone else.

Edit - other than a dispel magic of course, but that has its own issues.


Ashiel wrote:
Nbarg the Wise wrote:
Listen Grasshopper... Move like the wind to those who would do harm, and hold them still so they may not escape. But stay your hand from the killing blow. Let the metal mountains walk up and strike their mighty blows, so that their ego is not bruised. Thus peace will reign.
"Listen worm...behold the mighty power of freedom of movement and your inability to effectively pierce mirror image and displacement. Run like the wind as I fly upon it, and bring you ruin with the fiendish t-rexes I drop on your face. Carefully, walk softly, that you see no men of metal, for they have sharp swords that will kill you. Flee and run if you find me, for I will not be stunned, and cower before the might of my minions. Thus, I will reign." - Generic NPC Lich or other spellcaster worth his salt.

"Hola, mi llamo Masked LichBreaker. I am from distant mountains where monks practice the sacred art of the lucha libre. As you can see I now have you firmly in the patented LichBreaker armlock. Do not attempt to cast spells or I will remove your limbs. As you can see I have used the power of the Lucha to prevent you from invoking your unmanly powers to escape this grasp. You will note that you are currently falling as I place you into a deadly pile driver. I ask only that you pass into death with dignity."~Masked LichBreaker Lucha Libre and Tetori Monk.


TarkXT wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Nbarg the Wise wrote:
Listen Grasshopper... Move like the wind to those who would do harm, and hold them still so they may not escape. But stay your hand from the killing blow. Let the metal mountains walk up and strike their mighty blows, so that their ego is not bruised. Thus peace will reign.
"Listen worm...behold the mighty power of freedom of movement and your inability to effectively pierce mirror image and displacement. Run like the wind as I fly upon it, and bring you ruin with the fiendish t-rexes I drop on your face. Carefully, walk softly, that you see no men of metal, for they have sharp swords that will kill you. Flee and run if you find me, for I will not be stunned, and cower before the might of my minions. Thus, I will reign." - Generic NPC Lich or other spellcaster worth his salt.
"Hola, mi llamo Masked LichBreaker. I am from distant mountains where monks practice the sacred art of the lucha libre. As you can see I now have you firmly in the patented LichBreaker armlock. Do not attempt to cast spells or I will remove your limbs. As you can see I have used the power of the Lucha to prevent you from invoking your unmanly powers to escape this grasp. You will note that you are currently falling as I place you into a deadly pile driver. I ask only that you pass into death with dignity."~Masked LichBreaker Lucha Libre and Tetori Monk.

It is honorable of you to have allowed the frail, sickly man to finish his empty boast before you showed him the power of the lucha.

Sovereign Court

Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
Pan wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Not everyone can be superman. Some people play the game as a team.
Team play is important. Even Superman joined a team, the Justice League. And in that team, the other members are considered his equals. I don't recall seeing any side-kicks with full memberships.

Touche. I guess I dont expect each character on their own to be a super hero. Its working together that makes the game really interesting to me. I tend to be an odd man out in these discussions. I dont like tight defined roles and I like the fact that people find certain roles absolutely necessary even less. Sorry for interrupting the discussion.


TarkXT wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Nbarg the Wise wrote:
Listen Grasshopper... Move like the wind to those who would do harm, and hold them still so they may not escape. But stay your hand from the killing blow. Let the metal mountains walk up and strike their mighty blows, so that their ego is not bruised. Thus peace will reign.
"Listen worm...behold the mighty power of freedom of movement and your inability to effectively pierce mirror image and displacement. Run like the wind as I fly upon it, and bring you ruin with the fiendish t-rexes I drop on your face. Carefully, walk softly, that you see no men of metal, for they have sharp swords that will kill you. Flee and run if you find me, for I will not be stunned, and cower before the might of my minions. Thus, I will reign." - Generic NPC Lich or other spellcaster worth his salt.
"Hola, mi llamo Masked LichBreaker. I am from distant mountains where monks practice the sacred art of the lucha libre. As you can see I now have you firmly in the patented LichBreaker armlock. Do not attempt to cast spells or I will remove your limbs. As you can see I have used the power of the Lucha to prevent you from invoking your unmanly powers to escape this grasp. You will note that you are currently falling as I place you into a deadly pile driver. I ask only that you pass into death with dignity."~Masked LichBreaker Lucha Libre and Tetori Monk.

lol. Nice.


Zmar wrote:
Let's settle on the fact that the VoP is a RP option that makes sense perhaps in low-magic games and be off toward other monkish fare.

The whole monk is a RP option that make sense perhaps in NPC-class-powered games.


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
Zmar wrote:
Let's settle on the fact that the VoP is a RP option that makes sense perhaps in low-magic games and be off toward other monkish fare.
The whole monk is a RP option that make sense perhaps in NPC-class-powered games.

Actually the monk works pretty good in a party of NPC classed characters. There's not actually a whole lot of difference between the NPC warrior and the 3.5 Fighter, beyond the warrior not getting weapon specialization, and the adept can actually make a decent member of the party if you don't hold back (though the adept was nerfed in Pathfinder because they nerfed stuff like polymorph).

EDIT: Recently as a bit of an experiment, I gave all the NPC classes a bonus feat at even levels, and allowed the adept to select 2 spells every level and cast them spontaneously, and ran some friends through a game with them all playing these modified NPC classes. It was simple and yet it worked pretty well.


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As it relates to monks, I'll quote part of myself from another thread:

ProfessorCirno wrote:

To go more into class and system design:

Ideally, in a class-based system, all classes should 1) Have something that is uniquely theirs, and 2) that something matters on the wide scale of the game. I cannot emphasize this enough - both of these must be present. If a class is really good at something and that something doesn't matter, you have an issue. If the class doesn't have anything unique to it's name, you have an issue.

So if you, for example, have a class that's really good at mobility, but your system punishes mobility with full attacks, then there's a problem. This is where monk threads originate from: the question of "Is the monk's 'cool thing' noteworthy enough to be of importance?" Alternately, if you have a class with relatively little to no abilities, then the class is often seen as being p. boring. Thus why so many people want alternate fighters that actually have unique abilities.

This is also where a class's role comes in. See, a role can be potentially anything. It doesn't have to straight out be "do damage, absorb damage, heal." A role to put it simply is "a specialization that the system rewards." So you can have a system with all those but then sub-specializations (does damage with fire, does damage by backstabbing) or other roles entirely (buffs players, debuffs enemies, enables players).

The rest is basically about spellcasters and my issues with the D20 skill system, so I'll spare you. The main thing is the first paragraph - does the monk have "unique aspects" that only they get to make themselves stand out, and are these unique aspects rewarded by the system?


Pan wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
Pan wrote:
Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Support.

What does "support" mean? And what does it do?

It reminds me of the movie Sky High. Students were either Heroes or Hero Support. Hero Support was a politically correct term for side-kick. I hope that support doesn't translate the same way in Pathfinder as it does in the movie. Because playing side-kick to the other player's super hero would be very un-fun.

Not everyone can be superman. Some people play the game as a team.
Team play is important. Even Superman joined a team, the Justice League. And in that team, the other members are considered his equals. I don't recall seeing any side-kicks with full memberships.
Touche. I guess I dont expect each character on their own to be a super hero. Its working together that makes the game really interesting to me. I tend to be an odd man out in these discussions. I dont like tight defined roles and I like the fact that people find certain roles absolutely necessary even less. Sorry for interrupting the discussion.

Well, PC classes *do* have abilities and capabilities far beyond what ordinary mortals can do. Even fighters, who are pretty much to most "ordinary" of the classes, can easily break the laws of physics. That doesn't mean they can go solo, however; the world is full of dangerous, freakish monstrosities that would love nothing more than eat humanity whole. One super hero, no matter how powerful, can take all of that on alone. Hence we have adventuring parties of super heroes (and villians).


I'll confine my monk role comments to what I've seen out of PF, and try to leave 3.0/5 baggage out of it. In my game, after the first 4 players covered the usual bases (fighter, rouge, divine, arcane), we added a 5th player, and he thought Monk would be a good 5th wheel class alternative to the obvious bard choice(I don't necessarily subscribe to the tradition party model, but my players do). So far he is good at combat, but generally more from a defensive perspective. He's kind of the Fighter's sidekick. He churns out predictable, medium damage, and because of his flurry of blows he usually hits something about once every turn. Good(not great) AC and HP, combine with his mobility to make him a moving stop gap, who plugs holes and accosts groups of tightly packed enemies, often keeping them in a holding pattern until the real damage dealers can get to them. He provides flanking for the rogue a lot. When he has used stunning fist in the past it has been very effective, but for some reason my player hasn't been using it enough. We've seen a lot of instances where he is the lone party member to make his saving throw which isn't surprising given the monk's base saves and Ability Dependency on Dex,Con,and Wis. So in combat, from what I've seen is he's a highly mobile defender/crowd controller.

Outside of combat he's a great skill monkey. Definitely fills in a lot for the rouge's deficits. High WIS plus class skill and good skill points equal best perceptionator in the party, which frees the the Rogue up to not worry about dumping his WIS stat. Good at sense motive too, which comes up a lot. Movement based skills occasionally come up as obstacle solvers and he can do a lot of those. Basically he doesn't really do the CHA based stuff or knowledge skills too well, but everything else is golden. He's actually a better investigator than the rouge, because his perception skill is slightly better, his other skills are comparable, and whenever his investigating triggers a trap, etc., he's got much better saves to fall back on. And he gets evasion like the rogue to further help with traps he triggers(plus slow fall if its a pit trap) too, so about the only dungeoneering situation Rouge does better in is disarming the trap after the monk or rogue find it, and I guess linguistics.

So basically he fills in a lot of the blanks for the fighter and the rogue, without contributing much to the duties traditionally filled by the cleric and the wizard.


The monk has a better chance in a nontraditional party. If skills are spread around and traps either aren't being used as rogue niche protection or are being handled by a bard or ranger the monk can be a better scout and skirmisher than the rogue. Better perception makes a better scout and pseudo-full BAB puts the monk closer to two weapon builds of proper martial classes than to the rogue.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You know, I'm surprised no one pointed this out sooner, but...

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Role: Monks excel at overcoming even the most

daunting perils, striking where it’s least expected, and
taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities. Fleet of foot
and skilled in combat, monks can navigate any battlefield
with ease, aiding allies wherever they are needed most.

Not that it's necessarily that helpful, but every class does have a 'role' description right there in their write-up in the classes chapter.


edross wrote:
I'll confine my monk role comments to what I've seen out of PF, and try to leave 3.0/5 baggage out of it. In my game, after the first 4 players covered the usual bases (fighter, rouge, divine, arcane), we added a 5th player, and he thought Monk would be a good 5th wheel class alternative to the obvious bard choice(I don't necessarily subscribe to the tradition party model, but my players do).

Are you aware that saying "this class is a good 5th wheel" is just the nice way to say "this class is useless"?

The game is designed to around the 4-PC-party; such a party should be able to handle any kind of challenge. A PC who can only be added to a party which can already do anything, is basically a useless PC.

BTW, the bard is far from a 5th wheel. As a character who's better at fighting than fighter and better at scouting than rogue, the bard is more like a 1st wheel.

----
I can't think of a single thing that a monk can do and that a magus can't do better. Magus are better fighter's sidekick (enlarge, bull's strength, haste...), better mobility (expeditious retreat, phantom steed, fly, haste, force hook charge+full attack, teleport+full attack...), better at manoeuvre (true strike, enlarge/monstrous physique), better AC and survivability, better at skills (Int as secondary stat and familiar - aka "free vigilance, free +3 in any skill, and double perception check")... And magus isn't one of the most powerful class.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:

And they won't. That's something I think we're all going to have to just get over. The developer's have moved on. They're giving powerful archetypes to the classes that really need it and decnt/ok/equivalent archetypes to the rest.

We won't see any major changes like what would be required unless they make a Pathfinder 2.0

Changes happening may actually be more likely than you think.


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
Are you aware that saying "this class is a good 5th wheel" is just the nice way to say "this class is useless"?

I have seen some silly things said on these boards, but that's about the silliest.

Open the boot of your car, see that spare wheel? Is it useless? I mean, it's not attached to an axle, it has no power to it - it's not even in contact with the road! Useless, right? Not if you lose another one it isn't.

5th-wheel characters are those that are NOT specialised in one of the traditional roles of Thug, Caster, Healer and Sneak, but instead can fill in for two or more of them, and help them do their job better. Like the spare tyre in your car, they may feel like dead weight sometimes, but you'll be grateful of them when you need them. Very often they are able to bring a few unique (if non-essential) abilities to the party in addition. They will never be as good as the specialists at what the specialists do - that's why the specialists are specialists, of course - but that does not mean that they are by any means useless.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Of course, if the monk fails to accomplish that role...


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Dabbler wrote:
Open the boot of your car, see that spare wheel? Is it useless? I mean, it's not attached to an axle, it has no power to it - it's not even in contact with the road! Useless, right? Not if you lose another one it isn't.

You mean that the role of the monk is to wait until some real PC dies? Uh, great role.

Anyway, how is he better at this "role" than any real class?

Quote:
Very often they are able to bring a few unique (if non-essential) abilities to the party in addition. They will never be as good as the specialists at what the specialists do - that's why the specialists are specialists, of course - but that does not mean that they are by any means useless.

You are aware that bards are better than specialist at social interaction? (lot of skills, Cha-based sense motive, charm, glibness...)

You are aware that bards are better than specialist at sneaking ? (lot of skills, alter self, invisibility - or invisibility sphere - , sculpt sound, low-range scrying, DimDoor...)

Druids are better than specialists at fighting and sneaking, magus are better than specialists at fighting, mobility and skills, etc.

In pathfinder, a class can be a jack-of-all-trade AND be a specialist at the same time. What does a "5th wheel" (aka "a class weaker than non-specialist in all area") adds to the group? Why would you use a monk as a 5th wheel instead of a real wheel like a magus, a bard or a ranger?


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:

*obvious flame baiting*

caster-martial disparity thread is that way

<----------------------------------


Brutalitops wrote:

caster-martial disparity thread is that way

<----------------------------------

True. This thread is the monk-martial disparity thread.

Anyway, someone in the C-M D thread is arguing that melee druids aren't full caster. I can probably argue that bards aren't caster at all.


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
Brutalitops wrote:

Anyway, someone in the C-M D thread is arguing that melee druids aren't full caster. I can probably argue that bards aren't caster at all.

That's just... O_o


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
Brutalitops wrote:

caster-martial disparity thread is that way

<----------------------------------

True. This thread is the monk-martial disparity thread.

Anyway, someone in the C-M D thread is arguing that melee druids aren't full caster. I can probably argue that bards aren't caster at all.

That is not logical...


So then to deconstruct and simplify your point, you do not believe in the effectiveness of anything other specialists, and believe even less in non-full casters, because they do not optimize their spell DCs and are less effective at casting spells, the "real" action economy in the game. Fair enough, you are entitled to that interpretation, but that is not the current topic of discussion.

We are discussing a monks role in the average party, one with martial and caster types. Using Prof Cirno's standards for what makes a working class:

1. What they do Uniquely: Monks are the most prepared of any martial class in situations where a lack of items (armor, weapons, amulets, cloaks, etc) is the challenge, such as needing to blend in with the locals, or after being jailed and having all your stuff confiscated. The monks weapons, armor, and saving throw items are "built-in". Most are not even supernatural so they don't get blocked by anti-magic zones.

Mind you, I don't think its fair to compare the monk to a cleric who accomplishes the same thing by blowing a bunch of his spells for the day replicating the monks abilities for an encounter or two. Yes, casters can replicate other classes abilities, but only when they have the foresight to do so, and at the cost of behaving like their own class with their own unique stuffs.

2. Wide Scale Impact: Monks are about on par with fighters for damage, and are certainly the most mobile characters in the game. As has been discussed they can move about the battle field, off-tanking and flanking as needed. They make other melee better which is how they are team players. They are very defensive against casters and if built for grappling RUIN a caster based encounter.


Stéphane Le Roux wrote:

Are you aware that saying "this class is a good 5th wheel" is just the nice way to say "this class is useless"?

The game is designed to around the 4-PC-party; such a party should be able to handle any kind of challenge. A PC who can only be added to a party which can already do anything, is basically a useless PC.

BTW, the bard is far from a 5th wheel. As a character who's better at fighting than fighter and better at scouting than rogue, the bard is more like a 1st wheel.

Yes, I think the first time I saw that assertion was in the writings of Treeant Monk (very smart guy). But as Dabbler was getting at, I don't think it always holds true. If you have all the bases covered and then you add a fifth character there are arguments to be made in support of a fifth-wheel/jack-of-all class. I'm not sure if they out weigh the arguments in favor of two specialists double-teaming the crap out of 1 of your 4 bases (especially if its one of the important bases that stacks with itself well like meat shield or wizard), but some advantages are there.

I can see good reasons to say that the monk isn't much of a fifth wheel, but speaking more largely about a jack of all trades- the fifth wheel doesn't sit around waiting for the specialists to die. He adjusts for small situational deficiencies every round. If the fighter gets temporarily neutralized for a round, he can be a second line of defense and hold the line, or if more enemies enter the playing field mid battle in a pincer attack he can defend the casters, and he can coordinate special abilities with spell casters freeing up some of their spell slots, and (assuming he really is a jack of all trades) if the healer gets knocked out and needs healing himself or can't reach everyone who needs healing in time the fifth wheel can be there. Saying that he only fills in for the others when they are dead is hyperbole (its also a reason why the spare tire analogy isn't quite right).

As mentioned however, I'm not sure monk is much of a fifth wheel. He really doesn't fill many roles besides meat shield/crowd control, skill monkey, and (arguably) striker. I tend to think of the bard as the jack-of-all trades, because I think that's the way he was intended, though if you want to consider social skills and knowledge skills as separate bases I can see calling him a specialist and a jack of all trades rolled in one. I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge that there may be some builds that make him a better fighter than the fighter, but I'm not aware of them and I think they'd probably require some character investment that would detract from his versatility.

Brutalitops wrote:
2. Wide Scale Impact: Monks are about on par with fighters for damage, and are certainly the most mobile characters in the game. As has been discussed they can move about the battle field, off-tanking and flanking as needed. They make other melee better which is how they are team players. They are very defensive against casters and if built for grappling RUIN a caster based encounter.

I'd say this is the best and briefest answer I've seen for the OP's question. The only thing I'd be hesitant to fully accept is that they deal damage on par with a fighter, but it gets the point across that they consistently hurt stuff.

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