Monks: What is their "role?"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Brutalitops wrote:
Monks [...] are certainly the most mobile characters in the game.

Aha. Oho.

Sorry, it can't be helped when I read "Monk are mobile".

Enhancement bonus to base speed; "enhancement" means it doesn't stack with anything: until level 12, a monk is slower than a barbarian with haste. And after that level, a monk doesn't fly. Which makes his base speed irrelevant. Meh.

Well, let's talk about his mobility before level 10. In a world where haste, phantom steed, and mounted martial characters don't exist, of course. The monk has the highest base speed ever. And what does he do after moving? A single attack at 3/4 BAB for 1d10 damages? A manoeuvre, if the target isn't too large, can be targeted by by the manoeuvre of the monk, and hasn't too much defenses? What is the point of being rapidly in position if you can't do anything relevant? The barbarian moves only at 40 feet per round, but when he swings his greatsword after moving, peoples are dying.

I fail to see how the monk is "the most mobile class". When I imagine a "mobile character who make other melee better", I imagine at least a bard with a phantom steed, haste, inspire courage, and a pointy stick.

Quote:
They are very defensive against casters and if built for grappling RUIN a caster based encounter.

There's a wizard, Togomor, in the 12-th AP; level 15 (FP 14). Overland fly, quicken invisibility, greater invisibility, quicken DimDoor, Contingency: stoneskin. I didn't create him to counter the monk, he's an actual NPC, the PCs actually fight him in an actual AP.

It's a caster-based encounter, but I can't see anything that a 14th level monk can do against him. Even a monk built for grappling. Even with surprise, he escape the grapple with a the quicken DimDoor ends the grapple and allow Togomor to buff himself and come back.

When I imagine a mage killer, I imagine at least a bard with see invisibility, dispel magic and blindness/deafness. And a flying phantom steed at high level.


edross wrote:
. 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.

Fighting is about versatility.

The fighter is good for one and only one fighting scenario: there's a visible monster within reach. Because his numbers are higher than anyone else.

That's great, but, huh, anyone can do damages. Bards can do a fair amount of damages, even if it's less than a fighter. Now, let's compare two party.

  • Party A: fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard.
  • Party B: melee bard, cleric, rogue, wizard.

    When there are visible monsters within reach, Party B deals more damages than party A. The bard does a fair amount of damages, and he makes the difference with the fighter by increasing the damages of the cleric and the rogue.

    In a more complex situation, he can also help. eg: the bard can dispel a fly spell, stun a flying monster with sound burst, remove a fear effect with remove fear, remove invisibility with glitterdust. In those situation, the fighter can only wait for the cleric or the wizard to enable him.

    In any fighting situation, party B is doing better. Since the only difference is the bard, it means the bard is better than the fighter at fighting.

    And that's the key idea: fighters aren't good at fighting, they're good at "hitting thing at reach". In my experience, it's not a useful speciality for any scenario more complex than "here is a monster, he doesn't have any weird ability, and you must beat him to death".


  • edross wrote:
    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.

    Well, the way I look at it, you have five specialists for four specialities, then you only have a spare for one of them, and no spare for the others. If you have a generalist and four specialists, and one specialist goes down, you still have their boots partially filled.

    edross wrote:
    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.

    Exactly - the generalist helps the specialists do their job better - something I mentioned above but that Stephanie inexplicably failed to see, can't think why.


    Dabbler wrote:
    edross wrote:
    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.

    Well, the way I look at it, you have five specialists for four specialities, then you only have a spare for one of them, and no spare for the others. If you have a generalist and four specialists, and one specialist goes down, you still have their boots partially filled.

    edross wrote:
    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.

    Exactly - the generalist helps the specialists do their job better - something I mentioned above but that Stephanie inexplicably failed to see, can't think why.

    I just want to say that I like monks (and the other hybrid classes) being referred to as generalists as opposed to support classes; the latter makes me think of side-kicks, as I mentioned in a previous post. Generalist, on the other hand, helps paint a better picture of just what the class does. Well done!


    Dabbler wrote:
    Exactly - the generalist helps the specialists do their job better - something I mentioned above but that Stephanie inexplicably failed to see, can't think why.

    Oh. I see the problem.

    You think that "generalist" is the contrary of "specialist". that's not the case: a commoner isn't a specialist, but he's not a generalist either.

    To be a generalist, a character must be doing well in many different field of expertise. The monk doesn't. He's mediocre at melee, he's mediocre at skills, he has a high speed but mediocre mobility, and... That's it. "Being mediocre at some task" is not the profile of a generalist.


    If you do the math, you discover that the warrior does more damage. We are all agreed.

    But:
    - The monk is more versatile.
    - The warrior has fewer attacks.
    - With "dragon style" you do more damage.
    - For every attack you can: make a manouver, use touch of serenity, stunning fist, and more. And combinations of moves more than the warrior.
    - Less hp. More defense.
    - Dimensional Door: with new feats you can be very evasive and do so much physical pain without being damaged...

    most important thing wrote:
    And then the most important thing: it's very very much more funny!

    ROLE wrote:
    Damage and condition dealer!!!!!!


    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    Brutalitops wrote:
    Monks [...] are certainly the most mobile characters in the game.

    Aha. Oho.

    Sorry, it can't be helped when I read "Monk are mobile".

    Enhancement bonus to base speed; "enhancement" means it doesn't stack with anything: until level 12, a monk is slower than a barbarian with haste. And after that level, a monk doesn't fly. Which makes his base speed irrelevant. Meh.

    Cherry pick less please. The barbarians +10 is eaten by medium armor. Both classes benefit from haste the same amount. I've already approached what they do when they get there. Since you don't believe in non specialists, I won't waste your time.

    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    End game wizard

    So that's a wizard for a 10-11th level party to fight, right? APL+5? If that's the case this wizard is meant to fight FOUR people, each who compliments the other. It might be someone else who burns the wizard's quickened dim door, and it might be the monk who catches up to him with a fly spell cast by the party wizard. If the part doesn't have invisibility purge or some such, the monks high perception is their best chance to catch the wizard. But as soon as the monk catches up to the wizard, he can pretzel him, forcing a to make a concentration check every time he wants to cast a spell that somatic/material components.


    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    edross wrote:
    . 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.

    Fighting is about versatility.

    The fighter is good for one and only one fighting scenario: there's a visible monster within reach. Because his numbers are higher than anyone else.

    That's great, but, huh, anyone can do damages. Bards can do a fair amount of damages, even if it's less than a fighter. Now, let's compare two party.

  • Party A: fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard.
  • Party B: melee bard, cleric, rogue, wizard.

    When there are visible monsters within reach, Party B deals more damages than party A. The bard does a fair amount of damages, and he makes the difference with the fighter by increasing the damages of the cleric and the rogue.

    In a more complex situation, he can also help. eg: the bard can dispel a fly spell, stun a flying monster with sound burst, remove a fear effect with remove fear, remove invisibility with glitterdust. In those situation, the fighter can only wait for the cleric or the wizard to enable him.

    In any fighting situation, party B is doing better. Since the only difference is the bard, it means the bard is better than the fighter at fighting.

    And that's the key idea: fighters aren't good at fighting, they're good at "hitting thing at reach". In my experience, it's not a useful speciality for any scenario more complex than "here is a monster, he doesn't have any weird ability, and you must beat him to death".

  • Seems like we got our wires crossed. I seemed to have interpreted your original comment to mean that the Bard could fill a fighter's role better than a fighter. It seems what you are saying is that a bard is overall more effective in a fight than a fighter. I don't have an opinion one way or the other about that assertion, but I do think that the picture of the bard you paint in your comment would still rather not be the only thing standing between the party's god-wizard and BBEG, whereas that is exactly where the fighter should be at all times.

    EDIT: I'd also like to throw out into the general conversation, that atleast one monk archetype changes his role entirely: Zen Archer. It basically makes him one of the better Striker builds in the game.


    A bard replacing a fighter in a four person party needs the cleric to be a battle cleric and would like the rogue to be either a trapfinding ranger or multiclassed with a full BAB class.

    There's no reason you need to make a single swap in the traditional party though, or even divide the roles the same number of ways.

    How about Witch/Druid/Ranger? The animal companions make up for being short a body and the witch makes up for the reduced healing capability of the druid while the druid covers the witch's lack of blasts and battlefield control. It's not as good as a 4 person party, but all the roles are pretty well filled if the ranger is a trapfinding archetype.

    If three is possible why not five? How about splitting the wizard role into bard/summoner/magus and throwing out the now redundant fighter? No upper level arcane spells except summons and overwhelming presence, but lots of spells per day and a large increase in melee power. None of the 2/3 casters really step on each other's feet because of the different lists. The Cleric is still the Cleric. The Rogue is redundant outside of trapfinding, but his contribution in melee will increase because of the bard and just having more friendly combatants to flank with. Hey, that's a party with roles divided 5 ways that's close to 25% more effective than the traditional party as befits its larger size.

    Not that I can easily construct such a party for a monk. They're kind of odd ducks. Pseudo-martial, but with d8 HD. No ability to take up part of any caster role, which all true generalists have. Ki jump doesn't let them reach fliers because high jump distances per DC are a fourth of long jump distances. They're still among the best mage killers available. The problem is the good old C-M D. The game just isn't designed to handle flight in a balanced fashion and the presence of invisibility exacerbates the problem. The true fly counters aren't available until significantly higher level than flight while fly isn't practically available to all classes.


    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    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?

    Yeah, the Monk survives (doesn't defeat enemy if no one else can't) so he can bring everyone back to town for a raise.

    I think that is his role.


    Starbuck_II wrote:
    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    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?

    Yeah, the Monk survives (doesn't defeat enemy if no one else can't) so he can bring everyone back to town for a raise.

    I think that is his role.

    Sadly, I think there's some truth in that. To the extent that he is useful, the majority of his usefulness comes from being able to survive a lot of different kinds of situations, not really his ability to actively solve problems.

    @Atarlost: I largely agree with you. I tend to think of the party as a whole in terms of what can it accomplish and what can it survive. That's probably because I GM 90% more often than I PC. When someone's making a PC, its generally helpful for them to try to figure out what holes are there to be filled in the Party's repertoire and step into those holes. Often this can be difficult to see with detail for a given player who doesn't have access to everyone else's character sheets, so its helpful to view characters in terms of broad class roles. That said, I think its more fun for everyone to just roll up whatever character they want to play, and then organically try to meld them all into a functional party.


    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    Dabbler wrote:
    Exactly - the generalist helps the specialists do their job better - something I mentioned above but that Stephanie inexplicably failed to see, can't think why.

    Oh. I see the problem.

    You think that "generalist" is the contrary of "specialist". that's not the case: a commoner isn't a specialist, but he's not a generalist either.

    To be a generalist, a character must be doing well in many different field of expertise. The monk doesn't. He's mediocre at melee, he's mediocre at skills, he has a high speed but mediocre mobility, and... That's it. "Being mediocre at some task" is not the profile of a generalist.

    Oh. I see the problem.

    You think that 'generalist' means 'specialist at several things' when in fact it means moderately good at several things.

    So looking at the monk:
    Mediocre at melee - check, he's better than most second rank fighters, not as good (usually) as a pure fighter.
    Mediocre at skills - check, he hasn't a huge number of ranks but he can be good at some things like stealth and perception.
    He also gets a few 'magic' tricks too, and is very mobile. He's got a range of abilities without putting any of the specialists out of a job - looks like a generalist to me.


    Dabbler wrote:
    stuff

    Right. Just because you think the Monk is a sub-optimal class(as I do), doesn't mean you can deny the things that he can do better than a lot of other classes. He is more mobile than most fighters. He can sneak better than most clerics. He can sense motive better than most wizards. He can do more damage than most bards. He can survive spells better than just about anyone, except a wizard who has anticipated what kind of spells he's going to have cast against him. If an enemy is great at sundering or disarming, the the monk is better equipped to take him out than most fighters. And so on.

    Stephane's analogy is faulty, in that the commoner really doesn't have anything it can do better than anyone else.


    Eh, I'd limit the monk's PROs to the following.
    - Good saves.
    - Decent 'Full Attack' action. Shuriken proficiency is useful here.
    - Fast movement. This means superior balancing, climbing, swimming, sneaking, and tumbling.
    - Corner-case gear denial. No armor, no weapons, not much of a problem.
    - Superior grappling damage.

    As per usual, the usage problem stems mostly from lack of synergy between Flurry and Fast Movement. Their attack bonus and Flurry limitations combine to make it difficult to deal comparable damage to other melee types. Fast Movement would also make Monks better at certain skills than others...if they actually had the skill points to train them proper. The AC Bonus feature isn't a good enough patch for no armor at low levels. The Unarmed Strike feature is neat in concept, but can't compete with actual weapons due to silly price gouging. And d8 Hit Dice is frankly absurd for a melee character with no spellcasting ability, let alone one striving for 'self perfection.'

    As for "Monks can't fly or see invisible people," well neither can most characters - that's a problem with spellcasting and christmas trees.


    Arcane_Guyver wrote:
    As for "Monks can't fly or see invisible people," well neither can most characters.

    Alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, oracle, sorcerer, summoner, witch and wizard can. That's 11 classes out of 19: the majority of the classes can.

    @dabbler: that' the same for every field of expertise: the monk is always one of the ten worst classes. eg: melee; barbarian, cavalier, druid, fighter, inquisitor, magus, paladin, ranger, and the summoner's eidolon are better than the monk in melee. eg: skills; even the magus is better than a monk in skills (Int as a secondary ability, familiar).

    Quote:
    He also gets a few 'magic' tricks too, and is very mobile. He's got a range of abilities without putting any of the specialists out of a job - looks like a generalist to me.

    Huh.

    His 'range' of ability is:

  • walk.
  • hit things.
    That's not very generalist.

    Anyway, I asked what can a monk do that a magus can't do better, nobody responded. I asked it because the magus also gets a few 'magic' tricks. being weaker than an other class at everything doesn't look like a generalist.


  • GâtFromKI wrote:


    Anyway, I asked what can a monk do that a magus can't do better, nobody responded. I asked it because the magus also gets a few 'magic' tricks. being weaker than an other class at everything doesn't look like a generalist.

    Fine fine. Since that's what you want. A monk doesn't need a weapon to use his main class features. A monk doesn't turn into a bad fighter in an antimagic field.

    Really when I start lookin at archetypes and start looking at the arguments in this thread against monks I'm wondering if people are ignoring the archetypes entirely.


    Brutalitops wrote:
    Stéphane Le Roux wrote:
    Brutalitops wrote:
    Monks [...] are certainly the most mobile characters in the game.

    Aha. Oho.

    Sorry, it can't be helped when I read "Monk are mobile".

    Enhancement bonus to base speed; "enhancement" means it doesn't stack with anything: until level 12, a monk is slower than a barbarian with haste. And after that level, a monk doesn't fly. Which makes his base speed irrelevant. Meh.

    Cherry pick less please. The barbarians +10 is eaten by medium armor. Both classes benefit from haste the same amount.

    Huh?

    Barbarian level 10, with mithril breathplate: speed 40 feet
    With haste: speed 70 feet (30 base +10 untyped +30 enhancement)

    Monk level 10: speed 60 feet (30 base +30 enhancement)
    With haste: speed 60 feet (30 base +30 enhancement)

    The Monk doesn't gain speed from haste. The barbarian does, to the point he has a higher speed with haste. In my book, the barbarian get more benefit from haste.

    The monk's bonus speed is the most overated power in D&D.

  • At level 1-2, the monk doesn't have any bonus. The barbarian does. Barbarian wins.
  • At level 3-5, the monk has the same bonus as the barbarian. Except the barbarian's bonus is untyped. Barbarian wins.
  • At level 6-12, haste becomes a common buff. If base speed is an issue, haste will be cast, and the monk's bonus speed doesn't stack with haste. If base speed isn't an issue, who cares about the monk base speed?
  • after level 10, the monk doesn't fly. Who cares about his base speed?

    At any level, I prefer the barbarian bonus...


  • GâtFromKI wrote:


    At any level, I prefer the barbarian bonus...

    Sweet, I'll take a dip of it with my Martial Artist then. Thank you helpful sir!


    I posted this in another place.

    1) Convert Monks to full BAB class with d10 HPs.

    2) Reduce Monk movement bonuses to +5' per increment, rather than +10'. Allow the Monk to spend a Ki point to add this bonus to their 5' step and still be able to attack.

    3) Re-skin Amulet of Mighty Fists to Gi of Mighty Fists (or Mr. Roger's Sweater Vest of Uncompromisng Awesome) and make it incompatible with wearing armor and let it go as high on plussage as a magic weapon can. Make it 3500 GP per step rather than 5,000 GP per step so that a Monk at 3rd level can get one by WBL rather than waiting until 5th level.

    4) Add the ki power "walk on air" so that the monk can run across tree tops or through mid-air at his full run speed and grapple the damned flying invisible wizard with ha-ha-fsck-you active. I recommend that it cost 2 ki points, last for 2 rounds per level, and be made to look awesome with super high jump ki powers.

    5) Add the ki ability "Dispelling touch." The monk can spend two ki point as an immediate action and make a touch attack to dispel all spells on the target, using his Monk level as the caster-level.

    Make these changes, and nobody will gripe about the Monk not having a role in the party. His role is to get close to high value target and biatch slap it into submission.


    GâtFromKI wrote:
    Arcane_Guyver wrote:
    As for "Monks can't fly or see invisible people," well neither can most characters.
    Alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, oracle, sorcerer, summoner, witch and wizard can. That's 11 classes out of 19: the majority of the classes can.

    I meant to say non-casters, and don't care about splat. Monks may be weak, but I am never going to advocate giving them wings or the ability to walk on air just so they can charge a flying mage.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

    Arcane_Guyver wrote:
    I am never going to advocate giving them wings or the ability to walk on air just so they can charge a flying mage.

    Using the rules in the PRD, monks can already learn to walk on air:

    Advanced Feats in the PRD wrote:

    CLOUD STEP

    Your tread is of unearthly lightness.

    Prerequisites: Spider Step, monk level 12th.

    Benefit: As a move action, you can air walk (as the spell) up to half your slow fall distance, maximum 50 feet. You must reach a solid, level surface by the end of your turn or you will fall.


    Epic Meepo wrote:
    Arcane_Guyver wrote:
    I am never going to advocate giving them wings or the ability to walk on air just so they can charge a flying mage.

    Using the rules in the PRD, monks can already learn to walk on air:

    Advanced Feats in the PRD wrote:

    CLOUD STEP

    Your tread is of unearthly lightness.

    Prerequisites: Spider Step, monk level 12th.

    Benefit: As a move action, you can air walk (as the spell) up to half your slow fall distance, maximum 50 feet. You must reach a solid, level surface by the end of your turn or you will fall.

    Too little too late. They need it at level 5 to answer flying wizards, and they need to be able to get 30'+5'/level altitude, which because of the limits of air walk they never reach even if they could air walk equal to their slow fall distance.


    TarkXT wrote:
    GâtFromKI wrote:


    Anyway, I asked what can a monk do that a magus can't do better, nobody responded. I asked it because the magus also gets a few 'magic' tricks. being weaker than an other class at everything doesn't look like a generalist.

    Fine fine. Since that's what you want. A monk doesn't need a weapon to use his main class features. A monk doesn't turn into a bad fighter in an antimagic field.

    Seeing as he loses magic bonuses to Str, Dex, Con, Wis... yeah.

    Compare to a Barbarian? He keeps his Str bonus in an Antimagic field. And his Rage powers.


    Starbuck_II wrote:
    TarkXT wrote:
    GâtFromKI wrote:


    Anyway, I asked what can a monk do that a magus can't do better, nobody responded. I asked it because the magus also gets a few 'magic' tricks. being weaker than an other class at everything doesn't look like a generalist.

    Fine fine. Since that's what you want. A monk doesn't need a weapon to use his main class features. A monk doesn't turn into a bad fighter in an antimagic field.

    Seeing as he loses magic bonuses to Str, Dex, Con, Wis... yeah.

    Compare to a Barbarian? He keeps his Str bonus in an Antimagic field. And his Rage powers.

    He was asking in comparison to a magus.

    However compared to a barbarian who doesn't lose anythign this is true.

    Same is true for fighters, rogues, and to some extent paladins and rangers.


    AdAstraGames wrote:
    4) Add the ki power "walk on air" so that the monk can run across tree tops or through mid-air at his full run speed and grapple the damned flying invisible wizard with ha-ha-fsck-you active. I recommend that it cost 2 ki points, last for 2 rounds per level, and be made to look awesome with super high jump ki powers.

    It's a good start.

    But, what if I think that monk should see invisible things, and have incredible speed?

    I really think that the magus should be the base chassis for monk (and any "mystic fighter")... The magus isn't a very powerful class, but spell combat and spell recall are unique abilities which allow some very cool actions.


    GâtFromKI wrote:
    Arcane_Guyver wrote:
    As for "Monks can't fly or see invisible people," well neither can most characters.
    Alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, oracle, sorcerer, summoner, witch and wizard can. That's 11 classes out of 19: the majority of the classes can.

    How do Bards, Clerics(except for 2 domains), Druids, Inquisitors, and Oracles get to fly? Isn't that one 6.5 out of 19.

    GâtFromKI wrote:

    @dabbler: that' the same for every field of expertise: the monk is always one of the ten worst classes. eg: melee; barbarian, cavalier, druid, fighter, inquisitor, magus, paladin, ranger, and the summoner's eidolon are better than the monk in melee. eg: skills; even the magus is better than a monk in skills (Int as a secondary ability, familiar).

    ...

    Anyway, I asked what can a monk do that a magus can't do better, nobody responded. I asked it because the magus also gets a few 'magic' tricks. being weaker than an other class at everything doesn't look like a generalist.

    I think the OP initially asked that this not become a 'do monks suck?' thread (they do) but instead asked this to be a 'to the extent that monks are useful, what are their uses' thread.

    GâtFromKI wrote:
    Quote:
    He also gets a few 'magic' tricks too, and is very mobile. He's got a range of abilities without putting any of the specialists out of a job - looks like a generalist to me.

    Huh.

    His 'range' of ability is:

  • walk.
  • hit things.
    That's not very generalist.
  • In addition to walking and hitting things a core monk (to say nothing of archetypes) gets the following psuedo magic abilities:

    -Stunning fist and Ki pool, if you want to count em.
    -Abundant Step
    -Wholeness of Body
    -Tongue of Son and Moon
    -Quivering Palm

    @Adastragames- Wow, I really like number 1. It's so obvious that I can't believe its not already RAW.


    edross wrote:
    GâtFromKI wrote:
    Arcane_Guyver wrote:
    As for "Monks can't fly or see invisible people," well neither can most characters.
    Alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, oracle, sorcerer, summoner, witch and wizard can. That's 11 classes out of 19: the majority of the classes can.

    How do Bards, Clerics(except for 2 domains), Druids, Inquisitors, and Oracles get to fly? Isn't that one 6.5 out of 19.

    Druids can fly at level 1 if they're halfings or gnomes with the right animal companion, and then they can wildshape as a bird for all day flying earlier than a wizard can cast overland flight.

    Clerics and Oracles get Air Walk, which with a multi-turn duration is an adequate substitute for flight.

    Bards get phantom steed, which eventually air walks and later flies.

    edross wrote:
    GâtFromKI wrote:
    Quote:
    He also gets a few 'magic' tricks too, and is very mobile. He's got a range of abilities without putting any of the specialists out of a job - looks like a generalist to me.

    Huh.

    His 'range' of ability is:

  • walk.
  • hit things.
    That's not very generalist.
  • In addition to walking and hitting things a core monk (to say nothing of archetypes) gets the following psuedo magic abilities:

    -Stunning fist and Ki pool, if you want to count em.
    -Abundant Step
    -Wholeness of Body
    -Tongue of Son and Moon
    -Quivering Palm

    Most of those are either purely defensive or too situational or just another version of hitting things. That leaves Abundant Step, which is a nice ability. If only it enabled them to do their job, but since they can't take an action after using it they can't use it to get themselves airborne to take out flying casters. Still not going to help against casters outdoors or with vaulted ceilings.


    Thanks for clearing up my flying question, point conceded. I haven't really seen everything some of these spell casting classes can do.

    As for the rest, I wasn't saying that these are great abilities, I was just saying that counter to Gatfomki's point the monk has some magic-like abilities. Spells can be defensive and situational like the monk's abilities. I would say that none of them are like just another version of hitting things. Ki pool is sort of like a haste spell in that it lets you do more on your turn than you are supposed to and buffs your AC. Stunning fist is like a decent low to mid level debuffing spell, and quivering palm is like a high level death spell. Hitting things typically just does damage to them, which is one of the reason casters are generally better than fighters.


    Atarlost wrote:
    That leaves Abundant Step, which is a nice ability. If only it enabled them to do their job, but since they can't take an action after using it they can't use it to get themselves airborne to take out flying casters.

    When discussing a class, it helps to know what their abilities are.

    PRD wrote:

    Abundant Step (Su)

    At 12th level or higher, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. He cannot take other creatures with him when he uses this ability.

    So, I abundant step. Into the airspace of the flying mage. As a move action. What do I do with my standard action, I wonder? I grapple him to A) avoid falling and B) keep him from casting spells on my buddies. Oh, C) I shove his spiny iguana familiar someplace where the sun don't shine...

    Now, if you're planning on flying above the combat, how often do you cast freedom of movement on yourself, just in case?


    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Atarlost wrote:
    That leaves Abundant Step, which is a nice ability. If only it enabled them to do their job, but since they can't take an action after using it they can't use it to get themselves airborne to take out flying casters.

    When discussing a class, it helps to know what their abilities are.

    PRD wrote:

    Abundant Step (Su)

    At 12th level or higher, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. He cannot take other creatures with him when he uses this ability.

    So, I abundant step. Into the airspace of the flying mage. As a move action. What do I do with my standard action, I wonder? I grapple him to A) avoid falling and B) keep him from casting spells on my buddies. Oh, C) I shove his spiny iguana familiar someplace where the sun don't shine...

    Read your own post. "as if using the spell dimension door"

    UC even states "Normal: you can't take any actions after using" for Dimension Feats (feats that augment dimension door/Abundant step)

    So you can't grapple anyone because you are disallowed actions.


    Starbuck_II wrote:
    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Atarlost wrote:
    That leaves Abundant Step, which is a nice ability. If only it enabled them to do their job, but since they can't take an action after using it they can't use it to get themselves airborne to take out flying casters.

    When discussing a class, it helps to know what their abilities are.

    PRD wrote:

    Abundant Step (Su)

    At 12th level or higher, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. He cannot take other creatures with him when he uses this ability.

    So, I abundant step. Into the airspace of the flying mage. As a move action. What do I do with my standard action, I wonder? I grapple him to A) avoid falling and B) keep him from casting spells on my buddies. Oh, C) I shove his spiny iguana familiar someplace where the sun don't shine...

    Read your own post. "as if using the spell dimension door"

    UC even states "Normal: you can't take any actions after using" for Dimension Feats (feats that augment dimension door/Abundant step)

    So you can't grapple anyone because you are disallowed actions.

    Then why would it specify that Abundant Step is a move action if you cannot Abundant Step and take a Standard Action afterwards? I don't have Ultimate Combat, but I do have the Core Rules.

    In one round, you get one move action and one standard action.

    Abundant step is a move action.

    Therefore, you can Abundant Step as your move action, and make an attack or combat maneuver as your standard action

    Dimension Door is a standard action normally, and its wording is specifically meant to prohibit the caster from Dimension Dooring somewhere and casting Quickened Lighting Bolt in the same round; it does not, for example, prevent any passengers carried by the Dimension Door using caster from using whatever standard actions they are entitled to.

    Liberty's Edge

    AdAstraGames wrote:


    Abundant step is a move action.

    Therefore, you can Abundant Step as your move action, and make an attack or combat maneuver as your standard action

    Actually you can't. He's right, this was clarified in UC. They added a feat that allows you do to it, which means you can Quivering Palm after abundant step, but you need to take a feat to do so.

    http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-agility

    And since it is a move action, you can throw a swift action in on top of it to burn ki point to make sure it hits.

    http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-assault

    And later even better

    http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-dervish

    Sure this burns feats, but keep in mind that Monk is 2nd only to the fighter in bonus feats and doesn't need pre-requisites for the monk feats like spring attack.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    The original writers of Abundant Step either didn't know the rules, or only intended it to be used after a standard action. It's better now, at least.


    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Then why would it specify that Abundant Step is a move action if you cannot Abundant Step and take a Standard Action afterwards?

    That's a good question, Ken, but is is how it works, by a literal reading, by the statement of James Jacobs on these boards and, implicitly, by the fact that the new-in-Ultimate Combat feat Dimensional Agility specifically allows you to take remaining actions after using abundant step.


    see wrote:
    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Then why would it specify that Abundant Step is a move action if you cannot Abundant Step and take a Standard Action afterwards?
    That's a good question, Ken, but is is how it works, by a literal reading, by the statement of James Jacobs on these boards and, implicitly, by the fact that the new-in-Ultimate Combat feat Dimensional Agility specifically allows you to take remaining actions after using abundant step.

    It is kind of lame that they decided to create a feat tax to use the ability as it was intended.

    Liberty's Edge

    Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
    see wrote:
    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Then why would it specify that Abundant Step is a move action if you cannot Abundant Step and take a Standard Action afterwards?
    That's a good question, Ken, but is is how it works, by a literal reading, by the statement of James Jacobs on these boards and, implicitly, by the fact that the new-in-Ultimate Combat feat Dimensional Agility specifically allows you to take remaining actions after using abundant step.
    It is kind of lame that they decided to create a feat tax to use the ability as it was intended.

    I don't disagree, but the other feats they added to go along make up for it for me.


    ciretose wrote:
    Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
    see wrote:
    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Then why would it specify that Abundant Step is a move action if you cannot Abundant Step and take a Standard Action afterwards?
    That's a good question, Ken, but is is how it works, by a literal reading, by the statement of James Jacobs on these boards and, implicitly, by the fact that the new-in-Ultimate Combat feat Dimensional Agility specifically allows you to take remaining actions after using abundant step.
    It is kind of lame that they decided to create a feat tax to use the ability as it was intended.
    I don't disagree, but the other feats they added to go along make up for it for me.

    I agree that the feats are great, but I don't like that you have to wait so long to get them. Not to mention the fact that there are a lot of them; the entire chain is five feats, and you don't qualify for the first until 12th level.


    Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
    ciretose wrote:
    Sayer_of_Nay wrote:
    see wrote:
    AdAstraGames wrote:
    Then why would it specify that Abundant Step is a move action if you cannot Abundant Step and take a Standard Action afterwards?
    That's a good question, Ken, but is is how it works, by a literal reading, by the statement of James Jacobs on these boards and, implicitly, by the fact that the new-in-Ultimate Combat feat Dimensional Agility specifically allows you to take remaining actions after using abundant step.
    It is kind of lame that they decided to create a feat tax to use the ability as it was intended.
    I don't disagree, but the other feats they added to go along make up for it for me.
    I agree that the feats are great, but I don't like that you have to wait so long to get them. Not to mention the fact that there are a lot of them; the entire chain is five feats, and you don't qualify for the first until 12th level.

    For monks, yes. For the casting classes you can get them as early as 7th.


    What’s a monks role?

    Ranged damage dealer

    - Zen archer
    - Sohei with weapon training in bows
    - Weapon adept focused on shuriken

    Melee damage dealer

    - Monk of the four winds using styles from UC
    - Master of many styles also using styles from UC

    Moderately tanky warrior

    - Martial artist
    - Drunken master/monk of the sacred mountain
    (not the best of damage but durable and fun to play)

    Support

    - Maneuver master
    - Tetori
    - Ki Mystic/Monk of the Lotus/Sensei

    Scout

    - Master of many styles
    - Most dexterity based monk builds

    Monks have a number of roles they can fill and while not all of them are optimal choices they are effective ones. What I listed wasn’t all of them, but I hopefully it’s enough to defuse some of the monk hate that seems to be starting to crop up in this thread. Honestly read the archetypes and the new feats, paizo has improved the monk considerably.

    Oh and the mage in the earlier post would be in a lot of trouble if he was attacked by a tetori with the dimensional agility feat. At level 15 they can both suppress freedom of movement and dimensionally lock their opponent. The only difficulty would be locating him and, imho, if no one in a party of adventurers of around 13th-15th level could deal with invisibility they deserve to get beat up. Not to mention the fact that the monk has probably got a +18 or so to their perception at that level, which is more then enough to find someone that’s invisible but in combat.


    Revel wrote:

    What’s a monks role?

    Melee damage dealer

    - Monk of the four winds using styles from UC
    - Master of many styles also using styles from UC

    Wouldn't enforcer + Shatter Defenses + Medusa's wrath be a better damage dealer? The combo guarantees you get 2 extra attacks.

    Drawback: nonlethal.


    Revel wrote:

    What’s a monks role?

    Melee damage dealer

    - Monk of the four winds using styles from UC
    - Master of many styles also using styles from UC

    Starbuck_II wrote:

    Wouldn't enforcer + Shatter Defenses + Medusa's wrath be a better damage dealer? The combo guarantees you get 2 extra attacks.

    Drawback: nonlethal.

    I'm a little confused about what you're asking, are you asking if that's a better combination for a monk or for someone else? I need sleep so I'll check back tomorrow and try to answer your question.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Since apparently nobody looked at what I linked last page, here's something relevant to the topic from SKR:

    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    magnuskn wrote:
    1.) The way you make it sound is as if that will not happen until Pathfinder Second Edition.
    Fortunately, that's not the case. There are several things in the game that are on the "to do" list for having a major FAQ about and the consequences of that will result in a significant rewrite/clarification of their text in the Core Rulebook. (For example, Stealth/hide in plain sight is one of them.) I have a list of these things, we (the designers) need to hammer out these issues together. I had expected that to happen before Gen Con, but some deadlines moved up and now it'll be after. Anyway, "does the monk need to be fixed" could be one of those issues, if we think it is serious enough.

    From here.


    I though the Inquisitor had air walk or summon monster IV (pteranodon); I concede this one. That's still 10 classes out of 19 who can fly.

    Atarlost wrote:
    Most of those are either purely defensive or too situational or just another version of hitting things. That leaves Abundant Step, which is a nice ability. If only it enabled them to do their job, but since they can't take an action after using it they can't use it to get themselves airborne to take out flying casters. Still not going to help against casters outdoors or with vaulted ceilings.

    Abundant step is a joke; it's even less level-appropriate than the other monk ability:

  • Monk 12: hey guys, I can DimDoor as a move action! And then my turn end.
  • Bard 12: great. Since 2 level I can DimDoor me and the druid, his pet and two of his summons. And then their turn begin.
  • Magus 12: great. I can do the same, and next level I can Teleport me and the druid, his pet and two of his summons. Then I full attack, and then the turn of my friends begin.
  • Summoner 12: great. Since 5 level (5 levels!) I can do the DimDoor trick, and since 2 levels I can Teleport my pet, the druid, his pet and two of our summons; without me, because I don't like being put into danger. And then their turn begin.
  • Random commoner: hey guys! I qualify for Horizon Walker, therefore I have DimDoor as a spell-like. I'm not very powerful, but since I have an actual DimDoor, I'm more efficient than the monk. Can I join your group?

    Abundant step ends the turn and don't allow to take someone with you: except suicide, I can' see what you can do with this power. This power is a joke.

    Even with the feats of UC, it's a joke.

  • Level 13, Dimensional Agility. The monk can do a standard action after the abundant step; since his standard attack is pityful, it's useless. A magus with this feat can DimDoor and full attack.
  • Level 15, Dimensional Assault. The monk can charge with abundant step; that's even less useful than dimensional agility. Actual level 15 ability are more thing like like this: "spell perfection; effect: you win Pathfinder".
  • Level 17, Dimensional Dervish. The monk gain pounce! A level ~10 ability. At level 17. The very same level this ability appears in the game: "you gain access to level 9 spells. You win Pathfinder (again)".
  • And the monk ends the feat chain at level 21. Huh, he can't even end the chain in a normal game.

    Revel wrote:
    Honestly read the archetypes and the new feats

    I did that. And honestly: every archetype is far more powerful than a core monk. Either:

  • The core monk is balanced, and therefore the monk with any archetype is the most powerful class in the game.
  • The core monk is underpowered.

    I think all of the monk hate come from this: the monk were a very well-balanced class, and now he's so OP that none of the other classes is really relevant compared to the monk. Peoples don't like when a class is so powerful that it's the only meaningful choice.


  • AdAstraGames wrote:

    I posted this in another place.

    1) Convert Monks to full BAB class with d10 HPs.

    4) Add the ki power "walk on air" so that the monk can run across tree tops or through mid-air at his full run speed and grapple the damned flying invisible wizard with ha-ha-fsck-you active. I recommend that it cost 2 ki points, last for 2 rounds per level, and be made to look awesome with super high jump ki powers.

    5) Add the ki ability "Dispelling touch." The monk can spend two ki point as an immediate action and make a touch attack to dispel all spells on the target, using his Monk level as the caster-level.

    I could certainly agree to these two improving the monk, but it's still far from useless as is.


    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"?

    That is true in games where the 4 aren't ever going to drop (ability drain, blindness/deafness, etc.). In the games I play in, the enemy doesn't carry nerf bats. So, it's good to have a fall back who can support and back up the 4 when/in case something bad happens.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    Baseline Abundant Step is only useful for running away after making a standard action.

    So, disarming the bad guy of his weapon or McGuffin item, or activating a switch or trap of some kind a getting the hell out. Or retrieving an unconscious/dead character for healing/rez.


    I played NWN1 on a hun server (RP) and the maker of the module played with a monk. he easily killed and beated everything in the module by himself alone! Its just a good traits and skill choices thing....


    Unarmed attacks rockz if monk! So means that they are DPS and a bit of rogue! Depends on the skill choices...

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Gandalf-lotr wrote:
    I played NWN1

    Which is a completely different beast from 3.5/PF.

    Seriously, that's like me saying 'Monks are a great class in Final Fantasy Tactics, so they're awesome in Pathfinder!'

    Completely different setup.


    Revel wrote:
    Honestly read the archetypes and the new feats
    GâtFromKI wrote:


    I did that. And honestly: every archetype is far more powerful than a core monk. Either:
    · The core monk is balanced, and therefore the monk with any archetype is the most powerful class in the game.
    · The core monk is underpowered.

    I think all of the monk hate come from this: the monk were a very well-balanced class, and now he's so OP that none of the other classes is really relevant compared to the monk. Peoples don't like when a class is so powerful that it's the only meaningful choice.

    Actually I tend to think that the core monk is a little underpowered making the archetypes closer to where they should be. I’ve always felt they needed to make the following changes.

    d10 hit die
    full BAB
    (really does anyone disagree with those two?)

    increase their enhanced movement by ten
    increase their armor bonus by 1
    shift their hand to hand combat damage up one or two levels so they get higher damage a litte sooner

    Another thing I’d like to see is their bonus feat include stunning fist and its replacements so they can get them at a lower level. I include stunning fist for the archetypes that don’t have it. Also, I’d like to see monks taking these feats get the “monk” versions rather then the pure feat. So, for example, elemental fist would do better damage for higher level monks.

    Finally I’d like to see spell resistance changed so that it either works like a saving throw, only against magic the monk decides to resist, or at least is easier to drop and put back up.

    Personally I don’t think the monk is much weaker than the other base classes and mainly needs several minor adjustments to bring them in line with them. I believe the above would be sufficient to do this. But naturally that’s just my opinion.

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