Monks: What is their "role?"


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts and the replies to them. Discuss, don't berate.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

It's funny how the "but it's a team game" only comes up with melee classes.

But it doesn't. Theory-crafting casters don't say anything about teamwork, but they don't say anything concrete at all, so what does it mater.


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BARBARIAN SMELL CASTER MARTIAL DESTRUCITY THREAD. HAVE SCENT AS RAGE POWER.

BARBARIAN BE HERE SOONER, BUT MONK AM FASTER THAN BATTY BAT. APOLOGIES FOR DELAY.

BARBARIAN AM SAY MANY TIMES, AM NO CASTER MARTIAL DESTRUCITY. AM ONLY BARBARIAN NOT-BARBARIAN DESTRUCITY.

BARBARIAN COVER THIS, AM TIME TO MOVE ON SILLY CASTYS.

MONKS AM PRETTY COOL. AM PUNCH ENEMY IN FACE AND DOESN'T AFRAID OF ANYTHING.

ROLL MONK. BE GOOD. NOT AS GOOD AS BARBARIAN, BUT B N-B D AM CRUEL MISTRESS.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
The bard has to roll a 4. Not a 14. If the DC is 14 and he adds 10 to his roll, he needs to roll a 4.

Actually, a bard with a charisma score of 10 or 11 needs to roll a 4.


LilithsThrall wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
The bard has to roll a 4. Not a 14. If the DC is 14 and he adds 10 to his roll, he needs to roll a 4.

Yes, I know how math works. However, I didn't say quite what I intended (I said 'roll' when I meant 'total'). I can only blame it on the fact that I'm on a considerable amount of prescription medication. Word slips will happen when your disks explode sending shrapnel into your spinal chord (turning it into, in the surgeon's words, 'chicken salad').

Are there other things you'd like to turn into personal attacks as well or can we attempt a civil discussion?

Are you really going to take a physical ailment that I and likely nobody else here knew about and use it as an attack at me because you mistyped?


Incidentally, let me emphasis that I'm not telling people they're "playing the game wrong" or that this isn't a team based game or anything silly like that.

I am saying that, in the discussion of roles monks suffer due to many of their potential "roles" being punished by the system itself, and that wizards suffer (yes, suffer, I don't think it's a good thing to be as powerful as they are) from having too much power and versatility over roles.


Or, you could just get rid of the ridiculous notion that is "roles" - particularly since Wizards aren't all powerful (since the act of casting is a weakness, let alone the need to select/unselect spells) and many people who have actually played the monk have found them very effective.


sir_shajir wrote:
Another example is when I cast greater invisibility on the rogue and he goes to town by massacring people, so please don't use the arguement that it only comes up when melee classes.

I think Cirno is saying that only melee classes need teamwork to do their job.

Look at your example: is it normal that the rogue need greater invisibility to do his job of being stealthy? Isn't his role to be stealthy all by himself, preserving the wizard's resources? And at the moment invisibility comes into play, what's the difference between an invisible rogue and an invisible commoner?

In the other hand, not only the bard can scout without any help, but he's also able to turn the whole party into undetectable scouts, including any heavily-armored characters (invisibility sphere + sculpt sounds). In one hand, a class who need help to do his own job, and in the other hand, a class who can do the same job alone, and can help the whole party do a better job. Which one is the "teamwork" class?

It's the same for monks as "mage killer": monks are great mage killer if some casters enable them by granting fly speed, removing invisibility, dispelling magic... monks are great mage killer if someone else do the job. While a bard, a magus, a cleric or a druid can simply do the job all by himself.

The whole "teamwork" argument is always used as another way to say "martial classes can do their job well if a caster babysit them", while casters can do their job alone, as well as help other party members. That's what Cirno is saying, I think.


sir_shajir wrote:
I just make sure that I don't get this sense of entitlement or that I am special because I am playing a caster and someone else isn't.

It's not an entitlement. It's a lament. It would be great if high level martial classes could be like the Silver Horde. They should be able to look forward to touch AC bonuses that keep pace with monster attacks and initiative bonuses as earth shattering as diviners. They can't. They should be able to do things with skill that wizards would balk at. They can't. Monks should be able to ki jump straight up at least 25'+5'/2 levels just to keep up with how far wizards can fly and be able to use close range spells. They can't. Archers should be able to force fly checks so hard that casters wish they could take skill focus twice and with a reasonably priced enchantment do so in spite of high winds. They can't.


TheSideKick wrote:

Mathmuse:

monk ranger is a strange combo, did you make that character before the zen archer was released? zen archer is the best bow based physical class in the game if you ask me. 9 attack acess to all the fighter feats for archery and fighter/monk stack for flurry so adding in 2-6 levels of fighter will up your damage potential. just saying, that a level ten monk can out dps a sorcerer/wizard even with metamagic feats.

i personally think a monk requires a very focused feat build with a proper advanced class, and once you get that role down , ie. grappling, ranged damage, or just a flavor goku build (Qinggong monk). once you do that you can fill that role better then any other physical based class. you just cant break a monk to do insane damage, one reason why so many people talk crap about monks.

No, this build was not focused at all. It was more humorous. The reason my gnome ranger unexpectedly multiclassed to monk illustrates a role of the monk, so it is worth telling here.

I had started my character to see what playing a Pathfinder gnome was like. He was a young fellow, fresh from some unusual militia training in Sanos Forest in Varisia and out to see the world, so ranger seemed a good class. His stats, rolled as 4d6 keep the best three, were Str 13 Dex 14 Con 11 Int 16 Wis 14 Cha 11. The gratuitous high intelligence is because I like skill points and puzzle solving in my characters. At 4th level I bumped his Charisma up to 12, because he had become the party's face to the public.

At fifth level, the party lost a battle against one tough and deadly opponent. I'll leave out details to avoid revealing spoilers, because this encounter was halfway based on a published module. We were totally outclassed. And we were going back for a rematch, after recruiting more help. My character had earned enough XP during the first encounter to level up. Sixth-level ranger gave a combat style feat, so maybe if I selected carefully, I could find a way to stop our enemy. But none of the ranger combat feats would help, not even if I talked the GM into letting me switch to another combat style from my brand new Advanced Player's Guide. So I looked to other classes for their first-level abilities. In the monk bonus feats I spotted Improved Grapple. Our enemy relied on a two-handed weapon that we had seen deal 40 damage a turn in a full attack (It would have killed our wizard if our GM had not fudged his death and allowed the cleric one round to heal him. And our enemy was too busy laughing to take an attack of opportunity on the cleric). If my gnome grappled her during the rematch, she would not be able to attack with it and the rest of the party could defeat her.

To sweeten the pot, the best way to confront our enemy when she was unbuffed and without armor was by surprising her at a formal dinner (we knew she planned to murder another guest). But that required my gnome, our most social character, to show up to the dinner in dress clothes with no armor himself, hiding nothing more than a dagger in his clothes. If the entire adventuring party rushed in in full armor before she began the murder or a fight, the house guards would assume that we were the bad guys. Therefore, the armorless bonus to AC and unarmed strike from the monk class looked good, too.

I presented this story to the GM: we had already established that my gnome had been trained by a volunteer militia of Sanos Forest gnomes. What if one of his trainers were a monk? That monk could have taught my gnome some basic combat skills before his specialized ranger training. What if my gnome had imprinted on some monk skills during that early training. My gnome had been wearing his studded leather armor for every fight since the beginning of the campaign; once he gained Endurance at third level, he had even been sleeping in his armor. This would be his first adventure-level fight without armor. This would be the first fight in which his forgotten monk training could be re-emerge.

Playing a gnome gets silly.

My GM agreed. But she had a price: my gnome could not dip into monk for just one level. He had to continue taking levels in monk, enough to show that he really thought of himself as a monk ranger.

We defeated the enemy. The grapple plan did not work as expected. Our enemy transformed into a monster to break the grapple. But that showed the confused guards who the real bad guy was, and we gained their aid.

Early in this thread people stated that one of the jobs of a monk is pulling the party's fat out of the fire. They are right.

My gnome had trouble later. Advancing in two classes 50-50 cuts a character's effectiveness in half. Zen Archer does not have Improved Grapple in its bonus feat list, so retroactively switching to the strongest of the monk archetypes was not an option.


The last Wizard that boasted of how he didn't need teamwork found himself face-to-face with a giant while trying to make concentration checks against big smashing melee weapons.


LilithsThrall wrote:

The last Wizard that boasted of how he didn't need teamwork found himself face-to-face with a giant while trying to make concentration checks against big smashing melee weapons.

Aaaannddd cue Cirno saying the DM specifically targeted him for being a wizard in 3...2....

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

LilithsThrall wrote:
The last Wizard that boasted of how he didn't need teamwork found himself face-to-face with a giant while trying to make concentration checks against big smashing melee weapons.

Nobody's saying that wizards don't need teamwork in combat most of the time. But being in melee with a hardcore melee bruiser is a bad place for a martial class to be, too, and martial classes are the ones who generally need to be there to do their job.

Monks, in particular, suffer from this, if they're not Zen Archers.


LilithsThrall wrote:

The last Wizard that boasted of how he didn't need teamwork found himself face-to-face with a giant while trying to make concentration checks against big smashing melee weapons.

We know soloing isn't safe. What about the last wizard who was picky about who he teamed with and wanted to work with a fighter or barbarian or ranger or magus or battle cleric or synthesist instead of a monk?


Atarlost wrote:


We know soloing isn't safe. What about the last wizard who was picky about who he teamed with and wanted to work with a fighter or barbarian or ranger or magus or battle cleric or synthesist instead of a monk?

He wasn't let back at the gaming table for being a dick to the player who just wanted to play a monk?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

TarkXT wrote:
He wasn't let back at the gaming table for being a dick to the player who just wanted to play a monk?

But the designers who made a class that created this friction get a free pass?


ProfessorCirno wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
The bard has to roll a 4. Not a 14. If the DC is 14 and he adds 10 to his roll, he needs to roll a 4.

Yes, I know how math works. However, I didn't say quite what I intended (I said 'roll' when I meant 'total'). I can only blame it on the fact that I'm on a considerable amount of prescription medication. Word slips will happen when your disks explode sending shrapnel into your spinal chord (turning it into, in the surgeon's words, 'chicken salad').

Are there other things you'd like to turn into personal attacks as well or can we attempt a civil discussion?

Are you really going to take a physical ailment that I and likely nobody else here knew about and use it as an attack at me because you mistyped?

You're the one who attacked me - claiming I didn't know how math works because I made an elementary error. I'm not attacking you, but I am explaining how I could make such a mistake - largely because, yes, I am upset that I haven't said a single rude word to you in this thread, but you choose to make personal attacks anyway.


A Man In Black wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
He wasn't let back at the gaming table for being a dick to the player who just wanted to play a monk?
But the designers who made a class that created this friction get a free pass?

They're not the ones at my table being a dick.


TarkXT wrote:
Atarlost wrote:


We know soloing isn't safe. What about the last wizard who was picky about who he teamed with and wanted to work with a fighter or barbarian or ranger or magus or battle cleric or synthesist instead of a monk?
He wasn't let back at the gaming table for being a dick to the player who just wanted to play a monk?

What's the problem? Disrupting the game table by consistently acting like a dick to another real world human being at the table without significant cause would get you kicked out of almost any table I've ever played at.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

TarkXT wrote:
They're not the ones at my table being a dick.

No, but they created a class reasonable people would not want in their party, both in-character and out-of-character. Is it being a dick to not want someone to play an NPC class in your game? Similar logic applies.


TarkXT wrote:
A Man In Black wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
He wasn't let back at the gaming table for being a dick to the player who just wanted to play a monk?
But the designers who made a class that created this friction get a free pass?
They're not the ones at my table being a dick.

But if they were at your table, I bet they would wanna play this cool homebrew archetype that they found on the internet, and not a monk.


A Man In Black wrote:


No, but they created a class reasonable people would not want in their party

Hmmm so the implication is that the people who want to play a monk are unreasonable while the power gaming wizard "who needs no other people to team with" according to reasonable people here is in the right?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

TarkXT wrote:
Hmmm so the implication is that the people who want to play a monk are unreasonable while the power gaming wizard "who needs no other people to team with" according to reasonable people here is in the right?

No. Both people are reasonable. Their disagreement is an obvious consequence of the imbalance.

Mark wants to play a monk because monks are cool. George, the GM, would rather Mark not make a monk because it's hard to give a monk non-contrived moments to shine, especially in a high-power party.

Alternately.

Marcus the monk would like to join the party. Walthus the wizard and Ayn the alchemist are not terribly keen on this new guy, since monks are notoriously bad at adventuring and monster slaying.

In this case, everyone is acting reasonably, and the disagreement is a consequence of the way the game is designed. You can villify people for having selfish goals, sure, but if the monk weren't so weak compared to the other classes, these selfish goals would not come into conflict.

This is isn't particular to monks. Any cool-seeming, underpowered option could be used in place of monks, here, and I'm not entirely sure monks are any more of a drag on a party than any other martial class.


Andy Ferguson wrote:


But if they were at your table, I bet they would wanna play this cool homebrew archetype that they found on the internet, and not a monk.

I typically don't have too many game designers at my table so I honestly could not say and you're unlikely to hear a response from paizo designers because that would add fuel to the supernova.

I can assume however that they're not going to sit there and make a fuss about another player's choice of class. Generally speaking that should only come up if there are actual conflicts in terms of concepts (paladins and anti-paladins) and even then it should be the GM making the fuss not another player.


You mean it's a difference in the way the campaign is run. Get rid of the 15 minute workday, make the Wizard fear for the welfare of his spellbook (and spend part of his WBL on keeping it safe), etc.* and the Wizard will be crying that he can't keep up. The only reason the Wizard excels is because the GM takes it easy on him.

*in other words, play the bad guys like they are smart enough to tie their own shoes


A Man In Black wrote:


This is isn't particular to monks. Any cool-seeming, underpowered option could be used in place of monks, here, and I'm not entirely sure monks are any more of a drag on a party than any other martial class.

You can make that argument about any class really. Or shall I derail this argument into paladins? We can go for the hat trick.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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LilithsThrall wrote:
You mean it's a difference in the way the campaign is run. Get rid of the 15 minute workday, make the Wizard fear for the welfare of his spellbook (and spend part of his WBL on keeping it safe), etc.* and the Wizard will be crying that he can't keep up. The only reason the Wizard excels is because the GM takes it easy on him.

This assumes that the only challenges are combat, that only the wizard has limited resources, that only the wizard has gear he desperately needs to protect or else he's in a lot of trouble, and that wizards are the only spellcasters with such a broad scope that it's difficult to find an effective niche for nonspellcasters. None of these things are true.

It also doesn't have anything to do with the monk having a limited toolset for things which aren't murdering dudes, and a very limited and obscure set of tools for murdering dudes effectively.

Quote:
You can make that argument about any class really. Or shall I derail this argument into paladins? We can go for the hat trick.

No. Just weak classes. I'm just addressing the weak argument that anyone who cares about poorly-balanced classes is somehow a powergaming a%$*%~#.


A Man In Black wrote:
This assumes that the only challenges are combat, that only the wizard has limited resources, that only the wizard has gear he desperately needs to protect or else he's in a lot of trouble, and that wizards are the only spellcasters with such a broad scope that it's difficult to find an effective niche for nonspellcasters. None of these things are true.

The wizard has more limited resources (spell slots in addition to hit points) and he's far more dependent on gear (his spellbook) than anything the monk is dependent on.

So, yes, have the GM stop the 15 minute adventuring day and have the GM put the Wizard's spell book in serious jeopardy (such that the Wizard has to spend a good chunk of his WBL on protecting the book). Then, except for very high levels (which I never play at anyway), we'll see how close the two classes are.

The wizard isn't as much of a glass cannon as it was in earlier editions of the game, but it's still very fragile.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

LilithsThrall wrote:
So, yes, have the GM stop the 15 minute adventuring day and have the GM put the Wizard's spell book in serious jeopardy (such that the Wizard has to spend a good chunk of his WBL on protecting the book). Then, except for very high levels (which I never play at anyway), we'll see how close the two classes are.

Oh yeah, and how you casually imply that the wizard only has 15 minutes worth of resources, which is patently false.

But again, in extra big words so you don't miss it, THIS HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE MONK.


A Man In Black wrote:


But again, in extra big words so you don't miss it, THIS HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE MONK.

Looks at title of thread. Reads, "Monks: What is their "role?""

Looks at AMiB's last post.

eh,..buddy, you're in the wrong thread

Liberty's Edge

A Man In Black wrote:


No. Just weak classes.

They see me trollin'...they hatin'...

Full bab twf (including double slice) without needing the pre-requisites or having to take the feats. Check.

Bonus feats at 1st, 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th that don't require pre-requisites. Check.

All good saves, check.

Add wisdom to AC (including touch) no armor check penalty and an additional plus 1 to AC every 4 levels. Check.

The ability to add an extra attack as a swift action, or a +4 dodge bonus, or 20 to 40 feet of movement. Check

Immunity to disease, poison, and then later spell resistance. Check.

All classes work within the context of parties. You can have a monk tank, or a monk caster slayer, or a monk scout, or a number of other types of monk you may want to play within your party. And just like any class, it can be well built or poorly built.

If you've never played a monk, or seen a well built monk played, your ignorance isn't an effective argument.


ciretose wrote:
If you've never played a monk, or seen a well built monk played, your ignorance isn't an effective argument.

I need a tee shirt that I can wear to Gen Con that says this.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

LilithsThrall wrote:

Looks at title of thread. Reads, "Monks: What is their "role?""

Looks at AMiB's last post.

eh,..buddy, you're in the wrong thread

Again, it still has nothing to do with the monk. The wizard's weaknesses aren't in any sense "covered" by the monk; the monk is already very reliant on gear to do damage, his single effective combat tactic for defeating enemies.

Being better than some other class at something the class doesn't do well is only useful if the something is both useful and effective. Monks with no gear are not useful or effective in combat at all.

"lol look how weak the wizard is" wouldn't be relevant even if it were true.

Dark Archive

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Hurm. Slow Fall is significantly less awesome than I remember. I may just have to house-rule it into Featherfall. That I concede readily.

First let me say...

ProfCirno wrote:
I am saying that, in the discussion of roles monks suffer due to many of their potential "roles" being punished by the system itself, and that wizards suffer (yes, suffer, I don't think it's a good thing to be as powerful as they are) from having too much power and versatility over roles.

THIS.

Very much in agreement.

sir_shajir wrote:
Btw the monks I play are usually tanks, strikers and support characters all rolled into one because of their versatility, mobility strength and defensive abilities. And they good perception, stealth (cause everyone has see invisibility as the game drags on) and sense motive (a lil bit of role playing never hurt anyone). When I play a monk, I plan to disarm ...

Here and elsewhere up thread, sir_shajir's experiences mirror my own. +1 to this.

Gworeth wrote:

Off topic, but still....

I think that with some users of this board you get the feeling that if you ignore them, they think they have won the argument, which is by itself sort of silly. On the other hand, if you engage them in this argument, they dismiss your argument, ignoring the fact, or, Gawd ferbid, accept the fact, that they may be mistaken or that there are two sides or more to a case...

I second this as well. And favorite'd the post. Quality discussion requires acknowledgement and conflict.

ProfCirno wrote:
This is why I accused you of not reading as I specifically answered the "one encounter a day" fallacy.

But you did not fully answer. You declared that the wizard has endurance and arsenal enough to respond with the correct spell to each and every situation that arises. I do not see that endurance and flexibility until late game, and meanwhile my own experience is that the monk does a superb job. My experience conflicts with your own, placing us at odds in this way.

True, I have also seen wizards able to use scrolls over and over to solve all problems in their path, but I don't think that proves much of anything. These rules, ach, they are damnably reliant on treasure and equipment. Equipment debates are fruitless, since the only solution there is radical reexamination of all prices in an effort to make the GP value of each item more representative of its in-game utility. Better to let those points alone.

Bonded item, though, I am very fond of that. Lends just enough flexibility to a beleaguered wizard to let them slip out of a bad situation just once every day. Even if it is unbalancing, I love it. Can't complain about it one bit. Plus, the bonded item can be tampered with, so it introduces its own limitations.

ProfCirno wrote:
Incidentally, let me emphasis that I'm not telling people they're "playing the game wrong" or that this isn't a team based game or anything silly like that.

Indeed. One can easily say "obviously you're not very good at this game or you would have had different experiences and seen the (other class) is always better." That is a possibility, but it is equally possible that one's experience is biased or in error. I am more or less indifferent to this point, as it is unresolvable.

ProfCirno wrote:

Because "circumstances sub-optimal for a caster" is specifically targeting the caster, whereas "circumstances sub-optimal to everyone else" is, well, aimed at the party as a whole.

To put it another way, elsewhere we have the claim that wizards are weak because you can target their spellbook or their familiar or their bonded item. In other words, wizards are weak because you the DM can specifically target them.

On the other hand, melee characters are weak because of flying monsters.

Do you not see the difference between specifically attacking a wizard's weak points and having a flying monster? To put it another way, do you not see the difference in power when one class has weak points that come up organically, and the other has to be specifically targeted to hit their weak points?

But I feel you argue from a false premise. A flying monster or flying battlefield is easier for the wizard to respond to than the fighter. A magic resistant enemy or combat space is easier for the fighter to respond to than the wizard. Why then is one "challenging the whole party" while the other is "specifically targeting the caster"? That does not logically follow.

Further examples could be produced, but they are beside the point. My point is that I believe that I have encountered subtle favoritism for wizardry, and as best as I can tell it is because there is a cadre of wizard players that complains loudly that they are being targeted whenever some circumstance or event prevents them from unleashing unstoppable magical dominance.

How often do printed games feature anti-magic fields or hirelings talented at counter-spells? Not enough, in my estimation, given that the setting knows damn well that wizards exist and intelligent foes might take this into account. The same goes for the miracles of clerics and druids. And I have to believe in such a magical world that there might be natural phenomena that interfere with spells and enchantments in some way. So why do some continue to construe these as efforts to target and hurt wizards?

Another example: witches have familiars and rely on them quite a bit. Surely there are folk tales about this and one out of every hundred country yokels might be able to figure out that the strange animal has some power. But I am the bad-guy and obviously a mean-mean-man if the angry mob tries to steal or kill the familiar? Or when the wizard's component bag is fiddled with? I'm "targeting their weak points?" I do not feel this is so. In fact, deliberately not targeting the weak points of wizards when their weak points are obvious is favoritism.

Weaknesses are part of the balance that we aspire to, are they not?

ProfCirno wrote:
I was running off the assumption where he uses the wizard's spell list to hand-craft situations the wizard doesn't have spells for - reacting to the spell list, in other words. If I am wrong, I apologize.

Ah. I read it as an indictment of the all-too-common practice of wizard players getting the perks of being a sorcerer by building their spell list as they go while promising everyone at the table that "they really did memorize exactly that." Forcing players to actually show the spells they have memorized at the beginning of the day often corrects this because it permits other players and frustrated DMs to call the offending player on their duplicity.

It's a sad thing, but what can you do? For every honest and forthright player of wizards that I have met, I have met another so madly in love with "winning" that they argue every rule. Of course, to be fair I've also met my fair share of "mysterious attack bonus" fighters. But those are player issues, and mostly irrelevant to this debate. I believe the point of linkage was frustration with hypothetical examples which always afford the wizard the benefit of assuming they have memorized just the right spell that day.

ProfCirno wrote:
It's a natural overflow of the discussion of roles. When one class can,e very day, change their roles or take on multiple roles and do so better then the base classes meant to embody those roles, there is a schism in the game.

True, true. But the only means I have found of bridging that schism is careful arbitration by the DM. It is, in my experience, less an absolute dominance and more a matter of some characters being better suited to 'getting away with crap.'

Change too much, however, and you are swiftly playing another set of rules altogether. I am solidly in the camp that these rules are fine, even with the caster bias, so long as players aren't being toads to each other.

Random story:
Hah! Good story. I have had more than my fair share of players trying to talk through both sides of their mouths as clerics and miracle workers, calling in physics and chemistry in the same sentence as they invoke in-game rules. I'm sure we all have such stories. But I still remember the fellow who tried to argue that casting fireball where he was swimming would have to create some oxygen for combustion first so he was going to cast fireball and gulp down all the oxygen before it ignited so he could live longer without drowning. Creative uses of spells indeed! He made everyone die laughing, so we let him get away with it, and he surfaced with about six hit points.

Ahem. Anyway...

ProfCirno wrote:
It's funny how the "but it's a team game" only comes up with melee classes.

I am still unconvinced that more fragile caster classes can manage everything without some help prior to, say, level 12. Seen one too many characters die suddenly when spell defenses just didn't work as well as hoped.

Cleric, Druid? Sturdier, much sturdier. More options for self-protection. But if we get into CoDzilla discussion we will have lost all sight of the discussion of roles!

Now, the other side of it? That a solo martial character can't succeed as well as a wizard? Unfortunately I have to agree with that one. But we've touched on the reasons for this already.

With regard to Togomor...:
Earlier we kept returning to the example of Togomor. By the by, I did, in fact, run some players through a converted Pathfinder version of Crimson Throne a while back, and though I am loathe to rely on single data points I think this actually does make a good story. For what it is worth, anyway. I'm going to focus on the Togomor and the Monk PC.

In reviewing my notes, my players encountered Togomor's projected image in area A54 alongside the Gray Maidens, whereupon the high-initiative monk promptly threw a knife at the projected image and disbelieved it. Togomor gave his speech and prismatic sprayed through the projected image, the yellow ray hitting the monk (Evasion for no damage) and the Violet ray hitting the Sorcerer, who managed to make his save. Some melee broke out, but on the monk's second action he rolled Perception, figured out Togomor's location, and Dimension Door'd over to the bloatmage, prompting Togomor to Quicken Invisibility and Dimension Door over to A67 as scripted, breaking the Projected Image. Hasted, the remaining PCs forced their way past the Gray Maidens and hid in A46, only the dwarf cleric sticking out and being vulnerable to a few return attacks from the maidens and Togomor's next spell.

Round three begins, and the Monk is up. He wants to roll perception, but Togomor is more than 30 feet away so I deny him. He then chugs a potion of See Invisibility. Togomor casts cloudkill into the doorway of A46 to try and keep the PCs where his flight best serves him. He's visible again, but the PCs have other things to worry about. They push on, taking CON damage and regrouping with the Monk in A54.

The Gray maidens pursue, and in the next three rounds Togomor buffs with Greater Invisibility and drops Chain Lightning from his staff. Sorcerer nearly bites it, but the monk is undamaged (evasion again) as is the fighter (Magic Resistance). The Cleric busily fixes CON damage and the monk and fighter kill all but one of the present (A54) and pursuing Gray Maidens with ease. Stunning Fist actually succeeds two out of three times here, because my die rolls suck.

I'm preparing to keep blasting away. The party chooses to hide deeper inside the castle. They move to A53 and notice the Throne Room A52, and proceed to fight the False Ileosa. I have Togomor fly around the outside of the castle and halfway through the fight he starts blasting right through the windows. False Ileosa and minions don't put up much of a fight, since I botched the deployment of the minions and thereby the monk rushed through in one action and put her down with a ridiculous critical hit, costing the Gray Maidens their first actions. But dealing with Togomor and the Hounds starts stacking up the damage.

We are now 12 rounds in from first roll of initiative at the castle entrance. The Dwarf has gone from banishing Nessian Hellhounds to hissing that "you idiots are rushing headlong into death" and that "I'm not playing band-aid to any of you who jump into the next room before we deal with Baron Harkonen out there." We've been at it awhile, so a quick break is taken.

When we get back, top of round 13 the Monk's player asks how far Togomor is from the window. About 60 feet, I rule, because Togomor is no moron and can cast his spells that far without trouble. Plus he is invisible. But the Monk drank that potion of See Invisibility, he recalls, and no one has dispelled it yet. He says that he is going to take a running leap out of the window ten feet away and at the end of his movement should be in the square next to Togomor. "There's no ground there" I say. "I'm going to attempt to grapple," he says. "Falling rules should not come into effect until my action is over at least."

I could not find any flaw with this argument. I penalized the acrobatics check (-10) because squeezing through the cramped castle window was less than optimal as a launching point and announced that I would penalize the Grapple Combat Manuever by -4 since it was highly unortodox, but let him try. +20 base Acrobatics, +15 for the monk High Jump feature, +5 from gear and +20 for a ki-point spent ... he rolled a 15 when he needed a 10 and performed a victory dance. And the rules state that you can jump no farther than your movement, but monk modified movement for level 15 comes to 80 feet. A moment later a surprised Togomor gained the grappled condition and the monk was no longer in danger of falling.

Naturally, Togomor's first move afterward was to Dimension Door out, retreating to A59 like his scripting suggests, but the Monk promptly used Dimension Door after a less than comfortable but not lethal landing to return to the window from which he leapt.

Later, when the party came across Togomor again in the big fight in A59, the monk didn't actually mess around with Togomor much. But these stunts stood out.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

ciretose wrote:
If you've never played a monk, or seen a well built monk played, your ignorance isn't an effective argument.

If you can't explain what it is a well-built monk does or how it's useful and at least as/more effective than some other class, then you have no argument whatsoever.

I'm pretty sure that monks are decent martial combatants when heavily optimized, very poor ones otherwise, have fair-to-middlin' defenses against martial attackers and above-average saves, and have a limited and rather obtuse set of problem-solving tools out of combat.

Do you disagree with any of that?


A MAn In Black wrote:
No. Just weak classes. I'm just addressing the weak argument that anyone who cares about poorly-balanced classes is somehow a powergaming a!$+#@#.

There's no weakness about the argument. It's a dick thing to do. Weak class or not it's not up to another player to tell another player what to play. There's no reasonable way to tell someone that you don't want to play with them because you hate the numbers on their sheet.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

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TarkXT wrote:
There's no weakness about the argument. It's a dick thing to do. Weak class or not it's not up to another player to tell another player what to play. There's no reasonable way to tell someone that you don't want to play with them because you hate the numbers on their sheet.

It's a dick move to do something you know bothers the other players, abusing the fact that they're too polite to gainsay you. It's a dick move to create a bunch of unnecessary interparty friction in-character. It's a dick move to make your GM bend over backwards to involve your character in the game without killing him/marginalizing him.

Why do we have a game where the simple act of choosing a class involves so many dick moves? Wouldn't it be better if the classes were better-balanced?


LilithsThrall wrote:

You mean it's a difference in the way the campaign is run. Get rid of the 15 minute workday, make the Wizard fear for the welfare of his spellbook (and spend part of his WBL on keeping it safe), etc.* and the Wizard will be crying that he can't keep up. The only reason the Wizard excels is because the GM takes it easy on him.

*in other words, play the bad guys like they are smart enough to tie their own shoes

And the barbarians and fighters and rangers and samurai and even cavaliers will still be better than the monk. Even if the entire adventure takes place in an antimagic field leaving the divine and partial arcane casters out monks still don't make par. Unless they're zen archers or senseis, but the latter only if you're in an antimagic field because otherwise bards and evangelist clerics are better.

They're not frontline fighters because they can't go up against other frontline fighters.

They're not mage killers because they can't solve the low flying mage and he shows up at level 5.

They're certainly not casters or healers or skill monkeys.

What's left? Being something for full arcane casters to disguise themselves as?

Liberty's Edge

A Man In Black wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If you've never played a monk, or seen a well built monk played, your ignorance isn't an effective argument.

If you can't explain what it is a well-built monk does or how it's useful and at least as/more effective than some other class, then you have no argument whatsoever.

I'm pretty sure that monks are decent martial combatants when heavily optimized, very poor ones otherwise, have fair-to-middlin' defenses against martial attackers and above-average saves, and have a limited and rather obtuse set of problem-solving tools out of combat.

Do you disagree with any of that?

I have, many times, in many threads.

I've posted builds level by level and asked people to critique them. I've posted variants of these builds for specific types and purposes. You've even been in the threads where I have done this, which is why I'm not doing it again. The archives are there, just click on my name.

The monk is not as good in melee as a Fighter, or Barb, but he's close, right there with the ranger (Zen Archer for ranged, normal for TWF)

The monk isn't as sneaky as the rogue, but he's far closer than the above.

The monk is more mobile than all of the above, has better saves than all of the above, has lower base equipment costs than all of the above, and has specific abilities designed to counter casters that go up in quality as both classes improve in quality.

Are they perfect? No. The Dex build tends to be a bit mad, and Quingong is now pretty much industry standard to swap out some of the lame bits for things like barkskin. But are they viable relative to the other classes in the game and equivalent levels, absolutely.

Liberty's Edge

Atarlost wrote:


And the barbarians and fighters and rangers and samurai and even cavaliers will still be better than the monk. Even if the entire adventure takes place in an antimagic field leaving the divine and partial arcane casters out monks still don't make par. Unless they're zen archers or senseis, but the latter only if you're in an antimagic field because otherwise bards and evangelist clerics are better.

They're not frontline fighters because they can't go up against other frontline fighters.

They're not mage killers because they can't solve the low flying mage and he shows up at level 5.

They're certainly not casters or healers or skill monkeys.

What's left? Being something for full arcane casters to disguise themselves as?

You mean the 3rd level 1/min per level spell? Oh god you are right...if only there were something a monk could take, some kind of potion or elixir to counter that...

Or just win initiative and stun them before they can cast then flurry them to death next round. Either way you are burning your highest level spell for a 5 minute party trick that is countered by "arrows"

As to going against other frontline fighters, it becomes rock paper scissors at a certain point. The fact that the monk can do one more attack than any other class in a round isn't irrelevant with regards to damage anymore than the +4 to AC option isn't irrelevant.

Depending on the level, strategy will vary, but a well built monk holds it's own against a well build martial character. They just don't tend toward the same strategies all the time.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

ciretose wrote:
I've posted builds level by level and asked people to critique them.

Yeah, you've been pretty good about that. My point is only that there isn't any sort of mystic secret to the monk that you need extensive experience to understand, and that's speaking as someone with reasonably extensive experience playing with them as a GM and a player.

The rest we don't really disagree about. My beefs with the post-UC monk is that being halfway decent at melee fighting requires either an obscure weapon or obscure feat/ability combos, that far too many options are useless traps, and that the core monk is still insanely weak.

This is a significant improvement over PF core, where the monk was basically bad at everything and was only good at things that weren't useful.


ciretose wrote:
Atarlost wrote:


And the barbarians and fighters and rangers and samurai and even cavaliers will still be better than the monk. Even if the entire adventure takes place in an antimagic field leaving the divine and partial arcane casters out monks still don't make par. Unless they're zen archers or senseis, but the latter only if you're in an antimagic field because otherwise bards and evangelist clerics are better.

They're not frontline fighters because they can't go up against other frontline fighters.

They're not mage killers because they can't solve the low flying mage and he shows up at level 5.

They're certainly not casters or healers or skill monkeys.

What's left? Being something for full arcane casters to disguise themselves as?

You mean the 3rd level 1/min per level spell? Oh god you are right...if only there were something a monk could take, some kind of potion or elixir to counter that...

Or just win initiative and stun them before they can cast then flurry them to death next round. Either way you are burning your highest level spell for a 5 minute party trick that is countered by "arrows"

As to going against other frontline fighters, it becomes rock paper scissors at a certain point. The fact that the monk can do one more attack than any other class in a round isn't irrelevant with regards to damage anymore than the +4 to AC option isn't irrelevant.

Depending on the level, strategy will vary, but a well built monk holds it's own against a well build martial character. They just don't tend toward the same strategies all the time.

5 minutes is an eternity in combat. 50 rounds. Remember, we're talking roles which means PC monks, which means the wizard is an NPC. NPCs only have one encounter per day: the one with the PCs.

And Stunning fist before the wizard gets a turn? The wizard never comes after the party I guess or has alarms or hears you fighting his minions or sees you farther away than anyone can move in a round in open terrain.

Extra attack? Gotcha. Casters can't use their limited per day spells, but monks can use their limited per day ki pool. Once those are up a monk's just a TWFer that can't take rend. Saves and immunities don't help you if you're trying to go toe to toe with a proper melee class that does HP damage. Your CMBs are the same. Your CMD is lower unless you use a feat patching it. Monks save on feats, but a THW build outdamages a TWF build until rend anyways and saves just as much on feats. You could disarm, but there are locked gauntlets. You could sunder, but then your party will kick you out for breaking the loot.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Atarlost wrote:
And Stunning fist before the wizard gets a turn? The wizard never comes after the party I guess or has alarms or hears you fighting his minions or sees you farther away than anyone can move in a round in open terrain.

Or the "wizard" just has a decent fort save. "Wizards" on Team Monster come are often giant dudes or outsiders/dragons or clerics/druids, all of which have just peachy-keen fort saves.

Stunning Fist is useful, but it's not really a "wizardkiller" except against actual wizards and monsters that resemble them (like fey).


Sayer_of_Nay wrote:

First off, I want to say that this thread isn't meant to debate the usefulness of the monk; I'm not interested in reading an endless stream of "monks are underpowered," or the like. If you only want to comment on how much monks suck, please move along.

That being said, I will say that I've never played the class. I never really understood what the class was for? What is their role? How exactly do they contribute to a group of adventurers?

Having just picked up the Ultimate Combat book, I've seen a lot of neat things there for monks, and unarmed combat in general, 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.

Dear Sayer of Nay,

If you are still reading this thread...

My answer would be that the Monk is a melee maneuvers specialist at its core. And a truly awesome melee support class. In our PF game, my Monk has earned the nickname of Monk Blanket. He literally drapes himself all over our enemies when damage just isn't enough to get the job done. The Barbarian and Rogue pretty much thank me every session for making their jobs easier. Love the Monk!

Hope that helps. Good luck.


FlashX wrote:
stuff

What you don't realize is that, if you (or any of the large group of people like you) are being effective with a monk, then you're doing something wrong (cheating?), after all, The Man in Black couldn't figure out how to be effective with a monk (and that must have been the class' fault).

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

LilithsThrall wrote:
What you don't realize is that, if you (or any of the large group of people like you) are being effective with a monk, then you're doing something wrong (cheating?), after all, The Man in Black couldn't figure out how to be effective with a monk (and that must have been the class' fault).

"If you don't agree with me, you're obviously incompetent."

You never fail to class up the joint, LT.


A Man In Black wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
What you don't realize is that, if you (or any of the large group of people like you) are being effective with a monk, then you're doing something wrong (cheating?), after all, The Man in Black couldn't figure out how to be effective with a monk (and that must have been the class' fault).

"If you don't agree with me, you're obviously incompetent."

You never fail to class up the joint, LT.

Which of the following is misrepresenting the facts

1.) You've not been able to make the class effective
2.) However, many people have come in here and said they found the class to be effective
3.) You blame the class for your inability to play it effectively despite the fact that many people have posted in here that they have been able to play the class effectively

If I'm putting words in your mouth, I sincerely don't intend to be

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

LilithsThrall wrote:

1.) You've not been able to make the class effective

2.) However, many people have come in here and said they found the class to be effective
3.) You blame the class for your inability to play it effectively despite the fact that many people have posted in here that they have been able to play the class effectively

If I'm putting words in your mouth, I sincerely don't intend to be

One and three.

I've been able to play the class to (a reasonable approximation of) its full effectiveness. I consider that full effectiveness deficient for [reasons]. Other people have overlooked those reasons, do not consider them important, and/or consider them offset by advantages I do not value.

You know. They disagree.

For crying out loud, I started off defending the monk in this thread. I don't think I'm the one you need to be attacking.


GâtFromKI wrote:

If enemies are using standard action to cast dispel, then you win. But I agree: a caster can disable a caster.

While disarmed/sundered/something, the magus casts levitate and use his sling to kill the enemy. Or he grab some pointed stick, with arcane pool it become a +3 pointed stick (which means: it ignore more different kinds of DR than a monk's fist) (or it become a +2 flaming pointed stick, a +1 keen shocking pointed stick, whatever), and he apply arcane strike in subsequent rounds. He can add frigid touch. Then he lets the enemy sunder his pointed stick while he sunder enemy's face.

When grappled, DimDoor. Or he hit the grappler with a +1 ice burst light pointed stick and frigid touch. What do the monk do when grappled?

Anyway, I can't prove that casters will always hit things harder than a monk, even while disarmed, grappled etc. What I'm discussing is the monk's versatility. I'm already convinced that the monk is a boring NPC class who can smash things harder than some playable classes in some specific situations, but who can't do anything else and can't adapt to unforeseen situation.

All I have to say is, you must play with some seriously softball GM's if that kind of stuff counts as an auto win or gets you a pass.

Either way, in grapples? Assuming he's dealing with an opponent that's not patently stupid to voluntarily grapple (monks may be awesome technical fighters but balors are never a good grapple target), monks tend to win the grapple check and either deal damage or pin to let a nearby appropriate smashy or stabbity class go to town. But hey, if things go south they get dimension door, too.

That's entirely discounting monks also get the ability to stun, blind, deafen, entangle, sicken, fatigue, stagger, paralyze, knock prone, and instant-kill depending upon character level on top of grapple and disarm, many of which in the same round if a given monk is feeling particularly sadistic and depending on class level. Versatility is not merely measured in how many effects you can have at once or in damage-per-round, which you seem to think it is. How hard you can smash something is not the end-all of play.

Quote:
I don't know any other tabletop RPG in which anyone would say "this character is very versatile : he's a fighter with high speed instead of high damages". D&D is the only one system in which a fighter with two or so weak special abilities is considered versatile.

I can actually think of an entire system offhand in which this is the very case: old World of Darkness. Extra actions in oWoD were absolute king, and thanks to the vicissitudes of the experience system generally came at the cost of being able to hit hard or take a hit. I once played a Toreador through the midpoint of a Transylvania Chronicles game that had three disciplines over one point (Celerity, Auspex and Obfuscate), and no Potence or Fortitude, and he ended up being the 900-pound gorilla in a party that also consisted of a martial Nosferatu, a Brujah and a Gangrel.


Kegluneq wrote:
When we get back, top of round 13 the Monk's player asks how far Togomor is from the window. About 60 feet, I rule, because Togomor is no moron and can cast his spells that far without trouble. Plus he is invisible. But the Monk drank that potion of See Invisibility, he recalls, and no one has dispelled it yet.

Too bad togomor has also a nondetection effect, a potion can't possibly success the CL check (1d20+3 vs DC 30)... The only thing the monk did against Togomor weren't possible. huh.

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