Flurry of Changes to Flurry of Blows


Homebrew and House Rules

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Tels wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:
@ Tels I can find again but I already quoted the FAQ where we can tell even SKR just found out it was a "clarification". He says in the FAQ for Feral Combat Training that the monk can make all his attacks with his natural weapon. Somthing that unless they come in pairs this "Clarification" prevents.

Oh I know, I've read that FAQ and I thought it funny that SKR seems to be of two minds about Flurry.

One of the reasons I won't play PFS is because of all the Monk hate and errata's that I don't agree with. At the same time, the strict rules interpretation really appeals to me because I play with GMs that hate the fact I know more about the game than they do, and will often houserule away clever things I do (like Heightening a light spell to 4th level to over power Deeper Darkness). I like the challenge of out-witting them, but I hate the fact I have to struggle and fight, just to make a semi-effective character because they are convinced every move I make, or do, has an ulterior plan that has consequences later in the game.

They know I have the ability to break the system if I so choose, but I keep telling them I only break the system in theory, so I can be vigilant of those that intend to break the system in practice*. We have 2 people that are all too willing to play munchkin characters if they can sneak the abilities in there. I've always got to keep my eye out for those two, whether I'm a player or a GM.

*Had a guy who tried to bring AM BARBARIAN to the table. He got miffed when I saw what he was doing and said, "No, you can't have that toy."

PFS is actually a really monk friendly environment. Lots of humans and humanoids to fight. Lots of gold to be had. Lots of downtime to get proper equipment. 20 point buy. Encounters are often on the easy side. 1 particular item that helps the class a lot from Quest for Perfection part 3 (assuming the monk has FoB and Fast Move).


Does anyone remember the AD&D monk? I do. I remember that he was expected to watch the rest of the party fight, and not participate until about 10th level. I think I even recall that if he did fight, he got no xp, but got full xp if he just watched. I think I even recall someone selling t-shirts which said "Monks like to watch." We should make monks like that ;p


Dabbler wrote:
master arminas wrote:
I would go back to that other PFRPG: Palladium Fantasy Role Playing Game. While saying stuff that I can't type here.
Paizo have shown many times that they care what their customers think. I think they will resolve the issue with the monk at some point, or at least give us a good explanation as to why they feel they cannot.

Except for VoP Monk, INA feat, etc.

For some things, they care what customers think, but other times it makes you wonder especially the VoP Monk... "Being poor sucks"


Mabven the OP healer wrote:
Does anyone remember the AD&D monk? I do.

Oh yes. At high level the monk was death on two legs, no-one wanted to fight one!

Mabven the OP healer wrote:
I remember that he was expected to watch the rest of the party fight, and not participate until about 10th level. I think I even recall that if he did fight, he got no xp, but got full xp if he just watched. I think I even recall someone selling t-shirts which said "Monks like to watch." We should make monks like that ;p

You can't have been playing the same game I was - monks had to participate to get the XP from the start. Never saw anything about monks watching...

That said some abilities have vanished - like speak with animals - that made them useful at low level.


Mabven the OP healer wrote:
Does anyone remember the AD&D monk? I do. I remember that he was expected to watch the rest of the party fight, and not participate until about 10th level. I think I even recall that if he did fight, he got no xp, but got full xp if he just watched. I think I even recall someone selling t-shirts which said "Monks like to watch." We should make monks like that ;p

Different game, but 1st edition AD&D monks were far from useless--even at the lower levels. They were the only characters without a Fighter THAC0 to get multiple attacks--and they eventually got more than a fighter did. They gained a damage bonus on all weapons they they used--at a time when Fighters didn't have weapons specialization (heck, there weren't any feats!).

That being said, the Monk from the article He's Got a Lot to Kick About in Dragon Magazine (reprinted in one of the Best of Dragon issues) was a major improvement. Still, the original monk was well-built, capable, and could easily pull his own weight in a party. That extra hit die and Con bonus (if you were lucky enough to have a 15 or 16 Con) helped even the odds and all those nifty little powers were wonderful.

Remember too, in those days you stopped getting hit die at 9th or 10th level. Positive bonuses (magic or otherwise) were fairly uncommon. Still, I am more and more looking back on the simplicity and ease of 1st edition with longing.

Master Arminas


No offence, MA, but I look on those days with loathing - everything was so limited back then, and featureless! I much prefer hordes of skills and feats and powers to customise my characters and bring them to unique life!


None taken, Dabbler. Perhaps I am only remembering those days through rose-tinted glasses; certainly AD&D had issues of its own.

Master Arminas


One word.

One dreaded word.

THAC0.


ThatEvilGuy wrote:

One anagram.

One dreaded anagram.

THAC0.

I fixed that for you ;)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You might be thinking of the word abbreviation. Or Acronym.

EDIT: I forgot to add a smiley. Kids these days love smileys.

;)


Tels wrote:
ThatEvilGuy wrote:

One ACRONYM.

One dreaded ACRONYM.

THAC0.

I fixed that for you ;)

Fixed your fix for you!


Odraude wrote:

You might be thinking of the word abbreviation. Or Acronym.

EDIT: I forgot to add a smiley. Kids these days love smileys.

;)

Doh! My bad. Not sure why I used anagram :(

Bardic Dave wrote:
Tels wrote:
ThatEvilGuy wrote:

One ACRONYM.

One dreaded ACRONYM.

THAC0.

I fixed that for you ;)
Fixed your fix for you!

Yeah, thanks for that. Odd thing is, I even looked up the word acronym to double check it was the correct word, and I still typed anagram.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm one of the GMs that didn't read much into treating flurry of blows exactly like two weapon fighting. I always thought that you could use one weapon interchangeably in your flurry. its just some of the flair of a monk, and offsets the other weak aspects of being a monk.

what i'm curious about, for all the players/gm's that say they're just going to house rule it in their games no matter what the developers say.
How many of you are out there?

i don't know if its a faux pas, but instead of chiming in,
can you take this one question survey of how you use two weapon fighting or plan to use two weapon fighting.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HN3B9VW

i'll update this post or put the responses in my profile every few days until this gets FAQed.

exactly like two weapon fighting 0.0%
one weapon can be used for all attacks 75.0%
i'm waiting for the FAQ and will use however it is clarified 25.0%

4 responses.


As much as this topic probably doesn't need another thread, i feel like this should be it's own topic, as to not get buried in here.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

mmh. okay i'll make a thread.


So, if we are getting the monk all clarified, should the magus get an equal treatment? I mean, that class is clearly ineligable for the Dervish Dance build since his off-hand attack is a spell. He attacks with the weapon in one hand and the spell in other: so he doesn't have a free hand for the build, correct?

What other clarifications do you want to see affects classes other than the monk?

Master Arminas


Dragoons getting a double weapon that they only have to enchant once.

The return on the amulet of natural weapons from 3.x. (you payed based off the number of weapons affected)


master arminas wrote:
So, if we are getting the monk all clarified, should the magus get an equal treatment? I mean, that class is clearly ineligable for the Dervish Dance build since his off-hand attack is a spell. He attacks with the weapon in one hand and the spell in other: so he doesn't have a free hand for the build, correct?

I concur, it seems that other classes get the rules bent in their favour all the time...except the monk.


Latest news a post from Jason Bulmahn:

You haven't been forgotten!

Here is what he said.

Jason Bulmahn said wrote:

Sorry folks,

I know we sorta dropped a grenade on this issue and then left the room, but we've been a bit swamped trying to get the Gencon books out the door. We will revisit this issue once the current crisis is averted.

Hand in there.. we will find a reasonable solution for this one.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Master Arminas


I have made an archetype (really an alternate class) that blends together the Inquisitor and the Monk. You can find it here: The Monastic Inquisitor and I would love to have your feedback.

The name is clunky and doesn't roll well, but it is a place holder. I decided to do this because of the synergy between the two classes. Spells and judgements actually made the unarmed strikes viable as a solid hitting option. And many of the features that monks lose are replicated by spells. I think it will work well, but I would appreciate your thoughts, if you have time.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like Fakir or a Sadhu would be good names for this monk/divine warrior.


Wow...there's a lot to read on this topic...I've read a few pages, but I had to stop somewhere :p Forgive me if someone made this point before.

So...we have a monk in our own group that's level 14 now. To be honest, while we've all understood the rule to mean that he can attack repeatedly with one weapon in one hand, that's never really happened. A few times when he was grappled or prone, he got a FoB where other classes would only get one attack. But, he never used a weapon.

Now that they're fighting more DR mobs, and his fists don't always qualified, he's picking up some weapons to deal with that. Since he's such a high level, though, he'd never use a weapon in place of his fists.

I guess I've never had a huge problem with him only buying ONE weapon and using that for a flurry because, chances are, it's for a secondary purpose, like bypassing DR. He'd never would use them as primary weapons because they do significantly less damage.

I understand from a game play perspective, it's somewhat murky waters. After all, the two handed peeps have to buy two of everything to do what the monk does what one using the rules as we interpret. But, really, is that a problem? Because, even though this is a somewhat obvious advantage, I do not see players flocking to play the monk to exploit it. And the monk has enough other limitations (no armor for example) that his extra money is going towards more expensive magical alternatives to get his AC in the ballpark of other scrapper types.

From a flavor perspective, is it really hard to imagine that a monk can hit you a bucket load of times with a nun check in his right hand, his open left palm...or both? He is, after all, the master of such arts.


JCServant you are pretty much on the nail. FoB is what the monk does, and it's poor enough as it is. It just didn't need nerfing.

Shadow Lodge

Was this ever fixed?


Beckett wrote:
Was this ever fixed?

I don't believe so, and just to add more fuel to the fire, allow me to cross post this from the FAQ:

FAQ wrote:

Feral Combat Training (page 101): What does “with” in the Special line for this feat mean for monks making a flurry of blows?

Normally a monk who has natural attacks (such as a lizardfolk monk with claw attacks) cannot use those natural attacks as part of a flurry of blows (Core Rulebook 57). Feral Combat Training allows you to use the selected natural attack as if it were a monk weapon—you can use it as one of your flurry of blows attacks, use it to deploy special attacks that require you to use a monk weapon, apply the effects of the natural weapon (such as a poisonous bite) for each flurry of blows attack, and so on.

The feat does not allow you to make your normal flurry of blows attack sequence plus one or more natural attacks with the natural weapon. In other words, if you can flurry for four attacks per round, with this feat you still only make four attacks per round... but any number of those attacks may be with the selected natural weapon.

—Sean K Reynolds, 02/15/12

Highlights are mine, and here's the LINK. So all you need to do is find some way to make a manufactured weapon a natural weapon,take Feral Combat Training and FoB works like we all thought it should.


JCServant wrote:
...From a flavor perspective, is it really hard to imagine that a monk can hit you a bucket load of times with a nun check in his right hand, his open left palm...or both? He is, after all, the master of such arts.

The problem, as ususal, isn't that game breaking for "normal" private games where a lot of inofficial rules exist (knowingly or unknowingly).

The problem is that unarmed attacks are still poorly designed, that the monk (without the use of powerful archetypes) is considered underpowered in optimized play and that said archetypes offer new rules interpretations while new and powerful monk weapons offer new optimisation possibilities.

So if you are a classic, non-weapon using, non archetyped Monk in a non optimized party where the GM throws you a bone in the form of powerful magic items now and then, there is nothing you need to know.


master arminas wrote:

Latest news a post from Jason Bulmahn:

You haven't been forgotten!

Here is what he said.

Jason Bulmahn said wrote:

Sorry folks,

I know we sorta dropped a grenade on this issue and then left the room, but we've been a bit swamped trying to get the Gencon books out the door. We will revisit this issue once the current crisis is averted.

Hand in there.. we will find a reasonable solution for this one.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Master Arminas

Good to know we're not being treated to the classic WotC-style "ignore the problem and hope it goes away on its own" school of handling rules problems


Amen.

MA


No word yet.

MA


Patience allow them time to fully embrace the zen of the monk and channel through it what they truely wish this class to accomplish.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Meaning, nothing?

Very Zen.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Meaning, nothing?

Very Zen.

you just made my day


1 person marked this as a favorite.

[clear throat]

She would have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

[/clears throat]

So sayeth the Bard.

Master Arminas


master arminas wrote:

[clear throat]

She would have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

[/clears throat]

So sayeth the Bard.

Master Arminas

I'm not ashamed to admit I tinkled a little while laughing.


Glad to have been of service. LOL

Master Arminas


You know, I was looking through the monk archetypes the other day . . . and there are only a handful of ones that don't really suffer.

Drunken Master: Yes, I know it is based on the Jackie Chan movie; but tell me how does someone who gets drunk every day and stays drunk all day long remain lawful?

Flowing Monk: We have the maneuver master and this. Two archetypes that revolve around using maneuvers: why?

Hungry Ghost: Not bad, but why replace stunning kick? What on earth does punishing kick have to do with being a hungry ghost monk?

Ki Mystic: Interesting, but weak. Great ki pool (since he gets TWO), but ho-hum powers.

Maneuver Master: Great idea, love it, but the execution . . . why didn't he just keep flurry of blows? You could already disarm, sunder, or trip as a part of a flurry, after all.

Martial Artist: So we had to have a monk with no alignment restrictions and no ki. Some things are good, but others are quite frankly WEAK for what they replace.

I could keep on going, but by and large, who designed these things? They are either OVERPOWERED (Zen Archer), or pretty much USELESS, with a few exceptions that are well-balanced.

Anyone else feel this way?

Master Arminas


No, you are not the only one. Kryzbyn's Blade Master is pretty good, but not official.

I get the impression that the archetypes fall between two extremes:
Addressing the problems of the monk and making them an effective class (sohei, qi gong, zen archer) and trying not to be better than the original monk so as to make it redundant (the rest, pretty much).

The fact that you have to go to an archetype to make the original class any good is a bad sign, though I suspect that the rogue lovers would point at the ninja and agree. Truth is, though, that the rogue was always intended as having more function out of combat than in it, with sneak attack as something that allowed them to contribute in combat.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Actually, with the Master of Many Styles, you can trade up with Tiger Claws and Dragon Style combination, or do the classic Panther/Snake combo. It's actually pretty good.


I actually think that the monk archetypes are, on the whole, the best designed archetypes in the game, without any legitimate competition for that title. They wobble around a bit in terms of power level, but they're amazing for actually enabling legitimately (mechanically) unique characters, rather than just replacing stuff that barely matters with other stuff that barely matters (many rogue archetypes), taking away stuff and giving you almost nothing in return (many druid archetypes), or just fake half-versions of normal class options (many oracle archetypes).

The flowing monk and the maneuver master both "revolve around using maneuvers", but only at a super zoomed-out level. The maneuver master is designed to be - and works out well as - a generic maneuver-centric monk. The Flowing Monk is designed as the judo-ish* reactive, use-their-strength-against-them guy. I'm pretty sure you could tell them apart a lot faster than you could tell most random rogue archetypes apart.

*I think; I don't really know that much about martial arts.

I do agree that the various Stunning Fist-style abilities seem to have been assigned almost at random, though. It's cool that there's a way for monks to get them at first level if they want to, but they're often tied to otherwise unrelated archetypes. Touch of Serenity in Monk of the Lotus makes sense; Punishing Kick in Hungry Ghost Monk and Elemental Fist in Monk of the Four Winds are essentially arbitrary.


Problem is, Joyd, that they don't detract form the fact that the core monk is very weak. If you need archetypes to make a class effective, you've got some basic design problems.


Joyd wrote:

I do agree that the various Stunning Fist-style abilities seem to have been assigned almost at random, though. It's cool that there's a way for monks to get them at first level if they want to, but they're often tied to otherwise unrelated archetypes. Touch of Serenity in Monk of the Lotus makes sense; Punishing Kick in Hungry Ghost Monk and Elemental Fist in Monk of the Four Winds are essentially arbitrary.

Agreed, I think I'd allow any Monk that I DM to choose no matter archetype or not to pick between Stunning Fist, Elemental Fist, or Punishing Kick. Reason: they are equal in power.


Seriously, why would anyone care what SKR thinks about rules or balance? He defended the Paizo vow of poverty monk on the basis of "poverty sucks (so your character should suck for playing this class)." Just ignore him and do whatever you think is best in your games; tossing a coin would probably provide more accurate answers than SKR.


Enchanter Tom, while I often disagree with Mr. Reynolds on many of his decisions, he is one of the design and development team for this Role-Playing Game we enjoy. He has been a part of the D&D writers for years, even decades.

I believe that his decisions have, at times, been the wrong ones and taken the game in a direction that I would rather not have seen it go. Bu the difference is that I am a customer and a fan of the game; he is one of the people who work hard to write the game.

Despite any difference of opinion I have with Mister Reynolds over specific issues, he is owed--by all of us--a profound thanks for his love of D&D and his contributions to the World's Greatest Game.

I do not play Pathfinder Society, so I do change the rules as I see fit for my own game. However, what we, in this thread, are hoping for is to see a clarification on the rules that exist for all us, whether or not we will in the end use those rules or change them to suit our own campaigns.

Mr. Bulmahn has promised that the issue will be addressed . . . soon. And I believe him.

Master Arminas

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

...I don't think Tom enjoys Pathfinder, MA.

Pretty sure he said he hates 3.5 as well.


I'm just a grouch. Out of 2e, 3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder, 4e, and Essentials, I would choose to play Pathfinder. I'm hoping that 5e is good enough to steal my attention, however.


Only 12 more days till we get a taste.


Dabbler wrote:

No, you are not the only one. Kryzbyn's Blade Master is pretty good, but not official.

I get the impression that the archetypes fall between two extremes:
Addressing the problems of the monk and making them an effective class (sohei, qi gong, zen archer) and trying not to be better than the original monk so as to make it redundant (the rest, pretty much).

The fact that you have to go to an archetype to make the original class any good is a bad sign, though I suspect that the rogue lovers would point at the ninja and agree. Truth is, though, that the rogue was always intended as having more function out of combat than in it, with sneak attack as something that allowed them to contribute in combat.

Thanks for the mention here, Dabbler.

While I agree with the thought that if the archtypes are needed to make the base class worth playing, then something is asmiss, but that's not why I made the blade master.
I wanted a flashy blade wielding Wuxia monk, and none of the other archtypes fit the bill.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
I'm just a grouch. Out of 2e, 3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder, 4e, and Essentials, I would choose to play Pathfinder. I'm hoping that 5e is good enough to steal my attention, however.

I am overwhelmed with indifference, myself. I have invested way to much in 3.x and Pathfinder to abandon then, and that is the problem WotC are struggling against with constant new editions.

Back on topic: It wouldn't take much to make the monk playable and effective, and the easiest fix is an item or feat. However, I am optimistic that if there is a second edition pathfinder (or a Pathfinder 1.5) the monk's issues will be dealt with in depth - it's clear that the monk didn't get the same attention other classes received in all the tests.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Well, I think the monk received a lot of attention in the tests--the class after all is still largely much improved compared to the 3.x monk--but not his combat ability or flurry in particular, and the change to flurry between beta and final needed testing for clarity before it actually did become final. I'm much too lazy to look up the old beta threads at the moment--maybe I will later--but I wonder if there were complaints about flurry that prompted the change or if this was a late addition to fix some perceived difficulty that no one actually reported in playtesting (and just that, I wonder. I doubt they made the change lightly, no matter the reason. It just was written poorly).

I like the idea of feat fixes just because the monk is already more gear reliant than an ascetic warrior type ought to be.


I agree, and I came up with some in another thread ages back. Any feat fixes would have to be made part of the monk's bonus feats, though.

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