Flurry of Changes to Flurry of Blows


Homebrew and House Rules

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Lemmy wrote:
{Good Stuff}

Lemmy, have you seen my monk design? It has a lot of the features you cite...


I did, but it was just a quick read, at the time I was ina bit of a hurry. Right now I'm at college, so I can't access the link 'til I get home, I'll do it then.

Also, I was thinking about giving monks the ability to deal slashing/piercing/blundgeoning damage with all damage strikes as he sees fit, no need for a Style feat for that. Not sure how useful that actually is, as I have the impression that blundgeoning damage is usually the most efficient anyway, but it sounds very Wuxia-like.

And how about letting them use Wis instead of Int for the purpose of fulfilling requirements for Combat and Style feats and entering prestige classes that have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite and do not grant spell casting progression?


I like your write up Dabbler.
Being used to having monks being the bastard step children, it seems too nice. ;)

EDIT: After a further look... how do you solve the 'can't move and flurry' problem? I see the verbiage about it being standard action in some cases, but it seems confusing...what are you saying here?


A full flurry on a move is probably TOO strong, Kryzbyn. What I suggest is allowing a monk to spend a point of ki as a swift action when he moves and attacks (standard action), charges, or uses the Spring Attack feat to gain one bonus attack at his highest attack bonus (i.e., his monk level -2).

Master Arminas


In the archtype I wrote up, at 7th level they could only 5' step between each flurry attack, and at 14th they could half move and still flurry. Not charge...now granted a half move for a 14th level monk is still quite a ways...


Kryzbyn wrote:

I like your write up Dabbler.

Being used to having monks being the bastard step children, it seems too nice. ;)

It's important to remember that a lot of the options are options, you don't get all of them. They grant greater versatility, true, but n ot substantially more power.

Kryzbyn wrote:
EDIT: After a further look... how do you solve the 'can't move and flurry' problem? I see the verbiage about it being standard action in some cases, but it seems confusing...what are you saying here?

A fast flurry is a standard action, and has the same attack bonus as 3/4 BAB on a normal full attack, so at 8th level you can attack for +6/+1 as a fast flurry in a standard action and still get a move action. My flurry of blows gives you up to six attacks as a full attack action, fast flurry up to three as a standard action, all based on 3/4 BAB - but they get weapon training on top, which bumps them up by +4 attack and damage with monk weapons and unarmed strikes.

Web Product Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed some posts and replies to it. Posts about post counts, as well as "FIRST" posts, are annoying. Don't do it.


I would just like to throw this out there for Sean or Jason or whoever might read this and is working on a redo.

Please leave out the line "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed". This line has lead to much confusion as to if a monk can even make a off-hand attack at all while unarmed. In fact a bit of clarification regard the entire idea of TWF using unarmed attacks could use some clearing up as many posters believe that one cannot make an attack as both primary and off-hand using TWF with unarmed strikes as the whole body is one weapon.

Thank you for reading regardless of changes.
Talonhawke


Talonhawke wrote:

I would just like to throw this out there for Sean or Jason or whoever might read this and is working on a redo.

Please leave out the line "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed". This line has lead to much confusion as to if a monk can even make a off-hand attack at all while unarmed. In fact a bit of clarification regard the entire idea of TWF using unarmed attacks could use some clearing up as many posters believe that one cannot make an attack as both primary and off-hand using TWF with unarmed strikes as the whole body is one weapon.

Thank you for reading regardless of changes.
Talonhawke

...and without it, some DMs may apply a penalty to what they THINK the 'off hand' attack is.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dabbler wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:

I would just like to throw this out there for Sean or Jason or whoever might read this and is working on a redo.

Please leave out the line "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed". This line has lead to much confusion as to if a monk can even make a off-hand attack at all while unarmed. In fact a bit of clarification regard the entire idea of TWF using unarmed attacks could use some clearing up as many posters believe that one cannot make an attack as both primary and off-hand using TWF with unarmed strikes as the whole body is one weapon.

Thank you for reading regardless of changes.
Talonhawke

...and without it, some DMs may apply a penalty to what they THINK the 'off hand' attack is.

Which is why the whole thing needs to be seriously rewritten and fixed. I know it can't be easily errataed/reprinted officially because of printing limitations but we need something. There's a whole class that is wildly confusing to play and particularly unfriendly to newbies (which I've seen in practice).


Agreed. Monks very much require a veteran player who can think outside of the box; it is not a class for those who just want to hit the evil dude.

Master Arminas


Man have you guys been busy.
I've only been offline for 10 days.

I like the offhand thing as it is, once it's gone there is NO reason to not just call the feature Two Weapon Fighting. If that's the choice I'm gonna be fine with it but recognize that the monk will become the default one level dip class for everyone. That was the thing they really wanted to avoid in the original design.


It won't be the default level dip class for every, not by a long shot. Even if they change Flurry to act like TWF exactly, they still don't actually get the TWF feat. Therefore, if they want to qualify for any of the other feats, then they need to take TWF, which would negate the point of level dipping Monk.

The only way this would change is if they changed Flurry to actually grant the TWF feats, but then they also need to grant Double Slice to keep Flurry from having differing damages, and then Imp. and Grtr. TWF later on. Even then, it's not truly TWF as you would be limited to unarmed strikes or Monk weapons, and can't take any natural attacks in addition to a Flurry, like you can with normal TWF.


Ah but that the rub.
If they make flurry into TWF then it's TWF. Anything else is an over the top shafting. Personally I'm in the" it was fine as is" camp.

There are already compelling reasons to dip, the class is front loaded with 3 feats at level 1, the save boosts are a real bargain, shurikens are useful and a gimmee even if the other monk weapons are kinda lame, the skills are nice and a second level gets you Evasion and another feat. Then there is 1d6 UA damage, which may never be needed but is very comforting to have should your GM ever go oldschool with a "Dungeons of the Slavelords" scenario.

Adding TWF would be a no brainer for Rogues and Fighters and not bad for a couple of others.

I already see the Master of Many Styles and Maneuver Master get dipped by fighters a bunch ( maybe it's a local thing though ). They don't even get flurry so TWF may not be an issue as new archetypes come along.


Hello All Pathfinders,

I've updated my attempt at a monk errata. A complete document within the current word count.

Stragen's Monk Thread

Kind Regards,

Stragen


If SKR is still reading this thread, I highly suggest you look at Stragen's Monk. He managed to write up a revised Monk that closely resembles the Pathfinder Monk, and keeps the word count close to the one in the CRB, and in fact, uses less words than the CRB entry.

Sovereign Court

This thread has a lot of dev attention, and I'm sure SKR is monitoring as well.

I like a lot of the proposed changes. The best way would be to playtest some of the varieties and work out balance issues. Its a timesink, but has to be done. As with the core monk, any new version is going to run into stumbling blocks, incompatibilities, errata, and so forth so getting things right the first time around (or the best that can be done) is critical and needs to be given its due time. Don't be in a hurry to rush something out, because the quality will suffer.


Keep in mind that this not a mono-spaced font being used in the rulebook. Word count is not all that has to be considered.

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zagnabbit wrote:


There are already compelling reasons to dip, the class is front loaded with 3 feats at level 1, the save boosts are a real bargain, shurikens are useful and a gimmee even if the other monk weapons are kinda lame, the skills are nice and a second level gets you Evasion and another feat. Then there is 1d6 UA damage, which may never be needed but is very comforting to have should your GM ever go oldschool with a "Dungeons of the Slavelords" scenario.

This. If I ever want to build a character who's actually just really good at fighting unarmed, I'd take 2 levels of monk for the feats, evasion, and 1d6 unarmed strike damage (mostly because I'm too lazy to calculate 1d3 damage all the time) and then go fighter (or maybe barbarian brutal pugilist) all the way.

Flurry isn't even my favorite class feature of the monk -- there's a lot more what I like the monk for, and if TWF just became monk bonus feats you could take or not, and in exchange the monk got bonuses to hit and damage unarmed as they leveled, I'd like the monk a lot better.

But since flurry does exist, it does need to be clear and needs to work properly without driving new players crazy.


Here's the latest (cut down) version of my monk. It weighs in at just under 4,000 words, about 500 in tables. High, but a good editor could probably cut it down more, and it can stand to lose a few features and some lines here and there. While the word count is important, there's probably room to shrink graphics in the CRB if that's what it takes.

I've made this monk to deliver options to allow it to be tailored to allow a great many more monk concepts. You want a monk as a weapon specialist (for example, a swashbuckler or samurai-type swordsman)? You can do it with this monk. You want a monk that doesn't rely on strength for damage? You can do it with this monk.

The World Wise skills allow a monk to be tailored with their non-combat abilities, so a monk can fulfil a monk-like but important non-combat role, something the current monk cannot do without multi-classing.

At the same time I've stuck close enough to the existing monk that most archetypes will still deliver some gravy, and can easily be re-tailored to function with this design with a minimum of effort.


I like what I'm seeing on these alternate monks guys after I read over them more in depth I'll throw out some real opinions but for now they look great.


Thank ye.

MA


glandis wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:
If you have 6 attacks a round with FOB and one Kama, you can't take all 6 attacks with that Kama you have to split it up with 3 fist 3 kama? is that what the Devs are saying? so you in essence need 2 Kamas to effectively use the ability?

Yup, that's my understanding. So you lose your magic/flaming/etc. bonus's on half the flurry, unless you have two magic/flaming/etc. somethings. I actually like the flavor-boost here, as it means having (say) a Magic Fang'd fist and +2 Flameburst Sai is functionally meaningful - but it is a loss of efficiency.

Problems come up with reach weapons (which treating as a double weapon with the other side = monk unarmed seems to solve for me), non-light weapons (e.g., temple sword) in the off-hand (solve by disallowing/lowering the flurry to hit bonus's?), and bow flurries (need a new method to support this?)

First, I'd just like to say that the quotes from SKR and JB by the original poster make perfect sense to me. I'm coming into this debate rather late, largely because nobody in my group plays monks. The idea that a monk can't flurry with a single weapon (even a monk weapon) as all of her attacks should be a no-brainer; the whole point of the monk's flurry ability is that they're using hands, feet, elbows, knees, and even head to make these attacks.

As far as handling bow flurries, I would treat it the same as a two-weapon flurry as described in glandis's quoted post above. You're making half your attacks with the bow, and half your attacks are unarmed (for the sake of logical flavor description, they're probably kicks). If you're not using your bow in melee, you can't flurry. For this reason, I'm not a big fan of restricting archer monks from using the ability with monk weapons. At the very least, they should always be able to flurry with a staff, because a staff is just a sturdy unstrung bow, when it comes down to fundamentals.

Anyway, there's my two coppers.

Edit: Oh, and I second Talonhawke's praise of the alternate monks presented here. I haven't had a chance to look them over closely, but they look very well done from what I've seen at a glance.


Jakk wrote:
glandis wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:
If you have 6 attacks a round with FOB and one Kama, you can't take all 6 attacks with that Kama you have to split it up with 3 fist 3 kama? is that what the Devs are saying? so you in essence need 2 Kamas to effectively use the ability?

Yup, that's my understanding. So you lose your magic/flaming/etc. bonus's on half the flurry, unless you have two magic/flaming/etc. somethings. I actually like the flavor-boost here, as it means having (say) a Magic Fang'd fist and +2 Flameburst Sai is functionally meaningful - but it is a loss of efficiency.

Problems come up with reach weapons (which treating as a double weapon with the other side = monk unarmed seems to solve for me), non-light weapons (e.g., temple sword) in the off-hand (solve by disallowing/lowering the flurry to hit bonus's?), and bow flurries (need a new method to support this?)

First, I'd just like to say that the quotes from SKR and JB by the original poster make perfect sense to me. I'm coming into this debate rather late, largely because nobody in my group plays monks. The idea that a monk can't flurry with a single weapon (even a monk weapon) as all of her attacks should be a no-brainer; the whole point of the monk's flurry ability is that they're using hands, feet, elbows, knees, and even head to make these attacks.

As far as handling bow flurries, I would treat it the same as a two-weapon flurry as described in glandis's quoted post above. You're making half your attacks with the bow, and half your attacks are unarmed (for the sake of logical flavor description, they're probably kicks). If you're not using your bow in melee, you can't flurry. For this reason, I'm not a big fan of restricting archer monks from using the ability with monk weapons. At the very least, they should always be able to flurry with a staff, because a staff is just a sturdy unstrung bow, when it comes down to fundamentals.

Anyway, there's my two coppers.

Edit: Oh, and I second Talonhawke's praise of the...

Zen Archer Monk Archetype:
Flurry of Blows wrote:

Starting at 1st level, a zen archer can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action, but only when using a bow (even though it is a ranged weapon). He may not make a flurry of blows with his unarmed attacks or any other weapons. A zen archer does not apply his Strength bonus on damage rolls made with flurry of blows unless he is using a composite bow with a Strength rating.

A zen archer’s flurry of blows otherwise functions as normal for a monk of his level.

A zen archer cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot when making a flurry of blows with his bow.

Guess he's just SOL then huh?

I'm sorry, but when you make a ruling, you should first try and look at all possible ramifications before issuing such a ruling. To say that a Monk that specializes in a Bow, has to make all of his attacks in melee combat is just asinine. You may not realize it, but requiring Monks to make Flurrys with a bow in melee combat, is also forcing them to give the enemy free attacks, because attacking with a bow provokes attacks of opportunity in melee combat.

This, would be nothing more than a slap in the face to Zen Archers, as I'm fairly certain they're the only ones that can actually flurry with a bow.

[Edit] Naturally, I forgot the Sohei can flurry with a bow at 6th level if he has takes weapon training in bows.


Am I the only one that feels that they missed a huge opportunity with zen archer?

Change the name of the ability "flurry of blows" to "flurry of bows".

It is a similar, but very different ability. Why not a similar, but different name?


Talonhawke wrote:
I like what I'm seeing on these alternate monks guys after I read over them more in depth I'll throw out some real opinions but for now they look great.

Thank you, Talonhawke, I look forward to your feedback.

Jakk wrote:
First, I'd just like to say that the quotes from SKR and JB by the original poster make perfect sense to me. I'm coming into this debate rather late, largely because nobody in my group plays monks. The idea that a monk can't flurry with a single weapon (even a monk weapon) as all of her attacks should be a no-brainer; the whole point of the monk's flurry ability is that they're using hands, feet, elbows, knees, and even head to make these attacks.

Yet clearly, a lot of players and designers thought that WAS the idea. It was how the 3.5 flurry-of-blows worked after all, and the phrase 'any combination' makes no sense whatsoever to include if it isn't. So from their point of view, it was a 'no-brainer' that FoB allowed a single-weapon flurry.

Jakk wrote:
As far as handling bow flurries, I would treat it the same as a two-weapon flurry as described in glandis's quoted post above. You're making half your attacks with the bow, and half your attacks are unarmed (for the sake of logical flavor description, they're probably kicks). If you're not using your bow in melee, you can't flurry. For this reason, I'm not a big fan of restricting archer monks from using the ability with monk weapons. At the very least, they should always be able to flurry with a staff, because a staff is just a sturdy unstrung bow, when it comes down to fundamentals.

I should really point out that:

1) The flurry-of-blows of the zen archer is specifically stated to work with bows and NOT with unarmed attacks.
2) Unarmed strikes are melee weapons, bows are missile weapons, how on earth are you meant to combine them in any sane, sensible fashion?

Jakk wrote:
Edit: Oh, and I second Talonhawke's praise of the alternate monks presented here. I haven't had a chance to look them over closely, but they look very well done from what I've seen at a glance.

Thank you, again, I look forward to the feedback.

Chen Zhen wrote:

Am I the only one that feels that they missed a huge opportunity with zen archer?

Change the name of the ability "flurry of blows" to "flurry of bows".

It is a similar, but very different ability. Why not a similar, but different name?

At the time, no-one seemed to think that flurry-of-blows was anything but it's own thing separate to (save for the mechanics of attack bonuses) two-weapon-fighting, so there was no need.


Greetings Pathfinders,

Updated Stragen's Errata Monk. thread with a new release.

I have taken some of the feedback and great ideas from the threads and included them in this update.

I played my current character an unarmed scout (monk/ranger) on Friday night. While I love them I do think monks are under done compared to some of the other classes. On friday we had a rogue, a paladin and an oracle. The paladin does the most damage and has the best survival. The rogue does outstanding damage with sneak attacks, playing the glass cannon role. The oracle is the party healer, though often overshadowed by the paladin's healing ability. In combat my character's role is to sit in the second line, just after the paladin, and help the rogue get flanking and keep the heat off the healer... Who has the same AC and hitpoints as my character. Out of combat is another matter, spotting and tracking the enemy is his job, which he excels at.

Sincerely,

Stragen


Hey, Sean, Jason, whomever is in charge; if you guys are still reading this thread, could you take a look at Stragen's Monk and see if we're on the right track? Any input into what we're doing would be greatly appreciated.


The saying 'no news is good news' doesn't apply to this whole situation. We know you guys are busy and all, but you know that monks in PFS have come a grinding halt because now no-one knows how they work. Never mind sohei and zen archer.

So any idea when we will be seeing anything?

Master Arminas


I suspect that there is much ado going on about how to deal with the 'monk problem', not the least because there are so many feats out there as quasi-fixes that could make a 'fixed' monk broken if they are not careful.


Dabbler wrote:
I suspect that there is much ado going on about how to deal with the 'monk problem'

I suspect the opposite.


I'm not sure on any Monk feats that are pseudo-fixes. No one feat feels like a must-have for a Monk the same way that Power-Attack is a must have for Barbarians.


I thought they said they could talk more of a look once Gencon is done...

... Gencon hasn't passed yet.


Yes, they did say post GenCon.
Patience.


Just some more good news that this is going to be worked on and a bit of SKR's thoughts on the fix.

Aeshuura wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:
The problem is that though they have the damage capability to punch through steel, the monks get hosed when trying to get past the AC. They don't have many options, in fact only Amulet of Mighty Fists to give them an enhancement bonus to attacks.

And the fix to the monk class should not be an item fix. And it shouldn't be "the best weapon for monks to use is a pair of brass knuckles."

Treat the problem, not the symptom.

I like the idea, but how would you propose to do it? I know this not be anywhere near official, but would you consider a change to the ki strike ability? (I have always liked the concept of the idea and visualized it like the "glow" from Barry Gordi's Last Dragon... )

SKR's reply to this post.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
That's a discussion the design team will be having.


I skimmed all 1,000 comments so if I missed this, I'm sorry.

Has anyone discussed how this ruling by Jason Bulmahn back in 2009 jives with the idea you need to use both hands to flurry?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Dungeon Grrrl wrote:

I skimmed all 1,000 comments so if I missed this, I'm sorry.

Has anyone discussed how this ruling by Jason Bulmahn back in 2009 jives with the idea you need to use both hands to flurry?

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks,

The RAW do allow the grappled to make a full attack action, assuming they can do so with only one hand. Since flurry does not require two hands to perform, a monk could flurry.

Grappling is not always the best idea. Grappling a monk is one such example. I think folks need to remember that the grappled condition is not as severe as it once was. You are no longer draped all over the target. It is more like you got a hold on them, typically an arm (hence the restriction). The pinned condition is more of your greco-roman wrestling hold.

Hope that clears it up..

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

brought the quote forward rather than in a link

Bold is mine

My only thought is that flurry doesnt require 2 hands .... it doesnt require any hands at all necessarily .... Knees, Head, Elbows, Bite (for flavor) Super Chuck Norris Thigh Crush ect


Dungeon Grrrl wrote:

I skimmed all 1,000 comments so if I missed this, I'm sorry.

Has anyone discussed how this ruling by Jason Bulmahn back in 2009 jives with the idea you need to use both hands to flurry?

Wraith235 quoted the ruling. Let me quote the relevant Grapple rule, too. I bolded the relevant phrases.

Core Rulebook Combat chapter wrote:
Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action that doesn't require two hands to perform, such as cast a spell or make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, including the creature that is grappling you. See the grappled condition for additional details. If you are pinned, your actions are very limited. See the pinned condition in Conditions for additional details.
Core Rulebook Glossary wrote:
Grappled: A grappled creature is restrained by a creature, trap, or effect. Grappled creatures cannot move and take a –4 penalty to Dexterity. A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple. In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity. A grappled creature cannot use Stealth to hide from the creature grappling it, ...

Jason Bulmahn said, "It is more like you got a hold on them, typically an arm (hence the restriction)." Despite this, the Grapple rules are annoyingly fuzzy about which arm or other body part of the grappled person is grabbed. If a grappled wizard has a dagger in his left hand, his right hand is free to cast spells or his left hand is free to stab with the dagger, player's choice. Next turn, the wizard's player could switch to the other arm.

Is Two-Weapon Fighting an action that requires both hands? It is difficult to be firm about that, because each hand is used separately. However, as a GM, I would improvise a ruling that one hand of the player's choice is restricted. The player could still use the Two-Weapon Fighting full attack action, and get the -2 penalty for it, but the weapon in the restricted hand would be unable to attack. Yet, as Wraith235 pointed out, unarmed strike is not necessarily a weapon in a hand. It could use a leg, elbow, or head butt for an attack.

(Side story: my wife once played a greatsword-wielding paladin who had been blinded by a spell while fighting a barbed devil. Then the devil made the mistake of grappling her. "Great!" she said, "Now I know where the devil is. I declare Smite and head butt it with my face!" The paladin required a lot of healing after that, due to the devil's barbed defense ability, but she defeated it.)

The grapple rules are too vague to force a logical argument on another rule. Nonetheless, Jason Bulmahn's statement seems to be more about how unarmed strike is difficult to restrict than about Two-Weapon Fighting or Flurry of Blows.


Mathmuse wrote:
Is Two-Weapon Fighting an action that requires both hands? It is difficult to be firm about that, because each hand is used separately. However, as a GM, I would improvise a ruling that one hand of the player's choice is restricted. The player could still use the Two-Weapon Fighting full attack action, and get the -2 penalty for it, but the weapon in the restricted hand would be unable to attack. Yet, as Wraith235 pointed out, unarmed strike is not necessarily a weapon in a hand. It could use a leg, elbow, or head butt for an attack.

No, you can TWF with a two-handed weapon and blade boots, for example. TWF apparently means any combination of attacks that gains an extra attack with a different weapon to your main weapon, should you have one. This is usually an off-hand weapon, but need not necessarily be. This makes the 'any combination' line in flurry of blows even more confusing for its inclusion if it doesn't mean you can one-weapon-flurry, as the normal TWF rules allow you to attack with a weapon in either hand or with unarmed strikes if you have them.

Dark Archive

I always flurried with headbutts. 3 headbutts in a row is my style. Or 3 Throat Jabs (anybody get that reference?)

And uh...item fix. HAHA!

Shadow Lodge

Dabbler wrote:


No, you can TWF with a two-handed weapon and blade boots, for example. TWF apparently means any combination of attacks that gains an extra attack with a different weapon to your main weapon, should you have one. This is usually an off-hand weapon, but need not necessarily be. This makes the 'any combination' line in flurry of blows even more confusing for its inclusion if it doesn't mean you can one-weapon-flurry, as the normal TWF rules allow you to attack with a weapon in either hand or with unarmed strikes if you have them.

Except that the Definition for TWF is as Follows

SRD wrote:


"You can fight with a weapon wielded in each of your hands. You can make one extra attack each round with the secondary weapon."

Prerequisite: Dex 15.

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See Two-Weapon Fighting.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. /quote]


"Off-hand" is a game term that means roughly means 'an attack granted by wielding a second weapond". It does not strictly mean your other hand. A kick or head butt can be an off-hand weapon, so can bladed boots. A Monk of the Four Winds with the Monkey Aspect, gains a tail that he can make attacks with, which can be off-hand.

Anytime you are wielding more than one weapon, one of them is designated as the 'off-hand' attack, and the other, primary.


Wraith235 wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


No, you can TWF with a two-handed weapon and blade boots, for example. TWF apparently means any combination of attacks that gains an extra attack with a different weapon to your main weapon, should you have one. This is usually an off-hand weapon, but need not necessarily be. This makes the 'any combination' line in flurry of blows even more confusing for its inclusion if it doesn't mean you can one-weapon-flurry, as the normal TWF rules allow you to attack with a weapon in either hand or with unarmed strikes if you have them.

Except that the Definition for TWF is as Follows

SRD wrote:


"You can fight with a weapon wielded in each of your hands. You can make one extra attack each round with the secondary weapon."

Prerequisite: Dex 15.

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See Two-Weapon Fighting.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light.

And the description of blade boots is as follows:

Blade Boot

Blade boots come with a spring-mounted knife that pops out when triggered with the right combination of toe presses.
Benefit: You can use a blade boot as an off-hand weapon.
Action: Releasing the knife is a swift action; rearming it is a full-round action.
Drawback: When the blade is extended, you treat normal terrain as difficult and difficult terrain as impassable.

Italicised text my emphasis. This is how you can TWF with a two-handed weapon in your hands.


Tels wrote:

"Off-hand" is a game term that means roughly means 'an attack granted by wielding a second weapond". It does not strictly mean your other hand. A kick or head butt can be an off-hand weapon, so can bladed boots. A Monk of the Four Winds with the Monkey Aspect, gains a tail that he can make attacks with, which can be off-hand.

Anytime you are wielding more than one weapon, one of them is designated as the 'off-hand' attack, and the other, primary.

That is a good solid rule and it is the one I prefer to use. Too bad all the rulebooks says to define this rule is, "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon." It takes a good deal of thought to expand that sentence into the full rule. (And the rule for extra off hand attacks for the extra hands of four-armed creatures appears to contradict it.)

The only weapons that are not wielded in a hand are natural weapons, boot blade, armor spikes, and unarmed strike. Natural weapons have their own rules. Boot blades say in their description that they can be wielded as off hand weapons. Armor spikes say in their description that they can be wielded as primary or off hand weapons. Unarmed strikes have no such text. Is that because the rule Tels described makes it obvious that they can be wielded as off hand weapons, or because unarmed strike is not meant to be wielded as off hand weapons, or because the rulebook accidently left off the text?

For extra confusion, the Monk class description says, "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes." We think the first sentence is only the preamble to the second sentence and has no rules meaning. But it literally says that a monk cannot make unarmed strikes with his off hand.

And this brings us back to the main purpose of this thread. The unarmed strike rules and the Two-Weapon Fighting rules are not compatible with each other. We monk players did not have to worry about that, because monks used Flurry of Blows instead of Two-Weapon Fighting. When Sean K Reynolds and Jason Bulmahn clarified that Flurry of Blows is Two-Weapon Fighting, we suddenly had to worry about the incompatibility.


Mathmuse wrote:
The unarmed strike rules and the Two-Weapon Fighting rules are not compatible with each other. We monk players did not have to worry about that, because monks used Flurry of Blows instead of Two-Weapon Fighting. When Sean K Reynolds and Jason Bulmahn clarified that Flurry of Blows is Two-Weapon Fighting, we suddenly had to worry about the incompatibility.

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Ok, while I am quoting you specifically, Mathmuse, I am not referring to you specifically in this post. I am quoting it because I often times see this statement made on many places on the board. So I want to throw this out there well before hand, that I am not referring to any specific person in this post, and in no way, shape, or form, do I intend to belittle, insult, or downgrade a person in this post.

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Now, I know a lot of people claim that a Monk can't Flurry because Flurry is "as if" Two-Weapon Fighting, but I think people are reading more into the text than is actually there. Flurry is like Two-Weapon Fighting in that it removes a lot of the penalties associated with fighting with an extra weapon. No more, no less.

There is a reason I state this because many abilities are referred to as 'working like' or 'as if' a spell, feat, class ability etc. I say that, because those words are special in the context of Pathfinder and many, if not all, Table Top Role Playing Games. 'Working like' or 'As If' are terms that mean it works exactly like the ability mentioned, with the exceptions that are specifically detailed under the ability the text was found in.

So if a monster had an ability that gave him a Spell-Like Ability that allows him to deal 1d6 points of force damage per caster level, with a maximum of 10d6 points of force damage, in a 10 ft radius, and then mentions it woks like the spell Fireball; then that means, for all intents and purposes regarding the mechanics of the ability, treat it as a Fireball spell, with the exceptions we specifically outlined.

So it would have a similar range of Long, be treated as a 3rd level Spell when needed, and is an Evocation Effect.

So, Two-Weapon Fighting states:

Two-Weapon Fighting (Combat) wrote:

You can fight with a weapon wielded in each of your hands. You can make one extra attack each round with the secondary weapon.

Prerequisite: Dex 15.

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See Two-Weapon Fighting.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light.

Ok, so you know that I believe the terms Primary Hand and Off Hand are special game terms that have in game mechanical meaning. Just like Attack Bonus is different than Base Attack Bonus as both terms have mechanical meaning in the game and are different, yet similar.

With the exception of the fluff text for the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, and the special meaning for Primary and Off Hand terms, no where in any of the mechanical descriptions of the feat, is a weapon actually stated to be wielded in the hands of the character. Before anyone touches on this, I should make it pointed out that Fluff text is simply that, Fluff, it does not determine game mechanics. I know there are a lot of people who have issues with this, but Fluff text is nothing more than a description. I can describe, down to the nitty, gritty details, what a car looks like, but you would never know if it's a real car, or a completely accurate model, unless I also told you the mechanics of the car, like if it works or not.

Strike, Unarmed wrote:
Description: An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. Therefore, you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an unarmed strike. Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons (see Combat). The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls.

If you look at the description and mechanical breakdown for Unarmed Strike, it is always referred to as a weapon. Therefore, it is both a Primary, and Off-Hand weapon, as are all weapons unless they are specifically called out as being otherwise, such as two-handed weapons, or bows are.

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So what does this mean? To me at least? That Flurry of Blows does work, just like Two-Weapon Fighting. Except, Flurry of Blows has some specific exceptions to the normal feats.

  • A Monk has no Off Hand attacks, but Flurry of Blows specifically calls out which attacks can be made as part of a Flurry. Therefore, they can be made, even if they can't be made as a part of normal Two-Weapon Fighting. Why? Because Flurry of Blows isn't Two-Weapon Fighting, it is only similar to it and is based off the same mechanical benefits.

  • A Monk can flurry with his full strength bonus for all attacks because he has no Off Hand. Unlike Two-Weapon Fighting, which requires an additional feat for the same benefit. Again, Flurry is similar but different than Two-Weapon Fighting.

  • A Monk cannot make Natural Attacks in addition to a Flurry of Blows. Unlike Two-Weapon Fighting, in which you can make Natural Attacks in addition to your normal routine, if you have them.

  • A Monk can Flurry in "any combination". The full meaning of that term is subject to debate, but largely it means you can Flurry with the sai, kama, fist, foot, and shuriken all in the same attack, but could be in the order of sai/kama/fist/sai/shuriken/foot and would be a perfectly legitimate attack. It's also, arguable, that one could attack with sai/sai/sai/sai/sai/sai. Two-Weapon Fighting, however, cannot be done in the same way, because they are similar but different.

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Ultimately, I would like to put to rest this misunderstanding that Flurry of Blows cannot be like Two-Weapon Fighting because Two-Weapon Fighting must be made with an Off Hand weapon. Monks are the exception that proves the rule. In Pathfinder, the specific always trumps the general. So while, generally speaking you have to attack with multiple weapons, without dropping them, by fighting with an Off Hand attack, specifically, Monks can do something similar, called a Flurry of Blows.


And that is the crux of the problem with the clarification. Well said, everyone.

Master Arminas

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Chris Kenney wrote:
glandis wrote:
Except for Sohei bows/crossbows and the Zen Archer. Are bows wimpy enough to go ahead and let them be exceptions?
No. Bows are one of the strongest weapons in Pathfinder on the strength of their full-attacks being more frequent. Either flurrying with monk weapons, even two-handed monk weapons, is OK, or flurrying with bows is vastly overpowered. The difference between them is just that great.

I have to disagree here. There is a tradeoff in monk power and versatility involved with the Zen Archer, as he essentially sacrifices his ability to be competitive in melee with another monk. When you talk about the "balance" between flurrying with THW's or a bow, you're not talking about that specific ability, but the overall competitiveness of a Zen Archer versus another monk build over the entire stretch of an adventuring career. Since they do open the ability for a monk to use any of his unarmed attacks to fill in the extra attacks granted by flurry, you still end up with the monk having a baseline advantage over a TWF, who doesn't have that option since said monk could (if I understand the devs correctly)make his "main-hand" attacks with a two-handed monk weapon and fill in the remaining "off-hand" attacks with unarmed strikes. They merely specify that flurry is linked to TWF for the intents of iterative attacks with weapons. They're also pretty clear that Zen Archer is a specific and intentional exception to that rule.

Taking that into account, the Zen Archer compared to another monk archetype or baseline monk is fairly balanced.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Dabbler wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Plus I think for a lot of people the fact that the rules tended to use qualifying language such referring to how flurry was "like" Two Weapon Fighting, or attack bonuses were "as if" the monk were Two Weapon fighting tended to be interpreted as "use the Two Weapon Fighting numbers, but not the rules." Especially when added into the fact that the flurry rules also had the much-mentioned "make any combination of attacks" addendum and the old rules legacy issues for people coming in from 3.5.

Pretty much this. If you had any doubts, you check a stat-block for a monk in a supplement and would you look at that? It lists flurrying with a single weapon, so that must be how it is done, right?

I hear what Fergie is saying, and with the clarification the text in the CRB makes sense that way, except for the line "make any combination of attacks" which suddenly stops making much sense at all, because FoB is no longer doing anything that TWF cannot do, so the line is redundant.

Thing is: is the monk broken with the FoB as interpreted? No, the monk is a weak class and needs fundamental problems addressing.

Which causes a bigger problem, enforcing a rule 'just because' or adapting what is? The monk needs fixing, this much is clear, so it may be that flurry of blows will change anyway. I think this is what the devs are discussing - at least, I hope they are.

Sweet mother of God, "the monk is a WEAK class"?!?!?! What monk have you been playing? Monks are consistently amongst the most solid characters in any given campaign, with solid damage output, above average durability between AC boosts and great saves, and a remarkable versatility between baseline abilities and the various archetypes available....

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