Fighter vs. Rogue or Monk


Advice

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And let me just say, this is in the name of fun. At this point, I just want to see if there's a solid counter to the monks posted. :)


There are 3 things that rather surprised me about this match up:

1. I thought this contest was heavily weighed against the monk. My opinion has always been that if your games are all combat, a monk will rarely outshine a fighter. Where the Monk shines is the things he can do outside of a fight and the other ways he can help out.

2. The best chances the fighter has is not to focus on Offense but on Defense*.

3. The Monk doesn't have to specialize for this combat. You could take the same monk and use his as is in a "real" campaign, I'm not so sure the fighter could say that.

*The Kukri build could be an auto-win by removing greater and improved trip, and adding Shield Focus/Greater Shield Focus. With a heavy shield your AC is 40 now I think? Monk will only hit on a 20. You'll take a hit on your to hit because of weapon finesse, but just wait 21 rounds, Monk may hit you once, but you'll have to chances to beat it, then drop your shield if you needed to.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:
And let me just say, this is in the name of fun. At this point, I just want to see if there's a solid counter to the monks posted. :)

Monk will let you try your ranged attack. If you use deadly aim, you're only going to hit once: +32 gets deflected, your +27 becomes +21, hits on a 7 but your +22 becomes a +16, only hits on a 12. Typically only 1 of those will hit in a round. That's only around 15.5 points of damage. If you use combat expertise same situation, except I'll only take 9 damage (this all assumes no Ki use). If you want to hit me, you can't use Combat Expertise and Deadly Aim together. If I use Ki, your chances to hit even using 1 of them goes down to a 11 and 16 meaning you'll typically only hit every other round.

Monk only needs a 13 to hit you with even Combat Expertise, your fort save is only 14, so you need a 14 or higher. You're going to fail 70% of the time. I'll only have to make it though 5-6 rounds before I hit twice and fail a save.


I dont think any monk in here outshines the fighter - just because he CAN win using some special tactics on level 20 without gear.

Actually the fighter will have way better chances if using magic items as well, because its easy for him to boost saves, AC and damage. he gets more out of hasteboots and his to hit is way easier to boost as well.

I a real scenario a monk wont have as good chances as in this thread, even though a monk doesnt "outshine" a fighter here as well. Especially because he's not contributing anything to the group in a fight using this hit and run tactics.


Jodokai wrote:
Eben TheQuiet wrote:
And let me just say, this is in the name of fun. At this point, I just want to see if there's a solid counter to the monks posted. :)

Monk will let you try your ranged attack. If you use deadly aim, you're only going to hit once: +32 gets deflected, your +27 becomes +21, hits on a 7 but your +22 becomes a +16, only hits on a 12. Typically only 1 of those will hit in a round. That's only around 15.5 points of damage. If you use combat expertise same situation, except I'll only take 9 damage (this all assumes no Ki use). If you want to hit me, you can't use Combat Expertise and Deadly Aim together. If I use Ki, your chances to hit even using 1 of them goes down to a 11 and 16 meaning you'll typically only hit every other round.

Monk only needs a 13 to hit you with even Combat Expertise, your fort save is only 14, so you need a 14 or higher. You're going to fail 70% of the time. I'll only have to make it though 5-6 rounds before I hit twice and fail a save.

He has 38 AC, how can your monk hit on a 13?


Jodokai wrote:
Monk will let you try your ranged attack.

More to the point. When did I say the elf fighter was readying a ranged attack? If I did, I actually meant that he's readying a melee one... my posted elf fighter has no reason to pull his bow on you. He has it on him because he's used to adventuring with it.

Jodokai wrote:
1. I thought this contest was heavily weighed against the monk. My opinion has always been that if your games are all combat, a monk will rarely outshine a fighter. Where the Monk shines is the things he can do outside of a fight and the other ways he can help out.

Agreed. And that's what most of the early 'pro-fighter' posters were saying. It only escalated to the current discussion because there were a few hard-core 'pro-monk' posters who didn't agree; from there it became a "post a build and prove it" situation.

Jodokai wrote:
2. The best chances the fighter has is not to focus on Offense but on Defense*.

I would argue that it's the builds (for both the monk and fighter) that take both offense and defense into account that are rising to the surface. The more optimized the builds became, the more each had to counter the specific offensive strengths of the other -- instead of relying on 'what usually works in a campaign'.

I mean, the two successful monks posted eschewed strength for dex + wisdom and then took Deflect Arrows to boot. Not sure how much more defensive you can build a monk in core. It just so happens that this tactic also boosts the one trick that was working for them.. Quivering Palm/Stunning Fist. This actually addresses the first part of your next point as well.

Jodokai wrote:
3. The Monk doesn't have to specialize for this combat. You could take the same monk and use his as is in a "real" campaign, I'm not so sure the fighter could say that.

Which fighter are we talking about? Both switch-hitters posted and the kukri fighter are common enough builds that they'd work in a "real" campaign. I even stuck with the standard fighter feats that ended up being completely superfluous to this fight (Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, and the ranged feats). I said at the beginning of my post that I actually built from a concept that I wanted to play in a "real" campaign. And I would argue that the fighters tossed up would work better in games than quite a few of the monks tossed up. I mean, the venerable monk is a good example. He's built around defensiveness and non-combat utility with just enough combat capability to be useful given smart play by the character. Take away his venerable age, and his Stunning Fist DC's drop to a more baddie-attainable level. And take away his 20th level capstone ability, and his Venerable age is far more of a detriment than it is a boon.

--

All that to say I generally agree with your thought that this is the fighter's game we're talking about. But trying to say that these fighter builds are only useful in this one circumstance (this particular arena-box situation) whereas the monks are not is more than a little unfair -- if not downright false.


Jodokai wrote:
3. The Monk doesn't have to specialize for this combat. You could take the same monk and use his as is in a "real" campaign, I'm not so sure the fighter could say that.

While I agree whole heatedly with 1 and 2, I'm not so certain about this one. I'd argue that the Monk build is, honestly, quite specialized. The combination of low strength, extremely high wisdom, and lots of mobility feats makes for what I would argue is a "specialized" Stunning Fist skirmisher build, designed to wildly excel at this sort of one-on-one fight.

Taken to a normal campaign, I'm not sure how well things would hold up. Anything immune to Stunning Fist or with a particularly high Fortitude save would pretty much shut the build down, given its poor direct damage potential. Larger numbers of foes, unhelpful terrain, and longer work days would also severely impact its effectiveness. While having appropriate magical equipment would help this situation, and non-core options could plug many of the holes, I don't think the Monk would be nearly as impressive in a traditional campaign.

In terms of the Fighter, I wouldn't necessarily call it all that specialized. I mean, it is specialized in a specific form of fighting, but many Fighters end up that way unless a concerted effort is made to avoid it. We have had a bunch of different builds, but they seem to fall into fairly generic Fighter categories (the archer, the two-handed bruiser, the two-weapon blender). There were certainly some concessions to the test (what real Fighter skips Iron Will for Improved Great Fortitude?), but otherwise I found them to be pretty generic. A traditional campaign, with magic and party backup for the contingencies the Fighter simply can't deal with, would probably help him out more than the hit-and-run, ultimate survivor Monk.


Yeah the 2 monk builds offered are pretty damn useless in a campaign. Can't do damage at range or at melee. Anything bigger than large and the monk will basically be doing aid another for the whole fight.

Even the defensive fighters will be dishing pretty damn good DPR. In fact they can contribute nearly as much as the monks in the skills department too outside of combat.


Just realized something about my elf fighter build. When using Combat Expertise, his AC will be 32, not 38.

Improves the monk's chances, but not by much.


Yes, as one of those monk build posters, in case that post wasn't clear enough: that monk would be total crap in any normal campaign. He's built specifically to exploit the particular parameters and restrictions of this level 20 duel.

I suppose you could play him. But you wouldn't have a "good time" if having a good time playing D&D for you includes being useful in combat. I'd certainly never want to play Shady in an actual game.


Quote:
I'd argue that the Monk build is, honestly, quite specialized. The combination of low strength, extremely high wisdom, and lots of mobility feats makes for what I would argue is a "specialized" Stunning Fist skirmisher build, designed to wildly excel at this sort of one-on-one fight.

Wow I guess I just play Monk's differently than anyone else. I don't know how to make a monk survive if you lower DEX in favor or STR at low levels. You have to have high DEX and high WIS, you can't tank your CON, that means STR has to give.

The only real mobility feat is Spring Attack, everything else is just monk abilities. Heck even Spring Attack is a monk bonus.

Quote:
I mean, the two successful monks posted eschewed strength for dex + wisdom and then took Deflect Arrows to boot. Not sure how much more defensive you can build a monk in core. It just so happens that this tactic also boosts the one trick that was working for them.. Quivering Palm/Stunning Fist. This actually addresses the first part of your next point as well.

Again, every monk I've ever played has done exactly the same thing. Deflect Arrows is a bonus monk feat. When using just core, you don't really have a lot of other options for those feats.

Quote:
Which fighter are we talking about? Both switch-hitters posted and the kukri fighter are common enough builds that they'd work in a "real" campaign.

I would beg to differ. I can show you another thread comparing monk and fighter, and not a single fighter build took Improved/Great Fortitude. None of them even came close to looking like any of these.

Both the switch hitters are the easiest for the monk to take out. You may think a 30% increase in the chance to hit is "not much", but it really is HUGE. It means the monk hits you on a 13 or higher instead of a 19 or higher. Your fighter's options are:
A. Stand there ready an action for the monk to close and take a tiny amount of damage every other round from the monk's crossbow, or
2. Shoot your arrows and pray the monk gets lower than a 13, or you make your 14 or higher Fort save.

If you choose 2, you either do next to nothing for damage, or do quite a bit of damage, but lower your AC meaning the monk has a 65% chance to hit you and when he does you have a 30% chance to make your Fort save

Quote:
Yeah the 2 monk builds offered are pretty damn useless in a campaign. Can't do damage at range or at melee. Anything bigger than large and the monk will basically be doing aid another for the whole fight.
And yet can take out a similarly equipped fighter. Are you of the impression that the same tactics won't work against orcs? But honestly, I don't want to go here, because we'll be right back to the other thread I mentioned earlier. I had hoped that by proving the monk has a really good shot at winning this fight, it would open people's eyes, I guess I should have know better. It goes back to one of my favorite sayings
John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

Finally I leave you with one final quote, the Monk's role:

PFSRD wrote:
Monks excel at overcoming even the most daunting perils, striking where it's least expected, and taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities. Fleet of foot and skilled in combat, monks can navigate any battlefield with ease, aiding allies wherever they are needed most.


Jodokai wrote:
A. Stand there ready an action for the monk to close and take a tiny amount of damage every other round from the monk's crossbow, or 
2. Shoot your arrows and pray the monk gets lower than a 13, or you make your 14 or higher Fort save.

Walk me through this on the elf version, who has an AC of 32, Deflect Arrows, and a readied action to strike if you close. Again, nowhere in my write-up did I mention the elf fighter using a ranged attack.

How is the monk doing a 'tiny amount of damage every other round' when the fighter can deflect the bolt? Which means the monk has to close to melee against a readied melee strike… which hits hard, often, with a nearly 1/3 chance of a crit which completely shuts the monk down?

From what I understand, Deflect Arrows only requires 1 free hand -- which the elf has due to switching from one to two-handed grip requiring only a free action.

Which kind of leaves us at this (again, unless I've missed something):

The monk's goal is to win initiative, then land a Quivering Palm, and have the fighter fail to roll 14 or higher twice in a row. If any of that fails to happen, the monk has to brave the readied attack of the fighter. Failing the monk winning initiative (which he has about a 50/50 shot), it's basically rocket tag where the fighter gets first shot at the monk. At this point it's mostly a game of "will the fighter fail two saves (at a higher save percentage) before the monk fails one".

Please let me know if any of this is untrue or misinformed.


Jodokai wrote:
Quote:


Both the switch hitters are the easiest for the monk to take out. You may think a 30% increase in the chance to hit is "not much", but it really is HUGE. It means the monk hits you on a 13 or higher instead of a 19 or higher. Your fighter's options are:
A. Stand there ready an action for the monk to close and take a tiny amount of damage every other round from the monk's crossbow, or
2. Shoot your arrows and pray the monk...

Based on theory-craft in the actual fights the monk won once out of 3 fights. Only by cheating all 3 times. If the correct rules were follow the monk would have lost all 3.

Also the only way the monk can beat the fighter is with cover, without cover the monk no matter what build is SOL.


Jodokai wrote:
John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

I have yet to be convinced. I hope you realize there's a difference between that and simply refusing to consider the opposition. Considering at one point I was the guy pointing out that yours was the monk build that was currently standing out as the leader in this thread, I would hope you realize my stance isn't one of obstinate refusal to consider new facts.

Jodokai wrote:
Again, every monk I've ever played has done exactly the same thing. Deflect Arrows is a bonus monk feat. When using just core, you don't really have a lot of other options for those feats.

You actually have quite a few other options, many more than you have opportunities to take them. I didn't even say that taking Deflect Arrows was rare or specialized; it's been a part of a few of my monks. I said out of Core options, there aren't many options that are more strictly defensive in nature… which was the point I was making.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Walk me through this on the elf version, who has an AC of 32, Deflect Arrows, and a readied action to strike if you close. Again, nowhere in my write-up did I mention the elf fighter using a ranged attack.

How is the monk doing a 'tiny amount of damage every other round' when the fighter can deflect the bolt? Which means the monk has to close to melee against a readied melee strike… which hits hard, often, with a nearly 1/3 chance of a crit which completely shuts the monk down?

From what I understand, Deflect Arrows only requires 1 free hand -- which the elf has due to switching from one to two-handed grip requiring only a free action.

It seems to me the devs don't want you to do 1 handed things while weilding a 2-handed sword. I say this because of some comments made about wielding vs holding. I know there is nothing specific to this type of thing, it is the inferrance I am mking. It is my opinion you can't defelct with a 2-handed weapon. If you look above, even some of the fighter group has a problem with it when the monk was going to defelct with a crossbow. If I were the GM, you couldn't do it. If I'm not GM and it's allowed, then the best the fighter can hope for is a draw. If all the fighter does is hold his action, the Monk won't attack. No one gets hurt, no one wins.

Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Which kind of leaves us at this (again, unless I've missed something):

The monk's goal is to win initiative, then land a Quivering Palm, and have the fighter fail to roll 14 or higher twice in a row. If any of that fails to happen, the monk has to brave the readied attack of the fighter. Failing the monk winning initiative (which he has about a 50/50 shot), it's basically rocket tag where the fighter gets first shot at the monk. At this point it's mostly a game of "will the fighter fail two saves (at a higher save percentage) before the monk fails one".

Please let me know if any of this is untrue or misinformed.

What you're missing is Spring Attack. If the Monk wins Init, he attacks then moves behind cover so the fighter can't charge. If the fighter fails his save twice, game over. If not, he waits for the fighter to attack at range becuase the fighter can't get close enough for melee(if the fighter doesn't attack, then again it becomes a draw).

So really we're left with: No one attacks, or Fighter attacks at range, and probably loses. If played properly, the fighter will never get a melee attack on the monk.

Gignere wrote:
Based on theory-craft in the actual fights the monk won once out of 3 fights. Only by cheating all 3 times. If the correct rules were follow the monk would have lost all 3.

You're right, if the monk is played by some one who has no idea what they're doing the monk will lose. It's sort of like saying if the fighter didn't wear armor and only used his fists, the fighter would lose. However, they were only 30' apart, the monk could have walked up to the fighter and done the same thing, so even without the cheat, the monk still won the first bout.

Gignere wrote:
Also the only way the monk can beat the fighter is with cover, without cover the monk no matter what build is SOL.

It doesn't require cover, it requires stopping the charge. Caltrops will stop a charge. Not being in a straight line to the fighter will stop a charge. Rough terrian will stop a charge. Ever been in a fight that didn't have at least 1 of those things?


Jodokai wrote:

What you keep neglecting is the range aspect of the fighter even if the build only focuses as a secondary option.

Without cover all a fighter has to do is full attack the monk with his bow, and that is exactly what happened in the second fight. Fighter wins initiative, quickdraws his bow and full attacks the monk. The monk didn't even last until the last attack. Who cares about charging, rough terrain, last I check arrows goes through rough terrain and caltrops just fine.

TLDR: Without cover a monk couldn't even last one round against the fighter's secondary range option.


Gignere wrote:

What you keep neglecting is the range aspect of the fighter even if the build only focuses as a secondary option.

Without cover all a fighter has to do is full attack the monk with his bow, and that is exactly what happened in the second fight. Fighter wins initiative, quickdraws his bow and full attacks the monk. The monk didn't even last until the last attack. Who cares about charging, rough terrain, last I check arrows goes through rough terrain and caltrops just fine.

TLDR: Without cover a monk couldn't even last one round against the fighter's secondary range option.

Okay, at this point, I have to ask: Have you actually read any of my posts? Every switch hitter posted, I've explained in great detail how fighters with a secondary ranged will not do enough damage before the monk can hit the fighter 3 times.

Jodokai wrote:

Monk will let you try your ranged attack. If you use deadly aim, you're only going to hit once: +32 gets deflected, your +27 becomes +21, hits on a 7 but your +22 becomes a +16, only hits on a 12. Typically only 1 of those will hit in a round. That's only around 15.5 points of damage. If you use combat expertise same situation, except I'll only take 9 damage (this all assumes no Ki use). If you want to hit me, you can't use Combat Expertise and Deadly Aim together. If I use Ki, your chances to hit even using 1 of them goes down to a 11 and 16 meaning you'll typically only hit every other round.

Monk only needs a 13 to hit you with even Combat Expertise, your fort save is only 14, so you need a 14 or higher. You're going to fail 70% of the time. I'll only have to make it though 5-6 rounds before I hit twice and fail a save.


Let me start by saying -- once again -- that ranged attacks are not a part of the elf fighter's strategy. He knows from experience that his strength is actually with the blade against a single opponent, so that's what he's sticking with, even if he wins initiative.

Jodokai wrote:
It seems to me the devs don't want you to do 1 handed things while weilding a 2-handed sword. I say this because of some comments made about wielding vs holding. I know there is nothing specific to this type of thing, it is the inferrance I am mking. It is my opinion you can't deflect with a 2-handed weapon. If you look above, even some of the fighter group has a problem with it when the monk was going to defelct with a crossbow. If I were the GM, you couldn't do it. If I'm not GM and it's allowed, then the best the fighter can hope for is a draw. If all the fighter does is hold his action, the Monk won't attack. No one gets hurt, no one wins.

Cool. Now we're getting somewhere. First let me know which rules we're dealing with. Can we Deflect while "holding" a two-handed weapon or can we not? I know the post you're speaking of where James Jacobs said it was -- in fact -- a free action, but then he went on to give it an arbitrary restriction of only doing it once per round that isn't in any of the rules I've ever seen or heard of. He also went on to say that's not official, is only his interpretation, and that it's up to every DM to decide.

Jodokai wrote:
If I were the GM, you couldn't do it.

Okay, so neither the fighter nor the monk can do it. The elf fighter's tactics don't change. (Disregarding the 'monk wins initiative roll, successfully lands a spring attack attack roll, and the fighter fails two consecutive fort saves situation' -- again a situation requiring four consecutive rolls to go in the monk's favor) We have a fighter with no weapon in hand, in a defensive stance and able to block each of your single ranged attacks per round. Every round that the monk's choice is to make a ranged attack with the crossbow, the fighter still has a move action to use to close 30 feet (and remember, the monk still has to reload that crossbow. So whether he uses shot on the run or standard ranged attacks, he can't do that every round). So at least the fighter's advancing on the monk, where-as the monk continues to run away. If this continues to a stalemate, who do you think is more likely to be considered the 'winner'? The guy who was advancing or the guy who was running away while ineffectually shooting crossbow bolts?

The only way for the monk to break out of this miss + run away tactic is to use his spring attack + quivering Palm move -- which triggers the fighter's melee attack, at which point he draws his elven curved blade and fishes for a game-ending critical. And now we're back into the situation where the fighter is looking for a 15+ on his roll to end the fight, then the monk gets his opportunity to roll a 13+ then hope the fighter fails his fort save(s) to win the fight.

I think the odds statistically go to the fighter. His success doesn't rely on two (possibly three) die rolls for success… he only has to roll that 15+ to end it.

If it goes past this first exchange of melee attacks (and either both attackers miss or the fighter missing and the monk hitting but the fighter saving out), then here's the situation. The fighter -- whose turn it now is because his initiative was moved to just prior to the monk's because his readied action was triggered by the monk's actions -- uses his move action to re-sheathe his sword, re-readies his melee attack (leaving both hands free once again to Deflect), and takes a 5' step towards the monk. And once again we have one person moving away from the fight while the fighter moves carefully to engage.

Jodokai wrote:
If I'm not GM and it's allowed, then the best the fighter can hope for is a draw. If all the fighter does is hold his action, the Monk won't attack. No one gets hurt, no one wins.

Let's be honest, given the tactics I've stated from the beginning and have continued to adhere to, this situation is no different than the above, except that the higher doesn't have to re-sheathe his weapon and can more consistently use his move action every round to relentlessly close on the monk every round.

Seems we're in the same place unless the monk has some other tactic that hasn't been brought to light yet.

Jodokai wrote:
What you're missing is Spring Attack. If the Monk wins Init, he attacks then moves behind cover so the fighter can't charge. If the fighter fails his save twice, game over.

I am not missing Spring Attack. I believe I've addressed it in every post. So I'll re-iterate. This win requires 4 consecutive die rolls to go in the monk's favor. First he has to win initiative over the fighter. Seeing as how the posted monk only has a +1 advantage to his roll, this is a 50/50 shot. Second, the monk has to land the attack roll. This is a non-flurry attack against a flat-footed fighter, so he's more-or-less simply trying to not come up with a 1, but it's still there. Three and four are two consecutive fort saves where the fighter needs to roll below 14. This is 4 die rolls that have to happen consecutively. Possible? Yes. Probable? I don't think so.

Jodokai wrote:
If not, he waits for the fighter to attack at range becuase the fighter can't get close enough for melee(if the fighter doesn't attack, then again it becomes a draw).

Once more, the elf fighter WILL NOT USE HIS BOW. At no point have i said he would. So we're left with a draw that looks like this. Monk ineffectually shooting round after round of bolts at the fighter who relentlessly presses towards a fight. One is running away and using an obviously ineffective attack while the other is moving toward a fight.

What conclusions can be made from this?

Jodokai wrote:
So really we're left with: No one attacks, or Fighter attacks at range, and probably loses.

Have I mentioned the elf's intention to not use a ranged attack yet? :)

So yes, we're left with no one attacking, and the fighter chasing the monk around the arena with a readied action.

Jodokai wrote:
If played properly, the fighter will never get a melee attack on the monk.

… and the monk will never make an attack on the fighter. See how that works? :)

The monk walks away from the stalemate arena fight saying (through his two remaining venerable teeth), "Boy howdy! I sure wan't gonna let that there fighter whack me with his sharp stick!" (And yes, with a int dump stat at venerable age, this might actually be his words).

Where as the fighter walks away thinking, "Dang I wish he would have come and actually fought me."


Jodokai wrote:
Gignere wrote:

What you keep neglecting is the range aspect of the fighter even if the build only focuses as a secondary option.

Without cover all a fighter has to do is full attack the monk with his bow, and that is exactly what happened in the second fight. Fighter wins initiative, quickdraws his bow and full attacks the monk. The monk didn't even last until the last attack. Who cares about charging, rough terrain, last I check arrows goes through rough terrain and caltrops just fine.

TLDR: Without cover a monk couldn't even last one round against the fighter's secondary range option.

Okay, at this point, I have to ask: Have you actually read any of my posts? Every switch hitter posted, I've explained in great detail how fighters with a secondary ranged will not do enough damage before the monk can hit the fighter 3 times.

Jodokai wrote:

Monk will let you try your ranged attack. If you use deadly aim, you're only going to hit once: +32 gets deflected, your +27 becomes +21, hits on a 7 but your +22 becomes a +16, only hits on a 12. Typically only 1 of those will hit in a round. That's only around 15.5 points of damage. If you use combat expertise same situation, except I'll only take 9 damage (this all assumes no Ki use). If you want to hit me, you can't use Combat Expertise and Deadly Aim together. If I use Ki, your chances to hit even using 1 of them goes down to a 11 and 16 meaning you'll typically only hit every other round.

Monk only needs a 13 to hit you with even Combat Expertise, your fort save is only 14, so you need a 14 or higher. You're going to fail 70% of the time. I'll only have to make it though 5-6 rounds before I hit twice and fail a save.

I have read your posts but that isn't what happened in the actual duel. Your posts are theorycrafted such that the monk player plays perfectly.

I don't know about the games you run, but I have seen alot of players and I haven't met one player who hasn't made a mistake in the game, either positionally or just played the odds wrong. It happens all the time. One mistake by the monk it is over.

No cover the monk is dead, because not based on your theoretical perfectly crafted and played monk, but based on the monk actually used in the test. It died before the last iterative on a full range attack by the fighter used by the OP.

I think the OP just used one of the switch hitting builds.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:

and the monk will never make an attack on the fighter. See how that works? :)

Exactly. The fighter's real options are draw, or lose. The monk's options are draw, or win.

The monk can control the battle ground. The monk can be anywhere he needs to be to work it to his advantage. Heck, with cover Stealth becomes an option, not a strong one granted, but it's there. I'll bet the monk's DEX is higher than the Fighter's WIS, giving the advantage to the Monk.

I will agree that if the monk does attack, it comes down to luck of the dice. A fighter will crit around once every 4 attacks. Odds say a Monk needs 4 attacks to make the stunning fist stick.

Here's what really disappoints me though, a Monk going toe-to-toe with a fighter has about a 50% chance of success, and most people still feel a monk is useless. As if adding magic items will improve the fighter's chances, but not the monk's. Even though the monk can completely neutrallize the fighter, just by using his mobility, controlling the battle field isn't that important. I mean if we change this from a PvP thing to a PvE, think about how many monsters have more than 30 feet of movement. Add some intelligence to them, and some real terrain, and the fighter is hurting. But when people think the only "real fight" is two characters standing next to each other swing pointy sticks, it's no wonder the monk gets a bad rap.


Gignere wrote:
One mistake by the monk it is over.

This is decidedly false. A fighter will fail to crit 70% of the time. 1 mistake only has a 30% chance of being fatal.

We've established that the players in the "actual game" had little knowledge of the rules. If you're not following the rules, anything can happen.

I'm also not talking about playing perfectly. Most of my posts haven't touched Ki. That's what will save the monk when he makes a mistake. A fighter, even with a 15 or greater crit, will fail to get a crit 70% of the time. If a fighter ever gets a full melee attack on a monk, that's not a mistake, that's just stupidity, which is exactly what the monk player did.

As far as the ranged, this is from the fighter he posted:
Longbow Attack Routine:
Attack: +20 (bab) +5 (dex) + 3(training) +2(weap focus+ greater) +1 (masterwork)-6 DA-2 RS = +23/23/18/13/8
Damage: 1d8 + 3(training) + 5 (strength) + 2(spec) + 12 (PA) = 1d8 +22

With Defeclt arrows, the two 23's get deflected the 18 will hit on a 10 the 13 will hit on a 15 and the 8 will hit on a 20. A monk with a 10 CON has 103 HP. All 5 of those attacks would have had to hit to take out a monk with a 10 CON who didn't take toughness. I don't see that happening all that often.

So again. You don't have to play perfect, you just can't play like an idiot.


Jodokai wrote:
Exactly. The fighter's real options are draw, or lose. The monk's options are draw, or win.

You may have to break down this statement to me. If both the monk and the fighter play the way they're built to play, it's a draw… period. Unless the monk decides to actually engage, which gives the fighter the opportunity to win first. The obvious exception is the monk's 4 consecutive die roll situation -- and I maintain that's an improbable situation.

Jodokai wrote:
The monk can control the battle ground. The monk can be anywhere he needs to be to work it to his advantage.

All he has to control the battlefield is his own superior movement, which -- according to the builds and strategies being discussed -- doesn't make him any more likely to make that one quivering palm strike. All that mobility allows is for him to deny the fighter getting his melee attack in, which in turn means the monk cannot land his own melee strike necessary to Quivering Palm.

Jodokai wrote:
Heck, with cover Stealth becomes an option, not a strong one granted, but it's there. I'll bet the monk's DEX is higher than the Fighter's WIS, giving the advantage to the Monk.

Actually, let's not guess. Let's look. The monks' dex is 2 higher than the fighter's perception, which is off-set by the fighter's racial bonus to perception rolls. So all that's left is the +3 trained skill bonus in favor of the monk.

But consider this, any time the monk 'goes to ground' and the fighter loses track of him, the fighter uses his move action (and still have that readied melee attack) to step back away from any stealth approaches.

Jodokai wrote:
I will agree that if the monk does attack, it comes down to luck of the dice. A fighter will crit around once every 4 attacks. Odds say a Monk needs 4 attacks to make the stunning fist stick.

Here's the key. It's the monk choosing not to attack, but to run around looking for advantages instead. The fighter is readying an action to attack every round. The monk is the one choosing not to engage out of fear of the fighter's blade.

Jodokai wrote:
Here's what really disappoints me though, a Monk going toe-to-toe with a fighter has about a 50% chance of success, and most people still feel a monk is useless.

No one (or at least not many people who've given constructive posts) has said the monk is useless. The stance has been that in an arena setting the fighter is the heavy favorite.

But it's worth mentioning once again that this is the one monk build that can put most fighters in this 50/50 situation (if you can cal it that). Only this one dex + uber-wisdom, Arrow-deflecting, spring-attacking, Quivering Palm/Stunning Fist build has shown to give the fighter consistent issues. And that's only happening by using Venerable age + the monk's capstone Timeless Body ability.

Try to match up any of the other usual monk builds. Combat maneuver monk can't hope to consistently beat the fighter's CMD, at least not enough to put the fighter down before the fighter can put him down. The Str-heavy flurry striking monk can't keep his offense and defense up to match the fighter's. But there are at least two fighter builds who can be put up against these other monk builds and consistently win… or at least force the monk once again into a draw by running away.

Jodokai wrote:
Even though the monk can completely neutrallize the fighter, just by using his mobility, controlling the battle field isn't that important.

I agree that it doesn't matter. But it's worth noting that as the monk neutralizes the fighter's damage output, so he also neutralizes his own ability to land a Stunning Fist. So this speed, while keeping him alive, isn't actually helping him win.

Jodokai wrote:
I mean if we change this from a PvP thing to a PvE, think about how many monsters have more than 30 feet of movement. Add some intelligence to them, and some real terrain, and the fighter is hurting.

Now we're talking about which of these two classes can solo more PvE engagements? I'd suggest that the number of challenges my elf fighter can overcome (note: running away from is not overcoming) is at least equal to those the monk can. As has been said before. WHat about other creatures with high fort saves? What about creatures immune to stuns or insta-death effects? What about encounters against multiple opponents that spread his Stunning Fists thin? What about a long adventuring day that stacks lots of encounters with multiple opponents?

Remember, it's this Venerable Monk's ability to combine high mobility with a super high-DC totin' death attack that makes him a challenge against almost any single opponentt. WHat percentage of the creatures in the Bestiaries have that combination? I'm not saying the fighter doesn't have his weaknesses. But he's surprisingly robust and versatile. Lots of HP. High AC. High ranged and melee attack rolls. Decent-to-high melee and ranged damage output. A very long range increment. Two separate saving throw re-roll mechanics. And enough skills to be useful outside of combat to boot.

I'm not sure the Venerable monk has all that.

Plus, the elf fighter can do his job from level 1 to 20. This Venerable, Stunning Fist-focused monk is using the Venerable age + Timeless Body to sidestep the MAD issue and allow him to focus his Stunning Fist DC up higher. Without that capstone, all of his physical scores are game-alteringly lower. And if he adventures in a more ordinary age bracket, his Stunning Fist/Quiverign Palm DC is lower, which means more of those low-damage hits will get saved out of.. whether it's in an arena box or on the battlefield against whatever opponent is thrown at him.

Jodokai wrote:
But when people think the only "real fight" is two characters standing next to each other swing pointy sticks, it's no wonder the monk gets a bad rap.

I agree with you here. Unfortunately, this whole thread has been about just that. You put forward a a monk that surprised me by actually having the necessary skills to put quite a few fighter builds consistently in the dirt. The elf fighter seems to have an answer to that, and you're still arguing that your monk wins because he's got higher mobility and can choose not to engage.

Here's my big picture thought. You have established that there is one (very specific) monk build that can reasonably best many of the fighter builds out there at this scenario. It has to be noticed, however, that most of the other fighter builds out there defeat most of the other monk builds in this scenario.


Jodokai wrote:
I'm also not talking about playing perfectly. Most of my posts haven't touched Ki. That's what will save the monk when he makes a mistake.

In core, what use of Ki can save the Venerable Stunning Fist monk from a critical? I assumed the monk was using his ki to boost AC when factoring his hit rate. But even that's not important because it doesn't change the fact that even with ki, a 15+ from the fight ends the fight.

Jodokai wrote:
A fighter, even with a 15 or greater crit, will fail to get a crit 70% of the time. If a fighter ever gets a full melee attack on a monk, that's not a mistake, that's just stupidity, which is exactly what the monk player did.

Based on the fact that you used "15 or greater crit", we're talking about his elven curved blade (or the other switch-hitter's falchion or the kukri-wielder's kukri). That being the case, all of those fighters had the Weapon Mastery class feature attuned to the weapon in question. So no crit confirmation is necessary. Every time he rolls a 15 or higher, damage is tripled and all critical feats are in play.

Jodokai wrote:
So again. You don't have to play perfect, you just can't play like an idiot.

Agreed. Which means the fighter isn't using ranged attacks, and is deflecting our own ranged attacks as well.


There is one build of a fighter that can guarantee a win against just about any monk build, if only using core.

The defensive dex based fighter with a heavy shield, + the shield focus feats + combat expertise + dodge.

This fighter can get an AC of 40 (7 dex + 3 fighting defensively + 6 combat expertise + 1 dodge + 4 shield + 9 armor + 10 base) and as long as the fighter starts the fight out of range or wins initiative the monk can't touch him.

So this fighter doesn't even need to worry about fort saves, although he will still have the fort feats because a fighter is cool that way. The only way the monk can land a hit is to roll a natural 20.

The fighter for melee will use a rapier and for range will be throwing javelins.

This fighter will either slowly wear down the monk, or get a crit and the fight will end.


Eben wrote:
But it's worth mentioning once again that this is the one monk build that can put most fighters in this 50/50 situation (if you can cal it that). Only this one dex + uber-wisdom, Arrow-deflecting, spring-attacking, Quivering Palm/Stunning Fist build has shown to give the fighter consistent issues. And that's only happening by using Venerable age + the monk's capstone Timeless Body ability.

You keep saying "This one build", build a 20th level monk to use in a campaign, and I promise you it will look very similar to this one (assuming core only). INT may be raised higher, but that's really about it.

EVERY melee monk is going to take Spring Attack. When you have 80-90' of movement, how could you justify not taking it? A monk gets Quivering Palm/Stunning fist by default. Every single core class monk gets it. This isn't an ability selection, it is a staple of the class.

As far as "Uber-Wisdom" you do realize that WIS increases a Monk's AC and determines amount of Ki. Every monk should have a high WIS.

Let's not also forget, I've only take 7 of the 16 feats. I have NINE more feats to make whatever type of monk I want... How many feats did the fighter need to make a 50/50? Now who would you say is more specialized?

Yes I do realize auto crit, you only roll a 15 or above 30% of the time, which means 70% of the time your roll will be under a 15.

The other thing you aren't considering is Skill Focus: Stealth (with my 9 extra feats), now I'm +6 to you and you don't get DEX bonus to AC, and you can't deflect it. Again I'm not saying this is the best situation, but it can be effective.

Gignere wrote:

There is one build of a fighter that can guarantee a win against just about any monk build, if only using core.

The defensive dex based fighter with a heavy shield, + the shield focus feats + combat expertise + dodge.

This fighter can get an AC of 40 (7 dex + 3 fighting defensively + 6 combat expertise + 1 dodge + 4 shield + 9 armor + 10 base) and as long as the fighter starts the fight out of range or wins initiative the monk can't touch him.

That's a great point... Which is why if you look at the first post on page 11, you'll see I made it.


Jodokai wrote:
EVERY melee monk is going to take Spring Attack. When you have 80-90' of movement, how could you justify not taking it?

Because you're in a party, and moving around dealing pitiful damages doesn't help the party at all.

Spring attack is a feat I've seen on NPC monks, never on a PC monk.


Jodokai wrote:


EVERY melee monk is going to take Spring Attack. When you have 80-90' of movement, how could you justify not taking it?

Spring attack is a bad option for the monk, it is not like that single attack of the monk is that strong. it will be like 1d10+5 at mid levels.


GâtFromKI wrote:
Jodokai wrote:
EVERY melee monk is going to take Spring Attack. When you have 80-90' of movement, how could you justify not taking it?

Because you're in a party, and moving around dealing pitiful damages doesn't help the party at all.

Spring attack is a feat I've seen on NPC monks, never on a PC monk.

No but moving around stunning/tripping/sundering/disarming someone one then getting back to defend the mage becomes pretty important. Moving catching something falling out of the sky and bringing it back. Running up grabbing someone/thing and running back. Running up, interrupting the mage and getting back out...

Look again at the monk's role. No where in his role does it say it's to damage the enemy.


A monk's robe is 13k that's 11th level. At 11th level with a monk's robe your unarmed is 2d8.


Jodokai wrote:

As far as the ranged, this is from the fighter he posted:

Longbow Attack Routine:
Attack: +20 (bab) +5 (dex) + 3(training) +2(weap focus+ greater) +1 (masterwork)-6 DA-2 RS = +23/23/18/13/8
Damage: 1d8 + 3(training) + 5 (strength) + 2(spec) + 12 (PA) = 1d8 +22

With Defeclt arrows, the two 23's get deflected the 18 will hit on a 10 the 13 will hit on a 15 and the 8 will hit on a 20. A monk with a 10 CON has 103 HP. All 5 of those attacks would have had to hit to take out a monk with a 10 CON who didn't take toughness. I don't see that happening all that often.

I just want to get this straight, because I might have missed it:

1) The fighter's attack routine is counting the +23/+23 as a Manyshot, not as a Rapid Shot? Because I would have expected the fighter to do both. Meaning it'd be a +23 (x2 damage)/+23 (regular damage). If it's Rapid Shot, then you only block the first (double damage) arrow with Deflect Arrows, right? Manyshot doesn't penalize an attack roll, so I was assuming both would be used.

2) If (hypothetical here) the fighter wins initiative, doesn't that make the monk flat footed when attacked by the fighter? That won't affect the monk's special armor bonuses, but it should prevent the monk from using deflect arrows and lower his defenses a little by dropping the dex bonus.

If those two conditions are accurate, then failing to win initiative is going to put an enormous hurt on the monk.

If the 1st is accurate, then any time the monk is open to a full attack then he's only going to block that first +23 from hitting.


Just thought I'd throw the numbers out their for if the monk wins initiative and goes first:

he has a 55% chance of winning intiative. A 95% chance of hitting. and needs the fighter to fail 2 saves that have a 30% save rate (or more importantly a 70% chance of failing).

.55 X .95 X .7 X .7 = .256 or 25.6% chance of this working out exactly as planned.

I'll let you decide if this is decisive of not.


Sub_Zero wrote:

Just thought I'd throw the numbers out their for if the monk wins initiative and goes first:

he has a 55% chance of winning intiative. A 95% chance of hitting. and needs the fighter to fail 2 saves that have a 30% save rate (or more importantly a 70% chance of failing).

.55 X .95 X .7 X .7 = .256 or 25.6% chance of this working out exactly as planned.

I'll let you decide if this is decisive of not.

EDI: Whoops read that wrong, but I'm not sure you're figuring those odds correctly, but regardless, no one is calling the opening salvo the decisive victory


Sub_Zero wrote:

Just thought I'd throw the numbers out their for if the monk wins initiative and goes first:

he has a 55% chance of winning intiative. A 95% chance of hitting. and needs the fighter to fail 2 saves that have a 30% save rate (or more importantly a 70% chance of failing).

.55 X .95 X .7 X .7 = .256 or 25.6% chance of this working out exactly as planned.

I'll let you decide if this is decisive of not.

Also you need to take into account the monk not even getting through the fighter's DR. Since the monk builds dump strength, you need to roll above a 5 on a 2d10. Slight chance but it can happen.

Also I don't see how the fighter have a 70% fail rate. Most of the fighter builds here only need to roll 7 or higher to save and they get to try it 2 times.

That should lower the one shot quite a bit.


Jodokai wrote:

You keep saying "This one build", build a 20th level monk to use in a campaign, and I promise you it will look very similar to this one (assuming core only). INT may be raised higher, but that's really about it.

EVERY melee monk is going to take Spring Attack. When you have 80-90' of movement, how could you justify not taking it? A monk gets Quivering Palm/Stunning fist by default. Every single core class monk gets it. This is an ability selection, it is a staple of the class.

How about a monk who focuses on damage output, who would need to distriute his primary ability scores differently? This guy would have to have a lower wisdom score in order to have a higher hit and damage rate without resorting to Stunning Fist.

What about a grappler build? A dex monk can nearly do as well as a str one, but he has to invest far more feats to do so and still will be a few points lower defensively when in a grapple. So again, this guy has to push either DEx or Str to the detriment of Stunning Fist and (possibly) AC.

Yes, there are some similarities. Wis is important. Stunnig Fist is a freebie and should be considered, but won't be the paragon of every monk's offense. Spring Attack and Deflect Arrows remain attractive and useful bonus feat choices. But other builds prioritize them differently. The Grappler is going to put less emphasis in spring attack and possibly Deflect Arrows. The strength flurrier is going to be attempting to be in peoples face more, so the same goes for him.

Jodokai wrote:
As far as "Uber-Wisdom" you do realize that WIS increases a Monk's AC and determines amount of Ki. Every monk should have a high WIS.

I am aware of those things. And I agree that Wisdom should remain a stat priority. But for these other (common) builds that are effective from 1 to 20 in your average campaign, they won't' be pushing wisdom so hard because of the necessity to keep other stats up as well.

Jodokai wrote:
Let's not also forget, I've only take 7 of the 16 feats. I have NINE more feats to make whatever type of monk I want... How many feats did the fighter need to make a 50/50? Now who would you say is more specialized?

I think it's great that you have those remaining feats. Your version of the monk has the benefit of only requiring a few specific feats to realize it's potential, giving you some freedom to do what you will with the rest. As to the fighter I presented, he's presented with all the feats I would have chosen to play him in an adventure. Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot. If I were simply trying to bring down this one specific monk to the exclusion of all else, those would go towards upping his AC, to-hit roll across a few weapons, and damage… possibly improved initiative.

So there is already flexibility in this build.

Jodokai wrote:
Yes I do realize auto crit, you only roll a 15 or above 30% of the time, which means 70% of the time your roll will be under a 17.

My mistake, I misread your original statement.

Jodokai wrote:
The other thing you aren't considering is Skill Focus: Stealth (with my 9 extra feats), now I'm +6 to you and you don't get DEX bonus to AC, and you can't deflect it. Again I'm not saying this is the best situation, but it can be effective.

And one of those feats currently unused in the fighter build could be Skill Focus: Perception. This get us nowhere as we both have feats not used in the build.

Jodokai wrote:
Look again at the monk's role. No where in his role does it say it's to damage the enemy.

"Fighters excel at combat—defeating their enemies, controlling the flow of battle, and surviving such sorties themselves. While their specific weapons and methods grant them a wide variety of tactics, few can match fighters for sheer battle prowess."

Neither does the fighter's. Both are given tools to do just that, though, so it's a logical inference to assume they're meant to be able to.


Jodokai wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

Just thought I'd throw the numbers out their for if the monk wins initiative and goes first:

he has a 55% chance of winning intiative. A 95% chance of hitting. and needs the fighter to fail 2 saves that have a 30% save rate (or more importantly a 70% chance of failing).

.55 X .95 X .7 X .7 = .256 or 25.6% chance of this working out exactly as planned.

I'll let you decide if this is decisive of not.

EDI: Whoops read that wrong, but I'm not sure you're figuring those odds correctly, but regardless, no one is calling the opening salvo the decisive victory

Fair enough, I'll go into more depth just to make it a bit more clear.

From what I read (and I could be wrong throwing calculations off a bit) the monk would have +1 higher initiative then the fighter. On a d20 system that's a 5% higher chance of winning initiative. So that's how I arrived at 55% on initiative.

For the to hit I assumed you hit on anything but a 1. That gives you a 95% chance of hitting.

The fighter needs to roll a 14+ to save from death from your attack. That means there's a 70% chance he'll fail (14/20).

Ok so to get your overall average you multiply the chances of each individual event and you'll arrive at your overall chance.

.55 * .95 * .7 *.7 = .256 (roughly). Statistically that works out to be a 25.6% auto death rate.

Now if you want to find the odds assuming you won initiative it's a bit different. (just don't include the .55)

.95 * .7 * .7 = .4655 or 46.55% chance you'll auto-kill assuming you won initiative.

I'm fairly confident in these figures, but I'll admit I'm wrong if I made an incorrect assumption.

//but regardless, no one is calling the opening salvo the decisive victory//

It seems to me the opening salvo would be the only decisive victory. Otherwise you and the elf fighter would forever perform a retreat advance dance.


You know what I did make a calculation error on the save. My data was assuming that a 14 would fail. So this actually makes things even more positive for the fighters survival. The success rate is 13/20 (14+= fighter survives). Meaning that the success of the hit is at 65% not 70%.

.55*.95*.65*.65 = 22.07% chance of it working

and if you assume that you win initiave

.95*.65*.65 = 40% chance that it works

not a dramatic difference, but it's their nonetheless.


Sub_Zero wrote:

You know what I did make a calculation error on the save. My data was assuming that a 14 would fail. So this actually makes things even more positive for the fighters survival. The success rate is 13/20 (14+= fighter survives). Meaning that the success of the hit is at 65% not 70%.

.55*.95*.65*.65 = 22.07% chance of it working

and if you assume that you win initiave

.95*.65*.65 = 40% chance that it works

not a dramatic difference, but it's their nonetheless.

Where do you get that assumption that fighters need a 13 or 14 to save?

The save dc for the monk ability is 1/2 monk level +10 + wis bonus. The maximum DC even if you allow aging for the monk to boost his mental stat is 29 DC.

A fighter with even a +2 to con has a +17 fort save meaning he only has to roll a 12 or higher to save. Nearly all the builds have Great Fortitude which is another +2 to save so just a 10 or above. If you don't allow venerable aging the monk's dc drops by 2. So a fighter needs only a 8 or higher to save.

So I don't know where you get your assumptions from.


Not assumptions, taking them right off the build, From Eban's:
Fort +14, Ref +13, Will +8

A fighter's fort save at 20th level is 12 not 15.


Gignere wrote:
Sub_Zero wrote:

You know what I did make a calculation error on the save. My data was assuming that a 14 would fail. So this actually makes things even more positive for the fighters survival. The success rate is 13/20 (14+= fighter survives). Meaning that the success of the hit is at 65% not 70%.

.55*.95*.65*.65 = 22.07% chance of it working

and if you assume that you win initiave

.95*.65*.65 = 40% chance that it works

not a dramatic difference, but it's their nonetheless.

Where do you get that assumption that fighters need a 13 or 14 to save?

The save dc for the monk ability is 1/2 monk level +10 + wis bonus. The maximum DC even if you allow aging for the monk to boost his mental stat is 29 DC.

A fighter with even a +2 to con has a +17 fort save meaning he only has to roll a 12 or higher to save. Nearly all the builds have Great Fortitude which is another +2 to save so just a 10 or above. If you don't allow venerable aging the monk's dc drops by 2. So a fighter needs only a 8 or higher to save.

So I don't know where you get your assumptions from.

Edit: looks like Jodokai beat me to the punch, and has the figures on hand.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's worth noting that Stream's build, at least, also has a 10% chance of not doing enough damage to even get through the fighter's DR, so all success rates would be reduced to 90% of their previous values (as quivering palm requires actually dealing damage to work).


Jodokai wrote:
Wow I guess I just play Monk's differently than anyone else. I don't know how to make a monk survive if you lower DEX in favor or STR at low levels. You have to have high DEX and high WIS, you can't tank your CON, that means STR has to give.

I love monks and play quite a diverse field of builds for them. The key for survival of a high-Str monk at low levels is potions of mage armor. Even with just 14 Dex and 14 Wis (and possibly Dodge feat) you get to 18 or 19 AC. Which is acceptable at levels 1 to 3.

Liberty's Edge

Has the fact that the monk also has paralysis for all stunning fists at 20th level been lost again...I'm not catching up on the last 100 posts to check.


It has not. The fact that the monk has 21 attempts to get the kill is not lost on anyone. Generally we're talking more about whether or not he can land the unarmed strike necessary to get the Quivering Palm/Stunning Fist off at this point without eating a potentially devastating shot from the fighter.


ciretose wrote:
Has the fact that the monk also has paralysis for all stunning fists at 20th level been lost again...I'm not catching up on the last 100 posts to check.

Now we are down to a fighter build that the monk can't hit except on a natural 20 so the monk has only one shot of winning and that is win initiative and land the quivering palm blow and the fighter has to miss his fort save twice.

However, if the monk loses initiative, the fighter can take his time and slowly cut the monk down because the monk has noway of hitting the defensive core fighter, other than a nat 20.


One thing that strikes me as funny is how this could possibly play out depending on where this battle takes place.

In the open (forest, swamp, plains ect.)

Monk wins initiative tries the punch of death. Either wins or runs away for the day. Repeat however many days necessary for victory.

Monk loses initiative, runs away, and tries again later. Repeat however many days necessary for victory.

In closed environment (gladiator pit ect.)

Monk wins initiative tries the punch of death. Either wins or runs away. 8 hours later monk and fighter start taking fatigue damage.

Monk loses initiative, runs away. 8 hours later monk and fighter start taking fatigue damage.

(if someone wanted to crunch the numbers my bet is that the fighter would eventually win out here, but i'm not sure)

Ok, so While I'll grant that the monks tactics are perfectly valid, it does strike me as less then heroic. Either your in a non-closed environment and you're essentially just repeatedly attempting an assassination, or your in a closed environment permanently running away until someone passes out.

Of course the whole idea of this scenario seems flawed to begin with. I mean the PC are designed #1 to have access to magical items by level 20. Be part of a group. and having a monk (or rogue for that matter) compete in a 1v1 fight against a fighter whose sole job is fighting (doesn't get near the amount of diverse skills of either class). Now I do see that a particular build will give the monk a chance to win or draw (assuming an open system), but the whole thing just feels silly in the end.


And remember, kiddies! The fighter automatically confirms his criticals at this level. Stunning Critical is a NASTY feat for a fighter:

Quote:
Whenever you score a critical hit, your opponent becomes stunned for 1d4 rounds. A successful Fortitude save reduces this to staggered for 1d4 rounds. The DC of this Fortitude save is equal to 10 + your base attack bonus. The effects of this feat do not stack. Additional hits instead add to the duration.

So the save DC is 30: what's the monk's Fort save again? For those who forget what stunned and staggered do, well here they are.

Stunned: A stunned creatures dops everything held, can't take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).

Staggered: A staggered creature may take a single move action or standard action each round (but not both, nor can he stake full-round actions). A staggered creature can still take swift and immediate.

So if the fighter readies an attack, and he takes Improved Critical (say scimitar), any successful attack roll that is a 15 or higher will automatically at least stagger the monk. Might just stun him. Before the monk can get his attack in (readied actions interupt the sequence). Hope that the monk wins initiative.

Master Arminas


Yah, it is a silly premise. I was floored that the OP's DM suggested that the fighter couldn't out-damage either the monk or the rogue. But given the fighter that his player had put together...

Liberty's Edge

Interesting.

I'm not sure if you can ready combat expertise as part of your readied attack, but let us assume you can.

You are taking a -5 to attack in exchange for a +5 to AC. You only have a +2 strength, so your attack is going to be +22 if my math is correct.

The half-assed monk I stated out way back has a 24 ac, so you probably hit, but still have a 10% miss chance and still need a 15 or higher to crit and confirm, and if you are trying to trip, you aren't critting.

Your CMD isn't that great if you are trying to trip, and trying to crit is kind of a crap shoot. But it is a hell of a lot better than anyone else on the other side has come up with.

This strategy could work if you can ready combat expertise, but it is kind of a corner case build.

Either way, good job.


I hadn't even considered whether or not Combat Expertise would or wouldn't work in this manner. Though it's a bit moot since combat expertise would activate once the readied attack is triggered.

And his attack roll would be higher because of weapon finesse, unless you were specifically talking about his CMB roll, which would indeed be lower.

I hadn't actually considered Improved Trip, much less Greater Trip.

Now that I think about it, a decent AC, the trip feats, QuickDraw, and Deflect Arrows would do a really solid job here. The monk couldn't hit at range, and would fairly consistently get tripped (triggering an AoO), and be stuck on the ground against a full round attack on a high-CRIT weapon.


Actually, monk + Defensive Training + Improved Trip = one nie-untrippable monk, huh?

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