So you think the monk is underpowered; what now?


Homebrew and House Rules

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I understand...it's a pain that if you want to make a good unarmed fighter, you are best off avoiding the class dedicated to that.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

that fact that i almost HAD to use a broken template combo to do it...sigh


I know <pats toastwolf on the shoulder> I feel your pain.


A pretty elegant solution for homebrew games is just double the available feat gains for all the classes. Everyone gets a feat every level.
Monks can now afford that feat tax they have to pay (and in the case of keeping fighters the king of feats, just add another 5 or 6 bonus feats, evenly spaced through their levels.)

After the initial shock of "holy crap, everyone would be so powerful!" you eventually realize that, after how many books have been released (?) and after how many different "feat chains" go 4 or 5 or even 6 feats deep, it's really not a huge power shift.

Sure, your Monk's power, relative to all the other classes, doesn't change, but it's suddenly not as hard to make a successful one either.

(Idea "stolen" from Monte Cook's Book of Experimental Might II)


Dabbler wrote:
Liam ap Thalwig wrote:

MAD is a red herring. There is no MADness. Each attribute gets you benefits.

If you favor just one or two attributes, you are reaping lots of benefits from that attribute but are losing out on the benefits from the other attributes.

Alternatively you distribute your attribute values more evenly, gaining lots of different but only medium benefits. That's just a matter of style. You don't lose anything. The sum of bonuses stays the same.

I wish you were right, Liam, but in this case you are not. Several mediocre scores do not have the same effect as one good score - especially in the area we pinpoint the monk as being weakest in: Hitting the target.

If you plough points into dex and wisdom, sure you get more total bonus to AC than if you directed those points into one or the other. But you can't pool different stats into hitting, your modifier only ever comes from one and so it has to be lumped into either dexterity or strength, end of. Spread those points around, and you are then behind the curve in hitting your target, and there you stay.

For a combat class, you have to aim at one score to excel in, and that score determines your ability to hit. No excelling, less hitting. So what you have described in effect is exactly the MAD problem the monk faces: You need wis and dex for AC because you have no armour, and you need strength to hit and damage. You can drop strength on a feat tax and suck at damage but still hit, if you want to focus on just two stats. But wait, you can't lose out on con because you only have d8 hit dice.

MAD is sort of a red herring. It is more a misnomer than a red herring.

MAD stands for Multiple Attribute Dependency, and the monk is not dependent on any attribute like the spellcasters are. A wizard with Intelligence 9 cannot cast arcane spells. Even the fighter is somewhat dependent, because the must-have feat Power Attack requires Strength 13.

However, the usual use of MAD refers to the stats that the character wants to boost in order to be effective. The boost is desired not because it is necessary but because it offers enormous benefit to the character.

For example, Strength boosts melee attack and both melee and ranged damage rolls (assuming the proper composite bow). It is the prerequisite for a few important combat feats. If a character is built for melee, Strength is a must-boost attribute. If a character is going to avoid melee, it is almost useless. Each of the six attributes has its uses, but for a single character concept some attributes are very useful and some are nearly useless.

More attributes are useful to the monk than to most other classes. The monk's problem is that none of the attributes are useful enough for him to specialize in just one or two. Other people in other threads pointed out that cleric seems MAD, because many attributes are useful to him. However, cleric can specialize in Wisdom and work just fine. The monk cannot specialize.

The impression I get from reading the forum postings on the monk is that two viable builds exist for the Core Rulebook monk class that are not MAD: the Strength-and-Wisdom monk and the Dexterity-and-Wisdom monk. The high-Strength monk is described clearly by Treantmonk's Guide to Monks, though some people use a version that wields a Temple Sword two handed. The two-handed flurry crashed to a halt with the Flurry of Blows clarification. Tels post a clear description, Monk Tactics, of the high-Dexterity monk, who relies on tripping and grapple, making it weaker against opponents that are hard to trip.

Treantmonk points out that the high-Strength monk is going to take a beating and need healing between combat encounters. Most people would prefer boosting Constitution to help the monk survive that beating. The high-Dexterity monk would benefit from a third attribute, Intelligence 13, to qualify for Combat Expertise and Greater Trip. Thus, some people view these character concepts as still requiring three good stats.

Many people posting in this thread have suggested that the monk receive an ability to substitute Wisdom bonus for Strength bonus in attack rolls, as with the Sensei monk's 2nd-level Insightful Strike ability or the Zen Archer's 3rd-level Zen Archery ability. This makes Wisdom into a very useful attribute, at the expense of making Strength or Dexterity less useful. The Zen Archer has been acknowledged as a monk archetype that is not weak. Checking the forum on the merits of the Sensei, I see that they are considered more like a bard than a frontline combatant. They give up too many combat abilities for the Sensei abilities.

I am wary about substituting or adding one attribute in a place usually reserved for another. It scrambles the definitions of the attributes. The agile and guided weapon enchantments do it, but those are magic. Magic could give an enhancement based on shoe size if a wizard found the right spell. For non-magical enhancements, I want a justification. Weapon Finesse allows Dexterity in the place of Strength for melee attack rolls because the attacker can slip his light weapon around the opponent's defenses rather than barging through them with strength. An alchemist gets an Intelligence bonus to damage from his bombs because he used his crafting abilities to make a better explosive. A monk gets a Wisdom bonus to Armor Class because his wise insight aids him in dodging in the right direction. I suppose the same wise insight aids the Sensei and Zen Archers in their attacks, knowing where the opponent will dodge, but that justification is harder to swallow.


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I'm going to do a reworking of rituals. To be usable by monks, they would have to be usable by non-casters.
I'm thinking of starting with Knowledge Arcana. Add one other Knowledge skill, usually Knowledge religion or the planes. Add +1 for every faithful participant. 5 for a cultist. Usually the target number is 25, and the recipient rolls the D20. The cost is based on the magical effect desired. The cost is reflected in incense, candles, rare woods and herbs burned, and other consumables.

Example 1: The ritual of the dragon fist. The recipient gets the dragon brand or tattoo on one arm.
Cost 2000 GP of consumables.
Sucess: The recipient gets +1 to hit and damage on all unarmed attacks as if they were a magic weapon.
Failure: One arm is crippled till a heal or regeneration is applied.

Example 2: The Mark of the tiger. The recipient gets the tiger brand or tattoo on one arm.
Cost 5000 GP of consumables.
Sucess: The recipient can pounce like a tiger. It's like a flurry of blows after a charge and jump. All one action.
Failure: One arm is crippled till a heal or regeneration is applied.


Mathmuse wrote:

MAD is sort of a red herring. It is more a misnomer than a red herring.

MAD stands for Multiple Attribute Dependency, and the monk is not dependent on any attribute like the spellcasters are. A wizard with Intelligence 9 cannot cast arcane spells. Even the fighter is somewhat dependent, because the must-have feat Power Attack requires Strength 13.

However, the usual use of MAD refers to the stats that the...

I can see what you are saying, but sadly it just doesn't hold up in play. It's like playing an unoptimised character in a party full of optimised PCs: you aren't pulling your weight if you do not meet a certain standard.

In this case, the monk needs wisdom the way a caster needs their casting stat. All his special abilities hinge on wisdom, his ki-pool hinges on wisdom. So that's one stat he NEEDS.

Second off, he needs either dexterity or strength. It's not negotiable, one of these has to be his combat bonus to hit and maneuvers, and it has to keep up with the other combat characters. Whichever one he maxes out on, the other one has to be moderate at least, because strength cannot replace dex for AC bonus, and dex cannot replace strength for damage bonus (except for the agile property, but you won't get that until medium-high level, and you have to live that long).

Constitution needs to be moderate for any combat class, but the monk needs it more as he has d8 hit dice, not d10. Intelligence is needed if you want to get maneuvers and skills.

I make that a minimum of two high scores and two or three moderate ones. If you don't have them, you can't pull your weight compared to the other classes.


Dabbler wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

MAD is sort of a red herring. It is more a misnomer than a red herring.

MAD stands for Multiple Attribute Dependency, and the monk is not dependent on any attribute like the spellcasters are. A wizard with Intelligence 9 cannot cast arcane spells. Even the fighter is somewhat dependent, because the must-have feat Power Attack requires Strength 13.

I can see what you are saying, but sadly it just doesn't hold up in play. It's like playing an unoptimised character in a party full of optimised PCs: you aren't pulling your weight if you do not meet a certain standard.

In this case, the monk needs wisdom the way a caster needs their casting stat. All his special abilities hinge on wisdom, his ki-pool hinges on wisdom. So that's one stat he NEEDS.

Like Mathmuse did point out, he does NOT need it in the way a spellcaster does. A monk with Wis 12 has 3 ki points less than one with Wis 18 and his stunning fist DC likewise is 3 worse. So he he can do fewer stunts and stunning fist will work only against mooks. But he hits better and deals more damage if he raised Str instead of Wis (and like you yourself often like to point out: the success of Stunning fist depends not only on the DC but you have to hit and deal damage first).

That's very different from a wizard with Int 12 who can't cast spells of level 3+ AT ALL compared to a wizard with Int 18 who can cast up to 8th level.

Dabbler wrote:

Constitution needs to be moderate for any combat class, but the monk needs it more as he has d8 hit dice, not d10. Intelligence is needed if you want to get maneuvers and skills.

The d8 HD only means 1 hp less per level (2 for level 1). Throw ONE fireball at the fighter and the monk and their hp will have been equalized due to evasion (even if the fighter put his favored class bonus in hp and the monk not).

Intelligence is not NEEDED if you don't want to specialize on Greater maneuver feats. And there are lots of possibilities for monks without them.

I've often heard claims that the core monk cannot be varied much. I beg to differ, but that's probably because I don't think only in terms of melee and DPR. There are other aspects to adventures at least in my experience.

So what about (I'm restricting myself to Core here as that is the point of all these discussions):

- the monk who trained his body and mind to perfection, specializing in Str, Dex, (Con) and taking feats like Skill Focus (Acrobatic), Stealthy, Athletic, Running, Endurance, Alertness, Dodge, Mobility, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative

- the maneuver monk, specializing in Str, Dex with Int 13 and taking feats like Defensive Combat Training, Improved and Greater Manuever feats, Combat Expertise? He might drop Str for more Dex with Agile Maneuvers

- the mystic monk, specializing in Wis and taking feats like Extra Ki, Blind Fight, Lightning Stance, Deflect Arrows

- the mobile monk, specializing on Dex and taking feats like Running, Mobility, Spring Attack, Lightning Stance, Vital Strike, Acrobatic Steps, Lunge, Step Up, Whirlwind attack (combine that with Lunge!), Improved Initiative

- the shuriken monk (not much damage and short range but nice nonetheless), specializing on Dex, Str and taking feats like Point-Blank Shot (ideal for shuriken, I say!), Precise Shot, Deadly Aim, Far Shot

- the monk controlling the battlefield, specializing on Dex, Str, (Int 13) and taking feats like Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, Step Up, Lunge, Improved (and Greater) Trip/Disarm/Sunder/Bull Rush/Grapple, Spring Attack, Scorpion Style

- the defense master, specializing on Dex, Wis, (Con) and taking feats like Toughness, Dodge, Lightning Stance, Combat Expertise, Diehard, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Great Fortitude and their Improved versions, Deflect Arrows, Defensive Combat Training

- the melee monk, specializing on Str, Wis, (Dex) and taking feats like Dodge, Extra Ki, Weapon Focus (unarmed), Medusa's Wrath, Improved Initiative, Critical Focus, Vital Strike, Quick Draw (for cold iron and silver weapons), Toughness, Diehard, Lunge

All quite different monks I'd say. Too many feats already in the core rules to take them all.


I don't want to take sides here, but you'd have to be crazy to use shurikens on a class without sneak attack dice. There's nothing nice about that concept, it's like having one guy in your party who throws pebbles while the rest of the team just stares at you totally gobsmacked.


Here are my current proposals to change the monk. Spoilered below if you prefer.

Spoiler:
I've found the Monk to be the weakest class in PF, like it was in core 3E, and perhaps even worse off. Therefore, I am considering making all of these changes to make monks a more serious threat in melee, provide an avenue for them to combine their speed and multiattacking cornerstones, "only" need three attributes to be effective, and just in general to make some of their especially bad class features suck less. This is what I've got so far:

- Qinggong Monk replaces Monk as the class (since there's really no reason for a Monk not to be one). Any Ki Power that grants a feat only costs 1 Ki (unless it cost 0 already) and lasts for a number of rounds equal to the Monk's Wisdom modifier each activation.

- Monks recieve full Base Attack Bonus, not just when using flurry of blows. The benefit of maneuver training is that Monks add their Wisdom modifier, in addition to strength, to their Combat Maneuver Bonus. The Monk's Flurry of Blows receives Improved TWF at level 6 and Greater TWF at level 11 to reflect the change in BAB.

- Bonus feats: A monk may select Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Mobility, Scorpion Style, and Throw Anything as bonus feats at 1st level. At 6th level, she may also select Gorgon's Fist, Ki Throw, Snatch Arrows, Spring Attack, Tripping Twirl, and Wind Stance. At 10th level, she may also select Greater Blind-Fight, Improved Critical, Improved Ki Throw, Lightning Stance, Medusa's Wrath, and Whirlwind Attack.

- AC Bonus: A Monk gains a +1 bonus to AC, in addition to her Wisdom modifier, at level 2. This bonus increases by +1 every three levels thereafter (5th, 8th, etc...). This progression replaces the current one of +1 per 4 levels.

- Inner Strength: A monk may use her Wisdom modifer to determine bonus hit points for each Monk HD she posseses instead of Constitution. At 3rd level, the Monk has learned to fully harness her strength of will. She may now replace Constitution with Wisdom on Fortitude saves, and dies when her negative hit points total reaches her Wisdom score, rather than Constitution. If she suffers enough ability damage or drain to reduce her Constitution score to zero, the Monk remains in a catatonic state but does not die until a number of rounds equal to her wisdom score transpire, and only if her Constitution has not been brought back above 0 by then.

- A Monk's Fast Movement bonus applies to any mode of movement for which she has a listed speed.

- Ki Strike: Ki Strike (Magic) gives an actual, continuous enhancement bonus to the Monk's unarmed strikes. It starts at +1 at level 4 and increases every four Monk levels thereafter, up to +5 at 20th level. When the Monk gains Ki Strike (Lawful), her unarmed strike gains the Axiomatic magical property. Ki Strike is a Supernatural ability.

- Monks, and only Monks, may take Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike) as a feat.

- Maneuver Mastery: At level 5, a Monk can initiate any combat maneuver without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. Furthermore, she is treated as though she has all the "Improved" combat feats and their prerequisites for the purposes of qualifying for other feats.

- Wholeness of Body only costs 1 ki point to use, and heals hit points equal to double the Monk's level as a standard action, or hit points equal to the Monk's level as a swift action, the benefit and associated action chosen by the Monk each time she uses this ability. At level 15, Wholeness of Body always heals twice the Monk's level in damage and can be used as an Immediate action. If used in this way, it can heal the damage as it happens and prevent the Monk from reaching the dying, dead, staggered, or unconscious conditions.

- Rushing Torrent: At level 7, a monk has perfected her flurrying technique and can now add her additional flurry of blows attacks to any attack action, instead of being limited to a full attack action. This includes, but is not limited to, readied actions, charges, martial strike maneuvers, and Spring Attacks. The monk simply chooses to apply the flurry attacks at the start of the action (taking the appropriate attack penalty to attack rolls). If used with Vital Strike or a similar feat, base weapon damage is only multiplied on the first attack.

- Perfect Self: In addition to the listed benefits, the Monk gains Fast Healing 5 and a Fly speed of 60 ft (plus Fast Movement) at Perfect maneuverability as constant benefits. The Monk may still be considered her original creature type (such as Humanoid) in order to receive beneficial spells or effects. Finally, the Monk gains Smite Chaos once per encounter, as the Paladin ability Smite Evil, except that it targets chaotic creatures, uses Wisdom modifer and Monk level instead of charisma and Paladin level, and deals double damage on the first hit to a chaotic outsider or a creature with the chaotic subtype.

Summary:
- Full BAB and the extra flurry attacks kicked up to 6 and 11 like the TWF feats are
- Use Wis to largely replace Con, making monk less MAD and just need str/dex/wis
- Ki Strike granting actual +1 / 4 levels enhancement. Stack w/ an AoMF w/ +5 of special abilities, and monk actually compares evenly w/ a normal person's weapon advancement
- Fixing massive PF mistakes by reverting back to 3E (Imp. Nat Attack = yes; Speed bonus on all movement modes you have a speed for)
- Class feature to do all combat maneuvers w/o provoking and make Greater feats actually possible to obtain
- Improving various weak class features (Bonus Feats, AC Bonus, Wholeness of Body, Perfect Self)
- Giving the monk the ability to move AND use his flurry attacks. That one's huge.


I actually like the psionics option that was mentioned in another thread. If you just retool the fluff, it functions pretty well. no need to alter its base attack or anything. It also makes the character pretty flexible mechanically. There is the whole psionic stigma to overcome though. I bet people would be more interested in the concept if they repackaged it as "mystical ki techniques" instead of psionics.


Trogdar wrote:
I don't want to take sides here, but you'd have to be crazy to use shurikens on a class without sneak attack dice. There's nothing nice about that concept, it's like having one guy in your party who throws pebbles while the rest of the team just stares at you totally gobsmacked.

Crazy or a monk.

The monk has three advantages for using shuriken: he has proficiency, he can throw them during a Flurry of Blows, and he has both hands empty so he can throw them with both his regular attacks and his off-hand attacks. In addition, shuriken make up for one significant weakness of a monk: if he moves more than 5 feet to attack an enemy, he loses Flurry of Blows.

The weapon damage of a shuriken, 1d2, is pathetic, but add in a +4 Strength bonus from Strength 18 and another +2 or more from Deadly Aim, and soon the weapon damage does not matter much. Sneak attack damage, on the other hand, helps only the first shuriken thrown from concealment, unless the rogue has greater invisibility (ninjas get greater invisibility, don't they?). Flanking does not apply to ranged attacks.

We have to expect crazy tactics from the class that enters combat barehanded and wearing a bathrobe. The shuriken monk is throwing pebbles at the bad guys. But the party is gobsmacked because those pebbles are knocking the mooks dead.


Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

MAD is sort of a red herring. It is more a misnomer than a red herring.

MAD stands for Multiple Attribute Dependency, and the monk is not dependent on any attribute like the spellcasters are. A wizard with Intelligence 9 cannot cast arcane spells. Even the fighter is somewhat dependent, because the must-have feat Power Attack requires Strength 13.

I can see what you are saying, but sadly it just doesn't hold up in play. It's like playing an unoptimised character in a party full of optimised PCs: you aren't pulling your weight if you do not meet a certain standard.

In this case, the monk needs wisdom the way a caster needs their casting stat. All his special abilities hinge on wisdom, his ki-pool hinges on wisdom. So that's one stat he NEEDS.

Like Mathmuse did point out, he does NOT need it in the way a spellcaster does. A monk with Wis 12 has 3 ki points less than one with Wis 18 and his stunning fist DC likewise is 3 worse.

Don't forget three less AC points too. Three VERY good reasons to want that 18 wisdom.

Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
So he he can do fewer stunts and stunning fist will work only against mooks.

If at all.

Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
But he hits better and deals more damage if he raised Str instead of Wis (and like you yourself often like to point out: the success of Stunning fist depends not only on the DC but you have to hit and deal damage first).

Very true, but if you want that and that alone you'd be an unarmed fighter.

Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
That's very different from a wizard with Int 12 who can't cast spells of level 3+ AT ALL compared to a wizard with Int 18 who can cast up to 8th level.

Then why does any wizard player take a wisdom any higher than 14? With the level bonuses and items, they can have adequate intelligence for their spells when they need it - 15 intelligence by 4th level, 16 by 8th, 17 by 12th and after that items should definitely be boosting intelligence.

They do it for the save DCs, because they matter a LOT. The monk may have less special abilities, but that makes them more important not less.

If you are correct, your monk needs only 18 strength, and minimal dexterity, constitution and wisdom. So let's see how that looks:

Ug:
Ug
Human Monk 1
LN Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +5
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+1 Dex)
hp 13 (1d8+4)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +3
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Unarmed Strike +5 (1d6+5/x2)
Special Attacks Flurry of Blows -1/-1
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 20, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +0; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Deflect Arrows, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Monk Weapon Proficiencies, Stunning Fist (1/day) (DC 11), Toughness +3
Skills Acrobatics +5, Climb +9, Perception +5, Stealth +5
Languages Common
SQ AC Bonus +1, Stunning Fist (Stun), Unarmed Strike (1d6)

--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
AC Bonus +1 The Monk adds his Wisdom bonus to AC and CMD, more at higher levels.
Deflect Arrows Deflect an incoming arrow once per round.
Flurry of Blows -1/-1 (Ex) Make Flurry of Blows attack as a full action.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Stunning Fist (1/day) (DC 11) You can stun an opponent with an unarmed attack.
Stunning Fist (Stun) (Ex) At 1st level, the monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This conditio
Unarmed Strike (1d6) The Monk does lethal damage with his unarmed strikes.

As you can see, Ug has a mighty 13hp and a massive AC12 to go with his 20 strength (because strength is all he needs, right?). Clearly, Ug isn't likely to survive first level even with 13 hit points, because that AC is going to make him nothing but a target. He can hit as hard as a fighter, but less accurately and he certainly cannot stand and take hits.

Cearly, Ug would be much better off with more dexterity and wisdom. In fact I would go so far as to say he NEEDS them - if he wants to live, anyway.


Not at all a small change, but to people not familiar with it, here's my take on the Monk Remake. Flurry mechanic changed completely, and added an extensive "insight" class ability that allows the monk to chose additional abilities every 2nd level (akin to rage power and rogue talents).

What I like about my version is that the monk becomes (mechanically) more than a two-weapon fighting warrior that uses his fists and has good saves. It's a unique mechanic that allows the monk to be supremely versatile in combat.


Dabbler wrote:

As you can see, Ug has a mighty 13hp and a massive AC12 to go with his 20 strength (because strength is all he needs, right?). Clearly, Ug isn't likely to survive first level even with 13 hit points, because that AC is going to make him nothing but a target. He can hit as hard as a fighter, but less accurately and he certainly cannot stand and take hits.

Clearly, Ug would be much better off with more dexterity and wisdom. In fact I would go so far as to say he NEEDS them - if he wants to live, anyway.

Daddler has tough standards. Ug doesn't look too bad. Thirteen hit points at first level is enough with proper teamwork.

Ug, a cleric, a wizard, and a rogue are hired to clear goblins out of a cave. They enter the wide cave mouth in T-formation: Padraig Cleric, Athos Rogue, and Ug Monk in front in that order and Wanda Wizard behind Athos Rogue. Four goblin sentries spring out and use their surprise round to close in on the party, one in front of each frontline party member and the fourth to the right of Ug. The GM rolls one initiative for all the goblins, 16. Ug rolls a 15 initiative due to his Improved Initiative--that low Dex hurt. Hey, Padraig and Wanda rolled worse. Fortunately, Athos rolled higher, gets first turn, and stabs the goblin in front of him with his rapier for 3 damage. Then the goblins strike. Only the one in front of Ug hits, dealing 3 damage.

Then Ug gets his turn. Flurry of Blows unarmed. He hits the goblin to his right, killing it in one blow. He rolls a nat 5 to hit the goblin in front of him and misses. Padraig misses too. Wanda takes a step back and casts Acid Splash. She succeeds in a ranged tough attack despite soft cover thanks to her Dexterity 16 and deals 2 damage to the goblin in front of Rogue.

Next round, Athos finishes off the goblin in front of him, the other two goblins hit Padraig and Ug, dealing 2 damage each. Ug misses with his first attack but succeeds with his second, and once again kills a goblin with one blow. Padraig hits this time, and Wanda backs that up with another Acid Splash, but it takes until the following round for Athos to finish off the last goblin.

After Athos makes sure the goblins are dead, Padraig channels positive energy to heal himself and Ug back up. Ug grumbles to Wanda that he would have liked Mage Armor for himself, and Wanda promises that tomorrow she will skip her Summon Monster I spell to prepare an extra Mage Armor.

Ug survives by killing his attackers quickly. Ranged attacks would give him problems, but I presume that is why he learned Deflect Arrows.


Yes, I have tough standards, because I expect my characters to be able to survive. With AC12, Ug's days are numbered - he might not die at first level, he may last until 2nd or 3rd, but that low AC is going to cripple him in the end. At 2nd level his only chance of survival lies in spamming potions of mage armour for AC16, where most front liners would have an AC of 18+. His AC isn't going to move much from that until higher level, so he's going to really take damage in combat, and his hit points are not going to scale enough to keep up.

As for killing his enemies quickly, by the time he gets to mid levels (if he makes it that far) his lower to-hit is going to really start to hurt. He's given up everything to discover that he can't hit as well as a fallen paladin by mid-levels.


Mathmuse wrote:
Trogdar wrote:
I don't want to take sides here, but you'd have to be crazy to use shurikens on a class without sneak attack dice. There's nothing nice about that concept, it's like having one guy in your party who throws pebbles while the rest of the team just stares at you totally gobsmacked.

Crazy or a monk.

The monk has three advantages for using shuriken: he has proficiency, he can throw them during a Flurry of Blows, and he has both hands empty so he can throw them with both his regular attacks and his off-hand attacks. In addition, shuriken make up for one significant weakness of a monk: if he moves more than 5 feet to attack an enemy, he loses Flurry of Blows.

The weapon damage of a shuriken, 1d2, is pathetic, but add in a +4 Strength bonus from Strength 18 and another +2 or more from Deadly Aim, and soon the weapon damage does not matter much. Sneak attack damage, on the other hand, helps only the first shuriken thrown from concealment, unless the rogue has greater invisibility (ninjas get greater invisibility, don't they?). Flanking does not apply to ranged attacks.

We have to expect crazy tactics from the class that enters combat barehanded and wearing a bathrobe. The shuriken monk is throwing pebbles at the bad guys. But the party is gobsmacked because those pebbles are knocking the mooks dead.

Maybe I should have prefaced the statement by saying, "why use shurikens on a borked monk when there's a perfectly good archer monk that will be many times more effective strait out of the box?"


Of the suggestions made, my personal favorite are the ones involving movement with a flurry.

After reading a lot of these threads, the biggest problem is that there isn't a lot of synergy among the monks abilities. And as it is, they can move really fast but can't take advantage of it if they want to flurry. If you can eliminate that, either by upping their 5 ft step through their movement buff, or just allowing them to move and full attack... That would be just fine and dandy.

I'm against using WIS for too many things though. Adding it to hit and dmg would give them a bit too much power imo. Plus, it doesn't fully represent the not so wise, young monk who's just begun his training. I personally would just like if a monk's WIS just scaled up with levels. This would let a monk focus on other stats. And, as pointed out, his WIS isn't as important as other classes main stats, so I think that it wouldn't be overly broken. At least not as much as a Synthesist Summoner's inherent STR/DEX scaling anyways.


Trogdar wrote:
Maybe I should have prefaced the statement by saying, "why use shurikens on a borked monk when there's a perfectly good archer monk that will be many times more effective strait out of the box?"

Isn't the Zen Archer broken from a rulling on how FoB works? I remember hearing that a while back.


Dabbler wrote:

Yes, I have tough standards, because I expect my characters to be able to survive. With AC12, Ug's days are numbered - he might not die at first level, he may last until 2nd or 3rd, but that low AC is going to cripple him in the end. At 2nd level his only chance of survival lies in spamming potions of mage armour for AC16, where most front liners would have an AC of 18+. His AC isn't going to move much from that until higher level, so he's going to really take damage in combat, and his hit points are not going to scale enough to keep up.

As for killing his enemies quickly, by the time he gets to mid levels (if he makes it that far) his lower to-hit is going to really start to hurt. He's given up everything to discover that he can't hit as well as a fallen paladin by mid-levels.

I have to agree with this. Now I am normally nice to PC's for the first 3 levels, but even at level 4 when I stop being the nice GM Ug's AC will still suck, but his attack bonus and damage is most likely high enough to make him a threat. That means he gets some attention, and that probably gets killed.


When fixing the monk, IMO, you have to keep in mind what makes the monk unique. If the "fix" to the monk is just to make him more like an unarmed fighter specialist, then I'll just play an unarmed fighter specialist.

What I see as the big failing of the monk is that many of his abilities are too situational and/or have no/little synergy between them (fast movement and FoB).

These are "off-the-top-of-my-head" ideas and may not be balanced at all but I would do something along the lines of more DR bypassing abilites (and have them available sooner), apply half the monk's Fast Movement speed bonus to the 5' step (so a 3rd level monk could essentialy 5' step 10'). I'd also pump up the monk's HD to d12 as durability without armor seems to be part of what the class is trying to emulate (which simulates the chop-sockiness of a kung-fu fighter who continues fighting even when he has three swords protruding from his gut).

Again, those ideas were just off the top of my head but they keep the monk from just being a fighter archetype. Whatever fix(es) you apply to the monk I think need to take in mind the uniqueness of the monk; otherwise, just dump the class and make a fighter.


Hi guys, so here are my thoughts:

StreamOfTheSky: That's some pretty good Monk right there. I agree with what you say about Qinggong Monk being the best possible base, although I for one think that the big flaw with Qinggong is that some of those feats should be Ki Cost 0, and just become free bonus feats. Then maybe the later feats should work the way you say. Otherwise: very nice.

LoreKeeper: I really like it. I get nervous about some of the working theory behind these powers though. Greater Meditation of Fire for example, is only really useful beyond 10th level if you burn all of your flurry actions to just blast something with fiery burning doom for the round. Meanwhile, other meditations at the greater level may require that you spend ki, but if you spam them using Flurry, you might just wipe out a small army, or at least drop enough damage to make the Sorcerer blush. It's a fantastic concept, but I'd go over those meditation powers with a fine tooth comb and make sure that they're all incredibly useful for somebody, and that all of the greater meditations are worthwhile buys even at 20th level.

My thoughts about what could fix Current Monk with minimal changes:
Okay. Here's a crazy one:

Reduce Unarmed Strike Damage to static 1d8 across 20 levels.
New Class Feature: Precise Technique.
What it does: A monk's training has covered forms and opponents from all across the world, for a thousand different situations. A monk adds their Wisdom Modifier to attack and damage with all unarmed strikes and Monk Weapons, but the amount of wisdom modifier applied to attack and damage cannot exceed one-half the character's monk level. (Ex: a character with a wisdom of 16 who is level 6 can add +3 to attack and damage when performing an unarmed strike, or wielding a staff. However, a character with a wisdom of 16 who is level 2 could only add +1 to attack and damage when performing an unarmed strike or wielding a staff.)

Why?: Because Unarmed Damage Progression is a bad class feature and it should feel bad. The potential damage it grants is effectively pointless as there's no static damage to back it up. No matter how nostalgic it may make you feel, mathematically there is no defense for keeping it. Furthermore, we need to reduce Monk MAD, and with Precise Technique, a Monk can have middling Strength or Dexterity. They can't just dip a few levels in monk to become supremely effective either, not without a whole lot of very precise twinkery. If the character is particularly blessed by their point buy/dice rolls, then being able to have decent strength or dexterity continues to help the character, but does not hurt it the way replacing Attack or Damage with wisdom would in other builds.

Second Change: Increase BAB to Fast progression.

And that's about it.


Darth Grall wrote:
I'm against using WIS for too many things though. Adding it to hit and dmg would give them a bit too much power imo. Plus, it doesn't fully represent the not so wise, young monk who's just begun his training. I personally would just like if a monk's WIS just scaled up with levels. This would let a monk focus on other stats. And, as pointed out, his WIS isn't as important as other classes main stats, so I think that it wouldn't be overly broken. At least not as much as a Synthesist Summoner's inherent STR/DEX scaling anyways.

Well, in my houserules, wis is used to replace con, not str or dex. In any case, Str/Dex/Con/Wis is just too much. Something has to give. I liked the idea of a class that DIDN'T need con, for once.

ReconstructorFleet wrote:
StreamOfTheSky: That's some pretty good Monk right there. I agree with what you say about Qinggong Monk being the best possible base, although I for one think that the big flaw with Qinggong is that some of those feats should be Ki Cost 0, and just become free bonus feats. Then maybe the later feats should work the way you say. Otherwise: very nice.

Thanks. I do agree with you on the ki power feats. I was just trying to keep it simple. But it would be better to make the lower level ones cost no ki or become actual feats. Definitely.


Replacing Con with Wis might reduce MAD a little, but it doesn't address the main issues.

The devs have said pretty clearly that damage output is not a fix they will consider. However, hitting may be.

Hence I advocate Wis to-hit with monk weapons and unarmed strikes, but NOT to damage. There's a lot of other options for damage. Likewise, scaling enhancement to hit from ki-strike, but not to damage. With a ki-power to bypass DR, the monk's multiple hits can remain effective by making more of them, but damage remains the domain of the fighter. On the other hand, it means stunning fist gets more effective because it's easier to hit and do damage, as do maneuvers.

For Con dependency, allowing wholeness of body as a swift action would be a good way to go.


Hi everybody,

Monk was always one of my favorite classes and I just joined the Pathfinder forums for the very purpose of commenting in a monk thread! Hats off to Dabbler, Master Arminas, ciretrose, Tels, wraithstrike et al. for keeping the dream of workable base class alive! Anyway, I was working on my own monk fix, much like everyone else here, and made a Google docs spreadsheet with macros for calculating full attack damage. Here's my version of a better monk.

About the spreadsheet:
I've made level 5/10/15/20 builds of a core rules-only monk, core rules-only fighter specialized in two-weapon fighting/kukris, and my own revised monk. You can play around with the DPR calculator by typing over any of the blue numbers if you want to test the effects of your own monk changes. Enter character stats in the top left and damage per round against a spread of ACs should pop out in the bottom right. If you screw it up, there's a non-editable copy here that you can use to piece things back together. Hopefully this will be handy for the inevitable arguments about whether a monk puts out the same DPR as a fighter and what the real effect of a +1 hit bonus adds up to.

About the monk revision:
My take on the monk is that I basically like the way the class works. It has a bunch of cool random abilities that don't really make sense but that I find fun anyway. My only real gripe with it is that it doesn't put out damage and I always begin to feel like dead weight in the mid levels+. Ideally, I'd like the rules to reward a monk who balances STR, DEX, and WIS in roughly equal proportions. I would, however, like to get rid of the INT requirement for greater maneuver feats.
I don't claim to have thought up any or all of ideas presented here. What I've tried to do, rather, is come up with a few changes that would fix up the monk's damage problem without breaking archetypes or screwing up Paizo's pagination if they wanted to reprint the book.


dabbler wrote:
If you are correct, your monk needs only 18 strength, and minimal dexterity, constitution and wisdom. So let's see how that looks:

Now you are misunderstanding me deliberately, Dabbler :-)

I never said that the monk should concentrate on ONE attribute. Actually I've always written that I prefer several medium attributes for the monk to one great attribute. I just don't buy the MAD argument that the monk needs several great attributes.

The concrete point in my post you cited was that monks don't NEED Wis in the same way as wizards do need Int (in the sense of NOT BEING ABLE TO DO STH). Of course, it is usually better to have higher Wis or Int, respectively due to DCs etc.
(But you can even build a wizard who does not rely on spells with saves, thereby not needing high Int for DC at all!)

But even so, let's look at Ug at level 8 (as Mathmuse has already nicely demonstrated how efficient Ug is at first level).

Spoiler:

Ug
Male Human Monk 8
LN Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +14
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 21, touch 19, flat-footed 19 (+2 armor, +1 Dex, +2 deflection, +1 dodge)
hp 60 (8d8+16)
Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +9
Defensive Abilities Evasion; Immune disease
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 50 ft.
Melee Masterwork Cold Iron Kama +13/+8 (1d6+6/x2) and
. . Masterwork Silver Sai +13/+8 (1d4+6/x2) and
. . Unarmed Strike +14/+9 or Flurry (+14)/+14/+14/+9/+9 (1d10+7/x2)
Ranged Masterwork Cold Iron Shuriken +8/+3 (1d2+6/x2)
Special Attacks Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike +6/+6/+1/+1, Ki Strike, Magic
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 20/22, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 9, Wis 14/16, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +14 (+16 Tripping); CMD 31 (33 vs. Trip)
Feats Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Extra Ki, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Monk Weapon Proficiencies, Stunning Fist (8/day) (DC 17), Toughness +8, Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike)
Skills Acrobatics +17, Climb +13, Disguise +9, Escape Artist +7, Linguistics +1, Perception +14, Sense Motive +7, Stealth +17, Swim +10
Languages Common, Dwarven, Giant
SQ AC Bonus +5, Fast Movement (+20'), High Jump (+8/+28 with Ki point), Ki Defense, Ki Pool, Maneuver Training, Purity of Body, Slow Fall 40', Still Mind, Stunning Fist (Stun, Fatigue, Sicken), Unarmed Strike (1d10), Wholeness of Body (8 HP/use)
Combat Gear Masterwork Cold Iron Kama, Masterwork Cold Iron Shuriken (50), Masterwork Silver Sai; Other Gear Amulet of Mighty Fists +1, Belt of Giant Strength, +2, Boots of Elvenkind, Bracers of Armor, +2, Cloak of Elvenkind, Hat of Disguise, Headband of Inspired Wisdom, +2, Ring of Protection, +2
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
AC Bonus +5 The Monk adds his Wisdom bonus to AC and CMD, more at higher levels.
Deflect Arrows Deflect an incoming arrow once per round.
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Fast Movement (+20') The Monk adds 10 or more feet to his base speed.
Flurry of Blows +6/+6/+1/+1 (Ex) Make Flurry of Blows attack as a full action.
High Jump (+8/+28 with Ki point) (Ex) +8 to Acrobatics checks made to jump.
Immunity to Disease You are immune to diseases.
Improved Trip You Trip at +2 and don't cause an attack of opportunity.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Ki Defense (Su) A monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round.
Ki Pool (Su) You have a ki pool equal to 1/2 your monk level + your Wisdom modifier.
Ki Strike, Magic (Su) If you have ki remaining, unarmed strikes count as magic to overcome DR.
Maneuver Training (Ex) CMB = other BABs + Monk level
Purity of Body (Ex) At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.
Slow Fall 40' (Ex) Treat a fall as shorter than normal if within arm's reach of a wall.
Still Mind (Ex) +2 to saves against enchantment spells and effects.
Stunning Fist (8/day) (DC 17) You can stun an opponent with an unarmed attack.
Stunning Fist (Stun, Fatigue, Sicken) (Ex) At 1st level, the monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This conditio
Unarmed Strike (1d10) The Monk does lethal damage with his unarmed strikes.
Wholeness of Body (8 HP/use) (Su) Self-heal monk level in damage for 2 Ki points.

Not too bad IMO. Up to an AC of 21 from an AC of 12 with the option of raising it to 25 for short times. AC 21 seems to be normal for CR 8 critters, so why not for Ug? :-)


Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
dabbler wrote:
If you are correct, your monk needs only 18 strength, and minimal dexterity, constitution and wisdom. So let's see how that looks:

Now you are misunderstanding me deliberately, Dabbler :-)

I never said that the monk should concentrate on ONE attribute. Actually I've always written that I prefer several medium attributes for the monk to one great attribute. I just don't buy the MAD argument that the monk needs several great attributes.

If you CAN'T concentrate on one attribute, you have multi-attribute dependency whichever way you look at it. You are trying to say the monk isn't MAD, but is really.

What is more, the monk does need a high hitting stat, because he can't make up any deficiencies with weapon enhancements.

Liam ap Thalwig wrote:

The concrete point in my post you cited was that monks don't NEED Wis in the same way as wizards do need Int (in the sense of NOT BEING ABLE TO DO STH). Of course, it is usually better to have higher Wis or Int, respectively due to DCs etc.

(But you can even build a wizard who does not rely on spells with saves, thereby not needing high Int for DC at all!)

My point is the monk NEEDS wis the way the rogue NEEDS Dexterity, perhaps as a more accurate comparison - but really, there is no comparison because no class has quite the monk's combination of special abilities that are not spells. Fact is, a good monk needs a good wisdom score. Not perhaps to the exclusion of all else, but he needs better than mediocre.

Liam ap Thalwig wrote:
But even so, let's look at Ug at level 8 (as Mathmuse has already nicely demonstrated how efficient Ug is at first level).

Ug is not going to live to 8th level, and even if he did AC21 at 8th level is really low for a combat class without a lot of hp to back it up, and 60 is not enough. Ug is just offensive enough to deliver some damage, not defensive enough to withstand the retaliation, and doesn't have the skills or the extent of abilities to do much else.


A CR 8 monster has a +15 to hit on average. The monk is going to get pounded in the face. Even if he uses he ki point to boost his AC to 16 he is barely out of the 50% chance to get hit range, and those ki points can't be used for every round of every fight.

If a boss fight comes up then the monster has a +18 to hit, and that is before any buffs and assuming the boss is only at APL+2.

His stealth is about 50/50 vs a CR 8 opponent, but his perception is not that good at all.

His CMB is not doing him any favors at this level, and the monsters don't really get hard to affect with maneuvers until CR 10 or later.


Dabbler wrote:
Replacing Con with Wis might reduce MAD a little, but it doesn't address the main issues.

MAD is one of the main issues. And that is only one of many changes I made. Because yes, the monk has a lot of issues.

Dabbler wrote:
The devs have said pretty clearly that damage output is not a fix they will consider. However, hitting may be.

The only damage buffs I gave monk were INA feat access, reversing a mistaken change from how it was in 3E (I don't recall monks exploding peoples' heads w/ damage back then...), and the actual enhancement bonus. Which was more a way of avoiding the whole AoMF mess and working around it. A normal warrior can afford a +5 weapon w/ +5 worth of properties if he wants. Why can't the monk?

Dabbler wrote:
Hence I advocate Wis to-hit with monk weapons and unarmed strikes, but NOT to damage. There's a lot of other options for damage. Likewise, scaling enhancement to hit from ki-strike, but not to damage. With a ki-power to bypass DR, the monk's multiple hits can remain effective by making more of them, but damage remains the domain of the fighter. On the other hand, it means stunning fist gets more effective because it's easier to hit and do damage, as do maneuvers.

Only adding Wis to hit leaves the monk MAD, doing damage is stll important. Something has to be changed. Paladin got everything formerly wis-based hot-tracked to charisma to make them a 3-stat class. Why is it so bad to do the same for poor monk?

Dabbler wrote:
For Con dependency, allowing wholeness of body as a swift action would be a good way to go.

I...did that...too... Along w/ reducing its ridiculous cost to 1 ki point. And at high levels healing as an immediate to just plain negate damage as its received super-fast-healing style. It's still inferior healing compared to lay on hands and self only, until the immediate action thing, at least. And paladin gets mercies.

If you think that's enough to make Con 10 playable...you are very very wrong...


I've dropped Weapon Finesse and rolled that into the base mechanics. Essentially, everyone has the feat.

I also allow Wis to damage for Monks instead of Str for unarmed attacks and special monk weapons. These two effects makes him less MAD, only requiring Dex, Con and Wis for their prime stats.

And finally I allow a Monk to still Flurry if he hasn't moved more than half his Fast Movement bonus in the round. So starting at level 6, a monk can flurry after moving 10ft and a level 18 monk can still flurry after moving 30ft.


Following along.

I particularly think the ideas that reduce MAD (Wis to melee attack roll being the strongest), give the ability to somehow combine Flurry with mobility, and expanding the ki pool and ki abilities (this helping to mitigate DR problems as well as general ability to hit) are the way to go.

Any attemp to make currently unusable abilities (the oft-mentioned Wholeness of Body as a 1 ki point swift action) are welcome changes as well.


ReconstructorFleet wrote:
LoreKeeper: I really like it. I get nervous about some of the working theory behind these powers though. Greater Meditation of Fire for example, is only really useful beyond 10th level if you burn all of your flurry actions to just blast something with fiery burning doom for the round. Meanwhile, other meditations at the greater level may require that you spend ki, but if you spam them using Flurry, you might just wipe out a small army, or at least drop enough damage to make the Sorcerer blush. It's a fantastic concept, but I'd go over those meditation powers with a fine tooth comb and make sure that they're all incredibly useful for somebody, and that all of the greater meditations are worthwhile buys even at 20th level.

Glad you like the concept. :) Of course things would be refined from the basic remake given extensive playtesting; but I'm pretty confident in the results up to now. Some options are admittedly a bit weaker than others, but I don't think there's something that will break things dramatically. There may be the odd case of a nova build here or there, but those come with their own risks and are not unusual in most classes. For the most part I was aiming at functional flavor.

I am very curious to hear of any particular exploits or nova builds that worry you.


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Sir Jolt wrote:
When fixing the monk, IMO, you have to keep in mind what makes the monk unique. If the "fix" to the monk is just to make him more like an unarmed fighter specialist, then I'll just play an unarmed fighter specialist.

That is the fundamental problem with a monk fix. The monk had the promise of uniqueness, but it did not live up to the promise. Dabbler's fix, Master Arminas' fix, and StreamOfTheSky's fix all do a great job of building on the potential that is already in the monk's abilities. But what of the potential from the stories about monks, concepts that were never reduced to a roll of a d20? I would love to see those added to the monk in order to boost the strength of the class.

However, unrealized promise diverges from the monk characters that we have already created. Goodbye backwards compatibility.

It does not help that the monk's promise is contradictory. The monk devotes himself to peace and humility so that he can hit really hard with his bare fists. His training taps into magical ki to attain non-magical physical perfection. Or maybe it is the other way around. The monk had humble origins that gives him a common touch with the peasantry because he was raised in rigorous discipline in a monastery cut off from society. That monastery was devoted to a religious life that had nothing to do with the gods or sacred principles.

Those contradictions make for great storytelling. We love the twist, such as tales of Robin Hood who robbed from the rich like a scoundrel, but gave all to the poor in virtous charity. The monk is the humble traveler, too plain to be a mysterious stranger, who wanders into the village, and advocates peace in the face of oppression. Yet when the oppressors prove themselves incapable of virtue, the monk transforms his own virtue from peace to war and defeats them. Alas, contradictions make a terrible compass for tracking down the uniqueness of the monk. Our games are about adventurers in battle with their surroundings. We almost never see the peace before the war.

Some monk abilities represent peace. The monk's unarmed strike is the first principle, the monk arrived without weapons or armor. Stunning fist and combat maneuvers stop opponents without damaging them. The pose of a combat style, especially a defensive one like Crane Style, lets the monk display his serenity in the face of conflict. Good saves, Evasion, and Still Mind represent the monk transcending the conflict.

Other abilities break that peace. Combat feats that serve only to hurt, such as Improved Critical and Medusa's Wrath, are on the monk's bonus feat list. Stunning Fist must be delivered by a damaging strike. Flurry of Blows is about more blows.

Next I add in another ingredient: system mastery. Before I played an alchemist, I never bothered memorizing the rules for a thrown splash attack. They seldom mattered. They matter greatly when playing an alchemist. Pathfinder is full of lots of mechanics that fall by the wayside, but some new base classes teach them. The alchemist teaches thrown splash attacks. The magus teaches touch attacks. The cavalier teaches mounted combat. The monk can teach combat maneuvers. And maybe other special rules.

My first fix. People complain that Amulet of Mighty Fist is too expensive for what it does. Instead of inventing cheaper equipment, let us increase what the AoMF does by adding an extra feature to Improved Unarmed Strike, which I wrote in italics.

Spoiler:

Improved Unarmed Strike (Combat)
You are skilled at fighting while unarmed.
Benefit: You are considered to be armed even when unarmed—you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you attack foes while unarmed. Your unarmed strikes can deal lethal or nonlethal damage, at your choice.
Any attack bonuses that would apply to your unarmed strike, such as bonuses granted by Weapon Focus(unarmed strike) or Amulet of Might Fists, also apply to your CMB when you perform a combat manuever without using a weapon.
Normal: Without this feat, you are considered unarmed when attacking with an unarmed strike, and you can deal only nonlethal damage with such an attack.

My second fix. Developer Jason Bulmahn thought that Flurry of Blows should be like Two-Weapon Fighting. I have a similar idea: Stunning Fist should be like a touch spell. The effects of touch spells can be delivered by a touch attack, but could be combined with unarmed strike if the player wants.

Spoiler:

Stunning Fist (Combat)
You know just where to strike to temporarily stun a foe.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Wis 13, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +8.
Benefit: You may make a Stunning Fist attack as a touch attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. An opponent hit by Stunning Fist makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier). A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next turn). A stunned character drops everything held, can't take actions, loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, and takes a –2 penalty to AC. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned. Alternatively, you may make an unarmed strike while declaring a held charge for Stunning Fist. If your unarmed strike hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed strike and Stunning Fist also hits. You may attempt a stunning attack once per day for every four levels you have attained (but see Special), and no more than once per round. Misses count against this limit.
Special: A monk may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to his monk level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than monk.

The same changes apply to Elemental Fist and Punishing Kick from the Advanced Player's Guide.

My third fix. I liked IronTruth's Aid Another idea last week. Let me write out a version in detail.

Spoiler:

Improved Aid Another
Your aid is especially helpful to your friends.
Prerequisite: Dexterity 13.
Benefit: Whenever you successfully Aid Another, the recipient of your aid gains a +1 insight bonus to that endeavor in addition to the usual +2 bonus. If your character is 5 level or higher, that becomes a +2 insight bonus; and it increases by another +1 for every four levels after that, to a maximum of +5 at level 17 or higher.
Normal: The recipient of your aid gets a +2 bonus without the insight bonus.

Greater Aid Another
You easily see ways to aid yourself and your friends in combat.
Prerequisite: Dexterity 15, Improved Aid Another.
Benefit: You may make a Aid Another attempt in place of an attack in order to give an ally either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent's next attack, subject to the normal rules for Aid Another. The insight bonus from Improved Aid Another also applies if you have that feat. If you aid a character more than once for the same endeavor, such as two Aid Another successes to his attack, then the aid occurs serially, such as a +2 bonus to the character's first attack followed by a +2 bonus to his second attack, rather than stacking. You may aid yourself this way.
Normal: Aid Another requires a standard action. You cannot aid yourself because the aid expires before your next turn.
Special: A monk may take Greater Aid Another in the place of a monk bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

My fourth fix. Back to combat maneuvers. The problem that a monk has with combat maneuvers is that the standard attack-replacement combat maneuvers--trip, disarm, and sunder--do not work effectively against non-humanoid creatures such as dragons. I propose that we invent new combat maneuvers, such as Alligator Wrestle that stops natural attacks, designed to disable non-humanoid characters.

When the Advanced Player's Guide introduced Dirty Trick, Drag, Reposition, and Steal, it introduced four new Improved feats and four new Greater feats to go with them. I want to avoid multiplying feats like that. Instead, each new non-humanoid combat manuever will benefit from an existing Improved and Greater feat.

Spoiler:

Skyhook
You can attempt to skyhook a flying opponent as a combat maneuver in place of a melee attack. You can only skyhook an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a skyhppk provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target plunges downward 30 feet or until it hits the ground. If your attack fails by 10 or more, you are thrown 30 feet upwards instead. If you use a trip weapon to aid your skyhook attempt, you may release the weapon instead.

Improved Trip and Greater Trip feats affect skyhook the same way they affect trip.

Harden
You can attempt to harden an incorporeal opponent in place of a melee attack. If you do not have the Improved Dirty Trick feat, or a similar ability, attempting to harden a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

If your attack is successful, your target has a 50% miss chance to avoid your attack unless you used an ghost touch weapon or effect to make the harden attempt. If your target fails to avoid, it ceases to be incorporeal. This condition lasts for 1 round. For every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent's CMD, the penalty lasts 1 additional round. The incorporeal state can be removed if the target spends a move action. If you possess the Greater Dirty Trick feat, the penalty lasts for 1d4 rounds, plus 1 round for every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent's CMD. In addition, removing the condition requires the target to spend a standard action.

Improved Dirty Trick and Greater Dirty Trick feats affect harden the same way they affect dirty trick.

Alligator Wrestle
As a standard-action combat maneuver, you can attempt to alligator wrestle a foe that is adjacent to you. If you do not have Improved Grapple, attempting to alligator wrestle a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver. Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to alligator wrestle a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll. If successful, both you and the target lose the ability to attack with natural weapons. You also cannot move away from your target and you move along with your opponent whenever it moves. The target cannot move you through a solid object. You can release the wrestle as a free action, removing the condition from both you and the target. If you do not release the alligator wrestle, you must continue to make a check each round, as a standard action, to maintain the hold. If your target does not break the alligator wrestle, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on wrestle checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds. Once you are alligator wrestling a target, a successful check allows you to continue wrestling the foe, and also allows you to perform a grapple attempt against your target.

If you are alligator wrestled, you can attempt to break the hold as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you break the hold and can act normally.

Improved Grapple and Greater Grapple feats affect alligator wrestle the same way they affect grapple.

And the final laugh about all these fixes is that none change a word on the monk class itself.


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Well said, Mathmuse. Of course, I believe that one should embrace the contradictions within the class. For example, I will post what I call the Strictures and Morals of the Order of the Ebon Rose. This is (one of many) monastic orders within the game that I run. Mostly LN, but with a strong element of LE in the mix . . . and more than a hint of LG as well.

Anyway, I know it is just fluff and not crunch, but fluff is part and parcel of the game too, unless we just want to crunch numbers and compare builds! Taking a role is part and parcel of the game, and living up (or down) to a Code such as this can be just the thing your monk needs to understand the contradictions within him.

Enjoy!

MA

The Strictures and Morals of The Order of the Ebon Rose

The Strictures and Morals of the Order of the Ebon Rose are the paths of conduct and regulations of actions. These rules serve as the moral and ethical guidelines for all who observe them. Those who take the Oath as a member of the Ebon Rose swear to honor these ideals and philosophies in all things, even at the cost of their own life—or soul.

The First Moral Dictum of Arminas tar Valantil

Creation is the absolute moral imperative of all living creatures. We exist only to create—to propagate, to ensure the continuity of our kind. By the act of creation—though it may take many forms; such as the quickening of a child, the construction of a vast complex of buildings, the carving of a simple staff, or the education of those who are without knowledge—we sow the seeds of the future. Destruction is not the antithesis of creation, for we recognize that all things perish and crumble in the depths of time. However, destruction for the sake of pleasure, of sadistic delight; purposeless and senseless destruction just because we can; that is the road that leads to Chaos. We are, at times, called upon to fulfill the promise of all living creatures, by assisting them to their final end. We shall never do so without cause or reason, or for personal gain or pleasure. Those who do so, shall be judged by the Masters of the Order, and sentenced to exile within the very realms of Chaos which they have sowed.

In order to create, and to destroy when required, one must have power. The goal of the Order is to guide those who have eyes to see and ears to listen, and souls which seek out for knowledge to increase their own stores and reservoirs of power. By so doing, we form a bulwark between our people and the tyranny of Chaos, as represented by the many, many misguided souls of our world. This is not to say that one must only use power for good. Good—and Evil alike—are nothing more than conceptions forced upon Man by those from without. While servants of both exist as pure beacons of each force, Man is neither inherently Good, nor is he Evil. We are both, and yet simultaneously neither. We have the potential to outshine the mightiest beacon of Celestia and to humble the proudest denizen of the Pits. We are concerned nary with either concept, but only with Chaos and Law. For it is within the boundaries of Law that people are able to grow, to express themselves, to learn and to eventually lead, to create. Always, and forever, it shall be the purpose of this Order to form a dam against the tide of Chaos, so to shield behind us the green valley of Man.

The First Stricture and Regulation: Power

All living, thinking beings possess some degree of Power, however insignificant. The Order recognizes this and encourages its members to increase their own inner power. Life, in the philosophy of the Order, is about the accumulation of Power. In the words of the Founder “Power used not is Power which wastes away”, and this ideal is propagated throughout the monastery. All creatures have some degree of Power, specifically the Power to create and to destroy. The Order encourages the former and discourages the latter. Only through the Power of creation does mankind expand his horizons, and with each creation Power increases at an exponential rate. Destruction, on the other hand, should never be done purely for the sake of destruction, for down that path lays the madness of Chaos. Sometimes, destruction of a foe is the only answer, but it should never be the first answer. Always, a student of the Ebon Rose must balance his acts of destruction against his acts of creation. “For each that we destroy, we must renew and restore, create anew; lest in our arrogance, we fall to the trap of pride and the ways of Chaos”, thus sayeth the Founder.

The Second Moral Dictum of Arminas tar Valantil

Power without purpose is as barren and wasted as soil without water. It is a desert which appears without life—awaiting the rain that will cause it to bloom and prosper. That purpose is Responsibility. We of this Order of brothers and sisters are the keepers of our own fate and destiny. It is our purpose in life to guide, to protect, to educate, and—when necessary—to cull those around us. We are the Keepers of Order and the Guardians against Chaos. Yet, in our duties to others, we also have duties to self—to act with honor at all times, and in all things—to shirk no burden for fear of death or failure—to act decisively when action is called for. We bear a heavy duty, my brothers and sisters, for it is our destiny to shepherd Man to a better way of life. To accomplish this goal, we must become the keepers of Man’s honor and fate. The power we wield must be used to further our goals and to create a society in which all shall share in the honor, and the glory, and the liberty that are the gifts of Providence to all Mankind.

There are those among us whom it is our special task to care for. Those who have not yet matured enough, in body or soul, to understand or to act—these you shall protect even at the cost of your own honor. Those who bear children as yet unborn—these shall your hand shield from blows, even at the price of your own life’s blood. Those who are driven mad by the vagaries of fate or, perhaps, the too clear perception of knowledge—these you shall comfort and guide and allow no Man, no creature of the darkest fieriest Hells to harm, though it cost you your own soul immortal.

For—through this—we shall preserve and protect our people, as the shepherd guides and guards his flock; that they may, in time, turn the desert of the soul of Man to gentle pastures, filled with orchards and streams, with life and power forevermore.

The Second Stricture and Regulation: Responsibility

“Without Responsibility, Power is worse than useless, it is Chaos”, so sayeth the Founder. Indeed, so Responsibility is the second of the Strictures. We, each of us, are responsible for a great many duties. Duty to your brothers and sisters of the Order, duty to those around us, duty to your own self—these are all the burden of being a member of the Ebon Rose. “Death is lighter than a feather, but Duty is heavier than a mountain,” quoted the Founder many years ago. And it is true today. As a member of the Order, your duty, your Responsibility is, and always will be, to others. Whether it is protecting them, or guiding them, or teaching them, or executing them, your duty will be clear as long as you stay true to the Order.

In addition, we of the Order are charged with the special protection of three distinct groups of innocents: children who are not yet of the age of adulthood, women who are with child, and those who are mad and insane. Suffer none of these to see harm in your presence, and avenge them wholly and thoroughly—as swiftly and ruthlessly as possible—that no one will attempt any action against them without knowing the fate their actions shall provoke. Should one of our Order be the one to raise hand versus those protected by this Stricture—in any action other than defense of himself or others, in order to spare more lives or spirits than would be otherwise be lost—then he shall be proclaimed anathema, and hunted to the end of his days by all who honor the words of the Founder. He shall suffer a fate a thousand times worse—for a thousand days longer—before his soul is sent screaming into the Limbo of Chaos. Should this stricture you disregard, kill yourself before the Order finds you, for mercy shall not be forthcoming.

The Third Moral Dictum of Arminas tar Valantil

Power and Responsibility are two of the three towers of our philosophy. Yet, without the third, Honor, it is nothing more than an unstable construction that must, inevitably, fall. Belief in yourself—in the code which you carry within you, in your own personal sense of Honor—that is what steadies all of us to our duty. In all things, brothers and sisters, perform your duties with stout heart and with Honor.

Those who are without Honor are the servants of Chaos. They seek nothing more than their own heart’s desire, without regard for the consequences of their actions. Even if it means your doom, hold fast to the Honor of your own soul, and others will see the beacon which you grant to the world around you. Yet, only a fool yields to his foe more ground than must be offered. To those who have no Honor, you are bound only to act within the constraints of your own Honor—you are free to speak fabrications and falsehoods unto them, but be warned, sometimes the best lie of all is silence. A wise man knows when to speak, and when to listen, when to foster belief in that which is not true, and when to smile at a foe who has opened himself to deliverance into thine own crushing embrace.

But to those who act with Honor of their own—even if they do not hold with the philosophy and tenets of this Order—to these you shall treat as would a brother or a sister. Destroy them if you must, but speak only your own Honors worth to them, and seek to deceive them not. For a time will come, when Honor shall recognize like Honor and perhaps—in the fullness of time—such a one-time foe may become an ally in this, our war eternal against Chaos. For though they stand outside our dedicated Order, they too, in this world serve a purpose, as indeed do all living creatures.

Hold fast always to your given word—give it forth not lightly, for it shall bind you surer than any Oath. Though it means you take arms against the very Order itself, stand always for your Honor, for your word, for your duty. You will be respected for it, and uplifted because of it. Even more critical to my soul, and to your soul, and unto the spirits of our well-reckoned dead, speak only truth to yourself. Honor only comes from understanding your own being, from never deceiving your own spirit—whether by accepting something you know is false, or by allowing an action to take place by knowing it wrong, or even condemning a hated foe by standing silent and not speaking forth the truth. Honor to those around us is simple, but Honortrue Honor—to one’s own inner self; that is the task which is difficult. But, if you accept these teachings, it is the one thing which counts above all others. Without a spine of steel, stiffened by courage, tempered with the white hot core of your souls fierce forge—without your own inner Honor—your words and actions are meaningless, your life naught more than a lie.

The Third Stricture and Regulation: Honor

All members of the Order are expected and required to act with Honor, both in their personal lives and in their public demeanor. Honor is vital to the ideals of the Order. Those who are members of the Order are prohibited from discourteous behavior and from speaking falsely to brothers and sisters of the Order, from slander and from all activities which might—in the light of day—cast forth a shadow upon our names. You are expected and required to treat those who possess Honor with Honor and justice. Those who are beneath your station, who have professed no Honor, or who have proven themselves honorless, to these you are free to take whatever action suits you, and is appropriate to the situation. The stricture of Honor applies not to such vermin, and you are to eradicate them with neither mercy nor remorse when you uncover them.

The Fourth and Final Moral Dictum of Arminas tar Valantil

Power . . . Responsibility . . . Honor . . . these words are the core of what we here live by. But one more is required. One more is needed to temper the finely honed steel that you—my brothers and sisters of the soul—have become. And that word—that concept—is Respect. Always—in every situation you may encounter—grant Respect to those who have earned the right. To those appointed above you, to those who are superior in fact (if not in rank), to those whom it is your pride to stand beside in open battle. They have earned the right for your Respect, and it is a stain upon your own Honor to deny them that which they have earned through the exercise of their own Power, and Responsibility, and Honor.

Demand the Respect of those beneath you, not through words of scorn, but of actions performed. For when you earn their Respect, you will find that not only will your methods be enhanced; you will inspire those to follow you in the Path of Ascension. By your deeds, you shall meld and mold Mankind into that which shall never again need fear Deity or Demon, but shall make the planes themselves quake in dread at the merest thought that we choose to tread there. We shall—in that time—stride forth both confident and unafraid, secure in the power that we have harnessed, not merely for ourselves, but for all Man—and fashion for Us a place that may never be destroyed.

My sisters and brothers, I cannot emphasize enough the crisis that you are about to enter. You have tread the paths of power, become more than mortal man ever dreamed, pushed yourself beyond the limits of mortal comprehension, and transcended unto a higher existence. You have found yourself bound by duty, and by honor, to those who rest weary under the protection of your outstretched hand, to those who ask for your vigilance and courage, to those who cannot defend themselves, and yet can not ask to be defended. But, all this, is nothing, NOTHING! For without Respect, for life, for Man—above all for yourself—you shall become sterile, incapable of creating and Law itself will melt down into the anarchy of Chaos. This is my final lesson to you, my children of the mind: with Respect, you shall attain greatness. Without it, you are nothing more than the betraying hand of Chaos, cloaked within a disguise of Law and Order.

The Fourth and Final Stricture and Regulation: Respect

The Founder held this as one of the most important tenets of our philosophy: to show Respect where earned, to show kindness and compassion to those beneath us, to earn the Respect both of our betters and our lessers. You must learn this lesson, and learn it well, for it is the price of Power that it seeks to corrupt the wielder, that he may become the embodiment of Chaos incarnate. Only with the testing of your spirit and soul can you become transcendent—but only with the knowledge and forethought to respect your life, your self, your world, and all living creatures can you truly create. Should you reject this stricture, you are nothing but the Abomination which strives to destroy us all, and quickly shall you find your fate judged.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Only adding Wis to hit leaves the monk MAD, doing damage is stll important. Something has to be changed. Paladin got everything formerly wis-based hot-tracked to charisma to make them a 3-stat class. Why is it so bad to do the same for poor monk?

Damage IS still important, but by boosting up the monk's chances to hit you are indirectly boosting damage by getting them more hits. The other ace-in-the-hole is bypassing DR. I would like to s ee a ki ability that allows the monk to spend a point of ki and then bypass a selected oponant's DR (all of it) for one minute. Very thematic for a class supposed to emulate a martial artists ability to smash rocks with their bare hands, and it means that delivering the damage in multiple smaller strikes rather than several big ones is now viable.

The problem we face here is that we want the monk to be effective in melee, but the devs do not want the monk to be on a par with the fighter damage-wise. The way around this is to give the monk some tricks that are useful in a fight, rather than overwhelming.

These tweaks make the unarmed strike more accurate and gives it the bonus that against something with DR the monk will always be able to clock up some damage. Because he can hit and score damage, his stunning fist always has a chance to work.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:

I...did that...too... Along w/ reducing its ridiculous cost to 1 ki point. And at high levels healing as an immediate to just plain negate damage as its received super-fast-healing style. It's still inferior healing compared to lay on hands and self only, until the immediate action thing, at least. And paladin gets mercies.

If you think that's enough to make Con 10 playable...you are very very...

I was thinking about this, and you are right. Truth is, wholeness of body is a bust as it stands because even if you have it as a swift action, it means you can't use ki for anything else. Quite simply, if you are fighting something that's bad enough that you need the healing, you need to boost your AC to prevent further damage more.

So, I started thinking about ways that would make it much more useful such as healing ability damage/drain as well, or even..."As an immediate action the monk may use wholeness of body to heal half of the damage from a blow just received, even if that damage would reduce them to unconsciousness or death" sounds good.

Thing is, we we are racking up wisdom for accuracy, we can't overload it for replacing Con as well. Bottom line is, every class needs con.

@Mathmuse - I really like some of your ideas, but they don't actually address the monk's fundamental problems of MAD and lack of enhancement. They are nice tweaks, but they are gravy and not the meal.


Ability bonus stacking is not the right way to go imo, as that can lead to terrible terrible damage via broken ability stacking. What the monk needs, again just my opinion, is really static bonuses (boni?), much like the weapon training of fighters, and less MADness. ;)

Quick fix/suggestions, but far from polished:
1. Wisdom in place of, and functioning as, strength in regards to hit/damage. Negative strength still subtracts. Could be debated if it should be counted as strength in regards to feats, or even just style feats, as style feats such as the Dragon Style chain would be unavailable to the monk due to the 15 strength requirement.

2. Flurry of Blows simply being the TWF feats for free.

3. Full BAB, at the very least in regards to feats.

4. Monk weapon training (unarmed and all monk weapons) at: 4th level, +1 hit/damage every 4th level. And if it's not changed to full BAB class; +1 hit/damage every 4th level when flurrying and +2 hit/damage when making a single attack, making the mobility of the monk not only useful in beautiful art of running away really fast, but also makes a single attack worthwhile (and able to hit!)! ;) Attack roll maneuvers might become a problem when making them as a standard action. Could be specified only to work with damaging attacks... Buut it's iffy ultimately and needs some work.

5. Abundant step as a move action at most and able to perform remaining actions after. Could later become a swift action, free or with the use of more ki points - but might be overpowered along with the other buffs. ;)

6. Master Arminas' 'Monastic Skill Training', skill options are always great and those actually makes sense.

7. More options to the monk bonus feats. ;)

8. Proficiency in all monk weapons, including exotic.

9. Monk unarmed should top out at 2d8 at most, prefferably 2d6, lest large monks will cause many fighter tears. We don't want that, just balance.

10 Fix AoMF in multiple ways, though mainly making unarmed attacks actually enchanted, or make a new monk specific one - it's a quick errata.

11. Possibly more 5 foot steps available.

Some of these should give the monk some combat ability close to that of the fighter, but without outperforming him damagewise or in sheer combat versatility via feats and multiple weapon training groups. However, this was just made up on the fly and needs tweaking, as I'm sure it's not that well balanced. ;)

- BrutaleBent


Double the monk's bonus feats:

  • At 1st level he gets two bonus feats.
  • Thereafter he gets a bonus feat at every even-numbered level.
  • At 12th level, all Improved maneuvers are added to the list. At 16th level, all Greater maneuvers are added to the list.

The monk is still way more restricted than the fighter, but OTOH he still gets to ignore prerequisites. I could see adding a few other feats to the lists (Combat Patrol!) but not many.

I am not suggesting this as the change to fix the monk, just as another change to toss into the batch. FTR, my personal favorite set of monk-boosters is currently

  • Full BAB.
  • d12 HD.
  • Use Wis instead of Str/Dex for attack and damage rolls.
  • Slow fall is doubled in the presence of a wall but does not require one.
  • The 5' step is increased by half the monk's fast movement distance.
  • Bonus feats are doubled.
  • Ki pool is your Wisdom bonus plus your full monk level.

Also, I would say that the monk can divide up his N' step however he likes. That is, a monk with fast movement 20' and therefore a 15' step could take a 5' step, take a standard action, take another 5' step, take a move action, and take a final 5' step. More to the point, he could take a 5' step forward, flurry, and take a 10' step back.

And... that is where I would draw the line and say "more boosts would be too much."

I note that parallel changes are needed to any archetype that swaps out any of these abilities. For instance, the martial artist (my favorite) swaps out slow fall for "martial arts master" and ki pool for "exploit weakness." I would therefore improve those as follows:

Martial Arts Master: At 4th level, a martial artist may use his monk level to qualify for feats with a fighter level prerequisite.

Exploit Weakness: At 4th level, as a swift action, a martial artist can observe a creature or object within 30 feet to find its weaknesses by making a Wisdom check and adding his monk level against a DC of 10 + the creature's CR or the object's hardness. If the check succeeds, the martial artist gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls against the target and any attacks he makes ignore the target's DR or hardness. He also gains a bonus on Sense Motive checks and Reflex saves and a dodge bonus to AC against that creature (or the creature attending the object) equal to 1/2 his monk level. These benefits last until the martial artist re-targets this ability or is more than 30' from the target.


Cat In A Box wrote:
  • Slow fall is doubled in the presence of a wall but does not require one.

I like that!

(I like several of your other suggestions, too, but that one was new for me)


Cat In A Box wrote:
  • d12 HD.

On further consideration, the "roll with the punches" ability that I think this is going for would be better represented by DR. With d8 HD, is DR 1/- at 1st level too much to ask for? Naturally it would go away under the same circumstances as the AC bonus.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John-Andre wrote:

* Unarmed combat accuracy and damage based on Wisdom, NOT Strength. (Monks are wise fighters, not brutes.)

That's what I went with last night, when a player showed up suddenly wanting to play a monk instead of the gunslinger he'd been all gung-ho about for my new game. I'm a little scared, because he is one of my optimizers who is getting helped by the person who really knows the rules, but I'd rather he be overpowered and happy instead of weak and unhappy.

As for Ug? If he'd played Ug, I think his character and probably at least one more would have died last night. 13 HP and 12 AC? Not good for survival.


prosfilaes wrote:
John-Andre wrote:

* Unarmed combat accuracy and damage based on Wisdom, NOT Strength. (Monks are wise fighters, not brutes.)

That's what I went with last night, when a player showed up suddenly wanting to play a monk instead of the gunslinger he'd been all gung-ho about for my new game. I'm a little scared, because he is one of my optimizers who is getting helped by the person who really knows the rules, but I'd rather he be overpowered and happy instead of weak and unhappy.

As for Ug? If he'd played Ug, I think his character and probably at least one more would have died last night. 13 HP and 12 AC? Not good for survival.

Exactly. My preferred monk uses high dex/wis, and pays the feat-tax for doing so. Damage sucks, but at least you can hit things and stay safe.


I want to say, yes, the Monk should be more Bad-S in combat. More than the Rogue. If the monk could have as many combat feats as the fighter, they would be more believable. Some items for a bare hands fighter would be, hand wrapings, gloves, magic cloth headbands, and possibly magic sandals.


Dabbler wrote:


@ Selgard
The devs have made clear that they are not looking at an item fix, and no items will replace the amulet of mighty fists.

And that is the biggest problem: failure on the part of the design team to admit a mistake and correct it.


Pretty simple stuff tbh

I already patch move + full attack for everyone so mobility isn't an issue for me.

Monk - BAB Full
Flurry becomes TWF chain at appropriate levels
HD- d10
Skill Points - 6+Int

Equipment fixes - I fix the costs of belts and headbands so that additional enchantments have a 50% reduction in cost. So a Belt of Physical Perfection +2 is 6000 GP instead of 16,000 GP. This substantially reduces the penalty on MAD builds. I also allow uneven enchantments on belts so that a Belt of Giant Strength +2 can become an Belt of Physical Perfection +2 which can later become a Belt of Physical Perfection (+4 Dex, +4 Con, +2 Strength), etc.

AoMF - Cost Formula is (bonus squared) x 3,000 GP so 3000 for +1, 12000 for +2, 27000 for +3, 48,000 for +4, 75000 for +5. This makes AoMF much more cost friendly. I also use the same formula for double weapons like the quarterstaff. I also make a combo amulet of natural armor amulet of mighty fists because losing out neck slots kinda sucks.

Other ideas I've toyed with is giving them a swift action self healing ability but I've not really messed with it much.


Cpt.Caine wrote:
Dabbler wrote:


@ Selgard
The devs have made clear that they are not looking at an item fix, and no items will replace the amulet of mighty fists.
And that is the biggest problem: failure on the part of the design team to admit a mistake and correct it.

That depends, if they gave ki-strike an enhancement bonus then it would be great, and thematic with the monk's 'independent' nature.

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